Category: Discoveries

Christ & His Cousin: Renaissance Rediscoveries

January 31 2022

Image of Christ & His Cousin: Renaissance Rediscoveries

Picture: The National Gallery of Ireland

Posted by Adam Busiakiewicz:

The National Gallery of Ireland in Dublin opened their latest exhibition over the weekend entitled Christ & His Cousin: Renaissance Rediscoveries. The show will be accompanied by some fascinating online talks and lectures too, which are worth browsing through.

According to the exhibition's blurb:

Over the last fifteen years, a selection of sixteenth-century Italian paintings from the national collection have been carefully conserved by the Gallery’s Head of Conservation, Simone Mancini. This free exhibition will showcase eight works depicting the Madonna and her infant child, Jesus Christ, with his cousin Saint John the Baptist. Many of these dramatically restored paintings have never been displayed before. Christ & His Cousin: Renaissance Rediscoveries will explore the symbolism and traditions that underpin these playful and lively compositions, and encourage visitors to reconsider what are often dismissed as conventional and familiar images.

This free exhibition will run until 8th May 2022.

Italian Warehouse Crucifix turns out to be Sixteenth Century

December 30 2021

Image of Italian Warehouse Crucifix turns out to be Sixteenth Century


Posted by Adam Busiakiewicz:

News from Italy that a forsaken wooden crucifix rediscovered in a warehouse has been redisplayed in the Museo diocesano di Mazara del Vallo, Sicily, as an early sixteenth century original. The work, which has since been carefully restored, had been placed there long ago by a Parish church and was duly forgotten. It has since been dubbed Cristo salvato (the saved Christ).

Robert B. Simon Defends Salvator Mundi Attribution

December 23 2021

Image of Robert B. Simon Defends Salvator Mundi Attribution

Picture: Christie's

Posted by Adam Busiakiewicz:

The Art Newspaper have published a letter by the dealer Robert B. Simon defending the attribution of the Salvator Mundi by Leonardo. In particular, Simon explains that nowhere in the recent Prado exhibition catalogue Leonardo y la copia de Mona Lisa del Prado is an opinion expressed on the attribution of the picture.

To quote the piece:

It should be mentioned at the outset that in the catalogue no curator, conservator or official of the Museo del Prado expresses any opinion on the attribution of the painting, let alone downgrades it. Rather, as quoted in the article, Ana González Mozo, one of the five authors of the catalogue, reports, “Some specialists consider there was a now lost prototype, while others think the much debated Cook version is the original.”

The Art Newspaper have responded by quoting curator Ana González Mozo:

In her subsequent brief discussion about a Youthful Christ image, included in the same Salvator Mundi paragraph, she writes: “Once again [our emphasis] there is no painted prototype.” It is also notable that the Gulf (Cook) version is not among the 75 illustrations in the catalogue.

Burlington Magazine - Photography

December 1 2021

Image of Burlington Magazine - Photography

Picture: Private Collection via. The Burlington Magazine

Posted by Adam Busiakiewicz:

December's edition of the The Burlington Magazine focuses on the art of Photography. As usual, there are many interesting pieces to be found, including articles on on the museum photographer Isabel Agnes Cowper, Maria Ponti Pasolini’s photographic archive, Nicéphore Niépce and the industry of photographic replication and Ilse Bing at Glyndebourne.

In fact, this month's edition contains my debut article for the magazine (please forgive the shameless plug). The article focuses on a photograph which fell out of a book whilst I was scouring through a private library. It turned out to be an unrecorded photograph of Ellen Terry by the Victorian photographer Julia Margaret Cameron (pictured). Furthermore, it shows Terry in her wedding dress which was designed by William Holman Hunt. The photograph is, I believe, connected to George Frederic Watt's 1864 painting of Terry known as Choosing (NPG), which shows her in the same dress, necklace and profile pose. Find yourself a copy to read more.

