Artwork of the Week

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Artwork of the Week: September 25

Posted on Friday, September 25th, 2015

Independent, unconventional, with a strong will and strong personality, Cecilia Beaux carved out a successful career for herself as a portraitist in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. When she painted this work, she was winding down her tenure as the first woman instructor on the regular faculty of the Philadelphia Academy of Fine […]

Artwork of the Week: September 18

Posted on Friday, September 18th, 2015

Twenty-two inches high with a capacity of more than three gallons, this monumental wine flagon was produced as a showpiece by the London silver firm of Charles Thomas and George Fox for retailers Lambert & Rawlings’ display at the 1851 Crystal Palace Exhibition in London, the first World’s Fair. According to the official Crystal Palace […]

Artwork of the Week: September 11

Posted on Friday, September 11th, 2015

Exiled by her brother, husband, and co-ruler Ptolemy XIII, Cleopatra VII returned to Egypt upon hearing that Roman dictator Julius Caesar had set up martial rule in her former palace. Knowing that she was still unsafe on palace grounds, Cleopatra allegedly had herself wrapped in a carpet and carried to Caesar by her loyal follower, […]

Artwork of the Week: September 4

Posted on Friday, September 4th, 2015

Personal adornment can be the most innovative, sophisticated, and extravagant of the arts. The people of Japan created some of the most striking personal accessories, called netsuke, during the Edo period (1615–1868) in order to attach pouches or boxes to their elaborate silk clothing, which had no pockets. The late 18th-century netsuke of a rabbit in monk’s […]

Artwork of the Week: August 28

Posted on Friday, August 28th, 2015

An exchange of glances is the focal point of Frederic Remington’s intriguing homage to the American West. Bent over their grazing ponies with buffalo skins thrown over them, two Native Americans of the western plains employ a time-honored hunting trick of disguising themselves as bison. A wagon train barely visible in the distance, however, suggests […]

Artwork of the Week: August 21

Posted on Friday, August 21st, 2015

Swedish-born Carl Milles thought of his sculpture as a bridge between earth and the world beyond. For that reason, much of his work reflects themes from mythology—especially stories in which gods and humans interact. Wings suggests the Greek myth of Zeus and Ganymede. In the story, Zeus develops an affection for the beautiful young Trojan prince. Taking […]

Artwork of the Week: August 14

Posted on Friday, August 14th, 2015

Cleveland artist Edris Eckhardt is renowned as an early leader in 20th-century American ceramics and glass. A committed professional artist during a period that was characterized by hobbyists, she worked in the so-called craft media to create figural and abstract sculptures. Her finest pieces capture the best elements of both clay and glass, such as […]

Artwork of the Week: August 7

Posted on Friday, August 7th, 2015

Eugène Boudin invented the genre of la mer moderne (the modern sea)—his rapid, vigorously painted impressions of the seaside peopled with the fashionable set. He was dubbed “le roi des ceils” (king of the skies) by artist Jean-Baptiste-Camille Corot for his luminous skies, which typically dominated his small canvases. Boudin was a strong advocate of painting and sketching en plein […]

Artwork of the Week: July 31

Posted on Friday, July 31st, 2015

Gold-ground paintings became popular in Italy in the 13th century. A gold background symbolized the light of Heaven, so was common for Christian devotional images like this panel painting of the Virgin Mary and the Christ Child. Hammered to paper thinness, gold leaf was adhered to the panel with reddish clay (bole)—you can see it […]

Artwork of the Week: July 24

Posted on Friday, July 24th, 2015

The vase from the firm of Norwegian silversmith and jeweler Marius Hammer elegantly expresses Scandinavian Art Nouveau design and represents a rare example of one of Hammer’s three-dimensional plique-à-jour pieces in an American public collection. French for “braid letting in daylight,” plique-à-jour looks like miniature stained glass. It is a technical tour de force that requires glass […]