Objects of the Month
Alexander von Minutoli is mostly known as a creator of the imposing collection of artistic handicrafts. It is however worth reminding, that the count was also a consummate expert in paintings, which can be confirmed by his collection of 200 pictures. One of the pearls of this collection was a canvas by Balthasar van der Ast, "Still-life with a basket of fruits,"which irrefutably reminds of the famous painting created three decades before by Caravaggio, titled the “Basket of fruits”, currently housed in the Milanese Ambrosiana.
March 2011: Peter Paul Rubens "The Holy Trinity with St. Elisabeth, St. John the Baptist and the Dove"
In 1608, the thirty years old Rubens returned from Rome to his family town Antwerp. The influence of Italian paintings is discernible in his works that he executed in the years following his return. Shortly after leaving the Eternal City, the artist created a canvas painting, titled ”The Holy Trinity with St. Elisabeth, St. John the Baptist and the Dove” which was the pride of the Kospoth family's palace in Brzezinka (Briese in German) for more than one hundred years.
Two paintings illustrating the story of Amor and Psyche, that both had formerly belonged to the collection of Counts von Ingenheim, represent the special sort of Italian Renaissance art - the cassoni painting.
Pride of the palace in Rysiowice (Reisewitz in German), which had formerly belonged to Counts von Ingenheim, was a majolica tondo, executed by Giorgio Andreoli, who was regarded as one of the most significant manufacturer of the Renaissance decorated faience-pieces in Italy.
The large-scale portrait “Pertuiset, Lion Hunter” had been executed in 1881, about two years before the painter died. Manet, who had been striving within his whole live, for appreciation for his work by the Paris jury, had gained it only owing to the presented picture, which brought him the long-awaited medal. Eugène Petruiset, immortalized by Édouard Manet, was an extremely quaint person that had inspired many authors (mostly Jules Verne had evoked him in his novelette entitled “Ten Hours of Hunt”). In 2008 that buccaneer became protagonist of a novel by Oliver Rolin, in which the author dedicated lots of verses to the friendship between the portrayed and the artist.
The painting depicts an episode derived from the legend of Saint Anthony, listed by St. Athanasius and popularized in Jacopo de Voragine's Legenda Aurea (The Golden Legend). Fra Angelico had pictured the Holy Abbot while being tempted in a desert by the demon that had taken shape of a gold clump. The depiction had been diffused in Itaian panel and fresco painting, within the third decade of the 15th century, firstly as part of cycles dedicated to that Saint, secondly as a single scene, often placed in a predella, including scenes from lives of other Saints.
The canvas, painted by Claude Monet in 1869, depicts a path in Louveciennes, covered with melting snow patches which reflect the evening sun. An apparently non-alluring view of a small town road, coated with mud, in the painter's picture turned into a vibrant composition of light which delights spectators.
The portrait, once belonging to the collection of the Ingenheim family, most probably depicts a Venetian patrician Girolamo Priuli. The sitter’s identity, recently suggested by an Italian researcher Lorenzo Finocchi Ghersi, may be assumed with reference to an untypical head-dress of the young man.
The large-size canvas painting, executed by Hendrik Goltzius in 1603, is defined as one of the most exquisite nude paintings of the 17th century.
Giorgio Vasari so alluded in the „Life of Giotto”, about the cycle of paintings decorating the sacristy shrine in one of the Florentine churches: "in the St. Cross Church [...] in the sacristy, scenes from Life of Christ and St. Francis [have been painted]". The presently accepted attribution, had been suggested no sooner than in the second half of the 19th century, by an Italian art historian Giovanni Battista Cavalcaselle.
Vincent van Gogh spent the last two months of his life in Auvers sur-Oise in tutelage of Dr. Paul Gachet, who was immortalized by the artist in many canvas paintings. This was very strenuous time for the painter, it has been estimated that at that time he had created one new painting every day.