at the Rebirth
of the City
In the early 1500s, Rome’s majesty was a distant memory: its marble temples and palaces had been ransacked; its population was a fraction of what it had been in antiquity. Yet, over the course of the next hundred years, the Eternal City would experience an amazing rebirth, as a series of popes rebuilt and revitalized Rome and its population doubled. At the center of this metamorphosis was an unprecedented influx of artistic talent and creative exchange.
It is this remarkable period in art history that is the subject of a new exhibition, Rome After Raphael, featuring more than 80 works selected almost exclusively from the Morgan’s exceptional collection of Italian drawings, the exhibition brings to light the intense artistic activity in Rome from the Renaissance to the beginning of the Baroque period, approximately from 1500 to 1600.
The exhibition is the first in New York to focus solely on Roman Renaissance and Mannerist drawings, beginning with Raphael and ending with the dawn of a new era, the Baroque, as seen in the art of Annibale Carracci. It includes striking examples by Raphael and Michelangelo as well as works by artists associated with the dominant stylistic traditions established by these two iconic figures.
Among the prominent artists represented are: Baldassare Peruzzi, Polidoro da Caravaggio, Giulio Romano, Perino del Vaga, Parmigianino, Daniele da Volterra, Francesco Salviati, Pirro Ligorio, Pellegrino Tibaldi, Taddeo Zuccaro, Girolamo Muziano, Cesare Nebbia, Federico Zuccaro, Raffaellino da Reggio, and Giuseppe Cesari, called Il Cavaliere d’Arpino.
The exhibition also features Giulio Clovio’s sumptuous Farnese hours, one of the greatest illuminated manuscripts, as well as the Codex Mellon — an architectural treatise on key Roman sites and projects, including Raphael’s design for St. Peter’s — and a magnificent gilt binding of the period. Also on view is a Raphael workshop painting from the Morgan depicting the Holy Family, which has recently undergone a technical examination.
“The quality and importance of the Morgan’s collection of sixteenth-century Italian drawings has long been recognized,” remarked Morgan director William M. Griswold. “Although individual sheets have appeared in major exhibitions in Europe and the United States, the Morgan has never before brought together so many outstanding works from this period and place in one show. Seen together for the first time, the drawings convey the opulence and artistic diversity of this pivotal period.”
It was during the reign of Pope Julius II, elected in 1503, that Rome embarked on a century-long program of renewal and restoration. By the time Pope Clement VIII died in 1605, the overarching political and artistic ambitions of popes, cardinals, and foreign dignitaries had given rise to one of the richest periods in art history, transforming Rome into the unrivaled cultural capital of Europe.
Numerous drawings in the exhibition are related to Roman projects and commissions, including elaborate schemes for fresco decorations for city palaces, rural villas, and funerary chapels as well as altarpieces, tapestry designs, and views of recently discovered antiquities. The exhibition also opens a window into the artistic sensibility and lavish patronage of the period, from Julius II — patron of both Michelangelo and Raphael and arguably the most culturally sophisticated of the popes — to his successor Leo X and the “Gran Cardinale” Alessandro Farnese and his nephew Odoardo. Cardinal Ippolito d’Este and the Medici also generated luxurious commissions as they competed to create their own legacies in chapels, palaces, and villas.
Through their sheer quality and novelty, the works of Raphael and Michelangelo in the Vatican established a tradition that resonated throughout the history of Western art. The exhibition brings to the fore the central artistic dialectic of the century: the rivalry between the legacies of Raphael, whose work epitomizes elegant restraint and clear narrative style, and that of Michelangelo, characterized by high drama and muscular nudes.
Rome after Raphael >
Antonio Gentili (1519-1609), Farnese Hours (front cover), Italy, Rome, ca. 1589, Purchased by Pierpont Morgan, 1903; MS M.69.
A K Dolven, hanging in front of the clock, 2003, Digital video on DVD, Edition of 5,detail.
A K Dolven's Exploring of the Poetics of the Body
In her latest exhibition at Wilkinson Gallery, A K Dolven is showing two major works, the day the sky became my ground, and a 16mm film and a video installation entitled ahead with a third Self portrait Berlin februar 1989 Lofoten august 2009.
A K Dolven >>
Jacqueline Humphries, Untitled, 2009, oil and enamel on linen, 182.9 x 198.1 cm, detail.
Jacqueline Humphries' Shimmering, Metallic Bursts
In this new body of work, completed in 2009-2010, Humphries continues her engagement with metallic silver pigment as a means to challenge conventional norms of painted space. The new paintings shimmer with lush reflectivity that changes dramatically as the viewer moves in relation to them.
Jacqueline Humphries >>
ves Klein, Le Saut dans le vide [Leap into the Void], 1960, detail.
Yves Klein and the Mid-20th Century Change in Art
One of the 20th century’s most influential artists, Yves Klein (French, b. Nice, 1928; d. Paris, 1962) took the European art scene by storm in a prolific but brief career that lasted only from 1954 to 1962. Yves Klein: With the Void, Full Powers, is the first major retrospective of the artist’s work in the United States since 1982.
Yves Klein >>
Josef Albers (1888-1976) Color Study of Grays, not dated, Oil on cardstock with varnish © 2012, detail.
The Craft Process of Josef Albers' Oil Studies
Wayne Gonzales presents an innovative group of new paintings composed of both abstract and figurative work. Contemplative, evocative and mysterious, the work uses a rigorous formal structure to mine the processes of painting and perception.
Josef Albers >>
Richard Hamilton, Balzac (b), 2011 (printed 2012), Epson inkjet on Hewlett-Packard RHesolution canvas.
Richard Hamilton's Last Picture Show
Up until his death aged 89 in September 2011, Richard Hamilton was planning a major exhibition of recent works conceived specifically for the National Gallery. This highly personal exhibition is a masterful final statement of intent by one of the most influential British artists of the 20th century.
Richard Hamilton >>
a Turtle, Cuny
Foam_Fotografiemuseum Amsterdam presents the latest project by photographer Cuny Janssen, entitled My Grandma Was A Turtle. This refers to the Turtle clan of the matriarchal Delaware tribe of Native Americans in Oklahoma. In 2008, Janssen visited the village of Bartlesville in Oklahoma to photograph children of Native American ancestry and their surroundings. She was curious to see whether there was anything about their origins to be seen in today’s Native American children. Her photos of people and her landscape images are relaxed, timeless and remarkable for their subtle lyricism.
Cuny Janssen focuses her lens almost exclusively on children and unspoilt nature. Her landscape pictures are taken in the same environment in which her portrait subjects live. The children in the photos look straight into the camera without reservation. Their candour and the beauty of the surrounding country perfectly match the tranquillity and natural ease exuded by her photography. Trust and an ability to open up to direct experience are essential aspects of the way Janssen works.Cuny Janssen’s photography fits in a long-established tradition in Dutch art and culture of focusing totally on everyday objects, in which appearance and insight merge together.
Cuny Janssen (1975) graduated in 2000 at Hogeschool voor de Kunsten in Utrecht. Two years later she won second prize in the Prix de Rome for photography. Most of her work is produced on her travels, including India (2000), Macedonia (2003), Iran (2004), South Africa (2005), Japan (2008, 2009, 2010) and lately to the United States.
This exhibition is accompanied by a volume entitled My Grandma Was A Turtle, with texts by Nicky Michael and Sybren Kuiper (Snoeck Verlag).
Cuny JanyJanssen >
Cuny Janssen, Osage Hills State Park, OK, USA 2008 © Cuny Jansen, detail.