Looking for signs of spring in Cleveland? Consider taking a trip to our galleries to seek out these works that are full of color and delight.
Two of these works can be found in our recently reopened Renaissance galleries.
Dovizia (Plenty), c. 1520-1529
Many elite Florentine Renaissance homes had sculptures of idealized young women carrying nature’s bounty, such as this work. The motif stems from a statue by Donatello (about 1386-1466) that towered over Florence’s main public market. At home, however, the sculpture became a talisman for the family’s well-being. Worry about the low birth rate was a serious political matter in Florence, so the sculpture would have stimulated fertility and promoted motherhood, while also promoting financial success.
While you’re in these galleries, look for another porcelain sculpture, Spring, modeled after a design by Massimiliano Soldani.
This painting is representative of Claude Monet’s love of flowers. This early work reveal's Monet's fascination with capturing the transitory effects that became the primary focus of his later innovations. Painted with almost scientific accuracy, this still life has a freshness and immediacy derived partly from its composition. Isolated against a dark background, the fully mature peonies, potted hydrangeas, and basketed lilacs spill downward and outward from the geraniums at the rear. At the same time, Monet's energetic brushwork conveys the sparkling play of light on leaves and petals.
"I perhaps owe having become a painter to flowers," he said. Monet found endless inspiration from his gardens.
Garden Scene with Umbrella, c. 1965
Joseph O’Sickey was another painter inspired by gardens. This painting is a celebration of color from the hand of one of the most important painters from the Cleveland School. O ‘Sickey took drawing classes at the museum as a child and he after studying at The Cleveland Institute of Art, he went on to receive prizes in the museum’s May Show in 1962, 1964, and 1965.
Featured in Studio Glass: Dialogue and Innovation, this work is one of the most visually striking works in the exhibition. Spring Floral takes its name from the composition. The interior arrangement of colored glass pieces is intended to represent the abstract form of a bouquet of spring flowers. Jon Kuhn has created an object that is almost hypnotic in the way light is refracted through it. No other artist achieves such brilliance in the precise cutting and arrangement of pieces that are then laminated together. The result is a prismatic explosion of color and light. Because the visual aesthetic of Spring Floral is dependent on the refractive quality of the glass and the placement of light, the viewer will note that the piece changes according to the viewer’s position and stance. Like a kaleidoscope, the slightest movement will result in a completely different view and perspective.