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Christiansen, Keith 1947-

CHRISTIANSEN, Keith 1947-

PERSONAL: Born January 6, 1947, in Seattle, WA; son of Robert M. (a minister) and Constance (Ahnlund) Christiansen; married Mary Kunzel (an instructor in art), June, 1972; children: Teresa, Regina. Education: University of CaliforniaSanta Cruz, B.A. (history and French literature), 1969; University of CaliforniaLos Angeles, M.A., 1971; Harvard University, Ph.D., 1976. Religion: Episcopalian.

ADDRESSES: Home—320 Riverside Dr., New York, NY 10025. Office—Metropolitan Museum of Art, Fifth Ave. & 82nd St., New York, NY 10028.

CAREER: Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, NY, assistant curator, 1976-81, associate curator of European paintings, beginning 1981, currently curator of Italian paintings.

AWARDS, HONORS: Fulbright grant, 1975; Mitchell Prize from Jan Mitchell Foundation, 1983, for Gentile da Fabriano; Arthur Kingsley Award, 1989, for Painting in Renaissance Siena, 1420-1500.

WRITINGS:

Gentile da Fabriano, Cornell University Press (Ithaca, NY), 1982.

(With Mina Gregori) Caravaggio: The Age of Caravaggio, Rizzoli International Publication (New York, NY), 1985.

(With Laurence B. Kanter and Carl Brandon Strehlke) Painting in Renaissance Siena, 1420-1500, Metropolitan Museum of Art (New York, NY), 1988.

A Caravaggio Rediscovered: "The Lute Player," Metropolitan Museum of Art (New York, NY), 1990.

Italian Painting, Macmillan (New York, NY), 1992.

Andrea Mantegna: Padua and Mantua, G. Braziller (New York, NY), 1994.

(Editor) Giambattista Tiepolo, 1696-1770, Metropolitan Museum of Art (New York, NY), 1996.

(Editor, with Maryan W. Ainsworth) From Van Eyck to Bruegel: Early Netherlandish Painting in the Metropolitan Museum of Art, Metropolitan Museum of Art (New York, NY), 1998.

(Author of introduction) Piero della Francesca, Stanley Moss Books-Sheep Meadow Press (Riverdaleon-Hudson, NY), 2000.

(With Judith W. Mann) Orazio and Artemisia Gentileschi, Yale University Press (New Haven, CT), 2001.

(Editor, with Gabriele Finaldi and Xavier Bray), David Davies and John Elliot, El Greco, Yale University Press (New Haven, Connecticut), 2003.

Contributor to art and museum journals.

SIDELIGHTS: Keith Christiansen is a curator at the Metropolitan Museum of Art who has written extensively about European paintings and their artists. His illustrated catalogs have garnered wide praise for informative texts offering insights into the artworks illustrated in these books. For example, Publishers Weekly reviewer Hugh Lauter Levin applauded Italian Painting for "text and illustrations [that] marvelously complement each other in this glorious album." And in a review of From Van Eyck to Bruegel: Early Netherlandish Painting in the Metropolitan Museum of Art for Library Journal, Kathryn Wekselman called the book a "well-produced volume" that is an "essential acquisition for specialized and academic collections."

Christiansen's books do not simply provide background to the artists and history behind the paintings they discuss, they also illuminate facts that many readers—even those well-versed in art—may not know or fully appreciate. For example, in Italian Painting Christiansen points out that Correggio was a master artist whose contributions should be weighed to be on a par of those by Leonardo da Vinci and Michelangelo. Similarly, in his Orazio and Artemisia Gentileschi Christiansen is the first writer to discuss the father and daughter artists together in one volume. The result is a book in which the influence these two artists had on each other can be clearly seen. Christiansen writes about how Orazio taught his daughter to be a skilled painter—in fact, one of the most famous female painters of her day—and how she eventually set out on her own to establish her unique style. The book also talks about how Artemisia was raped by Orazio's colleague Tassi, and how the crime and subsequent trial affected them both. "Both artists emerge from these meticulously argued pages as complex and unconventional human beings as well as consummate artists," concluded Donna Seaman in Booklist.

BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:

PERIODICALS

Apollo, January, 1983.

Booklist, March 1, 2002, Donna Seaman, review of Orazio and Artemisia Gentileschi, p. 1082.

Library Journal, October 15, 1989, Kathryn W. Finkelstein, review of Painting in Renaissance Siena, 1420-1500, p. 79; January, 1993, Douglas F. Smith, review of Italian Painting, p. 108; February 1, 1999, Kathryn Wekselman, review of From Van Eyck to Bruegel: Early Netherlandish Painting in the Metropolitan Museum of Art, p. 84; March 15, 2002, Sandra Rothenberg, review of Orazio and Artemisia Gentileschi, p. 75.

Listener, December 23, 1982.

London Review of Books, March 17, 1983.

New York Times Book Review, December 4, 1994, Michael Kimmelman, review of Andrea Mantegna: Padua and Mantua, p. 36.

Publishers Weekly, May 10, 1985, Genevieve Stuttaford, review of The Age of Caravaggio, p. 219; September 28, 1992, review of Italian Painting, p. 58.

Times Literary Supplement, April 5, 2002, Theodore K. Rabb, "Orazio, Artemisia—and Rome Revived," p. 15.

University of California—Santa Cruz Review, winter, 2001.

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