Category: Discoveries

Ralph Sheldon's Portrait of Henry VIII Reidentified

July 8 2024

Image of Ralph Sheldon's Portrait of Henry VIII Reidentified

Picture: Warwick Shire Hall via ArtUK

Posted by Adam Busiakiewicz:

I published a short blog over the weekend regarding an accidental discovery I made of a missing Portrait of Henry VIII. Having spotted it in the background of a photograph posted on 'X' / Twitter, I managed to work out that this distinctive arched topped portrait (now hanging in Warwick Shire Hall, owned by Warwickshire County Council) was originally part of the famous set assembled by Ralph Sheldon (c.1537–1613) in the 1590s for Weston House in Warwickshire. Fortunately, the portrait is housed in the same carved medallion frame as other surviving examples from the set, and the very same composition of Henry holding a sword is found in a later engraving of the Long Gallery at Weston.

From Christie's London to Getty Museum

July 2 2024

Video: Christie's

Posted by Adam Busiakiewicz:

The J. Paul Getty Museum in Los Angeles have just announced their acquisition of the rediscovered Madonna of the Cherries by Quentin Metsys which sold at Christie's London this evening for £10,660,000 (inc. fees). 

According to the museum's press release:

“The tender beauty and accessibility of Metsys’ representation of the familial bond between the Virgin Mary and Christ Child represents a major innovation in early Netherlandish painting that greatly heightens the emotional impact of the image,” says Timothy Potts, Maria Hummer-Tuttle and Robert Tuttle Director of the Getty Museum. “Painted at the height of his career, and preserved today in excellent condition, Madonna of the Cherries is among Metsys’ most appealing and influential compositions. Acknowledged as a masterpiece in its day, the painting became especially famous in the 17th century, after which its whereabouts were lost. I have no doubt that its spiritual and artistic resonance will make it one of the most beloved works in our collection.”

First known portrait commissioned by an American born into slavery on display in Baltimore

June 25 2024

Image of First known portrait commissioned by an American born into slavery on display in Baltimore

Picture: The Washington Post

Posted by Adam Busiakiewicz:

The Washington Post have reported on news that the first known portrait commissioned by an American born into slavery will be going on display at the Baltimore Museum of Art this week. The painting, attributed to the artist James Alexander Simpson, is believed to depict Mary Ann Tritt Cassell, a woman of mixed race whose mother was enslaved on Stratford Hall plantation in Westmoreland County, Va. The article explains the research which has gone into uncovering the life of the sitter and her family.

Bellissimo! in Freiburg

June 6 2024

Image of Bellissimo! in Freiburg


Posted by Adam Busiakiewicz:

I failed to spot that a new exhibition opened in the Augustinermuseum in Freiburg last month entitled Bellissimo! Italian paintings from the Lindenau Museum Altenburg (via @bastianeclercy).

According to the city's website:

Magnificent golds and bright colors, elegant lines and refined artistic techniques - this is how precious Italian paintings by Fra Angelico, Guido da Siena or Sandro Botticelli inspire. They were created in famous art centers such as Florence or Siena. The exhibition shows the pictorial world of churches and private devotion, but also offers insights into the art of stately courts. The Lindenau Museum in Altenburg owns one of the most important collections of Italian paintings from the 13th to the early 16th century abroad. On the occasion of its renovation, the treasures are guests in Freiburg. 

The show will continue until 3rd November 2024.

Beale & Son Acquired by Tate Britain

June 6 2024

Video: Philip Mould & Co

Posted by Adam Busiakiewicz:

I made a trip to Tate's recently opened Now You See Us exhibition yesterday afternoon, and what a visual feast it was. One of the first great surprises was the fact that Tate have just acquired Mary Beale's Portrait of Anne Sotheby, a picture which was only recently uncovered by Philip Mould & Co. in their exhibition as a collaboration between Mary and her son Charles (watch Lawrence Hendra above explaining its significance). A very fine acquisition indeed, which complimented the nice array of her works on display there.

The show is full of some very interesting pictures, many of which I've only ever seen poor black and white photographs of. One of the most striking features of the show is how many of the paintings on display remain nestled away in private collections, supplemented by loans predominantly it seems from The Royal Collection and other aristocratic sources mixed in with works from the trade. One wonders whether the ever-increasingly high prices for such rare and important works might tempt more pieces out into the open in due course.

Among the highlights was seeing this very refined Self Portrait by Katherine Read, who is well represented in the show with both oils and pastels. I would recommend having a read through Neil Jeffares' entry on the artist for his Pastellists website, which remarkably remains one of the most thorough and scholarly accounts of her life to date!

