Artwork of the Week

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Artwork of the Week: February 7

Posted on Friday, February 7th, 2014

We usually think of see-sawing as a playground pastime for children, but in 18th-century French culture, the back-and-forth, up-and-down activity had a much less innocent connotation. Clodion underlines the game as an erotic metaphor for the pleasures of love by sculpting a nude nymph and lusty woodland satyr teeter-tottering on a log. If you look […]

Artwork of the Week: January 31

Posted on Friday, January 31st, 2014

A subject very important to Isack van Ostade, this wintry scene of everyday life combined landscape and genre painting. In fact, he made more than two hundred works from observation that depicted similar scenes and activities, despite having a short-lived painting career of only about ten years. He began as a student of his brother […]

Artwork of the Week: January 24

Posted on Friday, January 24th, 2014

We walk by them and use them every day—but this is not your ordinary, everyday table. Noel Gérard was a French cabinetmaker and furniture dealer with such clients as the King of Poland. During the transition period between the reigns of King Louis XIV (1643–1715) and Louis XV (1715–1774) there was a notable change in […]

Artwork of the Week: January 17

Posted on Friday, January 17th, 2014

Led by Anton Mauve, the group of Dutch painters known as the Hague School distinguished itself with its exceptional rendering of moody atmospheric effects. Mauve and his contemporaries tried to depict nature and the “simple life” of rural communities that was beginning to be supplanted by the Industrial Revolution and rapid urbanization. Mauve’s use of […]

Artwork of the Week: January 10

Posted on Friday, January 10th, 2014

This blue and white vase was made during the rule of Emperor Kangxi (1662–1722), the longest reigning emperor in China. During this time, the imperial porcelain factory was revived resoundingly thanks to the Emperor’s interest in culture and the arts. The flowers painted on the vase are magnolia blossoms, a symbol of purity and feminine […]

Artwork of the Week: January 3

Posted on Friday, January 3rd, 2014

Known as the Common American Swan in Audubon’s time, now called the Tundra Swan, this majestic bird is here rendered in a carefully hand-colored etching. Part of Audubon’s ambitious Birds of America—an attempt by Audubon to depict every type of bird common to the United States—the print is more than two feet high by more […]

Artwork of the Week: December 27

Posted on Friday, December 27th, 2013

Long before The Party, Marisol’s largest group assemblage, came to the Museum, it traveled to the Venice Biennale in 1968 as a representative of Venezuela (Marisol was born in Paris to Venezuelan parents). As someone who always felt uncomfortable in the 1960s social scene, Marisol chose to display the figures in a setting where none […]

Artwork of the Week: December 20

Posted on Friday, December 20th, 2013

As the leading painter in the Catholic city of Seville, Spain, Murillo was commissioned to paint almost exclusively for the churches and religious orders in the area. Because of his frequent travels to Madrid and Seville’s heavy involvement in international commerce, Murillo was introduced to many different artists and styles of painting. In this painting […]

Artwork of the Week: December 13

Posted on Friday, December 13th, 2013

Kawase Hasui trained in the traditional Japanese painting style as well as the art of traditional woodblock prints, known as ukiyo-e (“pictures of the floating world”). Much of his work focused on landscapes and portraits of Kabuki Theater actors, and in the early 20th century he was approached by the publisher Watanabe Shōzaburō to create […]

Artwork of the Week: December 6

Posted on Friday, December 6th, 2013

Created as a social commentary on 18th-century consumerism, this print is the last in a set of eight engraved by William Hogarth. The series, A Rake’s Progress, centers on a prosperous merchant’s heir and his reckless lifestyle of extravagance. Here, the heir’s overindulgence has led to him being committed to the infamous London mental institution […]