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Professor David P. Ekserdjian to Introduce the Eye to Eye: European Portraits 1450-1850 Exhibition at the Clark

For Immediate Release

January 14, 2011

WILLIAMSTOWN, MA—David Ekserdjian, professor of art history, University of Leicester, England, introduces the Sterling and Francine Clark Art Institute’s Eye to Eye: European Portraits 1450-1850 exhibition on Sunday, January 30 with a free lecture at 3:00 pm.

In his lecture, Ekserdjian will explore the tradition of portraiture, which was dormant in Europe for approximately 1,000 years after the end of the Roman era. During that millennium, he writes in his catalogue essay, “Only scattered and occasional attempts were made to represent the features of notable individuals realistically, most successfully in sculpture. In consequence, and perhaps rather unexpectedly, we have a perfectly clear sense of what King Jayavarman VII, who ruled Cambodia from 1181 to around 1215, looked like, but are infinitely less certain about the appearance of his European contemporaries.” European portraiture came into its own, he notes, only in the fifteenth century—which is where Eye to Eye begins.

Ekserdjian’s primary research interest is in sixteenth-century Italian Renaissance paintings and drawings. From 1983 to 1986 he was a Fellow of Balliol College, Oxford, and from 1987 to 1991 of Corpus Christi College, Oxford. From 1991 to 1997 he worked for Christie, Manson and Woods and was Editor of Apollo magazine from 1997 to 2004. He has authored numerous articles and reviews for publications such as the Burlington Magazine and Apollo, as well as monographs on Correggio and Parmigianino and a book on still-life painting in the Renaissance. Since 2002, he has been a Member of the Reviewing Committee on the Export of Works of Art. He is also a Trustee of the National Gallery, London, and serves on the Tate Board of Trustees as the National Gallery Liaison Trustee.

Eye to Eye, a special exhibition of European portrait painting featuring works by master artists from the late fifteenth through the early nineteenth centuries, will be on view at the Clark from January 23 through March 27, 2011. Representing the range of styles and themes in Old Master portraiture as practiced in the Netherlands, Germany, Italy, Spain, England, and France, the twenty-nine paintings and one sculpture in the exhibition include remarkable works by Memling, Cranach, Parmigianino, Ribera, Rubens, Van Dyck, Greuze, and David, as well as other extraordinary works by lesser-known painters. This exhibition is the first opportunity for the public to see many of these works, which have been lent exclusively to the Clark from a private collection.

Eye to Eye is curated by Richard Rand, senior curator and curator of paintings and sculpture, and Kathleen Morris, director of exhibitions and collections and curator of decorative arts, both at the Clark. The fully illustrated catalogue will include an essay by Ekserdjian and many works published for the first time outside auction and gallery catalogues.

The Clark

The Clark is located at 225 South Street in Williamstown, Massachusetts. The galleries are open Tuesday through Sunday, 10 am to 5 pm (daily in July and August). Admission is $15 June 1 through October 31. Admission is free for children 18 and younger, members, and students with valid ID. Admission is free November through May. For more information, call 413 458 2303 or visit clarkart.edu.

Calendar Listing

January 30: David Ekserdjian, professor of art history, University of Leicester, England, introduces the Sterling and Francine Clark Art Institute’s Eye to Eye: European Portraits 1450-1850 exhibition on Sunday, January 30 with a free lecture at 3:00 pm. Eye to Eye, a special exhibition of European portrait painting featuring works by master artists from the late fifteenth through the early nineteenth centuries, will be on view at the Clark from January 23 through March 27, 2011.

Contact:
pr@clarkart.edu

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