Huntington International Exhibition to Compare Italian Renaissance and Flemish Painting

The exhibition will be the first in the U.S to explore the influence of Flemish painting on the Italian Renaissance and will include pieces from galleries throughout the world.

Using pieces from and those of several other U.S. and European institutions, the will present an exhibition highlighting Flemish Painting’s influence on the Renaissance, the institution announced Friday.

Titled Face to Face: Flanders, Florence and Renaissance Painting, the exhibit will show exclusively at the Huntington’s MaryLou and George Boone Gallery Sept. 28, 2013 through Jan. 13, 2014.

Masterpieces by artists such as Jan van Eyck, Hans Memling, Pietro Perugino, and Domenico Ghirlandaio will be brought together to show the results of artistic contact between creative centers in Flanders—present-day Belgium, France and the Netherlands—and Florence, according to a Huntington statement Friday.

One of the highlights of the exhibit will be "Madonna and Child" (ca. 1460), a painting by Flemish painter Roiger van der Weyden that is displayed at the Huntington but for the first time on the West Coast and only the fourth time anywhere since 1927 will be shown with its companion diptych panel, Portrait of Phillippe de Croy. The companion piece is on loan from the Koninklijk Museum voor Schone Kunsten in Antwerp.

The van der Weyden pieces will open the exhibition, and the Huntington’s "Portrait of a Man" and "Portrait of a Woman" (ca. 1490) by Domenico Ghirlandaio (Italian) will be the end pieces.

By the end, viewers will be able to see how Da Vinci’s Mona Lisa was inspired by Flemish painting, noted Catherine Hess, the Huntington's Chief Curator of European Art, at a press preview Friday.

“But we’re not getting the Mona Lisa,” Hess said with a laugh.

About 40 works will be displayed in Face to Face..., which will specifically explore the form of the diptych (pieces hinged together to open like a book), the depiction of Christ’s face, evolution of portraiture, elements of landscape painting and virtuosic rendering of forms and textures.

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