New Cleveland Museum of Art galleries open up new possibilities, including display of a miniature masterpiece 'The Artist's Studio'
Posted December 21, 2012 in Articles
Author: Steven Litt
Johann Georg Platzer isn't what you'd call a marquee name in the annals of art history.
Back in 18th-century Austria, however, he was the toast of the haute bourgeoisie, admired for his frothy, action-packed and highly detailed paintings on copper of historical and mythological scenes.
Imagine Emmanuel Leutze's big potboiler, "Washington Crossing the Delaware," shrunk to the size of an iPad screen, and you get the idea.
Platzer (1704-61) is finally getting a serious nod at the Cleveland Museum of Art, which recently purchased his "The Artist's Studio," painted in the 1740s or '50s.
This tour de force measures a mere 16-by-23 inches, but it packs a crowded studio with scenes of an artist painting a female nude, a boy pawing through a box of drawings, a collector peering at a painting he's thinking of buying, an assistant grinding pigments and a life-drawing class with a nude model holding a pose by steadying his upraised arm with a string attached to the wall behind him.
The artist stands in the center of the action, propping up the painting under consideration by the collector and sporting a feminine-looking dressing gown that was apparently just the thing for an 18th-century Austrian artist to wear around the house.