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

Latest Articles

'Holbein: Capturing Character in the Renaissance' Review: Exquisite Portraits With Symbols
The artist's distinctive portraits both caught his sitters' likenesses and included winking allusions to their places in society.

November 15, 2021  •  The Wall Street Journal

Los Angeles

A portrait, by definition, is personal, and Hans Holbein the Younger (1497/98-1543) is celebrated as a master of them. So a wander through "Holbein: Capturing Character in the Renaissance," at the J. Paul Getty Museum through Jan. 9, 2022, might seem confounding. His pictures seem similar. Most are small, with some measuring just a few inches across. All are half- or three-quarter length images, and most are set against a marine blue background. The sitters often look away, avoiding the viewer's gaze. They clasp their hands together or clutch an object. Many seem grim.

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Wadsworth reunites pastel quartet by Rosalba Carriera, 18th-century artist of kings and nobles
Two rediscovered pastels by Carriera, one of the few women artists from the era who gained international acclaim in her lifetime, were reunited with two more from the same series

October 28, 2021  •  The Art Newspaper

By Her Hand: Artemisia Gentileschi and Italian Women Artists, 1500-1800 at the Wadsworth Atheneum Museum of Art in Hartford, Connecticut—an exhibition showcasing the talents of 18 under-recognised artists—just got a bit richer. Two pastels by Rosalba Carriera, one of the few women featured in the show who gained an international reputation while she was alive (1673-1757), were reunited with two more from the same series, creating the "only opportunity for the public to see an entire original set by the artist in the United States" said Oliver Tostmann, the European art curator at the Wadsworth. The quartet had been split apart a half century ago.

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'By Her Hand: Artemisia Gentileschi and Women Artists in Italy, 1500-1800': An Ovation for Leading Ladies
Wadsworth Atheneum Exhibition Highlights Pioneering Female Artists Who Are Often Overlooked.

October 11, 2021  •  The Wall Street Journal

Hartford, Conn.

Contrary to conventional wisdom, women not only became artists in the Renaissance and Baroque periods, but some also thrived. They counted kings, queens, popes and nobles as patrons. Some gained fame; some were elected into exclusive academies; some supported their families. But they were ignored by art history. In recent decades, a few—especially Artemisia Gentileschi —have gained some recognition in monographic exhibitions, but many more early female artists remain obscure.

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'Bob Thompson: This House Is Mine' Review: The Staggering Breadth of a Brief Career
A survey of the painter's work at the Colby College Museum of Art is a colorful exploration of his singular creativity.

October 4, 2021  •  The Wall Street Journal

Waterville, Maine

You can't talk about Bob Thompson, a mid-20th-century Black figurative artist, without mentioning the blazing colors of his paintings. Bright reds, blues, greens and yellows are almost everywhere. When, in 1998, the Whitney Museum gave him a retrospective, curator Thelma Golden, now the director of the Studio Museum in Harlem, flaunted the pervasiveness of his intense hues by hanging his works on walls painted in brilliant yellow or red—an unprecedented, much-remarked, winning move at a time when no one else dared to challenge the ubiquity of the white-walled galleries that still prevail in modern art museums.

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Masterpiece: Painted to the Nines
Gainsborough's 'The Blue Boy,' a sensation ever since it was unveiled, will be returning to London for the first time in a century.

October 2, 2021  •  The Wall Street Journal

From the moment "The Blue Boy" made its debut at London's Royal Academy in 1770, it has always been a sensation. Scholars and critics have called it "the world's most beautiful picture" and deemed it the career "apogee" of Thomas Gainsborough, one of England's greatest 18th-century painters. When the painting went on view in January 1922, after the Duke of Westminster sold it to art dealer Joseph Duveen, who resold it to the American Henry E. Huntington, "great crowds almost stormed" the National Gallery in London for a last look, according to contemporary accounts; some 90,000 people visited it during its three-week exhibition there.

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