For those with a passion for European art, the Courtauld Gallery in London is beyond a doubt one of the must visit exhibits of visual art. Built from the private collections of some of Europe’s most perceptive and powerful art connoisseurs of the twentieth century, the collection is remarkable in terms of both selection and quality. Masterpieces by Manet, Monet, Degas, Renoir, Cézanne, Van Gogh, Gauguin, Toulouse-Lautrec, Reubens, Van Dyck and Breugel – to name only a handful-- populate this world renowned landmark collection. The pieces can be seen in art history textbooks in schools and universities around the world, but to see all these notable works of art in one place you must travel to London to visit the Courtauld Gallery – that is, up to the present time.
From October 2, 2012 through January 27, 2013, the Frick Collection in New York City has secured a selection of the most well known and famously beautiful pieces from the Courtauld collection for a show entitled “Mantegna to Matisse: Master Drawings from the Courtauld Gallery”. Housed in the magnificent former mansion of Henry Clay Frick (1849-1919), the Frick Collection is one of the most tranquil, elegant and beautiful fine art museums in all of New York City. This new exhibit, focusing on sketches and drawings by the old masters, offers stunningly beautiful insight into the creative process of some of Europe’s most well known painters. These drawings are impressive, each one alone worth the visit uptown to this highly respected gallery located at 1 East 70th Street. Together they represent a truly not-to-be-missed art experience for anyone in New York City this holiday season.
The artists represented in the exhibition include some of the most famous names in art history, starting with Italian masters like Leonardo da Vinci and Michelangelo. There are also many pieces by masters from Northern Europe including Rembrandt and Reubens, whose drawings illustrate the incredible detail and planning that form the foundation of some of their largest and boldest paintings. French impressionists and fauvists such as Matisse and Degas are represented, as well as beautiful works that represent the transition from impressionism to cubism by Paul Cezanne. British artists like J.M.W. Turner and Spanish painters like Francisco Goya are there as well, to round out what amounts to some of the greatest examples of Western European art. Other treats include Picasso, Seurat and Vincent Van Gogh.
While visiting the Frick Collection don’t forget to take some time to see Vincent van Gogh's “Portrait of a Peasant (Patience Escalier)” which is showing through January 20th, and “White Gold: Highlights from the Arnhold Collection of Meissen Porcelain”, a remarkable collection of beautiful objects that is open through January 6th. As always, stunning pieces from artists like Vermeer and Goya from Mr. Frick’s own personal collection are available for the discerning museum goer to peruse as they stroll through the breathtaking Frick mansion. With so much beautiful and historically significant art gathered in one location, how can you afford not to visit this winter?