Study Prints at The British Library!

April 3 2024

Image of Study Prints at The British Library!

Picture: The British Library

Posted by Adam Busiakiewicz:

Birkbeck, University of London, and the British Library are advertising a fully-funded PhD Studentship on RE-EVALUATING THE STATUS OF PRINTS AT THE BRITISH LIBRARY.

According to the description on their website:

The focus of this project is on identifying, researching and analysing the provenance, changing status and visibility of about 500 books of prints in the British Library’s collection, using an 1812 unpublished finding list as a starting point.

This project will be jointly supervised by Kate Retford at Birkbeck (Professor of History of Art, School of Historical Studies) and Felicity Myrone at the British Library (Lead Curator, Western Prints and Drawings). The student will spend time with both Birkbeck and the British Library and will become part of the wider cohort of AHRC CDP funded PhD students across the UK.  

The studentship comes with the National Minimum Doctoral Stipend for the academic year 2024/25, which is £19,237 per annum, plus an additional £2,000 and £550 per year due to London weighting and CDP maintenance payments respectively. Applications must be in by 29th April 2024.

Good luck if you're applying!

GF Watts Self Portrait Accepted in Lieu of Tax

April 3 2024

Image of GF Watts Self Portrait Accepted in Lieu of Tax

Picture: Christie's

Posted by Adam Busiakiewicz:

The Watts Gallery in Compton, Surrey, have announced their acquisition of a Self Portrait by George Frederic Watts as part of the Acceptance in Lieu Scheme. The painting, which was painted in 1867 the year Watts was accepted as a member of the R.A., settled £92,978 of tax.

According to the gallery's press release:

Originally acquired from the artist by Charles Hilditch Rickards (1812-1886), the Manchester merchant, philanthropist and collector who was influential in the development of the artist’s career, the painting was subsequently owned by Thomas Henry Ismay (1817-1899), founder of the famous White Star Line, and Kerrison Preston (1884-1974), whose collection of 19th century art also included Choosing (1864) – Watts’s much-admired portrait of his first wife, Ellen Terry.

Now,120 years since the Gallery first opened its doors on 1 April 1904, visitors to Watts Gallery can see how G F Watts chose to portray himself as this critical point in his career. And, displayed alongside earlier and later self-portraits, the painting will further understanding about the development of self-identity across the course of a long life and career.

This story also provides me with the opportunity of sharing my enthusiasm for this brief discussion of Watts' Self Portraits by Richard Jefferies, one of the former directors of the Watts Gallery.

Trinity College Dublin are Hiring!

April 3 2024

Image of Trinity College Dublin are Hiring!

Picture: National Gallery of Ireland

Posted by Adam Busiakiewicz:

Trinity College Dublin at the University of Dublin are hiring an Associate Professor in History of Renaissance Art.

According to the job description:

The School of Histories and Humanities at Trinity College Dublin seeks to appoint an Associate Professor in the History of Renaissance Art, based in the Department of History of Art and Architecture. Candidates can have expertise in any area of Renaissance art and must demonstrate an ability to incorporate collections in Ireland in their teaching and research. It is also desirable that candidates should have experience of working with museum collections.

The primary purpose of this post is to contribute to teaching and research in history of art and to administrative activities in the Department and School. The successful applicant will have a proven record of research and publication in the History of Renaissance Art commensurate to the role and will be expected to contribute to both undergraduate and postgraduate teaching in this field and to interdisciplinary curricular teaching, supervision, and mentoring.

The job comes with an annual salary of between €85,675 and €110,635 and applications must be in by 10th April 2024.

Good luck if you're applying!

Show me the Wilkies, says Catalogue Raisonné writer to Tate

April 2 2024

Image of Show me the Wilkies, says Catalogue Raisonné writer to Tate

Picture: Tate

Posted by Adam Busiakiewicz:

The Telegraph have published an article on the plea of a scholar to be allowed more generous and timely access to paintings at Tate Britain in order to complete a catalogue raisonné project. Alex Kidson, the compiler of the Paul Mellon Centre's catalogue on George Romney, has been completing a catalogue raisonné on the Scottish Artist David Wilkie (1785–1841), a project begun by the late Hamish Miles (d. 2017). The article focuses on Kidson's requests to see many Wilkie kept in storage at Tate Britain, which has been a gargantuan task.

