Previous Posts: May 2021

Job Opportunity!

May 4 2021

Image of Job Opportunity!

Picture: Laing Art Gallery

Posted by Adam Busiakiewicz:

The Tyne & Wear Archives & Museums are hiring a Keeper of Art.

According to the job description:

We are seeking a Keeper of Art who under the direction of the Chief Curator will work with the art galleries designated collections and deliver the exhibition programme. The post holder will be mainly based at the Laing Art Gallery but will also work between the two other galleries. 

Tyne & Wear archives and Museums is a major museum service managing nine museums across the North East which include the three Art Galleries; Laing, Shipley and Hatton Gallery managed on behalf of Newcastle City Council, Gateshead Council and Newcastle University. Each Gallery is home to a unique and outstanding collection showcasing high quality exhibitions and displays.

The salary on offer, for looking after art across these three museums, is between £29,577 - £32,910 per annum. Applications must be in by 13th May 2021.

Good luck if you're applying!

Turner & Lowry Actor given First Solo Show

May 4 2021

Image of Turner & Lowry Actor given First Solo Show

Picture: Pontone Gallery

Posted by Adam Busiakiewicz:

Timothy Spall, who played both J.M.W. Turner and L.S. Lowry on the big screen, has been given his first ever solo show by the Pontone Gallery in London. Spall had received special tutelage from the painting consultant Tim Wright for a period of two years before the 2014 Turner biopic.

Spall is quoted as expressing:

“I started painting stuff that was based on very strong images that related to the mood and feelings that I had and then all of a sudden this thing started to happen,” he said. 

Wright said Spall could have been a “very good pastiche artist” after he worked on a copy of a Turner painting in the buildup to the biopic, and although Spall’s own paintings are mostly landscapes, they’re a world away from Turner, Spall said. “They’re pretty good benchmarks to reach for, wherever you get one millimetre towards it or not.”

The show Out of the Storm will run from 18th June - 18 July 2021.

Teatro di San Carlo to Restore Giant Theatre Curtain

May 4 2021

Posted by Adam Busiakiewicz:

The Teatro di San Carlo in Naples have announced their plans to conserve their enormous painted theatre curtain. The painting of Parnassus, which measures 12 metres high x 17 metres wide, was completed by artist Giuseppe Mancinelli (1818-1875) in 1854. Surprisingly, especially given the curtain's current appearance, the enormous painting had been treated as recently as 2011. The new campaign of restoration will be undertaken by the Italian company Ambra Restauri.

Early Wall Paintings Conserved in Coventry

May 4 2021

Image of Early Wall Paintings Conserved in Coventry

Picture: Historic Coventry

Posted by Adam Busiakiewicz:

A set of wall paintings have been conserved in the Charterhouse, Coventry. The set of three includes a large Crucifixion scene dating to c.1430, an early 17th century fictive imitation tapestry and a further large mural from the late 16th century.

Mark Perry, co-director of the The Perry Lithgow Partnership who undertook the work, is quoted as saying:

The earliest painting at Charterhouse depicts the Crucifixion in the centre with the Virgin Mary and St Anne on either side and several smaller figures in between. The main figures are very large and the painting would originally have covered the whole of the south wall of the monastery’s refectory. Due to extensive Post Reformation alterations to the building, only the bottom half now remains. This is the only surviving wall painting in a Carthusian monastery in England which means it is of national importance – it is one of the best pieces of Medieval art in the whole country.

Visitors will be able to see the newly restored works when the Charterhouse reopens in the Summer to celebrate Coventry's twelve months as UK City of Culture.

Martin Kemp on Salvator Mundi

May 4 2021

Image of Martin Kemp on Salvator Mundi

Picture: The Art Newspaper

Posted by Adam Busiakiewicz:

The renowned Leonardo scholar Martin Kemp has penned a piece for The Art Newspaper reiterating why he is convinced the Salvator Mundi is by Leonardo Da Vinci. The piece mostly focuses on the scientific evidence presented in favour of the attribution, evidence which was seemingly confirmed in the 'non-book' produced by the Louvre. Kemp also expresses his opinion on the claims made in the recent French documentary The Savior for Sale, which he calls "bogus" and "sensation-seeking".

The final paragraph too summarises his thoughts on the continuing saga:

The painting deserves better. It is not to blame for its ownership, past and present. Being owned by dealers, a Russian oligarch and a secretive Saudi prince tends to attract unfavourable attention. Poor painting! It is time the abuse stopped and the looking started.

Sursock Palace Damage

May 4 2021

Posted by Adam Busiakiewicz:

Ireland's RTE have published an article on the damage inflicted on Beirut's Sursock Palace after last August's port explosion. The piece contains some rather melancholic photos, showing the true extent on the building and artworks. Also revealed is the even more shocking news that the owner of the Sursock Palace, Lady Yvonne Cochrane, 98, died from injuries sustained in the blast. Lady Cochrane's heirs are currently undertaking a six year restoration project which is expected to cost over €6.5m.

Titian's Pietro Aretino

May 4 2021

Image of Titian's Pietro Aretino

Picture: The Frick Collection

Posted by Adam Busiakiewicz:

The Frick Collection in New York have announced the publication of a new book in their Diptych series entitled Titian's Pietro Aretino.

According to the book's blurb:

Written by Xavier F. Salomon, Deputy Director and Peter Jay Sharp Chief Curator, and acclaimed author Francine Prose, this new book takes as its subject the celebrated and notorious figure who earned the nickname the “scourge of princes” for his satirical writings on the rich and powerful. After moving to Venice in 1527, Aretino befriended Titian, who went on to paint three portraits of the writer and included his likeness in two other larger works. The portrait in the Frick’s collection, apparently painted in just three days, conveys Aretino’s intellectual power and presents him as a richly robed figure wearing a gold chain given to him as a gift from a patron. Salomon’s essay delves into the complex relationship between the artist and the sitter as well as publisher Francesco Marcolini, who commissioned the portrait as a testament to his friendship with Aretino. A lyrical text by Prose addresses the virtues and vices of Aretino as a sharp-tongued Venetian, known to be a blackmailer.

Farnese Collection Digitising Sculptures

May 4 2021

Posted by Adam Busiakiewicz:

The Farnese Collection in Naples are digitising several of their most important classical sculptures for a 3D virtual tour. More specifically, the scheme will involve the digital recreation of the Baths of Caracalla for a project entitled Rome Reborn. The project is in collaboration with the virtual tourism company Flyover Zone based in Bloomington, Indiana. They are planning to make the tour available for most digital devices, including for those who have their own VR gear at home.

Blog on!

May 4 2021

Image of Blog on!

Picture: David Lay Frics

Posted by Adam Busiakiewicz:

Apologies for the delay in getting the blog restarted this week, bank holiday weekends are the perfect time for getting lost in long overdue chores I find!

The short break also allowed me to have a good look through the upcoming provincial sales here in the UK, which seem to be filled full of interesting things at the moment.

In particular, the auction house David Lay Frics are auctioning off the above portrait of John Badcock by John Opie later this month. It is a marvellous portrait and was completed in c.1780 when Opie was around the age of twenty. This homage to the likes of Rembrandt and Van Dyck is skilfully done, I think.

Update - Opie's portrait made £7,800 (hammer price).

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