17th Century

Sleeper Alert!

July 12 2024

Image of Sleeper Alert!

Picture: Mallams

Posted by Adam Busiakiewicz:

Social media was awash with speculation a few days ago regarding the following painting catalogued as 'Circle of Guido Reni (1575-1642) - St Agnes'. The picture realised £80,000 (hammer) over its £2k - £3k estimate at Mallams on Wednesday.

Dordrechts Museum looking for paintings relating to Johan de Witt

July 10 2024

Image of Dordrechts Museum looking for paintings relating to Johan de Witt

Picture: CODART

Posted by Adam Busiakiewicz:

CODART (the international network of curators of Dutch and Flemish art) have published an appeal on behalf of the Dordrechts Museum for several paintings relating to Johan de Witt (1625-1672). De Witt, who served as the grand pensionary of the Dutch Republic, will be the focus of an upcoming exhibition in Dordrecht in 2025 and the museum are trying to trace several pictures for the show. Click on the link to read more.

Frans Hals and Workshop - RKD Studies

July 9 2024

Image of Frans Hals and Workshop - RKD Studies

Picture: rkdstudies.nl

Posted by Adam Busiakiewicz:

The RKD in the Netherlands have finally published their Frans Hals and Workshop RKD Study online. This comprehensive study of all of Hals' paintings, undertaken by Prof. Dr. Claus Grimm, is presented in a new online form and draws great attention to the process of the artist alongside new considerations of his studio practise and collaboration with other named artists (see this article for an example of this new approach). There are many pieces of text which explain the visual analysis undertaken to identify the nuances outlined above.

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There is no doubt that this is a very exciting and important resource in regards to the future of catalogue raisonné projects. However, it is also bound to be controversial. Without pointing out any examples in particular, a quick surf through these pages will show that several rather famous paintings (including ones hanging in important museums and private collections) have been slightly (or significantly) downgraded and in some cases completely demoted to 'Workshop' in attributional terms. In fact, as the catalogue points out itself, there are some examples of paintings featured within that have appeared as recently in the 2023/24 London and Rijksmuseum shows as Frans Hals in full, however, have in his study been allocated to followers of completely different artists altogether. Having compared the websites of several museums and private collections to the attributions found in this study, it's clear that these institutions haven't budged just yet. We shall wait and see if and how the art world will respond in due course.

Snijders&Rockoxhuis acquire Cornelis Schut sketch

July 3 2024

Image of Snijders&Rockoxhuis acquire Cornelis Schut sketch

Picture: @galerie_ldw

Posted by Adam Busiakiewicz:

The Galerie Lowet de Wotrenge have announced on Instagram that the Snijders&Rockoxhuis in Antwerp have acquired Cornelis Schut's sketch for The Circumcision of Christ. The painting had appeared at Hampel a number of years ago.

Art Gallery of New South Wales acquire Zurbaran Still Life

July 3 2024

Image of Art Gallery of New South Wales acquire Zurbaran Still Life

Picture: @matthiesengallery

Posted by Adam Busiakiewicz:

The Matthiesen Gallery have announced on Instagram that the Art Gallery of New South Wales have acquired a Still Life by Juan de Zurbaran. The gallery had led a successful public appeal to help raise the funds to acquire the work. The painting had sold at auction in Madrid in October 2022 and had recently been on Nicholas Hall's stand at TEFAF 2024.

According to the gallery's website:

In this quintessentially Spanish still life, a pear and a shiny pewter plate containing five life-size apples are presented tantalisingly close to our gaze, as if beckoning us to reach out and hold them. The artist endows these ordinary objects we all know intimately – with an ineluctable sense of presence and mystery that they do not possess in real life.

Recent Release: Cecco Bravo

July 3 2024

Image of Recent Release: Cecco Bravo

Picture: editricedarte.com

Posted by Adam Busiakiewicz:

The Italian scholar Francesca Baldassari has just published a two volume book on Cecco Bravo (1601-1661). The edition has been produced by Editrice Darte.

According to the publisher's website:

The author has put together seventy-seven autograph paintings, some of which are presented for the first time on this occasion, others already recognized to Cecco by the writer during her long years of study of seventeenth-century Florentine painting, ordering them chronologically by stylistic induction and through comparison with the very notable and more documented production in fresco.

Even more meritorious is the feat of gathering nearly four hundred of the artist’s drawings scattered in major museums around the world and in the most prestigious private collections, reproduced almost entirely in color.

