The University of Vienna are Hiring!

November 27 2023

Image of The University of Vienna are Hiring!


Posted by Adam Busiakiewicz:

The University of Vienna are hiring a University Professor of Early Modern European Art History.

According to the job description:

The professorship is intended to comprehensively represent the area of Early Modern Art in research and teaching (architecture, painting, sculpture, art theory), with a focus on Italian Baroque Art. Methodological and theoretical competence, experience in teaching at all levels of training and in supervising theses as well as in obtaining third-party funding are expected. Tasks include participation in introductory and epoch-lectures at the Department of Art History as well as in the Research Cluster on “Art History and Visual Culture” at the Doctoral School of Historical and Cultural Studies.

Curiously, the specification ends with the following:

Given equal qualifications, preference will be given to female candidates.

No salary is indicated on the website and applications must be in by 15th December 2023.

Good luck if you're applying!

Kenwood Cornelius Johnson Conserved

November 27 2023

Image of Kenwood Cornelius Johnson Conserved

Picture: The Guardian

Posted by Adam Busiakiewicz:

The Guardian published the news at the end of last week that Kenwood House's Portrait of Diana Cecil by Cornelius Johnson has been conserved. Indeed, the removal of later overpaint in the face has shown that the sitter had 'received the so-called “Kylie Jenner treatment” – with touch-ups involving plumping the sitter’s lips and lowering her hairline.' The before and after photos (see above) show that the surface is entirely abraded (particularly in the fragile pigments of the hair), a reason why the work may have been so heavily retouched in the past. The article also explains that cleaning has revealed the portrait's date of 1634 and the artist's signature.

Click on the link above to read more.

Rubens International Study Day at Dulwich in 2024

November 27 2023

Image of Rubens International Study Day at Dulwich in 2024

Picture: Dulwich Picture Gallery

Posted by Adam Busiakiewicz:

Some readers may be interested in the following study day organised by the Dulwich Picture Gallery in the New Year. The day has been arranged to coincide with the gallery's current Rubens & Women exhibition, which runs until 28th January 2024.

Here's a list of the four sessions planned for the day-long event:

Session 1 - Gender  

Exhibition Co-Curator Dr Amy Orrock and Dr Olenka Horbatsch, Curator of Prints and Drawings at the British Museum, will introduce Rubens’s writings and drawings on women. What might the evidence on paper reveal about his studio practice and the role of women in his life?

Session 2 – Beauty  

Jacqueline Ansell, Senior Lecturer and writer, explores the topic of beauty through the fashion of the time, its meaning and connection to the works of Rubens.   

Session 3 – Love

Dr. Bert Watteeuw, Director of the Rubens House, will present new archival discoveries on Helena Fourment, fleshing out a rather meagre historiographical profile and returning agency to a mute muse. 

Session 4 – Power 

Co-Curator Dr Ben van Beneden will highlight how Rubens merged politics and power in his art, as he was not only the most internationally acclaimed artist of his time but also an important diplomat who was sent on missions to Spain, the Netherlands and England.   

The study day will take place on Friday 19th January 2024 and will cost a mere £25 to attend.

Lorenzo Lotto and Pellegrino Tibaldi in Cuneo

November 27 2023


Posted by Adam Busiakiewicz:

A new exhibition has opened in Cuneo, Italy, celebrating the nuanced influences between the sixteenth century painters Lorenzo Lotto and Pellegrino Tibaldi, a subject which has only recently been investigated. The highlight appears to be the display of the seven canvases which form the so-called 'Lauretan cycle', which were completed for Chapel of the Choir of the church of Santa Maria di Loreto.

This show at the city's Complesso Monumentale di San Francesco will run until 17th March 2024.

Sleeper Alert!

November 27 2023

Image of Sleeper Alert!


Posted by Adam Busiakiewicz:

News has reached us that the following painting catalogued as 'École ANVERSOISE vers 1620, entourage de Pierre Paul RUBENS' realised an impressive €108,800 at Ader in Paris last week. The catalogue note draws comparison to Van Dyck's Lamentation in the Prado, Madrid.

