El Rio – Raul de Nieves

After the 4th of July picnics, barbecues, and fireworks are over, don’t neglect the artistic offerings of the city.

Company Gallery at 88 Eldrigde Street on the Lower East Side offers a visually stunning installation of Raul de Nieves work through July 24th.  http://companygallery.us/

The installation is entitled “El Rio” – The River – and de Nieves brings vibrant color and jewel encrusted objects together to depict a force of nature both terrifying and rapturous. The journey to the gallery involves negotiating the crowded sidewalks of the Little Italy, Chinatown and the Lower East Side so time your visit to do some exploring in the neighborhood (more on that in the next post). The multi-media artist, performer and musician, originally from Morelia, Mexico, now resides in Brooklyn so watch for other chances to see him perform or exhibit locally. 




Orchids and elephants

I have always loved thes gorgeous Sèvres elephant vases at The Metropolitan Museum of Art. Only 22 remain in collections today and due to their complexity, they were produced in a very limited quantity. Dating to about 1758, the two examples below are of soft-paste porcelain and were the work of the modeler Jean-Claude Duplessis (ca. 1695–1774).  Much favored by the French court, owners included Madame de Pompadour who owned 3 sets! 



Madame de Pompadour, mistress to Louis XV,  had retreat away from the Court, the Petit Trianon, a small palace built for her by the king.   

Though by the early1750s she was no longer the king’s mistress, she over saw new construction at Versailles as well as recommending the establishment of the Sèvres porcelain factory.


Madame de Pompadour at her Tambour Frame,  François-Hubert Drouais, 1763-4, The National Gallery, London 

In her honor I also share some gorgeous images of orchids from The New York Botanical Garden show earlier this year.  None of these are the Dendrobium Orchids actually named Madame Pompadour, but they are quite beautiful and I think she would approve.