Previous Posts: February 2022

Le décor impressionniste at the Musée de l'Orangerie

February 28 2022

Video: Musée de l'Orangerie

Posted by Adam Busiakiewicz:

Another exhibition that is opening on Wednesday is the Musée de l'Orangerie's show entitled Le décor impressionniste: Aux sources des Nymphéas. As the name of the exhibition suggests, it aims to show the relationship the Impressionists had with notions of the 'decorative' in art.

The exhibition will run from 2nd March 2022 until 11th July 2022.

'Renoir: Rococo Revival' in Frankfurt

February 28 2022

Image of 'Renoir: Rococo Revival' in Frankfurt

Picture: Städel Museum

Posted by Adam Busiakiewicz:

The Städel Museum in Frankfurt will be opening their latest exhibition on Wednesday. Renoir Rococo Revival explores the connections between French impressionism and eighteenth-century rococo art and will feature no fewer than 120 paintings (!)

According to the museum's website:

Whereas Rococo painting was considered frivolous and immoral after the French Revolution, it underwent a revival in the nineteenth century and was widely visible in Renoir’s lifetime. Having trained as a porcelain painter, he was also intimately acquainted with the imagery of artists such as Antoine Watteau, Baptiste Siméon Chardin, François Boucher and Jean-Honoré Fragonard. He shared the Rococo’s predilection for certain subjects, among them promenaders in the park and on the riverbank, moments of repose in the outdoors, and the garden party. Renoir also frequently devoted himself to the depiction of domestic scenes and family life as well as intimate moments such as bathing, reading or making music. Yet he not only took orientation from the motifs of the Rococo, but also particularly admired its loose and sketchy manner of painting as well as its brilliant palette, aspects that would have a formative influence on him and many other artists in the Impressionist circle. 

Trenchant juxtapositions of Renoir’s art with works of the eighteenth century as well as his own contemporaries – Edgar Degas, Édouard Manet, Claude Monet and Berthe Morisot – will provide an overview of Impressionism’s intense artistic examination of the Rococo. 

The exhibition will show a total of some 120 outstanding paintings, works on paper and handcrafted objects from international museums such as the National Gallery in Washington, D.C., the Musée d’Orsay in Paris, the National Gallery in London, the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, the J. Paul Getty Museum in Los Angeles, as well as private collections.

The show will run from 2nd March 2022 until 19th June 2022.

The National Museums Scotland are hiring!

February 28 2022

Posted by Adam Busiakiewicz:

The National Museums Scotland are hiring three Assistant Curators in Renaissance and Early Modern History, Modern and Contemporary History, and World Cultures

To quote the job description for the Renaissance and Early Modern History role:

Based at the National Museum of Scotland you will support the work of the Department of Scottish History and Archaeology, primarily within the Renaissance & Early Modern Section of the Department. This is a full-time permanent post currently based within the National Museum of Scotland, Chambers Street, Edinburgh. The Section’s collections are also held at the National Museum Collection Centre, and the wider departmental collections are also held at the National War Museum, Edinburgh and the National Museum of Rural Life, East Kilbride. The ability to travel between these sites is essential. 

The Renaissance & Early Modern section collections are representative of cultural, social, political, military and domestic history in Scotland from c.1450-1750, including decorative arts, jewellery, metalwork, furniture and weaponry, and objects relating to monarchical power, religion, trade and everyday life. 

Duties will include working on the collections, their documentation, storage and display, making them accessible to researchers and other visitors. You will work across the Department towards delivering our strategic priority projects, our loans, exhibitions and digitisation programmes.

The jobs each come with a salary between £27,107 and £29,274 and applications must be received by 6th March and 16th March 2022 respectively.

Good luck if you're applying!

Sell the Dalí to Afford Council Wages says Trade Union Boss

February 28 2022

Posted by Adam Busiakiewicz:

The latest call for UK Councils to sell off prized artworks has appeared in Glasgow, Scotland. During a fierce debate to encourage Glasgow City Council to pay equal wages, top GMB Trade Union Boss Gary Smith has suggested that high value assets should be sold off to help foot the £500m bill. The Kelvingrove Art Gallery's Christ of Saint John of the Cross Painting by Salvador Dalí has been the focus of attention in this particular example.

According to the article linked above:

“If the council really thinks it can fix this alone then it had better start making plans to flog the Dali, because there is no way this discrimination is going to be paid for off the back of hard-pressed workers in a cost-of-living crisis.”

It seems that a similar suggestion was made in 2001 in relation to paying off the City Council's debts.

A council spokesperson has also been quoted in response to the story:

“We’re negotiating with trade unions and others representing claimants. We will only know the cost of settling claims once we have a deal – and that will determine any financial strategy.”

