Tag Archives: Museum of Fine Arts Boston

Albrecht Durer: Virtuoso Printmaker

Famed German draftsman, painter and writer, Albrecht Dürer, is best known for his exquisite, intricate woodcuts and engravings. Dürer’s name is included among art history’s Old Masters, and he continues to earn renown for his innovative, skillfully-executed works. Visit www.parkwestgallery.com to learn more about the Park West Gallery – Old Masters Collection.
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BOSTON, MA — The Museum of Fine Arts, Boston presents Albrecht Durer: Virtuoso Printmaker. Albrecht Dürer was the pivotal figure of Late Gothic and High Renaissance German art. He remains, after 500 years — like Rembrandt, Goya, and Picasso — one of the supreme masters of printmaking. His engravings and woodcuts are a dazzling combination of observation, imagination, and technical virtuosity.

Albrecht Durer: Virtuoso Printmaker is a choice selection of some 45 works from the MFA’s outstanding collection including iconic prints, such as the engravings Adam and Eve (1504), Knight, Death, and the Devil (1513), and the woodcut of the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse (1497-98). Lesser-known but equally compelling engravings, such as The Prodigal Son amid the Swine (1496) and the Coat of Arms of Death (1503), document Dürer’s remarkable powers of observation as well as his vivid imagination. A newly acquired early impression of the rare woodcut The Beheading of St. Catherine (1498) joins a lineup of great impressions of the artist’s single-sheet woodcuts from the 1490s.

The exhibition also features selections from Dürer’s celebrated woodcut series, including The Large Passion and The Life of the Virgin, his innovative experiments with new media, including the etching of the Landscape with the Cannon (1518) and the drypoint of St. Jerome by the Pollard Willow (1512), and books he authored and illustrated on human proportion, drawing devices, and fortification.

Albrecht Durer: Virtuoso Printmaker is now on view through July 3, 2010.

For more information, please visit www.mfa.org

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Cafe and Cabaret: Toulouse-Lautrec’s Paris

French artist Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec is considered one of the great masters of Post-Impressionism. Although exhibitions of Toulouse-Lautrec’s work were not well received in his lifetime, he is now one of the world’s most popular artists, represented in most major museums of France and the United States. Learn More at Park West Gallery Artist Biographies >>
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BOSTON, MA — More than 30 bold and subtle posters, prints, and paintings representative of the bohemian nightlife of late 19th-century Paris are presented in Café and Cabaret: Toulouse-Lautrec’s Paris at the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston (MFA). The French aristocrat Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec (1864-1901), one of the most famous artists of the Post-Impressionist period, is known for his striking images of performers in the centers of Parisian entertainment in the 1880s and 1890s, specifically the café-concerts and cabaret nightclubs in the neighborhood of Montmartre. Toulouse-Lautrec spent most of his time in this lively section of the city — where women danced the Cancan at places such as the Moulin Rouge — and chronicled in his canvases and lithographs the extravagant nightlife of Parisian dance halls and nightclubs.

Despite his short life, Toulouse-Lautrec was enormously productive and succeeded in developing a style uniquely suited to the celebrity culture of the raffish district of Montmartre, where he and other privileged sophisticates went “slumming” in the late 1800s. He had a genius for caricature that captured the signature features and body language of his subjects, who included his friends, the singers and dancers May Milton, Jane Avril, and La Goulue (“the glutton”). He accomplished this with the radical use of broad flat colors, strong silhouettes, and unusual points of view. Toulouse-Lautrec was heavily influenced by the Japanese prints discovered during this time and incorporated Japanese design elements in works.

Toulouse-Lautrec incorporated into his own highly individual vision stylistic elements from various contemporary artists, including the French painter Edgar Degas. Toulouse-Lautrec inserted himself into his images of nightclubs and hung his work in the cabaret Le Mirliton, one of his many haunts. He also designed advertising posters for his good friend the singer, comedian, and showman Aristide Bruant.

In addition to works by Toulouse-Lautrec, Café and Cabaret highlights evocative images of Parisian nightlight by several other celebrated artists of the period, including Pablo Picasso’s painting Stuffed Shirts (Les Plastrons) (1900), Théophile-Alexandre Steinlen’s poster Collection of the Chat Noir (1898), and Pierre Bonnard’s lithograph At the Theater (1895).

Café and Cabaret: Toulouse-Lautrec’s Paris is now on view through August 8, 2010.

For more information, please visit www.mfa.org

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Major Collection of Rembrandt Etchings and the Artist’s Studio on View

For over 40 years, Park West Gallery has been a world-wide source for collectors of original etchings by Rembrandt Van Rijn, the artist viewed by so many as the greatest etcher of all time. Learn all about Rembrandt and the art of etching at the Park West Gallery/Rembrandt Website >>
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Rembrandt van Rijn. Adam and Eve, 1638.RENO, NEVADA — Celebrating the life and legacy of the legendary Dutch painter and etcher Rembrandt van Rijn, the Nevada Museum of Art presents a major exhibit of etchings in Rembrandt: The Embrace of Darkness and Light. Displayed alongside a re-creation of the artist’s printmaking studio, 130 etchings will be highlighted along with tools similar to those Rembrandt would have used to create the etchings and drypoint prints for which he is so widely recognized. Drawn from the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, the extensive collection is one of the finest of its kind in the United States and includes landscapes, portraits, historic depictions from the Bible, mythology and ancient history.

“An expressive storyteller, Rembrandt is perhaps best recognized for achieving dramatic narratives and emotionally-charged scenes by emphasizing and embracing contrasts between darkness and light,” said Ann Wolfe, Curator of Exhibitions and Collections, Nevada Museum of Art. “In this exhibition, viewers will experience a gallery space that has been transformed using elements inspired by the 17th-century Dutch architecture Rembrandt would have encountered during his lifetime.”

Presented in an intimate jewel-box setting, the small-scale etchings trace Rembrandt’s entire career as a printmaker and demonstrate his innate understanding of the human condition. Unlike many artists before him, Rembrandt recognized that the practice of etching responded best to a lighter touch resulting in a baroque richness of detail and texture. His method of copper-plate etching, using fine lines and flicks without outlines, was original and rarely used by artists who came after him.

The exhibition features a number of recognizable works including Self-Portrait Leaning on a Stone Sill, a 1639 etching, in which Rembrandt depicts himself as a Renaissance courtier dressed in opulent attire with an upturned collar and embroidered gloves—an appropriate costume for an artist just beginning to taste the fruits of his success following his permanent move to Amsterdam the same year. In The Woman With the Arrow (Venus and Cupid), a 1661 etching, Rembrandt depicts the female nude, a primary theme in his printmaking from 1658 to 1661. Deep in the shadows one can barely make out a mysterious face with coal-black eyes. Some have suggested that the figure is Cupid—taunted by Venus who has taken away his arrows. In the lively 1638 biblical etching depicting the story of Adam and Eve, Rembrandt seized the opportunity to explore the battle of the sexes with comic irony. Eve is clearly the stronger figure who enticingly displays the fatal apple, while Adam appears surprisingly weak and hesitant. The serpent, Satan, takes the form of a winged dragon, while a tiny elephant represents the animal population of a lush and leafy paradise.

Rembrandt: The Embrace of Darkness and Light is now on view through January 17, 2010.

For more information, please visit www.nevadaart.org

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