Tuesday, December 11, 2018

The EY Exhibition: Van Gogh and Britain


Next March, Tate Britain will open a major exhibition about Vincent van Gogh (1853-1890). The EY Exhibition: Van Gogh and Britain will be the first exhibition to take a new look at the artist through his relationship with Britain. It will explore how Van Gogh was inspired by British art, literature and culture throughout his career and how he in turn inspired British artists, from Walter Sickert to Francis Bacon.

Bringing together the largest group of Van Gogh paintings shown in the UK for nearly a decade, The EY Exhibition: Van Gogh and Britain will include over 45 works by the artist from public and private collections around the world.


Vincent van Gogh Self-Portrait 1889 National Gallery of Art
 
Vincent van Gogh Self-Portrait 1889 National Gallery of Art, Collection of Mr. and Mrs. John Hay Whitney
They include Self-Portrait 1889 from the National Gallery of Art, Washington,


https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/f/fd/The_Arlesienne_by_Vincent_van_Gogh%2C_1890%2C_oil_on_canvas_-_Museu_de_Arte_de_S%C3%A3o_Paulo_-_DSC07384.jpg/640px-The_Arlesienne_by_Vincent_van_Gogh%2C_1890%2C_oil_on_canvas_-_Museu_de_Arte_de_S%C3%A3o_Paulo_-_DSC07384.jpg

 L'Arlésienne 1890 from Museu de Arte de São Paolo,

Image result for Starry Night on the Rhône 1888 from the Musée d’Orsay, Paris,


Starry Night on the Rhône 1888 from the Musée d’Orsay, Paris,  

Image result

Shoes from the Van Gogh Museum, Amsterdam,

Image result


and the rarely loaned Sunflowers 1888 from the National Gallery, London.


The exhibition will also feature late works including two painted by Van Gogh in the Saint-Paul asylum,

An old man with a bald head is sitting on a yellow chair by his fire. There is a low fire in the grate. He is dressed in blue clothes. He is holding his head in his hands.


At Eternity’s Gate 1890 from the Kröller-Müller Museum, Otterlo

https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/9/9e/Vincent_Willem_van_Gogh_037.jpg/637px-Vincent_Willem_van_Gogh_037.jpg

and Prisoners Exercising 1890 from the Pushkin State Museum of Fine Arts, Moscow.

Van Gogh spent several crucial years in London between 1873 and 1876, writing to his brother Theo, ‘I love London’. Arriving as a young trainee art dealer, the vast modern city prompted him to explore new avenues of life, art and love.

The exhibition will reveal Van Gogh’s enthusiasm for British culture during his stay and his subsequent artistic career. It will show how he responded to the art he saw, including works by John Constable and John Everett Millais as well as his love of British writers from William Shakespeare to Christina Rossetti. Charles Dickens in particular influenced Van Gogh’s style and subject matter throughout his career.

https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/f/fd/The_Arlesienne_by_Vincent_van_Gogh%2C_1890%2C_oil_on_canvas_-_Museu_de_Arte_de_S%C3%A3o_Paulo_-_DSC07384.jpg/640px-The_Arlesienne_by_Vincent_van_Gogh%2C_1890%2C_oil_on_canvas_-_Museu_de_Arte_de_S%C3%A3o_Paulo_-_DSC07384.jpg





































L'Arlésienne 1890, a portrait he created in the last year of his life in the south of France, features a favourite book by Dickens in the foreground.

The exhibition will also explore Van Gogh’s passion for British graphic artists and prints. Despite his poverty, he searched out and collected around 2,000 engravings, most from English magazines such as the Illustrated London News. ‘My whole life is aimed at making the things from everyday life that Dickens describes and these artists draw’ he wrote in his first years as a struggling artist. He returned to these prints in his final months, painting his only image of London, Prisoners Exercising, from Gustave Doré’s print of Newgate Prison.

Tracing Van Gogh from his obscure years in London to the extraordinary fame he achieved in Britain in the 1950s, the exhibition will show how his uncompromising art and life paved the way for modern British artists like Matthew Smith, Christopher Wood and David Bomberg.


Image result


Study for a Portrait of Van Gogh I by Francis Bacon 1956 Oil on canvas, 154.1 x 115.6 cm Collection: Sainsbury Cen.


 Image result
Francis Bacon, Study for Portrait of Van Gogh III, 1957, Hirschorn Museum




Francis Bacon
Study for Portrait of Van Gogh IV
1957 Tate
It will conclude with an important group of portraits by Francis Bacon based on a Van Gogh self-portrait known only from photographs since its destruction during the Second World War.

 Self-Portrait with Felt Hat
Self-Portrait with Felt Hat, an 1887 painting by Van Gogh, which will form part of the Van Gogh and Britain exhibition. Photograph: Van Gogh Museum/PA

The exhibition will provide an opportunity to look afresh at well-known works by Van Gogh, through the eyes of the British artists he so inspired. To artists like Bacon, and the British public at large, Van Gogh epitomised the idea of the embattled, misunderstood artist, set apart from mainstream society.

The EY Exhibition: Van Gogh and Britain is organised by lead curator Carol Jacobi, Curator of British Art 1850-1915, Tate Britain and Chris Stephens, Director of Holburne Museum, Bath with Van Gogh specialist Martin Bailey and Hattie Spires, Assistant Curator Modern British Art, Tate Britain.

