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Matthew Felix Sun
My Favorite Altar Pieces at Mariahilferkirche, Graz  
Posted 9/19/14

There are many interesting churches in Graz and one of them I visited in 2012, Mariahilferkirche and cloister, impressed me very much with its startling altar pieces. The most striking one was an altar of Pietà, whose particularity was that there was a sword piercing into Maria's breast. It was a very disturbing and moving image and hard to forget. I happened to have seen quite a few similar images during that trip; in the very same church, on the side wall, I also saw this standing alone Maria pierced by... [more]

My Favorite Sculptures at Institut für Klassische Archäologie, Karl-Franzens-Universität Graz  
Posted 9/13/14

As I reported shortly after my trip to Graz in 2012, I was delighted by my visit to Institut für Klassische Archäologie at Karl-Franzens-Universität Graz, for its collections of many classical Roman and Greek marble sculptures and reliefs. According to the university, "the Institute is home to significant archaeological collections of ancient vases of Greece, objects from local sites as well as casts of ancient sculptures." There were many beautiful sculptures to admire, many... [more]

My Favorite Paintings at Neue Galerie, Graz, Austria  
Posted 9/6/14

The other important museum I visited in Graz, besides Kunsthaus, was Neue Galerie, which housed many important Austrian art. My favorite painting there was, again, by Egon Schiele (1890, Tulln an der Donau, Austria - 1918, Vienna), titled Stadtende (Häuserbogen III) (City End, Houses Arc III). It depicted a jumble of houses in various shades and shapes and the whole composition was quite dynamic, full of contrast and movements. Despite the many colors employed by the artist, the pai... [more]

My Favorite Artworks in Kunsthaus, Graz, Austria  
Posted 8/25/14

The ultra-modern museum, Kunsthaus, in Graz, Austria, was a distinctive architecture and its attraction is itself. That said, I did see some very interesting works in this museum during my 2012 visit to Graz. My favorite item was an installation - a wooden forest flourishing under several intense circular florescent lights, suggesting a giant incubator, or an solemn, almost spiritual outer space, where several stars or planets converging upon alien soil. Very intriguing. My second fa... [more]

My Favorite Artworks in Schloss Eggenberg, Graz, Austria  
Posted 8/20/14

Schloss Eggenberg in Graz, Austria is a magnificent Baroque palace and in 2010 was included in the listing of UNESCO World Cultural Heritage Sites. In 2012, when I made a brief stop at Graz, though I was not able to visit the museum housed inside the Schoss, Universalmuseum Joanneum, I was able to tour the building and its lovely garden ground. Though I couldn't go inside many marvelous rooms, I was able to see this wonderful triptych below through the window and though it was medieval in styl... [more]

My Favorite Artworks in the Mausoleum, Graz, Austria  
Posted 8/14/14

Graz is an ancient Austrian city, whose Renaissance cityscape is dominated by the complex of Mausoleum of Emperor Ferdinand II and the Dom and the Katharinenkirche (right, left and middle). In 2010, I visited Graz and saw this impressive tomb, a minor St. Peter's, designed by Ferdinand's court artist Giovanni Pietro de Pomis. The interior was both grand and intimate, magnificent and humble. I found the center shrine (above) very impressive, dark and somber, topped with the Emperor's proud... [more]

My Favorite Artifacts at Jüdisches (Jewish) Museum, Vienna  
Posted 8/9/14

Jüdisches Museum Wien (Jewish Museum) in Vienna has many artifacts highlighting the past and present of Jewish culture in Austria. When I visited the museum in 2012, I was astounded by the huge quantities of items they put on display, some beautiful, some ethereal, some kitschy, and some poignant. I was particularly taken by artifacts emphasizing the folksy Jewish tradition and heritage, such as the two figurines in the picture below. These two figures, in traditional eastern European Jewish... [more]

