Previous Posts: April 2022

1,780 posts later...

April 10 2022

Video: AB

Posted by Adam Busiakiewicz:

It was exactly 2 years to this month when Bendor very kindly asked me to start posting on AHN. Over 1,780 posts later, this is my final offering.

It has been a great honour and tremendous fun to keep the blog running, thank you to all of you who have continued to read it! I'm very grateful for all the interesting stories, comments and corrections I've received. It has never ceased to amaze me how many readers get in touch from all over the world. Ultimately, it is Bendor who we must all thank for supporting its continuation. I'm sure the next phase will be interesting too (and might contain more contemporary art stories, many of which I found particularly difficult to find any enthusiasm for).

New adventures await me as I have recently accepted a job cataloguing Old Masters at Sotheby's in London. As my doctoral research has recently ended, I think it is about time that I found another challenge to pursue.

As a parting gift, I thought I would record a segment of one of my favourite Pavans for the lute. It is entitled Sedet Sola [Sitting Alone] and was written by one of Elizabeth I's lutenists Anthony Holborne (c.1545-1602). I particularly love this piece as it is probably connected (subject wise at least) to Isaac Oliver's A Young Man Seated Under a Tree c.1590-1595 in The Royal Collection. I have always imagined that this particularly sweet melancholy is exactly what Oliver's miniature sounds like.

Update - Dear Adam, I can't thank you enough for all your excellent work on AHN these last two years. Your keen eye for a story, and many a sleeper-alert, have been indispensable in keeping us all informed about what's going on in the art historical universe. What a pleasure it has been to know the blog has been in such good hands. I'm not sure what happens next on AHN, but I doubt there'll be much enthusiasm for contemporary art stories any time soon. Sotheby's are lucky to have you (and your lutes!) and I not only wish you the best of luck there, but look forward to reporting on all the exciting discoveries I know you'll make, thanks to your excellent connoisseurial instincts. Thanks again, BG

Nationalmuseum Stockholm acquires La Tour Pastel

April 10 2022

Image of Nationalmuseum Stockholm acquires La Tour Pastel

Picture: La Gazette Drouot

Posted by Adam Busiakiewicz:

News from La Gazette Drouot that the Nationalmuseum in Stockholm have acquired Quentin de La Tour's portrait of a Lady presumed to be Mrs. Catherine Massea. The work was acquired at auction last month for €60,536.

Tiepolo's Paintings in Verolanuova are being Restored

April 10 2022

Image of Tiepolo's Paintings in Verolanuova are being Restored


Posted by Adam Busiakiewicz:

Two large paintings by Giovanni Battista Tiepolo's, kept in the Chapel of the Blessed Sacrament in the Basilica of San Lorenzo, Verolanuova, are to be restored. Work has recently begun on bringing the artist's monumental canvases of The Sacrifice of Melchizedek and The Collection of Manna back to life. The work is being supervised by conservator Davide Dotti.

The Uffizi Gallery sends Charles V to Teglio

April 10 2022

Image of The Uffizi Gallery sends Charles V to Teglio

Picture: Uffizi Gallery

Posted by Adam Busiakiewicz:

Florence's Uffizi Gallery have sent their Titian and Workshop of Emperor Charles V the Palazzo Besta in Teglio, Northern Italy. The Emperor's likeness appears an historic fresco scheme already in the palace, hence the connection. The loan is part of the '100 works return home' project that sees the gallery's artworks spread across different parts of the country. It seems that the project will soon be televised in a special documentary with Rai.

Bob Dylan on Van Gogh

April 10 2022

Image of Bob Dylan on Van Gogh


Posted by Adam Busiakiewicz:

Far Out Magazine have published a short article on Van Gogh's influence on the music of Bob Dylan. The article, which contains some YouTube links to Dylan's songs, explores the thematic influence on his lyrics.

