Category: Discoveries

Potter's Bull Restored Live

April 2 2024

Image of Potter's Bull Restored Live

Picture: denhaag.com

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. 

Roman Bust Unearthed during Car Park Extension at Burghley

March 14 2024

Image of Roman Bust Unearthed during Car Park Extension at Burghley

Picture: burghley.co.uk

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.

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...

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

February 5 2024

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

Picture: heraldo.es

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.

€30 - €50m Rediscovered Klimt at Kinsky

January 26 2024

Image of €30 - €50m Rediscovered Klimt at Kinsky

Picture: Kinsky

Posted by Adam Busiakiewicz:

Exciting news from Vienna that a rediscovered portrait by Gustav Klimt will be offered for sale in April. The Portrait of Fräulein Lieser was photographed as part of a Viennese exhibition in 1925, and its history afterwards remains largely unknown. It is thought the painting had been in the possession of sitter's parents, Adolf and Henriette Lieser, the latter of whom died in a concentration camp in 1942. The painting was acquired six decades ago by an Austrian citizen, and will be sold by its current owners alongside the legal successors of Adolf and Henriette. It will be offered in at Vienna's Kinsky auction house with an estimate of €30m - €50m.

Museo Correr Reattribute Work to Mantegna

December 20 2023

Image of Museo Correr Reattribute Work to Mantegna

Picture: arte.sky.it

Posted by Adam Busiakiewicz:

The Museo Correr in Venice has reattributed a painting in their collection to Andrea Mantegna. According to the reports, the painting was re-examined after languishing in the museum's stores for many years. The painting appears to relate to another work attributed to the artist in the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum in Boston, and may have been left unfinished. The current research project into the work has been supported by the G. E. Ghirardi Foundation and is still ongoing.

Vancouver Art Gallery Exhibit Fakes

December 15 2023

Image of Vancouver Art Gallery Exhibit Fakes

Picture: vanartgallery.bc.ca

Posted by Adam Busiakiewicz:

The Vancouver Art Gallery in Canada are opening an exhibition tomorrow dedicated to 10 oil sketches they acquired in 2015 purportedly by the celebrated Canadian 'Group of Seven' artist J.E.H. MacDonald (1873–1932). Alas, it transpired that the oil sketches were all modern fakes. Rather than hide the paintings in a cupboard of regret, the gallery have bravely put on a show to explain how they came to the conclusion that the paintings were 'not right' (as it is said in the art trade).

According to the gallery's website:

In 2015, the Vancouver Art Gallery announced the acquisition of ten previously unknown painted sketches attributed to J.E.H. MacDonald, one of Canada’s most celebrated painters and a founding member of the Group of Seven. Soon after, experts in the wider arts community began to publicly raise questions about the authenticity of the ten works. Experts took sides and the Gallery ultimately postponed a planned exhibition in order to investigate the works further. This included bringing in leading art historians, handwriting experts, and the scientific resources of the Canadian Conservation Institute (CCI).

J.E.H. MacDonald? A Tangled Garden will not only provide an answer regarding whether the ten sketches can be attributed to MacDonald, but will also allow visitors a rare and detailed look into how that conclusion was reached. Most notably, the Gallery will be working closely with the CCI to present their soon-to-be published findings. Visitors will be able to assess the key evidence and come to their own conclusions.

The exhibition will run until 12th May 2024.

Rijksmuseum Display Christie's Rembrandt Portraits

December 13 2023

Image of Rijksmuseum Display Christie's Rembrandt Portraits

Picture: Rijksmuseum

Posted by Adam Busiakiewicz:

News from the Netherlands that the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam have displayed two rediscovered Rembrandt portraits that appeared in this year's Christie's London Old Master Paintings sale. The works, which had descended into a Scottish noble collection, eventually made £11,235,000 over their £5m - £8m estimate and were acquired by the Holterman family who has generously loaned them to the museum. As you can see, the owners have already done a rather good job of reframing the pair in ebony style frames, which does enhance their appearance greatly I think!

It's Official - the Louvre has bought the Kitchen Cimabue...

November 3 2023

Image of It's Official - the Louvre has bought the Kitchen Cimabue...

Picture: lesechos.fr

Posted by Adam Busiakiewicz:

After recent speculation, the Louvre has finally announced its acquisition of the Artcurial Cimabue found in a kitchen and which later sold for €24.18m.

Reattributed Titian On Display in Warsaw

October 31 2023

Video: The Royal Castle Warsaw

Posted by Adam Busiakiewicz:

The Royal Castle in Warsaw have put on a small exhibition dedicated to what they claim is a rediscovered portrait by Titian. The Portrait of a Young Man is on loan from a private collection and is said to have been created before 1515. The website, which gives a list of works it can be compared to, does not list which recognised scholars have supported the reattribution to the Venetian master.

Sell the Bouchardon Bust, says Councillor who Rediscovered it

October 26 2023

Image of Sell the Bouchardon Bust, says Councillor who Rediscovered it

Picture: ross-shirejournal.co.uk

Posted by Adam Busiakiewicz:

Interesting news from Scotland that a local Highland councillor, who rediscovered a very fine bust of Sir John Gordon of Invergordon by Bouchardon in the council's stores, has called for it to be sold. The bust was rediscovered in 1998 by Maxine Smith, now a local councillor, and former Highland councillor Andy Anderson when looking for 'missing' robes and chains of office in stores. The bust, which had been purchased by the council for £5 in 1931, had been holding open a door at the time. Since its rediscovery it has been exhibited at the Louvre and its market value has increased too. In the early 2000s it was valued at around £450,000, and the recent reports (linked above) suggest that it is now worth £2.5m.

