TheMet150: “Gerhard Richter: Painting After All” at The Met Breuer

The Metropolitan Museum of Art will present a major loan exhibition devoted to the work of one of the greatest artists of our time: Gerhard Richter (German, born Dresden 1932), during the celebratory 150th year of its founding. On view at The Met Breuer from March 4 through July 5, 2020, Gerhard Richter: Painting After All (Floors 3 & 4) will span the artist’s six decade-long preoccupation with the twin modes of painterly naturalism and chromatic abstraction, in relation to photographic and other representational iconographies.

Comprising over 100 works from a prolific career—encompassing paintings, glass sculptures, prints, and photographs—the exhibition will present an incisive cut through Richter’s entire body of works. Significant early works will be brought into visual dialogue with recent ones that share a singular engagement with postwar avant-garde art practices, particularly his investigations into the ongoing formal and conceptual possibilities of painting. This is evident through his often-simultaneous production of both abstract and figurative compositions, the chromatic and conceptual nuances of gray across different media, and his interpretations of landscape and portraiture. Interwoven throughout the show will be works that testify to Richter’s long reckoning with history, as well as his exploration of photography’s relationship to realism and its mediation of memory.

Gerhard Richter (German, b. 1932). Ice (detail), 1981. Oil on canvas, 27 9/16 x 39 3/8 in. (70 x 100 cm). Collection of Ruth McLoughlin, Monaco. © Gerhard Richter 2019 (08102019)

The exhibition will be the first major exhibition in the United States on the work of Gerhard Richter in nearly twenty years. Gerhard Richter: Painting After All will feature several iconic works such as Uncle Rudi (1965), Betty (1977), and September (2005), and will also highlight many lesser-known works such as his series of monoprints from 1957 titled Elbe. Galleries devoted to single series including the twelve paintings entitled Forest (1995), will provide an immersive experience. Finally, two new glass works Gray Mirrors (4 Parts) (2018) and House of Cards (5Panes) (2020) will be exhibited for the first time.

Of equal importance, Gerhard Richter: Painting After All will highlight two important recent series by the artist that will serve as significant points of departure for the exhibition: Birkenau (2014) andCage (2006), both of which will be exhibited in the United States for the first time. Richter’s encounter with the only known photographs taken by prisoners inside the Nazi concentration camp led to the creation of the Birkenau series. The four paintings speak to Richter’s belief in painting as a powerful means to address the complex and often-difficult legacies of both personal and civic history. The six Cage paintings are key to understanding his lifelong preoccupation with abstraction through a different lens. In homage to the American composer and philosopher John Cage, whose innovative compositional techniques used chance as a way to ”imitate nature,” Richter’s meticulous multi-layered paintings are based on similar principles of calculated incidents.

Following its presentation in New York, the exhibition will travel to the Museum of Contemporary Art (August 14, 2020–January 19, 2021).

The Met Breuer
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Upcoming Exhibition Brings Together 200 Works By 60 American And Mexican Artists At The Whitney Museum In February 2020

The cultural renaissance that emerged in Mexico in 1920 at the end of that country’s revolution dramatically changed art not just in Mexico but also in the United States. Vida Americana: Mexican Muralists Remake American Art, 1925–1945 will explore the profound influence Mexican artists had on the direction American art would take. With approximately 200 works by sixty American and Mexican artists, Vida Americana reorients art history, acknowledging the wide-ranging and profound influence of Mexico’s three leading muralists—José Clemente Orozco, Diego Rivera, and David Alfaro Siqueiros—on the style, subject matter, and ideology of art in the United States made between 1925 and 1945.

