Art in Context
Diego Rivera, Mexican (Guanajuato, Mexico, 1886 - 1957, Mexico City, Mexico), Dos Mujeres (Two Women), 1914, Oil on canvas, Arkansas Arts Center Foundation Collection: Gift of Abby Rockefeller Mauzé, New York. 1955.010.
Half a millennium of Western art history is illustrated through drawings, paintings, prints, and sculpture from the permanent collection of the Arkansas Arts Center. The newest incarnation of this exhibition features a new acquisition – a drawing by French nineteenth-century master Jean-Baptiste Camille Corot, View of Paris from the North-East, c. 1830 – 1835. This drawing arrives as a purchase with funds from the Arkansas Arts Center Collector’s Group and the Permanent Collection Acquisitions Fund. View of Paris illustrates the transition from traditional to modernist approaches to drawing the landscape. While Corot rendered forms as carefully as any old master, unlike most earlier artists he worked en plein air (in the open air). Where traditional academic artists used landscape as a setting for scenes from myth and history, Corot documented the countryside as he actually saw it in works such as View of Paris. One can recognize from left to right the dome of the Val de Grâce, the dome of the Pantheon, and Notre Dame Cathedral. At the far right edge windmills slowly turn, while in the foreground, people eat and drink at an outdoor tavern.
Art in Context also features seventeenth-century Dutch paintings, drawings, and prints by such artists as Rembrandt van Rijn, complementing the grand paintings from the same era included in the special exhibition Rembrandt, Van Dyck, Gainsborough: The Treasures of Kenwood House. The exhibition shows how such traditions of European art continued into the nineteenth century before being overturned by modern masters like the Mexican Diego Rivera. Rivera’s 1914 cubist masterpiece, Dos Mujeres, is one of the treasures of the collection.