Friday, April 17, 2015

"The Violin Maker" William Bicknell at the MFA

I have been visiting Boston's Museum of Fine Arts every few weeks, on Friday nights.  The museum is always lovely, but it is magical at night, quiet, personal, with the windows blocking out the world as they reflect in.  This wonderful painting is a new favorite of mine, and epitomizes something I love about the MFA.  The painting is beautifully designed and rendered... and hanging in the hall outside the coat room, almost like an afterthought.  It grabs my eye every time I see it.  So, I looked it up and began studying it a bit. The light is so subtle, and well-designed.  


I love the sliver of light in the upper left corner sneaking in behind the curtain or blanket strung over the windows.  I was showing it to one of my rambunctious 7th graders who is in my art project at school.  We talked about why that little area of light is effective, and is it necessary.  Removing it wouldn't change the focal point of the painting but my eye moves around so much more of the picture space with the sliver back there, and the command of values is astounding.  

Thanks for looking, and if you're at the MFA, check out this beauty, right across from the coat check.    

1 comment:

  1. It is indeed a beautiful painting, Jody. Thank you for posting it here. I love seeing that there were true artisans so long ago. His smock is brilliant and while I don't notice the light so much except as it focuses him, I'm just drawn into this piece and want to see more. Some hint of how this man can do these violins/cellos so beautifully!