The Whitney Museum’s own connection to the Mexican muralists dates back to 1924 when the Museum’s founder Gertrude Vanderbilt Whitney presented an exhibition of the work of three Mexican artists—José Clemente Orozco, Luis Hidalgo, and Miguel Covarrubias—at the Whitney Studio Club, organized by artist Alexander Brook. It was Orozco’s first exhibition in the United States. A few years later, in 1926, Orozco also showed watercolors from his House of Tears series at the Studio Club; and the following year Juliana Force, Mrs. Whitney’s executive assistant and future director of the Whitney Museum, provided critical support for Orozco at a time when he desperately needed it by acquiring ten of his drawings. The Mexican muralists had a profound influence on many artists who were mainstays of the Studio Club, and eventually the Whitney Museum, including several American artists featured in Vida Americana, such as Thomas Hart Benton, William Gropper, Isamu Noguchi, and Ben Shahn.

Diego Rivera. The Uprising, 1931. Fresco on reinforced cement in a galvanized-steel framework, 74 × 94 1/8 in. (188 × 239 cm). Collection of Marcos and Vicky Micha Levy © 2019 Banco de México–Rivera–Kahlo/ARS. Reproduction authorized by El Instituto Nacional de Bellas Artes y Literatura, 2019.

Curated by Barbara Haskell, with Marcela Guerrero, assistant curator; Sarah Humphreville, senior curatorial assistant; and Alana Hernandez, former curatorial project assistant, Vida Americana: Mexican Muralists Remake American Art, 1925–1945 will be on view at the Whitney Museum of American Art from February 17 through May 17, 2020 and will travel to the McNay Art Museum in San Antonio, Texas, where it will be on display from June 25 through October 4, 2020. At the McNay Art Museum, the installation will be overseen by René Paul Barrilleaux.

Jacob Lawrence. Panel 3 from The Migration Series, From every Southern town migrants left by the hundreds to travel north.,1940–41. Casein tempera on hardboard 12 × 18 in. (30.5 × 45.7 cm). The Phillips Collection, Washington, DC; acquired 1942. © 2019 The Jacob and Gwendolyn Knight Lawrence Foundation, Seattle / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York

Vida Americana is an enormously important undertaking for the Whitney and could not be more timely given its entwined aesthetic and political concerns,” said Scott Rothkopf, Senior Deputy Director and Nancy and Steve Crown Family Chief Curator. “It not only represents the culmination of nearly a decade of scholarly research and generous international collaboration but also demonstrates our commitment to presenting a more comprehensive and inclusive view of twentieth-century and contemporary art in the United States.”

María Izquierdo. My Nieces, 1940. Oil on composition board, 55 1/8 × 39 3/8 in. (140 × 100 cm). Museo Nacional de Arte, INBAL, Mexico City; constitutive collection, 1982 © 2019 Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York / SOMAAP, Mexico City. Reproduction authorized by El Instituto Nacional de Bellas Artes y Literatura, 2019.

Comprised of paintings, portable frescoes, films, sculptures, prints, photographs, and drawings, as well as reproductions of in-situ murals, Vida Americana will be divided into nine thematic sections and will occupy the entirety of the Whitney’s fifth-floor Neil Bluhm Family Galleries. This unprecedented installation, and the catalogue that accompanies it, will provide the first opportunity to reconsider this cultural history, revealing the immense influence of Mexican artists on their American counterparts between 1925 and 1945.

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Award Winning Mixologist Julia Momose Shares How A Drizzle Of Honey Elevates Her Favorite Beverages

Drink and Be Merry with These Crowd-Pleasing Holiday Cocktails

The holiday season is known as the most wonderful time of the year, but sometimes entertaining can lead to more stress and mess than fun and festivities. A little organization and planning, such as having a well-stocked home bar and a few simple beverage recipes on hand, will help to take the pressure out of the season and keep gatherings merry and bright.

Master mixologist Julia Momose, owner and Bar Director of the celebrated Chicago bar Kumiko, knows a thing or two about creating crowd-pleasing cocktails and spirit-free beverages that are sure to delight family and friends during the holiday season. Momose believes that cocktail making should be fun, rather than intimidating, and that being prepared for holidays with a few basic bar ingredients, like honey, can set the stage for effortless holiday entertaining.

Momose favors the ease of honey to achieve well-balanced holiday beverages and has partnered with the National Honey Board to share how she incorporates it while entertaining at home and at Kumiko.

