This Museum in Boston, Massachusetts, has launched a compelling “Close Up” program that invites both artists and visitors to create meaningful dialogues with art of all eras – beginning with the Renaissance.  Who and where? Find out here.

The “Close Up” program begun by the famed Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum in Boston offers a fresh perspective on the institution’s masterpieces. Debuting in February 2017, the event’s first installment highlights Piermatteo d’Amelia’s stunning “Annunciation,” circa 1487.

The museum writes, “Forging a dialogue between art of the past and present, Piermatteo’s ‘Annunciation’ accompanies a video installation by contemporary artist Bill Viola titled ‘Study for Emergence,’ on special loan from the Yale University of Art Gallery. Each artist engaged profoundly with the Christian tradition as it was envisioned in the Italian Renaissance. In keeping with Isabella Stewart Gardner’s determination to create meaningful dialogues between art of all eras, the relationships in subject matter between the artworks encourage visitors to seek connections between Renaissance and contemporary art otherwise difficult in the historic palace.”

Piermatteo d’Amelia, “The Annunciation,” circa 1487, tempera on panel, 102.4 x 114.8 cm. (c) Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum, 2016
Piermatteo d’Amelia, “The Annunciation,” circa 1487, tempera on panel, 102.4 x 114.8 cm. (c) Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum, 2016

The “Close Up” program will be an annual installment in which a single work of art from the museum’s permanent collection is displayed in its temporary exhibition gallery. In addition to viewing the masterpieces in a new space and in new light, the program will offer — for each installment — a short book written by the Gardner Associate Curator Dr. Nathaniel Silver. The publications will include an account of Gardner’s hunt for the exhibited painting, rare photographs from the museum’s archives, and — in this year’s edition — the first biography of Piermatteo in English.

Speaking about the inaugural exhibition, Dr. Silver suggested, “Gardner’s ‘Annunciation’ is beloved by many of our visitors for its harmonious perspective, and this exhibition offers an opportunity to get a closer look at its finest details. Some might also be surprised to find out that this altarpiece was made by the pope’s favorite painter. Piermatteo d’Amelia skyrocketed to fame in Rome and was even invited to fresco the Sistine Chapel ceiling before Michelangelo. Despite his achievements, this Renaissance master was quickly forgotten.”

A number of public programs will also accompany this year’s installment. On Saturday, February 4, Cammy Brothers — associate professor of architectural history at Northeastern University — and Dr. Silver will open the exhibition with a presentation at 3:30 P.M. On Saturday, February 25, the museum will host Rev. Gloria E. White-Hammond, M.D., and Peggy Burchenal for an entertaining lecture.

To learn more, visit the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum.

This article was featured in Fine Art Today, a weekly e-newsletter from Fine Art Connoisseur magazine. To start receiving Fine Art Today for free, click here.


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