The last five photographs I submitted to Trekearth were from the Polynesian Islands — Moorea, Tahiti, Nuku Hiva, Hiva Oa... The great French Post-Impressionist Paul Gauguin (1848-1903) lived out his final days in this area, and was buried in Hiva Oa. In the future I will return to the theme, "Paradise on Earth," with more images from those islands.
The scene in the present photo is a room in the National Gallery of Art in Washington, DC, where Paul Gauguin in one of his self-portraits appears to be gazing at a bronze ballerina created by the Impressionist Edgar Degas (1834-1917). Painter, sculptor, lithographer, Degas was one of the founders of Impressionism, although he personally rejected the term "Impressionism," preferring instead to call the movement "Realism."
In a letter to his friend, Post-Impressionist Vincent van Gogh, Gauguin wrote, "Art does not have to mimic reality!" His self-portrait certainly reflects that statement. But he was fond of young girls, and in sneaking a view of Degas's young ballerina, is exercising that proclivity. As Chris Jules points out, there is also the mischievous irony of the halo that Gauguin has painted over his head.
I am "hanging" this photo in the group theme, Pictures at an Exhibition. If anyone else has good candidates for that growing collection, please feel free to participate. You can also click on Mussorgsky/Ravel's "Pictures at an Exhibition to hear a terrific rendition of the music by the same name.
In composing a painting, photograph or magazine page, a general rule exists suggesting that the subject(s) look inward, toward the center rather than outward. Here they are both pointed outwards. In this instance, several other visitors were standing in that crucial vantage point, and even isolating Gauguin and Degas was a minor victory. In order to illustrate this principal, in the accompanying workshop I moved the ballerina to the right using Photoshop. But rules are made to be broken, and having the subjects look outward creates more tension than if they were looking inwards. This is unsettling to the eye, a factor that I prefer. Tension and unsettling factors are good for art. They make the Mona Lisa more effective, so enigmatic. Several viewers have expressed their preference one way or another. I would be grateful to hear your preference about the positions of the two works.
holmertz, jjcordier, jhm, cagla, Sonata11, CLODO, saxo042, golus, RhodieIke, Vasa, MLINES, Suppiluliuma, cavli, ChrisJ, paololg, Charo, skippy007, papagolf21, delpeoples, nobuikehonda, jlbrthnn, ikeharel, Kielia, Graal, bukitgolfb301, ciakgiak, aloyho, nikkitta, bona, mirosu has marked this note useful
Critiques | Translate
holmertz (58322) 2012-02-25 6:40
The interaction between an artist's work and the spectator usually makes the best photos from museums and galleries. But I would say that a connection between a painting and a real life sculpture does the trick very well too. Especially considering the background story. which you have described well. Technically the photo leaves nothing to be desired, although it would have been even better if the girl hadn't been looking out of the composition.
jjcordier (79297) 2012-02-25 7:15
Belle utilisation de ces œuvres d'art pour réaliser une excellente photo.Gauguin semble "lorgner" du coin de l’œil sur la ballerine de Degas -)....pas étonnant!
siudzi (34141) 2012-02-25 7:44
A well presented art. Like the way you composed this scene with a sculpture in the foreground. Good management of perspective and DOF here. Thanks for sharing.
jhm (158968) 2012-02-25 8:06
Another interior picture with a very high quality.
Also perfect placed of the statue, this gives perfect space to the rightside with the painting as extra subject.
Excellent composition and pleasant picture.
Very well done, TFS.
Have a nice weekend,
chanteuse (210) 2012-02-25 8:08
Great idea for a photo, Bulent! Technically this is superb. My only wish would be for a slightly different POV, a touch more to the left, to put Gauguin a bit closer to her and perhaps show a bit more of her profile. I've spent many hours in the National Gallery - thanks for the memory!
cagla (4342) 2012-02-25 8:48
Gercekten, nefis bir gozlem, nefis bir cekim olmus Bulent Bey, elinize saglik. Bu muzeyi ve muzedeki Degas koleksiyonunu gezdim, ama boyle bir ayrintiyi herhalde hic bir zaman yakalayamazdim.. Selamlar, saygilar..
