DALLAS, TX.- The Dallas Museum of Art recently acquired Jacques-Louis Davids dramatic work, Apollo and Diana Attacking the Children of Niobe, through the Mrs. John B. OHara Fund of the Foundation for the Arts as the newest addition to the Museums permanent collection, it was announced by John R. Lane , the Eugene McDermott Director of the DMA.
An integral addition to the Museums collection of 18th-century European art, its acquisition is also a commemoration of outgoing curator Dorothy Kosinski, Senior Curator of Painting and Sculpture and The Barbara Thomas Lemmon Curator of European Art, and her many years of service to the Museum.
Rarely exhibited, Apollo and Diana Attacking the Children of Niobe is one of Davids earliest works. It was completed in 1772 as the final test in Davids second bid to win the coveted Grand Prix, also known as the Rome Prize, which granted four years of advanced study at the French Academy in Rome .
The painting, currently on view in the Museums second floor galleries, depicts the scene from Ovids Metamorphoses in which Latona orders her children, Apollo and Diana, to kill Niobes 14 children in an act of revenge. Described by Heather McDonald, the Lillian and James Clark Assistant Curator of Painting and Sculpture, who joined Dr. Kosinski in proposing the acquisition, as a stunning example of 18th -century art, the painting enhances the DMAs collection of art from the period and gives museum-goers a more comprehensive taste of the entire 18th Century. Considering most of Davids works are now already in museum collections, the acquisition of an important mythological painting by the artist is remarkable, noted Dr. Lane. Apollo and Diana Attacking the Children of Niobe has descended directly in the family of Dr. Andry, Louis XVIs personal physician, and the first owner of the painting.
Dr. Kosinski has spent 12 of her nearly 30 years of curatorial experience at the DMA. In December 2007, she was named Director of the Phillips Collection in Washington , D.C. , and will assume her position there in May 2008. The acquisition of the painting is in honor of her dedication to and accomplishments on behalf of the Dallas Museum of Art.
Both Dorothy Kosinski and the Foundation for the Arts have been important assets to the Dallas Museum of Art, said Dr. Lane. The acquisition of this beautiful painting by the Foundation in her honor is a generous and much appreciated gift to us that will greatly enrich our already significant collection of French painting.