To quote some lyrics from his Blonde on Blonde demo:

When I’d ask why the painting was deadly / Nobody could pick up my sign / ‘Cept for the cook, she was always friendly / But she’d only ask, ‘What’s on your mind?’ / She’d say that especially when it was raining / I’d say ‘Oh, I don’t know’ / But then she’d press and I’d say, ‘You see that painting? / Do you think it’s been done by Van Gogh?

Vanishing Point

April 10 2022

Image of Vanishing Point

Picture: FT

Posted by Adam Busiakiewicz:

The Financial Times have published an interesting article on Barbara Walker’s new exhibition Vanishing Point. The show is currently on at the Cristea Roberts Gallery in London until 23rd April 2022. As you can see, these graphite drawings (combined with blind embossing) hone in on black figures that feature within old master paintings.

To quote the artist:

I spend a lot of time in the National Gallery, and when I’m looking at those beautiful paintings, I’m looking for me — how we are represented, how we are viewed — and to understand our journey. Often the black figures are in the corner or with their backs turned to us. The viewer sometimes doesn’t see these individuals. But I’m making them high-definition and bringing them to the forefront: here, they are not just props.


I’m duplicating an Old Masters painting and I want people to see the original in my work. So the black figure is still in situ; I don’t completely wash away the white figures, as I’ve done previously, or rub them away or paint them out. I want the audience to see the dynamics.

Upcoming Release: Scented Visions

April 10 2022

Image of Upcoming Release: Scented Visions

Picture: Penn State University Press

Posted by Adam Busiakiewicz:

Here is a September release that will be worth keeping an eye out for. Scented Visions: Smells in Art 1850-1914 is the upcoming publication by Christina Bradstreet, Courses and Events Programmer at the National Gallery in London.

According to the book's blurb:

Smell loomed large in cultural discourse in the late nineteenth century, thanks to the midcentury fear of miasma, the drive for sanitation reform, and the rise in artificial perfumery. Meanwhile, the science of olfaction remained largely mysterious, prompting an impulse to “see smell” and inspiring some artists to picture scent in order to better know and control it. This book recovers the substantive role of the olfactory in Pre-Raphaelite art and Aestheticism.

Christina Bradstreet examines the iconography and symbolism of scent in nineteenth-century art and visual culture. Fragrant imagery in the work of John Everett Millais, Dante Gabriel Rossetti, Simeon Solomon, George Frederic Watts, Edward Burne-Jones, and others set the trend for the preoccupation with scent that informed swaths of British, European, and American art and design. Bradstreet’s rich analyses of paintings, perfume posters, and other works of visual culture demonstrate how artworks mirrored the “period nose” and intersected with the most clamorous debates of the day, including evolution, civilization, race, urban morality, mental health, faith, and the “woman question.”

The book will be released in September 2022.

Louis Gauffier in Italy

April 10 2022

Image of Louis Gauffier in Italy

Picture: Musée Fabre à Montpellier

Posted by Adam Busiakiewicz:

The Musée Fabre in Montpellier will be opening their latest exhibition next month. As the title suggests, Le voyage en Italie de Louis Gauffier will be following the journey Louis Gauffier (1762-1801) made to Italy from 1783 onwards. The show features landscapes, portraits, biblical and mythological subjects with loans from the Uffizi Gallery in Florence, Kenwood House in London, The National Gallery of Scotland in Edinburgh, The Nationalmuseum in Stockholm, Philadelphia Museum of Art, Minneapolis Art Institute, Fine Art Museums in San Francisco and The National Gallery of Victoria in Melbourne.

The exhibition will run from 7th May 2022 until 4th September 2022.

Michelangelo Poletti Collection on Display in Bologna

April 9 2022

Posted by Adam Busiakiewicz:

The collection of the entrepreneur Michelangelo Poletti has gone on display in a special exhibition at the Palazzo Fava in Bologna. The collection consists predominately of Emilian painters from the fifteenth to nineteenth centuries. A total of 84 works are on display including paintings by the likes of Lorenzo Pasinelli, Donato Creti, Graziani, Aureliano Milani, Lavinia Fontana, Elisabetta Sirani, Lucia Casalini, The Master of the Baldraccani, Girolamo Genga and Garofalo.

The show will run until 24th July 2022.

No one wants the Villa Aurora? (ctd.)

April 9 2022

Posted by Adam Busiakiewicz:

There were no bidders during the most recent attempt to sell the aforementioned frescoed Villa Aurora. The opening price had been set at €282m but will now be lowered again.*

* - It had started at €353m in January.

50 Old Masters from the Alana Collection coming up at Christie's NY

April 9 2022

Image of 50 Old Masters from the Alana Collection coming up at Christie's NY

Picture: Christie's

Posted by Adam Busiakiewicz:

News has emerged that Christie's New York will be offering 50 old master paintings from the Alana collection on 9th June 2022. The collection was formed by Chilean billionaire Alvaro Saieh and his wife Ana Guzmán over a period of decades. Many pictures included were displayed at the Jacquemart-Andre Museum in Paris between 2019-20. The total value of the collection is said to be worth between $30m and $50m.

Amongst the highlights in Fra Angelico's Saint Dominic and the Stigmatization of Saint Francis estimated at $4m - $6m (pictured).

Raphael Reframed

April 9 2022

Image of Raphael Reframed

Picture: @psframes

Posted by Adam Busiakiewicz:

Peter Schade, Head of Framing at The National Gallery in London, has shared this beautiful comparison on his Twitter account. Raphael's Saint Catherine has been housed in a new antique frame (right). This new setting has received its debut at the gallery's new Raphael exhibition (which opened the other day, as it happens).

Sleeper Alert!

April 7 2022

Image of Sleeper Alert!

Picture: Sotheby's

Posted by Adam Busiakiewicz:

This painting of A Peasant Woman holding a Cockerel catalogued as 'North Italian School' realised £176,400 (inc. commission) over its £6k - £8k estimate yesterday at Sotheby's. The work was sold from the collection of the Marquess of Downshire. This beautiful and very yellowed Lely, from the same collection, realised £113,400 over its £20k - £30k estimate.

Upcoming Release: Imagining the Apocalypse: Art and the End Times

April 7 2022

Image of Upcoming Release: Imagining the Apocalypse: Art and the End Times

Picture: Courtauld Institute

Posted by Adam Busiakiewicz:

The Courtauld Institute of Art in London will be hosting an interesting panel discussion on 27th April 2022 to celebrate the release of the following book. Imagining the Apocalypse: Art and the End Times is the latest publication by Edwin Coomasaru and Theresa Deichert.

According to a section from a brief introduction found on the Courtauld's website:

Armageddon is a cultural framework which has developed a series of conventions over centuries: the promise of rebirth after death or a saviour to turn chaos into order. Artists have long worked with and against such narrative tropes, and this book investigates the tensions between visual culture and political discourse that draw on or disrupt apocalyptic thinking. Grove complains that ‘the conceptual and temporal boundaries of apocalypses are frustrating diffuse’—but such flexibility is exactly why Armageddon has been profoundly generative as a cultural and social metaphor.53 The word ‘apocalypse’ derives from Greek, meaning ‘unveiling’, and this edited collection aims to explore and understand what modern and contemporary images of the end times may tell about the societies that gave rise to them.

The panel discussion will be live streamed (free - but registration required) for those who can't make it to the event in London.

Musée des Beaux-Arts d'Orléans acquire Portrait of Princess Marie d'Orléans

April 7 2022

Image of Musée des Beaux-Arts d'Orléans acquire Portrait of Princess Marie d'Orléans

Picture: @OliviaVoisin

Posted by Adam Busiakiewicz:

Olivia Voisin, director of the Musée des Beaux-Arts d'Orléans, has announced that the museum have acquired Ary Scheffer's portrait of the sculptress Princess Marie d'Orléans. The Princess was the daughter of King Louis Philippe and a favoured pupil of Scheffer. There is another version of the painting in the Cleveland Museum of Art.