Versailles Acquires Marie-Antoinette from Auction

November 26 2021

Image of Versailles Acquires Marie-Antoinette from Auction

Picture: Aguttes

Posted by Adam Busiakiewicz:

News from France that the Palace of Versailles have stepped in to acquire Joseph-Siffred Duplessis's Portrait of Marie-Antoinette. The portrait sold at Aguttes auction house yesterday for €175,500 (inc. commission) over its €20k - €30k estimate.

Unrecorded Lawrence to lead Bonhams December Sale

November 24 2021

Image of Unrecorded Lawrence to lead Bonhams December Sale

Picture: Bonhams

Posted by Adam Busiakiewicz:

Bonhams London have uploaded their upcoming December Old Master Paintings sale online. The sale will be held on 8th December 2021.

Their top lot is a previously unrecorded portrait by Thomas Lawrence, depicting Jane Allnutt with her pet spaniel. The artist is known to have painted several members of the Allnutt family, who made their fortune in selling wine and brandy.

The Lawrence will be sold on 8th December carrying an estimate of £150k - £250k.

$30 Drawing turns out to be a Dürer

November 22 2021

Image of $30 Drawing turns out to be a Dürer

Picture: TAN

Posted by Adam Busiakiewicz:

The Art Newspaper have reported on news that the dealers Agnew's have revealed a recently rediscovered drawing by Albrecht Dürer. The work, which has since been authenticated by Christof Metzger, a curator at Vienna’s Albertina Museum, was purchased for a mere $30 at a house clearance in the US. Research has revealed other details including the watermark on the paper and artwork's provenance.

There has been speculation that the work on paper might now be worth up to $50m.


This will of course be great news to any serious fans of the National Gallery's current Dürer exhibition, in case they might want to pop over to Agnew's afterwards to purchase the ultimate souvenir.

Rediscovered Constable Study at Sotheby's

November 22 2021

Image of Rediscovered Constable Study at Sotheby's

Picture: Sotheby's

Posted by Adam Busiakiewicz:

It seems that this season's Old Masters sales will truly be the battle of the Constables.

Now that Sotheby's have uploaded their full catalogue note for Constable's study for Glebe Farm, one is able to appreciate what an interesting rediscovery the picture is. The provenance is particularly curious and raises the question of how such a notable picture could have been forgotten within such a short period of time. Despite having been publicly exhibited and passed through the hands through the likes of Arthur Tooth & Sons, the painting had been sold in October last year as 'After Constable' in a regional auction house in the US.

Probably the artist’s studio sale, London, Fosters, 15–16 May 1838, lot 13 (one of two in the lot, together with a ‘Salisbury Cathedral’), to Carpenter; Probably William Hookham Carpenter (1792–1866);  Probably his sale, London, Christie’s, 16 February 1867, lot 79, to Joseph Hogarth for £91 (a high price, suggesting a study of some importance);  With Arthur Tooth & Sons, London, circa, 1917;  Edward William Edwards (1874–1956), Cincinnati, by 1922;  By descent to his grandson, Thomas Edwards Davidson (1928–1994);  Thence by descent until sold, Cincinnati, Cowan’s Auctions, 2 October 2020, lot 3 (as after John Constable), where acquired by the present owner.

Furthermore, the auction house have also uploaded a full technical analysis undertaken by Sarah Cove, an interesting text which is worth reading too.

Jacob Backer's Euterpe Identified

November 10 2021

Image of Jacob Backer's Euterpe Identified


Posted by Adam Busiakiewicz:

News from the Netherlands that a music historian has identified the sitter in a painting by Jacob Backer (1608-1651). Long described as being a representation of the Muse Euterpe, scholar Thiemo Wind has managed to identify the sitter as Adriana van den Bergh. Adriana, a flute player, had a booklet of music dedicated to her as a young girl. Wind's explorations into the seventeenth century archives managed to find a specific reference to Backer's painting of the girl found in a document relating to the estate of her brothers. She eventually married a merchant Jan Verstegen, bore him nine children, and ended up bankrupt.

The painting survives in an unknown private collection having been sold from the Albert Vandervelden Foundation in the past.

A Picasso (?) Reappears in Bolton?

November 2 2021

Image of A Picasso (?) Reappears in Bolton?

