Impressionism

Posted in Art, Art & Archives, Exhibitions and Installations, Sculpture and Decorative Arts

Rodin Joins the Impressionists

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Rodin’s Christ and Mary Magdalene has a new home at the Getty. More»

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Posted in Art & Archives, J. Paul Getty Museum, Paintings, technology

This Just In: Édouard Manet’s “Spring”

Jeanne (Spring) / Manet
Jeanne (Spring), 1881, Édouard Manet. Oil on canvas, 29 1/8 x 20 ¼ in. The J. Paul Getty Museum

For Manet, fashion and the femininity were metaphors for the skilled artifice of painting itself. More»

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Posted in Art & Archives, J. Paul Getty Museum, Paintings

The Radical Artistic Vision of Manet’s “Jeanne (Spring)”

Spring as installed at the Getty Museum / Edouard Manet
Jeanne (Spring), 1881, Édouard Manet. Oil on canvas, 29 1/8 x 20 ¼ in. The J. Paul Getty Museum

This beautiful painting contains the germ of modern art as we know it. More»

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Posted in Art, Art & Archives, Prints and Drawings, Publications

The Human Predicament, in Pastel

Waiting / Degas
Owned jointly with the Norton Simon Art Foundation, Pasadena

An enigmatic pastel shows Degas’s talent for drawing human psychology. More»

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Posted in Art, Art & Archives, J. Paul Getty Museum, Paintings

Beyond the First Impression: Rediscovering Monet in Paris

The Portal of Rouen Cathedral in Morning Light, Claude Monet, 1894
The Portal of Rouen Cathedral in Morning Light, Claude Monet, 1894

Though his name has become synonymous with the 19th century’s canonical movement of Impressionism, and though his masterpieces hang proudly in the halls of the world’s finest museums, Claude Monet has long been—for me—a confounding artist. He was one of… More»

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      #ProvenancePeek: Titian in Boston

      Every art object has a story—not only of how it was made, but of how it changed hands over time until it found its current home. That story is provenance.

      Portrait of a Man Holding a Book, in the collection of Boston’s Museum of Fine Arts, is no exception. The MFA carefully details the painting’s Italian provenance on its collection page, but the path of this object even since then is complex.

      Between 1901 and 1907, Portrait of a Man Holding a Book entered the stock of no less than three galleries, purchased from the Italian family who owned it first by Agnew’s in London, then by Trotti in Paris, and then by Cottier in New York (marking its movement from the Old World to the New). A collector purchased it from Cottier, and the painting was held privately for 36 years.

      That collector was Frederick Bayley Pratt (1865–1945), son of Charles Pratt, oil magnate and founder of the Brooklyn Institute that bears his family’s name (incidentally, this writer’s alma mater!). 

      The Knoedler Gallery dealt frequently with members of the Pratt family. A quick peek into the searchable database of Knoedler’s stock books turns up nine instances in which a Pratt (Charles and Mary, Frederick’s parents, or Herbert and John, his brothers) bought works, as well as five instances where they sold works. This Titian portrait is one of those instances. Frederick Pratt sold the work to Knoedler in early April of 1943, and by the 10th, it had been snapped up by the Museum of Fine Arts.

      Knoedler shared the sale with Pinakos, an art-dealing concern owned and operated by Rudolf J. Heinemann. Purchasing works in tandem with other dealers was a widespread practice amongst powerful art galleries of the time; nearly 6,000 records in the Knoedler database had joint ownership.

      The stock books of the Knoedler Gallery have recently been transformed into a searchable database that anyone can query for free. You can find this Titian under stock number A2555.

      Portrait of a Man Holding a Book, about 1540, Titian (Tiziano Vecellio). Oil on canvas. The Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, Charles Potter Kling Fund. Photograph © Museum of Fine Arts, Boston; stock and sales books documenting the painting’s sale by M. Knoedler & Co.

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      ProvenancePeek is a monthly series by research assistant Kelly Davis peeking into provenance finds from the M. Knoedler & Co. archive at the Getty Research Institute.

      04/29/16

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