10 September 2014

Bouts? nope

When I saw this painting by Gustave van de Woestyne earlier today at the Museum voor Schone Kunsten (MFA) in Ghent, it looked a little like the portrait of an old man by Dirk Bouts at the Met. Or maybe some Memling somewhere. Truth to tell, I did say "Memling" in my head but as I looked at Google responses, I'd clearly mashed together several portraits. I was not familiar with van de Woestyne and another of his paintings was perhaps the most unusual Christ in the Wilderness that I have ever seen.
His left eye really does look crossed (perhaps appropriate for a Jesus?). Van de Woestyne was a favorite of the long-time director Robert Hoozee who died in 2012. The special show was a tribute exhibition and also included a room of drawings by the exquisite minimalist Raoul de Keyser.

I was at the museum for almost four hours, not including lunch. They have two good paintings by Hieronymus Bosch: Christ Carrying the Cross and St Jerome in Prayer. I especially liked the St Jerome, aka Hieronymus. And there were two amazing paintings by Maarten van Heemskerck: a Man of Sorrows and a Calvary. The hand of Jesus in the Man of Sorrows was partly covered by the robe and it is marvelous:
His abs are pretty good too. There was also a fine Man of Sorrows by a follower of the Master of Flémalle. The website gives the creator as Entourage of the Master of Flémalle but be warned that the illustration there doesn't get the sparkle of the painting (duh, I'm surprised?).

So after being in the museum for four hours, I decided I'd just eat lunch at Mub'Art, the museum brasserie which looked kind of expensive. Why do I do this to myself when I'm traveling in Europe by myself? Rather than just going into a restaurant that looks good, I walk around and around and pass on things because there's no one there, or the prices look high, or I cannot decipher the menu. As I was eating lunch and reading Carsick by John Waters, he quoted Nora Ephron as noting that you should always overtip because it's just a few dollars. I need to remind myself that the main difference between a nice meal and a sandwich or slice is usually pleasure.

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