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

Latest Articles

'Strong Women in Renaissance Italy' Review: Spotlight on Signoras
An intriguing if limited show in Boston focuses on the era's female artists and its depictions of historical women, which shifted during this artistic golden age.

September 14, 2023  •  The Wall Street Journal


What is Cleopatra, born in 69 B.C., doing in an exhibition titled "Strong Women in Renaissance Italy"? And why do the Queen of Sheba (10th century B.C.), Judith (sixth century B.C.), Salome and Mary Magdalene (both A.D. first century) also figure prominently?

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Baroque sensation Elisabetta Sirani finally has her first solo show outside Italy
The 17th-century Bologna-based painter is the subject of a concentrated presentation at Robert Simon Gallery in New York

September 1, 2023  •  The Art Newspaper

In her day, Elisabetta Sirani (1638-1665) was a phenomenon. A fast, fluid and expressive artist whose oeuvre spanned several genres, Sirani was so renowned that townspeople and travelers to Bologna visited her studio to watch her work. She has been featured recently in By Her Hand: Artemisia Gentileschi and Women Artists in Italy, 1500–1800 at museums in Detroit and Hartford, Connecticut, and will figure in Making Her Mark: A History of Women Artists in Europe, 1400-1800, opening 1 October at the Baltimore Museum of Art.

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Masterpiece: The Portico of Glory, A Wondrous Welcome in Spain
This 12th Century Gateway to The Cathedral of Santiago de Compostela, at the end of the famed pilgrimage, is carved with more than 200 figures from the Bible

August 19, 2023  •  The Wall Street Journal

For centuries, when pilgrims finished their long, exhausting walk to the cathedral of Santiago de Compostela in northwest Spain, where the remains of St. James the Great are said to rest, their eyes frequently lighted first on the Portico of Glory (1168-88). A wondrous triple-arched gateway carved with more than 200 figures from the Old and New Testaments, it welcomed them into the nave, just as Ferdinand II of León intended when he commissioned the design of a fine porch and portal opposite the cathedral's main altar.

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Masterpiece: A Tense 'Sunday Morning Breakfast'
Horace Pippin's 1943 painting depicts a tranquil familial gathering, but beneath the pleasing artistry lies a subtle and striking critique of American society

July 22, 2023  •  The Wall Street Journal

Horace Pippin's "Sunday Morning Breakfast" (1943) exudes charm. In a seemingly plain, straightforward way, it captures a black family sharing a meal on the Sabbath, a treasured moment in simpler times, before television, Sunday business hours and other modern distractions were widely adopted. Look a little closer, however, and the painting, owned by the Saint Louis Art Museum, becomes much more. Quietly, and with great acuity, Pippin telegraphs the family's impoverished state and, perhaps because of that, suggests tension in the domestic dynamic just beneath the surface.

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'Edvard Munch: Trembling Earth' Review: Man Screams, Nature Whispers
The Clark Art Institute shifts the narrative surrounding the Norwegian painter in a revelatory exhibit showcasing his artistic dedication to the Earth's beauty, from moonlit beaches to wintry forests.

July 3, 2023  •  The Wall Street Journal

Williamstown, Mass.

Poor Edvard Munch (1863-1944). A prolific artist—the Munch Museum in Oslo alone owns 1,200 paintings and thousands more drawings, prints and sculptures—he is known around the world almost entirely for "The Scream," that haunting image of human angst. First painted in 1893, it has forever linked Munch to expressions of despair, suffering, grief, torment and isolation, all of which figured heavily in Munch's life story.

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