Hapsburg Exhibit at the Minneapolis Institute of Art


Jupiter and Io, Corregio

Treasures from the Kunsthistorisches Museum in Vienna are at the Minneapolis Institute of Art until May 10th.  In addition, to celebrate the 100th Anniversary of the MIA, a Vermeer — one of only 34 in the world —  is on view for free until May 3rd.


Woman Reading a Letter, Jan Vermeer



I never noticed the beautiful hand inside the somewhat paw-like Jupiter cloud.  That just makes it so much better, because frankly, the paw kind of creeped me out.  This is an absolutely gorgeous painting and if they’d had a poster larger than a foot by six inches, I would have bought it.  I’m not sure I’ve ever seen a Correggio before.  No scholarly comments here.  I don’t know a thing about Correggio.


Danae, Titian

Titian did a number of Danaes.  It’s such a great opportunity to paint a beautiful woman and it isn’t necessary to come up with any challenging postures or anything.  All that happens is that Zeus (or Jupiter to the Italians) drops a shower of golden coins on her.  With that formula, any good life-painting session could result in a painting of Danae.


Susanna and the Elders, Tintoretto

I also don’t know anything about Tintoretto.  except that he painted so intensely that he was called Il Furioso.  Apparently it ran in the family, because his father earned such a reputation defending the city gates of Padua, that his son was tagged with the epithet Robusti too.

Infanta Maria Teresa, Velasquez

Pardon the short form of the artist’s names.  Velasquez was really named Diego Rodríguez de Silva y Velázquez.  So, enough said.


The Crowning with Thorns, Michelangelo Merisi, called Caravaggio

I couldn’t figure out at first exactly what the slaves were doing with the sticks, although it was probably perfectly apparent to everyone else that they were dragging at the crown in order cause the maximum amount of damage on Christ’s head.  I bought a book about Caravaggio at the Museum.  His paintings are often full of writhing subjects, engaged in (often) bloody actions, such as….


The thing that immediately strikes me is that in spite of knowledge of human anatomy these Renaissance artists had, it would have been impossible for Caravaggio to do these chiaroscuro lighting situations without models holding the poses for hours under dramatic lighting sources.


Portrait of Sculptor Alessandro Vittorio, Giovanni Batista Moroni

In addition to the world’s greatest artists, the Hapsburg Exhibit has a wonderful coach, a sleigh (which was used in a royal wedding — the groom sat astride behind the seat, with his feet anchoring him on the runners),  gilded horse harnesses, a ball gown, the livery of Court officials.  It’s so much fun!  Go see it!


Gilded Sled and harness, Kunsthistorisches Museum


Better view of the Sled


1 thought on “Hapsburg Exhibit at the Minneapolis Institute of Art

  1. marilyn morawiecki

    I was truly touched by this collection. To keep all of this for hundreds of years is overwhelming. The Crowning of Thorns by Corregio was exceptionally touching. I am amazed at the realism of the art work. It makes you feel as if you are there with all these exciting, amazing Hapsburgs and all the artists beautiful paintings. I am so glad I was able to see a part of history so vivid and alive. Thank you for bringing it here. I only wish I would have purchased some prints while I was there. Will there be any prints for sale? I am captivated by the painting of Jupiter and Io and Susanna and the Elders. Marilyn Morawiecki

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