The First Art Newspaper on the Net Established in 1996 United States Monday, September 1, 2014


Milwaukee Art Museum Announces Jan Lievens: A Dutch Master Rediscovered
Jan Lievens (Dutch, 1607–1674), Landscape with Willows, early 1640s. Oil on panel, 11 x 16 1/8 in. Frits Lugt Collection, Institut Néerlandais, Paris. 2787
MILWAUKEE, WI.- The first U.S. exhibition of the work of Jan Lievens (1607–1674), one of the great Dutch artists of the 17th century, will be on view at the Milwaukee Art Museum February 7–April 26, 2009. Jan Lievens: A Dutch Master Rediscovered challenges the artist’s place in art history, calling into question why the artist has only been studied in the shadow of his more famous contemporary, Rembrandt van Rijn.

Jan Lievens remains one of the most fascinating and enigmatic Dutch artists of his time. Daringly innovative as a painter, printmaker, and draftsman, the artist created powerful character studies, formal portraits, religious and allegorical images, and landscapes that were highly esteemed by his contemporaries. His work demonstrates a singular international style that combines the best of Netherlandish realism with the sensuous painting of Rubens, Van Dyck, and the Venetians.

The exhibition and its accompanying catalogue will present an overview of the full range of Lievens’ career. More than 110 of the artist’s finest works will be presented including 50 paintings, 28 drawings, and 34 prints.

Lievens was a child prodigy, whose early works in Leiden were highly praised by his contemporaries and valued by princely patrons. His later career was marked by important civic and private commissions in Amsterdam, The Hague, and Berlin. Nevertheless, his name today barely registers in the public consciousness. The exhibition and catalogue suggest that his posthumous reputation waned after many of his works were mistakenly attributed to other masters—especially Rembrandt (1606–1669), with whom he had a somewhat symbiotic relationship—and because he worked in a remarkable range of styles, reflecting multiple influences from the various cities in which he lived.

“Jan Lievens is overdue for a longer art historical evaluation,” notes Laurie Winters, curator of earlier European art at the Milwaukee Art Museum, who conceived of the exhibition while viewing paintings by Lievens in a private collection. “The last exhibition of his work—which was in Europe, in 1979—was subtitled ‘A Painter in the Shadow of Rembrandt,’ reflecting the tendency in the 1970s and 80s to evaluate Dutch artists only in their relationship to Rembrandt. This is the first in-depth exhibition to consider the other significant aspects of Lievens’ remarkable career.”

Arranged chronologically, Jan Lievens includes such masterful paintings as Lievens’ youthful and penetrating Self-Portrait (c.1629–1630). Dendrochronological examinations have revealed that Lievens used an oak panel made from the identical tree that supplied the panel for Rembrandt’s Samson and Delilah, suggesting that they purchased their panels from the same maker and perhaps even jointly.

Completed when the artist was not yet 20 years-old, the early masterpiece The Feast of Esther (c.1625) depicts the dramatic moment from the biblical Book of Esther when the queen reveals to her husband, the Persian king, the plot to destroy all the Jews in the kingdom, including herself. Esther points to the conspirator, Haman, who draws back in terror as the king glares at him before ordering his death. The painting demonstrates Lievens’ connection to the Utrecht Carravaggisti, artists from Utrecht who had adopted the realism and dramatic light of Caravaggio.

Bearded Man with a Beret (c. 1630) is an expressive character study of the type Lievens made during his Leiden period. In contrast to the old man’s modest attire, Boy in a Cape and Turban (c. 1631) is one of the most beautiful and compelling portraits of a figure in the romantic Eastern dress popular at the time. The sensitivity of the boy’s face expresses a hesitancy that belies the grandeur. Executed when the two artists were working together and possibly even sharing a studio, Lievens’ Portrait of Rembrandt (c.1629), captures his colleague’s proud bearing and thoughtful countenance with a portrait-like precision.

Other highlights in the exhibition include Prince Charles Louis with His Tutor, as the Young Alexander Instructed by Aristotle (1631)—painted for the king and queen of Bohemia—and The Lamentation of Christ (c.1640), an Antwerp period altarpiece that reflects the influence of Anthony van Dyck.

Among the works on paper are The Raising of Lazarus (1630–1631), an etching Lievens made after a painting of the same subject (also in the exhibition), and Village Street with a Windmill (c. 1650s), one of a number of Lievens’ landscape drawings from his Amsterdam period.

