Sunday, January 22, 2012

Not a day goes by

Not a day goes by without me thinking of ways I could simply get on a plane and go to NYC to see this exhibition. I've seen many of the paintings before, in museums around Europe and the US, but to see them like hurts not being able to! Must figure out a way to afford it. Or at least buy the catalogue. But it's not the same. The impact of the real painting, the layers of paint, the knowledge that this was the very canvas touched by the artist, the very painting observed and treasured for centuries can not be compared to looking at a page in a book or viewing it on your computer screen.

I'm often overwhelmed by paintings. I never know in advance when it will happen or why. And it's only sometimes that I comprehend exactly why I'm suddenly crying or laughing. My favorite experience is that of FLYING THROUGH TIME with the help of a painting, the sense of seeing what the painter saw, not necessarily with his or her eyes, but with her soul/intellect/core/insert what you think the painter is working with here. It's that experience I'm always looking for, the one that's now urging me to go to NYC.

I wrote a museum blog last year. I once wrote a post on a painting which is considered to possibly portray the young Lucrezia Borgia. This painting intrigued me so that I got all worked up about the Borgias series that turned out to be a huge disappointment to me. Why is it that historical dramas so often portray individuals who're only able to host a single emotion or ambition at any given time? And why is that one ambition/drive so often either power or carnal desire? It makes everything so flat. Where is the mockery, the everyday chitchat, the friendly banter, the self deprecating funny remarks that make up regular daily life for people all around the world now and historically?

I missed all of that in The Borgias. It didn't do anything for me beyond admiring the skills of the costume department.

I'd dreamed of seeing a portrait of the Lucrezia I see in the portrait; enigmatic, thoughtful, unattainable. What I got was a renaissance cupcake, which is not at all the actress fault, but what we've come to expect of female characters in too many series. No thanks. Perhaps I stopped viewing too early, please inform me if the portrayal of the highly intelligent, intriguing, interesting and vital Lucrezia changed over the episodes?
Yesterday I watched Hanna with Anders. I loved Joe Wright's Pride and Prejudice and am so looking forward to his Anna Karenina. Hanna was ok. but more than anything - there was my Lucrezia! So please Joe, make a Lucrezia movie, with Saoirse Ronan as the lead. It would be SO SO SO great. That's Saoirse as teenage assassin Hanna above, next to a Lucrezia fresco. And are any of you in NYC? have you been to the Renaissance Portrait Exhibition? Should I let go of everything and just go or should I simply buy the book?

curious greetings


  1. saw the exhibition last Monday--it's incredible. you should come. and weirdly not too crowded.

  2. Just back from the Leonardo, also incredible. Crowded but so politely so. Extraordinarily revelatory. Really, you should get on that plane to London. Absolutely worth it. So sorry you didn't come!

  3. I was also disappointed by The Tudors (did you see that?), in which sex was used not in a plot-relevant way (like in ROME, a brilliant series with excellent actors, I hope you saw that??) but predictably once every 20 minutes. I guess that must be the attention span of people who aren't interested in historical dramas but into costume-sex.

    May I recommend the medieval story (no film I think, only written) of Abelard & Heloise, written in the actual time in which it plays, which fulfils to the point that lack of everyday chitchat & multilayered characters that one would expect from a human life.

  4. You may indeed! Thank you Jane. I got bored of Tudors, but liked Rome, at least before it turned hyper-gory.

  5. I'm going to NYC in March specifically to see this. I hope you are able to go or get the accompanying catalogue...


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