As someone who works in the fine art field, I see all kinds of art on a daily basis. As things go, whenever I see a piece I might want to invest in, I look at the price tag and realize that my whole life isn’t worth that much. And it’s really frustrating when the piece is by an artist who doesn’t know how to price their work–which is a topic I’ll probably write on at some point. Most artwork is way beyond my budget anyways, but I still dream of one day having my own collection.
If you’ve had the opportunity to browse a museum like the Met in New York or the Louvre in Paris then you’ve probably seen some iconic artwork. Maybe it was better than you imagined it in person, or maybe it was totally unimpressive–like Baroque Italian art is to me. But chances are, you’ve laid eyes on a piece that has struck you in the soul and left you wanting more.
For me, it’s happened a few times, and these are four pieces of non-contemporary art that have stuck in my mind and will always be works that I will only ever dream of hanging on my walls.
My 4 Favorite Pieces of Art
(in order of least favorite to favorite)
The Garden of Earthly Delights–Hieronymus Bosch, 1490-1510
Amusement. I need a magnifying glass. W. T. F.– The thoughts I had when I first looked closely at this triptych.
So this is one that I actually haven’t seen in person, but studying Bosch in art history class certainly left an impression on me. His paintings are immensely detailed and imaginative, but you get the notion that he very well understood the relationship between God and Man from a strange biblical perspective. No matter how many times I look at The Garden of Earthly Delights I always notice something new in the narrative, be it a new creature or another person doing the most absurd thing unimaginable.
Merced River, Yosemite Valley–Albert Bierstadt, 1866
Teleportation. The longer I stared at this painting, I began to find myself in the middle of Yosemite National Park. Truthfully, I find something off about it and on first glance I almost walked right by it–the trees are a bit odd to me and there’s something strange going on with the depth of field. I remember standing back a few feet looking at the piece and not noticing that there was actually something happening by the river. It wasn’t until I got right up to it that I realized I wasn’t alone in the park. This painting, to me, was a passable piece of art that I gave a chance and it proved its worth.
Self Portrait with a Straw Hat–Vincent Van Gogh, 1887
This portrait is identifiable to anyone who has access to a history book with art in it. We all know the tragedy that is Van Gogh, and actually seeing this painting gave me a glimpse into his colorful personality. Each brush stroke has a purpose, and even in the simplicity of the painting, you feel as though you are actually staring into Van Gogh’s eyes. I’m not a fan of posed portraits, I find them to be awkward and haunting, but this one has a spark of life to it that I really admire.
The Polish Rider–Rembrandt van Rijn, 1655?
This piece is hands down, my absolute favorite painting. I was browsing the Frick Collection, my eyes met his and it was love at first sight. I couldn’t take my eyes off him. Who is he? Where is he going? Is he running from someone, chasing someone? Is he lost? I think the beauty of this painting is in the mystery of it and that’s why I’m so attracted to it–nothing about it is 100% certain, not even the artist–I love a good mystery, and The Polish Rider is one. I think he might be my true love 😉