Category: Research

Recent Release: Brilliant Bodies - Fashioning Courtly Men in Early Renaissance Italy

March 3 2022

Image of Recent Release: Brilliant Bodies - Fashioning Courtly Men in Early Renaissance Italy

Picture: Penn State University Press

Posted by Adam Busiakiewicz:

Here's a new release that might be of interest to some readers. Penn State University Press has just published Timothy McCall's new book Brilliant Bodies: Fashioning Courtly Men in Early Renaissance Italy.

According to the book's blurb:

Italian court culture of the fifteenth century was a golden age, gleaming with dazzling princes, splendid surfaces, and luminous images that separated the lords from the (literally) lackluster masses. In Brilliant Bodies, Timothy McCall describes and interprets the Renaissance glitterati—gorgeously dressed and adorned men—to reveal how charismatic bodies, in the palazzo and the piazza, seduced audiences and materialized power.

Fifteenth-century Italian courts put men on display. Here, men were peacocks, attracting attention with scintillating brocades, shining armor, sparkling jewels, and glistening swords, spurs, and sequins. McCall’s investigation of these spectacular masculinities challenges widely held assumptions about appropriate male display and adornment. Interpreting surviving objects, visual representations in a wide range of media, and a diverse array of primary textual sources, McCall argues that Renaissance masculine dress was a political phenomenon that fashioned power and patriarchal authority. Brilliant Bodies describes and recontextualizes the technical construction and cultural meanings of attire, casts a critical eye toward the complex and entangled relations between bodies and clothing, and explores the negotiations among makers, wearers, and materials.

Upcoming Release: Histories of Conservation and Art History in Modern Europe

March 3 2022

Image of Upcoming Release: Histories of Conservation and Art History in Modern Europe

Picture: Routledge

Posted by Adam Busiakiewicz:

The publishers Routledge will be releasing the following book later this month. Histories of Conservation and Art History in Modern Europe features a collection of essays edited by Sven Dupré and Jenny Boulboullé.

Here's a list of the essay titles featured within:

1 Introduction: Experts in the Interbellum

Part 1 Science, Authentication and Issues of Conservation 

2 "We Cannot Splash Light onto Our Palettes": The 1893 Munich Exhibition and Congress and Its Public Demand for Research on Painting Materials and Techniques

3 A. P. Laurie and the Scientific Appreciation of Art

4 Seeing Through the (Old) Masters: The Crisis of Connoisseurship and the Emergence of Radiographic Art Expertise  

5 Rome 1930, the International Conference on the Scientific Analysis of Artworks and Its Legacy in Italy

Part 2 Education and Professionalisation 

6 Mending, Sticking, and Repairing: Reconstructing Conservation Expertise in Archaeology in the Nineteenth and Twentieth Centuries

7 Wissenschaft, Vocation, or Bildung?: Debating the Sites and Aims of German Art History at the End of the Nineteenth Century

8 Education in the Art and Conservation Field in German Countries

9 Experiments in a Teaching Museum: The Fogg’s "Laboratory for Art"

Part 3 Museums and Institutions 

10 Omnium Gatherum to a ‘Treasury of Art and Science’: The Development of Conservation Expertise at the Ashmolean Museum

11 The (In)visibility of the Paintings Restorers of the Rijksmuseum in the First Half of the Twentieth Century

12 Gemäldekunde. German Pioneers of the ‘Science of Painting’ 

13 Invention as Necessity: The Salvage of Italian Frescoes During World War II

14 Expertise, Multiple Actors, and Multiple Voices

The book will be released on 15th March 2022.

The Burlington Magazine - Current Issue

March 1 2022

Image of The Burlington Magazine - Current Issue

Picture: The Burlington Magazine

Posted by Adam Busiakiewicz:

The Burlington Magazine's latest edition has been published both online and in their usual hardcopy format.

Here's a list of the articles featured in March's edition:

Piranesi’s ‘Catalogo delle Opere’ BY ANDREW ROBISON

Picasso’s ‘Faun musician’: revealing the making, contextualising the meaning BY KRISTI DAHM, FRANCESCA CASADIO, JEAN-LOUIS ANDRAL

Anthony van Dyck in London: newly discovered documents BY JUSTIN DAVIES, JAMES INNES-MULRAINE

Carlo Maratti’s additions to the ‘Barberini Venus’ BY GIOVAN BATTISTA FIDANZA

A pastel ‘Study for a head’ by Boltraffio in the Biblioteca Ambrosiana, Milan BY ANTONIO MAZZOTTA,AGOSTINO ALLEGRI

Dante 1321–2021

The Spanish Gallery, Bishop Auckland BY ISABELLE KENT

Obituary: Richard Kendall (1946–2021) BY JAMES A. GANZ

Obituary: John White (1924–2021) BY JULIAN GARDNER

New Release: Fragonard's Progress of Love

February 9 2022

Image of New Release: Fragonard's Progress of Love

Picture: The Frick Collection

Posted by Adam Busiakiewicz:

The Frick Collection in New York have recently published a new book focusing on Fragonard's Progress of Love series. This publication was written by Alan Hollinghurst and Xavier F. Salomon.

