The First Art Newspaper on the Net   Established in 1996 United States Wednesday, January 17, 2018

The Art Gallery of New South Wales Acquires Mars and the Vestal Virgin by Jacques Blanchard
Jacques Blanchard (France 1600-1638) Mars and the Vestal Virgin oil on canvas,
130 x 110.4cm. Purchased with funds from a gift by James Fairfax AO with the support of the Art Gallery of New South Wales. Collection: Art Gallery of New South Wales.

SYDNEY.- The Art Gallery of New South Wales has acquired an important 17th century painting Mars and the Vestal Virgin by Jacques Blanchard, who was one of the most important Parisian painters of his time.
This painting is a work of Blanchard’s full maturity and is of exceptional quality. This is in part due to the unusually fine state of preservation of the painting. The pigments are unusually fresh and unfaded for a 17th century painting.
Born in Paris in 1600 Jacques Blanchard made a trip to Italy and in Rome (1624-26) he would have encountered the art of Caravaggio. On his way back he spent some time in Venice (c.1626-28) where he was particularly affected by the sensuous art of such painters as Titian and Veronese. After a brief spell working in Turin at the court of the Duke of Savoy (c.1628) he returned to France and set himself up in Paris in 1629. Blanchard died young in 1638 and his Parisian career lasted less than a decade.
Blanchard’s painting is memorable for its sensousness. He was known as a painter of mythological and allegorical subjects, many of these painted on commission as part of decorative schemes in the houses of a newly wealthy administrative class of France. It is this which earned him among his contemporaries the nickname of the French Titan and which places him in a pivotal position in the development of French art between the sensual court art of Fontainebleau in the 16th-century and the eroticism of Boucher in the 18th century.
This painting has been called Cymon and Iphigenia but this title proved to be incorrect as Cymon was a shepherd and the male figure in the picture is dressed as a Roman soldier. Recent research has revealed the true subject which is a key episode in the story of the founding of Rome. The Vestal Virgin Rhea Silvia lay down to sleep next to a stream in a wood, loosened her clothes and ‘opened her bosom to catch the breeze’. The God Mars encountering her in this state was overcome with lust and raped her. This encounter resulted in the birth of the twins Romulus and Remus, who founded the city of Rome.
The most important French artists of the 17th century, Claude and Poussin, worked almost entirely in Rome. In France, the artistic capital was Paris. Blanchard belongs to a group of artists active at the same period whose reputations have been re-established in recent years.
Recognition of Blanchard’s status is reflected in the presence of his works in the Louvre and the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, as well as numerous other French and American museum collections.
Also as a mythological painting, the work makes a highly important contribution: it is the only 17th century example in a collection which is otherwise composed almost entirely of religious paintings, portraits and landscapes.
Blanchard’s Mars and the Vestal Virgin ‘replaces’ the Van Mieris painting which was stolen from the Gallery in 2007. The $2 million painting was purchased with insurance funds and a substantial contribution from the Art Gallery Society of New South Wales.

Today's News

March 20, 2008

The Victoria & Albert Museum's "China Design Now" Explores Explosion of New Design

The Art Gallery of New South Wales Acquires Mars and the Vestal Virgin by Jacques Blanchard

Record Set For A Chinese Contemporary Ink Painting at Auction

Christie's Russian Art Presents Important Russian Art Paintings

Moscow Museum of Modern Art Presents Anton Corbijn: Four Perspectives

The Cleveland Museum of Art Announces New Additions to Renowned Collection

2008 Harnett Biennial of American Prints at University of Richmond Museums

Designs Revealed for the Annette Strauss Artist Square, Dallas

Mark Wolfe Contemporary Art Presents '8'

Akron Art Museum Names New Curator of Exhibitions

Most Popular Last Seven Days

1.- National Air and Space Museum releases "VR Hangar" app

2.- Inrap discovers a mikveh in the medieval Jewish quarter of Saint-Paul-Trois-Châteaux

3.- Wellcome Collection acquires 17th century portrait of internationally renowned and hirsute Barbara van Beck

4.- The Colonial Williamsburg Foundation names Ghislain d'Humieres to oversee its core operations

5.- LACMA exhibits for the first time two photographic series by Richard Prince

6.- Jade and gold burial suit, finest to survive ancient China, featured in Nelson-Atkins exhibition

7.- Peru recovers 79 pre-Hispanic textiles from the Museum of Gothenburg in Sweden

8.- Vincent van Gogh's 'Watermill at Kollen' on display at Het Noordbrabants Museum

9.- Saint Louis Art Museum will acquire 'Portrait of Charlotte Cram' by John Singer Sargent

10.- British Museum opens the Sir Joseph Hotung Gallery of China and South Asia

Related Stories

Important Judaica and Israeli & international art bring a combined $7.9 million at Sotheby's New York

Tunisia to auction ousted despot's treasures

Andy Warhol's Mao portraits excluded from the Beijing and Shanghai shows next year

China criticises French Qing dynasty seal auction

Christie's announces auction marking the first half century of the popular and luxurious interiors shop Guinevere

Nine new exhibits debut at San Diego International Airport

Rembrandt masterpiece "Portrait of Catrina Hooghsaet" back on display at National Museum Cardiff

Amber: 40-million-year-old fossilised tree resin is Baltic gold

Egyptian artist Iman Issa wins the Ist FHN Museu d’Art Contemporani de Barcelona Award

The main chapel of the Basilica of Santa Croce open for visits after five year restoration

Museums, Exhibits, Artists, Milestones, Digital Art, Architecture, Photography,
Photographers, Special Photos, Special Reports, Featured Stories, Auctions, Art Fairs,
Anecdotes, Art Quiz, Education, Mythology, 3D Images, Last Week, .


Ignacio Villarreal
Editor & Publisher:Jose Villarreal - Consultant: Ignacio Villarreal Jr.
Art Director: Juan José Sepúlveda Ramírez

Royalville Communications, Inc
Founder's Site. The most varied versions
of this beautiful prayer.
to a Mexican poet.

The First Art Newspaper on the Net. The Best Versions Of Ave Maria Song Junco de la Vega Site Ignacio Villarreal Site
Tell a Friend
Dear User, please complete the form below in order to recommend the Artdaily newsletter to someone you know.
Please complete all fields marked *.
Sending Mail
Sending Successful