Forthcoming Exhibition Catalogs

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Piero di Cosimo: The Poetry of Painting in Renaissance Florence 
Gretchen Hirschauer and Dennis Geronimus et al.

Born in 1462, an auspicious time for hopeful young painters in Renaissance Florence, Piero di Cosimo left the city’s artistic landscape forever changed upon his death in 1522. A contemporary of luminaries such as Botticelli, Leonardo, and Michelangelo, Piero was esteemed in his day as a creative spirit of uncommon imagination, his fantastic inventions rivaling the verses of the ancient poets whose myths and allegories he set out to transform in a strange language all his own. As his impressive list of patrons attests, Piero used his creative license to great advantage, concocting elaborate fables, some of whose meanings continue to beguile us. Once adorning the private palaces of wealthy merchant-bankers, these surreal myths proved as irresistible as a siren’s song to Salvador Dalí and Max Ernst five centuries later. But fantasy was not Piero’s only preserve. Equally appealing to his prospective Renaissance clients was his versatility as a painter of both sacred and profane styles and subjects. This artistic range will be on display at the National Gallery of Art in the first-ever retrospective of Piero’s astonishing career, an exhibition that will finally introduce the public to arguably Renaissance art’s most spellbinding storyteller. The catalog will rely on close technical and textual analysis to argue for specific interpretations and cases of authorship but will also address the broader social and religious functions of image-making in the period.

240 pages | 200 illustrations | 9.5 x 11.5 inches

Coming February 2015

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Pleasure and Piety: The Art of Joachim Wtewael
Arthur K. Wheelock, Jr., et al.

Joachim Wtewael (c. 1566–1638) was an outstanding mannerist artist who began his career in Utrecht, under the tutelage of his father, a glass painter. He traveled extensively in Italy and France, studying especially works by the School of Fontainebleau. Wtewael had a remarkable technical ability, such that by the time he returned to Utrecht in 1592, his mannerist prints were said to parallel the style of the great Haarlem artist Hendrick Goltzius. As a painter, his works are endlessly fascinating and compelling, as shown in the complex and densely peopled biblical and mythological narratives that he composed throughout his life. A brilliant colorist as well as a masterful storyteller, he could with equal ease depict the lyrical realm of the Dutch golden age or the spiritual intensity of shepherds adoring the Christ child. He also made larger-scale portraits and genre scenes.

In this first exhibition and catalog devoted to the artist, curators from the National Gallery of Art and the Centraal Museum, working in conjunction with the foremost authority on the artist, will select approximately 35 paintings that represent the artist’s most intriguing and accomplished works. These will include his small-scale copper and panel paintings with religious and mythological themes as well as some of his outstanding portraits and larger narratives, including a wonderful self-portrait. The catalog will include essays on Wtewael’s life and times and entries on each of the works.

248 pages | 170 illustrations | 9.5 x 11 inches

Coming June 2015

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Gustave Caillebotte: The Painter’s Eye
Mary Morton et al.

Although Gustave Caillebotte (1848–1894) was among the most critically noted artists at the height of the impressionist movement in the late 1870s and early 1880s, his work was virtually ignored for almost a century. Caillebotte’s considerable wealth freed him from the need to sell his paintings, and most of them remained in family hands until the mid-20th century. Kirk Varnedoe’s 1976 exhibition at the Museum of Fine Arts Houston and the Brooklyn Museum returned Caillebotte’s art to impressionist scholarship and the public eye, as did the inclusion of 15 of his works in the 1986 National Gallery of Art exhibition The New Painting: Impressionism 1874–1886 and a major retrospective in 1994 mounted by the Musée d’Orsay and the Art Institute of Chicago.

Twenty years later, the precise nature of Caillebotte’s contribution to avant-garde painterly practice in the later 19th century remains elusive, and a satisfying interpretation of his achievement has yet to be offered. The role of photography, traditional perspective systems, contemporary social and political history, class and sexual identity, and contemporary painting, literature, and criticism in his work requires further examination and interpretation. This exhibition will present a tightly edited group of some 50 paintings by Caillebotte, dating mostly from 1875 to 1882 when the painter was fully engaged with the impressionist movement.

240 pages | 150 illustrations | 9.5 x 12 inches

Coming June 2015