16th Century

Raphael Reframed

April 9 2022

Image of Raphael Reframed

Picture: @psframes

Posted by Adam Busiakiewicz:

Peter Schade, Head of Framing at The National Gallery in London, has shared this beautiful comparison on his Twitter account. Raphael's Saint Catherine has been housed in a new antique frame (right). This new setting has received its debut at the gallery's new Raphael exhibition (which opened the other day, as it happens).

$30m Michelangelo drawing coming up at Christie's

April 7 2022

Image of $30m Michelangelo drawing coming up at Christie's

Picture: Christie's

Posted by Adam Busiakiewicz:

It has been announced that Christie's Paris will be offering a drawing by Michelangelo in their upcoming May sale. The figure is based on the shivering man depicted in Masaccio’s Baptism of the Neophytes fresco at Santa Maria del Carmine in Florence. It was last sold in Paris over one hundred years ago where it was catalogued as 'School of Michelangelo'. The work on paper, one of the few by the artist left in private hands, has since been upgraded by scholars.

The drawing will be offered up for sale on 18th May 2022 carrying an estimate within the region of $30m.

Christina, Queen of Sweden's Titian Coming up for Sale

April 5 2022

Image of Christina, Queen of Sweden's Titian Coming up for Sale

Picture: Dorotheum

Posted by Adam Busiakiewicz:

The Dorotheum auction house in Vienna have announced that they will be offering a rediscovered Titian later in May. The painting of The Penitent Magdalen, of which many versions are known, was in the collection of Christina (1626-1689), Queen of Sweden during the seventeenth century. The provenance of the work is rather intriguing, as it later passed into the collections of Pierre Crozat and later Philippe II Duke of Orleans. It finally arrived in Britain during the 1790s. The attribution has been supported by Professor Paul Joannides and the exact provenance was researched and established by Dr Carlo Corsato.

The painting will be offered for sale on 11th May 2022 carrying an estimate of €1m - €1.5m.

Raphael at the National Gallery

March 30 2022

Video: The National Gallery, London

Posted by Adam Busiakiewicz:

The National Gallery in London will be opening their long-awaited Raphael exhibition next week. Here's a short trailer which provides an idea of which masterpieces visitors will encounter.


Speaking as someone who is rather sensitive to music, I'm surprised why no exquisite and dramatic sixteenth-century Italian polyphony was employed within this video (!)

Iron Men at the KHM

March 24 2022

Video: Kunsthistoriches Museum Wien

Posted by Adam Busiakiewicz:

I was given the opportunity to flick through an advanced copy of the Kunsthistoriches Musuem's upcoming exhibition catalogue a few days ago. Iron Men: Fashion in Steel is a wonderful excuse to examine historic arms and armour in the context of civilian fashions from the fifteenth to seventeenth centuries. These profusely decorated and embossed harnesses really did provide Emperors, princes and courtiers with sculpture that they could wear.

The show also contains an excellent selection of Old Masters which feature this highly-misunderstood art form (we have to blame Hollywood for that).

The show will run from 29th March 2022 until 26th June 2022.

Printmaking in Prague at The British Museum

March 15 2022

Image of Printmaking in Prague at The British Museum

Picture: The British Museum

Posted by Adam Busiakiewicz:

The British Museum will be opening an exhibition of prints in a few day's time. Printmaking in Prague: Art from the court of Rudolf II will be opening on 17th March 2022 in Room 90 and will run until 28th August 2022.

According to the museum's website:

In this exhibition, learn more about printmaking in Rudolf's court in Prague during the highpoint of innovative and ambitious prints made from around 1580 until the early years of the 17th century. 

After moving his court to the Bohemian capital of Prague, Rudolf transformed the city into a vibrant centre of art and science. He acquired objects from all over Europe and beyond, and amassed one of the largest and most diverse collections of his time. His collection of thousands of paintings, prints, drawings, sculptures, and other objects of curiosity and wonder led him to be described as the greatest art patron in the world by biographer Karel van Mander in 1604. 

