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

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'Art and War in the Renaissance: The Battle of Pavia Tapestries' Review: Carnage in Cloth
At the Kimbell Art Museum in Fort Worth, a set of richly detailed and thoughtfully presented 16th-century weavings will transport viewers to a distant time and place.

July 8, 2024  •  The Wall Street Journal

Fort Worth, Texas

Stand at the center of a large gallery at the Kimbell Art Museum these days, and you feel as if you're in the middle of a battlefield. Arrayed on the four walls are seven monumental 16th-century tapestries—each about 28 feet long and 14 feet high—depicting the 1525 battle in northern Italy between the armies of Francis I of France and Charles V, the Holy Roman Emperor. Here, a soldier holds his sword at the throat of an enemy, ready to thrust. There, a man is drowning as he tries to escape across the Ticino River and a woman is fleeing with her dog. And elsewhere, Francis, pulled from his wounded horse, is being led into surrender and a captivity that lasted a year.

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Review: 'Mary Cassatt at Work': Labors of Love
A show at the Philadelphia Museum of Art revisits the domestic artworks by the only American admitted to the Impressionist Circle and reframes her view of women at work

July 2, 2024  •  The Wall Street Journal

Philadelphia

As far back as the mid-1500s, when Catharina van Hemessen, age 20, became the first known artist to portray herself at an easel, many women—and men like Goya and Manet, too—have taken brush to canvas to create similar images, intent on promoting their skills, their professionalism and their seriousness of purpose. Mary Cassatt, one of the few women and the only American admitted to the Impressionist circle in 19th-century France, never did so.

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Masterpiece: Perugino's Sumptuously Painted Room
The Renaissance artist's Collegio del Cambio frescoes in Perugia, Italy, are lyrical, allegorical images of ancient and religious figures, breathtaking in their ornate beauty and harmony.

May 25, 2024  •  The Wall Street Journal

In the late 1400s, when the powerful moneychangers of Perugia, Italy, were decorating their new guild quarters in the Palace of the Priors, the city's ultimate political center, they entrusted the frescoes in the Audience Hall, where they transacted business, to Pietro Vannucci. Perugino—as he was called—was considered by many to be Italy's master artist. Pope Sixtus IV had hired him to oversee the work of Botticelli, Ghirlandaio and Signorelli, among others, in the Sistine Chapel, where he painted six of the many wall panels himself (three survive). His frescoes for the guild, the Collegio del Cambio, proved to be a capstone of his career, thrusting him to greater prominence.

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'Munch and Kirchner: Anxiety and Expression' Review: Vivid Visions of Torment at the Yale University Art Gallery
A show pairs two artists who forged bleak but bold styles in the face of troubled times and their struggles with mental illness.

April 30, 2024  •  The Wall Street Journal

New Haven, Conn.

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The Richly Woven History of Textile Art
The Blanton Museum of Art and the National Gallery of Art reveal the form's storied past and ties to modernism through the work of Anni Albers, Sonia Delaunay and others.

April 8, 2024  •  The Wall Street Journal

Austin, Texas

Near the beginning of "Anni Albers: In Thread and On Paper" at the Blanton Museum of Art, a 1968 photograph by Henri Cartier-Bresson portrays Albers with her husband, Josef, whose "Homage to the Square" paintings earned him renown. While Josef relaxes on a couch, Anni sits behind it, half-hidden—as it always seemed to be in life. Both had been creating art since the 1920s; her textiles merited a solo show at the Museum of Modern Art in 1949 that toured to 26 museums. But when she died in 1994, the second sentence of her New York Times obituary called her his widow. His, in 1976, mentions her near the end, in the context of their 1925 marriage.

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