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    VISUAL ARTS & MUSEUMS

    Light in the Darkness

    Presented by at Seattle Art Museum (SAM)

    Ongoing

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    Light in the Darkness

     In 17th-century Europe, many artists drained their paintings of bright colors, creating drama instead through strong contrasts of light and dark. This installation of six paintings in the European art galleries makes it easy to see how narrowing the light source focuses our attention on a key gesture or action. In Saint Sebastian Tended by Saint Irene, attributed to the French artist Georges de La Tour and his studio, the holy woman...

     In 17th-century Europe, many artists drained their paintings of bright colors, creating drama instead through strong contrasts of light and dark. This installation of six paintings in the European art galleries makes it easy to see how narrowing the light source focuses our attention on a key gesture or action. In Saint Sebastian Tended by Saint Irene, attributed to the French artist Georges de La Tour and his studio, the holy woman gently removes an arrow from the young soldier, who has been persecuted for his Christian faith. A similar sense of private drama is seen in Bernardo Strozzi’s Hagar and the Angel, in which an abandoned young woman’s desolation is ended by the miraculous appearance of an angel. In both of these paintings, light is the vehicle for our privileged view; it is also the symbol of deliverance and hope after a lonely trial.

    The controlled sense of drama and heightened emotional effect was also effective in non-religious paintings. A Dutch artist recorded the urgency and chaos generated by a real-life catastrophe in the town of Delft in his painting
    The Burning City. A more interior mood is conveyed in paintings of everyday life, in which two boys play with bubbles or a woman seals a private letter by candlelight.

    Image: Saint Sebastian Tended by Saint Irene, ca. 1638–39, attributed to Georges de La Tour and Studio, French, 1593–1653, oil on canvas, 42 x 55 7/8 in., Gift of Richard and Elizabeth Hedreen in honor of Mimi Gardner Gates, 2008.67


    Seattle Art Museum (SAM)

    1300 First Avenue
    Seattle, WA 98101

    Full map and directions

    Admission Info:

    $15 Adult
    $12 Senior (62+), Military (with ID)
    $9 Student (with ID), Teen (13–17)
    FREE for children (12 and under)
    FREE for SAM Members


    General Day and Time Info:

    Monday & Tuesday: closed


    Phone: 206-654-3100

    Parking:

    Russell Investment Center Garage (formerly the Chase Center Garage). Entrance is below the SAM building on Union Street between First and Second Avenues.

    Monday–Friday: 6 am–10 pm
    Saturday: 9 am–midnight
    Sunday: 10 am–10 pm

    206.264.8444



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