JFS (32459) 2012-02-25 8:49
I like very much to visit the museums throught the pictures and this shot if very very nice; good composition, beautiful sculpture and beautiful Gauguin painting. Thanks Bulent!
Sonata11 (33971) 2012-02-25 9:01
fabulous photo, awesome !!! Wonderful composition and excellent framework of this beautiful statue of this naked lady with beautiful painting on the wall at the National Gallery of Art. Fantastic shot of this place. Perfect colors, sharpness, clarity, depth and POV with DOF as well. I really love it. Excellent job.
All the best and have a great WE,
TopGeo (38216) 2012-02-25 9:08
Hello Bulent! Henri Cartier - Bresson said, "was influenced by Surrealism as a concept as a way of life, but I have great reservations about the surreal painting, which seems too philological. The only aspect of the phenomenon of photography that excites me and which will always interest me, is intuitive through the camera capture what we see. This is what Breton called the "objective chance" in "Conversations" ofGreat composition and framing, outstanding light management, wonderful colours! Top artist and quality photo! Congratulations!
CLODO (35616) 2012-02-25 10:05
Good researched POV to give the impression that the man on the painting is looking back at the sculpture of the bare woman.
saxo042 (37966) 2012-02-25 11:49
Here are some items of art that I really enjoy! These are the masters! Maybe I would have liked your photo better if you had stepped maybe two meters to the left and placed the Degas statue at the right part of the capture having the Gauguin painting to the left. Maybe you should have left the the Britany women outside. But this is still avery enjoyable photo.
golus (2893) 2012-02-25 12:17
Merhaba Bülent Bey,
Son derece zekice görülmüş ve incelikle hazırlanmış bir kompozisyon. Bilgilendirici notlarınız için ayrıca teşekkürler. Selam ve saygılar,
TRB (14134) 2012-02-25 14:27
Mükemmel bir çekim.Netliği, renkleri, ışığı ve kadrajı ile ilgi çekici bir iç mekan çalışması.
Çerçeve seçiminiz de çok yakıştı, emeğinize sağlık.
selam ve saygılar
Afsanehbagheri (3228) 2012-02-25 21:41
تبریک دوست من
emka (105604) 2012-02-25 23:03
So here is this Gauguin's selfportrait. Interesting scene from pictures at an exhibition, with the bronze ballerina i nsted of the living creature admiring the masterpieces. You have nice eyecontact with Gaugain.
RhodieIke (11744) 2012-02-26 14:22
Hi Bulent, Very interesting photo you have captured, super colours, well managed light and splendid presentation and note, most informative, Tfs, Trust you are well, Cheers Iain.
Vasa (515) 2012-02-26 16:48
so, I am the big fun of your photo-documentation from Polynesia. I am waiting your next exotic posts and I like also your witness from local galleries. I understand: your life is science, travels and art. Nice, my friend!
MLINES (12516) 2012-02-26 17:13
Hi Bulent, Good and unusual composition to show the genious of Gauguin, it is a fine 3-D sort of effect with the depth of statue and painting beyond but both well in focus. TFS. Murray
PS our new neighbours have Turkish heritage, but born here. Wonderful folks.
Suppiluliuma (3929) 2012-02-26 22:39
Another wonderful narrative with subtle hints as to the character and preferences of Gauguin.
My only nit-picking would be the position of the Degas' scultpture, I would prefer to it to be placed on the right of the painting, but I am sure there was a meaningful reason why it was so.
cavli (1876) 2012-02-27 3:38
Merhaba Bülent Bey,
çok güzel bir iç mekan fotoağfı. netlik renkler çok güzel. çerçeve çok uymuş. notunuz harika..
selamlar & saygılar
ChrisJ (117201) 2012-02-27 6:14
Lol! Naughty Gaughin! Love the saint's halo in the painting too, that conflicts a little against actions, & implied words (I'm an angelic type). Good lighting, sharpness & contrasted light. The contrast between what looks like a Rembrandt watercolour at left & the bright saturated colors associated with Gaughin is also superb. Tfs!
paololg (31448) 2012-02-27 9:15
Great quick glance, dear Bulent, you have captured this beautiful scene, composing the image in a pleasant and interesting way. Personally, I prefer the main post, I think that the outward movement give more dynamism. The center of the photo is a point of arrival, while the exterior of the photo is never defined, because not visible, and could also be infinite.
