Ferdinand Hodler, “Femme en Extase,” 1911, oil on canvas on wood, Museum of Art and History, Geneva

Opening December 15 at the National Portrait Gallery (NPG) in Washington, D.C., is the first of an inaugural exhibition series that highlights the global context of American portraiture. Each year, the NPG will showcase a portrait created by an international artist affiliated with the lending country.

The new “Portraits of the World” series at the NPG will begin with Switzerland on December 15. The featured work for 2017-18 is “Femme en Extase,” a portrait of the Italian dancer Giulia Leonardi by the great Swiss painter Ferdinand Hodler, on loan from the Museum of Art and History in Geneva.

“Hodler’s experimentation with the abstract elements of color, line, and expression created a vibrant new mode of Swiss art at the dawn of the twentieth century,” the NPG reports. “‘Femme en Extase’ embodies the Swiss modernist approach to expressing emotion through movements of the body — a theory known as eurhythmics — which had an international impact and transformed dance in America. The Swiss painting will be complemented by works from the Portrait Gallery’s collection representing American dancers influenced by this theory of eurhythmics.”

To learn more, visit the National Portrait Gallery.

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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Andrew Webster
Andrew Webster is the Editor of Fine Art Today and works as an editorial and creative marketing assistant for Streamline Publishing. Andrew graduated from The University of North Carolina at Asheville with a B.A. in Art History and Ceramics. He then moved on to the University of Oregon, where he completed an M.A. in Art History. Studying under scholar Kathleen Nicholson, he completed a thesis project that investigated the peculiar practice of embedded self-portraiture within Christian imagery during the 15th and early 16th centuries in Italy.

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