Category: Research

Recent Release: Miniature Painting in the National Museum

February 4 2022

Image of Recent Release: Miniature Painting in the National Museum


Posted by Adam Busiakiewicz:

The National Museum in Stockholm, Sweden, has released a new book focusing on its impressive collection of miniatures. The publication (of which there is a version in English too, by the way) by Magnus Olausson presents the highlights of its 5,700 strong collection alongside a history of the collection itself.

According to the book's blurb:

The Nationalmuseum in Stockholm is home to the world's largest collection of miniature paintings, 5,700 in all. The majority of them are are portrait miniatures, by Swedish and other European artists from the 16th century down to the middle of the 20th. The collection is remarkable not only for its size, but just as much for its breadth and depth. No other holding is as representative of miniature paitning across Europe. Despite this, the collection has remained unknown to many outside specialst circles. This volume provides, for the first time, a comprehensive introduction to the Museum's large holding of miniatures, a combined guide and history written by Magnus Olausson, Director of Collections. At the same time, it offers a survey of the history of miniature painting, with examples drawn exclusively from the Nationalmuseum. A good deal of space is devoted both to the nations of major significance for this art form and to individual miniaturists, as well as to aspects of the subject such as the roles of artist and patron, the uses and functions of miniatures, and materials and techniques. the last of these sections is written by miniatures conservator Cecilia rönnerstam.

Free Talk: Portraits of Lucy Harington Countess of Bedford

February 4 2022

Image of Free Talk: Portraits of Lucy Harington Countess of Bedford

Picture: Woburn Abbey

Posted by Adam Busiakiewicz:

For those readers who might be in Greenwich, London, on Wednesday 23rd February 2022 then here is a fascinating free talk to attend. Dr Karen Hearn will be delivering a free talk at the Queen's House, Greenwich, on the subject of ‘Bright Star’:  Portraits of Lucy Harington, Countess of Bedford.

According to the blurb:

More portraits survive of Lucy Harington Russell, 3rd Countess of Bedford (1580-1627) than of any other non-royal Jacobean woman. A Lady of the Bedchamber to James I’s queen, Anna of Denmark, the charismatic Lucy performed in elite Court entertainments and was a patron of writers, including poet John Donne. Currently on loan to the Queen’s House from Woburn Abbey are important full-lengths of Lucy wearing fantastical masque costume, of 1605-6, and a slightly later one of Queen Anna herself. Art historian Karen Hearn will discuss both portraits and consider some further remarkable images of Lady Bedford.

The talk will take place in-person at the Queen's House between 1pm and 1.30pm.

Free Symposium: Key women in the creation of the Prado’s collections

February 4 2022

Image of Free Symposium: Key women in the creation of the Prado’s collections

Picture: Prado

Posted by Adam Busiakiewicz:

The Prado Museum in Madrid will be hosting an interesting free symposium on 7th & 8th March 2022. Key women in the creation of the Prado’s collections. From Isabella I of Castile to Isabel Clara Eugenia will feature papers from some of the leading academics on the subject of women and collections of Spanish art. Fortunately, for those of us who don't speak Spanish, there are a few papers being delivered in English including one on the subject of "Who said the commissioner of Bosch’s so-called Garden of Delights was a man?"

The NAL Reopens after 22 Months

January 27 2022

Image of The NAL Reopens after 22 Months

Picture: V&A

Posted by Adam Busiakiewicz:

The National Art Library at the Victoria & Albert Museum in London reopened yesterday after being shut since March 2020.

I've pulled out what I find to be the most important sections of the museum's blog about the reopening:

In 2021, as a result of the financial impacts of the coronavirus pandemic, the V&A underwent a major restructure, creating new curatorial departments and bringing the National Art Library and Archives together with the V&A’s Research Institute. Together with this move, we began a comprehensive review of the NAL and Archive services, led by two independent consultants, Dr Sarah Thomas and Anna Jobson. Sarah and Anna were tasked with examining how, in the extraordinary context of the pandemic, the library could – and should – move forward as a core part of the V&A’s mission, considering the place of the NAL within a national and international library landscape, how libraries have changed in response to the pandemic and wider trends in digital and technology and, in particular, how we might broaden access to the NAL and our archives.


