In the period following the Middle Ages, it was newly believed that the emotions of subjects in paintings—whether joy, pain, contemplation, or confrontation—could produce psychological and physiological responses in the viewer. Culling 60 paintings, drawings, prints, and sculptures from its permanent collection, the Norton Simon presents works focused on the human form and created between the 15th and 18th centuries. The exhibition features Jusepe de Ribera’s 1615 The Sense of Touch, an oil painting of a blind man caressing a marble bust; Jean-Honoré Fragonard’s Rococo masterpiece Happy Lovers, that swooning couple embracing under a tree; and Agostino di Giovanni’s 14th-century The Virgin Annunciate, the late-Gothic sculptor’s marble rendering of a forlorn Mary. —J.D.
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