15th Century And Earlier

NPG send Richard III home to York

May 7 2021

Image of NPG send Richard III home to York

Picture: NPG

Posted by Adam Busiakiewicz:

As the The National Portrait Gallery in London is currently closed due to a refurbishment project, the gallery are sending their celebrated sixteenth century portrait of King Richard III to York for a special exhibition at the Yorkshire Museum entitled Richard III Coming Home.

According to the museum's website:

The painting, which has become synonymous with the depiction of Richard III, is on loan from the National Portrait Gallery, London, and will be displayed alongside the museum’s outstanding collections associated with the King such as the magnificent Middleham Jewel, The Ryther Hoard and the Stillingfleet Boar Badge worn by one of his supporters. 

The loan to the Yorkshire Museum is part of the National Portrait Gallery’s  nation-wide COMING HOME project, that will see some of its most iconic works travel to the place they are most closely associated with.

The exhibition will run from 9th July - 31st October 2021.

Early Wall Paintings Conserved in Coventry

May 4 2021

Image of Early Wall Paintings Conserved in Coventry

Picture: Historic Coventry

Posted by Adam Busiakiewicz:

A set of wall paintings have been conserved in the Charterhouse, Coventry. The set of three includes a large Crucifixion scene dating to c.1430, an early 17th century fictive imitation tapestry and a further large mural from the late 16th century.

Mark Perry, co-director of the The Perry Lithgow Partnership who undertook the work, is quoted as saying:

The earliest painting at Charterhouse depicts the Crucifixion in the centre with the Virgin Mary and St Anne on either side and several smaller figures in between. The main figures are very large and the painting would originally have covered the whole of the south wall of the monastery’s refectory. Due to extensive Post Reformation alterations to the building, only the bottom half now remains. This is the only surviving wall painting in a Carthusian monastery in England which means it is of national importance – it is one of the best pieces of Medieval art in the whole country.

Visitors will be able to see the newly restored works when the Charterhouse reopens in the Summer to celebrate Coventry's twelve months as UK City of Culture.

Restoring Ancient Mosaics in St. Mark's Basilica

April 23 2021

Image of Restoring Ancient Mosaics in St. Mark's Basilica

Picture: La Repubblica

Posted by Adam Busiakiewicz:

La Repubblica have released images of the ongoing process of restoring 12th - 13th century mosaics in St. Mark's Basilica in Venice. The ancient floors of this iconic church are constantly under threat of flooding and were badly damaged by water in November 2019. In the picture above conservators can be seen restoring a peacock featured in the decorative schemes, a process which looks rather messy and complicated indeed!

Recently Conserved Fra Angelico sent to Forlì

April 20 2021

Image of Recently Conserved Fra Angelico sent to Forlì

Picture: finestresullarte.info

Posted by Adam Busiakiewicz:

News from Italy that a recently conserved painting by Fra Angelico has been loaned from the Museum of San Marco to the Musei di San Domenico in Forlì, Northern Italy. The Final Judgement, and another Nativity by the artist already in the city, will form part of an exhibition on Dante that will run till 11th July 2021. This significant loan was brokered by the Uffizi Gallery's director Eike Schmidt.

National Gallery of Umbria sending 40 Works to Russia

April 19 2021

Image of National Gallery of Umbria sending 40 Works to Russia

Picture: The Galleria Nazionale dell'Umbria

Posted by Adam Busiakiewicz:

The Galleria Nazionale dell'Umbria have announced that they will be sending 40 masterpieces from their collection to the State Hermitage Museum in Saint Petersburg, Russia. The works will feature in a special exhibition dedicated to the museum's collection. Preparations for the show have resulted in discoveries and new attributions, including to the Rimini masters Baronzio and Francesco da Rimini.

The exhibition will run from 18th May - 15th August 2021.

Online Exhibition: Women in Ancient Rome

April 16 2021

Image of Online Exhibition: Women in Ancient Rome

Picture: Uffizi Gallery

Posted by Adam Busiakiewicz:

The Uffizi Gallery in Florence has published a free online exhibition of their recently finished exhibition Empresses, Matrons and Freed Women. The show had opened last November but had to close a day later due to lockdown restrictions. It features around 30 works from the gallery's collection supplemented by loans from the National Archaeological Museum and the National Central Library of Florence.

