Tag Archives: Arts & Literature

Art: ‘Rembrandt – Master Of The Dutch Golden Age’

Arguably the greatest master of the Dutch Golden Age, Rembrandt is famed for several types of works: his monumental history paintings, his self-portraits and, as beautifully exemplified by the transcendent Abraham and the Angels, his intimate biblical scenes.

Rembrandt Harmenszoon van Rijn was a Dutch draughtsman, painter, and printmaker. An innovative and prolific master in three media, he is generally considered one of the greatest visual artists in the history of art and the most important in Dutch art history.

The Dutch Golden Age was a period in the history of the Netherlands, roughly spanning the era from 1581 to 1672, in which Dutch trade, science, and art and the Dutch military were among the most acclaimed in the world. The first section is characterized by the Eighty Years’ War, which ended in 1648.

Cocktails With A Curator: Boucher’s “Four Seasons”

In this week’s episode of “Cocktails with a Curator,” take a closer look at the extraordinary flickers of paint in the colorful canvases of François Boucher’s Four Seasons series with Deputy Director and Peter Jay Sharp Chief Curator Xavier F. Salomon. Acquired by Henry Clay Frick late in life, the four paintings were commissioned by Boucher’s great patron Madame de Pompadour—the longtime mistress of King Louis XV—to be placed over doors, hence their unusual shape. The complementary cocktail this week is the Time Regained.

To view these paintings in detail, please visit our website: https://www.frick.org/fourseasons

Art: ‘Masterpieces From Buckingham Palace – A Curator’s Tour’ (Video)

Join exhibition curators Desmond Shawe-Taylor and Isabella Manning as they tour the highlights of the exhibition ‘Masterpieces from Buckingham Palace’. With an introduction from Director of the Royal Collection Tim Knox.

The exhibition brings together some of the most important paintings in the Royal Collection from the Picture Gallery at Buckingham Palace. Usually on public view during the annual Summer Opening of the Palace, the paintings will be shown in The Queen’s Gallery while Reservicing works are carried out to protect the historic building for future generations. The Picture Gallery was originally designed by the architect John Nash for George IV to display his collection of Dutch, Flemish and Italian Old Master paintings. Artists represented in the exhibition include Titian, Guercino, Guido Reni, Vermeer, Rembrandt, van Dyck, Rubens, Jan Steen, Claude and Canaletto.

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The Arts: ‘Louvre Museum’ In Paris Revives As Visitors Drop 72% In 2020 (Video)

After six months of cumulative closure since the beginning of the health crisis and only a reopening for a few short months between two confinements this summer, the #Louvre​ lost 72% of attendance by 2020. But despite the absence of visitors, the heart of the museum has not completely stopped beating. The Louvre is even taking advantage of this period to carry out #renovations​.

Art: French Impressionist Berthe Morisot’s ‘Young Girl With A Basket’ (Video)

Berthe Marie Pauline Morisot was a French painter and a member of the circle of painters in Paris who became known as the Impressionists. In 1864, Morisot exhibited for the first time in the highly esteemed Salon de Paris.

Art Views: French Painter & Illustrator Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec (Video)

Henri Marie Raymond de ToulouseLautrec-Monfa (24 November 1864 – 9 September 1901) was a French painter, printmaker, draughtsman, caricaturist and illustrator whose immersion in the colorful and theatrical life of Paris in the late 19th century allowed him to produce a collection of enticing, elegant, and provocative …

Arts & Literature: ‘The Morgan Library & Museum’

The Morgan Library & Museum, formerly the Pierpont Morgan Library, is a museum and research library in the Murray Hill neighborhood of Manhattan, New York City. It is situated at 225 Madison Avenue, between 36th Street to the south and 37th Street to the north. 

A complex of buildings in the heart of New York City, The Morgan Library & Museum began as the private library of financier Pierpont Morgan (1837–1913), one of the preeminent collectors and cultural benefactors in the United States. As early as 1890 Morgan had begun to assemble a collection of illuminated, literary, and historical manuscripts, early printed books, and old master drawings and prints.

Mr. Morgan’s library, as it was known in his lifetime, was built between 1902 and 1906 adjacent to his New York residence at Madison Avenue and 36th Street. Designed by Charles McKim of the architectural firm McKim, Mead & White, the library was intended as something more than a repository of rare materials. Majestic in appearance yet intimate in scale, the structure was to reflect the nature and stature of its holdings. The result was an Italian Renaissance-style palazzo with three magnificent rooms epitomizing America’s Age of Elegance. Completed three years before McKim’s death, it is considered by many to be his masterpiece. In 1924, eleven years after Pierpont Morgan’s death, his son, J. P. Morgan, Jr. (1867–1943), known as Jack, realized that the library had become too important to remain in private hands. In what constituted one of the most momentous cultural gifts in U.S. history, he fulfilled his father’s dream of making the library and its treasures available to scholars and the public alike by transforming it into a public institution.

Over the years—through purchases and generous gifts—The Morgan Library & Museum has continued to acquire rare materials as well as important music manuscripts, early children’s books, Americana, and materials from the twentieth century. Without losing its decidedly domestic feeling, the Morgan also has expanded its physical space considerably.

