DIDIER AARON, INC., NEW YORK, TO HOST ARTWORKS
FROM GALERIE CANESSO, PARIS
The Master of the Blue Jeans
January 20 - February 18, 2011
Monday-Friday from 10:00-6:00 and Saturday from 11:00-5:00
In January 2011, Didier Aaron, Inc. in New York will host a ground-breaking exhibition presented by
Galerie Canesso from Paris, The Master of the Blue Jeans. Organized by Gerlinde Gruber, curator at the Kunsthistorisches Museum in Vienna, this exhibition will introduce the American public to a newly discovered painter active in seventeenth-century Italy. Only ten paintings have so far been ascribed to this enigmatic artist, and seven will be included in the exhibition. Formerly attributed to artists from Michael Sweerts, Diego Velazquez and Georges de La Tour to the generic Neapolitan School, these seven paintings have been identified by Ms. Gruber as probably sharing a common hand, whose signature inclusion of a blue cloth with a white-thread weave typifies the famous Genoese fabric. (This forerunner to modern denim derives its name from ‘Genes’ in French, which became ‘Geanes’ in seventeenth-century English.) All the exhibited works depict this material worn by various figures, as in the torn apron of the Woman Sewing with Two Children and the jacket in A Beggar Boy with a Piece of Pie.
Although we do not know his name or nationality, the Master of the Blue Jeans holds an original place among the European painters of reality of the seventeenth century. In his hands, poor, humble people are depicted with a dignity and directness rarely given to such subjects. Such solemnity underlies his true originality and distinguishes him from the artists just mentioned.
We know that blue clothes made of serge have existed since the fourteenth century, but there are very few references and little tangible evidence, for fabrics were worn until they could no longer be used. Furthermore, subjects of popular life entered the artistic vocabulary much later. The paintings by the Master of the Blue Jeans are thus interesting in two ways. From an artistic point of view, we have begun to recognize the corpus of an overlooked painter. And from a cultural and historical point of view, these paintings clearly reveal that jeans -- such an iconic symbol in our contemporary age -- were already appreciated well before the nineteenth century.
The Galerie Canesso was founded in 1994 in Paris by Maurizio Canesso, an active participant in the Old Master world since 1980. The gallery is exclusively devoted to paintings of the fifteenth to the eighteenth centuries by Italian painters and foreigners living in Italy. The choice of available works, mostly unpublished, tends toward paintings with religious or mythological themes, but the gallery also offers portraits, still lives and landscapes. Galerie Canesso organizes onsite exhibitions accompanied by catalogues edited by its staff. Moreover, it participates in two prestigious art fairs: the TEFAF in Maastricht and the Biennale des Antiquaires in Paris.