Previous Posts: October 2023

Free Lecture: Women, Water, and Materiality in the Early Modern Genoese Garden

October 19 2023

Image of Free Lecture: Women, Water, and Materiality in the Early Modern Genoese Garden

Picture: warburg.sas.ac.uk

Posted by Adam Busiakiewicz:

Lovers of Rubens' and Van Dyck's Italian period might find the following free lecture of great interest. In a few days time the Warburg Institute in London will be hosting a free online lecture on A Material World - 'Women, Water, and Materiality in the Early Modern Genoese Garden', which is presented by Ana Howie of Cornell University.

According to the talk's blurb:

Early Modern Genoa was renowned for its pleasure gardens, filled with fountains, scherzi d’acqua, artificial lakes, and grottoes, which celebrated the wonders of water. In the early seventeenth century, Flemish painters Peter Paul Rubens and Anthony van Dyck sojourned in the wealthy port city and painted magnificent portraits of the city’s noblewomen embedded in garden settings. In these portraits, water splashes across the canvas and threatens to soak their sitters and beholders; this lifelike substance is at once erotic, affective, visionary, and poetic. This paper investigates the aesthetics of water in Rubens’ and van Dyck’s portraits to uncover the plurality of meanings that water, in all its forms, held for an elite Genoese audience. 

The free talk will be held online on 23rd October 2024, although booking is essential.

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Although I am by no means an expert in this area, fountains appear constantly in and around Van Dyck's English period too (1) (2), and it taken on later by Sir Peter Lely also (1). A most interesting topic, it seems.

Noël Coypel at Versailles

October 19 2023

Video: Châteaux de Versailles

Posted by Adam Busiakiewicz:

A new exhibition dedicated to Noël Coypel, father and ancestor of more celebrated artists of the same name, opened at the Châteaux de Versailles this week. The show contains 90 works, including paintings, drawings, tapestry cartoons, which illuminate his work at Versailles and beyond. The curators and conservators at the Châteaux also took this opportunity to conserve some of his more neglected works, the results of which can be seen in the video above!

The exhibition will run until 28th January 2024.

Rosalba Carriera Miniatures on Ivory

October 19 2023

Image of Rosalba Carriera Miniatures on Ivory

Picture: carezzonico.visitmuve.it

Posted by Adam Busiakiewicz:

A new exhibition has just opened at the Ca' Rezzonico in Venice on the subject of Rosalba Carriera's miniatures on ivory. The exhibition has been curated by Alberto Craievich, Director of the Museum, and contains no fewer than 36 examples on display.

According to the blurb on the website:

In addition to devoting herself to pastel portraiture, Rosalba Carriera was an outstanding painter of miniatures on ivory; in fact she pioneered this genre, elevating it from a craft to a true art. Using an innovative technique, she succeeded for the first time in bringing the fluid, vibrant brushstrokes of painting on canvas to tiny ivory supports. Her success was immediate. There was no visitor to Venice who did not aspire to have a miniature portrait made by Rosalba. Today, however, these small images are rare, in fact their number is much smaller than her pastel work.

It is to Rosalba Carriera the miniaturist that this retrospective is dedicated, with thirtysix works on display, together with the pastels from the Fondazione Musei Civici di Venezia and from private collections. The exhibition offers a very rare opportunity to admire these works of extraordinarily delicate refinement, now classic examples of Rococo art, in the year that marks the three hundred and fiftieth anniversary of the artist’s birth.

The exhibition will run until 9th January 2024.

Tate Discover their Devis was Chopped in Half!

October 18 2023

Image of Tate Discover their Devis was Chopped in Half!

Picture: Tate

Posted by Adam Busiakiewicz:

Tate have posted a very fun short video on their Instagram account regarding a fascinating conservation and research project on a painting by Arthur Devis. Conservator Rachel Scott's investigation and treatment of a portrait by Devis in the collection revealed that one of the margins had been added with an old piece of canvas cut from the bottom of the painting, which suggested to her that the work had been cut-down from a much larger composition. With the help of curator Alice Insley, a trip to the Courtauld photograph library managed to find the other missing half (left), which corresponds directly to the Tate's fragment. It appears that the double portrait might have been cut in half at some point during the past, perhaps in an effort to create two paintings to sell instead of one (a common practise centuries ago!).

Perhaps a reader of AHN might know where the other of the painting might be. If so, do get in touch!

