19th Century

Getty Acquires Portrait by Sophie Frémiet

April 15 2024

Image of Getty Acquires Portrait by Sophie Frémiet

Picture: getty

Posted by Adam Busiakeiwicz:

The J. Paul Getty Museum have announced their acquisition of a Portrait of a Lady by the female artist Sophie Frémiet (1797–1867). The work was acquired from the dealers Robilant + Voena, who had presumably purchased the painting at Christie's New York earlier in May 2023 where it was offered as 'Attributed to'.

According to the museum's press release:

Portrait of a Woman is believed to be one of two ambitious, full-length portraits the artist exhibited at the 1818 Salon in Brussels, her public debut at just 21 years old. A talented pupil of the neoclassical painter Jacques-Louis David, then the most celebrated painter in Europe, Fremiet’s Portrait of a Woman shows how thoroughly she had mastered David’s style, while highlighting her own particular talents in the rendering of different fabrics and materials.

Aroung the same time that Fremiet painted Portrait of a Woman, David tasked her with creating a copy of his The Farewell of Telemachus and Eucharis, which he declared was so skillfully executed that it appeared indistinguishable from his original. She continued to impress David and critics at the various Salons where she exhibited her portraits, historical scenes, and mythological compositions like La Belle Anthia. Upon seeing the last work, a fellow mentee of David wrote to him that Fremiet was “a woman only in clothing but a man by her merit.” While pejorative today, this comment legitimized her in the eyes of her male peers.

Caspar David Friedrich at the MET in 2025

April 5 2024

Image of Caspar David Friedrich at the MET in 2025

Picture: MET

Posted by Adam Busiakiewicz:

The Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York have announced that they will be hosting the first-ever exhibition in the US dedicated to Caspar David Friedrich in 2025.

According to the museum's website:

Presented in honor of the 250th anniversary of Friedrich’s birth in 2024, Caspar David Friedrich: The Soul of Nature is the first comprehensive exhibition dedicated to the artist held in the United States. Organized in cooperation with the Alte Nationalgalerie of the Staatliche Museen zu Berlin, Staatliche Kunstsammlungen Dresden, and Hamburger Kunsthalle, with unprecedented loans from more than 30 lenders in Europe and North America, the exhibition will present approximately 75 works by Friedrich. Oil paintings, finished drawings, and working sketches from every phase of the artist’s career, along with select examples by his contemporaries, will illuminate how Friedrich developed a symbolic vocabulary of landscape motifs to convey the personal and existential meanings that he discovered in nature. The exhibition will situate Friedrich’s art within the tumultuous politics and vibrant culture of 19th-century German society and, by extension, highlight the role of German Romanticism in shaping modern perceptions of the natural world.

The show will run from 8th February 2025 until 11th May 2025.

Two Canovas Restored in Bologna

April 4 2024

Image of Two Canovas Restored in Bologna

Picture: ansa.it

Posted by Adam Busiakiewicz:

News from Italy that two works by Canova have been restored. The Apollino in marble and the Head of an Old Man in terracotta were restored as part of a project by the Musei Civici d'Arte Antica di Bologna, and will go on public display from today onwards. The work was sponsored by the Fondazione Canova and undertaken by the Opificio delle Pietre Dure di Firenze. 

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.

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).

Nelson-Atkins Museum to sell $18m Monet

April 2 2024

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

Picture: news.artnet.com

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.”

Rijksmuseum Lent Three Van Goghs

March 27 2024

Image of Rijksmuseum Lent Three Van Goghs

Picture: nltimes.nl

Posted by Adam Busiakiewicz:

The Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam has been lent three Van Goghs on long-term loan. This includes "Riverbank with Trees" (1887) and "Wheat Field" (1888) and "View of Amsterdam from Central Station”.

A little more about the loan from the P. and N. de Boer Foundation:

The painting was acquired by Pieter de Boer and his wife, Nellie Pressburger. While the two maintained a private collection, De Boer and his brother, Rudolf, started a 1921 art dealership in Amsterdam. The foundation that loaned the paintings to the Rijksmuseum was established from the private collection after Pressburger’s death.

Sleeper Alert!

March 26 2024

Image of Sleeper Alert!