In 1928, the Annex building was erected on the corner of Madison Avenue and 36th Street, replacing Pierpont Morgan’s residence. The Annex connected to the original McKim library by means of a gallery. In 1988, Jack Morgan’s former residence—a mid-nineteenth century brownstone on Madison Avenue and 37th Street—also was added to the complex. The 1991 garden court was constructed as a means to unite the various elements of the Morgan campus.

The largest expansion in the Morgan’s history, adding 75,000 square feet to the campus, was completed in 2006. Designed by Pritzker Prize–winning architect Renzo Piano, the project increases exhibition space by more than fifty percent and adds important visitor amenities, including a new performance hall, a welcoming entrance on Madison Avenue, a new café and a new restaurant, a shop, a new reading room, and collections storage. Piano’s design integrates the Morgan’s three historical buildings with three new modestly scaled steel-and-glass pavilions. A soaring central court connects the buildings and serves as a gathering place for visitors in the spirit of an Italian piazza.

Cocktails With A Curator: Meissen “Swan Service”

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.

To view these objects in detail, please visit our website: https://www.frick.org/swanmeissen

2021 Public Domain: F. SCOTT FITZGERALD’s ‘The Great Gatsby’ (Podcast)

NPR’s Scott Simon reflects on the legacy of F. Scott Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby. The literary classic’s copyright expired on the first day of 2021.

The copyright on F. Scott Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby expired on the first stroke of 2021 and the book entered the public domain.

The classic 1925 novel of love foiled, ambitions foisted, class and betrayal sold fewer than 25,000 copies before Fitzgerald died. It has since sold nearly 30 million. I gave our daughter the copy I had in high school when she read it last year. The Great Gatsby has been turned into stage productions, an opera, five film versions, a Taylor Swift song and inspired innumerable prequels, spinoffs and variations.

In the public domain, Gatsby may now become even more familiar. Two new editions are about to come out and who knows what kind of projects — a Gatsby rom-com? Gatsby joins The Avengers? — might now get a green light, which recalls the imperishably eloquent last passage of the book: “Gatsby believed in the green light, the orgastic future that year by year recedes before us.”

Gatsby’s Jazz Age Long Island may not look like a microcosm of contemporary America. Neither does Don QuixoteThe Scarlet LetterMacbeth or Their Eyes Were Watching God. We want young readers to be able to see themselves in stories; but literature can also show us that people we don’t think are much like us at all turn out to have some of the same heart, blood and dreams. That can be the power of empathy in art.

Arts & History: ‘The Book Of Citrus Fruits’ By J.C. Volkamer (Taschen)

Ordering plants by post mostly from Italy, Germany, North Africa, and even the Cape of Good Hope, the Nuremberg merchant Volkamer was a devotee of the fragrant and exotic citrus at a time when such fruits were still largely unknown north of the Alps.

TASCHEN

Famous First Edition: First printing of 5,000 numbered copies

Have you ever thought of citrus fruits as celestial bodies, angelically suspended in the sky? Perhaps not, but J. C. Volkamer (1644–1720) did—commissioning an extravagant and breathtaking series of large-sized copperplates representing citrons, lemons, and bitter oranges in surreal scenes of majesty and wonder.

His garden came to contain a wide variety of specimens, and he became so obsessed with the fruits that he commissioned a team of copperplate engravers to create 256 plates of 170 varieties of citrus fruits, many depicted life size, published in a two-volume work

In both volumes, Volkamer draws on years of hands-on experience to present a far-reaching account of citrus fruits and how to tend them—from a meticulous walk-through of how to construct temporary orangeries, glasshouses, and hothouses for growing pineapples to commentary on each fruit variety, including its size, shape, color, scent, tree or shrub, leaves, and country of origin.

In each plate, Volkamer pays tribute to the verdant landscapes of Northern Italy, his native Nuremberg, and other sites that captured his imagination. From Genovese sea views to the Schönbrunn Palace, each locale is depicted in the same exceptionaldetail as the fruit that overhangs it. We witness branches heavy with grapefruits arching across a sun-bathed yard in Bologna and marvel at a huge pineapple plant sprouting from a South American town. The result is at once a fantastical line-up of botanical beauty and a highly poetic tour through the lush gardens and places where these fruits grew.

Few colored sets of Volkamer’s work are still in existence today. This publication draws on the two recently discovered hand-colored volumes in the city of Fürth’s municipal archive in Schloss Burgfarrnbach. The reprint also includes 56 newly discovered illustrations that Volkamer intended to present in a third volume.

The author

Iris Lauterbach studied art history and romance languages and literature in Mainz, Pavia and Paris and obtained her doctorate in 1985. Since 1991 she has been a member of the research department of the Central Institute for Art History in Munich and teaches the history of garden architecture at the Technical University in Munich. Her main areas of research include France during the 18th century and the history of European garden art from the 16th to the 20th century, while she has also carried out extensive research about the restitution of artworks that were looted during the Second World War.

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