2010

The intriguing story behind the commission, rejection, and rehousing of Fragonard’s paintings is brought to life by Colin B. Bailey, former Deputy Director and Peter Jay Sharp Chief Curator at the Frick (now Director of the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco) in an updated video produced in 2013 (click here for that video). Bailey leads viewers through the narrative of the Progress of Love, revealing the rich meanings imbedded in Fragonard’s paintings while also illuminating the artist’s exquisite technique. 

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Of the many self-portraits Rembrandt painted over a lifetime, this is perhaps the greatest, not only for its poignant revelations of the self, but for his sure handling of paint. The initial effect on viewers is daunting, as though they are confronting an ill-tempered monarch. The strange costume he wears is timeless. In place of a crown, he wears a large velvet artist's beret. He holds a painter's stick as though it were a scepter. Yet this feeling of uneasy confrontation diminishes as we study the face.

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