Judith H. Dobrzynski
Judith H. Dobrzynski
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Pundicity: Informed Opinion and Review

Latest Articles

'Van Eyck: An Optical Revolution' Review: Truer Than Life
The painter created illusions that seem more real than reality.

March 23, 2020  •  The Wall Street Journal

Little is known about the early years and training of Jan van Eyck (c. 1390-1441). Yet he emerged in early 15th-century Northern Europe as a colossus, defining artistic perfection with his luminous, incredibly detailed, naturalistic pictures. When his name first definitively appeared in a document, dated 1422, he was identified as a "master"; today, he'd also be called a disrupter. Many art historians revere him as the greatest painter of all time.

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The Met Adds Clara Peeters Still Life To Its Petit Bouquet of Works by Early Women Painters
The Flemish painter was at the top its wish list and helps fill a large gender gap in the collection

March 13, 2020  •  The Art Newspaper

Adding to its small collection of art by early female artists, the Metropolitan Museum of Art has just acquired A Bouquet of Flowers (around 1612) by the Flemish painter Clara Peeters from a private collection in the UK.

Peeters—who lived from around 1587 to after 1636 and is described by the Met as "a founding figure in the history of European still life"—was active for only about 14 years; about 40 paintings by her are known, with a significant number of them already in museums. But, when Adam Eaker, an assistant curator in the Met's European paintings department joined the museum four years ago, he says: "I had put the word out that Clara Peeters was at the top of my wish list."

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Major Pompeii show in San Francisco delayed as key loans remain in Italy during lockdown
The Legion of Honor, which relies heavily on exhibition revenue, hopes to present the show later this spring

March 12, 2020  •  The Art Newspaper

Another exhibition has fallen victim to the Covid-19 virus. Last Supper in Pompeii: From the Table to the Grave, set to open 18 April and run until 30 August at the Legion of Honor of the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco, has been postponed because shipment of key loans were halted by Italy's nationwide lockdown.

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"Vida Americana" Review: Ideas Without Borders
An illuminating show at the Whitney examines the impact of Mexican muralists on a wide spectrum of American artists.

February 19, 2020  •  The Wall Street Journal

New York

Don't be fooled by "Dance in Tehuantepec" (1928), Diego Rivera's colorful, seductive painting of a folk custom that opens "Vida Americana: Mexican Muralists Remake American Art, 1925-1945" at the Whitney Museum of American Art.

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A Witty, Domestic Gambit
Sofonisba Anguissola's 'The Chess Game' is cited by scholars as among the first Italian paintings of everyday family life.

January 25, 2020  •  The Wall Street Journal

For women like Sofonisba Anguissola (c. 1535-1625)—the eldest daughter of minor nobility in Cremona, Italy—the world was full of limitations. But Anguissola was both talented and lucky. With unusual encouragement and support from her parents, among others, plus her own grit, she became a famous and important artist in her time. Her remarkable skill, finesse and originality are on view in an exhibition in Madrid's Prado Museum through Feb. 2, especially in "The Chess Game" (1555), a work that is not only charming and witty but also inventive. Anguissola painted it at the mere age of 23 (or possibly younger, as no one knows her real birth year).

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