Category: Exhibitions

Caravaggio sent to Turin

February 25 2021

Image of Caravaggio sent to Turin

Picture: Musei Reali di Torino

Posted by Adam Busiakiewicz:

A new exhibition opened today in the Galleria Sabauda in the Musei Reali di Torino. The highlight of the show is Caravaggio's San Giovanni Battista on loan from the Gallerie Nazionali di Arte Antica in Rome. The gallery will be showing this masterpiece alongside its own collection of Caravaggist paintings by the likes of Giovanni Baglione, Valentin, Vignon, Ribera and Serodine.

The exhibition will run till 30th May 2021.

Women Painters at the Musée du Luxembourg

February 23 2021

Image of Women Painters at the Musée du Luxembourg

Picture: Musée du Luxembourg

Posted by Adam Busiakiewicz:

The Musée du Luxembourg in Paris are set to open their new exhibition Women Painters 1780-1830 on 3rd March 2021.

As the museum's website explains:

A half-century journey from the pre-Revolutionary years to the Restoration, the exhibition Women Painters, 1780-1830. The Birth of a Battle features some 70 works on display from public and private French and international collections. The exhibition aims to bring the public’s attention to an issue about which little or nothing is known: how the then-unprecedented phenomenon of increasing numbers of women in the fine arts was linked to the changing organisation in the sphere of artistic production (administration, training, exhibition, criticism) and the transforming tastes and social practices relating to art.

The exhibition is due to run till 4th July 2021.

Gray Collection at the Morgan Library & Museum

February 22 2021

Image of Gray Collection at the Morgan Library & Museum

Picture: The Morgan Library & Museum

Posted by Adam Busiakiewicz:

The Morgan Library & Museum in New York have recently opened their latest drawings exhibition entitled Gray Collection - Pure Drawing. The show features works collected by the dealers and art historians Richard and Mary L. Gray. Visitors will have a chance to see prized works on paper by the likes of Rubens, Boucher, Degas, Van Gogh and Picasso.

The exhibition will run through till the 6th June 2021.

Masterpieces from Buckingham Palace Tour

February 22 2021

Video: Royal Collection Trust

Posted by Adam Busiakiewicz:

I seem to have missed this video which was posted by the Royal Collection Trust last month. It provides a very interesting tour by exhibition curators Desmond Shawe-Taylor and Isabella Manning.

Baroque Miniatures Exhibition in Switzerland

February 19 2021

Image of Baroque Miniatures Exhibition in Switzerland


Posted by Adam Busiakiewicz:

The Kunst Museum Winterthur in Switzerland will be opening their new exhibition next month entitled Etiquette and Masquerade - Miniature Portraits of the Baroque.

As their exhibition blurb explains:

Under Louis XIV, France advanced to become the leading power in Europe. The Palace of Versailles shone in all its splendor and was an expression of greatness and absolutist power – the king was worshipped like a god. The Sun King attracted the high nobility to the court and ceremonially favored them in order to control them at the same time. To be assigned an apartment in Versailles was an important privilege. The etiquette described and regulated every process and assigned each member of the court a visible rank within this society. In spite of opulent staging in precious robes of silk and lace with allonge wigs and fans, aspects of convenience, restraint and tact played a prominent role. At the same time, the Kingdom of England began its rise to become the leading colonial power and later the center of trade and industry. Britain’s constitutional monarchy formed a rich aristocracy, which found its social center in representative country estates.

The etiquette and masquerade of the time served as a symbol of both self-definition and deception. This is illustrated by a concise selection of High Baroque miniatures from France and England from the rich collection of miniatures in the Kunst Museum Winterthur.

Exhibition: The Ladies of Art at the Palazzo Reale in Milan

February 18 2021

Image of Exhibition: The Ladies of Art at the Palazzo Reale in Milan

Picture: Palazzo Reale, Milan

Posted by Adam Busiakiewicz:

On the 3rd March 2021 a new exhibition entitled Le Signore dell’Arte. Storie di donne tra ‘500 e ‘600 will be opening in the Palazzo Reale in Milan. The exhibition pulls together over 130 works to tell the History of Art of Women during the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries in Italy. The exhibition will include works by Artemisia Gentileschi, Sofonisba Anguissola, Lavinia Fontana, Elisabetta Sirani, Ginevra Cantofoli (pictured), Fede Galicia and Giovanna Garzoni. Lenders have been sourced from 67 institutions are private collections, including most of the major museums in Italy.

