A woman at her toilette, drying her feet, Edgar Degas, pastel, 1886
On loan from the Musée D’Orsay, Paris
Today I went with a friend to see a jewel of an art exhibit at the Palazzina della Società Promotrice delle Belle Arti in Parco Valentino. This made me very happy, as I miss the Degas paintings and pastels (especially the bathers) at the Metropolitan Museum. The Bellelli Family portrait was also part of the exhibit, as were several other early paintings. But there was a bit of everything.
I also found out what happens when you take an adorable seven-month-old, blue-eyed baby girl into an art exhibit in Italy. People made a fuss. They touched the baby’s hands. They paid her over-the-top compliments. They forgot to look at the artwork! And on the way home, as I surfed down the tram’s aisle with the baby in one arm so my friend could get the stroller off the tram, a woman pulled on the baby’s jacket and said, “Pull down her jacket. She’s going to get cold!” I smiled, preferring to keep my balance and thus protect the baby’s head. It was 65 degrees out.
Both the Degas exhibit and the women telling my friend to overdress the baby reminded me of New York. Some things are the same in either place.