Oct 5 Wed 10am-Noon Met Valentin de Boulogne: Beyond Caravaggio (thru Jan 22) and Fragonard: Drawing Triumphant—Works from New York Collections (thru Jan 8)

Update Jan 3 2017: Final Weeks to View Major Exhibition of Work by Valentin de Boulogne at The Met Fifth Avenue

Valentin de Boulogne: Beyond Caravaggio
On view through January 22
The greatest French follower of Caravaggio (1571–1610), Valentin de Boulogne (1591–1632), was also one of the outstanding artists in 17th-century Europe. In the years following Caravaggio’s death, he emerged as one of the most original protagonists of the new, naturalistic painting. Valentin de Boulogne is the first monographic exhibition devoted to this artist, who is little known because his career was short-lived—he died at age 41—and his works are so rare. Around 60 paintings by Valentin survive, and this exhibition brings together 45 of them, with works from Rome, Vienna, Munich, Madrid, London, and Paris. Exceptionally, the Musée du Louvre, which possesses the most important and extensive body of Valentin’s works, has lent all of its paintings by the artist.
Valentin has long been admired by those with a passion for Caravaggesque painting, and his work was a reference point for the great realists of the 19th century, from Courbet to Manet. His startlingly vibrant staging of dramatic events and the deep humanity of his figures, who seem touched by a pervasive melancholy, make his work unforgettable.

Also closing soon:

Fragonard: Drawing Triumphant—Works from New York Collections
On view through January 8
Jean Honoré Fragonard (1732–1806) was perhaps the most forward-looking artist of the 18th century. His originality can be found in the spirited touch and fertile imagination that infuses his entire output, but is best appreciated in his works on paper. This exhibition of approximately 110 drawings and prints explores his full range of invention, from the quick sketches that captured his initial ideas, to the finished drawings so highly valued by collectors from his own day to the present. It is a testament to the special place Fragonard has held in the hearts of New York collectors that the selection is drawn entirely from local collections, public and private.
# # #

Valentin de Boulogne (French, Coulommiers-en-Brie 1591–1632 Rome). Judith with the Head of Holofernes. Ca. 1626-27. Oil on canvas. Musée des Augustins, Toulouse


Met finds French gold
A quite extraordinary double hit by the Met this week, presenting two French geniuses from the past who are now less world famous than they deserve, the first being the Parisian Jean-Honore Fragonard (1732-1806), whose 100 drawings on paper on show from Oct 6 Thu to Jan 8 prove that drawing can achieve a peak of artistic quality equal to any painting, and whose range of naturalistic subjects from licentious lovers to lavish landscapes first established this truth with critics and collectors and established a market for them at auction in their own right and not just as preparatory for paintings, in a collection which will reward those who linger attentively and for a while with many perfect examples of how speedily improvising with chalk or wash on paper from Fragonard’s creative imagination can indeed match the power and beauty of their larger cousins on the museum wall, even though in terms of size and presence they are not as immediately as overwhelming as the truly stupendous paintings of his French predecessor Valentin de Boulogne (1591-1632), whose magnificent array of large paintings will be shown a day later (Oct 7 Fri to Jan 16 Mon) on the 2nd floor as well, but farther down the main corridor at the end, in the Cantor Hall). which with their organized tumult and psychological drama and their opening up of the framed space to the presence of the viewer are overwhelming testimony to how Valentin went to live in Rome in 1514, took his inspiration from Caravaggio’s (1571-1610) revolution of replacing the frozen classical vision of people by painting real models highlighted with chiaroscuro, but took it further, surpassing Caravaggio in his staging of similar biblical and domestic dramas ranging from Samson and Solomon to card sharps and musicians in vividly human terms, where the presence of the viewer is almost part of the scene and every participant is startlingly alive and actively relating to each other and even to the spectator, in this truly stunning collection of 45 of the sixty paintings left from this once renowned painter who died from fever at the age of 41, just as young as his brother in riotous living, Caravaggio before him who also died at 41 from malaria, and so as a result of his premature death Valentin lost his influence on succeeding generations till Courbet appealed to his memory in initiating France’s return to naturalism in the 19th Century, but who on this evidence deserves the highest place in the public’s mind as one of the foremost geniuses of art whose work can be appreciated by all visitors, who will often be as surprised and stunned as was the young Keith Christiansen, now the head of European Painting at the Met, who was a student when he visited the Louvre and discovered the extraordinary genius of Valentin, and who has finally realized his dream of mounting this definitive presentation of his works, including all the works in the Louvre which are not normally available for loans, but which were especially cleaned for this show, helped by the Louvre curator Annicke Lemoine, and accompanied by one of the most appealing and complete catalogues ($65) the Met has published.

Press Previews on Wednesday, October 5, for
Two Exhibitions at The Met Fifth Avenue

Valentin de Boulogne: Beyond Caravaggio
October 7, 2016–January 16, 2017
The greatest French follower of Caravaggio (1571–1610), Valentin de Boulogne (1591–1632), was also one of the outstanding artists in 17th-century Europe. In the years following Caravaggio’s death, he emerged as one of the most original protagonists of the new, naturalistic painting. Valentin de Boulogne: Beyond Caravaggio will be the first monographic exhibition devoted to this artist, who is little known because his career was short-lived—he died at age 41—and his works are so rare. Around 60 paintings by Valentin survive, and this exhibition will bring together 45 of them, with works coming from Rome, Vienna, Munich, Madrid, London, and Paris. Exceptionally, the Musée du Louvre, which possesses the most important and extensive body of Valentin’s works, will be lending all of its paintings by the artist.
Valentin has long been admired by those with a passion for Caravaggesque painting, and his work was a reference point for the great realists of the 19th century, from Courbet to Manet. His startlingly vibrant staging of dramatic events and the deep humanity of his figures, who seem touched by a pervasive melancholy, make his work unforgettable.

Fragonard: Drawing Triumphant—Works from New York Collections
October 6, 2016–January 8, 2017

Jean-Honoré Fragonard (1732–1806) was perhaps the most forward-looking artist of the 18th century. Through some 110 drawings and prints, the exhibition Fragonard: Drawing Triumphant—Works from New York Collections will explore the full range of his invention—from the quick sketches that captured his initial ideas, to the finished drawings so highly valued by collectors from his own day to the present. The exhibition is a testament to the special place Fragonard has held in the hearts of New York collectors, public and private.

Image: Jean Honoré Fragonard (French, 1732–1806). Rinaldo in the Enchanted Forest, ca. 1763. Brown wash over very light black chalk underdrawing. The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, Purchase, Louis V. Bell, Harris Brisbane Dick, Fletcher, and Rogers Funds and Joseph Pulitzer Bequest; Guy Wildenstein Gift; The Elisha Whittelsey Collection, The Elisha Whittelsey Fund; Kristin Gary Fine Art Gift; and funds from various donors, 2009 (2009.236)

Fragonard: Drawing Triumphant—Works from
New York Collections

Click for More
This entry was posted in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.