Sunday, November 8, 2009

Two Very Different Exhibits in Brooklyn

Which current exhibit at the Brooklyn Museum do you think had more viewers this past weekend, James Tissot's Life of Christ or Who Shot Rock & Roll: A Photographic History, 1955 to the Present? If you guessed the Rock and Roll exhibit, you were correct. The Rock and Roll exhibit was very crowded. And it was interesting, especially is you like photographs, which I do. My son and his girlfriend wanted to see that exhibit too. 
James Tissot's watercolors of the Life of Christ are amazing and a must see exhibit for Christians. I expected it to be more crowded than it was. Hopefully it will catch on, it is something to see. I was thrilled that my son bought me the exhibition book, which I wanted and is a fabulous book which contains 350 prints of the paintings. 
The Tablet, Brooklyn's diocesan newspaper published an article recently about the exhibit. It's well worth a trip to the museum. 
James Tissot (1836-1902), was a French society painter and a Catholic. During a visit to St. Sulpice he had a religious experience during Mass when the priest raised the host. "After several sleepless nights, Tissot feverishly painted 'Inward Voices,' a monumental image of his vision that depicts a bloodied but luminous Christ comforting the tattered poor in the rubble of a devastated building." He then dedicated himself to the ten year project of a series of 350 watercolors illustrating the New Testament from Jesus' birth to the Resurrection. His portrayals of St. Mary Magdalene are beautiful and he painted Mary Magdalene Before Her Conversion and The Repentant Magdalene.
An especially impressive painting is titled, What Our Lord Saw From the Cross, a unique piece which tries to depict what Jesus saw from the Cross.  
The Brooklyn Museum purchased this collection of watercolors in 1900 for $60,000. They don't show the paintings often and I'm not sure why, they are too brilliant to be hidden away, in my opinion. They are truly magnificent works of religious art, with fine details and historical accuracy in depicting the clothing of biblical figures and the landscape. (For the undertaking, he traveled to Palestine in the 1800's to study.) 
I find it strange that I was born, raised and lived most of my life in Brooklyn and I never heard of James Tissot or these watercolors. 
The Museum is closed on Monday and Tuesday. There is parking in the back of the museum. If you want to see a sampling of the watercolors you can go to the museum website. For more information-

Also, Congratulations to the New York Yankees on winning the World Series-I like all New York teams and I'm happy when anyone of them win. The quote below is a good one, on the power of prayer, spoken after the team won the World Series--

I've got a lot of people praying for me continuously!"  Andy Pettitte- Starting Pitcher