Free Talk: Cosmetics, Beauty and the Nature of Renaissance Women

March 13 2024

Image of Free Talk: Cosmetics, Beauty and the Nature of Renaissance Women

Picture: Detroit Institute of Arts

Posted by Adam Busiakiewicz:

The Paul Mellon Centre are hosting a free talk next week on the subject of Cosmetics, Beauty and the Nature of Renaissance Women. The lecture will be presented by Professor Jill Burke and will be available online and in-person.

According to the blurb on the website:

In Caravaggio’s Martha and Mary (Detroit Institute of Arts, ca.1598), Mary’s vice-filled life is represented by a comb and cosmetic jar, set out on the table in front of her, as her sister Martha attempts to convert her to the virtuous path. The painting serves as a metaphor of the period’s starkly opposing attitudes to adornment of the female face and body. In 1575, the women of Cesena argued that if they were forbidden to beautify themselves, they might be forced to “wave goodbye to [their] families and break the chains of female servitude”. Other texts condemn women for their perceived love of clothing, cosmetics and jewellery – written both by early feminists such as Laura Cereta and by misogynistic churchmen who saw vanity as a particularly feminine sin. Men who used cosmetics were even more a focus for social disapprobation, decried for unaccountably behaving “like women”, the sex believed by many to be inferior in both physicality and intellect.

The relationship between cosmetic adornment and gender, between artifice and nature, is culturally and historically contingent. Focusing particularly on sources written and made by Italian Renaissance women, this talk will consider how this period was a flashpoint for discussions about gender and bodily ornamentation. Encompassing a wide range of objects, images and texts from “ladies at their toilet” paintings to witch trial narratives, it will also explore why this may be, showing how even seemingly intimate choices – body hair removal, skin treatments, hair dye – were bound up with larger social and cultural forces in an age of burgeoning colonialism, scientific experimentation, religious division and social turmoil.

The talk has been scheduled for 20th March 2024 between 5pm - 7pm (GMT).

Tate in a Lorry

March 13 2024

Video: Art Explora

Posted by Adam Busiakiewicz:

Tate have teamed up with the Mobile Museum (MuMo) initiative Art Explora to provide a touring exhibition of a show entitled Soup, Socks and Spiders !Art of the Everyday. The lorry will be touring locations in Ashfield, Nuneaton, Stoke-on-Trent, Tarporley, Walsall and Wigan in 2024 to bring art to these communities in the Midlands.

Salon du Dessin 2024

March 13 2024

Image of Salon du Dessin 2024

Picture: salondudessin.com

Posted by Adam Busiakiewicz:

Salon du Dessin 2024 will open in Paris next week, providing drawings collectors another chance to snap up some masterpieces after TEFAF. The fair will feature 39 exhibitors alongside a special mini-exhibition by The Tavolozza Foundation of French drawings from the 18th to the early 20th century in the Katrin Bellinger Collection.

A.W. Devis Indian Scene Soars!

March 12 2024

Image of A.W. Devis Indian Scene Soars!

Picture: Gorringe's

Posted by Adam Busiakiewicz:

The following scene of Indian Weavers by Arthur William Devis realised an impressive £130,000 (hammer price) over its £5,000 - £8,000 estimate at Gorringe's today. An incredible example of the interest in such paintings these days, I suppose!

Upcoming Release: Fred Meijer's Jan Davidsz. de Heem

March 12 2024

Image of Upcoming Release: Fred Meijer's Jan Davidsz. de Heem

Picture: @eijgenstijl

Posted by Adam Busiakiewicz:

Exciting news that Fred G. Meijer's long-awaited tome on Jan Davidsz. de Heem will be published on the 26th April 2024. The two-volume book will contain no fewer than 768 pages and will published by Waanders in the Netherlands. It seems likely (I can't find the information online) that the publication will contain an updated version of Meijer's catalogue raisonné for the artist, a digital version of which has been available online since 2016.