To that end, we are embarking on a transformation programme to take the National Art Library into its next phase, with renewed commitment to make our collections and resources accessible to all. We’ll shortly be appointing a Chief Librarian to lead this process, and we will be working behind the scenes to make our digitised collections more discoverable, to make more of our unique and distinctive collections, and to improve remote access to our resources. While financial constraints mean that we’re not able to act immediately on all of Sarah and Anna’s recommendations, we are committed to renewing and reinforcing the NAL, making it more sustainable, connected and inclusive, serving more people nationally and internationally as a fundamental part of the V&A’s 21st-century mission.


We’re delighted to be able to welcome readers back to the National Art Library’s reading rooms from 26 January, with increased opening hours and capacity. We’ll be opening every Wednesday from 11am and 5pm, with a walk-in service: and we’ll be increasing our opening hours later in the spring.

...'accessible to all', but only if you're free on a Wednesday from 11am till 5pm. Let us hope this is swiftly extended, due to the demand of this most vital of art resource!

Upcoming Release: Woodland Imagery in Northern Art

January 27 2022

Image of Upcoming Release: Woodland Imagery in Northern Art

Picture: Lund Humphries

Posted by Adam Busiakiewicz:

Here's an upcoming release that looks rather interesting. Lund Humphries will be publishing Leopoldine van Hogendorp Prosperetti's new book Woodland Imagery in Northern Art c.1500 - 1800 Ecology and Poetry later this spring.

According to the book's blurb:

Woodland Imagery in Northern Art reconnects us with the woodland scenery that abounds in Western painting, from Albrecht Dürer’s intense studies of verdant trees, to the works of many other Northern European artists who captured 'the truth of vegetation' in their work. These incidents of remarkable scenery in the visual arts have received little attention in the history of art, until now. Prosperetti brings together a set of essays which are devoted to the poetics of the woodlands in the work of the great masters, including Claude Lorrain, Jan van Eyck, Jacob van Ruisdael, Peter Paul Rubens, Rembrandt and Leonardo da Vinci, amongst others.   

Through an examination of aesthetics and eco-poetics, this book draws attention to the idea of lyrical naturalism as a conceptual bridge that unites the power of poetry with the allurement of the natural world.

The book will be published on 1st March 2022.

The Caravaggio Conference to End All Caravaggio Conferences

January 27 2022

Image of The Caravaggio Conference to End All Caravaggio Conferences


Posted by Adam Busiakiewicz:

It seems like the Italian Art Historical community have been having an absolute blast this week with a vast online conference dedicated to The Enigma of Caravaggio. The conference, running between the 12th and 28th January, has included the participation of no fewer than 40 Italian and international scholars on Italian baroque painting.

For those of you who can understand Italian, much of the conference has been uploaded to YouTube. Hours and hours of fascinating material to enjoy, I'm sure!

Louvre partners with Sotheby's for Wartime Provenance Research

January 25 2022

Image of Louvre partners with Sotheby's for Wartime Provenance Research

Picture: @MuseeLouvre

Posted by Adam Busiakiewicz:

The Louvre in Paris has announced an interesting partnership with the auction house Sotheby's with the aim to assist with wartime provenance research. In particular, the museum will be examining works that were acquired between the years 1933 and 1945. Their press release explains that the three-year project may result in restitutions, seminars, study days, publications and other various pieces of media.

Research Seminar: Rethinking Joseph Wright of Derby

January 25 2022

Image of Research Seminar: Rethinking Joseph Wright of Derby

Picture: Paul Mellon Centre

Posted by Adam Busiakiewicz:

Devotees of eighteenth-century British paintings might be interested in the following event being held by the Paul Mellon Centre (PMC) next month. On 16th February 2022 the PMC will be hosting a research seminar on the subject of In Darkness and in Light: Rethinking Joseph Wright of Derby. The discussion will mainly focus on the new book by Matthew Craske and will feature the author in conversation with esteemed scholars Martin Postle and chaired by Mark Hallett.

