Monday, December 30, 2019

Matisse & Picasso

National Gallery of Australia, Canberra

13 Dec 2019 – 13 Apr 2020

Matisse & Picasso is the story of the artistic relationship between two of Europe’s greatest twentieth-century artists. Featuring more than 60 paintings and sculptures, as well as drawings, prints and costumes, this is a story of friendship – and rivalry.

The exhibition traces the turbulent relationship of Henri Matisse and Pablo Picasso from its early days during the belle epoque heyday of Paris, through their decades of jockeying for artistic ascendency. This enduring symbiosis continued after Matisse’s death in 1954, as Picasso’s remembrance for his friend continued to reveal itself in his art. Curated by the National Gallery of Australia’s Head of International Art, Dr Jane Kinsman, Matisse & Picasso draws on more than 200 paintings, sculptures, drawings, prints, illustrated books and costumes to tell a story of these two masters never-before-told in Australia.

The exhibition brings together numerous works that are rarely seen together – made possible through the generosity of more than 20 private and institutional lenders, including institutions in Europe, the United Kingdom, the United States, South America and Australia including Musée Picasso, Paris, Tate, London and The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, as well as private lenders in Australia, England and France. It also draws on the National Gallery’s own extensive collection of works by Matisse and Picasso.

National Gallery of Australia Director Nick Mitzevich said Matisse and Picasso were both radicals, taking art in a new direction.

“Each used the other as an artistic foil and drew inspiration from their rivalry, which spurred their creative brilliance to even greater heights. This creative friction – over half a century of artistic rivalry – turned the art world as we knew it on its head,” Mr Mitzevich said.

See the story of Matisse and Picasso’s passionate relationship told through their works of art, many in the southern hemisphere for the first time.

Tuesday, December 24, 2019

Nicolaes Maes: Dutch Master of the Golden Age

National Gallery, London
22 February – 31 May 2020

The first exhibition exclusively devoted to Dutch artist Nicolaes Maes will open at the National Gallery next February.

Nicolaes Maes, 'The Old Lacemaker', about 1655 The Mauritshuis,

Nicolaes Maes, 'The Old Lacemaker', about 1655 The Mauritshuis, The Hague; Purchased with the support of the Friends of the Mauritshuis Foundation, the VSB Foundation The Hague and the Rembrandt Association, 1994 (1101)  © Mauritshuis, The Hague
With loans from museums and private collections worldwide, 'Nicolaes Maes: Dutch Master of the Golden Age' will include over thirty-five paintings and drawings by the Dordrecht-born artist who was one of Rembrandt’s most important pupils.

Nicolaes Maes, 'The Idle Servant' 1655

At the heart of the exhibition will be a selection of the intimate scenes of daily life in domestic interiors for which Maes is best known. He was a pioneer of the theme of the eavesdropper; his carefully styled narratives often break the fourth wall, making the viewer a participant in the scene, as characters (often a maid) eavesdrop or point to illicit goings-on.

Also on display will be domestic scenes that are accompanied by an unmistakable, if light-hearted, moral tone showing women spinning, making lace, preparing a meal, or devoutly reading the Bible.

The exhibition starts with the early history scenes Maes painted, mostly on biblical subjects, in the style of Rembrandt when he joined his studio in Amsterdam in about 1650.

Finally, the exhibition will focus on the period from 1673 when Maes settled in Amsterdam and abandoned domestic genre scenes to devote himself almost exclusively to portraits. A group of these lesser-known works will show how he brought a Van Dyckian elegance and swagger to the portraits.

Exhibition organised by the National Gallery, London and the Mauritshuis, The Hague.


This book offers a close look at the art of Dutch Golden Age painter Nicolaes Maes (1634–1693). One of Rembrandt’s most talented students, Maes began by painting biblical scenes in the style of his famous teacher. He later produced extraordinary genre pieces, in which the closely observed actions of the main figure, often a woman, have a hushed, almost monumental character. Maes also depicted mothers with children or older women praying or sleeping; such works have placed him among the most popular painters of the Dutch Golden Age. From around 1660, Maes turned exclusively to portraiture, and his elegant style attracted wealthy and eminent clients from Dordrecht and Amsterdam. This generously illustrated volume is the first in English to cover the full range of his repertoire. The authors—curators from the National Gallery, London, and the Mauritshuis, The Hague—bring extensive knowledge to bear for the benefit of specialists and the general public.

Balthazar: A Black African King in Medieval and Renaissance Art

Daily, through February 16, 2020

Early medieval legends reported that one of the three kings who paid homage to the newborn Christ Child in Bethlehem was from Africa. But it would be nearly one thousand years before artists began representing Balthazar, the youngest of the magi, as a Black African. This exhibition explores the juxtaposition of a seemingly positive image with the painful histories of Afro-European contact, particularly the brutal enslavement of African peoples.

