Category: Discoveries

Jacob Backer's Euterpe Identified

November 10 2021

Image of Jacob Backer's Euterpe Identified


Posted by Adam Busiakiewicz:

News from the Netherlands that a music historian has identified the sitter in a painting by Jacob Backer (1608-1651). Long described as being a representation of the Muse Euterpe, scholar Thiemo Wind has managed to identify the sitter as Adriana van den Bergh. Adriana, a flute player, had a booklet of music dedicated to her as a young girl. Wind's explorations into the seventeenth century archives managed to find a specific reference to Backer's painting of the girl found in a document relating to the estate of her brothers. She eventually married a merchant Jan Verstegen, bore him nine children, and ended up bankrupt.

The painting survives in an unknown private collection having been sold from the Albert Vandervelden Foundation in the past.

Recovered Painting Might be a Rembrandt?

November 4 2021

Image of Recovered Painting Might be a Rembrandt?


Posted by Adam Busiakiewicz:

The Art Newspaper have published an article on a recently recovered painting from Schloss Friedenstein in Germany. The work was stolen in December 1979 and was only recovered last year. This means that the work had been unavailable to Rembrandt scholars for decades.

According to the article:

The portrait of the old man, which was the most damaged of the five in the theft and sustained deep scratches, has over the years been attributed to Jan Lievens and to Ferdinand Bol, a pupil of Rembrandt. But Timo Trümper, the curator of the exhibition, says analysis of the painting style has ruled out either artist as the author of the work. The attribution to Bol stems from the artist’s signature on the back, but Trümper says that may indicate that he owned the portrait, not that he painted it. He says Bol may have obtained the work after Rembrandt’s bankruptcy in 1656. 

The painting is very similar to a work at the Harvard Art Museums in the US. That work bears Rembrandt’s signature, although its attribution has also been a matter of debate. Trümper says that under-painting on the Gotha work indicates that it may have been the original, and that the Harvard painting is a later studio copy. 

“It’s a question of interpretation,” he says of the Gotha work. “We can be sure it originated in Rembrandt’s studio—the question is how much of it is Rembrandt and how much his pupils? We have already talked to a lot of colleagues. Half say: ‘No, it’s not Rembrandt, it’s one of his pupils.’ The other half say it’s an interesting theory and they can’t rule it out.”

The painting will be exhibited in an show at the castle entitled Back in Gotha! The Lost Masterpieces which will run until 21st August 2022.

A Picasso (?) Reappears in Bolton?

November 2 2021

Image of A Picasso (?) Reappears in Bolton?

Picture: The Bolton News

Posted by Adam Busiakiewicz:

News from Lancashire that a man from Bolton has discovered what he believes might be a lost Picasso (pictured). Martin Barton was encouraged to look again at a painting he had hanging in his house after seeing news about the sale of Picassos from the Bellagio Hotel in Las Vegas.

According to the article linked above:

Martin said: “I had forgotten all about it and nearly fainted when I saw the picture in the paper, because I thought, I’m sure I have something similar. 

“It was also the signature at the bottom of the painting that made me think it could be genuine. So I had a closer look with my magnifying glass. It has been a really enjoyable few days thinking about this.”   

He was so excited he phoned his friend who told him he “didn’t know what to think, but he didn’t know anyone else who had discovered this” and suggested Martin went to a specialist. 

Martin added: “I might go to Bolton Museum just to see if it’s right or wrong, but that will be the end of it.”

Coincidentally, Bolton was the base of the notorious forger Shaun Greenhalgh, a point which might have added further depth to the article linked above...

Rediscovered Ribera Up for Sale in Paris

November 2 2021

Image of Rediscovered Ribera Up for Sale in Paris

Picture: Drouot

Posted by Adam Busiakiewicz:

Drouot Paris have drawn attention to the above unpublished painting of The Penitent Saint Peter by Jusepe de Ribera (1588-1656) which is coming up for auction next month. The work, which was rediscovered in a private collection, bears the collectors seals of Cardinal Flavio Chigi (1631-1693) and eventually came into the collection of Blaise Léon Rochette de Lempdes (1809-1876) where it descended to the present owners.

The painting will be offered by the auctioneers Gros & Delettrez on 13th December 2021 carrying an estimate of €200k - €300k.

A Rediscovered Reynolds (?) Unveiled at Art Fair

October 14 2021

Image of A Rediscovered Reynolds (?) Unveiled at Art Fair

Picture: The Telegraph

Posted by Adam Busiakiewicz:

The Daily Telegraph have published news today of a rediscovered painting reputedly by Joshua Reynolds which has been unveiled at the Cotswold Antique Dealers Association Fair this week. The painting has been researched by the dealer Russell Strachan who purchased the picture at auction and has since had the picture conserved.

In terms of the authentication of the picture, the article reads:

Mr Strachan said that two Reynolds experts had looked at the painting, with one telling him "he found no reason to think it was not by Reynolds".

As it happens, I was contacted by the writer of the article late last night. My first question was, who exactly were the experts that were consulted? As the published article suggests, no details were supplied which does not bode particularly well. If one really wants to make a splash with a discovery, the credentials of experts need to be disclosed to give weight to such claims, in my opinion.

Lost Chopin Portrait Reappears in Poland (?)

October 12 2021

Image of Lost Chopin Portrait Reappears in Poland (?)


Posted by Adam Busiakiewicz:

A reader has been in touch with this rather curious story from Poland. A rediscovered portrait of the composer Frederic Chopin has turned up after being purchased at an antique market near Lublin. Although the canvas was in awful condition (see left), traces of a signature have been found on it. The current owners are trying to prove the work was made during the composer's life time, rather than a later copy of this well known image.

According to the article:

The painting has now been taken out of its vault to be viewed by Bożena Schmid-Adamczyk, curator of the Fryderyk Chopin and George Sand Museum on Majorca, who is in Warsaw for the International Chopin Competition taking place in Warsaw this month.

Tiepolo Discovered in Weston Hall Attic

October 12 2021

Video: Dreweatts

Posted by Adam Busiakiewicz:

The UK Press has shared news of a rediscovered drawing by Giovanni Battista Tiepolo has been discovered in a safe at Weston Hall. The auctioneers Dreweatts discovered the drawing as part of cataloguing the contents of the house for general sale.

The drawing will be offered for sale in November carrying an estimate of £150,000 - £200,000.

Rediscovered Van Gogh Study on Display in Amsterdam

September 17 2021

Video: Bloomsberg

Posted by Adam Busiakiewicz:

A rediscovered study by Van Gogh has gone on display at the Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam. The pencil study for Worn Out was created in 1882 and had been preserved in a private collection.

According to the BBC report:

"This one has never been seen before anywhere. It's the first time that this drawing is out in the open," said Teio Meedendorp, senior researcher at the Van Gogh Museum. 

Van Gogh appeared to have used the drawing as the basis for a slightly different version of the drawing shortly afterwards, which he preferred, and which is currently in the museum's collection under the title Worn Out. 

The artist made Study for Worn Out when he was living in the Hague and still learning to draw at around the age of 29. Experts say it offers an exceptional insight into Van Gogh's working process at the time.

Update - The Burlington Magazine have made their article on the discovery, written by Teio Meedendorp, accessible online for a limited amount of time. Read it while you can!

'Missing' Dandini Found in US Church

September 15 2021

Image of 'Missing' Dandini Found in US Church


Posted by Adam Busiakiewicz:

Here's a rather curious story. A painting by Cesare Dandini, reportedly recorded as 'missing', has been discovered in a church in New Rochelle, New York. It was rediscovered by the New York college professor Tom Ruggio who started looking into the work's attribution and history. It seems that no one is exactly sure how the painting ended up in New Rochelle, with some suggestions it was purchased in London during the 1960s. The canvas will be on loan to Iona College in New Rochelle for the next three months.

Is this by Van Gogh ? (ctd.)

September 9 2021

Image of Is this by Van Gogh ? (ctd.)


Posted by Adam Busiakiewicz:

Readers might remember this painting from a post earlier in May regarding the quest of its owner Stuart Pivar to prove whether it was by Van Gogh or not.

The Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam have since rejected the authenticity of the painting based on photographs alone.

