Juana Romani (1867-1923), modèle et peintre. A rêve d'absolu

May 26 2021

Image of Juana Romani (1867-1923), modèle et peintre. A rêve d'absolu

Picture: finestresullarte.info

Posted by Adam Busiakiewicz:

It seems that 2021 really is the year of exhibitions dedicated to female artists.

The Musée Roybet Fould in Courbevoie, North Central France, has just opened a new exhibition dedicated to the nineteenth century artist Juana Romani (1867-1923). Although born in Italy, Romani made her fame in Paris with works that looked towards the symbolists and Pre Raphaelites. The exhibition features over one hundred pieces including paintings, sculptures, drawings, photographs, prints, vintage newspapers and clothes from French museums and private collections. Furthermore, it will be the first show dedicated to the artist inside France.

The exhibition will run until 19th September 2021.

Parma's Nuova Pilotta opens new Rooms dedicated to 14th - 15th Century Art

May 26 2021

Image of Parma's Nuova Pilotta opens new Rooms dedicated to 14th - 15th Century Art

Picture: la Repubblica

Posted by Adam Busiakiewicz:

Parma's Nuova Pilotta museum has opened new rooms dedicated to Italian art of the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries. In particular, the new displays will focus on the transitional Gothic and Renaissance styles. Works featured within the rooms include paintings by the likes of Jacopo Loschi, Filippo Mazzola, Cristoforo Caselli and Alessandro Araldi.

Inside the Met - Documentary

May 26 2021

Video: thirteen

Posted by Adam Busiakiewicz:

The American broadcaster PBS kicked off a new three-part documentary last Friday entitled Inside the Met. As the name suggests, the film will take a behind the scenes look at this important museum as it prepared to celebrate its 150th Anniversary, a celebration cut short by the covid-19 crisis.

Laurence des Cars named as new Director of the Louvre

May 26 2021

Image of Laurence des Cars named as new Director of the Louvre

Picture: artnews.com

Posted by Adam Busiakiewicz:

Laurence des Cars has been named as the new Director of the Louvre Museum in Paris. Des Cars, a specialist in nineteenth century painting, is the current president of the Musée d’Orsay and the Musée de l’Orangerie. She will replace outgoing director Jean-Luc Martinez, and has already pledged to extend the opening hours of the museum to help attract younger audiences. Other press reports have highlighted that Des Cars will be the first female Director in the Louvre's history.

Croatian Monastery to make Painted Dalmatian Dog a Must-See Tourist Attraction

May 26 2021

Image of Croatian Monastery to make Painted Dalmatian Dog a Must-See Tourist Attraction

Picture: total-croatia-news.com

Posted by Adam Busiakiewicz:

Interesting news has arrived from Croatia. The Franciscan Monastery of St. Mary, Zaostrog, are forming a project to celebrate one of the earliest illustrations of the region's famous Dalmatian dog breed. An example of the breed appears in a painting of the Last Supper, which the friars of the monastery believe to be dating to the eighteenth century (?). The article suggests that the arrival of tourists asking specifically to see the painting has prompted them to redisplay the work in a more accessible place.

Although this painting might be one of the earliest illustrations surviving in Croatia itself, fans of Old Masters might already know these earlier examples by Justus SustermansDavid de Coninck and Frans Snyders.

Update - I should also point out this interesting late-sixteenth century example, which may have originated from an artist connected with the Court of Emperor Rudolf II.

The National Gallery are hiring two Curatorial Fellows

May 25 2021

Image of The National Gallery are hiring two Curatorial Fellows

Picture: FT

Posted by Adam Busiakiewicz:

The National Gallery in London are hiring two curatorial fellows.

The Vivmar Curatorial Fellow and the The Harry M. Weinrebe Curatorial Fellow are both full time 22-month fixed term contract positions within the European paintings departments at the gallery. Furthermore, both positions come with an annual salary of £32,445.

Applications must be in by 6th June 2021.

Good luck if you're applying!

