Richard E. Spear, the Mildred Jay Professor Emeritus at Oberlin College, Ohio, and affiliate research professor at the University of Maryland, College Park, will present a free lecture titled “Salvator Rosa’s Dilemma: ‘It’s a vile thing to work for money,’ ” on Friday, January 7, at 6 p.m. in the Kimbell Art Museum auditorium.
While Salvator Rosa vigorously maintained that he didn’t care about money, his actions tell a very different story. He sought novel ways to promote the worth of his art and his reputation as a painter. This free lecture analyzes Rosa’s contradictory behavior in relation to some of his fellow artists in Rome, many of whom (Caravaggio, Guercino, Domenichino, Poussin and Rosa himself) are represented in the Kimbell’s collection.
An expert on 17th-century European art, Spear was director of the Allen Memorial Art Museum at Oberlin College (1972–83) and organized the groundbreaking exhibition Caravaggio and His Followers for the Cleveland Museum of Art (1971). His numerous publications have focused on Caravaggio, Domenichino, Guido Reni and the Carracci family. His most recent publication, Painting for Profit: The Economic Lives of 17th-century Italian Painters, was named one of the best books of 2010. It is part of the exciting new scholarship that has begun to reveal how painters earned a living, spent their lives and dealt with one another.