An old master, newly arrived: Valentin de Boulogne at the Metropolitan Museum of Art

Editorial Staff Art

A rather depressing article appeared recently in the New York Times concerning a steep and sudden decline in the market for old master paintings. “At a time when contemporary art is all the rage among collectors, viewers, and donors,” Robin Pogrebin wrote, “many experts are questioning whether old master artwork—once the most coveted—can stay relevant at auction houses, galleries, and museums.” There can be a no more thunderous rebuttal to the notion that old masters are irrelevant than the new exhibition of Valentin de Boulogne at the Metropolitan Museum of Art.

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. …