Velázquez's Saint Thomas in Orleans

May 25 2021

Image of Velázquez's Saint Thomas in Orleans

Picture: Musée des Beaux-Arts d'Orléans

Posted by Adam Busiakiewicz:

The Musée des Beaux-Arts d'Orléans will be opening their latest exhibition next month dedicated to Diego Velázquez's Saint Thomas. The show will chart the painting's interesting history, including the change of attribution from Murillo to Velázquez made in 1920 by the Italian art historian Robert Longhi. Two other apostles from the same series have also been loaned in from museums in Barcelona and Seville.

The exhibition will run until 14th November 2021.

NGA Acquires other half of Dosso Dossi Painting

May 25 2021

Image of NGA Acquires other half of Dosso Dossi Painting

Picture: Christie's

Posted by Adam Busiakiewicz:

The National Gallery of Art in Washington DC have announced their acquisition of a Landscape by Dosso Dossi (also known as The Trojans Building the Temple to Venus at Eryx and Making Offerings at Anchises’s Grave) from the recent Christie's Old Master Paintings Sale in New York. Indeed, the gallery already owned the other half of the painting Aeneas and Achates on the Libyan Coast. This sixteenth century masterpiece was originally part of the decorations made for Duke Alfonso d’Este’s study in Ferrara. It is believed that work had been separated into two during the later nineteenth century.

Fortunately, Christie's spliced the two images together for their catalogue note, which makes for very interesting reading:

Restoration reveals Silver Eyes of Cellini Bust

May 25 2021

Image of Restoration reveals Silver Eyes of Cellini Bust

Picture: ansa.it

Posted by Adam Busiakiewicz:

The National Museum of Bargello in Florence, Italy, have shared news that a recent campaign of restoration has revealed the original silver eyes of Benvenuto Cellini's bust of Cosimo I de' Medici. The silver foil, which was an original part of Cellini's work dating to 1545-48, had become obscured by centuries of grime and a dark coating which may have been applied to the sculpture in the eighteenth or nineteenth centuries. The delicate process of removing the later layers was undertaken by conservator Ludovica Nicolai.

For those wanting to see the results of this interesting project, the newly restored bust will be heading to the MET's upcoming exhibition on Medici Portraits.

Jacobus Vrel Catalogue Raisonné

May 25 2021

Image of Jacobus Vrel Catalogue Raisonné

Picture: Hirmer

Posted by Adam Busiakiewicz:

Exciting news today regarding the publication of a new monograph and catalogue raisonné dedicated to the elusive Dutch Golden Age painter Jacobus Vrel (fl. 1654-1662). The publication has been edited by scholars Bernd Ebert, Cécile Tainturier and Quentin Buvelot and was originally planned to coincide with an exhibition which has been pushed back to 2023.

According to the write up from CODART:

His pictures look rather odd, his figures introverted and his street scenes curiously stage-like. Jacobus Vrel appears to record everyday life in the Dutch Republic during the 17th century, yet creates miraculous worlds at the same time. The painter himself is like a phantom. In spite of years of research, the mystery surrounding his identity remains unsolved. We only know his name from a single contemporary inventory and from the signatures on his 50-surviving works, which can scarcely be compared with those of his contemporaries. Vrel was a pioneer in his field. In their austerity and sometimes oppressive silence, his paintings seem unexpectedly modern, and it is for that reason that they are compared with the work of Vilhelm Hammershøi. 

With detective-like investigations from the authors, and extensive technical examinations of the paintings, this monograph explores the enigmatic pictures of an artist whose works were once thought to have been created by Vermeer. The volume’s three editors, Bernd Ebert, Cécile Tainturier and Quentin Buvelot (all CODART members) present a monograph-cum-catalogue raisonné that examines Vrel’s oeuvre from different angles and contributes significantly to our understanding of this elusive painter. The present publication is the result of an international research project that brought together the Bayerische Staatsgemäldesammlungen in Munich, the Fondation Custodia, Frits Lugt Collection in Paris and the Mauritshuis in The Hague, working in close cooperation with numerous international specialists from a variety of disciplines.

As is the custom on AHN, the publication of a new catalogue raisonné will earn Ebert, Tainturier and Buvelot a place in the highly coveted Heroes of Art History section of this blog.

