Saturday, February 25, 2012

Breathtaking Renoirs Together At The Frick

The Frick Collection in Manhattan is synonymous with great art. Degas, El Greco, Gainsborough, Rembrandt, Manet, Monet, Stuart, Van Dyck, Vermeer and Whistler -- all can be found in The Frick's permanent collection.
But now, The Frick has mounted one of the grandest shows of all: Nine big, dazzling, priceless Renoirs all together, side-by-side in one room. This is the first comprehensive study of Renoir's engagement with the full-length format from the decade that saw the emergence of a fully fledged impressionistic aesthetic.
Today we had the opportunity to view these paintings assembled from all over the world and we can tell you that this show is an absolute "must see."
On view only at the Frick, Renoir, Impressionism, and Full-Length Painting is a landmark exhibition, bringing together beloved masterpieces. Works on loan from international institutions are La Parisienne (1874) from the National Museum Wales, Cardiff; The Umbrellas (c. 1881 and 1885) from The National Gallery, London (first time on view in the United States since 1886); and Dance in the City and Dance in the Country (1882–83) from the Musée d'Orsay, Paris. Works on loan from American institutions are The Dancer (1874) from the National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C.; Madame Henriot "en travesti" (1875–76) from the Columbus Museum of Art; Acrobats at the Cirque Fernando (1879) from The Art Institute of Chicago; and Dance at Bougival (1882–83) from the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston. The exhibition is shown in the Frick's East Gallery. Renoir, Impressionism, and Full-Length Painting was organized by Colin B. Bailey, the Frick's Deputy Director and Peter Jay Sharp Chief Curator.
The exhibition was inspired by La Promenade of 1875–76, the most significant Impressionist work in the Frick's permanent collection. It explores Renoir's portraits and subject pictures of this type from the mid-1870s to mid-1880s. Intended for public display, these vertical grand-scale canvases are among the artist's most daring and ambitious presentations of contemporary subjects.
The juxtaposition of these full-length images of women brings the glamour of the Belle Époque vividly to life. This format, which bears striking similarities to contemporary fashion plates, afforded Renoir the perfect opportunity to devote himself not only to women of the period, but to the finest details of their dress.
From shimmering ball gowns to sumptuous furs, from chic Parisian day dresses to glamorous theatrical costumes, the nine paintings capture the fashions of Renoir's Paris.
Of course, we've long been fans of Renoir and of most things Impressionistic. But this assemblage takes one's breath away. And with good reason, people are coming from far and near to bask in the rich, vivid glow of these lush Renoirs.
The show runs through May 13 only. 
Click here for a virtual tour.
Click here for ticketing information.

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