Julia Momose has been in the service industry for close to 15 years, starting her career as a student in Japan. When she moved to America for university, she continued to work in the service industry, training in all facets of hospitality. Currently she resides in Chicago, where she worked as the head bartender at GreenRiver Restaurant and Bar in Chicago. During her time there, GreenRiver was awarded its first Michelin star. In 2017, Momose partnered with the team at Oriole in Chicago to open a bar based on the philosophy of a thoughtful experience filled with deep appreciation and understanding of craftmanship. Momose’s newest venture is Kumiko, based on her Japanese heritage and a meticulous appreciation for details, located in Chicago’s West Loop neighborhood. It offers a unique perspective on the notion of a bar, through a remarkable experience of dining and drinking. Time Magazine named Kumiko on its 2019 list of World’s Greatest Places and Bon Appetit included it as a nominee on its 2019 America’s Best New Restaurants List.

Momose favors the ease of honey to achieve well-balanced holiday beverages and has partnered with the National Honey Board to share how she incorporates it while entertaining at home and at Kumiko. Because the flavor of honey is affected by the floral source that the bees have foraged, there are more than 300 varietals of honey in the US alone. The nuanced flavors of different honey varietals not only add to its versatility, but also pair well with different spirits and are the secret to many of Momose’s favorite cocktail and spirit-free recipes.

From the lightness of a clover varietal to the richness of buckwheat, honey brings a wide range of flavors that complete any beverage,” said Momose. “Honey is in constant use at Kumiko, and at home too. This holiday season, I’ll be experimenting with honey varietals to create special drinks that will be sure to be crowd-pleasers at gatherings.”

To inspire stress-free cheer this holiday season, Momose is sharing some of her favorite honey-based beverages:

  • Mixing orange blossom honey with cold brew coffee and gin, Momose creates a Honey’d Coffee G&T. For a festive brunch bar, she recommends setting up several honey varietals with an assortment of single-origin cold brew coffees, gin, and tonic, and allowing guests to pick and choose their coffee and honey for a customized experience.
  • To create her own spin on a holiday season favorite, a hot toddy, Momose combines honey, chamomile and spices in a soothin Spiced Honey Toddy that is not only easy to make, but is also warm and soothing on a chilly Chicago night.
  • A hit with Momose’s family and friends during the festive season, The Berries and Bees combines honey, blackberries and whisky for a warming, uplifting cocktail that can be quickly made day or night.
  • The spirit-free Bright One with honey, yuzu juice and ginger beer creates a refreshing beverage that will ensure that you wake up feeling refreshed.

In addition to her recipes, Momose offers tips to easily create crowd-pleasing beverages during the holiday season and beyond:

  • Preparing the perfect cocktail is about balancing three critical elements: sweetness, fullness and flavor. While balancing sweet with bitter or sweet with acid is a critical element to drink making, so is finding ingredients that provide a pleasant texture and roundness.
  • Preparation is key, because you never know who may happen to drop by during the holidays. Having a well-stocked bar at home will ensure that you have the ingredients you need to create a well-balanced beverage. The must-haves for any bar include:
  1. Several varietals of honey – including wildflower, clover and blueberry – help to offset the intensity of the spirit and add flavor to the cocktail.
  2. Extra-credit liquor, like vermouth and orange liqueur, can be combined with mixers like sodas, tonic water and bitters to create a beverage that feels special.
  3. Fresh citrus, berries and herbs are easy to keep on hand and make great garnishes to put the finishing touch on a cocktail.
  • When making a spirit-free, it is all about layering flavors. Instead of using a traditional simple syrup made with granulated sugar, experiment with honey, which is naturally sweeter than sugar, and provides flavor and richness.

For more information about how Momose uses just a drizzle of honey in her favorite beverages, visit www.honey.com.

(PRNewsfoto/National Honey Board)

The National Honey Board (NHB) is an industry-funded agriculture promotion group that works to educate consumers about the benefits and uses for honey and honey products through research, marketing and promotional programs. The Board’s work, funded by an assessment on domestic and imported honey, is designed to increase the awareness and usage of honey by consumers, the foodservice industry and food manufacturers. The ten-member-Board, appointed by the U.S. Secretary of Agriculture, represents producers (beekeepers), packers, importers and a marketing cooperative. For more information, visit www.honey.com.

