notes, finds & fragments of research
Quite recently my eye fell on an article about an exhibition in the The Getty Museum in Los Angeles (California), in the same week a very dear friend is visiting the same city for work. So I took a closer look at the website and discovered their recent acquisitions. I ended up feeling very sorry for myself, that I couldn’t join him, because apart from that grand exhibition, they had some very interesting new pieces:
The painter in his studio depicting an artist at work on a portrait in the attendance of his sitter, a young (Venetian?) lady holding a lapdog in her arms and her escort sporting a domino, with the mask turned aside, which I don’t think having seen worn like that before. It’s a painting by the true master of Venetian scenery: Pietro Longhi (1701/2-1785), dating from the 1740’s.
The Portrait of a Young Man, which is quite possibly the most used title for male portraits from the Renaissance era. This early Renaissance ink drawing dates from the second half of the 15th century and is attributed to the Florentine artist Piero del Pollaiuolo (ca.1443-1496).
The painting of The Italian Comedians by Jean-Antoine Watteau (1684-1721) from the 1720’s with five comedians dressed as five of the Zanni, the silly but sometimes clever servants that star in many of the Italian comical plays. I’m never a great fan of this genre of paintings, but this made me smile because of the themed characters of the Commedia dell’Arte. From the left to the right we see: Brighella, Pierrot, Arlecchino, Mezzettino and Scaramuccia.
Portrait of the Marquise de Miramon, née, Thérèse Feuillant. A French lady in a pink dressing gown: fashionable yes, but nevertheless a monstrosity to look at it – the dress that is. The young Marquise – who married well into the old French aristocratic Miramon family, whom were likely to be very welcoming to the dowry she brought from her wealthy bourgeois family -, however, looks very pretty albeit not intensely blissful. The portrait was finished in 1866 by Jacques Joseph Tissot (1836-1902). As the announcement said, the museum does not only have the portrait but also a piece of the monstrous dress along with a letter by the painter asking to display the portrait at the World Fair in Paris.
And there is one Dutch piece called A Winter Scene with Two Gentlemen Playing Colf by the mute winter-artist Hendrick Avercamp (1585-1634), ice hockey players and other locals on the ice in the early 17th Century. The winter theme of his work is not my biggest interest but it’s always nice to know that there is still an interest in his work. I’m sure Avercamp would be chuffed knowing that his works can be seen all over the world.
All of them deserve a closer look, especially the Marquise de Miramon as the website of the Getty museum offers a zooming option to study her portrait into detail. Bravo for the quality of that one: you can almost see her pores – that’s how high the resolution is. The same goes for the Longhi, offering a very nice close-up on the dog and the work in progress on the portrait: the painter is doing very well there.
All images were downloaded from the website of The Getty Museum in Los Angeles (CA) and clicking them will open the individual pages with more detailed information as given by the museum.
My full admiration to The Getty Museum for these acquisitions, but my attention was really caught by another portrait. I became curious because the sitter proved to be a very interesting fellow. It mounted to a little research and at the moment I’m writing a small piece, which I will publish here as soon as I get the additional info needed to fill in the blanks.