Previous Posts: January 2021

Francesco Guardi's Portrait of Bonnie Prince up for Sale

January 31 2021

Image of Francesco Guardi's Portrait of Bonnie Prince up for Sale

Picture: Pandolfini

Posted by Adam Busiakiewicz:

The Italian auction house Pandolfini are offering up a very interesting portrait of Charles Edward Stuart by the Venetian painter Francesco Guardi in their upcoming sale. It is believed the portrait was completed when the Prince was in Venice during 1737, and is likely to be Guardi's copy of Rosalba Carriera's portrait of the Prince made that year. This version ended up in the Marshal von der Schulenburg collection where it is recorded in archival materials. It is believed to be one of Franesco Guardi's earliest known completed works, created when he was twenty-six years old.

The portrait will be offered for sale on 2nd February 2021 with an estimate of €30,000 - €50,000.

Update - The portrait made €120,000.

Borghese Gallery Director Leads Daily Tour for Reopening

January 31 2021

Image of Borghese Gallery Director Leads Daily Tour for Reopening

Picture: La Galleria Borghese

Posted by Adam Busiakiewicz:

Rome's La Galleria Borghese is set to reopen on 1st February 2021. To celebrate this momentous occasion the gallery's new director Francesca Cappelletti will be giving a presentation for visitors each day at noon for two weeks on the gallery's new Guido Reni acquisition. She'll be assisted in this presentation by alternating members of staff including curators and conservators. The museum director's daily talk will also be accompanied by new thematic talks presented throughout this two week period.

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Galileo Mystery in Francis Cleyn Portrait

January 31 2021

Image of Galileo Mystery in Francis Cleyn Portrait

Picture: The Wall Street Journal

Posted by Adam Busiakiewicz:

The Wall Street Journal and The Telegraph have published reviews for a new book by John L Heilbron entitled The Ghost of Galileo. The book investigates the above painting of John Bankes and his Tutor, Sir Maurice Williams by Francis Cleyn (1582-1658) in the collection of Kingston Lacy, Dorset (The National Trust). More specifically, the author goes into the possible reasons why Cleyn included a copy of Galileo's Dialogue Concerning the Two Chief World Systems (1632) in the picture.

It all makes for rather interesting reading. Equally, one can really feel the influence of Cleyn's painting on William Dobson here. Dobson is believed to have worked in Cleyn's studio during his youth.

The Wallace Collection Library set to Close (?)

January 30 2021

Image of The Wallace Collection Library set to Close (?)

Picture: Pinterest

Posted by Adam Busiakiewicz:

A group of staff from The Wallace Collection in London have set up a petition to encourage management to rethink their plans to lay off library and archive staff. The petition suggests that the museum is planning to close its library service altogether, in favour of a revamped digitisation service online it seems.


On a personal note, I think this would be a terrible shame. I was lucky enough to spend a great deal of time in the library during my Master's Degree. The staff couldn't have been more helpful and generous with their time and knowledge. The collection of materials available is outstanding too, especially if you're studying specialist subjects such as arms & armour for example.

Update - The petition has now gathered over 10,000 signatures.

The Guardian have also published a story regarding the planned changes.

Musée de la Chasse et de la Nature Acquires Huntsman

January 30 2021

Video: Artcento

Posted by Adam Busiakiewicz:

The Musée de la Chasse et de la Nature in Paris has acquired the above painting of a huntsman by Jean Daret (1614-1668) and Nicasius Bernaerts (1620-1678). The picture made €373,520 at the auction house Mathias - Bournazel yesterday, soaring past its €60k - €80k estimate.

Here's a full write up by La Tribune de l'Art, alongside this article by La Gazette Drouot.

Velázquez Conference at the Wallace Collection

January 29 2021

Image of Velázquez Conference at the Wallace Collection

Picture: The Wallace Collection

Posted by Adam Busiakiewicz:

The Wallace Collection in London are hosting a two day conference in March focusing on Diego Velázquez's Prince Baltasar Carlos in the Riding School.

As the description explains:

Our first session will explore the Wallace Collection painting and the questions raised by its recent restoration, including Velázquez’s technique, and the broader context that might have influenced the composition.

Our second session will explore the differences between the Wallace Collection picture and the fully-accepted autograph version in a private collection, aiming to reveal the complexities of these two portraits.

The conference will be held on Zoom Thursday 4th and Friday 5th March 2021.

Maria Schalcken Video

January 29 2021

Highlights from "A Conversation - Boy Offering Grapes to a Woman" from The Leiden Collection on Vimeo.

Video: The Leiden Collection

Posted by Adam Busiakiewicz:

The Leiden Collection have recently published this video describing Maria Schalcken's Boy Offering Grapes to a Woman.

Botticelli goes for $80m at Sotheby's

January 28 2021

Image of Botticelli goes for $80m at Sotheby's

Picture: Sotheby's

Posted by Adam Busiakiewicz:

Sotheby's Botticelli Renaissance Man pulled in an enormous $80m (hammer price) in New York this evening. With commission this adds up to $92,184,000. Bidding ended with two experts on the phone, with the Russian department representative eventually with the last bid.

