El Greco, The Repentant St. Peter, between 1600 and 1614. Oil on canvas,
36 7/8 x 29 5/8 in. The Phillips Collection, Washington, D.C. Acquired 1922
Baltimore-based artist Bernard Hildebrandt gives El Greco’s The Repentant St. Peter (1600-1614) a face lift (literally) in the new Intersections project at The Phillips Collection. Two things about this project are interesting to me: the sound that echoes across the room and the placement of the art work. The sound to me is like a low growl emanating from St. Peter’s mouth, an agonized groan. It is mesmerizing. Moreover, the work is shown in low lighting, giving the room an eerie atmosphere. The project sits right in the middle of the permanent collection. Just around the corner is the cheerful Luncheon of the Boating Party (1880-81) by Renoir.
El Greco was recalling the traditions of Byzantium icon paintings with his up-close view of the holy man’s face, but in the then-contemporary Baroque style depicting high drama and emotion. Hildebrandt brings El Greco’s work into the 21st century by converting a series of images into a new medium–video.
We will have a chance to hear more from Hildebrandt about the process behind his work in an Artist’s Perspective talk this Saturday, July 20, at 3 pm. I wonder what El Greco would have thought of the intersection?
Jane Clifford, Marketing Intern
Bernhard Hildebrandt, Peter, 2013 © 2013 Courtesy of the artist
Left: A detail of El Greco’s Laocoon, on view at the National Gallery of Art.
Right: El Greco’s The Repentant St. Peter, currently on view at the Phillips.
Phillips educators saw a familiar face during a field trip to the National Gallery of Art on Monday. Check out the uncanny resemblance between the title figure in the Gallery’s Laocoön (c. 1610/1614) and the Phillips’s The Repentant St. Peter (between 1600 and 1614), both by El Greco.
It was a very timely happenstance considering the Intersections project A Conjunction of Verb opening tomorrow at the Phillips, in which Baltimore-based artist Bernhard Hildebrandt reinterprets El Greco’s work in photography and video.
Are there more St. Peter lookalikes out there?
Natalie Mann, School, Outreach, and Family Programs Coordinator
French artist Henri Rousseau was born on this day in 1844. His still life The Pink Candle (1908), acquired by Duncan Phillips in 1930 along with Notre Dame (1909), is currently on view upstairs in the original Phillips house as part of Jeanne Silverthorne’s Vanitas! project for the Intersections series. The little painting hangs to the right of a doorway framing Silverthorne’s tour de force in silicone rubber–DNA Candelabra (showing the beginning genetic sequence for depression, anxiety, addiction, anger, and panic) on rubber crate (2007).
Henri Rousseau, The Pink Candle, 1908. Oil on canvas, 6 3/8 x 8 3/4 in. The Phillips Collection, Washington, D.C. Acquired 1930.
Installation view of Rousseau’s The Pink Candle in conversation with Jeanne Silverthorne’s work in Vanitas! on view through June 2 as part of the Intersections series. Photo: Lee Stalsworth
Installation view of Jeanne Silverthorne’s DNA Candelabra (showing the beginning genetic sequence for depression, anxiety, addiction, anger, and panic) on rubber crate, 2007. Platinum, silicone rubber, and phosphorescent pigment, Overall 64 x 60 x 47 in. Courtesy artist and McKee Gallery, New York. Photo: Lee Stalsworth