Van Dyck Sketch Reunited with Dendermonde Church Painting

July 3 2024

Image of Van Dyck Sketch Reunited with Dendermonde Church Painting

Picture: left - Wikipedia / right - Phoebus Foundation

Posted by Adam Busiakiewicz:

The Phoebus Foundation, one of the most active organisations dedicated to Flemish and Netherlandish art in the world right now, have lent their Van Dyck sketch of The Adoration of the Shepherds to the Church of Our Lady in Dendermonde. Most notably, this church contains the artist's finished version of the composition (pictured left).

According to the foundation's website:

As part of the Flemish Masters in Situ art project, various Flemish masterpieces are displayed at their original locations. For example, a bozzetto by Anthony Van Dyck from our collection can be viewed in the Church of Our Lady in Dendermonde. This rare compositional sketch illustrates The Adoration of the Shepherds, which was designed for the church’s chapel.

The bozzetto offers a glimpse into Van Dyck’s initial concepts for the composition. The sketch was likely made to present his design and secure the commission. Most of the sketch is executed in grisaille, with a few color accents. Notable is the difference from the final composition, where various characters have changed in position or appearance, while other figures have remained unchanged.

In addition to the bozzetto and the final work, this summer you also have the chance to take a behind-the-scenes look at the restoration of another Van Dyck masterpiece, namely Christ on the Cross, which can also be seen in the Church of Our Lady.

The loan will continue until 11th October 2024.

Seminar of the Royal Institute for Cultural Heritage

June 27 2024

Image of  Seminar of the Royal Institute for Cultural Heritage

Picture: The National Gallery, London

Posted by Adam Busiakiewicz:

The Royal Institute for Cultural Heritage (KIK-IRPA) in Belgium have released details for their upcoming 23rd Art History Seminar. This year's topic will be The Archduchess Isabella (1566-1633): Artistic Agency between Madrid and the Southern Netherlands and features 2 days' worth of talks from scholars and workshops on the subject. The seminar will take place on 12th & 13th September 2024.

UK Places Export Ban on Louis XIV's £7.5m Table

June 24 2024

Image of UK Places Export Ban on Louis XIV's £7.5m Table

Picture: gov.uk

Posted by Adam Busiakiewicz:

The UK Government has placed a temporary export ban on a spectacular table made between 1668 - 1681 and attributed to Bernard Perrot (1640-1709). The table has been identified as having been in the collection of Louis XIV, before it was sold in 1752. It appears to have later been in the collection of Clopton House, Warwickshire, before it was sold at auction in 1975 and 1988 respectively. Interested institutions have until 18th October 2024 to find £7,500,000 to keep the work of art in the country.

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Brief conversations I've had about similar cases relating to important and valuable furniture leaving the UK have always been rather disheartening. Unlike paintings, for which there are several big galleries with healthy acquisition pots, the obvious place for such high quality and valuable works of decorative arts would usually be the V&A. However, in recent years this institution has been in the press for making drastic budget and staff cuts rather than making stellar acquisitions. Fingers crossed that something can be done in this instance.

Museum of Fine Arts Budapest Acquire Juan de Zurbarán

June 24 2024

Image of Museum of Fine Arts Budapest Acquire Juan de Zurbarán

Picture: mfab.hu

Posted by Adam Busiakiewicz:

The Museum of Fine Arts in Budapest has acquired a still life by Juan de Zurbarán (spotted on 'X' via @MiguelGranado74). A quick search on Google shows that the picture was exhibited by Charles Beddington at TEFAF in 2023 and was acquired by the museum this year.

On Thin Ice at the Getty

June 21 2024

Image of On Thin Ice at the Getty

Picture: getty.edu

Posted by Adam Busiakiewicz:

I failed to spot that the Getty Center in Los Angeles opened a new exhibition at the end of last month. On Thin Ice: Dutch Depictions of Extreme Weather might just be the perfect antidote to the sweltering Californian summer! 

According to the museum's website:

In the 17th century, frigid winters and unusually cool summers blanketed northern Europe in what became known as the Little Ice Age. Dutch artists depicted this persistent global cooling in scenes of daily activities like ice skating and fishing. Highlighting human vulnerability and resilience in the face of a changing climate, these works offer opportunities to reflect on our current environmental crises. This exhibition features works by Hendrick Avercamp and other Dutch artists of the 1600s.

The show will run until 1st September 2024.

Spanish Authorities move to Declare Rubens an Asset of Cultural Interest

June 19 2024

Image of Spanish Authorities move to Declare Rubens an Asset of Cultural Interest

Picture: Wikipedia

Posted by Adam Busiakiewicz:

The Spanish art account @Boro_RR has pointed out on 'X' (formerly Twitter) that the authorities in Spain have undertaken the administrative steps to declare Rubens' Samson Breaking the Jaws of a Lion (pictured) an Asset of Cultural Interest. The painting, which was up until the 1990s in the collections of the Duke de Hernani, remains in a private collection. It seems possible that the declaration, which may result in the picture being unexportable, was enacted due to a potential sale outside of Spain.