The exhibition will run till 27th July 2021. Let's hope lockdowns will lift in time for non-Italians to flock to this impressive sounding show!

'Primer' for MET's New British Galleries

February 17 2021

Image of 'Primer' for MET's New British Galleries

Picture: MET

Posted by Adam Busiakiewicz:

The Metropolitan Museum in New York have released a flashy new website to promote their newly revamped British Galleries. Described as a 'primer', the site shows off the five new themes that visitors will encounter during a walk around these rooms.

Each theme has been given a particular headline (I'll leave you to work them out):

- These objects are notably 'now'.

- Every price tag tells a story.

- Politics meets design head-on (and heads-off).

- Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery.

- The tragedy behind the triumph.

Rembrandt's Orient

February 17 2021

Image of Rembrandt's Orient

Picture: Kunstmuseum Basel

Posted by Adam Busiakiewicz:

The travelling exhibition Rembrandt's Orient, curated and the catalogue featuring work by Bodo Brinkmann, Gabriel Dette, Michael Philipp and Gary Schwartz, is due to open at the Museum Barberini in Potsdam on 13th March 2021. It has just finished at the Kunstmuseum in Basel.

The exhibition consists of 120 works by the likes of Rembrandt, Ferdinand Bol, Jan Lievens and his many contemporaries.

The exhibition description is as follows:

Turbans and carpets, sabers and silk robes––Rembrandt and his contemporaries repeatedly painted objects from distant lands. The resulting works of art provide evidence of the first wave of globalization and reflect the influence of foreign cultures on the Netherlands in the seventeenth century. This significant art-historical period was shaped by a thirst for knowledge, a passion for collecting, and a pride of possession; it also inspired painters to create novel history scenes, portraits, and still lifes. However, encounters between the West and the East did not occur at eye level, nor was the exchange based on equality. Foreignness offered an intriguing contrast to the world of the Dutch, but it hardly aroused a more profound level of sympathy. This was no different for Rembrandt than for his other contemporaries, and this attitude––which this exhibition invites visitors to reflect upon––remains unchanged to this day in many parts of the Western world. The show provides an opportunity to question this persistent Eurocentrism.

'Fleeting Scents in Colors' at the Mauritshuis

February 16 2021

Image of 'Fleeting Scents in Colors' at the Mauritshuis

Picture: The Mauritshuis

Posted by Adam Busiakiewicz:

The Mauritshuis in the Hague will be opening a new multisensory exhibition entitled Fleeting Scents in Colours when the museum reopens after lockdown.

As the museum's website explains:

Scented flowers and perfumes, foul-smelling canals and unpleasant body odours, smell and well-being, new aromas from far-away lands (spices, tobacco, coffee and tea), the disappearing smells of the bleaching fields, old crafts and more. Can life in the seventeenth century be captured in smell? How are smell (and scent) portrayed? What significance did people attach to smell? And what aromatic connotations do artworks have? In this exhibition, the Mauritshuis will undertake smell-historical research. In the vicinity of the art, various historic scents will be prepared to bring the paintings in the exhibition to life.

It appears that the exhibition catalogue in Dutch is already available on their website.

Update - Here's a link to the English version of the exhibition catalogue.

Celebrating 90 Years with Peaks & Glaciers

February 15 2021

Image of Celebrating 90 Years with Peaks & Glaciers

Picture: John Mitchell Fine Paintings

Posted by Adam Busiakiewicz:

The dealers John Mitchell Fine Paintings are celebrating their 90th anniversary this year. To celebrate they have launched an online exhibition entitled Peaks & Glaciers. These pictures certainly resonate with the icy conditions that Europe has been experiencing over the past two weeks or so. The exhibition runs from 18th February - 18th March 2021.

Was Rembrandt Linked to the Slave Trade?

February 10 2021

Image of Was Rembrandt Linked to the Slave Trade?

Picture: The Guardian

Posted by Adam Busiakiewicz:

The arts columnist Jonathan Jones of the Guardian has asked the above question in his recent review on the Rijksmuseum's new exhibition Slavery.