According to the piece:

“I haven’t succeeded in seeing the Wilkie paintings”, Mr Kidson said. “The Tate says, ‘You can go on a Tuesday morning for one hour and you’re limited to looking at five works’. If the next visit is full up, you have to wait until there’s a free spot. That’s usually about six or seven weeks ahead.

“The last time I tried they said they can make three of these works available, but a further one was not allowed to be seen at all. They didn’t say why not. I originally approached them to see these Wilkies in late November. I returned the application form on Dec 1 and in response to that was offered Feb 3. ‘The public own these works’

“That’s waiting months. I took that spot and then found I couldn’t attend for personal reasons. They said, the next available date is mid-April, but that was too late for my deadlines.”

He added: “The situation is ridiculous because the public own these works. The Tate is playing God with them.”

The piece includes quotes from other curators and scholars who are calling on Tate to be more helpful, alongside the long-standing calls for more works to be loaned out to museums where they can be placed on view. Click on the link above to read more.

National Library of Ireland Acquire Caroline Waldegrave Watercolours

April 2 2024

Image of National Library of Ireland Acquire Caroline Waldegrave Watercolours

Picture: National Library of Ireland

Posted by Adam Busiakiewicz:

The National Library of Ireland have announced its acquisition of two watercolours by Caroline Waldegrave. The pair, dated to circa 1820, shows vistas along the Dargle river with the Powerscourt Estate, south of Dublin. A former catalogue note suggests the artist may have been Lady Caroline Waldegrave (1765-1831).

The University of Edinburgh are Hiring!

April 2 2024

Posted by Adam Busiakiewicz:

The Edinburgh College of Art at the University of Edinburgh are hiring a Lecturer in Pre-Modern Art History.

According to the job description:

We are looking for an enthusiastic and committed colleague with experience or potential to produce exceptional teaching and research in the field of Pre-Modern art history. In particular we require a colleague who will help us maintain and extend our current teaching and research partnerships with national collections in Edinburgh which are world-leaders in this area. You will join a growing team of internationally recognised art historians to develop and teach courses in your research area and contribute to team-teaching across all levels of our curriculum, from undergraduate to doctoral level. You will have demonstrable capability and/or plans to deliver significant research outputs, build partnerships with local, national and international organisations, and attract external research funding. You will be ambitious for your field and its potential to change existing or introduce new narratives. 

The job comes with an annual salary of between £45,585 to £54,395 and applications must be in by 23rd April 2024.

Good luck if you're applying!

Potter's Bull Restored Live

April 2 2024

Image of Potter's Bull Restored Live


Posted by Adam Busiakiewicz:

Visitors to the Mauritshuis in the Hague will be able to watch the conservation of Paulus Potter's famous The Bull live! The 18-month project will include a detailed examination alongside a full restoration of the work, which will be able to be seen behind a glass screen (pictured).

In fact, a discovery has already been made during preliminary research for the project:

Preliminary research has revealed that the National Gallery of Ireland (Dublin) owns a painting that can be linked to The Bull [Pictured on the left side in the photo above]. Paintings Conservator Jolijn Schilder of the Mauritshuis discovered that Potter once made a large painting (approx. 2.10 m x 1.70 m) depicting The Abduction of Europa. It turns out that the oval painting Head of a White Bull was once part of this larger painting -- much of which has been lost, leaving only this fragment. The two bulls are different colours, but the heads are depicted in a very similar way. As a result, the ‘Irish’ bull will be an invaluable research companion for the ‘Dutch’ bull. The art historical and technical research into the Head of the White Bull is a collaborative project between the National Gallery of Ireland and the Mauritshuis. Both bulls will be on view during the technical examination at the Mauritshuis between March and May 2024.

Syndicat National des Antiquaires Rally Against EU Import Regulations

April 2 2024

Image of Syndicat National des Antiquaires Rally Against EU Import Regulations


Posted by Adam Busiakiewicz:

Interesting news from France that the Syndicat National des Antiquaires (SNA), which represents roughly 300 dealers and members in France and abroad, is rallying against forthcoming EU Regulations regarding the import of cultural artefacts. Effectively, in an attempt to rout illegal trade of cultural artefacts stricter criteria will be introduced in providing for licenses for works over 200 years old and worth more than €18,000.

According to the article above:

According to UK-based consultant and adviser to art trade associations Ivan Macquisten, the law “deems an imported item illicit, unless proven otherwise”.

He adds that this means a “reversal of the burden of proof”, effectively scrapping common property law that assumes the owner’s good faith.

