A painting by Jacopo Bassano and a bronze by Riccio acquired by the Metropolitan Museum

1. Jacopo Bassano (1515-1592)
Baptism of Christ, c. 1590-1592
Oil on canvas - 192 x 160 cm
New York, Metropolitan Museum of Art
Photo : Metropolitan Museum of Art

2/3/09 – Acquisitions – New York, Metropolitan Museum of Art – The many canvases from Bassano’s workshop of frequently mediocre quality which can be found in just about any museum or art auction, should not let us forget however, that Jacopo was one of the greatest painters in 16th century Venice, on a par with Titian, Veronese and Tintoretto.

The work acquired by the Metropolitan Museum (ill. 1), from a collector who had left it on deposit for many years at the Toledo Museum of Art, is the last canvas produced by Jacopo Bassano. It fills an important gap as the establishment still did not have any paintings by this artist. The work reveals the Luminism so characteristic of the painter, close to that of Tintoretto, and this sweeping manner representative of his last period, recalling at times that of Titian. A painting with the same subject, attributed to Jacopo Bassano, was recently discovered in the church at Ormesson-sur-Marne and presented in Bordeaux and Caen at the exhibition Splendeur de Venise (see article in French). A comparison of the two works, although painted at different times, tends to confirm the attribution of the one found in France.

2. Andrea Briosco, dit Il Riccio (1470-1532)
Lampe à huile, c. 1515-1525
Bronze - 192 x 160 cm
New York, Metropolitan Museum of Art
Photo : Metropolitan Museum of Art

The Metropolitan also enriched its collections, early this year, with a bronze by Riccio (ill. 2) not included in the retrospective devoted to this sculptor which has just closed at the Frick Collection. Riccio, with the help of his workshop, produced many of these oil lamps with more or less elaborate décors. This one is particularly original in its design with its large scrolls depicting heads of a he-goat and a satyr.

Version française

Didier Rykner, lundi 2 mars 2009

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