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Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Europe CNY 2012 - Day 12, Part 2 - Lyon Fine Arts Museum

"The years that a woman subtracts from her age are not lost. They are added to the ages of other women." - Countess Diane of Poitiers

***

From 5 hours ago: Europe CNY 2012 - Day 12, Part 1 - Lyon

Europe CNY 2012
Day 12, Part 2 - 30th January - Lyon Fine Arts Museum


Next I went to the Fine Arts Museum, which had a good audioguide. Actually most audioguides are good.

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Musée des Beaux-Arts

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Courtyard

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Democritus

The inscription is a quote from Jean de La Fontaine:

"Hippocrate arriva dans le temps
Que celui qu'on disait n'avoir raison ni sens
Cherchait dans l'homme et dans la bête
Quel siège a la raison, soit le cœur, soit la tête."

Hippocrates arrived in the time that he who we said had neither reason nor sense looked in Man and in the Beast what the seat of reason was: either the heart or the head

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"The 20th century collection is inaccessible. You can (re)discover it at the start of March"
NO LOSS. It was the Beaux-Arts (Fine Arts) Museum and not the Laids-Arts (Ugly Arts) Museum after all.

Sadly, but not very surprisingly, almost all item information was only in French.

The Egyptian collection was very good.

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Sapair family stele

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Funerary casket

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Funerary casket of Djedkhonsouiouefankh

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Mummies

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Priest supporting mummy

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Mummified head

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Mummified hand

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Ouchebtis (Ushabtis), maids for the afterlife

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Amulets

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Ptolemy IV temple door
He's holding the hammer, a symbol of power, and a staff, the symbol of the Pharaoh's power

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Osiris Head

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Magic hippopotamus ivory - to protet the parturients (women about to give birth)

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Bes (A dwarf)

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Osiris Mummies

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Stele

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5, 7, 8.
Agricultural tasks: Beer-brewing, plowing, calving cow

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Osiris

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Roman funerary masks

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Akkadian seals

The first (second) level was closed during lunch, but by a miracle it was only for 45 minutes (1230-1315).

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Legend of St Michael

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Adoration of the Infant

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Lineage of St Anne (literal family tree)

Then was the transition from the Middle Ages to the Renaissance.

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Virgin, Child, Angels

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Nativity. There was a huge range of colours and shades from the light

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Virgin, Infant

The collection is apparently second in France to the Louvre's.

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Charles VIII receiving the Crown of Naples

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Eating ricotta

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Caesar elevating Cleopatra to the Throne of Egypt

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St Luke painting the Virgin

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The Circumcision
I think this was the first time I'd seen it depicted

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Head of St John the Baptist

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The Good Samaritan

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St Francis
He looked very mysterious. This is from the Golden Age of Spanish Painting

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The Immaculate Conception
The babies' heads are quite disturbing

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Sleep of the Virgin

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Danae

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The Crucifixion

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The Resurrection of Christ
Note the King of France's presence

To understand French art of this period you need to understand3 processes: Absolutism, the Counter-Reformation and the Development of the French Language.

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Flagellation of St Gervase

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St Dominic, St Francis protecting the world from the anger of Christ
Jesus wants to destroy the Earth (calling to mind Zeus with his lightning). The Snake represents Evil. Mary and the Holy Trinity are above, and you see all the saints. St Catherine with her Wheel. St Augustine is the Bishop.
You see figures in the background and disappearing faces.
In the 17th century pastoral art was linked to fear due to War, Famine and Plague.

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Air

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Players of Trictrac (a game)

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Portrait of a Woman

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The Procuress
This guy was from Utrecht, and in Utrecht I'd been similarly struck by a painting of the same title. This was all the more interesting, as I didn't know the translation of "L'Entremetteuse" before I sorted my images.

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Stoning of St Stephen. This is the earliest Rembrandt, only identified in 1962. The composition is awkward, as the audioguide noted. I agreed. That's why they missed it at first, presumably. The face above St Stephen is Rembrandt's.

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Square below

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Mercury and Argus. Depicted as two old men with no supernatural elements.

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Judgment of Solomon

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Still life at the fountain
Supposedly a still life, but there's a fountain and live birds

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The Kidnapping of Deianira

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Salon des Fleurs
Salon of the Flowers

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Grand Canal, Venice

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Flood scene

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Farewells of the soldier

The audioguide introduced troubadour painting. Whereas neoclassical depicted history, the heroic and the Bible, troubadour painting dealt with medieval history.

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A 14th c. tournament.
The winner is the guy in blue. His father banned him from taking part so he is anonymous, revealing his identity at the moment of victory.