It will be accompanied by a major catalogue from Tate Publishing and a programme of talks and events in the gallery.


Monday, December 10, 2018

From Bosch's Stable. Hieronymus Bosch and The Adoration of the Magi



Jheronimus Bosch, De Aanbidding der Koningen, ca. 1475. The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York

On 1 December 2018, Het Noordbrabants Museum in Den Bosch will open the exhibition From Bosch's Stable. Hieronymus Bosch and The Adoration of the Magi. Just two years after the successful exhibition Hieronymus Bosch - Visions of a Genius in the spring of 2016,  the museum is once again bringing work by the world-famous Den Bosch master himself back to the city where he lived, worked and then died in 1516. The loan is exceptional: throughout the world, there remain only about  25 original paintings by Bosch.

"Following the phenomenal success of the Bosch exhibition in 2016, we made the commitment to continue researching Bosch, and to regularly bring the art of Hieronymus Bosch back to his home town, ’s‑Hertogenbosch. There is still so much to be discovered about Bosch and his workshop. This exhibition - From Bosch's Stable - is the first in a series of exhibitions that will demonstrate the master's influence on both his pupils and imitators through autograph pieces." - Charles de Mooij, Director, Het Noordbrabants Museum

 https://www.hetnoordbrabantsmuseum.nl/media/613809/web_Jheronimus_Bosch_The_Adoration_of_the_Magi_ca_1475_The_Metropolitan_Museum_of_Art_John_Stewart_Kennedy_Fund_New_York____kopie.jpg

The Adoration of the Magi

Hieronymus Boschca. 1475, 71.1 x 56.5cm, The Metropolitan Museum of Art / John Stewart Kennedy Fund, New York.

The Adoration of the Magi

The painting due to arrive in Den Bosch in December is The Adoration of the Magi on loan from The Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York. It depicts the three magi paying homage to the Christ Child, held in the lap of the Virgin Mary.  Although this early piece by Hieronymus Bosch is relatively classical in its composition, it does contain a number of typically Boschian elements, such as the face of Christ, the small figures in the background and an owl - a bird that repeatedly features in paintings by the artist.

Epiphany

The theme of the exhibition is Epiphany - or Three Kings' Day - a religious festival that was extremely popular in visual arts in the latter Middle Ages. The period produced a great number of depictions of the festival; full of exotic figures in lavish costumes and with luxuriant attributes. Hieronymus Bosch also portrayed the theme numerous times. Two of those autograph paintings have been preserved: one held in the collection at The Metropolitan Museum of Art (New York), the other at the Museo del Prado (Madrid).  Both paintings were copied and imitated early on, proving their desirability. The exhibition From Bosch's Stable – Hieronymus Bosch and The Adoration of the Magi has a strong focus on this imitation of Bosch.

From Bosch's Stable

The early appreciation for his work in Bosch's own era is remarkable: with more than 30 surviving early copies, Bosch's interpretation is one of the most popular compositions from the late medieval Netherlands. The Bosch Research and Conservation Project has been researching the work and atelier of Bosch since 2010 and has examined a number of these copies closely. The findings have led to some surprising new insights.

In addition to the autograph piece from New York, the exhibition will show artworks by Bosch followers from The National Trust collections in England (Petworth House and Upton House). Paintings and prints by contemporaries such as Jacob Cornelisz van Oostsanen, Martin Schongauer and Lucas van Leyden will also be on display, immersing visitors in the Epiphany narrative.

Saturday, December 8, 2018

Oskar Kokoschka - A Retroprective

Kunsthaus Zürich 14 December 2018 – 10 March 2019
 

The Kunsthaus Zürich presents Oskar Kokoschka – Expressionist, migrant and pacifist – in the first retrospective of his work in Switzerland for 30 years. The highlight among the more than 200 exhibits is the monumental ‘Prometheus Triptych’, which has never before been seen in Switzerland.
Oskar Kokoschka (1886–1980) is, along with Francis Picabia and Pablo Picasso, one of a generation of artists who retained their allegiance to figurative painting after the Second World War, even as abstract art was consolidating its predominance.

It is also thanks to them that non-representational painting and figurative art can now be practised side by side without partisan feuding. Artists of the present day value the gestural articulation of his brushwork, praise his open-minded, cosmopolitan attitudes or share the pacifism that, especially after the traumatic experiences of the First World War, runs like a thread through Kokoschka’s work, life and legacy.

Following his last major solo show in 1986, the Kunsthaus now sets out to acquaint a new generation of visitors with this artist, who died by Lake Geneva in 1980 and whose works are held in substantial numbers in both Vevey and Zurich.

Migrant and European

The retrospective traces the motifs and motivations of a painter who felt at home in no fewer than five countries. Curator Cathérine Hug has brought together 100 paintings and an equal number of works on paper, photographs and letters from all phases of his career. They reveal that while Kokoschka’s art was defamed as ‘degenerate’ by the Nazis, the artist himself came through the ordeal relatively unscathed, making a living executing commissions for celebrated figures in the worlds of literature, architecture and politics. In exile he becomes an indomitable champion of freedom, democracy and human rights; a humanist whose work is broad enough to encompass everything from landscapes and portraits to mythological figures and metaphors denouncing the horrors of war and defending the power of love and the beauty of nature. It is this independent-minded artistic language of political protest that makes Kokoschka unique.

