Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Ernest Meissonier,
The Chess Players, 1856
Oil on panel, 10.5 x 8.5 in.

Check out this little bit of goodness!
Notice its size? Oil, colored oils, painted with a brush, onto a board, 11 inches tall!
Some look at mountains to see the greatness of God, for some, medicine holds fascination and proof of the existence of God. For me, things like this. Perfect likeness with incredible detail... of two guys playing chess. Incredible! The skill that God has put into man! What must God be like??

This genre, everyday life scenes in a small format, was very popular with the wealthy French Bourgeoisie. What an amazing little thing to have hanging on the wall?!
The men's coats are velvet. The tapestry on the wall is rich and realistic. Gilt on chairs, shiny buckles, and the expressions! The blue guy seems to think he's checkmated his opponent.
(How do you say "checkmate" in French??)

What do you think this room smelled like?? Musty, maybe? Cold for sure. What do you think is going on in the upper left corner. All those squiggly white lines. I could just about hear the 'shashing' of their shoes on the wood floor.. unlike women of the time with layers of fabric, these guys' jackets would probably not rustle... but I can hear the chairs definitely creeking!
You know... when you get right down to it, there are really only a few colors in the world. This painting has the best!

They say an artist views his works as never quite finished. Some paintings are done over several times. That thought makes this piece all the more fascinating. The artist had very little room to contain his concept... let alone to change it! One false move with the brush and someone's entire hand could disappear!

Do you enjoy this as much as I do?

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