Previous Posts: November 2017

Louvre Abu Dhabi opens

November 5 2017

Video: Louvre Abu Dhabi

This week the Louvre Abu Dhabi opens. It's a coup for the Louvre and French culture, and of course President Macron will be there. Would Theresa May be jetting off to, say, Tate Beijing? Would Tate ever contemplate such a thing? I doubt it. In The Observer, the V&A director Tristram Hunt says that we Brits need to up our game when it comes to making similar international cultural collaborations. This is quite true, in light of the British Museum's recent cancellation of their own Abu Dhabi project. 

Murillo self-portraits at the Frick

November 5 2017

Video: Frick 

The Frick Collection has reunited Murillo's two known self-portraits for the first time since the 18th Century. More here

By the way, since the Frick's refusal to admit children under ten is so mean, I'm going to mention it every time AHN reports any news from the Frick. The Frick says it is because "few ropes or cases are used to guard fragile objects", but that makes no sense; of all the museums I've been to, the Frick's room wardens are the most brutal. If you even look like you're getting too close to a picture, they're onto you. The no kids rule dates back to 1935, and if you read the Frick's statement on the policy you get the feeling they're rather proud of it.

New Bernini show in Rome

November 5 2017

Video: Askanews via You Tube

A major new exhibition on Bernini has opened at the Galleria Borghese in Rome. The Galleria is home already to the most extraordinary collection of his works, including Apollo and Daphne, but now another 60 works have been assembled. One to get on a plane for.

The show is on until 4th February. More here on the Galleria's creakingly slow website, and an article here in the New York Times. 

Connoisseurship for the ancients

November 5 2017

Image of Connoisseurship for the ancients

Picture: Economist

The Economist reports on a bold attempt by scientists in the US to figure who painted a group of 2nd century AD funerary portraits from ancient Egypt. We don't know the artists' names of course, but apparently discernable groups attributable to one hand can be distinguished. More here.

New discoveries at the JVDPPP

November 5 2017

Image of New discoveries at the JVDPPP

Picture: JVDPPP

The new Jordaens Van Dyck Panel Paintings Project unveiled some more exciting discoveries at a press conference last week, including a previously unknown Jordaens panel above left. The picture is called The Penitent Peter and John the Evangelist Approaching the Tomb of Christ. From the JVDPPP website:

We had found a reference to it and a small black and white photograph, taken in 1971, in the database of the Belgian Royal Institute for Cultural Heritage (IRPA-KIK) as belonging to the Church of Our Lady of La Cambre and Saint Philippus Nerius in Brussels. We visited the church but to no avail. Eventually Joost tracked it down within the Church fabric. Our research discovered that it was gifted to the church by Hortense Hannet (1855 – 1940) in memory of her husband, François Hannet (1837 – 1918), a Professor of Design in Brussels, and in whose collection it had resided. It had been exhibited at the 1905 Jordaens exhibition in Antwerp and it was listed by the art historian Max Rooses in his 1908 monograph on the artist but trace of it had been lost for over a hundred years and no image of it had been published.

Peter is a portrait of Abraham Grapheus, the Steward of the artists’ Guild of Saint Luke in Antwerp. He was well-known to both young artists, Jordaens and Van Dyck. They were inscribed as apprentices in the Guild in the years 1607-8 and 1610-11 and became masters in the Guild in 1615-6 and 1618-9 respectively. Both used Grapheus’ distinctive face for depictions as an Apostle in their early religious paintings. We showed the museum’s Bust of an Apostle by Jordaens as a comparative example (oil on canvas, 59 x 48 cm, Royal Museums of Fine Arts of Belgium, inv. no. 121 – when it was first listed in 1806, and for many years afterwards, it was believed to be by Van Dyck). Further information on Grapheus, Jordaens and Van Dyck can be found in the recent exhibition catalogue, Abraham Grapheus, model van Jacob Jordaens, Museum voor Schone Kunsten Gent, 2012, including an image of a similar painting in the Kunsthalle, Hamburg (inv. no. 82) but with major differences.

Job Opportunity!

November 5 2017

Image of Job Opportunity!

Picture: AAH

The Association for Art History (formerly the Association of Art Historians) is looking for a new CEO. Salary c65k, closing date Friday 24th Nov. More details here

Update - the AAH is organising an art history careers day at Oxford University on November 11th. More here

Leiden Collection videos

November 1 2017

Image of Leiden Collection videos

Picture: The Leiden Collection

I can't embed them into the site here, but well worth a click is the new video page on the Leiden Collection website. Excellent short films on the likes of Rembrandt, Dou and Vermeer. 

'Britain's Lost Masterpieces' in The Burlington!

November 1 2017

Video: BBC

I was astonished, delighted, humbled and just about everything else to read the latest editorial in The Burlington Magazine, which focused on 'Britain's Lost Masterpieces'. I still can't quite believe it - and if you'll pardon me for saying, it's the proudest moment of my art historical career. The last three episodes are still available on the BBC's iPlayer here, if you haven't seen them! 

Royal Academy's new lecture theatre

November 1 2017

Image of Royal Academy's new lecture theatre

Picture: David Chipperfield Architects

Wow - opens in 2018.

Constable in lego!

November 1 2017

Image of Constable in lego!

Picture: BG

I saw a Lego version of Constable's Salisbury Cathedral from the Meadows in the Scottish National Gallery yesterday. Definitely one for the Deputy Editor's Christmas list.

Constable's original is up here for a show on Constable and MacTaggart, as part of the picture's tour after it was acquired by Tate. 

Christie's New York Old Master sale

November 1 2017

Image of Christie's New York Old Master sale

Picture: Christie's

The top lot of Christie's fall Old Master sale in New York was a self-portrait by Elisabeth-Louise Vigée Le Brun (above), which made $1.5m against an estimate of $600k-$800k. A head of St John the Baptist by Albrecht Bouts made $516k, while a $12k-$18k Studio of Van Dyck portrait raced away to $125k. There were some reasonably strong prices for British 18thC portraiture, including $75k for this Hudson, and $137k for this Reynolds, estimated at $20k-$30k. The rest of the sold lots are here

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