Triptychs on show for the first time outside Britain
 
Two impressive triptychs, each around eight metres wide and two metres high –


 


Triptych - Prometheus
 
Oskar Kokoschka (1886-1980), Triptych – Prometheus, 1950 (January to July), The Samuel Courtauld Trust, The Courtauld Gallery, London/DACS 2003
oil and mixed technique on canvas,
Prometheus: 239 x 234 cm,
The Samuel Courtauld Trust, The Courtauld
Gallery, London, © Fondation Oskar Kokoschka /
2018 ProLitteris, Zurich

Triptych - Apocalypse
 
Oskar Kokoschka (1886-1980), Triptych – Apocalypse, 1950 (January to July), The Samuel Courtauld Trust, The Courtauld Gallery, London/DACS 2003
Triptych - Hades and Persephone
 
Oskar Kokoschka (1886-1980), Triptych – Hades and Persephone, 1950 (January to July), The Samuel Courtauld Trust, The Courtauld Gallery, London/DACS 2003
‘The Prometheus Triptych’ (1950, Courtauld Gallery, London)

 6 kokoschka 1
Foto: UHH/Karin Plessing & Reinhard Scheiblich
Inventarnummer: Inv.-Nr. 05-06
Künstler: Oskar Kokoschka
Titel: Thermopylae oder Der Kampf um die Errettung des Abendlandes
Technik / Material: Tempera auf Leinwand
Datierung: 1954
Maße: 225 x 800 cm
Standort: Philosophenturm, EG, Hörsaal D
6 kokoschka 2
Foto: UHH/Karin Plessing & Reinhard Scheiblich
Inventarnummer: Inv.-Nr. 05-06
Künstler: Oskar Kokoschka
Titel: Thermopylae oder Der Kampf um die Errettung des Abendlandes
Technik / Material: Tempera auf Leinwand
Datierung: 1954
Maße: 225 x 800 cm
Standort: Philosophenturm, EG, Hörsaal D
 6 kokoschka 3
Foto: UHH/Karin Plessing & Reinhard Scheiblich
Inventarnummer: Inv.-Nr. 05-06
Künstler: Oskar Kokoschka
Titel: Thermopylae oder Der Kampf um die Errettung des Abendlandes
Technik / Material: Tempera auf Leinwand
Datierung: 1954
Maße: 225 x 800 cm
Standort: Philosophenturm, EG, Hörsaal D
and ‘Thermopylae’ (1954, University of Hamburg) – are the high point of Kokoschka’s mature oeuvre, and of this retrospective. The two works have only been shown together once before, at the Tate in 1962. They were created during a transitional phase: after a decade of wartime exile Kokoschka moved in 1953 to Villeneuve in Switzerland, where he lived until his death in 1980.

The imposing ‘Prometheus’ triptych – originally a ceiling decoration for an aristocratic client in London – has not been shown outside the British Isles since 1953, when it travelled to the Venice Biennale. Like the ‘Thermopylae’ triptych the depiction of Prometheus, originator of human civilization, enjoins human beings to come together as brothers and sisters in peace and freedom. Aside from their content, these works also document the creative process that set Kokoschka apart from his contemporaries. The brushwork and colour progressions reveal the artist’s movements – a performative production process unusual in figurative painting. Kokoschka, the Expressionist who remained faithful to figurativism and founded a ‘School of Seeing’ that endures to this day in Salzburg, was regarded by many at the time as anti-modern; in fact he fought for democratic access to education and an open society.

Image result
Oskar Kokoschka, Mother and Child
Embracing, 1921–1922,
oil on canvas, 121 x 81 cm,
Belvedere, Wien, © Fondation
Oskar Kokoschka / 2018 ProLitteris, Zurich


Image result
Oskar Kokoschka, Double Portrait of Oskar
Kokoschka and Alma Mahler, 1912/1913,
oil on canvas, 100 x 90 cm,
Museum Folkwang, Essen,
photo: Museum Folkwang Essen/Artothek,
© Fondation Oskar Kokoschka /
2018 ProLitteris, Zurich

Image result
Oskar Kokoschka, Time, Gentlemen Please,
1971/1972, oil on canvas, 130 x 100 cm,
Tate: Purchased 1986, photo: Tate, London 2018,
© Fondation Oskar Kokoschka / 2018 ProLitteris, Zurich


Oskar Kokoschka, Paul Scheerbart, 1910, 
huile sur toile, 70 × 47 cm, Neue Galerie New
York, don de la Serge and Vally Sabarsky Foundation, Inc., © Fondation Oskar Kokoschka / 2018 ProLitteris, Zurich
Oskar Kokoschka, Paul Scheerbart, 1910,
huile sur toile, 70 × 47 cm, Neue Galerie New
York, don de la Serge and Vally Sabarsky
Foundation, Inc., © Fondation Oskar Kokoschka /
2018 ProLitteris, Zurich
 
Publication

Kunsthaus Zürich Oskar Kokoschka. Expressionist, Migrant, European. A Retrospective. (English edition)

A catalogue in English and German (320 pages, 300 colour illustrations) published by Kehrer Verlag, Heidelberg, is available from the Kunsthaus shop and bookstores: ‘Oskar Kokoschka. Expressionist, Migrant, European’ with new essays by Régine Bonnefoit, Iris Bruderer-Oswald, Martina Ciardelli, Birgit Dalbajewa, Heike Eipeldauer, Katharina Erling, Cathérine Hug, Aglaja Kempf, Alexandra Matzner, Raimund Meyer, Bernadette Reinhold, Heinz Spielmann and Patrick Werkner.

