Tag Archives: Portraits

Featured Exhibition: Michel Sittow. Estonian Painter at the Courts of Renaissance Europe, until 16 September at The Kumu Museum, Tallinn

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Born in Tallinn, Michel Sittow, studied in the studio of his father Clawes van der Sittow, a respected painter and wood carver. In 1484, the young artist headed to Bruges, the art centre of the Netherlands at the time, probably to work in the studio of Hans Memling, a German who was the town’s most sought-after master. There he learned the illusionist technique typical of the Netherlandish school of painting.

From 1492 to 1504, Michel Sittow was in the service of Isabella of Castile, and later worked as a portraitist for Philip the Handsome, Margaret of Austria, Ferdinand of Aragon and Christian II of Denmark. Sittow returned to his home-town of Tallinn, first in 1506 in connection with an inheritance dispute, when he joined the local artists’ guild. In 1514, Sittow left for Copenhagen at the invitation of King Christian II, and from there he went on to Spain and the Netherlands. The famous portraitist returned to Tallinn for good in early 1518.
With his diverse heritage (a family with German and Finnish-Swedish roots living in Tallinn) and cosmopolitan career, Sittow did not fit in with the national narrative of art history that prevailed in the first half of the 20th century. However, his cosmopolitan career is all the more relevant in the current European context.

The international exhibition project, which includes multi-faceted collaboration with centres in Europe and the United States, brings Sittow’s extraordinary works from distinguished museums and private collection to his first solo exhibition. This is a unique platform for a broader introduction and further research on the oeuvre of this remarkable artist. Most of Sittow’s small number of works (20 to 25 paintings) are on exhibit, thereby providing an excellent survey of his work as a portraitist and painter of religious works. It also allows us to view his art in a broader context, including in collaboration with Juan de Flandes and other contemporary Netherlandish artists. In addition to the paintings, another section of the exhibition is comprised of a timeline that provides an overview of the 500-year story of Michel Sittow, from his birth and successful career to his fall into oblivion and rediscovery.

The exhibition, which is a collaborative project of the Art Museum of Estonia and the National Gallery of Art in Washington, DC, will take place in 2018 in celebration of the centenary of the Republic of Estonia. This year also marks 500 years since Michel Sittow’s final return to his home-town of Tallinn.

Click here for more details.

Upcoming exhibition: Picasso Portraits, London

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Picasso Portraits

National Portrait Gallery, London

6 October 2016 – 5 February 2017

Major exhibition of over eighty works focusing on the artist’s portrayal of family, friends and lovers from all periods of his  career and in all media. Works on show range from the realist paintings of his boyhood to his later ultra-spontaneous canvases. Includes celebrated masterpieces loaned by international institutions to works in private collections being shown in the United Kingdom for the first time.

Exhibition co-organised by the National Portrait Gallery, London and the Museu Picasso, Barcelona.

GOYA PORTRAITS – THE NATIONAL GALLERY LONDON – LUNCHTIME TALKS

EXHIBITION EVENTS

GOYA THE PORTRAITS

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The National Gallery, Sainsbury Wing Theatre

Lunchtime Talks – Free, no booking
Courses – £14/£12 concession/£10 members

October-December 2015

1.00-1.45pm

OCTOBER

Francisco de Goya, The Duchess of Alba (detail), 1797. © Courtesy of The Hispanic Society of America, New York

Lunchtime talk
Thursday 29 October 
Goya & the Duchess of Alba
Marcus B. Burke
Senior Curator, Museum Department, The Hispanic Society of America, New York

NOVEMBER

Course (Sainsbury Wing Theatre)
Thursday 12 November

11am-1pm
Fashioning identity
Tutor: Aileen Ribeiro
£14/£12 concessions/£10 members
Professor Aileen Ribeiro of the Courtauld Institute of Art explores themes of costume and national identity in Spain, England and France during the late 18th and early 19th centuries.

Altamira

Lunchtime talk
Monday 16 November
The Altamira Family, Goya and Portraiture
Xavier Salomon
Chief curator, The Frick Collection, New York

Study day
Saturday 21 November
11am-3.30pm
Sainsbury Wing Theatre
Subversive portraits: Goya and his legacy
Speakers: Juliet Wilson Bareau, Emma Barker, Xavier Bray, Gill Perry and Yinka Shonibare
£25/£14 concessions/£10 members and OU students
Explore portraits by Goya and other artists in the context of Napoleonic Europe, and discover why Goya has been such a key figure for modern and contemporary artists from Manet to Jake and Dinos Chapman. Held in collaboration with the Open University.

