Published: January 20, 2004
Lawrence Steigrad Fine Arts’ annual exhibition of portraits is currently on view through February 27.
The scope of the exhibition is from circa 1480 until the 1950s, with the majority of the works dating from the Seventeenth and Eighteenth Centuries. English, Dutch, and Flemish artists predominate, but also included are works by French, Spanish and American artists.
Notably in the show are portraits of four writers. The earliest is a portrait by Sir Godfrey Kneller, traditionally called Sir Charles Sedley. Sedley, one of the most notorious wits in the court of Charles II, was a poet and playwright. J. Douglas Stewart, the Kneller expert, in his entry on this work, states “the recovery of Kneller’s brilliant portrait (after its virtual loss for 90 years) is a major event for the study of late Stuart English portraiture.”
Next is a marble portrait bust of Jonathan Swift by John van Nost the Younger. Swift is most famous as the author of Gulliver’s Travels. Only four busts of Swift, including this one, are known to have been sculpted in the Eighteenth Century. Also in the show is Sir Henry Raeburn’s portrait of Henry Mackenzie, one of the leading literary and legal figures in Edinburgh at the end of the Eighteenth and early part of the Nineteenth Centuries. Of his book The Man of Feeling, Robert Burns wrote it is “a book I prize next to the Bible.”
Finally, there is Sir Jacob Epstein’s bronze portrait head of George Bernard Shaw. Shaw who wrote more than 50 plays is best remembered for Candida and Pygmalion. Epstein’s bronze encapsulates the spirit, playfulness and fire of the author’s personality and literary production.
An illustrated catalog of the exhibition is available upon request. All the works in the exhibition as well as other recent acquisitions can be viewed at www.steigrad.com.
Hours are 10 am to 6 pm, Monday through Friday and Saturday by appointment. Lawrence Steigrad Fine Arts is at 42 East 76th Street. For information, 212-517-3643.
5 Church Hill Road / Newtown, CT 06470
Mon - Fri / 8:00 am - 5:01 pm