Here is Scotland we are lucky to have a wide range of fabulous art galleries to visit.  This does not, however, stop me drooling over the thought of visiting other leading galleries around the world.

We will be staying in Paris for a week later this year and are already planning to visit le Louvre, le Musée d’Orsay, le Centre Pompidou, le Musée Marmottan, and le Musée de l’Orangerie.  How marvellous is that!  Advance thanks to Hub for indulging so wonderfully my passion for art.

Meanwhile, there are plenty of other ways to get an art fix.  I was delighted to learn about the latest initiative from The Metropolitan Museum of Art, which has recently expanded its open access policy.  Images of all the museum’s works of art which it considers to be in the public domain have been digitised for unlimited use.  Spectacular!

One of my favourite painters is John Singer Sargent.  Indeed one of my all time favourite paintings is his portrait of Lady Agnew – I wrote about one of my encounters with her on my other blog here.

He is well known for society portraiture.  Here is another of his most famous works which I have seen ‘in person’ a couple of times:

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Madame X (Madame Pierre Gautreau), John Singer Sargent (American, Florence 1856–1925 London)

Browsing the Met’s online collection, I came across a completely different side of Sargent’s work: beautiful pencil sketches and watercolour landscapes.  Here are just two examples:

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View from Mount Pilatus, John Singer Sargent (American, Florence 1856–1925 London)
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Schmadribach Falls (from Switzerland 1870 Sketchbook), John Singer Sargent (American, Florence 1856–1925 London)

Here is another picture, this time by Ingres, which I could examine for hours.  My mum and I love looking at ‘fabric in art’ – this one is perfect.  If you click on the image, it takes you to the Met’s site, where you can zoom in on all the detail – delicious!

Joséphine-Éléonore-Marie-Pauline de Galard de Brassac de Béarn (1825–1860), Princesse de Broglie, Jean Auguste Dominique Ingres (French, Montauban 1780–1867 Paris)
Joséphine-Éléonore-Marie-Pauline de Galard de Brassac de Béarn (1825–1860), Princesse de Broglie, Jean Auguste Dominique Ingres (French, Montauban 1780–1867 Paris)

How magnificent it is to be able to unearth all these treasures with just the click of a mouse, while in the comfort of one’s own home.  The rise of worldwide technology has some drawbacks – such easy access to news we don’t really want to know about, for example.  But these are wholly outweighed by the many benefits.

The Met is not the first to take this step – there are plenty of other galleries with digital collections.  Why not take a look at the National Gallery of Art‘s site.  And our very own National Galleries of Scotland is in the process of creating its online collection, which you can see here.

Meanwhile, to The Met, I say bravo! 🙂

 

 

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