Skip to main content

Full text of "Los Angeles County Museum of Art"

See other formats


LOS ANGELES COUNTY 

MUSEUM OF ART 



'J^v- 



'*%» 
■ ^..1 



k 



n,dH»^ 






ff****-*! 



t«<*"'«*^''*^»l 



Thames & Hudson world of art 



Thames & Hudson world of art 

This famous series provides the widest available 
range of illustrated books on art in all its aspects. 



If you would like to receive a complete list 
of titles in print please write to: 

THAMES & HUDSON 
181AHighHolborn 
London WC1V7QX 

In the United States please write to: 

THAMES & HUDSON INC. 

500 Fifth Avenue 

New York, New York 10110 

Printed in Singapore 



I;. <Ak 




\:' 






W^^k 


BB 


1 p^ 


I^^^H 


1 1 


H 


If 1 ' .m 




r 



^) 



LA-?-' 



ii3 



«'. r- 




K 



•>f 






--:}■ 



/--:•/ 



n 



y 



^^rt^I . ii': 






^r^- 





'm 







'Mfe 


''A 

'** 

.-'1 


i 

r 


1 


> • 
I 






^^W 



r» i^ie.' 



^PI^b^ 


'ML \d 


^^T' «>?\5y^^H 




t-y^M 


^^^1 ' \IH 


ImM 





_ HHUIt»tiU(^a{ti«« 



— ^; 



'^- 










■'.'ini:i yaa-: 









m 



MtM 







■■' y 



T^\ 



m 



■^. .?s-^!.^^ 



"!SS^!ife 






■-^iiil;! 







LOS ANGELES COUNTY 

MUSEUM OF ART 



WITH 197 ILLUSTRATIONS, 184 IN COLOR 



^^^^ Thames & Hudson world of art 

LOS ANGELES COUNTY MUSEUM OF ART 



For the Los Angeles County Museum of Art 

Director of Publications: Stephanie Emerson 

Project Manager: Nola Butler 

Editors: Matt Stevens and Nola Butler 

Designer: Catherine Lorenz 

Photography Supervisor: Peter Brenner 

Rights and Reproductions: Cheryle T. Robertson, with Shaula Coy! 

Note to the reader 

Not every work of art included in this book will be on view at all times. 

The first group of digits in the acquisition numbers (found at the end of the 
captions for illustrated objects) indicates the year the work was acquired by 
the museum. 

Key to abbreviations used In this book 
cb. center back 
diam. diameter 
h. height 

This compilation © 2003 Thames & Hudson Ltd, London 
Reproductions and -texts © 2003 Los Angeles County Museum of Art 

All Rights Reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced or 
transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including 
photocopy recording or any other information storage and retrieval system, 
without prior permission in writing from the publisher. 

First published in paperback in the United States of America in 2003 by 
Thames & Hudson Inc., 500 Fifth Avenue, New York, New York 10110 

thamesandhudsonusa.com 

Library of Congress Catalog Card Number 20021 1 1486 
ISBN 0-500-20360-1 

Printed and bound in Singapore by CS Graphics 

Cover and details 

Georges de La Tour, The Magdalen with the Smoking Flame (p. 97); p. 2: 
Archangel Raphael (p. 1 13); p. 3: Pablo Picasso, Weeping Woman with 
Handkerchief {p. 211); p. 4: Quail amid Autumn Grasses and Flowers (p. 70); 
p. 5: Michiel Sweerts, Plague in an Ancient City (p. 99); p. 6: Benedetto Luti, 
Head of an Apostle (p. 106); p. 7: Shiva as Lord of the Dance (p. 38); p. 8: 
David Hockney Mulholland Drive: The Road to the Studio (p. 224); p. 1 1 : 
Ardabil Carpet (p. 58); p. 12: Edgar Degas, Giovanna and Giuliana Bellelli 
(p. 120); p. 14: Vincent van Gogh, The Postman Joseph Roulin (p. 126); p. 17: 
Jar with Peony Sprays and Lotuses (p. 53); p. 1 8: Round-Topped Stela of luf- 
er-bak (p. 84); p. 228: Imogen Cunningham, Aloe Bud (p. 188) 




K4 iA^J^i 



■^ 



i 



t 



ft *' 



.■^ : " /^ 




CONTENTS 



15 FOREWORD 

Andrea L. Rich, President and Director 

19 CONTRIBUTORS 

THE COLLECTION 

20 ASIAN ART 

80 EUROPEAN ART 

128 IJ\TIN AMERICAN ART 

156 AMERICAN ART 

192 MODERN AND CONTEMPORARY ART 

229 PHOTOGRAPHY CREDITS 

230 INDEX OF ARTISTS 



FOREWORD 



In the fifteen years since the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA) 
published its preceding handbook, the institution has changed physically 
and programmatically in remarkable ways. Like any art museum, however, 
the permanent collection remains its defining feature. This completely 
revised handbook includes important new acquisitions as well as many 
of our familiar landmark works of art. 

The brief texts were written by LACMA's curatorial staff, the experts 
charged with the acquisition, research, and exhibition of the collections. 
(Contributors are cited on p. 19.) Both the selection of objects and the 
interpretive commentaries demonstrate the significance of these individual 
works of art within the permanent collection. In addition to introducing 
recently acquired works, the handbook provides a forum for the pre- 
sentation of new scholarship, including the latest attributions and datings. 

The five sections of the book — Asian Art, European Art, Latin American 
Art, American Art, and Modern and Contemporary Art — reflect U\CMA's 
collaborative curatorial organization. This interdisciplinary approach, also 
evident in the museum's installations, is designed to make the interpretation 
of our collections more accessible, coherent, and revealing. With these 
goals in mind, the curators have opted for different strategies within each 
section of the handbook, sometimes arranging works chronologically, as 
in the European Art section, at other times assembling the objects the- 
matically, as in the section devoted to Asian art. The result is neither a 
comprehensive catalogue of the permanent collection nor a definitive 
statement about its organization. Rather, this representative selection 
is meant to enhance the visitor's experience as well as attract a new 
audience to the museum. 

Some of the works in the handbook came to LACMA as individual 
acquisitions; others were obtained through gifts or purchases of extensive 
collections. From its inception as part of the Los Angeles Museum of 
History, Science and Art at the original site in Exposition Park in 1910, 
through its founding as a separate institution at its present location in 
Hancock Park in 1965, the museum has relied on the generous gifts of 



15 



many donors to develop its permanent collection. A number of these 
individuals and foundations are credited in the entries for the illustrated 
objects. Because this publication is representative, rather than all-inclusive, 
numerous highly valued gifts and purchased works of art unfortunately do 
not appear in these pages. 

We anticipate that UXCMA's collection will continue to grow as we 
strive to present it in meaningful ways. Most recently, it has been en- 
hanced by three major acquisitions — the Moore Collection of Korean Art, 
the Bernard and Edith Lewin Collection of Mexican Art, and the Madina 
Collection of Islamic Art. I hope that you will share my great pleasure in 
witnessing the expanding scope of LACMA's permanent collection and, 
in turn, its reflection of the diverse local and international community that 
serves as our museum-going audience. 

Andrea L. Rich 
President and Director 



16 




'^''=*»«sa«»,s(»(TOB^\?S ■■(« 



M:- 



0. 



.4-. 






rU^ 







Vv>C.>. .... , 



mr 



^' 









> V*^ v., v V 






■^^i^ 








l[^i: '^ ^f^^'^m 






V: 



.^' 



■X 



- / 



h 



>iv^ 




;■ i 



(, 



. »■■. 



» 



)■; 






^^-^' 






/' 




- V! 



;*?.. 



■•^.^-3:j^:;^,A 



■■;/^:: 








7: V /e^ 



., 'A 



■■.v! ■M1^■^ 



\ 



A-'l^C 


























W; 



CONTRIBUTORS 



Austen B. Bailly 
Stephanie Barron 
Sheri Bernstein 
Robert L. Brown 
Martin Chapman 
Carol S. Eliel 
Virginia Fields 
llene Susan Fort 
Howard N. Fox 
Dale Carolyn Glucknnan 
Mollis Goodall 
Sharon Goodman 
Burglind Jungmann 
Wendy Kaplan 
Nona Katzew 
Melinda Klayman 
Linda Komaroff 



Jo Lauria 
Mary L. Levkoff 
June Li 

J. Patrice Marandel 
Stephen Markel 
Bruce Robertson 
Sandra L. Rosenbaum 
Kevin Salatino 
Robert T. Singer 
Robert A. Sobieszek 
Kaye Durland Spilker 
Sharon Sadako Takeda 
Nancy Thomas 
Saleema Waraich 
J. Keith Wilson 
Lynn Zelevansky 



19 












;K;; 



i 



ASIAN ART 




22 



Vessel 

Japan, Niigata or Nagano prefecture, middle Jdmon period, 

c. 3000-2000 B.C. 

Coil-built earthenware with incised, modeled, and applied decoration 

H. 22V8in. (56.2 cm) 
William T. Sesnon Jr. Bequest 
M. 81. 62.1 

THIS IMPRESSIVE STONE AGE VESSEL reflects the remarkable character 
of Japan's earliest ceramic culture. The massive container was decorated 
with incised patterns enhanced by applied leather-hard strings of clay. The 
exuberant surface design is organized in four registers divided by raised 
bands. The sunken waist, marked by projecting lugs, separates the tall 
vertical spirals at the bottom from the horizontal waves and small open 
loops on the swelling shoulder above. The mouth is enriched with animated 
open crests that reach into space. After it was decorated, the jar was 
baked on an open bonfire. 

Magnificently expressive "flame-style" pots were made during the 
middle Jomon period in the inland, forested areas of Niigata prefecture, 
near the Japan Sea, and in neighboring Nagano prefecture. Now called the 
"Snow Country," the region had warmer weather in ancient times. An 
abundance of food and supplies provided social stability to hunter-gatherer 
societies, allowing them to create large, ornately decorated vessels. 
Although the ceramics appear nonfunctional, they were in fact used for 
cooking, perhaps of a ritual nature. 



ASIAN ART 23 




Seated Female Figure 

Northern Afghanistan, Namazga V-VI, 
c. 2500-1500 B.C. 
Chlorite and limestone 
H. 5V4 in. (13.3 cm) 

Purchased with funds provided by Phil Berg 
M.2000,1a-f 

THE BRONZE AGE CULTURE of Bactria 
(3000-1500 B.C.), located in present-day 
Afghanistan, defines the easternmost 
edge of a broad band of ancient trade 
routes from Iran to Central Asia. The 
museum's collection of Bactrian art is 
one of the most significant in the United 
States and includes bronze compartmented seals, lead ceremonial objects, 
chlorite vessels, jewelry, small columns of variegated stone, as well as this 
seated female figure. 

Figural sculpture from Central Asia is exceedingly rare. The restricted 
corpus includes a number of examples of a seated female constructed 
from a variety of different types of stone. The figures, dressed in heavy 
enveloping cloaks, have simplified facial features with large blank eyes. The 
garment is usually incised with a pattern of twisted strands, probably 
indicating a woolen model. On this example, the figure's hair is rendered in 
black chlorite, showing a complex arrangement that encircles the head. 
The characteristic face, though somewhat eroded, is expressive. The 
chalky arms are also worn and provide no indication of their original 
position. The placement of a rarely preserved element — a single foot — is 
suggested by the channel at the right hem of the garment. 

The heavy robe provides a link to imager/ from Iran. A silver vessel of 
the late third millennium b.c, believed to be from the area near Persepolis, 
shows a similar seated woman. Later Iranian cylinder seals, found at Tell-i 
Malyan and Susa, evidence the continued appeal of the subject into the 
second millennium e.c. 



24 



Ritual Wine Storage Jar 

China, late Shang dynasty, early Anyang phase, c. 1300-1200 B.C. 
Cast bronze 

H. 133/4 in. (34.9 cm) 

Gift of Mr. and Mrs. Eric Lidow 
AC1998.251.1 



IN ANCIENT CHINA, BRONZE WAS EMPLOYED to create efficient weapons 
and tools. It was also used to cast special wine and food containers reserved 
to honor deceased family members in elaborate ritual banquets. This heavy 
wine bucket {zun in Chinese) reflects the remarkable style, extraordinary 
technical accomplishment, and material wealth associated with the Shang 
dynasty (c. 1 500-1 050 b.c). 

The original owner of the uninscribed ritual container was a person of 
high standing, perhaps rewarded with the privilege of possessing such an 
important object through service to the Shang king. The vessel was later 
buried in a tomb either because it was viewed as an essential element for the 

continuation of ancestor 
worship even after death or 
because it was seen as a 
treasured possession. 
Preserved underground for 
millennia, it was probably 
excavated by chance in the 
early twentieth century. 




ASIAN ART 



25 



Ashurnasirpal II and a Winged Deity 

Iraq, Nimrud, Neo-Assyrian period, c. 870 b.c, 

Gypseous alabaster 

903/4 X 83 in. (230.5 x 210.8 cm) 

Purchased with funds provided by Anna Bing Arnold 
66.4.3 

THE MOST MONUMENTAL AND IMPRESSIVE objects from the museum's 
ancient West Asian collection are five massive stone panels from the 
Northwest Palace of Ashurnasirpal II, the king of ancient Assyria from 883 
to 858 B.C. Several palaces were located at the site, on high ground near 
the juncture of the Zab and Tigris Rivers. Strategically situated, the royal 
capital and military center overlooked rich plains in what is now central Iraq. 

The interior walls of the royal apartments and public rooms, such as 
audience halls and administrative areas, were lined with stone reliefs, 
often depicting the king performing ritual ceremonies accompanied by 
divine beings. This panel was probably originally located in Room H of the 
king's private apartment. On it, a winged deity follows the king and raises 
one hand in a gesture of benediction or divine protection. Ashurnasirpal II 
carries a bow and a shallow libation vessel. The figures wear heavy 
fringed tunics with decorative bands of floral or geometric motifs along 
the hems. Each figure carries two knives, tucked into the waistband of 
the garments, and wears an elaborate assemblage of armbands, earrings, 
beads, and bracelets. 

The reliefs are characterized by a detailed and highly linear treatment 
of all elements. Lines of cuneiform text run across this and other examples 
and are known as the "standard inscription" of Ashurnasirpal II because 
they were repeated, with slight variations, on each panel throughout 
the palace. The repetitive text proclaims the king's legitimacy, authority, 
and accomplishments. 



26 




ASIAN ART 



27 



Tomb Sculpture of a Chimera 

China, probably Sichuan Province, Eastern Han dynasty, 25-220 
Molded earthenware with traces of applied decoration and paint 
16% X 15% X 10 1/2 in. (42.8x39.7x26.7 cm) 

Gift of Elly Nordskog and family in memory of Bob Nordskog 
AC1997.1.1 



IN GRAVES NEAR THE END 
of the Bronze Age in China, mingqi, 
or "spirit objects" (painted or glazed 
earthenwares specifically made for 
the dead), began to replace more 
valuable cast bronzes, carved jades, 
and lacquers. By Han times (206 b.c- 
A.D. 220), ceramic vessels and figural 
sculpture dominated the contents of 
Chinese burials. 

The museum's chimera combines 
a crouching feline body with a long 
neck and snarling muzzle, winglike 
tufts, and a horn on either side of a 
pronounced bump at the crown of 
the head. Not an everyday creature, 
this is a fantastic composite influenced by imaginary visualizations first 
developed by China's neighbors to the west. It corresponds to a mythical 
beast called a bixie (which literally means "to avoid evil"), first described in 
Chinese texts datable to the second century e.c. 

Such earthenware figures, typically created in pairs, were placed in 
tombs to protect against malevolent spirits. The animation of the pose 
recalls a range of burial pieces created in the southwestern province of 
Sichuan. Related guardian figures were also executed in a larger scale in 
stone, standing above ground to mark important tombs in Sichuan and the 
lower Yangzi River valley in southeastern China. 




28 



Tomb Sculpture of a Seated Warrior 

Japan, late Tumulus period, c. 500-600 
Coil-built earthenware with applied decoration 
31 X 143/8 X 15 in. (78.7 x 36.5 x 38.1 cm) 

Mr. and Mrs. Allan C. Balch Fund 
M. 58.9.4 



THIS BEGUILING FIGURE OF A SEATED WARRIOR was used to decorate 
the tomb of a noble during the Tumulus period (250-600). Originating in the 
mid-second century as simple cylindrical forms, haniwa evolved into more 
complex figural representations of houses, weapons, animals, and humans. 
Regardless of subject, they were placed either low along the bank of a 
keyhole-shaped tomb mound, opposite the entrance, or clustered near the 
tomb door. Haniwa had to be constructed quickly upon the death of a noble 

in preparation for burial. The resulting 
simplicity of their design imbues them 
with a mysterious quietness. 

The museum's warrior, identified by 
his helmet and sword, wears a belted 
tunic, trousers, and beads. His hands, 
positioned in front of his chest, probably 
held a spear. The reddish low-fired clay 
is typical, as are the neatly cut eye and 
mouth holes. 




ASIAN ART 



29 



Pensive Bodhisattva 

Pakistan, Gandhara region, Kushan period, c. 200-300 

Gray schist 

22 X 11 X 6 V4 in. (55.9 x 27.9 x 15.9 cm) 

Gift of Henry and Ruth Trubner in honor of the museum's twenty-fifth anniversary and to honor 

Dr. Pratapaditya Pal 

AC1994.8.1 



THE ANCIENT COSMOPOLITAN REGION 
known as Gandhara lay at the confluence of 
the lucrative international trade routes 
between Rome, India, and China, in what is 
now Pakistan and bordering Afghanistan. 
From the first to the third century, the 
mighty Kushan dynasty ruled from 
Gandhara in the north to the heartland of 
India in the south. Buddhist sculpture, 
particularly images of the Buddha and 
bodhisattvas, were prevalent at the time. 
Bodhisattvas are potential Buddhas 
who choose to remain on earth to help 
living beings in their quest for enlighten- 
ment. Unlike the Buddha, typically shown 
dressed as a monk, bodhisattvas wear the 
clothing of lay princes, including a turban 
and elaborate jewein/. The strongly modeled 
chest, heavy garments, and carefully 
delineated drapery folds of the museum's bodhisattva characterize Greco- 
Roman artistic traditions. The meaningful pose of the figure also derives 
from Western models introduced through trade between Gandhara and the 
Roman world. The deity sits on a stool, his right leg crossed over his left, 
and raises one finger to his face. With a slightly cocked head and narrowed 
eyes, the composition recalls the quintessential Western posture of 
contemplation. Over time, it came to represent meditation in a variety of 
Buddhist contexts and was particularly popular in China, Korea, and Japan. 




30 



The Aristocratic Women 

Pakistan, Gandhara region, Kushan period, c. 100-200 

Gray schist 

23V8X 133/4x6 in. (58.7 X 34.9 X 15.2 cm) 

Purchased with funds provided by Mrs. Harry Lenart, Robert and Mary Looker, Robert F, Maguire III, 
and The Hillcrest Foundation through the 1998 Collectors Committee, Stephen Markel in memory of 
Catherine W. Markel, the Southern Asian Art Council, and S. Sanford and Charlene S. Kornblum 
AC1 999.3.1 



AS EXQUISITE AS IT IS RARE, this sensitive double portrait epitomizes the 
syncretic art of Gandhara at its finest. The naturalistic figures are elegantly 
garbed in fashions popular among the aristocracy of second-century 
Rome. The subject, however, is most likely a parable about two unnamed 
women in an incident from one of the past lives of the founder of 
Buddhism, Buddha Shakyamuni (traditionally dated c. 563-483 b.c). 

According to the legend recounted 
in the Maha-Ummagga Jataka (The 
Story of the great tunnel), the future 
Buddha overheard two women 
quarreling over a scented necklace 
made of brightly colored entwined 
threads. He asked each of the 
women to name the perfume she 
had placed on the necklace. The 
Buddha-to-be then dropped the 
necklace into a bowl of hot water 
and asked a perfume merchant to 
identify the scent. He did so, and the 
legitimate owner was revealed. 




ASIAN ART 



31 



Buddha Shakyamuni 

India, probably Uttar Pradesh, Gupta period, c. 550-600 

Cast brass with pigment 

151/2x53/4x4 in. (39.4 X 17.1 x 10.2 cm) 

Gift of the Michael J. Connell Foundation 
M. 70.17 




THE GUPTA PERIOD (320-600) is celebrated as a 
high point in the art and culture of India, the moment 
when Buddhist, Hindu, and Jain sculpture achieved a 
balance between otherworldly idealism and human 
sensuality. The combined reflection of the spiritual 
and corporeal is a chief characteristic of this alluring 
Buddha image. The deity's robe clings to the body, 
revealing wide shoulders and a gentle sway of the 
hips. As with all Buddha images, the display of the 
hands has symbolic importance. Here, the Buddha 
raises his right hand to reveal the palm, inviting 
worshipers to approach without fear. The lowered 
eyes likewise suggest gentleness and accessibility. 

This refined sculpture was made in northern India 
in the late sixth century. It was later taken to Tibet 
where blue pigment was daubed over the hair curls 
in accordance with Tibetan practice. Its transfer to a Tibetan monastery 
saved it from suffering the fate of so many other northern Indian Buddhist 
copper alloy sculptures, which were melted down over the centuries for 
their content. 



Jizo 

Japan, late Heian period, c. 1070-1120 

Wood 

751/8 (including base) x 24 x 24 in. (190.8 x 61 x 61 cm) 

Gift of Anna Bing Arnold 
M. 74. 117 



32 



THIS MONUMENTAL IMAGE possesses many attributes of a Buddhist 
monk. His head is shaven, thus lacking the small curls of the Buddha's 
closely cropped hair. His empty right hand is positioned to grasp a shakujo 
(jingle staff), one of a monk's eighteen possessions, which he tapped on 
the ground to warn insects and small animals of his approaching footsteps. 

This is not simply a monk, however, but a 
bodhisattva named Jizb who became 
extremely popular among Japanese 
Buddhists following the introduction of 
Buddhism to Japan in the sixth century. 
Jizd was especially important among "Pure 
Land" sect believers, who looked forward 
to rebirth in Buddhist paradise. He was 
worshiped as the protector of children, 
mothers in childbirth, travelers, and others 
in distress. 

Like many Buddhist deities, the 
museum's Jizo stands on a lotus base. 
The pure flower rises above murky waters, 
symbolizing release from the karmic wheel 
of rebirth. In his left hand, Jizo holds a 
wish-granting jewel attesting to his 
transcendent power The enlightened 
character of the deity is also manifested by 
the elongated ears and third eye, indicated 
by an inset jewel in the center of the 
forehead. The large head, broad brow, and 
small, delicate features convey the gentle 
benevolence and approachability found in 
the finest bodhisattva images of the late 
Heian period. 




ASIAN ART 



33 



Buddha Amitayus 

Tibet, probably Phanyul Valley, about 1 170-1189 
Thangka; opaque watercolor and gold on linen 
102x69 in. (259.1 x 175.3 cm) 

From the Nasli and Alice Heeramaneck Collection, Museum Associates Purchase 
M.84.32.5 

AMONG THE MOST DISTINCTIVE and revered forms of Asian art are 
Tibetan thangka paintings. Rolled for storage and transport, thangkas are 
rectangular images painted with ground mineral pigments on cotton or 
linen. Most were originally graced with narrow silk borders, plain or brocade 
silk mounts, and gossamer silk covers that were gathered at the top to 
serve as decorative swags when the paintings were displayed over an altar. 

This exceptionally large, early thangka features Amitayus, the cosmic 
Buddha of endless life. The deity sits on a lotus pedestal holding a vase 
containing the elixir of immortality. He is flanked on the viewer's left by 
Avalokiteshvara, the bodhisattva of compassion; on the right is Maitreya, 
the bodhisattva of wisdom. Monks and additional bodhisattvas pay 
homage above while three more bodhisattvas appear below. Hayagriva 
(in the lower left) and Achala (in the lower right) are fierce protectors of 
the faith. 

A dedicatory inscription unobtrusively placed among the lotus petals 
under Amitayus records that the painting was made to honor Choki 
Gyeltsen (1 121-1 189), an important Buddhist monk of the Kadampa order 
who apparently resided in one of the monasteries in the Phanyul Valley 
northeast of Lhasa. The inscription reads, "This picture, made by Chogyen, 
marks the life-attainment ceremony of the Lama Choki Gyeltsen at 
Cangragnaga in Bayul. Good Fortune!" 



34 




ASIAN ART 



35 



Votive Panel with Jambhala 

China, early Ming period, c. 1400-1425 

Silk and nnetal-thread embroidery on plain-weave silk 

15% X 7V4 in. (39.7 x 18.4 cm) 

Costume Council Fund 
M. 88, 121 



JAMBHALA, THE GOD OF WEALTH, serves as a powerful protector of the 
Buddhist faith. In this elegant embroidery, he holds in one hand a noose for 
subduing enemies and in the other a jewel-spitting mongoose with the power 
to vanquish serpents. The deity is seated on a lotus throne, sheltered by 
a prabha torana (arch of light) formed of tricolor clouds that emanate from 
baskets also containing lotuses in bloom. In the lower section, scrolling vines 

and additional lotus flowers sprout from a rendering 
of the Sacred Peaks; each blossom supports a 
Sanskrit character in Tibetan Lantsa script worked 
in gold thread. The characters represent the 
syllables of a mantra, a formula of words and 
sounds that possesses magical or divine power. 
This votive panel is one of a dozen known 
examples featuring Buddhas, bodhisattvas, and 
guardian figures that are remarkably consistent in 
design and technique. Based on their style and 
quality, the embroideries are thought to have been 
made in China during the early Ming dynasty to 
serve as imperial gifts to important Tibetan 
Buddhist temples. Relations between China's rulers 
and the lamas who led the major Buddhist orders 
were extremely strong during the reign of Yongle 
(1402-24), the third Ming emperor. 




36 




Toksewi, 153rd of the 500 Nahan 

Korea, middle Choson dynasty, dated 1562 
Hanging scroll; ink and color on silk 
503/4 X 1 5 V2 in. (1 28.9 x 39.4 cm) 

Murray Smith Fund 
M. 84. 112 

BUDDHISM REACHED KOREA via China in 
the mid-fourth century and prospered under 
royal patronage until the end of the Koryo 
dynasty (918-1392). The establishment of 
the Choson dynasty in 1392 challenged the 
power, popularity, and character of Korean 
Buddhism. Taejo (reigned 1392-98), first 
king of the ruling house, founded his regime 
on neo-Confucian tenets borrowed from 
China. Despite the ascendancy of the new 
doctrine. Buddhism continued to flourish 
among certain segments of the population. 
This beautiful image depicts a haloed figure studying a sutra scroll 
inscribed with religious teachings. The scroll also bears an inscription that 
identifies the subject as Toksewi, one of the 500 nahan, or disciples, of the 
Buddha Shakyamuni. The painting was one of 200 scrolls commissioned 
by the Dowager Queen Munjong (1501-1565) to ensure the long life of 
her son King Myongjong (reigned 1545-67) and the well-being and 
success of all her descendants. This is the only painting from the group 
known to survive. 

Son (Chinese; Chan; Japanese: Zen) Buddhists believed that 
enlightenment could be reached through personal efforts. Thus, images of 
mystical deities were much less inspiring than those featuring human 
subjects such as disciples, patriarchs, and teachers. This informal 
depiction, showing the figure in a three-quarter view seated in a natural 
outdoor setting, conforms to compositions of a more secular character. 



ASIAN ART 



37 




Shiva as Lord of the Dance 

India, Tamil Nadu, Chola period, c. 950-1000 

Cast copper alloy 

30 X 22 1/2 X 7 in. (76.2 x 57.2 x 17.8 cm) 

Anonymous gift 
M.75.1 

THIS PROCESSIONAL IMAGE represents the Hindu god Shiva as Lord of 
the Dance surrounded by a ring of fire. In Hinduism, Shiva is worshiped as 
the destroyer and restorer in a theological triad with the gods Vishnu and 
Brahma, who represent preservation and creation. This form of the deity 
became popular in the early tenth centun/ during the Chola period 



38 



(850-1278) in southern India. According to the traditional interpretation, 
Shiva, spinning on one foot and trampling a midget representing ignorance, 
personifies the axis of the world, his dance setting the universe into action. 

As is true of certain Buddhist images showing Tantric deities, the 
supernatural powers of Hindu gods are depicted with a multiplicity of arms. 
In this sculpture, the upper pair of arms holds symbols of creation and 
destruction — a drum and flame — while the gracefully posed lower pair 
suggests reassurance and victory over ignorance. Combined, these ges- 
tures signify Shiva's grace as he guides believers to the path of liberation. 
Shiva's compassion is underscored by the small image personifying the 
river goddess Ganga (Ganges) in the fanned strands of his hair. Shiva used 
his hair to save humankind by breaking the celestial river's fall to earth. 




Jagadeva (India, Gujarat, active c. 11 30-70) 

SarasvatI, dated 1 1 53 

Marble 

47 1/4 X 193/4 X 1 1 3/4 in. (120 x 50.2 x 29.8 cm) 

Gift of Anna Bing Arnold 
M. 86.83 

JAINISM, THE THIRD MAJOR RELIGION of India, 
has been practiced continuously since the sixth 
century B.C., if not earlier. Like Buddhism, it evolved 
as a popular reaction against the caste-bound and 
ritual-oriented Hinduism. Jainism shares with 
Buddhism and Hinduism several deities, such as 
Sarasvati, the goddess of learning, knowledge, 
and music. 

Carved in white marble, this image of Sarasvati 
is the embodiment of the medieval Indian concept 
of ideal feminine beauty. Elegantly poised, her 
voluptuous body is rendered with a heightened 
sense of fluidity and sensuality. In each of her two 
upper arms she holds a lotus stem encircling a 
pair of geese, a symbol of purity. Her broken lower 



ASIAN ART 



39 



right arm would have displayed the gesture of charity or carried an ascetic's 
water flask, while her lower left hand once held a book. Two small flanking 
musicians allude to her role as the prime teacher of music while larger female 
attendants hold honorific flywhisks. A devotee — perhaps the donor — sits in 
reverence near her right foot, balanced by Sarasvati's animal mount, the 
gander (now headless), on the opposite side. 

The inscription on the base records that an earlier sculpture of the 
goddess, dedicated to a Jain temple in 1069, was damaged in early 11 52. 
The following year a nobleman named Parashurama commissioned the artist 
Jagadeva to create this replacement. 




Ardhanarishvara, the Androgynous Form of Shiva 
and Parvati 

Nepal, c. 1000 

Cast copper with glass inlays 

33 X 141/2 X 5 in. (83.8 x 36.8 x 12.7 cm) 

From the Nasli and Alice Heeramaneck Collection, Museum Associates Purchase 
M. 82.6.1 

THIS EXTRAORDINARY IMAGE of Ardhanarishvara (lord who 
is half woman) depicts the combined forms of the Hindu god 
Shiva and his wife, Parvati. According to one myth, the Hindu 
god of creation, Brahma, neglected to create women; Shiva 
consequently transformed his left side into a woman. The 
two halves separated but ultimately recoupled to conceive 
humankind. On a domestic level, this combined form 
represents the ideal state of union between husband and wife, 
each representing one half of a whole. On a philosophical level, Shiva is the 
perfect yogi, or liberated being, who remains detached from the world while 
Parvati represents the creative energy that enlivens him. As such, the image 
symbolizes the inseparability of the male and female elements of existence. 
Each half of the image has distinguishing physical features and clothing. 
Some aspects, such as the divided chest, are obvious references to gender, 
but other details, such as the wider arc of Parvati's hip, are more subtle. 
Parvati 's tiara and elaborate coiffure contrast with Shiva's crown of matted 



40 



hair, and the goddess's ankle-length garment differs fronn Shiva's knee- 
length wrap. Certain distinctions are more iconographic in character. Shiva's 
half face has a third eye in the forehead, and his raised hand holds a vajra, 
or thunderbolt, while Parvati holds an ascetic's water pot. 




Brahma 

Indonesia, central Java, c. 800-900 
Andesite 

453/4 X I7V2X 12V2in. (11 6. 2x44. 5x31 .8 cm) 

Gift of the 2000 Collectors Committee 
M. 2000.30 

HINDUISM, UNLIKE BUDDHISM, did not spread from India 
to the entirety of Asia. The religion was, however, accepted 
in large parts of Southeast Asia, where it became 
associated with kingship and royal power. Hundreds of 
stone and brick Hindu temples were built in central Java 
between 750 and 950. 

