I had made plans to travel to New York this weekend to see a painting (more on that later), and my friend Audrey, whose generosity is legendary, asked if I would like to stay in her apartment in Brooklyn while she went to Long Island to celebrate her birthday. Are you kidding me? There is not much going on in New Haven during the summer, and on the weekends, it's even worse. Even the construction stops. So, since I was definitely getting out of town, I took my professor's advice and headed to New York to see one particular painting by Bellini. The painting in question is St. Francis in the Desert by Giovanni Bellini, and it hangs in the central room at the Frick Collection. My professor has been talking up this painting for weeks, especially since the Frick invited him down to the museum to give a lecture on it. His enthusiasm about Francis has come across in our classes frequently, and, in fact, was my inspiration for my Medieval Saint of the Week project. Below is an unsatisfying reproduction of the painting. You should see it in person.So I was temporarily a Brooklynite! How exciting. Here's a picture I snapped from her living room. If you can spot the Statue of Liberty, then congratulations! Give yourself a cookie.
St Francis in the Desert, by Giovanni Bellini
The Frick Collection is a breathtakingly beautiful place, and I urge all of you to visit it next time you are in New York. It gets overshadowed by The Met, The MOMA, The Whitney, The Guggenheim, et al., but it is just as beautiful as all of them, if you ask me.
(I also loved Madonna and Child with St. Lawrence by Gentile Da Fabriano.)
After visiting The Frick, I headed over to Brooklyn for lunch with Audrey, who handed me the keys to her apartment. Incredible.
That evening, I got in touch with a former student of mine, Cristina, who met me for drinks in the East Village. We had a lovely time chatting about her career and life in and around St. Marks Place, and then it was time for me to get back to Brooklyn to the apartment, before it turned into a pumpkin.
The Yankees lost the next day.