Jones describes the shock inclusion of Rembrandt's 1634 full length portraits of Marten Soolmans and Oopjen Coppit (pictured):

But there’s a deeply troubling side to this couple’s wealth – and Rembrandt may have wanted us to register that there was something amiss. Soolmans was heir to one of Amsterdam’s biggest sugar refineries, and the production of sugar at its origin point depended on slaves.


The Rijksmuseum is stuffed with the artistic riches of the 17th-century Netherlands. For it to draw attention to the links between art, wealth and inhumanity in that age is a bold move. But it is time “to come clean”, Valika Smeulders, the museum’s head of history, told me – in order to “connect the collection to that history”. Parallel to the show, the Rijksmuseum has added labels to 80 objects in its collections that have links to slavery. This goes way beyond culture war cliches, though. In fact, Smeulders doesn’t see it that way at all. Far from a denunciation of the past, she argues, revealing this side of Dutch art can only make it richer.

He ends the piece by suggesting that the museum should have sought a balance by including the Dutch master's Portrait of Two African Men in the Mauritshuis, a point with which I couldn't agree more.

Update - A reader has sent in the following comment:

A little note regarding the article on the forthcoming slavery exhibition at the Rijks. I totally agree on including the 'two african men' in the exhibition, it would be such a nice and important nuance. However, unfortunately, this isn't possible: the picture is part of the Bredius bequest at the Mauritshuis, and can therefor never leave the museum. A construction comparable with the position of the pictures Henry Clay Frick aquired at the Frick. If only this was lifted, some wonderful pictures (some in storage) could complement ensembles and exhibitions elsewhere in the country....

Prague Rembrandt Exhibition Extended till March

February 9 2021

Image of Prague Rembrandt Exhibition Extended till March

Picture: National Gallery Prague

Posted by Adam Busiakiewicz:

For the lucky inhabitants of Central Europe, the National Gallery Prague's current exhibition Rembrandt: Portrait of a Man has been extended to 21st March 2021.

As the exhibition blurb explains:

The exhibition’s central work is the portrait Scholar in His Study from the collections of the National Gallery Prague, which Rembrandt painted in 1634, a very successful time in his professional and private life. The portrait captures not only the physical appearance of an unknown elderly man, but also his dramatic spiritual life; the man’s facial expression tells a rich story elevating the painting to a level of historical significance. Yet this rare work conceals more questions than answers. In several interconnected parts, the exhibition project seeks to explore the theme of cognition and learning, contemplation and intimacy from various angles – from the artist’s beginnings and early works in this theme’s context to his increasing popularity in Amsterdam in the 1630s, relevant works by his students and contemporaries and the modern understanding of Rembrandt’s oeuvre.


Pre-Raphaelites Drawings and Watercolours at the Ashmolean

February 5 2021

Image of Pre-Raphaelites Drawings and Watercolours at the Ashmolean

Picture: Ashmolean

Posted by Adam Busiakiewicz:

Yesterday was supposed to be the opening of the Ashmolean Museum's most recent exhibition Pre-Raphaelite Drawings and Watercolours.

Although lockdown means that the museum won't be opening any time soon, there are several talks and lectures you can book onto in the upcoming weeks. Equally, their exhibition catalogue is already available for order too.

The exact dates of the exhibition are yet to be confirmed, but it seems likely that they'll be extended due to the pandemic.

Liverpool Museums Loan Boxer Painting from NPG

February 3 2021

Image of Liverpool Museums Loan Boxer Painting from NPG

Picture: NPG

Posted by Adam Busiakiewicz:

The Liverpool Museums have been loaned a portrait of the nineteenth century boxer Jem Wharton (1813-1856) from the National Portrait Gallery in London. This portrait by the artist William Daniels has been sent as part of the COMING HOME project, which sees artworks being loaned to locations that they are intimately connected with. Wharton made Liverpool is home towards the end of his unbeaten career, where he worked as a trainer and ran a tavern.

The portrait will be on display when the Museum of Liverpool reopens to the public after lockdown.