This consummate image of the Hindu god Brahma 
originally graced a niche in a Javanese temple. Traditionally 
portrayed as an ascetic, Brahma is shown here with a 
crownlike mound of twisted and matted hair, enriched by 
the jewels of the high born. His nature is also reflected in 
the two objects that flank him. The fire altar on the left, 
emitting a plume of scented smoke, refers to his role in 
Vedic (proto-Hindu) sacrifices, a practice continued by the 
Brahman priests of later India. The lobed water container on the right is one 
used by ascetics. 

Brahma has four faces, one of which is hidden at the rear. His upper 
arms hold an honorific flywhisk (at right) and a circle of prayer beads with a 
flower (at left). The two empty hands in front of the body display unusual 
gestures, but may have once held a separate metal attribute, such as a bell. 



ASIAN ART 



41 



Vishnu 

Cambodia, Angkor, Pre Rup, Angkor period, c. 950 

Sandstone 

89 X 28 X 18 in. (226.1 x 71 .1 x 45.7 cm) 

Gift of Anna Bing Arnold 
M. 76.19 

THIS IMPOSING SANDSTONE IMAGE of the Hindu god Vishnu once stood 
over nine feet tall, an expression of dominating sovereignty. The four arms 
originally spread outward from the enormous body, the great weight 
supported by the columnar legs. The concept was daring, but the arms 
that extended into space have since been lost. 

The god wears a traditional Cambodian pleated garment, or sampot, 
which is a single piece of cloth wrapped around the waist, pulled up 
between the legs, and tucked into a belt at the back. Added pieces of 
cloth suspended from the belt at the front are arranged in a decorative 
manner dubbed "anchor folds" by Western art historians. Vishnu also 
wears an elaborate head ornament comprising a decorated diadem, with 
cloth ties knotted at the back, and a tiered crown surmounted by a jeweled 
knob. Both the sampot and headdress, marked by complex patterns, 
provide a strong contrast to the smooth surface of the polished, unadorned 
torso, thus amplifying the physical strength of the form. 



42 




ASIAN ART 



43 



Page from a Manuscript of the Qur'an 

Tunisia, probably Qairawan, Fatimid dynasty, c. 850-950 
Gold and red ink on parchment, dyed blue 
11 VgX 143/4 in. (28.3 X 37.5 cm) 

The Nasli M. Heeramaneck Collection, Gift of Joan Palevsky 
M. 86.196 



¥ ^ 



ISUXM AROSE IN THE EARLY SEVENTH CENTURY under the leadership 
of the prophet Muhammad. It is the youngest of the world's three great 
monotheistic religions, following in the prophetic traditions of Judaism and 
Christianity. The Qur'an (meaning "recitation" in Arabic) is the holy book 
of Islam. 

Calligraphy is the most highly esteemed Islamic art, perhaps because 
the act of writing transmits and preserves the Qur'an. Early Qur'ans were 
written in a type of angular script with letters rendered from right to left in 
broad horizontal strokes. This script was well suited to the oblong format of 
the parchment page. Parchment (also called vellum), made from cured and 
scraped animal skin, was the preferred material for Qur'ans up to the 
twelfth century, when it was replaced by paper. 

Worthy of an imperial patron, this folio comes from a now partially 
dispersed Qur'an written in gold on blue parchment, perhaps dyed with 
indigo in emulation of Byzantine royal manuscripts and documents on 
purple vellum. It may belong to a seven-volume version described in a 
medieval inventory of the library of the Great Mosque in Qairawan (in 

modern Tunisia), where the book 
was most likely produced in the 
late ninth or early tenth century. 



SSkt ^ • " 















e.j'.feajuj JAinf 



^ jsss&^ngasU ^a. 



^ m^ L. ;^ ^' c M ^d^^ L 



44 



Lamp 

Egypt or Syria, Mamluk dynasty, 

c. 1350 

Free-blown and tooled glass, 

enameled and gilded 

H. 135/8 (34.6 cm) 

William Randolph Hearst Collection 
50.28.4 

INSCRIPTIONS IN ISUXMIC ART 
were used to convey information 
and decorate surfaces. This 
beautiful lamp, embellished by 
rhythmic calligraphy and distinctive 
ornament, was most likely produced 
for a religious context. The neck of 
the lamp is inscribed with the first 
few words of a Qur'anic verse 
(xxiv.35) that likens the light of God 
to the light yielded by an oil lamp: "God is the Light of the heavens and of 
the earth." 

Another inscription, located at the base of the lamp, indicates that this 
object was commissioned by Shaykhu al-Nasiri, whose heraldic emblem — 
a red cup set between a red and black bar — is repeated on the upper and 
lower sections of the lamp. This design refers to its owner's former status 
as a royal cup bearer. Shaykhu built a mosque and a khanqa (Sufi 
monastery) in Cairo in the mid -fourteenth century. Thus, this lamp was 
most likely made for one of these structures. 




ASIAN ART 



45 




Tile with Scrolling Floral Arabesque 

Greater Iran, Timurid dynasty, c. 1400-1500 
Fritware, glazed and assembled as mosaic 
24 V4 X 23 V2 X 23/4 in. (61.6 x 59.7 x 7 cm) 

The Madina Collection of Islamic Art, Gift of Camilla Chandler Frost 
M. 2002. 1.19 



THIS TILE BELONGS TO THE PERIOD of Timurid rule in Greater Iran 
(1370-1506). The Timurids were the last great dynasty to emerge from the 
Central Asian steppe. Their empire included modern Iran, Iraq, Afghanistan, 
parts of the Caucasus, and western Central Asia. Prodigious builders, the 
Timurids sponsored the construction of religious institutions and 
foundations that were often built on an enormous scale and commonly 
sheathed in an elaborate decorative skin of brilliant glazed tile. 

In the greater Iranian world, the primary structural material was dun- 
colored baked brick; thus glazed tile provided colortui embellishment. The 
most complicated and time-consuming manner of fifteenth-century tile 



46 



I 



work was "mosaic faience." Elements of the floral design of the museum's 
tile were cut from glazed tiles of different colors and assembled as a 
mosaic. This tile was set in place on the exterior of a building, where it 
joined other tiles or panels as part of a larger, more complicated design. 



Vessel with Dancing Women 

Iran, Sasanian period, c. 500-700 
Hammered silver with gilding 
H. 6% in. (16.8 cm) 

Gift of Varya and Hans Cohn 
AC1 992. 152.82 




THE MUSEUM'S RICH COLLECTION of pre-lslamic Iranian metalwork 
includes early items cast in bronze, such as horse trappings and standard 
finials made in Luristan (1350-650 b.c). Later objects such as this Sasanian 
vessel were not cast but hammered from a single piece of silver. The pro- 
cess was completed with repousse decoration, 
raising in relief figures that were worked from the 
interior of the vessel. The addition of mercury 
gilding on the background emphasizes the three- 
dimensionality of the primary pattern. 

A dozen or more examples from this period 
feature dancing females adorned with diadems, 
earrings, necklaces, bracelets, anklets, and flowing 
shawls. Scholars continue to debate whether the 
figures represent the Zoroastrian goddess 
Anahita — a votary of a vestigial cult of Dionysus — 
or a celebrant of a seasonal festival observed in 
Sasanian Iran. 



ASIAN ART 



47 






Flask with a Lion Attacking an Ox, 
China, late Six Dynasties period. 
Northern Zhou dynasty or Sui dynasty 
556-618, molded stoneware with 
incised decoration and green glaze, 
h. 12% in. (31 .4 cm), given in memory 
of Dr. Joseph K. W. Li, AC1997.17.1 



CHINA AND THE SILK ROAD 



The fabled Silk Road, a series of strategic highways and byways 
linl<ing rich settlements and oases from western China to 
northern India and Iran, was used by missionaries and pilgrims 
propagating Buddhism and Islam. The same network also 
conveyed luxury goods across Asia. Chinese silks and ceramics 
reached the West in return for metalwork and glass. These 
imported luxuries profoundly influenced artistic traditions at 

both ends of Asia. 

In China, trade objects 
inspired the exploration of new 
forms, motifs, and materials. 
An impressive flask {bianhu) in 
the museum's collection 
presents an almost unfiltered 
Chinese translation of pre- 
Islamic Sasanian Persian 
design. The ceramic vessel, 
now missing its shoulder lugs, 
must have been inspired by an 
imported leather or metal 
prototype. The two faces of the 
flattened clay form are covered 
with a stamped and can/ed 
narrative scene unlike anything 
found in earlier Chinese art. 
The image features three non- 
Chinese figures in foreign 
costume prodding an ox, lion, and cub engaged in violent 
combat. As the ox gores the lion with its horns, it is being bitten 
above and below by the lion and cub. 

Exotic, imported forms first captivated Chinese consumers in 
the fifth and sixth centuries as interactions increased with 



48 




Jar, China, middle Tang dynasty, 
c. 700-800, nnold-blown blue glass, 
h. 2V8 in. (5.4 cm), gift of Nicholas 
Grindley, M. 2001 .38 



foreigners along the northwestern frontier. A brief 
introductory period marked by obvious copying of 
foreign models was followed by a much longer 
epoch in which Chinese artisans creatively adapted and 
reinterpreted Central, South, and West Asian types and 
explored new media such as glass and gilt silver. Thus, an 
attractive cosmetic box in the museum collection is decorated 
with phoenixes — a quintessential Chinese motif — and floral 
scrolls that provide only a hint of foreign inspiration. 







Cosmetic or Medicine Box in tine Form 
of a Ciamslieii, China, middle Tang 
dynasty c. 700-800, hammered silver 
with chased and partially gilded 
decoration, 1 ^2 x 3 V3 x 3 in. (3.8 x 
7.9 x 7.6 cm), purchased with funds 
provided by members of the Far 
Eastern Art Council, M.2000.57 



ASIAN ART 



49 




Jar 

Japan, Aichi prefecture, Kamakura period, c. 1200-1400 
Tokoname ware; coil-built stoneware with ash glaze 
H. 17V4in. (43.8 cm) 

Purchased with funds provided by the Museum Associates, the Frederick R. Weisman Company, 

and the Far Eastern Art Council 

M.80.77 

THIS MASSIVE ASYMMETRICAL STORAGE or shipping jar has a broad 
shoulder and narrow foot, exuding strength and solidity. Placed un- 
glazed in kilns, such pieces were fired for up to two weeks. In the high 
heat, the body, rich in iron, turned a vibrant red. Flying wood ash settled 
on the surface, liquefied, and created rivulets of what is called a natural or 
ash glaze. 

Large, robust containers were made throughout the country to sen^/e 
local needs. They can be linked to specific kilns by their distinctive clay 
body, repertoire of shapes, and surface designs. The chestnut-red body 



50 



and greenish flowing glaze are typical of the assertive coil-built forms and 
natural ash glazes of pots made at Tokoname, in the southwest of present- 
day Aichi prefecture. 



Incense Burner in the Form of an Ancient Bronze Container 

China, Hebei Province, Quyang County, middle or late Northern Song 

dynasty, c. 1000-1127 

Ding ware; wheel-thrown stoneware with applied decoration and 

transparent glaze 

H. 4 1/2 in. (11.4 cm) 

Purchased with funds provided by the Far Eastern Art Council in celebration of the new 

Chinese Galleries 

AC1 998.90.1 



THE BURNING OF SPECIALLY PREPARED mixtures of woods and other 
vegetal matter acquired great popularity in China by the Song dynasty 
(960-1279). In palaces, temples, and scholars' retreats, the infusion of 
fragrant scents transported mere mortals to a higher meditative plane. The 
incense burner {lu) was an essential element in the practice. 

This ivon/-toned example embodies the aesthetic sophistication of 
Northern Song (960-1 127) ceramic production. Its elegant yet simple 
shape — a wide cylinder encircled by pairs of raised lines set on three 
delicate feet — was formed of very fine white clay. The vessel is covered in 
the smooth, clear glaze typical of wares from the Ding kilns in northern 
China. Only the rim is unglazed, allowing the incense burner to be placed 

upside down in the kiln during firing to protect 
its form from collapsing. A silver or bronze 
band, now lost, would have covered the 
unglazed rim and guarded against chipping. 

Subtle Ding wares, produced both for the 
palace and for the general market, reflect the 
aesthetic refinement of China's most 
discriminating audiences — the imperial 
household and the urbanized, highly educated 
civil servant class. The form of this incense 




ASIAN ART 



51 



burner, based on an ancient bronze lian vessel first popular in the Han 
dynasty (206 b.c-a.d. 220), further illustrates the elite interest in antiquities 
fashionable during the Song dynasty. 



Oval Tray with Pavilion on a Garden Terrace 

China, Yuan dynasty, 1 279-1 368 
Carved red lacquer on wood 
91/4x63/8 in. (23.5 X 16.2 cm) 

Gift of Mr. and Mrs. John H. Nessley 
M. 81. 125.1 



THIS SMALL TRAY FEATURES a detailed scene of two scholars relaxing on 
a garden terrace. In the pavilion, an attendant watches his master nod over 
a laden table. On the terrace, a servant carries a musical instrument while 
following the second scholar on his way home. The natural forms, 
architectural details, furnishings, and figures were derived from painted 
narratives, while the stylized conventions of rosettes and meanders were 
likely influenced by textile design. 

The tray is a remarkable example of the pictorial qualities of Yuan 
dynasty carved lacquer, which displayed amazing visual depth on small, flat 
surfaces. This time-consuming method of construction and decoration 
involved building up lacquer, one thin layer at a time, over a wooden core 
to form a strong and stable medium for canning. By the Yuan period, the 

technique was treated 
with the lapidarian 
expertise, superior skill, 
and precise control 
usually reserved for 
other luxury materials 
such as jade and ivory. 




52 



Jar with Peony Sprays and Lotuses 

Korea, late Koryo dynasty, c. 1200-1392' 

Wheel-thrown and shaped stoneware with carved and slip-covered ground 

and glaze-painted decoration 

H. 11 1/2 in. (29.2 cm) 

Purchased with Museum Funds 
M. 2000.15. 87 



DURING THE KORYO DYNASTY, 
Korean potters developed extremely 
complex methods of adding color to 
the surface of their wares. This jar 
illustrates one of the most laborious 
approaches. Exemplified by only a few 
surviving examples worldwide, the 
technique may have been restricted to 
select pieces made at special kilns for 
the exclusive use of the Korean court. 
The process, resulting in bold floral 
patterns rendered in a rich brown 
glaze on an unglazed ground, in- 
volved a series of steps. Like the few 
other rare survivors, the wheel-thrown 
form was gently pressed from front 
and back, producing a flattened field 
for decoration. The primary motifs — 
peony sprays, cusped frames, lotus 
scrolls, and lotus petal borders — were brushed in ink. The surface 
surrounding the sketched patterns was scraped away and covered with a 
buff-colored clay wash. The inked designs were then covered with an iron- 
rich glaze and fired. The intense heat of the kiln set the oily brown glaze and 
produced a light-colored biscuit — or unglazed surface — marked by an 
intricate web of cracks. 




ASIAN ART 



53 



Ewer with Figures 

Iran, Kashan, early medieval, c. 1200-1230 
Fritware, overglaze painted {mina'i) 
H. 13 in. (33 cm) 

The Madina Collection of Islamic Art, Gift of Camilla Chandler Frost 
M, 2002. 1.7 



IRANIAN POTTERS FROM THE CITY OF KASHAN introduced a 
polychromatic decorative technique called mina'i (Persian for "enamel") for 
luxury ceramics. This type of multicolored ornamentation was produced in a 
complicated process that required at least two firings. Vessels were first 
covered with an opaque white or a turquoise glaze and fired. After the initial 
firing, additional decoration, painted in enamel colors (including red, black, 
and white), was applied on top of the glaze. The added colors were fixed in 
a second firing at a lower temperature. 

Unlike some mina'i wares that illustrate scenes from the Iranian national 
epic, the Shahnama (Book of kings), the museum's ewer features elaborate 
decoration that defies identification. Delicately painted horsemen occupy the 

upper register, while seated courtiers, a 
musician, and perhaps a dancer appear in 
the lower band. Together, the motifs seem to 
represent "the good life." Apparently, mina'i 
ware was not produced after the early 
thirteenth century, yet it is one of the best 
known and most popular types of medieval 
Iranian ceramics among collectors today. 




54 



I 




Foliated Platter with the 
Eight Buddhist Symbols 

China, Jiangxi Province, 

Jingdezhen, late Yuan dynasty, 

c. 1340-68 

IVlolded porcelain with blue 

painted decoration under 

clear glaze 

Diam. 17 3/4 in. (45.1 cm) 

Gift of the Francis E. Fowler, Jr., Foundation 

and Los Angeles County Fund 

55.40 



FOLLOWING THE ADVENT OF 
successful porcelain production, 
Chinese potters began to explore new decorative possibilities. Inspired by 
Iranian practices, they painted mineral pigments directly on clay surfaces 
before coating the vessels with a clear vitreous glaze and firing them. By 
the fourteenth century, the Chinese porcelain industry, located in the 
southeastern province of Jiangxi, was creating extremely attractive wares 
enriched with deep blue patterns brushed in cobalt imported from Iran. 
Such blue-and-whites proved popular both at home and abroad, with trade 
facilitated by the Mongol domination of most of Asia. 

Although this massive platter with a flat, foliated rim conforms to the 
shape and scale of vessels used in the Islamic countries of western Asia, 
the presence of ornamental motifs favored by the Chinese suggests that it 
was likely made for the domestic market. A feathery wave pattern 
accentuates the rim and covers the inner wall, which is also highlighted by 
six cusped frames enclosing lotuses, morning glories, and melons, plants 
and flowers popular in Chinese painting. The center of the platter is painted 
with pie-shaped segments containing the eight Buddhist symbols indicative 
of auspicious wishes. 

The extraordinary popularity of Chinese porcelains throughout Asia and 
Europe continued into the subsequent Ming (1368-1644) and Qing 
(1644-191 1) dynasties and influenced ceramic production worldwide. 



ASIAN ART 



55 



Jar with Dragon and Clouds 

Korea, probably Kwangju, South Cholla Province, late Choson period, 
c. 1700-1800 

Wheel-thrown porcelain with blue painted decoration under clear glaze 
H. 171/2 in. (44.5 cm) 

Purchased with Museum Funds 
M.2000. 15.98 



PORCEUMNS WITH UNDERGUXZE 
designs painted in blue were tirst 
produced in Korea during the fifteenth 
century when native sources of cobalt 
were discovered. The relatively high iron 
content of Korean cobalt yielded a 
sonnewhat muddy color, however, 
leading local artisans to prefer minerals 
imported to Korea through China from 
Iran. Due to the high cost of the foreign 
pigment, only the royal household was 
initially entitled to use the precious 
wares. In the eighteenth century, 
however, when Korea entered an age of 
prosperity and renewed cultural activity, 
blue-and-whites were available to a 
broader range of society. 
Many porcelains were produced in the late eighteenth century at the 
government-controlled kilns in Kwangju, near the Choson capital of 
Hanyang (modern Seoul). Court painters were frequently employed to paint 
the surface designs. This robust, elegant jar features a scaly dragon with 
big friendly eyes, sharp teeth, small horns, and a lively mane. Considered 
auspicious throughout East Asia, the dragon symbolizes royalty and 
prosperity. This boldly painted creature attests to the brush of a skillful 
court artist and anticipates later decorative trends in court and folk painting. 




^-~«r i^ffni* 



56 



Jar with Floral Scrolls 

Turkey, Iznik, Ottoman period, c. 1500-1510 
Fritware, underglaze painted 
H. 9V2in. (24.1 cnn) 

The Edwin Binney, 3rd Turkish Collection 
M. 85.237.80 



CHINESE CERAMICS WERE LONG ADMIRED, collected, and emulated in 
the Islamic world, especially at the Ottoman court in Istanbul. Chinese blue- 
and-whites proved particularly popular, influencing the development of Iznik 
ware, named after the city in northwestern Anatolia where the type was 
made. It is one of the most representative of Ottoman arts, comprising 
architectural decoration as well as tableware. The type has a hard, dense, 
artificial clay body that was covered with a brilliant white slip replicating the 
effect of Chinese porcelains. The surface — embellished with floral scrolls, 
arabesques, and other designs in deep cobalt blue — was ultimately 
covered with a shiny, colorless glaze. 

This superb Iznik jar is decorated with dynamic floral patterns of 
Chinese inspiration painted in two shades of blue. The flowers appear 

variously on a white ground or reserved 
against blue. Jars of this type were most 
likely used as storage containers and 
exemplify the high aesthetic standards 
of the day. 




ASIAN ART 



57 



Ardabil Carpet 

Iran, Safavid dynasty, dated 1539-40 
Knotted wool pile on silk foundation 
283 X 157 1/2 in. (718.8 x 400.1 cm) 

Gift of J. Paul Getty 
53.50.2 

AMONG THE WORLD'S MOST FAMOUS works of art, this carpet and its 
mate in the Victoria and Albert Museum in London were products of the 
great flowering of the arts under the Safavid dynasty of Iran (1501-1732). 
The carpets were probably royal gifts to the shrine at Ardabil in northwest 
Iran, a site sacred to the dynasty's Shi'ite rulers. Both carpets (made in a 
royal textile workshop, perhaps the one at Tabriz) are signed and dated 
early in the reign of Shah Tahmasp (reigned 1524-76), a renowned arts 
patron. Each carpet features the same inscription, including a couplet by 
the fourteenth-century poet Hafiz: "Other than thy threshold I have no 
refuge in this world. / My head has no resting place other than this 
doorway. / Work of a servant of the court, Maqsud of Kashan [in] the year 
946 [1539-40]." Maqsud was most likely the designer or production 
supervisor, not the weaver. 

The museum's carpet contains 15.5 million asymmetrical knots 
(approximately 350 to the square inch) and may have taken three or four 
weavers, working simultaneously, more than four years to complete. 
A large central medallion with a field of overlapping floral arabesques 
dominates the carpet's intricate design. This focal point is surrounded by 
sixteen lobed medallions and flanked by a pair of lamps on the carpet's 
longer axis. 



58 




ASIAN ART 



59 



Nushirvan Receives an Embassy from the Khaqan 

Iran, Tabriz, Safavid dynasty, c. 1530-35 
Ink, opaque watercolor, and gold on paper 
18% X 12% in. (47.3x32.1 cm) 

Gift of the 1989 Collectors Committee 
M.89.55 



THIS PAINTING COMES FROM A MANUSCRIPT whose size, scale, and 
quality make it one of the most luxurious Islamic books ever created. 
Now dispersed, the Shahnama (Book of kings) was made for Shah 
Tahmasp (reigned 1 524-76) in Tabriz, the capital of the Safavid dynasty 
at the time. The manuscript originally included 258 illustrations, hundreds 
of illuminations, and more than one thousand pages of text, all with gold- 
flecked borders. A book of this magnitude probably took several years 
to complete. 

The museum's illustration, with its rich colors and patterns, contrived 
landscape, and gold sky, depicts a perfect world — a most suitable, if 

unreal, setting for a royal audience. In Shahnama 
illustrations, kings, heroes, and courtly figures 
are depicted as idealized types with features that 
reflect the ethnicity of the ruling elite. This 
identification between ancient Iranian kings and 
contemporary rulers was deliberate and 
significant. The arts of the book were often 
employed to further political agendas and to 
justify and legitimize the ruling elite. 




60 



Attributed to Abu'l Hasan (India, born 

1588/89, active c. 1600-1635) 

Emperor Jahangir Triumphing over Poverty, 

c. 1622 

Ink, opaque watercolor, and gold on paper 

93/3x6 in. (23.8 X 15.2 cm) 

From the Nasli and Alice Heeramaneck Collection, 
Museum Associates Purchase 
M. 75.4. 28 

THIS PAINTING IS ONE OF A NUMBER 
of allegorical works devised to project the 
Mughal emperor Jahangir (reigned 1605-27) 
as a just ruler. At this time the emperor was 
preoccupied with civil unrest and a rebellion 
led by his son. The work is attributed to 
Abu'l Hasan, a highly favored court artist. 
The inscription in the upper right conveys the 
artist's intentions: "An auspicious portrait of 
his exalted majesty, who by the arrow of generosity eradicated the trace of 
Daliddar — the ven/ personification of poverty — from the world and laid the 
foundation for a new world with his justice and munificence." 

Jahangir shoots an arrow into an emaciated old man who represents 
poverty. The two cherubs holding the crown above the emperor indicate 
his divine right to rule. In the upper left corner, another cherub holds an 
ornamented chain reaching from heaven to earth, a sign of Jahangir's 
commitment to implementing God's justice. Other symbols suggest the 
larger geopolitical context that confronted Jahangir. The emperor stands 
on a lion that straddles the globe, a symbol of the Mughal empire; the 
lion lies peacefully beside a smaller lamb that represents Safavid Iran. 
Although the depiction suggests that harmony existed between the two 
empires, they were, in reality, political and commercial rivals. The globe 
also functions as a nimbus for Manu, the Hindu lawgiver whose pres- 
ence reflects the Hindu populace, which constituted the majority of 
Jahangir's subjects. 




ASIAN ART 



61 




Dagger of Emperor Aurangzeb 

India, Mughal, dated 1660-61 
Nephrite jade and steel inlaid with gold 
133/4x2 in. (34.9x5.1 cm) 

From the Nasli and Alice Heeramaneck Collection, Museum Associates Purchase 
M. 76. 2. 7a 

MUGHAL JADE WORKING was the most demanding and 
accomplished form of sculptural expression in northern India 
from the seventeenth to the mid-nineteenth century. An 
extremely tough stone, jade can be shaped only through 
abrasion and polishing rather than canning. 

This dagger is a stunning example of the ornate ceremonial 
weapons described as favored imperial objects in the Ma'asir-i 
'AlamgJrT (The Illustrious acts of Alamgir), the official court 
chronicle of the Mughal emperor Aurangzeb (reigned 
1658-1707). An inscription inlaid in gold on the watered steel 
blade dates the dagger 1660-61 and, along with the symbolic 
royal parasol, certifies that it was made for the emperor himself. 
A technical tour de force that also closely approximates the 
natural world, the pale green nephrite hilt is fashioned in the 
form of a spirited horse's head with delicately rendered ears, 
high cheekbones, open lips, and precisely detailed teeth. The 
mane is colored burnt orange and represents the use of the 
naturally occurring iron-stained rind of the stone. The neck of the horse is 
gently rippled, making the hilt easier to hold. Aurangzeb spent much of his 
life on horseback in battle or hunting. He particularly cherished his mounts 
and gave them honorific names such as "Agile as the Wind." The emperor 
similarly named his favorite daggers and swords with epithets such as 
"World Conqueror." 



62 



Ewer with Dragon Handle 

China, Ming dynasty, probably Jiajing period, 1522-66 
Carved black and red lacquer on wood 

H. 11 7/^6 in- (29 cm) 

Gift of Dale and Nicole Lum 
AC1 998.222,1 



DURING THE SIXTEENTH CENTURY in Cliina, ewers with long narrow 
spouts, arched handles, and peach-shaped cartouches were made in a 
variety of materials, including gold, silver, cloisonne enamel, lacquer, and 
porcelain. Many of the porcelain examples were exported and still exist 
in collections in western Asia and Japan, especially Okinawa. Carved 
lacquer ewers are far more rare, presumably due to their limited pro- 
duction and fragility. 

Despite its somewhat exotic shape, this ewer features elaborately 
can/ed decoration that was particularly meaningful to a Chinese audience. 
Deer, mythical single-horned qilin, and auspicious emblems allude to 
wealth, virtue, and professional accomplishment. The fish spout-strut and 
dragon handle represent success in the civil service exams. A scholar's 

endurance throughout the grueling 
examination process was compared 
to a carp swimming upstream. The 
ultimate reward of official appoint- 
ment was symbolized by the trans- 
formation of the fish into a dragon. 
Undoubtedly, the ewer was made 
to honor a scholar-official and may 
have been used in special court- 
initiated celebrations. 




ASIAN ART 



63 























^^>:>^- 



Xiang Shengmo (China, 1592-1658) 
Beckoning of Solitude (detail), dated 1626 
Handscroll; ink on paper 
11 V2x300in. (29.2x762 cm) 

Los Angeles County Fund 
60.29,2 

THIS PAINTING, ABOUT TWENTY- FIVE FEET LONG, depicts an intimate 
journey in the life of a recluse. The delicate details transport the viewer 
along solitary mountain paths to rocky caverns and open fields. In his 
inscription, the painter Xiang Shengmo writes that he took nine months to 
complete the painting because he could work only at night, when he was 
freed from other responsibilities. 

Born to an eminent family in the Jiangnan region of south China during 
the waning years of the Ming dynasty (1368-1644), Xiang had a privileged 
upbringing in the household of his grandfather Xiang Yuanbian, a prominent 
art collector. The deft and practiced brushwork owes much to Xiang 
Shengmo's study of ancient masterworks in his family's collection. As the 



64 




















scroll is unrolled, it reveals groves of trees and rocky outcrops of 
ainnost abstract fornnatlons, recalling the work of Dong Qichang, a 
family friend who was the foremost scholar-official, painter-calligrapher, 
and art critic of his day. Dong mentored Xiang during the creation of 
this painting and wrote the title and an inscription (following the image) 
in running script applauding Xiang's accomplishments. 



ASIAN ART 



65 




'fl 










Shitao (China, 1642-1707) 

Landscape, dated 1694 

Leaf from an 8-leaf album; ink and 

color on paper 

11 X83/4 in. (27.9x22.2 cm) 

Los Angeles County Fund 
60,29.1d 

SHITAO, DESCENDED FROM the 
Ming imperial house, was born Zhu 
Ruoji. In 1644, when Manchurian 
forces overthrew the Ming and 
founded the Qing dynasty 
(1 644-1 911), a retainer saved young 
Zhu from death and found refuge for 
him in a series of Buddhist temples. 
Henceforth, Zhu was known by the 
Buddhist name Yuanji Shitao, or simply Shitao. 

As a monk-artist, Shitao traveled widely, meeting artists, poets, and 
even nobles at court. His views on painting and calligraphy often disagreed 
with conventional practices. He defended his work, stating, "I use my own 
method." His individualism is evident in his varied painting styles and 
awkward calligraphy. 

In the 1 690s, Shitao left the Buddhist faith to become a Daoist, 
whereupon he worked as an artist in Yangzhou, an affluent commercial city 
on the southeast coast. This painting is from an album of eight leaves 
painted in Yangzhou. Shitao inscribed most of the images with melancholic 
poems about wilderness, rain, personal failure, and aging. He dated the 
last leaf 1694. Shitao 's poem (translated by Jonathan Hay) at the lower 
right despondently questions his aimless wandering and confronts the 
feelings of loneliness that accompany the end of life's journey: "Who shares 
one's vicissitudes in the world? / In my old age I have no possessions, and 
have turned crazy and stubborn." 



66 



Pyon Sangbyok (Korea, active c. 1750-85) 

Portrait of Sctiolar-Official Yun Ponggu in l-iis Seventietli Year, dated 1 750 

Hanging scroll; ink and color on silk 

463/4x35 in. (118.7 x 88.9 cm) 

Purchased with Museum Funds 
M.2000.15.17 



J- 



-»- 



PRODUCED AS U\RGE HANGING SCROLLS or smaller album images, 
portraits in Confucian Korea usually showed a single subject in formal dress. 
Many of the scrolls were made for display in government buildings, where 
they honored learning, individual accomplishment, and public service. Others 
were preserved for generations in private academies of learning or clan 
ancestral halls. Treated as treasured institutional or family possessions, they 
were hung on special days when the spirit and success of the deceased 
were celebrated according to established ritual customs. 

This portrait scroll is ascribed to a well-known artist of the Royal Painting 



M 



^ 




Bureau, Pyon Sangbyok. Here, he 
illustrates his subject in an informal 
robe and hat, seated on a woven 
floor mat in an extremely spare 
setting. The title identifies the sitter 
as Yun Ponggu (1681-1767) at 
seventy years of age. Yun passed 
the national civil service exam- 
ination in 1714 but was stripped 
of official rank after an intrigue at 
court in 1741 . Reinstated the 
following year, he was ultimately 
appointed chief of one of the six 
boards of the Choson government 
and lived out a respected career. 



ASIAN ART 



67 



KOREAN COURT PAINTING 



The Korean court established a royal painting bureau during the 
fifteenth century. The bureau employed approximately forty artists, 
including fifteen students selected by examination. Often several 
generations of the same family worked as court artists. Members 
of the bureau worked on a variety of official projects, including 
portraits, Confucian book illustrations, architectural decoration, 
porcelain designs, and military maps. Documentan/ and decorative 
screens made for various palace buildings were particularly 
significant assignments. 