The talk is absolutely free to attend in person or to watch live-streamed from the centre (registration is required).

Harvard Art Museums are Hiring!

January 21 2022

Image of Harvard Art Museums are Hiring!

Picture: Jan Lievens via. Harvard Art Museum

Posted by Adam Busiakiewicz:

CODART (Network of Curators for Dutch and Flemish Art) have drawn attention to news that the Harvard Art Museums are looking to hire a Durwood Curatorial Fellow. The position will be working closely with the Curator for Drawings.

According to the job description:

Duties and Responsibilities

- The Durwood Curatorial Fellow, working closely with the Maida and George Abrams Curator of Drawings, conducts object-based research focused on the Museums’ Dutch art collections, with a preference for seventeenth century Dutch drawings. The Fellow will also have the opportunity to carry out research on Dutch works from the permanent collection in other media and on drawings from other cultures and periods. Investigations into global correlations of Dutch art and colonialism will be encouraged.

- The Curatorial Fellow assists with a broad range of other curatorial activities, including preparation of interpretive materials, cataloguing of the permanent collection in the Art Museums’ database, assistance with new acquisitions, donor cultivation.

- Foregrounding the museums’ teaching and research mission, the Curatorial Fellow helps provide content expertise and support for the Art Museums’ Art Study Center by supporting classes and individual appointments of approximately six hours a week, participates in a series of art handling workshops, and contributes to a rich offering of public and academic interpretive programs across various platforms.

The position comes with an annual salary of $50,000 and it seems that applications will be reviewed on 15th February 2022.

Good luck if you're applying!

Victorian Frames: Online Lecture

January 21 2022

Image of Victorian Frames: Online Lecture

Picture: @PreRaphSoc

Posted by Adam Busiakiewicz:

Apologies, I'm rather late to this rather interesting online lecture that the Pre-Raphaelite Society are organising for tomorrow morning. Dr. Serena Trowbridge will be delivering a lecture tomorrow, 22nd January 2022 at 11am (GMT), on the subject of Victorian frames.

According to the blurb:

The 17th and 18th centuries saw the art of frame carving and gilding reach a crescendo of beauty and skill. The formation of The Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood in 1848 saw a shift back to artist-designed frames. Their first frames were both robust and innovative and probably went some way to softening their brilliant-coloured painting. This lecture will explore how artists revived the tradition of frame design during the second half of the 19th century and how these were a more personal expression of the artists than at any other period in history.

Tickets are a mere £8 for non-members of the society.

Leiden Collection upload Frans van Mieris Catalogue Note

January 21 2022

Image of Leiden Collection upload Frans van Mieris Catalogue Note

Picture: The Leiden Collection

Posted by Adam Busiakiewicz:

The Leiden Collection have announced that they have published a full scholarly catalogue note for Frans van Mieris's A Young Woman Writing a Letter. This recent acquisition was once in the collection of Catherine the Great of Russia and was eventually sold by the Soviet Union in 1929

A short snippet from the catalogue note:

The intimate character of A Young Woman Writing a Letter is closely related to its distinctive brushwork and muted palette of grays, browns, ochres, and purple. Van Mieris executed this painting with mostly fluid, thin brushstrokes, in some areas in only one or two layers, and left the brown ground layer exposed in certain places to enhance the effect of shadow, as in the darker areas along the side of the woman’s neck and beneath the folded corners of the letter in the foreground. This unusual technique has led Quentin Buvelot to raise the possibility that the painting was not finished, yet the careful and nuanced manner with which Van Mieris approached the composition—and the presence of the artist’s signature—indicates otherwise.

The Courtauld Institute Teams up with Kings College London

January 20 2022

Image of The Courtauld Institute Teams up with Kings College London


Posted by Adam Busiakiewicz:

The Courtauld Institute of Art in London have announced a new ten-year strategic relationship with Kings College London (KCL). Both institutions, which share occupancy of Somerset House on the Strand, will initiate new collaborations with Masters courses, undergraduate module sharing, co-supervision of postgraduate research and interdisciplinary research opportunities.

