Chalk Up Another One!

I have added The Art Institute of Chicago to my museum list!

A long line waits for admission outside the museum July 4, a free admission day for Illinois residents, which we are not.

Well, some of it, anyway, because that place is HUGE!! I was floored by the size of the place. Theodore, on the other hand, was profoundly dismayed. He was a reluctant visitor to begin with, and upon seeing the size of the museum, he apparently felt exhausted before we even began. I am sure rising so early for a 6 am flight to Chicago had nothing to do with it.

The sculpture in the distance behind Theo is maybe 20 feet tall. The scale of this museum is enormous. Note the joy in the face of our young visitor.

For the sake of family peace, I limited myself to one wing of one floor of the three-floor museum (for the most part). Monet was heavily represented among the Impressionists, and his standing as a genius was reinforced for me. Amazing.

My guys taking a breather. I can’t imagine how many miles we logged just in this building.

Van Gogh has long been one of my favorite artists, and there is just no substitute for seeing his work up close and in person. And you can get VERY close in this museum! The depth and texture and layers of paint. I can’t see one of his original works without wanting to go home and get out my acrylics.

I’m listening to an audio tour description. I really enjoyed the audio tour, although the Kimbell’s seemed more thorough. These were consistently brief.

Theo’s favorite was the arms and armor exhibit. (Of course, since he is a 12-year-old boy.) Stoney was pretty impressed with the level of technology in these old suits.

Realizing that most knights weren’t exactly tall men.

Theo sporting the horse’s attitude: yeah, I’m bad.

This portrait of Christ crucified, by de Zurbaran, was phenomenally compelling. I just sat and contemplated it for some time. It doesn’t grab you in a photograph the way it does in person, and was apparently originally hung in a dark alcove above an altar, so that the glow of the Christ seemed the only source of light. I could well imagine it. And it is a huge canvas, more than life sized.

The Crucifixion

I loved this visit. I would love to see the rest of the museum some day. And I  would love to satisfy just myself and take my time gazing at favorite pieces. But this was a much-appreciated introduction to an extraordinary collection of art!


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