Fittingly held post-Valentine’s Day, the Patchogue Arts Council’s popular “Wining About Art” series section on Romanticism came after the holiday of soppy hearts and flowers. …
Fittingly held post-Valentine’s Day, the Patchogue Arts Council’s popular “Wining About Art” series section on Romanticism came after the holiday of soppy hearts and flowers. A bit of a misnomer, the Romantic period of art, as event attendees learned, was characterized not by the sweet notions we have come to associate with the word “romantic” but rather an introspection into all the natural and carnal facets of the spirit of man.
Opening the lecture on Saturday evening, Feb. 22, was a series of famous “kisses” by masters of the period including Gustav Klimt and Edvard Munch. Contrasting the previous neoclassical era’s staid and dignified images, Prof. John Cino dove into the overwhelming passion characterized by the Romantic period that held the intuitive heart over the reticent mind. The first “wine” to sample for the evening was aptly not a wine but a cider from England. Unlike most ciders that are made from apples, the Dunkertons Organic Perry was made from traditional varieties of Perry pears and described as pouring “golden and slightly hazily” (in line with the great works of J.M.W. Turner, whose moving color play always belied a shining sun amidst the pain of memory).
“[Turner] was known to have tied himself to the masts of ships to get the experience of the weather,” said Cino about the extremes of Romantic artists in understanding nature’s influence on the world.
Romantic masters, attuned and excited to the exotic and the natural, were drawn to ethereal landscapes such as the works of German artist Caspar David Friedrich, which featured a martyred Jesus on the cross in the midst of a forest for his altarpiece, “Tetschen Altar.”
“The crucifix in the landscape is not central to the painting,” said Cino of the ecclesiastical yet almost magical realism piece.
These works were matched with the characteristically sweet Rieslings of Germany. The Dr. Loosen Riseling Kabinett Blue Slate 2018 was “floral-style, with a delicate profile, showing notes of orchard blossom, candied lime and pear.” Pairing well with Asian cuisine, the wine was indicative of Romantic masters who had just begun to take in the richness of Eastern cultures and express them in their paintings, such as in the works of Eugene de la Croix or Jean Auguste Dominique Ingres’s “Grand Odalisque,” featuring beauties influenced from cultures abroad.
Ending the evening was a sojourn into the American interpretation of Romanticism with the Hudson River School. With allegorical paintings and representations of Native American inhabitants of the land, the masters of this region painted everything from mythological scenes to studies in illumination. Paired with sweets from the sumptuous Mademoiselle of Patchogue Bakery, which included heavenly meringues and Sansa Stark-approved lemon cakes, the Millbrook Riesling Late Harvest 2016 was a dessert wine capturing the intensity of passion and the unbounded nature discussed of the Romantic era.