Georges Trubert. French, active Provence, France 1469 – 1508. The Adoration of the Magi,
about 1480 – 1490. Tempera colors, gold leaf, gold and silver paint, and ink on parchment.
Leaf: 11.4 × 8.6 cm (4 1/2 × 3 3/8 in.) The J. Paul Getty Museum, Los Angeles, Ms. 48, fol. 59

Early medieval legends report that one of the three kings who paid homage to the Christ Child in Bethlehem was from Africa. Written accounts sometimes describe Balthazar, the youngest magus, as having a dark complexion. Nevertheless, it would take nearly 1,000 years for European artists to begin representing him as a Black man.

Balthazar: A Black African King in Medieval and Renaissance Art, an exhibition at the Getty Center Museum on view from November 19, 2019 to February 16, 2020, examines how representations in European art of Balthazar as a Black African coincided with the increased interaction between Europe and Africa, particularly with the systematic enslavement of African peoples in the fifteenth century.

            “This exhibition examines the illuminated manuscripts and paintings in the Getty’s collection that tell the story of Balthazar, placing this artistic-religious narrative in the context of the long history of material trade networks between Africa and Europe,” says Timothy Potts, director of the Getty Museum. “By exploring how his representation coincided with and was furthered by the rise of the slave trade, we can begin to understand the works of art in our collection, and the broader historical and cultural phenomena they reflect, in new ways.”

            According to the Gospel of Matthew, “magi from the East” paid tribute to the newborn Christ with offerings of gold, frankincense, and myrrh. Magos is an ancient Greek word for a Persian priest-astrologer or dream interpreter. Revered as wise men, they came to be known as three kings because of the number and richness of their gifts. European writers later assigned names to these individuals, Caspar, Melchior, and Balthazar, and specified that the kings came from the three then-known continents of the world: Europe, Asia, and Africa. Despite further written descriptions of Balthazar as a Black African, European artists continued for centuries to represent him as a White king. Such treatment was not exclusive to the magi. Medieval European artists typically (and potentially inaccurately) represented biblical figures as White, indicating cultural or racial difference only though costume or attribute.

In the earliest example of the Adoration of the Magi (about 1030-40) in the Getty’s collection, the three kings are virtually identical and are represented as three White men. Only Caspar, the eldest, is distinguished by his gray beard and slightly longer robes. The exhibition contains other examples in which Balthazar’s African origin was communicated through his turban, which resembled that of the Mamluk sultan of Egypt, or his leopard-pelt headdress. The materials that the magi held and gifted, including hardstone vessels and gold, also carried powerful geographic associations with lands distant from Europe.

            Trade was an essential way people knew the world during the Middle Ages and Renaissance. African elephant ivory and gold circulated across the Sahara Desert and up the Swahili Coast into the Mediterranean and Europe. Commerce in gold brought inhabitants of both continents into frequent contact, and Black African soldiers served in the courts of medieval European rulers. Diplomacy offered yet another point of contact. In the fifteenth century, Ethiopian rulers sent church delegations to Italy in an attempt to forge alliances, both religious and military, with Rome. In the exhibition this story is presented through a Gospel book from the northern monastery of Gunda Gunde.

In the 1440s, with the Portuguese incursions into West Africa, the slave trade escalated in unprecedented ways, industrializing the practice and bringing thousands—ultimately millions—of subjugated Black Africans into Europe and the Americas.

            It was at precisely this historical moment that artists began representing Balthazar as a Black African with some frequency. European artists also often alluded to his African identity by depicting him as White but with a Black attendant. This frequent juxtaposition of White ruler and Black servant in fifteenth-century images of the magi reflects the very real commodification of Black Africans in Europe at the time.
            One intriguing manuscript in the exhibition provides a tangible case study for the emerging interest in depicting Balthazar as Black. The manuscript, first painted about 1190-1200, had included several images of the magi as White men. Some time in its later history, likely when the book was modified in the fifteenth century, Balthazar’s face was tinted with a brown wash in several places (the opening on display will show The Magi Approaching Herod). Such changes to illuminated manuscripts reveal the evolving worldviews of their audiences. Could the increased number of Black Africans in England at this time have prompted the later artist to revise the figure of Balthazar in the older manuscript?

Potts concludes, “There is so much that cannot now be known about the countless Africans who inspired works such as those on view in the gallery. Although many of their names have been lost to time, we are hoping, through case studies, that this exhibition will pull back the veil on the long history of Africans in pre-modern Europe.”

Balthazar: A Black African King in Medieval and Renaissance Art is curated by Kristen Collins, curator in the Manuscripts Department and Bryan C. Keene, associate curator in the Manuscripts Department, and will be on view November 19, 2019 through February 16, 2020 at the Getty Center Museum. The curators of the exhibition shared their inspiration for the project on the Getty Iris, and they are developing further social media content for the run of the show.