The SNA, which lobbies on behalf of around 300 French antique and art dealers, said that the regulation will also make it difficult for owners to donate cultural objects – like fossils, antiquities, texts and art – to museums.

Owners of items over 200 years old that are valued above €18,000 will need an "importer statement". They’ll also need an import licence for other items over 250 years old.

Norton Museum of Art Gifted 700 Prints

April 2 2024

Image of Norton Museum of Art Gifted 700 Prints


Posted by Adam Busiakiewicz:

The Norton Museum of Art in Florida has been gifted a collection of nearly 700 prints by the property developer Jonathan 'Jack' Frost. Frost has been a long-standing supporter of the museum, including during its $100m expansion in the early 2000s.

A large selection of the gift will be exhibited at the museum between 20th April and 11th August 2024.

Nelson-Atkins Museum to sell $18m Monet

April 2 2024

Image of Nelson-Atkins Museum to sell $18m Monet


Posted by Adam Busiakiewicz:

The Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art in Kansas City will be selling an $18m Monet from their collection at Christie's in May.

The ownership of the painting is slightly complicated, as the article linked above explains:

The museum, which only partially owns the work, will put its share of the proceeds towards establishing a new acquisition fund.

The Nelson-Atkins received this riverfront scene from Ethel B. Atha, wife of famed Folgers Coffee salesman Frank P. Atha, in 1986. The trailblazing Impressionist art dealer Paul Durand-Ruel first bought the work from Monet in 1891. It changed hands twice and ended up in the Athas’ possession some 50 years later. Ethel B. Atha donated the painting to the Nelson-Atkins as a partial gift, offering the institution two-thirds ownership while her family retained the final third. Following her death, that share fell to her daughter, Ethelyn Atha Chase, who passed away last September.

The museums Director's Julián Zugazagoitia has expressed that a new acquisitions fund could be useful as it “might identify the Monets of tomorrow.”

British Art for the April Burlington Magazine

April 2 2024

Image of British Art for the April Burlington Magazine


Posted by Adam Busiakiewicz:

April's edition of the Burlington is dedicated to British Art, and appears to contain the usual very interesting selection of research and discoveries (including the Hilliard pictured above!).

A list of the articles featured in this edition:

A newly discovered cabinet miniature by Nicholas Hilliard - BY ELIZABETH GOLDRING,EMMA RUTHERFORD

Phillipo: an Ottoman merchant painted by George Stubbs - BY THEODORE MOULD

A portrait by Richard Westall of the poet Eleanor Porden - BY BARBARA BRYANT

The decoration of the ballroom wing at Buckingham Palace, 1850–56 - BY PETER T.J. RUMLEY

Thomas Lawrence’s portrait of Martha Carr - BY FÁTIMA BETHENCOURT PÉREZ,ERNEST KOWALCZYK

Dorotheum April Old Masters Sale

April 2 2024

Image of Dorotheum April Old Masters Sale

Picture: Dorotheum

Posted by Adam Busiakiewicz:

The Dorotheum in Vienna have published their upcoming sale of Old Master Paintings online. As usual, there are lots of interesting lots to peruse, including this recently reattributed Louyse Moillon (which had appeared at Roseberys in an uncleaned state back in 2021). The sale will take place on 24th April 2024.

Happy Easter!

March 29 2024

Image of Happy Easter!

Picture: The Resurrection of Christ by Michelangelo, from The British Museum's collection

Posted by Adam Busiakiewicz:

Wishing all the readers of AHN a very Happy Easter!

Thank you very much for sticking with the blog and for all of your contributions and comments which are always very welcome and well received. Apologies if I have failed to reply to all of them, but they are most valuable in keeping the blog alive!

Fra Angelico Predella and Altarpiece Reunited

March 29 2024

Posted by Adam Busiakiewicz:

News from Italy that a predella and altarpiece by Fra Angelico have been reunited. The altarpiece, depicting the Coronation of the Virgin, was dislocated from its predella at the end of World War II. They had been kept in separate museums, split between the Uffizi and the San Marco Museums in Florence respectively, for decades. Fortunately, the Uffizi have now sent their altarpiece to be reunited with its predella, for an indefinite period it seems, in the San Marco Museum.

New Release: The Art of Naval Portraiture

March 29 2024

Image of New Release: The Art of Naval Portraiture


Posted by Adam Busiakiewicz:

The Royal Museums Greenwich have just released a new book entitled The Art of Naval Portraiture. This publication was written by Katherine Gazzard, one of the museum's curators.