Giotto's Frescos Scanned

April 16 2021

Image of Giotto's Frescos Scanned

Picture: ansa.it

Posted by Adam Busiakiewicz:

Giotto's frescos in the The Scrovegni Chapel, Padua, have been scanned by the art imaging company Haltadefinizione. Fourteen thousand shots were made of 700 square metres of the interiors, allowing viewers to digitally fly through this building with incredible zooming capabilities. Furthermore, this resource is completely free to use via. their website.

The Vittoria Alata di Brescia Conserved

April 11 2021

Image of The Vittoria Alata di Brescia Conserved

Picture: ilfattoquotidiano.it

Posted by Adam Busiakiewicz:

The Vittoria Alata di Brescia, a very rare 1st century AD Roman bronze statue, has completed a two-year restoration project in Italy. This rare bronze was discovered in 1826 and is now kept in the Capitolium di Brescia in Northern Lombardy. The delicate conservation work was undertaken by Anna Patera dell'Opificio and Francesca Morandini of the Brescia Musei Foundation, in collaboration with the bronze restoration department of the Florentine institute under the direction of Laura Speranza. Click on the link above to see some interesting details of the project.

Conserving Giovanni di Paolo

April 8 2021

Video: MET

Posted by Adam Busiakiewicz:

The Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York's latest video focuses on the conservation of Giovanni di Paolo's altarpiece dated to 1454.

Louvre Acquires Barberini Marble

March 30 2021

Image of Louvre Acquires Barberini Marble

Picture: Louvre

Posted by Adam Busiakiewicz:

The Louvre in Paris has announced that it has acquired a 1st - 2nd century Roman statue of Harpocrates. The marble had been in the Barberini family collection in Rome during the seventeenth century before finding its way into several American collections during the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. It was acquired by the Museum from the dealers Galerie Chenel.

Fifteenth Century Painting of Dante Restored

March 23 2021

Image of Fifteenth Century Painting of Dante Restored

Picture: The Telegraph

Posted by Adam Busiakiewicz:

A recently restored fifteenth century portrait of Dante has been unveiled at the Uffizi in Florence. The painting was originally one of nine famous figures painted in fresco by Andrea del Castagno on the walls of a villa outside Florence between 1447 and 1449. It will be included in the Uffizi's recently announced Uffizi Diffusi Project, which will see important works of art travelling to different parts of Tuscany.

Spain Pays €130,000 for Restoration of V&A Predella

March 12 2021

Image of Spain Pays €130,000 for Restoration of V&A Predella

Picture: lasprovincias.es

Posted by Adam Busiakiewicz:

The Spanish press have criticised the country's Heritage and Culture ministry for spending €130,000 on the restoration and care of a fifteenth century predella owned by the Victoria and Albert Museum in London.

The predella of the Centenar de la Ploma altarpiece was restored by the Valencian Institute of Conservation and Restoration (IVC + r) for a three month exhibition held at the Museum of Fine Arts in Valencia in 2020. The Spanish press have asked why Spanish money was used to fund the restoration of a British owned work of art. The museum also footed the bill for the artwork's insurance and travel expenses, which is usually the case for museums and galleries hosting loans for an exhibition.

The cultural ministry has refuted the claims that the expense was a waste of money. Critics have claimed the money could have been better spent on restoring works in their own national museums.

Ghent Altarpiece Returned this Month

March 8 2021

Image of Ghent Altarpiece Returned this Month

Picture: Flemish Masters

Posted by Adam Busiakiewicz:

Jan Van Eyck's Ghent Altarpiece will be returning to St Bavo Cathedral on 25th March 2021. This famous fifteenth century treasure has recently completed a ten-year restoration project. The cathedral will be closed for two weeks in preparation for its unveiling.

National Gallery Remove Frame from Botticelli

February 26 2021

Video: The National Gallery

Posted by Adam Busiakiewicz:

The National Gallery in London have released this video from 2019 showing what conservators found when they removed the frame from Botticelli and Filippino's Adoration of the Kings. The video features Restorer Jill Dunkerton and Conservator Britta New.

French State Confiscate Medieval Stained Glass Before Auction

February 24 2021

Image of French State Confiscate Medieval Stained Glass Before Auction

Picture: La Gazette Drouot

Posted by Adam Busiakiewicz:

La Gazette Drouot have drawn attention to an intervention from the French State to confiscate a pair of medieval stained glass from the auction house Pierre Bergé & Associés days before they were due to go on sale.

The glass windows, dating from the twelfth century, are believed to have come from the basilica of Saint-Denis. Several selections of windows were removed from the Church in 1799 and were placed into storage. Although the windows don't appear in any of the inventories that were made of the stored glass, the French state have stated that its up to the seller to 'provide proof of their lawful provenance'.

The windows had carried estimates of €200k - €300k and €300k - €400k respectively. 

Gurke Fastentuch Conserved

February 13 2021

Image of Gurke Fastentuch Conserved

Picture: kath-kirche-kaernten.at

Posted by Adam Busiakiewicz:

My attention has been drawn to a news story from Austria. The Gurke Fastentuch, a mid-fifteenth century painted textile found in the Gurke Dom in Carinthia, Austria, has been conserved and redisplayed. This Lenten shroud measures 89 square metres and features 99 religious scenes such as the one above (pictured). The restoration of this fragile gothic cloth has taken several years, however, visitors will now be able to see the fully restored artwork back in situ.

Sotheby's Reveal another Italian Renaissance Portrait!

February 7 2021

Image of Sotheby's Reveal another Italian Renaissance Portrait!

Picture: Sotheby's

Posted by Adam Busiakiewicz:

Sotheby's have just announced on Instagram that they'll be selling another very fine Italian Renaissance Portrait later this year. Piero del Pollaiuolo's (c.1443-1496) Portrait of a Youth (pictured) is the latest Italian masterpiece to come up for sale at the auction house. Indeed, their Instagram Post explains that the portrait had been in the same collection as their most recent $80m Botticelli. Both pictures had been in the collection of the scientist, inventory and art collector Thomas Ralph Merton (d.1969)

The portrait will be sold in London on 25th March 2021. No estimate has been released yet.

More news when it arrives!

Update - A reader on Twitter (@everardbone) has pointed out the following document, which explains the painting has already been cleared for export.

The document also points out to the fact the picture was exhibited at the Royal Academy in 1960, however has been unseen in a private collection for several decades now. Questions concerning the painting's condition have also been highlighted.

It suggests the guide price will be £5,000,000.

Update 2 - A reader has been in touch with this link to the painting's entry in the Zeri database. The work was last sold at Christie's in 1985 where it was previously given to Cosimo Rosselli.

Isn't it interesting that his fringe has changed shape over time?

Update 3 - The painting will carry an estimate of £4m - £6m. Here's a full article by artnews.com.

Stolen Pompei Fragment Returned to Police by Post

February 5 2021

Image of Stolen Pompei Fragment Returned to Police by Post

Picture: ansa.it

Posted by Adam Busiakiewicz:

The Italian Press have reported on a ancient stolen fragment from Pompei that was recently returned to Police by post. The anonymous note which accompanied the box says, "Fifty years ago I removed this fragment from a building. I'm ashamed of it and I return it to the owner."

The Police Superintendent Massimo Osanna gave the following statement, "Sometimes they come back. By mail, almost weekly...". The archaeological sites of Pompei have 400 security cameras in modern times to help deal with such problems.

Botticelli goes for $80m at Sotheby's

January 28 2021

Image of Botticelli goes for $80m at Sotheby's

Picture: Sotheby's

Posted by Adam Busiakiewicz:

Sotheby's Botticelli Renaissance Man pulled in an enormous $80m (hammer price) in New York this evening. With commission this adds up to $92,184,000. Bidding ended with two experts on the phone, with the Russian department representative eventually with the last bid.

In a rather shocking piece of news, the $20m - $30m Rembrandt was withdrawn before the sale began. Was there a lack of interest perhaps?

More analysis in the upcoming days.

Underneath the Sotheby's Botticelli

January 21 2021

Image of Underneath the Sotheby's Botticelli

Picture: Sotheby's

Posted by Adam Busiakiewicz:

Sotheby's have published a fascinating article investigating the materials and techniques used in Botticelli's Portrait of a Young Man with a Roundel. Lots of fantastic images are supplied, including x-rays and pigment analysis. One supposes the estimate reflects the importance of showing off such details!

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