Andrea Mantegna (Italian, about 1431 - 1506), Adoration of the Magi, about 1495 - 1505. Distemper on linen. Dimensions: Unframed (Image size): 48.6 × 65.6 cm (19 1/8 × 25 13/16 in.) Framed: 71.8 × 86.8 × 3.5 cm (28 1/4 × 34 3/16 × 1 3/8 in.) stretcher: 54.6 × 69.5 cm (21 1/2 × 27 3/8 in.) Accession No. 85.PA.417 Object Credit: The J. Paul Getty Museum, Los Angeles.

The Adoration of the Magi (detail), about 1480–90, Georges Trubert. Tempera colors, gold leaf, gold and silver paint, and ink on parchment. The J. Paul Getty Museum

Glory of Spain: Treasures from the Hispanic Society Museum & Library

The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston
 March 1–May 25, 2020

Unparalleled outside of Spain, the collections of the New York–based Hispanic Society Museum & Library focus on the art and culture of Spain, Portugal, Latin America, and the Philippines up to the early 20th century.

The traveling exhibition Glory of Spain showcases some 200 objects spanning more than 4,000 years of Hispanic art and culture, featuring artifacts from Roman Spain and decorative arts and manuscripts of Islamic Spain. Also on view are paintings, sculpture, decorative arts, and works on paper from medieval, “Golden Age,” and 18th-century Spain, including works from Central and South America under Spanish rule; and 19th- and early-20th-century Spanish paintings. Among the many artists represented are Francisco de Goya y Lucientes, El Greco, Bartolomé Esteban Murillo, Jusepe de Ribera, Diego Velázquez, and Francisco de Zurbarán.

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 Image result for Glory of Spain: Treasures from the Hispanic Society Museum & Library

Goya (Francisco de Goya y Lucientes), The Duchess of Alba, 1797, oil on canvas, the Hispanic Society of America.

 Portrait of Camillo Astalli, later known as Cardinal Pamphili

Diego Velázquez, Camillo Astalli, Known as Cardinal Pamphili, c. 1650–51, oil on canvas, the Hispanic Society of America.

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Juan Carreño de Miranda, Virgin of the Immaculate Conception, 1670, oil on canvas, the Hispanic Society of America.

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José Agustín Arrieta, El Costeño (The Young Man from the Coast), c. 1843, oil on canvas, the Hispanic Society of America.

Friday, December 13, 2019

ONE EACH: Still Lifes by Pissarro, Cézanne, Manet & Friends

Toledo Museum of Art
Jan. 18 to April 12, 2020

Cincinnati Art Museum
May 15 to Aug. 9, 2020 
           The Toledo Museum of Art (TMA) and the Cincinnati Art Museum are collaborating on an intimate exhibition that highlights a group of richly evocative French still lifes from a single decade, the 1860s.

           ONE EACH: Still Lifes by Pissarro, Cézanne, Manet & Friends will appear in TMA’s Gallery 18 from Jan. 18 to April 12, 2020, and subsequently travel to Cincinnati, where it will be on display from May 15 to Aug. 9, 2020. The exhibition is curated by TMA’s Lawrence W. Nichols, the William Hutton Senior Curator, European & American Painting and Sculpture before 1900, and Peter Jonathan Bell, Cincinnati’s Associate Curator of European Paintings, Sculpture and Drawings. 

Paul Cézanne (French, 1839–1906), Still Life With Bread and Eggs. Oil on canvas, 1865. Cincinnati Art Museum, Gift of Mary E. Johnston, 1955.73.
          “With its solemnity as well as its spontaneity, Camille Pissarro’s Still Life of 1867 is one of the most rewarding and mesmerizing compositions in the collection of the Toledo Museum of Art,” Nichols said. “This exhibition will place this masterpiece within the context of the important developments in French still life paintings in this vital decade.”

Image result for Édouard Manet, *ONE EACH: Still Lifes by Pissarro, Cézanne, Manet & Friends

Image result for *ONE EACH: Still Lifes by Pissarro, Cézanne, Manet & Friends
           Also included are sterling examples from the hand of Édouard Manet, regarded as the ‘father of modern painting’, 

and Paul Cézanne, considered to have been the driving precursor of Cubism, the early 20th century’s major art movement. In addition, superb paintings by Claude Monet, Henri Fantin-Latour and Gustave Courbet will be on view.

           “Just as these French painters have inspired countless other artists, this exhibition will nurture and provoke the artistic spirit in our community,” Nichols said. “The artists’ presentation of the tangible, experiential world will resonate with visitors.”

J.M.W. Turner: Quest for the Sublime

Frist Art Museum
February 20 through May 31, 2020

Image result for J.M.W. Turner (1775–1851). Small Boats beside a Man-o’-War, 1796–97. Gouache and watercolor on paper, 13 7/8 x 24 1/4 in. Tate: Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856. Photo © Tate, 2019
J.M.W. Turner (1775–1851). Small Boats beside a Man-o’-War, 1796–97. Gouache and watercolor on paper,
13 7/8 x 24 1/4 in. Tate: Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856. Photo © Tate, 2019

The Frist Art Museum presents J.M.W. Turner: Quest for the Sublime, an exhibition of extraordinary oil paintings, luminous watercolors, and evocative sketches by Joseph Mallord William Turner (1775–1851), a central figure in the Romantic movement widely recognized as Britain’s greatest painter and among the most highly regarded landscape painters in Western art. Selected from Tate’s Turner Bequest and organized in cooperation with Tate, the exhibition will make its sole U.S. appearance in the Frist’s Ingram Gallery from February 20 through May 31, 2020.

