18th Century

18th Century Masterpieces from the Uffizi in Shanghai

April 18 2024

Video: International Channel Shanghai

Posted by Adam Busiakiewicz:

The Bund One Art Museum in Shanghai opened a new exhibition last week of 18th Century Masterpieces from the Uffizi in Florence. The show contains no fewer than 80 paintings including works by Francisco Goya, Canaletto, François Boucher, Jean-Baptiste Siméon Chardin, Bernardo Bellotto, Jean-Étienne Liotard, Giuseppe Maria Crespi and others.

The show will run until 25th August 2024.

Tiepolo Drawings in Paris

April 15 2024

Image of Tiepolo Drawings in Paris

Picture: Beaux-Arts de Paris

Posted by Adam Busiakiewicz:

The Beaux-Arts de Paris opened their latest drawings exhibition at the end of last month. The Tiepolos, invention and virtuosity in Venice brings together drawings and etchings by Giambattista Tiepolo and his two sons.

According to the blurb on the website:

The Beaux-Arts de Paris owns a remarkable collection of ten works by Giambattista Tiepolo (1696-1770), making it the second-largest public collection of the artist's drawings in France. Above all, this collection is the only one in France to include drawings not only by Giambattista, but also by his two painter sons, Giandomenico (1727-1804) and Lorenzo (1736-1776), as well as another of Tiepolo's assistants in the 1730s, Giovanni Raggi. This collection alone provides an overview of graphic practices within the family and the studio.

The study of these sheets and prints, combined with works by other artists - sources of inspiration such as Rembrandt, masters such as Piazzetta, and contemporaries such as Canaletto, Guardi and Novelli - highlights the great modernity of their art. This is particularly evident in their ability to produce variations on the same theme, both in traditional religious and mythological subjects and in figure studies, particularly caricatures, as well as scenes from Venetian life. The exhibition also explores the relationship between the father and his sons, and the work within a family of artists.

The show will run until 30th June 2024.

And a Chardin Melon for Paris!

April 5 2024

Image of And a Chardin Melon for Paris!

Picture: Christie's Paris

Posted by Adam Busiakiewicz:

And published on the same day (as yesterday) is news that Christie's Paris will be offering this Chardin Still Life in their upcoming sale in June. The painting, which had been in both the Marcille and Rothschild collections, will be offered with an estimate of €8m - €12m.

A Park Avenue Collection at Christie's New York

March 27 2024

Image of A Park Avenue Collection at Christie's New York

Picture: Christie's

Posted by Adam Busiakiewicz:

Christie's New York have recently published a single owner sale, called A Park Avenue Collection, which happens to contain some rather choice Old Masters that are worth looking up. The auction will take place on 17th April 2024.

Highlights include a St Petersburg era portrait of Vigée Le Brun's daughter (pictured), a Rubens oil sketch, a beautifully preserved Greuze and a dancing dog painting by Fragonard.

Amongst the lower value lots is this incredible evocative pigment-faded Simon Verelst still life, a painting which has a beautiful modern sensibility about it, I think:

MET Acquires Mughal Portrait

March 27 2024

Video: Sotheby's

Posted by Adam Busiakiewicz:

The Metropolitan Museum of Art's curator Adam Eaker has announced the museum's acquisition of Francesco Renaldi's Portrait of a Mughal Lady. The picture was acquired from the December Sotheby's London Evening sale for £825,500. Eaker has promised 'to go further down the research rabbit hole to tell her story', so we'll await more news as and when it arrives.

Holkham's Rosalba Carriera Conserved

March 14 2024

Image of Holkham's Rosalba Carriera Conserved

Picture: holkham.co.uk

Posted by Adam Busiakiewicz:

I'm a little late to the news that Holkham Hall have conserved their portrait of Edward, Viscount Coke (1719-1753) by Rosalba Carriera. Click here to read a blog about the artist and sitter, alongside a description of the conservation work undertaken by Deborah Bates. Many readers will know of how tricky it is to conserve pastels due to their incredible fragile nature. What a transformation!

Chirk Castle Servant Portrait

March 14 2024

Image of Chirk Castle Servant Portrait

Picture: The National Trust

Posted by Adam Busiakiewicz:

The National Trust published a press release last week regarding a conservation and research project into a rare portrait at Chirk Castle. The painting depicts a former servant at the castle, John Wilton (c.1691-1751), who suffered from physical disabilities.