For this reason I think that the direction outside can give better the sensation of motion. Anyway, in both your two photos, the scene is original and enjoyable, and maybe also Gauguin would have agreed. Excellent work, dear friend, congratulations!
Ciao, have a nice Tuesday!
Charo (51212) 2012-02-27 15:02
I know some of the work of Degas painting, but did not know his sculptural aspect and with the same theme that characterizes the dancers.
The composition is unique to the two works of these famous artists.
Very good texture and excellent sculpture of light and colors.
skippy007 (12510) 2012-02-27 16:13
Hello Bulent, My thoughts exactly, composition wise it would have been a stronger image if were possible to capture it as it is seen in your WS, or maybe even worth considering a slight of hand, aided by photoshop, as the master himself said "Art does not have to mimic reality!" Nice shot with excellent clarity & colour & a note that as always is very interesting, informative & well written.
aliabazari (16252) 2012-02-27 20:43
Combine this statue of 3-d image that it's nice to feel in the picture and when the statue taken note of research inside the frame to draw itself.
mesutilgim (97206) 2012-02-28 0:39
Selam dear Bulent,
It reminded me to Orwell ! Big brother is watching you.
This is a perfect evidence for the difference of "to look" and "to sees" !
Another perfect entry with many good and usefull info's.
TFS and best regards
papagolf21 (108117) 2012-02-28 1:11
Bonjour, cher ami Atalay,
L'oeil du photographe a encore réussi une très bonne composition. A propos de l'oeuvre Tableaux d'une exposition, celle-ci est représentée par un cycle de pièces pour piano écrites par Modeste Moussorgski entre juin et juillet 1874, et orchestrées postérieurement par divers musiciens, dont Maurice Ravel, en 1922 qui est l'auteur de l'orchestration la plus connue.
Elles ont été inspirées par une série de dix tableaux peints par Victor Hartmann, un ami du compositeur décédé un an auparavant. Seuls cinq de ces derniers subsistent de nos jours : un dessin de costume d'oisillon (Ballet des poussins), un portrait de deux juifs (Goldenberg et Schmuyle), une aquarelle des catacombes de Paris (Catacombes) et le plan d'une porte monumentale (Porte de Kiev). Les différentes pièces sont précédées d'un prélude et entrecoupées de promenades symbolisant la déambulation du visiteur entre chaque tableau.
Excellente journée, mon ami.
delpeoples (59684) 2012-02-28 3:47
Merhaba dear Bulent
I love this series of Photgraphs at an Exhibition and this is probably one of my favourites. Beautiful colours but above all the way you've composed it is what wins it for me. Lovely shot, very interesting, and as usual, so is your Note.
nobuikehonda (3848) 2012-02-28 9:30
Hello Dear Professor Atalay,
I see that the position of the sculpture is the centre of discussion. I don’t know how I would have reacted in such a situation. But the quality of the image is absolutely first rate. The colour balance is also very skilfully corrected. I do see your point of view. It is true that the sculpture may be better positioned if she looks into the frame. However, considering the special relationship to the painting in the background I do think that the way you have framed the view is more logical. I do like how the feet of this sculpture occupy the lower left hand corner and how she looks away from the painting in question. For me, I think I would have preferred to see the image the way it is. (I love Degas and his pastel paintings. I used to make copies of his works to see how they were done.) The photo is very evocative of the many ways this photo can be observed. The entire package is superbly made. This photo is a question without a right answer. And I do think that the image should remain as it is. It is a very lovely presentation.
With my very best and kind regards,
Have a very nice day all day today, Professor
P.S : I thank you for your kind review with a very nice link.
jlbrthnn (76039) 2012-02-29 5:05
Your proposals, main workshop, are all at that interesting. I like the choice of the main photo, with the sidelong glance of the artist to sculpture. The quality is excellent. Bravo.
Have a nice day
Atousa (7131) 2012-02-29 7:05
A nice combination of arts in this shot.. I like the composition n the pov although I prefer it without the other painting in the left.. the WS photo is also interesting but I like this one more, for it suits the title you chose.. well done.. tfs
Best regards, Atousa
ikeharel (77301) 2012-03-01 7:51
An indoor the museum image with perfect lighting and combined statue and portrait.
