Princely Treasures from the House of Liechtenstein

July 24, 2013 at 2:40 pm | Posted in itchy mouth | Leave a comment
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Last weekend, Itchyfingers found some time to visit this exhibition at the National Museum of Singapore. Collected over 500 years, this is the first time over 90 masterpieces from the collection of Prince of Liechtenstein are exhibited here. There were free guided tours but we didn’t want to wait for it to start. But later we did join and listen to bits and pieces from different guides about some of the pieces.

Some of the more famous masterpieces or those that left a deeper impression are these…

Portrait of a Man by Raphael, who defined the High Renaissance in Italy
together with his older contemporaries Leonardo da Vinci and Michelangelo.
The model was posed in a three-quarter view, looking directly at the viewer

Head of a Bearded Man by Paul Rubens, who was among the first to make the
small compositional oil sketch significant. Notice only the face was done
with much details and the clothing were rather sketchy, suggesting that this
was a study rather than an actual painting

Portrait of Clara Serena Rubens, his oldest child, a few years before her death

St Magdalene by Guido Reni, one of the great masters of Baroque art. I like 
her facial expression

A closer look at this painting, The Birth of Apollo and Diana by Marcantonio
Franceschini. We were initially drawn to the babies – the girl had a little 
crescent moon on her head while the boy had sun rays around his…very cute

No wonder I found these men rather comical. This is The Parable of the Blind
Leading the Blind

I like this small painting, The Harvest Wagon by Friedrich Gauermann.
There are a lot of activities here – the gathering thunderstorm, the barking
dog, the galloping horses…

Portrait of Johann VIII by Anthony Van Dyck. The fine laces on the shoulder
and sleeves contrasted well with the armour

Portrait of Maria de Tassis, also by Van Dyck. The details on the different
materials of her clothing are simply exquisite. Her gaze is so alive that the
guide said she had to turn away her bag that was printed with the lady’s
portrait so that she can sleep without the feeling of being stared at!

Cupid with the Soap Bubble by Rembrandt

Another piece with great details on the textures of the women’s dresses. This
is Consiglio alla Vendetta by Francesco Hayez, Tisu Boy’s favourite

Besides portraits and landscapes, there were also a few very stunningly done still life painting…

This is a close up of Joris Van Son’s Pronck Still Life with Overturned Silver
Ewer. The silver looked like the real thing, popping out from painting! Impressed!

Just when we were still in awe by the skills of the many masters, it was kinda anti-climax when we saw these collections…Why? There were a selection of 16 oil paintings from the National Collection on display that “draw links to the art of portraiture in Singapore’s historical context, exploring how it was an important representational mode between the late 19th and mid 20th century”. But these are not as impressive as the others, and the one that got Itchyfingers’ four itchy thumbs down was the one depicting our first president, Mr Yusof bin Ishak…thought the proportion of the head to the body was kinda off…hahah…ooops…But of course, we are no art critics and these are just our own sentiments from a lay person’s view… :p

But as anti-climax as it was, we managed to find something interesting too. There were three portraits of Governors of Singapore with names that we are all so familiar with…

Portrait of John Fearns Nicoll. Anyone hasn’t travelled on the Nicoll Highway
before? He was Governor of Singapore from 1952- 1955

Hugh Charles Clifford was Governor of the Straits Settlements (1927 – 1929).
Clifford Pier was named after him

Laurence Nunns Guillemard was Governor of the Straits Settlements (1919 – 1927).
Heard of Guillemard Road near Nicoll Highway?

The Princely Treasures from the House of Liechtenstein is now on at the National Museum of Singapore until 29 September 13. Do visit it if you have the time! 😀

Also see related posts:
Tales from the Tomb – Terracotta Warriors: The First Emperor and His Legacy
A Tale of Love and Adventure
Wolves in Sheeps’ Skins – Head On by Cai Guo-Qiang
Talking Behind the Bag – Carrier Bags in Singapore From the 1950s to the 1980s
The Mummy Returns – Quest for Immortality
The Image of our Landscape
Li Chen: Mind • Body • Spirit
Oriental Beauty
> An Unbroken Line – The Wu GuanZhong Donation Collection
Xu Beihong in Nanyang
Primary Colours – Feng Zhengjie
Greek Masterpieces From the Lourve


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