2/27/2012

17th Century Photoshop....

Van Campen Family Portrait in a Landscape.  Frans Hals (1582/83–1666)
Toledo Museum of Art

(Image from museumpublicity.com, and remains the property of it's owner)
 
The Eldest and I wandered off to the museum yesterday - in an effort to see their two 1st Edition (1611) King James Bibles.  (We did, way cool).

Of course, no trip to the museum is complete without wandering in and through its many fine galleries.  I say fine because our little Musee' is considered Internationally renowned....no joke...and visitors flock to see its special exhibits, etc.  It's permanent collection belies the small 'burgh in which we live; its permanent collection includes the Crowning of St. Catherine (Reubens), Blind Man's Bluff (Fragonard), Architect's Dream (Thomas Cole) and lesser works by Van Goh, Manet, Monet, Rembrandt, Picasso, El Greco, Matisse, Degas, Renoir...need I continue??  No?  Good, because I digress!

So, the Eldest and I saw the bibles, took a quick stroll through the cloister, then wandered over to Gallery 36 - Aka the Master's room (17th Century large scale paintings at their finest).

After reviewing one of MY favorite paintings (Agony in the Garden by El Greco), we came around the final wall and the Eldest started laughin.  Like Crazy.

"Look Mom - 17th Century Photoshop" he said as he pointed at a painting by Franz Hals.

A new acquisition of the Museum, the painting was massive (like 5'x5'4").  It was stunning.  And as my eye traveled over it, the Eldest pointed to what he was talking about. The baby in the lower corner.


Yes, this little girl.  So out of character for the rest of the painting.  Looks like Winston Churchill / Curlie (of Three Stooges fame),  or some guy - from New Jersey - who might put a contract out on somebody....

Gales of laughter ensued about 17th Century photoshop.  Yeah.  the Eldest was pretty pleased with his witty notice of this little girl.  Photoshop.  Haha.

We continued throughout the museum for about another 30 minutes, then I hit my limit (remember the whole  Friday "fun"...yeah, still pretty weak) and it was time to go.

"Let's go back and see the photoshop painting one more time Mom!" was the pleading from the Eldest.  I acquiesced, because it was on the way out.  We laughed and laughed in front of the painting - even the room guard/docent was eyeing us - laughing until my mouth hurt too much.  Then we left with a great memory.

Imagine my surprise when, later in the evening, we looked the painting up....

And found out that the Eldest was correct!!

17th Century Photoshop!!

The painting was done to recognize the 20th anniversary of the Van Campen Matriarch and Patriarch.  At the time, they had 9 children. Two years later, a 10th was born.  She was added to the portrait.  For an unknown reason, lost to time, Hals was not asked to paint the newest addition onto the canvas.  Instead, Salomon de Braij (Bray) was commissioned to do so; and added this daughter in a style completely unlike the rest of the painting.

I told the eldest that  - amazingly enough - he knew art better than he thought he did.  And that he had indeed spotted old school photoshopping at its finest!  Pretty impressive!

(The story of him looking through the paintings for evidence of UFO's will wait for another day. )

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