Jan de Bray, Banquet of Antony and Cleopatra, 1669. Manchester, New Hampshire, Currier Museum of Art.
Dr. Kurt Sundstrom, associate curator at the Currier Museum of Art, and Dr. Arthur Wheelock, curator of Northern Baroque paintings at the National Gallery of Art in Washington, DC.
Jan de Bray and the classical tradition was organized by the Currier Museum of Art, Manchester, N.H. and the National Gallery of Art, Washington, DC.
From the museum website
For nearly four decades, visitors to the Currier have been captivated by Jan de Bray’s Banquet of Antony and Cleopatra, one of the 17th-century Dutch artist’s greatest masterpieces. Beginning this fall, a focused exhibition of five paintings will examine — for the first time — the art of de Bray and the distinctions between formal portraits and portrait historié in his work. The portrait historié is a type of portrait in which the subject takes on a role from history or allegory.
For the past year, Dr. Kurt Sundstrom, associate curator at the Currier Museum of Art, and Dr. Arthur Wheelock, curator of Northern Baroque paintings at the National Gallery of Art in Washington, DC, have collaborated on Jan de Bray and the classical tradition. This exhibition will explore both the art of de Bray and Dutch portrait painting in general, as well as offer a new view of how the artist created a sophisticated visual vocabulary that used classical references for ulterior purposes.
Jan de Bray and the classical tradition will open at the Currier before traveling to two other museums. The museums loaning the paintings that form the core of the exhibition are also the three hosting institutions: Currier Museum of Art (Banquet of Antony and Cleopatra, 1669), National Gallery of Art (Portrait of the Artist’s Parents, Salomon de Bray and Anna Westerbaen, 1660), and The Speed Museum of Art (Odysseus and Penelope, 1668).
Two other Jan de Bray pictures will round out the exhibition: Portrait of a Boy holding a Basket of Fruit, 1658 (Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, MA) and The Penitent Magdalena, 1670 (private collection).
The exhibition is sponsored by the Samuel H. Kress Foundation and U.S. Trust.