Monday, April 23, 2007

One of our (or at least my) favorite Paintings: Thomas Eakins "The Thinker".

The Thinker: Portrait of Louis N. Kenton, 1900
Thomas Eakins (American, 1844–1916)
Oil on canvas; 82 x 42 in. (208.3 x 106.7 cm)

From the Met:
"Louis N. Kenton (1865–1947) was Eakins' brother-in-law, having married Elizabeth Macdowell (1858–1953), sister of the artist's wife Susan, in 1889. Elizabeth studied at the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts in Philadelphia, exhibited professionally, and traveled widely. Her marriage to Kenton was stormy and apparently brief, and very little is known of it, or of Kenton. The title associated with this portrait, The Thinker, was at one time based upon an inscription on the reverse that apparently was placed there by Susan Eakins. Beginning in 1900, the portrait was in the Farnsworth Library and Art Museum in Rockland, Maine."

I had only a day at the Metropolitan and anyone will tell you its simply not enough time to take in the massive collection. By the fifth hour I was almost literally running through the museum just to get a glimpse at the rest the paintings I still had not gotten a chance to view, then I turned a corner and saw this incredible painting- and my running stopped.

..and my running has yet to start again, a single work of oil on canvas taught me how to think and process my world.

Lets not forget the other thinker, and a work just as important to my own personal imaginary art collection, but that as they say is another story.....

"One of Auguste Rodin’s most famous sculptures is The Thinker Statue, a piece originally conceived to be part of another work. The Thinker was part of a commission by the Museum of Decorative Arts in Paris to sculpt a monumental door based on The Divine Comedy of Dante. Each of the statues in the piece represented one of the main characters in the epic poem.

Initially named the The Poet, The Thinker statue was intended to represent Dante himself at the top of the door reflecting on the scene below. However, we can speculate that Rodin thought of the figure in broader, more universal terms. The Thinker is depicted as a man in sober meditation battling with a powerful internal struggle. The unique pose with hand to the chin, right elbow to the left knee, and crouching position allows the statue to survey the work with a contemplative feel."

No comments: