Browse Exhibits (4 total)
This exhibit explores Titian's revolutionary portraits of women from the mid-16th century and compares them with contemporary Venetian and Florentine portraiture.
As an American, James Abbott McNeill Whistler, (1834-1903) lived an expatriate life in Europe. He is considered one of the 19th century’s most significant artists. Although he earned some approval and studied art in Paris, he decided to make his home in London. The artist’s only excursion to Venice came at the end of a challenging period. Whistler was having financial and political issues. Whistler sued the art critic John Ruskin for libel in 1878; although he won the court case, he was awarded only a small amount of money for damages. Because of his circumstances he took an assignment given to him by London’s Fine Art Society to create a series of etchings of Venice. It took him some time to warm up to the city. He spent many more months than the three which were allotted to him in Venice, the city of water. In Venice, Whistler made over 50 etchings and almost 100 pastels, as well as a few paintings in oil. Venice offered Whistler great opportunities. He took to the lesser known places while other artists at the time, such as Pierre-Auguste Renoir, were attracted to the more celebrated Venetian sites. Venice was in a sense a therapeutic place for Whistler. Alhough some of his troubles followed him he was in a new environment. The new environment proved to be a beneficial for him especially in an artistic sense. The works he created here are special and distinctive in comparison to his earlier and later works.
As Chief Magistrate of the Most Serene Republic of Venice, the Doge has held a lofty position of power that is represented throughout Venetian portraiture of the 16th century. With a blend of striking realism and monarchic pomp, these portraits convey the richness and authority of the highest elected leader of Venice and present a style of portraiture which is truly Venetian. Following the standard of Florentine portraiture of nobility such as the Medici family,16th century Venetian portraiture of the Doges evokes this grandeur and stateliness. Though different, the Florentine portraits of nobility and the Venetian portraits of the Doges both clearly articulate the prestige and commanding presence of these men of power. From robes of ermine and red brocade as distinguished in portraits such as Titian’s Portrait of Doge Andrea Gritti (1540) compared with the militaristic majesty in Bronzino’s Portrait of Cosimo I de’ Medici (1545), these Venetian and Florentine portraits emphasize the achievements of these influential men.
In the landscapes of Venice, Monet did not think it mattered what he painted; however, this study of Monet's paintings of the city indicates that architecture was critical to Monet in depicting the atmosphere of Venice.