Published: April 1, 2008
The Cleveland Museum of Art announced several key acquisitions, including a set of 12 fan paintings by the Twentieth Century Chinese artist Fu Baoshi, a Gothic bible, a Régence console made in Paris in the 1720s and an important self-portrait by Max Beckmann.
“The Cleveland Museum of Art is committed to strengthening an encyclopedic collection that is already widely considered to be one of the finest of its type in this country,” said Timothy Rub, CMA director.
The excellence and expression attained by Fu Baoshi (Chinese, 1904‶5) in his late career is best exemplified by the set of 12 fan paintings that this artist created 1960s. Despite their diminutive format, these works represent a mastery of technique and a monumentality of scale that perfectly demonstrates the Chinese aesthetic of “seeing large within small.”
Also acquired was a Gothic bible in a quarto format, late Thirteenth Century, most likely created in Toulouse. Most noteworthy is the volume’s size, setting it apart from the smaller single-volume octavo Bibles produced in Paris from the same period of the 1220s.
The Régence console, dating to the mid-1720s, has been attributed to the Société pour les Bâtiments du Roi (King’s Works) and was acquired to be displayed with a Régence mirror already in the collection.
Max Beckmann (German, 1884‱950) executed more than 80 self-portraits during his career. “Self-Portrait with Bowler Hat” is one of his most important prints and an icon of modern printmaking. In this 1921 drypoint, he builds a powerful likeness of himself within a compressed and enigmatic interior space.
Also acquired were the etching, “The Clothes Are Italian” by Jean Antoine Watteau and a deer-headed effigy vessel joining six other Moche works at the museum.
The Cleveland Museum of Art is at 11150 East Boulevard. For information, www.ClevelandArt.org or 888-262-0033.
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