Masterfully Human: The Art of Gaugengigl
January 23 - April 29, 2018 at the Flagler Museum
Masterfully Human: The Art of Gaugengigl is an exhibition that gathers the work of Boston painter and etcher Ignaz Marcel Gaugengigl (1855-1932). It is the first museum exhibition devoted to this Gilded Age artist. The Bavarian-born artist created beautifully painted depictions of everyday life, often set in revolutionary-era France, that convey timeless themes such as honor, friendship, love, and beauty. His intimate and evocative works were sought after by Boston area collectors.
Gaugengigl was praised as a master of human expression, with the ability to tell a story in a single gesture or look. The historical characters that populate his charming pictures – cavaliers, lovers courting, connoisseurs, artists, and musicians – are thoroughly engaging. He further captivated viewers with careful research and skillful technique, including strong draftsmanship and luminous light and color. As the etching revival swept Europe and America, Gaugengigl was inspired to create etched versions of his most popular oil paintings. The freedom and directness of the etching process provided additional creative opportunities to enhance his compositions.
In addition to his popular historical genre subjects, the exhibition will present the artist’s work in landscape and portraiture. Gaugengigl’s congeniality helped him secure many portrait commissions from Boston’s elite. The resulting works were praised not only for expert figure modelling, but also for Gaugengigl’s ability to capture the essence of a sitter’s personality.
Organized by the Flagler Museum, Masterfully Human presents 75 works of art, on loan from major private and public collections from across the United States.