Tableau

The following link will take you to a fascinating photography event that happened just 90 miles east of us, in Bismarck. It involves a collaboration of many people to recreate, with some twists, a painting by Peter Breughel the Elder, and is influenced by the pandemic. A friend of ours, a costumer and retired drama coach and choir director, sewed a costume for the collaboration, and participated in the event. It involved using wet plate photography, something I don’t quite understand, but seems to be an old technique.

https://www.inforum.com/entertainment/art/7116663-Bismarcks-Shane-Balkowitsch-makes-photographic-history-with-wet-plate-collaboration

What painting would you like to recreate in real life? What would you like to set out to photograph? What are your favorite paintings?

46 thoughts on “Tableau”

  1. I’m setting up to photograph my birds. I’ll use my phone on a tripod for now. It’s paired with Bluetooth so I’m hoping to catch the action.
    My favorite paintings are found in the Sistina Chapel. Fresco is fascinating. One of my former workmates has used it. Rollin Alm assisted with work at Saint Thomas University. For a while he was making his own bone pile to collect materials for the base coats. Collecting dead deer ended up not being particularly “interesting”.

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      1. At the time, he lived just outside Barnesville, Minnesota so neighbors weren’t too much of an issue. Interstate 94 was off limits to collecting but networking with his relatives on the local police forces helped locate carcasses.

        Liked by 2 people

  2. Very honorable mention: Velasquez Las Meninas Prado Museum Madrid.
    The tiny photos in books don’t do justice to the masterpiece. It’s yuuuge! 10 feet by 9 feet (approximately). So much detail.

    Liked by 5 people

  3. Four works of art hang in my living room. All are original.

    One is a portrait of my first hunting dog, Brandy. It was painted by a kid who dreamed of becoming a wildlife art painter and who once worked with me when I edited an outdoor magazine. The painting was commissioned by my wife as a Christmas gift. Ed is now a famous and widely respected painter. The painting of Brandy is saturated with memories of the work I used to do and all the time she and I shared afield.

    Another friend, Robert Halladay, painted the pheasant that hangs on my wall. That art became the cover of the first book I published. The painting evokes memories of writing the book and the dramatic role pheasants have played in my life.

    The black and white sketch that hangs nearby shows two boys cooking catfish in the 1920s along the Des Moines River. The artist was my father, and this sketch illustrated the book of personal memoir he wrote.

    The fourth work of art is a plein air oil painting of a lagoon lying just off Bark Bay of Lake Superior. The scene is close to where my family had a cabin for many years and thus is close to my heart.

    Liked by 5 people

  4. I am more of a sculpture person than a painting person, I’ve discovered over the years. My favorite sculpture is, of course The Veiled Lady by Monti in the Minneapolis Institute of Arts. And I’ve been lucky enough to see Michelangelo’s David in person, truly remarkable. But if I had to pick a painting I’m going to pick The Song of the Lark by Jules Breton. I first saw it was in my early 20s at the Art Institute of Chicago. It took my breath away. I’ve always wanted to get a print of it but never got around to it. I’m thinking now might be the time.

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  5. In our living room is a reproduction of Cezanne’s The Bridge at Maincy, painted for me by an old flame. I cherish it, even though I dumped him for husband.

    Liked by 3 people

  6. I can see, Renee, how a bunch of creative folks could have a lot of fun with such a project. Judging from the photographs, these folks did.

    A painting that it would be fun, and ambitious, to replicate photographically is Vasilev Surikov’s Boyar Woman Morozova. Capturing the details essential to replicate the feeling of that painting would be challenging, but the idea of it intrigues me.

    There are so many great masterpieces we’re all familiar with whether we’ve seen the original on a museum wall or not. As with music, the handful I would pick on any given day as my favorites would depend to a large extent on my state of mind at the moment. I think, however, there’s bound to be a portrait by Valentin Serov among them.

    If you’re not familiar with his work, this 15 minute (!) video give you a good idea of the depth and breath of his work. I love his paintings.

    On a sort of related note, is anyone here planning on going to see the Immersive Van Gogh Exhibit when it comes to Minneapolis next month?

    Liked by 3 people

  7. OT: I’m sorry, Y’all are talking about art, and as the Philistine son of an artistic family, I meant to keep my mouth shut.
    But I need to tell you. I spent a lifetime thinking I imagined Wanda Jackson. Despite having some of her records, she just had to be a beautiful dream I had. But in recent times, YouTube, and now Linda, have shown me that she’s really real. Thanks Linda.

    Liked by 3 people

  8. Rise and Shine Baboons,

    Re-creating a tableau like that seems like drudgery to me. I don’t even understand why someone would want to do this. Argh.

