Photo Diary: Cleveland Museum of Art.

I went to a professional heavyweight bout once at Madison Square Garden. It was as riveting as it was grotesque. Essentially, you’re sitting around watching a guy take a beating. George Bellows really captured the raw power of this savage spectacle in Stag at Sharkey’s, a painting from 1909. His later boxing paintings are more stylized. But in this one, it’s all about the violence, with fighters in contorted poses, their faces a blur of expressionistic red paint. I could practically taste the sweat.

Want: A feathered hat from the Bamileke people of Cameroon, circa 1900. Stunning.

The museum has a trippy-interesting show devoted to Cleveland Op Art (up through February 2012). Shown here is a detail of Julian Stanczak’s piece Provocative Current, from 1965. I would have taken more pix, but there was no photography allowed in the modern or contemporary galleries. Living artists are such a buzzkill.

Maine Coast, 1907, by Rockwell Kent. This is an early work, but I really dig the way Rockwell did snow in his later pieces — like a precursor to the light and space artists of ’60s.

Hipsters: they even had them in the 19th century. René-Charles Dassy and his brother Jean-Baptiste-Claude-Amedé Dassy, 1850, by Hippolyte-Jean Flandrin.

Early Morning After a Storm at Sea, 1900-02, by Winslow Homer. That water looks co-o-o-o-ld.

The arms and armor gallery.

Christ and the Virgin in the House of Nazareth, by Francisco de Zurbarán, about 1640. I love the look on the Virgin’s face here. She’s like, “What *are* you doing?”

I love this saucy lady! Peter Paul Rubens’ first wife, Isabella Brant, in a portrait painted some time between 1620 and 1625. The poor thing died of the plague at the age of 34.

Christ on the Cross, 1600-1610, by El Greco.

Statue of Minemheb (about 1391-1353 BC). The face on the baboon is priceless.

A panoramic view of the museum’s Rodin Gallery.

The museum contained this unusual piece by Matisse — a view from his Renault — which I seriously dug because we happened to be seeing it while in the middle of a cross-country drive. Titled The Windshield, On the Road to Villacoublay, Matisse painted it in 1917.

All pix are by Celso or C-M.

Comments are closed.