$30m Michelangelo drawing coming up at Christie's

April 7 2022

Image of $30m Michelangelo drawing coming up at Christie's

Picture: Christie's

Posted by Adam Busiakiewicz:

It has been announced that Christie's Paris will be offering a drawing by Michelangelo in their upcoming May sale. The figure is based on the shivering man depicted in Masaccio’s Baptism of the Neophytes fresco at Santa Maria del Carmine in Florence. It was last sold in Paris over one hundred years ago where it was catalogued as 'School of Michelangelo'. The work on paper, one of the few by the artist left in private hands, has since been upgraded by scholars.

The drawing will be offered up for sale on 18th May 2022 carrying an estimate within the region of $30m.

New Edition of Jordaens Van Dyck Journal

April 7 2022

Image of New Edition of Jordaens Van Dyck Journal

Picture: JVDPPP

Posted by Adam Busiakiewicz:

The third edition of the Jordaens Van Dyck Journal has just been published online. As always, the journal is free to access online and printed editions can be ordered through the website.

Here's a list of articles featured within:

Justin Davies & Ingrid Moortgat: The punch mark VHB : possible identification as the panel maker’s mark of Hans van Beemen alias Hans van Herentals (died 1624)

Justin Davies: Evidence of a previously unknown set of Van Dyck’s Apostles in Schloss Woyanow, Danzig in the early Twentieth century and an examination of one of the panels

Andrea Seim: Planks from the same oak tree found in different paintings

Justin Davies: Art historical considerations on same tree planks found in different paintings

Joost Vander Auwera: Jacques Jordaens, his panels and panel makers: identifications and patterns

Justin Davies: Van Dyck’s Apostles: introduction, overview and a new document Johannes Edvardsson: Dendrochronological and panel mark results from the Besançon and Konstanjevica na Krki Van Dyck related Apostles

Alexis Merle Du Bourg: The provenance of the sets of contemporary panels of Van Dyck’s Apostles in Besançon and Konstanjevica na Krki

Ingrid Goddeeris: Identifying new avenues for nineteenth-century provenance research through a focus on the Belgian art dealer Léon Gauchez using online museum files and digitised journals

James Innes-Mulraine: To Land upp into the Garden there’: Van Dyck’s lost London studio found at last

In a related note, James Innes-Mulraine's appeared in The Sunday Telegraph last weekend regarding a petition to have a blue plaque placed on the site of Van Dyck's former studio in Blackfriars.

Here's what the site looked like in the past:

Picture: Trustees of the British Museum

And here is what the area looks like now:

Picture:(c) ZC Innes-Mulraine

A worthy project that AHN lends its full support to!

An Announcement

April 5 2022

Image of An Announcement

Picture: Olympia Auctions

Posted by Adam Busiakiewicz:

Some sad news to report. This will be my last week posting on AHN. Alas, a new and exciting adventure is calling me away. I'll explain more about what that is exactly in my final post (at some point at the end of the week).

It has been the greatest joy and pleasure to co-edit this blog. Thank you to all of you who have been in touch with stories, suggestions and comments. They do make the blog what it is. I'm eternally grateful to Bendor too, who really does deserve all the thanks for keeping this whole project going.

As ever, please do feel free to send across any stories or exhibitions that might be of interest for the site, before I sign off!


As another aside, the image here is featured in an upcoming picture sale held by Olympia Auctions in West London. This auction contains one of the most interesting collections of paintings featuring musicians I've ever seen. In this picture we see a rather serious gentleman playing a so-called Apollo Lyre. This curious looking thing is similar to a Harp-Lute, a type of instrument that became rather popular in the Regency period. Here's a recording of one of those, in case you might be interested to hear more.

Update - I'm very touched by those of you who have sent kind messages, apologies that time hasn't yet allowed me to reply to them in full. I'll be working on posting as much as I can before Monday.

