Image Gallery: From the Fall 2006 Special Exhibitions Listings

01
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A Maiden with a Unicorn (Late 1470s)

Image © The Ashmolean Museum of Art & Archaeology, Oxford; Used with permission
Leonardo da Vinci (Italian, 1452-1519). A Maiden with a Unicorn (Late 1470s). Brown ink on paper. 9.4 x 7.4 cm. © The Ashmolean Museum of Art & Archaeology, Oxford

A multitude of splendid special exhibitions are on view during the Fall of 2006. In order to help you keep track of the where-s and when-s of your favorites, Stan Parchin has assembled significant picks in the list entitled "Fall 2006 Special Exhibitions." To bump viewer enthusiasm up yet another notch, here we have a sampler of art images taken from nine shows. Included are (1) a society woman whose sensual portrait caused an enormous scandal in Paris, (2) a headless Egyptian Princess in a see-through gown, (3) a rather plain Spanish girl who nonetheless became Queen of France and (4) a slightly sado-masochistic hollow-cast vessel depicting a scheming wench riding sidesaddle on the back of Alexander the Great's tutor. (Those who claim Art History is dull clearly haven't looked closely enough.) Enjoy!

In A Maiden with a Unicorn (late 1470s), Leonardo da Vinci (1452-1519) drew a woman seated in three-quarter profile with a horned mythical beast resting beside her. With the imaginary unicorn's front legs tucked beneath him, the leashed animal (tamed only by the touch of a virgin) placidly rests. This rarely seen work on paper joins others by the master and his contemporaries in an exhibition that examines how Renaissance artists were influenced by Leonardo and scholars have interpreted some of the genius' works.

"Imagining Leonardo" is on view from August 9 to November 5, 2006 at The Ashmolean Museum of Art & Archaeology, Beaumont Street, Oxford OX1 2PH, England (Telephone: 01865-278000; Website). The museum is open Tuesday to Saturday from 10:00 AM to 5:00 PM and Sunday from 12:00 Noon to 5:00 PM. Admission is free.

For further reading:

Bambach, Carmen C. (ed.). Leonardo da Vinci,
Master Draftsman
(exh. cat.).
New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 2003.

Clayton, Martin. Leonardo da Vinci: The Divine and
the Grotesque
(exh. cat.).
London: The Royal Collection, 2004.

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From your Guide: Stan Parchin, Senior Correspondent for Museums and Special Exhibitions, is a specialist in ancient, late-medieval and Renaissance art and history, and a regular contributor to About Art History. You may read all of his Special Exhibition and Catalogue Reviews here.

02
of 09
Baldassare Castiglione (1514-15)

Image © Peter Harholdt; Used with permission of the High Museum of Art
Raphael (Raffaello Sanzio) (Italian, 1483-1520). Baldassare Castiglione (1514-15). Oil on canvas. 32 1/4 x 26 3/8 in. Image © Peter Harholdt; Used with permission of the High Museum of Art

Baldassare Castiglione (1514-15), Raphael's famous portrait of the Humanist philosopher and a treasure of Italian Renaissance art, travels briefly to the United States for the first time. The work is part of Kings as Collectors, a special exhibition that initiates a historic three-year scholarly collaboration between Atlanta's newly expanded High Museum of Art and Paris' Musée du Louvre. The show features marvelous paintings, sculptures and antiquities collected by French monarchs Louis XIV (r. 1643-1715) and Louis XVI (r. 1774-1793).

"Kings as Collectors" is on view from October 14, 2006 to September 2, 2007 at the High Museum of Art, 1280 Peachtree Street, Atlanta, GA 30309 (Telephone: 404-733-4400; Website). The museum is open Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday and Saturday from 10:00 AM to 5:00 PM, Thursday from 10:00 AM to 8:00 AM and Sunday from 12:00 Noon to 5:00 PM. Admission is $15.00 for adults, $12.00 for senior citizens (65 years of age and older) and students with appropriate school identification card and $10.00 for children ages 6 to 17.

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From your Guide: Stan Parchin, Senior Correspondent for Museums and Special Exhibitions, is a specialist in ancient, late-medieval and Renaissance art and history, and a regular contributor to About Art History. You may read all of his Special Exhibition and Catalogue Reviews here.

03
of 09
Aristotle and Phyllis (South Lowlands, Late 14th Century A.D.)

