16th Century

Heemskerck Conserved and Decoupled

April 17 2024

Image of Heemskerck Conserved and Decoupled

Picture: historiek.net

Posted by Adam Busiakiewicz:

Interesting news from the Netherlands that a conservation project on Maarten van Heemskerk's Saint Luke Painting the Madonna has recently been completed. The painting, now in the Frans Hals museum, was found to have been two separate paintings which were joined and overpainted at some point during the end of the sixteenth century (click on the link above the see the before image). The work was undertaken in preparation for an exhibition on the artist which opens in September.

Catharina van Hemessen (?) Unveiled in Cincinnati

April 17 2024

Image of Catharina van Hemessen (?) Unveiled in Cincinnati

Picture: eu.cincinatti.com

Posted by Adam Busiakiewicz:

Curious news from Cincinnati that a private collector has loaned a purportedly rediscovered religious work by Catharina van Hemessen to the city's University library for a special exhibition entitled Rediscovering Catharina van Hemessen’s Scourging of Christ: Women Artists, Patrons, and Rulers in Renaissance Europe. The signed work (see above) was brought to the university's attention after technical analysis was undertaken on it by a conservator.

According to the article linked above:

Before the painting landed in Cincinnati, it was briefly displayed in Detroit. The painting's frame reads "collection of E. Raymond Field," a previous owner, and "Exhibited Detroit Institute of Arts."

The exhibition in Detroit was one of only two times in the last 50 to 75 years the "Scourging of Christ" was publicly displayed, [Chris] Platts said.

"Most people don't even know it exists because it's not on public display. It's not in a lot of the Hemmesen books and articles," he said.

"So curators who are doing a show on famous Renaissance women or Baroque women artists wouldn't even know about its existence, or if they do, they wouldn't know where to find it," he added. "That's what makes it special to have it here."

The painting will be on display until 30th April 2024, and it appears that no other comments from other Italian paintings experts have been supplied.

Foschi Transfiguration Restored

April 15 2024

Video: Firenze Fuori

Posted by Adam Busiakiewicz:

Pier Francesco Foschi's Transfiguration, preserved in the Basilica di Santo Spirito in Florence, has been conserved. The work was undertaken by Kyoko Nakahara and Francesca Brogi in collaboration with the Bottega d'arte Maselli.

New Release: Sofonisba Anguissola

April 5 2024

Image of New Release: Sofonisba Anguissola

Picture: Getty Publications

Posted by Adam Busiakiewicz:

Getty Publications have just released a new monograph on Sofonisba Anguissola. The publication is written by Cecilia Gamberini, an independent scholar who has focused a lot on the artist's work at the Spanish court.

According to the blurb on the website:

Sofonisba Anguissola (ca. 1532–1625), an Italian Renaissance painter born in Cremona to a relatively poor noble family, was one of the first women artists to establish an international reputation during her lifetime. This stunningly illustrated monograph explores the evolution of Anguissola’s art from her youth in Cremona through her service as a lady-in-waiting to the Spanish queen Elisabeth of Valois to her later years as a married woman in Sicily and Genoa. Alongside discussions of Anguissola and her work, author Cecilia Gamberini offers a tantalizing exploration of Renaissance court life, detailing how the circles of influence and power operated.

This volume highlights the social, political, and cultural preconditions surrounding Anguissola’s role in the court of King Philip II of Spain and her ascent to becoming an internationally acclaimed painter. Gamberini draws on archival documentation, as well as her own original research, to shine a new light on Anguissola’s life, career, and work in this tribute to a truly groundbreaking artist.

Marquess of Bath to sell £25m Titian at Christie's

April 4 2024

Image of Marquess of Bath to sell £25m Titian at Christie's

Picture: Christie's

Posted by Adam Busiakiewicz:

Exciting news from Christie's London that they will be offering the Marquess of Bath's Rest on the Flight into Eygpt by Titian in their July Old Master Paintings sale. The painting, which has been at Longleat for just shy of 150 years, will be offered carrying an estimate of £15,000,000 – 25,000,000.