Which areas will this new collaboration touch upon? Here's a quotation from KCL's Principal & President, Professor Shitij Kapur:

The Courtauld, as a specialist institution with a global reputation, distinguished history and founding principle of “art for all”, has a deep-rooted commitment to make change for the better, to be progressive, relevant, and resilient, and to push forward the understanding of the visual arts at a time when the arts have never been more important.  King’s, a large multi-Faculty Russell Group institution, has strengths in all areas from the Arts & Humanities through to Medicine and Health Sciences, Psychiatry and Psychology, the Social Sciences and Natural & Mathematical Sciences, and is committed to excellence, inclusion, and service to society in making the world a better place.

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.

Recent Release: Through Vincent's Eyes

January 17 2022

Image of Recent Release: Through Vincent's Eyes

Picture: Yale University Press

Posted by Adam Busiakiewicz:

Yale University Press have published Eik Kahng's new book Through Vincent's Eyes: Van Gogh and His Sources this month. The publication is intended to compliment an exhibition of the same name held at the Columbus Museum of Art (November 12, 2021–February 6, 2022) and Santa Barbara Museum of Art (February 27–May 22, 2022).

According to the publisher's blurb:

A revelatory resituation of Van Gogh’s familiar works in the company of the surprising variety of nineteenth-century art and literature he most revered.

Vincent van Gogh’s (1853–1890) idiosyncratic style grew out of a deep admiration for and connection to the nineteenth-century art world. This fresh look at Van Gogh’s influences explores the artist’s relationship to the Barbizon School painters Jean-François Millet and Georges Michel—Van Gogh’s self-proclaimed mentors—as well as to Realists like Jean-François Raffaëlli and Léon Lhermitte. New scholarship offers insights into Van Gogh’s emulation of Adolphe Monticelli, his absorption of the Hague School through Anton Mauve and Jozef Israëls, and his keen interest in the work of the Impressionists. This copiously illustrated volume also discusses Van Gogh’s allegiance to the colorism of Eugène Delacroix, as well as his alliance with the Realist literature of Charles Dickens and George Eliot. Although Van Gogh has often been portrayed as an insular and tortured savant, Through Vincent’s Eyes provides a fascinating deep dive into the artist’s sources of inspiration that reveals his expansive interest in the artistic culture of his time.

Web Conference: Rembrandt seen through Jewish Eyes

January 10 2022

Image of Web Conference: Rembrandt seen through Jewish Eyes

Picture: Rijksmuseum

Posted by Adam Busiakiewicz:

CODART have drawn attention to a web conference organised by the Jewish Museum in Moscow on the subject of Rembrandt Seen Through Jewish Eyes. The conference, with a keynote by Simon Scharma, will be spread across four dates between 24th January - 14th February 2022.

Topics included within the conference are:

Jews and Judaism in Rembrandt’s Own World

Spiritual Values that United and Divided Rembrandt and the Jews

Jews in the Art World and Rembrandt

Rembrandt in Russia

The sessions are free to attend, however, prior registration is required.

Apollo: Gainsborough's 'Vandyke' Portraits

January 6 2022

Image of Apollo: Gainsborough's 'Vandyke' Portraits

Picture: Apollo

Posted by Adam Busiakiewicz:

January's edition of Apollo features an article on Thomas Gainsborough's 'Vandyke' portraits. The piece, penned by Juliet Carey, Senior Curator of Waddesdon Manor, anticipates the upcoming return of Gainsborough's Blue Boy. Furthermore, it has been revealed that Waddesdon Manor's Pink Boy is currently being cleaned before it appears in the exhibition.

