Frans Hals (Dutch, circa 1580–1666). Portrait of a Man, circa 1614–15. Oil on canvas, 29 x 21¾ in. (73.7 x 55.2 cm). Brooklyn Museum, Gift of the executors of the estate of Colonel Michael Friedsam, 32.821
Beaux-Arts Court, 3rd Floor
Although the collection of European paintings has often been presented in a chronological arrangement by school or style, this installation exploits the architecture of the soaring Beaux-Arts Court by devoting each wall to an exploration of the meaningful connections that the works display when arranged according to theme. The section called “Painting Land and Sea” surveys the formal methods that painters have used to render their physical surroundings across the centuries. “Art and Devotion” considers the ways in which the artists of the early Renaissance expressed the central tenets of the Catholic faith. “Russian Modern/Русский Модерн” explores the impact and influence of Russian and former Soviet artists on modern European painting. Finally, “Tracing the Figure” charts the enduring artistic interest in the human figure, from portraits that place an individual in a clearly defined place and time to timeless abstractions of the human form.