Dallas, TX, April 29, 2004—Now at the Dallas Museum of Art is a stunning selection of French masterworks from the estate of the late Michael L. Rosenberg, a passionate collector and generous benefactor to the Museum. The paintings, works on paper, and sculpture are on view in the Museum’s European galleries for an indefinite period of time.
“Mr. Rosenberg favored the Dallas Museum of Art with a long and close relationship as a donor and trustee,” said John R. Lane, the Eugene McDermott Director of the Museum. “He played a crucial role in the Museum’s acquisition of two paintings by Anne Vallayer-Coster, and supported the DMA’s organization of the first exhibition of the artist’s works, which toured internationally to great success.”
The Rosenberg collection ranges in date from Hyacinthe Rigaud’s Portrait of a Parisian Alderman (1700), painted during the reign of Louis XIV, to Anne Vallayer-Coster’s delicate flower studies of 1802, from early in the Napoleonic era. In 1993, Mr. Rosenberg made his first acquisition, François Lemoyne’s The Bather (1724), one of the most important works of that century. He continued to focus solely on collecting works of the finest quality and importance, according to Carl Wuellner, The Lillian Clark Assistant Curator of European Painting and Sculpture for the Dallas Museum of Art.
“The Dallas Museum of Art is grateful to the estate of Michael L. Rosenberg for generously lending selections from Mr. Rosenberg’s distinguished private collection of French 18th-century art,” said Wuellner. “Together with objects from the Museum’s collection, these works offer visitors the ability to consider all of the major styles and subjects explored by artists during that rich period. Through them, we can see the playful pursuit of love, the beauty and power of nature, and the elegance of 18th-century life.”
The Rosenberg estate includes two paintings and two works on paper by Vallayer-Coster, as well as an important landscape by Claude-Joseph Vernet, whose superb Mountain Landscape with Approaching Storm is a vital part of the Museum’s 18th-century holdings. Also on view will be Portrait of Madame Nakharovna Kolychova, née Hitrova (1799) by Elizabeth Vigée-Legrun, who, like Vallayer-Coster, achieved success in a field that at the time was dominated by men.
In addition to paintings and works on paper, the Rosenberg estate collection includes Clodion’s Pair of Bacchantes (1790–92), terracotta sculptures bearing figures of the followers of Bacchus, the ancient Greek god of wine, and the hard-paste porcelain Sevres Tableau Depicting a Boar Hunt (1793), a beautifully crafted small-scale reproduction of a hunting scene.
From October 17, 2004 to January 2, 2005, the Museum will present Masterworks of French Painting: Bonjour Monsieur Courbet! The Bruyas Collection of the Musée Fabre, Montpelier, a collection from one of the most important patrons and collectors of art in 19th-century France. Artists represented in the collection include masters of romanticism and realism, including Gustave Courbet, Eugène Delacroix, Jean-Auguste-Dominique Ingres, Camille Corot, and Jean-Léon Gérome, as well as paintings and sculptures by Antoine-Louis Barye.