Previous Posts: September 2018

'How the internet changed the art world'

September 3 2018

There's a good piece on CNN by the former Christie's CEO, Steven Murphy, on how the online age has changed the art world. Including this take on museum attendance:

Similarly, museum and gallery attendance has not flagged since the digital revolution. As with music, art becomes more coveted the more it is experienced. New York's Museum of Modern Art has around 4 million Instagram followers. At the same time, there has been an exponential increase in museum attendance worldwide. That's not a coincidence. The availability of information about museum exhibitions and about art online is driving people to see the actual original work in the flesh. 

Of course, access to this enormous new potential audience relies on museums not being so restrictive with their images, and not shouting at people who take photos. 

Leonardo sketchbooks in high-res

September 3 2018

Image of Leonardo sketchbooks in high-res

Picture: V&A

The V&A has put its five Leonardo sketchbooks online in high-res. Flick through 'em all here

Salvator Mundi unveiling delayed

September 3 2018

Image of Salvator Mundi unveiling delayed

Picture: via Twitter

You wait ages for a Salvator Mundi post on AHN, and then three come along at once...

It's just been announced that the picture will not go on display this month as planned. No reason was given, and no new date has been announced. More here.  

Salvator Mundi - not Leonardo, but Luini? (ctd.)

September 3 2018

Image of Salvator Mundi - not Leonardo, but Luini? (ctd.)

Picture: TAN

There was a flurry of excitement last month when the Oxford art historian Matthew Landrus said he could 'prove' that Bernardo Luini painted 'most' of the Salvator Mundi now in the Louvre Abu Dhabi. In The Art Newspaper, Landrus now sets out some of that proof. And I must say I'm not entirely convinced.

Landrus' case relies in part on the fact that if (using Photoshop, above) you overlap the head in the Salvator Mundi with a copy of the painting (called the 'De Ganay' version) and the head of Christ in Luini's Christ Among the Doctors, all three faces 'compare remarkably well.' But since Luini's Christ Among the Doctors was almost certainly painted after the Salvator Mundi, such analysis only tells us that Luini, like so many artists, was highly influenced by Leonardo. Landrus also now writes that the Salvator Mundi is 'by Leonardo da Vinci and his studio'. And even if we accept that as the basis of the case for Luini's involvement in the picture, we need first to address whether Leonardo would have left the most significant part of the picture to assistants. 

Landrus' new book on Leonardo is published later this month by Carlton.

New provenance for the Salvator Mundi?

September 3 2018

Image of New provenance for the Salvator Mundi?

Picture: Christie's

There's an interesting story from Alison Cole in The Art Newspaper on some possible new, early provenance for Leonardo's Salvator Mundi; it may have been in the collection of the Duke of Hamilton before it was acquired by Charles I. It all sounds quite plausible. More here.

Fire destroys Rio's National Museum

September 3 2018

Video: AFP

Fire has destroyed Brazil's 200 year old National Museum. Some 200 million items are feared to have been lost. More here from The Guardian, including this sad observation:

At the scene, several indigenous people gathered and criticised the fact that the museum containing their most precious artefacts has burned down seemingly because there was no money for maintenance of hydrants, yet the city had recently managed to find a huge budget to build a brand new museum of tomorrow.

Artemesia heads for the National Gallery (ctd.)

September 3 2018

Video: National Gallery

The National Gallery conservation team has finished cleaning the Gallery's newly acquired Artemisia Gentileschi self-portrait. Despite the odd ding, it's in very good underlying condition. It's been trimmed a bit at the top. 

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