August 3, 2012

Sir Joshua Reynolds' "Portrait of British General John Burgoyne"

Seven works of art I would like to see at the Frick

I recently visited New York and seeing the Frick was part of my plans, but due to time constraints I couldn't do it.  Anyway, in an effort to turn lemons into lemonade, I'm going to post seven works of art from the Frick that I wish I could have seen.  

Nationality: English
Born-Died: 1723-1792
Creation Date: c. 1766
Media: Oil on canvas 
Location: The Frick Collection, New York City, New York, USA

It may be obvious to people who follow this blog but this is my favorite kind of painting--"grand manner" portraiture.  

This is an image of a hero--an image of a man that embodies virtue.  In terms of art, it makes no difference if that actual sitter for this painting was virtuous or not.  The value of art is that the scene is it's own world reflecting what is important in our world, not that it is a journalistic recreation of the particulars of this world.  

The overall statement of this painting is positive, but the world he lives in is not world made out of Nerf and candy.  He has carved out a place for himself in it and it doesn't look like it was a cake walk.  It reminds me of Howard Roark.  Roark suffered tremendously in his world, but in the end his triumph was so great that it far overshadowed the trials he passed through.

reynolds burgoyne one objectivist's art object of the day

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