Past Exhibitions

Detail of Gouthiere gilt-bronze pot-pourri vase with head of a swan

Pierre Gouthière: Virtuoso Gilder at the French Court

November 16, 2016 to February 19, 2017

The Frick Collection presented the first exhibition on Pierre Gouthière (1732–1813), the great French bronze chaser and gilder who worked for Louis XV and Louis XVI. The exhibition shed new light on the artist’s production, life, and workshop through the presentation of twenty-two objects from public and private collections. Attributed with certainty to Gouthière, these works include clocks, vases, firedogs, wall lights, and mounts for Chinese porcelain and hardstone vases. The exhibition was organized by Charlotte Vignon, Curator of Decorative Arts, The Frick Collection. Based on new art historical and technical research, the exhibition and catalogue promise to transform our understanding of one of the greatest artists of eighteenth-century France.

painting with six figures including an angel surrounded by naked and clothed figures

Cagnacci’s “Repentant Magdalene”: An Italian Baroque Masterpiece from the Norton Simon Museum

October 25, 2016 to January 22, 2017

Guido Cagnacci was one of the most eccentric painters of seventeenth-century Italy, infamous for the unconventionality of both his art and his lifestyle. Born in Romagna in 1601, he lived and worked in his native region as well as in Venice, concluding his career in imperial Vienna. His works, mostly religious in subject, are known for their unabashed, often unsettling eroticism, and his biography is no less intriguing.

painting of soldiers standing and seated against wall, circa 1711

Watteau’s Soldiers: Scenes of Military Life in Eighteenth-Century France

July 12, 2016 to October 2, 2016

It would be difficult to think of an artist further removed from the muck and misery of war than Jean-Antoine Watteau (1684–1721), who is known as a painter of amorous aristocrats and melancholy actors. And yet, early in his career, Watteau painted a number of scenes of military life. They were produced during one of the darkest chapters of France’s history, the War of the Spanish Succession (1701–14), but the martial glory on which most military painters trained their gaze held no interest for Watteau.

Half length oil portrait of a woman with a blue dress wearing pearls, set against a brown background

Van Dyck: The Anatomy of Portraiture

March 2, 2016 to June 5, 2016

Anthony van Dyck (1599–1641), one of the most celebrated and influential portraitists of all time, enjoyed an international career that took him from his native Flanders to Italy, France, and, ultimately, the court of Charles I in London. Van Dyck’s supremely elegant manner and convincing evocation of a sitter’s inner life — whether real or imagined — made him the favorite portraitist of many of the most powerful and interesting figures of the seventeenth century.

Red chalk profile portrait study of Julius Caesar

Andrea del Sarto: The Renaissance Workshop in Action

October 7, 2015 to January 10, 2016

From about 1515 until his death, Andrea del Sarto (1486–1530) ran the most successful and productive workshop in Florence, not only leaving his native city richly decorated with his art but also greatly influencing the art produced in the remainder of the century. By 1700, however, Andrea’s reputation had declined, not to be revived until the publication of monographs by Sydney Freedberg and John Shearman in 1963 and 1965, respectively.

Oil painting of sleeping woman in orange dress curled up on bench

Leighton’s Flaming June

June 9, 2015 to September 6, 2015

At the end of his career, the British artist Frederic Leighton painted the now-iconic image of a sleeping woman in a vivid orange gown. This nineteenth-century masterpiece embodies the modern philosophy of “art for art’s sake,” the belief that the value of art lies in its aesthetic qualities rather than in its subject matter. The sensuously draped figure — freed from any narrative context — is integrated into a harmonious ensemble of rhythmic lines and radiant color.

watercolor landscape of shoreline with sailboats and buildings in the background

Landscape Drawings in The Frick Collection

June 9, 2015 to September 13, 2015

Depicting quotidian life in the country, urban scenes, and imagined views of timeless Arcadian realms, this selection of rarely exhibited landscape drawings from the Frick’s small but superb collection of works on paper reveals thematic continuities across four centuries. The presentation featured the Frick’s newly acquired View of Dieppe Harbor of 1873 by Antoine Vollon, the generous gift of Dr. Carol Forman Tabler.

Green and purple porcelain ship on bronze base

From Sèvres to Fifth Avenue: French Porcelain at The Frick Collection

April 28, 2015 to April 24, 2016

Between 1916 and 1918, Henry Clay Frick purchased several important pieces of porcelain to decorate his New York mansion. Made at Sèvres, the preeminent eighteenth-century French porcelain manufactory, the objects — including vases, potpourris, jugs and basins, plates, a tea service, and a table—were displayed throughout Frick’s residence.

Close-up of tapestry with three shepherdesses dancing

Coypel’s Don Quixote Tapestries: Illustrating a Spanish Novel in Eighteenth-Century France

February 25, 2015 to May 17, 2015

A masterpiece of comic fiction, Cervantes’s Don Quixote (fully titled The Ingenious Gentleman Don Quixote of La Mancha) enjoyed great popularity from the moment it was published, in two volumes, in 1605 and 1615. Reprints and translations spread across Europe, captivating the continental imagination with the escapades of the knight Don Quixote and his companion, Sancho Panza. The novel’s most celebrated episodes inspired a multitude of paintings, prints, and interiors.

Oil painting of virgin and child in garden

Masterpieces from the Scottish National Gallery

November 5, 2014 to February 1, 2015

From November 5, 2014, through February 1, 2015, the Frick presented ten masterpieces of painting from the Scottish National Gallery. The museum, one of the finest in the world, is distinguished for its holdings of works by the greatest masters of Western art and for its comprehensive collection of Scottish art. The exhibition featured paintings from the fifteenth to the nineteenth centuries that invite illuminating comparisons to the Frick's permanent collection.

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