Category: Research

Johannes Stradanus Conference in Florence

November 28 2023

Image of Johannes Stradanus Conference in Florence


Posted by Adam Busiakiewicz:

It's not too late to sign up to join the upcoming international conference on Johannes Stradanus (1523-1605): A Flemish Artist in Florence in the Age of Exploration being held in Florence in two days time. The conference is free and is also being held online for those not able to travel to the city. The event is being held to coincide with the Museo di Palazzo Vecchio's exhibition on the artist which runs until 18th February 2024.

A History of Cats in Indian Art

November 28 2023

Image of A History of Cats in Indian Art

Picture: Aleph Books

Posted by Adam Busiakiewicz:

Just in time for Christmas, Aleph Books have published a new book on the subject of Cats in Indian Art. The Indian Cat: Stories, Paintings, Poetry, and Proverbs was written by the late Indian art critic and historian Brijinder Nath Goswamy. 

According to the book's blurb:

The Indian Cat first presents a delightful picture of the cat in our written and oral literatures. This is followed by a catalogue of paintings, each showcasing a different aspect of the place accorded to cats in our society. Then there is a selection of poetry about the cat, much of which is translated from a wide swathe of languages including Urdu, Hindi, Persian, and Bengali. The final section presents proverbs, sayings, and idioms on the animal.

Free Blake Society Journal

November 28 2023

Image of Free Blake Society Journal


Posted by Adam Busiakiewicz:

To celebrate William Blake's birthday on 29th November The Blake Society have made their most recent edition of their annual journal free and available online (along with the three past editions also). This edition's theme is War and Peace and contains no less than 26 articles (!)

New Release: Architecture in Britain and Ireland 1530–1830

November 28 2023

Image of New Release: Architecture in Britain and Ireland 1530–1830

Picture: Yale University Press

Posted by Adam Busiakiewicz:

News from the Paul Mellon Centre that Yale University Press have today released their latest publication. Architecture in Britain and Ireland 1530–1830 is the latest book by the architectural and English Heritage properties historian Steven Brindle.

According to the book's blurb:

Across three chronological sections: 1530–1660, 1660–1760 and 1760–1830, this volume explores how architectural culture evolved from a subject carried solely in the minds and skills of craftsmen to being embodied in books and documents and with new professions – architects, surveyors and engineers – in charge. With chapters dedicated to towns and cities, landscape, infrastructure, military architecture and industrial architecture, and beautifully illustrated with new photography, detailed graphics and a wealth of historic images, Architecture in Britain and Ireland, 1530–1830 is an invaluable resource for students, historians and anyone with an interest in the architecture of this period, and promises to become a definitive work of scholarship in the field.

The University of Vienna are Hiring!

November 27 2023

Image of The University of Vienna are Hiring!


Posted by Adam Busiakiewicz:

The University of Vienna are hiring a University Professor of Early Modern European Art History.

According to the job description:

The professorship is intended to comprehensively represent the area of Early Modern Art in research and teaching (architecture, painting, sculpture, art theory), with a focus on Italian Baroque Art. Methodological and theoretical competence, experience in teaching at all levels of training and in supervising theses as well as in obtaining third-party funding are expected. Tasks include participation in introductory and epoch-lectures at the Department of Art History as well as in the Research Cluster on “Art History and Visual Culture” at the Doctoral School of Historical and Cultural Studies.

Curiously, the specification ends with the following:

Given equal qualifications, preference will be given to female candidates.

No salary is indicated on the website and applications must be in by 15th December 2023.

Good luck if you're applying!

Rubens International Study Day at Dulwich in 2024

November 27 2023

Image of Rubens International Study Day at Dulwich in 2024

Picture: Dulwich Picture Gallery

Posted by Adam Busiakiewicz:

Some readers may be interested in the following study day organised by the Dulwich Picture Gallery in the New Year. The day has been arranged to coincide with the gallery's current Rubens & Women exhibition, which runs until 28th January 2024.

Here's a list of the four sessions planned for the day-long event:

Session 1 - Gender  

Exhibition Co-Curator Dr Amy Orrock and Dr Olenka Horbatsch, Curator of Prints and Drawings at the British Museum, will introduce Rubens’s writings and drawings on women. What might the evidence on paper reveal about his studio practice and the role of women in his life?

Session 2 – Beauty  

Jacqueline Ansell, Senior Lecturer and writer, explores the topic of beauty through the fashion of the time, its meaning and connection to the works of Rubens.   

Session 3 – Love

Dr. Bert Watteeuw, Director of the Rubens House, will present new archival discoveries on Helena Fourment, fleshing out a rather meagre historiographical profile and returning agency to a mute muse. 

