Previous Posts: June 2021

Nelly O'Brien Conserved

June 14 2021

Image of Nelly O'Brien Conserved


Posted by Adam Busiakiewicz:

The Wallace Collection's Miss Nelly O'Brien by Sir Joshua Reynolds has been conserved and redisplayed to the public. The project was funded by the TEFAF (The European Fine Art Foundation) Museum Restoration Fund, which the museum received in 2014 (?)

According to the TEFAF website:

The portrait is notable for its interplay of light and shadow, particularly in the upper part of the sitter’s body, where the wide brim of the bonnet casts a shadow over her face and bosom. However, the painting had been untouched for over 150 years and had several thick layers of discoloured varnish obscuring its beauty. The conservation of this painting, which was carried out in collaboration with the National Gallery, served two main purposes: to reveal the original luminous beauty of the work and to bring to light new information about Reynolds’s techniques and processes.

Refurbished Courtauld Galleries Reopen in November

June 14 2021

Image of Refurbished Courtauld Galleries Reopen in November

Picture: Courtauld Gallery

Posted by Adam Busiakiewicz:

News has arrived that the recently refurbished galleries of the Courtauld Institute of Art in London will be reopening to the public in November. This extensive four-year restoration project was made possible due to generous donations from the luxury conglomerate LVMH, the Ukrainian-born billionaire Leonard Blavatnik and the National Lottery Heritage Fund. The newly refurbished rooms, including the 'Great Room' which housed the RA's exhibitions until 1837, sound very exciting indeed. There's even mention of a new room dedicated to paintings by Rubens, alongside other Courtauld favourites.

Chistie's London Evening Sale

June 14 2021

Image of Chistie's London Evening Sale

Picture: Christie's

Posted by Adam Busiakiewicz:

Christie's London have published their online catalogue for their upcoming Old Master Paintings sale on 8th July 2021.

On a first glance, it seems that there are some really very choice pictures on the block. Amongst the highlights are Van Dyck's portrait of the Earl of Strafford estimated at £3m - £5m; Bernardo Bellotto's view of Verona estimated at £12m - £18m; Georges de la Tour's Saint Andrew estimated at £4m - £6m; A large banquet still life by De Heem estimated at £3m - £5m. There are many very strong pictures in the £400k - £1m range, including a fine Wright of Derby being sold by the Earl of Portsmouth (pictured). Other pictures I think worth pointing out are a Rubens head study, a Frans van Mieris music lesson and a serene Portrait of a Lady by Ferdinand Bol being sold from Lowood House.

Also worth a mention is the Marquess of Cholmondeley's The Prince Entering the Briar Wood by Edward Burne-Jones estimated at £2m - £3m. This important British nineteenth-century painting is being sold from Houghton Hall in Norfolk and was purchased as recently as 2001. Any admirers of Royal pageantry will know that as Lord Great Chamberlain the Marquess gets to carry the Her Majesty's crown during occasions such as the State Opening of Parliament.


As an aside, if you would like to know what Thomas Lawrence's fabulous Portrait of Lady Wallscourt playing the guitar sounds like, then I must recommend guitarist Jamie Akers's recording LE DONNE E LA CHITARRA. This CD examines some of the previously underappreciated women performers and composers for the guitar in the nineteenth century.

Blog on!

June 14 2021

Posted by Adam Busiakiewicz:

Service will be resumed this week!

Apologies once again for the relative silence these past two weeks, I'm most grateful for all of your kind patience.

The Duke of Hamilton's Emma Hamilton at Sotheby's

June 8 2021

Image of The Duke of Hamilton's Emma Hamilton at Sotheby's

Picture: Sotheby's

Posted by Adam Busiakiewicz:

Ever wondered how many times you can fit the word 'Hamilton' into one sentence?

Sotheby's will be offering the Duke of Hamilton's portrait of Emma Hamilton as the Three Muses by Hugh Douglas Hamilton in their upcoming July Sale. The painting was commissioned by Emma's husband Sir William Hamilton and later came into the collection of his nephew William Beckford. The painting then descended into the Duke's family during the nineteenth century and had hung in Hamilton Palace, one of the country's greatest houses before it was demolished between 1921-1926.

This important British painting will be offered for sale in London on 7th July 2021 carrying an estimate of £400k - £600k. 

Here is the full list of highlights of Sotheby's upcoming London sale.

Paris Sales

June 8 2021

Image of Paris Sales

Picture: Christie's

Posted by Adam Busiakiewicz:

I thought I would point out that both major auction houses have upcoming sales in Paris this month.

Christie's Paris will be hosting a sale on 16th June 2021 with their top lots include works by the likes of Claude-Joseph Vernet (pictured), Alexandre-Francois Desportes, and Jan Bruegel the Elder.

Sotheby's Paris will be hosting an online sale between 10th - 14th June 2021 with their top lots including works by Giovanni Battista Pittoni, A Neapolitan School painting of St Agatha, and a pair of musical still lifes by the Studio of Bartolomeo Bettera.

Women in Art at Christie's

June 8 2021

Image of Women in Art at Christie's

Picture: Christie's

Posted by Adam Busiakiewicz:

Alas, I'm still rather tied up with some pressing work that is due this Friday. I can only apologise. However, I thought I would point out some of the interesting upcoming sales instead.

Christie's Paris have published their upcoming Women in Art Sale which will be held on 16th June 2021.

On the old masters front, which have a particularly French twist, we have pictures by Elisabeth Louise Vigée Le BrunAnne Vallayer-Coster, Lavinia Fontana, Angelica KauffmannMaria Giovanna Battista Buzano Clemente and Adélaïde Labille-Guiard

My favourite is the above still life by Louyse Moillon, which really has something about it in my view.

The Duke - Trailer

June 4 2021

Video: patheuk

Posted by Adam Busiakiewicz:

The official trailer for the highly anticipated film The Duke has been uploaded online. The plot revolves around the 1961 theft of Goya's portrait of the Duke of Wellington by Kempton Bunton whom The Guardian in their official review referred to as an "upstart...liar...crook...idealist...[and] a committed socialist."

The film, which premiered at last year's Venice film festival, features performances by Jim Broadbent and Helen Mirren.


June 3 2021

Posted by Adam Busiakiewicz:

Apologies for the slow service this week. I'm currently engaged in some rather pressing work that is due soon. I hope to post a catch up of stories by this evening or tomorrow.

Ps. - Thank you to all of you who have been in touch, I'm very grateful indeed!

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