Thursday, December 6, 2018

Turner and Constable: The Inhabited landscape

Clark Art Institute 

December 15, 2018–March 10, 2019

Joseph Mallord William Turner (English, 1775–1851) and John Constable (English, 1776–1837) rose to prominence as landscape artists in early nineteenth-century Britain. Their inspired subjects, their distinctive compositions, and their innovative brushwork combined to elevate a genre traditionally considered less important than history painting and portraiture. Turner and Constable: The Inhabited Landscape, on view at the Clark Art Institute December 15, 2018–March 10, 2019, explores the significance of human figures and the built environment in the landscape, as well as the personal significance of specific places to each artist.

The exhibition features more than fifty paintings, drawings and watercolors, prints, and books, a beautiful selection of which are on loan from the Yale Center for British Art and the Chapin Library at Williams College. The works in the show are primarily drawn from the Clark’s Manton Collection of British Art, created by Sir Edwin Manton and given to the Clark by the Manton Art Foundation in 2007. This transformative gift included more than 250 oil paintings, sketches, works on paper, and prints, making the Clark a center for the study of nineteenth-century British Art.

“One of the real joys of visiting the Clark is the opportunity to consider magnificent landscapes in our galleries while surrounded by the natural beauty of our own campus,” said Olivier Meslay, the Hardymon Director of the Clark. “The Manton collection is so special to us because it is a rich resource that continues to inspire our curators to consider these works through a myriad of lenses. With this exhibition we will look at landscapes in a different context—and we’re particularly excited because this concept provides a perfect opportunity to present several works that have never been shown at the Clark, while many others are rarely on view due to their delicate nature.”

Alexis Goodin, the Clark’s Curatorial Research Associate, organized the exhibition. “It’s easy to overlook the people depicted in the landscapes of Turner and Constable,” said Goodin. “Often these artists’ figures are small, quickly painted, and sometimes not anatomically correct—qualities that might make them seem less relevant to a breathtaking landscape view. When one begins identifying the people within landscapes and their actions, however, these figures can reveal social and political concerns of the time as well as the artists’ interests and connections to the places depicted. We hope this exhibition opens up a new understanding of these works for our visitors and deepens their appreciation for two of the most revered landscape painters of the nineteenth century.”

The exhibition considers a variety of elements presented in landscapes by both Turner and Constable and creates a framework for appreciating the ways in which these figures lend added meaning to the works. They include:

The Observed Landscape

Turner and Constable created a wide range of landscapes and seascapes throughout their careers. They often depicted familiar places that shed light on the personal histories of the artists. Figures incorporated into these landscapes were important to the picture’s narrative and not merely a measure of scale.

Constable, having spent his honeymoon in the seaside village of Osmington, recorded this place of personal importance.

Image result

Osmington Bay (1816) reveals nature’s grandeur on an intimate scale. The figures—including a fisherman mending a net, a shepherd, and a mother with her child—show the beach as a place of both work and leisure.



In the painting Osmington Village (1816–17, Yale Center for British Art), smoke billows from the chimney of the vicarage while people make their way by cart or foot along the village lane, conveying both domestic comfort and productivity within the landscape.

Laborers in the Landscape

Laborers—ploughmen, shepherds, laundresses, fishermen, sailors—populate many of Constable’s and Turner’s landscapes and seascapes. The workers’ presence animates the natural world and underscores the potential abundance of the land or sea. Contemporary accounts reveal difficult working conditions and the extreme poverty of agricultural workers, conditions often not apparent in the artists’ portrayals. The laborers’ presence invites the observer to consider how the environment shaped them, and how they influenced their surroundings. The ways in which Turner and Constable rendered laborers within their landscapes may also shed light on how they viewed the workers.



The Wheat Field (1816) presents a view across a valley in Constable’s native Suffolk. Harvesters cut down the golden wheat with scythes, reapers bundle the stalks, and gleaners collect leftover grains while a boy and his dog guard lunch. The idealized scene belies the heat of the sun and the long hours of monotonous and sometimes painful work. Constable’s inclusion of different classes working together suggests that commercial success and charity were not mutually exclusive. This sympathetic treatment of the poor came at a time when the landless classes were increasingly denied access to places that they had traditionally used to grow food or graze animals.



Laborers fill the foreground in Turner’s Saumur from the Île d'Offart, with the Pont Cessart and the Château in the Distance (c. 1830). In this scene of the town of Saumur, located on the Loire River in west central France, washerwomen spread out laundry to dry on the steps while men load cargo onto barges. The workers bring the picturesque view to life, showing the town as a center of commercial prosperity.

The Literary Landscape

Turner often turned to literary texts for source material, situating characters in settings that enhanced their stories or populating imaginary landscapes with familiar narratives. He was commissioned to design illustrations for literary publications, supplying finished watercolors that printmakers would turn into engravings used in bound volumes.

Turner spent the summer of 1831 in Scotland, sketching landscapes described in Sir Walter Scott’s poems and novels for a proposed illustrated edition of the author’s works. The project never came to fruition, but Turner worked up his drawings for a related publication.  
 