In a rather shocking piece of news, the $20m - $30m Rembrandt was withdrawn before the sale began. Was there a lack of interest perhaps?

More analysis in the upcoming days.

Attic Rummage Reveals £2.5k Painting

January 28 2021

Image of Attic Rummage Reveals £2.5k Painting

Picture: Stratford Observer

Posted by Adam Busiakiewicz:

A curious story this. The Stratford Observer in Warwickshire has published a story regarding a painting found by a local resident who was inspecting their attic during lockdown last year.

According to the report:

The Stratford resident found the old canvas which depicted drunken Bacchus – Roman God of wine – during a lockdown inspired rummage.

Although the painting was unframed and in poor condition, the finder decided to get it checked out before consigning it to the skip. They took it to Hansons Auctioneers who recognised it as the hand of 17th century Italian painter Filippo Lauri.


Despite its poor condition, it was estimated between £1,000 and £1,500. It eventually sold for £2,500 to an Italian client based in Rome – meaning the painting went home to its place of creation.

Needless to say, the painting was actually catalogued as 'Manner of Filippo Lauri' rather than given to the artist in full. Looks like a copy of something to me. Perhaps a reader of AHN might have a clue. Alternatively, perhaps you know of someone who forgot to take that old painting with them when they moved house a few years ago?

Sleeper Alert!

January 27 2021

Image of Sleeper Alert!


Posted by Adam Busiakiewicz:

Over the past few days social media has experienced a flurry of posts and pictures featuring the painting above. Catalogued as '18th century Italian School', the work finally made £100,000 (hammer price) over its £400 - £600 estimate today at Reeman Dansie in Colchester, Essex. Indeed, online bidding had already passed the £20,000 mark yesterday evening with 122 profiles watching the lot.

This beautiful work is surely a sketch by Mary Beale (1633-1699), whose brilliant and intimate portraits of her children have become rather desirable over the past decade. Two such comparable sketches are in the collection of Tate Britain. Another portrait of one of her sons sold for £93,750 (inc. commission) at Sotheby's in 2019.

Update - A reader has written with the following comment:

There was a very similar one, overlooked in Adam Partridge a couple of years ago which made about £15,800 plus fees. Of course, the new one is a charming image but how to account for such a price?

This is quite true, the aforementioned full-catalogued Sotheby's picture made a rather top-end price for similar work a mere two years ago. One wonders whether it was acquired by a dealer or collector. However as the old saying goes, nothing sells quite like a sleeper!

Update 2 - A reader has pointed out that the aforementioned Sotheby's picture is now in the collection of the National Gallery of Victoria in Australia.

Unfinished Guido Reni up for Sale

January 27 2021

Video: Artcento

Posted by Adam Busiakiewicz:

The French auction house Me LABARBE are offering an unfinished painting of Cleopatra by Guido Reni at auction tomorrow. This previously unidentified painting, completed in his looser and so-called 'second manner', has been linked to a picture in the artist's studio sale in 1642.

The painting will sold on 28th January 2021 and carries a tempting estimate of €80,000 - €120,000.

Here's a write up from La Gazette Drouot.

Update - After having a rummage around the internet, it appears that the painting didn't sell (?). I'd be grateful if a reader wants to correct me on this point!

Judith Leyster Online Lecture

January 27 2021

Image of Judith Leyster Online Lecture

Picture: Philadelphia Museum of Art

Posted by Adam Busiakiewicz:

The Philadelphia Museum of Art's curator Nicole Cook will be presenting an online lecture on the Haarlem painter Judith Leyster (1609-1660) this month. She will also be joined by the scholar Frima Hofrichter who has published a book on Leyster and other subjects relating to women in art.

The lecture will be broadcast on Friday 29th January 2021 at 12.00pm (Philadelphia Time). It is free to attend (donations are encouraged) although registration is required.

Raphael Cartoons Digitised

January 27 2021

Image of Raphael Cartoons Digitised

Picture: V&A

Posted by Adam Busiakiewicz:

The Victoria and Albert Museum in London have published high resolution images of the Royal Collection's Raphael Cartoons onto their website. During 2019 these enormous works on paper were scanned by the Factum Foundation. Both infrared, high resolution images and 3D scans were made. The new images has revealed several interesting insights into how Raphael's workshop operated and the pentimenti made during the initial stages of drawing.

Here's the full write up from The Art Newspaper.

Jean Decourt Miniature of Henri III Uncovered at Auction

January 26 2021

Image of Jean Decourt Miniature of Henri III Uncovered at Auction

Picture: The Independent

Posted by Adam Busiakiewicz:

Several news outlets have reported on news of a recently uncovered miniature of Henri III of France. This signed and dated miniature by Jean Decourt was discovered by the London art dealer Philip Mould at auction last year.

Most of the newspapers seem to gone with the headlines which draw attention to the King's more eccentric interest in women's fashion. Reports also explain that the art dealer is currently trying to sell the miniature to the Louvre Museum, as it is likely that the portrait was produced within this royal residence in 1578.

