By Mike Kinnerk ‘20

The human race is completely engulfed in an array of artwork. We live in architecturally unique homes, hang visually stunning paintings on our walls, and listen to emotionally raw music throughout our quotidian routine.

On Monday, Nov. 11, French III and IV took a field trip to the world-renowned Art Institute of Chicago. The group boarded the bus and took the trek downtown in the frigid winter weather. Upon arrival, we met our docent and went on our tour to see all of the French art that the Institute had to offer.

As we entered the exhibit, we saw pieces inspired by the strong religious views in France. Artwork painted and sculpted for churches appeared in this exhibit. My favorite piece was a stone head that was once mounted on the wall of the world-famous Notre Dame Cathedral. This piece was so interesting because it came from such an iconic place. Its most prominent feature was the chipped-off nose. Our docent explained to us that the stone head had fallen off of the wall during or around the time of the French Revolution.

After leaving the religious exhibit, we entered a room filled with grandiose paintings. Our docent helped us analyze some of the largest paintings, which were created by Hubert Robert for one of the wealthiest men in France at the time. These jaw-dropping paintings depicted the everyday hardships of ancient Romans.

Next, our docent showed us various portraits painted by a plethora of different artists. We were able to see how the portraits contrast with one another and how art experts determine which portraits are complete or not. Some of the portraits were so detailed and looked extremely realistic; some of us couldn’t believe that these pictures were actually painted.

Senior Jeremy Zemgulys said, “I couldn’t believe the artwork we saw. The portraits specifically amazed me, as they looked so realistic. I would definitely go back to see these great paintings again.”

Lastly, we entered the French Impressionist exhibit, which was mind-blowing. Seeing artwork that was actually painted by iconic artists like Monet, Cézanne, and Van Gogh mesmerized me. It was extremely surreal to see such famous paintings that tell very captivating stories.

Our group left the Art Institute with a greater appreciation for art. We went to lunch at Corner Bakery and reflected on the works we had seen and the experience we just had. After lunch, we took an unexpected, but fun, detour. We walked to the Bean to take a group picture. Seeing the Bean capped with snow was the perfect culmination to an amazing trip.

Brother Rice French students thoroughly enjoyed the trip and thank Madame Holt and the Art Institute for an amazing time.