Chinese Porcelains, American artists of the XVIII-XIX centuries and contemporarys.
Passing now into galleries 36 and 37 we feel the restful influence of the Chinese porcelains.
It is easy from here to go to the wing of decorative arts, although in this three hour "pilgrimage" it is wiser to see only the lower floor, to which we will come a little later. On this upper floor French furniture will be found in the rooms at the right and the English and American at the left. If it is desired to see the paintings more thoroughly it is here that the chronological arrangement begins.
Immediately next to the porcelain room are the Primitives in gallery 34; the Italians are continued through 33, 31 (from which the jewel room opens), 30, and 29 (contains the Moroni portrait, ill. no. 5) ; the Spanish in 28; Flemish in 27 (contains works by Rubens including the "Wolf and Fox Hunt," ill. no. 21) ; Dutch in 26; and French and British in 24 (here is the large Reynolds "Hon. Henry Fane with his Guardians, Inigo Jones and Charles Blair," ill, no. 7).
The three hour "pilgrimage" plans to see American and other XIXth century paintings by returning through the Altman galleries 38 and 39 to gallery 12, which contains paintings by American artists of the XVIIIth and XIXth centuries.
Notable among these is a group of portraits by Gilbert Stuart (1755-1828) including a "Head of Washing-ton" (ill. no. 24) painted from sittings given in Philadelphia in 1795. Here will he found landscapes by the so called "Hudson River School," and by the trio of great landscapists of the end of the XIXth century, Inness, Wyant and Martin. If desired, the stairway and main door can be reached from here through gallery 11.
Paintings by contemporary Americans are continued in gallery 13 and 14 (contains "Northeaster" by Winslow Homer, ill. no. 22). The end wall of 13 is filled by the large canvas by Abbey (1852-1911) notable for its rich color. It depicts a scene from Shakespeare's play of King Lear (ill. no. 23) where Cordelia bids farewell to her elder sisters, Goneril and Regan, while her father, the aged king, is being led away by his attendants. Those who wish to see all the collection of paintings by French artists of the XIXth century, should pass through gallery 15, where there are older paintings of several schools, to the modern French collection in 16, 17 (contains "Edge of the Woods" by Rousseau, ill. no. 18), 18 (here will be found the marble group "Mother" by Lewin-Funcke, ill. no. 12), 19 and 20.
A good impression of the French collection can, however, be gained by returning through the corner of gallery 12 and passing direct through corridor 22, which contains cases of silver, chiefly by American craftsmen of the XVIIth and XVIIIth centuries (ill. no. 10) to gallery 20, with its French paintings of the latter part of the XIXth century. Here, at the left, is "Joan of Arc" (ill. no. 28) by Bastien-Lepage (1848-1884).
The wonderful eyes of the French peasant heroine hold our attention almost to the exclusion of the vision which the artist has indicated in the background by vague floating figures of St. Michael in armor, St. Catherine in adoration and St. Margaret, weeping. At the opposite end are several pictures and studies by the great mural painter, Purvis de Chavannes (1824-1898). One long wall holds several noted pictures by Manet (1832-1883) including his "Boy with a Sword" (ill. no. 26). On the opposite wall is the famous original "Horse Fair" by Rosa Bonheur (1822-1899).
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