Session 4 – Power 

Co-Curator Dr Ben van Beneden will highlight how Rubens merged politics and power in his art, as he was not only the most internationally acclaimed artist of his time but also an important diplomat who was sent on missions to Spain, the Netherlands and England.   

The study day will take place on Friday 19th January 2024 and will cost a mere £25 to attend.

The Witt begins Digitisation Project

November 16 2023

Image of The Witt begins Digitisation Project


Posted by Adam Busiakiewicz:

The Courtauld Institute of Art in London announced this week that they are beginning the process of a complete digitisation of the Witt Photographic Library. This important collection, which contains vast amounts of photos of paintings from auction catalogues, private collections and museums, ordered by national school and artist, is a significant resource for both academic researchers and the art trade. Its digitisation will likely transform the way paintings research is done. Amazingly, the institute has sent the entire collection to the Netherlands where it will be digitised by the company Picturae BV.

According to the press release:

Established in the 1890s by Sir Robert Witt during his undergraduate studies at Oxford, the collection has a fascinating history. A comprehensive survey in 2013 showed that the Witt comprises 2,151,862 images in 102,995 folders, housed in 19,139 boxes. Its collection occupies nearly 1.4 km of shelf space and includes works from 26 different national “schools” of art.

They are planning that the whole collection will be completed by Summer 2025, and have even published the following schedule:

British School by w/c 28 July 2024
French School by w/c 2 September 2024
Netherlandish School by w/c 11 November 2024
Italian School by w/c 10 February 2025
German and American Schools by w/c 11 March 2025
Remaining schools by w/c 15 April 2025

Caroline Campbell on 'The Power of Art'

November 13 2023

Image of Caroline Campbell on 'The Power of Art'

Picture: The Bridge Street Press

Posted by Adam Busiakiewicz:

Caroline Campbell, the Director of the National Gallery of Ireland, wrote an extended piece this weekend for the Belfast Telegraph. The article explains her reasons for writing her new book The Power of Art: A World History in Fifteen Cities, a publication which was released last month. Amongst the paragraphs that struck me was the following:

Art undeniably gains its power from its ability to fuel and drive our feelings. Because it is able to appeal to our inner beings, it can give solace and connection, linking us to lives and experiences far removed from us by time or distance. Just as potently, it can foment difference and dissent, intensifying our sense of dislocation, rage, or violence. Growing up in Belfast during the Troubles particularly sensitised me to this issue. Art is dangerous, and it can influence us in eloquent and sometimes uncontrollable ways. But it is also uniquely able to connect us to the peoples and worlds of the past.

The publication is out and available now.

Lucas Achtschellinck (1626-1699) Online Catalogue

November 8 2023

Image of Lucas Achtschellinck (1626-1699) Online Catalogue


Posted by Adam Busiakiewicz:

CODART (International network for curators of art from the Low Countries) has shared news that a new online catalogue project has been published dedicated to the Brussels landscape painter Lucas Achtschellink (1629-1699). AHN applauds all attempts for such projects, no matter how well-known or obscure the artist!

According to the CODART article:

About 300 works (paintings, drawings and tapestries) are included on, along with a biography of the artist, as well as lists of public and private collections, related auctions, art dealers, exhibitions and a bibliography. The site is produced by Emmanuel de Cannart d’Hamale in collaboration with art historian Philippe Dellis and historian Erik Wauters.

The website seems very straightforward and easy to use. Congratulations to all involved!

Marcus Richard Fitzroy Thomas Renamed

November 6 2023

Image of Marcus Richard Fitzroy Thomas Renamed


Posted by Adam Busiakiewicz:

Here's a fascinating piece of research from last year that I believe was missed from this blog. It concerns to reidentification of a boy featured in the Yale Center for British Art Joshua Reynolds’s Portrait of Charles Stanhope. Due to some incredible sleuthing by Victoria Hepburn, the identity of this unknown sitter was tracked down via baptismal records and Reynolds' sitters book. An interesting read, giving hope to paintings researchers out there who are endlessly met with dead-ends!

Burlington November Issue

November 2 2023

Image of Burlington November Issue


Posted by Adam Busiakiewicz:

This month's edition of The Burlington Magazine is dedicated to sculpture and three-dimensional works of art. The magazine's free editorial on History of art after Brexit is also well worth the read.

