|The Magpie, 1868–1869.|
This is one of my favorite Monet's. As spring seems to be peaking it's face out now (finally!), I figured it was the last possible time I could share it for a while. Several years ago, I went to France with a small school group. We traveled in Paris and the Provence regions for a week, and then headed to Nice for the last week. Language school in the mornings, lazy afternoons on the pebble beaches or in the old ville...all in all it was a great trip. I was given some of the best advice a few weeks before I left. I was over the moon about all of the art museums that I would be exploring in Paris. The Musee d'Orsay, famous for its showcase of Impressionist art, was at the top of my list. A very wise person told me to go ahead and give up the notion of seeing every piece of art in the galleries. There is almost never enough time to do that even if you live there, let alone the few hours I would have on my trip. Instead, pick 1 or 2 paintings that strike you. Stay with them, study them, etch it in your memory. Those will be the ones you will have the time to find the meaning, feel the artist, and take with you when you go. This, of course, was one of the paintings that I stood in front of for 20 good minutes and soaked in.
I love it. I love the snow, I love the peaceful serenity it exudes. I love the bird resting on the magpie. I love the twisting branches of the trees. I love the footprints leading off to goodness knows where.
This is one of the things I am really looking forward to when we are in England and France in August. Of course, I can do this just down the road at the NC Museum of Art. But things are just 10 times more exciting abroad, right?!?
Now, go to an art museum and try it.
I dare you.