There’s something big happening at the Memphis Brooks Museum of Art. And no, I’m not cracking wise about the famously plump models of the renowned Baroque master Peter Paul Rubens, though several of his works will be on display when “Masterpieces of European Painting from Museo de Arte de Ponce” opens at the Brooks this weekend.
The Ponce Museum of Art in Puerto Rico houses more than 4,000 pieces, including the most impressive collection of Pre-Raphaelite paintings outside of Europe. The Brooks show features 56 works representing six centuries of mythologically inspired paintings by a variety of Spanish, Dutch, German, British, Italian, and French artists. The artists include Edward Burne-Jones, a painter and designer whose wide-ranging influence impacted painters and printmakers like Gustav Klimt and Alphonse Mucha as well as fantasy author J.R.R. Tolkien whose visions for Middle Earth were inspired, in part, by Burne-Jones’ paintings.
“Masterpieces of European Painting” also includes works by Frederick Sandys, Dante Gabriel Rossetti, Anthony Van Dyck, and Francisco de Goya. It includes extraordinary examples of Renaissance, Baroque Rococo, and neoclassical painting.
The exhibit’s opening weekend kicks off with a members reception at 6 p.m. on Friday, October 2nd. On Saturday and Sunday, the public will enjoy free guided tours in English, Spanish, and French as well as live music and a special menu in the Brushmark restaurant. — Chris Davis