Restored Rubens Redisplayed

June 19 2024

Video: The National Gallery, London

Posted by Adam Busiakiewicz:

The National Gallery in London have redisplayed Rubens' The Judgement of Paris yesterday after a 14-month restoration project. The study has revealed some interesting pentimenti alongside a greater understanding of some retouching that occurred to the painting between 1676 and 1721.

Zurbarán in Lyon

June 17 2024

Image of Zurbarán in Lyon

Picture: mba-lyon.fr

Posted by Adam Busiakiewicz:

The Musée des beaux arts de Lyon have been sharing some photos on their 'X' account (@mbalyon) showing the ongoing conservation of Francisco de Zurbarán's full-length painting of Saint Francis. The restoration work anticipates the museum's upcoming exhibition dedicated to the artist, which will reunite several paintings of the saint including those kept at the Museu Nacional d'Art de Catalunya and the Museum of Fine Art of Boston. The show is expected to open in December 2024 #mce_temp_url# (<----CLICK HERE FOR A LINK).

Leonardo Engravings at the Château Royal d'Amboise

June 17 2024

Image of Leonardo Engravings at the Château Royal d'Amboise

Picture: bnf.fr

Posted by Adam Busiakiewicz:

A new exhibition dedicated to engravings after works by Leonardo da Vinci has recently opened at the Château Royal d'Amboise (CLICK HERE FOR A LINK---->)#mce_temp_url#. Focusing on works on paper from the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, the show is the product of a collaborative research project between the University of Liège and the Bibliothèque nationale de France.

The exhibition will run until 22nd September 2024.

National Museum of Wales Conserving Strozzi

June 14 2024

Image of National Museum of Wales Conserving Strozzi

Picture: 'X' via @NMWPrevCons

Posted by Adam Busiakiewicz:

The National Museum of Wales in Cardiff have shared this interesting mid-clean image of Bernardo Strozzi's St Francis of Assisi embracing a Crucifix. Follow this link ----->#mce_temp_url# to see an image of the painting prior to conservation, it promises to be a remarkable clean!

Colección Delgado at the Museo de la Ciudad de Antequera

June 13 2024

Video: ElSoldeAntequera

Posted by Adam Busiakiewicz:

A new display has just opened at the Museo de la Ciudad de Antequera in southern Spain. The exhibition space comprises of 38 paintings borrowed from the Colección Delgado, which includes works by Velázquez and Murillo. The display will be on view in the museum until 2029.

Van Dyck Prints in Georgia

June 11 2024

Image of Van Dyck Prints in Georgia

Picture: georgiamuseum.org

Posted by Adam Busiakiewicz:

The Georgia Museum of Art have just opened their latest exhibition entitled A Perfect Model: Prints after Anthony van Dyck’s Portraits.

According to the museum's website:

Anthony van Dyck (Flemish, 1599 – 1641) was one of the most successful artists of his generation, especially admired for his evocative portraits. He undertook the ambitious project of creating a series of prints depicting famous scholars, military men, nobles and artists. Van Dyck’s prints were widely copied by his contemporaries and were often altered and reprinted over the centuries. This exhibition presents prints that attest to Van Dyck’s lasting impact as printmaker and portraitist.

The show will run until 1st December 2024.

Versailles Conserving Mignard's 'The family of the Grand Dauphin'

June 10 2024

Image of Versailles Conserving Mignard's 'The family of the Grand Dauphin'

Picture: @CVersailles

Posted by Adam Busiakiewicz:

The Palace of Versailles have published some rather interesting mid-clean photographs of the conservation of Pierre Mignard's The family of the Grand Dauphin, Louis of France (1661-1711). This large-scale work, which was delivered in 1687, is the latest to be treated by conservators at the Palace.

Have you seen this man?

June 7 2024

Image of Have you seen this man?

Picture: CODART

Posted by Adam Busiakiewicz:

CODART have shared news that the curators of the Serlachius Museums in Mänttä and Museum De Lakenhal in Leiden are looking for works by the elusive Monogrammist I.S. This in aid of an upcoming exhibition on the unknown master, which is scheduled to open in Finland in August 2025, and moving to Leiden the following year.

According to the website:

The two museums are collaborating on an exhibition about the work of this enigmatic artist, who was active between 1632 and 1658. Little is known about his or her identity, except that they seem to have worked in Leiden and traveled through Scandinavia and/or Eastern Europe. 

Click on the link to see images of the works the curators are searching for.

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