Art Newspaper Podcast - Prof. Martin Kemp

March 30 2018

Sound: TAN

Here's an excellent podcast from The Art Newspaper, featuring an interview with Prof. Martin Kemp, the renowned Leonardo scholar. Prof. Kemp has a new book out on his experiences in the world of Leonardo, called 'Living with Leonardo', which you can order here. The interview is conducted by The Art Newspaper's Martin Bailey, who, being one of the best in the business, holds nothing back and tackles Prof. Kemp immediately on the case of the Bella Principessa drawing, which has not yet received universal acclamation as a work by Leonardo. I was particularly interested to hear Prof. Kemp's take on the politics of attribution, which rang true to me - the way some can take a hostile view to a new attribution purely because of the circumstances of its announcement, and who may own it, and so on. 

Prof. Kemp also comments on the Madonna Litta, which belongs to the Hermitage, and which was leant to the National Gallery's celebrated Leonardo exhibition in 2011. Kemp rightly points out that the Hermitage insisted it was catalogued as a Leonardo, when most Leonardo scholars ascribe it to his pupils, including those who curated the National Gallery exhibition. This has become a news story about museum ethics, but it wasn't news at the time, as I wrote about it at length in my review of the exhibition at the time.

Prof. Kemp is amusing about the price made by the Salvator Mundi, of which incidentally he says that 'the huge majority of it is utterly consistent with Leonardo.' 

There's also an excellent interview with the founder of The Art Newspaper, Anna Somers Cocks. It's the 300th issue of The Art Newspaper this month.

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