According to the book's blurb:

From elite officers to ordinary sailors, the portrayal of naval personnel has been a significant branch of British art for over 500 years. The National Maritime Museum, Greenwich holds the largest collection of naval portraits in the world, including over 600 paintings and many more prints and drawings, spanning from the sixteenth century to the present day.

These portraits reveal how the Royal Navy was viewed at different moments in history and grant us access to individual stories, revealing the concerns and aspirations of people and families caught up in naval affairs. Many are also innovative and important works of art. For centuries, naval portraits have forged, reinforced and challenged ideas of gender, heroism and loyalty. They have functioned as icons of empire, demonstrations of professionalism and personal mementos for loved ones.

While charting the historical evolution of the Royal Navy’s image and explaining the meaning of common naval symbols – from anchors, cannons and swords to uniforms, medals and badges, this book also tells the stories of specific artists, sitters and collectors, and of the places where portraits were made and displayed, from private homes to public exhibitions and ultimately the museum itself.

The Last Caravaggio coming to London

March 29 2024

Image of The Last Caravaggio coming to London


Posted by Adam Busiakiewicz:

The National Gallery in London will be hosting Caravaggio's Martyrdom of Saint Ursula, on loan from the Gallerie d’Italia Naples, from 18th April until 21st July 2024.

According to the gallery's website:

Few paintings are better placed to tell the story of Caravaggio’s final years than his last-known work, 'The Martyrdom of Saint Ursula' (1610, Gallerie d’Italia, Naples). The painting is coming to London for the first time in 20 years.

We witness violence at uncomfortably close quarters. Caravaggio shows us an intricate interplay of guilty and innocent hands. And his own self portrait looks on, helpless.

We'll display this painting with the letter that describes its creation (Archivio di Stato, Naples), and our own late Caravaggio, 'Salome with the Head of John the Baptist' (about 1609–10).

In our Bicentenary year, you’re invited to contemplate this masterpiece. Explore the troubled end of Caravaggio's life, the stories of Ursula and Salome, and reflect on violence today.

Nicholas Cullinan gets BM Director Job!

March 28 2024

Posted by Adam Busiakiewicz:

Big news to report this afternoon that Nicholas Cullinan OBE, current director of the National Portrait Gallery in London, has landed the job of Director of the British Museum. He takes over from Hartwig Fischer, who resigned over the dramatic thefts scandal which made headline news last year.

According to Cullinan, quoted in the article linked above:

“I look forward to joining its wonderful and dedicated staff and to work with its hugely impressive board in leading it into a new chapter.

“This will encompass the most significant transformations, both architectural and intellectual, happening in any museum globally, to continue making the British Museum the most engaged and collaborative it can be.”


It is true that Cullinan's leadership of the NPG since 2015 has brought the museum into the 21st century, particularly with its emphasis on being 'trendy' (particularly where the new cafe, bar and shop are concerned at least). It will be interesting to see how this might translate to the vast complex of buildings, galleries and disciplines housed within The British Museum. This is not to mention the large questions posed by the increasingly international contexts and pressures of the purpose and role of such significant national museums. Transforming the NPG, with its relatively smaller spaces, lends itself to being filled with fashion shows and celebrity DJs (see Cullinan's Instagram Account for an up-to-date insight into this side of his role as Director).

AHN wishes Nicholas all the best in this new role!

Bonhams April Sale

March 28 2024

Image of Bonhams April Sale

Picture: Bonhams

Posted by Adam Busiakiewicz:

Bonhams London have published their upcoming April Old Master Paintings Sale. As usual, I won't spoil the fun by pointing out any lots in particular which may or may not look interesting. The sale will take place on 10th April 2024.

Bendor on Rembrandt

March 28 2024

Image of Bendor on Rembrandt

Picture: The Art Newspaper

Posted by Adam Busiakiewicz:

Bendor's latest piece for The Art Newspaper focuses on the question of 'Who will rule Rembrandtland? Behind the search for an authority on the Old Master'. The text examines the scholarly and authoritative gap left after the passing of Ernst van der Wetering, alongside some of the claims of an attributional 'Wild West' published in the Dutch news outlet NRC earlier this year.

Restoring the Louvre's Van Eyck

March 28 2024

Video: Louvre

Posted by Adam Busiakiewicz:

The Louvre in Paris have made the following video detailing their recent work on Jan van Eyck's La Vierge et l'Enfant au chancelier Rolin. The work is currently the focal point of an exhibition at the museum which runs until June.

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.