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.

Apologies...

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!

1,000 Posts!

May 28 2021

Image of 1,000 Posts!

Picture: Prado

Posted by Adam Busiakiewicz:

As I have now passed my 1,000th post on AHN, I wanted to take a brief moment to thank you all once again for sticking with the blog.

In particular, I'd like to thank all of you who have been in touch with news, stories, comments and other gems. All of these are so gratefully received. The sheer reach of this page, both geographically and numerically, never ceases to amaze.

1,000 may seem like a lot, but, I have a long way to go till I reach Bendor's 5,300. Naturally, it is Bendor who we have to thank for both founding and supporting the continuation of it all.

Wishing you all a very pleasant weekend.

Update (from Bendor) - and a HUGE thank you from me Adam for doing the most fantastic job keeping the blog going with such panache and dedication! 

The RKD are hiring a Curator of Old Dutch Art

May 28 2021

Image of The RKD are hiring a Curator of Old Dutch Art

Picture: NGA

Posted by Adam Busiakiewicz:

The RKD (Netherlands Institute for Art History) are hiring a Curator of Old Dutch Art. The 32 hour per week role will play a significant role in helping promote the RKD as a 'global knowledge centre' and in particular for Dutch Art and Paintings between the years 1600-1750.

Applications must be in by 27th June 2021.

Good luck if you're applying!

Free Online Van Dyck Event

May 28 2021

Image of Free Online Van Dyck Event

Picture: MFA Boston

Posted by Adam Busiakiewicz:

The Center for Netherlandish Art at the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, are running a free online event on 8th June 2021 to celebrate the aforementioned Van Dyck's Self Portrait as Icarus with Daedalus.

According to their website:

Flemish painter Anthony van Dyck was not yet 20 years old when he painted Self-Portrait as Icarus with Daedalus in about 1618. The artist announced his abilities and ambitions in the painting, depicting himself as a classical symbol of youthful transgression. 

In this virtual program organized by the Center for Netherlandish Art, join leading experts on Flemish art to take a closer look at the recently rediscovered work, which is a promised gift to the MFA from the Van Otterloo Collection. Explore Van Dyck’s motivations behind the painting and the pictorial traditions from which it emerged. Also learn about other paintings by Van Dyck at the MFA—including Portrait of a Senator, a promised gift from the Weatherbie Collection—and preview the Museum’s plans for displaying works by Van Dyck and other Flemish masters in the new galleries of Dutch and Flemish art, opening fall 2021.

Is this by Van Gogh (?)

May 28 2021

Image of Is this by Van Gogh (?)

Picture: smithsonianmag.com

Posted by Adam Busiakiewicz:

The Smithsonian Magazine have published an article on the 'controversial' art collector Stuart Pivar's attempt to have a painting he purchased at a local French auction house authenticated as a full-fledged Van Gogh. Although the Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam is currently closed due to the ongoing virus crisis, the article claims that the museum had 'made an exception' to take a look at the work. The painting bears and old inscription and signature on the back.

It will be interesting to hear what comes of this, let's hope the magazine publish the results of the museum's findings in due course.

Orazio Riminaldi Exhibition opens in Pisa

May 28 2021

Image of Orazio Riminaldi Exhibition opens in Pisa

Picture: finestresullarte.info

Posted by Adam Busiakiewicz:

The Palazzo dell'Opera in Pisa have opened their latest exhibition today focusing on the life and work of Orazio Riminaldi (1593-1630). This monograph exhibition was conceived during the recent restoration of Riminaldi's frescos in the dome of the Cathedral of Pisa. Visitors will be able to view a large selection of the artist's works, loaned in from around the country, and also have the opportunity to visit the Cathedral as part of the exhibition route.

The show will run until 5th September 2021.

Another Painting Appears Underneath Portrait of Mexican Empress

May 28 2021

Image of Another Painting Appears Underneath Portrait of Mexican Empress

Picture: The Philadelphia Inquirer

Posted by Adam Busiakiewicz:

The Philadelphia Inquirer published an article earlier this month relating to a discovery made by the Philadelphia Museum of Art in preparation for their revamped early American Art galleries. Indeed, x-rays revealed that hiding underneath two early nineteenth century portraits of the Emperor and Empress of Mexico were two earlier images of King and Queen of Spain, Charles IV and Maria Luisa of Parma. It seems that the artist Josephus Arias Huerta simply painted over to earlier pictures, a practise undertaken often by painters in the past.

The article captures the moment conservator Sarah Mastrangelo noticed an un-associated eye staring out of the Empress's dress:

Later, Sarah Mastrangelo would remember the eye, how it suddenly appeared, staring up at her from within the belly of the empress of Mexico. 

She gasped. 

“What is that?” she said out loud. 

A photographer standing next to her peered over to take a look. 

“It’s an eye,” he said. 

She looked again. What’s it doing there? Why is there an eye hidden beneath the empress’ heavy robes? “Have I been staring at this too long?” she wondered.

Schatten uit de schaduw / Treasures from the Shadows

May 28 2021

Image of Schatten uit de schaduw / Treasures from the Shadows

Picture: NPO2

Posted by Adam Busiakiewicz:

It looks like Dutch speakers are in for a treat with a new programme on NPO2 entitled Schatten uit de schaduw. The television programme follows the art historian, dealer and Rembrandt enthusiast Jan Six to the Teylers Museum in Haarlem to examine some works that they keep in storage.

Here's a link for a 12 minute segment of the show (available only in Dutch I'm afraid).

Scans of Frick Collection's Vermeer Reveals Alternative Background

May 28 2021

Image of Scans of Frick Collection's Vermeer Reveals Alternative Background

Picture: Frick Collection / MET

Posted by Adam Busiakiewicz:

I hope readers will forgive me for missing this very interesting blog posted by the Metropolitan Museum of Art and the Frick Collection last year. It revolves around revelations made possible through detailed scans of the Frick Collection's Mistress and Maid by Johannes Vermeer. Images made through macro X-ray fluorescence have revealed that Vermeer had originally intended the scene to contain a more complicated background filled with figures and later a tapestry. For reasons unknown, Vermeer seems to have decided to paint them out completely.

Lecture: Mildred Cooke Cecil: Pregnancy Portrayed in Elizabethan England

May 28 2021

Image of Lecture: Mildred Cooke Cecil: Pregnancy Portrayed in Elizabethan England

Picture: Hatfield House

Posted by Adam Busiakiewicz:

The University of Hertfordshire's 2021 Chancellor's Lecture is being given by Dr Karen Hearn on Mildred Cooke Cecil's portrait. This painting, from Lord Salisbury's collection at Hatfield House, is a rare depiction of a obviously pregnant Elizabethan Lady. The lecture will be broadcast on 3rd June 2021 at 7pm (GMT) and is completely free to watch (although registration is required).

According to the blurb shared by the University:

The lecture will focus on Mildred Cooke, Lady Cecil (1526-89) who was one of the most learned women of her time. Her marriage to William Cecil, Lord Burghley, Elizabeth I’s trusted chief minister, was clearly companionate and successful. 

In about 1563, Mildred was painted as visibly with child – one of the earliest examples of an English ‘pregnancy portrait’. This lecture will discuss Mildred’s unusual portrait in its Elizabethan context, and suggest a number of reasons why her portrait looks the way it does.

Rubens Landscapes Reunited

May 28 2021

Image of Rubens Landscapes Reunited

Picture: @scarlettroitman

Posted by Adam Busiakiewicz:

Images have surfaced on Twitter of the Wallace Collection's reunion of Rubens's two magnificent landscapes. The pair will be on view for free when the museum reopens on 3rd June 2021.

Press images show that the museum have decided to hang the pair in their recently refurbished basement galleries. It will be interesting to see how visitors will be funnelled through the rooms for this momentous moment in art history, especially as they are not particularly large or spacious.

Furthermore, the museum have uploaded six hours worth of video onto their YouTube channel from their recent conference on the paintings. Click here for Part One and Part Two of the footage.

Conservation of Hardwick Tapestries nearly Complete

May 27 2021

Image of Conservation of Hardwick Tapestries nearly Complete

Picture: The Art Newspaper

Posted by Adam Busiakiewicz:

The conservation of Hardwick Hall's tapestries, a project which was started twenty years ago, is nearly complete. Twelve out of a set of thirteen wall hangings, which decorate the building's famous Long Gallery, have been treated. The set have hung in the space since 1592 and have required painstaking work to replace broken threads and include added strengthening to these delicate works of art. Work on the last panel is being completed with the help of a private donation worth £287,000.