My Favorite Artworks at Augustinerkirche, Vienna  
Posted 7/28/14

The Augustinerkirche (Augustinian Church) was built in the 14th century as the parish church of the imperial court of with the Gothic interior added in the 18th century. The most impressive artwork was a tome sculpture designed by the renown Italian sculptor Antonio Canova, for Archduchess Maria Christina of Austria - in his typical neoclassical style - pyramidal shaped, with clear and clean delineation, and delicately modeled figures. The atmosphere it created was somber, sorrowful and soaringly lyrical. Archduch... [more]

My Favorite Artworks in Votivkirche, Vienna  
Posted 7/25/14

One of the most visible churches in Vienna, amongst many magnificent ones, is Votivkirche, which I visited in 2012 and was duly impressed. This Neo-Gothic church of twin spires, dating back to late 19th century, boasted a famous Antwerp Passion Altar (Wood Curve) (dating back to around 1460). This altar was the best example of the achievement of medieval wood curving religion art in the low countries. Antwerp Passion Altar This Altar has grandeur, dignity and its moving pathos lies in the folksy naïvet&eacut... [more]

My Favorite Artworks at Secession Building, Vienna  
Posted 7/17/14

The Secession Building in Vienna is so iconic, that though it doesn't have permanent collections, except for Beethoven Frieze by Gustav Klimt, I feel that I am compelled to include it in the series of My Favorite Museum Collections. Secession Building is an exhibition hall built in 1897 by Joseph Maria Olbrich as an architectural manifesto for the Vienna Secession and the Beethoven Frieze is a painting by Gustav Klimt created in 1902 for the 14th Vienna Secessionist exhibition and is now on display in t... [more]

Impressionism from National Gallery of Art (DC) in San Francisco  
Posted 7/10/14

Last weekend, I visited Legion of Honor Museum, San Francisco, to see a special exhibition - Intimate Impressionism from the National Gallery of Art from Washington D.C. (March 29, 2014 – August 3, 2014). The exhibition included many paintings from the period of the emergence of the Impressionism, most of them were of modest dimensions, with subjects ranging from intimate portraits, still life to familiar outdoor landscapes. The exhibition was organized and displayed by artists, a choice group including many big names and a few less fa... [more]

My Favorite Paintings at Leopold Museum, Vienna  
Posted 7/14/14

Leopold Museum in Vienna is renown for its collections of late 19th through early 20th century works by Austrian masters, such as Egon Schiele, Gustav Klimt, Oskar Kokoschka and Richard Gerstl. My favorite works there were many, and the two top choices were both by Schiele. My first favorite piece was called "Kalvaienberg" (Calvary Hill), which was of a square format, with the top one-third depicting blue and pink sky, and the lower part the gentle hill whose sloping top was dominated by tilting trees and three clustered crosses, breaking in... [more]

My e-Portfolio on MagCloud and ISSUU  
Posted 6/20/14

Finally, I made an electronic portfolio of my selected paintings, drawings and installations and it can be viewed on ISSUU: Unfortunately, ISSUU would not allow my readers to print the copies so, you may send me request, or sign on my eNewsletter on my website: and I will be very happy to send a free PDF to you. Alternatively, I am also offering a professionally bound copy via MagCloud, at the cost of $8 per copy (Wire-O-Bind), 8.5"x11": Art Portfolio of... [more]

My e-Portfolio on MagCloud and ISSUU  
Posted 6/20/14

Finally, I made an electronic portfolio of my selected paintings, drawings and installations and it can be viewed on ISSUU: Unfortunately, ISSUU would not allow my readers to print the copies so, you may send me request, or sign on my eNewsletter on my website: and I will be very happy to send a free PDF to you. Alternatively, I am also offering a professionally bound copy via MagCloud, at the cost of $8 per copy: On MagCloud Art Portfolio of Matthew Fe... [more]

My Favorite Paintings at Österreichische Galerie Belvedere, Vienna  
Posted 7/4/14

The complex of the Belvedere Palaces in Vienna contained the Österreichische Galerie Belvedere (Austrian Gallery Belvedere), showcasing Austrian artists, such as Gustave Klimt (1862-1918) and Egon Schiele (1890-1918), two giants of the late 19th to early 20th century and their works were indeed my favorites in this museum. Of many works by these two artists, I'll call Braut (Bride) by Klimt as my first favorite. It was less iconic than the more renown Kuss (Kiss), but the images of this pi... [more]

