Figures Across the Ages from Inspired by Chatsworth: A Selling Exhibition

28 JUNE 2019 - 13 SEPTEMBER 2019 | NEW YORK
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I nspired by Chatsworth: A Selling Exhibition presents a carefully curated group of artworks and objects of exceptional quality inspired by the magnificent collection assembled by the Dukes of Devonshire over centuries at Chatsworth. The following works trace the representation of the figure across artistic genres and ages, a theme that is also evident in the collections at Chatsworth through their drawings, sculpture and stylistically varied family portraits. The artworks included in the Inspired by Chatsworth selling exhibition, sourced outside of the Chatsworth collection, are available for immediate purchase and viewable at our new York Avenue galleries through September 13th.

Figures Across the Ages from Inspired by Chatsworth: A Selling Exhibition

  • Domenico Beccafumi (1484–1551), Head of a Young Man Looking to the Left
    This handsome and rare work is part of a group of about twenty-five sketches, mostly head studies, executed by the 16th-century Sienese master, Domenico Beccafumi in oil on paper. Together with his Florentine contemporaries Jacopo Pontormo (1494-1557) and Rosso Fiorentino (1495-1540), Beccafumi ranks as one of the leading protagonists of early Italian Mannerism and is one of the most experimental and original masters of his time.
  • Giovanni Battista Di Jacopo Rosso (1494–1540), Called Rosso Fiorentino, The Virgin and Child with Saint Julian and a Donor
    The highly personal style of this rare and eccentric Florentine master is best expressed in his figure painting. In this recently discovered work designed for private prayer, the kneeling Saint Julian – athletic, blond and youthful – turns his back to the viewer, introducing the donor and twisting to face the focus of their devotion: the Madonna and Child. Painted during the artist’s last years in Italy, this elegant and bold work demonstrates Rosso’s unique ability to transform traditional iconography into his own innovative vision.
  • Workshop of Hans Holbein the Younger (1497/8–1543), Portrait of King Henry VIII
    Henry VIII remains to the modern viewer the most immediately recognizable historical monarch, the very epitome of the Renaissance King. This is in no small part due to the efforts of Henry’s court painter, Hans Holbein the Younger, whose images of the King remain amongst the most beautiful and potent images of the European Renaissance. This particular portrait of the King—a fine example of the late portrait types that arose from Holbein’s workshop—relates to other early likenesses of the King that today are housed at Chatsworth.
  • After a Model by Giambologna (1529–1608) attributed to Francesco (1749–1819) or Luigi Righetti (1780–1852), Mercury, Cast Rome, circa 1780–1820
    In 1564, Giambologna, sculptor to the Medici family, was commissioned to make a statue of Mercury for the marriage of Prince Francesco de’ Medici to Joanna of Austria, the daughter of Emperor Maximillian II. The composition became the sculptor’s most famous image and demonstrated both his technical brilliance and mastery of mannerist ideals in achieving a remarkable sense of movement and vitality in his work. The Medici Mercury was celebrated and eventually brilliantly copied by major artists, like the Righetti family, the principal 18th century sculptors in Rome.
  • Frans Hals (1582/83–1666), Portrait of a Gentleman in Black with Lace Collar and Cuffs, and Wearing a Broad Brimmed Black Hat
    Apart from his large-scale portraits of civic companies and guards, Frans Hals is best known for his intimate portraits of single figures, such as this one. Although the majority of his sitters are in fact conventionally posed, we associate him above all with jovial larger-than-life characters. Here, Hals’ unidentified sitter fills the picture frame, with nothing beyond or behind him other than his shadow mapped in a few broad strokes on the neutral khaki background to distract the viewer. This portraits dates about twenty years after Chatsworth’s famous painting by Hals, his Portrait of a Man of 1622. Hals was among the most fashionable of artists both in his own day and through to today for collectors of great Dutch Golden age portraiture. Indeed, many of the greatest English houses boasted works by him as the ultimate symbol of a strong and complete collection.
  • Studio of Rembrandt, King Uzziah, circa 1640
    Orientalized figures form an integral part of Rembrandt’s œuvre, and were hugely influential on the work of the artist’s contemporaries, such as Jan Lievens. Rembrandt painted these subjects throughout his life, not only in order to ground them historically – particularly in an Old Testament scene like this – but also to delight in the representation of fabrics and accessories. The author of over ninety self-portraits, Rembrandt’s mastery of psychological representation in paint is unrivalled, exemplified by this version of one of his more mysterious figure paintings, in the Devonshire collection since circa 1761.
  • George Romney (1734–1802), Portrait of Mary Wilson (1746–1820), Half Length, Wearing a Green Dress
    George Romney was a celebrated portraitist who specialized in elegant likenesses of British aristocracy. He painted Mary Wilson and her sister Elizabeth as well as their parents during his trip around the northwest of England in 1767-8. Against a simple background, Romney emphasized the sitter’s porcelain skin and the texture of her green silk dress, details which convey her high social status.
  • Henri-Pierre Danloux (1753–1809), Portrait of Lum A'kao
    Henri-Pierre Danloux's greatest artistic achievements were in the realm of portraiture, and this painting constitutes one of his most remarkable examples. Not only is it rendered with exceptional quality, but it serves as a rare instance of an eighteenth-century European artist capturing the likeness of a Chinese sitter. Datable to 1793, this portrait depicts Lum A’Kao, described as ‘intelligent, good natured and lively,’ who came to London in 1793 from Canton as the attendant of Charles Constant de Rebecque (1762–1835).
  • Workshop of Antonio Canova (1757–1822), Napoleon Bonaparte, circa 1810
    Antonia Canova’s monumental, ideal portrait bust, in classical style, of Napoleon Bonaparte is a plaster version of the marble found in Canova’s studio after his death which is now in the collection of the Dukes of Devonshire at Chatsworth. In 1802, as the most celebrated Neoclassical sculptor in Europe, Canova was invited by Napoleon to produce an over-life-size image of the emperor, which now stands in Apsley House, London. The sculptor created other virtuoso carvings of Napoleon’s family, one of which, the emperor’s mother, is also preserved at Chatsworth.
  • Lucian Freud (1922–2011), Portrait of a Man, 1955
    This painting by Lucian Freud depicts Bernard Walsh, the owner of London’s legendary Wheelers restaurant that was one of the favorite meeting places for the School of London artists. Created shortly before Freud’s Woman in a White Shirt belonging to the Chatsworth Collections, this portrait was given by Lucian Freud to Bernard Walsh as payment for his tab at Wheelers restaurant. Constructed through an intricate patchwork of interlocking, infinitely varied flesh-tones, each brushstroke is a carefully measured record of the life and the being it depicts. The feeling of depth and shape he creates in this portrait defies the two dimensions of the painted canvas and projects the sitter outwards from the picture plane in a powerful visual tension. It is the sense of closeness to the subject, of creating an emotional affinity and response with the material of paint, that Freud achieves so emphatically. The viewing experience leaves one with the indelible impression of knowing that person as entirely and intimately as the artist does himself.
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