Artists, if you cherish little pictures, making your own private museum in miniature to awaken your imagination, you are not alone. A visitor to Paul Cezanne’s last studio noticed that the artist had a few postcards of paintings pinned to his studio wall, some of them quite small and worn, evidently loved and cherished, which the visitor took to be evidence of the old artist’s taste and sources of inspiration. The kinds of images that can set off an artist’s imagination are sometimes quite small.
Pictures of Pierre Bonnard’s studio at Le Cannet show that he shared the same habits as Cezanne. On Bonnard’s wall was a little “shrine” to favorite paintings, including even little bits of tin foil that he said helped him see highlights.
I got this little postcard today advertising a prominent magazine about art and collecting. I guess they hoped the portrait of the woman looking into a mirror would captivate peoples’ hearts, and I think they guessed correctly. Even reproduced the size of a postage stamp, it’s an elegant, compelling, romantic image.
If you’re an artist or if you’re a budding collector, creating your own miniature museum is a good way to get started. It’s the physical counterpart to a different sort of museum, the imaginary one. I think every artist has a private museum that he carries around in his head, a museum without walls.
[Top of the post: “You’ve got Mail,” computer-altered photography, by Aletha Kuschan]