Previous Posts: November 2021

Another Leiden Collection Rembrandt Catalogued

November 3 2021

Image of Another Leiden Collection Rembrandt Catalogued

Picture: The Leiden Collection

Posted by Adam Busiakiewicz:

The Leiden Collection have announced that they have added another full catalogue for one of their paintings to their website.

Lara Yeager-Crasselt's note for Portrait of a Young Woman (“The Middendorf Rembrandt”) (pictured) is particularly interesting due to the discussion regarding the various changes in attribution over the years. The painting had been rejected by the Rembrandt Research Project in 1986 and was relegated to a work by an assistant working in the artist's studio. However, the note also goes on to explain the evolution in views surrounding the painting and Rembrandt's working method. The oil on panel has since been given back to Rembrandt in full.

Paul Mellon Centre Photo Archive Online 8th November

November 3 2021

Image of Paul Mellon Centre Photo Archive Online 8th November

Picture: PMC

Posted by Adam Busiakiewicz:

The Paul Mellon Centre has announced that its new online digitized Photo Archive, which includes the The Paul Mellon Centre Photographic Archive and The Tate Photographic Archive, will be launched on Monday 8th November 2021. These archives contain roughly 150,000 reference photographs of British paintings, sculpture, drawings and prints.

The National Trust 'Richer than Ever'

November 2 2021

Image of The National Trust 'Richer than Ever'

Picture: TAN

Posted by Adam Busiakiewicz:

Bendor's latest Diary of an Art Historian piece for The Art Newspaper examines the latest financial report of The National Trust. The article places the charity's relative financial health against the mass redundancies pursued by the Trust last year.

To quote the article:

What the Trust calls its “primary measure of financial performance”, its Operating Margin, was 19.8% during the pandemic, not much less than its average margin in good years. It is true total income declined significantly, from £680m to £507m. But there were also reductions in spending that would have occurred had properties been open as normal, such as seasonal staff. A pause of £85m of conservation projects helped bring total expenditure down to £514m (from £699m the year before). The furlough scheme provided a cushion of almost £50m, and membership income remained stable, at £267m. Shrewd investment decisions, and the stock market’s recovery, have seen the endowment perform well, against the Trust's expectations at the beginning of the pandemic. In all, the total funds stand at £1.46bn, an increase of £175m on the year before.

Rediscovered Ribera Up for Sale in Paris

November 2 2021

Image of Rediscovered Ribera Up for Sale in Paris

Picture: Drouot

Posted by Adam Busiakiewicz:

Drouot Paris have drawn attention to the above unpublished painting of The Penitent Saint Peter by Jusepe de Ribera (1588-1656) which is coming up for auction next month. The work, which was rediscovered in a private collection, bears the collectors seals of Cardinal Flavio Chigi (1631-1693) and eventually came into the collection of Blaise Léon Rochette de Lempdes (1809-1876) where it descended to the present owners.

The painting will be offered by the auctioneers Gros & Delettrez on 13th December 2021 carrying an estimate of €200k - €300k.

Printing Plates Masterclass

November 2 2021

Image of Printing Plates Masterclass

Picture: Twitter via @chiara_beta

Posted by Adam Busiakiewicz:

The Weston Library and Ashmolean Museum will be hosting a rather interesting masterclass next February on the subject of printing with copper plates. The masterclass features lectures by respected scholars in the field and looks to be a must for those fascinated by prints. The masterclass will be held on 21st February 2022 and more details can be found here.

A Picasso (?) Reappears in Bolton?

November 2 2021

Image of A Picasso (?) Reappears in Bolton?

Picture: The Bolton News

Posted by Adam Busiakiewicz:

News from Lancashire that a man from Bolton has discovered what he believes might be a lost Picasso (pictured). Martin Barton was encouraged to look again at a painting he had hanging in his house after seeing news about the sale of Picassos from the Bellagio Hotel in Las Vegas.

According to the article linked above:

Martin said: “I had forgotten all about it and nearly fainted when I saw the picture in the paper, because I thought, I’m sure I have something similar. 

“It was also the signature at the bottom of the painting that made me think it could be genuine. So I had a closer look with my magnifying glass. It has been a really enjoyable few days thinking about this.”   

He was so excited he phoned his friend who told him he “didn’t know what to think, but he didn’t know anyone else who had discovered this” and suggested Martin went to a specialist. 

Martin added: “I might go to Bolton Museum just to see if it’s right or wrong, but that will be the end of it.”

Coincidentally, Bolton was the base of the notorious forger Shaun Greenhalgh, a point which might have added further depth to the article linked above...

Rubens: Picturing Antiquity

November 2 2021

Image of Rubens: Picturing Antiquity

Picture: Getty Publications

Posted by Adam Busiakiewicz:

The Getty Villa in Los Angeles will be opening their latest exhibition next week entitled Rubens: Picturing Antiquity.

According to the exhibition's blurb:

Passion for the art and literature of classical antiquity inspired the dynamic Flemish painter Peter Paul Rubens (1577–1640). Presented amid the antiquities collection at the Getty Villa, this exhibition juxtaposes the artist’s exhilarating drawings, oil sketches, and monumental paintings with rarely shown ancient objects, including exquisite gems owned by Rubens himself. Heroic nudes, fierce hunts, splendid military processions, and Bacchic revels attest to the artist’s extraordinary ability to translate an array of sources into new subjects.

