Monday, March 10, 2014

The Ringling, Sarasota Florida, Circus and a Whole Lot More, The Art

Copyright 2014, CABS for Reflections From the Fence

John and Mable Ringling had a huge collection of art.  I'm talking the really really good stuff (well, to me it is the really really good stuff!)  Mable died in 1929.  She is buried on the premises as is John.  He died in 1936, his Find A Grave memorial tells about his losses after her death, and what he managed to save for us all by willing it to the State of Florida.  It is said at the time of his death he only had a little over $300.00 in the bank.

Portions of the museum have art from other museums and cannot be photographed, but, you were welcome to take photos in the rest as long as you did not use a flash.  I never do inside.

Here are a few examples:

Alfred Emile Leopold Joseph Victor Stevens
Belgian, 1823-1906

A Portrait Group of Parisian
Celebrities, 1889
Oil on canvas

You can read more about this painting here, page 6.  Some one we know was very impressed with this piece.


The Meeting of Abraham and Melchizedek
Peter Paul Rubens and Studio; Flemish, 1577-1640
Oil Canvas, about 1625

There are a number of docent informative presentations on this work, one is here.  Lots of interesting data here, including this quote:  "This painting of oil on canvas is done in reverse, as it was to be used by tapestry makers who weave from the back of the piece on which they are working."  OK, let's be amazed!  

Another docent piece is found here, where we find the information about the size and more: "The Meeting of Abraham and Melchizedek (175 ¼ x 224 ¾ inches) is the largest and most magnificent of a series of paintings John Ringling collected for the Museum. This immense painting is actually a cartoon for a tapestry, commissioned as part of the series of tapestries entitled The Triumph of the Eucharist. The paintings are so large that the gallery space was specifically designed to accommodate them."

(I did the math, that is about 14.5 foot by 18.66 foot.  One can only wonder 1.)  How did they ship this?  2.)  How much does that frame weigh?)


Marcantonio Raimondi, after
Italian, born c. 1470/1482, died 1527/1534,
active in Bologna, Venice, Florence, and

Triumph of Titus
Reverse painting on glass (verre églomisé)

You can read more about this art here.  Page 6, note, page numbers appear on the far right side of your screen.  Believe me, this was stunning, the photo does not do justice.  Yea, I liked this one a lot.

We actually sat down a few times and just took it all in.


The Pieterskerk in Leiden
Hendrick Cornelisz. Van der Vliet
Dutch, 1611/12-1675
SN288, oil on canvas, 1653

You can read a wonderful piece on this painting here.  The signage hanging beside the painting tells us:

"Van Vliet not only demonstrates his artistic skill by creating this perspective view of the interior of the Protesant church of St. Peter in Leiden, he also inserts a moral lesson into the painting.  The man in the center looks at a freshly dug grave, aware of his own mortality and the brevity of life.   On the right, a woman is showing a tomb to a child, suggesting that time on earth should be spent wisely.  The dog urinating on a column symbolizes an animal's lack of understanding of its sacred surroundings."

And, sure enough the dog is doing just that - -  Sorry for the out of focus image - - I tried!  LOL

I have no formal training in the arts.  I barely recognize the names of artists.  I do appreciate art in many formats.  I enjoyed the pieces in the Ringling Museum of Art.  As I was preparing this post I found this wonderful web site with the information and descriptions and such of much of the art in the museum.  I gathered information from this web site, the rest came from signage at the museum which I photographed for reference.  Surf over and enjoy your visit, it is worth it.  Please read the disclaimers at the bottom of the pages.

We did not have the energy or time to really devote to this fine collection.  This could easily be visited again.


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