Art at the DIANew Acquisitions
The painting is on view in the African American Art gallery N290 within the Contemporary Art Suite of galleries.
In 2012, the DIA acquired this exceptionally fine, important, and unique polychromed bronze bust entitled Mauresque Noire by the talented French sculptor Charles Cordier (1827–1905). Cordier entered this particular work for the 1862 London International Exhibition and his 1865 Paris Sale, in both of which it was highly acclaimed. Cordier’s documented and recently rediscovered Mauresque Noire is one of the best examples of polychrome sculptures this artist who was the first to explore, portray and celebrate ethnic diversity in a wide range of subjects. The attractive and elegant appearance of the richly costumed Algerian woman, who lived next door to Cordier in Algiers, evokes not merely outer beauty, but also a strong, eternal beauty.
Ogata Korin (1658–1716) left many fine round-fan paintings that express his superior composition skills. Corn, now mounted as a small hanging scroll, depicts a cornstalk with an ear of corn and leaves on a gold background. By heavily layering the pigment, the artist has given the corn kernels a three dimensional appearance, and the ear is shown as if being blown by a mild breeze. This painting bears Korin’s signature and seal, which reflect the typical style of his later years.
Korin was born into a Kyoto family that owned a luxury textile shop. The family had ties with powerful samurai who were important clients of the shop. Korin grew up surrounded by the newest and most high-quality textiles with the most refined designs. He likely produced many round-fan paintings, probably because they were very popular, refined gifts. In addition to painting, he expressed his unique aesthetic in designs for lacquerware.
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