Picture: neumeister.com

Posted by Adam Busiakiewicz:

A reader has very kindly alerted me to the following painting catalogued as 'England (?) 1st half of the 19th century' which realised €59,800 over its €1,000 - €2,000 estimate the other day at Neumeister in Munich. The frame and reverse shows that the work had formerly been given to John Constable.

Inventing Impressionism at the Musée d'Orsay

March 25 2024

Video: Musée d'Orsay

Posted by Adam Busiakiewicz:

The Musée d'Orsay in Paris will be opening their latest exhibition tomorrow. Paris 1874: Inventing impressionism will examine the precise moment in 1874 when art broke through to another age.

According to the museum's website:

What exactly happened in Paris in that spring of 1874, and what sense should we make today of an exhibition that has become legendary? “Paris 1874. The Impressionist Moment” seeks to trace the advent of an artistic movement that emerged in a rapidly changing world.

“Paris 1874” reviews the circumstances that led these 31 artists (only seven of whom are well-known across the world today) to join forces and exhibit their works together. The period in question had a post-war climate, following two conflicts: the Franco-German War of 1870, and then a violent civil war. In this context of crisis, artists began to rethink their art and explore new directions. A little “clan of rebels” painted scenes of modern life, and landscapes sketched in the open air, in pale hues and with the lightest of touches. As one observer noted, “What they seem above all to be aiming at is an impression”.

The show will run until 14th July 2024.

Chicago Club to Sell Monet

March 25 2024

Video: CSB Chicago

Posted by Adam Busiakiewicz:

News from Chicago that the city's Union League Club, a private members club, is selling a $10m Monet to help pay for a rennovation project. The painting was gifted to the club by a member back in 1895, when it was valued at $500.

Monet in York

March 22 2024

Image of Monet in York

Picture: yorkartgallery.co.uk

Posted by Adam Busiakiewicz:

The National Gallery in London are loaning their Monet of The Water-Lily Pond to the York Art Gallery for a special exhibition which opens in May. The loan is part of an initiative to help celebrate the gallery's bicentenary.

According to the website blurb:

Painted by one of the founders of the Impressionist movement Claude Monet (1840-1926), ‘The Water-Lily Pond’ (1899) will be the centrepiece of an exhibition which will bring together key loans from regional and national institutions alongside collection works, and a large-scale commission by contemporary artist Michaela Yearwood-Dan. Monet’s canvas will be explored in the context of 19th-century French open-air painting, pictures by his early mentors, and the Japanese prints which transformed his practice and beloved gardens in Giverny. By displaying canvases by those contemporaries he inspired, as well as more modern artworks and a new commission, the exhibition will reveal how Monet’s radical approach to painting had, and continues to have, an enduring influence on artists.

The show will run from 10th May 2024 until 8th September 2024.

Hans Jakob Oeri Drawing Soars

March 22 2024

Image of Hans Jakob Oeri Drawing Soars

Picture: Christie's

Posted by Adam Busiakiewicz:

News from the recent Christie's Drawings sale in Paris that the following double portrait soared past its estimate two days ago. Hans Jakob Oeri's Double Portrait of Ludwig Schulthess-Kaufmann et Emil Schulthess-Schulthess realised an impressive €226,800 over its €15,000 - €25,000 estimate.

According to the catalogue note:

Born in Zurich, the brothers depicted here are depicted in their daily lives, engaged in two activities that are central to the family’s interests. The flowers in the foreground will be dried between the pages of a book held by one of the brothers, probably Emil. The reference to botany refers to the father, Leonhard Schulthess-Nüscheler (1775-1841), an amateur biologist and painter of flowers. The art is evoked by the instruments brought by Ludwig, which indicate the next stage of their work, when the plants are drawn after drying. The twins’ love of drawing carried them into adulthood, and they became amateur artists, focusing on the depiction of historical monuments.

