Human Skin – Lucian Freud, Philip Pearlstein

Conveying extreme views of Human Skin, two large paintings are currently juxtaposed at the MET ( in the gallery for Modern and Contemporary art :  Lucian Freud’s Naked Man, Back View (1991) and Philip Pearlstein’s Two Models with Bent Wire Chair and Kilim Rug (1984).

Freud’s skin looks sensuous, even hyperreal with its imperfections, while Pearlstein’s skin looks hard like porcelain. Did the MET juxtapose these paintings on purpose or did it happen serendipitously?

Photos are only available at a too low resolutions to appreciate these two oil paintings. Visit the MET to grasp the different views of human skin. 

“Leonardo da Vinci” by Walter Isaacson.

The book is full of useful information. However, the reproductions of paintings are poor. An example is the odd print of da Vinci’s painting of Ginevra de’ Benci

Ginevra de’ Benci, a sophisticated Florentine lady, was admired for her (quoting …intellectual and moral virtue on the one hand, and her physical beauty on the other.

In Walter Isaacson’s book (Fig. 14), Ginerva’s face glows as if she had been treated by a make-up artist before sitting for her portrait.

A remarkable lady of our history is trivialized. Seeing da Vinci’s painting of her is worthwhile a trip to the National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C.

oil painting