Robilant+Voena Reunite Portraits of Napoleon and Josephine after 200 Years

May 24 2021

Image of Robilant+Voena Reunite Portraits of Napoleon and Josephine after 200 Years

Picture: Robilant+Voena

Posted by Adam Busiakiewicz:

London art dealers Robilant+Voena have reunited two portraits of Napoleon Bonaparte and Josephine for the first time in 200 years for a special exhibition at their Dover Street premises (finishes 27th June 2021). Both pictures were completed in 1796 by Italian artist Andrea Appiani to celebrate their marriage. The paintings were eventually split up during the course of the next century. To make this reunion possible, the portrait of Napoleon has been loaned by the Earl of Rosebery and joins the painting of Josephine which the dealers have been offering for sale.

Jan Matejko's Copernicus at the National Gallery

May 24 2021

Image of Jan Matejko's Copernicus at the National Gallery

Picture: The National Gallery

Posted by Adam Busiakiewicz:

The National Gallery in London have opened a small free exhibition on Jan Matejko's painting Copernicus. This masterpiece of nineteenth century Polish painting is on loan from the Jagiellonian University in Krakow. To celebrate, the gallery are running a few free events including an online talk on 3rd June 2021.

The work will be on display for visitors until 22nd August 2021.

Sleeper Alert!

May 24 2021

Image of Sleeper Alert!

Picture: Enchères Côte d'Opale

Posted by Adam Busiakiewicz:

There was news on Twitter over the weekend (via. @autionradar) that the above painting catalogued as 'Dans le Goût de SAENRENDAM Pieter Jansz' realised €290,000 (hammer price) over its €300 estimate at Enchères Côte d'Opale on Saturday.

(Women) Artists at Sotheby's (ctd.)

May 24 2021

Image of (Women) Artists at Sotheby's (ctd.)

Picture: Sotheby's

Posted by Adam Busiakiewicz:

Online bidding has opened for Sotheby's new (Women) Artists Sale which ends on 27th May 2021. On the old masters front, there are works by Lavinia Fontana, Rachel Ruysch, Catarina Ykens (pictured), Mary Beale (reserve already met), and a picture attributed to Jeanne Elisabeth Chaudet. As usual, the catalogue notes make for very interesting reading.

I'll report back once the sale ends!

Stolen Painting Found Hanging in Italian Restaurant

May 24 2021

Image of Stolen Painting Found Hanging in Italian Restaurant

Picture: dissapore.com

Posted by Adam Busiakiewicz:

A curious piece of news from Florence, Italy.

A member of the Italian Carabinieri discovered a stolen painting while sitting down to a meal at a local restaurant. The work in question was a fragment from the Madonna del Rosario which was stolen from the Church of SS. Salvatore di Calvanico, Salerno, in 1976. The officer, who is also an art expert, spotted the picture whilst at a meal and thought it may have originated from a larger work. A brief investigation was begun and a ring of art thefts relating to six stolen paintings was uncovered relating an organisation in Campania. As it turns out, the restaurant owner had purchased the work in good faith at an antiques market during the 1970s. The work has since been returned.

Here's an image that shows the stolen fragments that has been published in Italy:

Rosary Beads owned by Mary Queen of Scots Stolen

May 24 2021

Image of Rosary Beads owned by Mary Queen of Scots Stolen

Picture: BBC

Posted by Adam Busiakiewicz:

Extremely sad news emerged over the weekend that a set of Rosary Beads once owned by Mary Queen of Scots were stolen from Arundel Castle last Friday night. These treasures, owned by the Duke of Norfolk, seem to have been target alongside other precious metal objects.

According to reports:

Staff were alerted to the break-in at 22:30 BST on Friday after a burglar alarm went off. 

Sussex Police told the BBC the thieves entered through a window and smashed a glass cabinet to grab the items. 

Det Con Molly O'Malley said the force thinks a 4x4 saloon found abandoned and on fire in nearby Barlavington "was linked" to the raid. 

The castle spokesman said the rosary had "little intrinsic value as metal" but was "irreplaceable".

Fingers crossed that they will be recovered and that other private collections and stately homes will be as vigilant as ever.