Rudolf also sought out leading artists for his court, including painters and sculptors who specialised in creating elegant, elongated forms. Aegidius II Sadeler was appointed as the imperial engraver to Rudolf's court, and together with Hendrick Goltzius and Jan Muller, he reproduced these artworks as prints – a move that disseminated Rudolf's courtly style to a much broader audience.

The Art of Experiment: Parmigianino at The Courtauld

March 8 2022

Image of The Art of Experiment: Parmigianino at The Courtauld

Picture: Courtauld Gallery

Posted by Adam Busiakiewicz:

The Courtauld Gallery in London opened their latest drawings exhibition a few days ago. The Art of Experiment: Parmigianino at The Courtauld will run in The Gilbert and Ildiko Butler Drawings Gallery (included within general admission) until 5th June 2022.

According to the gallery's website:

The Renaissance artist Girolamo Francesco Maria Mazzola, better known as Parmigianino (1503-1540), was celebrated for his graceful compositions and praised as the heir to Raphael (1483 – 1520). Parmigianino drew relentlessly during his short life: more than a thousand of his drawings have survived. They show the virtuoso artist, endlessly sketching out new ideas on paper. As well as drawing and painting, Parmigianino also experimented with printmaking, and is considered to have been the first to try the new medium of etching in Italy as well as pioneering the chiaroscuro woodcut technique. 

This display will present an important group of twenty-two works by Parmigianino from The Courtauld’s collection. They include a sketch for the artist’s most ambitious painting, the Madonna of the Long Neck. Alongside it, there will be studies for his celebrated frescoes of the church of Santa Maria della Steccata in Parma, Italy – one of Parmigianino’s most significant commissions. A collaborative project which involved former and current research students at The Courtauld, the display and its accompanying catalogue will shed light on an artist who approached every technique with unprecedented freedom and produced innovative works which were studied and admired by artists and collectors in his lifetime and for centuries thereafter.

This is not Katherine Parr (ctd.)

March 4 2022

Image of This is not Katherine Parr (ctd.)

Picture: ITV

Posted by Adam Busiakiewicz:

ITV have shared news that Hever Castle in Kent have discovered that their portrait of Katherine Parr depicts the wrong Katherine. Research has uncovered that it actually depicts King Henry VIII's first wife Katherine of Aragon and corresponds to a reidentified portrait in the NPG. Regular readers of AHN might remember that Bendor made this point no less than ten years ago on this very blog.

But of course, this story is really about promoting Hever Castle's upcoming exhibition Becoming Anne: Connections, Culture, Court which opens today and will run until November 2022.

Casa Buonarroti Conserve two Michelangelo Bas-reliefs

March 3 2022

Image of Casa Buonarroti Conserve two Michelangelo Bas-reliefs

Picture: ansa.it

Posted by Adam Busiakiewicz:

Florence's Casa Buonarroti have shared news of the conservation and restoration of two bas-reliefs by the young Michelangelo. The Madonna della scala (pictured) and the Battle of the Centaurs both date to the early 1490s and were recently treated to some dusting and light-cleaning by conservators. Both artworks will be redisplayed in the newly renovated marble rooms of the museum which also features brand-new LED lighting.

Introducing the 'Viennese Salvator Mundi'

March 2 2022

Image of Introducing the 'Viennese Salvator Mundi'

Picture: KHM

Posted by Adam Busiakiewicz:

The Kunsthistoriches Museum (KHM) in Vienna have shared news that it has completed a research project which has reattributed a painting to Titian. The museum embarked on the campaign in 2021 to investigate whether the following Christ with a Globe or the Viennese Salvator Mundi (as some have been calling it) could be the work of Titian during the 1520s. As is so often the case, the oil on canvas bears some old damages and rather unsympathetic overpainting (visible in the hair, nose and right eye, it seems).

X-rays have revealed that the present work was painted on top of a Virgin and Child:

The museum have started a crowdfunding campaign to have the work fully-restored in time for an exhibition in October 2022.

The Tudors at the MET in October

February 27 2022

Image of The Tudors at the MET in October

Picture: MET

Posted by Adam Busiakiewicz:

Here is some news that is bound to stir the excitement of Tudor fans worldwide.

The Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York have revealed that they will be putting on a significant sixteenth-century English art exhibition in the autumn. The Tudors: Art and Majesty in Renaissance England is scheduled to run from 10th October 2022 until 8th January 2023. 

According to the museum's website:

England under the volatile Tudor dynasty was a thriving home for the arts. An international community of artists and merchants, many of them religious refugees, navigated the high-stakes demands of royal patrons, including England’s first two reigning queens. Against the backdrop of shifting political relationships with mainland Europe, Tudor artistic patronage legitimized, promoted, and stabilized a series of tumultuous reigns, from Henry VII’s seizure of the throne in 1485 to the death of his granddaughter Elizabeth I in 1603. The Tudor courts were truly cosmopolitan, boasting the work of Florentine sculptors, German painters, Flemish weavers, and Europe’s best armorers, goldsmiths, and printers, while also contributing to the emergence of a distinctly English style. This exhibition will trace the transformation of the arts in Tudor England through more than 100 objects—including iconic portraits, spectacular tapestries, manuscripts, sculpture, and armor—from both The Met collection and international lenders.

The exhibition is organized by The Metropolitan Museum of Art and The Cleveland Museum of Art, in collaboration with the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco.

Art of the Celebrations of the Valois Court

February 24 2022

Image of Art of the Celebrations of the Valois Court

Picture: chateaudefontainebleau.fr

Posted by Adam Busiakiewicz:

The Château de Fontainebleau will be opening their rescheduled exhibition L’art de la fête à la cour des Valois on 10th April 2022. Featuring a vast set of loans from the likes of the Uffizi Gallery, the Pitti Place and the MET in New York, the exhibition will focus on court festivities held during the reigns of Francis I until Henry III. Objects on display will include paintings, drawings, tapestries, parade weapons, costume and set designs and commemorative booklets.

The show will run from 10th April 2022 until 4th July 2022.

MET Acquires Renaissance Bronze Roundel

February 23 2022

Image of MET Acquires Renaissance Bronze Roundel

Picture: nytimes.com

Posted by Adam Busiakiewicz:

The Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York has announced its acquisition of a Bronze roundel by Gian Marco Cavalli (1454-1508). The medallion, which depicts a scene from Roman mythology: Venus, at center, gazes at Mars while her husband Vulcan fashions a helmet, had long been in the sights of MET curators. Indeed, the museum had been outbid when the work of art was sold at auction in 2003. However, it has now completed the sale from a private collection in Britain after a temporary export ban from the UK Government failed to find an institution willing to stump up the equivalent of $23m to keep it in the country.

According to the article linked above:

In a statement, the Met’s director, Max Hollein, called the roundel “an absolute masterpiece, standing apart for its historical significance, artistic virtuosity and unique composition,” adding: “It is a truly transformational acquisition for the Met’s collection of Italian Renaissance sculpture.”

Donato Montorfano's Crucifixion undergoing Conservation

February 21 2022

Image of Donato Montorfano's Crucifixion undergoing Conservation

Picture: finestresullarte

Posted by Adam Busiakiewicz:

The Italian art website finestresullarte have published an extended article on the conservation of Donato Montorfano's (1460-1502) Crucifixion in the Santa Maria delle Grazie, Milan. Famously, this fresco is situated opposite Leonardo's Last Supper. In fact, this large work opposite contains rather damaged portraits of Ludovico il Moro with his wife Beatrice d'Este which have been attributed to Leonardo himself. The link will also take you to many interesting pictures showing the work being undertaken on these fragile wall paintings.

Christ & His Cousin: Renaissance Rediscoveries

January 31 2022

Image of Christ & His Cousin: Renaissance Rediscoveries

Picture: The National Gallery of Ireland

Posted by Adam Busiakiewicz:

The National Gallery of Ireland in Dublin opened their latest exhibition over the weekend entitled Christ & His Cousin: Renaissance Rediscoveries. The show will be accompanied by some fascinating online talks and lectures too, which are worth browsing through.

