Tuesday, July 12, 2022

Art Review - "Vespers" by Gari Melchers

I love revisiting favorite paintings at museums, so this week's #MuseumTourTuesday post is about a piece I'm looking forward to seeing again this fall at the Telfair Museums while I'm in Savannah to teach a workshop at the Jepson Center.

I've always found Gari Melchers' paintings fascinating, and this one in particular. There's just so much going on in this piece, with six portraits and multiple overlapping fabric patterns, and yet the composition works perfectly. Melchers groups most of the portraits around the head of the central figure, as if they are captured by her gravitational pull. She also features that warm rim light along the edge of her face, contrasting perfectly with the coolness of the majority of her head. We're drawn directly to her, and yet the eyes of every figure within the painting remind us that there is more to the scene, pushing us out of this orbit and inviting us to wonder what lies just out of frame.

"Vespers" • Gari Melchers • Oil on Canvas • 47.5" x 38.25" • c. 1892

Painting photo by Saunders Fine Arts.

© Patrick and Kimberly Saunders, Patrick Saunders Fine Arts, 2022. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this site’s authors/owners is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Patrick Saunders for painted works, or to Kimberly Saunders for photographs and/or videos, with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.


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