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Whither Metsu?

We reported yesterday that if the government does indeed shut down this weekend, art lovers won’t be able to see the National Gallery of Art’s Gabriel Metsu retrospective, which is set to open Sunday. Nevertheless, The Washington Post has a review of the show that may or may not be end up being useful to you. Philip Kennicott writes:

Metsu’s work, at its best, has a supreme weirdness to it that one doesn’t encounter in his contemporaries. Sometime around 1654-56, when Metsu was in his mid-20s, he painted a self-portrait as a hunter, getting dressed after a dip in a nearby creek or canal. The large, naked form takes up an unseemly amount of the pictorial space, and the hunter is not a sinewy Acteon or a rosy-cheeked Adonis, but a somewhat lumpy man who seems on the cusp of robust early middle age. National Gallery curator Arthur Wheelock says that while working one’s own visage into a scene wasn’t uncommon for painters at the time, Metsu’s hunter is apparently the only naked self-portrait from the period.

Sounds like a great show. I hope museum-goers get to see it soon.

(An ahem: Washington Post editors, you misspelled Metsu in the article’s headline!)

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