Masterpieces of Painting from the Pola Museum of Art

Nov. 14(Sat), 2020 - Apr. 4(Sun), 2021

The Pola Museum of Art's collection of paintings enables the viewer to trace the evolution of art through a wealth of high-quality works stretching from 19th-century Impressionism to 20th-century abstract art. In this permanent exhibition, we examine some intriguing characteristics of these masterpieces by focusing on two aspects: form and color. In Section I, by comparing painting to the three-dimensional medium of sculpture, we shed light on features of paintings that are related to form. As we compare these two genres, we are also reminded that the use of color is one of painting's unique expressive techniques. Enchanted by color, painters closely observe its effects as they polish their skills day after day, eventually arriving at their own singular means of expression. In Section II, we look at some of the most prominent artists who are known for their original approach to color from a variety of perspectives.

Auguste Rodin, Bust of Mme Nathalie de Goloubeff

Auguste Rodin,
Bust of Mme Nathalie de Goloubeff, ca. 1905, Marble

Edgar Degas, Spanish Dance

Edgar Degas, Spanish Dance,
ca. 1885-1890, Bronze

Pierre Auguste Renoir, Girl in a Lace Hat

Pierre Auguste Renoir,
Girl in a Lace Hat, 1891, Oil on canvas

Edgar Degas, Dancers

Edgar Degas, Dancers,
ca. 1900-1905, Pastel on paper mounted on cardboard

Color and Phenomenon

Color has the power to affect us on an emotional level. The human perception of color is a wholly physical phenomenon based on different wavelength characteristics that emerge when light is reflected by an object. However, like a natural landscape that changes with the seasons or an abundant fruit harvest, bright colors in a painting bring us joy, and dark colors convey a sense of loneliness and profound spirituality. By creating pictures through the ingenious use of color (contrasting and mixing colors, etc.), painters express fantastic subjects, lyrical scenes, robust compositions, and an abundance of dynamism. The colors in a painting are much more than a simple physical phenomenon – they might even be seen as a message from the artist. In this display, we spotlight the exploration of color as seen in paintings from the Pola Museum of Art collection. We hope that you will enjoy the artists' inquiries and challenging approaches to color expression.

Odilon Redon, Flowers in a Japanese Vase

Odilon Redon,
Flowers in a Japanese Vase, 1908, Oil on canvas

Georges Seurat, Low Tide at Grandcamp

Georges Seurat,
Low Tide at Grandcamp, 1885, Oil on canvas