My Favorite Paintings at Albertina Museum, Vienna  
Posted 6/16/14

The renown Albertina Museum in Vienna, Austria was mostly valued for its graphic art collections, such as works by the incomparable Albrecht Dürer, whose ultra-realistic drawings and watercolors were so delicate that the museum only put reproductions on display, therefore, I refrain from citing his works as my favorite there. Albertina Museum also had some really impressive oil paintings, amongst which, I was particularly enthralled by paintings by Max Beckmann and Paul Delvaux. The Frau m... [more]

My Favorite Sculptures in Cathédrale Notre Dame de Paris  
Posted 6/13/14

Whenever Cathédrale Notre Dame de Paris was mentioned, one often thinks of the fantastic gargoyles on the rooftop and the rose windows above the portals, justifiably so. Yet, despite all those famous objects, and the holy artifacts in the treasury, I would cite the below two sculptures as my favorite from the cathedral. My first favorite was a bronze equestrian statue of Charlemagne, weather beaten, hollow looking yet undeniably grand, dominating the side plaza. The green patina interwo... [more]

New Publications in Pomona Valley Review  
Posted 5/23/14

Last weekend, Issue 8 (May 2014) of Pomona Valley Review was published online and two of my paintings were included in this new edition, following the publication of my two paintings and an installation in their last year's edition, Issue 7. The paintings included in the magazine were an oil painting, Surveying (2013), and a gouache painting, Wildflowers (2014). Surveying, Oil on Canvas, 28" x 22" Wildflowers, Gouache on Paper, 7" x 10.25" These two paintings, different in sizes, media, and particularly colors - one was monochromatic and the other burs... [more]

My Favorite Artworks in Panthéon, Paris  
Posted 5/29/14

Panthéon in Paris was originally built as a church dedicated to St. Genevieve, but was converted into a secular mausoleum housing the remains of most renown figures, such as Voltaire, Rousseau, Victor Hugo, Zola and Marie Curie. The architecture was fashioned after the one in Rome in the neoclassical style. There were many paintings, sculptures and relief to see inside the vast expanse of the building. My favorite artwork in Panthéon was a sculpture whose name and creator I fai... [more]

My Favorite Drawing and Painting in Musée Cognacq-Jay, Paris  
Posted 5/10/14

Wandering in Marais district of Paris, during my 2008 trip, I stumbled upon a small museum, the Musée Cognacq-Jay, located in Hôtel Donon, and saw some wonderful paintings and drawings by the likes of Watteau, Tiepolo, Rembrandt, Rubens, Cézanne and Degas, amongst decorative art displayed in twenty paneled rooms (four floors) in the styles of Louis XV and Louis XVI. "The collection was formed between 1900–1925 by Théodore-Ernest Cognacq (1839–1928) and his wife... [more]

My Favorite Sculptures in le Jardin des Tuileries  
Posted 5/4/14

Le Jardin des Tuileries, the former royal garden dated back to Catherine de Medicis in the 16th century, situates between the Louvre and Place de la Concorde, is a wonderful place for Parisians to promenade, meet, and display. It also hosts a wonderful museum, Musée de l'Orangerie, built to host the amazing series of Claude Monet's Les Nymphéas (Water Lilies). Besides major works by Monet, it also collected many important late 19th - early 20th century modern works (Paul Guillaume collection... [more]

My Favorite Artwork at Musée de Cluny - Musée national du Moyen Âge, Paris  
Posted 4/27/14

Not far from Jardin du Luxembourg in Paris, lies Musée de Cluny, officially known as Musée National du Moyen Âge, which boasts many magnificent ancient artifacts. Even for people who are not usually interested in the Medieval era, if they are open-minded enough, they might be pleasantly surprised by many surprisingly vital things they'll encounter there, and might even re-assess their own notions of stilted Middle-Age. My favorite collection in this museum was a group of si... [more]