Painted Femininity in the Museo Campano di Capua

February 28 2022

Image of Painted Femininity in the Museo Campano di Capua


Posted by Adam Busiakiewicz:

Italy's latest exhibition focusing on female inspired subjects has just opened in the recently renovated Museo Campano di Capua, situated just north of Naples. La femminilità dipinta features 30 works from the seventeenth to twenty-first centuries which focuses on various themes of feminine representations. Artists featured within the show include the likes of Luca Giordano, Filippo Vitale, Antiveduto Gramatica, Marco Pino da Siena, Polidoro da Lanciano, Pedro Nunez del Valle, Francesco Guarini, Francesco Solimena, Modigliani, Mimmo Rotella, Fernando Botero, Andy Warhol and Pablo Picasso. The show will run until 1st May 2022.

A Private Tour of Musée des Beaux-Arts de Tours's Coypel Exhibition

February 27 2022

Video: Scribe Accroupi

Posted by Adam Busiakiewicz:

Here's a very interesting video tour (in French) of the Musée des Beaux-Arts de Tours's ongoing exhibition entitled Le Théâtre de Troie. Antoine Coypel, d'Homère à Virgile. The show will run until 18th April 2022.

The Tudors at the MET in October

February 27 2022

Image of The Tudors at the MET in October

Picture: MET

Posted by Adam Busiakiewicz:

Here is some news that is bound to stir the excitement of Tudor fans worldwide.

The Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York have revealed that they will be putting on a significant sixteenth-century English art exhibition in the autumn. The Tudors: Art and Majesty in Renaissance England is scheduled to run from 10th October 2022 until 8th January 2023. 

According to the museum's website:

England under the volatile Tudor dynasty was a thriving home for the arts. An international community of artists and merchants, many of them religious refugees, navigated the high-stakes demands of royal patrons, including England’s first two reigning queens. Against the backdrop of shifting political relationships with mainland Europe, Tudor artistic patronage legitimized, promoted, and stabilized a series of tumultuous reigns, from Henry VII’s seizure of the throne in 1485 to the death of his granddaughter Elizabeth I in 1603. The Tudor courts were truly cosmopolitan, boasting the work of Florentine sculptors, German painters, Flemish weavers, and Europe’s best armorers, goldsmiths, and printers, while also contributing to the emergence of a distinctly English style. This exhibition will trace the transformation of the arts in Tudor England through more than 100 objects—including iconic portraits, spectacular tapestries, manuscripts, sculpture, and armor—from both The Met collection and international lenders.

The exhibition is organized by The Metropolitan Museum of Art and The Cleveland Museum of Art, in collaboration with the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco.

'Rembrandt' in Mexico

February 25 2022

Posted by Adam Busiakiewicz:

Here's an interesting story. The Museo Nacional De Arte MUNAL in Mexico City have just opened a small exhibition partly dedicated to the following Rembrandt. The picture, which is said to depict Hendrickje Stoffels as Pallas Athene, has been loaned from a private European Collection. It of course shows a correspondence with the Pallas Athene now in the Calouste Gulbenkian Museum in Lisbon (formerly in the collection of Catherine the Great of Russia, as it happens).

Alas, I can't find out much about the picture and its history from a casual search of the RKD etc. However, the work was recently exhibited in Augsburg in a show called (from the German translation) Rembrandt: The Teacher, where the work was described as "recently attributed to him." If any readers might have a reference for the picture, I'd be glad to hear of it.

Update - A few readers have kindly been in touch to share details of the catalogue notes from the Augsburg and Aalen exhibitions. It seems the picture was noted in Werner Sumowski's publications on Rembrandt and his school. The catalogue notes also suggest that the picture might well be the Pallas Athene recorded in 1678 inventory of Rembrandt's creditor Herman Becker. Details about the condition of the picture are also revealed, including the fact that the painting seems to have significantly cut down on all sides. Do find yourself a copy of the exhibition catalogues if you'd like to read more.

The Louvre acquires a Houdon Bronze

February 25 2022

Image of The Louvre acquires a Houdon Bronze

Picture: @MuseeLouvre

Posted by Adam Busiakiewicz:

The Louvre in Paris seems to be on a sculpture buying spree at the moment.

It has been announced on Twitter (no full press release yet, alas) that the museum has acquired the following bronze of a muscular figure by Jean Antoine Houdon (1741–1828) (pictured). The bronze bears the signature of Houdon and was chased by sculptor Pierre Philippe Thomire (1751-1843).

The Port of Cork Collection on display in Cork

February 25 2022

Image of The Port of Cork Collection on display in Cork

Picture: @crawfordartgall

Posted by Adam Busiakiewicz:

The Crawford Art Gallery in Cork, Ireland, will be opening a new display tomorrow dedicated to a collection of 17 maritime painting the gallery was gifted in November 2021. It seems that the collection had been amassed by the company in charge of the city's Port, a site which has a long and rich history.

