Class at the NS today

Madonna and Child with Book

My theology and Art class took a break from the classroom and went to the Norton Simon museum today. Mmmm, I love it. Less than 2 miles away, amazing collection, beautiful gardens, and free student admission.

We spent time just looking at a few pieces in-depth, which let me sketch while listening to the dialogue, and occasionally joining in. Above is a sketch of the Madonna and Child with Book by Raphael (yes, the Raphel) in 1502-3.

It may sound heretical, but I’ve had little patience for religious painting after a trip in 2001 to Italy. I felt like if I saw one madonna and child, I’ve seen them all. Give me a Picasso, Matise, Cezanne, Degas, Van Gough, Monet anyday. Artists who are learning to see their world differently and challenging conventions. *sigh* Yet I’m slowly realizing there is immense value in studying this earlier period, and my reading for this class is shedding some light on these paintings for me.

Woman wih book

I was relieved though when we moved wings into the 19-20th century art, and spent the last hour talking about two Picasso pieces. The latter, Woman with a book, I sketched above. I love Picasso. I feel at home looking at his work. Perhaps because I lived for a year and took art classes in the Spanish town, Malaga, where he was born? Who knows, but the range of styles he went through is always an inspiration to me.

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