Long admired for his ingenuity, originality, and passion, Turner strove to convey human moods and the feeling of awe aroused by nature’s immensity and power—its palpable atmospheres, pulsating energy, the drama of storms and disasters, and the transcendent effect of pure light. With approximately 75 works, the exhibition conveys highlights in the British painter’s career from the 1790s to the late 1840s, from dizzying mountain scenes and stormy seascapes to epic history paintings and mysterious views of Venice.

The Romantic movement of the late 18th- through mid-19th centuries arose in response to the Enlightenment emphasis on reason over emotion. “For Turner, psychological expression and the liberation of the imagination were of paramount importance,” says David Blayney Brown, senior curator, 19th-century British art, Tate Britain. “He achieved these goals in images of the landscape that evoked human moods by portraying extreme contrasts of intense light and gloomy clouds, dramatic topographies, and energetic brushstrokes."

 Image result for J.M.W. Turner (1775 – 1851 ). Peace — Burial at Sea , exhibited 1842. Oil on canvas, 34 1/4 x 34 1/8 in.  Tate: Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner  Bequest 1856. Photo © Tate, 2019

J.M.W. Turner (1775 – 1851 ). Peace — Burial at Sea , exhibited 1842. Oil on canvas, 34 1/4 x 34 1/8 in.  Tate: Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner  Bequest 1856. Photo © Tate, 2019

J.M.W. Turner. Venice, the Bridge of Sighs, exhibited 1840. Oil on canvas, 27 x 36 in. Tate: Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856. Photo © Tate, London 2019

Turner portrays climatic events not only as compelling forces by themselves, but also as settings and metaphor for historical and modern dramas. “Mountains and sea show the world in motion: the glacial creep of geological change in the Alps, the sudden fall of a rock propelled by an avalanche, the changing appearance of Mont Rigi according to time and weather, the swell and heave of the sea,” says Brown. Societal and technological changes are captured as well, with images of steamships and other suggestions of industry signaling the forthcoming machine age. The exhibition also includes elemental images of sea and sky, painted late in Turner’s life, which appear nearly abstract.

  • J.M.W. Turner (1775–1851). Fishermen at Sea, exhibited 1796. Oil on canvas, 36 x 48 1/8 in. Tate: Purchased 1972. Photo © Tate, 2019

The exhibition provides insight into Turner’s process and working methods by exploring sketchbook studies, works in progress, and watercolors at various stages of completion and concludes with a section devoted to Turner’s fascination with the sea. “As time passes, there is a progression from a more substantial, three-dimensional style to one that is more impressionistic and less solid,” says Brown. “In these often-unfinished paintings, Turner stripped away subject and narrative to capture the pure energy of air, light, and water.”

"Across the Atlantic: American Impressionism Through the French Lens"

The Appleton Museum of Art 
Now until January 5th, 2020

Cedar Rapids Museum of Art 
February 1 - April 26, 2020
This extraordinary exhibition, drawn entirely from the collection of the Reading Public Museum, explores the path to Impressionism through the nineteenth century, and the complex relationship between French Impressionism of the 1870s and 80s, and the American interpretation of the style in the decades that followed. More than seventy-five paintings and works on paper help tell the story of the new style of painting which developed at the end of the nineteenth century—one that emphasized light and atmospheric conditions, rapid or loose brushstrokes, and a focus on brightly colored scenes from everyday life. Some of the artists featured in the exhibition include Edgar Degas, Mary Cassatt, among others, who exhibited in the official Impressionist exhibitions in Paris in the 1870s and 80s. Among the earliest American artists to embrace the style were John Singer Sargent, William Merritt Chase, John Henry Twachtman, Childe Hassam, and Frank W. Benson. Additional American artists embraced the style by the turn of the century, including Daniel Garber, Edward Redfield, Robert Spencer, Arthur Watson Sparks, Robert Lewis Reid, William Paxton, Chauncey Ryder, Frederick John Mulhaupt, and Guy Wiggins, are also highlighted in the exhibition.

 John Singer Sargent, Man Reading (Nicola d’Inverno)

Arthur Watson Sparks (American, 1870-1919), Quai St. Catherine, Martigue (detail), c. 1910-1919, oil on board, Museum Purchase, Reading Public Museum, Reading, Pennsylvania.

