Behind Rosalba’s Pastels: A Conversation with Xavier F. Salomon
Rosalba Giovanna Carriera, 'Portrait of a Lady as Diana', 18th century. Pastel on laid paper, 13 3/16 x 10 13/16 in. (33.5 x 27.4 cm). Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco, Achenbach Foundation for Graphic Arts, Gift of Mr. and Mrs. Prentis Cobb Hale Jr., 1959.114
John A. and Cynthia Fry Gunn Theater
Rosalba Carriera’s pastels captured the essence of her time: sophisticated, mundane, and seductive. Her success, and exceptional admission in the Académie Royale of Paris in 1720, paved the way for women artists of the following generations. Illustrating their stories, Furio Rinaldi, exhibition curator and curator of the Achenbach Foundation for Graphic Arts, will be in conversation with Xavier F. Salomon, deputy director and chief curator at The Frick Collection, whose discovery of small religious tokens hidden behind Rosalba’s pastels, provides an insight into the artist’s personal world and working practice.
Xavier F. Salomon is the Frick’s deputy director and Peter Jay Sharp Chief Curator. A noted scholar of Paolo Veronese, he curated the monographic exhibition on the artist at the National Gallery, London (2014). Previously, Salomon was a curator in the department of European Paintings at the Metropolitan Museum of Art and, before that, the Arturo and Holly Melosi Chief Curator at Dulwich Picture Gallery, where he curated Van Dyck in Sicily, 1624–25: Painting and the Plague (2012) and collaborated with Nicholas Cullinan on Twombly and Poussin: Arcadian Painters (2011). As an Andrew W. Mellon Curatorial Fellow at the Frick (2004–6), he curated Veronese's Allegories: Virtue, Love, and Exploration in Renaissance Venice (2006). Salomon’s other exhibitions for the Frick include Cagnacci’s Repentant Magdalene: An Italian Baroque Masterpiece from the Norton Simon Museum (2016–17), Veronese in Murano: Two Venetian Renaissance Masterpieces Restored (2017–18), Murillo: The Self-Portraits (2017–18), Canova’s George Washington (2018), Tiepolo in Milan: The Lost Frescoes of Palazzo Archinto (2019), and (with Aimee Ng and Alexander Noelle) Bertoldo di Giovanni: The Renaissance of Sculpture in Medici Florence (2019–20). Salomon received his Ph.D. on the patronage of Cardinal Pietro Aldobrandini from the Courtauld Institute of Art. He has published in Apollo, The Burlington Magazine, Master Drawings, The Medal, The Art Newspaper, Journal of the History of Collections, and The Metropolitan Museum of Art Journal. Salomon also wrote (with Maira Kalman) the latest volume in the Frick Diptych series, Rembrandt’s Polish Rider (2019). He is a trustee and a member of the Projects Committee of Save Venice. In 2018, Italy named Salomon Cavaliere dell’Ordine della Stella d’Italia.
Furio Rinaldi, PhD, is the curator of drawings and prints in the Achenbach Foundation for Graphic Arts, the Fine Arts Museums’ department of works on paper. An expert on fifteenth- and sixteenth-century drawings—particularly the schools of Leonardo da Vinci, Raphael, and Michelangelo—Rinaldi has authored many publications and organized exhibitions on the subject. His curatorial experience includes positions at The Metropolitan Museum of Art and the Pinacoteca di Brera, Milan. Most recently he was a specialist in the department of old master and nineteenth century drawings at Christie’s, New York.
About the Exhibition
Color into Line: Pastels from the Renaissance to the Present presents a powerful selection of masterpiece drawings done with pastel, one of the most versatile and adaptable media in art history. Spanning from the Renaissance to most recent artistic experimentations—from Rosalba Carriera to Mary Cassatt and Edgar Degas to John Altoon and Wayne Thiebaud—the narrative highlights technical aspects with an emphasis on the design process behind the works. Drawn mostly from the Fine Arts Museums’ own holdings in the Achenbach Foundation for Graphic Arts, the Museums’ department of works on paper, the exhibition celebrates the artistry of pastel through the richness of the Bay Area art collections with selected loans from local private collections and public institutions.
Regardless of vaccination status, face coverings are required for staff and adult visitors at all times on museum premises (City-owned property). Masks may be temporarily removed for eating and drinking while seated in the museum or outdoors. Cleaning routines have been increased, and sanitizing stations are available throughout the Legion of Honor. Learn more about our rigorous health and safety measures.
There is no drinking or eating allowed inside the Gunn Theather, we encourage you to step outside temporarily or visit our cafe after the program.
Seating is limited and unassigned. Free program tickets are distributed on a first-come, first-served basis an hour before the lecture begins in front of the Gunn Theater. This does not include admission to the exhibition.
Every Saturday the Legion of Honor offers free general admission to all residents of the nine Bay Area counties. To view the exhibition please book your tickets here.