On Tuesday Jan 5, I had the privilege of exploring the Toledo Museum of Art. The museum's collection covers everything from the treasures of antiquity to contemporary diorama, and is beautifully housed within a palatial space as befitting of Paris as Ohio. I highly recommend the visit. Some friends and I originally visited to see the museum's exhibition on the "Rise of Sneaker Culture" but soon became lost in the wonder of the permanent collection.

I wandered the halls of the Museum of Art until my phone died, then wandered some more. Included with each pre-battery death photo highlight is a short annotation and links to more information about the artist. I'm not an art history student by any means so these are all arbitrary selections, but hey, so is life. A simple one-hour visit turned four-hour day trip - I hope the pictures below do it justice. 

"Ships on a Stormy Sea" (1672) by William van de Welde the Younger I'm a big fan of the Dutch Golden Age. Hyperrealistic detail, mastery of reflection, and a fascination with nature characterize many Dutch landscapes of this era. "Ships" is no exception: I felt simultaneously awed by the might of the sea and emotionally connected with the struggles of the boaters battling it. More information about William van de Welde the Younger here.

"Ships on a Stormy Sea" (1672) by William van de Welde the Younger

I'm a big fan of the Dutch Golden Age. Hyperrealistic detail, mastery of reflection, and a fascination with nature characterize many Dutch landscapes of this era. "Ships" is no exception: I felt simultaneously awed by the might of the sea and emotionally connected with the struggles of the boaters battling it. More information about William van de Welde the Younger here.

"Destruction of Tyre" by John Martin (1840) John Martin's work are best described as "apocalyptic terror." This work recounts the smiting of the city of Tyre by God, as prophesized by Ezekiel.  I loved Tyre's use of color and lurid detailing of the divine waves. As opposed to "Stormy Seas" above, there is no sense of emotional struggle - "Tyre" is, by all accounts, the classical definition of awesome. You, the viewer, are awestruck by the magnitude of what you are witnessing. More information on John Martin here.

"Destruction of Tyre" by John Martin (1840)

John Martin's work are best described as "apocalyptic terror." This work recounts the smiting of the city of Tyre by God, as prophesized by Ezekiel.  I loved Tyre's use of color and lurid detailing of the divine waves. As opposed to "Stormy Seas" above, there is no sense of emotional struggle - "Tyre" is, by all accounts, the classical definition of awesome. You, the viewer, are awestruck by the magnitude of what you are witnessing. More information on John Martin here.

"Maquette for the Delacroix Monument" by Aimé-Jules Dalou (1885) This maquette, cast in bronze, is a miniaturization of a monument to French artist Eugene Delacroix. The monument was commissioned in 1885 by the French government in an attempt to stir nationalist pride post-1870 Third Republic transition. For the history alone, this piece interests me - the fluidity of the characters (and the starkness of a complex, black figurine against a stark gallery wall) is what made it a stand out. More on Aimé-Jules Dalou here.

"Maquette for the Delacroix Monument" by Aimé-Jules Dalou (1885)

This maquette, cast in bronze, is a miniaturization of a monument to French artist Eugene Delacroix. The monument was commissioned in 1885 by the French government in an attempt to stir nationalist pride post-1870 Third Republic transition. For the history alone, this piece interests me - the fluidity of the characters (and the starkness of a complex, black figurine against a stark gallery wall) is what made it a stand out. More on Aimé-Jules Dalou here.

"Corner Piece #1" by Sol Lewitt (1976) Corner Piece is as much a study in architectural form as it is an intricately-crafted objet d'art. The piece sits unassuming in the corner of a narrow gallery, and really doesn't jump out until explicitly noticed. There's just something about the interplay between shadow and wall that makes it stick when you do see it. Even hours later, I just could not stop thinking about Corner Piece #1 - so simple, so clean, and unbelievably brilliant. This was probably my favorite piece I saw all day. More information on Sol Lewitt here.

"Corner Piece #1" by Sol Lewitt (1976)

Corner Piece is as much a study in architectural form as it is an intricately-crafted objet d'art. The piece sits unassuming in the corner of a narrow gallery, and really doesn't jump out until explicitly noticed. There's just something about the interplay between shadow and wall that makes it stick when you do see it. Even hours later, I just could not stop thinking about Corner Piece #1 - so simple, so clean, and unbelievably brilliant. This was probably my favorite piece I saw all day. More information on Sol Lewitt here.

"Athanor" by Anselm Keifer (1983-84) Athanor is haunting. Athanor is decrepit, gritty, and hollow, but somehow very much alive. At first glance, I thought this modern iteration of a Renaissance perspective piece was too simple to truly appreciate. Then, I studied Keifer's detailing: the canvas is scorched, the paint is cracked, and included objects jump off the wall to grant Athanor an unsettling space it almost feels like it shouldn't occupy. The title alludes to the mythical furnace alchemists used to "purify" lead into gold, but is here used sardonically to allude to the evils of Nazi "purification" - a subject the German-born Keifer (b. 1945) didn't experience firsthand, but felt the reverberations of throughout his life. Athanor truly is a work you must feel in person. More information on Anselm Keifer here.

"Athanor" by Anselm Keifer (1983-84)

Athanor is haunting. Athanor is decrepit, gritty, and hollow, but somehow very much alive. At first glance, I thought this modern iteration of a Renaissance perspective piece was too simple to truly appreciate. Then, I studied Keifer's detailing: the canvas is scorched, the paint is cracked, and included objects jump off the wall to grant Athanor an unsettling space it almost feels like it shouldn't occupy. The title alludes to the mythical furnace alchemists used to "purify" lead into gold, but is here used sardonically to allude to the evils of Nazi "purification" - a subject the German-born Keifer (b. 1945) didn't experience firsthand, but felt the reverberations of throughout his life. Athanor truly is a work you must feel in person. More information on Anselm Keifer here.

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