Tag: Portraiture

What are you looking at? | Giuseppe Bonito’s The Turkish Embassy to the Court of Naples in 1741

What are you looking at? | Giuseppe Bonito’s The Turkish Embassy to the Court of Naples in 1741 John Weretka The Turkish Embassy to the Court of Naples in 1741 currently on display at the Museo del Prado exhibition at the National Gallery of Victoria. Giuseppe Bonito’s name is not one that anyone other than the most enthusiastic lover of late Baroque art is likely to know. This Neapolitan painter was born in 1707 and was a student of Solimena. From the 1740s, he was engaged as a portraitist to the Neapolitan court. Wider professional recognition followed in the 1750s with nomination as a pittore di camera, election to the Accademia di S. Luca in Rome, and promotion to the directorship of the Accademia di Belle Arti in Naples. Bonito’s output included religious works, such as the now-destroyed vault fresco…

Lecture | Fame and Beauty in Victorian Society: Portraits by George Frederic Watts | Barbara Bryant

Fame and Beauty in Victorian Society: Portraits by George Frederic Watts Dr Barbara Bryant 2014 Ursula Hoff Lecture in partnership with the Ursula Hoff Institute In his own lifetime the reputation of English painter G.F. Watts (1817-1904) was international in its reach, thanks to exhibitions around the world from Europe to America. From 1879 onward Watts’s work was regularly seen in Australia, prompting major acquisitions for growing museum collections, with the earliest occurring in 1888 here in Melbourne with a portrait of the British Poet Laureate, Alfred Tennyson, and a version of Love and Death. Although noted for his poetic and symbolic allegories, Watts was perhaps best known as a portrait painter. His self-conscious exploration of the genre of portraiture resulted in innovatory images which broaden the boundaries of conventional portrait making. This lecture will consider turning points in Watts’s…

Melbourne Portrait Group Seminar | Mark Shepheard on Mengs

Melbourne Portrait Group Seminar: ‘A tale of two portraits: Mengs and Don Luis de Borbón’. The National Gallery of Victoria has recently acquired a superb portrait by Anton Raphael Mengs (1728-79), one of the eighteenth century’s greatest portrait painters. The sitter is the Infante Don Luis de Borbón (1727-85), brother of the Spanish king, Carlos III. Don Luis was a major patron of the arts, employing the cellist and composer Luigi Boccherini, as well as being an early supporter of the young Goya. Meng’s portrait of the Infante was painted between 1774 and 1777, during his second period in Spain, where he was Primer Pintor (‘First Painter’) to the royal court. Employed principally to decorate the new Palacio Real in Madrid, he had originally attempted to avoid portrait commissions but the portraits that ultimately he did paint in Spain are…

Seminar | Zoffany’s portrait of Elizabeth Farren – Vivien Gaston | Melbourne Portrait Group

Melbourne Portrait Group Seminar: ‘Portraits and Reanimation: Johann Zoffany’s Portrait of Elizabeth Farren as Hermione in Shakespeare’s ‘A Winter’s Tale’, c. 1780‘ Johan Zoffany’s portrait of Elizabeth Farren as Hermione in Shakespeare’s ‘A Winter’s Tale’ represents one of the most striking, controversial and memorable scenes in all of Shakespeare’s plays. It is also a portrait of an actress whose private and public lives were equally intriguing, one of a few highly successful women whose celebrity status enabled their radical upward mobility. As a portrait, which creates the illusion that its subject, Elizabeth Farren, is before us, this life-size depiction provides a new interpretation on Shakespeare’s theme of the relationship of art and life. It adds further power to the theatrical moment when Hermione ‘comes to life’, with its reverberations both magical and humane. Through a range of visual and textual…

Melbourne Portrait Group Seminar Series | Ted Gott on Augustus John

Next week, the Melbourne Portrait Group launches a series of seminars on various aspects of portraiture. The series opens with a paper from Ted Gott, Senior Curator of International Art at the National Gallery of Victoria, and further seminars are scheduled over the coming months. Monday 24 March, 6:30pm Ted Gott, Portraits of Augustus John in the National Gallery of Victoria. In 1939 the Director of the National Gallery of Victoria, J. S. MacDonald, wrote forcefully about Augustus John’s life-size 1909 portrait of the Lord Mayor of Liverpool: ‘the painting is a bad one, and its purchase should not be entertained’. Nonetheless, the painting was subsequently purchased for the NGV by the Felton Bequests’ Committee. Why was opinion divided about the merit of John’s painting, and how did a work that would seem to be a natural fit for a…