Here's a list of the articles in the November edition:

A medallion of Abbess Jacqueline de Lalaing of Flines - BY ANNA KOOPSTRA,MICHAEL CARTER

Silvio and Vincenzo Cosini in Venice and the altar of Girolamo Priuli in S. Salvatore - BY ANNE MARKHAM SCHULZ

A 1550 ‘double Jubilee’ medal by Alessandro Cesati - BY GIULIA DANIELE

George I’s Kensington Palace: the sculptural dimension - BY JONATHAN MARSDEN

Michael Kauffmann (1931–2023) - BY PAUL WILLIAMSON

Recent Release: Aniello Falcone e i pittori della sua cerchia (1625-1656)

November 1 2023

Image of Recent Release: Aniello Falcone e i pittori della sua cerchia (1625-1656)


Posted by Adam Busiakiewicz:

The Neapolitan specialist and scholar Nicola Spinosa has recently had a new book published on the artist Aniello Falcone, most famous for his paitings of battle scenes. Alongside a description and catalogue of his works, chapters are also dedicated to the artists in his orbit, including Agostino Beltrano, Carlo Coppola, Andrea de Lione, Domenico Gargiulo, Marzio Masturzo, Salvator Rosa and Giuseppe Trombatore.

Upcoming Release: A Delicate Matter - Art, Fragility, and Consumption in Eighteenth-Century France

October 31 2023

Image of Upcoming Release: A Delicate Matter - Art, Fragility, and Consumption in Eighteenth-Century France

Picture: Penn State University Press

Posted by Adam Busiakiewicz:

Penn State University Press will be releasing a very intriguing book in January 2024. A Delicate Matter: Art, Fragility, and Consumption in Eighteenth-Century France is the latest publication to investigate the history of 'unstable' art.

According to the book's blurb:

Eighteenth-century France witnessed an unprecedented proliferation of materially unstable art, from oil paintings that cracked within years of their creation to enormous pastel portraits vulnerable to the slightest touch or vibration. In A Delicate Matter, Oliver Wunsch traces these artistic practices to the economic and social conditions that enabled them: an ascendant class of art collectors who embraced fragile objects as a means of showcasing their disposable wealth.

While studies of Rococo art have traditionally focused on style and subject matter, this book reveals how the physical construction of paintings and sculptures was central to the period’s reconceptualization of art. Drawing on sources ranging from eighteenth-century artists’ writings to twenty-first-century laboratory analyses, Wunsch demonstrates how the technical practices of eighteenth-century painters and sculptors provoked a broad transformation in the relationship between art, time, and money. Delicacy, which began the eighteenth century as a commodified extension of courtly sociability, was by century’s end reimagined as the irreducible essence of art’s autonomous value.

Innovative and original, A Delicate Matter is an important intervention in the growing body of scholarship on durability and conservation in eighteenth-century French art. It challenges the art historical tendency to see decay as little more than an impediment to research, instead showing how physical instability played a critical role in establishing art’s meaning and purpose.

Sotheby's publishes Rembrandt Catalogue Online

October 30 2023

Image of Sotheby's publishes Rembrandt Catalogue Online

Picture: Sotheby's

Posted by Adam Busiakiewicz:

Sotheby's London have published a full PDF of its 58+ page catalogue dedicated to Rembrandt's The Adoration of the Kings in their upcoming December sale. The catalogue contains vast amounts of research, both art historical and technical, which explains how and why work has been upgraded to the master in full.

New Release: Van Dyck in Italy - Technical Studies

October 24 2023

Image of New Release: Van Dyck in Italy - Technical Studies

Picture: Il Geko Edizioni

Posted by Adam Busiakiewicz:

The Italian website Finestre sull'Arte have published an extended article on a new book dedicated to technical analysis of Van Dyck's Italian period. The publication by Michela Fasce examines sixteen works by the artist, and investigates exactly how and with what materials Van Dyck was producing paintings during this time of his career.


As an aside, it is a recurring feature that many of his Italian period paintings don't tend to age very well. Apart from the usual damages from overcleaning, many of his canvases have suffered greatly from losses and degradations of colour and vibrancy. I wonder if this might be explored in the book too...

Download the Getty's 'Conserving Canvas' for free!

October 24 2023

Image of Download the Getty's 'Conserving Canvas' for free!

Picture: Getty Publications

Posted by Adam Busiakiewicz:

Getty publications posted some interesting news on 'X' concerning their recent publication Conserving Canvas as open content. This means that the entire publication, which is currently available to purchase as a hard-copy, can be accessed or even downloaded as a PDF or EPub for free.

The publication, edited by Cynthia Schwarz, Ian McClure, and Jim Coddington, contains vast amounts of papers delivered at a conference in 2019 on the subject of past and present practises in relation to the conservation of canvases.

The British Art Journal to Cease?

October 24 2023

Image of The British Art Journal to Cease?


Posted by Adam Busiakiewicz:

Some rather sad news to report that The British Art Journal (BAJ) will cease publication on 31 December of this year.

