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Chapel Art Center Reveals New Acquisition in Winter Exhibit

December 22, 2014

By Alexa Napolitan '15

Laura Lemire
Communications and Marketing
(603) 641-7242

Guercino Alva de Mars Megan Chapel Art Center paper drawing by Giovanni Francesco BarbieriThe Alva de Mars Megan Chapel Art Center's current exhibition is concentrated around a recently acquired masterpiece: an ink on paper drawing by the Baroque artist, Giovanni Francesco Barbieri.

Barbieri, known best as "Il Guercino," is a key figure in the progression of art throughout history, noted for his paintings as well as his drawings.

Fr. Iain MacLellan, O.S.B., director of the Chapel Art Center, refers to Guercino as "the great grandfather of modern art, of sorts," noting that much of the modern art that will be displayed in future Chapel Art Center exhibits finds its roots in the work of this master.

The nearly 400-year-old drawing, entitled "Study of a Woman with a Hand Held to her Breast," was acquired over a year ago by Fr. Iain. He felt the piece fit perfectly into the permanent collection and commemoration of the 125th anniversary of the college. The drawing stands 5 11/16 x 6 ½ inches and was drawn using pen and brown ink and wash on laid paper.

"The force of drawing is always so meaningful, as it captures those initial impulses and sentiments of the artist's mind," says Fr. Iain, who as an artist, specializes in the human figure.

The coveted drawing was chosen as the sole image for last year's Burlington Magazine promotion of Master Drawings New York week of exhibitions and has been highly sought after by a variety of art aficionados.

The second installation of  "Reverie: Realizing a Collection," which highlights a variety of Old Master drawings and works on paper also features etchings, woodcuts, and other prints spanning from the Northern and Italian Renaissance to the nineteenth century.

In addition, artwork celebrating the Studio of Christian Art will remain on display in the front half of the gallery through the New Year, paying tribute to the college's rich art history.

The exhibition will be on view until February 13, 2015, but will be closed to the public for the college's winter break from Dec. 11 to Jan. 12. Information regarding programs, events, and gallery hours may be found on the Chapel Art Center website:

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