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Art Curatorial

From the Collection—Connections with Kenwood House

John Hoppner (English, 1758–1810), Portrait of Jane Emma Orde, ca. 1806. Oil on canvas; 30 1/8 x 25 7/16 in. (76.52 x 64.61 cm). Milwaukee Art Museum, Bequest of Josephine S. McGeoch in Memory of her husband, Gordon McGeoch M1983.197 Photo credit John R. Glembin
John Hoppner (English, 1758–1810), Portrait of Jane Emma Orde, ca. 1806. Oil on canvas; 30 1/8 x 25 7/16 in. (76.52 x 64.61 cm). Milwaukee Art Museum, Bequest of Josephine S. McGeoch in Memory of her husband, Gordon McGeoch M1983.197 Photo credit John R. Glembin

Through January 13, 2013, the Milwaukee Art Museum will have on display 48 fantastic paintings by some of the most important artists in history.  Rembrandt, Van Dyck, Gainsborough: Treasures from the Kenwood House, London is a great opportunity to see art that usually resides across the Atlantic Ocean in England.

But did you know that there are some works by these same artists in the Museum’s permanent collection?

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Art Curatorial

From the Collection–Miss Frances Lee by Francis Cotes

Francis Cotes (English, 1726-1770), Portrait of Miss Frances Lee, 1769. Milwaukee Art Museum, Gift of Mr. and Mrs. William D. Vogel M1964.5. Photo by Larry Sanders.

The Milwaukee Art Museum has in its collection a beautiful portrait by Francis Cotes, one of the highlights of the Museum’s Gallery of 18th century English and Italian Works (gallery #7, main level).

Cotes’ story is an interesting one.  Francis Cotes’ (English, 1726–1770) fame as a portrait painter in eighteenth-century England was surpassed only by that of Sir Joshua Reynolds and Thomas Gainsborough—and many feel that if he had not died so early in his career at age 44, his name would not have faded into obscurity.

Cotes was particularly talented in working with pastel, evident even in his oil paintings which use bright yet delicate colors and contrasting textures.  Examples of pastels by Cotes are at the Cleveland Museum of Art and in The Frick Collection.  Some oil paintings by Cotes are in the Tate, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston, and the National Museum of Wales.

Cotes was particularly successful with likenesses of children, since they have an unaffected immediacy lacking in the more formal, decoratively detailed society portraits.  Portraits of children can be found at the J. Paul Getty Museum and the Speed Museum of Art.