Wolf's Hope, Eyemouth (c. 1835) is one of six finished watercolors translated into illustrations for Rev. George Wright’s Landscape-Historical Illustrations of Scotland and the Waverly Novels (1836). Wolf’s Hope, Eyemouth illustrates one of the settings in Sir Walter Scott’s novel The Bride of Lammermoor (1819), showing the harbor town where the novel’s tragic hero, Edgar Ravenswood, resided in a dilapidated castle called Wolf’s Crag.

The Built Landscape

The buildings within Constable’s and Turner’s works not only identify the geography and place their landscapes within time, but also reveal each artist’s personal connections to place. Constable found inspiration in the English countryside, often highlighting the small villages, cottages, churches, cathedrals, and other built structures that he encountered.

Salisbury Cathedral and its environs held special meaning for Constable, as his good friends and patrons the Bishop of Salisbury John Fisher and his nephew, John Fisher, later Archdeacon of Berkshire, resided there. Inspired by the majestic gothic cathedral, he painted this important seat of the Anglican faith from many viewpoints, often emphasizing the spire towering over the plain. For Constable, a member of the Church of England, the church was not just architecture or a relic of the past, but a symbol of enduring faith. Indeed, as a seat of Anglican worship, Salisbury represented steadfastness and tradition in a time of increasing challenges to its authority, including the rise of Evangelicalism and the revival of Anglo-Catholicism brought on by the Oxford movement in the mid-1830s. The exhibition presents four works in various media depicting the cathedral—three from the Manton Collection of British Art and a fourth collected by Sterling and Francine Clark in 1945.

Turner grew up in London, and the city provided him with his earliest subjects.

 

His watercolor The Tower of London (c. 1794) served as the basis for an engraving published in The Pocket Magazine on January 1, 1795. Viewed from across the Thames, the White Tower, built in 1078 and famously used as a prison until 1952, rises majestically above a city awash with light. Large mast ships on either side of the small composition frame the view of this historic fortress. The still water of the Thames reflects the boats and buildings, giving the scene a timeless calm. The absence of figures and narrative allows the focus to remain on the built environment.

Turner and Constable: The Inhabited Landscape is presented in the Clark’s special exhibition galleries in the Clark Center. The Clark will present a companion installation of sixteen landscape drawings by Thomas Gainsborough in the Manton Gallery for British Art, located in the Manton Research Center, from December 1, 2018–March 17, 2019.

Fourteen of the Gainsborough drawings on view in this installation are from the Manton collection. Though recognized as one of the most fashionable portrait painters in the eighteenth century, Gainsborough made hundreds of drawings of the English landscape. Abundant with foliage, cottages, and pastoral figures, the works evoke the gentle woodland and heath of the artist’s native Suffolk and the mountainous Lake District of Cumbria. Gainsborough’s landscape drawings in this presentation reveal the artist’s fascination with mixed-media technique: graphite, chalks, ink washes, watercolor, and oil paints intermingle on toned papers.

ABOUT THE MANTON COLLECTION

The Manton Collection of British Art is considered one of the greatest collections of British art assembled in the last fifty years. Highlights of the collection include John Constable’s contemplative views of the English countryside and strikingly naturalistic oil studies; Joseph Mallord William Turner’s turbulent, quasi-abstract seascapes; Thomas Gainsborough’s rigorous chalk drawings; and Thomas Rowlandson’s humorous watercolors caricaturing British life. The collection includes more than 300 works and also features great suites of watercolors, drawings, and prints by such artists as Thomas Girtin, Richard Parkes Bonington, Samuel Palmer, John Martin, and William Blake.

The collection was created by business leader and arts patron Sir Edwin A. G. Manton (1909–2005) and his wife Florence, Lady Manton (1911–2003), who began collecting in the 1940s. Born in Essex County, just twenty miles from “Constable Country” in the east of England, Sir Edwin arrived in New York in 1933 to help develop the American International Group. Although he spent the remainder of his life in the United States, his love of British art was testimony to his continued devotion to his native country.

Sir Edwin was knighted by Queen Elizabeth in 1994 for his generous contributions to the Tate Gallery (now Tate Britain) in London. Throughout his life, his appetite for art collecting never diminished. “I am a compulsive buyer,” he once observed. “It's better than spending your money on bottles of Scotch.” This collection, a gift from the Manton Foundation in 2007, constitutes the most significant addition of art to the Clark since it was founded in 1955 and perfectly complements the Clark’s holdings of nineteenth-century French and American art.

ABOUT THE CLARK
The Clark Art Institute, located in the Berkshires of western Massachusetts, is one of a small number of institutions globally that is both an art museum and a center for research, critical discussion, and higher education in the visual arts. Opened in 1955, the Clark houses exceptional European and American paintings and sculpture, extensive collections of master prints and drawings, English silver, and early photography. Acting as convener through its Research and Academic Program, the Clark gathers an international community of scholars to participate in a lively program of conferences, colloquia, and workshops on topics of vital importance to the visual arts. The Clark library, consisting of more than 270,000 volumes, is one of the nation’s premier art history libraries. The Clark also houses and co-sponsors the Williams College Graduate Program in the History of Art.