Picture: The Bolton News

Posted by Adam Busiakiewicz:

News from Lancashire that a man from Bolton has discovered what he believes might be a lost Picasso (pictured). Martin Barton was encouraged to look again at a painting he had hanging in his house after seeing news about the sale of Picassos from the Bellagio Hotel in Las Vegas.

According to the article linked above:

Martin said: “I had forgotten all about it and nearly fainted when I saw the picture in the paper, because I thought, I’m sure I have something similar. 

“It was also the signature at the bottom of the painting that made me think it could be genuine. So I had a closer look with my magnifying glass. It has been a really enjoyable few days thinking about this.”   

He was so excited he phoned his friend who told him he “didn’t know what to think, but he didn’t know anyone else who had discovered this” and suggested Martin went to a specialist. 

Martin added: “I might go to Bolton Museum just to see if it’s right or wrong, but that will be the end of it.”

Coincidentally, Bolton was the base of the notorious forger Shaun Greenhalgh, a point which might have added further depth to the article linked above...

Rediscovered Ribera Up for Sale in Paris

November 2 2021

Image of Rediscovered Ribera Up for Sale in Paris

Picture: Drouot

Posted by Adam Busiakiewicz:

Drouot Paris have drawn attention to the above unpublished painting of The Penitent Saint Peter by Jusepe de Ribera (1588-1656) which is coming up for auction next month. The work, which was rediscovered in a private collection, bears the collectors seals of Cardinal Flavio Chigi (1631-1693) and eventually came into the collection of Blaise Léon Rochette de Lempdes (1809-1876) where it descended to the present owners.

The painting will be offered by the auctioneers Gros & Delettrez on 13th December 2021 carrying an estimate of €200k - €300k.

A Rediscovered Reynolds (?) Unveiled at Art Fair

October 14 2021

Posted by Adam Busiakiewicz:

The Daily Telegraph have published news today of a rediscovered painting reputedly by Joshua Reynolds which has been unveiled at the Cotswold Antique Dealers Association Fair this week. The painting has been researched by the dealer Russell Strachan who purchased the picture at auction and has since had the picture conserved.

In terms of the authentication of the picture, the article reads:

Mr Strachan said that two Reynolds experts had looked at the painting, with one telling him "he found no reason to think it was not by Reynolds".

As it happens, I was contacted by the writer of the article late last night. My first question was, who exactly were the experts that were consulted? As the published article suggests, no details were supplied which does not bode particularly well. If one really wants to make a splash with a discovery, the credentials of experts need to be disclosed to give weight to such claims, in my opinion.

Lost Chopin Portrait Reappears in Poland (?)

October 12 2021

Image of Lost Chopin Portrait Reappears in Poland (?)


Posted by Adam Busiakiewicz:

A reader has been in touch with this rather curious story from Poland. A rediscovered portrait of the composer Frederic Chopin has turned up after being purchased at an antique market near Lublin. Although the canvas was in awful condition (see left), traces of a signature have been found on it. The current owners are trying to prove the work was made during the composer's life time, rather than a later copy of this well known image.

According to the article:

The painting has now been taken out of its vault to be viewed by Bożena Schmid-Adamczyk, curator of the Fryderyk Chopin and George Sand Museum on Majorca, who is in Warsaw for the International Chopin Competition taking place in Warsaw this month.

Tiepolo Discovered in Weston Hall Attic

October 12 2021

Video: Dreweatts

Posted by Adam Busiakiewicz:

The UK Press has shared news of a rediscovered drawing by Giovanni Battista Tiepolo has been discovered in a safe at Weston Hall. The auctioneers Dreweatts discovered the drawing as part of cataloguing the contents of the house for general sale.

The drawing will be offered for sale in November carrying an estimate of £150,000 - £200,000.

Rediscovered Van Gogh Study on Display in Amsterdam

September 17 2021

Video: Bloomsberg

Posted by Adam Busiakiewicz:

A rediscovered study by Van Gogh has gone on display at the Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam. The pencil study for Worn Out was created in 1882 and had been preserved in a private collection.