My Favorite Artworks at Musée National Eugène Delacroix, Paris  
Posted 4/24/14

Musée National Eugène Delacroix (Musée Delacroix) in Paris is a modest museum which though contains works from nearly every phase of Delacroix’s career, covering many of his themes, along with some of his memorabilia. According to the museum, "Magdalene in the Desert, exhibited at the 1845 Salon and one of the museum’s major paintings, is a most unusual religious composition, as compared to Education of the Virgin, painted in Nohant in 1842. The museum also boa... [more]

George W. Bush, the Artist and the Apocalypse  
Posted 4/6/14

Former US president George W. Bush (2001-2009) is immersing himself in the art world and has created some rather surprisingly interesting portraits of world leaders, most of them he encountered during his presidency, arguably the worst one ever in the US history. Image source: George W. Bush Center During his horrible and incompetent presidency, George W. Bush (GWB) was often criticized as an imbecile ninny occupying a high office due to his fabulous family connection - his father Georg Bu... [more]

My Favorite Artworks at Maison de Victor Hugo, Paris  
Posted 4/11/14

After visiting Balzac's former residence, a trip to Maison de Victor Hugo, Paris was in order and there, in the crazily decorated old flat in a fashionable building with a lovely courtyard in Le Marais district, I was amused by some quite idiosyncratic decorations and odd collections. Amongst such clutters, several sculptures, paintings and prints stood out and my two favorites there were a bust of Hugo and a painting depicting the battle between classists and romanticists during the performance... [more]

My Favorite Artworks in La maison de Balzac, Paris  
Posted 4/3/14

Honoré de Balzac was the first French author I encountered via his immortal Le Père Goriot, when I was still in elementary school, therefore I had a great affection for this great novelist and societal historian. In 2008, when I returned to Paris, I made my way to his former residence, La maison de Balzac, in the western edge of the city, near Musée Marmottan Monet and Jardins du Ranelag in its vicinity. Balzac rented the top floor of that rather modest house, from 1840-1847 un... [more]

My Favorite Sculptures in Jardins du Ranelag, Paris  
Posted 3/29/14

On my way to Musée Marmottan Monet in the 16th arrondissement of western Paris, I encountered a lovely park, Jardins du Ranelagh, nearby, which obviously provided much pleasure to the residents nearby, and also boasted many amazing sculptures. Of those, I found these two below most interesting. The first one was a bronze, Hommage à Jean de La Fontaine (1983) by Charles Corréia (1945-1988). The sculpture featured one of the most famous fables by Jean de La Fontaine, Le Cor... [more]

My Favorite Sculptures in Cimetière de Montmartre, Paris  
Posted 3/23/14

Cemeteries in Paris are often amazing places to visit - not only it consists a pilgrimage to the resting spots of so many renown artists and thinkers, but a brief immersion of an sculptural Eden. Cimetière de Montmartre, not far from the fabled club Moulin Rouge, though less renown and less frequently visited than Cimetière du Père-Lachaise, was just as astonishing in its cultural and artistic richness. There were so many beautiful spots there I saw in my visit there more than five years... [more]

My Favorite Sculptures at Château de Versailles  
Posted 3/4/14

Château de Versailles, in the outskirt of Paris, was most renown for its sumptuousness of the palace and the grandeur of its formal garden. It was in the vast expanse of the garden, that I encountered quite a few very striking sculptures and amongst those, I cite two of my favorites. The first one is the Apollo Fountain, Bassin de Apollo, in the middle of the lower garden, at one end of the Grand Canal de Versailles. Golden and splendid, Apollo, in his noble horses drawn chariot, emerged f... [more]

My Favorite Sculptures in Basilique Saint-Denis (Paris)  
Posted 2/27/14

Cathédrale royale de Saint-Denis, or simply Basilique Saint-Denis, is a very old and important cathedral in the outskirt of Paris, with its choir completed in 1144, considered to be the first medieval Gothic architecture ever built. Its rose window at the west portal was probably the first example of a rose window within a square frame, which was to become a dominant feature of the Gothic facades of northern France. Historically, the church was the burial place of the French Kings, with nearly... [more]

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