In this week’s episode of “Cocktails with a Curator,” Deputy Director and Peter Jay Sharp Chief Curator Xavier F. Salomon focuses on Francesco da Sangallo’s “St. John Baptizing,” which can be found at the very center of the third floor of Frick Madison. Commissioned in the 16th century for a church in the Tuscan town of Prato, the bronze statuette has been installed atop a facsimile of the marble holy water font on which it was originally displayed, allowing visitors to see it as it was meant to be viewed. This week’s complementary cocktail is the White Negroni, a modern twist on a classic Florentine cocktail.
Music Ensemble: Il Giardino Armonico, Milano, Italy Dancer & Choreography: Margarita Ermachenko
Antonio Vivaldi (1678–1741) grew up in Venice, Italy where his father, a professional violinist, taught him to play the violin and introduced him to some of the finest musicians and composers in the city. At the age of 15, he also began studying to become a priest. Because of his red hair, he was known as il Prete Rosso (“the Red Priest”). Vivaldi had to leave the clergy due to health issues, and he accepted several short-term musical positions funded by patrons in Mantua and Rome. It was in Mantua that he wrote his four-part masterpiece, The Four Seasons. He was also known for his operas, including Argippo and Bajazet. Vivaldi’s work, including nearly 500 concertos, influenced many later composers, including Bach.
The collection of Twelve Trio Sonatas Op. 1 was published by the Venetian house of Giuseppe Sala in 1705. Similarly to the other published collections by Vivaldi, it became known throughout Europe and reprinted four more times within the composer’s lifetime. It was dedicated to Count Annibale Gambara.
At the turn of the 17th and 18th centuries, the trio sonata was one of the most popular genres of instrumental music in Italy. The composers modelled their work on four sonata collections by Arcangelo Corelli. Mastery in the genre was generally seen as a test of composing talent, allowing a display of the ability to simultaneously shape the melody and the counterpoint.
Vivaldi, similarly to Albinoni and Caldara, made his debut with a collection of twelve trio sonatas. They were written for two violins and a cello (more precisely a violone) or a harpsichord. The earliest preserved Vivaldi pieces, they are characteristic in their individual and fully-formed style.
In this week’s episode of “Cocktails with a Curator,” join Deputy Director and Peter Jay Sharp Chief Curator Xavier F. Salomon as he delves into the mystery of three rare Saint-Porchaire objects currently on view in a room featuring enamels and clocks on the third floor of Frick Madison. Much remains unknown about 16th-century Saint-Porchaire ware—exquisite pieces inlaid with colored clay and embellished with three-dimensional reliefs—but an ongoing Frick research project recently identified an exciting potential link between the great French ceramicist Bernard Palissy and a lizard on one of the ewers at the Frick. This week’s complementary cocktail is a classic French American drink, the Boulevardier.
FEATURES | Glenn Adamson on Alice Neel’s compassionate portraits; Antony Gormley interviewed by Gabrielle Schwarz; Christopher Turner on the Surrealist houses of Edward James; Morgan Falconer on Jessica Morgan’s ambitious vision for the Dia Art Foundation; Kaywin Feldman on cultural leadership in 2021
REVIEWS | Eve M. Kahn on the opening of the Frick Madison; Sukhdev Sandhu on ‘Grief and Grievance’ at the New Museum; Christopher Baker on friendship and portraiture in 18th-century France; Michael Prodger on art museums in the 21st century
MARKET | Susan Moore previews spring auctions and reviews sales in Paris and Brussels; Emma Crichton-Miller on collecting Tiffany glass; Samuel Reilly on Frieze New York and gallery reopenings in London
Pablo Picasso is perhaps the Modern master most admired by Asian artists. His commitment to breaking with tradition resonated deeply with Chinese modernist pioneer Sanyu. In this episode of Expert Voices, our Head of Modern Art in Asia, Felix Kwok, introduces masterworks by both artists, which will headline our upcoming Beyond Legends: Modern Art Evening Sale (18 April | Hong Kong). ‘Nu Avec un Pékinois’ is a masterpiece from Sanyu’s post-war period that reflects themes of love and perseverance and ‘Buste de Matador’ from the 1970s is the first painting in Picasso’s final Matador and reflects an urgency in the face of mortality.
