Cleveland Announces New Acquisitions

Posted in museums by Editor on January 29, 2023

From the CMA press release (17 January 2023). . .

Recent acquisitions by the Cleveland Museum of Art (CMA) include a Korean abstract expressionist painting by Yun Hyong-keun 윤형근; a ten-panel folding screen by Kim Yoon-bo 김윤보; an early masterpiece by James Tissot from his English period; and a recently discovered full-length pastel portrait by Hugh Douglas Hamilton, the most celebrated Irish portraitist of the Grand Tour. . . .

Hugh Douglas Hamilton’s Portrait of George Clavering Cowper

Portrait of a man standing with a large dog by his side.

Hugh Douglas Hamilton, Portrait of George Clavering Cowper, 3rd Earl Cowper, 1785, pastel on paper stretched on linen; sheet: 94 × 69 cm (The Cleveland Museum of Art, Leonard C. Hanna Jr. Fund).

Preserved in remarkable condition, this portrait has remained in the sitter’s family—and was discovered only recently in the collection of the descendants of its sitter, George Clavering Cowper, 3rd Earl Cowper (1738–1789), of Great Britain. The full-length pastel was a type developed during the 18th century that appealed to English tourists on the Grand Tour to Italy. The earl, a cultural paragon in Italy and a patron of artists and composers, sat for the most celebrated Irish portraitist of the Grand Tour, Hugh Douglas Hamilton, in Florence, where he made his home.

Cowper prominently wears the sash and star of the which he had received in March 1785. The Order of Saint Hubertus was founded in 1695, a knightly order of aristocratic hunters from throughout the Hapsburg empire, whose motto was “Honoring God by Honoring his Creatures.” Evoking the emotion of this motto, Hamilton featured Cowper’s hunting dog, who receives a tender pat on the head and wears a collar inscribed with Cowper’s name.

The portrait enhances the CMA’s collection of pastels, a strength of its drawings collection. The acquisition was made possible by the Leonard C. Hanna Jr. Fund.

More information on the portrait is available at Lowell Libson & Jonny Yarker.

The full press release describing the other three acquisitions is available here»

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