PhD Scholarship in Oslo

March 12 2024

Image of PhD Scholarship in Oslo

Picture: nasjonalmuseet.no

Posted by Adam Busiakiewicz:

As far as PhD scholarships go, I don't think I've ever come across a more interesting sounding and generously supported example than this one in Norway.  The National Museum of Art, Architecture and Design in Oslo are looking to support a 3-year fully funded PhD Scholarship, assisted by the University of Oslo and financially supported by the Fredriksen Family Art Company.

According to the description available online:

Applicants interested in the PhD position are asked to submit a project proposal that aims at new readings of and/or new insights to Norway’s history of art broadly defined. The proposed project may thus focus on artworks of all media, time periods, and geographies, and seek to explore the chosen topic from art historical, artistic, conservation, museological and/or educational perspectives. We welcome proposals that critically consider the mobility of objects and actors and place the histories of art and visual culture of Norway in dialogue with global concerns and/or phenomena. Moreover, the proposed project needs to prove beneficial for the National Museum by furthering and diversifying the museum’s recognized practices regarding collecting, exhibiting, educating and/or preserving art.

The scholarship comes with an annual salary of 545,000 – 575,000 NOK (the equivalent of around £41,000 – 43,000 per year) and applications must be in by 28th April 2024.

Good luck if you're applying!

March Issue of the Burlington Magazine

March 12 2024

Image of March Issue of the Burlington Magazine

Picture: burlington.org.uk

Posted by Adam Busiakiewicz:

March's edition of The Burlington Magazine appears to be filled with the usual offering of exciting and interesting pieces of art historical research.

Here's a list of the articles contained within:

A ‘crucifixion complex’: two newly discovered sketches attributed to Francis Bacon - BY REBECCA DANIELS

A rediscovered ‘Pietà’ by Andrea del Sarto - BY DAVID FRANKLIN

The permanence of ephemera: a rediscovered fragment by Frans Floris - BY MARIA CLELIA GALASSI

Johannes Lutma the Elder: goldsmith, designer, draughtsman - BY REINIER BAARSEN

Giuseppe Antonio Ghedini’s drawings for ‘Il Ricciardetto’ - BY CECILIA VICENTINI

Jean-Charles Cazin, 1881–83: naturalism and networking, regionalism and republicanism - BY RICHARD THOMSON

Ter Brugghen in Italy - BY JOHN GASH

New Acquisitions Display at the Courtauld

March 12 2024

Video: The Courtauld

Posted by Adam Busiakiewicz:

The Courtauld Gallery in London have just opened a new display of recent acquisitions of works. Entitled From the Baroque to Today: New Acquisitions of Works on Paper the gallery has drawn particular attention to the increased representation of female artists on display. The exhibition will run until 27th May 2024.

L' Enigma del Maestro di San Francesco

March 11 2024

Video: askanews

Posted by Adam Busiakiewicz:

A new exhibition has just opened at the Galleria Nazionale dell' Umbria dedicated to unravelling the mystery of the thirteenth-century artist known as the Maestro di San Francesco. The exhibition features seven out of nine of the master's recognised corpus, and will run at gallery until 10th June 2024.

'Activists' Escalate Protests with Box Cutters

March 11 2024

Video: Evening Standard

Posted by Adam Busiakiewicz:

A group of 'activists' attacked Philip de László's portrait of Lord Balfour at Trinity College Cambridge last week. In contrast to previous cases, de László's canvas was unglazed and thus defenceless against both the sharpened blades of box cutters and spray paint. These weapons, especially the blades, represent something of a very worrying escalation of acts of violence against works of art. The University published a statement expressing 'Trinity College regrets the damage caused', but despite the video evidence no arrests had been made.*

* - It seems we are now living in an age where acts of vandalism may well have become legalised in the UK. 

TEFAF 2024

March 11 2024

Image of TEFAF 2024

Picture: Instagram via RichardGreenGallery

Posted by Adam Busiakiewicz:

I had the great joy of visiting TEFAF Maastrict last Saturday, the first day the fair was opened to the public. Bearing in mind how many press articles like to explain to us that there isn't as much interest in the likes of Old Masters anymore, I could not believe the sheer numbers of people who were in attendance. Although the fair has cut down the numbers of days from 10 to 7, it seems that the excitement and mood within hadn't dropped at all. 

As ever, it was certainly worth the wait and queueing. The vast array of top-quality works of art never ceases to amaze, as does the sheer attention to detail that the world's top dealers put into their stands. The presentation at these fairs represents a considerable investment of both money and time, which really shows.

It seems clear that works by female artists are taking an ever increasing centre stage at the fair. Rob Smeet's Lavinia Fontana of Antonietta Gonzales (pictured below) was one of the stand-outs (for obvious reasons) alongside Gersina Ter Borch's Portrait of Moses Ter Borch which had just been purchased by the Rijksmuseum from Zebregs & Röell Fine Art and Antiques's stand. Many galleries, such as Dickinson's placement of their splendid Angelica Kauffman Portrait of Jemima Ord, had placed key works in the most advantageous positions on their stands. Sander Bijl's front and centre display entitled 'Wall of Ladies' too shows how important showcasing such works has become. My own personal favourite of the three still lifes by Anne Vallyer-Coster on display at the fair was the following one on Richard Green's stand (pictured below).

Picture: Lavinia Fontana, Rob Smeets Gallery / Anna Vallyer-Coster, Richard Green Gallery.

One of the other great opportunities is getting to see the many various sleepers which dealers tend to reveal especially for the fair. From an auction house point of view, it's also incredible exciting to see the reappearance of previously un-restored works from the sale rooms that have been expertly cleaned and conserved, ready for presentation.

Some readers might remember the following portrait which was shared on this blog back in 2022, which has been presented on Salomon Lilian's stand as Swabian School, c. 1482 as a portrait possibly depicting Eitel Friedrich II von Hohenzollern. The gallery's extended catalogue note draws similarities of the painting to works by Dieric Bouts.

Picture: AB via Salomon Lilian

It seems that some press reports, such as the following article from The New York Times, have drawn attention to the fact that it is museum buyers that are the becoming the most active and growing participants at fairs such as TEFAF. However, the enormous attendance numbers that I saw (and regularly see here on AHN with the large number of exhibitions that are constantly put on around the world) shows that the interest in art from the old world does exist. Unlocking this potential, and converting the casual day-trip art fair visitor into a buyer and collector (at all price points) is perhaps the more difficult and important task. As many readers will hopefully agree, Old Masters (of all qualities and values) are not just for the museum - but can be lived with and enjoyed in the home too.

Picture: AB via Colnaghi Elliott Master Drawings

All comments / thoughts are welcome as always!

Apologies...

March 8 2024

Posted by Adam Busiakiewicz:

Apologies for the radio silence this week, it has been a rather busy time juggling various lecturing and cataloguing projects. Equally, I'm off to Maastricht this weekend for the TEFAF (The European Fine Art Foundation) art fair which opened the other day. There's lots of news on social media regarding lots of the exciting discoveries unveiled there, which I'm very much looking forward to seeing for myself. Equally, there's already been some news of museum acquisitions too - which is rather impressive! I might post some impressions from the fair next week, when I'm back posting as usual.

Wishing readers a very good weekend ahead.

Final Print Edition of the British Art Journal

March 1 2024

Image of Final Print Edition of the British Art Journal

Picture: britishartjournal.co.uk

Posted by Adam Busiakiewicz:

The final print edition of the British Art Journal has been made freely available online. Thankfully, the journal's website explains that a future online-only series entitled The British Art Journal: Postscript is in the works, which is a relief! More news as it arrives...

Upcoming: Mary Beale Exhibition at Philip Mould & Company

March 1 2024

Image of Upcoming: Mary Beale Exhibition at Philip Mould & Company

Picture: philipmould.com

Posted by Adam Busiakiewicz:

Exciting news that the London dealers Philip Mould & Company will be opening an exhibition dedicated to Mary Beale in April. The show will feature 25 works by the artist, including pictures from public and private collections many of which have never been exhibited before.