Image © The Metropolitan Museum of Art; Used with permission
Aristotle and Phyllis (South Lowlands, Late 14th Century A.D.). Copper alloy. 32.4 x 17.8 x 39.3 cm (12 3/4 x 7 x 15 1/2 in.). Robert Lehman Collection, 1975 (1975.1.1416). © The Metropolitan Museum of Art

Aquamanilia are hollow-cast vessels created in the Middle Ages and the Renaissance. Designed to hold liquids used to wash one's hands in religious and household settings, these utilitarian sculptures were anthropomorphic and zoomorphic in shape. Aristotle and Phyllis, a Northern European example, is an entertaining interpretation of an early thirteenth-century tale of morality. The elderly Greek philosopher and teacher of Alexander the Great allowed himself to be ridden by the youth's beautiful and beguiling paramour to teach him a lesson. If a man of Aristotle's age could be distracted by the feminine wiles of Phyllis, the results of such uninhibited behavior by a leader of Alexander's stature could adversely affect his ability to govern. After fresh and thorough research, this somewhat risqué aquamanile joins 29 others owned by The Metropolitan Museum of Art at New York's Bard Graduate Center.

"Lions, Dragons, and Other Beasts: Aquamanilia of the Middle Ages, Vessels for Church and Table" is on view from July 12 to October 15, 2006 at the Bard Graduate Center for Studies in the Decorative Arts, Design, and Culture, 18 West 86 Street, New York, NY 10024 (Telephone: 212-501-3000; Website). The gallery is open Tuesday to Sunday from 11:00 AM to 5:00 PM (Thursday from 11:00 AM to 8:00 PM). Admission is $3.00 for adults and $2.00 for senior citizens (65 years of age and older) and students.

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From your Guide: Stan Parchin, Senior Correspondent for Museums and Special Exhibitions, is a specialist in ancient, late-medieval and Renaissance art and history, and a regular contributor to About Art History. You may read all of his Special Exhibition and Catalogue Reviews here.

04
of 09
Madame X (Madame Pierre Gautreau) (1883-84)

Image © The Metropolitan Museum of Art; Used with permission
John Singer Sargent (American, 1856-1925). Madame X (Madame Pierre Gautreau) (1883-84). Oil on canvas. 82 1/8 x 43 1/4 in. (208.6 x 109.9 cm). Arthur Hoppock Hearn Fund, 1916 (16.53). © The Metropolitan Museum of Art

Realist painter John Singer Sargent (1856-1925) was born to American parents in Florence, Italy and spent less than one year of his life in the United States. Sometime around 1881 in Paris, the expatriate was introduced to the daughter of Louisiana's late Major Anatole Avegno and Marie Virginie de Ternantto, Virginie Avegno (1859-1915), who met and married the banker Pierre Gautreau in that city. Sargent painted the beguiling beauty's portrait in Brittany shortly thereafter, but encountered problems with the picture's perspective and pose as revealed by numerous studies for the work. The critics' overwhelmingly negative reaction to Sargent's "scandalous" portrait at the Paris Salon of 1884 caused him to relocate to London.

Madame X (Madame Pierre Gautreau) joins some 100 other paintings by American artists such as James McNeill Whistler (1834-1903), Mary Cassatt (1844-1926), Thomas Eakins (1844-1916) and Winslow Homer (1836-1910) in Americans in Paris, 1860-1900. The exhibition explores why these painters and 32 others were drawn to Paris, then the art world's capital, in the last four decades of the Nineteenth Century and how they reacted to the artistic innovations they witnessed while there.

"Americans in Paris, 1860-1900" is on view from October 24, 2006 to January 28, 2007 at The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 1000 Fifth Avenue at 82 Street, New York, NY 10028-0198 (Telephone: 212-535-7710; Website). The museum is open Tuesday through Thursday and Sunday from 9:30 AM to 5:30 PM and Friday and Saturday from 9:30 AM to 9:00 PM. SUGGESTED admission is $20.00 for adults, $10.00 for senior citizens (65 years of age and older) and $10.00 for students. This includes same-day admission to The Cloisters, The Met's prestigious branch of Medieval art located in Manhattan's scenic Fort Tryon Park. Paid parking is available in The Museum Garage.

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From your Guide: Stan Parchin, Senior Correspondent for Museums and Special Exhibitions, is a specialist in ancient, late-medieval and Renaissance art and history, and a regular contributor to About Art History. You may read all of his Special Exhibition and Catalogue Reviews here.

05
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Madonna and Child with the Infant St. John (ca. 1500)

Image © Städel Museum; Photo: Jochen Beyer, Village-Neuf; Used with permission
Pietro Vannucci, called Perugino (Italian, ca. 1450-1523) and Raphael (Raffaello Sanzio or Santi) (Italian, 1483-1520). Madonna and Child with the Infant St. John (ca. 1500). Oil on wood. 73 x 52 cm. © Städel Museum; Photo: Jochen Beyer, Village-Neuf

Frankfurt's Städel Museum has reunited a number of panels from Italian Renaissance altarpieces in a grand exhibition that explains their function, meaning and value as "cult images" in their historical context rather than "art" as we understand it today. The thirteenth- to fifteenth-century paintings in Cult Image: Altarpiece and Devotional Painting from Duccio to Perugino are drawn largely from the the Städel Museum's remarkable collection.

