Georgetown University's Carroll Parlor

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steve_fernie

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Georgetown University's historic Carroll Parlor (Healy Hall 107) was completed at the turn of the 20th century by Jesuit brother Francis Schroen. He designed and decorated the interior of Healy Hall, including Riggs Library, Gaston Hall and the Hirst Room (now the Bioethics Library).

The room has always been maintained as a traditional Victorian parlor. It was used for receptions, such as the one for Cardinal Martinelli in 1901; formal occasions, including Jesuit funerals; and during the 1960s, students were able to practice on a Steinway piano installed in the Parlor if they made the necessary arrangements beforehand.

As in the past, Carroll Parlor today displays highlights from the University's Art Collection. Important examples from the Renaissance and Baroque periods include works by the Flemish "Master of Hoogstraeten" and Sir Anthony Van Dyck. Significant American paintings by Jasper Francis Cropsey and Emmanuel Leutz are also on view. One of the most important paintings in Carroll Parlor, Luca Giordano's Calling of Saint Matthew (ca. 1700), which has hung in the same spot since the Parlor first opened, was acquired from Miss Martha Meade, sister of General George Gordon Meade (commander of Union forces at Gettysburg), in 1860. One of the largest Giordano paintings in the United States, it belonged to Miss Meade's father, who amassed an important collection of Old Master paintings while serving as U.S. Consul to Cadiz during the Spanish Peninsular War. The subject of the painting, popularized in 1600 by Caravaggio's commission for the Contarelli Chapel in the Church of San Luigi dei Francesi in Rome, is substantially lightened in Giordano's narrative interpretation. He includes an attentive dog growling at a pair of lion paw feet beneath the table at which Matthew counts his tax revenues, and portrays his subject in a light, Neapolitan palette with a more decorative effect than did his famous predecessor.
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Date Created 2/28/2012
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