According to the exhibition's blurb:

Over the last fifteen years, a selection of sixteenth-century Italian paintings from the national collection have been carefully conserved by the Gallery’s Head of Conservation, Simone Mancini. This free exhibition will showcase eight works depicting the Madonna and her infant child, Jesus Christ, with his cousin Saint John the Baptist. Many of these dramatically restored paintings have never been displayed before. Christ & His Cousin: Renaissance Rediscoveries will explore the symbolism and traditions that underpin these playful and lively compositions, and encourage visitors to reconsider what are often dismissed as conventional and familiar images.

This free exhibition will run until 8th May 2022.

Sleeper Alert!

January 28 2022

Image of Sleeper Alert!

Picture: Sotheby's

Posted by Adam Busiakiewicz:

Some readers might remember this painting that I highlighted on the blog on 9th January catalogued as Follower of Pieter Bruegel the Elder.

The painting was sold this morning in New York for $1,593,000 over its $50k - $70k estimate.

Notably, this painting had been published as 'Bruegel's earliest work' in a 1955 publication by Fritz Grossmann. It seems that many Bruegel writers continued to republish Grossmann's verdict until it was questioned at some point during the 1970s.

This might be a story to follow in the near future, especially if it reappears somewhere interesting.

Botticelli's Man of Sorrows makes $39.3m (hammer price)

January 27 2022

Image of Botticelli's Man of Sorrows makes $39.3m (hammer price)

Picture: Sotheby's via. Facebook

Posted by Adam Busiakiewicz:

Sotheby's New York have just sold Sandro Botticelli's Man of Sorrows for $39.3m (hammer price) with the pre-sale estimate mooted at around $40m. With commission this adds up to $45.4m.

Bidding opened at $33m, climbed to $38m where it stalled for a short while with increments of $200k, $500k, $700k, $900k until it hit $39m. Bidding slowly crept up with $100k increments to $39.3m where it finally sold to a phone bidder with Liz Lobkowicz.

Cabinet des Clouet Refreshed at the Château de Chantilly

January 25 2022

Image of Cabinet des Clouet Refreshed at the Château de Chantilly

Picture: francetvinfo.fr

Posted by Adam Busiakiewicz:

The Château de Chantilly in France reopened to visitors last week. The conservators and curators took to opportunity during the winter break to refresh the famous Cabinet des Clouet. This included hanging new silks made to the original designs found in the room. The pictures will all be conserved in due course too. This recent campaign of work has been supported by the La Marck Foundation.

Prado acquires work by Fernando Yáñez de la Almedina

January 19 2022

Image of Prado acquires work by Fernando Yáñez de la Almedina

Picture: eldiaro.es

Posted by Adam Busiakiewicz:

The Prado Museum in Madrid have announced their acquisition of a painting of Christ by Fernando Yáñez de la Almedina (c.1475-1536). As you might imagine, the Spanish press have particularly picked up on the fact the artist had been an assistant to Leonardo da Vinci. The acquisition was revealed in an Instagram post by Prado Medieval art specialist Joan Molina with further details that the painting cost the museum €30,000. It seems that the panel painting will now undergo a research project to find out more about its creation and provenance.

The Kingdom of Amphitrite or The Discovery of America ?

January 17 2022

Image of The Kingdom of Amphitrite or The Discovery of America ?

Picture: Galleria Borghese

Posted by Adam Busiakiewicz:

For those readers who enjoy attempts to solve mysteries, the Italian art news website finestresullarte have published an extended piece (in Italian) on the potential meanings of the above painting by Jacopo Zucchi (1541-1596) in Rome Galleria Borghese. The work, dating to c.1585, was produced for Cardinal Ferdinando de' Medici (Florence, 1549 - 1609) and has always raised debate about its potential subject and meaning. Scholars have flip-flopped between The Kingdom of Amphitrite, The Treasures of the Sea or even The Discovery of America. Several versions of the work survive, including one in the Borys Voznytsky National Gallery in Lviv and two others in private collections. Click on the link to read more.

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