Faces of a New Nation

George Washington by Gilbert Stuart from Met

During its New American Wing construction period, Met has generously loaned its vast collections of American paintings to different institutes such as Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, New Britain Museum of American Art, etc. “Faces of a New Nation — American portraits of the 18th and early 19th centuries from the Metropolitan Museum of Art” will be exhibited at Winterthur Museum start July 25.

Based on the museum’s website, Winterthur is the only venue for this select group of portraits from The Met, which represents many of the young country’s great artists, including John Smibert, John Singleton Copley, Gilbert Stuart, and Samuel F. B. Morse.

About Hui

Wang Hui lived from 1632 – 1717 and followed in the footprints of his great grandfathers, grandfather, father and uncles and learned painting at a very early age. He was later taught by two contemporary masters, Zhang Ke and Wang Shimin, who taught him to work in the tradition of copying famous Chinese paintings. This is most likely the reason why critics claim that his work is conservative and reflects the Yuan and Song traditions. One critic claimed that “his landscape paintings reflect his nostalgic attachment to classical Chinese aesthetics. Along with the other Wangs, Wang Hui helped to perpetuate the tradition of copying the ancient masters rather than creating original work.

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