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Summer Exhibitions at The Frick

James Andrew at the Frick Collection.

James Andrew at the Frick Collection.

There are always treasures to discover or perhaps rediscover at the Frick. Recently the museum relocated what many consider to be the masterpiece of their collection, Giovanni Bellini’s c.1480, St. Francis in the Desert (formally known as St. Francis in Ecstasy) for a show entitled In a New Light: Bellini’s St. Francis in the Desert. The work is now displayed to grand effect on a monumental easel in the Frick Collection’s spectacular sky-lit Oval Room, lending it fresh context and heightened interest. In true Renaissance style, the painting has as much to do with the subject, (namely St Francis transfixed in spiritual revelation), as it does with a display of the artist’s virtuosity. The exact moment in the saint’s life depicted here has been called into some question—he is shown possibly singing, barefooted, and stigmatized—but the exact details of this particular narrative are perhaps not as interesting as Bellini’s richly glazed, exceedingly detailed landscape—It was, after all, in solitude and in communion with nature that St. Francis and later members of the Franciscan Order were to find their direct connection to the Divine.

St. Francis in the Desert - G. Bellini. c.1480. The Frick Collection, New York

St. Francis in the Desert - G. Bellini. c.1480. The Frick Collection, New York

Of course there are many paths to enlightenment aside from that of a Franciscan renunciate; as an alternative, one might choose to turn a full 180 degrees and take the proverbial road of excess. In homage to the latter, the Frick Collection has compiled the most delightful jewel of an exhibition entitled Turkish Taste and the Court of Marie Antoinette, which, as the title suggests, centers around the late 18th century French court’s fascination with the “…à la turc” aesthetic. Sadly, only a few of the decorative elements and pieces of furniture made for the Turkish rooms have survived, but the six beautifully designed pieces presented here should give one a sense of this strange and beautiful melding of French functionality and decorative Turkish motifs.

Turkish Taste and the Court of Marie Antoinette. The Frick Collection.

Turkish Taste and the Court of Marie Antoinette. The Frick Collection.

Do make a point to enjoy these small but truly magnificent exhibitions and take a stroll through the rest of the Frick Collection while you are there—it’s absolutely the most perfectly refreshing way to escape the heat during these New York City summer days.

Captivated by Bellini’s brilliant work, I’m dressed in a crisp white cotton pique suit by Gucci , Tom Ford navy cotton dot print shirt, Gucci black, silver and white leather loafer and black patent and silver leather belt with grommets, my fragrance is Creed Royal Water.

8 Comments

  1. Dear James, stylish as ever! xxx

  2. Dean says:

    Mon cher James,

    The aesthetic sentiments you are expressing here remind me of a Bernard Berenson or a Lord Duveen…and are as elegantly expressed as the veritable 21st century dandy that you’ve transformed yourself into like a silken Gucci clad butterfly soaring high above the island of Manhattan!

    Dean

  3. James Andrew says:

    Dear Dean,

    Thank You for such a sublime comment!

    You are a true aesthete!

    Cheers

    JA

  4. Marc de Paris says:

    Fascinating post,

    I agree with “Dean”, this page could be added to a book by Ruskin or Berenson. There is an amazing dialogue between the black and white costume (colours used by the Dominican order who appeared at the same time as the Franciscan order) , the architecture and the painting. It makes me think on the compatibility between simplicity and elegance, the past and the present… A great picture!

    It will be hard to wait until october in Paris!

  5. Dear James! I love the way you look! you look stunning in white! I never saw the turkish taste and the court of Marie Antoinette when I was at The Frick! That´s too bad…….

    Hugs,

    Christian

  6. Lola Montes says:

    Me encanta James, eres lo más sofisticado que he visto! Me encanta el Frick! espero poder ir pronto!

    besos,

    Lola

  7. Mara Helmrich von Elgott says:

    Ich liebe das Frick Museum! Siehst super toll aus!

    LG,

    Mara

  8. Maria La Torre says:

    James, estoy segura de que es una maravilla…….espero pronto darme una vuelta!

    cariños,

    Maria

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