"A De Backer for the Getty?: A Connoisseurial Conundrum and Issues in International Mannerism"

Submitted by Evelyn Kiefer on Wed, 09/27/2006 - 13:32.
09/27/2006 - 17:30

The North East Ohio Medieval & Renaissance Studies Group and
The Department o Art History & Art, Case Western Reserve University Present:
Virginia Brilliant, Cleveland Post-Doctorial Fellow in Medieval Art, The Cleveland Museum of Art

"A De Backer for the Getty?: A Connoisseurial Conundrum And Issues in International Mannerism, Mather House Room 100


Mather House, Case Western Reserve University
11201 Euclid Avenue
Cleveland, OH
United States
Backer.jpg9.08 KB

Actually a much racier de Backer

When I posted this event I searched the Getty's website and found this painting. I was hoping that this was the de Backer that would be the subject of the lecture. I was wrong! The painting in question and the subject of the lecture "A de Backer for the Gettty" is not illustrated on the Getty's website. That's because the artist and subject are both in question. The "de Backer" Virginia Brilliant talked about is actually much racier than this portrait; it depicts a nude woman sleeping on a bed, a male intruder has enter the room and a servant holding a candle has surprised him.

Virginia Brilliant gave a fascinating talk about how she played art "history detective" carefully gathering the clues that have led her to believe the painting is by a northern artist (not Italian as it was originally believed when the painting entered the collection) the subject is the rape of Lucretia and the "artist" could have been a work shop that sold paintings under the name of its most masterful member -- de Backer. Virginia Brilliant's lecture underscored the importance of careful observation and connoisseurship in the field of art history.