n this week’s episode of “Cocktails with a Curator,” Curator Aimee Ng explores the turbulent history behind Édouard Manet’s “Bullfight,” once part of a larger work that the artist exhibited at the Salon of 1864. The original canvas was derided and caricatured by critics, prompting Manet to cut it into pieces. The two surviving fragments were brought together for the first and only time during a 1999 exhibition at the Frick. This week’s complementary cocktail is, fittingly enough, the Toreador.
In this episode, Getty curator Davide Gasparotto discusses early accounts of Leonardo’s life and how they shaped our understanding of the artist. Passages from these biographies were recently collected in the Getty Publications book Lives of Leonardo da Vinci.
“He was a great artistic personality, crucial for the development, in some way, of what we think as the modern science. But he was not alone.”
Leonardo da Vinci died more than 500 years ago, but he is still revered as a genius polymath who painted beguiling compositions like the Mona Lisa, avidly studied the natural sciences, and created designs and inventions in thousands of journal pages. Even during Leonardo’s lifetime, contemporaries marveled at the artist’s great skill and wide-ranging pursuits, but many also noted his perfectionism and difficulty completing projects. Since his death, the legends surrounding his life and personality have continued to grow. Today Leonardo’s story inspires novels and his work brings record-breaking prices, demonstrating his enduring relevance and mystique.
The “Son of Man” is an iconic painting by Belgian Surrealist artist Rene Magritte.
Rene Magritte was an internationally acclaimed surrealist artist of all time, yet it was not until his 50s, when he was finally able to reach some form of fame and recognition for his work. Rene Magritte described his paintings saying, “My painting is visible images which conceal nothing; they evoke mystery and, indeed, when one sees one of my pictures, one asks oneself this simple question, ‘What does that mean?’ It does not mean anything, because mystery means nothing, it is unknowable.”
Magritte was born in 1898, to a wealthy manufacturer father. In 1912, his mom was found drowned in the River Sambre. She had committed suicide, and the family was publicly humiliated because of it. From 1916 to 1918, Rene decided to study at the Academie des Beaux-Art, which was located in Brussels. He left the school, because he thought that it was a waste of time. All his paintings afterward reflect cubism, the movements which were introduced by Pablo Picass and was very popular at the time. In 1922 he married Georgette, and took a number of small jobs, including painting cabbage roses for a wallpaper company, in order to be able to pay the bills.
During the early period of his career, shortly following his marriage, Rene Magritte would spend the free time that he had, creating art forms and worked on a number of pieces; it was during this time period that he realized surrealism was the art form which he most enjoyed. The Menaced Assassin was one of his earliest pieces in 1926, which showcased the surrealist style which he had been working on; The Lost Jockey was another piece that he introduced in 1925, which also showcased this art form. Over the course of his career, he produced a number of variants on this piece, and changed the format to recreate what the viewer was experiencing.
This week’s episode of “Cocktails with a Curator” is a story of creation and destruction. Join Deputy Director and Peter Jay Sharp Chief Curator Xavier F. Salomon as he examines two pieces of the legendary Meissen “Swan Service,” which was all but destroyed during World War II when Russian soldiers ransacked a palace in the Polish village of Brody. This opulent set of dishes was given by Augustus III, King of Poland, to the statesman Heinrich von Brühl, who helped engineer Augustus’s ascent to the throne in 1734. Originally comprised of 2,200 intricately designed pieces, only about 100 pieces survive. This week’s complementary cocktail is a spiked hot chocolate.
Meissen porcelain or Meissen china was the first European hard-paste porcelain. Early experiments were done in 1708 by Ehrenfried Walther von Tschirnhaus.
In this week’s episode of “Cocktails with a Curator,” toast the new year with Deputy Director and Peter Jay Sharp Chief Curator Xavier F. Salomon as he examines a masterpiece of both sculpture and clockmaking: “The Dance of Time,” by Clodion (Claude Michel) and Jean-Baptiste Lepaute. In this 18th-century timepiece, three terracotta nymphs or Hours dance in a circle around an exquisite mechanism enclosed in a glass globe. The Frick has one of the country’s most important collections of clocks, many of which came to the museum through a gift from Winthrop Kellogg Edey. Welcome 2021 by raising a Metropolitan cocktail—Happy New Year!
In this week’s episode of “Cocktails with a Curator,” celebrate the Yuletide with Deputy Director and Peter Jay Sharp Chief Curator Xavier F. Salomon as he takes a closer look at Lazzaro Bastiani’s “Adoration of the Magi.” Acquired from Pierpont Morgan’s heirs in 1935—the year The Frick Collection opened to the public—this fascinating picture shows the gift-toting kings on different stages of their journey from Jerusalem to Bethlehem. A contemporary of Giovanni Bellini, Bastiani was considered the artist’s equal at the time and commanded similar prices for his pictures. Explore the work of this magnificent but under-appreciated artist while enjoying a festive Cranberry Bourbon cocktail—Merry Christmas!
Lazzaro Bastiani was an Italian painter of the Renaissance, active mainly in Venice. He was born in Padua. He is first recorded as a painter in Venice by 1460 in a payment for an altarpiece of San Samuele, for the Procuratori di San Marco. In 1462 he was paid at the same rate as Giovanni Bellini.
Sir Cedric Lockwood Morris, 9th Baronet was a British artist, art teacher and plantsman. He was born in Swansea in South Wales, but worked mainly in East Anglia. As an artist he is best known for his portraits, flower paintings and landscapes
This video takes an in-depth look at Monet’s approach to painting in series, an approach that consumed his later years. From stacks of wheat in the French countryside to sites of foggy London to water lilies at his home garden in Giverny, Monet painted beloved subjects again and again, depicting changing light and atmospheric conditions in works that captivate us still today. New scientific discoveries, however, reveal that Monet’s genius goes well beyond what we see on the surface.
In this week’s episode of “Cocktails with a Curator,” Curator Aimee Ng pulls back the curtain on hidden details in “Mistress and Maid,” the largest of the Frick’s three Vermeer paintings and Henry Clay Frick’s final acquisition for his collection. Take a closer look at the rumpled tablecloth, the lady’s wispy curls, and the dark background to understand how this mysterious work has changed since Vermeer applied paint to canvas in the mid-17th century. For this week’s complementary cocktail, the Genever Brûlée, Aimee has dipped into the bottle of genever she featured in her summer episode on Vermeer’s “Officer and Laughing Girl.”