'Fierce Looking Woman' on Display after 60 Years in Storage

May 21 2021

Image of 'Fierce Looking Woman' on Display after 60 Years in Storage

Picture: Barber Institute of Fine Arts

Posted by Adam Busiakiewicz:

The Barber Institute of Fine Arts in Birmingham have announced that they have redisplayed a Portrait of an Unknown Lady, a picture which has been in storage for the past sixty years. The work was originally purchased in the 1940s as a work by Francisco Goya. However, recent research has revealed that it might be a rare work by the Puerto Rican artist José Campeche (1751-1809).

According to the museum's catalogue entry online:

Acquired in 1940 as a portrait by the great Spanish artist Francisco Goya of his mother, this attribution has long been dismissed – along with the authenticity of two accompanying letters, also supposedly by Goya, that mention the painting. Recently, several specialists have suggested it is by José Campeche. A Puertorican artist whose father was a freed Black slave, Campeche is now acclaimed as the finest painter working in central America in the 18th century. The identity of the sitter remains unknown, but her brooch represents the Virgin of Solitude: she may have been a member of a specific lay religious society in Puerto Rico.

Upcoming Release: Illuminating Natural History

May 21 2021

Image of Upcoming Release: Illuminating Natural History

Picture: Yale University Press

Posted by Adam Busiakiewicz:

The Paul Mellon Centre have announced next month's new release written by the scholar Henrietta McBurney entitled Illuminating Natural History: The Art and Science of Mark Catesby.

According to the publication's blurb:

This book explores the life and work of the celebrated eighteenth-century English naturalist, explorer, artist and author Mark Catesby (1683–1749). During Catesby’s lifetime, science was poised to shift from a world of amateur virtuosi to one of professional experts. Working against a backdrop of global travel that incorporated collecting and direct observation of nature, Catesby spent two prolonged periods in the New World – in Virginia (1712–19) and South Carolina and the Bahamas (1722–6). In his majestic two-volume Natural History of Carolina, Florida and the Bahama Islands (1731–43), esteemed by his contemporary John Bartram as ‘an ornament for the finest library in the world’, he reflected the excitement, drama and beauty of the natural world. Interweaving elements of art history, history of science, natural history illustration, painting materials, book history, paper studies, garden history and colonial history, this meticulously researched volume brings together a wealth of unpublished images as well as newly discovered letters by Catesby, which, with their first-hand accounts of his collecting and encounters in the wild, bring the story of this extraordinary pioneer naturalist vividly to life.

Sotheby's Results

May 21 2021

Image of Sotheby's Results

Picture: Sotheby's

Posted by Adam Busiakiewicz:

Yesterday's Master Paintings sale at Sotheby's New York realised a total of $6,936,618 with 69.7% of lots sold.

Many of the top lots managed to hit their estimates. Amongst the pictures that exceeded their estimates were Allori's Portrait of a Lady which made $315,000 over its $150k - $200k estimate; Paris Bordone's Portrait of a Woman which made $75,600 over its rather tempting $15k - $20k estimate; a 'Workshop of Botticelli' Madonna and Child which realised $239,400 over its $100k - $150k estimate; Jan Brueghel II and Francken II's floral Madonna which made $63,000 over its $20k - $30k estimate and Rudolph von Alt's view of the Doge's Palace which made $132,300 over its $40k - $60k estimate.

A Dubious 'Rembrandt' in South Africa

May 21 2021

Image of A Dubious 'Rembrandt' in South Africa

Picture: theconversation.com

Posted by Adam Busiakiewicz:

Scholar Gerard de Kamper and Conservator Isabelle McGinn of the University of Pretoria, South Africa, have penned a short blog giving an account of their recent research into a painting owned by the University. Indeed, the painting was gifted to the institution in 1976 and bore a traditional attribution to Rembrandt. The picture's provenance too, which could be traced in publications by the likes of Hofstede de Groot, seemed to suggest that the painting was taken seriously in the past. However, all of this was dashed after zinc white and barium sulphate were found in the work, materials which were only started to being produced in the mid nineteenth-century.

Update - A reader has pointed out that they could have saved themselves a lot of bother if they had simply spotted the work was a much later copy of this picture in the Leiden Collection.

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