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Old Masters at the Art Institute of Chicago

American Association of Museums Honorable Mention

Vol. 32, no.2
Fall 2006
In print
Softcover $16.95
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While widely celebrated for its holdings of French Impressionist paintings, the Art Institute of Chicago also developed an important collection of works by the Old Masters—leading European artists of the 15th through 18th centuries—very early in its history. This issue of Museum Studies explores our curators’ continued passion for the Old Masters by focusing on a series of splendid recent acquisitions that have added to the breadth and depth of the museum’s holdings and by highlighting new discoveries about objects that have been in the Art Institute for many years.

Curator and guest editor Larry J. Feinberg offers a brief introductory essay on the history of the museum’s Old Master collection, followed by five articles that present new scholarship on a fascinating range of works. Written by a team of Art Institute curators and scholars, these include a recently rediscovered Nativity by Fra Bartolommeo; a late-15th-century Hispano-Flemish sculpture of Saint Michael and the Devil; a pair of early 18th-century tapestries designed by the French artist Charles Le Brun; and a stunning group of works by Charles-Antoine Coypel, Jean-Baptiste Perronneau, and Maurice Quentin de La Tour, the preeminent pastelists of 18th-century France. Beautifully illustrated, elegantly designed, and accessibly written, this issue, like the objects it showcases, will intrigue all those interested in the Art Institute and the treasures it contains.

Table of Contents:

Acknowledgments and Introduction 
Larry J. Feinberg 
A Brief History of the Old Masters in the Art Institute of Chicago 
Larry J. Feinberg 
“War in Heaven”: Saint Michael and the Devil 
Bruce Boucher 
Fra Bartolommeo’s Nativity: A Rediscovered High Renaissance Masterpiece 
Nicholas Turner 
Autumn and Winter: Two Gobelins Tapestries after Charles Le Brun 
Christa C. Mayer Thurman and Koenraad Brosens 
“A Finess of the Crayon”: Eighteenth-Century French Portraits in Pastel 
Suzanne Folds McCullagh 

The Art Institute of Chicago, 2006
8 3/8 x 10 1/4 in.; 96 pages; 102 illustrations
Softcover ISBN 0-300-11951-8