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Exhibition Features Royal Luminaries Depicted as Children in the Old Master Styles
Circle of Jean Ranc (French, 1674-1735), Portrait of Charles III of Spain as a child, 1726. Oil on canvas, 32 3/4 x 26 3/4 inches.

ROSLYN HARBOR, NY.- France’s King Louis XIV, the “Sun King” and King Louis XV, the ‘Well Beloved;” Spain’s King Charles III and Queen Isabella II; and Austria’s Emperor Joseph II are well known to us through the many portraits in which we’ve come to know them as stiff, often forbidding personages. But in Facing Destiny: Children in European Portraiture (1500-1900) we meet these royal figures as children, often charming playful young children. Glorious oil paintings in the style of the Old Masters Schools of Germany, Spain, France and other areas throughout Western Europe explore formerly uncharted territory. Along the way, this priceless historic treasure trove also offers a tour of the whole art of portraiture as it developed over the centuries.

Selected from the collection of the Fundación Yannick y Ben Jakober in Majorca, Spain, the 40 works of the exhibition span nations and centuries. This showing of Facing Destiny, opening at Nassau County Museum of Art on March 29 and remaining on view through May 25, is part of a tour organized by the Fundacion Yannick and Ben Jakober; the tour is co-organized and distributed by Exhibits Development Group, USA, project coordinator, Monika Hirschbichler.

This extraordinary portrait collection delves into largely unexplored aspects of Western history and takes us on a rare voyage through Western Europe style, fashion and artistic development.

For the most part, the portraits represent the sons and daughters of important historical figures, but there are also images of children of more modest origins. The royal portraits show the sumptuous fabrics, intricate stitching and elaborate styles of children’s clothing, garb that emulated adult dress in a time before childhood was seen as a separate and distinct phase of life.

Facing Destiny will appeal to art lovers, historians and families alike. Children will take particular pleasure in the unfamiliar costumes, poses and demeanor of their painted peers as they explore versions of childhood so utterly different from their own experiences.

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March 30, 2009

Exhibition Features Royal Luminaries Depicted as Children in the Old Master Styles

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