According to the trust's website:

John Chu, National Trust Senior Curator for Paintings and Sculpture explains: “We don’t know why Sir Richard Myddelton specifically gave John Wilton a home at the castle and why his cousin commissioned such a large portrait of him. The rarity of examples of full-length portraits of servants means we don’t know for sure how they were regarded at the time.

“While John Wilton is being celebrated as an individual, the gold inscription describing him as the ‘glory’ or ‘pride’ of the kitchen is in Latin. If there's a play on high and low forms of art and stations in life here, how fully could he have been in on the joke in this learned language?

"However, historic portraits typically record a relationship between at least three people; the artist, the sitter and the person who commissioned it. While this picture was painted for Robert Myddelton, a man of very high status, this is also an artistic document of one working man's encounter with another. We're seeing Wilton through Whitmore's eyes: and in that respect it provides an incredibly rare if not unique insight."

Click on the link to read more about this very intriguing work of art.

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!

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.

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.

Portraiture in 18th Century Europe - Symposium

February 27 2024

Image of Portraiture in 18th Century Europe - Symposium

Picture: dfk-paris.org

Posted by Adam Busiakiewicz:

Some readers might be interested in the upcoming Symposium in March on the subject of Portraiture in 18th Century Europe: Artwork – social practice – circulation. Organised by the German Center for Art History in Paris, the conference will be bringing together vast amounts of scholars who will share new research and perspectives on the topic.

According to the blurb on the website:

Whether a manifestation of political power, expression of intimate feelings, an embellishing masquerade or a faithful likeness, the art of portraiture in the Age of Enlightenment was marked by exceptional diversity throughout Europe. Between the apogee of absolutism and the political, social and intellectual upheavals of the revolutionary era, it became a mirror of a society in full mutation. The aim of the symposium is to study portraiture from a multifaceted perspective, tracing its social, theoretical, artistic and material conditions. Focusing on its development during the Enlightenment in the French context, we also wish to open the discussions up to a European perspective.

Burghley Sending Kauffmans to RA

February 23 2024

Image of Burghley Sending Kauffmans to RA

Picture: burghley.co.uk

Posted by Adam Busiakiewicz:

As part of the building excitement surrounding the Royal Academy's upcoming exhibition on Angelica Kauffman, Burghley House in Lincolnshire has shared some fun pictures of their pictures being packed up for the show. This important collection will be sending four works by the artist to the RA.

Grimsthorpe Castle to conserve Thornhill Monarchs

February 21 2024

Image of Grimsthorpe Castle to conserve Thornhill Monarchs

Picture: grimsthorpecollection

Posted by Adam Busiakiewicz:

Grimsthorpe Castle in Lincolnshire have announced on their Instagram page that they will be sending Sir James Thornhill's monumental English Monarch grisailles to the Hamilton Kerr Institute for a special conservation project. This scheme of decoration was completed in the 1720s and the current restoration campaign will presumably take some time to complete!

Countess Maria Benedetta di San Martino sent to Bologna

February 14 2024

Image of Countess Maria Benedetta di San Martino sent to Bologna

Picture: Museo Nacional Thyssen-Bornemisza

Posted by Adam Busiakiewicz:

The Museo Nacional Thyssen-Bornemisza in Madrid have sent Pompeo Batoni's Portrait of the Countess Maria Benedetta di San Martino to the Museo Davia Bargellini in Bologna for a special exhibition on the painting. The loan is part of an ongoing annual programme called Ospiti which aims to broaden the cultural interaction of the city with international organisations. The show will run until 7th April 2024.

Upcoming: Adélaïde Labille-Guiard Biography

February 8 2024

Image of Upcoming: Adélaïde Labille-Guiard Biography

Picture: coles-books.co.uk

Posted by Adam Busiakiewicz:

A new biography of the artist Adélaïde Labille-Guiard (1749–1803) is coming out in May. Portrait of a Woman was written by Bridget Quinn, who has published several books on the subject of women artists and their place in art history.

According to the publisher's blurb:

Born in Paris in 1749, Adélaïde Labille-Guiard rose from shopkeeper's daughter to an official portraitist of the royal court-only to have her achievements reduced to ash by the French Revolution. While she defied societal barriers to become a member of the exclusive Académie Royale and a mentor for other ambitious women painters, she left behind few writings, and her legacy was long overshadowed by celebrated portraitist and memoirist Élisabeth Vigée-Lebrun. But Adélaïde Labille-Guiard's story lives on. In this engaging biography, Bridget Quinn applies her insightful interpretation of art history to Labille-Guiard's life. She offers a fascinating new perspective on the artist's feminism, her sexuality, and her.

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.

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.

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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