One important court screen in the museum's collection 
commemorates the sixtieth birthday of the Dowager Queen Sinjong 
(1808-1890). Lady Cho, as she was called before becoming a 

member of the royal family, had 
married a crown prince when she 
was only eleven years old. Sadly, 
her young husband died before 
ascending the throne. The 
dowager queen also outlived her 
son, King Honjong (reigned 
1834-49). Thus, when she 
celebrated her sixtieth birthday in 
1 868, a more distant descendant 
had succeeded to the throne. 
Sixtieth Birtliday Banquets for 
Sixtieth Birthday Banquets for Dowager Dowager Queen SinjoDQ features sconcs from three different 

ceremonies held within the Kyongbok Palace in Seoul. The unusual 
style of the screen can be traced to earlier Chinese traditions of 
illustrating ritual events. In the illustrated detail, which shows one 
ceremony women perform elaborate dances in the tented forecourt 
of the main audience hall. Inside the hall, another group of palace 
ladies conducts ceremonial acts in front of an empty throne backed 




Queen Sinjong (detail), dated 1868, 
Korea, end of the Choson period, 8- 
panel screen, ink, color, and gold on 
silk, 53 X 144 in. (134.6 x 365.8 cm), 
purchased with Museum Funds, 
M. 2000.1 5.35 




68 




l»fTWI 



KM 



mmmm 






M 



"Elegant Gathering in the Western 
Garden," Korea, late Choson period, 
c. 1700-1800, 10-panel screen, ink 
and color on silk, 63 x 144 in. 
(160 X 365.8 cm), purchased with 
Museum Funds, M.2000. 15.30 



by a screen showing royal symbols — the sun and moon above 
five sacred peaks — that represent the king's presence, even 
though he is not shown. 

Painted screens are also depicted in another court- 
commissioned work in the museum's collection. Unlike Sixtieth 
Birttiday Banquets for Dowager Queen Sinjong, "Elegant 
Gatliering in tine Western Garden" portrays the fictional meeting 
of famous Chinese scholars and statesmen of the eleventh 
century. Within a large wailed garden, various figures in Chinese 
scholars' robes engage in the leisurely pastimes of painting, 
calligraphy, poetry, and music. This subject was particularly 
popular among the educated civil sen/ants who staffed the 
Korean government. Although based on Chinese models, this 
rendition, like other examples signed by Korean court painters, 
shows creative adaptations and the characteristic use of a large- 
format folding screen. 



ASIAN ART 



69 




Quail amid Autumn Grasses and Flowers 

Japan, Momoyama period, 1573-1615 

6-panel screen; ink, color, and gold leaf on paper 

683/4 X 141 in. (174.6 x 358.1 cm) 

Gift of Julia and Leo Krashen in honor of the tenth anniversar/ of the Pavilion for Japanese Art 
AC1999. 223.1 

ELEGANT PAINTINGS OF QUAIL with autumn grasses and flowers are a 
trademark subject of the Tosa School, a group of painters who worked 
primarily for the imperial Japanese court. The school flourished from the 
sixteenth to the nineteenth centun/, creating works with delicate lines, 
meticulous details, and a lavish use of expensive mineral pigments. 

This Tosa screen depicts highly realistic quail and plants on a gold-leaf 
decorative ground, resulting in a stunning contrast between painstaking 
detail and abstract flattened space. The composition is dominated by the 
delicately curved blades of autumn grasses, with pale stalks of golden 



70 





BBP^""^"" 


"^ 




y^ 


T>J 


— — y"^ J^^'T — -^^^^^ 


^/^^-;7''<C^,-JI; 


;::;w/' >-- 




ruH^^^ 


^^^ 




pampas grass beyond. Flowers appropriate to the season — blue gentians, 
field chrysanthemums, and boneset — are subtly sprinkled across the 
surface. A number of quail hide among the plants, three feeling secure 
enough to fall asleep. 

A folding screen could be used as a room divider or privacy screen 
and is equally effective viewed under diffuse daylight or when seen at night 
by candlelight. 



ASIAN ART 



71 



Ogata Kenzan (Japan, 1663-1743) 

The Twelfth Month from Plates of the Twelve Months (detail) 

Slab-built stoneware with underglaze blue and black, clear glaze, and 

overglaze painted enamel decoration 

8x7x1/2 in. (20.3 x 1 7.8 x 1 .3 cnn) 

Purchased with funds provided by the Japan Business Association and the Far Eastern Art Council 
M.84.64.12 




OGATA KENZAN WAS THE FIRST 
higliiy educated and cultivated 
Japanese artist-nnerchant to operate a 
ceramic workshop. He created a new 
style of painterly wares exemplified 
here by a rare, intact set of twelve 
seasonal dishes originally intended for 
food presentation in the tea ceremony 

The top, bottom, and sides of 
each plate are enriched with brushed 
embellishment. The upper surfaces, 
painted in delicate tones, feature 
landscape vignettes appropriate to specific months. The images are 
inspired by the poetry of the nobleman Fujiwara no Teika. Composed in 
1214, the lines have been written by Kenzan on the bottom of the plates. 
Pale cobalt-blue wisteria patterns ornament the outer walls. 

The twelfth plate from the set is decorated with a painting of mandarin 
ducks floating on a frigid pond. The poem reads: "Mandarin Ducks / The 
snow falls on the ice of the pond / On which I gaze; / Piling up, as does 
this passing year, on all those passed / And on the feathered coat of the 
mandarin duck, / The 'bird of regret.'" 



72 



Hanging Flower Vase in the Form of a Quiver 

Japan, Saga prefecture, Edo period, Enpo-Kyoho eras, 1673-1736 
Nabeshima ware; slab-built porcelain with molded, modeled, cut, and 
incised decoration, and celadon glaze 
141/2x7 in. (36.8 X 17.8 cm) 

Gift of the 1995 Collectors Committee 
AC1 995.55.1 



THIS HANGING FLOWER VASE was displayed in the center of a 
tokonoma, or art alcove, a place of honor in a traditional Japanese room. 
Inspired by the shape of a fourteenth-centun/ leather quiver, it evokes the 
samurai warrior values of bravery, endurance, and loyalty. It might have 
been used only once a year, on the Boys' Day Festival held on the fifth day 
of the fifth month in the lunar calendar, when irises are in full bloom. On this 
day, families celebrated the warrior virtues and hoped their sons would 
embody them. The only known intact example of its kind, this vase 

matches a fragment excavated at 
Okawachi, an early-eighteenth-century 
Nabeshima kiln. 

Nabeshima porcelains were produced 
in present-day Saga prefecture in southern 
Japan. They are unrivaled in their abstract 
designs, delicate forms, and pure glaze 
colors. The Nabeshima kilns were under 
the exclusive control of the ruling daimyo 
(local lord), who either used the wares 
himself or gave them as gifts to other 
feudal lords. They were not made for 
sale. Production was closely supervised, 
technical secrets were carefully guarded, 
and less-than-perfect pieces were 
destroyed. The result was an extremely 
limited number of porcelains of 
superb quality. 




ASIAN ART 



73 




I 






Katsushika Hokusai (Japan, 1760-1849) 

South Wind, Clear Dawn from Thirty-six Views of IVlount Fuji, c. 1830-31 

Color woodblock print 

10 X 143/8 in. (25.4 X 36.5 cm) 

Gift of the Frederick R. Weisman Company 
M.81.91.1 

THIS PRINT, OFTEN CALLED RED FUJI, is the greatest design of Hokusai's best- 
known series. Thirty-six Views of Mount Fuji. The series, eventually comprising 
forty-six views, featured the most famous landmark of Japan in all seasons, 
scenic variations, and atmospheric conditions. 

South Wind, Clear Dawn is the only print in the series that shows the 
mountain without human figures. The tense asymmetry of the composition results 
from three colors and a single outline, the product of Hokusai's long study and 
experimentation with form. This is a spectacular impression of this celebrated 
print, its colors retaining their original vibrancy. Hokusai's works had a deep and 
lasting effect not only on Japanese art but also on modern Western art. 



74 



Mochizuki Hanzan [Haritsu II] (Japan, active c. 1750-1800) 

Stationery Box with Pheasant 

Wood with lacquer and various inlays, including pottery, mother-of-pearl, 

horn, lead, pewter, and stag antler 

4V2X lOVgX ll^/gin. (11.4x25.7x30.2 cm) 

Purchased with funds provided by the Far Eastern Art Council and friends of Virginia Atchley in 

honor of her ninetieth birthday 

M.2002.4a-b 



THIS STATIONERY BOX, created from a spectacular piece of heavily 
knotted cedar or male mulberry wood, features a variety of inlay materials 
and lacquer techniques. The maker, Mochizuki Hanzan, was inspired by 
Ogawa Haritsu (1663-1747), an earlier master of inlay and three- 
dimensional effects in lacquer design. Haritsu, in turn, had looked to the 
Rimpa School of painters, potters, and lacquer makers for inspiration. 

The lid features a horned pheasant amid ferns and flowers associated 
with early spring. The pheasant is a symbol of nobility; when paired with 
spring plants it signifies richness and plenty. The design continues around 
the sides of the box. The interior, decorated by an unknown lacquer artist 
about one hundred years after the completion of the outside, features a 
silver-and-gold design of crows and a cherry tree on a windy day. The 

realistic depiction of the 
blossoming cherry is enriched 
by the dark silhouettes of the 
crows on the modulated silver 
and gold-streaked background. 




ASIAN ART 



75 



NETSUKE: TREASURES IN MINIATURE 

Kimono, the traditional form of Japanese dress, had no pockets. 
A woman could tuck small items into her sleeves, but men, 
wearing a differently designed garment, chose to hang portable 
personal effects from a cord attached to the sash of the robe. A 
small toggle, called a netsuke, was used to keep the cord from 
slipping through the sash. 

Because netsuke were intended to function in this way, they 
were necessarily small and compact. Most were made of ivory or 
wood, but other durable materials — including stag antler, glass, 
porcelain, stoneware, cloisonne enamel, lacquer, and amber — 
were also used. Netsuke were always carved to hang naturally 
and show their best side. Craftsmen worked within these 
restrictions to depict subjects that evoked the interests of their 
patrons as well as favorite historical, mythological, genre, or 
natural themes. 

Although the earliest netsuke date from the seventeenth 
century, the art form matured in the eighteenth and first half of 
the nineteenth century, spawning a vast number of themes and 
styles. As Western men's clothing increasingly replaced kimono at 
the end of the nineteenth century, the purchasing of netsuke 
became primarily an activity of connoisseurs. Ironically, some of 
the finest examples were made after netsuke ceased to be 
objects of everyday use. 

The museum's Bushel! Collection displays a nearly 
encyclopedic array of works from various periods, carvers, 
locales, and materials. Signature pieces include Dancing Fox, 
who turns into a coquettish woman to seduce travelers and 
monks; Bundle of Firewood, carved from a single block of wood 
by Soke; and a superb rendering of Baku, the legendary animal 
who eats nightmares. 



76 




Soko [Morita Kisaburo] (Japan, 
1879-1943), Bundle of Firewood, 
boxwood, 1 ^5/ig X 1 V4 X 1 in. 
(4.9 X 3.2 X 2,5 cm), Raymond and 
Frances Bushell Collection, 
M.90.186.12 




Dancing Fox, Japan, Edo period, 
c. 1700-1800, ivory with dark staining 
and sumi (ink), 2''3/ie x 1 V^q x ^^/-^q in. 
(7.1 x 2.7 X 2.3 cm), Raymond and 
Frances Bushell Collection, 
AC1 998.249.69 



Attributed to Gechu (Japan, active 18th 
century), Bal<u, ivory with staining, sumi 
(ink), and traces of red pigment, 3^/4 x 
1 5/g X 1 3/-ie in. (9.5 X 4.1 X 3.0 cm), 
Raymond and Frances Bushell Collection, 
AC 1998.249.63 




ASIAN ART 



77 



Moriguchi Kako (Japan, born 1909) 
Kun'en, dated 1968 
Paste-resist dyeing on silk crepe 
63^/^6 X 5013/^6 in- (161 X 129 cm) 

Gift of the 1 999 Collectors Committee 
AC1999.113.1 

KYOTO TEXTILE ARTIST MORIGUCHI KAKO revitalized the traditional 
paste-resist dyeing technique known as yuzen and was designated a 
"Living National Treasure" by the Japanese government in 1967. Developed 
during the Genroku era (1688-1704) of the Edo period (1615-1868), yuzen 
permitted the direct application of dyes on silk with a brush. This 
revolutionary technique helped to establish kimono as a highly respected 
format for Japanese artists. 

Moriguchi created Kun'en (Fragrant garden) in 1968 at the height of 
his career. This "wearable painting" is embellished with a single chrysan- 
themum blossom that dramatically covers the entire surface of the kimono. 
The petals gradually increase in length and width as the blossom spirals 
and swirls to the outer limits of the garment. Each petal was precisely 
drawn with pale blue water-soluble ink {aobana) and then painstakingly 
outlined with a rice paste. The blue ink was then washed away, and each 
petal was filled with rice paste to reserve it in white while dyes were 
brushed on, a process allowing no room for error. Within the interstices 
of the petals, Moriguchi employed his signature makinori (scatter paste) 
technique, a lost process that he successfully reinvented. It adds 
an effervescent effect that gives depth to the overall design. Because of 
these meticulous procedures, the garment took almost five months to 
complete. The final result is an extremely refined kimono, at once 
traditional and contemporary. 



78 




ASIAN ART 



79 



40^ 



N,^- 







^-^J^iiL^'/^^ „. -^ 



/ 



.K. 



^''^S^^■ 







m 

c 




EUROPEAN ART 




I 



82 



Red-Figure Neck-Amphora with Libation of Triptolemos 

Attributed to the Hector Painter 

Greece, Attica, c. 440-430 B.C. 

Ceramic 

H. 19V4 in. (49 cm); diam. lOVg in. (25.8 cm) 

William Randolph Hearst Collection 
50.8.23 

THE FINEST GREEK VASES were produced in tine fifth century B.C., when 
this amphora was made, and can be attributed to a variety of artists. 
Based on the style of draftsmanship, this vase is one of approximately a 
dozen works attributed to the Hector Painter. The designation derives from 
the artist's identifying piece, or "name vase," depicting the departure of 
Hector, the legendary son of King Priam of Troy which is now in the 
collection of the Vatican. Originally designed to serve as a wine container or 
decanter, the amphora is painted in the red-figure style, which was adopted 
around 530 b.c, and rapidly superseded the black-figure style. 

According to myth, the goddess Demeter chose the demigod 
Triptolemos to travel the world and teach the Greeks the skills of 
agriculture. Briefly represented on Attic vases as a man seated on a cart, 
Triptolemos was depicted by 440 b.c. as a heroic youth riding in a heavenly 
chariot, serving as a symbol of the civility of the Athenian world. This vase 
shows Triptolemos receiving a libation from Persephone, daughter of 
Demeter, who lowers her long torch in a gesture of homage and pours 
wine from a spouted vessel into his phiale (shallow drinking bowl). Demeter 
stands behind him, bearing a sheaf of wheat and wearing a polos on her 
head, symbols of fecundity On the reverse side of the amphora, a woman 
(possibly a priestess) extends a phiale to two youths, perhaps a worldly 
enactment of the mythological scene. 

EUROPEAN ART 83 



ANCIENT EGYPT 



In addition to works of art that fall neatly witlnin the broad cate- 
gories of this book — Asian, European, Latin American, American, 
and Modern and Contemporary art — LACMA possesses signif- 
icant holdings from the continent of Africa. These include works 
from the ancient civilization of Egypt, Islamic centers, and the 
more recent traditional cultures of the sub-Saharan regions of 

the continent. Two objects from the 
Egyptian collection are described here, 
complementing the Classical works of 
art in this section. 

Round-Topped Stela of luf-er-bak 
depicts an Eighteenth Dynasty Egyptian 
noble and members of his family 
participating in a funerary banquet. 
More banqueters appear in the register 
below. The figures, rendered in delicate, 
shallow relief, are shown in the com- 
posite perspective favored by ancient 
Egyptian artists. In this method, figures 
are represented through a combination 
of frontal and profile views. Although 
well aware of more sophisticated 
drawing techniques, Egyptian artists 
believed that simultaneously displaying 
Round-Topped stela of luf-er-bak. multiple points of view provided the most complete and definitive 

gypt, mi - t ynasty, c. - record of the subject. Here, the eyes are shown frontally, defined 

1353 B.C., limestone, 26^/4 x 17 V4 in. 

(67.9 X 43.8 cm), purchased with funds by beautifully preserved can/ed double lines and pigment 
provi e y 1 erg, indicating the pupils. Originally, the entire surface was painted, 

and traces of pigment are still visible in the wigs and hieroglyphic 
texts. The stela, which was placed within a tomb as a permanent 
monument and a request for perpetual offerings, reminded 
visitors of the achievements of the tomb owner. 





84 



Ibis Processional Standard, Egypt, Late 
period, 26th Dynasty, 664-525 B.C., 
bronze, 15 x 11 V4 x % in. (38.1 x 
28.6 x 1 .6 cm). Art Museum Council 
Fund, M.91.73 




Another artistic strategy informed the creation of the bronze 
Ibis Processional Standard, a depiction of Thoth, the Egyptian 
god of intelligence and writing. This object was carried by priests 
during ceremonial processions as the emblem, or standard, of a 
specific geographic region. Following the unification of Upper and 
Lower Egypt around 3000 B.C., the country was divided into forty- 
two administrative districts (nomes), each signified by regional 
deities and their insignia. The ibis sensed as the standard for an 
eastern Delta nome surrounding the town of Hermopolis, which 
was the main cult center of Thoth. The artist chose to represent 
the three-dimensional figure of the ibis by this flattened form, 
opting for a strong graphic image, thus enhancing the object's 
legibility as a processional standard. Nome standards are shown 
on a wide range of Egyptian objects. They first appear on pre- 

dynastic stone palettes and are later 
found on royal statuary and in religious 
scenes from tombs and temples. The 
sureness of its outline, the subtle con- 
touring of its body and the exquisite 
attention to detail mark the Ibis 
Processional Standard as the work 
of a highly accomplished artist. 



EUROPEAN ART 



85 



Beaker with a Theatrical Scene 

Roman Empire, probably Egypt or 
Syria-Palestine, 50-100 
Free-blown, painted, and gilt glass 
H. 5% in. (14.3 cm); rim diam. 3V2 in. 
(8.9 cm) 

Gift of Hans Cohn 
M. 87. 113 

THIS RARE PAINTED GLASS VESSEL is the 
only known example of a theatrical scene 
depicted in classical art. Four actors from a 
play of the Attic New Comedy — a man and 
a woman, apparently in a drunken state, 
accompanied by a slave and a servant boy — 
look expectantly at a closed door. The 
fragmentary inscription may have originally 
included about 150 Greek letters. It appears 
to refer to a scene involving drinking and erotic 
adventures. Although the specific play or sketch is unknown, the subject 
is comparable to other Roman burlesques that imitate or borrow themes 
commonly found in Greek comedic theater. It has been suggested that a 
scene from Meander's lost comedies might have served as inspiration. 

Blown from an almost colorless, transparent glass, the flat-based beaker 
has since weathered to a cloudy transparency. Restorations include about 
one-fifth of the vessel, including the base, nearly all of the rim, and portions 
of the body. A group of Roman painted vessels, believed to be of Egyptian 
manufacture, were found in the cache of a local chieftain at Begram in 
Afghanistan. Painted glass was also produced in Syria-Palestine, which 
must be considered as a second likely source. 




86 



The Hope Athena 

Roman Empire, Ostia, 100-200, after a Greek original 

of the late 5th century b.c, school of Pheidias 

Marble 

H. 86 in. (218.4 cm) 

William Randolph Hearst Collection, formerly Hope Collection 
51.18.12 




THIS FIGURE OF ATHENA WAS EXCAVATED in Ostia, the port of Rome, in 
1797, along with the museum's statue of Hygieia, goddess of health. Both 
once stood in large niches in the walls of a palace constructed during the 
Antonine period (138-161). Their size and commanding presence also 

indicate that they were intended to be viewed within an 
impressive architectural setting. 

The sculptures were acquired by Thomas Hope 
(1769-1831), British architect, designer, and collector of 
antiquities, who saw in the Athena the reflection of the 
great chryselephantine (gold and ivory) cult statue made 
for the Parthenon by Pheidias, the renowned fifth- 
century Greek sculptor. The Athena is possibly the work 
of one of Pheidias's students. This later Athena — the so- 
called Hope-Farnese type after the Hope statue and the 
other fairly complete replica in Naples — is reproduced in 
many Roman copies and is considered to be one of the 
most beautiful representations of the goddess. 

This Athena originally held a spear in her left hand, 
and in her right, a Nike, the winged personification of 
victory. Extensive restorations, ordered by Thomas 
Hope after his acquisition of the work in 1804, included 
replacement of the Athena's missing arms and 
emblems. These additions were removed in the 1 920s, 
and during the past decade, conservation treatments 
have attempted to return the Athena to the condition 
as excavated. 



EUROPEAN ART 



87 




stained Glass Panel with Angel 

The Protais Master of Sees 

(France, active in Normandy, 

c. 1260-85) 

Made in Lower Normandy, France, 

c. 1270-85 

Glass and metal 

Diam. 32 in. (81.3 cm) 

William Randolph Hearst Collection 
45.21.12a 

PRODUCED AT THE ZENITH 
of stained glass-making in France, this 
panel shows the brilliant coloring and expressive design characteristic of 
the famous glass at the cathedrals of Chartres and Le Mans. An angel is 
dramatically posed within the confines of the trefoil format. Its vigorous 
sense of movement is conveyed through the swooping action and the 
erratic line of the censer chain, while its powerful image is enhanced by the 
highly saturated coloring of the glass. 

Along with its companion panel at the museum, this angel was originally 
set into stone trefoil-shaped tracery high up in the central window of the 
axial chapel of Sees Cathedral, Normandy. Both panels flanked the main 
quatrefoil window showing the Virgin and Child enthroned. Following the 
restoration of the cathedral in the late nineteenth century, each of the panels 
was converted into a circular format by adding spandrels of grisaille glass. 



Rosso Fiorentino [Giovanni Battista di Jacopo] 

(Italy, Florence, 1494-1540) 

Virgin and Cliild with Saints Joiin the Baptist and 

Elizabeth and Two Angeis, c. 1521 

Oil on panel 

631/2x47 in. (161.3x 119.4 cm) 

Gift of Dr. and Mrs. Herbert T. Kalmus 
54.6 



88 



THIS IS ONE OF A HANDFUL of paintings by Rosso in American 
collections. A puzzling connposition, only its attribution has not been put to 
question (although the painting was years ago attributed to Michelangelo). 
The picture can be understood only as a large-scale sketch or ebauche 
that is missing crucial elements. The exaggerated features of the figures 
(which could have been made less disturbing had Rosso completed the 
painting) prevented some critics from recognizing in them the traditional 
protagonists of an often-represented grouping of saints around the figures 
of Man/ and the Christ child. 

Rosso may have been aware of a composition of the same subject by 
Andrea del Sarto (before 1516, Louvre), from which he appears to have 
derived both his own composition and individual characteristics for his 
figures. The panel belongs to an early phase of his career, when he and 
other artists were formulating the unconventional style derived from 
Michelangelo known as Mannerism. 




EUROPEAN ART 



89 






MAIOLICA 



Renaissance art includes a wide range of decorative arts, 
including stained glass, Limoges enamels, Palissyware, silver, 
kunstkammer works of art, and maiolica (tin-glazed earthenware), 
which constitutes the most significant part of the museum's 
collection. Produced in Italy since the twelfth century, maiolica 
was raised to a significant art form during the Renaissance. The 
museum is particularly rich in the lustered dishes from Deruta 
dating from around 1 500 to 1 520, wares that are boldly painted 
with large patterned borders and with scenes, 

armorials, and mottoes or initials relating to the 
original owner. Most of these pieces are 
large dishes known as piatti di pompa, 
which were originally intended for 
display on the wall. Indeed, 
decoration rather than function 



Plate from the Pucci Service with 
Palinurus Falling Overboard, Francesco 
Xante Avelli da Rovigo (Italy, Urbino, 
active 1 528-45), made in Urbino, 
1532, tin-glazed earthenware, 
diann. 11 % in. (28.9 cm), 
William Randolph Hearst Collection, 
50.9.28 



seems to be the intention for most 
of these maiolica tablewares, and 
this is also true of the other main 
part of the collection, the istoriato, or 
narrative, wares from Urbino. Again 
mostly dishes, these pictorial wares 
represent a high point in Italian Renaissance 
ceramic art. The artists employed a brilliant palette of 
colors, skillfully painting rim to rim with scenes taken from 
classical mythology, modern popular legends, and the Bible. 
These istoriato wares often include the signature of their painters, 
and the museum has several fine examples by Francesco Xanto 
Avelli da Rovigo, one of the foremost artists working in Urbino. 



i<j^ji 



■•t^^v 



' iTfy V 



90 




Dish with a Young Woman, made in 
Deruta, c. 1500-1530, tin-glazed 
earthenware, diatn. 16 V4 in. (41.3 cm), 
William Randolph Hearst Collection, 
50.9.8 





Dish with Scene from Ariosto 's "Orlando 
Furioso, " Francesco Xanto Avelli da 
Rovigo (Italy, Urbino, active 1528-45), 
made in Urbino, 1531, tin-glazed 
earthenware, diam. 17 3/4 in. (45.1 cm), 
William Randolph Hearst Collection, 
49.26.3 



i 



EUROPEAN ART 



91 



Dalmatic 

Holland, c. 1570 

Colored wools and silk in interlocking tapestry weave 

Cb. 43V4in. (109.9 cm) 

Gift of Mrs. Ellie Stern, Bullocks Wilshire, the Costume Council, and Mrs. Madeline B. Nelson 
M. 79. 117 




THIS DALMATIC IS PART OF A RARE connplete set of ecclesiastical 
vestments surviving the troubled period of the Reformation in sixteenth- 
century Holland. The set can be dated to 1570 from an inscription woven 
in the banderoles on one of its companion pieces at the Metropolitan 
Museum of Art. The motto translates: "We are bent, not broken by the 
waves," a particularly appropriate sentiment for Dutch Catholics. From the 
1 560s they had endured Protestant hostility against the Church and its 
clergy a situation that prevailed in Utrecht until 1 580, when Roman 
Catholic public worship was suppressed. 

The dalmatic bears the coats of arms of the van der Geer and van 



92 



Culenborch families of Utrecht, indicating that the set was probably 
commissioned for use in a private chapel, a timely decision in light of 
events. The biblical imagery is also fitting; the bull rushes rising above the 
waves allude both to the inscription and to Moses, who led the Israelites 
out of their bondage in Egypt. 

The message of salvation has been interpreted with virtuosity. The 
dalmatic is woven in colored wools in a flat tapestry weave, a technique 
used extensively in the Low Countries but usually for large "picture" 
tapestry wall hangings. Combining this technique with embroidery, the 
weaver has created an illusion of pile velvet on the richly textured surface. 




One of a Pair of Tazzas 

Jean Delahaye (France, active 1579-1611) and 

Nicolas de Villiers II (France, active 1582-1613) 

Made in Paris, 1 583-84 and later 

Silver gilt 

Diam. 11 1/2 in. (29.2 cm) 

Gift of Selim K. Zilkha 
M.91 .347.2 

PARISIAN SILVER OF THE SIXTEENTH CENTURY is extremely uncommon, 
most having been lost due to wars and changes in fashion. The only other 
known examples made by Jean Delahaye and Nicolas de Villiers II are in 
the Vatican collection. This highly decorated silver was intended for display 



EUROPEAN ART 



93 



on the sideboard or buffet on grand ceremonial occasions rather than for 
use and was probably part of a larger service. 

This tazza from the museum's pair is chased with a scene after 
engravings by Philips Galle (1537-1612), which in turn were derived from 
hunting tapestries designed by Jan van der Straet (1523-1605) for the 
Medici in Florence in the 1 560s. The scene is emblematic of one of the four 
major continents, suggesting that the museum's tazzas were originally part 
of a set of four. On this example, Europe is represented by a game hunt in 
a forest landscape. It is likely that this pair survived because it was 
exported in the mid-seventeenth century to England, where silver tended to 
be handed down in family collections rather than being refashioned 
according to the prevailing style. 



Ugo da Carpi (Italy, active in Venice, Rome, and Bologna, 

active c. 1502-32) 

Diogenes (after Parmigianino), c. 1527 

Chiaroscuro woodcut from 4 blocks 

19Vi6 X 1311/15 in. (48.4 x 34.8 cm) 

Gift of Philippa Calnan in memory of her mother iVlatilda Looser Calnan 
M. 2001. 176 

UGO DA CARPI'S DIOGENES is the artist's masterpiece, a tour de force of 
the medium of chiaroscuro woodcut, a form of printing that uses multiple 
wood blocks to create the effect of a wash drawing. Diogenes is based on 
a drawing provided by Ugo's contemporary Francesco Parmigianino, 
whose name appears along with Ugo's on the book in the lower left 
corner — clear testament of the work's collaborative nature. Ugo's use of 
broad areas of color and subtly defined tones reflects his direct experience 
of Raphael and his workshop in Rome after Ugo moved there in 1517. The 
figure of Diogenes, with its bold foreshortening and complex pose, reveals 
the unmistakable influence of Michelangelo's Sistine Chapel frescoes. 

The museum's impression of the print is an early one made from four 
blocks: a key block in black ink, defining the image's outlines, and three 
tone blocks in different shades of green. Ugo claimed to have invented the 
technique of chiaroscuro woodcut, although this was a false boast; he was, 



94 



however, the first to sign his blocks and among the first to copyright his 
designs. There are only fourteen docunnented prints by the artist, although 
many others have been attributed to him. 

The ancient Greek philosopher Diogenes taught that the virtuous life is 
the simple life. He discarded conventional comforts and chose to live in a 
barrel (visible in the background of Ugo's print). The plucked chicken is a 
reference to Aristotle's description of man as a "featherless biped." 




EUROPEAN ART 



95 



Rembrandt Harmensz van Rijn (Holland, 1606-1669) 

The Raising of Lazarus, c. 1630 

Oil on panel 

37 15/^6 X 32 in. (96.4 x 81 .3 cm) 

Gift of H. F. Ahmanson and Company in mennory of Howard F. Ahmanson 
M. 72.67, 2 




96 



THE RAISING OF LAZARUS BELONGS to Rembrandt's early years in 
Leiden, his native city, where he set up a studio after having briefly studied in 
Amsterdann under Pieter Lastman. The strong contrasts of dark and light 
areas and the expressiveness of the composition can certainly be attributed 
to the distant influence of Caravaggio, made available to Rembrandt through 
the works of the Utrecht painters who had brought back to Holland the 
innovations and spirit of the Italian master. Rembrandt, however, does not 
focus the strongest light on the biblical story's main protagonists, Christ and 
Lazarus, whom he keeps in half-shadows, but shines it instead on the face 
of Mary Magdalene, thus shifting the narrative to the witnesses of the scene 
and by extension to the viewers of the picture. 

Rembrandt often altered the character, if not the very essence, of biblical 
representations by introducing innovations whose strength lies in their 
subtlety For instance, he sets the story, usually represented in broad 
daylight, in a somber cave or catacomb. Likewise, he replaces the image of 
a triumphant and confident Christ with that of a miracle worker whose 
expression betrays amazement at his own deeds and power. It is not known 
for whom Rembrandt may have painted this work, which even so early in his 
career shows distinctive originality. 



Georges de La Tour (France, 1 593-1 652) 

The Magdalen with the Smoking Flame, c. 1638-40 

Oil on canvas 

46 Vi6 X 36 Vq in. (1 1 7 X 91 .8 cm) 

Gift of The Ahmanson Foundation 
M.77.73 

A NATIVE OF LORRAINE, a province with a significant school of painting, 
Georges de La Tour remains a mysterious, almost mythical, figure. He never 
left his native province, yet the sophistication of his paintings, which found 
favor with the most discerning collectors, is indisputable. Their stark 
compositions and realism, as well as the artist's representation of artificial 
sources of light, betray a link to Caravaggio that can be explained by La 
Tour's familiarity with the work of Jean Le Clerc, himself a follower of the 
Italian master. 

EUROPEAN ART 97 



La Tour painted the subject of the Magdalen on several occasions. Two 
paintings, respectively in New York and Washington, D.C., are particularly 
close in size and connposition to the museum's picture, yet the starkness 
and austere purity of the Los Angeles Magdalen is exceptional. La Tour's 
compositions achieve their power through a reduction of narrative effects. 
Here, while the objects — each one carefully detailed — situate the image in 
the broader context of a vanitas picture — a well-established genre at the 
time of the Counter- Reformation — the focus is in the meditative gaze of the 
Magdalen. Although La Tour set the impressive skull in the center of his 
composition, he elevates to the upper tier of the canvas his true subject: 
the glowing space around the smoking flame, symbolic in the words of 
Saint John of the Cross of "the living flame of love." 




