Monday, October 5, 2015

A Fall Afternoon with John Singer Sargent

Sargent's Dinner Table at Night, 1884, Dad with Dr Pangloss, and Mom with Henry theVIIIth at the Met.

There are afternoons here when I am truly reminded why I have made a life for myself in New York.  Two decades ago when I lived in Chicago and visited a lot, I remember walking along Central Park on 5th Ave. commenting that I love New York and should probably come live here.  That was one of the better ideas I ever ran with.  And I certainly felt that was this weekend.  Art was everywhere, along with crisp autumn leaves and chilly air.  Away went the bathing suits and shorts which I wore all the way through last week.  And out come the tweed coats, jeans and scarves, as summer was transformed into a crisp fall afternoon for walking to the Met to see the portraits of my favorite American artist John Singer Sargant.  His portraits of old New Yorkers, informed by his experiences in Florence, London, and Paris, they move me in a way that is hard to describe.  They feel familiar, but of another world.  We wanderred through the show, bustling with people,  New Yorkers crowding to take in the scene.

"I would not want to have a conversation with her," noted number two, looking at one of the Sargents' more dour subjects.  Like many of the masters of the day, her interior world seem to emanate from teh painting.
"Neither would I," noted the woman standing next to me.  "I think she's right."

So, we walked through the show,  taking in every exquisite image, posing in front of a few ourselves.  We loved the portrait of Dr Pozzi at home in his red coat, the robert louis stevensons, Dr Pangloss, peering in at us as we stare. 

Their eyes would remain with us all day, as we made our way to the trustee dining room, where we met mom and talked about each painting that shimmered through our minds. After lunch, we wandered through the armor and I greeted St James, our camino patron saint.  And we wandered back to the Lower East Side for a movie with some kids from school and then friends came over. The next day we spent the morning at Judon and made our way through the West Village and the city.  Fall is upon us.  Welcome!

welcome fall!

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