Monday, September 9, 2013

The Golden Age of Painting in Europe has been a summer blockbuster attracting thousands of visitors to the Art Museum. There are only 12 days (closes on September 22) left to see this beautiful exhibition featuring some of the world’s most revered artist, including Rembrandt, Rubens, and Gainsborough. Many visitors, however, have enjoyed learning about lesser known European masters. One of the Museum staff’s favorite paintings is Dice Players by French artist Nicolas Tournier. This painting reflects several stylistic features Tournier borrowed from Michelangelo Merisi da Caravaggio, the revolutionary Italian artist whose dramatic lighting and naturalistic painting style influenced seventeenth-century art throughout Europe. Caravaggio’s style can be seen in the extreme contrasts of light and shadow, the strong sense of naturalism (down to the dirty fingernails), and the way in which the artist engages the viewer by having the figure on the left look directly out into the viewer’s space. The subject of this painting also reflects Caravaggio’s influence. He, along with many of his followers, frequently depicted people from the seedy side of life, such as prostitutes, fortune tellers, and card and dice players.

NICHOLAS TOURNIER, French, 1590-about 1660, Dice Players, about 1619-1626/27, oil on canvas, 47 5/16 x 67 ½ in., Gift of the Charter Collectors, from the Speed Art Museum, Louisville, KY.

The Museum is located on the University Of Kentucky Campus, in the Singletary Center for the Arts at 405 Rose Street. We are open Tuesday through Sunday from noon until 5 pm and Fridays from noon until 8 pm, closed Mondays. General Admission to the Golden Age admission is $8, and $5 for senior citizens (over 55). All students and UK faculty, staff and alumni are free. Everyone is free on Friday nights from 5 until 8 pm. The last day for this exhibition is Sunday, September 22. For more information visit us online at or phone 859.257.5716.

Rembrandt, Rubens, Gainsborough and the Golden Age of Painting in Europe was organized by the Speed Art Museum, Louisville. Presenting Sponsors are UK HealthCare and Norton Healthcare. Promotional Sponsors are Meridian-Chiles, Time-Warner Communications, Thoroughbred Printing, and WUKY.

No comments: