What’s happening in art: Old Masters, a new master and a Tampa Pride art show

A new exhibit at the MFS offers a rare glimpse into a private collection of work by Old masters. Christopher Still opens his studio to reveal a new collection of paintings. Have an LGBTea art party for Tampa Pride.
Published March 20

Times Staff Writer

Old Masters: A Feast for the Eyes

The title of the Museum of Fine Arts’ new exhibition sounds a bit audacious, but it has every right to be. A Feast for the Eyes: European Masterpieces from the Grasset Collection” is a visual feast of glowing land and sea scapes, lush flora, luscious still lifes, from a rare, private collection of a Spanish family. The impressive collection includes work from Old Masters from the Netherlands, Spain, Italy and Germany, painted during the 1600s and 1700s. This exhibit promises to be every art history lover’s dream, as the paintings depicting life from the Golden Age are rich with symbolism. Artists include Venetian master Canaletto, Jan Brueghel the Elder (Flemish son of Renaissance master Pieter and frequent Peter Paul Rubens collaborator) and Dutch painter Floris Claesz. van Dyck. What’s more impressive is this group of paintings has only been exhibited publicly once, at the San Diego Museum of Art, and this exhibition is the last time the works are expected to be shown together. It opens Saturday and runs through July 28.

On Sunday from 3-4 p.m., curator of collections Stanton Thomas will host a gallery talk, leading a tour through the Dutch Golden Age while uncovering many of the “vanitas” themes throughout the paintings. Included with museum admission. $20, $15 students, seniors, military and Florida educators, $10 ages 7-17, 6 and younger free. 255 Beach Drive NE, St. Petersburg. (727) 896-2667. mfastpete.org.

New Master: Christopher Still

Speaking of Old Masters, you can see their influence on Tarpon Springs fine artist Christopher Still. For good reason; he trained in their manner, attending both art school and then medical school to study human anatomy. He also had an apprenticeship on traditional techniques in Florence, Italy. He’s well known for his stunning depictions of Florida landscapes. His new exhibitions of drawings and paintings, “A New Day,” will be on display at his studio Saturday through March 31. Many of the paintings are of the Belleview Inn in Belleair, from a project he was commissioned to do for the hotel. 11 a.m.-6 p.m. Free. 324 E Lemon St., Tarpon Springs. (727) 942-1846. christopherstill.com.

Tampa Pride: LGBTea

Ring in Tampa Pride with an art party at the Florida Museum of Photographic Arts. LGBTea features a live body painting by artist Nicole Hays, who was featured on Season 1 of the body painting competition show Skin Wars. Also on display are selections from the University of South Florida’s LGBT art collection. Special performances will be given by the Tampa Pride Band and dancers from Project Alchemy led by Alex Jones. And it’s a tea party, so there will be tea snacks and Long Island Iced Teas available. Free. 5:30-7:30 p.m. Tuesday. 400 N Ashley Drive. (813) 221-2222. fmopa.org.

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