Fair Critics, Charles Courtney Curran
In the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Use zoom or download icons below the image.
I just love paintings of artists’ studios, particularly those in which other paintings are depicted.
I wish the Met’s site had more commentary about this one. Does “Fair Critics” refer to the critical judgement of those viewing the painting, or to the physical beauty of the two of them most prominently depicted? (Perhaps both, as a kind of pun?)
I also find it fascinating that the model for the painting is showing it off, dressed as she was for the pose. I wonder if this was a common practice — to show the accuracy of the artist’s work — or perhaps it was a commissioned portrait, and the “Fair Critics” are her friends or family.
I don’t recall seeing a stand-alone Curran painting like the one shown, though that doesn’t mean there wasn’t one. I did find out that this painting was auctioned through Christie’s in 1999, and apparently gifted to the Met this year (2014).