About

Michael Snow
Clothed Woman (In Memory of my Father) 1963
oil and lucite on canvas
152 x 386.2 cm
Purchased 1966
National Gallery of Canada

Marjorie and Gerald Bronfman Drawing Acquisition Endowment Fund

Ottawa, Canada - May 25, 2004

Nouveau fonds de dotation Marjorie et Gerald Bronfman pour l’acquisition de dessins

The National Gallery of Canada is delighted to acknowledge the great generosity of Mrs. Marjorie Bronfman, who has made a donation of  $350,000 to establish the Marjorie and Gerald Bronfman Drawing Acquisition Endowment Fund. The Fund will enable the Gallery to acquire exceptional drawings.

“I have always been struck by the quality of the Gallery’s exhibitions and educational activities,” says Mrs. Bronfman. “I believe that the Gallery shares my love and fascination for the relatively little-known art form that is drawing.”

From earliest childhood, this great Montreal philanthropist has cultivated a deep love for the arts. An unconditional admirer of drawings, Mrs. Bronfman comments, “It is the simplicity of the artist’s first creative efforts that I find so interesting. Drawings reflect the very first inspiration.“

David Franklin, Deputy Director and Chief Curator of the National Gallery, says the endowment fund will be an enormous asset to the Gallery. “The Fund will enable us to build on one of the greatest of the Gallery’s treasures — its collection of drawings by European old masters.”

The Marjorie and Gerald Bronfman Drawing Acquisition Endowment Fund has already allowed the Gallery to acquire two major drawings, A Roman Capriccio with Figures by Giovanni Paolo Panini and Saint Ambrose Triumphs over Heresy by Gottfried Bernhard Göz.

Mrs. Bronfman has also very graciously offered as gifts two magnificent drawings from her own collection, by the celebrated Italian artist Giovanni Domenico Tiepolo: An Angel Holding a Martyr’s Palm and Angels with a Laurel Wreath. These two drawings are part of the exhibition Italian Neoclassical Drawings, on display until 22 August 2004 at the National Gallery of Canada.

Mrs. Bronfman’s passion for drawings influences not only her life but her philanthropic activities. The Marjorie and Gerald Bronfman Foundation, created in 1955, has supported a wide range of health, educational and artistic activities, from the McGill University Middle East Peace Program to the Royal Victoria Hospital Foundation. However, the donations made to institutions such as the Art Gallery of Ontario, the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts and, now, the National Gallery of Canada often rank among her most generous gifts.

Pierre Théberge, Director of the National Gallery, is honoured that Mrs. Bronfman has chosen to support the Gallery and its Foundation. “Her love of art has led her to assemble many very valuable drawings into one of North America’s finest collections. We are very proud to add her two drawings to our collection.”
 
“The Marjorie and Gerald Bronfman Drawing Acquisition Endowment Fund, as well as the two works donated to the Gallery, demonstrate the Bronfman family’s generous support for the National Gallery of Canada. We are extremely grateful to them,” adds Marie Claire Morin, President and CEO of the National Gallery of Canada Foundation.

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Established in 1997, the National Gallery of Canada Foundation is dedicated to ensuring the long-term viability and success of the Gallery by fostering new relationships and partnerships. It welcomes gifts, grants, bequests and endowments from individuals, corporations, foundations and other organizations in furtherance of the National Gallery’s mandate and vision.

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Two exceptional drawings purchased thanks to the Marjorie and Gerald Bronfman Drawing Acquisition Endowment Fund

Giovanni Paolo Panini was the most celebrated and popular eighteenth-century painter of Roman vedute or landscapes. He painted two types of landscapes: accurate topographical views drawn from life, and fantasy landscapes much like this one that place actual monuments in imaginary settings or arrangements.

This drawing does not correspond to any known painting by Panini. In any case, both his drawings and paintings were avidly collected, particularly by travellers to Italy on the Grand Tour who wanted souvenirs. Although the National Gallery of Canada is generally strong in drawings of the Italian eighteenth century, this is its first acquisition of a drawing by Panini.

Image 1
Giovanni Paolo Panini
A Roman Capriccio with Figures  c. 1745
pen and black ink with brush
and grey wash on ivory laid paper
20.7 x 28.4 cm
National Gallery of Canada, Ottawa
Purchased with the Marjorie and Gerald Bronfman Drawing Acquisition Endowment Fund of the National Gallery of Canada Foundation, 2003

Gottfried Bernhard Göz
Saint Ambrose Triumphs over Heresy 

Gottfried Bernhard Göz spent a successful career painting church ceilings in southern Germany and Czechoslovakia during the mid-eighteenth century, the golden age of Bavarian Rococco painting and decoration. An accomplished painter by 1745, he was master of large multi-figured compositions, and procured many commissions for ceiling paintings on a grand scale, for both religious and civic buildings.

The National Gallery of Canada had no previous drawings by the great ceiling painters of the German eighteenth century, and this pleasing drawing by Göz is a welcome addition to our expanding collection of German drawings. Göz’s talent for creating harmonious and unified compositions is evident in his drawing Saint Ambrose Triumps over Heresy. Drawings by any of the fresco painters of this period are extremely hard to come by, and one is very hard-pressed to find comparable drawings in recent sales. The quality of the present drawing and its sheer rarity must speak for themselves.

Image2
Gottfried Bernhard Göz
Saint Ambrose Triumphs over Heresy  c. 1750
pen and brown ink, grey and blue wash,
heightened with white, over black chalk on laid paper
23.1 x 15.9 cm
National Gallery of Canada, Ottawa
Purchased with the Marjorie and Gerald Bronfman Drawing Acquisition Endowment Fund of the
National Gallery of Canada Foundation, 2004

Two Italian drawings donated from
Marjorie Bronfman’s private collection

Giovanni Domenico Tiepolo            
An Angel Holding a Martyr’s Palm and Angels with a Laurel Wreath 

Tiepolo produced numerous studies of this general kind featuring angels with putti in the clouds. More specifically, it should be noted that these two drawings each contain specific attributes — a palm of martyrdom and a laurel crown — both appropriate for any representation of Christian martyrdom. The artist use his preferred medium of pen and brown ink and wash, handled with a typically vibrant touch.

Remarkably, the works offered pay tribute both to the continuing generosity of the Bronfman family to the National Gallery of Canada and its Foundation, but also to their admiration for the style of the Tiepolo family.

You can admire these drawings in the exhibition Italian Neoclassical Drawings, on display until 22 August 2004 at the National Gallery of Canada.

 Images 3 and 4
Giovanni Domenico Tiepolo
An Angel Holding a Martyr's Palm  c. 1783
pen and brown ink with brown wash,
over traces of black chalk on laid paper
28 x 20 cm
National Gallery of Canada, Ottawa
Gift of Marjorie Bronfman,
Westmount, Quebec, 2002
 
Giovanni Domenico Tiepolo            
Angels with a Laurel Wreath  c. 1783
pen and brown ink with grey wash
on laid paper
27.6 x 19.2 cm
National Gallery of Canada, Ottawa
Gift of Marjorie Bronfman,
Westmount, Quebec, 2002
 

Anouk Hoedeman
Senior Media and Public Relations Officer
tel. (613) 990-6835
fax (613) 990-9824
ahoedeman@gallery.ca