Art Armchair Traveling!

We’ve all heard of armchair traveling by book. And as social media has developed, one hardly needs to get up from their computer to see what anywhere from London to Beijing looks like. But seeing as it’s currently way too hot outside for any sort of hardcore traveling, we’re going to go virtual-armchair traveling to some art vacation destinations! Our hypothetical vacations focus on five locations important to some of our Art Docent Program artists. Off we go!


1. Matisse, The Open Window. 1905.

Matisse's "The Open WIndow," painted along the French Riviera. c/o
Matisse’s “The Open WIndow,” painted along the French Riviera. c/o

Matisse, featured in several levels of the Art Docent Program’s curriculum, painted this Fauvist work while in Collioure, in the south of France. By using bright colors, Matisse hoped to convey some of the vibrancy of the region as well as a sense of possibility. The overall painting creates a feeling of relaxation and joy. Which begs the question…how cheap can I get a flight to the French Riviera?


2. Cézanne, Mont Sainte-Victoire. 1887.

Cézanne’s refreshing 1887 “Mont Sainte-Victoire.” c/o


The Post-Impressionist Cézanne painted Mont Sainte-Victoire several times throughout his career. Near Aix-en-Provence, the mountain provided constant inspiration for Cézanne as his artistic style grew. His 1904 painting of the same subject shows what is considered the beginning of cubist techniques.

Cézanne’s 1904 painting of Mont Sainte-Victoire. c/o


3. Hokusai, The Great Wave off Kanagawa. 1829-1832. 

Hokusai’s “The Great Wave off Kanagawa,” a surfer’s dream. c/o

Probably Hokusai’s most famous painting, The Great Wave off Kanagawa is one of the best-known Japanese paintings of the 19th century. A surfer’s dream, the painting is from Hokusai’s series  Thirty-six Views of Mount Fuji, which also depict other views of the famous mountain if you’re not into big waves.


4. Thomas Cole, The Oxbow. 1836.

Thomas Cole’s “The Oxbow,” picturing a wilderness full of the potential for adventure. c/o


Its official name is Mount Holyoke, Northampton, Massachusetts, after a Thunderstorm, but Thomas Cole’s painting is commonly referred to as The Oxbow after the geographic pattern the river takes. The clouds and the vista help to heighten the drama of the wilderness pictured. Certainly must be a nice place to go camping…

5. Seurat, La Grande Jatte. 1886.

Seurat’s “La Grande Jatte.” c/o


Seurat’s pointillism painting (featured in the Art Docent Program’s 3rd-grade curriculum) of a Sunday on the island of La Grande Jatte in Paris pretty much sums up what most cool outdoor places look like on a hot summer’s day. Alas, to find a vacation devoid of the general populace!

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