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Passion for Perfection: The Straus Collection of Renaissance Art October 21, 2017–June 17, 2018


Pater - Pastoral Concert

Jean-Baptiste Pater, A Pastoral Concert, c. 1725, oil on wood, the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, the Edith A. and Percy S. Straus Collection

Lucas Cranach the Younger, The Fall of Man, 1549, oil on wood, the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, the Edith A. and Percy S. Straus Collection

Bartolomeo Veneto, Portrait of a Man, possibly 1512, oil on wood, the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, the Edith A. and Percy S. Straus Collection.

Bernardino Fungai, The Beloved of Enalus Sacrificed to Poseidon and Spared, c. 1512, tempera, oil, and gold leaf on wood, the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, the Edith A. and Percy S. Straus Collection

Master of the Straus Madonna, Virgin and Child, c. 1395–1400, tempera and gold leaf on wood, the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, the Edith A. and Percy S. Straus Collection.

Sir Anthony van Dyck, Charles Louis, Elector Palatine, 1637, oil on canvas, the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, the Edith A. and Percy S. Straus Collection.

Albrecht Dürer, Saint Eustace, c. 1500–1501, engraving on laid paper, the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, the Edith A. and Percy S. Straus Collection.

Rogier van der Weyden, Virgin and Child, after 1454, oil on wood, the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, the Edith A. and Percy S. Straus Collection.

Franco-Netherlandish, God the Father, early 15th century, ivory, the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, the Edith A. and Percy S. Straus Collection.

Italian (Ferrarese), The Meeting of Solomon and the Queen of Sheba, c. 1470–73, tempera and gold leaf on wood, the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, the Edith A. and Percy S. Straus Collection.

When Edith and Percy Straus gave their remarkable collection of European art to the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, in 1941, their generous donation marked a turning point for the MFAH.

Since the Museum’s opening in 1924, its European collection had been relatively insignificant—a situation that changed dramatically with the Straus gift. The 83 objects that arrived in late 1944, after Percy Straus passed away, not only formed the cornerstone of the European art department, but also put the MFAH firmly on the map. Building on his father’s collection of Italian Renaissance paintings, Percy, together with his wife Edith, had acquired mainly Italian paintings of the late medieval and early Renaissance period, carefully guided by the best scholars in the field.

Two artists—the painters of the Straus Madonna and the Sienese Straus Madonna—are named in honor of this collection that comprises their masterworks. Works by outstanding masters like Fra Angelico, Giovanni di Paolo, and Bartolomeo Veneto continue to be highlights of the MFAH collection.

Besides these Italian paintings, the Straus Collection also includes exceptional works by Northern Renaissance masters such as Hans Memling and Rogier van der Weyden, as well as a number of 18th-century French and English paintings and works on paper. A fine group of Italian Renaissance bronzes, and a number of Northern and French sculptures from the 15th to 18th century, add yet another dimension to the collection.


This exhibition is organized by the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston.

Location

Audrey Jones Beck Building
5601 Main Street
Houston, TX 77005
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