Paintings That You Cannot Forget

On a recent trip to Madrid we visited the Thyssen-Bornemisza museum which contains a vast collection of paintings from the twelfth to the twentieth centaury. Included are works by Titian, Goya, Van Gogh and Picasso. All these works of art were impressive but for me the painting that left a lasting impression was " Hotel Room " by Edward Hopper. This dates from 1931 and depicts a young woman sitting on a bed in a New York hotel room reading a railway timetable. This picture exudes solitude and loneliness and makes you ask “why is she here” “ has she been let down and is planning to go back home “ etc. Have other dopers been affected by paintings in the same way ?. I should like to know.

I was forced to go to an Impressionist exibit at the art museum in Atlanta. It wasn’t as bad as I thought it would be, but there was one painting of a stormy sky that was so kick ass I still can’t forget it. I can’t remember the artist but I can remember how the light in the picture looked so real. I’ve got a .jpg of it, if anybody wants to take a stab at identifying it.

I think one of the more powerful ones for me was boulevard of broken dreams. The whole thing seemed like a little pocket universe where one could just pop in to take five from the rest of the world.

Anything by Edward Hopper. The man can paint like a photograph. Beautiful… especially (the exact title escapes me) the movie theater one, where you see the beautiful woman waiting(?) for someone with just a sliver of the movie showing…

And, the picture on the wall in Barton Fink’s room. It’s a woman with her back to the viewer sitting on a beach, looking at something… but you can’t see what. Fascinating.

Artemisia Gentileschi’s Judith Beheading Holofernes, for one…eeeeeep.

(I had the good fortune to see this one in person last year – the St. Louis Art Museum had an Artemisia/Orazio Gentileschi exhibition.)

Right now, this one is one of my favorites, by a relatively unknown artist named Jessica Perry.

The Grand Banks by Winslow Homer. I’ve never seen it in person but even from the print I saw I was struck. Homer can make the sea look as vast and sad as any picture of the depths of space.

That is my favorite in all the world. Have it hanging in my home. Not the original of course, though it is missing.

I’m not even remotely Christian, but this Caravaggio painting is another of my favorites. Man, I love it more and more every time I see it. Another original that is missing. Funny, I never realized I seem to like paintings that have gone missing!

I was once walking down trendy Las Olas Blvd. in Ft. Lauderdale – which has many galleries – on my way to some punk show at the now defunct The Edge.

And stopped in my tracks when I saw this by Fernando Botero. For some reason, he managed to capture the joy in his subjects’ lives… I dunno. It just touched me and I’ve been a huge fan of his ever since.

I also liked “Il Bagno” (The Bath) and “Il Lettera” (The letter). There’s something about his choice to paint fat nekkid people – who are incredibly sensuous – that appeals to me. Perhaps it’s the reality that most of us are not skinny yet most of us are sensuous creatures regardless of body type. Botero makes fat chicks sexy! (And I’m not even one!)

Anything from the Night Gallery…

Temptation of Saint Anthony by Giovanni Girolamo Salvoldo. This I found at the Timken Museum of Art in Balboa Park in San Diego.

Oh, Great art can always be found at the La Luz De Jesus gallery on Hollywood Blvd. In L.A. some amazing underground artists. A must see.

Dream Caused by the Flight of a Bee Around a Pomegranate One Second Before Waking Up,
One of my favorites, I like the premise of the painting, mainly because I leave my radio on while I sleep and very often dream about what I hear.

Alma Tadema’s Spring.

I’ve got a print of this one hanging in my bedroom. Well, actually, it’s sitting on a chair next to me right now, because I had to take it down and read the back. “Franz Xavier Winterhalter’s portrait of Princess Leonilla of Sayn-Wittengenstein-Sayn” is not the easiest name in the world to remember off the top of your head.

Lovely picture, though. Love those eyebrows.

I like Felicien Rops’ “Temptation of St. Anthony,” especially that goopy-looking Satan peeking out from behind the blasphemed crucifix.


Hope you made it to the Reina Sofia while you were in Madrid, because walking into the room with that painting is one of the most intense experiences I’ve ever had. Everyone goes silent.

My father gave my mother a card with this painting on it by Degas. Inside the card was (look at the painting first):

Here’s to another exciting year!

It kills me every time.

Especially when you don’t realize that painting is the museum. It’s quite an experience to walk in on it accidentally. I had to go out in the hall for some air.

In a trendy cafe that my friend works at there’s a painting that hangs above the fireplace. It’s an arrangement where the artist has his/her work shown with a price tag underneath, and the cafe gets free display artwork.

I don’t know much about art, but the painting looks sort of abstracty, with the outline of squares drawn everywhere in bright, vibrant, almost glowing colours. I would love to purchase it, but it costs $2000 and is almost the size of my door - I’d have nowhere to put it. On the other hand, I’ll be moving out in the next couple of years, so it might be worth it. I’ll probably go back to the cafe in the next week or so and see whether I still love it as much.