Previous Posts: March 2022

The Art of Experiment: Parmigianino at The Courtauld

March 8 2022

Image of The Art of Experiment: Parmigianino at The Courtauld

Picture: Courtauld Gallery

Posted by Adam Busiakiewicz:

The Courtauld Gallery in London opened their latest drawings exhibition a few days ago. The Art of Experiment: Parmigianino at The Courtauld will run in The Gilbert and Ildiko Butler Drawings Gallery (included within general admission) until 5th June 2022.

According to the gallery's website:

The Renaissance artist Girolamo Francesco Maria Mazzola, better known as Parmigianino (1503-1540), was celebrated for his graceful compositions and praised as the heir to Raphael (1483 – 1520). Parmigianino drew relentlessly during his short life: more than a thousand of his drawings have survived. They show the virtuoso artist, endlessly sketching out new ideas on paper. As well as drawing and painting, Parmigianino also experimented with printmaking, and is considered to have been the first to try the new medium of etching in Italy as well as pioneering the chiaroscuro woodcut technique. 

This display will present an important group of twenty-two works by Parmigianino from The Courtauld’s collection. They include a sketch for the artist’s most ambitious painting, the Madonna of the Long Neck. Alongside it, there will be studies for his celebrated frescoes of the church of Santa Maria della Steccata in Parma, Italy – one of Parmigianino’s most significant commissions. A collaborative project which involved former and current research students at The Courtauld, the display and its accompanying catalogue will shed light on an artist who approached every technique with unprecedented freedom and produced innovative works which were studied and admired by artists and collectors in his lifetime and for centuries thereafter.

A Bartolomeo Salvestrini donated to the Uffizi

March 7 2022

Image of A Bartolomeo Salvestrini donated to the Uffizi


Posted by Adam Busiakiewicz:

The Uffizi Gallery in Florence have shared news of the donation of Bartolommeo Salvestrini's (1599-1633) King Solomon Offering Incense to an Idol to the museum. The work, which is signed and dated 1626, was gifted to the gallery by Fabrizio and Francesco Guidi Bruscoli and is dedicated to the memory of Daniela Salvadori Guidi Bruscoli. It seems that this picture will be one of only a few examples by the Florentine artist held in Italian public collections.

Fashioning Masculinities at the V&A

March 7 2022

Image of Fashioning Masculinities at the V&A

Picture: V&A

Posted by Adam Busiakiewicz:

The Victoria & Albert Museum's (V&A) latest fashion exhibition Fashioning Masculinities: The Art of Menswear is set to open next week. According to the various press images released on their website, it seems that the show will feature several historic paintings which will help to bring to life this intriguing topic.

According to the museum's website:

Fashioning Masculinities: The Art of Menswear is the first major V&A exhibition to celebrate the power, artistry and diversity of masculine attire and appearance. Contemporary looks by legendary designers and rising stars will be displayed alongside historical treasures from the V&A's collections and landmark loans: classical sculptures, Renaissance paintings, iconic photographs, and powerful film and performance. 

The exhibition showcases the variety of possible masculinities across the centuries from the Renaissance to the global contemporary: from looks by Gucci, Harris Reed, Grace Wales Bonner and Raf Simons, to paintings by Sofonisba Anguissola and Joshua Reynolds, contemporary artworks by David Hockney and Omar Victor Diop, to an extract from an all-male dance performance by Matthew Bourne's New Adventures.

The exhibition will run from 19th March 2022 until 6th November 2022 and its accompanying catalogue is already available for order on the museum's website.

Annibale Carracci. The Herrera Chapel

March 4 2022

Video: Museo Nacional del Prado

Posted by Adam Busiakiewicz:

The Prado in Madrid will be opening their latest exhibition in a few days' time. The delayed Annibale Carracci The frescoes from the Herrera Chapel will be opening on the 8th March 2022 and run until 12th June 2022.

Meat Company buy Triptych

March 4 2022

Image of Meat Company buy Triptych


Posted by Adam Busiakiewicz:

Interesting news from Spain that one of the country's largest meat producers the Jorge Group have recently purchased a triptych at auction. The local church of Santa María in the Zaragoza town of Maluenda had sold the painting in 1946 to fund restoration works after a disastrous fire. The triptych, whose whereabouts was unknown since the 1946 sale, reappeared at auction in Madrid the other week where it was spotted by the art historian José Luis Cortés. The new owners of the artwork, which was catalogued as by a follower of Jan Gossaert, will now have the painting returned to Zaragoza where it will be put on display.

This is not Katherine Parr (ctd.)