According to the book's short blurb:

This latest volume in the Frick Diptych series focuses on Fragonard’s Progress of Love ensemble, a jewel in the crown of the Frick’s collection. An illuminating essay by Xavier F. Salomon, Deputy Director and Peter Jay Sharp Chief Curator, is paired with a lyrical piece by the Man Booker Prize–winning author Alan Hollinghurst.  

Designed to foster critical engagement and interest specialist and non-specialist alike, each book in this series illuminates a single work in the Frick’s rich collection with an essay by a Frick curator paired with a contribution from a contemporary artist or writer.

Recent Release: Scottish Portraiture 1644-1714

February 4 2022

Image of Recent Release: Scottish Portraiture 1644-1714


Posted by Adam Busiakiewicz:

Brepols have recently published an enormous two-volume scholarly work entitled Scottish Portraiture 1644-1714: David and John Scougall and Their Contemporaries by Carla van de Puttelaar. The publication seems like a must-have for serious art libraries.

According to the book's blurb:

This book is the first comprehensive publication on Scottish portraiture from the period 1644 to 1714, with an emphasis on the painters David Scougall (1625-1685), and his son John Scougall (1657-1737). It is based on in-depth art historical and archival research. As such, it is an important academic contribution to this thus far little-researched field. Virtually nothing was known about the Scougall portraitists, who also include the somewhat obscure George Scougall (active c. 1690-1737). Thorough archival research has provided substantial biographical information. It has yielded life dates and data on family relations and, also, it has become clear that David Scougall had two parallel careers, as a portrait painter and as a writer (solicitor). The legal community in which the Scougalls were embedded has been defined, as well as an extended group of sitters and their social, economic, and family networks. The book includes a catalogue raisonné of the oeuvre of David Scougall. 

The most important contemporaries of the Scougalls were the portraitist L. Schüneman (active c. 1655/60-1667 or slightly later), his successor James Carrudus (active c. 1668-1683 or later), whose work is identified for the first time in this book, David Paton (c. 1650-in or after 1708), Jacob Jacobsz. de Wet (1641/42-1697) and Sir John Baptist Medina (1659-1710). Their lives and work are discussed. An extensive survey of Scottish portraits, with an emphasis on the work of the Scougall painters, is presented for the period 1644 to 1714. Numerous attributions to various artists and sitter identifications have been established or revised. An overview of the next generation is provided, in which the oeuvres and biographical details are highlighted of the principal portrait painters, such as William Aikman (1682-1731), Richard Waitt (1684-1733) and John Alexander (1686-1767). Countless paintings have been photographed anew or for the first time, and have been compared in detail, which had hardly been done before, while information is also included on technical aspects and (original) frames. The resulting data have been complemented by analysing the social and (art-) historical context in which the portraits were made. The works of the portrait painters in Scotland from this period, as this book shows, now form a solid bridge between the portraits painted prior to George Jamesone’s death in 1644, and those by the renowned Scottish painters of the eighteenth century.

As is the ancient custom, due to the fact this publication contains a catalogue raisonné of the oeuvre of David Scougall, Carla van de Puttelaar has earned a place in the much coveted Heroes of Art History section of this blog.

Examining Watts's Lady Dalrymple

February 4 2022

Image of Examining Watts's Lady Dalrymple

Picture: @WattsGallery

Posted by Adam Busiakiewicz:

The Watts Gallery in Compton, Surrey, have published an interesting blog regarding the recent technical examination of GF Watts's Lady Sophia Dalrymple. The work has been scanned and analysed before it heads off to the RA's Whistler exhibition set to open later this month.

Burlington Magazine - February Edition

February 4 2022

Image of Burlington Magazine - February Edition

Picture: Burlington Magazine

Posted by Adam Busiakiewicz:

As usual, this month's edition of the Burlington Magazine is filled with many interesting pieces of exciting research.

Here is a list of the articles in February's edition:

Margaret van Eyck, a house called ‘The Wild Sea’ and Jan van Eyck’s posthumous workshop BY JAN DUMOLYN, SUSAN JONES, WARD LELOUP, TOON DE MEESTER, MATHIJS SPEECKE

The ‘Weston Altarpiece’ in the Museum of the Order of St John, Clerkenwell BY RICHARD WEST

‘The crucifixion of St Peter’: Gerard Seghers, Michelangelo and Caravaggio BY ANNE DELVINGT

Christian VII of Denmark’s lost British portraits BY SARA AYRES

The Art of Conservation: XVII: Jan Cornelis Traas, paintings restorer of the Van Gogh family collection BY ELLA HENDRIKS

Colossal orders and a Classical facade: Hoefnagel and Nonsuch revisited BY MARTIN BIDDLE

Christian Theuerkauff (1936–2021) BY MARJORIE TRUSTED

The finding of the infant Bacchus BY LARS HENDRIKMAN

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!

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!

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.

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).

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.

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.

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.

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.

Notice to "Internet Explorer" Users

You are seeing this notice because you are using Internet Explorer 6.0 (or older version). IE6 is now a deprecated browser which this website no longer supports. To view the Art History News website, you can easily do so by downloading one of the following, freely available browsers:

Once you have upgraded your browser, you can return to this page using the new application, whereupon this notice will have been replaced by the full website and its content.