Thursday, February 17, 2011

Live from the Met!

by Donato

One of the reasons I moved to New York City at the beginning of my career was to be around its great museums, from the Metropolitan Museum of art, to the Frick, to the Pierpont Morgan Library, to the Museum of Natural History, and many others. I make regular trips to all of these in order to spend a few hours in bliss, inquiry, or research.

I was up at the Met this weekend for the later cause, taking in the sublime landscapes of Albert Bierstadt and Frederick Church to prime my pump for a new commission. I wanted to experience the works first hand and determine just how large I needed to tackle my future project. Needless to say I spent a good half hour absorbing these beautiful paintings, some of the greatest landscapes ever created.

Albert Bierstadt
The Rocky Mountains, Lander's Peak
73 1/2 x 120 3/4 in. (186.7 x 306.7 cm)

Frederic Edwin Church (1826–1900)
Heart of the Andes
Oil on canvas
66 1/8 x 119 1/4in. (168 x 302.9cm)

I also made a visit to the orientalist room in the 19th Century wing to evaluate my technical progress on another commission on the table. I have a long road to travel before I come close to the technical and compositional brilliance of Pasini...some days I should just hang up the brushes...

These visits keep me very humble.

Enjoy the high res scans!

Alberto Pasini (Italian, 1826–1899)
A Mosque
Oil on canvas
35 x 26 1/4 in. (88.9 x 66.7 cm)


  1. 2 heats ago I saw an exhibition of Caspar David Friedrich originals. Those gave me the same feeling as you describe. Beautiful landscapes as well

  2. Hate THE autofill on my iPad. Should've been 2 heats ago!

  3. 2 YEARS (as you might have guessed)

  4. Hi Donato

    I bought your Mechanic DVD recently, and was VERY inspired! I talk about hanging up the brushes, myself, when I encounter great work, such as the recent Gerome show at the Getty last Summer, where I had that feeling. Anyway, when I told my Sweetheart what you said, she told me I was Entitled. I've been painting for almost 40 years, and I feel like I've barely scratched the surface.

  5. Check out the cloudscapes in some of Bierstadt's other pieces (sierra nevada.) Gotta love the Hudson River School.

  6. Damn, that Passini guy can paint!

  7. @furman I second that.

    You wouldn't think he'd have so much texture in such detailed passages.

  8. Owen told me he saw you in the museum the other day! I gotta say, I often venture over to the orientalist room (after visiting the Meissonier!) and that one horseman in the Pasini is the same exact one i always stare at too! He's just so weird and beautifully painted.

  9. Ah, there are so many museums in the world yet to visit! It feels weird when I think that the majority of great paintings that I have seen, I have seen on my monitor.

  10. Thanks for the Pasini shots, what an incredible painting.

  11. There is nothing that beats seeing the paintings in life, but some masterpieces hang in quite remote places. If you want to get a good point to see old masterpieces from all over the world, here is a nifty website;
    (that's the searchengine directly).
    It's a project to get most of the worlds classical paintings up and viewabla for those who cannot go all over the world to see them.

    Some painters are lacking (Zorn omes to mind) but there are a huge amounts f paintings collected here.

    Also, every painting has info telling who painted it, when and where it hangs (soyou actually CAN go and see it in real life if you want to and have the possibility).

  12. And here is the "home" link:


    The Web Gallery of Art is intended to be a free resource of art history primarily for students and teachers. It is a private initiative not related to any museums or art institutions, and not supported financially by any state or corporate sponsors. However, we do our utmost, using authentic literature and advice from professionals, to ensure the quality and authenticity of the content.


  13. Donato, I have some good hi-res photos of 19th century masters which I've taken in museums d'Orsay and Louvre. If you're interested in those you can contact me at:

    studio (et)


  14. Oh wow. I am in awe.

    I'm close to DC and visit the National Gallery for the same reasons. Have always wished there was a portal between the NG and the Met.

    Lucky Duck. ;)


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