 Hilaire-Germain-Edgar Degas (French, 1834 – 1917),
La Baigneuse (The Bather), pastel on paper, 
Reading Public Museum, Bequest, Henry K. Dick, 1954.36.1

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Robert Lewis Reid (American, 1862 – 1929),
Summer Breezes, oil on canvas, Reading
Public Museum, Museum Purchase, 1931.641.1

Masterpieces of the Kunsthalle Bremen From Delacroix to Beckmann

The Guggenheim Museum Bilbao  
 October 25 , 2019 – February 16 , 2020 

 Masterpieces of the Kunsthalle Bremen: From Delacroix to Beckmann, is an extraordinary selection from the holdings of the Kunsthalle Bremen which reveals the close ties between German art and Fre nch art in the 19th and 20th centuries. In addition to the lively dialogue be tween two parallel artistic streams which changed the way modern art was viewed, the exhibition also reflects the unique history and artistic discourse of this museum in a survey that starts with Romanticis m and then dips into Impressionism, Post - Impressionism, the artists’ colony of Worpswede, and German Expressionism. private donations of its members under the aegis of non - expert leaders. Pauli based his acquisition policy on a dynamic dialogue between French and German art. The story of the Kunsthalle Bremen is also the story of the progress of a city with global connections in business, trade, naval construction, and maritime sailing forged over the course of centuries, which echoes the journey of Bilbao as well.


Gallery 305: From Classicism to Romanticism This gallery illustrates the evolution of German and French art from late Neoclassicism until Romanticism and the postulates cultivated by German and French artists. Literary themes and the exploration of extreme moods burst forth from French Romanticism, in contrast to the quiet observation of nature, the reflection on mortality, and the admiration of the classical Mediterranean ideal, the hallmarks of the German artists. Classicism The city of Rome ha s always exerted enormous appeal on artists and intellectuals. Painters, sculptors, and architects have traveled to the Eternal City from many northern European countries since the 17th century. In 1809, a number of German artists banded together to form the Brotherhood of Saint Luke (Lukasbund ), and one year later they moved to Rome to live and work there communally. They aspired to follow not the ideal of classical Rome but the biblical episodes in the style of Raphael. Their goal was to restore the classical style and use their works to appeal to the masses. Living in Sant’Isidoro monastery, they began to wear loose clothing and long hair, just like Jesus of Nazareth, the source of their nicknames the “ Nazarenes .” 

The beauty of Italian women fascinated those northern artists. The Nazarenes primarily appreciated the figures that represent ed Raphael’s ideal, and the most celebrated example is

Portrait of Vittoria Caldoni (1821) by Theodor Rehbenitz . 

Likewise, the defined shapes, delicate lines, and painstaking study of the surfaces define Young Woman (Melanchola ), which Théodore Chassériau painted around 1833 – 35 following the principles of Classicism. In this work, more than depicting a specific person, the artist is representing a young woman who embodies a common theme in that era, the “ sweet melancholy ” of the French tradition. Romanticism In the 1830s and 1840s, many French artists were seeking inspiration in nature, and after 1820 they began to visit the village of Barbizon. Located near Fontainebleau forest, it is associated with the plein air painting movement, which came to be known as the “ Barbizon School .” 

In the 1860s, a new generation of painters came to the village, like young Impressionists Pierre - Auguste Renoir, Claude Monet, and Camille Pissarro, who created their own art based on light and drew inspiration from the plein air painting of the first generation. In reaction to the rationalism of the Enlightenment, Romanticism spread throughout all of Europe as an artistic movement which focused on the most obscure side of the soul. Its innovative use of color and the distinction between valeur (light and shadow) and teinte (color) distinguish it from previous styles, yet it took on distinct forms in Germany and France. 

Eugène Delacroix, a key figure in the French Romantic School, is well represented in the collection of the Kunsthalle Bremen. In around 1800, his German counterparts, including Carl Gustav Carus, Johan Christian Claus en Dahl, Caspar David Friedrich, and Friedrich Nerly, developed a fascinating inter action between landscape painting and science. Science, art, and aesthetics are all intimately intertwined a s shown in Johann Wolfgang von Goethe’s texts on geology and the letters and annotations on landscape painting of Carus, a scholar from Dresden. Unlike Friedrich, who never visited Italy, Carus travelled to that country three times, where he soaked up its beautiful coastal landscapes, such as the one he captured in his Evening at the Sea (ca. 1820 – 25), perhaps inspired by the rugged coast of the Gulf of Naples or the Isle of Capri. This artist, who cultivated a particular interest i n geology, was fascinated by these immense rocky formations, which he found to be a subject of study a s well as a mirror into prehistory. Following the Romantic symbolic code, Evening at the Sea reveals Carus’s predilection to represent both the earthly an d the afterlife, turning painting into a way of showing the artist’s emotions or feelings more than a mere copy of nature. Subjective emotion is a basic premise in German Romanticism, the sine qua non for creating a truly meaningful work of art. Viewers cannot comprehend the work until they immerse themselves in it and feel it in the depths of their being. 