Collection Changeovers: From the Vaults at the NGV

Collection Changeovers: From the Vaults With over seventy thousand artworks in the National Gallery of Victoria’s permanent collection, spanning from antiquity right through to contemporary art, we are fortunate to be the cultural custodians of some of the most exquisite and precious works of art in the country. Therefore in an effort to highlight these great treasures we have organised a series of free floor talks and lectures, presented by curators and external experts, in order to showcase art works that have never been on display before or rarely exhibited. Floor Talk: Martin Luther and Renaissance portraiture Thu 17 Oct, 12.30pm This talk considers the portrait and its development as a genre during the Renaissance, from portrait medals to panel paintings, and focuses on two sixteenth-century prints depicting the German theologian Martin Luther. The portrait of Luther by Lucas Cranach,…

Seminar Series | How to Feel: The Promise of Emotion

Presented by Centre for Contemporary Photography and the ARC Centre of Excellence for the History of Emotions, The University of Melbourne. Over three sessions this series will consider emotions from a range of disciplines, within the context of the exhibition True Self: David Rosetzky Selected Works. The Face (7 August) addresses crying and the expressed face in art and literature. Chair: Penelope Lee, CHE Melbourne Tom Whelan, Australian Catholic University      Stephanie Trigg, CHE, The University of Melbourne Christopher Chapman, National Portrait Gallery, Canberra         Public Space (14 August) presents three diverse approaches to emotion in public space, from the political, to the sacred and the performative. Chair: Kyla McFarlane, Centre for Contemporary Photography Jeff Kahn, Performance Space, Sydney Nikos Papastergiadis, School of Culture & Communication, University of Melbourne Catherine Czerw, Art Matters, CHE UWA  Music and Sound (21 August) will feature an…

Lecture | Hugh Belsey ‘Gainsborough in Melbourne’

Gainsborough in Melbourne Hugh Belsey Thomas Gainsborough was the only eighteenth-century British artist to give equal weight to the painting of portraits and landscapes and both are represented in Melbourne. The NGV has the most comprehensive collection of the artist’s work in Australia. Recent research has questioned some of the traditional identities given to the portraits and the seascape is a particularly rare example of his work as a landscapist. Presented by Hugh Belsey, Senior Research Fellow at the Paul Mellon Centre for Studies in British Art in London, who has studied Thomas Gainsborough for over thirty years and is currently writing a catalogue for Yale University Press on Gainsborough’s portraits. Date: Thursday 15 November, 11am Venue: Clemenger BBDO Auditorium, NGV International Cost: $18 Adult / $12 NGV Member / $14 Concession (Note: catering for this event). Friends of the Gallery Library: Free  but…

Napoleon Colloquium at NGV International

Napoleon Colloquium Saturday 22nd September An afternoon forum exploring the art, artists and their world in the time of Napoleon with three lectures on portraiture, Jacques-Louis David – painter of the French Revolution and decorative arts at the Napoleonic court. Speakers:  Dr Frank Heckes, Honorary Research Associate, La Trobe University | Jacques-Louis David: Painter of the French Revolution and of Napoleon Dr Vivien Gaston, Honorary Research Fellow, The University of Melbourne | Portraits of perfection: Ideal and reality in the Napoleonic era Dr Matthew Martin, Assistant Curator Decorative Arts and Antiquities, NGV | The bare necessities: Luxury travel accessories as courtly portraits in the Napoleonic Age Dr Elizabeth Cross, Senior Researcher, NGV and Jean-Pierre Chabrol, Head of Multimedia | Napoleon’s Letter’s to Josephine: Portrait of a marriage   Date: 1-5pm, Saturday 22nd September Cost $45 Adult / $40 NGV Member / $42 Concession (includes afternoon…

EVCS: Mark Shepheard, ‘Pompeo Batoni and his Roman Sitters: Portraits of the Sforza Cesarini’

Mark Shepheard ‘Pompeo Batoni and his Roman Sitters: Portraits of the Sforza Cesarini.’   This paper examines Pompeo Batoni’s two portraits of members of the Sforza Cesarini family: the portrait of Duke Gaetano II in Melbourne and that of a woman traditionally identified as Gaetano’s wife, which hangs today in Birmingham. It readdresses the question of the identity of the sitter in the Birmingham portrait, and explores the social function of portraiture within the Sforza Cesarini’s extensive art collection and the likely place of Batoni’s two portraits within that collection.The paper concludes with a discussion of Batoni’s portraits of Roman sitters and questions the oft-repeated view that the paucity of such portraits was the result of the low esteem in which portraiture was traditionally said to be held in eighteenth-century Italy. This paper is the result of research carried out…