The exhibition will run from 10th November 2021 until 24th January 2022. The exhibition catalogue, edited by Anne T. Woollett, Davide Gasparotto, and Jeffrey Spier, is already available to purchase online.

Return Journey. Art of the Americas in Spain

November 2 2021

Image of Return Journey. Art of the Americas in Spain

Picture: Prado

Posted by Adam Busiakiewicz:

The Prado in Madrid opened a new exhibition last month called Return Journey. Art of the Americas in Spain.

According to the museum's website:

Return Journey. Art of the Americas in Spain, sponsored by Fundación AXA, recounts a little known phenomenon: the fact that following the conquest of Latin America and until its independence, more works of art arrived in Spain from that continent than from Flanders or Italy and that the movement of works was not one-directional, from Spain to Latin America, as is generally suggested. These thousands of objects, many of them created by indigenous or mestizo artists, often make use of materials, subjects and techniques unknown in Spain, while their creation reflects a range of intentions: reaffirmation of the dominance of the imperial power or the identitary aspirations of the Creole elites, as well as documentary, devotional and aesthetic reasons.

The exhibition will run until 13th February 2022. For who can't make it, the museum's website features a virtual tour at a cost of €2.50.

2020 Release: Rembrandt: Studies in His Varied Approaches to Italian Art

November 2 2021

Image of 2020 Release: Rembrandt: Studies in His Varied Approaches to Italian Art

Picture: Brill

Posted by Adam Busiakiewicz:

The Historians of Netherlandish Art have published an interesting online review of Amy Golahny's 2020 publication entitled Rembrandt: Studies in His Varied Approaches to Italian Art (Brill’s Studies in Intellectual History).

To quote the opening paragraph of the review:

Constantijn Huygens’s oft-cited remarks about the young Rembrandt’s (and Lievens’s) disinterest in traveling to Italy, justified in part by the wealth of Italian art that could then be found in the Dutch Republic, have anchored a multitude of studies addressing Rembrandt’s engagement with the work of his predecessors and contemporaries south of the Alps. Over the course of more than three decades, Amy Golahny has contributed numerous publications to this literature.[1] Her latest book, Rembrandt: Studies in His Varied Approaches to Italian Art, encapsulates and builds on her previous studies to offer a comprehensive treatment of the subject.

Restoration Reveals 'Erased Boy'

November 1 2021

Image of Restoration Reveals 'Erased Boy'


Posted by Adam Busiakiewicz:

I've spotted this rather interesting article recently published on regarding the restoration of a painting sold in 2005 by the New Orleans Museum of Art.

The c.1837 painting depicting Bélizaire and the Frey Children, attributed to Jacques Guillame Lucien Amans (1801-1888), was donated by descendants of the Frey family to the New Orleans Museum of Art in 1972. It was kept in storage until it was sold by the museum in 2005. The work was then purchased by an antique dealer and was subsequently cleaned.

Restoration revealed that a black house servant had been painted over and 'erased' from the painting. Recent undertaken with Katy Morlas Shannon, the head of history and interpretation at the Evergreen Plantation in Louisiana, has finally managed to piece together the history of this young boy.

According to the article:

The boy who was nearly erased has a name: Bélizaire.

He was 15 and a house servant in the Frey household.  He was the only child in the painting to live on into adulthood.  


The portrait of the four children now in Simien’s collection was never shown at the New Orleans Museum of Art. The painting was in very poor condition and would have required restoration, cleaning, and repair, said Lisa Rotondo-McCord, NOMA’s Deputy Director for Curatorial Affairs. There is no record of a request from scholars or a conservator to view the painting, which might have prompted the museum to conduct further research or restoration of the painting, she said. 

The museum had hoped to locate the painting several years after it was sold to include it in a 2019 exhibit called “Inventing Acadia” curated by Katie Pfohl, which featured 19th century Louisiana landscape paintings. Simien at the time was also trying to locate the painting, which by that point had been restored to its original form.

Dorotheum November Sale

November 1 2021

Image of Dorotheum November Sale

Picture: Dorotheum

Posted by Adam Busiakiewicz:

The Dorotheum auction house in Vienna have published their November Old Master Paintings Sale online. The auction will be held on 10th November 2021.

Amongst the many interesting lots is this Portrait of a Man with a Red Beard by Giovanni Battista Moroni (pictured). This painting was featured within the RA's Moroni exhibition in 2014 and carries and estimate of €300k - €400k. 

Update - I also wanted to point out this rather special 'Self Portrait' of the ceramic painter Marie-Victoire Jaquotot (1772-1855) at work on a monumental vase. One imagines that this painting might well soar past its €12k - €18k estimate.

Hogarth's Repainting to Halt Productions of Fakes

November 1 2021

Image of Hogarth's Repainting to Halt Productions of Fakes

Picture: The Sunday Times

Posted by Adam Busiakiewicz:

The Sunday Times published a story yesterday on new research which shows how William Hogarth often repainted his famous pictures in order to halt the production of unofficial knock-off prints.

According to the article:

X-rays and infrared scans of Hogarth’s best-known works, A Rake’s Progress, show he changed some of the eight paintings in the series after completion, when knock-off prints started appearing before he had published his own.

After creating his originals, Hogarth would have smaller engravings made to be printed and sold. Plagiarism was rife, however, and pirate copies of his previous work, A Harlot’s Progress, had appeared a little over a week after prints had been delivered to his subscribers.

This new research will appear in the forthcoming Tate exhibition Hogarth and Europe which opens on 3rd November 2021.

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