Lievens and Rembrandt were born in Leiden just over a year apart, studied with the same master, Pieter Lastman (1583–1633), and lived near one another until about 1632. Many parallels exist between the works that each produced in Leiden in the 1620s and early 1630s. Even though Lievens’ career began earlier, he was often wrongly described as a follower or student of Rembrandt. It is proposed in this exhibition and catalogue that, in many respects, Lievens was the initiator of the stylistic and thematic developments that characterized both artists’ work in the late 1620s.

Lievens’ late work has been consistently neglected, partially because earlier historians believe that he lost his way after leaving Rembrandt’s orbit, and succumbed to the influence of the great Flemish master Anthony van Dyck (1599–1641) upon his move to London in 1632 in search of courtly success. In fact, after he moved to Antwerp in 1635—where he thoroughly adapted the prevailing taste for Flemish modes of painting—Lievens achieved the international renown he so desperately sought. After his return to the Netherlands, he received important commissions in Amsterdam, The Hague, and Berlin.

Among the reasons Lievens’ later years have been overlooked was that his frequent moves kept him from fitting into historical assessments of the period, which generally focus on the stylistic character of the time. It was not until the mid-20th century that Lievens’ body of work began to be reassessed and a number of important works, wrongly attributed to Rembrandt and other artists, were recognized as being by his hand. Many of these paintings, as well as some recent discoveries, are in the exhibition (cat. 11; cat. 21).




Today's News

December 11, 2008

Getty Museum Acquires Landscape Painting by Roelandt Savery and Drawing by Rodin

Museum of Contemporary Art in Sydney Unveils Redevelopment Plans

Hirshhorn Museum Presents Strange Bodies: Figurative Works from the Hirshhorn Collection

Vik Muniz Creates Rebus, an Inventive Narrative of Works from MoMA's Collection

Milwaukee Art Museum Announces Jan Lievens: A Dutch Master Rediscovered

Museo Soumaya Opens Tobacco Exhibition in Mexico City

Julio Quaresma: Playing Equality Opens at Institut Valencia d'Art Modern

Growing and Greening New York Explores Greater Sustainability for NYC and City's Role in Global Efforts

Balthasar Burkhard & Naoya Hatakeyama: Two Mountains on View at Museum in Zalburg

Fuller Craft to Present Only East Coast Exhibition of Craft in America: Expanding Traditions

Lentos Kunstmuseum Linz Presents Anne Schneider: Nothing Without the body

New Gallery at the World Museum Liverpool Reveals Mummies

Important Tiffany to be Auctioned at Sotheby's in New York

Smithsonian's Anacostia Community Museum Presents Jubilee: African American Celebration

Philbrook Announces Major Gift of Modern and Contemporary Industrial Design

Kunstmuseum Bonn Exhibits Finalists of the Dorothea von Stetten Art Prize

Puerto Rican Art Now-with Antonio Martorell Presented at the Smithsonian's Hirshhorn Museum Dec. 12

Most Popular Last Seven Days



1.- Neanderthals and humans were both living in Europe for between 2,600 and 5,400 years

2.- First major exhibition to explore the historical legacy of African cultural astronomy opens at LACMA

3.- Carlo Mollino's idealized vision of the female form in new book published by Damiani/Crump

4.- Tate Britain displays works by Frank Auerbach from the collection of Lucian Freud

5.- In grave robber territory, locals abuzz over Alexander-era tomb; Largest of its kind ever discovered in Greece

6.- Lambert Collection opens an ambitious project housed at the Sainte-Anne Prison

7.- Centre for Contemporary Art Singapore announces the first 18 artists in the CCA Residencies progamme

8.- Historic Kings Theatre is transformed into major New York Performing Arts venue

9.- Thirteen's American Masters Series co-produces new documentary about photographer Dorothea Lange

10.- Sotheby's New York to offer 548 Edward Weston photographs as a single lot this September

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, .

 

Founder:
Ignacio Villarreal
Editor & Publisher: Jose Villarreal - Consultant: Ignacio Villarreal Jr.
Art Director: Juan José Sepúlveda Ramírez - Marketing: Carla Gutiérrez
Special Contributor: Liz Gangemi - Special Advisor: Carlos Amador
Contributing Editor: Carolina Farias

Royalville Communications, Inc
produces:

ignaciovillarreal.org theavemaria.org juncodelavega.org facundocabral-elfinal.org
Founder's Site. The most varied versions
of this beautiful prayer.
Hommage
to a Mexican poet.
Hommage
       

The First Art Newspaper on the Net. The Best Versions Of Ave Maria Song Junco de la Vega Site Ignacio Villarreal Site