The Montreal Museum of Fine Arts has a rich collection of Dutch Golden Age paintings, from Gerard ter Borch’s satiny skirts to Rembrandt’s moody lighting.
This month's creativity theme is CELEBRATION. So, on a recent visit of these galleries, I considered how best to celebrate these marvels. I walked from painting to painting, stopping to enter each canvas's incredibly detailed world. And then, it hit me:
Obviously, I was going to celebrate them in haiku.
It turned out to be a really fun exercise. As I looked at each artwork, I had to decide either to focus on the overall mood of the painting or on specific details. A still life table became a lot more complicated when I only had 17 syllables to capture its essence!
What follows are an American's celebrations of Dutch artworks using a Japanese poetry form in a Canadian museum.
A Meat and Fish Market (Winter)
Lucas van Valckenborch, About 1595
Soft Flemish winter
Do not get blood on your dress
Fish swimming in snow
Portrait of a Lady
Gerard ter Borch, About 1676-1677
Lace and bows engulfed in black
Public and private
Interior with a Woman Playing a Virginal
Emanuel de Witte, About 1660-1667
Maid in the distance
The dust swirls in the sunlight
Sweeping in shadows
Portrait of Odilia van Wassenaar
Abraham van den Tempel, About 1655-1660
Look here, sit up straight
Tell your dog to look at me
Why are you so scared?
Floris van Dyck, 1622
Goblets thin as air
The world on a tabletop
Cut me some Gouda
Address: 1380 rue Sherbrooke Ouest, Montréal ∣ Métro: Station Peel or Station Guy-Concordia (Green Line) ∣ Opening hours: Tuesday to Sunday from 10am to 5pm, major exhibition open until 9pm on Wednesday
NOTE: The MMFA is free this December (except the main temporary exhibition)!