March 4 2022

Image of This is not Katherine Parr (ctd.)

Picture: ITV

Posted by Adam Busiakiewicz:

ITV have shared news that Hever Castle in Kent have discovered that their portrait of Katherine Parr depicts the wrong Katherine. Research has uncovered that it actually depicts King Henry VIII's first wife Katherine of Aragon and corresponds to a reidentified portrait in the NPG. Regular readers of AHN might remember that Bendor made this point no less than ten years ago on this very blog.

But of course, this story is really about promoting Hever Castle's upcoming exhibition Becoming Anne: Connections, Culture, Court which opens today and will run until November 2022.

Gwrych Castle acquires Portrait

March 3 2022

Image of Gwrych Castle acquires Portrait


Posted by Adam Busiakiewicz:

The Rhyl Journal in Wales have published news that the Gwrych Castle Preservation Trust has acquired a portrait which was previously thought to be lost. The picture depicts Marianne Jones-Bateman (1799-1874), a figure who played an important part in the local history of neighbouring Abergele.

According to the article:

Mark Baker, chairperson of the trust, said: “She was a force of nature locally and her diaries, which are in the National Library of Wales, are a great source for learning about life in Abergele nearly 200 years ago.

“This portrait hung at Gwrych Castle from 1902 and disappeared from the records in 1928. 

“We believe it dates to about 1825 and the time of Marianne's marriage. 

“In the 1870s, the house was said to house 'many interesting works of art, including several family portraits by Richard Wilson, and one by Beechey of Barbara Lisle Bowles, the great-great-great niece of Sir Isaac Newton'. 

“We believe Marianne's portrait is by an artist called Henry William Pickersgill RA (1782-1875), who was a noted painter, and his sitters were all the notables of the day.

Magritte realises £59.4m

March 3 2022

Image of Magritte realises £59.4m

Picture: Sotheby's

Posted by Adam Busiakiewicz:

Despite the absolute horrors unfolding in Eastern Europe at the present, Sotheby's London managed to sell René Magritte's L’empire des lumières (1961) for a record-breaking £59.4m (inc. commission) last night. Both modern and contemporary sales realised high prices. The Now Evening Auction realised £29,982,500 (inc. commission) and the Modern & Contemporary Evening Auction realised £192,161,150 (which included the Magritte, of course).

Neighbouring London auction house Phillips also made headlines by announcing they would be donating the entirety of their fees from the 20th-century and contemporary art evening auction in London to the Ukrainian Red Cross Society. The donation from the Russian-owned auction house amounts to £5.8 million ($7.7 million) for the charity.

Upcoming Release: Histories of Conservation and Art History in Modern Europe

March 3 2022

Image of Upcoming Release: Histories of Conservation and Art History in Modern Europe

Picture: Routledge

Posted by Adam Busiakiewicz:

The publishers Routledge will be releasing the following book later this month. Histories of Conservation and Art History in Modern Europe features a collection of essays edited by Sven Dupré and Jenny Boulboullé.

Here's a list of the essay titles featured within:

1 Introduction: Experts in the Interbellum

Part 1 Science, Authentication and Issues of Conservation 

2 "We Cannot Splash Light onto Our Palettes": The 1893 Munich Exhibition and Congress and Its Public Demand for Research on Painting Materials and Techniques

3 A. P. Laurie and the Scientific Appreciation of Art

4 Seeing Through the (Old) Masters: The Crisis of Connoisseurship and the Emergence of Radiographic Art Expertise  

5 Rome 1930, the International Conference on the Scientific Analysis of Artworks and Its Legacy in Italy

Part 2 Education and Professionalisation 

6 Mending, Sticking, and Repairing: Reconstructing Conservation Expertise in Archaeology in the Nineteenth and Twentieth Centuries

7 Wissenschaft, Vocation, or Bildung?: Debating the Sites and Aims of German Art History at the End of the Nineteenth Century

8 Education in the Art and Conservation Field in German Countries

9 Experiments in a Teaching Museum: The Fogg’s "Laboratory for Art"

Part 3 Museums and Institutions 

10 Omnium Gatherum to a ‘Treasury of Art and Science’: The Development of Conservation Expertise at the Ashmolean Museum

11 The (In)visibility of the Paintings Restorers of the Rijksmuseum in the First Half of the Twentieth Century

12 Gemäldekunde. German Pioneers of the ‘Science of Painting’ 

13 Invention as Necessity: The Salvage of Italian Frescoes During World War II

14 Expertise, Multiple Actors, and Multiple Voices

The book will be released on 15th March 2022.