98 




Michiel Sweerts (Flanders, 1618-1664, active in Italy) 

Plague in an Ancient City, c. 1 653(?) 

Oil on canvas 

463/4 X 67 V4 in. (1 1 8.7 x 1 70.8 cm) 

Gift of The Ahmanson Foundation 
AC1 997. 10.1 

MICHIEL SWEERTS, A FLEMISH ARTIST active in Rome, became known 
as a painter of genre scenes — a specialty among Northern painters in 
Italy — and of particularly arresting portraits. Nothing in his oeuvre, however, 
prefigured the scale and metaphysical depth of this painting, his undisputed 
masterpiece. Although a realistic description of illness and death, the 
painting is also an allegory of human fate and salvation. Death, decay, and 
sorrow occupy the fore- and middle ground of the composition. In the 
center of the picture, a standing man, sometimes identified as a 
philosopher, is flanked by a seminude female figure — perhaps an allegory. 
His gesture is relayed by an ancient priest on the steps of a temple, inviting 



EUROPEAN ART 



99 



the viewer to direct his or her attention to the shrine. The picture contrasts 
life and death, darkness and light, despair and redemption. 

Renaissance and Baroque artists who lived through plague epidemics 
were occasionally commissioned to paint commemorative pictures or ex- 
votos, drawing their inspiration from biblical stories or the writings of 
ancient historians. Sweerts's Plague appears to have been painted shortly 
after an epidemic that decimated Rome in 1648, yet the circumstances of 
its commission are not known today. 

Sweerts was a profoundly devout and somewhat tormented man who 
may have experienced a religious crisis around the time he painted this 
work. Shortly afterward he left Rome, eventually joining a group of French 
missionaries bound for the East, and died in unknown circumstances in 
Goa, India. It has been argued that this singular painting may have 
indicated a new, classical departure for Sweerts. It also illustrates how 
sensitive he was to the metaphysical currents of his time. 



Carlo Maratta (Italy, Rome, 1625-1713) 
Study for an Allegorical Figure of Africa, c. 1 674-77 
Red chalk on paper, laid down 
17 X 12% in. (43.2x31.4 cm) 

Purchased in memory of Lorser Feitelson with funds provided by the Graphic Arts Council, 

Dart Industries, Inc., and Ticor Corporations 

M.79.10 

CARLO MARATTA WAS ONE OF THE MOST ACTIVE and influential artists 
of seventeenth-century Italy, and one of the finest draftsmen of his age. 
In contrast to many of his Baroque contemporaries, his art was devoted 
to a classical clarity and simplicity that had originated two hundred years 
earlier with Raphael. 

In 1674 Maratta was commissioned to fresco the audience hall of the 
Palazzo Altieri, the Roman family home of Pope Clement X. The central 
section of the vault was devoted to An Allegory of Clemency (an allusion to 
the pope's name), and Maratta planned to fill the rest of the ceiling with 
allegorical personifications of Christian virtues and representations of the 



100 




four parts of the known world (Europe, America, Africa, and Asia). Only /An 
Allegory of Clemency was completed. The rest of Maratta's decorative 
scheme is known only through preparatory drawings, such as this bold and 
powerful red-chalk study. 

Somewhat whimsically, the allegorical figure of Africa wears an elephant's 
head as a helmet, while a lion, a crocodile, and a snake (all associated with 
the then barely explored continent) accompany her. Maratta's sense of humor 
extends to the putto kneeling in the foreground, who gestures in alarm at the 
approaching snake. The four continents were meant to be painted in the 
ceiling's spandrels, thus the drawing's unusual shape. 



EUROPEAN ART 



101 



FRENCH OIL SKETCHES 



Oil sketch is a generic term used to describe paintings, usually 
intimate in scale, that represent various moments of an artist's 
creative process. Some may be first thoughts for large 
compositions, wall-size paintings, or frescoes; others are 
fragmentary studies for details of larger works. Another category 



^^H 


^^^1 


H 


Hi 






^El 




o 


■H^HHj^ 


■k"' 




HP 


^^H|||i^^^%^BN^| 


m 


^j-^^d 




^. ,. - 


II 


^ 


^^^^^^^^^B^^SHi^ 


^id 




w 


1 

f 




B 


M 


^ 


^ 







Simon Vouet (France, 1590-1649), 
Model for Altarpiece in Saint Peter's, 
1625, oil on canvas, 16 x 24^4 in. 
(40.6 X 61 .6 cm), The Ciechanowiecki 
Collection, gift of The Ahmanson 
Foundation, M.2000. 179.2 




is landscape studies, executed from nature long before the 
Impressionists made this approach to painting a trademark. 
Unfinished paintings, or ebauches, are yet another variety of 
oil sketches. 

Although artists often painted studies for later compositions, 
oil studies were usually not intended for public display or private 
collection. Starting in the eighteenth century, however, partially 
under the influence of Flemish or Venetian artists who had 
achieved fame for handling paint with spirited freedom, artists 
devoted more attention to oil sketches, or in some cases, painted 
in a free manner that obliterated the artificial division between the 
styles of the study and of the finished work. Likewise, collectors 
began acquiring sketches, not only as documents, but also for 
their aesthetic quality 



102 




^0S^^^^. 



■•■-<: 



!^mmM::;i<hu^- 



>'PHc;.,':r-; ,K^:f 




•7mmm^ 



Baron Frangois Gerard (Italy, Rome, 
1770-1837, active in France), The 10th 
of August, 1792, 1794, oil on canvas, 
42 X 563/4 in. (106.7 x 144.1 cm). The 
Ciechanowiecki Collection, gift of The 
Ahmanson Foundation, M.2000. 179.36 



The museum's collection of oil sketclies includes works 
ranging from seventeenth-century artists Simon Vouet and 
Louis de La Hyre to the nineteenth century's Theodore 
Rousseau, Jean-Baptiste Carpeaux, and Felix Ziem, with a 
particularly impressive representation of Neoclassical artists, 
such as Baron Gerard, whose unfinished The 10th of August, 
1 792 is especially noteworthy 

Frangois Boucher (France, 1703-1770), 
Project for a Cartouche: An Allegory of 
Minerva, Fame, History, and Faith 
Overcoming Ignorance and Time, 
c. 1727, oil on canvas, 20'' 74 x 24 ■'/2 in. 
(51 .4 X 62.2 cm), purchased with funds 
provided anonymously in memory of 
Dr. Charles Henry Strub by exchange, 
ACI 998.1 48.1 




EUROPEAN ART 



103 



Bed Hanging with Pegasus and the Nine Muses 

Italy, c. 1700 

Silk and metallic thread embroidery on plain-weave silk ground 

134 1/2 X 131 in. (341 .6x332.7 cm) 

Purchased with funds provided by the Costume Council, Richard and Lenore Wayne, the Costume 
and Textiles Department, Inez K. Bell, Boyd and Helena Krout, Robinsons-May, Alice and Nahum 
Lainer, Jacqueline and Arthur Burdorf, Mr. and Mrs. William M. Carpenter, Eva R Ell<ins, Linda and 
Jim Freund, Nelly and Jim Kilroy, Maggie Pexton Murray, Tern/ and Dennis Stanfill, Mr. and Mrs. 
David Sydorick, Mrs. Carl W. Barrow, Genevieve W. and Marvin M. Chesebro, Dorothy Cutler, Mrs. 
Ernest M. Lever, and Mr. and Mrs. H. Grant Theis 
AC1998.248.1 

UNTIL THE END OF THE EIGHTEENTH CENTURY, beds were the most 
important piece of household furniture, and textiles were their most 
valuable component. In wealthy households, the main bedroom, which also 
served as a reception room, and its decorative program reflected the 
family's status. Possibly a wedding gift, the museum's hanging was part of 
an elaborate set of bed furnishings. 

References to the ideal aristocratic pursuits of poetry and the arts 
appear on the hanging. At the top, the winged horse Pegasus stnkes 
Mount Helicon, causing the Hippocrene spring of poetic inspiration to flow. 
Mount Helicon is the home of the nine Muses, who are arrayed around the 
hanging in individual landscapes. The figures are surrounded by an exotic 
and sometimes fanciful assortment of fountains, plants, animals, birds, and 
insects. Sources for these images included Renaissance interpretations of 
Roman domestic wall decoration and printed emblem books. Emblems, 
allegorical designs expressing an abstract thought in visual form, are 
closely related to poetry. Although the late sixteenth century marked the 
height of interest in emblems, they remained part of an aristocrat's 
education well into the eighteenth century. 

A masterpiece of the embroiderer's art, this hanging was the product of 
professional workshops. The delicate shading used to render flesh tones 
and the subtle handling of volume could be achieved only by a highly 
experienced needleworker. 



104 




EUROPEAN ART 



105 




Domenico Guidi (Italy, Rome, 1628-1701) 
Portrait of Pope Alexander VIII, 1 690 
Gilded terracotta on gilded wood socle 
36 V4 (including socle) x 32 ''/2 x 17V2 in. 
(92.1 X 82.6 X 44.5 cm) 

Purchased with funds provided by the William Randolph 

Hearst Foundation 

47.8.30 

THIS GRANDIOSE, GILDED TERRACOTTA 
portrait of Pope Alexander VIII (1 61 0-1 691 , 
elected pope in 1 689) was commissioned 
by his great-nephew, Cardinal Pietro 
Ottoboni, a brilliant patron of the arts. 
Domenico Guidi's artistry is displayed in the 
commanding turn of the pope's head; in the vigorous modeling of the 
details of the stole, which depict Saints Peter and Paul and the Ottoboni 
coat of arms; and in the energetic verve of the fur-lined edge of the cape 
{mozzetta), with its strong, syncopated curves and angles. 

Guidi's talent has only recently become better recognized. He was long 
overshadowed in art histon/ by the brilliance of Gianlorenzo Bernini, for 
whom he can/ed marble, and Alessandro Algardi, for whom he cast 
bronzes. Indeed, Guidi was one of the few sculptors in Rome who was 
capable of casting his own compositions in bronze without recourse to a 
foundry specialist. 



Benedetto Luti (Italy, Rome, 1 666-1 724) 

Head of an Apostle, 1712 

Pastel on paper 

161/8 x 13 in. (41 x 33 cm) 

Gift of the 1 996 Collectors Committee 
AC1996.29.1 



106 



BENEDETTO LUTI ABSORBED, while at the same time softened, the great 
Roman classical tradition in painting as exemplified by artists from Raphael 
to Carlo Maratta, Luti's immediate predecessor. He was also one of the 
great colorists of his age, a skill he put to admirable use in the many pastel 
and colored-chalk drawings for which he is justly famous. 

The masterful Head of an Apostle is from a set of twelve pastel 
drawings of the apostles. Which one of the twelve Luti intended is unclear 
because he omitted the traditional attributes associated with each 
(although, given the presence of an open book, it is certainly one of the 
four evangelists: Matthew, Mark, Luke, or John). These portraits are thus 
closer to character studies than they are to religious images. The museum's 
drawing is the most vigorous and dramatic of the group, notable especially 
for Luti's virtuoso handling of the chalks and for the extraordinary effect of 
soft and shimmering tactility in the rendering of the apostle's beard. 

Luti animated his subject by turning the apostle's head abruptly to the 
right, as if suddenly called away from the book open before him. Deep in 

thought, his faced bathed 
in (divine?) light, the apostle 
is granted a degree of 
psychological and physical 
intensity appropriate to the 
Lord's representative. 
The immediacy, fluency, 
and grace of Luti's pastels 
owe a debt to the 
sixteenth-century master 
Correggio, whose art 
enjoyed a great revival in 
the eighteenth century. 




EUROPEAN ART -JO? 




Jean-Antoine Watteau 

(France, 1684-1721) 
The Perfect Accord, 1719 
Oil on panel 
13x 11 in. (33x28 cm) 

Gift of The Ahmanson Foundation 
AC1999.18.1 

JEAN-ANTOINE WATTEAU invented 
and perfected the fete galante, a 
genre of compositions showing full- 
length figures, albeit in small scale, 
engaged in activities — conversation, 
music playing, promenading, 
mem/making — that can best be 
described as the pursuit of 
happiness. The genre flourished 
also in the works of his followers, 
Nicolas Lancret and Jean-Baptiste Pater. Watteau never explained the 
meaning of his compositions, which were given titles by others and are as 
seductive as their interpretations remain mysterious. The Perfect Accord is 
one such elusive masterpiece. An ugly old man plays a flute, accompany- 
ing a young and beautiful singer, while a third figure, seen from the back 
and garbed in a theatrical costume, plays the guitar. Behind them, a couple 
walks by. A statue of Pan on the right contributes to setting the bucolic and 
mildly erotic tone of the scene. 

Watteau prepared his compositions with numerous drawings (a study 
for the flute player is at the J. Paul Getty Museum) but did not attempt to 
ensure his works a lasting life. He reused panels, scraping off or roughly 
covering former compositions. This panel was originally part of a coach 
door on which Watteau had painted its owner's coat of arms. It was later 
returned to Watteau, who cut it in half and used one half to paint The Italian 
Serenade, now in Stockholm, and the other to paint first a composition 
with several figures (both the coat of arms and this composition are visible 
in X rays) and finally T77e Perfect Accord. 



108 



The Great Lamentation 

Originally modeled by Massimiliano Soldani-Benzi (Italy, Florence, 

1656-1740), c. 1715 

Made at the Ginori Porcelain Manufactory, Doccia, c. 1 745 

Porcelain 

26 1/2 X 25 X 23 V2 in. (67.3 x 63.5 x 59.7 cnn) 

Purchased with funds provided by Neal Castleman and Ellen Hoffman-Castleman by exchange, 
The Ahmanson Foundation, Antonio Mariani of Antonio's Antiques by exchange, Peter Norton, 
Bob Looker, Frank Baxter, Camilla Chandler Frost, Eli Broad, Lynda Resnick, the Iris and B. Gerald 
Cantor Foundation, Julian Ganz, Yvonne Lenart, Dan Belin in honor of Wally Weisnnan, Sandy Terner, 
John Hotchkis, Judith Gaillard Jones, Chris Walker, Mrs. James Porter Fiske by exchange, and 
Willard G. Clark 
M.2001.78a-b 

MASSIMILIANO SOLDANI-BENZI was one of the two greatest Florentine 
Baroque sculptors. When he was only twenty-two years old, he was sent 
by the Grand Duke Cosimo de'Medici to perfect his training in Rome and 
Paris. Soldani-Benzi was head of the Florentine mint for forty years and 
during that time designed a quantity of medals, decorative objects, 
freestanding sculptures, and reliefs. The Great Lamentation (also called 
Large Pieta to distinguish it from his less elaborate Pieta) was unparalleled 
in his oeuvre for its complexity and size. 

After Soldani-Benzi's death, his son sold his wax models to the 
Marchese Carlo Ginori, who had established a porcelain manufactory in 
1 737 at the town of Doccia, near Florence. Since the Renaissance, the 
princely courts of Europe had tried to reproduce the fine porcelain of China 
without true success until the manufactory at Meissen achieved its aims in 
1710. The manufactory at Vienna soon followed; it was probably Vienna 
that inspired Ginori to establish his. A true figure of the Enlightenment, 
Ginori was appointed ambassador by the Tuscan senate when control of 
Tuscany was transferred to the Habsburgs in Vienna. There he secured the 
services of the porcelain painter Karl Anreiter von Zirnfeld, who returned 
with him to Doccia. 

Spectacularly colored in the vivid palette preferred by Anreiter, Ttie 
Great Lannentation is a tour de force of porcelain sculpture. The Ginori 
manufactory produced only three porcelain examples of this ambitious 

EUROPEAN ART "109 



composition. The others are in the Corsini collection (Florence) and the 
Nationalmuseum (Stockholm). The museum's example, believed to be the 
one painted by Anreiter and taken back with him to Vienna when his 
contract with Ginori expired, was purchased from the Hispanic Society. 




110 




EUROPEAN ART 



111 



POLYCHROMED SCULPTURE 




The museum's renowned collection of sculptures 
that are painted, or polychromed, heightens the 
visitor's senses to the interaction of form and 
color. The museum's polychromed sculptures 
range from the austere Deposition from the 
Cross (circle of Daniel Mauch, c. 1515) to the 
fanciful but dramatic Saint IVIichael Casting 
Satan into l-iell (c. 1725), whose subject comes 
from the Book of Revelation (12:7-10). The 
archangel Michael battles the "dragon," Satan, 
and casts him out of heaven. In the museum's 
sculpture. Saint Michael's triumphant, delicate 
beauty contrasts with Satan's ferocity. The 
wonderful patterns and colors of Saint Michael's 
wings and costume are enhanced by the ruby- 
colored glass in his sandals and armor; both 
figures have glass eyes. 

The grand and gracefully proportioned 
Archangel Raphael (c. 1 600), nearly six feet tall, 
was once accompanied by a small figure of Tobias, lost before 
the sculpture was purchased by the museum. The subject. 



Circle of Domenico Antonio Vaccaro 
(Italy, Naples, 1680-1750), Saint 
Michael Casting Satan into i-lell, 

c. 1725, polychromed wood with glass, therefore, has also been interpreted as the Guardian Angel 

51 1/2x27 V4X 243/4 in. (130.8 X 
69.2 X 62.9 cm), gift of The Ahmanson 
Foundation, M.82.7 



(Raphael's guise when he accompanies Tobias on his journeys). 
Either interpretation lends support to its attribution to the 
Neapolitan school because Raphael was one of the patron saints 
of Naples. Much of the figure was polychromed in the painstaking 
technique sgraffito [estofado in Spanish), in which most of the 
sculpture was covered in gold leaf and then painted. The artist 
incised the painted layer with a stylus, creating patterns in the 
brilliant metal revealed underneath. 

The cruciform designs in the archangel's armor are more 
disciplined than those In the museum's Spanish sculptures of 



112 




Archangel Raphael (Italy, Naples, 
c. 1600), polychromed and gilded 
wood, h. 70 in. (177.8 cm), gift of 
Anna Bing Arnold, M.77.52 

Plata (Spain, Seville or Cordoba?, 
c. 1725), polychromed plaster, 
macerated linen fibers, gesso- or glue- 
soaked fabric, wood, glass, and other 
materials, 45V4 x 44I/2 x 33 in. (1 15 x 
1 13 X 84 cm), purchased with funds 
provided by Eugene V. Klein and Mary 
Jones Gaston in memory of her 
parents, Mr. and Mrs. Charles Stone 
Jones, by exchange, M.2000.12 



Saint Mark (attributed to Alonso Berruguete, c. 1560) 
and the Pieta (unknown artist, c. 1725), in which the 
patterns are more freely sketched. The Pieta is 
especially remarkable because it was made almost 
entirely of cloth — either in the form of macerated linen 
fibers, rigidified yardage {tela encolada), or possibly a 
real dress (for the Virgin Many), which was gilded and 
then colored with a transparent red glaze. Mary's 
head and hands are plaster, and her eyes are glass. 

The lightness of cloth sculptures made them 
especially popular for religious processions in Spain. 
These sculptures were frequently commissioned by 
penitential or charitable confraternities. Some were 
given to churches, but others were discarded 
because they were considered to be nothing more 
than ephemeral decorations. This Pieta is the only 
one of its kind in an American museum. 




EUROPEAN ART 



113 



Candlesticks with Apollo and Daphne 

Designed by George Michael Moser (Switzerland, 1706-1783, active in 

England) 

Made in London, c. 1745 

Gilt bronze 

1 4 V4 X 7 X 7 in. (36.2 x 1 7.8 x 1 7.8 cm) each 

Decorative Arts Council Fund in fionor of Sondra Ott 
M.2001.20.1a-b,2a-b 



THESE ROCOCO-SP/LE 
candlesticks are among the earliest- 
known examples of ormolu (gilt 
bronze) made in England. First 
developed in Paris during the late 
seventeenth century, ormolu was 
intended for lighting, furniture mounts, 
and clocks in the luxury interior. In 
England, however, the use of ormolu 
was relatively unknown until the 1 760s 
and then only among a small circle of 
artists and patrons. The Rococo, 
which originated in Paris during the 
1720s, was characterized by delicate 
sculptural forms of rock, shell, and 
scrollwork, and a tendency toward asymmetry. George Michael Moser 
probably mastered this latest fashion during his training in Geneva and 
Paris. When he settled in London he worked as a chaser of gold 
watchcases and snuffboxes in the Rococo style. 

Moser's design shows the moment from Ovid's Metamorphoses when 
Daphne transforms into a laurel tree to escape the amorous clutches of the 
love-struck Apollo. The figure of Daphne is closely related to a design for a 
candlestick by Gilles-Marie Oppenord (1672-1742) of the 1730s, but 
Moser must have derived the Rococo scroll- and shellwork and twisting 
asymmetrical forms from the engraved work of the goldsmith and architect 
Juste-Aurele Meissonnier (1695-1750). 




114 




Frangois Boucher (France, 1703-1770) 
Bacchus and Ariadne, 1 747-66 
Tapestry-woven wool and silk 
141 X 216 in. (358.1 x 548.6 cm) 

Gift of J. Paul Getty 
52.32 

BACCHUS, THE GOD OF WINE, lias just arrived on the island of Naxos, 
where he finds Ariadne, the daughter of the king of Crete, lying on the 
shore. She is lamenting that her lover, Theseus, abandoned her while she 
slept. In Frangois Boucher's depiction of the story, Bacchus is seen rushing 
up to offer comfort to the stricken young woman. 

Once part of a suite of tapestries depicting nine scenes from Loves of 
the Gods, the museum's tapestn/ was woven at the Royal Beauvais 
Manufactory, founded in 1664. In 1736 Boucher was invited to produce 
drawings for tapestries; from then until his death in 1770, Beauvais 
produced tapestries almost exclusively from drawings by the artist — a 
collaboration that bolstered the fortunes of Beauvais and the success of 
the Rococo interior. 

The suite. Loves of the Gods, and this particular scene from it were 
woven at Beauvais many times between 1 747 and 1 766 as both royal and 



EUROPEAN ART 



115 




private commissions. Since all the royal commands of tlie series are 
accounted for, the museum's tapestry must be from a private commission. 
The master craftsmen of Beauvais admirably captured Boucher's famous 
luminous flesh tones. Years of accumulated dirt, however, had almost 
completely obscured this aspect of the tapestry. In 1996 Bacchus and 
Ariadne was sent to England for consen/ation. There it was washed and 
lined for support. The tapestry was renewed and Boucher's genius became 
visible again. 



i 







^-s?^ 



Giovanni Battista Tiepolo 

(Italy, Venice, 1696-1770) 
A Fallen Angel, c. 1 752 
Red and white chalk on 
faded blue paper 
IOV2X 12V4 in. 

(26.7x31.1 cm) 

Gift of the Graphic Arts Council 
in honor of Ebria Feinblatt 
M.84.21 

A FALLEN ANGEL is a study 
for one of the figures in 
Giovanni Battista Tiepolo's 



altarpiece of 1752, The Fall of the Rebel Angels, made for the chapel of 
the Prince-Bishop's residence at Wurzburg, Germany, where the artist 
and his studio (including his son Giovanni Domenico) created one of the 
most splendid decorative ensembles in European art. Boldly modeled 
and brilliantly lit, the figure's elongated torso (characteristic of Tiepolo's 
approach to anatomy) is defined by the dramatic contrast of shadow 
(expressed by the deftly applied red chalk) and light (suggested by a 
few masterful strokes of white chalk). The blue of the paper, now 
somewhat faded, is used as a halftone mediating between light and 
dark, while the figure's contour is rendered with a form-defining line, both 
agitated and nimble. A Fallen Angel exemplifies Tiepolo's draftsmanship 
at its highest level. 



116 



Tiepolo used his drawings, hundreds of which survive, as essential aids 
in the production of his oil paintings and especially for the dozens of 
frescoes he executed in his native Venice, throughout northern Italy, and in 
Germany. At the same time, many of his drawings were conceived 
independently of painting projects. His work is renowned for its extreme 
Rococo elegance, the brilliance and luminosity of its color, and its daring 
and dazzling spatial effects. 



John Deare (England, 1759/60-1798, active in Italy) 

The Judgment of Jupiter, 1 786-c. 1 790 

Marble 

58 V4 X 1 1 7 V4 X approx. 1 in. (1 48 x 297.8 x 25.4 cm) 

Gift of Anna Bing Arnold 
M. 79.37 

THIS IS THE MOST IMPORTANT Neoclassical relief in the United States, 
carved by a virtuoso sculptor whose life ended in less than forty years. 
John Deare was the youngest to win the Royal Academy's Gold Medal 
(1780, in sculpture); in 1785 he was awarded a stipend to go to Rome. 
There he immersed himself in the study of classical antiquities and 
sharpened his skill as a draftsman. The Judgment of Jupiter was carved 
in Rome. Deare died there, never returning to England. 




EUROPEAN ART 



117 



The relief depicts an episode that lay at the origin of the Iliad. The 
goddess of Discord was excluded from the wedding of Peleus and Thetis. 
She threw a gold apple inscribed "to the fairest" among the guests, 
sparking a competition among the goddesses Venus, Athena, and Diana 
that ultimately led to the Trojan War. Here, Jupiter points to his messenger, 
Mercury, who flies overhead; he will deliver the apple to a shepherd named 
Paris, chosen by Jupiter to decide the contest in his stead. 

The composition is set up in varying rhythms: the central section 
shows Jupiter facing the competing goddesses, with Mercury flying 
overhead; they are flanked on the left by Thetis and Peleus and on the right 
by departing warriors. The marble is chiseled so that the relief varies from 
near-freestanding figures to almost complete flatness, as though engraved 
like an antique cameo. Several figures were directly inspired by ancient 
Roman statues. In all, this masterpiece embodies the cold purity, beauty, 
and perfection that are the quintessential characteristics of Neoclassical art. 




Jean-Auguste-Dominique Ingres 

(France, 1 780-1 867) 

Portrait of Thomas Church, 1816 

Graphite on paper 

715/^6 X 6 V4 in. (20.2 x 15.9 cm) 

Purchased with funds provided by the Loula D. Lasker Bequest 

and Museum Associates Acquisition Fund 

M.67.62 

THOMAS CHURCH (1758-1821) was a fifty-eight- 
year-old English surgeon visiting Rome on the Grand 
Tour when Jean-Auguste-Dominique Ingres drew his 
portrait. The artist, who had been studying and 
working in Rome since 1806, supported himself at the time by making 
portrait drawings of foreign sitters. In Portrait of Thomas Church, Ingres 
used a finely sharpened pencil to capture the sitter's face and personality, 
while broader and more loosely applied strokes were used for the rest of 
the figure. The contrast between the highly finished head and the more 
impressionistically rendered torso is characteristic of the artist's style, and it 



118 



provides a tension between tine apparent spontaneity of a frozen moment 
and the timelessness expressed by Church's impassive face. 

The essence of art resided in draftsmanship, according to Ingres, who 
worshiped Raphael and considered himself heir to the classical tradition. 
The sureness of his touch, his free and sinuous yet exacting line (capable of 
suggesting the sheen of silk or the roughness of wool), make his portrait 
drawings among the most sublime expressions of the power of linear 
definition. Portrait of Thomas Church was produced at the height of 
Ingres's powers and is one of his finest and freshest character studies. 
Ingres also drew a pendant portrait of Church's younger brother, Joseph, 
now in the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts. 




Toilet Mirror 

Designed by Philip Webb 

(England, 1831-1915) and 

(side and door panels) by 

Edward Burne-Jones 

(England, 1833-1898) 

Made by Morris, Marshall, Faulkner 

and Co., London, 1862 

Walnut, gesso, paint, gilding, glass, 

and brass 

33x29x81/4 in. 

(83.8 X 73.7 X 21 cm) 

Purchased with funds provided by IVlr. and Mrs. 
Russell McKinnon, William Randolph Hearst 
Collection, Walter Stein, J. Paul Getty, Mr. and 
Mrs. Danny Kaye, Anna Popper, Colonel and 
Mrs. George J. Denis, Mr. and Mrs. Arthur 
Hornblower, Jr., and Man/ B. Reagan Bequest 
M. 2001. 19.1 



THE BRITISH ARTS AND CRAFTS movement extolled handmade, 
vernacular-inspired furnishings over industrial, classically derived ones. Of 
all the movement's protagonists, William Morris (1 834-1 896) had the most 



EUROPEAN ART 



119 



far-reaching influence. In 1861 he established the firm of Morris, Marshall, 
Faulkner and Company to protest and provide an alternative to the 
manufacture of "soulless" factory goods. (The firm was reorganized as 
Morris and Company in 1875.) This toilet mirror is an early product of the 
firm, whose goals included raising the status of the decorative arts to equal 
that of fine arts and architecture. Among the firm's associates was the Pre- 
Raphaelite painter Edward Burne-Jones, who designed the figures on the 
mirror, and the architect Philip Webb, who conceived its form. 

Webb designed this piece in the first year of the firm's existence for his 
friend Warington Taylor, who became the company's business manager in 
1865. Like other supporters of the Arts and Crafts movement, Taylor 
embraced traditional English arts, which were considered purer and more 
"moral" than imported styles. In accordance with these principles, Webb 
designed the mirror in a startlingly simple form, influenced by English 
vernacular furniture. And while the highly decorated figures would seem in 
opposition to the form, they are not, since they are in the Gothic style 
favored by early Arts and Crafts reformers. 



Edgar Degas (France, 1834-1917) 
Giovanna and Giuliana Bellelli, 1 865-66 
Oil on canvas 
36 V4 X 283/4 in. (92.1 x 73 cm) 

Mr. and Mrs. George Gard De Sylva Collection 
M. 46.3.3 

THE SITTERS, GIOVANNA AND GIULIANA BELLELLI, were Degas's 
cousins, the daughters of his aunt Laura Bellelli and her husband, Gennaro 
Bellelli. Degas visited his relatives in Florence on several occasions, most 
importantly in 1858 and 1859, at which time he conceived the large portrait 
of the family now at the Musee d'Orsay, Paris. Numerous studies and 
independent portraits relate to the large composition. Like the famous 
Bellelli family portrait, the museum's portrait conveys the physical, and by 
implication, psychological distance between the sitters. 

It is possible that working in Paris on this double portrait of relatives in 
Italy, Degas relied not only on sketches but also on photographs, as 



120 




suggested by a drawing for the composition in the Museum Boijmans Van 
Beuningen, Rotterdam. In it, the careful delineation of the figures — so 
different from Degas's spirited draftsmanship — may indeed betray the 
painter's attention to a photographic model. If that was the case, the 
daguerreotype would have been for Degas but an aide-memoire: His 
painting eschews the stiffness and trite presentation of contemporary 
studio photography. 

The painting's degree of completion has also been the subject of some 
speculation. Although it is often dated 1862-64, recent scholarship has 
convincingly argued that its proper date is 1865-66. By then. Degas could 
certainly have adopted a more cursive style, leaving areas of his com- 
positions almost unfinished. 



EUROPEAN ART 



121 



Adolph Menzel (Germany, 1815-1905) 

Studies for "The Broken Jug" by Heinrich von Kleist, 1 876 

Graphite on paper 

93/4 X 147/3 in. (24.8 X 37.8 cm) 

Gift of the 2001 Collectors Committee 
M, 2001, 61.1 



ADOLPH MENZEL WAS THE MOST PROMINENT artist in Germany from 
the 1850s until his death in 1905 and ranks with Edgar Degas as one of 
the greatest draftsmen of the nineteenth century. Painter, illustrator, teacher, 
and tireless chronicler of life in Berlin, Menzel led the way both to Realism 
and to Impressionism. His motto was "not a day without drawing," and he 
followed his advice with unflagging diligence, producing more than ten 
thousand drawings. 

Studies for "Tine Brol<en Jug" is a preparatory drawing for one of 
Menzel's engraved illustrations commissioned for an anniversary edition of 
Heinrich von Kleist's comic play Ttie Brol<en Jug (1808). A landmark of 
German Romantic theater, the play is set in an early-eighteenth-century 
Dutch village where the central character. Judge Adam, finds himself 
presiding over a case in which he is himself the culprit. In the opening 
scene, Adam examines in a mirror the head wound he received the 
previous night while attempting to seduce the village girl Eve. At the same 
time he nurses his leg, injured while leaping from Eve's window. In the 



122 




upper right corner, Menzel inserted a masterfully rendered close-up view 
of this leg. 

