Friendship through the lens of art

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14:00 - 14:30
Ashmolean Museum - online ‘tutorials’
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Week 4: Friendship through the lens of art

(Professor Catherine Whistler)

The link for this talk will be available soon here

Join Catherine Whistler, Keeper of Western Art at the Ashmolean Museum, to study and compare two 18th Century paintings with a connection to Britain. 

Anton Raphael Mengs: Portrait of Giuseppe Franchi, c.1772-73 

A friendship portrait – the erudite writer-artist, Mengs, celebrated in his time as an art theorist and authority on the antique, painted this ‘speaking portrait’ of a close friend, the sculptor Giuseppe Franchi who shared his love of classical art. This portrayal is striking for its intimacy and for its emphasis on the senses. 

Paolo de’Matteis, The Choice of Hercules, 1712 

An unlikely friendship – Anthony Ashley-Cooper, 3rd Earl of Shaftesbury, worked closely with the Neapolitan artist, Paolo de’Matteis, making almost impossible demands in order to create an image that encapsulated his philosophical thinking; the painting is the result of intensive dialogue between the philosopher and the artist.