The Met's newly acquired painting Hortensia by Belgian artist Fernand Khnopff depicts a blooming hydrangea . . . but who is the woman in the background? We explore the life and work of a consummate Symbolist, learning about Khnopff's cosmopolitan milieu (embracing inspirations from Britain, France, and as far afield as Japan); his enigmatic and unsettling portrayals of women; his brilliantly eccentric public persona, which included dabbling in the occult; and his wide-ranging influences, from Gustav Klimt to Alfred Hitchcock.
Now at The Met: Alison Hokanson, "Ready for a Close-Up: Fernand Khnopff's Hortensia" (September 28, 2015)
Recorded March 10, 2016