That was another country

Art

Notes on Photographs by Larry Silver, 1949–1955 at the New-York Historical Society. Precisely because photography is thought to be the most objective of all mediums, it acquires over the course of years, and seemingly in spite of itself, a haunted quality that no other product of visual culture can claim to the same degree. Fig. 9. Leaving Penn Station, 1952. …

A divine passion

Art, Exhibitions

Elisabeth Louise Vigée Le Brun was the most sought-after portraitist of the ancien régime. A retrospective at the Metropolitan Museum of Art rightly calls attention to her extraordinary talent rather than her gender. Comtesse de La Châtre (Marie Charlotte Louise Perrette Aglaé Bontemps; 1762–1848) by Elisabeth Louise Vigée Le Brun (1755–1842), 1789. Oil on canvas, 45 by 34 ½ inches. …

A Rich and Beautiful Sadness

aroseshapiro Art, Exhibitions

Silence, stillness, and darkness in the paintings of the Danish artist Vilhelm Hammershøi Gardner In one of his most famous works, the esteemed art historian Sir Nikolaus Pevsner sought to define “The Englishness of English Art.” If anyone were to under take a comparable inquiry into the Danishness of Danish art, the painter Vilhelm Hammershøi could well stand as the …

One Off

Editorial Staff Art, Exhibitions

“There has never been another artist like George Caleb Bingham”   Fig. 1. The Jolly Flatboatmen by Bingham, 1846. Oil on canvas, 38 by 48 ½ inches. National Gallery of Art, Washington, D. C., Patrons’ Permanent Fund. Before the middle of the nineteenth century, most American artists were “outsider” artists, in the sense that these denizens of the New World stood …

Habsburg flash and filigree

Editorial Staff Exhibitions

The splendor of the house of Habsburg was always inversely proportionate to its prowess on the field of battle. Under Maximilian I of Austria and his grandson Charles V of Spain, the dynasty waged continuous battles from Cuzco to Constantinople and from Scandinavia to the shores of Africa. During this time, the external manifestations of its magnificence were fairly restrained, …

Visions and revisions of Paris

Editorial Staff Exhibitions

Amid the colorless rubble that rises up all around them, amid shattered brick and sheered off walls that once were homes, men gaze, as though shell-shocked, into the camera’s eye. This is hell on earth. It is also Paris, France. The photograph, taken in 1876, depicts the construction of the av­enue de l’Opéra (see p. 122, top). It is now …

The unfashionable delights of Raoul Dufy

Editorial Staff Art

Raoul Dufy is a conspicuous example of a painter who has fallen almost com­pletely from grace. He has not been the subject of a major American exhibi­tion in over a generation, and his name, it seems, is rarely mentioned any more among the living. Indeed, there is no particular reason to write this article just now, since there is unlikely …

Oceans, Rivers, Lakes, and Ponds

Editorial Staff Art, Exhibitions

from The Magazine ANTIQUES, November/December 2013 | Fig. 3. Lake George Autumn by Georgia O’Keeffe (1887-1986), 1922. Oil on canvas, 15 by 27 inches. © 2013 Georgia O’Keeffe Museum/Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York. Museums are a fairly recent development in human history, dating back scarcely more than two hundred years. But the founding of such institutions has accelerated so …