_________

It's quite amazing that visitors to London in May and June will have an unrivalled opportunity to plunge into the subject of Women artists working in Britain. This of course includes exhibitions at Tate, The Royal Academy and now Philip Mould & Co. Are there any others I might be missing out?

Geniale Frauen in Basel

March 1 2024

Image of Geniale Frauen in Basel

Picture: kunstmuseum basel

Posted by Adam Busiakiewicz:

The latest leg of the Ingenious Women exhibition opens in Basel tomorrow. Hosted by the Kunstmuseum Basel, the show brings together 100 works by some of the leading female artists between the sixteenth and eighteenth centuries. The exhibition will run until 30th June 2024.

Memling on CODART Canon

March 1 2024

Diptych of Maarten van Nieuwenhove by Hans Memling with Anna Koopstra (CODART Canon) from CODART on Vimeo.

Video: CODART

Posted by Adam Busiakiewicz:

CODART (the international network of curators of Dutch and Flemish art)have recently published the following video on Hans Memling's Diptych of Maarten van Nieuwenhove in the Museum Sint-Janshospitaal, Bruges. The video is part of their CODART Canon series.

Women Artists' Paint Boxes

March 1 2024

Image of Women Artists' Paint Boxes

Picture: journal18.org

Posted by Adam Busiakiewicz:

Journal18 have published two very interesting articles recently on the subject of paint boxes. Firstly, an article by Damiët Schneeweisz on Charlotte Daniel Martner’s (1803-1821) surviving Paint Box, a woman artist who painted miniatures in Martinique (pictured). Secondly, a piece by David Pullins on Marie Victoire Lemoine's Paint Box at the MET. Included within are many interesting details regarding these rare surviving items, alongside various social economic interpretations etc.

Louvre Secures Chardin's Strawberries!

February 29 2024

Video: Louvre

Posted by Adam Busiakiewicz:

The Louvre in Paris today have announced their success in raising the final €1.6m required to acquire Chardin's The Basket of Wild Strawberries. Their public appeal resulted in engaging a staggering 10,000 donors with an average donation of €165. If my maths is correct, and the Louvre collections website being correct too, then this painting is the 41st work by Chardin in the museum's holdings.

The painting will be making a mini-tour of some French museums in the summer and autumn before returning to Paris next year it seems.

The University of Warwick are Hiring!

February 29 2024

Image of The University of Warwick are Hiring!

Picture: warwickartscentre.co.uk

Posted by Adam Busiakiewicz:

The University of Warwick are hiring an Assistant Professor in History of Art.

According to the job description:

We invite applications from candidates whose research and teaching profile can deepen and extend the Department’s existing strengths, and who can offer a specialism in European modern art in the period 1850-1920. We are open to hearing from applicants with expertise in the art of any geographical region of continental Europe or in its global dimensions.

The job comes with an annual salary of £45,585 to £54,395, and applications must be in by 27th March 2024.

Good luck if you're applying!

Carel de Moor Catalogue Raisonné

February 29 2024

Image of Carel de Moor Catalogue Raisonné

Picture: primaverapers.nl

Posted by Adam Busiakiewicz:

Exciting news that a new monograph and catalogue raisonné on Carel de Moor (1655-1738) has been published today. The volume was compiled by Pamela Fowler and Piet Bakker and is published by Primavera Pers.

According to the blurb:

Carel de Moor (1655–1738). His Life and Work, a monograph and œuvre catalogue, is the first scholarly study of one of the most important Dutch portrait painters of his time. The book includes a comprehensive biography, which explores Carel de Moor’s life and multi-faceted career within the context of the economic, political, and social history of the Dutch Republic.

As a result of the authors’ thorough investigation of De Moor’s client networks, several hitherto unknown sitters have now been identified; other sitters have been provided with new identities.

The Catalogue Raisonné, arranged chronologically within the categories of portraits, history, pastoral scenes, genre and still life, allows us to view De Moor’s œuvre in its totality, to compare his work with that of his predecessors and contemporaries, and to evaluate the development of his artistic style.

As is the ancient custom on AHN, Pamela Fowler and Piet Bakker will now feature within the Heroes of Art History section of this blog.

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