Art for Sweaters’ Sakes

Bridget Riley - Untitled (Fragment 3) (1966) & ModCloth - A Real Wild Cardigan

Bridget Riley – Untitled (Fragment 3) (1966) & ModCloth – A Real Wild Cardigan

I’m a huge fan of art museums.

As a child, I was fortunate enough to have a mother with the audacity to take children to art galleries. There was nothing to do but sit still, look, and above all DON’T TOUCH. It became a game after a little while—how close can you get to the Degas and still be not touching? (Answer: Close enough to alert security.)

As an adult, I have a great deal more respect: specifically for security guards, but also for art museums in general.

As a knitter, a trip to an art museum can be the spark of inspiration leading to a whole slough of sweater ideas. After all, knitters use the mediums of yarn, needles, buttons, and incidental crocheted edgings to convey the images floating in our heads and hands; ideas ranging from walking barefoot on the beach, to a friend’s wedding, to the colors found in a summer garden, to a tangible expression of a wish for warmth and comfort.

So in case a trip to the art museum hasn’t been an option lately and you are looking for something to kickstart your new knitting project, below are some classic paintings I’ve paired with some haute couture knitted garments for Spring 2013.

Here’s a little inspiration to kick off the new year, gleaned from masters of the past and present. :)

 

14 Paintings Spanning 549 Years and 14 Sweaters to Match – Listed From Newest to Oldest Painting

 

Andy Warhol - Grevy’s Zebra (1983) & Chloe - Ribbed Knit Sweater

Andy Warhol – Grevy’s Zebra (1983) & Chloe – Ribbed Knit Sweater

Mmm. Andy Warhol. And I love a good red sweater, just so long as it’s the right red . . .

 

Bridget Riley - Untitled (Fragment 3) (1966) & ModCloth - A Real Wild Cardigan

Bridget Riley – Untitled (Fragment 3) (1966) & ModCloth – A Real Wild Cardigan

Op art is fun. Wearing op art? More fun!

 

Maxfield Parrish - Ecstasy (1929) & ModCloth - Lush with Lace Cardigan

Maxfield Parrish – Ecstasy (1929) & ModCloth – Lush with Lace Cardigan

Believe it or not, Ecstasy started out as a calendar advertisement for General Electric Mazda Lamps. Got to love that Parrish Blue.

 

Pablo Picasso - Three Musicians (1921) & O‘2ND - Colorblocked Sweater

Pablo Picasso – Three Musicians (1921) & O‘2ND – Colorblocked Sweater

Picasso. Usually, Three Musicians lives at MOMA; but right now it’s visiting the Philidelphia Museum of Art.

 

Monet - Red Water Lillies (1919) & ModCloth - Art of Conversation Sweater

Monet – Red Water Lillies (1919) & ModCloth – Art of Conversation Sweater

This is one painting I’ve been privileged enough to see in person. It’s HUGE! A full 5.5 ft tall and then some. It dominated the room.

 

Frederic Remington - The Herd Boy (1905) & Jean Paul Gaultier - Sunburst Asymmetric-Knit Sweater

Frederic Remington – The Herd Boy (1905) & Jean Paul Gaultier – Sunburst Asymmetric-Knit Sweater

Not sure about this, but I’d be willing to bet that whenever The Herd Boy was, it was January.

 

John Waterhouse - Boreas (1902) & Lafayette 148 New York - Twisted Pullover

John Waterhouse – Boreas (1902) & Lafayette 148 New York – Twisted Pullover

In general, I like the Pre-Raphelites. I like the colors, the lines, and the way the fabric drapes on this sweater. Waterhouse paid a huge amount of attention to the textiles in his paintings, something I really enjoy.

 

Van Gogh - Vase With 12 Sunflowers (1886-1888) & Lauren Hansen - Bobble Stitch Sweater

Van Gogh – Vase With 12 Sunflowers (1886-1888) & Lauren Hansen – Bobble Stitch Sweater

I don’t know about you, but I could personally use a sweater that is like a wearable sunflower.

 

Van Gogh - Almond Blossom (1890) & Ralph Lauren Black Label Suede Trimmed Long Cardigan

Van Gogh – Almond Blossom (1890) & Ralph Lauren Black Label Suede Trimmed Long Cardigan

Or a sweater as easy to wear as Almond Blossom is to look at.

 

Edward Degas - Portrait of Mary Cassat (1884) & 2 B Rych - Victorian Sweater Jacket

Edward Degas – Portrait of Mary Cassat (1884) & 2 B Rych – Victorian Sweater Jacket

Mary Cassat by Edward Degas. It’s a two-for-one, coming from the art world.

 

Pierre Auguste Renoir - La Promendade (1870) & Jean Paul Gaultier - Lace Ruffle Cardigan

Pierre Auguste Renoir – La Promendade (1870) & Jean Paul Gaultier – Lace Ruffle Cardigan

If ever a sweater was ready for a promenade, then this cardigan is. Leave it to Gaultier.

 

Edouard Manet - Le Fifre (1866) & Anthropologie - Wrapped Boucle Cardigan

Edouard Manet – Le Fifre (1866) & Anthropologie – Wrapped Boucle Cardigan

Manet and Anthropologie. Last time I checked the online store, this cardigan was on sale.

 

El Greco - View of Toledo (1597) & Helmut Lang - Open Web Knit Sweater

El Greco – View of Toledo (1597) & Helmut Lang – Open Web Knit Sweater

I really like how the lines from the hills are echoed in this pullover from Helmut Lang. If I ever make it to Spain, I’m taking this sweater with me.

 

Jan Van Eyk - Arnolfini Portrait (1434) & Lanvin Cashmere Mix Sweater

Jan Van Eyk – Arnolfini Portrait (1434) & Lanvin Cashmere Mix Sweater

If Van Eyk painted this today, rather than 500 odd years ago, the bride would have had this sweater in her closet.

And There You Have it.

At one point, all of these sweaters were available for sale online. I have listed the designer name and sweater name in the captions just in case anyone was interested. But that’s not really the point.

The point is that sometimes, a good sweater can say something similar to what a really great painting can say. And while maybe not very many knitters paint, I’m fairly certain all knitters can knit.

So go knit something awesome, and have fun doing it! Be inspired! It’s 2013 already! Spring is coming!

Happy Knitting!

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