Saturday, September 02, 2006

Art I'm Seeing #8

Originally uploaded by Randuwa.
"Bellini ~ Giorgione ~ Titian and the Renaissance of Venetian Painting" at the National Gallery of Art (and soon to come down) is an exhibit that brings together works by the masters and several of their contemporaries. It's a richly contoured exhibition that is just about perfect in its scope and length, so sumptuous are these works that too many of them would surely be akin to gluttony.

Of the three, I found the Titian's to be the most compelling. This image is modestly titled: "Virgin and Child with Saints Catherine of Alexandria and Dominic and a Donor." It's the property of the Fondazione Magnani-Rocca of Parma, Italy and is only being displayed at this venue. The image does not do the painting justice, which really ought to go without saying. The contrast between the lush satins of the Virgin and Catherine's garments against the relative darkness of the canvas is luminescent. I found another Titian also very captivating: "Virgin and Child with Saints Anthony of Padua and Roch" on loan from the Museo Nacional del Prado, Madrid. And that's another thing about shows featuring European Renaissance Masters; works are often loaned from places that are not easily visited by someone of my means.

Among the contemporaries I found the works of Palma Vecchio to be my favorites. And in fact, in the gallery of men's portraits I was delighted to see "The Portrait of a Poet" by Vecchio from the National Gallery in London.

You have until September 17th to see this extraordinary exhibition in Washington, DC, and then it travels to its only other venue, Kuntshistorisches Museum in Vienna, Austria (not Virginia!)

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