Certain names crop up frequently in eastern U.S. art museum collections. Two prominent ones are Frick and Mellon. Last weekend I took advantage of the largess of these collectors at the “Van Gogh, Monet, Degas: The Mellon Collection of Art From the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts” exhibit on at the The Frick Pittsburgh until July 8, 2018.
Of the three marquee names in this exhibit, Degas is the best represented with 10 pieces. Paul Mellon owned race horses and Degas was a wonderful painter of horses, so it was a match made in heaven for a savvy collector with the means to acquire fine paintings. The three by Van Gogh on display are small and done somewhat early in his career. The three (I think) Monets are OK but I prefer much of his other work. There’s a scattering of many other famous Impressionist and modern painters among the 70 plus works, and I found a few to delight me. Except for three by Berthe Morisot, all were done by men.
I love the high horizon composition Degas used and I can feel the coiled energy of the horses’ bodies. You’d think that all the horses on the right side would make for an unbalanced effect but it doesn’t.
I enjoy how the black lines in this 1953 Picasso painting (“The Chinese Chest of Drawers”) carry my eye in and out of the composition.
An icon of St. Catherine of the Wheel that’s part of the regular Frick collection. Doesn’t she look pissed off? I guess being martyred on a burning spiked wheel will do that to you.