Miss Smith is now in the process of calling for a public consultation to have the bust sold for funds for 'community projects':

The councillor wants the community to back a plan to sell the bust, and with the proceeds make a replica of the original to keep in a museum.

And with the proceeds of the sale, she wants backing to set up an Invergordon Common Good Fund, putting £125,000 back into community projects each year.

She said: “I’m so excited we played the long game.

“It may be that the community don’t wish to sell it, but to be honest it’s doing nobody any good sitting in the Inverness archive centre which is the only place secure enough to cover the insurance costs.”

Update - The BBC have published the story too earlier today. AHN's Bendor has been quoted giving his own opinion:

"Here is this work of art that has fallen into the lap of Highland Council for no money at all and it seems all they want to do is sell it for a lot of money to someone outside Scotland, when really there is no reason they can't lend it to Inverness Museum or National Galleries of Scotland or National Museum of Scotland."

Louvre Acquires Kitchen Cimabue?

October 24 2023

Image of Louvre Acquires Kitchen Cimabue?

Picture: oisehebdo.fr

Posted by Adam Busiakiewicz:

A French news outlet have published a piece speculating that the Louvre are about to announce their acquisition of the rare Cimabue which was discovered in a French kitchen back in 2019. The work was eventually sold at the Hotel des Ventes de Senlis for €24.18m, where it was reportedly purchased by the American collectors Alvaro Saieh and Ana Guzmán but immediately declared a national treasure by the French State.

More news if and when it appears...

Tate Discover their Devis was Chopped in Half!

October 18 2023

Image of Tate Discover their Devis was Chopped in Half!

Picture: Tate

Posted by Adam Busiakiewicz:

Tate have posted a very fun short video on their Instagram account regarding a fascinating conservation and research project on a painting by Arthur Devis. Conservator Rachel Scott's investigation and treatment of a portrait by Devis in the collection revealed that one of the margins had been added with an old piece of canvas cut from the bottom of the painting, which suggested to her that the work had been cut-down from a much larger composition. With the help of curator Alice Insley, a trip to the Courtauld photograph library managed to find the other missing half (left), which corresponds directly to the Tate's fragment. It appears that the double portrait might have been cut in half at some point during the past, perhaps in an effort to create two paintings to sell instead of one (a common practise centuries ago!).

Perhaps a reader of AHN might know where the other of the painting might be. If so, do get in touch!

Rosalba Carriera Pastel Rediscovered at Tatton Park

October 17 2023

Image of Rosalba Carriera Pastel Rediscovered at Tatton Park

Picture: The National Trust

Posted by Adam Busiakiewicz:

A pastel by Rosalba Carriera, formerly dismissed as a copy, has been unearthed at Tatton Park, a property and collection in the care of the National Trust. The reattribution was made by the Frick Collection's deputy director Xavier Salomon.

According to the article linked above:

“The more I started working on her, I realized there was a need for a new catalogue raisonné and biography,” Salomon said in a phone interview. “It’s going to take many years because she has hundreds of pastels all around the world, and I am just trying to see every single one of them.”

To date, the curator has looked at more than 200 Carriera pastels—but he’s also seen plenty, that while attributed to the artist, were actually copies by other artists. Tatton Park was just one of five homes in the U.K.’s National Trust Salomon had on his itinerary, one of which had a suite of five that turned out to be the work of British artists. But he was hopeful about Tatton Park, which, according to the National Trust’s inventory, had owned The Portrait of a Tyrolese Lady, identified as the work of Carriera, since the 18th century.

Florida Museum Rediscovers Katherine Read Portrait in its Collection

October 11 2023

Image of Florida Museum Rediscovers Katherine Read Portrait in its Collection

Picture: artnet.com

Posted by Adam Busiakiewicz:

A reader has been in touch with this news story regarding a portrait by Katherine Read rediscovered in the collection of the Museum of Fine Arts, St. Petersburg, Florida. The museum had formerly attributed the pastel to Francis Cotes until a recent cataloguing project for an exhibition. The correct attribution was pointed out by the pastels guru Neil Jeffares, who was consulted as part of the process.

Frans Hals at the National Gallery

October 4 2023

Video: The National Gallery, London

Posted by Adam Busiakiewicz:

The National Gallery's latest Frans Hals exhibition opened last week. The Guardian's less than favourable review has subsequently been counteracted by others in The Observer and The New York Times respectively. I haven't been to see it yet, however, I have been handed a copy of the exhibition catalogue which looks very promising indeed. Not only is it organised in comprehensive and beautiful way, the publication suggests that the curators have taken a bold approach to attribution (a problem which follows Hals scholarship to the present day). One such example is the inclusion of a portrait which was sold as 'School of Haarlem, circa 1615' at Sotheby's New York in 2021, doubted by both Seymour Slive and Claus Grimm (see Literature in the link), which has now been given to Frans Hals in full.

However, one of the most fascinating pieces of original research is the discovery of 'a hidden monster and skull' in the famous Chatsworth portrait, which appears to have been covered by 'later overpaint'. The gallery have produced the following video which explains the whole story.

Raphael drawing at the Dorotheum

September 29 2023

Image of Raphael drawing at the Dorotheum

Picture: dorotheum.com

Posted by Adam Busiakiewicz:

The Art Newspaper have shared the news that the Dorotheum in Vienna will be offering a rediscovered drawing by Raphael on 25th October. The drawing relates to the Battle of the Milvian Bridge fresco which is in the Vatican’s papal apartments. 

According to the article:

On the back of the sheet are drawings by Raphael’s assistant, Polidoro da Caravaggio, which were probably executed later. Dorotheum says that Paul Joannides, an emeritus professor of history of art at Cambridge University, has endorsed the attributions for both Raphael and Polidoro da Caravaggio.

The drawing will be offered with an estimate of €400,000 to €600,000.

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