Exhibition Review | ‘Portrait of a Lady: Sir John Longstaff’, Shepparton Art Museum by Caroline Jordan

 Longstaff’s Ladies ‘Portrait of a Lady: Sir John Longstaff’, Shepparton Art Museum, 18 February—22 April 2012. Curated by Susan Gillberg. Reviewed by Caroline Jordan John Longstaff (1861–1941) was a tall poppy in the Australian art world of the early twentieth century. The boy from Clunes, an historic little mining town near Ballarat, won the inaugural National Gallery of Victoria Travelling Scholarship for his affecting narrative painting of a young wife reeling in shock on hearing of the death of her miner husband in Breaking the News (1887, Art Gallery of Western Australia) (Fig. 1). This early success set the tone for a stellar international career.  Longstaff was a successful exhibitor where it really mattered—in the Salons of London and Paris—and was five times Archibald Prize winner at home. Longstaff was knighted in 1928 and in 1936 he co-founded the Art Gallery…

Review | Raffaello incontra Raffaello, Palazzo Barberini, Rome – Monique-Louise Webber

Exhibition Review Raffaello incontra Raffaello. Il Ritratto di giovane del Museo Thyssen Bornemisza e la Fornarina Galleria Nazionale d’Arte Antica, Palazzo Barberini, Rome, 3 November 2011 – 29 January 2012 Reviewed by Monique-Louise Webber Aptly described as a ‘piccola mostra’ or ‘little exhibition’ in the wall text, Raffaello Incontra Raffaello, at the Galleria Nazionale d’Arte Antica in the Palazzo Barberini, Rome (closed 29 January) invites reflection upon the nature of Raphael’s portraiture, and our response to it, through the comparison of two works. These are Portrait of a Young Man (c.1515) (Fig. 1), which has been attributed jointly to Raphael and an unknown assistant, and La Fornarina (1520) (Fig. 2). The juxtaposition of these works—the former owned by the Museo Thyssen Bornemisza, Madrid and the latter by the Galleria Nazionale d’Arte Antica—was made possible by the temporary exchange of Tintoretto’s…

Call for Papers: Framing Lives 8th Biennial Conference of the International Auto/Biography Association

Call for Papers Framing Lives: The 8th Biennial Conference of the International Auto/Biography Association 17-20 July 2012, Canberra, Australia Deadline for paper and panel proposals: 15 November 2011 Notification of acceptance: 15 December 2011 Conference website: http://www.iaba2012.com The Humanities Research Centre and National Centre of Biography at the Australian National University, in partnership with the National Portrait Gallery, present Framing Lives, the 8th Biennial Conference of the International Auto/Biography Association. The field of auto/biography and life narrative studies is dynamic and interdisciplinary. Founded in 1999, the International Auto/Biography Association (IABA) is the leading international forum for scholars, critics and practitioners. The Framing Lives conference will feature distinguished international speakers and events at the National Portrait Gallery and other national collecting institutions. Framing Lives draws attention to the extraordinary turn to the visual in contemporary life narrative: to graphics and animations, photographs and…

Floor Talk: Sir Thomas Lawrence’s George IV of England

Floor Talk: Sir Thomas Lawrence’s George IV of England Speaker Helen Gill, Hugh D.T. Williamson Foundation Paintings Conservation, NGV Following conservation treatment in 2010, this portrait is currently on display for the first time in many years. Join us to hear how the conservation treatment has revived the previously damaged painting, uncovering fine and well articulated brushwork, restoring it to displayable condition and informing the reattribution. Date: Friday 12th August, 12:30pm. Venue: NGV International 180 St Kilda Road, meet at Information Desk Website: http://www.ngv.vic.gov.au/whats-on/programs/public-programs/floor-talk-sir-thomas-lawrences-george-iv-fo-england

John Weretka – Review: Pastel Portraits: Images of Eighteenth Century Europe. Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York. 17 May 2011 – 14 August 2011

Exhibition Review Pastel Portraits: Images of Eighteenth Century Europe Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, 17 May 2011 – 14 August 2011 Reviewed by John Weretka The eighteenth-century pastel portrait is the subject of a compact show of about forty images from 1711–1801 being hosted by the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York (17 May 17–18 August 2011).  Too often derided as a minor art, placing it on a level with other domestic entertainments such as the silhouette, pastel is revealed in this show as a highly nuanced, delicate and beautiful art form that in a sense has suffered by being too closely allied to the tastes of its own time.  In fact, as the inclusion of pastels by artists working elsewhere in oils shows, pastel was a worthy subject of attention for artists who would otherwise make themselves known…