Paintings recently acquired by the Montréal Museum of Fine Arts


17/4/08 — Acquisitions — Montréal, Museum of Fine Arts — Here are some of the most recent paintings to have entered the collections of the Museum of Fine Arts, either through purchases or donations.

Four Italian panels (ill. 1 to 4) have just been offered by Michal and Renata Horstein, two of the museum’s major patrons who have already donated generously in the past.…

1. Master of the Imola Triptych (first half
of the 14th century)
The Virgin Adoring the Child
Jesus with Two Angels
, about 1430
Distemper and gold on wood - - 37,2 x 29 cm
Montréal, Museum of
Fine Arts
Photo : MBAM, Brian Merrett



— Master of the Triptych of Imola, The Virgin Adoring the Child Jesus with Two Angels (ill. 1)

This Emilian master earned his name from the triptych at the Pinacoteca d’Imola (Virgin with Child with Saints Catherine and Peter Martyr) that was in the town’s cathedral. The style of the work, a bit naïf, and the type of plump child is characteristic of the artist.

2. Giovanni di
Paolo (c. 1399-c. 1482)
The Ecstasy of Saint Francis, c. 1440
Distemper and gold
on panel - 25.5 x 7.5 cm
Montréal, Museum of Fine Arts
Photo : MBAM, Brian Merrett



— Giovanni di Paolo, The Ecstasy of Saint Francis (ill. 2)

The work dates back to around 1440 when Giovanni di Paolo began to undergo the influence of Sassetta, the other great Siennese painter of the Quattrocento. This panel is probably the side piece to a small portable triptych that was taken apart.

3. Fiorenzo di
Lorenzo (c. 1440-1522)
Angel, c. 1480
Distemper and gold
on panel - 64.8 x 20.5 cm
Montréal, Museum of
Fine Arts
Photo : MBAM, Brian Merrett



— Fiorenzo di Lorenzo, Angel (ill. 3)

The artist was a native of Perugia where most of his work can be found still today. He represents the transition between the Umbrian school of the second half of the Quattrocento (dominated by the figures of Benedetto Bonfigli and Bartolomeo Caporali) and Il Perugino, who was perhaps his student. His style may be compared to that of the Florentine painters of his time such as Verrocchio and Pollaiolo.

4. Master of the
Nativity of Castello (c. 1445-c. 1470)
The Virgin
and Child
, c. 1460
Distemper and gold
on panel - 58.5 x 37 cm
Montréal, Museum of
Fine Arts
Photo : MBAM, Brian Merrett



— Master of the Nativity of Castello, The Virgin and Child (ill. 4)

This master owes this conventional name to a Nativity which today is in the Accademia in Florence but was originally from Villa Reale in Castello, belonging to the Medicis. Identified by Berenson, he defines it as : “between Masaccio, Fra Angelico, Fra Filippo [Lippi], Domenico Veneziano, Badovinetti and Botticelli”, an accumulation of names that shows simply that his style was totally Florentine. The artist probably participated in Filippo Lippi’s workshop between 1440 and 1450. The painting can be compared to another work by the same painter at the Louvre in which the child is holding a goldfinch, a symbol of his Passion.

5. Mariotto Albertinelli (1474-1515)
The Holy
Family Adoring the Child
, c. 1505
Oil and tempera on
panel – Diameter : 89 cm
Montréal, Museum of
Fine Arts
Photo : MBAM, Jean-François Brière



— Mariotto Albertinelli, The Holy Family Adoring the Child (ill. 5)

This important tondo from the early 16th century was acquired by the Museum from the Sarti Gallery in Paris. The artist was a student of Cosimo Rosselli. The painting is influenced by both Il Perugino, particularly in the landscape, and Fra Bartolommeo with whom Albertinelli collaborated.

6. Jan Davidsz. de
Heem (1606-1684)
Still Life of a Banquet with Landscape, c. 1645
Oil on panel – 54 x 74 cm
Montréal, Museum of Fine Arts
Photo : MBAM, Christine Guest



— Jan Davidsz. de Heem, Still Life of Banquet with Landscape (ill. 6)

The artist specialized in opulent still-lifes of Baroque overtones, typical of those done all over Europe in the second half of the 17th century.

7. Claude François, known as
Frère Luc (1614-1685)
The Virgin Kissing Christ with a
Reed

Oil on copper - Diameter : 19.6 cm
Montréal, Museum of
Fine Arts
Photo : MBAM



— Frère Luc, The Virgin Kissing Christ with a Reed (ill. 7)

This painting was ascribed to the artist by Sylvain Kespern. The iconography is extremely original : it combines the subject of Ecce Homo and that of the Pieta. The figure of Christ obviously is a reminder of the very popular type by Guido Reni. The work was acquired by the Canadian Art Collection of the Musée de Montréal : the artist, who became Frère Récollet in 1645, travelled to Nouvelle-France in 1670 on a mission for his order to help reconstruct their convent in the city of Québec. He painted many works for Canada, even after his return to France in 1671. This one, the only copper known to exist by him, was probably painted in France. The Musée de Montréal acquired it in New York from Gui Rochat.

— Jean-Victor Bertin, Inside a Forest with Diana and her Nymphs (ill. 8)

A student of Valenciennes and a master of Corot, Jean-Victor Bertin is one of the most essential links in landscape painting of the first half of the 19th century. The one acquired by Montréal corresponds to all of the features of what is known as a “composed landscape” in which the historical scene (here it is mythological) is more of a pretext than a real subject. The luxurious vegetation inspired both by Dughet and certain Dutch artists such as Hobbema, prefigures the Barbizon school.

8. Jean-Victor
Bertin (1767-1842)
Inside a Forest
with Diana and her Nymphs
, 1826
Oil on canvas - 82.2 x 114.5 cm
Montréal, Museum of
Fine Arts
Photo : MBAM, Christine Guest

9. Tiffany Glass and Decorating
Company, New York
Stained glass
Montréal, Museum of
Fine Arts
(former church Eskine and American)
Photo : D. Rykner

10. Tiffany Glass
and Decorating Company, New York
Angel
Stained glass
Montréal, Museum of
Fine Arts
(former church
Eskine and American)
Photo : D. Rykner

The Musée des Beaux-Arts de Montréal has also just acquired the Church Erskine and American. The nave of this building, once it has been restored, will be turned into a concert hall. With this purchase, the museum has thus gained as well an important set of Tiffany stained-glass windows (ill. 9 and 10).

Version française


Didier Rykner, jeudi 24 avril 2008



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