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  • Subject: Acanthus
  • From: Aplfgcnys@aol.com
  • Date: Sat, 1 Dec 2012 10:19:56 -0500 (EST)

Yesterday we were taken by a younger couple to see the newly opened 
Matisse exhibit at the Metropolitan Museum.  Chet allowed himself to be
pushed in a wheelchair, and I took advantage of benches when I could.
It is a fantastic exhibit which shows paintings of the same subject but
in different stages or forms side by side, with several showing photographs
of the developmental stages.      
In his later life, Matisse had used many botanical motifs - most frequently
palms, but in his late book illustration period other leaf patterns.  At one
point the explanatory signs said he was using Acanthus.  My friends asked
me what an Acanthus flower looked like.  I could not immediately call to 
mind what the flower was, but assured them that it was the foliage that
was a standard feature of ancient columns.  I guess my art history education
goes back farther than theirs.
I have now checked and confirmed that Acanthus is what we popularly call
Bear's breeches, and I'm still not certain that I have ever seen its bloom.
It was very interesting to compare the classic examples I remembered to
the abstracted forms conceived by Matisse.  But as ever, botany is a 
major element in art.

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  • Follow-Ups:
    • RE: Acanthus
      • From: "Johnson, Cyndi D Civ USAF AFMC 412 CS/SCOSI" <cyndi.johnson@edwards.af.mil>
    • Re: Acanthus
      • From: James Singer <inlandjim1@q.com>

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