Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Art: A Giorgione Courtesan - seducing men hundreds of years later

NPR - oh how I love thee.

Morning Edition on NPR had a story a few mornings ago about an exhibit called Lock, Stock and Barrel: Norton Simon’s Purchase of Duveen Brothers Gallery at the Norton Simon Museum in Pasadena, CA.

The thing that caught my attention was an alleged Giorgione of a courtesan. The article includes a picture:

Bust Portrait of a Courtesan, c. 1509
Zorzo da Castelfranco called Giorgione
Italian, 1477/78-1510
Oil on panel, transferred to canvas
12-1/2 x 9-3/8 in. (31.8 x 23.8 cm)
The Norton Simon Foundation
The story here is about the man who purchased the painting, Norton Simon. As they state on the website description of the exhibit:
"Mr. Simon had first expressed an interest in the painting in the late 1950s, but by 1963, despite still some hesitation due to the question of attribution, he agreed with the then-owner of the firm, Edward Fowles, to purchase the painting over a two year period of time. And in the course of those two years, he eventually expressed interest in first an additional seven, and then another five objects in Duveen’s stock, until eventually he decided to purchase the whole of the inventory of slightly less than 800 objects, along with the Duveen gallery building itself at 18 East 79th Street, and its entire library and archive."

But this lady, she's the one who started it all.

The museum is doing a really facinating companion concert called "A Musical Portrait of the Venetian Courtesan" by Tesserae (a Baroque ensemble based out of LA).

The description makes me almost salivate it's so cool:
"The courtesan in Renaissance Venice held a unique social position. Despite a life filled with hardship and danger, she was able to circumvent many of the patriarchal restrictions on women making music. A study of courtesan music is therefore a fascinating window upon the sound world of domestic life in Renaissance Venice. The period-instrument ensemble Tesserae explores this world, from the performance of "high art" madrigals by Barbara Strozzi and San Marco maestri Adrian Willeart and Cipriano de Rore, to lively Carnival songs in dialetto. The performance also includes a re-creation of the lost art of the aria as practiced by the Renaissance improvisatori and instrumental dance music."

Anyone want to charter me a private plane to go to Pasadena for one night? (I'm seeing a special preview of Wolf Hall - the new PBS Masterpiece series set in Tudor England on Sunday in NH)

No comments:

Post a Comment