The show will run until 13th October 2024.

Sculptural Portrait of Brunelleschi Discovered

May 24 2024

Image of Sculptural Portrait of Brunelleschi Discovered


Posted by Adam Busiakiewicz:

News from Italy that a terracotta bust of the famous architect Filippo Brunelleschi has been discovered. The work by Andrea di Lazzaro Cavalcanti called il Buggiano (1412-1462) was discovered in a Florentine residence and has been purchased by the  Opera di Santa Maria del Fiore for €300,000. Click on the link to see a photograph of the bust.

Cornelis van der Geest's Quentin Metsys Discovered

May 23 2024

Image of Cornelis van der Geest's Quentin Metsys Discovered

Picture: Christie's

Posted by Adam Busiakiewicz:

Christie's London have released news that the prime version of Quentin Metsys' Madonna of the Cherries has been discovered. The work had actually appeared as 'Studio of' back in 2015 (pictured left), however, the recent cleaning of the picture has shown it to be a painting of high quality. Furthermore, it appears that this picture is the same that was once owned by Cornelis van der Geest and appears in a famous painting of his gallery by Willem van Haecht.

The painting will be offered in the upcoming Christie's London Old Masters Part I sale carrying an estimate of £8m - £12m.

Reattributed Fabritius Revealed in Stockholm

May 15 2024

Image of Reattributed Fabritius Revealed in Stockholm

Picture: Nationalmuseum, Stockholm

Posted by Adam Busiakiewicz:

CODART (the international network of curators of Dutch and Flemish art) have drawn attention to a recently published paper by the Nationalmuseum in Stockholm's which reveals a newly attributed work by Carel Fabritius. The painting has been in the museum's collection since 2012. Click on the link above to read the full story, including a link to the museum's full article.

National Trust painting turns out to be a print

May 10 2024

Image of National Trust painting turns out to be a print


Posted by Adam Busiakiewicz:

The BBC have reported on news that The National Trust have discovered that a painting, previous catalogued as a work on paper, is in fact a print. The work of art at Oxburgh Hall in Norfolk was previously believed to be a straightforward copy of a Van Dyck executed in oil on paper. This was until it was sent away for conservation and its true identity and author was revealed.

According to the press release:

It was discovered the reproduction of the Three Eldest Children of Charles I was in fact a print by Jacob Christoff Le Blon, who first created the three-colour printing process.

"Only three Le Blon prints of it are known to survive, so to have discovered a fourth is really exciting," said National Trust curator Jane Eade. [...]

He was the first to create a three-colour printing process – the forerunner of the CMYK colour printing used today, external.

The revolutionary method used mezzotint, a monochrome printmaking process, with separate plates inked in blue, yellow and red, and superimposed on one another in order to create variable depth of hue.

Rediscovered Caravaggio Conserved and Hung in Prado

May 9 2024

Image of Rediscovered Caravaggio Conserved and Hung in Prado

Picture: apnews

Posted by Adam Busiakiewicz:

Exciting news broke earlier this week that the rediscovered Caravaggio that reappeared back in 2021 has been conserved and hung in the Prado Museum in Madrid. The loan of the painting has been handled by Colnaghi, whilst the restoration was undertaken by Andrea Cipriani 'and his team in collaboration with two London dealers, Filippo Benappi of Benappi Fine Art and Andrea Lullo of Lullo Pampoulides gallery.'

The painting, alongside a special new study by several academics on the artist and period, will be on display until October 2024.

We've Conquered Raphael, and now onto Constable - says the University of Bradford

April 26 2024

Image of We've Conquered Raphael, and now onto Constable - says the University of Bradford

Picture: BBC

Posted by Adam Busiakiewicz:

Researchers at The University of Bradford have been hard at work trying to use technology to crack the code of various artists throughout history. Last year, the university's Centre for Visual Computing and Intelligent Systems famously came up with the result that a late copy was in fact by Raphael's hand, a system which is said to be 98% accurate but has since been refuted by several art historians in The Art Newspaper.

Today, the BBC have published news that another researcher at the University is now using technology to crack the code of John Constable (pictured). Equipment such as a CT scanner and 3D microscopy equipment will be used to do so, including 'tests include assessing the painter's technique'.

According to the BBC article:

Dr Alex Surtees, a lecturer in forensic science at the university, said it would ultimately be down to art experts to give the final say - but science could offer helpful clues.

"It’s certainly very exciting," he said.

"If I can be involved in the actual verification on work being a Constable, then I would be very proud."