Dürer Woodcuts at Strawberry Hill House

November 27 2023

Video: Strawberry Hill House & Garden

Posted by Adam Busiakiewicz:

Strawberry Hill House & Garden in Twickenham, London, have created the following video to celebrate their current exhibition The Devil is in the Detail: Dürer’s Great Passion and Early Woodcuts from the Schroder Collection. The video follows the artist Elena Greggio in producing a woodcut print from scratch. A very time consuming process indeed, just imagine creating something far more complex!

The show will run until 10th April 2024.

Château de Chantilly pre-empt Miniature

November 24 2023

Image of Château de Chantilly pre-empt Miniature

Picture: Christie's

Posted by Adam Busiakiewicz:

The Château de Chantilly have announced that they have pre-empted a miniature sold in the recent Christie's Paris auction. Jean Decourt's group portrait, showing Catherine de Medici surrounded by her family, realised a total of €22,680 (inc. commission) in the recent sale.

The catalogue note makes for an interesting read, and claims the following:

Further research is necessary in order to determine whether this miniature is an isolated work or, more likely, an illumination detached from a larger manuscript. The central positioning of Catherine de’ Medici, as well as her love for portraits, suggests that this miniature was likely commissioned by the queen mother herself. The unlikely gathering of the two brothers who were each kings of France and the absence of their younger siblings Francis and Margaret, reinforces the significance of this miniature as celebrating the ascension of Henry III to the throne in 1575.

London Art Week Symposium on Conservation

November 24 2023

Image of London Art Week Symposium on Conservation


Posted by Adam Busiakiewicz:

London Art Week are holding a symposium on the subject of THE ART OF CONSERVATION: PRESERVATION, RESTORATION & FRAMING in December. The event is hosted by the National Portrait Gallery and contains a full day's worth of talks.

The program includes the following subjects:




The symposium will be held on 5th December 2023 and will cost a mere £20 to attend.

Omai Acquisition of the Year

November 24 2023

Image of Omai Acquisition of the Year

Picture: Apollo

Posted by Adam Busiakiewicz:

It is perhaps little surprise that the Apollo Magazine's annual Acquisition of the Year has been awarded to the NPG and Getty's joint purchase of Sir Joshua Reynolds' Portrait of Omai. This painting, which had sold for £10.3 (including fees) at Sotheby's in 2001, was acquired jointly by the museums for a staggering £50m.

According to the article linked above:

As the original press release accompanying the export stop in March 2022 made clear, ‘This magnificent British portrait has a global resonance.’ There is no reason why visitors to the Getty at the time of the Los Angeles Olympics in 2028 should not be at least as interested in seeing a great painting of a Polynesian as visitors to the top floor of the newly redisplayed NPG in London. So, it feels appropriate that the joint purchase of Mai by the NPG and the Getty should mark a new era of international museum collaboration in acquisitions.


I've stood in front of the painting a few times in the past few weeks, and what an impressive picture it is within the NPG's new displays. One small point that has always fascinated me is the claim (according to signage and the NPG website) that 'it was the first British portrait to represent a person of colour with grandeur, dignity and authority.' Doesn't Sir Godfrey Kneller's portrait of Michael Alphonsus Shen Fu-Tsung, signed and dated 1687 in the Royal Collection, have a better claim to this, perhaps?

British Art Market Woes?

November 23 2023

Image of British Art Market Woes?

Picture: The Art Newspaper

Posted by Adam Busiakiewicz:

The Art Newspaper have published an interesting piece on the launch of the British Art Market in 2023. Much of the text explains the increased difficulties with cross-border trade between the UK and the EU, with suggestions that the UK's 5% import VAT for art and antiques should be scrapped to increase the competitiveness for the country's art trade.

