No. 239: Le Nain Brothers, Zina Saro-Wiwa

Episode No. 239 of The Modern Art Notes Podcast features C.D. Dickerson III and Zina Saro-Wiwa.

Along with Esther Bell, C.D. Dickerson is a co-curator of  “The Brothers Le Nain: Painters of Seventeenth-Century France,” which is on view through September 11 at the Kimbell Art Museum. It will travel to the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco this fall. Dickerson is the curator and head of sculpture and decorative arts at the National Gallery of Art; Bell is the curator-in-charge of European paintings at FAMSF.

Little is known about the lives of the three Le Nain brothers, Antoine, Louis and Mathieu, who were active in Paris during the 1630s and 1640s. Attribution of their paintings, which were signed simply “Le Nain” — whether any given painting was the product of one, two or three hands — has been a hot topic among scholars for decades. Their work includes religious paintings, portraits and genre scenes. They are best known for their depiction of peasants and the poor, paintings that led to the Le Nain being re-discovered by the 19th-century French realists.

This is the first major American exhibition devoted to the Le Nain, preceded only by a much smaller exhibition at the Toledo Museum of Art in 1947. The only previous Le Nain exhibition anywhere else was in Paris in 1978. The Kimbell/FAMSF exhibition is accompanied by an outstanding 454-page catalogue that was published by FAMSF and is distributed by Yale University Press.

On the second segment, we’ll revisit my host Tyler Green’s 2015 conversation with Zina-Saro Wiwa. Her  work is included in “Disguise: Masks and Global African Art” at the Brooklyn Museum. It’s up through September 18.

Air date: June 2, 2016.

Le Nain, The Penitent Magdalene, ca. 1640.

Le Nain, The Penitent Magdalene, ca. 1640.

Le Nain, The Peasants' Meal, 1642.

Le Nain, The Peasants’ Meal, 1642.

Le Nain, The Peasant Family, ca. 1642.

Le Nain, The Peasant Family, ca. 1642.

Le Nain, The Resting Horseman, ca. 1640.

Le Nain, The Resting Horseman, ca. 1640.

Le Nain, The Card Players, ca. 1640-45.

Le Nain, The Card Players, ca. 1640-45.

Zina Saro-Wiwa, The Invisible Man, 2015.

Zina Saro-Wiwa, The Invisible Man, 2015.

Zina Saro-Wiwa, The Invisible Man [Damage Side], 2015.

Zina Saro-Wiwa, The Invisible Man [Damage Side], 2015.

Zina Saro-Wiwa, The Invisible Man, 2015.

Zina Saro-Wiwa, The Invisible Man, 2015.

One thought on “No. 239: Le Nain Brothers, Zina Saro-Wiwa

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