Justus Sustermans
Flemish, 1597–1681
Maria Maddalena of Austria (Wife of Duke Cosimo II de Medici) with Her Son, the Future Ferdinand II, 1622
oil on canvas
56 5/8 x 46 9/16 inches 
Gift of Mr. and Mrs. William L. Richards, 1965.15

About Face: Portraiture through Time

May 3, 2014 - July 20, 2014

Hodge Gallery

From staring eyes to a mysterious smile, the faces in portrait paintings are not simply a likeness but have a story to tell. Portraits can denote status, power, and wealth and can convey important cultural information.About Face: Portraiture Through Time will examine key aspects of portraiture's rich history, from the early 17th century to present day, and investigate how this art form has evolved but in many ways retained its key features.

From formal images of the powerful elite to playful depictions of children, the works in this exhibition portray people from all walks of life and demonstrates that the face of portraiture is ever changing. Though sometimes a lucrative subject for artists, not all portraits were commissioned but instead were intimate portrayals of artists' friends, family members, or muses.

About Face will also feature FIA favorites such as Justus Sustermans' Maria Maddalena of Austria (Wife of Duke Cosimo II de Medici) with Her Son, the Future Ferdinand II (1622), and John Singer Sargent'sGarden Study of the Vickers Children (1884), along with other works rarely on view. The exhibition will also include new acquisitions on display for the very first time.

Organized by the Flint Institute of Arts

From the Exhibition

  • John Singer Sargent, American, b. Italy, 1856 – 1925, Garden Study of the Vickers Children, oil on canvas, 1884, 54 1/2 x 36 inches. Gift of the Viola E. Bray Charitable Trust via Mr. and Mrs. William L. Richards, 1972.47

  • David Eichenberg, American, b. 1972, Aimee, oil on panel, 2011, 7 x 6 1/4 inches. Museum purchase, 2013.3