Iris Cantor Donates Gustauve Caillebotte “FemmeNue Etendue Sur un Divan” To Met

Femme nue étendue sur un divan, Caillebotte
Femme nue étendue sur un divan, Caillebotte

From the wires:

Collector and philanthropist Iris Cantor announced the donation of Femme nue étendue sur un divan (1873) by French Impressionist Gustave Caillebotte as a promised gift to The Metropolitan Museum of Art, as a tribute to Philippe de Montebello, the Museum’s Director Emeritus, who served as the institution’s Director from 1977 through December 2008.

Nearly four years ago, when visiting Mrs. Cantor, Mr. de Montebello expressed interest in the painting in Mrs. Cantor’s collection.  In honor of his 31 years of leadership at the Metropolitan, Mrs. Cantor announced the promised gift at his recent retirement dinner.

Femme nue étendue sur un divan is believed to be the earliest dated work by Caillebotte and differs from much of his later work.  “The suaveness of the treatment of flesh and cloth here, and especially the artist’s attraction to the satiny sheet of the striped drape, remind us that at the outset of his career – in instances such as the wet-and-dry wood floor and curled shavings in Raboteurs de parquet – Caillebotte was attracted not only to linear structure but simultaneously to the subtle discrimination of shifting plays of interior light on surfaces.  With the adoption of a more boldly brushed technique inspired by the work of Manet, Monet, and Renoir, he eventually sacrificed something of this latter aspect, and not without loss for the personal character of his work,” wrote Kirk Varnedoe, the late art historian and noted curator of painting and sculpture at the Museum of Modern Art in New York, and the first Cantor Fellow at Stanford University.

About Art After X

With the death of President Kennedy in 1963, America changed. As hard as it is to minimize that sentiment, the effect of Dallas was even greater. The same year saw the merging of the Dallas Museum for Contemporary Arts, which had been central to the art scene, and the Dallas Museum of Fine Arts. Douglas MacAgy, then the director of DMCA, not only opposed the merger, but also declined to directorship of the combined museum. The regionalist movement which had been strong for decades, was giving way to more of an interest in what was going on nationally, and internationally. Like it or not, Dallas was on the national stage. When the Kennedy’s arrived in Fort Worth, local collectors had decorated a hotel room with internationally-renowned works. While the president and his wife learned a great deal about the ability of Texans to collect major art, there was little they could glean about the local scene in this era-defining city. With this in mind, we have begun a project to look not back at the art scene in Dallas, but foreword from 1963. We are interviewing gallery owners, curators and others involved in the art scene then, but this will be a story told mostly through interviews with artists active in the city from that point into the 1980s. The result will be a book with a video component. We hope you will join us in our journey. The hashtag for the project is #artafterx and the url artafterx.com will point to the latest updates on this weblog.

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