The news isn't all bad, as it explains:

The outlook is not as gloomy as one might have feared. Although Brexit—along with Covid-19 and geopolitical tensions—has taken a great toll, the report paints a picture of relative resilience: the UK has managed to cling onto its position as holder of the second largest share of the global art market, accounting for 18%, which represents $11.9bn in aggregate sales in 2022. This is partly due to a sluggish economy in China, which narrowly comes in third—representing 17%.


If you need cheering up after the article, then I recommend watching the following video by Will Bayliss of the Dickinson Gallery, whom exhibited Reynolds' exceedingly beautiful Portrait of Mrs. Moses Franks at Frieze Masters earlier in the autumn (pictured above).

NGA acquires a Vallayer-Coster

November 23 2023

Image of NGA acquires a Vallayer-Coster

Picture: artnet

Posted by Adam Busiakiewicz:

Hardly a month passes without a major museum announcing its acquisition of a still life by a female artist, it seems. News via Artnet that the National Gallery of Art in Washington DC have acquired a monumental still life by Anne Vallayer-Coster. The work was sold at Christie's Paris earlier in June for a staggering €2.58m.

The article linked above provides the following quote (a memorable quote for our times, I think):

“One of our top priorities is to acquire significant works by important women artists across time, which includes BIPOC, LGBTQ+ and women-identifying artists,” E. Carmen Ramos, the museum’s chief curatorial and conservation officer, wrote in an email.


On a separate note, I'm excited for more floral still lifes by Mary Moser (1744-1819) coming out of the woodwork at some point. I hope the art world is out there looking for these seemingly rare and beautiful works of art!

Restoring Notre-Dame's Damaged Paintings

November 22 2023

Image of Restoring Notre-Dame's Damaged Paintings


Posted by Adam Busiakiewicz:

Spanish speakers might be interested in this video published by RTVE which details some of the recent work that has gone into the restoration of paintings that needed conservation after the 2019 fire at Notre-Dame. The group of works requiring conservation numbers 22 in all, it appears.

Vigée LeBrun Self Portrait Coming up at Sotheby's New York

November 22 2023

Video: Sotheby's

Posted by Adam Busiakiewicz:

Exciting news that Sotheby's will be offering a Self Portrait by Élisabeth-Louise Vigée LeBrun in their upcoming January 2024 sales in New York. The so-called Self Portrait In Traveling Costume was completed in November 1816 when the artist had fled Paris and was travelling on the continent. The drawing, estimated at $700,000 - $1,000,000 is part of a single owner sale with works on paper amassed by the scholar Joseph Baillio. The drawing had been on loan to the MET in recent years, I wonder if they'll want to buy it back!

The drawing will be sold on 31st January 2024 in New York.

Alexandre-Jean Dubois-Drahonet (1790-1834), a newfound talent

November 21 2023

Image of Alexandre-Jean Dubois-Drahonet (1790-1834), a newfound talent

Picture: Musée Lambinet

Posted by Adam Busiakiewicz:

The Musée Lambinet in Versailles will be opening a new exhibition this week dedicated to the little-known portrait painter Alexandre-Jean Dubois-Drahonet (1790-1834). The exhibition, the first ever dedicated to the artist, will feature a wide range of his portraits including military figures and members of the Royal family.

The show will run from 25th November 2023 until 25th February 2024.

National Museum of Women in the Arts Reopens

November 21 2023

Image of National Museum of Women in the Arts Reopens

Picture: The Guardian

Posted by Adam Busiakiewicz:

The Guardian's Katy Hessel has contributed a piece regarding the recent reopning of the National Museum of Women in the Arts in Washington DC. The museum has been closed for a two-year refurbishment.

The piece contains lots of interesting statistics regarding the representation in galleries of female artists, including that 'just 1% of London’s National Gallery collection is made up of art by women'. As it happens, experience of the Old Master Paintings world never ceases to amaze me with how much effort is going into not only researching female artists, but finding neglected or misattributed paintings to bright back into the spotlight. The art market has played a key role in this, and no art fair these days is without newly presented works by well-known and more obscure female artists. Tate Britain's recent re-hang does a very good job of this too, and the upcoming exhibitition there focusing on this subject of British female artists will surely be one of great interest.

The Huntington acquire a Goya

November 21 2023

Image of The Huntington acquire a Goya

Picture: The Huntington

Posted by Adam Busiakiewicz:

The Huntington Library, Art Museum, and Botanical Gardens has announced its acquisition of Goya's Portrait of José Antonio Caballero, Second Marqués de Caballero, Secretary of Grace and Justice. This is the first oil painting by the artist in the museum's collection and was made possible through a gift from The Ahmanson Foundation.

According to the press release:

“Portrait of José Antonio Caballero is historically fascinating and a prime example of Goya’s genius as a portraitist,” said Christina Nielsen, the Hannah and Russel Kully Director of the Art Museum at The Huntington. “Along with the exquisite French portrait by Élisabeth Louise Vigée Le Brun acquired with The Ahmanson Foundation last year, it will add an important international perspective to our outstanding collection of 17th- and early 18th-century British portraits.”


The sitter in the Goya painting, José Antonio Caballero (1754–1821), was from the minor nobility in Spain. He studied law and went on to a successful career in the royal court, holding four secretary positions. His accomplishments included convincing King Charles IV of Spain to conduct a vaccination campaign against smallpox that extended to the Spanish territories in North and South America and Asia. Goya painted the portrait when Caballero was the secretary of state and had just inherited the title of Marquis de Caballero from his uncle.

PAN Amsterdam 2023

November 20 2023

Image of PAN Amsterdam 2023


Posted by Adam Busiakiewicz:

PAN Amsterdam, the Netherland's leading fair in art, opened last week. The headline news was the unveiling of the following portrait by the Amsterdam - London dealers Renialme Fine Art, a newly discovered work which they had claimed was by Rembrandt's pupil Jan Lievens. The rediscovered work, which surfaced at auction earlier in June, was purportedly carrying the price tag of €3.3m. The painting made headlines in the news over the weekend due to the fact the vetting committee at the fair requested the withdrawal of the painting from their stand due to reports there was 'too little ground to attribute the portrait to Lievens.' Read the article linked above for the whole story. I'm sure we'll see the painting again.

Bonhams December Sale

November 20 2023

Image of Bonhams December Sale

Picture: Bonhams

Posted by Adam Busiakiewicz:

Bonhams London have uploaded their upcoming December Old Master Paintings sale online. Highlights include a curious screen by George Romney (pictured), an Allegory by Cornelis Schut, a handsome equestrian portrait by James Seymour, and a portrait in pencil by Samuel Palmer.

This auction will take place on 6th December 2023.

Government Art Collection are seeking new Members for Advisory Committee

November 20 2023

Image of Government Art Collection are seeking new Members for Advisory Committee

Picture: Government Art Collection

Posted by Adam Busiakiewicz:

The Government Art Collection in the UK are seeking two independent members for their advisory committee.

According to the blurb on their website:

The Committee advises on matters concerning the overall stewardship of the GAC and its holdings, together with other related matters which affect the Collection. It also approves and gives advice on the purchase and commission of works of art. Currently chaired by Sir Richard Heaton, it comprises of five ex-officio members, five independent members and two independent youth members. Independent members each serve a term of four years (which can be extended), thus providing a regular input of new ideas and continuity to see long-term projects through to completion.

The closing date for these roles is 11th December 2023 and the posts are not salaried.

Sotheby's London December Day Sale

November 20 2023

Image of Sotheby's London December Day Sale

Picture: Sotheby's

Posted by Adam Busiakiewicz:

Sotheby's London have uploaded their upcoming December Old Master Paintings Day Sale online. As usual, I won't spoil the fun by pointing out some of the most interesting lots.

Bidding for this online sale will open on 1st December and close on the 7th December.

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