Tuesday, April 21, 2015

WORK OF THE WEEK: The Sport of Kings by Jenness Cortez

Jenness Cortez 
The Sport of Kings
acrylic on mahogany panel
20 x 24 inches

Realist painter Jenness Cortez was born in Indiana, and began her training under Dutch painter, Antonius Raemaekers at the age of sixteen. She attended the Herron School of Art in Indianapolis and the Art Students League in New York. Cortez is most known for her homages to the great paintings in art history.

While artists have paid homage to those who came before them for centuries, Cortez manages to both honor the historic works of art and bring them into the contemporary realm by incorporating them in modern settings.  Many of the works that she pays tribute to can only be seen in museums, yet she brings them into intimate interiors that allow you to experience them as if they were really hanging in your own living room. 

This composition pays homage to 1880's French impressionist master works by Édouard Manet and Edgar Degas. Manet's "The Races at Longchamp", painted in 1886 is currently housed by the Art Institute of Chicago.  This painting features the finish of a horse race at the Longchamp Racecourse in Paris, France.  The second work, Degas' "Before the Race", is shown in the left side of the composition, a study of horses and jockeys before the start. The original work by Degas is in the collection of the Sterling and Francine Clark Art Institute, in Williamstown, MA.  Both artists are known to have spent considerable time at the fashionable Longchamp races and created numerous equestrain paintings. Jenness Cortez also spent much of her early career painting equestrian scenes. 

Cortez' work is in numerous public and private collections including those of Presidents Ronald Reagan and Bill Clinton, HRH Queen Elizabeth II, and Mrs. Cornelius Vanderbilt Whitney, among others. Public and corporate collectors include the New York State Museum, Fluor Corporation, Saratoga Harness, Inc., Skidmore College and SUNY Empire State College. Her work has been exhibited in museums including the Waterford Museum, the Albany Institute of History and Art, and the Burroughs Chapin Museum.

Contact us with inquiries about this work: 203.869.3664 or art@cavaliergalleries.com