From Helen of Troy’s abduction to the deception of the Trojan Horse and the fall of the city, tread the line between myth and reality in this phenomenal new exhibition.
The story of the ancient city of Troy, and of the great war that was fought over it, has been told for some 3,000 years. Spread by travelling storytellers, it was cast into powerful words by the Greek poet Homer as early as the eighth to seventh century BC – and into powerful images by ancient Greek and Roman artists. Just as it enraptured audiences in the past, it still speaks to us today and it’s easy to see why. It’s a story that has it all – love and loss, courage and passion, violence and vengeance, triumph and tragedy – on a truly epic scale.
Spanning several decades, the tale is set in Greece’s mythical past. At its heart is the powerful city of Troy on the western coast of Anatolia (modern-day Turkey), besieged for 10 years by the Greeks, who sailed across the Aegean Sea to take revenge for a grave insult – the abduction of a woman. This ancient world war features a stellar cast of characters. Even the gods are involved.
Caravaggio & Bernini: The Discovery of Emotions features some of the artists’ greatest works, but also charts their influence on others. And that influence proved to be powerful and enduring. Caravaggistas spread across Europe like termites. And so we could call this exhibition a battle of the swaggerers, the pomp of a very eclectic brand of Viennese historicism facing off against the theatrical push and preen of two great Italians.
From almost the beginning, Caravaggio, that man who arrived in Rome in the 1590s, is completely outrageous. Whom did he think were his principal patrons? Churchmen, of course. Did they care that he depicted John the Baptist in an extraordinary painting, circa 1602, as a carefree, lascivious, curly-haired boy with the cheekiest of grins imaginable?
Featured cars have won many of the world’s most iconic races, including Le Mans, the Indianapolis 500, and the Italian Grand Prix, and were loaned to the Museum by internationally recognized collectors from Arizona and across the United States. Legends of Speed offers an unparalleled opportunity for Museum guests to experience and learn about some of the most successful and famous racecars of all time.
Legends of Speed is the first major exhibition of racing cars presented at Phoenix Art Museum. Opening in fall 2019 and featuring more than 20 legendary cars by Maserati, Mercedes, Alfa Romeo, Ford, and more, the landmark exhibition showcases an unprecedented collection of cars driven by some of the greatest drivers in the history of racing, including A.J. Foyt, Dan Gurney, and Stirling Moss.
This exhibition traces the first sixty years of the etched print (circa 1490 to circa 1560), from its emergence in the workshop of the German printmaker and armor decorator Daniel Hopfer to the years when a range of artists from Germany, Flanders, Italy, and France began experimenting with etching. Approximately 125 etchings, produced by both renowned and lesser-known artists, are displayed alongside a number of drawings, printing plates, illustrated books, and armor.
The history of printmaking has been punctuated by moments of great invention that have completely changed the course of the medium. The beginning of etching in Europe in the late fifteenth and early sixteenth centuries—when the technique moved out of the workshop of armor decorators and into those of printmakers and painters—represents one of those pivotal moments. Etching, essentially drawing on the surface of a metal plate, had an ease that opened the door for all kinds of artists to make prints. The pioneers of the medium included some of the greatest painters of the Renaissance, such as Albrecht Dürer, Parmigianino, and Pieter Bruegel the Elder.
James McElhinney: Discover the Hudson Anew presents the painter’s sketch books and prints related to the River in a comprehensive showing for the first time. A video program, animating turning pages, will allow visitors to see additional sketchbook paintings. McElhinney says he wants his art to demonstrate “that constructive dialogue between humanity and nature is alive and well, while underscoring how art provides durable and dynamic modes of engagement.”
Big ideas often come in small packages. James McElhinney has journeyed around the world with a pocket-size sketchbook and watercolor tin, communing with nature, and stopping to observe and record the glorious views around him. Fourteen years ago, during a period of convalescence, he used a sketchbook and watercolor to paint views from his hospital windows. That pragmatic decision was pivotal for the artist. He fell in love with the mobility and intimacy of this small-format media, which can be packed into the lining of a hiking vest, following in the footsteps of historical expeditionary artists. Since then, he has engaged in pictorial conversation with the Hudson River, always with materials on hand.
While all of the works on exhibit hold special interest, Aurisch identifies several gems. For example, Van Gogh fans will enjoy his spectacular perspectival rooftop view from the window of his room in The Hague in 1882. Maurice de Vlaminc’s 1906 Dancer at the “Rat Mort” (La danseuse du “Rat Mort”) is a delight with his Fauve treatment of the figure; through color and gestural line, it’s as though we are witnessing a shift into the 20th century. And Henri Matisse’s 1943 still life titled Lemons against a Fleur-de-lis Background (Citrons sur fond rose fleurdelisé) vibrates with lively pink patterned wallpaper and a stacked brick platform, charged with Japonisme energy.
This fall season, the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston presents Monet to Picasso: A Very Private Collection and Berthe Morisot: Impressionist Original, billed together under the theme of “An Impressionist Autumn,” on view Oct. 20, 2019 through Jan. 12, 2020. The two exhibitions offer museum visitors the chance to peek into the private lives of artist, muse, and society at large.
Born in Bologna in 1552, Lavinia Fontana is often considered to be the first professional woman painter; she was the first to be accepted into the Accademia di San Luca in Rome, and supported her family throughout her life by gaining prestigious commissions for portraits in the city. This self-portrait has been interpreted as a wedding painting; it was completed in the year of Fontana’s marriage to Giovan Paolo Zappi, a fellow artist who became her agent and manager.
Sofonisba Anguissola was born into an aristocratic family from Cremona in around 1532; she travelled to Rome as a young woman, where her talent was recognised by Michelangelo, and in 1559 became lady-in-waiting to Elisabeth de Valois, Queen of Spain (and a keen amateur painter). She became a court painter to Philip II, and remained at court for some 15 years – at least until her marriage to a Sicilian nobleman after Elisabeth’s death in 1568, for which Philip II provided the dowry. Here she portrays Anna of Austria, who became Queen of Spain after Philip remarried in 1570.
Part of the Prado’s bicentenary celebrations, this exhibition looks at two of the most significant women artists of the Renaissance. Though born into very different social classes, both Lavinia Fontana and Sofonisba Anguissola rose to heights of prestige that had not previously been scaled by women painters – Fontana at the Vatican, and Anguissola at the Spanish court.