The article linked above quotes Head of Collections and Research Marije Vellekoop:

We do not believe that an inspection … in our museum is necessary.

In our opinion, it is evidently clear from the material presented to us, that the painting ‘Auvers’ cannot be attributed to Vincent van Gogh.

The rejected work is in our opinion stylistically, iconographically or technically … clearly too far removed from Van Gogh’s own work that research and further discussion is deemed pointless.

Pivar, who rejects the conclusions above, has opened a $300m lawsuit to settle the matter.

Uffizi Acquire Tibaldi and Gnocchi Saint Paul

September 6 2021

Image of Uffizi Acquire Tibaldi and Gnocchi Saint Paul

Picture: Uffizi

Posted by Adam Busiakiewicz:

The Uffizi Gallery in Florence have announced their acquisition of a full-length Saint Paul by Pellegrino Tibaldi and his Milanese pupil Giovanni Pietro Gnocchi. The work, dated to c.1585, was purchased after an export ban was placed on it by the authorities in Italy. Recent research undertaken by the scholar Agostino Allegri has established that the work was produced for the Milanese private chapel of the heirs of San Carlo Borromeo in 1585. Indeed, the painting was mentioned in a 1587 text by Giovanni Paolo Lomazzo and managed to survive the bombings of 1943 when the chapel was badly damaged.

Busts Return to Genoa

September 1 2021

Image of Busts Return to Genoa


Posted by Adam Busiakiewicz:

Two seventeenth century busts are heading back to Genoa. The two marbles depicting Tommaso Gentile and Ginetta Pinelli, completed for the Basilica of the Santissima Annunziata del Vastato by sculptor Daniele Solaro (Genoa, 1649 - 1709), had long thought to have been destroyed during the war. The rediscovery was made after research was commissioned by a private collector into their histories. It is not known exactly how the pair came to leave the city, however, they have since been reacquired by the authorities in Genoa.

Rijksmuseum Acquires and Reattributes Sluter Crucifix

September 1 2021

Image of Rijksmuseum Acquires and Reattributes Sluter Crucifix

Picture: Rijksmuseum

Posted by Adam Busiakiewicz:

The Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam has acquired a carved wooden crucifix that it has reattributed to the fifteenth-century Dutch sculptor Claus Sluter.

According to the article above:

Research conducted into art historical and technical aspects of the work has led multiple experts to conclude that this exceptional object can be conclusively attributed to Haarlem-born Claus Sluter, who was the court sculptor to Philip the Bold in Dijon, France, from 1389 to 1406. This makes the work the first by Sluter to be held in a Dutch collection.

Opie's Reynolds Doubles Low-Estimate

August 13 2021

Image of Opie's Reynolds Doubles Low-Estimate

Picture: Woolley and Wallis

Posted by Adam Busiakiewicz:

Auctioneers Woolley and Wallis in Salisbury sold this Laughing Girl by Sir Joshua Reynolds yesterday for £37,000 (hammer price) over its £15k - £20k estimate. The painting was rediscovered by specialists in a private collection, whose owners had thought that the work was a mere copy. Furthermore, they were unaware of the painting's illustrious provenance. Reynolds had created the work for the Polygraphic Society in 1787. It was eventually purchased by the artist John Opie and later came into the collection of the Earls of Lonsdale. The last time the work was displayed in public was in 1937.

Young Gainsborough: Rediscovered Landscape Drawings

August 13 2021

Image of Young Gainsborough: Rediscovered Landscape Drawings

Picture: York Art Gallery

Posted by Adam Busiakiewicz:

The York Art Gallery have announced a new exhibition which will open on 1st October 2021. Young Gainsborough: Rediscovered Landscape Drawings will be the first time that the twenty-five drawings recently rediscovered in the Royal Collection will be on display.

According to the gallery's website:

They will be presented alongside paintings and works on paper borrowed from collections across the UK and Ireland, including the National Gallery’s recently conserved masterpiece Cornard Wood (1748). Together, they will shed new light on Gainsborough’s early landscape practice and the techniques which made him one of the country’s most significant and influential artists.

The show will run until 13th February 2022.

A Michel Sittow Rediscovered in Spain (?)

