the Elder, Flemish
Painting, Early 17th Century
Jan Brueghel the Elder, along with Peter Paul Rubens, is one of the most important Flemish painters of the early 17th Century. Unlike his brother, Pieter, the Elder, who hewed closely to the works of his famous father, Pieter Bruegel. Jan Brueghel the Elder developed an independent style early, with small-scale landscape paintings faithfully reproduced floral elements, and detailed allegories that were groundbreaking for Flemish Baroque painting.
The Alte Pinakothek in Munich has a singular inventory, documenting the many facets of his work. It includes not only 49 autograph paintings by Jan Brueghel the Elder., but also major works such as the Seaport with the Preaching of Christ, Ansicht einer Hafenstadt mit der Enthaltsamkeit des Scipio and The Great Fish Market Some images created in collaboration with other artists: as the Madonna in Floral Wreath, a collaboration with friend Peter Paul Rubens, and the magnificent Seasons cycle, which he created together with Hendrik van Balen. In addition, this exhibition illustrates the art of painting of an entire family of artists. The Bavarian State Painting Collections also have works by Pieter Bruegel the Elder, Pieter Brueghel the Younger, and Jan Brueghel the Younger and the famous painting of the Four Continents — one of the highlights in the Alte Pinakothek — by Jan van Kessel, grandson of Jan Brueghel the Elder.
Important loans in the exhibition are complemented by high-caliber loans from international museums. From the Prado in Madrid is the Vision of St. Hubertus, next to Flora and Zephyr from Castle Mosigkau (culture DessauWörlitz) is another prominent example of the cooperation of Jan Brueghel and Rubens. The Szépmuvészeti Muzeum in Budapest offers one of Brueghel the Elder's, fascinating scenes of hell, and from Uffizi Gallery in Florence is a Calvary. Other highlights include exquisite drawings by Brueghel the Elder, artfully loose yet accurate studies of birds (Brunswick, Herzog Anton Ulrich-Museum) and a harbor scene (London, The British Museum) and elaborate creations such as the Harbor with a Fish Market from a German private collection, Mountain Landscape with Port (Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen, Rotterdam) and Scipionengrab from the Louvre in Paris, documenting Brueghel's trip to Italy. Complementing the selection are printed graphics from Dresden State Art Collections, National Graphics Collection of the Albertina in Vienna and Munich, as well as other major lenders.
The entire inventory was extensively studied in recent months in Münich in collaboration with restorers of Doerner Institute. Radiographs and an Infrared reflectogram revealed signatures and pentimenti. Observation with a stereo microscope added to knowledge of the process of painting and brushwork characteristics of the artist, which also allowed for reassessment of the attribution. The exhibition documents the results of these investigations.
Jan Brueghel >>
Jan Brueghel the Elder | A View of the Interior of the Colosseum, 1593-94, © Kupferstichkabinett bpk / Kupferstich-kabinett, SMB / Jörg P. Anders.
Jan Brueghel the Elder and Hendrik van Balen | Spring, 1616, © Bayerische Staatsgemäldesamm-lungen, Munich, Staatsgalerie Neuburg a. d. Donau.
Altar Prepared for the Feast of Corpus Christi, detail from an Antiphonary.
The Eucharist in Medieval Western Europe
For medieval Christians, the Eucharist (the sacrament of Communion) was not only at the heart of the Mass — its presence and symbolism also wielded enormous influence over cultural and civic life. Illuminating Faith: The Eucharist in Medieval Life and Art explores how artists of the period depicted the celebration of the sacrament and its powerful hold on society in more than 65 exquisitely illuminated manuscripts drawn from the Morgan Library & Museum collection.
Illuminating Faith >>
David Levinthal, Untitled from the series Hitler Moves East, 1973, detail.
War Reduced to a Miniature Documentation of Hell
David Levinthal: War Games is the first exhibition to bring together all of Levinthal’s work on the subject of war. For nearly 40 years, the New York-based photographer has simulated historic war zones with action figures and dioramas, producing work that comments on the representation of conflict in photography, cinema, and other media. War Games invites reflection on the intersection of war and play, juxtaposing the humor of toys with the horror of war, exploring boundaries between simulated reality and history.
