“’Charles,’ said Cordelia, ‘Modern Art is all bosh, isn’t it?’
—Brideshead Revisited, (1945) Book 2, Chapter 1.
The Brisbane Times was one of many international newspapers chuckling over an Italian cleaning woman’s natural mistake.
A cleaner at an Italian art gallery has thrown away contemporary artworks valued at $15,000, after mistaking them for a pile of rubbish.
The unnamed cleaner swept up the paper, cardboard and pieces of broken biscuit that had been scattered on the floor of the gallery in the southern town of Bari.
The boss of the cleaning firm said the woman was “just doing her job” and that the company’s insurers would pick up the bill for the damage to the works, which included pieces by Italian artist Nicola Gobbetto and David Jablonowski from Germany. ...
“It is clear the cleaning person did not realise she has thrown away two artworks and their value,” he told local press.
The cleaner’s mistake is just the latest in a series of incidents in which museum staff have confused modern art with rubbish.
In 2001, a cleaner at a west London gallery binned a pile of used ashtrays, newspapers and dirty beer bottles, not realising it was a work by notorious British artist Damien Hirst.
Hirst had arranged the junk the previous night at a launch party in a spontaneous installation.
“I didn’t think for a second that it was a work of art – it didn’t look much like art to me,” cleaner Emmanuel Asare reportedly said at the time. “So I cleared it all into bin bags and dumped it.”
In 1999 an installation by Tracey Emin composed of an unmade bed, used condoms and underwear was ruined after museum attendants tidied it up, believing it to have been vandalised.
And a similarly over-zealous cleaner wrecked an installation called Untitled (Bathtub) by German artist Josef Beuys in 1986. The piece, displayed in Dusseldorf, consisted of a dirty bathtub, which the museum worker scrubbed clean.
Amelia, an undergraduate studying music and informations systems at Oklahoma Christian U., a few days back, served up an interesting little bit piece of musicology.
Luke and I were looking at Hieronymus Bosch’s painting The Garden of Earthly Delights and discovered, much to our amusement, music written upon the posterior of one of the many tortured denizens of the rightmost panel of the painting which is intended to represent Hell. I decided to transcribe it into modern notation, assuming the second line of the staff is C, as is common for chants of this era.
so yes this is LITERALLY the 600-years-old butt song from hell
EDIT: I still can’t believe this took off like it did this is crazy??? Just wanted to let people know that there are indeed errors in the transcription and this is indeed not a very good recording (I threw this together in like 30 minutes at 1 in the morning,) but I’m working with the music department at my college to get the transcription more accurate!
Hat tip to Madame Scherzo who has labeled it “St. Hubert”. The Roman St. Eustace shares essentially the same conversion story with the later St. Hubert of the Ardennes. Both saw a vision of crucifix between the antlers of a hunted stag. Both are patron saints of hunters.
a 500-year-old mystery was apparently solved today after a painting attributed to Leonardo da Vinci was discovered in a Swiss bank vault.
The painting, which depicts Isabella d’Este, a Renaissance noblewoman, was found in a private collection of 400 works kept in a Swiss bank by an Italian family who asked not to be identified.
It appears to be a completed, painted version of a pencil sketch drawn by Leonardo da Vinci in Mantua in the Lombardy region of northern Italy in 1499.
The sketch, the apparent inspiration for the newly found work, hangs in the Louvre Museum in Paris.
For centuries it had been debated whether Leonardo had actually had the time or inclination to develop the sketch into a painted portrait.
After seeing the drawing he produced, the marquesa wrote to the artist, imploring him to produce a full-blown painting.
But shortly afterwards he embarked on one of his largest works, The Battle of Anghiari on the walls of Florence’s town hall, and then, in 1503, started working on the Mona Lisa.
Art historians had long believed he simply ran out of time — or lost interest — in completing the commission for Isabella d’Este.
Now it appears that he did in fact manage to finish the project — perhaps when he encountered the aristocrat, one of the most influential female figures of her day, in Rome in 1514.
Scientific tests suggest that the oil portrait is indeed the work of da Vinci, according to Carlo Pedretti, a professor emeritus of art history and an expert in Leonardo studies at the University of California, Los Angeles.
“There are no doubts that the portrait is the work of Leonardo,” Prof Pedretti, a recognised expert in authenticating disputed works by Da Vinci, told Corriere della Sera newspaper.
“I can immediately recognise Da Vinci’s handiwork, particularly in the woman’s face.”
Tests have shown that the type of pigment in the portrait was the same as that used by Leonardo and that the primer used to treat the canvas on which it was painted corresponds to that employed by the Renaissance genius.
Carbon dating, conducted by a mass spectrometry laboratory at the University of Arizona, has shown that there is a 95 per cent probability that the portrait was painted between 1460 and 1650.