613. French Women Best: Marie Denise Villers, Marie Josephine Charlotte du Val d’Ognes (1801). Of all the eyes looking at me in this gallery, hers are the ones that hold me. Light and shadow define the plain dress and spartan room, and we see a courting couple through a broken window pane. The composition is […]
610. Velazquez Best: Velazquez, Juan de Pareja (1650). A masterpiece of world portraiture: Velazquez’s consummate brushwork comes through the unfortunate glazing, capturing light reflecting off the Moor’s forehead, texturing his skin, revealing itself in the lace color and rich gray background. Note the single red dot that marks the right ear. Worst: Bartolome Esteban Murillo, […]
607. Venice Some periods are just better than others. 16th c. Venice – with Titian, Tintoretto, Veronese and Lotto – is one. The next gallery – 16th c. Northern Italy – is not. Best: Paolo Veronese, Mars and Venus United by Love (1570s). A topflight work (along with its companions at the Frick) by a […]
602. Gold Ground Best: Lorenzo Monaco, David (1405-10). David strikes a commanding pose, holds a ‘cither’ realistically on his knee, and has the most human face in the gallery. The gold background sets off the beautiful green, pink and blue of David’s robes. Worst: Cenni di Francesco di Ser Cenni, St. Catherine Disputing and Two […]
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