Frick Offers Free Lecture by Jonathan Brown in Conjunction with Release of His New Book, In the Shadow of Velázquez: A Life in Art History

photo of Jonathan Brown

On Wednesday, April 30, at 6:00 p.m., the public are invited to attend a free lecture at The Frick Collection given by Jonathan Brown in conjunction with the release of his book In the Shadow of Velázquez: A Life in Art History (Yale University Press).  In this lucid, witty publication, the eminent art historian Jonathan Brown examines links between his personal life and his study of Hispanic art of the Golden Age.  His adventures are offered as a model for understanding how art history is shaped by life experiences, and he describes the influence of his parents, Jean and Leonard Brown, noted collectors of documentation of twentieth-century avant-garde movements.  His focus on the Golden Age of Spanish art was motivated by a year in Madrid, 1958–59.  Art history in Spain was modeled on the policies of the Franco regime, and Brown sought to find different ways to interpret Spanish painting.  His approach is demonstrated by fresh insight into painters, including Velázquez.  A new interpretation of Las Meninas is proposed and the perils of attribution are examined.  Later in his career, Brown began to study the transformation of Spanish art in the Americas. The book originated as a series of six lectures delivered at the Museo Nacional del Prado in 2012.

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