The fourth installment of our web-only column on ceramics and glass.
Face jugs crafted in the mid-nineteenth century by slaves and freedmen working in the Edgefield District of South Carolina are among the rarest and most historically significant of American folk art ceramics. The Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York recently acquired a superb one.
As a symbol of fortitude and flexibility, bamboo often appears in Japanese art depicting rough weather—bearing up under high winds or the burden of snow, bending yet refusing to break.
In the closing years of the seventeenth century, Cristóbal de Villalpando was, in all likelihood, the best-known painter in the New World—and most of us have never heard of him.
The Flemish artist Hercules Segers—now the recipient of his first exhibition in America, on view at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York—was probably the oddest European painter and printmaker of the seventeenth century.
These tiny triumphs speak to human ingenuity, boundless reservoirs of patience, and painstaking craftsmanship in efforts where the slightest error will ruin the whole.
Maine’s influence on the art of Marsden Hartley.
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.
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. …
“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 …