Friday, October 1, 2010
"Return to Classical Beauty"

There's a new exhibit at the Guggenheim called "Chaos and Classicism: Art in France, Italy and Germany, 1918-1936". Happily, there is an online website to accompany the show. Of course, the website is just a teaser, to get you to want to visit, send for the exhibition catalog or at least yearn for it to be a traveling exhibit. The website explains, "After the chaos and horrific destruction of World War I, a powerful desire for regenerative order and classical beauty emerged in Europe." Although there are only a few photos, they do list the over 150 pieces in the exhibit. The website features a time line from 1818-1936, and for 1919, they mention:

"Valori Plastici features Giorgio de Chirico's essay 'Il ritorno al mestiere' ('The Return to Craft'),
directing painters to the accomplishments of the past and the noble value of classical measure as
as cure for the 'deformations' wrought by modern artists."

That reminded me of a De Chirico painting I saw at the Art Institute:

The Eventuality of Destiny, 1927
Giorgio de Chirico, Italian, born Greece, 18881978
Oil on canvas, 57 1/2 x 45 in. (146 x 114.3 cm)
signed and dated lower left: G. de Chirico/1927
Gift of Mrs. Frederic Clay Bartlett, 1964.213
© 2008 Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York / SIAE, Rome

When I checked the artwork list, I noticed "The Eventuality of Destiny" is now at the Guggenheim.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010
"Return Further in Time to Classical Beauty"

Twice in one week I learn about a new exhibit in New York City! Man, Myth, and Sensual Pleasures: Jan Gossart's Renaissance opened today at the Met and will be there until January 17, 2011. The tiny image of Gossart's painting at the exhibition webpage looked familiar. I read the tiny print and learned it had travelled from the National Gallery of Art. Hunting my photo archives, I happily found I'd grabbed a digital souvenir from our visit in 2007:

Portrait of a Merchant (Jerome Sandelin?), c. 1530
Jan Gossaert, Netherlandish, c. 1478 - 1532
Oil on panel, size : 63.6 x 47.5 cm (25 1/16 x 18 11/16 in.) framed: 83.8 x 68.6 x 5.7 cm (33 x 27 x 2 1/4 in.)
Ailsa Mellon Bruce Fund, NGA 1967.4.1

I wasted a bit of photo space, so the large size is only 1120x1400 pixels, but I did think to capture a detail of the man's hand:

What exquisite details!

The Met's tiny teaser tells us "Gossart was among the first northern artists to travel to Rome to make copies after antique sculpture and introduce historical and mythological subjects with erotic nude figures into the mainstream of northern painting."

Both the show at MOMA and this show are so enticing, I wish I could go!

But I like to think they could appear nearer to me, as did the 'European Bronzes', which I saw both at the Met and at the Getty.

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