The First Art Newspaper on the Net   Established in 1996 United States Thursday, August 22, 2019

Rare work by Artemisia Gentileschi acquired by Wadsworth Atheneum Museum of Art
Artemisia Gentileschi, Self-Portrait as a Lute Player, c. 1616-18, oil on canvas, Wadsworth Atheneum Museum of Art, Charles H. Schwartz Endowment Fund, 2014.4.1.

HARTFORD, CT.- The Wadsworth Atheneum Museum of Art-America's oldest public art museum-has acquired a rare self-portrait by Baroque painter Artemisia Gentileschi, one of the most recognized and sought-after artists of all time. "Self-Portrait as a Lute Player" (1616-18) was purchased using funds from the recently established Charles H. Schwartz Fund for European Art, and is the first painting by a female artist of the Baroque period to enter the museum's permanent collection. This painting-alongside masterpieces by Fra Angelico, Caravaggio and Artemisia's father Orazio Gentileschi, up to 19th- and 20th-century works by Claude Monet and Pierre-Auguste Renoir-will be a centerpiece of the 2015 reinstallation of the museum's European collections in the Morgan Memorial Building following a five-year renovation.

A mere three, uncontested self-portraits by the artist are known to exist worldwide; being that two of them are allegories, "Self-Portrait as a Lute Player" is the only true self-portrait that remains. The artist rendered herself about 25 years old, engaging directly with the viewer while her nimble fingers suggest she is actually playing the instrument. Trained by her father Orazio, Artemisia's remarkable painting technique rivals other masters of her day. The highly accomplished treatment of light washing over her skin, the intricate gold embroidery on her opulent blue costume and the delicate folds of her turban demonstrate Gentileschi's mastery of detail and color. Perhaps the most astonishing quality of the work is its intimacy-"Self-Portrait as a Lute Player" gives the viewer the closest possible impression of the artist's presence, whose ambiguous expression hints at a more complex meaning.

"We are thrilled that Artemisia Gentileschi's stunning masterpiece is the first work to be acquired with monies from the Charles H. Schwartz Fund. It would have previously been impossible for us to purchase this superlative painting without our magnificent new gift from Mr. Schwartz," said Susan L. Talbott, Director and C.E.O. of the Wadsworth Atheneum Museum of Art. "In adding this jewel to our collection the Wadsworth becomes the first museum in New England to offer a glimpse of this distinguished artist's vision."

The Charles H. Schwartz Fund was recently established through a bequest from Schwartz, a former museum member. This $9.6 million gift is the largest bequest received by the museum in its history, and supports expanding the museum's collection of English and European works of art from the 18th century and earlier.

Born in Rome in 1593, Gentileschi grew to be regarded as one of the most refined and bold painters of her generation, and was the first woman to become a member of the famous Accademia di Arte del Disegno in Florence. Gentileschi drew on the harrowing experience of her rape at age 18, spending her career painting strong heroines and bloody stories. Her gripping works depict complex compositions with biblical and mythological narratives, and her subjects are often clad in sumptuous costumes and beautified by sensuous light and shadow effects. Her themes, paired with her distinct style, have made her one of the most powerfully expressive woman painters in history.

With this landmark purchase the Wadsworth adds to its robust collection of Baroque works by the likes of Caravaggio, Orazio Gentileschi, Claude Lorrain, Nicolas Poussin, Salvator Rosa and Francisco de Zurbarán.

"The quality and scope of our Baroque paintings makes the Wadsworth one of the leading institutions in the United States," said Oliver Tostmann, Susan Morse Hilles Curator of European Paintings, Sculptures and Drawings. "Artemisia Gentileschi's breathtaking self-portrait rounds out the collection by adding an exceptional female perspective to what was inarguably a male-dominated era."

"Self-Portrait as a Lute Player" depicts the artist during a decisive point in her career. Having arrived in Florence, she would have needed the support of powerful patrons; by portraying herself as a highly cultivated artist-wearing luxurious clothes and enchanting the viewer with her mastery of the lute-she would have appealed to the tastes of elite Florentine circles. The painting was possibly a commission by Grand Duke Cosimo II de' Medici, an avid patron of Gentileschi, and was recorded in the Medici collection as early as 1638. Lost to notice until rediscovered in a private collection in 1998, the painting was then exhibited in major Gentileschi shows around the world, and was recently made available through Christie's New York.

"We at Christie's are absolutely delighted with this outcome," said Nicholas Hall, Co-Chairman, Old Master & 19th Century Art, Christie's New York. "We are very proud that this one-of-a-kind treasure is going to such a prestigious institution, and look forward to seeing Artemisia's gaze from the walls of the Wadsworth for years to come."

"Self-Portrait as a Lute Player" will have its public debut at the Wadsworth as part of the reopening of the historic Morgan Memorial Building in 2015. A special preview of the painting will be offered to the Society of Daniel Wadsworth-the museum's premier membership group-later this spring.

Today's News

March 29, 2014

Largest exhibition of Mike Kelley's work opens at The Museum of Contemporary Art in L.A.

Alte Nationalgalerie Berlin opens first major museum exhibition of the work of Rembrandt Bugatti

Works by three Modern masters to lead Sotheby's Impressionist & Modern Art Evening Sale

The Katonah Museum of Art presents "Jasper Johns & John Lund: Masters in the Print Studio"

Jim Campbell receives his first solo museum exhibition in New York at the Museum of the Moving Image

Sotheby's announces Arts of the Islamic World: Rare and precious works of art spanning 1000 years

Rare work by Artemisia Gentileschi acquired by Wadsworth Atheneum Museum of Art

Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum appoints Dr. Christina Nielsen as William and Lia Poorvu Curator

Australia's first banknote, issued in 1817 by the Bank of New South Wales, fetches US$310,000

Exhibition of work by an idiosyncratic artist Edwin G. Lucas opens at Bourne Fine Art

Knights! Exhibition takes new approach to examining arms and armor throughout history

Henry Moore prints sell for top prices at Dreweatts & Bloomsbury Auctions in London

I.M. Chait March 23 Post-Asia Week Auction in Beverly Hills tops $2.3 million, led by $350K bronze

Finalists for the Rijksstudio Award have been announced

Early gold from The Bently Collection raises nearly $9 million to launch Bently Foundation in San Francisco

"Graphic Design: Now in Production" opens at the RISD Museum

Fantasy visions by Starewitch, Švankmajer and the Quay Brothers" on view at CCCB in Barcelona

Installation of monumental new addition to the Olympic Sculpture Park begins

Exhibition features the printing press as artistic practice at the Kentucky Museum of Art and Craft

Centro de Arte Contemporáneo de Málaga presents Kaws's monumental sculptures

IMMA and IADT present an exhibition, 474: document / work / space, in the Drawing Project, DúnLaoghaire

Most Popular Last Seven Days

1.- Conservation reveals Wellington Collection work was painted by Titian's Workshop

2.- New dinosaur discovered after lying misidentified in university's vaults for over 30 years

3.- Unseen Texas Chainsaw Massacre outtakes and stills sold for a combined $26,880

4.- National gallery reveals conserved Italian altarpiece by Giovanni Martini da Udine

5.- London's Tate Modern evacuated after child falls, teen arrested

6.- Bavarian State Minister of the Arts restitutes nine works of art

7.- Boy thrown from London's Tate Modern is French tourist visiting UK

8.- Child thrown from London gallery has broken spine, legs and arm

9.- £10 million Turner masterpiece may leave British shores

10.- Tourists banned from sitting on Rome's Spanish Steps

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
(1941 - 2019)
Editor & Publisher: Jose Villarreal
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