Vivid colors and an immaculate scene.
Kielia (24077) 2012-03-01 8:41
a great idea and an excellent execution! Your note - deeply fascinating - and the funny image are working excellently together. My compliments!
eldancer1 (36343) 2012-03-01 9:13
Wow! Awesome capture of this masterpiece. Great lighting and good dof with nice details. Very well done, tfs.
Graal (103038) 2012-03-01 23:36
an interesting presentation from Gallery of Art in Washington. Nice composition and interesting informations in note. Photo is well done.
Have a nice day.
macondo (19804) 2012-03-02 1:11
Another interesting shot from a gallery, with the sculpture very boldly placed, maybe just a fraction too boldly perhaps! I find her a tad close to the edge and the other work in the background a little distracting. But I can see the point of the female form's being about to walk out of the scene, with Gauguin eying her off like that. The WS shows her in a position to be paying attention to Gauguin, despite her raised head, while this one suggests a haughty aloofness. But of course, rules are made to be broken; that's the point of them is it not? So, yes, on the whole the actual position of the figure is more interesting than the virtual one in your photoshopped image. As usual, a most instructive and pertinent note.
resat1972 (7576) 2012-03-02 6:03
MErhaba Bülent Bey
renkler çok güzel
heykel ve arkadaki fotonun duruşu ve pozları nefis detay kazandırmış
dolu dolu bir çalışma
bukitgolfb301 (44821) 2012-03-02 13:49
Hi my dear Bulent
Sorry for my late reply, as I am still sufferring from a light pneumonia, getting well very slowly.
Another great impressive shot in a museium as your own originality and taste! Perfect combination of three objects, well balanced color and position!
Perfect framework and well considered composition as usual! Thanks for your sharinig with finest work and have a good Saturday!
Takero from Tokyo
ciakgiak (30433) 2012-03-02 14:32
This is a very well composed image, with the statue and picture perfectly placet in the scene. I really love this interior image, with a great quality ang a superb management of the light.
Congratulations and TFS.
aloyho (6798) 2012-03-04 0:33
I enjoyed this teaser on composition. On further comparison with the altered image in WS I would still settle for this original shot. My reason being the fact that both the Gauguin and the sculpture are looking outward in opposite directions, so it is like a tug-of-war between the two making this composition most exciting and interesting. So neither will fall out of the frame. Furthermore, the small figures in the painting to the left are facing in and provided a visual break to the larger sculpture. A very well planned and considered post.
nikkitta (17068) 2012-03-05 13:26
I love to spend hours at the museums, watching pictures and people watching it, interesting subject
Just watch your WS and in my opinion the dancer is best situated , that way is great and also funny
Good note also, like information
I posted it in Twitter and Pinterest
rabdelnoor (3423) 2012-03-09 17:03
Hi Bulent. Nice collection of fine art. I think it would have worked better if the scuplture were on the right side, but still enjoyed the pic. The light and colours are great.
bona (13739) 2012-04-10 9:14
great note, linking the last photos with that one in a completely different place. Pretty photo of the gallery and both paint and sculpture well distributed in the photo.
mirosu (16273) 2012-07-10 11:28
Excellently composed and finely detailed image with nice simple colors in very good light. A great POV. A well presented crop allows eyes to remain fixed on the statue. The painting in the background also lends a lovely hue to the scene. Very well done.
claudeD (41278) 2012-07-15 9:24
wonderful idea to present Gauguin.I like your composition and excellent sharpness. Very fine note.I like the shot very much.TFS.
WIth regards from Luxembourg
jmdias (67995) 2012-08-22 3:11
impressive framing with good use of the glimpse of the artist and its visual dialogue with the sculpture. nice light, framing, colors. at the end an informative image, I never had seen this painting of gauguin before.
- Copyright: Bulent Atalay (batalay) (40203)
- Genre: Places
- Medium: Color
- Date Taken: 2012-00-31
- Categories: Artwork
- Camera: Nikon Coolpix S9300
- Exposure: f/4, 1/20 seconds
- Photo Version: Original Version, Workshop
- Theme(s): PICTURES AT AN EXHIBITION I [view contributor(s)]
- Date Submitted: 2012-02-25 6:33