Monday, August 3, 2015

Rome Treasures - Vatican Museums, Contemporary Art

George Rououalt - Miserere, 1939
As we ended our first visit to the Vatican Museums we passed the area that displayed contemporary art and knew that we were too fried to enjoy viewing it.  We decided to make this area a priority when we returned on Friday evening.  Again, there was so much to see!  These pieces were arranged chronologically from the late 1800's to a 2011 piece by El Anatsui.

Some of my favorite artists had pieces in the collection - George Rouault, Vincent VanGogh, Odilon Redon, Gaugin, Chagall, Matisse, Diego Rivera; there were not many women represented, which surprised me, especially as the dates moved into the 20th century.  I saw nothing by Kathe Kollwitz.  And, of course, I saw many works by painters and sculptors who were totally new to me.

Carlo Carra  - The Daughters of Lot, 1940

This one by Carlo Carra was very moving.  The listless expression on the young women's faces, the sadness, seemed to reflect the devastating changes in their lives, the loss of their mother, the way they have been used by their father.  It is a painting that could generate a lot of discussion, anger, and empathy.

I was intrigued by Fernando Botero's Trip to Ecumenical Council.  I suspect there is critical commentary going on, but am not sure what it is.  Pope Paul VI was leading the church at that time and made it a priority to consider the conditions of those who live in poverty - perhaps the look on this plump cardinal's face is one of worried anticipation.

Fernando Botero - Trip to Ecumenical Council, 1972

      And there were several pieces by Matisse - drawings, cut outs, sculpture; we looked forward to visiting his museum in Nice and the chapel in Vence that he'd designed.

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