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Harvard's Winthhrop Collection: Nineteenth-century Paintings and Drawings from the Grenville L.Winthrop Collection. [Hardcover]

Chris Riopelle
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
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Book Description

20 Jun 2003
In the early decades of the 20th century, Grenville L. Winthrop, a New Yorker and Harvard graduate, assembled a remarkable collection of paintings and drawings by French, British and American artists of the 19th century. They include the finest group of works by Ingres outside France and major canvasses and sheets by David, Gericault, Delacroix, Moreau and Renoir. British works, beginning with Blake and Flaxman, include important Pre-Raphaelite paintings by Burne-Jones, Holman Hunt and Rossetti, and a suite of masterful drawings by Beardsley. The Americans examples include Whistler, Sargent and Winslow Homer. Upon his death in 1942, Winthrop's collection passed to Harvard University Art Museums in Cambridge, MA. Published to accompany the National Gallery exhibition "A Private Passion: Nineteenth-Century Paintings and Drawings from the Grenville L. Winthrop Collection, Harvard University" (25th June - 14th September 2003) this book features 35 of the finest paintings and drawings in the collection. Christopher Riopelle provides an introduction to the collection and offers some unexpected insights into the history and background of the featured works. The exhibition has been organised in collaboration with the Musee des Beaux-Arts, Lyon and The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York.

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 48 pages
  • Publisher: National Gallery Company (20 Jun 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1857099206
  • ISBN-13: 978-1857099201
  • Product Dimensions: 23.2 x 0.6 x 27.1 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 2,426,758 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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About the Author

Christopher Riopelle is Curator of Nineteenth-Century Painting at the National Gallery, London. His previous titles include A Brush with Nature: The Gere Collection of Landscape Oil Sketches (1999), now revised (ISBN 1 85709 998 2, [pound]25.00*).

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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Nice short book of National Gallery exhibition 29 April 2013
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
This is an exhibition catalogue of a small exhibition of some of the Winthrop collection at the National Gallery in London. These works are housed in the Metropolitan museum in the US. They publish a catalogue which features more of the collection. However for the price this is a great little book with exactly the erudite entries you'd expect from the National Gallery and good reproductions of both drawings and paintings mostly from the nineteenth century.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Don't lock up your daughters 17 Nov 2012
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
Grenville N. Winthrop (1864-1943) studied law at Harvard and briefly practiced before retiring in 1896 to focus on studying and collecting art. Part of his collection was brought to London in 2003 for exhibition at the National Gallery; 34 key works, including 5 drawings, are presented here together with a brief introductory essay on Winthrop's life and collecting.

Stimulated by art history lectures whilst at Harvard, Winthrop initially collected in a rather unfocussed manner before becoming fascinated by the Aesthetic Movement and the Pre-Raphaelites. After 1914, and guided by the dealer, Martin Birnbaum, Winthrop focussed on 19th Century drawings, which were comparatively inexpensive, but soon moved on to paintings from the same period.

The artists in this book of exhibition highlights include William Blake (2), Holman Hunt, Rossetti and Burne Jones (2 each), Maddox Brown (1), Ingres (5, including the portrait of Emmanuel Joseph Sieyes bought in 1936 from under the nose of Kenneth Clark and the National Gallery) and Gericault and Renoir (2 each) as well as Winslow Homer and Sargent (2 each) and Whistler. All the paintings are well reproduced in colour and there is a descriptive summary of each work.

Winthrop was very keen for art students to see his collection and considered the possibility of creating a house museum for his collection, similar to that of Henry Clay Frick which had opened in 1935. In the event, he left it to Harvard on his death and it can now be seen in the Fogg Art Museum.

Two pictures of Winthrop's New York house, taken in 1943, suggest that his staff must have been paid danger money for dusting and polishing. Winthrop was insistent that he be informed of everyone that his two daughters might meet. Sadly this fatherly "protection" failed since they both eloped on the same day - with the electrician and the chauffeur.
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