Walters Art Museum (formerly Walters Art Gallery even though it was a museum not a gallery) has two new exhibitions.
Who? That is the point of the exhibition. There are many very good artists who never became famous because of various historical flukes. Leonardo Da Vinci was a contemporary who had the good fortune to be in Florence which was a center of Italian art because of the sponsorship of the Medici family. Other artists were doing good work in other parts of Italy such as Italy’s east coast where Crivelli did his work, but their work was never promoted in the same way.
As Joneath Spicer, the curator of the exhibit and the curator of the Walter’s Renaissance and Baroque Art, says, you can have someone exceptional arise anywhere, not just in the major cultural centers such as Paris, New York or Florence.
Madame de Pompadour
Not someone you would normally think of when you think of art exhibits. Besides being the mistress (and a very influential one at that) of Louis XV of France, she was an artist. Most people had thought of her only as a patron of the arts. However, Susan Wagner, the Walters Art Museum curator for the exhibit, was doing research in the Walters’ collection and found etchings that had been done by Madame de Pompadour. It had been thought that these etchings had been lost.
Prior to this, art historians had doubted that she was a serious artist. These prove that she may not have been one of the greats, she was very good and should be considered a serious artist. In addition to her work, there are vases and porcelains that quite likely were owned by her. One is probably created by Crivelli, the focus of the other exhibit.
The exhibits run through May 22nd and 29th respectively.