Image result for Friedrich’s The Cemetery Gate (ca. 1825 – 30)

Caspar David Friedrich

The Cemetery Gate, [Das Friedhofstor]

, ca. 1825–30

Oil on canvas

31 x 25 cm

Kunsthalle Bremen - Der Kunstverein in Bremen
Gift of the Galerieverein, 1933 
Exceptionally, Friedrich’s The Cemetery Gate (ca. 1825 – 30) was not conceived in the artist’s studio but reflects the true state of the gateway to this cemetery, but its uniqueness lies in his approach. The artist divides the picture into two contrasting area s: in the foreground is the dark moor before the entrance, while in the background is the sunny meadow with the graves, an allusion to somber earthly life, which the artist contrasts to the tempting promise of the afterlife. 

Gallery 306 : Impressionism, artists’ colonies, and collectives : The Pont - Aven School Impressionism 

The history of modern art is closely tied to the radical vision of Impressionism and its followers, who transformed the intense experience of the modern city and the yearning for an idyllic rural landscape as a place of leisure through the use of pure color and the dissolution of shape. The dialogue between French and German painting in this exhibition continues in this gallery with works by 

 Image result for Paul Cézanne  Village behind Trees (Marines)
Paul Cézanne

Village behind Trees (Marines) [Dorf hinter Bäumen (Marines)], ca.1898

Oil on canvas

66 x 82 cm

Kunsthalle Bremen - Der Kunstverein in Bremen

Purchased 1918

Paul Cézanne, Edgar Degas, 

Eva Gonzalès, Awakening Girl (1877-78)
Kunsthalle Bremen - Der Kunstverein in Bremen. Purchased 1960, Inv. 827-1960/28

Eva Gonzalès, Claude Monet, Pierre - Auguste Renoir, and Auguste Rodin, which are juxtaposed with works by the representatives of German Impressionism, such as Lovis Corinth.

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Vincent van Gogh

Field with Poppies [Mohnfeld], 1889

Oil on canvas

72 x 91 cm

Kunsthalle Bremen - Der Kunstverein in Bremen

Purchased 1911 with the support of the Galerieverein


Among the most important pieces in the collection of the Kunsthalle Bremen is the group of works by Max Beckmann, a unique individual within the history of modern art. 

Whereas the Expressionists of Die Brücke were reacting against the “ conventional, pre established currents ” in 1906, Beckmann was deliberately s eeking to connect with the traditions of art history. 

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Max Beckmann
Self-Portrait with Saxophone [Selbstbildnis mit Saxophon]
, 1930
Oil on canvas
140 x 69.5 cm
Kunsthalle Bremen - Der Kunstverein in Bremen
Purchased 1954 with Founda9on Support
]© ax Beckmann, VEGAP, Bilbao, 2019

In Self - Portrait with Saxophone (1930), one of the more than 40 self - portraits Beckmann painted over the course of his career as an exploration of his own self, we discover the painter as a theater performer . In the 1930s, the world of cabaret, vaudeville, and circus were fashion able an d attracted the attention of countless artists, including Beckmann, who depicted them several times. In this painting, the artist portrays himself ambiguously: he is wearing a smock over a pink acrobat’s leotard and is holding a saxophone, a jazz instrument which evokes contemporary life and independent art. Near the instrument is the horn of a gramophone, so Beckmann was apparently depicting himself as a listener, yet also a passive musician. The instrument, which is not being played, as well as his shaved head, suggest his premonition of the political situation in Germany. Furthermore, this symbolism is joined by the dissonant colors and undefined spaces of the scene, which reinforce the prevailing mood. The arrival of Nazism in Germany disrupted the painter’s career, and Beckmann left the country in 1937, after the opening of the exhibition of “ degenerate art. ” 

Otto Dix’s paintings span a wide variety of styles, although he is primarily known for his images of war. Dix was profoundly affected by World Wars I and II, and his art, which was highly critical of his time, expresses the horror of these conflict s . One could say that he is the painter of the ugly and never hesitate d to show it in his portraits. One ex ample is his portrait of painter Franz Schulze, created in 1921 in Dresden, where Dix founded the Dresdener Secession Gruppe in 1919, a radical group of Expressionist and Dada painters and writers who were critical of society. Dix cultivated portraiture as his second most important theme after war scenes. In his portraits, he distorts reality to stress the anti - aesthetic; his raw, provocative art is tinged with satire. 


The works of Richard Oelze stand out within German Surrealism . After having been a student of Paul Klee at the Bauhaus and Otto Dix at the Dresden Fine Arts Academy, Oelze discovered Parisian Surrealism in the mid - 1930s and began to develop his own extraordinarily personal Surreal works characterized by profound psy chological introspection. Oelze was interested in depicting existential relationships and transformation s in painting. In his works, which were usually painted with extreme precision, beings that seem like hybrids between animals and humans blend with objects and spaces; his dreamlike visions always find new ways to depict fears and desires. His works Outside (1965) and Inside (1955/56) are among the most important paintings of his series entitled Interior Landscapes These paintings contrast to the work After the Execution (ca. 1937), at the beginning of André Masson’s second Surrealist period, which was characterized by monstrous figures influenced by Picasso and Dalí. 