Image credits



1. Joseph Mallord William Turner (English, 1775–1851), Saumur from the Île d'Offart, with the Pont Cessart and the Château in the Distance, c. 1830. Watercolor and gouache with pen and black and brown ink over traces of graphite on blue wove paper, 5 x 7 9/16 in. Clark Art Institute. Gift of the Manton Art Foundation in memory of Sir Edwin and Lady Manton, 2007.8.112

 

2. Joseph Mallord William Turner (English, 1775–1851), The Tower of London, c. 1794. Watercolor over graphite on cream wove paper, 4 7/8 x 6 3/4 in. Clark Art Institute. Gift of the Manton Art Foundation in memory of Sir Edwin and Lady Manton, 2007.8.102




3. John Constable (English, 1776–1837), Osmington Village, 1816-17. Oil on canvas, 10 1/8 °— 12 in. Yale Center for British Art, Paul Mellon Collection, B2001.2.156


4. John Constable (English, 1776–1837), Yarmouth Jetty, c. 1822–23. Oil on canvas, 12 3/4 x 20 1/8 in. Clark Art
Institute. Gift of the Manton Art Foundation in memory of Sir Edwin and Lady Manton, 2007.8.36



5. John Constable (English, 1776–1837), The Wheat Field, 1816. Oil on canvas, 21 1/2 x 30 3/4 in. Clark Art
Institute. Gift of the Manton Art Foundation in memory of Sir Edwin and Lady Manton, 2007.8.27



6. John Constable (English, 1776–1837), The Houses of Parliament on Fire, 1834. Pen and ink with watercolor on
cream wove paper, 3 1/4 x 4 3/16 in. Clark Art Institute. Gift of the Manton Art Foundation in memory of Sir Edwin
and Lady Manton, 2007.8.52



7. Joseph Mallord William Turner (English, 1775–1851), Rockets and Blue Lights (Close at Hand) to Warn
Steamboats of Shoal Water, 1840. Oil on canvas, 36 1/4 x 48 1/8 in. Clark Art Institute, 1955.37



8. Joseph Mallord William Turner (English, 1775–1851), Brunnen, from the Lake of Lucerne, 1845. Watercolor and
gouache on paper, 11 7/16 x 18 3/4 in. Clark Art Institute, 1955.1865





9. Joseph Mallord William Turner (English, 1775–1851), Wolf's Hope, Eyemouth, c. 1835. Watercolor and gouache
over graphite, with scraping, on cream wove paper, 4 1/8 x 6 1/2 in. Clark Art Institute. Gift of the Manton Art
Foundation in memory of Sir Edwin and Lady Manton, 2007.8.115


10. John Constable (English, 1776–1837), Salisbury Cathedral from the River Avon, July 23, 1829. Graphite on
cream wove paper, 9 1/8 x 13 1/4 in. Clark Art Institute. Gift of the Manton Art Foundation in memory of Sir Edwin
and Lady Manton, 2007.8.47






11. John Constable (English, 1776–1837), Willy Lott's House, c.1812–13. Oil on canvas, 13 3/4 x 17 1/8 in. Clark ArtInstitute. Gift of the Manton Art Foundation in memory of Sir Edwin and Lady Manton, 2007.8.24


Tintoretto: Artist of Renaissance Venice



Palazzo Ducale, Venice, September 7–January 6, 2019
National Gallery of Art, Washington, March 10–July 7, 2019


Tintoretto: Artist of Renaissance Venice, the first retrospective of the artist in North America, features nearly 50 paintings and more than a dozen works on paper spanning the artist's entire career. Included in the rich selection of domestic and international loans are works ranging from regal portraits of Venetian aristocracy to religious and mythological narrative scenes. In addition, Tintoretto will explore the artist's working methods.

The exhibition curators are Tintoretto experts Robert Echols, independent scholar, and Frederick Ilchman, chair of the Art of Europe department and Mrs. Russell W. Baker Curator of Paintings at the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston. While Tintoretto was considered one of the "Big Three" 16th-century Venetian painters alongside Titian and Paolo Veronese during his lifetime and in the succeeding centuries, works by Tintoretto's assistants and followers have frequently been misattributed to the master. Echols and Ilchman are widely responsible for a new and more accurate understanding of Tintoretto's oeuvre and chronology, first explored in the Museo del Prado's Tintoretto exhibition in 2007.

Catalogue

A fully illustrated exhibition catalog will be published in English and Italian and include a range of essays by the curators and other leading scholars as well as new research and scientific studies of Tintoretto's work.


View Inside Price: $65.00

October 16, 2018
336 pages, 9 3/4 x 11 3/4
240 color illus.
ISBN: 9780300230406
Hardcover
Published in association with the National Gallery of Art, Washington
Published on the 500th anniversary of Tintoretto’s birth, this unprecedented publication celebrates one of Renaissance Italy’s greatest painters

Jacopo Tintoretto (1518 or 1519–1594) was known for the remarkable energy of his work. His contemporary Giorgio Vasari described him as the “most extraordinary brain that painting has ever produced.” Considered to be one of the three great painters of 16th-century Venice, along with Titian and Paolo Veronese, Tintoretto is admired for his dramatic treatments of sacred and secular narrative subjects and his insightful portraits of the Venetian aristocracy. His bold and expressive brushwork, which made his paintings seem unfinished to his contemporaries, is now recognized as a key step in the development of oil-on-canvas painting.