With virtuoso control of his preferred drawing instrument — the 
carpenter's pencil — the artist articulated the outlines of his figures with the 
pencil's sharp point, while with its flat side he evoked the fall of fabric over 
solid form through broad parallel strokes. An ambidextrous draftsman, 
Menzel executed Studies for "The Broken Jug" with his left hand. 




Paul Cezanne (France, 1839-1906) 

Forest, c. 1 894 

Oil on canvas 

453/4x32 in. (11 6.2x81 .3 cm) 

Wallis Foundation Fund in memory of Hal B. Wallis 
AC1992. 161.1 



EUROPEAN ART 



123 



FOREST IS AN EXUBERANT CANVAS in which Paul Cezanne abandons 
his usual restraint, economy of nneans, and strict sense of composition 
in favor of jubilant colors and improvisation. The red tones of the earth, 
luminous patches of blue sky, and luxuriant vegetation indicate the painting 
was executed in the artist's native Provence, which Cezanne evokes 
with accuracy. 

In this painting Cezanne develops a motif familiar in his work since the 
1870s: the depiction of trees or thickets seen up close. Cezanne's dense 
and powerful compositions acknowledge a debt to the late landscapes of 
Courbet, and to Pissarro, in whose company Cezanne had worked earlier 
in his career. In Forest, one of his most audacious compositions, Cezanne 
takes even further the innovations of these painters by eliminating a human 
presence or precise topography. The modernity and originality of such 
compositions did not escape the attention of critics and artists, in particular 
the younger artists associated with the Pont-Aven School, who recognized 
the liberating force implied in the radicalism of Cezanne's paintings and saw 
in them a model for their own aesthetic quest. 



Auguste Rodin (France, 1840-1917) 

Severed Head of Saint John the Baptist, c. 1 887-1 907 

Marble 

8x 153/4 X I3V2 in. (20.3 X 40 X 34.3 cm) 

Museum purchase made possible by the Iris and B. Gerald Cantor Foundation in 
memory of B. Gerald Cantor 
AC1 998. 139.1 

THE GOSPEL OF ST MATTHEW (14:7-1 1) recounts Saint John the 
Baptist's decapitation at the order of King Herod. This episode from the 
New Testament became a preferred subject of the late-nineteenth-century 
artistic movement Symbolism. To Rodin this sculpture represented the 
Belgian nation's martyrdom in World War I. Rodin cherished Belgium 
because he had spent some of the happiest years of his life there early in 
his career. The sculpture was inscribed to the queen of Belgium as a 
personal gift in 1916, and Rodin had it consigned to the care of the 



124 




American dancer LoTe Fuller, one of his greatest promoters. Because of the 
chaotic conditions of the war and Rodin's death in 1917, the sculpture was 
not delivered to its rightful owner until 1926. The queen's son Leopold III 
inherited and eventually sold it. 

Rodin's original model of this head was created for the lintel of his 
gigantic relief The Gates of Hell, commissioned in 1880. Rodin frequently 
readapted existing compositions, often endowing them with a new sub- 
ject or context and executing them in different media. In this example, 
marks produced by various types of chisels are easy to discern. The 
rough character of the carving is typical of Rodin's preference for 
Michelangelo's technique, which left subsidiary elements of marble 
sculptures apparently unfinished. 



EUROPEAN ART 



125 



Vincent van Gogh (Holland, 1853-1890, active in France) 
The Postman Joseph Roulin, 1888 
Brown ink over black chalk on paper 
2OV4X 16% in. (51 .4x42.2 cm) 

The George Gard De Sylva Collection 
M.49.17.1 

THIS U\RGE SHEET IS ONE OF THREE drawings and six paintings made 
by Vincent van Gogh in 1888 and 1889 of Joseph Roulin (1841-1903), a 
postal official in Aries and close companion of the artist. Van Gogh 
attempted to capture a sense of the character and personality of Roulin in 
addition to imparting a faithful interpretation of his external physical 
features. The postman's pride in his position is evidenced by the gold- 
trimmed uniform in which he poses and apparently wore day and night. 
Van Gogh called Roulin "a man more interesting than most" and came to 
love him dearly. It was Roulin, in fact, who brought the artist home after he 
cut off his ear. 

In this extraordinary portrait, a replica (with some differences) of van 
Gogh's painting in the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, the sitter's eyes are 
bright and his gaze even. Rendered in the artist's characteristic brown ink 
applied with reed pen, Roulin's snub-nosed face is drawn with light, rapid, 
vertical strokes, while the deep blue of his uniform is suggested by darker, 
more aggressively applied horizontal hatching. The portrait has an almost 
crude directness as well as an immediacy and poignancy that are hallmarks 
of van Gogh's highly personal style. 



126 




EUROPEAN ART 



127 



LATIN AMERICAN ART 




130 



Man-Jaguar 

Mexico, Olmec, Gulf Coast, Tabasco, c. 1000-600 b.c. 
Serpentine with traces of cinnabar 
H. 4V4in. (10.8 cm) 

Gift of Constance McCormick Fearing 
M. 86.311. 6 

OLMEC CIVILIZATION FLOURISHED in the Gulf Coast region between 
1200 and 400 b.c and formed the philosophical, political, and artistic 
foundations of later Mesoamerican civilizations. Olmec sculpture, colossal 
in scale or exquisitely carved in jade and other precious greenstones, 
conveys a great monumentality. This diminutive figure powerfully portrays 
both the human and jaguarian features of a religious specialist or divine 
ruler undergoing transformation into a supernatural state. Transformation 
of humans into their animal companions was a means of engaging the 
ancestors and manipulating cosmic forces. The figure does not wear a 
mask but actually is, beneath his human form, a jaguar: the skin and hair 
on the head have been removed to expose his feline nature. The 
supernatural qualities of the sculpture were originally enhanced by glowing 
eyes inlaid with pyrite. 

Jaguars have long inspired awe in the Americas and commonly 
symbolize the powers of kingship and authority. Though jaguars live in 
caves, they are equally at home on land and in water, and this ability to 
move between two realms led to their association with the act of 
transformation. Religious specialists and divine kings alike moved between 
earthly and supernatural worlds by means of meditation and the use of 
hallucinogens, and their actions were commemorated in effigy figures such 
as this one. 



U\TIN AMERICAN ART 1 31 



standing Male Figure 

Mexico, Maya, Campeche, Jaina, 600-800 
Ceramic with white and blue pigment 
H. 9^/8 in. (25.1 cm) 

Gift of Phil Berg 
M. 71. 73. 217 




THIS HAND-MODELED FIGURE once formed part 
of a burial offering on the island of Jaina, located off 
the northwest coast of the Yucatan Peninsula. 
Graves on Jaina from the Late Classic period 
(600-900) usually contained one of these figures, 
which was placed on the chest or in the arms of 
the deceased. 

While some Jaina figures appear to represent 
well-known deities, such as Ix Chel, the goddess of 
weaving, others may have reflected the occupations 
of the deceased, including warriors and ballplayers. 
Many figures also functioned as rattles, flutes, or 
whistles. Jaina figures were generally constructed as 
hollow or solid tubes of clay. The limbs and head 
were attached, the joints smoothed over, and the figure was then dressed 
with thin slabs of clay shaped as clothing. Pellets of clay were applied to 
create facial features and textile designs, then they were cut and shaped to 
fit the individual character. 

This figure wears an embroidered hip cloth and turbanlike headdress. 
His raised right hand may have once held an object, while his left hand 
expresses the ancient Maya gesture of deference or respect. The figure's 
sloping forehead reveals his noble status. Traces of "Maya blue," a 
distinctive pigment central to the Maya palette, appear on his headdress. 



132 



Wall Relief 

Guatemala/Mexico, Maya, Usumacinta Valley region, 
possibly La Pasadita, 750-850 
Limestone with remnants of red pigment 
27 1/2 X 34 V4 in. (69.9 x 87 cm) 

Purchased with funds provided by Joan Palevsky and the Shinji Shumeikai Ancient Art Funds 
AC1 992.76.1 



MONUMENTAL SCULPTURE OF THE CLASSIC PERIOD (250-900) portrays 
the kings and queens of the Maya and records their dynastic histories and 
courtly activities by means of an elaborate hieroglyphic writing system. This 
wall relief appears to be from La Pasadita, a hilltop site on the northern side 
of the Usumacinta River that was part of the political hierarchy of the 
dominant center of Yaxchilan. 

Perhaps once situated in a royal palace, the relief depicts an elegantly 
dressed Maya noblewoman. She wears a long garment, or huipil, with 
embroidered edges. Her jewelry includes a jade bead necklace with a disk 
pectoral, wide beaded bracelets, and jade bead ear ornaments. The 
woman's headdress comprises the upper jaw of a serpent topped by a 
human mask and elegantly overlapping feathers of the quetzal bird. She sits 
cross-legged within a cartouche that represents the Mayan hieroglyph for the 
moon. The text panels indicate that one of her names or titles is the same 

^ ^ , __-^-,- --^7^ moon glyph. Partially 



L\s,'?sir^ 



/i 






c/ 






1^ \ 



nit Ik 



'^'A 



eroded, the text records 
the woman as a deity 
impersonator, perhaps 
partaking in a ceremony. 
Bundles, such as the one 
she carries, often held 
effigies of the gods or 
ritual paraphernalia. 



% 



^l^i^ 



I^TIN AMERICAN ART 



133 




Labret in the Form of an Eagle Head 

Mexico, Mixteca-Puebia, 1200-1500 

Gold 

3/4 X 1 V4 in. (1 .9 X 3.2 cm) 

Gift of Constance McCormick Fearing 
AC1992.134.29 

THIS U\BRET, OR LIP ORNAMENT, 
represents the fine artistry in gold work of 
the Late Postclassic period (1200-1500). 
Little of this work survives because the Spanish conquistadors melted down 
and cast into bars the many gold objects found in the treasury of the Aztec 
emperor Moctezuma. 

Although gold working originated in the Andean region as early as 
1200 B.C., metalworking did not appear in Mexico until the tenth century a.d. 
Smiths, who most often obtained gold by panning streams and riverbeds, 
frequently cast gold using the cire-perdue (lost-wax) method. They formed an| 
exact beeswax model and encased it in a clay and powdered charcoal mold. 
The mold was heated and the wax melted out through a pouring channel. 
Molten metal was then poured into the mold to fill the cavity left by the wax. 
The mold itself was destroyed before the cast could be removed. For Aztecs 
and Mixtecs, the eagle not only symbolized the sun but also represented a 
military order dedicated to the sun. In the founding mythology of their capital, 
the Aztecs located Tenochtitlan on an island where an eagle perched on a 
cactus holds a serpent in its mouth, a symbol that endures today on the 
Mexican flag. 



134 



Mixteca-Puebia Style Vessel 

Mexico, Nayarit, 1350-1500 
Ceramic with pigment 
H. 13% in. (34 cm) 

Purchased with funds provided by Camilla Chandler Frost 
M.2000.86 



THIS VESSEL IS FROM THE AMAPA-PENITAS region of Nayarit in 
northwestern Mexico. The complex, elaborately painted scene resembles 
those found in codices of the Late Postclassic period (1200-1500). The 
dense conglomerate of thirty figures wraps around the entire surface of the 
vessel, including the bottom. A distinct scene involving six figures is 
featured around the vessel's neck. 

The Mixteca-PuebIa style is not associated with a single ancient city 
but rather with the many small city-states comprising a diverse array of 
ethnic groups. Mixteca-PuebIa art, generally small in scale, is found in wall 
paintings and codices as well as in precious objects of turquoise mosaic, 
gold, and featherwork. The Mixtecs of Oaxaca specialized in the painting of 

books and related forms of 
painting on pottery. Some books 
described the family histories of 
the many dynasties throughout 
the region. Others contained 
religious accounts describing the 
actions of the pantheon of gods 
associated with the ritual calendar. 
Reflecting the content and style of 
these books, this vessel portrays 
humans and supernatural figures 
engaged in ritual and historic 
action, perhaps associated with 
the founding of a dynasty. 




LATIN AMERICAN ART 



135 




CERAMIC TRADITIONS OF ANCIENT WEST MEXICO 

Around two thousand years ago, in the region now occupied by 
the modern West Mexican states of Nayarit, Jalisco, and Colima, 
powerful chieftains began building ceremonial centers. Their 
construction of elaborate subterranean shaft-and-chamber tombs 
was unique among ancient Mexican civilizations. The shaft-tomb 




Kneeling Female Figure, Mexico, 
Nayarit, 200 b.c.-a.d. 300, ceramic 
with slip, 24 X 15 X 12 in, (61 x 38.1 x 
30.5 cm). The Proctor Stafford 
Collection, museum purchase with 
funds provided by Mr and Mrs. 
Allan 0. Balch, M. 86. 296.1 

Seated Male Figure, Mexico, Jalisco, 
200 B.C.-A.D, 300, ceramic with 
burnished cream slip, 17 x 14 x 13 in. 
(43.2 X 35.6 x 33 cm), The Proctor 
Stafford Cdllection, museum purchase 
with funds provided by Mr. and Mrs. 
Allan 0. Balch, M.86.296.85 



cultures reached the height of their development between 
200 B.C. and a.d. 500. The geographic distribution of tombs 
forms a rough arc through the lake and river basins of this 
mountainous volcanic region. 

A variety of burial offerings were placed in these tombs, 
including large, hollow ceramic figures; models of buildings and 
festival scenes; vessels in the form of animals and plants; and 
smaller objects such as stone implements, shell trumpets, and 
obsidian mirrors. Figural sculptures commemorated various life 



-^^Ma i?x..^ :, •\^iy^-^^,vis^am. 



136 









■ 




^^^^^^Kr"""^^ 


^^^^^^^1^1 


^H 




^^^^^^^V _^K^9 




^H 




^^^^^^^^^^^^v ^^^^^^^H 




^H 


^■>^ 


^H^^^Ivi^M^^^I 




^^H 


^^^hv 






1 






^^^Hh'^' '•^^l 


1 




^^^^^^^^^B^^^^^^H i« 




1 




^^^^^^^Sa^^^^^^^H 




^^jM 




jT J^^^^^Hk 




^^^H 




'■^^^ 


!^^^l 


H 



events such as marriage and earlier rites of passage into 
adulthood. These occasions were marked by feasting, and the 
foods of the feast, both plant and animal, were also richly 
depicted in the art of West Mexico. 

Scholars originally regarded the ceramic tomb sculptures as 
secular in meaning and anecdotal in content. 
More recently, however, the profound 
symbolic significance of the objects has 
become apparent through comparison with 
contemporary central Mexican polities, with 
which they were linked by trade. 

U\CMA's important collection of West 
Mexican ceramics was purchased from 
Proctor Stafford in 1 986. 



I 



Standing Warrior, Mexico, Jalisco, El 
Arenal Brown style, 100 B.C.-A.D. 300, 
ceramic with red, yellow, vi/hite, and 
black slip, 37 X 15 in. (94 x 38.1 cm), 
The Proctor Stafford Collection, 
museum purchase with funds provided 
by Mr and Mrs. Allan C. Balch, 
M.86.296.86 



LATIN AMERICAN ART 



137 




Man's Tunic 

Peru, South Coast, Wari Culture, 600-850 
Camelid fiber and cotton in tapestry weave 
40x391/2 in. (101.6x 100.3 cm) 

Purchased with funds provided by Camilla Chandler Frost and Robert and Mary Looker through the 
2000 Collectors Committee 
M, 2000.59 

TEXTILES WERE THE MOST IMPORTANT connnnodity in the ancient 
Andean world. They played a part in tribute and taxation as well as religious 
and political ceremonies, including those pertaining to birth, marriage, and 
death. This region appears to have lacked a written language, but it is 
believed that much information was encoded in the design and imagery on 
woven or embroidered cloth. Many of these textiles survive today because 
they were wrapped in mummy bundles and buried, resting untouched for 
centuries in the dry, sandy tombs of Peru's coastal desert. 



138 



This tunic was worn by a male cleric or high governtnent official of the 
Wari — people from the high Andes who created an empire that encom- 
passed most of present-day Peru. Garments made in the labor-intensive 
tapestry weave demanded an extraordinary amount of material and human 
resources. The complexity of patterns, colors, and images suggests that 
Wari weavers were allowed wide latitude in their choice of designs. 

The hallmark of Wari textile design is a focused abstraction of 
geometric motifs and stylized imagery that forms an iconographic "code," 
usually based on variations of a winged attendant figure holding a staff in 
profile. Incorporating a range of composite forms of humans, felines, raptor 
birds, and serpents, these complex abstractions may have symbolized the 
early Andean concept of a universe composed of complementary 
opposites and the interdependence among its human, animal, and 
supernatural spheres. 




Chalice 

Made in Mexico City, 1 575-78 
Silver gilt, rock crystal, boxwood, 
and feathers 
H. 13 in. (33 cm) 

William Randolpti Hearst Collection 
48.24.20 

THIS CHALICE IS A FUSION of Spanish 
silver work and native Mexican craft 
tradition. It is conceived in the form of the 
massive architectural pieces of Spanish 
silver of the late Renaissance. The base 
of the bowl, the hexagonal knop, and the 
spreading lobed foot are densely chased 
in the conventional European manner with 
scenes and figures from the life of Christ. 
Instead of the traditional colored enamels, 
native featherwork has been employed as 



LATIN AMERICAN ART 



139 



a background to the boxwood carvings in the hexagonal knop and the 
glazed compartments in the foot. Featherwork, a tradition that originated 
in pre-Hispanic times, continued into the colonial period and was put to 
new uses in religious art. The natural iridescence of the feathers greatly 
attracted the attention of Europeans and made the objects highly valued. 
The chalice also features rock cn/stal, a mineral that ancient Mexican artists 
had carved for centunes before the Europeans arrived in the New World in 
the fifteenth century. 




Cope from a Set of Vestments 

Mexico, 1700-1750 
Polychrome silk, metallic silver, 
and gold embroidery on linen 
Cb. 53 X 112 1/2 in. 
(134.6x285.8 cm) 

Costume Council Fund 
M.85.96.7 



DURING THE CELEBRATION 
of the Catholic Mass, clergy 
members wear traditional ecclesiastical garments specific to ritual hierarchy 
and function. Originally based on Roman costume, the style of this cere- 
monial vestment was made into a uniform liturgical code of dress in the 
twelfth century that has remained consistent to the present day Exquisitely 
embroidered sets of vestments lavishly worked with silver and gold were 
made in New Spain by nuns skilled in needlework or by embroiderers' 
guilds, which included members of the indigenous population who had 
been taught embroidery in schools run by priests. Nuns and professional 
embroiderers took commissions from Spanish and Creole (Spaniards born 
in New Spain) aristocrats for court clothing as well as for religious objects. 

The exuberant color and pattern of this cope (a cloak worn by the 
priest as a processional garment) are characteristic 'of the eclecticism in the 
arts of Mexico during the eighteenth century. The indigenous style was 
influenced by new patterns from Europe and China, including the 



140 



embroidered silks and tapestries brought by trade ships from the 
Philippines. The preference for intensely decorated surfaces and strong 
pattern had characterized native Mexican art well before the arrival of the 
Europeans, and a similar preference for the bold and elaborate was also 
evident in Spanish Baroque art. The confluence of characteristic motifs — 
brilliant peonies from Asia, pomegranates from Spain, and symbols of the 
sun and moon from Mexico — produced a richly colorful, stimulating 
amalgam of fascinating forms and patterns in the textiles of the period. 



Carlos Merida (Mexico, born Guatemala, 1891-1984) 

Structural Study for a Mural, 1 921 

Oil on canvas 

283/4 X 323/4 in. (73 x 83.2 cm) 

The Bernard and Edith Lewin Collection of Mexican Art 
AS1997.LWN.323 




IJ\TIN AMERICAN ART 



141 



ALTHOUGH CARLOS MERIDA was bom in Guatemala, he spent most of 
his career in Mexico. Like many of his contemporaries, Merida traveled to 
Paris, where he remained from 1912 to 1914. There he met a number of 
avant-garde artists, including Pablo Picasso and Amedeo Modigliani, and 
was in contact with Mexican artists such as Diego Rivera. 

Upon his return to Guatemala in 1914, Merida studied the country's art 
traditions and folklore, which he believed could serve as the basis of a 
higher art, one equal to that of Europe. In 1919 he moved to Mexico City, 
where he exhibited paintings of Indians composed in a deliberate flat style 
and in bright colors that recall Guatemalan textiles. Structural Study for a 
Mural, one of Merida's earliest and most accomplished works, demonstrates 
his interest in representing subjects indigenous to the Americas. The swirling 
floral design in the background balances the strong geometric forms of the 
figures and echoes that of the handcrafted bowl in the foreground. These 
motifs reflect Merida's interest in local folk traditions, which were undergoing 
a reevaluation in Mexico in the early 1 920s. 



Diego Rivera (Mexico, 1886-1957) 

Flower Day, 1 925 

Oil on canvas 

58 X 47 1/2 in. (147.3 x 120.7 cm) 

Los Angeles County Fund 
25.7.1 

IN HIS VAST PUBLIC MURALS painted in Mexico and the United States 
from the early 1920s through the early 1950s, Diego Rivera created a new 
iconography that expounded socialist ideals and exalted the popular 
heritage of Mexican culture. He also produced a large body of easel 
paintings and graphic work. During his formative years in Spain and France 
from 1907 to 1921 , Rivera experimented with Impressionist, Symbolist, and 
Cubist styles. Upon his 1921 return to Mexico City, where he launched his 
muralist career, he began intensively studying and collecting the country's 
Pre-Columbian and folk art. 

Flower Day is Rivera's earliest depiction of a calla lily seller and one of 
his most important works representing the indigenous population of Mexico. 



142 




It is related in subject and style to his 1923 murals in the Court of Festivals 
at the Ministry of Public Education in IVIexico City. The unusual perspective 
of the flowers, which are seen from above, and the blocklike forms of the 
figures are stylistic devices derived from Rivera's earlier Cubist paintings. 
The work's hieratic style also recalls Pre-Columbian sculptures. The 
success of Flower Day might have contributed to the ensuing popularity 
of the subject, of which Rivera created more than two dozen versions. 



LATIN AMERICAN ART 



143 



MEXICAN MODERNISM 

Generally, Mexican modernism is associated with the muralists 
Diego Rivera, Jose Clemente Orozco, and David Alfaro Siqueiros, 
known as "Los Tres Grandes." They emerged at a time when the 
visual arts assumed an important political role in Mexico. After the 
Mexican Revolution (1910-20), art increasingly reflected a spirit of 
national pride and progress. 

At the beginning of the twentieth century, many Mexican 
artists, Rivera and Siqueiros among them, traveled to Europe and 
became acquainted with the most avant- 
garde trends, including Cubism. Upon their 
return to Mexico, they sought to create a 
universal visual language that would also 
communicate a sense of national pride. They 
did so by drawing on stylistic elements that 
they considered Mexican and by selecting 
subjects that reflected the country's social 
reality Folk art became a potent national 
symbol. Adolfo Best-Maugard and Maria 
Izquierdo, for example, based many of their 
compositions on the folk art traditions of 
Mexico, while Rivera portrayed indigenous 
types in many of his murals and easel 
paintings of the 1 920s and later. 
Although Rivera, Orozco, and Siqueiros are often seen as a 
group and are considered the prime representatives of the 

oil on canvas, 452/4 x 35 in. (1 16.2 x 

88.9 cm), gift of Morton D. May, 53.25.1 Mexican School, their approaches were radically different. 

Perhaps the most outspoken of Los Tres Grandes, Siqueiros was 
wary of equating Mexican art with the picturesque and the 
folkloric. He opted instead for experimenting with new techniques 
(he is credited with inventing the drip technique later adopted by 




Diego Rivera (Mexico, 1886-1957), 
Still Life with Bread and Fruit, 1917, 



1^ 



144 




David Alfaro Siqueiros (Mexico, 
1896-1974), Landscape in Red, 1969, 
acrylic on board, 26 x 40 in. (66 x 
101 .6 cm), The Bernard and Editli 
Lewin Collection of Mexican Art, 
AS1997.LWN.431 




Jackson Pollock) and with 
introducing new ways of 
representing space. 

During the 1920s and 
1930s, a nunnber of artists 
reacted against the 
propagandistic monumentality 
of the nnuralists and 
demonstrated greater affinities 
with other forms of vanguard 
visual expression. The Esthdentista movement, for example, 
promoted the concept of an urban Utopia not unlike that of the 
Italian Futurists. Los Contemporaneos disseminated the ideas of 
the European avant-garde and promoted artists such as Rufino 
Tamayo, who drew on Mexican culture but whose approach 
avoided the grandiloquence of the muralists. Many other artists, 
such as Frida Kahio, who were not part of the Mexican School or 
affiliated with any group that countered it, contributed to the 
plural artistic discourses of Mexico. The influx of refugees from 
the Spanish Civil War and World War II further enriched the art 
scene in Mexico during the first half of the twentieth century. 

In 1997 Bernard and Edith Lewin 
donated to U\CMA a collection of more 
than two thousand works, mostly by 
Mexican masters. 



Frida KahIo (Mexico, 1907-1954), 
Weeping Coconuts, 1951 , oil on 
canvas, gVgX 12 in. (23.2 x 
30.5 cm), promised gift of Bernard 
and Edith Lewin, AS1997.LWN.615 



^^H&ttBMnwataiiw 




U\TIN AMERICAN ART 



145 



Rufino Tamayo (Mexico, 1899-1991) 

Messengers in the Wind, 1931 

Oil on canvas 

31 X 34 in. (78.7 x 86.4 cnn) 

The Bernard and Edith Lewin Collection of Mexican Art 
AS1997.LWN.36 

BORN IN OAXAGA, RUFINO TAMAYO briefly attended the National School 
of Fine Arts in Mexico City and first traveled to New York in 1926. When he 
returned to Mexico in 1 928, he grew increasingly interested in Mexican folk 
art and themes of everyday urban life. Folk art and Pre-Columbian art were 
important for Tamayo; he considered them to be true expressions of 
Mexican culture. 

Unlike many Mexican contemporaries whose often politically charged 
work portrayed the native population in stereotypical ways, Tamayo 
advocated a universal art in which the act of painting would be valued over 
subject matter He believed that art should have a primarily aesthetic rather 
than ideological function. Although the human figure is integral to his work, 
color and texture are equally significant. 

In IVIessengers in tine Wind, two native women dressed in white fly 
across an urban nocturnal sky. Their flight evokes works by the Italian 
Futurists; their speed is reinforced by the trajectory of the electrical wires. 
During the 1920s and 1930s, a number of artists in Mexico depicted the 
technology of the city to emphasize its modernity. This work conflates 
many of Tamayo 's chief concerns — local subjects, urban life, and 
incongruous situations, which particularly reflects his interest in Surrealism. 



146 




U\TIN AMERICAN ART 



147 




148 



Joaquin Torres-Garcia (Uruguay, 1874-1949, active in Spain, France, 

and the United States) 

Construction with Wliite Line, 1938 

Tempera on board 

33 V2 X 21 Vg in. (85.1 x 53.7 cnn) 

Gift of the 2002 Collectors Committee and purchased with funds provided by Alice and Nahum Lainer 

M. 2002.55 

BORN IN URUGUAY, JOAQUiN TORRES-GARCIA settled with his family in 
1891 in Barcelona, where he became part of the Gatalonian avant-garde. In 
1 926 he moved to Paris, befriended the Dutch artists Piet Mondrian and 
Theo van Doesberg, and quickly became associated with an international 
group of abstract artists. 

By 1930 Torres-Garcia began to formulate his own artistic theory, 
integrating symbols into his abstract compositions. He sought to create 
what he called a Universal Constructivist art, fusing pure abstraction with 
recognizable symbols that would prompt various associations. Like many 
contemporary European avant-garde artists, Torres-Garcia became 
fascinated by so-called primitive art, and in 1 929 he began incorporating 
patterns found on Pre-Columbian objects and images of ancient masks 
into his works. 

Construction witli Wliite Line embodies the artist's desire to combine 
geometric abstraction with Indo-American motifs. Rendered in earth colors 
typical of Andean ceramics and textiles, the painting includes symbols 
recurrent in Torres-Garcia 's work: the universal man, the fish (a symbol of 
life), the pyramid (a symbol of reason), and the Pre-Columbian mask. 



L7\TIN AMERICAN ART 1 49 




Matta [Roberto Sebastian 

Matta Echaurren] (Chile, 

1911-2002, active in 

France, Mexico, and tlie 

United States) 

Untitled, 1940 

Crayon, pencil, and collage 

on paper 

22 x28 in. (55.9x71.1 cnn) 

Gift of Mrs. Lillian Alpers 
AC1 997.44.1 



ROBERTO SEBASTIAN MATTA ECHAURREN (known as Matta) is the 
quintessential peripatetic artist. Born and raised in Chile, his career evolved 
in Paris, New York, and Mexico, among many other places. He started out 
in the early 1 930s as an architect, working for two years with Le Corbusier 
in Paris. By 1937 his association with the Surrealists (including Salvador 
Dali and Andre Breton) had led him to abandon architecture and devote 
himself to painting. During his years in New York (1938-48), Matta served 
as a bridge between American and European avant-garde artists and has 
been credited with aiding the development of Abstract Expressionism. 

Space is Matta's main subject. His work of the 1940s is characterized 
by webs of lines that give his compositions an atmospheric depth. Known 
as "inscapes" or "psychological morphologies," the seemingly ever- 
changing forms are visual analogies for the artist's psyche. In this work, a 
number of amorphous human bodies appear close to exploding into the 
scene. Eroticism and danger are equated: The figures copulate and 
dance — possibly a sly reference to Henri Matisse's Joy of Life (1905-6) — 
and hold knives, which sen/e as both phallic symbols and tools of violence. 
Although this kind of uncanny juxtaposition is characteristic of many 
Surrealist works of the period, Matta's are unique in their conception of an 
all-encompassing, intangible space, which is as much a representation of 
the mind as it is of the cosmos. 



150 



Sebastiao Salgado (Brazil, born 1944) 
Untitled, 1988, printed 1990 
Gelatin-silver print 
16x20 in. (40.6 X 50.8 cm) 

Ralph M. Parsons Fund 
M.91.78.1 



SEBASTIAO SALGADO'S DEEP INTEREST in the human condition led 
him to begin studying law in 1963. Soon, however, he decided to switch 
careers and turned to economics; he received a doctorate in agricultural 
economy from the Sorbonne in 1971 . By 1973 Salgado had changed 
careers once again, becoming a freelance photojournalist documenting 
the drought in the Sahel region of Africa. Later he joined several picture 
agencies, including the Paris-based Sygma in 1974, Gamma in 1975, and 
Magnum, the prestigious cooperative agency founded by Henri Cartier- 
Bresson, in 1978. 

One of Salgado's most ambitious projects was his series on workers 
and the decline of manual labor as a result of the industrial age. The series 
was completed in 1992 and published as Workers: An Archaeology of the 

















• V.-: V' ■'''■'■: '^y^m 







LATIN AMERICAN ART 



151 



Industrial Age (1993). The work comprises close to four hundred photo- 
graphs taken all over the world, including Brazil, Cuba, China, India, 
Rwanda, and the United States. Among the strongest images are those 
taken in Serra Pelade in Brazil. This photograph shows numerous men 
climbing in and out of a gold mine carrying sacks both empty and full. The 
almost infinite trail of human bodies is dwarfed by the omnipotence of the 
landscape and contributes to the dramatic effect of the image. 



Enrique Chagoya (United States, born Mexico, 1953) 
Uprising of the Spirit, 1 994 
Acrylic and oil on paper 
48x72 in. (121.9 x 182.9 cm) 

Gift of Ann and Aaron Nisenson in Memory of Micliael Nisenson 
AC1995. 183.9 





152 



BORN IN MEXICO, ENRIQUE CHAGOYA moved to the United States in 
1977 and has since straddled both cultures. He brings together traditional 
icons from Mexico and the United States — Pre-Columbian deities, Disney 
characters, comic book heroes — to create images laden with new, 
provocative, and often political meanings. 

Uprising of tine Spirit is characteristic of Chagoya's interest in the 
dialogue and tensions between high and popular culture. Here, two cultural 
icons — Superman and NezahualcoyotI, the Aztec king of Texcoco — are 
positioned for combat. Superman's weapon is his X-ray vision, while 
NezahualcoyotI is armed with a traditional Aztec shield and club. Chagoya 
depicts Superman flying out of a scene derived from Theodore de Bry's 
illustrated book /\/77er/ca (1590). De Bry's engravings documented the 
atrocities of the Spanish conquest. Thus Chagoya is equating American 
imperialism with Spain's massacre of the native population of the Americas. 
NezahualcoyotI also emerges from an illustrated text, the famous sixteenth- 
century codex Ixtiiixociiiti. A collector's stamp adds to the feeling of 
authenticity. Chagoya's battle is not exclusively among cultural icons or 
oppressors and the oppressed, but among the texts that construct history. 