“What Is Love?” Burberry Reveals Festive Holiday Campaign

Burberry‘s festive 2019 holiday campaign is out. To mark his first holiday campaign for the fashion house, Burberry Chief Creative Officer, Riccardo Tisci has assembled a cast of global talent to celebrate the notion of togetherness, union, hope and love.

Burberry Festive 2019 Holiday Collection. Courtesy of Burberry

The entire cast includes Alexis Chaparro, Arah Clarke, Ava Valentine, Blanket, Bodhi Horton, Boychild, Carla Bruni, Casper Chatfield, Cassius Varghese, Cecilia Chancellor, Christian Guzman, Dahely Nunez, Daisy Middleton, Elis Moaven, Fran Summers, Hector Polio, Howard Griffiths, Ikram Abdi Omar, Jacob Guerra, Jaeda Sherman, Jose Polio, Keith Summers, Kristians Jakovlevs, Lea T, Leissy De La Cruz, Louis Chatfield, Mahmood, Marina Morena, Noah Carlos, Noah Landes, Regina Limon Vega, Reia Zhing Cheong, Ruben Loftus-Cheek, Sasha Pivovarova, Shay, Valentin Bedford, Wu Tsang, Yoo Ah-in, Zhou Dongyu

Burberry Festive Campaign. Courtesy of Burberry Photographed by Mert Alas and Marcus Piggott
Burberry Festive 2019 Holiday Collection. Courtesy of Burberry
Burberry Festive Campaign. Courtesy of Burberry Photographed by Mert Alas and Marcus Piggott

‘I am connected to the idea of unity, togetherness and challenging the perception of what love is today. This for me is the real spirit of the season. It’s one of my favorite times of the year – when I can stop, reflect and reconnect with those who make me feel happy and at home, no matter where I am in the world. I loved the idea of bringing together a group of people that have been so supportive of me since I joined Burberry to celebrate my first holiday campaign for the house,” states Riccardo Tisci, Burberry Chief Creative Officer.

Burberry Festive Campaign. Courtesy of Burberry Photographed by Mert Alas and Marcus Piggott
Ikram Abdi Omar in Burberry Festive Campaign. Courtesy of Burberry Photographed by Mert Alas and Marcus Piggott

The campaign centres around a film of the cast dancing to the soundtrack of ‘What Is Love?‘ by Deee-Lite and is shot by renowned photography duo Mert Alas & Marcus Piggott.

Burberry Festive Campaign. Courtesy of Burberry Photographed by Mert Alas and Marcus Piggott

It was a real pleasure working on this project for Burberry. Working with Riccardo is about connection, it’s about the back and forth of discussing creative ideas and it’s this that makes our jobs even more interesting and exciting. We have been friends for many years so I guess we know each other’s sensibilities – there are always a lot of laughs!” says Mert and Alas. “My favourite Christmas memory is when we were preparing a Christmas dinner and the oven literally blew up! I burnt my lashes and of course we had no turkey. Disappointing, but it was a funny night!

And the cast itself seems to have had a fun and memorable time as well.

Carla Bruni (above) in Burberry Festive Campaign. Courtesy of Burberry. Photographed by Mert Alas and Marcus Piggott

CARLA BRUNI: “I love the concept of the campaign – this big group of different people coming together. I had a fabulous time with Riccardo and was thrilled to find myself behind the lens of Mert & Marcus again. On set, Riccardo gave me this feeling of freedom and modernity – his talent is beyond words. You can see that he has this profound and precious knowledge of fashion, and has this simplistic way of using the past to invent the future. My most precious festive memory is a Christmas Eve in a castle completely buried in snow in Touraine.

