Thursday, July 16, 2015

Art Review: Joachim Wtewael’s provocative religious paintings at the National Gallery

By Holland Cotter
“Adam and Eve” (circa 1610). Credit Private collection
WASHINTON, DC---How can you maintain fame if people can’t say your name? This is one question that might have occurred to the 16th-century Dutch artist Joachim Wtewael if he had cared about lasting fame, which, apparently, he only sometimes did. He was one of the great Dutch artists of the years leading up to the 17th-century Golden Age. And it’s at least in part a measure of his personal diffidence that the exhibition called “Pleasure and Piety: The Art of Joachim Wtewael (1566-1638)” at the National Gallery of Art here is the first survey of his career. [link]

National Gallery of Art: “Pleasure and Piety: The Art of Joachim Wtewael" (Ends Oct. 4, 2015); National Mall between 3rd and 9th Streets along Constitution Avenue NW, Washington, DC; (202) 737-4215;
In Wtewael’s “Martyrdom of Saint Sebastian,” from 1600, no arrows have been shot, and Sebastian is barely tied up. He stands flexing and preening, as his loincloth slips down his thighs. Credit The Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art, Missouri