Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Book-Finishing Marathon (Intermission)

Once I got to the point of posting Muppet videos and off-brand angry bird office supplies by way of book manuscript situation reports, I realized that five weeks of non-stop book work had perhaps not been an unqualifiedly good idea. So I braved the drizzle and the line and went to see the Dutch masters' paintings on loan to the Frick Collection from Mauritshuis.

The place was a madhuis! (Ahem.)

The line, regardless of whether you wanted to purchase same-day or advance tickets, was out the building, down 70th St., around the corner up to 5th Ave., and around the corner and halfway down the block on 71st. The Israeli couple behind me in line were having an adorable conversation that began with a review of the plot of the Tracy Chevalier novel that takes its name from one of the Vermeers on display and then wound its way around to a discussion of whether Frick is a strange name for a museum and — doesn't that mean something bad in English?  —Yes, but I think it's the name of the founder of the museum all the same.

Normally the length of the wait would have been a source of irritation, but for head-clearing purposes, there's almost nothing better than some fresh air and drizzly-fogggy-San Francisco-style weather.

The Rembrandts and the Vermeers didn't hurt too much, either.

I was expecting the Girl with a Pearl Earring to be a huge visual cliche, but it really was an authentic work-of-art-in-the-age-of-mechanical-reproduction moment the likes of which I've only ever really had once before, the first time I saw Las Meninas in the Prado. I wish I had something really incisive and lit-critty to say about that, but that's all there is.

Back to the book!

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