Liverpool Museums asks for Clues for Unidentified Portrait

March 22 2024

Image of Liverpool Museums asks for Clues for Unidentified Portrait

Picture: BBC

Posted by Adam Busiakiewicz:

The Liverpool Museums are appealing to the public, and presumably researchers and experts too, for clues and information as to the identity of this intriguing and unidentified portrait. The painting, undertaken by William Lindsay Windus in 1844, has a rather intriguing folkloric tale attached to it:

In 1891, nearly 50 years after the painting was created, a listing in a catalogue claimed the boy was a stowaway whom Windus had met on the steps of the Monument hotel in Liverpool. According to this narrative, Windus took pity on the boy’s condition, employed him as an errand boy and sent his portrait off to a frame-maker’s shop. Serendipitously, a passing sailor spotted it, realised the child was his missing relative – and reunited the boy with his parents.

This charitable tale, with its unlikely happy ending, would have made the portrait more appealing to wealthy Victorian art buyers.

“It’s a wonderful story, but I’m quite sceptical,” said [Kate] Haselden. “This child may have been a native Liverpudlian. Black people have been living in Liverpool since at least the 1730s.”

Click on the link above to read more.

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!

Turner's Last Sketchbook

February 28 2024

Video: YaleBooks

Posted by Adam Busiakiewicz:

The Yale Center for British Art released their latest publication yesterday. Turner's Last Sketchbook is a facsimile of one of the artist's most vivid late watercolours, and even contains a poem by Tracey Emin focusing on Turner's influence on her.

According to the website blurb:

J. M. W. Turner (1775–1851) seldom left home without a sketchbook. Over the course of his lifetime, he filled more than three hundred, most of them small enough to carry in his pocket. This facsimile represents Turner’s last known intact sketchbook, now in the collection of the Yale Center for British Art. Turner used it on the coast of the English Channel in Kent, in and around Margate, from June to September 1845.

The volume is accompanied by a poem in which Tracey Emin (b. 1963) expresses her personal connection with Turner’s work. Emin grew up in Margate, the seaside town that Turner returned to time and again to draw.

This presentation of Turner’s sketchbook includes generous margins and blank pages to encourage further sketches, in the spirit of the artist.

Chicago Acquire Jean Baptiste Debret Drawing

February 26 2024

Image of Chicago Acquire Jean Baptiste Debret Drawing

Picture: Art Institute of Chicago

Posted by Adam Busiakiewicz:

The Art Institute of Chicago's curator Emerson Bowyer has announced on his Instagram account of the acquisition of Jean Baptiste Debret drawing after Jacques Louis David's Hands of Horatius from The Oath of the Horatii. The work, acquired in 2023, was purchased with assistance from the Margaret Day Blake Endowment Fund.

Horace Vernet at Versailles

February 23 2024

Video: Château de Versailles

Posted by Adam Busiakiewicz:

Apologies, I failed to notice that the Château de Versailles has a big Horace Vernet exhibition on at the moment. The show, which brings together around 200 works by the artist, will be finished on 17th March 2024.

Pre-Raphaelites in Forlì

February 23 2024

Image of Pre-Raphaelites in Forlì

Picture: finestresullarte.info

Posted by Adam Busiakiewicz:

A major Pre-Raphaelite exhibition will be opening in the Italian city of Forlì tomorrow. Entitled Pre-Raphaelites. A New Renaissance, the show will contain no less than 300 works by artists of the period, with a particular interest placed on the Italian models which influenced these artworks. The exhibition will run until 30th June 2024.

BMAG announce Millais Portrait Acquisition

February 16 2024

Image of BMAG announce Millais Portrait Acquisition

Picture: stuartlochhead

Posted by Adam Busiakiewicz:

The Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery (BMAG) have announced their acquisition of Alexander Munro's marble Portrait of John Everett Millais. The museum announced the acquisition as part of their reopening last week, although the relief was purchased back in 2020 during the lockdowns. The acquisition was made through the sculpture dealer Stuart Lochhead and his catalogue note for the work can be found here.

Musée Delacroix Reopening in March

February 15 2024

Image of Musée Delacroix Reopening in March

Picture: musee-delacroix.fr

Posted by Adam Busiakiewicz:

The Musée Delacroix in Paris will be reopening after a 6-month renovation on 20th March 2024. The museum will be taking the opportunity to reopen with a brand-new exhibition exploring Artists' Objects that link both Ingres and Delacroix.

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