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Report from the Front

Art criticism, sometimes with context, occasional politics. Published in hard copy 5-7 times a year. New shows: "events;" hard copy rates & how to support the online edition: "works."

 

"IN PRAISE OF PAINTING:" THE "GOLDEN AGE"OF THE DUTCH

Rembrandt (Rembrandt van Rijn) (Dutch, Leiden 1606–1669 Amsterdam). Aristotle with a Bust of Homer, 1653. Oil on canvas, 56 1/2 x 53 3/4 in. (143.5 x 136.5 cm). The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, Purchase, special contributions and funds given or bequeathed by friends of the Museum, 1961 (61.198)

 

It's no secret that 17th century Dutch painting is one of the glories of art history, nor are those New Yorkers who care about it unaware that The Metropolitan Museum of Art  has an excellent collection of it – excellent in both quality and quantity.  For some time now most of these paintings have been out of sight due to renovations of its gallery space.  Now the the Met is staging "In Praise of Painting: Dutch Masterpieces at the Met,"  which is, in fact, only a rehanging of 65 works in its permanent collection (through October 4, 2020). Read More 

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“CITY OF THE SOUL” AT THE MORGAN: A NEW KIND OF ROMANCE

Bartolomeo Pinelli (1781-1835), Carnival Scene, 1816. Pen and black ink, and watercolor over graphite. Roberta J. M. Olson and Alexander B.V. Johnson. Photography by Janny Chiu.

You didn’t have to shout to get me to the media preview of “City of the Soul: Rome and the Romantics” at the Morgan Library and Museum (through September 11). I adore anything Romantic, but this show wasn’t what I expected—which is not to say that, once I understood how the Morgan defines “Romantic,” I didn’t like it -- a lot.  Read More 

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SOCIAL NOTES, NO. 3: MEDIA PREVIEWS WEEK

Rembrandt van Rijn (1606-1669). Two Men in Discussion, 1641. Quill and reed pen in brown ink, with corrections in white gouache, 9 x 7.25 inches. (c) The Samuel Courtauld Trust, The Courtauld Gallery, London.
Continuing (& concluding) the saga I began earlier, I give you four more social/artistic events on the Manhattan museum circuit, 2 here & 2 more in a second installment (below) The week beginning Monday October 1 had a museum media preview four days running, Monday through Thursday. In fact, there were two on Monday, but I didn’t  Read More 
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A JEWISH CHRIST IN PHILADELPHIA

Head of Christ, c. 1648-1650. Rembrandt Harmensz van Rijn, Dutch (active Leiden and Amsterdam), 1606-1669. Oil on oak panel, 9 13/16 x 8 7/16 in. (25 x 21.5 cm). Staatliche Museen zu Berlin, Gemaldegalerie.

The exhibition at the Philadelphia Museum of Art is called “Rembrandt and the Face of Jesus” (through October 30; thereafter at the Detroit Institute of Arts, November 20 through February 12, 2012). Although not huge, it’s a substantial show, with 22 paintings, 17 drawings and nine prints assembled from public and private  Read More 

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