Tuesday, 23 February 2010

M/M Important Antiquities Lent by Republic of Italy on View at Metropolitan Museum

Image courtesy of The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York. The Moregine Silver Treasury Roman, Late Republican or Augustan, second half of the first century B.C. From Moregine, near Pompeii Lent by the Republic of Italy, 2010 (L.2010.1-20)

A rare, recently excavated ancient Roman dining set consisting of 20 silver objects—one of only three such sets from the region of Pompeii known to exist in the world—and an important ancient Greek kylix (or drinking cup) have been installed in The Metropolitan Museum of Art's Galleries for Greek and Roman Art as part of an ongoing exchange of antiquities between the Republic of Italy and the Museum.

Thomas P. Campbell, Director of The Metropolitan Museum of Art, commented: "It gives me great pleasure to announce the most recent loan of antiquities from the Republic of Italy to the Met, and to recognize the continued collaboration between Italy and the Museum that makes this display possible. The presentation of these splendid works in New York, where they will be viewed by millions of visitors over the next four years, will deepen the public's knowledge and appreciation of ancient art, and will contribute immeasurably to their understanding of its significance."

The collaborative agreement, established in 2006, involved the transfer of title and the return of several works of art including the Euphronios krater (ca. 515 B.C.). It also provided for long-term loans of comparably great works of ancient art from the Republic of Italy. The agreement furthermore provided for the exhibition of 16 Hellenistic silver pieces from the third century B.C. on a rotating basis every four years. In 2006 and 2008, four magnificent loans came to the Met, and the present loans coincide with the four-year return of the Hellenistic silver to Sicily.

The terracotta kylix lent by the Republic of Italy is one of the most famous surviving works from the region of Sparta that was exported to Italy in antiquity. Dated between about 575 and 560 B.C., the Laconian kylix shows a spirited mythological scene: two wind gods, the Boreads, rush to punish the predatory harpies. It is on view on the east side of The Robert and Renée Belfer Court.

The silver objects—the Moregine Treasure—represent one of the few Roman silver dining sets to survive from the first century A.D. They include vessels for holding, serving, and receiving food as well as receptacles for mixing, pouring, and drinking liquids. Buried in the eruption of Mount Vesuvius in A.D. 79, and excavated in 2000 at Moregine on the outskirts of Pompeii, the silver weighs nearly nine pounds. It had been carefully placed in a wicker basket and hidden in the basement of an unfinished public bath house; presumably, its owner had hoped to return for it, but died in the eruption. The two canthari (drinking cups) are of particular interest and were likely prized antiques at the time they were buried, having been made over a century earlier at the very end of the Hellenistic era, likely in Alexandria, Egypt. They seem to commemorate what is sometimes known as the Treaty of Brundisium between Mark Anthony and Octavian in 40 B.C., just four years after the assassination of Caesar. This historic treaty gave Mark Anthony command of the eastern Roman provinces, while Octavian was given control over Italy and the West.

The Moregine Treasure is on view in the Museum's Hellenistic Treasury, along with other luxury goods of the Hellenistic and early Roman Imperial periods. The display at the Metropolitan Museum is the first time the Moregine Treasure has been exhibited outside Italy. It was exhibited during the summer of 2006 at the National Archaeological Museum in Naples, where it formed part of the exhibition Argenti a Pompei (Silver at Pompeii). The Metropolitan Museum's Hellenistic Treasury is an intimate showplace for outstanding examples of luxury goods, primarily made of precious metals, gemstones, and glass, as well as Hellenistic gold and silver coins. Located east of the Sardis gallery, a main thoroughfare within the Museum, it displays some of the greatest treasures of the Greek and Roman art collection, including a pair of spectacular gold serpentine armbands (Greek, Hellenistic, ca. 200 B.C.) and a bronze statuette of a veiled and masked dancer (Greek, third-second century B.C.). The gallery thus features the luxury arts of the Hellenistic koine, a result of Alexander the Great's conquest of the Persian Empire in 331 B.C. The Moregine Silver Treasure demonstrates vividly how Rome participated in the cultural and artistic exchanges that encompassed not only the whole of the Mediterranean world but also lands stretching eastward as far as Afghanistan and India.

The Metropolitan Museum of Art http://www.metmuseum.org

Saturday, 20 February 2010

Friday, 19 February 2010

M/M Alain Delon 『Le Samouraï 』

Dedicated to my friend Michael Bastian.

