Arts & Culture

Kimbell acquires 18th century painting ‘Still Life with Mackerel’

Kimbell detective work leads to discovery of lost Bonington painting

The work always had been known as a David Roberts painting, however, when a Mineral Wells collector showed it to Kimbell officials last summer their forensic work, research and serendipity led to true identity. (Star-Telegram/Max Faulkner)
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The work always had been known as a David Roberts painting, however, when a Mineral Wells collector showed it to Kimbell officials last summer their forensic work, research and serendipity led to true identity. (Star-Telegram/Max Faulkner)

The Kimbell Art Museum announced Thursday that it has acquired Anne Vallayer-Coster’s 1787 painting “Still Life with Mackerel.”

Vallayer-Coster was one of the great still-life painters of 18th century France. According to the Kimbell, Vallayer-Coster was known for her fluid brushwork and ability to imitate nature. She achieved fame at 26 when she was one of only four women admitted to the French Royal Academy of Painting and Sculpture. She was later named painter to Queen Marie Antoinette.

The painting is a gift from Sid R. Bass in honor of Kay and Ben Fortson, long-time leaders of the Kimbell Art Foundation’s board of directors.

“Still Life with Mackerel” will be on view Friday in celebration of International Women’s Day in the Louis I. Kahn Building.

“Anne Vallayer-Coster is one of the very few female artists who managed to negotiate the powerful authority of the Royal Academy in Paris and to exhibit their work at the Salon,” Eric M. Lee, director of the Kimbell Art Museum, said in a written statement.

Admission to the museum’s collection is free.

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