This lavishly illustrated study, published to coincide with the 500th anniversary of the artist’s birth, features more than forty of Tintoretto’s paintings, including many large-scale pieces that convey the breadth and power of his narrative works, along with a sample of his finest drawings. An international group of scholars led by Robert Echols and Frederick Ilchman explores Tintoretto’s artistic activity and situates his life and work in the context of his contemporaries’ work and of the Renaissance in Italy, providing a fundamental point of reference for modern scholarship and an essential introduction to the artist’s career and oeuvre.
Robert Echols is an independent scholar and curator who has worked on exhibitions at the National Gallery of Art, Washington; Museo del Prado, Madrid; and Museum of Fine Arts, Boston. Frederick Ilchman is chair of Art of Europe and the Mrs. Russell W. Baker Curator of Paintings at the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston.


The exhibition is organized by the National Gallery of Art, Washington, and the Fondazione Musei Civici di Venezia with the collaboration of the Gallerie dell’Accademia, Venice.


Tintoretto: Artist of Renaissance Venice
Jacopo Tintoretto, Summer, c. 1555, oil on canvas, overall: 105.7 x 193 cm (41 5/8 x 76 in.) framed: 135.9 x 224.8 x 8.5 cm (53 1/2 x 88 1/2 x 3 3/8 in.) , National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C., Samuel H. Kress Collection

Tintoretto: Artist of Renaissance Venice
Jacopo Tintoretto, Man with a Golden Chain, c. 1555, oil on canvas, overall: 104 x 77 cm (40 15/16 x 30 5/16 in.), Museo Nacional del Prado, ©Photographic Archive Museo Nacional del Prado



Tintoretto: Artist of Renaissance Venice
Jacopo Tintoretto, Self-Portrait, c. 1588, oil on canvas, overall: 63 x 52 cm (24 13/16 x 20 1/2 in.) framed: 93.5 x 84.5 cm (36 13/16 x 33 1/4 in.) , Musée du Louvre- Départment des Peintures

 

Wednesday, December 5, 2018

Celebrating Tintoretto: Portrait Paintings and Studio Drawings

 

Exhibition Dates:  October 16, 2018–January 27, 2019
Exhibition Location:  The Met Fifth Avenue, Floor 1, Gallery 955

Jacopo Tintoretto (1518/19–1594) was one of the preeminent Venetian painters of the 16th century and was renowned for his dynamic narrative scenes and insightful portraits. In celebration of the 500th anniversary of the artist’s birth, The Met will present Celebrating Tintoretto: Portrait Paintings and Studio Drawings. This focused exhibition will unite 21 works from European and American museums and private collections, bringing them into a larger discussion of the artist’s approach to portraiture and painting, as well as the role of drawings in his workshop.

Characterized by their immediacy, penetrating observation, and startling modernity, Tintoretto’s small-scale, informal portrait heads are an innovative aspect of his portraiture, and one that has been little studied. Seen together for the first time, these portrait studies will reveal Tintoretto’s famous quickness (prestezza) as a painter, capturing both the spirit and appearance of the sitter.

Jacopo Tintoretto, Head of a Man, c. 1550s


Jacopo Tintoretto, Head of a Man, c. 1550s Photograph: Courtesy Royal Collection, London
“Tintoretto created intensely powerful portraits, and the opportunity to look at these brilliant studies alongside one another allows us to recognize and appreciate the urgency and tremendous skill in these paintings,” said Max Hollein, Director of The Metropolitan Museum of Art.

Celebrating Tintoretto: Portrait Paintings and Studio Drawings

Jacopo Tintoretto (Italian, 1518/19–1594). Portrait of a Man (Self-Portrait?), 1550s? Oil on canvas. Private collection. Courtesy of the Met Museum. 

Facets of artistic practice in the Tintoretto workshop will come to light in the exhibition’s exploration of the relationship between Jacopo and his son Domenico.

Image result

Central here will be a series of bold figural drawings and a painting in the Museum’s collection, The Finding of Moses, whose long-debated attribution to both father and son will play a key role in the discussion of this flourishing workshop.

Celebrating Tintoretto: Portrait Paintings and Studio Drawings is organized by Andrea Bayer, The Met’s interim Deputy Director for Collections and Administration and Jayne Wrightsman Curator in the Department of European Paintings, and Alison Manges Nogueira, Associate Curator in the Robert Lehman Collection.

Many more images 

Thomas Gainsborough: Drawings at the Clark

Clark Art Institute 
December 1, 2018 – March 17, 2019


Thomas Gainsborough: Drawings at the Clark, on view from December 1, 2018 – March 17, 2019, marks the first time that the Clark’s entire collection of rarely exhibited Gainsborough drawings will be shown together. The installation includes a suite of fourteen sheets from the Manton Collection of British Art, along with two works acquired by Sterling and Francine Clark. Gainsborough’s scenes of the English countryside are presented in conjunction with Turner and Constable: The Inhabited Landscape, opening on December 15, 2018. That exhibition explores the wide-ranging landscapes and seascapes of John Mallord William Turner (English, 1775–1851) and John Constable (English, 1776–1837), who built upon the landscape tradition that began to gain recognition through Gainsborough’s work.

The Manton Collection of British Art is considered one of the greatest collections of British art assembled in the last fifty years. In 2007, the Manton Foundation donated more than 250 works to the Clark, constituting the most significant addition to its collection in the Institute’s history.

