Larger Than Life: Ter Brugghen's Saint Sebastian Tended by Irene

January 21 - May 15, 2011
The National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C.

Saint Sebastian Tended by Irene, the 1625 masterwork of Dutch painter Hendrick ter Brugghen and one of the signature works of the AMAM’s collection, will be the focal point of a small installation at the National Gallery of Art celebrating two of the artist’s most luminous compositions.  The painting will hang near the Gallery’s magnificent Bagpipe Player by Ter Brugghen, of 1624.  Although of different genres – one a multi-figured religious work, and one a single figure in the act of playing an instrument associated at the time with the lower class – the two paintings reveal the same fluidity of brush, harmonious coloration, and elegant composition for which the artist is celebrated.  Bagpipe Player is a recent acquisition of The National Gallery of Art, having been purchased in 2009.  Saint Sebastian Tended by Irene was acquired by the AMAM in 1953 under the leadership of Charles Parkhurst, who served as AMAM director from 1949-62, with the advice of distinguished art history professor Wolfgang Stechow.  Parkhurst was assistant director and chief curator at the National Gallery of Art from 1970-83, and this showing there of what is arguably his greatest acquisition celebrates his career and legacy.

This exhibition was co-organized by the National Gallery of Art and the Allen Memorial Art Museum.  The exhibition is made possible at the National Gallery of Art by the generous support of Michael A. Glass.

Saturday, January 29 at 11:00 am and at 2:00 pm - Andria Derstine, AMAM Curator of Collections, and Arthur Wheelock, Curator of Northern Baroque Paintings at the National Gallery of Art, will give a free public talk about these paintings.   Please join the curators in front of these two magnificent works in the West Building, Main Floor, Gallery 44, to hear more about their history and significance.

Watch Charles Parkhurst discussing the acquisition of St. Sebastian Tended by Irene - click here.




Hendrick ter Brugghen (Dutch, ca. 1588 - 1629)
Saint Sebastian Tended by Irene, 1625
Oil on canvas
R. T. Miller, Jr. Fund, 1953.256