    Liked by 1 person

        1. When you watch again, please note how often a tableau shows up. Until this Trail Baboon, I missed the American Gothic tableau that comes up early in the movie.

          Liked by 1 person

    1. I had something of the same response but didn’t want to rain on anybody’s parade. It doesn’t feel like art to me. It feels like a stunt and a rather pointless one at that.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. Wow! I have no trouble at all understanding why a lot of creative people would jump at a chance to collaborate in something like this, especially after being cooped up for such an extended period of time. Even if what they created isn’t art (and I’m making no judgment as to whether or not it is), Having a good time with like-minded people isn’t pointless in my estimation.

        Liked by 4 people

      2. I understand why people would be happy and willing to participate in posing but it wasn’t their project. For them it was a lark, and rightly so. Would it be less of an experience if the photographer used a large format digital camera? The result would have been in color and truer to the Brueghel original. A view camera and wet process development is a lot of fol-de-rol that has no particular relevance to Breughel or Covid or anything else. It suggests that the photographer, by employing the elaborate ritual of the antiquated photo process was presuming that in doing so his stunt would be elevated to art. I don’t think so.

        It takes a lot of skill and experience to successfully produce a photo plate in that manner but having the equipment and the skill set doesn’t make one an artist. I’ve realized that in relation to myself.

        Liked by 1 person

        1. Actually, yes, it would be a much different experience using a large format digital camera. Digital photography, wonderful as it is, has taken a lot of the magic and mystery out of taking photographs, I think. In the article, looking at the photo of everyone intently watching the wet plate develop, clearly shows the participants’ fascination with the process of the emerging photo. That’ s something lost entirely with digital photography. Your digital photo may produce a better likeness of what was in front of the camera, but if forensic evidence isn’t what you’re after, perhaps some other method of capturing the scene might do a better job. Just another way at looking at it, I guess.

          Liked by 2 people

        2. I see both points of view, but I tend to come down on the “side” of PJ. We don’t need the modern world! Well, that’s what I tell myself.

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        3. No, no, no, my view isn’t that we don’t need the modern world. or digital cameras. I’m merely saying that for this particular “event” a digital camera would not have provided the same experience. For whatever photos I take, I’ll go with my digital camera or my iPhone, thank you very much.

          Liked by 1 person

    1. My home had a large semi-finished room in the basement, and that’s where I spent most of my time. I once planned to paint the white walls with beasts modeled after the famous Lascaux paintings. It would have looked great, but I lacked the talent to create the copies.

      Liked by 4 people

    1. That’s great. Hope it’s a good soaking.

      I just harvested another jalapeño pepper, half eaten by some critter. Don’t know if it’s a squirrel, rabbit, or some other critter, but apparently they like hot peppers. Half of the pepper, simply chewed off, leaving real obvious teeth marks on the remaining half of the pepper. Anyone ever had that happen?

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      1. We have this problem with the container peppers in pots at our church garden. Someone is gnawing the peppers. It could be bunnies or squirrels

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  9. OT – Don’t know if anyone remembers this, but two years ago, at the time of Edith’s celebration of life, I reported here on the trail that I was suddenly hearing, deep inside my head, bagpipes playing Amazing Grace over and over again. It lasted three or four days, and then it disappeared. It started up again two days ago. I don’t know if Edith has anything to do with this, but it’s a strange coincidence that it coincides with the second anniversary of her death. I know it sounds annoying, but for some strange reason it isn’t. It’s a rather pleasant and calm rendition of the old hymn at a very low volume.

    Liked by 4 people

  10. Wow, you certainly come up with some stuff, Linda. Disrespectful of me to refer to Mrs Langtree as “stuff,” no doubt. I saw every episode of that at the time, I really don’t know why. Francesca Annis was beautiful, but I well remember my Dad saying, “What a fatuous life she leads.” One of the few sensible things he ever said. Those privileged accents raise my hackles more than ever these days.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. my recreated scene would be luncheon in the grass
    to set out for photographs i would choose faces i think
    thousands of them
    favorite painting changes with what’s in front of me
    i am pretty flexible on genre although i am partial to impressionists and abstract impressionists
    if i had to pick one it might be blue horses by franzen marc
    if i got to let it expand pollack, franz kline, hans hoffman, willem dekoonin,rothko in the one hand renoir degas cezanne,van gogh,kandinsky kokotchka, klee,miro,roualt, picasso, monet, manet, bacon, rembrandt, okeefe, calder, henry moore, and on and on

    fell asleep writing
    wake up hits end

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