“This special installation, along with our Turner and Constable exhibition, is a wonderful opportunity to highlight some of the many treasures of our Manton Collection of British Art,” said Olivier Meslay, Hardymon Director of the Clark. “The Gainsborough installation reveals the breadth of the artist’s approach to nature and celebrates his fascination with mixed media and innovative techniques. These are truly remarkable drawings, and it is a true pleasure to be able to share the full collection with our visitors for the first time.”

Abounding with foliage, cottages, and pastoral figures—shepherds driving flocks of sheep and cows drinking from pools or streams along meandering paths—Gainsborough’s landscapes present an idealized view of country life. Rather than depicting specific locales, his drawings evoke the gentle woodland and heath of his native Suffolk in the east, and, later, the mountainous Lake District of Cumbria in the northwest.

Early in his career, Gainsborough sometimes consulted detailed drawings of flora, such as Study of Mallows (mid- to late 1750s), when completing the foreground foliage of his paintings. Gainsborough added depth to the clump of mallow by blending his soft graphite strokes with a stump, a tool made of tightly rolled paper or felt. This drawing likely came from one of the artist’s sketchbooks, which were dismantled for sale after his death.

Thomas Gainsborough (English, 1727–1788) Landscape with a Clump of Trees on a Hillock, early 1760s.  Watercolor and graphite, with coating, on paper, 10 1/4 x 14 3/16 in.  Clark Art Institute, Gift of the Manton Art Foundation in memory of Sir Edwin and Lady Manton, 2007.8.66

Thomas Gainsborough (English, 1727–1788) Landscape with a Clump of Trees on a Hillock, early 1760s. Watercolor and graphite, with coating, on paper, 10 1/4 x 14 3/16 in. Clark Art Institute, Gift of the Manton Art Foundation in memory of Sir Edwin and Lady Manton, 2007.8.66

In Landscape with a Clump of Trees on a Hillock (early 1760s) Gainsborough renders the characteristics of trees with a looser handling than in
Image result
Thomas Gainsborough (English, 1727–1788) Study of Mallows, mid- to late-1750s. Graphite with stumping on paper, with gum fixative, 7 5/8 x 6 1/8 in. Clark Art Institute, Gift of the Manton Art Foundation in memory of Sir Edwin and Lady Manton, 2007.8.65
Study of Mallows. The withered trees in the foreground are drawn with calligraphic strokes of watercolor. Scalloped graphite lines define the leafy contours of the group of trees at center, strengthening the sketchy mass of light and shadow formed by layered sweeps of wash.

In the early 1770s, Gainsborough introduced materials traditionally associated with oil painting into his drawings. After establishing this composition with watercolor and thickly applied opaque pigments, he stabilized the sheet with a coating of water mixed with gum arabic, a hardened sap derived from the acacia tree. Once dry, he coated the drawing with three layers of mastic gum dissolved in turpentine, a common solvent for oil paints and varnishes.

Image result

Thomas Gainsborough (English, 1727–1788) Wooded Landscape with a Cottage and Cows, mid-1770s. Black chalk, watercolor and gouache on paper, 8 7/16 x 11 9/16 in. Clark Art Institute, Gift of the Manton Art Foundation in memory of Sir Edwin and Lady Manton, 2007.8.68 
Wooded Landscape with Herdsman and Cow 

Wooded Landscape with Herdsman and Cow early 1780s

Brush and black and gray wash with black and white chalks on cream laid paper, fixed with skim milk and/or gum Sheet: 10 1/2 x 14 in. (26.7 x 35.6 cm)Gift of the Manton Art Foundation in memory of Sir Edwin and Lady Manton, 2007 2007.8.80

Wooded Landscape with Herdsman and Cow (early 1780s) epitomizes the artist’s inventive mixed media technique. A sense of rapid handling pervades the composition—a few lines and smudges of chalk define the figures while short, multidirectional strokes describe surrounding foliage. However, the layered use of wash, chalks, and fixative reveals a methodical approach. Gainsborough applied gray ink washes to form a tonal foundation for shadows, which he drew in black ink and chalk; the latter medium was then dragged and smoothed to the desired effect. Throughout the composition, he scattered broken lines of white chalk that serve as highlights in combination with areas of untouched paper, further indications of the artist’s forethought.

During the summer of 1783 Gainsborough visited the Lake District of northwest England. The shimmering lakes, valleys, and high peaks of the region attracted artists and tourists in pursuit of its scenic views.  

Rocky Wooded Landscape with Herdsman Driving Cattle along a Valley and Distant Mountains 

Thomas Gainsborough

English, 1727–1788

Rocky Wooded Landscape with Herdsman Driving Cattle along a Valley and Distant Mountains

c. 1783
Brush and gray wash on beige laid paper
Sheet: 8 5/16 x 12 1/8 in. (21.1 x 30.8 cm)

Gift of the Manton Art Foundation in memory of Sir Edwin and Lady Manton, 2007
2007.8.72


Rocky Wooded Landscape with Herdsman Driving Cattle along a Valley and Distant Mountains (c. 1783), composed entirely of freely brushed, transparent layers of ink wash, is reminiscent of the picturesque vistas he encountered there. During this period, artists favored wash when carefully recording features of a recognizable landscape. Gainsborough, however, used the medium for painterly expression to represent an unidentifiable mountain that was likely made from memory.