courtauld_rubens

Rubens, Portrait of Helena Fourment

Who can take issue with a surplus of the sublime, even if it’s contained in two small rooms in the Frick’s shoebox of a basement and a tiny room on the street-level floor?

It’s a relatively small show of drawings by Michelangelo, Durer, Rembrandt, Rubens, Ingres — and that’s just the beginning of the cornucopia of great artists represented in 58 works on loan from London’s Courtauld Gallery.

That’s not to ignore Bernini, Canaletto, Watteau, or Fragonard — they’re here too.  As are Goya, van Gogh, and Manet.

courtauld_parmigianino

Parmigianino, Seated Woman

It’s like a ten-pound box of chocolate truffles — way too many sweets to savor in a single sitting.

As might be expected in a show that covers art from the late Middle Ages to the early 20th century, the styles and purposes of the drawings are all over the place.  There are Leonardo’s scribbled studies of Mary Magdalene, Pieter Breugel the Elder’s detailed line drawing of a peasant scene that would be used to make a print, and a watercolor by Cezanne meant as a finished piece.

Rembrandt’s drawings here are a quick visual record of whatever interested him.  Parmigianino seemed to pick up the chalk because he liked a woman’s pose.  Goya’s drawing inhabits his private world of witches and demons.  Mantegna struggled to get the posture of Christ just right and used both sides of the same sheet.

 

The American chemist, businessman and art collector Alfred Bader and his wife, Isabel, have donated a 1658 Rembrandt painting, “Portrait of a Man With Arms Akimbo,” to the Agnes Etherington Art Center at Queen’s University in Ontario.

This is the third Rembrandt painting, among the more than 200 works of art that Mr. Bader, 91, has donated to the center at Queen’s, his alma mater, but it is considered the most significant gift so far.

It’s easier to prove your abilities if it’s not the first time you’ll be out there traveling by yourself. Have you ever done anything brave completely on your own, such as moving to a new town where you didn’t know anyone, studying abroad, or a taking trip by yourself? Point to those past successes as proof that you’re capable of doing it again.

If you never have done something like that, then take a baby trip first. It doesn’t have to be anything big. It can just be a long weekend away in a new city. Navigate it on your own, start conversations with strangers, or eat a meal by yourself. It’s a great way to build up your experience and confidence, and also the confidence of those in your inner circle.