Masterpieces of the Walters Art Museum
The Walters Art Museum is an art museum with a collection that includes masterworks of ancient Egypt, Mesopotamian, Greek and Rome, medieval and Renaissance artworks, Master European and 19th-century paintings. Including Chinese ceramics and bronzes, plus Art Deco jewellery.
In 2000, “The Walters Art Gallery” changed its long-time name to “The Walters Art Museum” to reflect collection and focus.
Masterpieces of the Walters Art Museum
- “The Duel After the Masquerade” by Jean-Léon Gérôme
- “The Duel After the Masquerade” by Jean-Léon Gérôme depicts a man dressed as a Pierrot who has been mortally wounded in a sword duel and has collapsed into the arms of a friend. A surgeon, dressed as a Doge of Venice, tries to stop the flow of blood, while the third person dressed as a priest clutches his head. The scene is set on a grey winter morning in forest, trees bare and snow covering the ground.
- Ancient Sumerian Male Worshipper
- This Ancient Sumerian calcite-alabaster figurine of a male worshipper was created sometime in 2300 BC. The shaven head is a sign of ritual purity, which may also identify this figure as a priest. A partially preserved inscription on the right shoulder states that he prays to Ninshubur. Ninshubur was a vassal and friend of the goddess Inanna in Sumerian mythology, her name means “Queen of the East” in ancient Sumerian. Much like Iris or Hermes in later Greek mythology, Ninshubur served as a messenger to the other gods.
- Padiiset’s Statue
- Padiiset’s Statue is a basalt statue found in the Egyptian delta which includes an inscription referring to trade between Canaan and Ancient Egypt. It is the last known Ancient Egyptian reference to Canaan. The statue was created in the 1780-1700 BC period to commemorate a government vizier. A millennium later the original inscription was erased and replaced with inscriptions on the front and back.
- Mummy Portrait of a Bearded Man
- Mummy portraits also called Fayum mummy portraits, like this one, is a type of naturalistic painted portrait on wooden boards attached to Egyptian mummies from the Coptic period. These Mummy portraits belong to the tradition of panel painting, which was a highly regarded art form in the Classical world. Fayum pictures are the only significant body of art from that tradition to have survived. While painted cartonnage mummy cases date back to pharaonic times, the Faiyum mummy portraits were an innovation dating to the Coptic period.
- “The Sailor’s Wedding” by Richard Caton Woodville
- “The Sailor’s Wedding” by Richard Caton Woodville depicts a wedding party that has interrupted a justice of the peace in the course of his dinner. Woodville successfully demonstrates his powers of characterisation with his attention to the composition and the details in this painting. Woodville has composed a large group of figures in the office of a justice of the peace. At the centre is the figure of the tall red-haired sailor with oblivious pride and his reserved bride. The judge is irritated by the interruption of his supper, while the bowing groomsman is making conciliatory gestures. A secondary drama unfolds in the doorway, with two African-American figures, a crying child, and an old sailor. The household details set the scene, from the books and papers to the horsehair trunk which all add to the visual story.
- “Woman in Blue Combing Her Hair” by Goyō Hashiguchi
- “Woman in Blue Combing Her Hair” by Goyō Hashiguchi is a colour woodblock print, from 1920’s Japan. The artist, Goyo’s had a late calling to traditional Japanese Woodblock Printing after a career of illustration in other media. He was inspired by the old techniques and admiration for the great portraits of beautiful women by Kitagawa Utamaro (1753 – 1806). Goyo’s extraordinarily beautiful and technical excellent woodblock prints are among the most sought-after Japanese prints.
- “Geisha Hisae with a Towel” by Goyō Hashiguchi
- Goyō Hashiguchi’s perfectionism led to his publishing only a handful of prints, each one technically excellent with a nostalgic passion for the art of the period. The exceptional wood cutting of the black blocks to portray the intricacies of women’s hair was an Ukiyo-e tradition which Goyo has enthusiastically revived. To ensure a significant impact he also restricted his palette to a few colours. Hashiguchi had a short time span of only two years to produce these superb masterworks, apart from his first print published with Watanabe before he died aged forty-two.
- “Woman Applying Color to Her Lips” by Goyō Hashiguchi
- His blocks for fourteen prints and many of the prints were destroyed in the Great Kantō earthquake of 1923. Most reprints are marked with a small seal in the side margin, something which does not appear on original prints. Today works by Goyō are among the most highly prized of all Shin-hanga prints.
- “Woman Powdering Her Neck” by Goyō Hashiguchi
- Woodblock printing in Japan is a genre of Japanese art which flourished from the 17th through 19th centuries. Prints from the 20th evolved from the earlier movements, especially with the movement’s emphasis on individual expression. Artists such as Goyō Hashiguchi, brought more modern sensibilities to images of women
- “Hotspring Hotel” – “Onsen yado” by Goyō Hashiguchi
- The first woodblock printing dates to around 650 AD when the Chinese began printing on paper using wooden blocks. Woodblock printing was used in China for centuries to print books, long before the invention of movable type in Europe. In Japan, woodblock printing for artworks was widely adopted during the Edo period (1603–1868). Although similar to woodcut in Western printmaking in some regards, the Japanese technique differed in that it used water-based inks, as opposed to western woodcut, which often uses oil-based inks. The Japanese water-based inks provide a wide range of vivid colours, glazes, and transparency.
- “Waitress with a Red Tray” by Goyō Hashiguchi
- To create a Woodblock print, the first step was for an image to drawn onto thin Japanese paper then glued face-down onto a plank of close-grained wood. Oil was then used to make the lines of the image visible. An incision was made along both sides of each line. Wood was then chiselled away, based on the drawing outlines. The block was inked using brushes. A flat hand-held tool was used to press the paper against the inked woodblock to apply the ink to the paper. The first prints were merely a single colour, with additional colours applied by hand. The introduction of multiple colours that had to be applied with precision over previous ink layers.
- “Woman after the Bath” – Yokujo no Onna by Goyō Hashiguchi
- Vincent van Gogh began his deep interest in Japanese prints when he discovered magazine illustrations of artwork created by woodblock prints using Japanese techniques that depicted Japanese life. In 1885, van Gogh started collecting ukiyo-e prints that could be bought in small Parisian shops. Van Gogh shared these prints with his contemporaries and organised a Japanese print exhibition in Paris in 1887. One version of Van Gogh’s Portrait of Pere Tanguy (1887) featured a backdrop of Japanese prints. He was inspired by Japanese woodblock prints and in his works the vibrancy of colour and light that he observed in Japanese woodblock prints.
- “Woman Dressing in a Long Undergarment” by Goyō Hashiguchi
- What does Woodblock printing offer that normal oil paints do not? Could the details of hair strands in this masterpiece only be achieved with Woodblock printing?
- “Woman Folding Kimono” by Goyō Hashiguchi
- Artist: Goyō Hashiguchi- Japanese: 橋口 五葉; Born: 1880 – Kagoshima Prefecture, Japan; Died: 1921 – Japan; Nationality: Japanese
- “Woman in a Summer Kimono” by Goyō Hashiguchi
- “Woman in a Summer Kimono” by Goyō Hashiguchi is a colour woodblock print, from 1920’s Japan.
- “Woman Washing Her Face” by Goyō Hashiguchi
- Goyō Hashiguchi’s perfectionism led to him publishing only a handful of prints, each one technically excellent with a nostalgic passion for the art form.
American Proverbs and Quotes
” Well done is better than well said.”
– Benjamin Franklin
Photo Credit: By Wallstreethotrod [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons