Upcoming Release: Jan Massys (c. 1510–1573) Renaissance Painter of Flemish Female Beauty

February 7 2024

Image of Upcoming Release: Jan Massys (c. 1510–1573) Renaissance Painter of Flemish Female Beauty

Picture: brepols

Posted by Adam Busiakiewicz:

Another interesting release for April 2024 is the following publication entitled Jan Massys (c. 1510–1573): Renaissance Painter of Flemish Female Beauty by the Italian scholar Maria Clelia Galassi.

According to the book's blurb:

The painter Jan Massys (c. 1510-1573) trained under his father Quinten, succeeding him after his death (1530) at the head of Antwerp's most famous workshop. However, his career, destined for certain success, was abruptly cut short in 1544. Condemned for joining the Loysts sect, he had to flee Antwerp, finding refuge perhaps initially in France and at one point in Italy. Only in 1555 was he able to return to his homeland, regaining his artistic leadership within a few years. His oeuvre consists exclusively of works for private use and is characterized, in particular, by the depiction of elegant and seductive nude or half-naked female figures, protagonists of biblical or mythological subjects.  The identification of the patron of the 1561 Venus with the view of Genoa (Stockholm, Nationalmuseum) in the person of the noble Genoese banker Ambrogio di Negro, offered the possibility of reconstructing the social context of the artist's clientele and his relations with those intellectuals – both Genoese and Flemish-who gave life to the lively humanist academies of Antwerp. The figure emerges of a cultivated and particularly refined painter, who shared with his patrons the ideals of neo-Petrarchan poetry and executed paintings of great preciousness, characterized by a meticulous and skillful painting technique.

Jersey Heritage acquires 70 works by Ouless

February 7 2024

Image of Jersey Heritage acquires 70 works by Ouless

Picture: BBC & BNN

Posted by Adam Busiakiewicz:

News from the island of Jersey that a significant collection of 70 works of art by Philip John Ouless (1817–1885) has been purchased by Jersey Heritage. The collection, which includes oil paintings, watercolours and photographs, was purchased for around £70,000 directly from descendants of the local-born artist.

According to the BBC report linked above:

Senior registrar Helena Kergozou said it was a "very exciting moment for Jersey Heritage".

Ms Kergozou said: "This large collection of Ouless artworks represents an incredible addition to our art collection, which help us to tell the stories of Jersey's most important artists."


Jersey Heritage's collections team will spend time cataloguing and digitising each item, making these works available for research purposes and to view online.

Van Eyck Restored at the Louvre

February 6 2024

Image of Van Eyck Restored at the Louvre

Picture: Louvre

Posted by Adam Busiakiewicz:

The Louvre in Paris will be opening an exhibition next month dedicated to Jan van Eyck's La Vierge et l'Enfant au chancelier Rolin. The painting has just been conserved as part of a wider technical examination project of the artist's works. Alongside the recently restored painting, visitors will be able to delve deeper into the paintings and its history, alongside viewing 60 other relevant paintings, drawings, manuscripts and sculpture brought together for the exhibition.

Potential Rembrandt Pair to be Reunited after 223 years

February 6 2024

Image of Potential Rembrandt Pair to be Reunited after 223 years

Picture: rkd.nl

Posted by Adam Busiakiewicz:

A reader has kindly been in touch with news from the RKD in the Netherlands that a potential pair of disconnected portraits by Rembrandt have been investigated. The two paintings, now in the The Nivaagaard Collection (right) and The Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York (left) respectively, have been part of an extensive research project to examine whether they may have originally been conceived as a pair.

According to the post:

In the first half of 2024, both paintings will be technically examined under the direction of Jørgen Wadum and additional provenance research will be carried out by RKD curator Angela Jager to test the hypothesis that the works are pendants. This research will be conducted in the context of the project Dutch and Flemish paintings at The Nivaagaard Collection, a collaboration between The Nivaagaard Collection and the RKD resulting in a collection catalogue (autumn/winter 2024).

The findings will be shared in an exhibition entitled Rembrandt Reunited  which will be held at The Nivaagaard Collection between 3rd September 2024 and 10th November 2024.

Upcoming Release: Ingenious Italians: Immigrant Artists in Eighteenth-century Britain

February 6 2024

Image of Upcoming Release: Ingenious Italians: Immigrant Artists in Eighteenth-century Britain

Picture: brepols.net

Posted by Adam Busiakiewicz:

Here's an interesting release for May 2024. Ingenious Italians: Immigrant Artists in Eighteenth-century Britain is the latest publication to examine the many foreign-born artists who made their way to live and work in the country during this crucial period of British art history. It has been written by the scholar Katherine McHale.

According to the book's blurb:

This book fills a significant gap in the literature on eighteenth-century art in Britain. Although immigrant Italian artists played a crucial role in the development of Britain’s expanding art world over the course of that century, they have been largely overlooked in books on both British and Italian art. When mentioned in works on eighteenth-century British art, Italian artists are regarded as bit players who were tangential to the art world. Ingenious Italians seeks to correct this view, demonstrating the critical role played by immigrants who brought their skills and talents to a new country. In Britain, they established networks of Italian and British colleagues, cultivated new patrons and created innovative works for a growing market. In doing so, they influenced the development of art in British society. This little-explored facet of art history in Britain presents readers with a new perspective from which to consider the art of the era, highlighting the important work contributed by Italian artists in Britain.

Museo Diocesano de Teruel redisplays and conserves 'Attributed to Michael Sittow' Work

February 5 2024

Image of Museo Diocesano de Teruel redisplays and conserves 'Attributed to Michael Sittow' Work

Picture: heraldo.es

Posted by Adam Busiakiewicz:

Regular readers will remember a painting 'Attributed to Michael Sittow' which was rediscovered in the Museo de Arte Sacro de Teruel back in 2021. The work has recently been conserved and redisplayed in the museum. Attempts have been made to look into the attribution of the picture, the results of which still under discussion (click on the article to read more).

Free Talk: A Technical Investigation into the Materials and Methods of Evelyn De Morgan

February 5 2024

Image of Free Talk: A Technical Investigation into the Materials and Methods of Evelyn De Morgan

Picture: demorgan.org.uk

Posted by Adam Busiakiewicz:

This Thursday (8th February) the De Morgan Foundation are putting on a free talk on the subject of A Technical Investigation into the Materials and Methods of Evelyn De Morgan. The talk at 4 Cromwell Place in London will be given by the conservator Alexandra Earl, a final year student in conservation at the Courtauld Institute.

According to the blurb:

Through close technical examination and art historical analysis of two paintings, ‘Queen Eleanor and the Fair Rosamund’ (1901-02) and ‘In Memoriam’ (1890-1919), Alexandra Earl will illustrate how De Morgan’s practice was influenced by her Pre-Raphaelite contemporaries as well as driven by her artistic training and own idiosyncratic methods. New primary material, coupled with the first in-depth scientific analysis of her paintings and palette, has enabled De Morgan’s oeuvre to be better understood – thus contributing to the expanding recognition of De Morgan as an artist in her own right.

Sotheby's Overhauls Fees

February 5 2024

Image of Sotheby's Overhauls Fees

Picture: artnews.com

Posted by Adam Busiakiewicz:

Sotheby's announced a major overhaul of their fees structure last week. In an effort to standardise and simplify buyers premiums the new rate will be 20 percent of the hammer price for works up to $6 million. Works sold above $6 million will then be charged at 10%. This represents a lowering of buyers premium, aimed to 'provide buyers with increased spending power.'

Equally, sellers too will face changes. The auction house have introduced a uniform seller's commission of 10% on the first $500,000 hammer price per lot. Lots above $500,000 will not be charges sellers commission (see link for precise details).

According to the company's CEO Charles Stewart:

Since 1979, when Sotheby’s first introduced buyer’s premium in our salerooms, the market has largely shifted the transaction burden onto buyers. The result has been high costs for buyers and tiered commission structures that require a calculator to even understand, as well as an entirely opaque fee structure for sellers which distracts from what is most important to them. We are confident our simplified and clarified terms will benefit both buyers and sellers going forward.

The new structure will affect consigners from 15th April 2024 onwards, and buyers from 20th May 2024 onwards.

Early Van Gogh Watercolour coming up at Christie's

February 5 2024

Image of Early Van Gogh Watercolour coming up at Christie's

Picture: Christie's

Posted by Adam Busiakiewicz:

The Art Newspaper has shared breaking news that Christie's London will be offering one of Vincent Van Gogh's earliest watercolours in March. The work, which will carry an estimate of £2m - £3m, dates to 1881 when Van Gogh was setting out to become a serious artist. Read the article to get the full story, including the work's history and provenance.

Musée d'Orsay acquires The Hope Cup

February 5 2024

Video: Sotheby's

Posted by Adam Busiakiewicz:

The Musée d'Orsay in Paris has announced its acquisition of The Hope Cup at Sotheby's New York last week. This marvellous nineteenth century fantasy by Jean-Valentin Morel achieved $2,117,000 at auction.

Caspar David Friedrich: Art for a New Age in Hamburg

February 5 2024

Video: Hamburger Kunsthalle

Posted by Adam Busiakiewicz:

The Hamburger Kunsthalle opened a new exhibition dedicated to Caspar David Friedrich at the end of last year. Caspar David Friedrich: Art for a New Age not only features a large selection of the artist's works, but include a showcase of contemporary art in response to his art.

According to the museum's website:

To mark what would have been the 250th birthday of Caspar David Friedrich (b. 1774 Greifswald – d. 1840 Dresden), the Hamburger Kunsthalle is presenting the anniversary exhibition CASPAR DAVID FRIEDRICH. Art for a New Age. At the centre of the most comprehensive show in many years devoted to the foremost artist of German Romanticism is a thematic retrospective comprising over 60 paintings, among them a number of iconic key works, as well as around 100 drawings and selected works by Friedrich’s artist friends. The main theme is the new relationship between human and nature evoked in Friedrich’s landscapes. In the first third of the nineteenth century, the artist broke new ground as he transformed the landscape genre into »art for a new age«. The enduring fascination of Friedrich’s oeuvre will be illustrated in a separate section of the exhibition that looks at his influence on contemporary art. Works by some 20 artists from Germany and abroad spanning various genres and media reveal diverse approaches to Friedrich’s central theme – how people deal with their environment. Notable here is just how topical the Romantic artist’s point of view is today in the age of climate change.

The exhibition will run until 1st April 2024.

Strawberry Hill are Hiring!

February 5 2024

Image of Strawberry Hill are Hiring!

Picture: diaryofalondoness.com

Posted by Adam Busiakiewicz:

Strawberry Hill, the former home of the connoisseur Sir Horace Walpole, are hiring an Executive Director.

According to the job description:

In the new Executive Director, the Board seeks candidates with strong strategic business skills, enthusiasm and entrepreneurial insight who can realise the potential of Strawberry Hill House & Garden and secure its sustainability as a heritage visitor destination. They will be good managers of staff and volunteers with the ability to motivate, lead and inspire. They will have a collaborative and open management style demonstrating strong communication skills. They will be responsible for ensuring robust day to day management of the house and gardens, working alongside the Curator to ensure that Strawberry Hill House remains a vibrant centre of excellence, attracting an array of diverse visitors whilst fulfilling its educational mission.

Applications must be in by 16th February 2024 and no salary is indicated on the website.

Good luck if you're applying!

300+ Posts Later...

February 2 2024

Image of 300+ Posts Later...

Picture: Courtauld Gallery via. AB

Posted by Adam Busiakiewicz:

As I have posted well over 300 stories since my return to the blog at the end of last year, I wanted to thank all readers of AHN for sticking with it! It has been enormous fun to get back into the swing of things, alongside lecturing and consulting. I am particularly grateful to those readers who get in touch with stories, comments and suggestions, which makes the process all the more interesting. It never fails to surprise me how widespread the readership of this blog is, despite our corner of the art world being a relatively small one.

Ultimately, what keeps me going is the joy of sharing enthusiasm for the world of art and old masters, be it in the spheres of academia, museums, auction houses, art market and beyond. Scouring the internet for stories every day reminds me how much interest there is in these objects which I know many readers of this blog love, admire, collect and preserve. Being able to share in this common goal, and to encourage and invite others to get involved too, is worth it I think.

Wishing you all a very good weekend ahead.

Become 'Content Manager' at The National Gallery

February 2 2024

Image of Become 'Content Manager' at The National Gallery

Picture: The National Gallery, London

Posted by Adam Busiakiewicz:

Considering how important websites, social media and videos are for art galleries these days, I thought it would be worth pointing out that The National Gallery in London are currently hiring a Content Manager.

According to the job description:

The National Gallery is looking for a creative and organised digital content professional to find and tell great stories about the National Gallery, its collection, history, artists, and people.

The Content Manager supports the Senior Content Manager in increasing engagement with online audiences and growing the Gallery’s online communities, through content production and website management. They will lead on making the Gallery’s website an engaging destination for stories about our art and care for the collection. This role presents the opportunity to work with a public organisation at a pivotal time in its history: its 200th birthday year.  

The job comes with a salary of £41,730 and applications must be in by 18th February 2024.

Good luck if you're applying!

Rijksmuseum Acquire Work in Memory of Ger Luijten

February 2 2024

Image of Rijksmuseum Acquire Work in Memory of Ger Luijten

Picture: via. Matthias Ubl

Posted by Adam Busiakiewicz:

The Rijksmuseum curator Matthias Ubl has announced that the museum has acquired the following Anonymous Netherlandish c. 1550 painting of Jesus and the Canaanite Woman. The work has been acquired in memory of the late art historian Ger Luijten (d. 2022), former Director of the Fondation Custodia. It was acquired with assistance from dealer Bob Haboldt, Lottery Friends and a private donor.

Van Dyck Drawing achieves $2.1m

February 2 2024

Image of Van Dyck Drawing achieves $2.1m

Picture: Christie's

Posted by Adam Busiakiewicz:

Van Dyck's Portrait of Willem Hondius achieved an impressive $1.7m hammer ($2,107,000 inc. fees) at Christie's New York yesterday afternoon. A quick search through Artnet seems to suggest that this may be a record for a work on paper by the artist.* Quite something for a work that had purportedly dropped off the radar of scholars for many decades!

* - I'm sure readers will get in touch in case I am wrong about this.

Talk & Tour: Women Artists at Goodwood

February 2 2024

Image of Talk & Tour: Women Artists at Goodwood

Picture: goodwood.com

Posted by Adam Busiakiewicz:

Goodwood House, the ancestral home of the Duke and Duchess of Richmond and Gordon (not to mention their outstanding collection of art), is hosting a Talk later in March on the subject of Women Artists at Goodwood.

According to the website:

The Goodwood Collection has works by 18th century female artists including Angelica Kauffmann, Anne Damer and Katherine Read, as well as pictures by contemporary artist Holly Frean. The evening is an opportunity to hear about these women, plus see some of their works. A highlight includes Angelica Kauffmann’s portrait of Mary, Duchess of Richmond, which is not usually on public display.

The talk will be on 19th March 2024 and costs £45 to attend (Champagne and canapé reception included).

Sleeper Alert!

February 2 2024

Image of Sleeper Alert!

Picture: Sotheby's

Posted by Adam Busiakiewicz:

The following portrait, catalogued as 'Circle of Élisabeth Louise Vigée Le Brun', realised an extraordinary $393,700 over its $20k - $30k estimate in the Sotheby's New York Part II sale yesterday afternoon. What makes this price even more unusual is that the painting sold for more than several autograph works by the artist in the aforementioned Joseph Baillio sale the day before last. Is this price an example of the Vigée Le Brun effect?* Or, did bidders see something beyond the 'Circle of' attribution?


* - In this case, perhaps it is time to start scooping up the many many copies that exist of the Uffizi Self Portrait and start sending them to auction. Regular readers might remember the same fascination for Mona Lisa copies a few years ago.

Philip de László (1869–1937): Master of Elegance at Gainsborough's House

February 2 2024

Image of Philip de László (1869–1937): Master of Elegance at Gainsborough's House

Picture: gainsborough.org

Posted by Adam Busiakiewicz:

Gainsborough's House in Sudbury will be opening a new exhibition next month dedicated to Philip de László (1869–1937): Master of Elegance.

According to the exhibition blurb:

De László was already one of the most famous portrait painters in Europe when he decided to settle in England in 1907. His relentless energy, charisma and pursuit of perfection in his art saw his circle of patronage widen from Budapest, the city of his birth, via the princely houses of Europe. London attracted him as a city immersed in a golden age and the work he produced there during the next thirty years was bursting with vitality and virtuosity. The period is brought to life through portraiture and landscapes and features a section on his experiences during the First World War.

The exhibition will feature rarely-seen loans from private collections as well as important works from the Royal Collection, including a childhood portrait of Queen Elizabeth II when Princess of York.

The show will run from 23rd March 2024 until 23rd June 2024.

Conserving Petr Brandl in Prague

February 2 2024

Video: Národní galerie Praha

Posted by Adam Busiakiewicz:

The Národní galerie Praha have produced the following video showing the enormous task of conserving Petr Brandl's Joseph Receives his Brothers in Egypt. This enormous canvas was taken from the castle of Jindřichův Hradec and conserved especially for the gallery's current Brandl exhibition.

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