Update - A reader had been in touch to pose the following question regarding the miniature:

Just to say, as you will know, there is a Nicholas Hilliard miniature of Henri III in the Djangoly collection which was shown in the Elizabethan Treasures exhibition at the National Portrait Gallery.  Done  sometime 1576-78 when NH in France. Shows a younger, smarter Henri III. No-one seems to have mentioned the similarities and differences between these two. It is obvious that the Decourt shows him as older and more dissolute looking. His hairline is different, receding maybe and his ruff makes his head look abit stuck on.  Is it likely that Decourt knew the Hilliard miniature and adapted bits of it 20 years later?  


In the NH Henri III wears on his chain a pendant of St. Michel - just before he founded the Saint Esprit. Cant see any orders on the Decourt when he would have been wearing the Saint-Esprit.

I posed the query to miniatures expert Emma Rutherford who kindly supplied the following answer:

The Hilliard and Decourt portraits of Henri III were painted within 2 years of each other. Both artists were at the French court at the same time - Hilliard was in the service of the King's younger brother and Decourt employed by the King himself. The likely date for the Hilliard portrait is late 1576 - but Hilliard was still in France in 1578 when this portrait of Henri was painted by Decourt. The order of the Saint-Espirit was founded by Henri 31st December 1578 so that explains its absence in both of these portraits. In the portrait of the king by Hilliard the order of St Michael is just visible. The Decourt still has the original gold border and has not been trimmed.

Fondation Custodia Gifted Parisian Views

January 26 2021

Image of Fondation Custodia Gifted Parisian Views

Picture: Fondation Custodia

Posted by Adam Busiakiewicz:

The Fondation Custodia in Paris has been gifted two landscapes by their former Treasurer Gerhard Greidanus. The gift was made in memory of the late Jan Maarten Boll, who was an avid collector and former President of the Rembrandt Association in the Netherlands.

The two works are by Pierre-Antoine Demachy (1723–1807) and Pierre-Antoine Mongin (1761–1827). Demachy's view of the roof of the Louvre (above) dates to roughly 1769-1785, before this part of the building was modified. The other work by Mongin depicts a view of rooftops in Paris made in the year 1823.

The National Trust are Hiring 8 Curators!

January 26 2021

Image of The National Trust are Hiring 8 Curators!

Picture: Country Life

Posted by Adam Busiakiewicz:

The National Trust are hiring 8 new Property Curators.

The properties that are hiring these positions include the likes of Kedleston Hall (pictured), Hardwick Hall, Lacock, Kingston Lacy, The Vyne and Blickling.

It seems that these roles will work with the 'consultancy teams' based in Geographical areas. It's not clear whether these existing teams are the specialist departments the trust was looking to axe last year.

The positions come with a salary of £32,304 per annum, and applications must be in by 14th February 2021. Good luck if you're applying!

NGA Acquisitions

January 26 2021

Image of NGA Acquisitions

Picture: NGA

Posted by Adam Busiakiewicz:

The National Gallery of Art in Washington DC (NGA) has acquired a painting of The Stoning of Saint Stephen by Aurelio Lomi (1556-1622).

As their press release explains:

Created while Lomi was living in Genoa (1597–c. 1604), this work is an exquisite example of the artist’s meticulously constructed compositions and figures, as well as his ability to create works suffused with light. It epitomizes the transition from the stylization of late mannerism to the more naturalistic light, movement, and texture of baroque style.

The museum has also acquired a complete set of The Seven Sacraments by Jean Dughet engraved after Nicholas Poussin.

New Series of Britain's Lost Masterpieces

January 25 2021

Video: BBC

Posted by Adam Busiakiewicz:

I'm sure Bendor would want me to alert you all to the new and upcoming series of Britain's Lost Masterpieces.

The first in the series, examining a painting in the Brighton Museum and Art Gallery, airs on Monday 1st February on BBC Four at 21.00pm (GMT). The next will air at the same time on Monday 8th February.

Rembrandthuis Gifted Bol Shepherdess

January 25 2021

Image of Rembrandthuis Gifted Bol Shepherdess

Picture: Rembrandt Huis

Posted by Adam Busiakiewicz:

The Rembrandthuis in Amsterdam have been gifted a painting of A Shepherdess in a Landscape by Ferdinand Bol (spotted on Twitter via. @RembrandtsRoom). The painting, which dates to c.1641, was gifted to the museum by the dealer and collector Willem Jan Hoogsteder. The landscape in the work is said to be a free interpretation of that which is found in Rembrandt's Christ and St Mary Magdalen at the Tomb in the Royal Collection).

Leonardo in Senegal

January 24 2021

Image of Leonardo in Senegal

Picture: DailySabah

Posted by Adam Busiakiewicz:

The inhabitants of Dakar in Senegal will be the last to enjoy RAI Com's travelling exhibition Opera Omnia Leonardo in the city's Museum of Black Civilisations. This touring show, which features high quality digital copies of Leonardo's works, has been on display in China, Ethiopia and other more out of the way locations since 2019. This digital project is supported by the Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs with the intention of sharing cultural masterpieces throughout the world. 

The exhibition wind up after the Senegal leg finishes on 28th February 2021.

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