On the painting:

Always regarded as a youthful masterpiece by Titian and generally dated circa 1510, there are however some inevitable variations on the precise dating. In his 2012 exhibition at the National Gallery in London: Titian, A fresh look at nature, Antonio Mazzotta, who dates the picture to circa 1508-9, observed that the monumental figure of the Virgin ‘prefigures other Titian heroines’ from the period, notably that of Judith as Justice in the detached fresco fragment from the Merceria entrance to the Fondaco dei Tedeschi, circa 1508 (Venice, Ca d’Oro), a key early commission, and that of the Magdalen in the artist’s slightly later Noli me Tangere, 1511-12 (London, National Gallery).

On it's illustrious provenance and history (which is worth reproducing in full):

The roll call of illustrious provenance for this painting begins with it being first documented in the collection of the Venetian merchant, Bartolomeo della Nave (1571/79-1632), described in 1629 as a ‘mercante da droghe’, whose activities focused on the spice trade. Della Nave's inventory reveals an astonishing collection that is unlikely to have been equalled in Venice during his day and included no fewer than fifteen works by Titian, notably including The Gypsy Madonna of circa 1511; his Violante of circa 1510-15; the Nymph and Shepherd of circa 1570 (all in Vienna, Kunsthistorisches Museum); and the artist’s mature masterpiece of 1565-76, The Death of Actaeon, now in the National Gallery, London. In 1636, the Longleat picture was valued at £200 in della Naves's inventory, twice the amount for the Death of Actaeon, suggesting Titian's early works were more highly prized than their later counterparts.

Through Bartolomeo’s brother, Andrea della Nave, and Basil Feilding, 2nd Earl of Denbigh, King Charles I’s ambassador to Venice, the majority of the collection was acquired en bloc by the latter’s brother-in-law, James, 1st Duke of Hamilton and sent to England. Following Hamilton’s execution by parliament in 1649, the collection was sold to Archduke Leopold Wilhelm of Austria, Governor of the Spanish Netherlands from 1647-1656. The picture appears in Teniers’ copper panel depicting The Archduke Leopold Wilhelm in his Picture Gallery in Brussels (Madrid, Museo del Prado), where it is shown hanging alongside other works by Titian acquired from della Nave’s collection, among which are the Nymph and Shepherd, Violante, and his Christ and the Woman taken in Adultery, circa 1511 (Vienna, Kunsthistorisches Museum), an unfinished panel that the young Anthony van Dyck had made a sketch of during his visit to see the Venetian merchant’s collection in 1622.

The Longleat picture remained in the Imperial collection – passing by descent from Charles VI, Holy Roman Emperor (1685-1740), Vienna, to Maria Theresa (1717-1780), Holy Roman Empress, Archduchess of Austria and Queen of Hungary and Bohemia, to Joseph II, Holy Roman Emperor (1741-1790) – and was transferred to the Belvedere Palace in Vienna by 1781, where it was looted by French troops in 1809 for the Musée Napoléon. It was subsequently owned by Hugh Andrew Johnstone Munro of Novar (1797-1864), a Scottish landowner, amateur artist and one of the most important patrons of Turner. Munro formed a celebrated collection that included Rembrandt’s Lucretia (Washington, National Gallery of Art), Veronese’s Vision of St. Helena (London, National Gallery), and at least ten pictures by Bonington, of which the finest was A fishmarket near Boulogne (New Haven, Yale Centre for British Art).

Early Titians of this calibre are rarely encountered on the market, it will be very exciting to see what it makes. I remember seeing the painting at Longleat several years ago. It was hanging in a very grand room full of Italian pictures in which visitors have to peer behind a rope to view, not ideal viewing conditions. It will be a wonderful opportunity to see it up-close in the galleries during the preview, a rare treat indeed!

A Taste for the Renaissance

April 4 2024

Image of A Taste for the Renaissance

Picture: hotel-de-la-marine.paris

Posted by Adam Busiakiewicz:

I failed to spot that the Hôtel de la Marine in Paris opened a new exhibition last week entitled A Taste for the Renaissance: a dialogue between collections. The show features a series of loaned objects from the Victoria & Albert Museum alongside works from the Al Thani collection.

According to the museum's website:

With more than 130 works of art on display, the exhibition comprises sculpture, metalwork, jewellery, glass, textiles, books, manuscripts, paintings, works on paper and exotica, many of which have never previously been shown in Paris. 

