Sunday, July 26, 2009

Early storytelling in art

Yesterday, we spent the day at the Cloisters in New York City. I'd never been in all the time I lived in the city and after I moved to the burbs. My daughter got free passes for us and begged us to go. We were blessed with a gorgeous day and receptive children. And a daughter who knew her stuff (private tour guide).

I must say that the highlight of the day was the viewing of the Merode Altarpiece which I remember studying in college (but as a tiny image in a text book and a distant slide view the impact is not so great.)

The triptych by Robert Campin from the earlyish 1400s is pure genius and an example of early storytelling in art using symbolism. And the precision to detail and craft is superlative.

I could have spent the entire day looking at this painting. There are somethings in this world that are brilliant beyond compare.

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