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Young girl at fountain

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Odysseus

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Good and Evil
On the right a knight seduces the girl and leaves her when she has a kid. Her family rejects her when the kid dies, she kills herself and she goes to hell.
On the left she is virtuous and goes to heaven.
Victor Orsel did this on his own, it was not a commission.

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The Deliverance or The death of a man of missed genius

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Vow of the Madonna

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Last words of Marcus Aurelius

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The Martyrdom of St Agatha
She was martyred when nude?

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The Crazy Woman
I didn't find it disturbing as I was supposed to. It has 3 titles because no one knows the original.
Commentary: "The spectator can see what he wants, which is rare in a museum" - Art Critic. This amused me greatly.
A critic also wondered how you get a madwoman to do a sitting for you.

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Tiger eating a young deer

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Caricatures
The originals of Clay are in the d'Orsay. These are bronze casts - the originals are fragile.

Then was an interesting series of paintings, where a boy and a girl represent the soul.

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"Poem of the Heart", Louis Janmot (who worked on it from 1835-1881)

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Virginity

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The Golden Ladder

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Rest of cycle

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The bad path
The men in robes represent a secular university, so the children (the soul) are condemned.

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Reality - the girl's grave

Then it was back to other things.

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Young girl at the source

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Defeat of the Cimbri. I didn't take a picture because it wouldn't come out because of the lighting. It was visually distored.


(via Flickr)

As we moved into the second half of the 19th century, the stuff became blah as expected.

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Sunlight reflections

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This had no title i could find.

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Wedding at the Photographer's
This was at least as good as a photo, and in colour too!

"Ernest Chausson et sa famille" by Carrière was awful, like it'd gone in the wash. It was that blur. Again there were lighting issues.

Apparently it is one of the "works which count among the most perfect of the nineteenth century, and which could not be painted anew by anybody else" - The great French painters, and the evolution of French painting / Camille Mauclair

Decide for yourself:



There was also another of Rodin's Le Baiser (The Kiss). I don't know how many copies of that there are - there's another in Paris.

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Communion of Joan of Arc

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Woman on a guitar

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Dancers on a stage

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Young girl with a blue ribbon

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Nave nave Mahana
This was the first Gauguin bought by a French museum and means "Happy Days" in Tahitian.

There was a Hector Guimard bedroom in the Art Deco section, which was quite blah.

The Objets d'Art (miscellaneous applied and decorative art) collection was mostly blah.

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Descent from the Cross

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Bust of a Woman
This was quite sensual, and included the bust (which busts usually don't do)

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Virgin at Annunciation

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Hercules

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Judgment of Paris

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Virgin, Infant, Donor

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Fragment of pavement

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Parade shield, first half of 17th c.

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Virgin and child
The colour was suspiciously bright for c. 1600 piece. I was quite sure it'd been restored.

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Ottoman arms, armour

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Child, Angel musician

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Altarpiece - Life of St John the Baptist

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Angels holding a soul

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Angel, Virgin at Annunciation
The hooks on the back of Gabriel were used to house his wings.

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Death of the Virgin. This was quite cute, i.e. the proportions are all wrong.

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Angel with Flagellation Pole

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Pietà
You can see her tears!

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Jongleur ("A wandering minstrel, poet, or entertainer in medieval England and France")
There are Armenian characters here
The audioguide talked about "Roman" art. I think it's a mistranslation and it's supposed to be Romanesque.

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Christ and Apostles

The Classical and Etruscan stuff was okay. Probably the best stuff was in the Gallo-Roman Museum.

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Woman's bust

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Kore of the Acropolis. 540-530BC
There's Ionian Greek influence

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Bas Reliefs from Palmyra

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Priest's Head, Assyria

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Wineskin carrier, Persepolis

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Anthropoide sarcophagus, Phoenicia

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Caesarion, Coptos (Egypt)

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Leda (and the swan, which looks misshapen)

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Laocoon and sons (after the Vatican version)

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Monument to the Dead - model for Père Lachaise in Paris
98,000 people went to see it on opening day. But it's non-religious so the themes are universal.

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The first funeral (Abel)

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Perseus and the Gorgon

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The crazy dancer/The crazy virgin

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Hercules the Archer

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Lion and serpent

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Cain and his race cursed by God

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The temptation of St Anthony, Rodin
It was made to seem unfinished but the woman's body is polished

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Tenderness

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Unnamed statue in courtyard


When I see people walking with baguettes tucked under their arms it puts me in the mind of swordsmen, ready to unsheathe their weapons at a moment's notice and start a baguette fight.
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