_____________

As beautiful as these tapestries are, the irony is that the hall's outstanding portrait collection is hung in front of them! There is no way of getting around that, I suppose.

National Library of Wales uploads Watercolour Collections to Watercolourworld.org

May 27 2021

Image of National Library of Wales uploads Watercolour Collections to Watercolourworld.org

Picture: watercolourworld.org

Posted by Adam Busiakiewicz:

I've noticed that the National Library of Wales in Cardiff have uploaded hundreds of their rich collection of watercolours onto the excellent Watercolourworld.org. There are a staggering number of beautiful scenes from the country, particularly those made during the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries when the varied landscape there was reappreciated by visiting artists.

Late Gothic in Berlin

May 27 2021

Video: smb.museum

Posted by Adam Busiakiewicz:

Berlin’s Gemäldegalerie opened its latest exhibition earlier this month entitled Late Gothic The Birth of Modernity. They created this rather fun video to promote the exhibition and accompanied it with a soundtrack which I approve of.

According to the museum's website:

Berlin’s Gemäldegalerie is holding the first ever comprehensive exhibition in the German-speaking world on late Gothic art. Featuring some 130 objects – including impressive loans and key works from the collections of the Staatliche Museen zu Berlin – the show will juxtapose various artistic genres and media, revealing the full breadth of the media innovations of the 15th century and the art of the late Gothic era. 

The exhibition will revolve around the progressive tendencies of the long transition period between the Middle Ages and the early modern age. Like perhaps no other epoch, in German-speaking regions, the period between 1430 and 1500 was marked by profound changes that continue to influence our understanding of art and images to this day. The exhibition includes a broad selection of works by well-known proponents of late Gothic art, such as Stefan Lochner, Konrad Witz, Niclaus Gerhaert von Leyden, and Tilman Riemenschneider.

The show will run until 5th September 2021 and their exhibition catalogue is available in English too.

Both National Gallery and National Trust Loose Chairmen

May 27 2021

Image of Both National Gallery and National Trust Loose Chairmen

Picture: The Telegraph / The Art Newspaper

Posted by Adam Busiakiewicz:

It has been quite a week for the boards of two of the UK's most significant cultural institutions. The Chairmen of both the the National Gallery in London and The National Trust have fallen on their own swords within four days of each other.

Last Saturday Tony Hall, Chairman of the National Gallery since January 2020 and former Director General of the BBC, resigned amidst a damning report relating to his "woefully ineffective” internal investigation into the Martin Bashir Diana interview in 1995. The Art Newspaper have published an article on the reaction of several culture professionals to the news.

On Wednesday Tim Parker, Chairman of the National Trust since 2014, decided to step down after staying on beyond his final term which ended last year. Some reports have also linked Parker's exit to a 'motion of no confidence' due to be tabled at upcoming AGM by a grassroots organisation called Restore Trust.

I will post details of their successors when they are announced in due course.

Christie's to offer the 'Hekking Mona Lisa' for €200k - €300k

May 26 2021

Image of Christie's to offer the 'Hekking Mona Lisa' for €200k - €300k

Picture: Christie's

Posted by Adam Busiakiewicz:

I've spotted that Christie's Paris will be offering up The Hekking Mona Lisa in a single online sale between 11th - 18th June 2021. The work, which is catalogued as 'ÉCOLE ITALIENNE DU DÉBUT DU XVIIe SIÈCLE, SUIVEUR DE LÉONARD DE VINCI', will carry a rather impressive €200k - €300k estimate.

As their catalogue note makes clear, the punchy estimate reflects the growing trend for high prices achieved by copies of Leonardo's iconic painting. Notably, this includes a 17th century version which sold at Sotheby's in New York for $1,695,000, another version of the same date which sold in Paris in November 2019 for €552,500, and third version which sold at Christie's Paris in June 2019 for €162,500.

This particular version receives its name from its previous owner, the antiquarian Raymond Hekking (d.1977), who had made attempts during the 1950s and 60s to prove that his version was the original. Naturally, these claims have since been dropped.

Notice to "Internet Explorer" Users

You are seeing this notice because you are using Internet Explorer 6.0 (or older version). IE6 is now a deprecated browser which this website no longer supports. To view the Art History News website, you can easily do so by downloading one of the following, freely available browsers:

Once you have upgraded your browser, you can return to this page using the new application, whereupon this notice will have been replaced by the full website and its content.