According to the journal's website:

We very much regret having to announce that The British Art Journal will cease publication on 31 December this year, 2023, with the publication of Volume XXIV, No. 3, owing to the retirement of the editor. It may well start again under new management, but nothing has yet been decided. 

In the circumstances, we are not accepting any new subscriptions. 

This is genuinely sad news, as the journal has over the years been instrumental in publishing cutting edge research relating to the art of these isles. Indeed, the journal has always been a welcoming place for budding scholars, with many of them publishing their debut articles there (myself included). This has had much to do with the boundless energy and enthusiasm of its long-time Editor, Robin Simon, who will be a very hard act to follow.

I sincerely hope that a new editor is found in due course, to lead this vital British art publication into this new age.*

* - Maybe the present (woefully underqualified) writer of this post feels morally obliged to put his hat in the ring for the job!

Update - Bendor here, to add: first, that I can vouch for Adam's excellent and highly qualified editing skills; second that Robin Simon and the BAJ have been an extraordinary force for good in promoting British art history for the last few decades, and it has been a pleasure to be both a subscriber and occasional contributor; third, that British art history really needs a journal where people of all backgrounds can contribute, and not be excluded by the gatekeeping that afflicts some other publications.

But this shouldn't stop us celebrating Robin's achievements at the BAJ. Many years ago, when I was more diligent on the blog, I began a category called 'Heroes of Art History'. I hereby nominate Robin for AHN immortalisation - hail, Robin!

Upcoming Release: François Le Moyne Catalogue Raisonné

October 23 2023

Image of Upcoming Release: François Le Moyne Catalogue Raisonné

Picture: silvana editoriale

Posted by Adam Busiakiewicz:

Exciting news that in January 2024 a new catalogue raisonné for François Le Moyne (1688-1737) will be published. The catalogue was edited by Professor Jean-Luc Bordeaux and (if my French is correct) has added 140 paintings and 250 drawings to his oeuvre.

For those who want to preorder their copy, the publisher's website has a very generous discount on at the moment of 30 euros off!

The RKD are Calling for Stamps and Brands!

October 20 2023

Image of The RKD are Calling for Stamps and Brands!


Posted by Adam Busiakiewicz:

CODART (International network for curators of art from the Low Countries) have shared news that the RKD in the Netherlands are calling for photographs of makers stamps and brands for a brand-new digital database. As all picture researchers will know, this information can prove vital in assessing the origin, dating and significance of a work of art.

According to the article linked above:

In the project Marks on Art, the RKD works in close collaboration with Prof. em. dr. Jørgen Wadum. The starting point is Wadum’s unique dataset of thousands of marks, collected since the 1980s during visits to collections and auction houses. By January 2025, the RKD aims to present this dataset in its sustainable and freely available database infrastructure, permitting cross-linking between artwork, artist, and technical research data such as dendrochronological research results. In addition, a revised and expanded version of Wadum’s 1998-article ‘The Antwerp Brand on paintings on panel’ will be published in the open access publication platform RKD Studies. This project received a generous grant from the Getty Conservation Institute (GCI) providing Wadum with a three-month Conservation Guest Scholarship, as well as a Digital Art History Grant to the RKD from the Samuel H. Kress Foundation.

Details of how to get in touch with the relevant researchers can be found via the link above.

Upcoming Botticelli Drawings Exhibition & Symposium

October 20 2023

Image of Upcoming Botticelli Drawings Exhibition & Symposium


Posted by Adam Busiakiewicz:

The Legion of Honor Museum at the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco will be opening a major exhibition next month dedicated to Botticelli Drawings. Said to be the first exhibition of its kind, the show will also include a significant symposium on the subject which will be held on 18th November 2023.

A description of the upcoming exhibition:

Botticelli Drawings is the first exhibition ever dedicated to the drawings of Renaissance artist Sandro Botticelli (ca. 1445 – 1510). Exploring the foundational role drawing played in Botticelli’s work, the exhibition traces his artistic journey, from studying under maestro Fra Filippo Lippi (c. 1406 – 1469) to leading his own workshop in Florence. Featuring rarely seen and newly attributed works, the exhibition provides insight into the design practice of an artist whose name is synonymous with the Italian Renaissance. Botticelli’s drawings offer an intimate look into the making of some of his most memorable masterpieces, including Adoration of the Magi (c. 1500), which will be reunited with its preparatory drawing, surviving only in fragments. From Botticelli’s earliest recorded drawings through expressive designs for his final painting, the works on display reveal the artist’s experimental drawing techniques, quest for ideal beauty, and command of the line.

The show will run from 19th November 2023 until 14th February 2024.

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