Deputy Mayor Protests at Botched Restoration

October 18 2023

Image of Deputy Mayor Protests at Botched Restoration

Picture: ansa.it

Posted by Adam Busiakiewicz:

News from Italy that the Deputy Mayor of The Municipality of Cortona (Arezzo) Francesco Attesti has written an open letter condemning the 'creative' and 'arbitrary' restoration of a painting attributed to Bartolomeo della Gatta (1448-1502) (before restoration - on the left). The work is currently on loan to the Fred Jones Museum in Oklahoma for an exhibition entitled the Treasures of Tuscany: Renaissance in Arezzo, and appears to have been 'restored' in Italy in anticipation of its loan to the American museum. The article above explains that the Mayor has called for a investigation as to whether the conservation work may constitute financial damage.

The British Museum acquires two Honthorst Drawings

October 18 2023

Image of The British Museum acquires two Honthorst Drawings

Picture: onnovanseggelen.com

Posted by Adam Busiakiewicz:

News from the Rotterdam dealers Onno van Seggelen Fine Arts that they have sold a pair of drawings by Gerard van Honthorst to The British Museum. Although the pair are not connected to any finished paintings they are due to be included in the forthcoming catalogue raisonné on Gerard van Honthorst by David Bronze. Click here (1) (2) to read the full catalogue notes for these works on paper.

Rubens Friar makes €1.6m in Barcelona

October 18 2023

Image of Rubens Friar makes €1.6m in Barcelona

Picture: SETDART

Posted by Adam Busiakiewicz:

Interesting news from the auction house SETDART in Barcelona, Spain, that the following Rubens portrait of Friar Heliodoro Barea realised €1.6m yesterday. According to the provenance published by the auction house, the picture was in 1977, shortly after being offered for sale at Christie's in 1976. Interestingly, nor the catalogue note or website explains whether the painting has an export license to leave Spain.

Conference: Women in Art and Music

October 18 2023

Image of Conference: Women in Art and Music

Picture: nga.gov

Posted by Adam Busiakiewicz:

Exciting news that in two days time a conference will be taking place on the subject of Women in Art and Music: An Early Modern Global Conference. The two-day conference will be held on Friday 20th October 2024 at The Julliard School in New York, and on Saturday 21st October at the National Gallery of Art in Washington.

According to the conference's blurb:

Presentations and performances will think more broadly about early modern women as creators, as part of the cultural and global economy, and as experts in their chosen fields of art.

The entire conference is free and will be livestreamed via the website above (registration is required).

Thieves Handover Six Stolen Old Masters

October 17 2023

Image of Thieves Handover Six Stolen Old Masters

Picture: The Guardian

Posted by Adam Busiakiewicz:

Several news outlets have been reporting on the incredible story that the art investigator Arthur Brand recently recovered six stolen paintings from the town hall of Medemblik in the Netherlands. The works, which were stolen as recently as last month, were apparently returned due to the fact they were hard to sell.

According to the article linked above:

Brand said he had been sitting at home on Friday night watching football when the doorbell rang and a man in a van asked him for help to unload some merchandise. “I asked him, ‘What are we going to unload?’. He said with a smile, ‘Well, the paintings of Medemblik’,.”

After the initial burglary in September, Brand had been widely quoted in the Dutch press as saying the thieves should have stolen six bikes, as these would be easier to resell.

Rosalba Carriera Pastel Rediscovered at Tatton Park

October 17 2023

Image of Rosalba Carriera Pastel Rediscovered at Tatton Park

Picture: The National Trust

Posted by Adam Busiakiewicz:

A pastel by Rosalba Carriera, formerly dismissed as a copy, has been unearthed at Tatton Park, a property and collection in the care of the National Trust. The reattribution was made by the Frick Collection's deputy director Xavier Salomon.

According to the article linked above:

“The more I started working on her, I realized there was a need for a new catalogue raisonné and biography,” Salomon said in a phone interview. “It’s going to take many years because she has hundreds of pastels all around the world, and I am just trying to see every single one of them.”

To date, the curator has looked at more than 200 Carriera pastels—but he’s also seen plenty, that while attributed to the artist, were actually copies by other artists. Tatton Park was just one of five homes in the U.K.’s National Trust Salomon had on his itinerary, one of which had a suite of five that turned out to be the work of British artists. But he was hopeful about Tatton Park, which, according to the National Trust’s inventory, had owned The Portrait of a Tyrolese Lady, identified as the work of Carriera, since the 18th century.

New Journal for Irish Heritage Studies

October 17 2023

Image of New Journal for Irish Heritage Studies

Picture: gov.ie

Posted by Adam Busiakiewicz:

Exciting news from Ireland that a new journal called Irish Heritage Studies has been established by the Office of Public Works there. This look like a brilliant opportunity for any scholars or enthusiasts interested in the historic collections and patronage connected with the country.

According to the OPW's press release:

Published in association with Gandon Editions, the journal will showcase original critical research rooted in the substantial portfolio of material culture in the care of, and managed by, the OPW: built heritage; historical, artistic, literary and scientific collections; the national and international histories linked to these places and objects; and its own long organisational history. Journal articles will contribute to a deeper understanding of this remarkable collection of national heritage, and investigate new perspectives on aspects of its history.

The journal is currently inviting submissions for the first volume, and deadlines for abstracts is 15th December 2023.

The National Gallery are Hiring!

October 17 2023

Image of The National Gallery are Hiring!

Picture: The Times

Posted by Adam Busiakiewicz:

The National Gallery in London are hiring a Research Officer.

According to the job description:

The Development Department raises income to support the National Gallery and its activities, helping to maintain and enhance the Gallery's world-class collection for the benefit of visitors from the UK and overseas. The Research Officer will work closely with the Research Manager, producing research for Development's corporate sponsorship and fundraising teams. The post-holder will have responsibility for producing individual, corporate and trust profiles, event briefing notes, industry updates, and helping to carry out risk assessments for prospective supporters and sponsors. The role sits in Development's Operations team and will aim to ensure fundraisers have relevant information and intelligence to further their success.

We are seeking a talented individual capable of producing well sourced, targeted and accurate research in an agile and timely fashion. The successful candidate will have an eye for detail, a good understanding of the philanthropic landscape and cultural sponsorship sector, a collaborative attitude and excellent communication skills.

The job comes with a salary between £25,000 - 30,000 per annum and applications must be in by 29th October 2023.

Good luck if you're applying!

Online Database: Royal Academy of Painting and Sculpture at the Louvre

October 13 2023

Image of Online Database: Royal Academy of Painting and Sculpture at the Louvre

Picture: dfk-paris.org

Posted by Adam Busiakiewicz:

There are few more exciting things for me in than browsing online paintings databases, especially ones with good images. The DFK in Paris (Deutsches Forum für Kunstgeschichte) have just published a free-to-use online database of the collections of the Académie royale de peinture et de sculpture. Based on the inventories of Nicolas Guérin (1715) and Antoine-Nicolas Dezallier d'Argenville (1781), this resource will be of great interest to anyone studying or researching French art of the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries.

Female Artists in Britain Exhibition at Tate in 2024

October 13 2023

Image of Female Artists in Britain Exhibition at Tate in 2024

Picture: tate.org.uk

Posted by Adam Busiakiewicz:

Now that the Tate have updated their calendar for next year, it is perhaps a good time to give an early plug to a most interesting exhibition which will be opening next year at Tate Britain. Women Artists in Britain 1520-1920 promises to be a very important show, bringing together four centuries of women making art in this country.

According to the gallery's website:

Spanning 400 years, this exhibition follows women on their journeys to becoming professional artists. From Tudor times to the First World War, artists such as Mary Beale, Angelica Kauffman, Elizabeth Butler and Laura Knight paved a new artistic path for generations of women. They challenged what it meant to be a working woman of the time by going against society’s expectations – having commercial careers as artists and taking part in public exhibitions.

Including over 150 works, the show dismantles stereotypes surrounding women artists in history, who were often thought of as amateurs. Determined to succeed and refusing to be boxed in, they daringly painted what were usually thought to be subjects for male artists: history pieces, battle scenes and the nude.

The exhibition will run from 16th May until 13th October 2024. 

Ter Brugghen Show in Modena

October 13 2023

Image of Ter Brugghen Show in Modena

Picture: gallerie-estensi.beniculturali.it

Posted by Adam Busiakiewicz:

The Gallerie Estensi in Modena have opened their latest exhibition today on the Utrecht painter Hendrick Ter Brugghen. The exhibition promises to shine a light on new research about the artist's period in Italy which took place between the years 1607-1608 and 1614. Curated by Gianni Papi and Federico Fischetti, this very fascinating sounding exhibition will run until 14th January 2024.

Rothchild Masterpieces Soar at Christie's

October 13 2023

Image of Rothchild Masterpieces Soar at Christie's

Picture: Christie's

Posted by Adam Busiakiewicz:

The recent series of Rothchild sales at Christie's New York appear to have gotten off to a rather good start. Wednesday's Rothchild Masterpieces sale, which contained a wide selection of fine furniture, ceramics and paintings, realised over $43m (inc. commission). The Old Master Paintings within the sales overall did very well. A beautifully preserved Gerrit Dou (pictured), which had been stolen by the Nazis and later restituted to the family, made $7,068,000 (inc. commission) over its $3 - 5m estimate. Likewise, a very curious and rare set of Dutch seventeenth century painted leather panels, measuring nearly 17 metres wide, realised $4,406,000 over its $1 - 2m estimate. Paintings as big as these usually tend to attract significant cultural institutions and individuals with enough space to exhibit them, so, it's very impressive that at least two bidders wanted them enough to push the price this high.

PhD Scholarship: Medieval Painting and the End of Life: From the Monumental to the Personal

October 13 2023

Image of PhD Scholarship: Medieval Painting and the End of Life: From the Monumental to the  Personal

Picture: visitchurches.org.uk

Posted by Adam Busiakiewicz:

North Eastern University, London and the University of Kent are advertsing a fully-funded PhD scholarship on the subject of Medieval Painting and the End of Life: From the Monumental to the Personal. The supervisors for candidates will be Dr Niamh Bhalla (Northeastern University London) and Dr Emily Guerry (University of Kent), and will focus heavily on themes relating to medieval visual and material culture.

According to the advert:

Areas identified as being of particular interest by the supervisors are:

- The monumental: Medieval wall paintings concerning death and judgement in Europe – an area of great interest that is currently underdeveloped in scholarship. A comparative approach concerning wall paintings of judgement in eastern and western Europe from the tenth to the fourteenth century may be beneficial to exploring the movement of people and the exchange of ideas in the Middle Ages, specifically shared understandings and uses of images that were implicated in the end-of-life process across various regions.

- The personal: Images pertaining to death and the afterlife in manuscripts and on other portable objects where the encounter with the imagery was more personal and the theological treatment of death sometimes different to that of public images. Again, a culturally comparative approach between East and West would be encouraged in this regard. Preference should be given to objects that facilitate access to the experiences of persons often omitted from mainstream historical record.

Applications for the scholarship must be in by 31st October 2023.

Good luck if you're applying!

Pastels at the Musée Cognacq-Jay

October 13 2023

Image of Pastels at the Musée Cognacq-Jay

Picture: Musée Cognacq-Jay

Posted by Adam Busiakiewicz:

A new exhibition dedicated to 18th century portraits in pastel opened at the Musée Cognacq-Jay in Paris yesterday. Artists represented in the display include Maurice-Quentin de La Tour, the "prince of pastellists", and Jean-Baptiste Perronneau, François Boucher and Élisabeth Vigée Le Brun. French artists are also contrasted against English contemporaries, including works by Hugh Douglas Hamilton, John Russell and Daniel Gardner.

The show will run until 11th February 2024.

New Release: Women in Arts, Architecture and Literature: Heritage, Legacy and Digital Perspectives

October 12 2023

Image of New Release: Women in Arts, Architecture and Literature: Heritage, Legacy and Digital Perspectives

Picture: brepols.net

Posted by Adam Busiakiewicz:

Last month Brepols published the following book, a collection of papers presented in Rome in 2021 on the subject of Women in the Arts. The publication was edited by Consuelo Lollobrigida and Adelina Modesti, and contains no fewer than 21 articles.

Here's the blurb:

This collection of essays from the Annual International Women in Arts Conference sheds a new light on the female genius in literature, manuscript illumination, and architecture from the Middle Ages until the end of the 18th century.

In the last few decades, the study of women in the arts has largely increased in terms of scholars involved in research and investigation, with the reception of the outcomes especially acknowledged by museums which are dedicating part of their mission to organizing exhibitions and/or acquiring the works of women. The Annual International Women in Arts Conference seeks to advance contemporary discussions on how female creativity has helped shape European culture in its heterogeneity since the Middle Ages. This volume collects the proceedings of the first conference organised in Rome, in October 2021. It focuses on the role of women in literature, art, and architecture. Throughout history, these domains were often seen as very masculine. Yet, there have been many women who have made their mark as writers, illuminators, artists and architects, or have played a decisive role as patrons and supporters in these arts. This collection of essays aims to bring these women to the fore and sheds a new light on the heritage and legacy of women in the creative arts and architecture from the Middle Ages until the 20th century.

Virtual Tour of Manet / Degas Exhibition

October 12 2023

Video: MET

Posted by Adam Busiakiewicz:

The Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York have published this virtual tour of their current Manet / Degas exhibition (which runs until 7th January 2024). The tour is presented by Stephan Wolohojian, John Pope-Hennessy Curator in Charge, and Ashley Dunn, Associate Curator.

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