Musée des beaux arts de Lyon conserve and redisplay picture acquired in 1875

March 3 2022

Image of Musée des beaux arts de Lyon conserve and redisplay picture acquired in 1875

Picture: Musée des beaux arts de Lyon via. Jean-Christophe Stuccilli

Posted by Adam Busiakiewicz:

The art historian and heritage conservation officer of the Musée des beaux arts de Lyon Jean-Christophe Stuccilli has shared news that the museum has conserved and redisplayed Sébastien-Melchior Cornu's (1804 - 1870) Augustus giving the constitution to Gaul. The work, dated to 1869, was acquired by the museum in 1875 but has never been on public display before.

Recent Release: Brilliant Bodies - Fashioning Courtly Men in Early Renaissance Italy

March 3 2022

Image of Recent Release: Brilliant Bodies - Fashioning Courtly Men in Early Renaissance Italy

Picture: Penn State University Press

Posted by Adam Busiakiewicz:

Here's a new release that might be of interest to some readers. Penn State University Press has just published Timothy McCall's new book Brilliant Bodies: Fashioning Courtly Men in Early Renaissance Italy.

According to the book's blurb:

Italian court culture of the fifteenth century was a golden age, gleaming with dazzling princes, splendid surfaces, and luminous images that separated the lords from the (literally) lackluster masses. In Brilliant Bodies, Timothy McCall describes and interprets the Renaissance glitterati—gorgeously dressed and adorned men—to reveal how charismatic bodies, in the palazzo and the piazza, seduced audiences and materialized power.

Fifteenth-century Italian courts put men on display. Here, men were peacocks, attracting attention with scintillating brocades, shining armor, sparkling jewels, and glistening swords, spurs, and sequins. McCall’s investigation of these spectacular masculinities challenges widely held assumptions about appropriate male display and adornment. Interpreting surviving objects, visual representations in a wide range of media, and a diverse array of primary textual sources, McCall argues that Renaissance masculine dress was a political phenomenon that fashioned power and patriarchal authority. Brilliant Bodies describes and recontextualizes the technical construction and cultural meanings of attire, casts a critical eye toward the complex and entangled relations between bodies and clothing, and explores the negotiations among makers, wearers, and materials.

Sleeper Alert!

March 3 2022

Image of Sleeper Alert!

Picture: La Suite Subastas

Posted by Adam Busiakiewicz:

News on Twitter this afternoon (via. auctionradar) that the following Portrait of a Man catalogued as 'Flemish School 15th - 16th century. In the Italian renaissance taste' realised €288,000 over its €8k - €12k estimate at the auction house La Suite Subastas in Barcelona today.

Update - @artidbits on Instagram has shared this image of a painting formerly in the Spiridon Collection in Rome which was later sold in Amsterdam in 1928. The exact relationship between these two paintings is unclear.

The Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco are Hiring!

March 3 2022

Image of The Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco are Hiring!


Posted by Adam Busiakiewicz:

The Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco are hiring an Assistant / Associate Curator of European Paintings.

According to the job description:

Under the supervision of the Curator in Charge of European Paintings, the Assistant or Associate Curator will support the department in caring for, researching, documenting, interpreting, and displaying the Fine Arts Museums' permanent collection of European paintings. Strong preference will be given to candidates with some specialized knowledge of Dutch and/or Flemish art before 1700-whether paintings or works on paper. 

This role includes wide-ranging research, interpretation, and collection care responsibilities, with special emphasis on their area(s) of specialty: drafting related interpretive text for multiple platforms (gallery, print, digital); offering lectures and gallery talks; proposing and developing original exhibition projects and gallery installations; and recommending to the Curator in Charge works for potential acquisition and deaccession. This position will regularly serve as a venue curator for exhibitions, involving European art, developed at other institutions and presented at FAMSF; this aspect of the position will require a wide-ranging, synthetic knowledge of European art history and a degree of comfort working outside the Assistant or Associate Curator's immediate area of expertise. This role will play an active role in the digital cataloguing of the permanent collection (TMS) and will be called upon to assist in related administrative matters: assessing and tracking loan requests; responding to collection inquiries; facilitating research visits; orchestrating gallery movements; etc. The Assistant or Associate Curator  will collaborate closely with colleagues in European Paintings, in other curatorial departments, and in departments throughout the museum...

Neither an expected salary or closing date for applications has been posted.

Good luck if you're applying!

Casa Buonarroti Conserve two Michelangelo Bas-reliefs

March 3 2022

Image of Casa Buonarroti Conserve two Michelangelo Bas-reliefs


Posted by Adam Busiakiewicz:

Florence's Casa Buonarroti have shared news of the conservation and restoration of two bas-reliefs by the young Michelangelo. The Madonna della scala (pictured) and the Battle of the Centaurs both date to the early 1490s and were recently treated to some dusting and light-cleaning by conservators. Both artworks will be redisplayed in the newly renovated marble rooms of the museum which also features brand-new LED lighting.

Unexportable Velázquez sells for €4.27m

March 3 2022

Image of Unexportable Velázquez sells for €4.27m


Posted by Adam Busiakiewicz:

The aforementioned portrait of an unknown gentleman attributed to Diego Velázquez achieved €4.27m (inc. commission) at the Abalarte auction house in Madrid yesterday. Two collectors were said to be involved in the final few bids. Furthermore, the new owner will have to keep the work in the country as it was declared an Asset of Cultural Interest by the authorities in Madrid in 2007.

Portrait of first Female French Academician coming up for sale

March 2 2022

Image of Portrait of first Female French Academician coming up for sale

Picture: Artcurial

Posted by Adam Busiakiewicz:

The French auction house Artcurial have uploaded the online catalogue of their upcoming Old Master & 19th Cent. Art sale due to be held on 23rd March 2022. Alongside the aforementioned €12m - €15m Chardin is this rather interesting portrait. Ascribed to 'French School 17th century', it depicts the flower painter Catherine Duchemin (1630-1698), who was not only the wife of sculptor François Girardon but also the first ever female artist accepted into the French Academy of Art. The catalogue note, which provides an interesting biography of the painter, is well worth a read.

The painting will be offered for sale carrying an estimate of €100,000 - €150,000.

The National Gallery are cleaning Reynolds's Captain Robert Orme

March 2 2022

Video: The National Gallery

Posted by Adam Busiakiewicz:

The National Gallery in London have made this video regarding the conservation of Sir Joshua Reynolds's Portrait of Captain Robert Orme (1756). In particular, conservator Hayley Thomlinson explains why the artist's experimental techniques made his pictures so difficult to tricky to treat even in our modern age.

Mather Brown's rediscovered Death of Nelson up for sale

March 2 2022

Image of Mather Brown's rediscovered Death of Nelson up for sale


Posted by Adam Busiakiewicz:

A rediscovered painting showing the Death of Nelson by Mather Brown (1761-1831) is to be unveiled at the The Chelsea Antiques & Fine Art Fair in London later this month. The picture was rediscovered in a private collection by the Nelson specialist and former-Sotheby's director Martyn Downer.

To quote the article linked above:

Martyn Downer explains: “Mather Brown was one of a small group of artists – such as his fellow American Benjamin West, who were well known to Nelson in London. That familiarity is evident in Brown’s vivid and theatrical representation of Nelson receiving his fatal wound at the battle of Trafalgar which, amid the smoke of conflict, offers us one of the most compelling and well-informed late portraits of the admiral. The re-discovery of Brown’s bold attempt to win the 1805 competition for the best painting of the dramatic scene is an exciting moment for Nelson enthusiasts and for scholars of eighteenth-century art, especially for followers of this fascinating and complex artist.”  

The picture will be displayed at the Chelsea fair with an asking price of £350,000.

Rembrandthuis loaned a rediscovered Jan Lievens

March 2 2022

Image of Rembrandthuis loaned a rediscovered Jan Lievens

Picture: @rembrandthuis

Posted by Adam Busiakiewicz:

The Museum Het Rembrandthuis in Amsterdam have announced the loan of a recently rediscovered portrait by Jan Lievens. The Portrait of a Man with a Gold Chain dates to 1637/8 and has been loaned by its owners David and Michelle Berrong-Bader. Unfortunately, the sitter is yet to be identified.

Introducing the 'Viennese Salvator Mundi'

March 2 2022

Image of Introducing the 'Viennese Salvator Mundi'

Picture: KHM

Posted by Adam Busiakiewicz:

The Kunsthistoriches Museum (KHM) in Vienna have shared news that it has completed a research project which has reattributed a painting to Titian. The museum embarked on the campaign in 2021 to investigate whether the following Christ with a Globe or the Viennese Salvator Mundi (as some have been calling it) could be the work of Titian during the 1520s. As is so often the case, the oil on canvas bears some old damages and rather unsympathetic overpainting (visible in the hair, nose and right eye, it seems).

X-rays have revealed that the present work was painted on top of a Virgin and Child:

The museum have started a crowdfunding campaign to have the work fully-restored in time for an exhibition in October 2022.

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