"Cult Image: Altarpiece and Devotional Painting from Duccio to Perugino" is on view from July 7 to October 22, 2006 at the Städel Museum, Dürerstr. 2, 60596, Frankfurt am Main, Germany (Telephone: 069-605098-200; Website). The museum is open Tuesday and Friday to Sunday from 10:00 AM to 6:00 PM and Wednesday and Thursday from 10:00 AM to 9:00 AM. Admission is €8.00 for adults.

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From your Guide: Stan Parchin, Senior Correspondent for Museums and Special Exhibitions, is a specialist in ancient, late-medieval and Renaissance art and history, and a regular contributor to About Art History. You may read all of his Special Exhibition and Catalogue Reviews here.

06
of 09
Statue of an Amarna Princess (Egyptian, New Kingdom, Dynasty 18, 1353-1336 B.C.)

Image © University of Pennsylvania Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology; Used with permission
Statue of an Amarna Princess (Egyptian, New Kingdom, Dynasty 18, 1353-1336 B.C.). Probably from Amarna. Limestone and pigment. 12.2 x 5.1 x 4.3 in. © University of Pennsylvania Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology

The art of the Amarna Period during the reign of the "heretic king" Akhenaten (1353-1336 B.C.) was initially naturalistic in style, a direct contradiction of the standard strict formalism of ancient Egyptian art. The pharaoh's sculptors often depicted his six daughters and beguiling queen, the beautiful Nefertiti, in many of their stone compositions. This delicate statue's exact identity remains unknown. The princess' body is draped in a vertically striated form-fitting gown that emphasizes the sensual curves of her body. This piece and more than 100 others describe the art, history and culture of Akhenaten's relocated capital city in Amarna, Ancient Egypt's Place in the Sun at the University of Pennsylvania Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology.

"Amarna, Ancient Egypt's Place in the Sun" is on view from November 12, 2006 through October 2007 at the University of Pennsylvania Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology, 3260 South Street, Philadelphia, PA 19104 (Telephone: 215-898-4000; Website). The museum is open Thursday to Saturday from 10:00 AM to 4:30 PM and Sunday from 1:00 PM to 5:00 PM. Admission donation is $8.00 for adults and $5.00 for senior citizens over 62 years of age, full-time students with school identification card and children ages 5 to 17. Admission is free on Sunday between Labor Day and Memorial Day weekends.

For further reading:

Freed, Rita E., Yvonne J. Markowitz and Sue H. D'Auria (eds.), et al.
Pharaohs of the Sun: Akhenaten, Nefertiti, Tutankhamen (exh. cat.).
Boston: Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, 1999.

Arnold, Dorothea, Lyn Green and James Allen. The Royal Women
of Amarna: Images of Beauty in Ancient Egypt
(exh. cat.).
New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 1996.

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From your Guide: Stan Parchin, Senior Correspondent for Museums and Special Exhibitions, is a specialist in ancient, late-medieval and Renaissance art and history, and a regular contributor to About Art History. You may read all of his Special Exhibition and Catalogue Reviews here.

07
of 09
Reconstruction of the Apse and Bema (Presbytery) of a Byzantine Church

Photo Courtesy of Maltz Museum of Jewish Heritage; Used with permission
Reconstruction of the Apse and Bema (Presbytery) of a Typical Holy Land Byzantine Church. Photo Courtesy of Maltz Museum of Jewish Heritage

The Maltz Museum of Jewish Heritage is privileged to premiere Cradle of Christianity: Treasures from the Holy Land, a dramatically displayed collection of art works and artifacts from Jerusalem's Israel Museum that describes the common roots of Judaism and Christianity from the First through Seventh Centuries A.D. The touring exhibition's numerous objects reflect life and religion in the Holy Land from the time of Jesus Christ through the Early Byzantine Period by means of personal belongings, architectural remnants, liturgical objects and sculpture from the period covered by the show.

"Cradle of Christianity: Treasures from the Holy Land" is on view from April 1 to October 22, 2006 at the Maltz Museum of Jewish Heritage, 2929 Richmond Road, Beechwood, Ohio 44122 (Telephone: 216-593-0575; Website). The museum is open Sunday to Wednesday and Friday from 10:00 AM to 5:00 PM, Thursday from 10:00 AM to 8:00 PM and Sunday from 12:00 Noon to 5:00 PM. Admission is $12.00 for adults, $10.00 for senior citizens and students ages 12 and above and $5.00 for children ages 5 to 11.