Burberry Festive 2019 Holiday Collection. Courtesy of Burberry
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Experience An Award-Winning Chef’s Table Experience With The Peninsula Hong Kong’s Spring Moon’s Newest Culinary Star, Lam Yuk Ming

Spring Moon Chef’s Table – Authentic Cultural Tour by Chef Lam Yuk Ming

Spring Moon at The Peninsula Hong Kong (1/F, The Peninsula Hong Kong, Salisbury Rd, Tsim Sha Tsui, Hong Kong) is one of that city’s most beloved Chinese restaurants. Since opening its doors in 1986, the Michelin-starred destination has delighted diners with exquisite cuisines served in a stunning art deco-inspired setting. Joining Spring Moon as the new Chinese Cuisine Executive Chef is Lam Yuk Ming. An admired culinary maestro, Chef Lam’s two-decade long career has seen him helm the kitchens at iconic Chinese restaurants in Hong Kong, Macau and Beijing. Most recently, Lam’s imaginative cooking philosophy earned a Michelin star at Macau’s top Cantonese restaurant.

At Spring Moon, Lam promises diners a delicate balance of tradition and innovation by placing the spotlight on authenticity and seasonality. An uncompromising stance on only using the freshest ingredients underpins Lam’s winning combination of classic Cantonese cooking styles and contemporary presentations to highlight their inherent flavors. Each carefully crafted dish is elevated to an art form, marrying striking aesthetics with a nuanced layering of tastes and textures.

This season, guests are invited to experience Lam’s world-class culinary expertise with the Chef’s Table – Authentic Cultural Tour. Designed to offer an interactive, behind-the-scenes perspective, the Chef’s Table offers over 30 choices of Cantonese creations for guests to choose 6 or 8 courses from it. Then the discovery begins, as diners accompany Lam to one of Hong Kong’s famed wet markets in Kowloon City; where the chef will guide guests through the art of spotting and selecting the very best ingredients. With its engaging experiences and delectable cuisines by Chef Lam Yuk Ming, the Spring Moon Chef’s Table promises a truly unforgettable dinner date. Based on the day’s market visit, Lam will create an entirely bespoke menu for each Chef’s Table, taking into account each individual guest’s own preferences.

Beginning with an artistic tea ceremony by Spring Moon’s resident tea master, also a certificated National Tea Artist, a series of table-side presentations offers thrilling performances for Chef’s Table guests. Flaming drunken Kuruma prawn creates a fiery, tantalising spectacle pairing the natural sweetness of prawns with rose liquor and Chinese herbs. A tricky choice follows between two exquisite creations – Poached sea conch in Cordyceps soup or poached spotted garoupa in chicken soup – with the seafood simmered at the table for ultimate tenderness. The thrills continue with a hands-on dim sum making class in the Spring Moon kitchen.

With a dedicated tea counter featuring over 25 selected Chinese teas, Spring Moon’s selection adds to its traditional Cantonese culinary experience with expert tea pairing by the restaurants highly trained tea masters. The tea counter also features The Peninsula’s collection of over 200 miniature Chinese clay teapots, including designs based on Chinese legends and inspired by elements of nature.

In the opulent setting of Spring Moon, Chef Lam will prepare a selection of signature dishes. Highlights such as Pan-fried bird nest with crab meat and egg white (HK$380*), Fried Australia lamb fillet with Sichuan pepper (HK$360*) and Pan-fried chicken fillet stuffed with minced shrimp and crab roe sauce (HK$660*) marry Chef Lam’s expert Cantonese cooking skills with a passionate culinary imagination.

The large collection of porcelain on display throughout the restaurant consists of reproductions of Chinese items (Ming and Qing Dynasties) and 18th Century French Royal Family and Portuguese armorial pieces, together with Chinese export porcelain from the 18th, 19th and 20th Centuries.

Spring Moon’s Chef’s Table – Authentic Cultural Tour is priced at HK$ 3,388* (6 courses) and HK$ 4,388* (8 courses) per person, including Chinese tea pairing. The wet market tour supplement is priced at HK$ 2,680* per person. Chef Table seats a minimum of four guests and maximum of six guests. Only one Chef’s Table Experience is available daily from Monday to Sunday, with a required advanced reservation of at least three days.

