March 19, 2014
The Newcomb Art Gallery will stage its largest exhibition ever of Old Master art when it opens “Early Modern Faces: European Portraits 1480-1780” on March 27 at Tulane University.
The exhibition, which will be on display through June 29, brings together nearly 90 Old Master paintings and prints by some of the most famous artists of Renaissance and Baroque Europe, including Van Dyck, Veronese, Zurbaran, Rembrandt and Goya.
“It’s an enormous show,” said curator Anne Dunlop, an art history professor at Tulane. “It’s a real achievement to have this show here. And it’s a big chance for the people of New Orleans to see works that they wouldn’t necessarily get to see.”
The rise of the portrait was one of the fundamental artistic developments of early-modern art, with the artist trying to record the subject’s appearance while documenting a social, historical or ideal persona.
“Any historic house you go into, you’ll see portraits,” Dunlop said. “But we don’t necessarily think about the fact that they have a particular development and a particular style. This is a chance for people to see how portraits came into being and to think about what they are looking at. There is a kind of staged or performance aspect to these works.”
Dunlop said the exhibition is one of the biggest displays of Old Master art to ever take place in New Orleans. Most of the works are on loan from the Sarah Campbell Blaffer Foundation of Houston, with several from the New Orleans Museum of Art.
An exhibition catalog, which includes entries written by Tulane students, will be available for purchase at a cost of $13.
Admission to the gallery is free. Gallery hours are Tuesdays through Fridays from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Saturdays and Sundays from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.
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