The National Gallery of Art is presenting True to Nature: Open-Air Painting in Europe, 1780–1870, thru May 3, 2020. Painting en plein airwas an integral part of art education in the late 18th and early 19th centuries, and was a core practice for avant-garde artists in Europe. Artists such as Jean-Baptiste-Camille Corot, John Constable, Simon Denis, Jules Coignet, and André Giroux were highly skilled at quickly capturing effects of light and atmosphere. They made arduous journeys to paint their landscapes in person at breathtaking sites. The exhibition draws on new scholarship, and some 100 oil sketches made outdoors in Europe during that time and includes several recently discovered. Issues such as attribution, chronology, and technique are explored. The exhibition is curated by Mary Morton, who is head of the department of French paintings, National Gallery of Art, Washington; Ger Luitjen, director, Fondation Custodia, Collection Frits Lugt, Paris; and Jane Munro, keeper of paintings, drawings and prints, Fitzwilliam Museum, Cambridge.
Image below: Léon-François-Antoine Fleury - French, 1804 - 1858 - "The Tomb of Cecaelia Metella" - Dated c. 1830 - oil on canvas – Credit - Gift of Frank Anderson Trapp
The National Gallery of Art is exhibiting Raphael and His Circle, thru June 14. The exhibition features four drawings by Raphael (1483–1520) and nine drawings by his closest collaborators and followers—Giulio Romano, Polidoro da Caravaggio, and Perino del Vaga. The exhibition also includes 10 engravings, as well as a chiaroscuro woodcut, by the earliest interpreters of Raphael’s designs. “The Gallery’s five paintings by Raphael—the largest and most important group outside a few European collections—represent the central decade of his activity and are on view on the main floor of the West Building to complement this exhibition.” The exhibition is curated by Jonathan Bober, Andrew W. Mellon Senior Curator of Prints and Drawings, National Gallery of Art. Image below: Marcantonio Raimondi possibly after Raphael - Italian, c. 1480 - c. 1534 - Raphael's Dream - c. 1508/1509 - engraving - Print - Credit - Gift of W.G. Russell Allen
The National Gallery of Art will present Degas at the Opéra, March 1-July 5. The artist’s images of the Paris Opéra are among his “most sophisticated and visually compelling works, and the exhibition will present approximately 100 of his best-known and beloved works.” They were created in a range of media, including paintings, pastels, drawings, prints, and sculpture. Degas (1834–1917) is celebrated as “the painter of dancers, a subject that dominated his art for nearly four decades.” However this will be the first exhibition to consider “his enduring fascination with the opéra.” He explored both the public spaces of the Paris Opéra—auditorium, stage, and boxes—as well as more private ones, including dance studios and backstage. Degas was friends with many of the people he depicted in his paintings, from dancers, singers, and orchestra musicians to the dark-suited subscribers. “The Opéra also fueled some of Degas’s most daring technical innovations, including his first monotype, The Ballet Master(c. 1876), and his wax statue Little Dancer Aged Fourteen (1881), which revolutionized sculpture.” The exhibition is curated by Degas expert Henri Loyrette with Kimberly A. Jones, curator of 19th-century French paintings, National Gallery of Art; Leïla Jarbouai, graphic arts curator, Musée d'Orsay; and Marine Kisiel, curator, Musée d'Orsay. Image below: Edgar Degas, French, 1834-1917 "The Curtain" 1880 - A drawing in pastel over charcoal and monotype on laid paper mounted on board. Credit: Collection of Mr. and Mrs. Paul Mellon.
The National Gallery of Art will open an installation titled American Art, 1900–1950: The City in the East Building on February 21. The installation will include “29 prints and photographs and one sketchbook celebrating the soaring skyscrapers, massive steel bridges, and the increasing commotion of New York City's streets, which captivated artists working in the first half of the 20th century. In efforts to convey the scale and speed of the modern American city, artists portrayed a wide variety of city-dwellers at work, engaging in leisure pastimes, and otherwise going about their daily lives.”