If healthier living is your goal, forget fad diets and take a cue from the ancient Greeks! Fish and olive oil have been staples of the Greek diet for millennia, as everyone ate fish fresh from the waters, salted, dried or smoked. Greece was also the Mediterranean’s main producer of olive oil—a part of Greek cultural identity. A component of ritual and social gatherings, a prize for athletic victors, it was also used for bathing, leather tanning, as a base for perfumes, and, of course, for cooking. On this drinking cup (skyphos) crafted in approximately 510 B.C., two men are depicted pressing the oil out of olives in a basketwork container. A long pole, weighted with a sack of rocks, presses down on the basket; the oil runs out into the vase on the ground.
#TriviaTuesday: Antonio Tempesta created this oil painting on which unusual surface? Hint: The work brilliantly incorporates the veining of the stone into the scene.
How did we create a raucous card party on a rainy summer night in London, set in the early 1760s? See this incredible tableau of decorative arts, period costumes and more in "Casanova's Europe: Art, Pleasure, and Power in the 18th Century" on view now.
Odilon #Redon described his bouquets as "at the confluence of two streams, one of representation, the other of memory." His "Large Green Vase with Mixed Flowers" (1910–12) is among nearly 40 pastel masterpieces on view in "French Pastels: Treasures from the Vault." The exhibition features works by avant-garde 19th-century artists such as Redon, Millet and Degas.
Do you have a work of art from our collection that you'd like to learn more about? @victoriaannebran, @convivenciainfantil and @racheltamra all recently requested John Singleton #Copley's "A Boy with a Flying Squirrel (Henry Pelham)" (1765), and this post is for them Comment with your requests, and we'll plan on featuring your choice in a future post!
Copley grew up in #Boston before formal artistic training was available anywhere in this country. Largely self-taught, he became the most sought-after portraitist in New England by the mid-1760s. He aspired, however, to more than provincial success and wanted to know how his work would be gauged by sophisticated English standards. To find out, in 1765 he painted a portrait of his stepbrother, Henry Pelham, for an exhibition in London. With a subtly complex composition, this painting was calculated to demonstrate everything that Copley could do. Most brilliant of all, perhaps, is his ability to depict a variety of textures—for example, the boy’s skin and the soft fur of the squirrel. The inclusion of the animal demonstrates that the young man was raised properly according to 18th-century manners and able to control a wild thing. Additionally, the flying squirrel is an American species, thus denoting that Copley is an American painter. The painting ultimately garnered much praise, perhaps most notably from Sir Joshua Reynolds, one of the leading English artists.
Happy birthday to #Rembrandt, born #onthisday in 1606! The exquisitely preserved "Portrait of Aeltje Uylenburgh" (1632, Rose-Marie and Eijk van Otterloo Collection), which depicts his wife's cousin, demonstrates the artist's facility as a portraitist in the early stages of his career.
Do you have a work of art from our collection that you'd like to learn more about? @perniciousrsb recently requested James Jacques Joseph #Tissot's "Women of Paris: The Circus Lover" (1885), and this post is for her Comment with your requests, and we'll plan on featuring your choice in a future post! .
Like the #Impressionists, particularly his friend Edgar #Degas, Tissot chose his subjects from modern urban life. His precise, detailed and anecdotal style, however, was more closely related to conservative academic painting. This work belongs to a series called "Women of Paris," 18 large paintings that depict women of different social classes encountered as if by chance at various occupations and amusements. Here, the woman engages the viewer as a participant in the action by her direct glance out of the picture. The event is a "high-life circus," in which the amateur performers were members of the aristocracy.
Bonne Fête Nationale! Celebrate #BastilleDay by visiting "French Pastels: Treasures from the Vault," a display of rarely seen works by #Millet, Degas, Monet and many other French masters of the medium.
Pictured: "Shepherdess with her Flock and Dog" (1863–65), Jean-François Millet.
Hear the sounds of the 18th century tonight at @bostonsymphony's "Tanglewood in the City," then see the sights this weekend in "Casanova's Europe: Art, Pleasure, and Power in the 18th Century" at the MFA!
Pictured: "The Music Lesson (The Bird Cage)" (about 1740–45), Pietro Longhi, on loan from @legionofhonor.
#TGIF! Ring in the weekend with Nicholas Lancret’s “Luncheon Party in a Park,” which encapsulates the pleasures and excesses of dining in the 18th century (note the ratio of empty and broken bottles to the number of guests!). See it in “Casanova’s Europe: Art, Pleasure, and Power in the 18th Century.”
It’s #FridayThe13th! But don’t worry, only good luck comes from crossing Inagaki Tomoo’s “Group Portrait of Cats” (1975), on view in “Japanese Prints: The Psychedelic Seventies.”