This includes works by Antico, Lucas Cranach the Younger, François Clouet, Vittore Crivelli, Donatello, Nicholas Hilliard, Hans Holbein the Younger and Leonardo da Vinci, together with treasures and objets d'art created for noble and royal patrons by many of the most accomplished artists of the period.

The show will run until 30th June 2024.

Prado Conserve Domenico Tintoretto Portrait

April 3 2024

Image of Prado Conserve Domenico Tintoretto Portrait

Picture: Prado

Posted by Adam Busiakiewicz:

The Spanish Art Account @Boro_PR has noted on 'X' (formerly Twitter) that the Prado have cleaned Domenico Tintoretto's Young Venetian Woman. Famously, the museum owns a set of bust-length portraits of Venetian women by the artist.

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!

New Release: Giants and Dwarfs in European Art and Culture

March 28 2024

Image of New Release: Giants and Dwarfs in European Art and Culture

Picture: Amsterdam University Press

Posted by Adam Busiakiewicz:

The Amsterdam University Press released the following publication earlier this month (one that we've all been waiting for, I think). Giants and Dwarfs in European Art and Culture, ca. 1350-1750: Real, Imagined, Metaphorical was edited by Robin O'Bryan and Felicia Else and contains no less than 392 pages on the subject.

According to the website blurb:

Not since Edward Wood’s Giants and Dwarfs published in 1868 has the subject been the focus of a scholarly study in English. Treating the topic afresh, this volume offers new insights into the vogue for giants and dwarfs that flourished in late-medieval and early modern Europe. From chapters dealing with the real dwarfs and giants in the royal and princely courts, to the imaginary giants and dwarfs that figured in the crafting of nationalistic and ancestral traditions, to giants and dwarfs used as metaphorical expression, scholars discuss their role in art, literature, and ephemeral display. Some essays examine giants and dwarfs as monsters and marvels and collectibles, while others show artists and writers emphasizing contrasts in scale to inspire awe or for comic effect. As these investigations reveal, not all court dwarfs functioned as jesters, and giant figures might equally be used to represent heroes, anti-heroes, and even a saint.

Update - A reader has also alerted me to the recent release of another book on dwarfs, entitled Körperwunder Kleinwuchs: Wahrnehmungen, Deutungen und Darstellungen kleinwüchsiger Menschen und die ›Zwergmode‹ in der Frühen Neuzeit.

Titian's Annunciation Restored

March 27 2024

Image of Titian's Annunciation Restored

Picture: Italy 24 News Press

Posted by Adam Busiakiewicz:

News from Venice that a special display of Titian's newly restored Annunciation has been opened at the Scuola Grande di San Rocco. A special campaign of restoration and research, which began in 2021 and was supported by the Save Venice campaign, has been concluded. The freshly conserved painting has been hung at eye level so that visitors can admire the picture up-close.

The display will continue until 2nd June 2024.

Recent Release: Portraits du Maître de Dinteville

March 19 2024

Image of Recent Release: Portraits du Maître de Dinteville

Picture: silvanaeditoriale.it

Posted by Adam Busiakiewicz:

I failed to mention the publication of this interesting volume at the end of last year. Portraits du Maître de Dinteville is a new scholarly book by Camille Larraz and Rafaël Villa which focuses in on this sixteenth century master usually identified as the artist Bartholomeus Pons. Active in both Troyes and Auxerre between the years 1535 and 1541, this publication aims to draw attention to known and previously unpublished works given to the artist and places him alongside some of his close contemporaries.

Renaissance in the North in Vienna

March 15 2024

Image of Renaissance in the North in Vienna

Picture: khm.at

Posted by Adam Busiakiewicz:

The Kunst Historiches Museum in Vienna will open their latest exhibition next week. Renaissance in the North: Holbein. Burgkmair. Dürer. is a reformatted exhibition that was recently in Frankfurt under a different name, and brings together a vast amount paintings with a particular focus around the city of Augsburg.

According to the museum's website:

The Kunsthistorisches Museum Vienna’s 2024 spring exhibition is devoted to three outstanding pioneers of the Renaissance north of the Alps: Hans Holbein the Elder, Hans Burgkmair, and Albrecht Dürer. It offers a golden opportunity to experience fascinating works by these artists and to explore how Augsburg became the birthplace of the Northern Renaissance.