Pablo Picasso 

Bremen, the Kunsthalle, and modern French art have close ties, and their strongest common thread is the Bremen - based art dealer, Michael Hertz ( b. 1912 ; d. 1988). A good friend and ideological companion of his fellow dealer, Daniel - Henry Kahnweiler, Hertz was the exclusive dealer of Pablo Picasso’s graphic works in Germany. The majority of German museums and collections bought their Picassos from Hertz, resulting in the Kunsthalle Bremen’s extensive collection, which has several hundred pieces. 

However, its most prominent acquisition is Sylvette, an outstanding example of the artist’s late virtuoso style, which was purchased in 1955, one year after it was painted. In 1954 in the French town of Vallauris, the Spanish painter met Sylvette David, the 19 - year - old daughter of a renowned Parisian gallery owner. Picasso was taken by her beauty, and in just two months he created around 40 drawings and paintings of her. Sylvette is fashionably dressed and wears her blond hair in a ponytail, similar to the young women who appear in the magazines from that period. The Kunsthalle Bremen’s purchase of this painting was hailed as a real coup . The Bremen newspaper Weser - Kurier describes the painting as a “ symphony in gray. ” In May 1956, the Kunsthalle Bremen exhibited the recently - purchased piece along with all its other works by Picasso — more than 150 prints — thus becoming “ the German gallery with the most extensive selection of important engravings by Picasso.” 


The show will be accompanied by a fully illustrated catalogue which surveys the creation and development of the Kunsthalle Bremen’s art collections via an extensive introduction by its director, Christoph Grunenberg, and essays on the four sections in this exhibition by experts Dorothee Hansen, Henrike Hans, Anne Buschhoff, and Eva Fischer - Hausdorf, which contribute valuable insights about the extraordinary selection of work.
Merry-Joseph Blondel

Family Portrait [Familienbildnis]

, 1813

Oil on canvas

39 x 60 cm

Kunsthalle Bremen - Der Kunstverein in Bremen

Purchased 1981 with Funds made available by the Free Hansea9c City

of Bremen (Municipality)

Theodor Rehbenitz

Portrait of Vi5oria Caldoni [Bildnis der Vi5oria Caldoni]

, 1821

Oil on canvas

47 x 37.5 cm

Kunsthalle Bremen - Der Kunstverein in Bremen Bequest of Johann

Friedrich Lahmann, 1937

Johann Christoph Erhard

Ar9sts Res9ng in the Mountains [Rastende Künstler im Gebirge]

, 1819

Watercolor and pen with black ink over pencil

12.7 x 18.3 cm

Kunsthalle Bremen - Der Kunstverein in Bremen

Purchased 1952 with Funds of the Free Hansea9c City of Bremen (Municipality)

. 1952/226


. 416-1933/10

Eugène Delacroix

Ecce homo

, ca. 1850

Oil on carboard

32 x 34 cm

Kunsthalle Bremen - Der Kunstverein in Bremen

Gi_ of Claus H. Wencke, Bremen, 2011

. 1505-2011/49

Eugène Delacroix

Lion A5acking a Boar [Löwe, einen Eber anfallend]

, 1851

Red chalk

19.9 x 30.8 cm

Kunsthalle Bremen - Der Kunstverein in Bremen

Purchased 1974 with Funds of the Free Hansea9c City of Bremen


. 1974/627

Camille Corot

Clearing in the Forest of Fontainebleau with a Low Wall [Lichtung im

Wald von Fontainebleau mit einer kleinen Mauer]

, ca. 1830/35

Oil on paper on canvas

32.3 x 44 cm

Kunsthalle Bremen - Der Kunstverein in Bremen

Purchased 1977 with Funds made available by the Free Hansea9c City

of Bremen (Municipality)

. 1209-1977/14

Pierre Auguste Renoir

S9ll Life with Fruit (Figs and Currants) [Früchtes9llleben (Feigen und


, ca. 1870/72

Oil on canvas

24.8 x 33 x 2.3 cm

Kunsthalle Bremen - Der Kunstverein in Bremen

Bequest of Alfred Walter Heymel, 1925

.Eva Gonzalès

Awakening Girl [Erwachendes Mädchen]

, 1877-78

Oil on canvas

81.1 x 100.1 cm

Kunsthalle Bremen - Der Kunstverein in Bremen

Purchased 1960

. 827-1960/28

Rembrandt’s Light

at Dulwich Picture Gallery

An enduring storyteller; a master of light – Rembrandt is one of the greatest painters who ever lived. This landmark exhibition celebrates 350 years since his death with 35 of his iconic paintings, etchings and drawings, including major international loans.

