Published: January 2, 2001
Man and Beast on View at Lawrence Steigrad Fine Arts
NEW YORK CITY – This year Lawrence Steigrad Fine Arts winter exhibition is entitled “: Man and Beast.” Portraits serve as bridges into the past humanizing a historical moment that otherwise can feel quite remote. What better visual document can we have than the faces of the people who inhabited those times as well as those of the animals they loved, employed and studied?
The dates of the painting range from the Sixteenth Century and continue through the 1950s. Many paintings were literally unearthed, either having been in storage for many years, lost, and or misattributed. The extraordinary painting of “Lady Mary Boyle and Her Son, Charles Boyle” by Sir Godfrey Kneller is one of the earliest known portraits of a mother breast-feeding her child in British art. Another exciting discovery is Thomas Gainsborough’s portrait of “Corbetta Owen,” dating from the artist’s earliest years at Bath executed in the late 1750s or early 1760s. Her face, dress and floral headdress combine to create a spell of charming innocence. The exquisite pair of paintings depicting “Frolicking Babies” by Louis-Jean-Francois Lagrenee had vanished from sight since the Marquis de Veri’s estate sale in 1785. The contrasting yet paralleling colors of the background drapery serve to give the pair its jewel-like tonality.
Julius Stewart’s portrait of the Yorkshire terrier “Dick” painted as a token of devotion to Mademoiselle Case in 1886, remained in her family for most of the Twentieth Century. The vibrancy and deftness of the brushstroke applied to this small panel underline the emotion behind its execution.
An illustrated catalogue is available upon request. The gallery’s continued interest in portraits has been sustained by the positive response with which these shows have been met. In an age when it has become increasingly hard to discern anything that might be called a bargain, it is their belief that these works remain undervalued.
The exhibition opens on January 17, continuing to February 16.
Hours are Monday through Friday, 10 am to 6 pm, with Saturday open by appointment. The gallery is at 42 East 76th Street, 212/517-3643.
5 Church Hill Road / Newtown, CT 06470
Mon - Fri / 8:00 am - 5:01 pm