Cildo Meireles (Brazil, born 1948) 
Webs of Freedom, 1976/98 
Iron and glass 
59 Vg X 59 Vg in. (1 50.2 x 1 50.2 cm) 

Purchased with funds provided by Cecilia Wong, Patricia Phelps de Cisneros, Carlos and Rosa de la 
Cruz, and the Modern and Contemporary Art Council 
ACI 999. 13. 1.1 -8 

CILDO MEIRELES'S WORK EXPLORES art-making systems and issues of 
perception and philosophy, and at the same time it reflects the political 
realities of contemporary Brazil. No piece exemplifies this remarkable mix 
better than Webs of Freedom. This work results from a systematic 
methodology: It is constructed from the repeated use of the same linear 
element. In theory, this work could not only extend indefinitely across a 
single plane, but it could also continue to grow volumetrically. 



UXTIN AMERICAN ART -j 53 




J 



154 



In 1976 Meireles made the first version of Webs of Freedom from 
fisliing nets. In 1977 he fabricated it in metal. The museum's version 
(realized in 1998) is a foot larger in both dimensions than the 1977 piece 
and is constructed of tubular rather than flat iron. Separate elements (not 
shown in the illustration) that hang on the wall behind the metal grid 
represent its alphabet or building blocks. At first glance, the work seems 
ordered. However, the spiky angularity of the coarse iron grid, with a 
rectangular sheet of glass trapped within its structure, has more disturbing 
emotional and social connotations. The title is paradoxical, since webs 
suggest entrapment rather than liberty. Webs of Freedom, conceived at the 
height of Brazil's twenty-year dictatorship, is both an indictment of that 
regime and a statement about the nature of existence. 



LATIN AMERICAN ART 1 55 




I 




V* ,^rM 



.<^.;«^, 




i- i-^: >-:,.■- 



4 



-<^_ 






AMERICAN ART 




158 



John Singleton Copley (United States, 1738-1815) 

Portrait of a Lady, 1771 

Oil on canvas 

497/3x391/2 in. (126.7 X 100.3 cm) 

Purchased with funds provided by the American Art Council, Anna Bing Arnold, 
F. Patrick Burns Bequest, Mr and Mrs. William Preston Harrison Collection, 
David M. Koetser, the Art Museum Council, Jo Ann and Julian Ganz, Jr, 
The Ahmanson Foundation, Ray Stark, and other donors 
85.2 

JOHN SINGLETON COPLEY, THE LEADING portrait painter in the colonies 
in the decade before the Revolution, lavished his skill on the character and 
status of his sitters. The identity of the woman in this portrait is lost, but 
Copley gives us much information about her. Her relaxed posture and the 
quiet placement of her right hand over her left wrist are casual, but her 
eyes and face remain resen/ed and dignified. The dress she wears, while 
informal, is luxurious, and although the setting is private, for family and 
friends, even here she does not relax too much. 

Copley was equally interested in describing the rich material surfaces 
that surrounded his subject. A rare piece of furniture in American homes of 
this period, the sofa, with its rich brocaded damask upholstery, competes 
for attention with the sitter. Americans might be plainspoken but they 
nonetheless liked displaying their wealth in expensive fabrics and highly 
polished furniture. Copley balances this extraordinary luxun/ with the quiet, 
almost severe expression on his sitter's face. She may live amid much 
comfort, but she is not taken in by it. 



AMERICAN ART 159 




Armchair 

Attributed to Thomas Affleck 

(United States, born Scotland, 1740-1795) 

Made in Philadelphia, 1765-75 

Mahogany and white oak 

403/4 X 29% X 29 1/2 in. (103.5 x 75.6 x 74.9 cm) 

Gift of Alice Braunfeld 
M. 2001. 75.1 

THIS CHAIR IS FROM A SET owned by John Penn, 
the last proprietary governor of Pennsylvania. It is 
attributed to Thomas Affleck, one of the best 
Philadelphia cabinetmakers and the only one known 
to have owned a copy of The Gentleman and Cabinet-Maker's Director 
(1 754) by Thomas Chippendale, the greatest designer of English 
Rococo-style furniture. 

The armchair was based on a "French Chair," plate 19 in the 1762 
edition of the Director. The word Frencii refers to the chair's straight legs, 
which were exceptional in the colonies in 1770, when most fashionable 
furniture had the cabriole (curved) legs that characterize American 
Chippendale furniture. The style of the chair, coupled with the outstanding 
quality of its carving and the ample expanse of upholstery (often the most 
expensive material in the household), demonstrates that it was intended to 
make a persuasive statement about the owner's wealth and social standing. 



China Table 

Attributed to Robert Harrold 

Made in Portsmouth, New Hampshire, 1765-75 

Mahogany, pine, and maple 

28 V4 x 36 V2 X 231/8 in. (71 .8 x 92.7 x 58.7 cm) 

Gift of Alice Braunfeld 
M. 2001, 75. 2 



160 




"CHINA" OR "SILVER" TABLES, as they were called in 
period accounts, were specifically designed for serving 
tea, a center of social activity in a wealthy eighteenth- 
century household. Such tables attested to the social 
standing of their owners, since their presence 
indicated a knowledge of the latest customs from 
England and the leisure time to practice them. 
Considered one of a family's most prized possessions, 
these tables were always fully set with silver and china 
and displayed in what was deemed the "best parlour." 

Stylistically, this table is an unusual interpretation of the English Rococo 
(or Chippendale) in America. With its dramatically arched saltire (crossed) 
stretchers, the table is one of only seven known, all from Portsmouth, New 
Hampshire. It is characteristically English in style (only the use of maple as a 
secondary wood and the provenance of such tables reveal their American 
origin); its likely history is that an immigrant English cabinetmaker introduced 
the pattern to Portsmouth, thus demonstrating the cultural and stylistic 
orientation toward the mother country of the town's most affluent residents. 




Tambour Desk 

John Seymour (United States, 1 738-1 81 9) and 
Thomas Seymour (United States, 1771-1848) 
Made in Boston, 1794-1804 
Mahogany with inlays of satinwood and pine 
48 V4 X 39 X 19 in. (122.6 x 99 x 48.3 cm) 

Gift of Alice Braunfeld 
M. 2001 .75.3 

THIS DESK IS ONE OF THREE made by the 
leading Boston cabinetmakers John and Thomas 
Seymour to survive with its original pedimented top. 
The tambour doors, made from narrow strips of 
veneer glued to canvas, can be rolled back to 



AMERICAN ART 161 



reveal storage compartments. When closed, the delicate swags of 
bellflowers, painstakingly inlaid into each small strip, reflect the shapes of 
both the pediment and the drawer-front veneers. 

Not surprisingly, since the Seymours had emigrated from London, the 
desk resembles a "Lady's Cabinet and Writing Table" illustrated in English 
design books of the late eighteenth century. It also reflects greater 
educational opportunities for women, since these lighter, 'more delicate 
forms were specifically developed for their use. 





William Wetmore Story (United States, 
1819-1895, active in Italy) 
Cleopatra, modeled 1858, can/ed 1860 
Marble 

H. 55 in. (139.7 cm) 

Gift of Mr. and Mrs. Henry M, Bateman 
78.3 

WILLIAM WETMORE STORY, an expatriate 
sculptor in the Anglo American colony in 
Rome, was assured his international 
reputation when this sculpture was sent 
by Pope Pius IX to the 1862 International 
Exposition in London. Like her historical 
counterpart, Cleopatra is both Greek and 
African. The sculpture gained its fame for its 
* Neoclassical perfection and for its allusion 
" -^- - to the fight for African American freedom. 

Story's best and most romantic works were large-scale seated figures of 
notable ancient heroines that focus on a psychological drama. In this early 
work, Cleopatra contemplates suicide after the loss of her Roman lover. 
Her despair and nen/ous tension are conveyed through a brooding facial 
expression, downcast head, slumped body, and agitated fingers. Nathaniel 
Hawthorne, who immortalized Cleopatra in The Marble Faun (1860), wrote: 
"He drew away the cloth. . . . The sitting figure of a woman was seen. . . . 



162 



Cleopatra — fierce, voluptuous, passionate, tender, wicked, terrible, and full 
of poisonous and rapturous enchantment — was kneaded into what, only a 
week or two before, had been a lump of wet clay." 



Thomas Moran (United States, born England, 1837-1926) 

Hot Springs of the Yellowstone, 1 872 

Oil on canvas 

I6V4X3O in. (41.3x76.2 cm) 

Gift of Beverly and Herbert M. Gelfand 
M.84.198 

THOMAS MORAN, A PHIUXDELPHIA U\NDSCAPE painter and illustrator, 
played a critical role in the formation of the first national park, Yellowstone. 
Moran visited the area with the earliest official government scientific survey 
in the summer of 1871 . Working closely with photographer William H. 
Jackson, Moran studied Yellowstone's amazing landscapes and returned 
east to work his impressions into finished paintings. These efforts culmi- 
nated in a monumental canvas. The Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone, 




AMERICAN ART 



163 



which was bought by Congress, as well as legislation saving Yellowstone 
fronn development. 

In the same year, Moran painted a tew other oils, including this view ot 
the Mammoth Hot Springs, looking south toward Bunsen Peak. While The 
Grand Canyon celebrated Yellowstone's gigantic scale, this small painting 
was the first to focus on Yellowstone's most unusual feature, the hot 
springs. Moran was clearly impressed by the alchemy of mineralization that 
deposited a rainbow of colors in the stone. This work exhibits a hallmark of 
American landscape painting, the transformation of the wilderness 
experience into an emblematic work of art. 




164 



Winslow Homer (United States, 1836-1910) 

The Cotton Pickers, 1876 

Oil on canvas 

24x381/8 in. (61 x 96.8 cnn) 

Acquisition made possible tlirougti Museum Trustees: Robert O. Anderson, R. Stanton Avery, 
B. Gerald Cantor, Edward W. Carter, Justin Dart, Cliarles E. Ducommun, Camilla Chandler Frost, 
Julian Ganz, Jr., Dr. Armand Hammer, Harry Lenart, Dr Franklin D. Murphy, Joan Palevsky, 
Richard E. Sherwood, Maynard J. Toll, and Hal B. Wallis 
M.77.68 




WINSLOW HOMER WAS A SUBTLE CHRONICLER of African American life 
in the years immediately following the Civil War. During the 1 870s he visited 
Virginia for a firsthand look at the work of Reconstruction, returning to 
scenes he had known as a war correspondent. The pictures that resulted 
from these trips analyzed the various successes, failures, and tragedies of 
the war and its aftermath. The most monumental of these studies is 
The Cotton Pickers. 

The Cotton Pickers was painted in 1876, the nation's centennial year, 
when the state of the Union was much on the minds of Americans. During 
this period. Homer concentrated on representing his fellow Americans and 
their ways of life. Yet unlike most other commentators on American society, 
Homer included African Americans in this citizenry. These women are the 
first successful expression of the theme that would dominate Homer's 
figurative paintings in the last part of his career, the imagery of strong 
women who dominate the landscapes they toil in. The figures are seen 
from below, a perspective that raises them heroically above a sea of 
cotton. The almost infinite expanse of the field alludes to the enormity of 
their labor; their stoic beauty suggests the strength of their resistance 
to their condition. 



AMERICAN ART 



165 



Mary Cassatt (United States, 1844-1926, active in France) 

Mother About to Wash Her Sleepy Child, 1 880 

Oil on canvas 

39 1/2 X 25^/8 in. (100.3 x 65.7 cnn) 

Mrs. Fred Hathaway Bixby Bequest 
M. 62. 8. 14 

MARY CASSATT WAS THE ONLY AMERICAN ARTIST to participate in the 
independent exhibitions organized by the Impressionists. Mother About to 
Wash Her Sleepy Child was shown in their sixth exhibition, the third to 
which Cassatt contributed. The painting is also the first of her depictions of 
mothers and children, the theme that became her most important 
contribution to the development of Impressionism, and one which 
constituted almost a third of her oeuvre. 

Like the other Impressionists, Cassatt concentrated on painting 
contemporary life. Unlike her male counterparts, however, she was severely 
limited in the range of public subjects she could witness and portray. At the 
same time, as an early feminist artist, Cassatt upheld the special and 
positive character of women and women's domestic roles, turning a 
potential liability into a strength. In Mother About to Wash Her Sleepy Child, 
a mother reaches for a washcloth as she tenderly cradles the child on her 
lap; the child turns a sleep-flushed face up to her mother. The heart of the 
painting is the look that passes between them. Even though the subject is 
traditional, Cassatt's loose brushstroke and flat patterning transform it in a 
completely modern way. 



166 




AMERICAN ART 



167 




168 



John Singer Sargent (United States, born Italy, 1856-1925, active in 

England, France, and Italy) 

Portrait of Mrs. Edward L. Davis and i-ier Son, Livingston Davis, 1890 

Oil on canvas 

861/8 X 48 V4 in. (218.8 x 122.6 cnn) 

Frances and Armand Hammer Purchase Fund 
M.69.18 

ALTHOUGH JOHN SINGER SARGENT became the most successful 
portrait painter in the English-speaking world in his lifetime, he had a great 
deal of difficulty during the 1880s reconciling his desire to be stylistically 
up-to-date while still satisfying his sometimes conservative sitters and 
critics. This portrait was painted at the beginning of his American career, 
and it expresses perfectly the nature of his final triumph, his ability to stop 
just at the brink of being too daring, producing a painting that is both 
formally sophisticated as well as suitably flattering. This portrait was 
frequently exhibited and helped consolidate Sargent's fortunes. 

Mrs. Edward Davis was the wife of the former mayor of Worcester, 
Massachusetts, and the portrait was painted at her home. Sargent posed 
Mrs. Davis on the threshold of her carriage house so that the background 
is cast entirely into darkness while she and her son are fully illuminated. 
The artist's technique and use of light allude to the Spanish seventeenth- 
centun/ artist Diego Velazquez, as do the bolerolike jacket worn by Mrs. 
Davis and the sharp contrast between her black dress and her son's white 
summer costume. These allusions, however, are subsumed by the artful 
naturalness of the embrace of mother and son. 



AMERICAN ART 169 




Winslow Homer (United States, 1836-1910) 
After the Hunt, 1 892 

Watercolor, gouache, and graphite on paper 
14x20 in. (35.6 X 50.8 cm) 

Paul Rodman Mabury Collection 
39.12,11 

WINSLOW HOMER'S WATERGOLORS are remarkable for their expressive 
and inventive technique and for their dramatic subjects. In 1884 Homer 
permanently settled in Prout's Neck, Maine, but often spent late summer 
and early fall at a camp in the Adirondacks, New York, where he hunted 
and fished. After the Hunt shows the aftermath of a successful hunt. The 
deer has been driven into the water by hounds and drowned. Two guides 
haul a dog back into the boat; the body of the deer, already retrieved, lies 
behind them. 

Homer depicted this subject from many different points of view and at 
many different moments in the drama. His deer-hunting watercolors 
represent his most sustained effort to record and imagine a single activity, 



170 



and they are among his most important accomplishments. The subject is 
a brutal one, but Homer's astonishingly sophisticated technical control and 
simple composition force us to appreciate it as an aesthetic object. This 
paradox is the source of Homer's greatest power as an artist. 



Henry Ossawa Tanner (United States, 1859-1937, active in France) 
Daniel in tiie Lions' Den, 1907-18 
Oil on paper mounted on canvas 
41 Vg X 497/8 in. (104.5 x 126.7 cm) 

Mr. and Mrs. William Preston Harrison Collection 
22.6.3 

ACTIVE IN FRANCE AT THE TURN OF THE CENTURY, Henry Ossawa 
Tanner specialized in religious painting, and Daniel in the Lions' Den is one 
of his most admired works. According to the Old Testament story, Daniel, 
the Jewish prophet thrown into a lions' den by the Babylonian king Darius 




AMERICAN ART 



171 



for refusing to give up liis faitii (Dan. 6:16-24), remained calm, assured by 
Inis beliefs, and emerged from the den the next day unhurt. The theme of 
unjust persecution and imprisonment appealed to Tanner, whose mother 
and father, a bishop in the African Methodist Episcopal Church, were social 
and political activists. 

The first version of this painting, shown at the Paris Salon of 1896, 
was more realistic, drawing on Tanner's academic training in Philadelphia 
and Paris as well as his visit to Palestine to study biblical culture. Reflecting 
his increasingly Symbolist approach, this version is less a literal narrative 
than an evocation of Daniel's experience, with Tanner conveying the 
prophet's tranquillity and spirituality through light and color. The blue-green 
palette with flecks of purple was a color scheme popular with Symbolist 
painters, who strove for quiet, meditative effects. 




T*.*^ 








^ 

^^^ 



172 



Writing Table from the Henry G. Marquand Residence, New York City 

Designed by Louis Comfort Tiffany (United States, 1848-1933) 
Made by Tiffany and Company, New Yorl<, c. 1885 
Satinwood, brass, pewter, and original leather 
25% X 36 X 243/g in. (65.1 x 91 .4 x 61 .9 cm) 

Gift of the 1995 Collectors Committee 
AC1 995.46.1 

IN 1881 HENRY GURDON MARQUAND, art patron and second president 
of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, commissioned Richard Morris Hunt to 
build a mansion at 68th Street and Madison Avenue in Manhattan. 
Marquand hired the period's most prominent designers to create the 
interior, which included a Moorish "smoking room" designed by John La 
Farge and Louis Comfort Tiffany. Moorish rooms were de rigueur in 1880s 
New York, but those that imitated ornament from the Alhambra (the 
fourteenth-centun/ king's palace in Granada, Spain) exemplified the most 
elaborate phase of this style. The overmantel of the room was based on 
the Alhambra's Myrtle Court decoration, and the whole ensemble, filled with 
Hispano-Moresque lusterware and Islamic glass, was described in The 
Decorator and Furnisher (1 888) as a "wondrously beautiful example a la 
Alhambra." This desk was designed as the smoking room's centerpiece, 
and Tiffany's fascination with Islamic architecture and design is evident in 
the desk's eight-sided shape, the molded arches of its base, the delicately 
carved spindled panels, and the arabesque inlays of various metals. 



AMERICAN ART I73 



Quilt, Log Cabin Pattern, Pineapple Variation 

Pennsylvania, 1870-80 
Pieced wool and cotton 
88 X 88 in. (223.5 x 223.5 cm) 

Gift of the Betty Horton Collection 
M.86.134.18 

A PART OF AMERICAN CULTURE from the early years of settlement and 
western expansion, quilting was first a utilitarian act. As a cooperative task, 
it gave women in small communities a respite from their frequently solitary 
labors. Following an earlier period of reliance on European fabric and 
fashion, nineteenth-century American quiltmakers began to demonstrate a 
creative self-confidence paralleling the spirit of the times. 

The Log Cabin square was an extremely versatile quilt-building unit. A 
center square of fabric was firmly sewn to a foundation block of cotton or 
muslin. Succeeding strips or "logs" of fabric were then sewn around it in 
an interlocking manner, setting up a lively visual counterpoint. In the 
octagonal blocks of the Pineapple variation, brightly colored angular 
pineapple shapes vibrate against a dark and intensely patterned ground, 
creating a dramatic sense of movement and depth. Other names of the 
Log Cabin's variant patterns reveal metaphors of their origins: Court House 
Steps, Barn Raising, Running Furrow, Streak of Lightning, and Windmill 
Blades. The museum's quilt is an enduring monument to the remarkable 
visual sense of the unknown artist who created it. 



174 




AMERICAN ART 



175 



John Frederick Peto 

(United States, 1854-1907) 
HSP's Rack Picture, c. 1900 
Oil on canvas 
4OV4X3O in. (102.2x76.2 cm) 

Purchased with funds generously provided 
by Cecile Bartman 
AC1 998. 140.1 

A MASTER OF TROMPE L'OEIL 
(painting that "deceives the eye" 
through the illusionistic delineation of 
highly detailed narrative objects), 
still-life painter John Frederick Peto 
focused on inexpensive everyday 
things — envelopes, ledgers, 
newspaper clippings — their banality 
echoing his own modest lifestyle. 
Often he presented these items 
under strips of cloth, imitating the office "rack" (the predecessor of today's 
bulletin board). This, the largest of his "rack pictures," is dedicated to his 
daughter Helen Serrill Peto (HSP). His signature and her initials appear to 
be cut into the wooden backboard. Despite such illusionism and allusions 
to his life, Peto's late canvases reflect the artist's move away from realism 
toward modernism. Peto emphasized the composition's flatness through 
his choice of objects, then transformed these storytelling items into simple 
geometric forms (for example, he omits the addresses on envelopes so 
that they become simple colored rectangles). Design rather than allegon/ 
reigns supreme in his late rack paintings. 




176 



Table Lamp from the Susan Lawrence Dana House, 
Springfield, Illinois 

Designed by Frank Lloyd Wright (United States, 1867-1959) 
Made by Linden Glass Company, Chicago, 1903-4 
Glass, bronze, and zinc 

Base: 2OV2 x 12 x SVg in. (52.1 x 30.5 x 22.5 cm); 
shade: diam. 29 in. (73.7 cm) 

Gift of Max Palevsky 
M.2000.180.44a-b 



THE PRAIRIE-STYLE BUILDINGS Frank Lloyd Wright completed in the first 
decade of the twentieth century redefined the concept of domestic space. 
Wright aimed for complete design unity — the total work of art created when 
building, furnishings, and setting form an environmental whole. Accordingly, 
the Dana commission included furniture, textiles, and light fixtures, as well 
as the house itself and its landscaping. 

Wright called this philosophy organic design, insisting that a building 
must "associate with the ground and become natural to its prairie site." 
The overhanging eaves of the house are inspired by the low horizon of the 
prairie, as is the shade on the lamp — its pitch is similar to that of the 
house's roof. The Dana commission is linked by geometry and color as 
well as closeness to the earth. Wright considered geometric shapes the 

"grammar" of architecture and 
design, which is acknowledged in 
the lamp by the zinc caning that 
holds the glass together. The 
glass, in earthy tones of amber, 
moss green, terracotta, and 
creamy white, mimics the colors 
of the prairie, which are echoed 
throughout the house. 




AMERICAN ART 



177 



ARTS AND CRAFTS 



From left to right 

Vase, designed by Frederick Hurten 
Rhead (England, 1880-1942, active 
United States), made by University City 
Pottery, University City, Missouri, 1911, 
earthenv\/are, 17V4 x SVg in. (43.8 x 
13 cm), gift of Max Palevsky, 
M. 91. 375.44 

Vase, thrown by Joseph Fortune Meyer 
(France, 1848-1931, active United 
States), decorated by Mazie Teresa 
Ryan (United States, 1880-1946), 
made by Newcomb College Pottery, 
New Orleans, 1 906, earthenware, 
127/g X SVg in. (32.7 x 20.6 cm), gift 
of Max Palevsky M.91 .375.31 

Vase, made by Marblehead Pottery, 
Marblehead, Massachusetts, 
c. 1910-20, earthenware, 13V4 x 
7V2 in. (33.7 X 19.1 cm), gift of Max 
Palevsky M.91 .375.27 



The Arts and Crafts movement was more than an artistic style; it 
was a worldview that added design to the social reform agenda 
of the 1 880s and 1 890s. Its proponents believed that the 
industrial process had stripped the craftsperson of his or her 
individuality, and they vowed to change society by changing the 
very nature of work. They passionately believed that handmade 
objects produced from natural materials were morally superior to 
those made by machine, and that well-crafted objects had the 
power to improve the lives of the people who made them and 
those who used them. 

Although the movement started in Great Britain, the most 
industrialized country in the world, it quickly spread to the United 
States. Max Palevsky's donation of more than three hundred 
objects enables LACMA to interpret the complex narrative of the 
American movement more comprehensively than with any other 
public collection. These objects demonstrate how Arts and Crafts 




178 



Living Room Armchair from tiie 
Robert R. Blaclor t-louse, Pasadena, 
Califomia, designed by Henry Mather 
Greene (United States, 1 870-1 954) 
and Charles Sumner Greene (United 
States, 1868-1957), made by 
Peter Hall Manufacturing Company 
Pasadena, 1907, mahogany ebony 
oak, and (replaced) upholstery, 33% x 
24V4x2l5/8in. (84.8 X 62.2 X 
54.9 cm), gift of Max Palevsky 
M. 89. 151 .4 




practitioners favored solutions that iiad developed as a response 
to climate and geography. Made of local materials and reflecting 
vernacular traditions, architecture and furnishings were planned 
to fit into the landscape. The goal was design unity — a total work 
of art in which the building, its contents, and its setting formed an 
environmental whole. In furniture, straight lines replaced ornate 
curves, solid native woods took the place of imported veneers, 
and unnecessary decoration was rejected. The hope, never fully 
realized, was that these "simplifications" would reduce the cost of 
the products, making them accessible to a wide public. 

The ceramics industry was one of the first to respond to the 
new demand for more individual, handmade objects. The 
illustrated pieces of art pottery share the movement's aesthetics 
and values: simplicity inspiration from nature (rather than from 
styles of the past), integration of decoration and form, and 
individuality — all three were thrown on a wheel, and then hand 

painted or incised. The chair from Greene 
and Greene's Blacker House exemplifies 
the Arts and Crafts movement's response 
to the local landscape (in this case 
Southern California), as well as the ideal 
of total integration, since the architects 
also designed all the furniture and lighting 
fixtures for the house. 



AMERICAN ART 



179 



George Bellows (United States, 1882-1925) 

Cliff Dwellers, 1913 

Oil on canvas 

40V8X42 in. (101.9x 106.7 cm) 

Los Angeles County Fund 
16.4 

GEORGE BELLOWS WAS A MEMBER of the Ash Can School, a group 
associated with the artist and teacher Robert Henri who painted the working- 
class slunns of New York's Lower East Side, its "ash cans," as one critic said. 
Cliff Dwellers is Bellows 's most complete urban street scene. Deftly conveying 
the storefronts and tenement stoops. Bellows focuses on the neighborhood's 
mothers and children, the domestic side of downtown life. The figures are 
almost caricatured by the few strokes Bellows has used to depict them, but 
the energy with which they are drawn holds the eye. Bellows made a related 
drawing under the title Why Don't They Go to the Country for a Vacation?, 
ironically calling attention not only to the poverty of the people but also to 
their humanity. 

At the same time, a very complex formal order underlies the painting. 
Both the compositional structure and the color harmonies are self-consciously 
developed along the lines of the theorist Hardesty Maratta. This conceptual 
rigor, typical of Bellows and fully deployed here to manage the many figures 
and details in the composition, is one of the strengths of his painting. 



180 




AMERICAN ART 



181 



Alfred Stieglitz (United States, 1864-1946) 

Music Equivalent, 1 922 

Gelatin-silver print 

7 x9V2 in. (17.8x24.1 cnn) 

Purchased with funds provided by Camilla Chandler Frost, Sheila and Wally Weisman, Robert F, 
Maguire III, the Grinstein Family, Alice and Nahum Lainer, and Dorothy and Paul Toeppen through the 
1998 Collectors Committee, and the Ralph M. Parsons Fund 
AC1 998.1 26.1 





182 




ALFRED STIEGLITZ IS CUSTOMARILY REGARDED as the single most 
influential American photograplier of the twentieth century. It may be said 
that his presence — as artist, publisher, and gallery director — not only 
assured photography of its modern position within the visual arts, but also 
went far in promoting modern art within the United States at the beginning 
of the century. By the early 1920s, Stieglitz felt that he had stretched the 
limits of his art, and he contemplated how the fundamentally materialistic 
vision of the camera could address abstract seeing. To that end, he began 
work on what many feel is his greatest contribution to photographic 
history — the Equivalents, a series of evocative images of clouds and sky In 
an article published in 1923, Stieglitz outlined how he came to the subject: 
"I wanted to photograph clouds to find out what I had learned in forty years 
about photography Through clouds to put down my philosophy of life — to 
show that my photographs were not due to subject matter — not to special 
trees, or faces, or interiors, to special privileges, clouds were there for 
even/one. ... I wanted a series of photographs which when seen by 
Ernest Bloch [the composer] he would exclaim: 'Music! Music! Man, why 
that is music.'" 

Music Equivalent of 1 922 is from the initial set of ten images Stieglitz 
made that involved this radical notion. Later he photographed only cloud 
forms, with no indication of the landscapes below; here, he still situates the 
clouds above the earth, producing a spectacular visual poem to their 
majestic orchestration. 



AMERICAN ART 183 



Anne Brigman (United States, 1869-1950) 
The Soul of the Blasted Pine, 1 908 
Gelatin-silver print 
7% X 95/8 in. (19.4 x 24.4 cm) 

Ralph M. Parsons Fund 
M. 2001 .8 



ANNE BRIGMAN, an influential and idiosyncratic Pictorialist photographer 
working in Northern California, was channpioned by Alfred Stieglitz. 
Brigman became the only California member of Stieglitz's Photo-Secession 
in 1906 and of the British Linked Ring Society in 1909. Both groups were 
dedicated to furthering the understanding of photography as art. Her 
position as both a Pictorialist and as a member of the Stieglitz group is 
indicative of the times in which traditional ideas of the uses of photography 
as art and a rising modernist aesthetic were often at odds. 

The dominant theme in the majority of her romantic and soft-focus 
imagery was the human figure in the landscape. Often posing nude within 
a meditative or expressive California landscape of weathered pines, 
precipitous cliffs, and limitless ocean, Brigman created images that reflect 
a bohemian lifestyle and a rising interest in transcendentalism. This use of 
tableaux and self-portraiture links her to Julia Margaret Cameron and her 
contemporary F. Holland Day. It also foreshadows the more conceptual 
pictorial investigations that arose toward the end of the twentieth century 

in work by artists such 
as Claude Cahun and 
Cindy Sherman. 




184 




Stanton Macdonald-Wright 

(United States, 1890-1973) 
Synchromy in Purple, 
late 191 8 or early 1919 
Oil on canvas 
36x28 in. (91.4x71.1 cm) 

Los Angeles County Fund 
60.51 

THE PIONEERING MODERNIST 
Stanton Macdonald-Wright 
cofounded Synchromism with 
Morgan Russell in Europe in 
1913. Desiring to achieve 
harmony and balance through the 
systematic but abstract use of 
color, the artist developed a color 
scale not unlike a musical scale; 
synchromy means "with color," 
just as symphony means "with music." With the outbreak of World War I, 
Macdonald-Wright returned to the United States, first living in New York 
City before settling in Southern California (the place of his childhood) in late 
1918. In Los Angeles he was destined to spearhead the emerging 
modernist movement of the region. 

This seated, muscular male nude is constructed as a series of fractured 
planes. Macdonald-Wright identified the dominant hue as purple, which in 
his color scale was actually red-violet. The major color chord is the red- 
violet, yellow-orange, and green that can be seen as a triad in the face. The 
artist equated each color with a different emotion, and according to his 
treatise on color, published in 1924, red-violet was "strong, rich in 
potentialities." Historians have suggested that the theme of Synchromy in 
Purple is creation. Painted soon after Macdonald-Wright's return home, it 
signifies the artist's belief that California held the future for modern art. 



AMERICAN ART 



185 



Edward Weston (United States, 1886-1958) 

Nude, 1925 

Gelatin-silver print 

6V4X8V2 in. (15.9x21.6 cm) 

Anonymous gift 
46.23.14 

EDWARD WESTON BEGAN HIS CAREER as a photographer in Tropico 
(now Glendale), California. His work until the early 1920s showed a distinct 
Pictorialist sensibility that lent itself to romantic subjects, theatrical lighting. 




186 



s^ 



and painterly effects. Responding to a rising modernist aesthetic and a 
pivotal meeting with Alfred Stieglitz in 1922, Weston doggedly undertook 
the straightfoHA/ard and unretouched photography of natural objects and 
scenes for which he became internationally known. For Weston, making 
photographs was not merely the creation of factual records or formally 
attractive compositions, but the communication of the essence of the 
object or scene before the camera, which he described as "the greater 
mystery of things revealed more clearly than the eyes see." 

Weston's photographs of isolated and anthropomorphized peppers and 
shells; his lyric abstractions of rock, kelp, and tide pools along the Carmel 

coast; and his intricately balanced patterning 
captured in the undulations of the Oceano sand 
dunes are among his more renowned series. His 
intermittent nude studies extended his master/ of 
photography's potential to reveal through balance, 
precision, and a perceptive sensitivity the intricate 
abstraction inherent in natural forms. 