He added: "This is me helping the art world make a decision."

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.

Catharina van Hemessen (?) Unveiled in Cincinnati

April 17 2024

Image of Catharina van Hemessen (?) Unveiled in Cincinnati


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.

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.

Leemput's Copy of Van Dyck's Pembroke Family Reidentified

March 19 2024

Image of Leemput's Copy of Van Dyck's Pembroke Family Reidentified

Picture: State Hermitage Museum

Posted by Adam Busiakiewicz:

The art historian James Innes-Mulraine has published a very interesting blog about a nifty piece of research into the Van Dyck and Lely copyist Remigius van Leemput (1607-1675). In particular, the piece focuses on what happened to Leemput's copy of Van Dyck's enormous group portrait of the family of the Earl of Pembroke, preserved today at Wilton House. Through an excellent piece of sleuthing and provenance research, with the assistance of the pastels art historian Neil Jeffares, both Neil and James have rather convincingly reidentified the following painting in the State Hermitage Museum in St Petersburg, Russia, as almost certainly being Leemput's painting. Click on the link above to read more. 

Rediscovered Klimt on display at Daniel Katz Gallery

March 14 2024

Image of Rediscovered Klimt on display at Daniel Katz Gallery

Picture: @danielkatzgallery

Posted by Adam Busiakiewicz:

The Daniel Katz Gallery in London have shared news on Instagram that they are hosting Klimt's rediscovered Portrait of Fräulein Lieser. The work is due to come up for sale at Kinsky in Vienna on 24th April 2024 carrying an estimate of €30 - €50m. It isn't clear whether members of the public can go and see it, or how long it will be on display for, but why not try your luck if you can't make it to Vienna next month! It's rather beautiful and slightly eerie how much Robin Katz (pictured) appears to have been teleported from fin de siècle Vienna for this photo...

Roman Bust Unearthed during Car Park Extension at Burghley

March 14 2024

Image of Roman Bust Unearthed during Car Park Extension at Burghley


Posted by Adam Busiakiewicz:

Interesting news from Burghley House in Lincolnshire, that a Roman bust that was unearthed during the extension of their car park has been redisplayed in the house. The ancient marble was discovered by a digger driver who was working on the site, who swiftly brought it to the attention of curators at the property.

According to the website:

But it remains a complete mystery how the head and bust ended up buried in the park, with explanations ranging from a bungled burglary to someone simply discarding the statue and it later being covered by soil.

It is also unclear how long it has remained hidden underground before being discovered in late April 2023 when the new car park was nearly complete.

It was during work on an overflow parking area, at the edge of the main site, that digger driver Greg Crawley noticed a pale object amongst the lifted earth, which turned out to be the head. Thrilled with the discovery of the ancient artifact, to everyone’s amazement just weeks later a second discovery was made within a short distance of where the head was found, when the bust was also unearthed.

Museo Diocesano de Teruel redisplays and conserves 'Attributed to Michael Sittow' Work

February 5 2024

Posted by Adam Busiakiewicz:

Regular readers will remember a painting 'Attributed to Michael Sittow' which was rediscovered in the Museo de Arte Sacro de Teruel back in 2021. The work has recently been conserved and redisplayed in the museum. Attempts have been made to look into the attribution of the picture, the results of which still under discussion (click on the article to read more).

Guercino Enters Rothschild Collection

January 30 2024

Video: Moretti Fine Art

Posted by Adam Busiakiewicz:

The Art Newspaper has shared news that the Rothschild Foundation have acquired Guercino's Moses. The painting had been a sleeper in a minor Parisian sale in 2022, where is achieved €590,000 over an estimate of €5,000 - €6,000 and was acquired by the dealers Moretti Fine Art. It is reported that the asking price of the painting was around €2m.

The work will be unveiled at the upcoming Waddesdon Manor exhibition entitled Guercino at Waddesdon: King David and the Wise Women, which will run from 20th March 2024 until 27th October 2024.

Here's Moretti's video of the painting, which includes some rather dramatic music and lots of 'zoom in' shots.

Turner Watercolour Rediscovered

January 30 2024

Image of Turner Watercolour Rediscovered

Picture: BBC

Posted by Adam Busiakiewicz:

News from the West Midlands that a forgotten watercolour of Hampton Court, Herefordshire, by JMW Turner has been rediscovered in a private collection. The picture was discovered in a file with other prints and later works by an expert from an auction house during a valuation. The work will come up for sale at Minster Auctions in March carrying an estimate of £30,000 - £50,000.

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