J is for Joan of Arc

| May 2, 2014

Growing up on the Upper East Side I would visit the Met often. I still can’t figure out exactly why but around when I was in elementary school I became obsessed with Jules Bastien-Lepage’s painting of Joan of Arc. Perhaps it was the mystical element of the saints floating in the air or the unseen belief in Joan’s eyes and the way her hand was reaching out. Either way, the painting was a kind of proof to me that magic was real. Every time I went to the museum I had to go the European Painting’s gallery to see it. Outside the museum, I insisted on renting movies or reading young adult historical fiction on Joan of Arc. I still love the painting but I don’t see the magic in it as I did when I was a child. It makes me think of the difference between a child’s and adult’s eyes when seeing art.