One can't imagine the transformation this conservation will have on this brilliant painting:

New Release & Free Ebook: At Home in Renaissance Bruges

January 5 2022

Image of New Release & Free Ebook: At Home in Renaissance Bruges

Picture: Leuven University Press

Posted by Adam Busiakiewicz:

Leuven University Press will be publishing Julie de Groot's new book At Home in Renaissance Bruges Connecting Objects, People and Domestic Spaces in a Sixteenth-Century City later this April. Amazingly, the scholarly publication will also be released as a free ebook.

According to the book's blurb:

How did citizens in Bruges create a home? What did an ordinary domestic interior look like in the sixteenth century? And more importantly: how does one study the domestic culture of bygone times by analysing documents such as probate inventories? These questions seem straightforward, yet few endeavours are more challenging than reconstructing a sixteenth-century domestic reality from written sources. This book takes full advantage of the inventory and convincingly frames household objects in their original context of use. Meticulously connecting objects, people and domestic spaces, the book introduces the reader to the rich material world of Bruges citizens in the Renaissance, their sensory engagement, their religious practice, the role of women, and other social factors. By weaving insights from material culture studies with urban history, At Home in Renaissance Bruges offers an appealing and holistic mixture of in-depth socio-economic, cultural and material analysis.

Burlington Magazine - Current Issue

January 4 2022

Image of Burlington Magazine - Current Issue

Picture: Burlington Magazine

Posted by Adam Busiakiewicz:

January's edition of The Burlington Magazine focuses on Italian Baroque Art. As ever, the publication is full of interesting pieces of research alongside a free-to-read editorial and review of the exhibition By Her Hand: Artemisia Gentileschi and Women.

Here is a list of this month's contents:

Carlo Dolci’s Inscriptions 1 – Dolci’s signatures and prices in context BY RICHARD E. SPEAR

Carlo Dolci’s Inscriptions II – Diligence and devotion in Dolci’s ‘The Adoration of the Kings’ in the National Gallery, London BY LETIZIA TREVES

New light on the colossal statues on the façade of St Peter’s, Rome BY FERNANDO LOFFREDO

Caravaggio’s ‘Entombment of Christ’ and the birth of Christian archaeology BY SILVIA DANESI SQUARZINA

Edith Coulson James, Francesco Francia and ‘The Burlington Magazine’, 1911–17 BY MARIA ALAMBRITIS

The Italian Caravaggio, among others BY SHEILA MCTIGHE

Rijksmuseum Upload 717-gigapixel Image of The Night Watch

January 3 2022

Image of Rijksmuseum Upload 717-gigapixel Image of The Night Watch

Picture: Rijksmuseum

Posted by Adam Busiakiewicz:

The Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam have uploaded a 717-gigapixel image of Rembrandt's The Night Watch onto their website. The digital image, which allows you to zoom in with unbelievable depth, is four times sharper than the picture uploaded last year and is absolutely free to use.

New Release: The Sun King at Sea

January 3 2022

Image of New Release: The Sun King at Sea

Picture: Yale Books

Posted by Adam Busiakiewicz:

Yale Books have just this month released their latest title The Sun King at Sea - Maritime Art and Galley Slavery in Louis XIV's France by Meredith Martin and Gillian Weiss.

According to the book's blurb:

Mediterranean maritime art and the forced labor on which it depended were fundamental to the politics and propaganda of France's King Louis XIV (r. 1643-1715). Yet most studies of French art in this period focus on Paris and Versailles, overlooking the presence or portrayal of galley slaves on the kingdom's coasts. By examining a wide range of artistic productions-ship design, artillery sculpture, medals, paintings, and prints-Meredith Martin and Gillian Weiss uncover a vital aspect of royal representation and unsettle a standard picture of art and power in early modern France. With an abundant selection of startling images, many never before published, The Sun King at Sea emphasizes the role of esclaves turcs (enslaved Turks)-rowers who were captured or purchased from Islamic lands-in building and decorating ships and other art objects that circulated on land and by sea to glorify the Crown. Challenging the notion that human bondage vanished from continental France, this cross-disciplinary volume invites a reassessment of servitude as a visible condition, mode of representation, and symbol of sovereignty during Louis XIV's reign.

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