July 27 2021

Image of A Michel Sittow Rediscovered in Spain (?)

Picture: Twitter via. @Inde

Posted by Adam Busiakiewicz:

Interesting news from Spain that a rare work by the enigmatic fifteenth century artist Michel Sittow has been reportedly rediscovered in the Museo de Arte Sacro de Teruel. The Intercession of the Virgin Mary before God the Father and Jesus Christ (pictured) has been reattributed by the scholar María del Carmen Lacarra. Sittow, who was probably born in Estonia but is often considered Flemish, worked for the Habsburg monarchs in Spain and the Netherlands. In a 2011 catalogue raisonné the art historian Matthias Weniger included 111 works with only 13 attributed with absolute certainty.

We'll wait and see if other scholars rally around this new attribution.

Michelangelo's Thumb Print found on Wax Model in V&A (?)

July 13 2021

Image of Michelangelo's Thumb Print found on Wax Model in V&A (?)

Picture: The Times

Posted by Adam Busiakiewicz:

Curators at the Victoria and Albert Museum in London have discovered a previously unknown thumb print on a wax preparatory model which they hope might belong to Michelangelo. The model of a Young Slave, linked to an incomplete statue carved for Pope Julius II, has been questioned in the past due to the difficulty in dating wax models. The appearance of this thumb print will, they hope, prove that it was modelled by Michelangelo himself. The fate of the wax model will appear in the new BBC2 series Secrets of the Museums which begins next Tuesday.

Van Eyck Plea found in Vatican Archives

July 9 2021

Image of Van Eyck Plea found in Vatican Archives

Picture: The National Gallery, London

Posted by Adam Busiakiewicz:

Here's a curious story that appeared a few days ago. Historian Hendrik Callewier of the State Archives and KU Leuven has come across what he describes as a previously unknown application in the Vatican administration from painter Jan Van Eyck and his wife Margareta. The document, dated 26 March 1441, is a plea written to Pope Eugenius IV requesting a letter which would allow him to go to confession and absolve him from his sins.

According to the article linked above:

...according to Callewier “It is the first time that we see Van Eyck mentioned together with his wife Margareta in a document during his lifetime.” 

The find may also help determine Van Eyck’s birthplace. “There is no document from his time that says where he comes from,” Callewier said. “Ten different places have been named in the past hundred years, with Maaseik as the most likely contender. Our discovery shows that he comes from the diocese of Liège, so we can now exclude a number of places.” In this way, the search is traced back to Maaseik, Bergeijk, Maastricht and Arendonk.

Potential Dürer (?) to be featured in Aachen Exhibition

July 5 2021

Image of Potential Dürer (?) to be featured in Aachen Exhibition

Picture: The Times

Posted by Adam Busiakiewicz:

The Times published an interesting article on Saturday relating to the above painting which will be featured in the current Dürer exhibition in Aachen. The picture was bought at auction in the 1980s by the late Sebastian Thewes who has spent decades trying to prove that this is an autograph work by the German master. Lots of interesting analysis has been put forward, including dendrochronology which places the panel at c.1521. The work will be included in the show catalogued as 'by an unknown painter', however, the article invites the possibility that Dürer experts might use this opportunity to reappraise the work.

A newly Rediscovered Saint Simon by Velázquez

June 30 2021

Image of A newly Rediscovered Saint Simon by Velázquez

Picture: @carolblumenfeld

Posted by Adam Busiakiewicz:

News is emerging from France that a rediscovered painting of Saint Simon by Diego Velázquez has been unveiled at the aforementioned exhibition at the Musée des Beaux-Arts d'Orléans. It seems that the painting was discovered in a private collection and had been placed in front of Guillaume Kientz, director of the Hispanic Society Museum in New York and former head of Spanish painting at the Louvre. The painting will be the subject of an upcoming article in a Spanish scientific journal.

Here are some quotes from curator Corentin Dury:

From infrared and an X-ray, the “examinations reveal a density of pigments and also of white lines of positioning of various contours, which may be consistent with what could be observed in the other apostles and various pictures of the young Velázquez." 

The apostle “has very close characteristics, a posture (…), other elements, such as the texture of the painting, the spelling of the letters, the dimensions”

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