Roman Caravaggio Exhibition Extended till May

February 2 2021

Video: Musei Capitolini

Posted by Adam Busiakiewicz:

Rome's Musei Capitolini have announced that they have extended their current exhibition Il tempo di Caravaggio till 5th May 2021. The exhibition, which features a great deal of paintings from the collection of the twentieth century academic and curator Roberto Longhi, was due to finish last September. For those of us who won't be able to make it, we have the video above instead!

Raphael Related Works to be Scanned in Naples

February 1 2021

Image of Raphael Related Works to be Scanned in Naples


Posted by Adam Busiakiewicz:

The Museo e Real Bosco di Capodimonte in Naples is embarking on a project to infrared-scan all of their paintings relating to Raphael and his followers.

The project is related to an exhibition they will be opening in June alongside an international conference on the artist held at the museum. This research aims to uncover details regarding how the master's workshop functioned, including works that were developed in collaboration with it. The painting illustrated is the work of Gianfrancesco Penni (1488-1528), who is known to have worked in collaboration with Raphael and later with Giulio Romano. All forms of copies and derivations of his work in the museum will be included too.

Leonardo in Senegal

January 24 2021

Posted by Adam Busiakiewicz:

The inhabitants of Dakar in Senegal will be the last to enjoy RAI Com's travelling exhibition Opera Omnia Leonardo in the city's Museum of Black Civilisations. This touring show, which features high quality digital copies of Leonardo's works, has been on display in China, Ethiopia and other more out of the way locations since 2019. This digital project is supported by the Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs with the intention of sharing cultural masterpieces throughout the world. 

The exhibition wind up after the Senegal leg finishes on 28th February 2021.

Sitters Identified in Stuggart Rubens Double Portrait

January 19 2021

Image of Sitters Identified in Stuggart Rubens Double Portrait

Picture: Staatsgalerie Stuttgart

Posted by Adam Busiakiewicz:

The recently published Rubenianum Quarterly features a short article on the above double portrait by Peter Paul Rubens. This large oil on canvas, now in the Staatsgalerie Stuttgart, has been unidentified for some time. The attribution too has changed over the centuries. It was given to Van Dyck some time ago, but is now rightfully considered a Genoese period portrait by Rubens. 

The article explains that archival research has helped to identify the pair as Geronima Spinola and her Granddaughter Maria Giovanna Serra. One of the details that clinched it was that Geronima was widowed in 1604 and became a nun. The sombre clothing in this portrait seems to be suggestive of a lady in mourning alongside her religious vows.

The painting will be featured in a Rubens exhibition due to be held in Stuttgart this year between 22nd October 2021 - 20th February 2022.

Attribution Controversies Cuts Short Exhibition (?)

January 14 2021

Image of Attribution Controversies Cuts Short Exhibition (?)


Posted by Adam Busiakiewicz:

The Spanish digital media outlet Valencia Plaza has published an article regarding the attribution controversy surrounding the above Portrait of a Lady in Profile.

In 2017 Carmen Garrido Pérez, curator and former head of technical documentation at the Prado, unveiled this painting as an early Italian-period canvas by Diego Velázquez. The work was exhibited in the Museum of Fine Arts in València from the Delago Private Collection. Parts of the collection, including the above painting, were due to remain on loan to the museum for 5 years. However, this has been cut short.

The article suggests that controversial attributions of some of the paintings highlighted by experts has played a part in this decision. Carmen Garrido Pérez was also behind the recent controversy regarding a recently upgraded El Greco.

Vermeer Exhibition in Dresden

January 11 2021

Image of Vermeer Exhibition in Dresden

Picture: The Gemäldegalerie Alte Meister

Posted by Adam Busiakiewicz:

The Gemäldegalerie Alte Meister in Dresden will be opening a new exhibition in June 2021 entitled Johannes Vermeer. On Reflection.

This exhibition will focus on the recent conservation of the gallery's Girl Reading a Letter at an Open Window. The removal of old overpaint shows that Vermeer had intended the scene to include a painting of cupid in the background. This detail, which also features in Vermeer's Lady at the Virginals in London, was overpainted at some point.

The show will also feature loans from the Rijksmuseum, The National Gallery in London and other works by Vermeer's contemporaries.

It seems that the gallery have pushed back the dates of the exhibition to 4th June 2021 - 12th September 2021.

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