At the beginning of the sixteenth century, Augsburg – dominated by the hugely wealthy banking family of the Fuggers – was influenced by the art of Italy more than almost any other city north of the Alps. That this was the case is vividly demonstrated by the two most important Augsburg painters of the period: Hans Holbein the Elder (c.1464–1524) and Hans Burgkmair (1473–1531). In the Vienna exhibition, select works by these two very contrasting artists enter into a stimulating dialogue with works by Albrecht Dürer (1471–1528) and further German, Italian, and Netherlandish masters, notably the Augsburg-born Hans Holbein the Younger (1497/98–1543). The exhibition in Vienna showcases more than 160 paintings, sculptures and other works from many of the most important collections of Europe and the United States of America.

The show will run from 19th March until 30th June 2024.

Holbein's Anne of Cleves Cleaned

March 13 2024

Image of Holbein's Anne of Cleves Cleaned

Picture: Louvre

Posted by Adam Busiakiewicz:

A few accounts on social media have pointed out that the Louvre in Paris have conserved Hans Holbein's portrait of Anne of Cleves. As you can see, the results are miraculous, especially compared with its previous appearance (click on the link to see the old images). It just shows that Holbein really was amongst the leading portrait painters of his era, the face, colouring and details are just otherworldly. For an institution that is usually rather cautious with restoring their masterpieces, perhaps the tides are finally turning?

I can't see any further details yet on their press room website, so stay tuned!

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).

Uffizi Restores and Redisplays Bronze

February 28 2024

Image of Uffizi Restores and Redisplays Bronze

Picture: ansa.it

Posted by Adam Busiakiewicz:

News from Italy that the Uffizi Gallery in Florence have restored and redisplayed Jacopo Del Duca's bronze of Silenus and the Infant Bacchus. The work took six months to complete and included a readressing of bronze's surfance and base.

The Invention of the Renaissance

February 28 2024

Image of The Invention of the Renaissance

Picture: bnf.fr

Posted by Adam Busiakiewicz:

The Bibliothèque nationale de France have recently opened an exhibition on The Invention of the Renaissance: The Humanist, the Prince and the Artist. The show brings together 240 works exploring this theme, which includes manuscripts, printed books, prints, drawings, sculptures, objets d'art and coins. It will run until 16th June 2024.

Hairstyles, Women and Power in the Renaissance

February 27 2024

Video: 7GoldTelePadova

Posted by Adam Busiakiewicz:

I failed to spot the opening of this rather interesting sounding exhibition which opened at the Gallerie d'Italia in Vicenza at the end of last year. Faustina's Braids: Hairstyles, women and power in the Renaissance promises to examine the complex history of the world of hair in the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries. Of course, the displays rely heavily on works of art from the period, including vast amounts of paintings and sculpture.

The show will run until 7th April 2024.

The British Museum conserve Michelangelo's Epifania

February 26 2024

Image of The British Museum conserve Michelangelo's Epifania

Picture: The Telegraph

Posted by Adam Busiakiewicz:

The Telegraph have published news that The British Museum have finished a six-year conservation project on Michelangelo's Epifania. The two-metre-tall cartoon consists of no less than 26 sheets that are glued together.

The project was undertaken in anticipation of the museum's Michelangelo: The Last Decades exhibition which will run from 2nd May 2024 until 28th July 2024.

Pontormo Temporarily Rehoused

February 21 2024

Image of Pontormo Temporarily Rehoused

Picture: ansa.it

Posted by Adam Busiakiewicz:

News from Italy that Pontormo's celebrated The Visitation will be temporarily rehoused in the Villa Medici in Poggio a Caiano. This is due to its usual home, the church of San Michele e San Francesco in Carmignano, requiring urgent roof repairs. Fortunately, the painting will be in good company as the Villa Medici happens to contain frescos by the artist.

Barocci Exhibition in Urbino

February 15 2024

Image of Barocci Exhibition in Urbino

Picture: Finestre sull'Arte

Posted by Adam Busiakiewicz:

News from Italy that the Palazzo Ducale in Urbino will be opening an exhibition dedicated to Federico Barocci later in the summer. The monographic show will feature 76 works by the artist and explore his entire career. Visitors will be able to see the exhibition between 20th June 2024 until 6th October 2024.

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