For enquiries, please contact Spring Moon on +852 2696 6760 or email springmoonphk@peninsula.com.

TheMet150 Celebration: Costume Institute’s Spring 2020 Exhibition to Present a Disruptive Timeline of Fashion History

Costume Institute Benefit on May 4 with Co-Chairs Nicolas Ghesquière, Lin-Manuel Miranda, Emma Stone, Meryl Streep, and Anna Wintour

The Metropolitan Museum of Art recently announced that The Costume Institute’s Spring 2020 Exhibition will be About Time: Fashion and Duration, on view from May 7 through September 7, 2020 (preceded on May 4 by The Costume Institute Benefit). Presented in The Met Fifth Avenue’s Iris and B. Gerald Cantor Exhibition Hall, it will trace more than a century and a half of fashion, from 1870 to the present, along a disruptive timeline, as part of the Museum’s 150th anniversary celebration. Employing philosopher Henri Bergson’s concept of la durée—time that flows, accumulates, and is indivisible—the exhibition will explore how clothes generate temporal associations that conflate the past, present, and future. The concept will also be examined through the writings of Virginia Woolf, who will serve as the “ghost narrator” of the exhibition. Michael Cunningham, who won the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction for his novel The Hours, which was inspired by Woolf’s Mrs. Dalloway, will write a new short story for the exhibition catalogue that reflects on the concept of duration.

Surreal, David Bailey (British, born 1938), 1980; Image courtesy of The Metropolitan Museum of Art, Photo © David Bailey

The exhibition will feature approximately 160 examples of women’s fashion dating from 1870—the year of The Met’s founding and the start of a decade that witnessed the development of a standardized time system—to the present. The majority of objects in the show will come from The Costume Institute’s collection, including gifts made as part of The Met’s 2020 Collections Initiative in celebration of the Museum’s 150th anniversary.

A linear chronology of fashion comprised predominantly of ensembles in black will run through the exhibition reflecting the progressive timescale of modernity, and bringing into focus the fast, fleeting rhythm of fashion. Unlike traditional chronologies, which reduce the history of fashion to a limited number of decade-defining silhouettes, this timeline will be presented as a ceaseless continuum that is more complete and comprehensive in scope. Interrupting this timeline will be a series of counter-chronologies composed of predominantly white ensembles that pre-date or post-date those in black, but relate to one another through shape, motif, material, pattern, technique, or decoration. For example, a black silk faille princess-line dress from the late 1870s will be paired with an Alexander McQueenBumster” skirt from 1995, and a black silk velvet bustle ensemble from the mid-1880s will be juxtaposed with a Comme des GarçonsBody Meets Dress – Dress Meets Body” dress from 1997.

The Clock, Sarah Moon (French, born 1941), 1999; Image courtesy of The Metropolitan Museum of Art, Photo © Sarah Moon

The exhibition will conclude with a section on the future of fashion, linking the concept of duration to debates about longevity and sustainability.

This exhibition will consider the ephemeral nature of fashion, employing flashbacks and fast-forwards to reveal how it can be both linear and cyclical,” said Max Hollein, Director of The Met. “As such, the show will present a nuanced continuum of fashion over the Museum’s 150-year history.”

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The National Gallery (London) Launches Public Appeal To Save Orazio Gentileschi’s ‘The Finding Of Moses’ For Future Generations

The National Gallery (London) is asking for the public’s help to raise the last £2 million it needs to buy a painting of outstanding importance for the national heritage – The Finding of Moses by Orazio Gentileschi (early 1630s) – which would enable the work to stay on free public display in Trafalgar Square and continue to inspire future generations.

The Finding of Moses‘ has a remarkable place in British history. It is one of just a handful of works painted during Orazio Gentileschi’s 12-year residence in London at the court of King Charles I, commissioned to celebrate the birth of the future Charles II and intended to hang in the Queen’s House at Greenwich. There is currently only one* Orazio Gentileschi work in a United Kingdom public collection, and ‘The Finding of Moses‘ plays an important role in the National Gallery, being intrinsically linked to the recently acquired painting by Orazio’s daughter Artemisia (Self Portrait as Saint Catherine of Alexandria).

