Saturday, March 04, 2017

Serial Flirtations: Rotari’s Muses Opens at Norton Simon Museum

This weekend the exhibit "Serial Flirtations: Rotari's Muses" opened at the Norton Simon Museum in Pasadena, California.

As they note in their introduction, "Rotari began his career in his hometown of Verona. As he gained recognition, he traveled widely throughout Italy, studying the works of Venetian, Roman and Neapolitan artists. In these early years, he painted primarily religious and mythological subjects. But by 1750, when he was called to Vienna to work for Empress Maria Theresa, and then Dresden, where he was summoned by King Augustus III, his attention would turn to painting bust-length portraits of elegant members of their courts. In 1755, Rotari was summoned by Empress Elizabeth of Russia to work in St. Petersburg, where he and his prolific studio would produce hundreds of depictions of young girls, all of them demonstrating varying degrees of emotion—subtle, but clearly legible. The painter’s virtuosity for such work earned him great acclaim, both for his talents and his prodigious output..."

As a whole, the installation commemorates Rotari’s inclination to summon his muses and celebrates the 310th anniversary of the artist’s birth. 

This is also the last weekend to catch Van Gogh’s iconic ‘Bedroom’ on loan from the Art Institute of Chicago and see it in person, not just on postcards or a computer, to get a sense of its size and shape, and its true tones and colors as they've endured over the decades  when it was first painted in 1888, nearly 130 years ago. This is the first time this particular painting has ever been displayed on the West Coast!

The Norton Simon Museum is known around the world as one of the most remarkable private art collections ever assembled. Over a thirty-year period industrialist Norton Simon (1907–1993) amassed an astonishing collection of European art from the Renaissance to the 20th century and a stellar collection of South and Southeast Asian art spanning 2,000 years.

Approximately 1,000 works from the permanent collection of 12,000 objects are on view in the Norton Simon Museum’s galleries and sculpture garden throughout the year. The museum is closed on Tuesdays. Adults are $12. Seniors are $9. Students, veterans and youth under 18 get in free. On weekends, it opens at 11 a.m. until 8 p.m. (5 p.m. on Sunday)

Parking is free, and it is located at 411 W. Colorado Boulevard, Pasadena, CA 91105-1825. The turn into the driveway can come up a little fast, as an FYI if it's your first visit there.

Notably, if you time it right, admission is free for all visitors the first Friday of every month from 5:00 to 8:00 p.m.

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