War Games >>
Joaquín Torres-García, Composition (Composición), 1938, detail.
The Advance of Abstraction between the World Wars
New Harmony: Abstraction between the Wars, 1919-1939 celebrates spirited trends in abstraction embraced among international artists working in Europe between the world wars. Taken from the title of a 1936 painting by Paul Klee — an optimistic work of utopian geometry reflecting the artist’s interest in color theory and musical composition — New Harmony: Abstraction between the Wars, 1919-1939 features 40 paintings, sculptures, and works on paper by some 20 artists.
New Harmony >>
Lynn Hershman Leeson. Roberta’s Construction Chart #2. 1976, detail.
Modern & Contemporary Photography, New at MoMA
XL: 19 New Acquisitions in Photography, features a selection of major works — often multipart and serial images — by 19 contemporary artists made between 1960 and the present, acquired by the Department of Photography within the past five years and are on view at MoMA for the first time. The exhibition is organized by Roxana Marcoci, Curator; Sarah Meister, Curator; and Eva Respini, Associate Curator; with Katerina Stathopoulou, Curatorial Assistant, Department of Photography, The Museum of Modern Art.
New Photography >>
Albrecht Dürer (1471-1528) is widely considered the greatest German artist. Albertina Museum in Vienna, Austria, has lent National Gallery of Art 118 works on paper by Dürer for Albrecht Dürer: Master Drawings, Watercolors, and Prints from the Albertina features nearly all of Dürer's finest watercolors and drawings from the collection of the Albertina, Vienna, as well as 27 of the museum's related engravings and woodcuts. The exhibition also includes 19 drawings and prints from the gallery collection.
Albrecht Dürer: Master Drawings, Watercolors, and Prints from the Albertina is a culmination of decades of acquisition, study, and exhibition of early German art at the Gallery. In 1999, the Gallery presented From Schongauer to Holbein, a survey exhibition of early German drawings based on the collections of Kupferstichkabinett, Staatliche Museen zu Berlin, and Kunstmuseum Basel. This loan from the Albertina, Vienna is the only other exhibition from a single collection of similar visual impact, quality, and importance.
The exhibition is organized by National Gallery of Art, Washington, in association with the Albertina, Vienna.
Dürer's paintings are highly prized, but his most influential works are his drawings, watercolors, engravings, and woodcuts, executed with his distinctively northern sense of refined precision and exquisite craftsmanship.
The exhibition is organized chronologically in 14 thematic groups that convey Dürer's talent as a draftsman as well as his artistic life, interests, and development. From detailed renderings of the natural world and investigations of proportion and the human body to family members and official portraits, landscapes, religious and allegorical themes, intensely personal reflections, and even studies of drapery and designs for decorative arts, the 137 works by Dürer on view give insight into his artistic development and creative genius. Finished compositions that functioned as independent works of art, colorful watercolors of nature and costumes, as well as quick sketches and studies for paintings and prints, woodcuts, engravings, and etchings all illustrate the full range of his subjects.
The exhibition includes many of the artist's most breathtaking works on paper, such as the watercolor The Great Piece of Turf (1503), a sublime nature study of the Renaissance; the chiaroscuro drawings An Elderly Man of Ninety-Three Years (1521) and The Praying Hands (1508), surely one of the most famous drawings in the world; and the amazingly precocious silverpoint Self-Portrait at Thirteen (1484), possibly the earliest self-portrait drawing by any artist. Such complete and finished works are balanced by quick sketches of, for example, his young bride-to-be or the Antwerp harbor,
In drawing, with the possible exception of colored chalks, Dürer used the complete range of traditional techniques to record convincing details of nature, people, and places as well as to re-create historical and mythological events and fantastic visions. In printmaking Dürer revolutionized the art of woodcut to achieve ranges of subject and scale, light, and form. He created engravings not only powerful in image but also unparalleled in craftsmanship and technique, and he experimented with etching and drypoint.
Albrecht Durer >>
Albrecht Dürer, Lucretia, 1508, brush and gray and black ink, gray wash, heightened with white on green prepared paper, overall: 42.3 x 22.6 cm, overall (framed): 65.4 x 47.1 x 4.1 cm, Albertina, Vienna.