Tuesday, 16 February 2010

Saturday, 13 February 2010

Thursday, 11 February 2010

Monday, 1 February 2010

Another Country Clandestine Meeting

M/M The Drawings of Bronzino at The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York

Image: Agnolo Bronzino (Agnolo di Cosimo di Mariano Tori) (Monticelli, 1503–1572 Florence) Head of a Smiling Young Woman in Three-Quarter View (cartoon fragment for Moses Striking Water from the Rock) ca. 1542-43. Charcoal and black chalk (with stumping), highlighted with white chalk, on off-white paper; some outlines stylus-incised Musée du Louvre, Département des Arts Graphiques, provided to Manner of Man by The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York. All rights reserved.

Exhibition Dates: January 20–April 18, 2010

Exhibition Location: Galleries for Drawings, Prints, and Photographs

The Drawings of Bronzino, the first exhibition ever dedicated to Agnolo Bronzino (1503-1572), will bring together nearly all of the 61 known drawings by, or attributed to, the great Florentine court artist of the Medici. On view at The Metropolitan Museum of Art from January 20 through April 18, 2010, the exhibition will feature drawings of extraordinary beauty and rarity which are seldom on public view, and will draw loans from major museums and private collections within Europe and North America, including the Galleria degli Uffizi, Musée du Louvre, British Museum, Royal Library of Windsor Castle, Ashmolean Museum, Kupferstich-Kabinett Dresden, and Staatliche Museen Berlin.

The exhibition is organized by The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, in collaboration with the Gabinetto Disegni e Stampe degli Uffizi and the Polo Museale Fiorentino, Florence. The exhibition is made possible by the Gail and Parker Gilbert Fund. Additional support is provided by Dinah Seiver and Thomas E. Foster.

Surprisingly, this great artist has never been the subject of a comprehensive exhibition, yet he is one of the most important draftsmen of the 16th century, and a leading figure among Mannerist painters in Florence. A painter, draftsman, teacher, and learned poet, Bronzino became famous as the court artist to the Duke Cosimo I de’ Medici and his beautiful wife, the Duchess Eleonora di Toledo. Bronzino’s portrait of the Duchess and her son became one of the artist’s bestknown masterpieces and evidence his power in capturing the psychology of his sitters. His technical virtuosity as a painter and draftsman was highly praised by his contemporaries, and he was a much sought-after teacher, who had numerous pupils. Bronzino, however, was no less admired in the intellectual circles of his day for his accomplished poetry, which demonstrates a refined intellect and pungent vernacular wit.

The Drawings of Bronzino will offer an introduction to Bronzino’s celebrated oeuvre and a unique insight into his larger projects and commissions through the close examination of his drawings. Bronzino was a perfectionist, not prolific, and his surviving drawings, while exquisitely beautiful, have been little studied, as they are seldom on public view. The exhibition and accompanying catalogue will explore his work as a draftsman in depth and make a substantial scholarly contribution, re-examining some of the open questions regarding his career, and more precisely defining the chronology of his works.

The display of studies in chalk as well as more painterly drawings in wash and gouache will demonstrate Bronzino’s brilliant command of the human figure, his inventive genius as a designer, and his gift for composition. Preparatory drawings related to important fresco cycles, altarpieces, and tapestries with rich allegorical meanings will reveal the artist’s literary sensibilities. The exhibition will showcase an exceedingly rare loan from the Biblioteca Pinacoteca Ambrosiana, Milan of a drawing for one of the earliest tapestries to come out of the Medici manufactory called Justice Liberating Innocence. This fragile work, which has been on public view only once before, evidences Bronzino’s clear manner of depicting complex compositions, in which literary sensibility is displayed with subtlety and great aesthetic interest.

The Metropolitan Museum’s refined and graceful painting, Portrait of a Young Man, will be displayed in the last gallery of the exhibition where it will be accompanied by panels detailing recent discoveries of under-drawing in the picture through infrared reflectography.

The exhibition is organized at the Metropolitan Museum by Carmen C. Bambach, Curator in the Department of Drawings and Prints, Janet Cox-Rearick, and George R. Goldner, Drue Heinz Chairman of the Museum’s Department of Drawings and Prints.

The Drawings of Bronzino will be accompanied by a fully illustrated catalogue, authored by Carmen C. Bambach, Janet Cox-Rearick, and George R. Goldner, with essays by Marzia Faietti, Elizabeth Pilliod, and Philippe Costamagna. It will be published by The Metropolitan Museum of Art and Yale University Press.
The catalogue is made possible by The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.

Educational programs accompanying the exhibition include a Sunday at the Met program on March 28 with lectures by James Fenton, Elizabeth Cropper, Deborah Parker, and Louis A. Waldman; film screenings; gallery talks; and family programs.This Sunday at the Met is made possible in part by the Italian Cultural Institute of New York.

The exhibition will also be featured on the Museum’s website at http://www.metmuseum.org/.