Saturday, March 30, 2019
Portraits Seen in San Diego

I'm enjoying revisiting the photo archives from our trip to San Diego in summer of 2016. In particular, I'm catching the portraits I'd missed earlier.

Portrait of Isaac Abrahamsz Massa, ca. 1635
Frans Hals, (Dutch, born in Flanders 1581/5-1666)
Oil on panel, 8 3/8 in. x 7 3/4 in. (21.27 cm x 19.69 cm)
Gift of Anne R. and Amy Putnam, San Diego Museum of Art #1946.74

If you are viewing this via a standard desktop or laptop computer, you are seeing Massa's face larger than what Hals painted him!

"Among the portrait painters of 17th-century Holland, Frans Hals was rivaled only by Rembrandt. He was famous for his loose manner of painting, referred to by his contemporaries as the “rough style,” which gives his works the impression of having been created very quickly, as if dashed off in a fury of invention. These wide, loose brushstrokes lend motion and vitality to Hals’s sitters, and they help convey, too, the sense that Hals has, in working quickly, captured the essence of their personalities. The technique was reviled by many of Hals’s contemporaries, but was greatly esteemed and emulated by later painters including Édouard Manet and Vincent Van Gogh.

"Issac Massa (1586–1643) was a merchant, diplomat to Russia, geographer, and cartographer. He was also a friend of Hals and served as a witness to the baptism of one of the painter’s children. Hals painted him at least three times: in his masterful Portrait of a Married Couple of ca. 1622 (Amsterdam, Rijksmuseum), in a single portrait of ca. 1626 (Toronto, Art Gallery of Ontario), and in this small painting, which served as the model for Adriaen Matham’s engraved portrait of Massa." (From info card...)

Portrait of a Lady, ca. 1677
Nicolaes Maes, (Dutch, born in Dordrecht 1634-1693)
Oil on canvas, 26-5/8 x 22-1/4 in. (67.6 x 56.5 cm)
Putnam Foundation, Timkin Museum of Art #1986:002

"Nicolaes Maes was Rembrandt's best-known pupil and by the 1660s he had developed a fluid style of painting that readily lent itself to portraiture. This portrait may be of Mary Stuart, daughter of James, Duke of York, and Anne Hyde. In 1677, the year this work was painted, fifteen-year-old Mary Stuart married William of Orange, Stadholder of the United Provinces of the Netherlands. She later became Mary II when he became William III. They ruled England and were popularly known as William and Mary." (Museum website description)

(I recently read a biography of Queen Victoria and saw the PBS Masterpiece drama series about her and Albert. This charming doggie reminds me of Queen Victoria's beloved Dash.)

Portrait of Cooper Penrose, ca. 1802
Jacques-Louis David, (French, born in Paris 1748 – 1825)
Oil on canvas, 51-3/8 x 38-3/8 in. (130.5 x 97.5 cm)
Putnam Foundation, Timkin Museum of Art #1953:001

Why so much space at the top? This portrait must have hung in a room with very high ceilings.

"Cooper Penrose traveled from Ireland to Paris in 1802 to commission Jacques- Louis David, the most famous painter in Europe, to paint his portrait. Penrose, an Irish member of a prominent Quaker family, was a successful businessman and landowner but was criticized by the Society of Friends for his lavish tastes. David brings the sitter down to earth by positioning the head lower on the canvas than is traditional in French portraiture. Attention is drawn to the brilliantly painted head and hands, which form a triangle in the center of the composition." (Museum website description)

Portrait of a Lady, ca. 1735
Rosalba Carriera, (Italian, born in Venice 1673 – 1757)
Pastel on paper, laid down on canvas, 25 in. x 18 in. (63.5 cm x 45.72 cm)
Gift of Anne R. and Amy Putnam, San Diego Museum of Art #1949.79

"Born and trained in Venice, Rosalba Carriera became one of the leading pastel artists of the eighteenth century, painting portraits of British, French and German visitors on their grand tour of Italy.

"The artist traveled widely and enjoyed great fame during her lifetime. While in Paris, she painted portraits of the artist Antoine Watteau and the king, Louis XV. King Augustus II of Poland had more than 150 of her works in royal palace in Dresden, many of which were portraits of ideal female beauty like this one." (From info card)

Wikipedia has a nice selection of Carriera's portraits, which include several self portraits.

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