Lunchtime talk
Monday 30 November
Public faces, private views: Goya’s letters and the problem of portraiture
Sarah Symmons
Visiting Fellow, University of Essex

DECEMBER

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Monday 7 December
Goya’s patron: Manuel Godoy
Isadora Rose-de Viejo

Monday 21 December
Painted Cloth: Goya and Dress
Jacqui Ansell

Jaume Plensa in Chicago

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Jaume Plensa: 1004 Portraits
Richard Gray Gallery, Chicago, 17 June 2014 – 1 December 2015.

Four of Plensa’s portrait heads in stone and cast iron, ranging from 21 to 36 foot in height, are on display in Chicago’s Millenium Park to celebrate its 10th anniversary. They continue the story of the Barcelona-based Plensa’s original 1000 video portraits of local Chicago residents that have illuminated the Crown Fountain since 2004 and are entitled Awilda, Laura, Paula and Ines.

Exhibition: Goya portraits: National Gallery, London

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Forthcoming exhibition:
Goya Portraits
National Gallery, London
Wed 7 October 2015 – Sun 10 January 2016

The first exhibition in the UK to focus solely on Goya’s portraits. It will look at a wide range of works across his career, from official commissions depicting monarchs and generals through to informal images capturing close friends and colleagues. Among them, court servants in Madrid,such as Andrés del Peral (c.1797), who was appointed guilder to the court of Charles III in 1785, only a year before Goya’s own appointment as court painter. The exhibition will present new research on the artist and sitters by its curator Xavier Bray, Chief Curator, Dulwich Picture Gallery and ARTES member.

El Retrato en las Colecciones Reales de Juan de Flandes a Antonio López, Madrid

Association of Art Historians – Annual Conference April 2015 – Call for Papers – Deadline 10 November 2014

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AAH2015
41st Annual Conference & Bookfair
Sainsbury Institute for Art, UEA, Norwich
9 – 11 April 2015

Portraiture and the Unworthy Subject in the Early Modern World

Paper proposals, to be sent to the session convenor in accordance with proposal guidelines.

Paper proposal deadline: 10 November 2014

Session convenor: Carmen Fracchia, Birkbeck, University of London, c.fracchia@bbk.ac.uk

In the early modern period, the production of portraiture was governed by restrictive conventions. According to the first European treatise on portraiture since antiquity (Francisco de Holanda’s Do tirar polo natural [On Taking Portraits from Life], 1548), the essence of the genre was the worthy sitter’s moral or intellectual prestige. Thus, the main function of the portrait image was to immortalise the worthy elite, with the implicit moral understanding that there could be no room for the portrayal of the unworthy subject. What are the political and visual implications of this belief about portraiture? What are the notions of human diversity that prevent the portrayal of undeserving subjects? How are these concepts negotiated in the production of the portrait image outside Europe?

This session aims to build on research by historians of art, literature and the colonial world, and work on slave narratives that illuminate the paradoxical nature of ‘slave portraits’ in the Atlantic World. It intends to explore a wider spectrum of what were considered ‘unworthy subjects’, and the complexity of the mutually exclusive categories of ‘portraiture’ and ‘undeserving subject’. It also seeks to tackle the oxymoronic categories of ‘self-portraiture’ and ‘unworthy subject’, and investigate how notions of human diversity might challenge the boundaries of traditional portraiture and self-portraiture.

Contributions are invited that address the portrayal of ‘undeserving people’ across different media and cultures in the early modern world, as well as the historical context of social inferiority and the ‘undeserving’ between the 15th and the 18th centuries.
– See more at: http://www.aah.org.uk/annual-conference/sessions2015/session24#sthash.8VY0zg3x.dpuf

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Diego Rodríguez de Silva y Velázquez
Portrait of Juan de Pareja, 1650
oil on canvas
Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York

Daniel Vázquez Díaz, Oviedo

2014-07-Daniel Vazquez DiazDaniel Vázquez Díaz (1882-1969), Museo de Bellas Artes de Asturias, Oviedo, 17 June – 21 September.
40 portrait drawings of the artist’s contemporaries selected from the series Hombres de mi tiempo in the collection of the Madrid-based Fundación Mapfre. Alongside the drawings the Asturias museum is also showing a key painting Bañistas / Desnudos en la piscina‘ (1930-1935), by the artist, who was a leading figurative artist during the first half of the 20th century, but whose style changes dramatically after the Spanish Civil War.