Thursday, April 7, 2011

A Fine Specimen, Indeed!

Quite arresting, isn't it? Poor guy, he's missing all the important parts, like his head for one. Oh, you thought I was going to talk about his missing man-ish parts? Yes, that's very important too. But I marvel at this sculpture because you don't notice so much what he doesn't have (sorta) but more at what is left. Simply beautiful...and really old.

"Lauren, tell me where you find such ruined beauty," you say? Well, it's at the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art, right here in Kansas City. Admission is free and the food is INSANELY good at the Rozzelle Court restaurant, which is located in the heart of the museum.You find yourself sitting in a 15th century courtyard which was flown in from Italy. Pretty impressive.

Speaking of food, this is what I ate that day, (yes, a day which was child-free, thanks to my mom) which was a vegetarian Mediterranean salad. So unique. Actually, it was quite inspiring, as far as a salad goes. It had marinated mushrooms, in which I detected a hint of wine, cooked and chilled asparagus, cold, roasted potatoes (which I was expecting to be weird and mealy, but where not), and creamy feta and roasted peppers. And of course, some salty, make-you-bloat-two-dress-sizes-right-in-you-chair kalamata olives. Divine.

I'm always quite intrigued by any painting or sculpture of the Madonna and Christ child. I mean, I find the artwork on the subject quite strange and wonderful at the same time. Most of the time Mary looks really bored and sometimes even annoyed by her God-incarnate child. According to the description of this sculpture, this is a very tender rendering of the two, in that Christ touching his mother's cheek, shows a very intimate and connected bond between the two. Hmmm. I see it, but it's very different from how I see moms (including myself) love on their kids nowadays.  We snuggle and nibble, sniff and tickle their necks and ribs, toes and cheeks. I want to see a painting of Mary and Jesus like that, because that's how I believe it really was.

Take a look at this beauty. More than anything else that I have to say about this sculpture is that I cannot get past how the sculptor was able to make marble look like soft, silky, drape-y, fabric. How it clings to her body and billows out below- simply incredible.

I have been coming to this museum since I was a young girl. In my heart, this is the birthplace of my love of art. I can spend hours gazing at the familiar artwork that has become like old friends. The shape that this sculpture creates is so different than most really old sculptures. She's not merely standing there holding a pot, or regally posing with a crown, but instead, you feel like you've caught her in the act of her daily ritual of adorning herself with flowers, in the woods somewhere.

  But what I like most is that she is smiling.

This painting reminds me of my grandma. She looks eerily like her and she is also a woman of the same decent as my grandma- a Southern Italian. Looking at her eyes stirs curiosity over what she is daydreaming about. As my gaze floats down the painting, I am distracted by the sheen on the pearls around her neck. How did the painter capture such realism? And the folds in her blouse? Oh, that I could someday capture something so simple with such immaculate detail. It's so inspiring.

These two love birds are embracing one another after the hunka-hunka man killed a boar. It lays dead in the background. But what I couldn't seem to get over was the enormity of both the lover's hands. They were GINORMOUS! Even though the artist translated the dainty aspects of a woman's hand, it could have easily palmed a basketball the size of a small elephant! Of course, I do take into account that the statue itself is nearly 9 to 10 foot high. Had that statue come to life and given me a high-5, I would be typing with one hand right now...the other would still be lying on the floor of the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art.

Oh, how the mind wanders. Well, I hope you enjoyed this little tour, and truly, it was little. There is so much to experience at this great museum. If you are in town, you simply must visit, have a leisurely lunch and fill you quota for art appreciation.

Love Ya, Foodies!
P.s. Monet's ( brother-in-law is in his own room now and talking! He is still unaware of what has happened. Pray for continued strength for him and his son.
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