Temporary Export Bar on £11m Bellotto

April 5 2022

Image of Temporary Export Bar on £11m Bellotto

Picture: Christie's

Posted by Adam Busiakiewicz:

The UK Government has placed a temporary export bar on Bernado Bellotto's View of Verona with the Ponte delle Navi. The picture was sold at Christie's last year, and any interested institution will have to find £11m to keep the work in the country.

According to Committee Member Christopher Baker: 

Bernardo Bellotto was one of the greatest vedute (view) painters of the eighteenth century and this ambitious work is among the towering achievements of his early career. 

A native of Venice and nephew of Canaletto, Bellotto sought novel subjects beyond his home and here created, when in his early twenties, a remarkably mature study of the heart of Verona, notable for its bold composition, unifying silvery light and architectural interest, as well as its lively anecdotal details. Painted for an as yet unidentified British patron, View of Verona with the Ponte delle Navi’ is first recorded in London in 1771 when it was consigned to auction. 

It was conceived as one of a pair of pictures (pendants); its companion explores a complementary view of the river Adige, looking in the opposite direction, and hangs in the collection of Powis Castle (National Trust). Because of the aesthetic pre-eminence of Bellotto’s work and its fascination in terms of future research around such paintings and their patronage, it would be highly desirable if this wonderful picture could find a permanent home in a British public collection.


Regular readers will know that there are quite a few pictures with temporary export bars on them at the moment. There is a £50m Reynolds, a £10m Cezanne, a £6m De Heem, a £1.5m pair of Kauffmans, all waiting for interested institutions to raise the money to keep them in the country.

I'm yet to hear if any institution stepped in to save this most interesting seventeenth century double portrait, whose export ban expired in March 2022. I could be wrong, but it seems to me that the aforementioned £7.5m Sargent too has slipped through the net too.

Quite a few of you often get in touch after I post such stories, pointing out how few of these paintings are eventually saved. As I posted last year, it seems that the UK export scheme is not particularly efficient in actually saving high value paintings.

One reader has recently contributed his own personal view:

Nothing about this scheme works. It may once have been to protect the nation's heritage, but its only purpose today is to allow the government to pretend it cares about the Nation's heritage - it would be better simply to abolish it. 

The US has generous tax incentives that result in hundreds of millions of dollars worth of art being donated annually and museums with billions in endowments. France and Holland fund their museums to but great artworks (150 million Euros for a Rembrandt this year - 180 million Euros between them for two others a few years ago). Most other countries - including Italy, Greece and Spain simply ban the export of important heritage items so that they remain in those countries even if they can't be purchased for public collections. 

If our Country has become so impoverished that adding anything approaching great art to our national collections is simply beyond our means, would it not be better just to do away with our wholly discredited heritage export scheme, and just ban the export of important items as many other countries do?

I suppose we might need to wait and see what happens with the current list of artworks at risk. If all are lost, then it might be a good time for the scheme to be reformed in some way (as has been suggested many times before).

The Burlington - Current Issue

April 5 2022

Image of The Burlington - Current Issue

Picture: The Burlington

Posted by Adam Busiakiewicz:

The Burlington Magazine's April edition is dedicated to the subject of Collectors and Collections.

Here is a rundown of the articles featured within this month's edition:

The provenance of ‘Het Steen’ and ‘The rainbow landscape’ by Rubens BY LUCY DAVIS,NATALIA MUÑOZ-ROJAS

Richard Vickris Pryor in the art market of Napoleonic Europe BY LUCIA BONAZZI

From Paris to New York: French paintings from the collection of Eliza Jumel BY MARGARET OPPENHEIMER

Aby Warburg and the Volksheim exhibitions of 1902 and 1905 BY ECKART MARCHAND

Medieval and Renaissance enamels and other works of art in the Wyvern Collection BY HILTRUD WESTERMANN-ANGERHAUSEN

The Italian Renaissance altarpiece BY NICHOLAS PENNY

Obituary: Jonathan Brown (1939–2022) BY PETER CHERRY

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