Orazio Gentileschi, The Finding of Moses, Orazio Gentileschi. early 1630s. Private collection.

The beauty and refinement of ‘The Finding of Moses‘ are characteristic of the artist’s late style, but it is the painting’s monumental scale (measuring 257 x 301 cm), extraordinary ambition, and historical importance that sets ‘The Finding of Moses‘ apart.

In this vast canvas, Gentileschi paints the biblical story of the Finding of Moses (Exodus 2:2-10), a subject popular in art during the Baroque period. The infant Moses had been placed by his mother in a basket and hidden in bulrushes to ensure his safety, following Pharaoh’s edict that all new-born sons of the Hebrews should be killed. While Moses’s sister Miriam hid nearby, Pharaoh’s daughter came to bathe in the River Nile, accompanied by her ladies-in-waiting. On finding the baby in the basket, Pharaoh’s daughter proposed to take him back to the palace. The painting depicts the moment when, after offering to find someone to help nurse the baby, Miriam comes forward with her own – and Moses’s – mother.

National Gallery Director, Dr Gabriele Finaldi, launching the #SaveOrazio Appeal by helping to host a ‘The Finding of Moses’ storytelling session with a group of children from the Soho Family Centre. Photo © The National Gallery, London

‘The Finding of Moses’ was a royal commission, executed by Gentileschi in London for Queen Henrietta Maria in the early 1630s, a few years after his arrival at the court of Charles I. It was almost certainly made to mark the birth of Prince Charles, the future Charles II, in 1630. The Finding of Moses once hung in the Great Hall of the Queen’s House at Greenwich. The paintings that Gentileschi produced at the court of Charles I are characterised by their rich colouring, skilful rendering of sumptuous fabrics, and a courtly elegance. They are highly staged and their richly decorative effects, soft lighting and vibrant colours recall the large-scale history paintings of Titian and Veronese. Of all Gentileschi’s royal commissions, ‘The Finding of Moses‘ is the most ambitious and displays unprecedented refinement and beauty.

The Finding of Moses has been on generous long-term loan to the National Gallery from a private collection for almost twenty years – so long that many people assume it already forms part of the national collection. It has been the subject of talks, exhibitions, publications, and educational activities, and is a focal point of the Italian Baroque gallery where it is displayed alongside masterpieces by artists such as Caravaggio and Guido Reni.

While today Orazio Gentileschi (1563–-1639) may not be as widely known as his daughter Artemisia Gentileschi (1593-1654 or later), he was one of the leading figures of the Italian Baroque. Born in Pisa, into a family of artists, his life and career spanned a period marked by significant artistic movements and innovations: from the late Mannerism of his early paintings to the revolutionary style of Caravaggio, adopted by Gentileschi for a short time in Rome, and the courtly ‘international’ style, whose elegance and refinement characterise his mature works. Orazio enjoyed an international career working across Italy – in Rome, Ancona, Fabriano, Genoa, and Turin – as well as in Paris and London.

While working for Marie de’ Medici in Paris, Gentileschi met George Villiers, 1st Duke of Buckingham (1592–1628), who was there to arrange the marriage of Charles I and Henrietta Maria in 1625. Buckingham invited Gentileschi to London and the painter left Paris in 1626 to assume a position at the court of the newly crowned Charles I. As well as his easel paintings, Gentileschi’s output in London included ceiling canvases for the Great Hall at the Queen’s HouseHenrietta Maria’s ‘House of Delight’ close to the Thames at Greenwich (now at Marlborough House, London) – and the ceiling of the ‘saloon’ at York House, Buckingham’s mansion on the Strand (removed to Buckingham House after 1703, but since destroyed).

In 1638 Orazio’s daughter Artemisia came to London;, perhaps to assist her ailing father on the ceiling painting of the Queen’s House. The following year Gentileschi died following an illness, aged 76, and was granted the honour of burial in the Queen’s Chapel at Somerset House.

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