Maureen Mullarkey previews France 1500: The Pictorial Arts at the Dawn of the Renaissance at Joel Oppenheimer Gallery in Chicago. The show will run from April 12 to April 23 2011. Mullarkey writes that this kind of exhibition reminds one how important it is to learn from past art: "Monitoring one’s contemporaries has certain career uses. But in today’s anything-goes production climate, there is little for the spirit to feed on. It is good for the soul to step back from the competition and gaze with gratitude and wonder at what history offers."