According to the BBC report:

"This one has never been seen before anywhere. It's the first time that this drawing is out in the open," said Teio Meedendorp, senior researcher at the Van Gogh Museum. 

Van Gogh appeared to have used the drawing as the basis for a slightly different version of the drawing shortly afterwards, which he preferred, and which is currently in the museum's collection under the title Worn Out. 

The artist made Study for Worn Out when he was living in the Hague and still learning to draw at around the age of 29. Experts say it offers an exceptional insight into Van Gogh's working process at the time.

Update - The Burlington Magazine have made their article on the discovery, written by Teio Meedendorp, accessible online for a limited amount of time. Read it while you can!

'Missing' Dandini Found in US Church

September 15 2021

Posted by Adam Busiakiewicz:

Here's a rather curious story. A painting by Cesare Dandini, reportedly recorded as 'missing', has been discovered in a church in New Rochelle, New York. It was rediscovered by the New York college professor Tom Ruggio who started looking into the work's attribution and history. It seems that no one is exactly sure how the painting ended up in New Rochelle, with some suggestions it was purchased in London during the 1960s. The canvas will be on loan to Iona College in New Rochelle for the next three months.

Is this by Van Gogh ? (ctd.)

September 9 2021

Image of Is this by Van Gogh ? (ctd.)


Posted by Adam Busiakiewicz:

Readers might remember this painting from a post earlier in May regarding the quest of its owner Stuart Pivar to prove whether it was by Van Gogh or not.

The Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam have since rejected the authenticity of the painting based on photographs alone.

The article linked above quotes Head of Collections and Research Marije Vellekoop:

We do not believe that an inspection … in our museum is necessary.

In our opinion, it is evidently clear from the material presented to us, that the painting ‘Auvers’ cannot be attributed to Vincent van Gogh.

The rejected work is in our opinion stylistically, iconographically or technically … clearly too far removed from Van Gogh’s own work that research and further discussion is deemed pointless.

Pivar, who rejects the conclusions above, has opened a $300m lawsuit to settle the matter.

Uffizi Acquire Tibaldi and Gnocchi Saint Paul

September 6 2021

Image of Uffizi Acquire Tibaldi and Gnocchi Saint Paul

Picture: Uffizi

Posted by Adam Busiakiewicz:

The Uffizi Gallery in Florence have announced their acquisition of a full-length Saint Paul by Pellegrino Tibaldi and his Milanese pupil Giovanni Pietro Gnocchi. The work, dated to c.1585, was purchased after an export ban was placed on it by the authorities in Italy. Recent research undertaken by the scholar Agostino Allegri has established that the work was produced for the Milanese private chapel of the heirs of San Carlo Borromeo in 1585. Indeed, the painting was mentioned in a 1587 text by Giovanni Paolo Lomazzo and managed to survive the bombings of 1943 when the chapel was badly damaged.

Busts Return to Genoa

September 1 2021

Image of Busts Return to Genoa


Posted by Adam Busiakiewicz:

Two seventeenth century busts are heading back to Genoa. The two marbles depicting Tommaso Gentile and Ginetta Pinelli, completed for the Basilica of the Santissima Annunziata del Vastato by sculptor Daniele Solaro (Genoa, 1649 - 1709), had long thought to have been destroyed during the war. The rediscovery was made after research was commissioned by a private collector into their histories. It is not known exactly how the pair came to leave the city, however, they have since been reacquired by the authorities in Genoa.

Rijksmuseum Acquires and Reattributes Sluter Crucifix

September 1 2021

Image of Rijksmuseum Acquires and Reattributes Sluter Crucifix

Picture: Rijksmuseum

Posted by Adam Busiakiewicz:

The Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam has acquired a carved wooden crucifix that it has reattributed to the fifteenth-century Dutch sculptor Claus Sluter.

According to the article above:

Research conducted into art historical and technical aspects of the work has led multiple experts to conclude that this exceptional object can be conclusively attributed to Haarlem-born Claus Sluter, who was the court sculptor to Philip the Bold in Dijon, France, from 1389 to 1406. This makes the work the first by Sluter to be held in a Dutch collection.

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