Arranged thematically, Rembrandt’s Light will take you on a journey from high drama and theatricality, to the contemplative and spiritual, showcasing his use of light. The exhibition focusses on the period from 1639–1658, when he lived in his ideal house at Breestraat in the heart of Amsterdam (today the Museum Het Rembrandthuis). Its striking, light-infused studio was where Rembrandt created his most exceptional work including The Denial of St Peter and The Artist’s Studio.

Echoing Rembrandt’s power for storytelling, the exhibition’s atmospheric lighting and design has been carefully curated to immerse audiences in his world. In-house curators Jennifer Scott and Helen Hillyard have collaborated with the award-winning cinematographer, Peter Suschitzky, famed forhis work on films such as Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back and Mars Attacks! to create this unique experience.

Highlights include the contemplative Christ and St Mary Magdalen at the Tomb and three of Rembrandt’s most famous paintings of women:  

Image result for Rembrandt van Rijn,  A Woman Bathing in a Stream,

A Woman Bathing in a Stream, 

Image result for Rembrandt van Rijn, A Woman in Bed

A Woman in Bed

Image result for Rembrandt van Rijn, A Woman in Bed

and the Gallery’s Girl at a Window all hanging together.

The exhibition is the first to use a new innovative LED Bluetooth lighting system designed by Erco, whilst, in the final room, artist Stuart Semple has provided his Black 3.0 (the world’s blackest black acrylic paint) to create a dramatic backdrop for some of Rembrandt’s finest portraits.

Rembrandt van Rijn, The Denial of St Peter, 1660 © The Rijksmuseum; 
Rembrandt van Rijn, Christ and St Mary Magdalen at the Tomb, 1638, Royal Collection Trust © Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II 2019;  
 Image result for Landscape with the rest on the flight to Egypt, 1647, National Gallery of Ireland Collection. Photo © National Gallery of Ireland
Landscape with the rest on the flight to Egypt, 1647, National Gallery of Ireland Collection. Photo © National Gallery of Ireland
Great review, more images

Thursday, December 12, 2019

*Dürer’s Journeys: Travels of a Renaissance Artist

National Gallery, London
13 February – 16 May 2021

A major exhibition devoted to German Renaissance artist Albrecht Dürer will open at the National Gallery in February 2021.

The first significant UK exhibition of the artist’s works in such a wide range of media for nearly twenty years will show Dürer’s career as a painter, draughtsman and printmaker.

It will also be the first to focus on the artist through his travels, bringing the visitor closer to the man himself and the people and places he visited, through over 100 paintings, drawings prints and documents loaned from museums and private collections worldwide.

Dürer’s Journeys: Travels of a Renaissance Artist (13 February – 16 May 2021) will, for the first time, chronicle the Nuremberg-born artist’s journeys to the Alps and Italy in the mid-1490s; to Venice in 1505–7; and to the Netherlands in 1520–1, journeys which brought him into contact with artists and fuelled his curiosity and creativity as well as increasing his fame and influence.
One of the exhibition’s most striking loans will be a double-sided painting of a Madonna and Child from the National Gallery of Art, Washington, which will be shown in the UK for the first time.

Madonna and Child

Image: Albrecht Dürer, 'Madonna and Child' [obverse] c. 1496/1499 © National Gallery of Art, Washington DC
The picture, which was intended as a private devotional image, was made for a Nuremberg family and carries on its reverse a depiction of the story of Lot and his daughters from the Book of Genesis. Lot and his two children are seen fleeing from the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah as Lot's wife is turned into a pillar of salt for disobeying the divine command by looking back on the scene of retribution.

Lot and His Daughters

Image: Albrecht Dürer, 'Lot and His Daughters' [reverse], c. 1496/1499 © National Gallery of Art, Washington DC
The painting shows the influence on Dürer of both Netherlandish and Italian Renaissance artists, such as Giovanni Bellini, and reflects the huge importance of travel and exchange of artistic ideas in Dürer’s career.
The exhibition will start by introducing Dürer and Nuremberg before showing his very first travels as an artist in training and then his first major journey to the Alps and Italy.

His Saint Jerome in the National Gallery’s collection, with its detailed landscape and extraordinary reverse will show the huge development in Dürer’s work following his visit to Italy in the mid-1490s.

The exhibition will explore Dürer’s time in Venice in 1505-7 and the final journey explored in detail will be Dürer’s travels to the Netherlands in 1520-1. Highlights will include some of his early studies of human proportion and visitors will experience how Dürer’s career developed in the years following his return to Nuremberg when he created the engravings which have become some of his best-known works, such as the 'Melancholia' and 'Saint Jerome'.

As well as works with religious subjects, the exhibition will include portraits and some of his most beautiful and engaging drawings in which Dürer recorded the people, places and animals he saw.
The exhibition is organised by the National Gallery in partnership with the Suermondt-Ludwig Museum, Aachen whose Dürer exhibition in 2020–21 will commemorate the 500th anniversary of the journey the artist made to the city in 1520–21.