Monday, August 20, 2012
This wasn't even scratching the surface.
When all else, fails, I go back to the African rooms at the Met. It's such a target-rich environment, I can't imagine anyone who likes to draw not finding things here to engage and delight.
There was some museum drawing in July, and Egyptian art was one of the themes that sort of developed. First was the Met exhibition on the earliest Egyptian art, later on there was a visit to the Brooklyn Museum's Egyptian collection.
Instead of focusing on the best-known, monumental work, I took a turn through the cases with the smaller, more obscure objects. Once you get into it, any big style or period has its quirks and odd corners, and that was where I found myself this time around.
None of this stuff (well, the falcon, maybe) exactly fits our stereotype of Egyptian art... but here it is, just the same.
The Egyptians really knew how to stylize natural forms. This frog was one of several in one of the cases and I think it's my current Favorite Thing on Earth.
This 'Bird Woman' lives at the Brooklyn Museum, but was over at the Met for the Early Egypt show. She's gorgeous and weird and you can't quite believe that those thin, sweeping terracotta arms have managed to survive for all those hundreds of centuries. She delivers an unusually strong emotional note in the Met installation and I went back to look at her a couple of times on later visits.
Next time, maybe I'll have a go at the big Pharaoh heads and whatnot as a counterpoint to to all of this.
Always more to draw. Always more to look at.
Apparently I'm not the only one who thinks Bird Woman is pretty great. Sharp-eyed all-around smartyboots Ann Marshall sends me this evidence that she also turned up at some point in the HBO series True Blood:
They shot her from the back, which might be the only time in the history of the show that they passed on a chance to show bare breasts.