Water gilding is a process which makes wood look like gold. Follow the stages involved in gilding a wooden frame – from brushing on layers of gesso (glue and chalk mixture), to applying and burnishing the gold leaf.
How to make a gilded frame: Glue applied to wood: 00:27 Gesso mixed and applied in layers: 00:34 Gesso smoothed with dried horsetail plant: 00:46 Details cut into the base: 00:58 Yellow ochre pigment applied: 01:07 Bole applied: 01:20 Surface is smoothed with a brush: 01:29 Water is brushed on and gold leaf is applied: 01:56 An animal tooth is used to burnish the surface: 02:15 Frame is coated with glue for an even finish: 02:33
Edgar Degas was a prolific artist of dance. In this latest episode of Expert Voices, Sotheby’s specialist Brooke Lampley takes us through his fascination with dance, exploring how he perfectly captured every movement both on and off-stage. Ahead of Sotheby’s upcoming Art Impressionniste et Moderne Evening Sale (25 March 2021 | Paris) discover how his painting ‘Danseuse au Tutu Vert’ beautifully illustrates a dancer’s private moment backstage. Find out about the artist’s intense use of colour and how his chosen medium of pastel has truly stood the test of time.
Signac, Colored Harmonies – From March 26 to July 19, 2021
In 2021, discover the work of Paul Signac (1863 – 1935), master of landscape and main theorist of neo-impressionism, through nearly 70 works from the finest collection of neo-impressionist works in private hands. Alongside 25 of his paintings such as Avant du Tub (1888), Saint-Briac. Les Balises (1890), Saint-Tropez. After the storm (1895), Avignon. Matin (1909) or Juan-les-Pins, Soir (1914) and around twenty watercolors, the exhibition will present more than twenty works by Georges Seurat, Camille Pissarro, Maximilen Luce, Théo Van Rysselberghe, Henri-Edmond Cross , Louis Hayet, Achille Laugé, Georges Lacombe and Georges Lemmen.
The entire exhibition will follow a chronological route, from the first impressionist paintings painted by Signac under the influence of Claude Monet to the brightly colored works produced by the artist in the 20th century, including his meeting with Georges Seurat in 1884. The exhibition, which will retrace the life of Signac and his work to liberate color, will also evoke the history of neo-impressionism.
Read by Shane Morris. – Chief Tecumseh was a great Native American warrior chief who was leader of a large tribal confederacy which opposed the United States during Tecumseh’s War. Although his efforts to unite Native Americans ended with his death in the War of 1812, he became an iconic folk hero in American, Indigenous, and Canadian history.
Tecumseh was a Shawnee chief, warrior, diplomat, and orator who promoted resistance to the expansion of the United States onto Native American lands. He traveled widely, forming a Native American confederacy and promoting tribal unity.
Constantine Peter Cavafy was an Egyptiot Greek poet, journalist and civil servant. His consciously individual style earned him a place among the most important figures not only in Greek poetry, but in Western poetry as well. Cavafy wrote 155 poems, while dozens more remained incomplete or in sketch form.
As you set out for Ithaka hope your road is a long one, full of adventure, full of discovery. Laistrygonians, Cyclops, angry Poseidon—don’t be afraid of them: you’ll never find things like that on your way as long as you keep your thoughts raised high, as long as a rare excitement stirs your spirit and your body. Laistrygonians, Cyclops, wild Poseidon—you won’t encounter them unless you bring them along inside your soul, unless your soul sets them up in front of you.
Hope your road is a long one. May there be many summer mornings when, with what pleasure, what joy, you enter harbors you’re seeing for the first time; may you stop at Phoenician trading stations to buy fine things, mother of pearl and coral, amber and ebony, sensual perfume of every kind— as many sensual perfumes as you can; and may you visit many Egyptian cities to learn and go on learning from their scholars.
Keep Ithaka always in your mind. Arriving there is what you’re destined for. But don’t hurry the journey at all. Better if it lasts for years, so you’re old by the time you reach the island, wealthy with all you’ve gained on the way, not expecting Ithaka to make you rich.
Ithaka gave you the marvelous journey. Without her you wouldn’t have set out. She has nothing left to give you now.
And if you find her poor, Ithaka won’t have fooled you. Wise as you will have become, so full of experience, you’ll have understood by then what these Ithakas mean.