AMERICAN ART 



187 




Imogen Cunningham 

(United States, 1883-1976) 
Aloe Bud, c. 1 929 
Gelatin-silver print 
14 X IO^/q in. (35.6 X 27.6 cm) 

Los Angeles County Fund 
30.45.7 

IMOGEN CUNNINGHAM first worked as an 
assistant to the studio and ettinographic 
photographer Edward Sheriff Curtis. After 
studying in Gernnany and starting her own studio 
in Seattle in 1910, she eventually moved to the 
San Francisco Bay area, where she became a 
dominant figure in the thriving photographic 
community that included Ansel Adams and Edward Weston. While 
Cunningham is perhaps best known for her beautiful and insightful 
portraiture, some of her most resonant images eschew the familiarity of 
faces and expression altogether. One of her early masterworks is this 
obliquely lighted and dramatically shadowed study of a lone aloe bud. Like 
other photographs of vegetables and flowers that she made about the 
same time, the image forefronts the bud's sensual form. 

Aloe Bud is an early representative image of an important international 
movement in twentieth-century photography away from the romantic and 
painterly images of the Pictorialist aesthetic toward a more precise and 
straightforward celebration of the camera's potential. In 1932 Cunningham, 
along with several other California photographers — including Adams, 
Weston, Willard Van Dyke, and Consuelo Kanaga — formed Group f/64. 
Declaring their work to be "pure photography," they emphasized clean, 
crisp line and detail and exhibited a new freedom from painterly 
conventions for their aesthetic definition. Although the group held only one 
exhibition in 1935, their work had far-reaching effects, greatly influencing 
succeeding generations of photographers. 



188 



Georgia O'Keeffe (United States, 1887-1986) 

Horse's Skull with Pink Rose, 1931 

Oil on canvas 

40x30 in. (101.6x76.2 cm) 

Gift of the Georgia O'Keeffe Foundation 
A01994. 159.1 




GEORGIA O'KEEFFE WAS BASED on the East Coast until late in her 
career. While vacationing in the Southwest in 1929, however, she fell in love 
with the region, and after the death of her husband, Alfred Stieglitz, in 
1946, she settled there permanently. O'Keeffe was fascinated by the desert 
ecology: the aridness of the land, the parched quality of its natural life, and 
the scorching sun. In 1931 she began combining found skulls and shank 
bones with artificial flowers and painting the simple arrangements as a 
"new way of trying to define [her] feeling about that country." These works 
received favorable attention when they were first exhibited in 1932 at 

Stieglitz's gallen/ An American Place. From 
these early bone images she went on to 
Mf^\ ^. develop her most iconic desert paintings, in 

401 . ^K which she set a single skull against a 

panoramic mountain-range backdrop. 

Horse's Skull with Pink Rose is a transitional 
work. The inclusion of a rose and the use of a 
rich, dark shade of blue refer back to the large 
floral paintings O'Keeffe had created a few 
years earlier in hues of orange, red, and other 
vivid colors. This work retains the intense 
coloration of the flower paintings rather than 
the more restricted palette of earth tones 
characteristic of her later desert scenes. The 
skull, symbol of the desert, has been isolated 
from its normal environment in the same manner that the flowers had been 
removed from their garden. Only later when O'Keeffe returned the skull to 
its natural environment did she also utilize a palette of blacks, browns, and 
beiges that underscore the elemental character of the region. 




AMERICAN ART 



189 



CALIFORNIA ART: IMPRESSIONISM TO MODERNISM 




Granville Redmond (United States, 
1871-1935), California Poppy Field, 
c. 1926, oil on canvas, 40 1/4 x 60 ■'74 in. 
(102.2 X 153 cm), gift of Raymond 
Griffith, 40.7 




Millard Sheets (United States, 
1907-1989), Angel's Flight, 1931 , oil 
on canvas, 50 V2 x 40% in. (128.3 x 
102.6 cm), gift of Mrs. L. M. Maitland, 
32.17 



For American Impressionist painters, California was a land wholly 
natural, drenched in light and joyfully colorful. They seldom 
approached grandeur in their paintings and instead preferred the 
comforts of the azure coast or the hush of the 
golden desert, as Southern Californians still 
do. The hectic pace of development around 
Los Angeles made every new arrival more 
acutely aware of the beauties of the land, 
preserved in canvases by Granville Redmond, 
William Wendt, and others. 

While local arts organizations were 
dominated by the Impressionists, the love of nature was not 
limited to them, and even at the height of their dominance, other 
visions thrived. Modernism still stands as the most convenient 
term for these styles and ideas, and Southern California quickly 
developed its own variety. Stanton Macdonald-Wright was the 
critical figure, encouraging an interest in different 
techniques and decorative effects. The influence of 
Diego Rivera and other Mexican muralists was also 
palpable. Realists like Millard Sheets reflected the dual 
interest in decorative elements and socially responsive 
art, capturing a California peopled by workers and the 
leisure class alike. Working in the Bay Area, Sargent 
Johnson in particular dedicated himself to depicting 
African American culture. 

For such a small and tightly knit scene, the level of 
experimentation was surprisingly high and fluid. 
Connected to international movements, Californians 
were distant physically from Europe and New York but were 
unintimidated by that distance; they knew that they lived in the 
leading image factory in the world. Many of the artists were as 




190 











.^ 


^ 




. ^ 


■ 



Sargent Johnson (United States, 1887-1967), 
Chester, 1930, painted terracotta, 11 V2 x 
4I/2 X 43/4 in. (29.2 X 1 1 .4 X 12 cm), gift of 
Mrs. William J. Robertson in memory of her 
father Adolph Loewi, AC1997.71.1 




daring with materials and techniques as they were 
with imager/. Knud IVlerrild especially, with his 
assemblages and Flux paintings, was as vivid and 
innovative as any artist working in the United 
States in the 1930s. Without much support, but 
also without much opposition from well- 
established art institutions (for there were none), 
the younger artists of Southern California and their 
teachers practiced a wide variety of styles, laying 
the groundwork for the art scene that flourished in 
the region after the war. 




Knud Merrild (Denmark, 
1894-1954, active United 
states). Provocative and 
Natural Form Organization, 
1933, oil on plaster and wood, 
24 X 16V4in. (61 x 41.2 cm), 
gift of Mrs. Knud Merrild, 
M.77. 136.2 



Lorser Feitelson (United States, 1898-1978), 
Life Begins, 1936, oil and collage on 
Masonite, 22 Vg x 26^2 in. (57.2 x 67.3 cm), 
purchased with funds provided by Mrs. W. H. 
Russell by exchange, the Blanche and 
George Jones Fund, and the Modern and 
Contemporary Art Council, with the 
cooperation of the Lorser Feitelson and Helen 
Lundeberg Feitelson Arts Foundation and 
Tobey C. Moss Gallery, ACI 996. 103.1 



AMERICAN ART 



191 



f*\ 





MODERN AND CONTEMPORARY ART 




194 



Mikhail Larionov (Russia, 1881-1964) 

Dancing Soldiers, 1909-10 

Oil on canvas 

345/g X 403/^6 in- (87.9 x 102.2 cnn) 

Purchased with funds provided by Mr. and Mrs. William Preston Harrison Collection, Mr. and Mrs. 
John C. Best, and Friends of the Museum, Charles Feldman, and Mr. and Mrs. Paul Kantor 
80.3 

MIKHAIL UXRIONOV PU\YED A PIVOTAL ROLE in advancing the most 
revolutionary artistic thinking in Russia. He and his companion, the artist 
Natalia Goncharova, spearheaded what they termed a Neoprimitive style. 
They urged fellow Russian artists not simply to imitate Western European 
modernism but to find inspiration in unique, indigenous folk art practices. 
By including pictorial distortions and crudely lettered graffiti in Dancing 
Soldiers, Larionov borrowed from the Russian tradition of the peasant 
lubok (popular woodblock illustration). 

Dancing Soldiers, based on Larionov's own experience of military 
service, portrays a raucous scene of soldiers at leisure. Two men 
engaged in a card game curse at each other, while a third drunkenly 
plays the accordion and sings a bawdy tune. By deliberately flattening 
the pictorial surtace, Larionov makes the soldiers appear to float in an 
amorphous red space, heightening the scene's fanciful quality The 
painting was shown in the 1910 exhibition in Moscow organized by the 
avant-garde Jack of Diamonds group, of which Larionov and 
Goncharova were founding members. 



MODERN AND CONTEMPORARY ART 1 95 



Natalia Goncharova (Russia, 1881-1962) 

Ballet Costume for a Young Woman from "The Golden Cockerel," 1914 

(1 937 reconstruction by the artist of lost original) 

Linen, cotton, and appliqued braid 

Headdress circumference 22 in. (55.9 cm); scarf cb. 22 in. (55.9 cm); 

blouse cb. I8V4 in. (46.4 cm) 

Purchased with funds provided by the Costume Council Fund 
M.68.51.8a-d 



THE BALLET THE GOLDEN COCKEREL, with music by Nicolai Rimsky- 
Korsakov, choreography by Michel Fokine, and costumes and sets by 
Natalia Goncharova, made its debut in Paris during the 1914 season of the 
Ballets Russes, The company's producer and charismatic director, Sergei 

Diaghilev, initiated a dramatic change in the 
concept of ballet when he introduced the 
troupe in Paris in 1909. He saw ballet as a 
complete work of art — integrating music, 
choreography that expressed the emotion of 
the music, sets designed to elucidate the 
story, and costumes. The highly original and 
sometimes controversial ballets were a 
collaboration of the day's leading composers, 
dancers, painters, sculptors, and 
choreographers from Europe and Russia. 

The Golden Cockerel tells the story of a 
half-bird/half-maiden who sets out to doom 
the tsar. Diaghilev wanted to blend exotic 
Oriental and Russian folk culture with the 
bold, graphic qualities of the new Russian 
art. He chose Goncharova because of her 
interest in Russian peasant folk tradition 
with its ties to eastern Asia, and because 
MM of her affiliation with the Russian avant- 

\ \ garde movement. 

1^ Based on the national peasant dress of 




196 



Russia, Goncharova's costumes comprised full, gathered skirts decorated 
with flat, bold patterns, simple blouses with brightly colored sleeves, and 
kerchiefs over cotton caps. The costume shows Goncharova's 
sophisticated mixing of traditional and contemporary art forms and 
prefigures an interest in costume and clothing design by other artists of the 
Russian avant-garde. 




Marc Chagall (Russia, 1887-1985, 

active in France) 

The Gamblers, 1919 

Watercolor, tempera, and graphite 

on paper 

155/8 X 20 in. (39.7 x 50.8 cm) 

Mr. and Mrs. William Preston Harrison Collection 
39.9.6 

THE GAMBLERS IS REUXTED to a 
commission Marc Chagall received in 
1919 to design scenery for a production of Nicolai Gogol's 1843 play of 
the same name at the Hermitage Theater in St. Petersburg. The influence 
of Russian folk art and mysticism that came to define the artist's work is 
perceptible in the drawing, which is characterized by bold and expressive 
colors and anatomical and spatial distortions. The spare palette of 
The Gamblers, as well as its simplicity and clarity of drawing and com- 
position, bespeak its connection to a theater set. 

The monumental and isolated figure in the drawing's foreground is 
Ikharev, the central character of Gogol's play. He throws his bilious green 
head back in despair, sickened by a universal corruption in which he is 
himself complicit. The absurdity and paradox that lay at the heart of 
Gogol's aesthetic held particular appeal for Chagall. A larger reading of 
The Gamblers suggests that it be viewed as a meditation on man's 
alienation and the capriciousness of fate. 

Chagall had returned to Russia in 1914 after several years in Paris, 
where he observed and absorbed the lessons of Cubism among other 
early-twentieth-century artistic movements. In this second Russian period 



MODERN AND CONTEMPORARY ART 



197 



(which lasted until 1923, when he returned to Paris), Chagall was 
closely involved with the theater, first in Vitebsk, Belorussia, as the 
Bolshevik-appointed Commissar of Fine Arts, and later in Moscow 
and St. Petersburg. 



Ernst Ludwig Kirchner (Germany, 

1 880-1 938) 

Two Women, 1911-12/22 

Oil on canvas 

59x47 in. (149.9 x 119.4 cm) 

Gift of B. Gerald Cantor 
60.33 

THE YEAR 1 91 1 was a milestone 
for the avant-garde German Ex- 
pressionist group Die Brucke 
(The Bridge). That autumn, its three 
key artists — Ernst Ludwig Kirchner, 
Erich Meckel, and Karl Schmidt- 
Rottluff — moved to Berlin from 
Dresden, where they had worked 
since 1905. The pulsating vitality of 
this modern city was immediately reflected in their paintings and prints. 

In Two Women, Kirchner depicted a pair of seamstresses on a Berlin 
street. The figure on the right resembles his friend Dodo (Doris) Crosse, 
who frequently modeled for the artist. Characteristic of Kirchner's work of 
this period, this painting is executed in strong colors and jagged lines, 
showing the awareness of Fauve as well as African and Oceanic art. He 
presents his two female subjects forcefully and directly and makes no 
attempt to beautify them; rather, he gives them lurid yellow complexions 
set off by rich black garments. This depiction remains less aggressive, 
however, than the many images Kirchner painted of hard-bitten and overtly 
sexualized young women on city streets, which reveal even more 
ambivalence toward modern urban life. 




198 



Kirchner resumed work on Two Women in the early 1920s in Davos, 
Switzerland, where he moved in 1918 following a war-induced nervous 
collapse. At this time, he heightened the contrast between various dark 
and light passages in the painting — for example, between the women's 
coats and the decorative cloth backdrop. On the reverse of Two Women is 
Kirchner's Indian Dancer in Yellow Skirt (191 1), a seductive, barefoot dancer 
in exotic dress that reveals an interest in "primitive" or non-Western 
subjects that Kirchner shared with other Die Brucke artists. 



Vasily Kandinsky (Russia, 1866-1944, active in Germany and France) 

Untitled Improvisation III, 1914 

Oil on cardboard 

25% X 193/4 in. (65 x 50.2 cm) 

Museum acquisition by exchange from David E. Bright Bequest 
M.85.151 



VASILY KANDINSKY ASSURED HIS REPUTATION as a central figure in the 
development of modern art through his pioneering abstract work in Munich 
prior to World War I. In 191 1 he and fellow artist Franz Marc formed the 
German Expressionist association Der Blaue Reiter (The Blue Rider). 

The following year, Kandinsky published 
Concerning the Spiritual in Art, a seminal text 
in the history of art. 

From 1910 to 1914, Kandinsky painted 
a series of highly abstracted works called 
Impressions, Improvisations, and Com- 
positions, terms he appropriated from music. 
These paintings are imbued with a turbulent, 
apocalyptic quality and contain veiled 
references to torrential floods, spear-wielding 
knights on horseback, and other evocative 
subjects. Kandinsky defined the Impro- 
visations as paintings produced out of a 
sudden and unconscious inner impulse. The 




MODERN AND CONTEMPORARY ART 



199 



GERMAN EXPRESSIONISM 




Ludwig Meidner (Germany, 1 884- 
1 966), Apocalyptic Landscape, 1913, 
oil on canvas, 37 "1/2 x 31 % in. (95.3 x 
80.3 cm), gift of Clifford Odets, 
60.65.1b 




Expressionism, an international 
movement in the visual arts as well as 
in literature, film, and theater, flourished 
in Germany between 1905 and 1925. 
The artists championed idealist values 
and sought to break free from the 
traditional restrictions of bourgeois 
society. They were principally concerned 
with expressing emotion and inner 
psychological truth. 

The founding members of the 
pioneering German Expressionist group Die Brucke (The 
Bridge) — Ernst Ludwig Kirchner, Erich Meckel, Karl Schmidt- 
Rottluff, and Fritz Bleyl — created images of anxiety and the social 
alienation experienced in the growing metropolis prior to the 
outbreak of World War I. Their paintings, sculptures, and prints 
showed the influence of "primitive" art, with its simplified forms, 
deliberately crude figuration, and powerful, often jarring 

juxtapositions of color. The members of the more 
stylistically diverse group Der Blaue Reiter (The 
Blue Rider), which was founded in 191 1 by Vasily 
Kandinsky, Franz Marc, and Gabriele Munter, 
developed nonrepresentational images related to 
spiritual concepts. 

For many Expressionist artists. World War I 
was a cataclysmic event that transformed their 
art. While the war brought disillusionment, further 



Erich Meckel (Germany, 1883-1970), 
Standing Child, 1910, woodcut, 
16i3/iex12lVi6in. (42.7 X 
32.2 cm), The Robert Gore Rifkind 
Center for German Expressionist 
studies, M.82.288.370b 



200 




Hermann A. Scherer (Germany, 
1893-1927), Sleeping Woman with 
Boy, 1926, painted wood, 19''/2 x 
135/^6x21 "I /gin. (49.5 X 35.4 X 
54.6 cm), gift of Anna Bing Arnold, 
M.84.30 



Kathe Kollwitz (Germany, 1867-1945), 
Self -Portrait, 1934, charcoal on paper, 
17 X 13''/4 in. (43.2 x 33.7 cm), Los 
Angeles County Fund, 69.1 




alienation, and death to many, it 
proved to be a core subject for the 
Expressionists. The subsequent 
revolution of 1918 provided an 
opportunity for the artists to join 
together in an idealistic effort to 
radically reshape modern society. 
The museum has a particularly 
rich collection of German Expressionist art — paintings, sculptures, 
prints, drawings, and illustrated books. The collection was built 
through purchases and gifts beginning in 1946, when German-born 
William Valentiner became codirector of the Los Angeles County 
Museum of History, Science and Art (the precursor of IJVCMA). In 
the 1980s, LAGMA established the Robert Gore Rifkind Center for 
German Expressionist Studies. This comprehensive collection 
includes approximately five thousand works on paper and a library 
of more than four thousand volumes, many containing original 
graphics, which were key to the accomplishments of the 

Expressionists. These holdings include not only 
superior impressions of woodcuts and lithographs 
by Kirchner, Meckel, Emil Nolde, and Kandinsky, 
but also rare periodicals and portfolios by Otto 
Dix, Kathe Kollwitz, and Max Pechstein, as well as 
numerous examples from lesser-known artists. 



MODERN AND CONTEMPORARY ART 



201 



quivering bruslistrokes, fluid lines, and saturated hues in Untitled 
Improvisation III combine to create the sort of work that Kandinsky believed 
would move the soul, like an inspiring piece of music. He fervently sought to 
reach viewers on a spiritual level and thereby combat the materialist forces 
that he felt imperiled modern society. 

Untitled Improvisation III was formerly owned by the artist Gabriele 
Munter and then by Hans Hofmann, the Abstract Expressionist painter who 
brought the work with him when he emigrated from Germany to the United 
States in 1931. 



Kurt Schwitters (Germany, 1 887-1 948) 
Construction for Noble Ladies, 1919 
Cardboard, wood, metal, and paint 
40 1/2 X 33 in. (102.9 x 83.8 cm) 

Purchased with funds provided by Mr. and Mrs. Norton Simon, the Junior Arts Council, Mr and Mrs. 
Frederick R. Weisman, Mr. and Mrs. Taft Schreiber, Hans de Schulthess, Mr and Mrs. Edwin Janss, 
and Mr. and Mrs. Gifford Phillips 
M.62.22 

THE YEARS IMMEDIATELY AFTER WORLD WAR I were filled with great 
ferment and experimentation. In this climate, poet, artist, and photographer 
Kurt Schwitters developed his own unique aesthetic, which he called "Merz." 
The concept was based on assemblage — the combining of ordinary objects 
with artistic elements. For Schwitters, Merz was an attempt to achieve 
freedom from all social, political, and cultural fetters. 

Construction for Noble Ladies is one of Schwitters 's large-scale reliefs 
known as Merzbilder (Merz pictures). It is revolutionary in its incorporation of 
everyday detritus — a funnel, broken wheels, a flattened metal toy train, and a 
ticket for shipping a bicycle by train — yet like the other Merzbilder, it remains 
an elegantly composed picture. A traditional portrait of a "noble lady" in 
profile, turned on her side and facing upward, is also included. These various 
found materials, seemingly whimsical and casual, are transformed into formal 
artistic elements by their arrangement according to Cubist principles. 
Embedded in the composition are hints of a narrative. 



202 




MODERN AND CONTEMPORARY ART 



203 



Georges Braque (France, 1 882-1 963) 

Still Life with Violin, 1913 

Oil on canvas 

361/2x26 in. (92.7 x 66 cm) 

Purchased with funds provided by the Mr and Mrs. George 
Gard De Sylva Collection and the Copley Foundation 
M.86,128 



TOGETHER WITH PABLO PICASSO, 
Georges Braque invented Cubism. Their 
paintings from the years 1909 to 1914 
seemed to grow one from the other, 
indicating the close relationship between 
the artists. Cubism was an art of everyday 
life tied particularly to the cafes of Paris; the 
works include vestiges of real-life referents 
(wood-grain paper, newspapers, packages 
of tobacco, and so forth). 
Still Life with Violin is a transitional work between the two phases of 
Cubism, the Analytic and the Synthetic. (The terms were coined by the 
artists' zealous Parisian dealer, Daniel-Henry Kahnweiler.) Braque 
incorporated the hallmarks of Analytic Cubism in his fragmentation of form 
into multiple shifting planes and in his use of a restrained palette of browns 
and grays. His depiction of wood grain signals the rise of Synthetic Cubism, 
in which the fragmented planes are simplified, flattened out through a lack of 
shading, and combined into often patterned forms that give the illusion of 
recognizable objects. The wood-grained rectangle in Still Life with Violin 
conjures up an image of a violin's gleaming wood surface; the S-scrolls 
suggest sound holes; and the horizontal bars suggest a sheet of music. 
Braque's use of the oval format, which he devised in 1909, is characteristic 
of his Cubist works, as is his inclusion of snippets of floating typography 
such as the one here reading "Duo pour" (duet for). For the Cubists, form 




took primacy over subject matter. 



204 



Henri Matisse (France, 1869-1954) 

Tea, 1919 

Oil on canvas 

55V4x83V4in. (140.3 x 21 1.5 cm) 

Bequest of David L. Loew in memory of Inis father, Marcus Loew 
M. 74. 52. 2 

TEA IS THE LARGEST PAINTING executed by Henri Matisse in the years 
just after World War I. It marks a notable departure from the artist's Fauve 
work, in which he sought to transform his feelings into pure color. This 
garden scene depicts Matisse's model Henriette, his daughter Marguerite, 
and his dog Lili relaxing at the artist's residence in the Parisian suburb of 
Issy-les-Moulineaux. Although Matisse's use of sunlight evokes the 
Impressionists' attraction to painting directly from nature, he focused more 
on communicating the cool lushness of the scene through adherence to 
local color. 

The masklike face of Marguerite, on the right, reflects the artist's long- 
standing interest in African art and contrasts sharply with the more 
conventionally rendered face of Henriette. In this sense. Tea is a logical 




MODERN AND CONTEMPORARY ART 



205 



extension of Matisse's formative work Heads ofJeannette (1910-13), also 
in the museum's collection, in which he progressively abstracted the female 
visage in a sequence of five bronze sculptures. 

In 1929 British art critic Roger Fry remarked that he found this painting 
to be "one of the most complete expressions of Matisse's highest powers." 
Tea was the last major Matisse painting acquired by Michael and Sarah 
Stein, brother and sister-in-law of Gertrude Stein and notable collectors in 
their own right. 



Laszio Moholy-Nagy (Hungary, 1895-1946, active in Germany 

and the United States) 

Untitled, c. 1925 

Gelatin-silver print 

93/8x7 in. (23.8 X 17.8 cm) 

Ralph M. Parsons Fund 
M.86.23 

A WRITER, PAINTER, PHOTOGRAPHER, AND TEACHER, Laszio Moholy- 
Nagy demonstrated a commanding talent in various arts, aesthetic theories, 
and art education. While still in Europe in the 1920s (he emigrated to the 
United States in 1937), Moholy sympathized with Dada and Constructivist 
artists who sought to erect a new aesthetic on the rubble of outworn 
bourgeois conventions. Moholy wanted to construct a new language of 
perceptions that would enable artists to take the greatest intellectual, 
spiritual, and aesthetic advantage of the world's emerging technologies. 

In the 1920s and 1930s, images of the artist's hand proliferated as a 
Constructivist sign, symbolizing among other things the role of the artist's 
intellect and sense of touch in an ever-increasing mechanization of art. 
Moholy's image was a response to a montage made in 1 924 by Russian 
architect and painter El Lissitzky in which an engineer's compass lies 
across the artist's extended fingers. Moholy's hand is a shadow, alluding 
to the mysterious presence of the artist rather than delineating the hand 
as one of many tools. 



206 




MODERN AND CONTEMPORARY ART 207 



Rene Magritte (Belgium, 1898-1967) 

La Trahison des images (Ceci n'est pas une pipe), c. 1928-29 

Oil on canvas 

253/8x37 in. (64.5 x 94 cm) 

Purchased with funds provided by the Mr. and Mrs. William Preston Harrison Collection 
78.7 




Ceci ri'^fixu wmfuf^. 



niafHU 



M TRAHISON DES iMAGES (Ceci n'est pas une pipe) (The Treachery of 
images [This is not a pipe]) is one of Rene Magritte's Surrealist 
masterpieces and an icon of modern art. Heavily influenced by Freudian 
psychology, Surrealism represented a reaction against the "rationalism" that 
some believed led Europe into the horrors of World War I. It attempted to 
join the realm of dreams and fantasy to the everyday world. 

Magritte's word-image paintings are treatises on the impossibility of 
reconciling words, images, and objects. La Trahison des images challenges 
the linguistic convention of identifying an image of something as the thing 
itself. At first, Magritte's point appears simplistic, almost to the point of 



208 



provocation: A painting of a pipe is not the pipe itself. In fact, this work is 
highly paradoxical. Its realistic style and caption format recall advertising, a 
field in which Magritte had worked. Advertisements, however, elicit 
recognition without hesitation or equivocation; this painting causes the 
viewer to ponder its conflicting messages. 

Magritte's use of text in his word-image paintings influenced a younger 
generation of conceptually onented artists, including Jasper Johns, Roy 
Lichtenstein, Robert Rauschenberg, Edward Ruscha, and Andy Warhol. 



Vasily Kandinsky (Russia, 1866-1944, active in Germany and France) 

Semicircle, 1927 

Watercolor and India ink on paper 

19 X 12% in. (48.3x32.1 cm) 

Estate of David E. Bright 
M.67.25.7 



DURING THE 1920s, VASILY KANDINSKY was one of the most influential 
instructors at the Bauhaus, the experimental art school founded at Weimar, 
then later reestablished at Dessau. Previously in his native Russia during 

and after World War I, while under the influence 
of Constructivists Kasimir Malevich and Vladimir 
Tatlin, the artist began to move away from the 
freewheeling and organic abstraction of the 
prewar years toward a purer geometric language. 
Kandinsky produced Semicircle during his 
Bauhaus period, when his predilection for 
geometric forms had fully asserted itself. 

The circles, semicircles, thangles, rectangles, 
checkerboards, and squares that populate 
Semicircle are all arranged according to strict 
color and compositional harmonies carefully 
worked out by the artist. Floating in a sea of 
liquid orange, his forms defy the traditional 
relationship in painting between figure and 
ground. For Kandinsky the circle had symbolic 




MODERN AND CONTEMPORARY ART 



209 



and cosmic meaning: "Tine circle is the synthesis of the greatest 
oppositions," he wrote in 1929. "I love the circle today as I formerly loved 
the horse." Significantly, Kandinsky's drawings, which were often 
preliminary studies for paintings, achieved an independent status during 
this period, perhaps to a greater degree than before or after. 




Pablo Picasso (Spain, 

1881-1973) 

Female Nude Kneeling before 

a Mirror, 1 934 

Ink, watercolor, and colored 

chalks on paper 

97/8X 13% in. 

(25.1 X 34.6 cm) 

Mr. and Mrs. William Preston Harrison 

Collection 

39.9.12 



THE SUBJECT OF THE ARTIST AND HIS MODEL preoccupied Pablo 
Picasso at least from the late 1920s. Female Nude Kneeling before a Mirror 
dates from a period of intense graphic activity, during which Picasso was 
working on his famous series of one hundred etchings, the Vollard Suite, 
forty-six of which were devoted to the theme of the sculptor in his studio. 

In these images, Picasso mingled the Neoclassicism that characterized 
much of his work of the 1920s with 1930s Surrealism. Elements of both 
styles are evident in Female Nude Kneeling before a Mirror, a drawing 
characterized by sensuous calligraphic lines and rich washes of color. The 
voluptuous modeling of the female form, with its cross-hatching and 
decorative patterning of tear-shaped pen strokes, gives the drawing a 
particular vibrancy. 

The kneeling nude — her head thrown back, her arms raised, her mouth 
slightly open — seems autoerotically absorbed by her own reflection in the 
mirror. At the same time, a bearded man (a frequent surrogate for Picasso) 
peers at her voyeuhstically through an open window. The act of observing, 
both passive (the mirror) and active (the model/muse, the voyeur, the artist. 



210 



the external viewer), thus becomes the drawing's central thenne. Its mystery 
and sexual tension are further enhanced by the candle, which provides the 
chamber's only light and casts a warm yellow glow across the model's 
naked form. 



Pablo Picasso (Spain, 1881-1973) 
Weeping Woman with l-landl<ercliief, 1 937 
Oil on canvas 
21 X 17 1/2 in. (53.3 X 44.5 cm) 

Gift of Mr. and Mrs. Thomas Mitchell 
55.90 



PABLO PICASSO'S LONG CAREER comprised several successive and 
radical shifts in formal concerns and, to a lesser degree, in subject matter. 
During and after his stylistic periods — Blue, Rose, Cubism, Neoclassicism, 
and Surrealism — Picasso explored themes in his own life and the world 
around him. 

In 1937 Picasso executed his mammoth antiwar canvas Guernica, a 
protest to the carnage of the Spanish Civil War. After Picasso completed 

Guernica he abandoned all but one of 
its motifs: the weeping woman. He 
drew her frequently, almost obsessively, 
for the next several months. 

Tears all over her face, the figure in 
Weeping Woman witii l-landi<ercliief is 
an emblem of despair. Yet crowned 
with the traditional matronly mantilla, 
she is also the embodiment of Spanish 
womanhood. She represented 
Picasso's public and private agony: 
She was the victim of war, the grieving 
mother, the terrified peasant, the 
stunned survivor; but more specifically, 
she was a portrait of his lover, the 
artist-photographer Dora Maar, one in 




MODERN AND CONTEMPORARY ART 



211 




Claude Cahun [Lucy Schwob] (France, 
1894-1954), I.O.U. (Self- Pride), 
1929-30, gelatin-silver print, 
6x4Vgin. (15.2 X 10.5 cm), 
The Audrey and Sydney Irmas 
Collection, AC1 992. 197.27 



PHOTOGRAPHIC SELF-PORTRAITURE 

For some, the human face is a text that has to be read and 
deciphered. For others, there is no essential singularity to the 
face; it is always in motion, acting out, performing itself. 
Photographic portraits, whether traditional, modernist, or 
postmodernist, whether text or performance, can be construed 
as maps of the subject's inner workings. Self-portraits are even 
more revealing — charts of the most personal sort usually done 
in quiet complicity with the self. Even at their most distorted, 
fragmented, or affected, self-portraits have for the most part 
stayed remarkably true to their traditional values of unmasking 
piL4^-i— ^^ Jfi the artist's ego. 

Solidified in 1 992 by Audrey and Sydney 
Irmas 's gift of nearly 1 50 works of self- 
picturing and added to periodically since then, 
the museum's collection of photographic 
self-portraits ranges in variety from Alphonse- 
Louis Poitevin as a solid bourgeoisie and 
Francis Frith dressed in a Levantine costume 
in the 1 850s to Yasumasa Morimura as Vivien 
Leigh and Martin Kersels as a falling 
trampolinist in the 1990s. 

Each self-portrait in the Audrey and 
Sydney Irmas Collection is a single image or 
a discrete set of images, a sample or samples 
of the self's reflection once removed. These 
samples affirm the artists' individual selves, 
not as shards or fragments of the psyche 
but as whatever can be imagined. Each self-portrait thus 
evidences the essential multiplicity of selves that were and are 
the artists', and in turn, by implication, shows that none of us 
is a singular self. 