According to the gallery's website:

This significant collection consists of 17 maritime paintings, a ship’s register (1912) from The Cork Harbour Commissioners referencing both the Titanic and Lusitania, an illuminated address to Charles Stewart Parnell (1846-1891), and a silver Admiralty Oar from 1686. 

Now visitors will have the opportunity to encounter a selection of paintings from the Port of Cork collection, including works by George Mounsey Wheatley Atkinson (1806-1884), Henry Albert Hartland (1840-1893), Robert Lowe Stopford (1813-1898), and Seán Keating (1889-1977).  Although not attending to certain social or political realities of late nineteenth-century Ireland, these artworks do act as a visual reminder of that time.

They also underscore Cork Harbour's links with empire, its international significance for commerce and trade, and ever-present story of migration. Glimpses of half-remembered histories are framed within these heritage views of Cork Harbour. Each artist provides an insight into the Port of Cork's operations, from Atkinson's extraordinary rendering of naval vessels to Hartland and Stopford's depictions of commercial shipping and leisure craft. Perhaps unexpectedly, Keating's elevated View of the Port of Cork draws us into Cork City itself and remembers the busy working quays of recent memory.

Minneapolis Institute of Art acquires a Luca Giordano

February 25 2022

Image of Minneapolis Institute of Art acquires a Luca Giordano

Picture: @artsmia

Posted by Adam Busiakiewicz:

The Minneapolis Institute of Art have acquired Luca Giordano's Christ among the Doctors (c.1685). The work is actually a fresco on wicker support and dates to the period when Giordano was working on wall paintings at the Palazzo Medici Riccardi in Florence.

According to the museum's press release:

“Most of Giordano’s frescos are in situ on church walls and palace ceilings, so the appearance of this portable fresco on the market—a type of painting invented in Florence in the seventeenth century—provided a rare opportunity for Mia to add a fresco by the artist to the museum’s collection,” said Rachel McGarry, Elizabeth MacMillan Chair of European Art and Curator of European Painting and Works on Paper at Mia. “As the first Italian fresco to enter the museum’s collection, this acquisition strengthens our ability to tell the story of Italian painting while also significantly enhancing the museum’s holdings of Baroque art.”

Versailles's Madame de Maintenon Conserved

February 24 2022

Image of Versailles's Madame de Maintenon Conserved

Picture: Palace of Versailles

Posted by Adam Busiakiewicz:

The Palace of Versailles have published a short article providing details concerning the recent conservation and restoration of Louis Ferdinand Elle the Elder's Françoise d'Aubigné, marquise de Maintenon (1635-1719), and her niece Françoise d'Aubigné, future Duchess of Noailles (1688).

It seems that the artist had originally intended for the portrait to be in a smaller format, as it was eventually extended on four sides to allow for a full-length painting. X-ray images have also shown that the sitter's dress had been changed from more fashionable lace attire to the austere costume that appears in the final image. The work was undertaken by the The National Centre for Research and Restoration in French Museums (C2RMF)

Modern Pre Raphaelite Visionaries in Leamington Spa

February 24 2022

Image of Modern Pre Raphaelite Visionaries in Leamington Spa

Picture: Leamington Spa Art Gallery & Museum

Posted by Adam Busiakiewicz:

The Leamington Spa Art Gallery & Museum have won a significant grant from the Weston Loan Programme (with the Art Fund) for their upcoming exhibition Modern Pre Raphaelite Visionaries.

According to the exhibition's blurb:

Our summer blockbuster exhibition offers you the chance to rediscover a host of 'forgotten' British artists working at the turn of the twentieth century, including Frederick Cayley Robinson (pictured), Evelyn Pickering de Morgan and Charles Ricketts. These artists sought to understand their place in the changing modern world by re-examining the nostalgic and romantic art of the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood. The exhibition is a rare opportunity to see the Gallery's important collection of Modern Pre-Raphaelite artwork in the context of significant loans from around the country including works from Tate, the British Museum, the Fitzwilliam Museum, Manchester Art Gallery and many more.

The show is scheduled to run between 13th May 2022 until 18th September 2022.

Christie's Reveals July Highlights

February 24 2022

Image of Christie's Reveals July Highlights

Picture: Christie's

Posted by Adam Busiakiewicz:

The FT have published an article revealing two highlights from Christie's July Old Master Paintings sale in London. Both highlights come from the collection of philanthropists Cecil and Hilda Lewis. The first is a very pleasing Still Life (dated to 1633) by Jan den Uyl (1595/96–1639) estimated at £2.5m - £3.5m (pictured). The second is Lucas Cranach’s The Nymph of the Spring (c1540) which will be offered for between £6m and £8m. These two pictures were purchased by the couple in 1988 and 1990 respectively.

