A new exhibition at the J. Paul Getty Center re-stages the interaction between Flemish master Peter Paul Rubens and the continent of Asia.
Peter Paul Rubens’s black chalk drawing “Man in Korean Costume,” acquired by the Getty in 1983, forms the centerpiece of an exhibition that examines this master draftsman vis-à-vis his reflections on the Far East.
“Man in Korean Costume” (ca. 1617) gained international fame by means of copies produced in Rubens’s Antwerp studio and reproductive prints that circulated throughout the 18th century. The drawing is widely believed to be the first depiction of Korean costume in the European West, yet despite much scholarly interest, its significance remains unclear. Looking East: Rubens’s Encounter with Asia will offer insights into some of the many questions that the drawing provokes.
In this ambitious exhibition, related drawings, prints, paintings, illustrated books, maps, and costumes from prominent national and international institutions will accompany “Man in Korean Costume,” as will six national treasures from Korea. Never before seen on the West Coast, the Korean loans include portraits of scholars from the Joseon (1392-1910) dynasty – from which the man depicted in the drawing is believed to be a representative – and several luxurious costumes.
Peter Paul Rubens, “Modello for Miracles of Saint Francis Xavier,” ca. 1617, oil on canvas, 41 1/8 x 28 9/16 in. Vienna, Kunsthistorisches Museum, Gemäldegalerie
Also on display, a preparatory sketch for Rubens’s painting “Miracles of Saint Francis Xavier” (ca. 1617) highlights the Flemish painter’s application of Asian costume as an element of exoticism in his paintings.
The Getty has organized a full calendar of events to accompany the exhibition, including a symposium titled Crossing Borders, Drawing Boundaries: Contextualizing Rubens’s "Man in Korean Costume," to be held Friday March 15, from 9 a.m. - 5:30 p.m. at the Getty Center’s Museum Lecture Hall. The symposium fee is $10.
Looking East: Rubens’s Encounter with Asia was curated by Stephanie Schrader, Associate Curator in the Department of Drawings. The exhibition will be on view March 5 through June 9 at the J. Paul Getty Center in Brentwood.
For more information visit http://www.getty.edu/art/exhibitions/looking_east/events.html.
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