212 





Walker Evans (United States, 
1903-1975), Silhouette Self- Portrait, 
1927, gelatin-silver print, 5\ x 3\ in. 
(13.7 X 8.6 cm). The Audrey and 
Sydney Irmas Collection, 
AC1 992.1 97.49 




Man Ray [Emmanuel Rudnitsky] (United States, 
1890-1976, active in France), Self-Portrait, c. 1944, 
gelatin-silver print, Q'^/q x 5'' 73 (17.5 x 13 cm), 
The Audrey and Sydney Irmas Collection, 
AC1 992. 197.86 



Diane Arbus (United States, 1923-1971), 
Self-Portrait in Mirror, 1 945, gelatin-silver print, 
6 V2 X 4% in. (16.5 x 1 1 .7 cm). The Audrey and 
Sydney Irmas Collection, AC1 992, 197.4 



MODERN AND CONTEMPORARY ART 



213 



a long line of Picasso's nnuses. Picasso's dramatic relationships with 
women informed the metaphors he used to express the intensity of his 
feelings over events in Spain. 



Jackson Pollock (United States, 1912-1956) 
Untitled, c. 1 945 

Crayon, pastel, and gouache on paper 
25% X 20 1/2 in. (65.1 x 52.1 cm) 

Gift of Anna Bing Arnold and purchased with funds provided by Mr. William Inge, Dr. and 
Mrs. Kurt Wagner, Graphic Arts Council Fund, and Museum Acquisition Fund 
M.87.65 



UNTITLED EXEMPLIFIES JACKSON POLLOCK'S pivotal period from 1945 
to 1 946 when he shifted from the pictographic figurative references of his 
earlier work (heavily influenced by Native American art as well as Jungian 
psychology) to the gossamer fluidity of his mature drip paintings, the first of 
which date from 1947. 

The thick black calligraphic lines, circles, and almond shapes of this 
drawing refer back to the figurative allusions and hieroglyphic notations of 

the early 1940s, as does the masklike 
form hovering at the center behind a 
structuring grid of colored bars. At the 
same time, the loosely flowing curves of 
the black lines, interwoven with the 
straight, crisscrossing bars, look 
forward to the tangled skeins of paint 
Pollock would employ in the famous 
drip paintings. The effect of these two 
diverging elements — the delineating 
bars lying on the drawing's surface, and 
the more organic shapes and lines 
behind them — is to emphasize both 
flatness and depth simultaneously 

Pollock considered his drawings 
to be fully realized works rather than 




'•« iUA Ontrl^ •"• 



214 



studies for his paintings. Wliile Untitled is closely related to Pollock's oils of 
the same period, it stands on its own as a testament to the artist's ferocious 
creativity and independent spirit. 



Willem de Kooning (United States, born Holland, 1904-1997) 

Woman, c. 1952 

Pastel, graphite, and charcoal on paper 

143/8 X 121/8 in. (36.5 x 30.8 cm) 

Purchased with funds provided by the estate of David E. Bright, Paul Rosenberg and Co., 

and Lita A Hazen 

M.75.7 

WILLEM DE KOONING, one Of the key figures 

of Abstract Expressionism, was trained in 
Rotterdam. He moved to New York City in 
1927 and later to Long Island, where he 
remained for the rest of his life. Never 
succumbing fully to nonfigurative painting, 
de Kooning claimed that "even abstract shapes 
must have a likeness." 

Figures of women dominate the artist's work 
___ from as early as the 1 930s and can be said to 
/ /I lylf I be the central, crucial theme of his career. 

Particularly in the early 1 950s, de Kooning was 
consumed with the subject, producing a series 
of paintings and drawings of enormous power 
and significance. The painting, Woman I (1950-52, Museum of Modern Art, 
New York), was the great, seminal work of this period. 

De Kooning's pastel Woman belongs to the large group of drawings 
connected to the artist's Woman series (1950-55), and it may fall within a 
particularly impressive subgroup made in Southampton, Long Island, in the 
summer of 1 952 that relates directly to the painting Woman I. The pastel also 
bears certain similarities (the yellow blouse and red skirt, for example) to 
another painting from the series. Woman IV (1952-53, Nelson-Atkins 
Museum of Art). Woman lacks the menacing presence of some of the works 




MODERN AND CONTEMPORARY ART 



215 



in the series, many of whicli have large, staring eyes and grotesque mouths 
with bared teeth. Instead, de Kooning has abstracted the figure's head to a 
boxlike form intersected by a swirling parabola that echoes the form's 
voluminous breasts, thus emphasizing the archetypal nature of the image. 




Mark Rothko (United States, born Latvia, 1903-1970) 

White Center, 1 957 

Oil on canvas 

84x72 in. (213.4 x 182.9 cm) 

The David E. Bright Bequest 
M. 67. 25.21 

ABSTRACT EXPRESSIONIST MARK ROTHKO is known for the hovering, 
shimmering fields of color in his mature paintings. In his early works of the 
1 930s, Rothko explored Social Realist themes, including works made under 
the auspices of the Works Progress Administration. By the early 1940s, he 



216 



was exploring Surrealism as well as mythic and so-called primitive art. By 
the end of that decade, however, Rothko had rejected the representational 
subject matter of Surrealism and arrived at his mature style. 

The color fields of White Center reflect Rothko 's fascination with the 
emotional and visual power of the color red, which dominates his canvases 
of the 1950s and 1960s. The red rectangles suggest ritual and elemental 
associations (blood and fire, life and death), while an inner light seems to 
emanate from the white center, suggesting an ethereal, numinous glow. 
For Rothko, color was the key to a spiritual realm, evoking transcendental 
truths that could not be expressed through recognizable imagery. 



Eames Storage Unit 

Designed by Charles Eames 

(United States, 1907-1978) and 

Ray Eames (United States, 

1912-1988), 1949-50 

Made by Herman Miller Furniture 

Company, Zeeland, Michigan, 

1951-55 

Zinc-plated steel, birch-faced 

plywood, plastic-coated plywood, 

lacquered particle board, and 

rubber 

69x47x16 in. 

(175.3X 119.4x40.6 cm) 

Gift of Mr. Sid Avery and Mr James Corcoran 
M. 86. 105 



PARTNERS IN LIFE AS WELL AS IN WORK, Charles and Ray Eames were 
polymath designers. From the 1940s to the 1970s, this husband-and-wife 
team created furniture, toys, buildings, films, exhibitions, and books. 
Working from their production studio in Venice, California, they expanded 
the borders of design, exploring applications of ergonomics and inventing 
new uses for materials. Important early advocates of new technologies and 




MODERN AND CONTEMPORARY ART 



217 



multimedia experiments, they believed good design in the service of 
progressive modernization could bring about social change. 

The Eameses were guided by a fundamental principle: "recognizing 
the need." During the postwar era, they produced multifunctional, modern, 
well-designed furniture for the widest possible audience. Their residence. 
Case Study House #8, became a testing ground for their ideas about 
innovative, standardized production. This storage unit shares the same 
qualities as the fagade of the house: a geometric steel grid with colorful 
panels. The first Eames cabinet pieces to be mass-produced, the storage 
units were designed as modules to accommodate a wide variety of 
residential and office functions. Compact, flexible, and inexpensive, the 
storage units were the perfect expression of the Eameses' aim to make 
low-cost, high-quality designs available to the average consumer Ironically 
the furniture was not commercially successful, and unlike their chairs, 
remained in production for only four years. 



David Smith (United States, 1906-1965) 

Cubi XXIII, 1964 

Stainless steel 

76 V4 X 172^/8 X 35% in. (193.7 x 439.1 x 89.9 cm) 

Purchased with funds provided by the Modern and Contemporan/ Art Council 
M.67.26 

MORE THAN ANY OTHER ARTIST of his generation, David Smith brought 
American sculpture to international attention. He combined the teachings 
of European art histon/ with American know-how. Smith derived formal 
structures from Cubism and Constructivism, added playfulness and 
symbolism from Surrealism, and found physical freedom in Expressionism. 
His blue-collar training as a steelworker brought a rugged and practical 
perspective to his work. The iron sculptures of Pablo Picasso and Julio 
Gonzalez gave Smith the confidence and inspiration to use iron and steel, 
mediums he had previously associated with manual labor. 

By the end of his career, Smith was exploring the medium itself as a 
theme: how steel interacts with sunlight, how negative space defines form, 



218 



how lines in space may suggest human shapes. His final and most 
celebrated series, Cubi, is the mature realization of Smith's elegant and 
powerful geometry. Cubi XXIII is a study in light and mass; it does not so 
much occupy space as illuminate it. 

In 1965 the museum was planning one of its earliest exhibitions, a 
show of Smith's sculpture, when the artist died in a car accident. The 
exhibition became a memorial to the man and his work. 




MODERN AND CONTEMPORARY ART 21 9 




Sigmar Poike 

(Germany, born 1941) 

The Fountain of Youth, 

1984 

Toned gelatin-silver print 

50 X 110 in. 

(127 x279.4 cm) 

Purchased with funds provided by 
the Art Museum Council, 1992 
AC1 992. 150.1 



THE FOUNTAIN OF YOUTH is one of Polke's major works of the mid- 
1 980s. It takes its title from a Renaissance painting by Lucas Cranach 
(1546, Gemaldegalerie, Staatliche Museen, Berlin), which is visible in the 
center of the photowork. Polke's photograph of The Fountain of Youth also 
captures the museum interior, showing two visitors examining the painting. 
PoIke overlays an inverted scene of the exterior of the museum, visible only 
in an array of circular forms and a vertical strip along the right edge of the 
work. In this scene, revealed in fragments, a woman wearing a polka-dot 
blouse, a white glove, short boots, and a long, dark flared skirt dramatically 
kicks up her heels in front of the museum. By conflating these two views, 
PoIke suggests that true youthful vitality may reside in the city's street life, 
rather than on the museum's walls. 



Anselm Kiefer (Germany, born 1 945) 

777e eoo/c, 1985 

Lead, steel, and tin 

1 1 4 X 21 3 1/2 x 34 in. (289.6 x 542.3 x 86.4 cm) 

Purchased with funds provided by the Modern and Contemporary Art Council and Louise and 

Harold Held 

M.85.376 

ANSELM KIEFER IS ONE OF THE MOST ELOQUENT representatives of 
the generation of German artists born immediately after World War II who 
returned to the traditions of painting after the advent of Conceptual art in 



220 



the late 1960s and early 1970s. Kiefer's symbols often have several layers 
of meaning. He also employs text to enrich and clarify his imagery, even 
creating books out of photographs enhanced by sand, metals, and straw. 

The Book, a rare sculpture in Kiefer's work, is an iconic summation of 
many of his artistic concerns. It incorporates a monumental span of wings, 
a recurring symbol that refers to creative inspiration as a means to a new 
and better existence. But Kiefer's wings are also associated with Icarus of 
Greek mythology, who fell to his death when he dared to fly too close to 
the sun. Hence this complex object contains both the power of desire and 
the risk of failure. 

The book itself is another of Kiefer's favored symbols, connoting 
knowledge that can result in both good and evil. The specter of history, 
particularly the history of German nationalism, haunts Kiefer's work, and his 
awareness of Jews as the people of the Book adds further meaning to the 
sculpture. The lead surface of The Book is metaphorically significant; heavy 
and antithetical to flight, this metal was also used by medieval alchemists 
who attempted to turn base elements into gold. Every aspect of this work, 
including its great size, conveys Kiefer's intense aspirations. 





-fMf--hi. 






MODERN AND CONTEMPORARY ART 



221 



SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA ART 




Edward Kienholz (United States, 1927- 
1994), Back Seat Dodge '38, 1964, 
mixed media, 66 x 240 x 144 in. 
(167.6 X 609.6 x 365.8 cm), purchased 
with funds provided by the Art Museum 
Council, M.81.248a-e 




Edward Ruscha (United States, born 
1937), Actual Size, 1962, oil on canvas, 
72x67 in. (182.9 x 170.2 cm), 
anonymous gift through the 
Contemporary Art Council, M.63.14 



With thousands of objects by 
California artists amassed by six 
curatorial departnnents, the museum's 
collections reflect the historical 
development of art in California from 
the early years of the twentieth 
century to the region's ascendance as 
an international center for the creation 
of contemporary art. 

Especially well represented is art 
made since 1965, when the museum 
was established as an independent institution. In the 1960s, Los 
Angeles-based artist Craig Kauffman was one of a group of 
artists who used vacuum-formed plastics, vapor-coated glass, 
and luminous pigments to impart an ethereal quality to his work. 
Other artists used less sleek materials. Edward Kienholz's 
evocative tableaux — Back Seat Dodge '38, for example — used 
found objects, such as a junked automobile, to 
create assemblages that were laden with 
political, psychological, or spiritual meanings. 
Edward Ruscha and Eleanor Antin explored 
language- and narrative- based forms and were 
among the pioneers of Pop and Conceptual 
art. Recent California art at the museum ranges 
from landscape photography evoking the 
sublime by Sharon Lockhart to Chris Burden's 
oversize police uniforms that reflect 
contemporary social anxieties. 

Fine art printmaking by Southern California 
workshops is also represented at the museum. From the 1960s, 
the Tamarind Lithography Workshop, Gemini G.E.L., and Cirrus 



222 



Chris Burden (United States, born 1931), 
L.A.P.D. Uniforms. 1993, fabric, leather, 
wood, metal, and plastic, 88 x 72 x 6 in. 
(223.5 X 182.9 x 15.2 cm) each, 
purchased with funds provided by the 
Modern and Contemporary Art Council, 
M. 2000. 151. 1-4 




Bruce Nauman (United States, born 
1941), Raw-War, 1971, 3-color 
lithograph on Arches paper, printed in 
3 runs from 3 matrices (stones and 
aluminum plates), 22^2 x 28 V4 in. 
(57.2 x 71 .8 cm). Cirrus Editions 
Archive, purchased with funds 
provided by the Director's Roundtable, 
and gift of Cirrus Editions, M.86.2.678 




TttT 



Editions have dramatically fostered the 
cosmopolitanism of the Los Angeles art scene. 
Begun in the 1970s, Self-Help Graphics 
supported the Chicane political and cultural 
movement. In addition to publishing such major 
California artists as Vija Celmins and Bruce 
Nauman, these four workshops attracted 
hundreds of international figures, including 
Rufino Tamayo, Robert Rauschenberg, and Roy 
Lichtenstein, who spent time in Los Angeles. 

Southern California has also been a leader in setting fashion 
trends. Beginning in the 1930s, a number of prominent 
Hollywood movie costume designers — including Adrian, Irene, 
Bonnie Cashin, Howard Greer, and Jean-Louis — extended 
successful careers by opening their own couture houses, and 
some of their signature work forms the museum's in-depth 
collections. Southern California's beach culture influenced the 
development of American swimwear, while the region's year- 
round indoor/outdoor lifestyle gave rise to the casually stylish 
American sportswear ensemble. Rudi Gernreich's visionary 
designs, which influenced pop culture during the turbulent 1960s, 
and the elegant haute couture of James Galanos are extensively 
represented in the museum's collections. 



Rudi Gernreich (Austria, 1922-1985, active in 
the United States), Tunic and Pants, 1968, wool 
knit with metal hooks and leather trim, cb. 30 in. 
(76.2 cm), inseam 31 in. (78.7 cm), gift of Tomi 
Kuwayama, ACI 999.205. 1.1 -2 



MODERN AND CONTEMPORARY ART 



223 




David Hockney (England, bom 1937, active in the United States) 

Mulholland Drive: The Road to the Studio, 1980 

Acrylic on canvas 

86x243 in. (218.4 x 617.2 cm) 

Purchased with funds provided by the F. Patrick Burns Bequest 
M.83.35 

AFTER A BRILLIANT CAREER at the Royal College of Art in London and 
having already achieved international fame as a Pop artist, the young and 
multitalented David Hockney left his native England for Los Angeles in the 
early 1960s. "Within a week of arriving there in this strange big city, not 
knowing a soul, I'd passed the driving test, bought a car, driven to Las 
Vegas and won some money, got myself a studio, started painting, all 
within a week. And I thought, it's just how I imagined it would be." Perhaps 
it is his outsider's perspective that gives Hockney such fondness for his 
adopted hometown; his long and varied career in painting, photography, 
writing, stage design, and other endeavors has frequently paid homage to 
the distinctive atmosphere that pervades Los Angeles. Hockney revels in 
the sea, sun, sky, canyons, handsome young men, and overindulgent 
luxuries that have come to characterize Southern California. 

l\/iuihoiland Drive: The Road to the Studio, Hockney 's largest single 
canvas, is based on his experience of daily drives along the curving hillcrest 
road to and from his studio; it reads from left to right following the artist's 



224 




K journey across the landscape. The San Fernando Valley in the background 
Ij is depicted in nnaplike lines. Certain details — grass and foliage — are 
carefully rendered and stand out vividly while others are generalized, as if 
blurred in Hockney's peripheral vision. Hockney uses bright, daring color, 
explaining, "I like it and surround myself with it because I think, frankly, it 
nnakes life a bit more joyful." 



Sherrie Levlne (United States, born 1947) 
Crystal Newborn, 1993; Black Newborn, 1994 
Cast and sandblasted glass 
5 X 8 X 8 1/2 in. (1 2.7 X 20.3 x 21 .6 cm) each 

Gift of Daniel Greenberg and Susan Steinlnauser; 
Purclnased with funds provided by 
Daniel Greenberg and Susan Steinhauser 
AC1997.249.31; AC1 995.87.1 



SHERRIE LEVINE CREATED TWO EDITIONS (each of twelve) of Newborn, 
one in translucent, frosted white glass and the other in black glass. Both 
versions were cast from Constantin Brancusi's 1915 marble sculpture of 
the same name in the collection of the Philadelphia Museum of Art. 

In the creation of these elegant objects, Levine utilized the notion of 
appropriation that she helped to define in the early 1980s. By brazenly 
toying with the idea of plagiarism, Levine calls attention to the conventional 
recycling of aesthetic forms, thus questioning whether any art is truly 

original. Her various copying tech- 
niques — rephotography redrawing, 
and, in this case, casting from 
another medium — undercut the 
concept of uniqueness that has been 
essential to the historical and com- 
mercial appraisal of the "authentic" 
art object. 

Ambivalence is central to 
Levine's project. Although she seeks 
to undermine the celebration of 




MODERN AND CONTEMPORARY ART 



225 



individual "genius" that Inas dominated nnany Inistories of modernism, she 
also has great affection for the art she usurps. While her appropriations 
criticize, they also express a longing for the heroism of high modernism at a 
time when one of its most defining characteristics, newness, no longer 
seems attainable. The irony is that by adopting Brancusi's sculpture as a 
means of acknowledging this dilemma, Levine has reincarnated that work 
into something novel. Under her aegis the title Newborn becomes a 
purposeful double entendre. 



Bill Viola (United States, born 1951) 
Slowly Turning Narrative, 1 992 
Video-sound installation with rotating screen 
14 X 20 X 490 ft. (4.3 x 6.1 x 12.5 m) 

Purchased with funds provided by the ivlodern and Contemporary Art Council 
AC1 995. 146.1 

BILL VI0L7\, A MEMBER OF THE FIRST GENERATION to grow up with 
television, is an acclaimed pioneer of the medium of video art. Encoun- 
tering his Slowly Turning Narrative, the viewer enters a darkened gallery 
where overhead projectors are aimed from opposite sides of the room 
onto a rotating plane perpendicular to the floor in the center. One surface 
of the plane is a white screen that receives the video projections, while 
the obverse surface is a mirror that casts the reflected images around the 
walls of the room. 

One projection features a colorful procession of vignettes of daily 
human activity and life: newborn babies, children at play, people at work, 
automobile accidents, lovers, celebrations, city life, nature — a catalogue 
of everything that constitutes the world we inhabit and the events that 
construct our individual histories. The other is a black-and-white projection 
of a close-up of the artist reciting the phrases "the one who knows," "the 
one who cries," "the one who reads," "the one who loves," "the one who 
believes," and so on. His incantation evokes human consciousness and 
the reflective nature of humankind. The reeling images at the center of the 



226 



room and coursing its perimeter tinus enfold the viewer in a colloquy 
between the daily events of the physical world and the contemplative 
self, which has the uniquely human capacity to reflect on and ascribe 
meaning to life. 




MODERN AND CONTEMPORARY ART 227 




4 



PHOTOGRAPHY CREDITS 

Most photographs are reproduced courtesy ot the creators and lenders of the material 
depicted. For certain artwork and documentary photographs we have been unable to 
trace copyright holders. We would appreciate notification of additional credits for 
acknowledgment in future editions. 

pp. 3, 210, and 211:© 2002 Picasso Administration/Artists Rights Society (ARS), 
New York; pp. 8 and 224-25: © 2002 David Hockney; p. 141 : © Estate of Carlos 
Merida/SOMAAR MexicoA/AGA, New York; pp. 143, 144, and 145 (bottom): © 2002 
Banco de Mexico Diego Rivera and Frida Kahio Museums Trust. Reproduction 
authorized by the Institute Nacional de Bellas Artes y Literatura; p. 145 (top): © Estate 
of David Alfaro Siqueiros/SOMAAR MexicoA/AGA, New York; p. 147: © Estate of the 
artist in support of Fundacion Olga y Rufino Tamayo, A.C.; p. 148: © 2002 Estate of 
Joaquin Torres-Garcia/Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York/ADAGR Paris; p. 152: 
© Enrique Chagoya; p. 154: Courtesy of the artist and Galerie Leiong, New York; 
p. 177: © Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation; pp. 186-87: © 1981 Center for Creative 
Photography, Arizona Board of Regents; pp. 188 and 228: © 2002 The Imogen 
Cunningham Trust; p. 189: © 2002 Georgia O'Keeffe Foundation/Artists Rights 
Society (ARS), New York; p. 190 (bottom): © Millard Sheets Estate; p. 191 (center): 
© Lorser Feitelson and Helen Lundeberg Feitelson Arts Foundation; p. 191 (bottom): 
Estate of Knud Merrild; p. 194: © 2002 Mikhail Larionov Estate/Artists Rights Society 
(ARS), New York/ADAGR Paris; p. 196: © 2002 Natalia Goncharova Estate/Artists 
Rights Society (ARS), New York/ADAGR Paris; p. 197: © 2002 Marc Chagall 
Estate/Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York/ADAGR Paris; p. 198: © Ernst Ludwig 
Kirchner, by Ingeborg and Dr. Wolfgang Henze-Ketterer, Wichtrach/Bern; pp. 199 and 
209: © 2002 Wassily Kandinsky Estate/Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York/ 
ADAGP, Paris; p. 200 (top): © Ludwig Meidner-Archiv, Judisches Museum der Stadt 
Frankfurt am Main; p. 200 (bottom): © 2002 Nachlass Erich Heckel/Artists Rights 
Society (ARS), New York/VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn; p. 201 (bottom): © 2002 Kathe 
Kollwitz Estate/Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York/VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn; p. 203: 
© 2002 Kurt Schwitters Estate/Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York/VG Bild-Kunst, 
Bonn; p. 204: © 2002 Georges Braque Estate/Artists Rights Society (ARS), New 
York/ADAGR Paris; p. 205: © 2002 Succession H. Matisse/Artists Rights Society 
(ARS), New York; p. 207: © 2002 Laszio Moholy-Nagy Estate/Artists Rights Society 
(ARS), New YorkA/G Bild-Kunst, Bonn; p. 208: © 2002 C. Herscovici/Artists Rights 
Society (ARS), New York; p. 213 (top): © Walker Evans Archive, The Metropolitan 
Museum of Art; p. 213 (center): © 2002 Man Ray Estate/Artists Rights Society (ARS), 
New York/ADAGR Paris; p. 213 (bottom): © The Estate of Diane Arbus, 1986; p. 214: 
© 2002 Pollock-Krasner Foundation/Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York; p. 215: 
© 2002 Willem de Kooning Revocable Foundation/Artists Rights Society (ARS), New 
York; p. 216: © 1998 Kate Rothko Prizel and Christopher Rothko/Artists Rights 
Society (ARS), New York; p. 217: © Lucia Fames dba Fames Office; p. 219: © Estate 
of David Smith/VAGA, New York; p. 220: © Sigmar Poike; p. 222 (top): © Edward 
Kienholz and Nancy Reddin Kienholz; p. 222 (bottom): © Edward Ruscha; p. 223 
(center): © 2002 Bruce Nauman/Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York; p. 227: 
© Bill Viola 



229 



INDEX OF ARTISTS 



Abu'l Hasan, attributed to, 61 
Affleck, Thomas, attributed to, 160 
Arbus, Diane, 213 
Avelli da Rovigo, Francesco Xante, 
90, 91 

Bellows, George, 180 
Boucher, Frangois, 103, 115 
Braque, Georges, 204 
Brigman, Anne, 184 
Burden, Chris, 223 
Burne-Jones, Edward, 119 



Ingres, Jean-Auguste-Dominique, 118 

Jagadeva, 39 
Johnson, Sargent, 191 

Kahio, Frida, 145 
Kandinsky, Vasily, 199, 209 
Katsushika Hokusai, 74 
Kiefer, Anselm, 220 
Kienholz, Edward, 222 
Kirchner, Ernst Ludwig, 198 
Kollwitz, Kathe, 201 



Cahun, Claude, 212 
Cassatt, Mary. 166 
Cezanne, Paul, 123 
Chagall, Marc, 197 
Chagoya, Enrique, 152 
Copley, John Singleton, 159 
Cunningham, Imogen, 188 

Deare, John, 1 17 
Degas, Edgar, 120 
de Kooning, Willem, 215 
Delahaye, Jean, 93 

Eames, Charles, 217 
Eames, Ray, 217 
Evans, Walker, 213 

Feitelson, Lorser, 191 

GechG, 77 

Gerard, Baron Frangois, 103 
Gernreich, Rudi, 223 
Gogh, Vincent van, 126 
Goncharova, Natalia, 196 
Greene, Charles Sumner, 1 79 
Greene, Henry Mather, 1 79 
Guidi, Domenico, 106 

Harrold, Robert, attributed to, 160 
Heckel, Erich, 200 
Hector Painter, 83 
Hockney, David, 224 
Homer, Winslow, 165, 170 



Larionov, Mikhail, 195 
La Tour, Georges de, 97 
Levine, Sherrie, 225 
Luti, Benedetto, 106 

Macdonald-Whght, Stanton, 185 

Magritte, Rene, 208 

Man Ray, 213 

Maratta, Carlo, 100 

Master of Sees, the Protais, 88 

Matisse, Henri, 205 

Matta, 150 

Meidner, Ludwig, 200 

Meireles, Cildo, 153 

Menzel, Adolph, 122 

Merida, Carlos, 141 

Merrild, Knud, 191 

Meyer, Joseph Fortune, 178 

Mochizuki Hanzan, 75 

Moholy-Nagy, Laszio, 206 

Moran, Thomas, 163 

Moriguchi Kakb, 78 

Moser, George Michael, 114 

Nauman, Bruce, 223 

Ogata Kenzan, 72 
O'Keeffe, Georgia, 189 

Peto, John Frederick, 176 
Picasso, Pablo, 210, 211 
Poike, Sigmar, 220 
Pollock, Jackson, 214 
Pyon Sangbyok, 67 



230 



Redmond, Granville, 190 
Rembrandt Harmensz van Rijn, 96 
Rhead, Frederick Hurten, 178 
Rivera, Diego, 142, 144 
Rodin, Auguste, 124 
Rosso Fiorentino, 88 
Rothko, Mark, 216 
Ruscha, Edward, 222 
Ryan, Mazie Teresa, 1 78 

Salgado, Sebastiao, 151 

Sargent, John Singer, 169 

Scherer, Hermann A., 201 

Schwitters, Kurt, 202 

Seymour, John, 161 

Seymour, Thomas, 161 

Sheets, Millard, 190 

Shitao, 66 

Siqueiros, David Alfaro, 1 45 

Smith, David, 218 

Sbko, 77 

Soldani-Benzi, Massimiliano, 109 

Stieglitz, Alfred, 182 

Story, William Wetmore, 1 62 

Sweerts, Michiel, 99 

Tamayo, Rufino, 146 
Tanner, Henry Ossawa, 171 
Tiepolo, Giovanni Battista, 1 1 6 
Tiffany, Louis Comfort, 173 
Torres- Garcia, Joaquin, 149 

Ugo da Carpi, 94 

Villiers II, Nicolas de, 93 
Viola, Bill, 226 
Vouet, Simon, 102 

Watteau, Jean-Antoine, 108 
Webb, Philip, 119 
Weston, Edward, 186 
Wright, Frank Lloyd, 177 

Xiang Shengmo, 64 



231 



COUNTY OF LOS ANGELES BOARD OF SUPERVISORS, 2003 



Gloria Molina 
First District 

Yvonne Brathwaite Burke 
Second District 

Zev Yaroslavsky 
Third District 



Don Knabe 
Fourth District 

Michael D. Antonovich 
Fifth District 

David E. Janssen 

Chief Administrative Officer 



LOS ANGELES COUNTY MUSEUM OF ART 

Andrea L. Rich, President and Director 

BOARD OF TRUSTEES, FISCAL YEAR 2002-2003 



Walter L. Weisman, Chairman 
Enrique Hernandez, Jr., Vice Chairman 
Mrs. Stewart Resnick, Vice Chairman 
Christopher V. Walker, Vice Chairman 
William A. Mingst, Chairman of the 

Executive Committee 
Michael G. Smooke, Secretary 



William hi. Ahmanson 

Wallis Annenberg 

Frank E. Baxter 

Daniel N. Belin 

Suzanne Deal Booth 

Donald L. Bren 

Eli Broad 

Ronald W. Burkle 

Iris Cantor 

Mrs. Edward W. Carter 

Robert A. Day 

Janet Dreisen 

Jeremy G. Fair 

Camilla Chandler Frost 

Julian Ganz, Jr. 

John R Hotchkis 

Judith G. Jones 

Mrs. Dwight M. Kendall 

Mrs. Harry Lenart 

Abby J. Levy 

Robert Looker 

Ms. Monica C. Lozano 

Robert F. Maguire III 

Liam E. McGee 

Mrs. Wendy Stark Morrlssey 

Peter Norton 

John P. Puerner 

Nancy Daly Riordan 

Sandra W. Terner 



Senior Trustees 

Mrs. Lionel Bell 

Dr. George N. Boone 

Mrs. William M. Carpenter 

Stanley Grinstein 

Robert H. Halff 

Life Trustees 

Mrs. Howard Ahmanson 

Robert H. Ahmanson 

Robert O. Anderson 

Mrs. Anna Bing Arnold 

Joseph B. Koepfli 

Eric Lidow 

Mrs. Lillian Apodaca Weiner 

Past Presidents 
Edward W. Carter, 1961-66 
Sidney F Brody, 1 966-70 
Dr. Franklin D. Murphy, 1970-74 
Richard E. ShenA/ood, 1974-78 
Mrs. F Daniel Frost, 1 978-82 
Julian Ganz, Jr., 1982-86 
Daniel N. Belin, 1986-90 
Robert F Maguire III, 1990-94 
William A. Mingst, 1994-98 



$16.95 (CAN.$26.00) 



world of art 

ancient and 
classical art 

western art 

modern and 
contemporary art 

world art 

architecture 

design 

graphics 

photography 

decorative arts 

performing arts 

reference 



LOS ANGELES COUNTY 
MUSEUM OF ART 

Los Angeles is a world capital in today's global age, and the Los 
Angeles County Museum of Art (IJ\CMA), the largest, most 
comprehensive art museum in the western United States, plays a 
central role in the city's dynamic cultural life. I^CMA is the youngest 
of the nation's leading encyclopedic art institutions, yet its collections 
have rapidly expanded to include more than 100,000 works of art, 
from prehistory to contemporary civilization, from every part of the 
world, and from all media, including painting and sculpture, prints and 
drawings, decorative arts, costume and textiles, and photography. 
This useful guide features texts written by the museum's curators and 
full-color reproductions of works from each of the museum's eleven 
departments integrated into five sections — Asian Art, European Art, 
Latin American Art, American Art, and Modern and Contemporary 
Art — that reveal the collections' remarkable depth and range. From 
the magnificently intricate /^rc/aib// Carpet to David Hockney's vast 
and circuitous Mulholland Drive: The Road to the Studio, L7\CMA's 
collections reflect the tremendous diversity of the city that it serves. 



On the cover: 

Georges de La Tour (France, 1593-1652) 

The Magdalen with the Smoking Flame (detail), c. 1638-40 

Oil on canvas 

46V,6x36'/gin, (117x91. 8 cm) 

Gift of The Ahmanson Foundation 

M.77J3 

Printed in Singapore 



'^^^ Thames & Hudson world of art 



in; 

CD! 




CD