Sunday, August 8, 2010

Backers of Yale Italian Paintings Show Lament Loss of ‘Eye’ - NYTimes.com

Backers of Yale Italian Paintings Show Lament Loss of ‘Eye’ - NYTimes.com
“It’s a lesson in hard looking,” Mr. Kanter said. “Once you can tell these pictures are by different painters, even thought they are a pair, it opens you up to so many different things.” Both saints have a beatific aura, but Benedict’s beard, robes and book are more subtly, realistically rendered.

Mr. Feigen said that after they were restored, he was able to appreciate fully St. Benedict’s sculptural qualities. “Look how his arm curls and the drapery folds,” Mr. Feigen said. “The beard rakes into the light. This is almost as sophisticated as 20th-century painting.”

Although few students are present over the summer to pore over the differences between these works, the exhibition does overlap into the start of Yale’s academic year, which starts Sept. 1.

Mr. Kanter will bring his students to the show; he added that there was interest from his colleagues as well. “I’ve had three professors complain that it should have been scheduled as a fall exhibition, so that they could design a class around it,” he said.

Maybe it’s not evidence of a seismic shift toward connoisseurship, but Mr. Kanter is taking his cues from the depictions of religious signs on the walls. “We live in hope,” he said.