Thursday, November 5, 2015

Norton Simon Museum for the Soul in Pasadena

Viewing Van Gogh paintings is something I need for my soul! In Amsterdam, in 1990, I saw the 100 year anniversary of his death exhibition of paintings that Van Gogh considered his most important works. It left a lasting impression on my life.

Last week we visited friends in San Marino for several days and when we found out the Norton Simon museum was open till 8 p.m. on Saturdays we went in the afternoon. It was Halloween, when we arrived at 3 there were people there but by 6 p.m. we were practically the only ones left besides the staff. It was our treat to take our time without fighting crowds like there are at the Getty museum.

The Norton Simon museum has six Van Goghs, an amazing number for a small museum. Three are on the wall entering the first room.

Portrait of a Peasant was painted in 1888. You can never appreciate Van Gogh art as much until you see it close up to experience the thick paint and use of colors.

Much of Picasso's work leaves me feeling as disconnected as they look but this piece was interesting, at least it was a complete figure.

It was like a private visit to this impressive museum.

Another Van Gogh from his earlier darker period in Holland, one of the potato eaters.

Downstairs with a view to the gardens.

And the closer view.

It was the art we wanted to see again, we first visited the museum several years ago. Another Dutch artist, Frans Hals, did this Portrait of a Young Man. The Frans Hals museum in Haarlem, Netherlands, is where I first saw his work.

And then the master! Portrait of a Bearded Man in a Wide-Brimmed Hat, 1633, by Rembrandt.

It was amazing to see the face close up, almost alive, just ignore the few reflections from the glass.

The self-portrait of Rembrandt was amazing.

What a beautiful way to spend Halloween evening among the works that are so unbelievable. These are just a few of the many famous paintings, we won't wait so long to return to the Norton Simon museum.

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