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

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'Renaissance Splendor: Catherine de' Medici's Valois Tapestries' Review
Sparkling, Woven Vistas of Pageantry

December 5, 2018  •  The Wall Street Journal

Cleveland

In their subtly lighted temporary home at the Cleveland Museum of Art, the six enormous weavings at the core of "Renaissance Splendor: Catherine de' Medici's Valois Tapestries" are feasts for the eyes. But just imagine seeing these sumptuous tapestries, which commemorate her lengthy, elaborate court festivals known as "magnificences" and other moments of political pageantry, when they were made, in the 16th century. Think of how brilliantly their brightly colored wool and silk threads—and especially the threads wrapped in gold and silver—would have sparkled and shimmered in candlelit chambers. Catherine, it would soon be clear, was making a statement, using the art form of kings to do so.

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Houston museum reattributes painting to Velázquez
After conservation effort, Museum of Fine Arts decides its hunch was correct

November 7, 2018  •  The Art Newspaper

Until a few years ago, Kitchen Maid (around 1620)—labelled "in the style of Diego Velázquez"—hung behind a door at Rienzi, the European decorative arts house museum at the Museum of Fine Arts in Houston. But when it goes back on view in mid-November at the main museum, the label will read "attributed to Velázquez".

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Art History Mystery: Piecing Together the Van Campen Clan
Frans Hals's large 'The Van Campen Family in a Landscape' was cut into pieces, now in different collections; they have been reunited in a Toledo exhibition.

October 22, 2018  •  The Wall Street Journal

Toledo, Ohio

'Frans Hals Portraits: A Family Reunion," at the Toledo Museum of Art, might just as easily have been subtitled "An Art History Mystery." Or "The Secret Life of a 17th-Century Masterpiece." Or "A Lesson in Connoisseurship." Or—let's just say the exhibit has many stories to tell.

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Masterpiece: A Man Among Gods
The Gemma Augustea, the finest and almost the largest cameo that survives from antiquity, celebrates Augustus and Roman triumph.

September 22, 2018  •  The Wall Street Journal

Caesar Augustus (63 B.C.-A.D. 14), the founder and great expansionist of the Roman Empire, the architect of the Pax Romana, the creator of a golden economic age, the instigator of grand civic structures, was also an eminent patron of the arts. In the years leading up to his death, he—or a supporter, perhaps?—commissioned a magnificent cameo glorifying his deeds. It is surely the finest and almost the largest cameo that survives from antiquity.

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Rembrandt, master printmaker—and shrewd market manipulator
Denver Art Museum's exhibition of the Old Master's prints looks at how he intentionally made "rarities" for his collectors

September, 2018  •  The Art Newspaper

Rembrandt is cast not only as a master printmaker of glorious works, but also as a canny market manipulator in the Denver Art Museum's latest show, Rembrandt: Painter as Printmaker. "Rembrandt intentionally made rarities for his admiring collectors, who sought out rare states," says the co-curator Timothy Standring, who organised the show with Jaco Rutgers, co-editor of the catalogue raisonné of Rembrandt's etchings, completed in 2014. The scholarship behind the exhibition stems largely from that project.

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