Matisse: In Search of True PaintingThe Matisse exhibit at the Met is sweet, and I recommend making a trip to see it, but what’s haunting me right now comes from the Frick’s current drawing exhibit.  The exhibit is full of gems, and with minimal crowds, I could put my nose right up to each one.  I love that!

Yes, see the Rembrandt’s, Tintoretto, Leonardo, Durer and Michelangelo.  Enjoy the wit of Watteau and surprisingly Goya.  Every master of disegno is represented.

It’s Peter Paul Rubens who caught my eye and heart.

Of course, I love how he portrays his second, or is it third, wife Helena.  Don’t you?  Look at that hat!

But the Hercules drawing?  I had to go back and look at three times.  Of course, it’s beyond gorgeous.  No wonder artists through the ages have wanted to copy it.  I’d like to have that man in my life 24/7.

Maybe Anthony van Dyck did, too.  Perhaps that explains why AV Dyck is clear at the bottom of the print.  Or not.  I know van Dyck studied with and was mentored by Rubens.  This drawing is unequivocally attributed to Rubens.  So why does it bear that signature? 

I started asking around.  No one had noticed or knew anything about it. Then I was directed to check in the catalogue.  It references AV Dyck as part of the ‘condition’ of the print, but doesn’t make any reference to it in the contextual essay.  Which means the authors probably don’t know how to make sense of it.

Now you see just how much of an art history geek I am!  We arth geeks want to know…