Victoria here. Following the meeting of the Jane Austen Society of North America in Louisville, Ed and I spent a day at the Kentucky Horse Park in Lexington, then drove to Cincinnati. The art museum was a goal of mine for a long time, since they had a fine exhibit of Gainsborough portraits in 2010 that I could not travel to see.  So the next day, I decided to take a look!

Perfect weather

Not exactly Gainsborough — but Jim Dine’s Pinocchio from 2007.
The museum, now greatly expanded, opened in 1886 in Eden Park


The entrance from above

Inside, a statue of a Greek God or Hero, 1st century A.D.

Anthony Van Dyck, Portrait of a Man in Armor, c. 1621-27

At last, a Gainsborough!
Ann  Ford, later Mrs. Philip Thicknesse, 1760
From the text panel: “Thomas Gainsborough, feminist. Conspiring with fashionable ladies of artistic talent, the artist’s unconventional portraits of elegant ladies helped to shape the image of the modern woman…The sitter’s crossed legs and fashionable dress display a loose style of applying paint that was in opposition to conventional standards of decorum and dress.”
Below, the unreflected image from Wikimedia Commons:

Sir Joshua Reynolds, Richard Peers Symons,M.P. (later Baronet) 1770-71
William Hogarth, Southwark Fair, 7133

Benjamin West, Ophelia and Laertes, 1792
From the text panel: “West’s monumental painting was part of an ambitious plan to mount a permanent exhibit in a London Gallery of paintings depicting all of Shakespeare’s plays. The project failed, however, and the paintings were dispersed. …Oral tradition maintains that the painting was brought down the Ohio River on a flatboat. One of the first paintings to enter the Cincinnati Art Museum…”
Samuel Percy, Rustic Scene: Gypsy Encampment, c. 1800, polychrome wax
Skillful wax modeling in this unusual (to me) scene.

George Romney, Portrait of Mrs. Richard Pryce Corbet and Her Daughter, 1780

Sir Joshua Reynolds, Boy with Grapes, 1773

Sir Thomas Lawrence, Mrs. Francis Gregg and her son George, ca. 1805-06
John Hoppner: Master Meyrick (William Henry Meyrick), ca. 1793

Thomas Gainsborough, John, 5th Viscount Downe, ca. 1791

George Romney, Elizabeth, Duchess-Countess of Sutherland, 1782

Nicolas Lancret, The Swing, 1730-35

 Secretary, mid-18th C, The Netherlands
Below, some snaps from the American Decorative Arts Collection.
Possibly John Chipman, Secretary, 1785-1800, in the Massachusetts style

Card Table, circa 1800
Above the fireplace, Rembrandt Peale, George Washington, c. 1845

Hiram Powers, Benjamin Franklin, modeled 1848-49, carved after 1850
At least seventeen of these busts were created by Powers based on studies for the bust carved from life by Jean-Antoine Houdon in 1788.

Though it’s considerably later than the Georgian period in Europe and the U.S., I enjoyed seeing these two lovely landscapes by Corot, recalling the day long ago when a pal and I traipsed all over the Louvre looking for the Barbizon School — and found literally hundreds of examples eventually, by which time we were really too exhausted to do more than stumble to a bench and stare at them from a distance.

Jean-Baptiste-Camile Corot. The Bend in the Seine at Port Marly, 1872

Jean-Baptiste-Camille Corot, The Maison Blanche of Sevres, 1872
The Cincinnati Art Museum was also showing a special exhibition of Raphael’s Portrait of a Lady with a Unicorn. painted about 1505-06 from the Galleria Borghese in Rome. The image below is from Wikipedia Commons.

The exhibition is entitled “Sublime Beauty: Raphael’s Portrait of a Lady with a Unicorn” and will run until January 03, 2016. Here is the museum’s description: “The Cincinnati Art Museum and the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco in collaboration with the Foundation for Italian Art and Culture, presents Raphael’s Portrait of Lady with a Unicorn on loan from the Galleria Borghese in Rome. Painted about 1505, this mysterious blond and blue-eyed sitter epitomizes Raphael’s excellence in female portraiture during his Florentine period.”

For more, click here.

And to conclude, later in the day, we drove through Chicago under the usual signs! 

Road Construction Ahead. All lanes.

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