Art of the Celebrations of the Valois Court

February 24 2022

Image of Art of the Celebrations of the Valois Court


Posted by Adam Busiakiewicz:

The Château de Fontainebleau will be opening their rescheduled exhibition L’art de la fête à la cour des Valois on 10th April 2022. Featuring a vast set of loans from the likes of the Uffizi Gallery, the Pitti Place and the MET in New York, the exhibition will focus on court festivities held during the reigns of Francis I until Henry III. Objects on display will include paintings, drawings, tapestries, parade weapons, costume and set designs and commemorative booklets.

The show will run from 10th April 2022 until 4th July 2022.

Louvre Acquires Bust of Architect Hector Lefuel

February 23 2022

Image of Louvre Acquires Bust of Architect Hector Lefuel

Picture: Artcurial

Posted by Adam Busiakiewicz:

The Louvre in Paris has pre-empted (acquired after auction for the French nation) Francisque Duret's (1804-1865) bust of the architect Hector Lefuel at Artcurial's auction in Paris earlier this week. Lefuel had been a winner of the Prix de Rome in 1839 and later worked on completing Napoleon III's reconstruction of the Louvre itself.

MET Acquires Renaissance Bronze Roundel

February 23 2022

Image of MET Acquires Renaissance Bronze Roundel


Posted by Adam Busiakiewicz:

The Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York has announced its acquisition of a Bronze roundel by Gian Marco Cavalli (1454-1508). The medallion, which depicts a scene from Roman mythology: Venus, at center, gazes at Mars while her husband Vulcan fashions a helmet, had long been in the sights of MET curators. Indeed, the museum had been outbid when the work of art was sold at auction in 2003. However, it has now completed the sale from a private collection in Britain after a temporary export ban from the UK Government failed to find an institution willing to stump up the equivalent of $23m to keep it in the country.

According to the article linked above:

In a statement, the Met’s director, Max Hollein, called the roundel “an absolute masterpiece, standing apart for its historical significance, artistic virtuosity and unique composition,” adding: “It is a truly transformational acquisition for the Met’s collection of Italian Renaissance sculpture.”

Art Institute of Chicago's Lawrence Mid-Clean

February 23 2022

Image of Art Institute of Chicago's Lawrence Mid-Clean

Picture: Instagram via. @emersonbowyer

Posted by Adam Busiakiewicz:

Emerson Bowyer, Senior curator of European Painting & Sculpture at the Art Institute of Chicago, has shared these rather pleasing mid-clean pictures of Thomas Lawrence's Anna Maria Dashwood, later Marchioness of Ely. As you can see, Lawrence's vibrant colours really do shine when those layers of murky varnish are removed.

Here is what the picture looked like before conservation:

We'll await the finished results with great anticipation (!)


As an aside, what I would give to see the Wallace Collection's early Lawrence in the Front State Room cleaned. The transformation would surely be most impressive.

Portland Museum of Art plan to double in size with $85m Expansion

February 23 2022

Image of Portland Museum of Art plan to double in size with $85m Expansion

Picture: The Portland Museum of Art

Posted by Adam Busiakiewicz:

The Portland Museum of Art in Maine have unveiled plans for a vast expansion. This ambitious project will aim to double the size of the existing buildings to accommodate more galleries and visitor services. The museum has already raised $15m out of the $85m required to complete the new buildings and infrastructure.

Large Hugo van der Goes Exhibition in Berlin for 2023

February 22 2022

Image of Large Hugo van der Goes Exhibition in Berlin for 2023

Picture: Berlin Gemäldegalerie

Posted by Adam Busiakiewicz:

The Berlin Gemäldegalerie is planning a significant exhibition on Hugo van der Goes (ca. 1440–1482) for next year. The show will contain major loans from across the world alongside their own two monumental altarpieces by the artist.

According to the gallery's website:

While recent decades have seen exhibitions showcasing the work of almost all the major Netherlandish painters of the 15th and 16th centuries, Hugo van der Goes has been largely neglected. This is mainly due to the rarity of his works and their often impressive dimensions. Two of these large-format paintings are housed by the Gemäldegalerie, which is why this museum’s collection lends itself to a monographic show like no other. The two monumental Berlin panels, the Monforte Altarpiece (ca. 1470) and The Nativity (ca. 1480), will play a central role in the exhibition. Over the course of the past 12 years, both works have undergone extensive restoration work. Today, they exhibit a vibrancy that was previously unimaginable. 

These two paintings will be joined by numerous important loans from European and American collections. The exhibition will provide viewers with the opportunity to compare the majority of this master’s preserved oeuvre for the very first time. Next to paintings on wood and canvas, a number of drawings offer a deeper insight into the production of this artist.

The exhibition has been scheduled to run from 31st March 2023 until 16th July 2023.

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