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From your Guide: Stan Parchin, Senior Correspondent for Museums and Special Exhibitions, is a specialist in ancient, late-medieval and Renaissance art and history, and a regular contributor to About Art History. You may read all of his Special Exhibition and Catalogue Reviews here.

08
of 09
Infanta María Teresa (ca. 1652-3)

Image © Kunsthistorisches Museum, Vienna; Used with permission
Diego Velázquez (Spanish, 1599-1660). Infanta María Teresa (ca. 1652-3). Oil on canvas. 12.7 x 98.5 cm. Inv. 353. © Kunsthistorisches Museum, Vienna; Photo Courtesy of National Gallery, London

London's National Gallery is home this Fall and Winter to Velázquez, Great Britain's first international loan exhibition devoted to Spanish Baroque painter Diego Rodriguez de Silva y Velázquez (1599-1660). Some 40 portraits, mythological and religious paintings, arranged in four rooms, trace the artist's career: his origins in Seville; Velázquez's role as official court painter to Spain's King Philip IV (r. 1621-1665); the influence of his two Italian trips; and the Spaniard's last years that culminated in his knighthood. One of the show's most famous portraits is Infanta María Teresa (ca. 1652-3), a daughter of the monarch. In this composition, Velázquez was able to achieve a heightened sense of realism and psychological depth through his lively brushstrokes and illusionistic technique, having made Velázquez truly individual when compared to academic artists of his age.

"Velázquez" is on view from October 18, 2006 to January 21, 2007 at the National Gallery, Trafalgar Square, London WC2N 5DN, England (Telephone: 020 7747 2885; Website). The museum is open daily from 10:00 AM to 6:00 PM (Wednesday and Saturday until 9:00 PM). Admission to the museum is free, but there is a separate charge for "Velázquez": £12 for adults, £11 for seniors (£6 on Tuesday afternoon from 2:30 PM to 6:00 PM), £6 for students ages 12 to 18 and free for children under 12.

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From your Guide: Stan Parchin, Senior Correspondent for Museums and Special Exhibitions, is a specialist in ancient, late-medieval and Renaissance art and history, and a regular contributor to About Art History. You may read all of his Special Exhibition and Catalogue Reviews here.

09
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Saint Theodosia (Byzantine, Early 13th Century A.D.)

© The Holy Monastery of Saint Catherine, Sinai, Egypt; Used with permission
Saint Theodosia (Byzantine, Early 13th Century A.D.). Constantinople. Tempera and gold on panel. 34 x 25.6 x 2.2 cm (13 3/8 x 10 1/16 x 7/8 in.). © The Holy Monastery of Saint Catherine, Sinai, Egypt; Photography by Bruce M. White, 2005

The Iconoclastic Controversy occurred in two waves (from 730 to 787 and 814 to 842 A.D.). Resolved by the Ecumenical Council of 843, at its heart was the excessive veneration of icons (holy images) that permeated the Eastern Roman (Byzantine) Empire. This was in direct opposition to the Old Testament's Second Commandment that forbids idolatry. Byzantine Emperor Leo III (r. 717-741) issued an edict ordering the removal of public religious images, a decree met by popular rebellion. Theodosia (d. 729), a nun from Constantinople, and her female allies opposed the destruction of a mosaic image of Christ on the palace's Chalke Gate in 726. In 729, she was martyred for her beliefs by having a ram's horn violently thrust into her throat. Saint Theodosia, a posthumous portrait, is one of some 43 rare Byzantine icons and six manuscripts lent by the Holy Monastery of Saint Catherine, Sinai, Egypt exclusively to The J. Paul Getty Museum for Holy Image, Hallowed Ground: Icons from Sinai.

"Holy Image, Hallowed Ground: Icons from Sinai" is on view from November 14, 2006 to March 4, 2007 at the Getty Center. The museum is located at 1200 Getty Center Drive, Los Angeles, CA 90049-1681 (Telephone: 310-440-7300; Website). It's open Tuesday through Thursday and Sunday from 10:00 AM to 6:00 PM and Friday and Saturday from 10:00 AM to 9:00 PM. Admission to the museum is free. Paid parking is based on availability and costs $7.00 per car, cash only.

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From your Guide: Stan Parchin, Senior Correspondent for Museums and Special Exhibitions, is a specialist in ancient, late-medieval and Renaissance art and history, and a regular contributor to About Art History. You may read all of his Special Exhibition and Catalogue Reviews here.