Category Archive 'Paintings'
15 Sep 2022

“Autumn. Hunter”

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Isaac Levitan, Autumn. Hunter, 1880, Tver regional picture gallery, Tver.

HT: Sea Run.

12 Sep 2022

“Entry of Pope Urban II into Toulouse in 1096”

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Jean-Joseph Benjamin-Constant, Entry of Pope Urban II into Toulouse in 1096, 1900, Capitole de Toulouse.

19 Jun 2022

27-Year-Old’s Paintings Recently Sold for Seven Figures

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Anna Weyant.

As Spring Auction Sales reports come in, the art world is suddenly agog at Anna Weyant’s sudden ascent.

WSJ:

On the night artist Anna Weyant’s work debuted at Christie’s, the 27-year-old painter was too nervous to attend or even watch the livestream. Instead, Ms. Weyant holed up in her small Manhattan apartment and listened to a calming app on her cellphone until a friend texted with news.

“Summertime,” Ms. Weyant’s portrait of a woman with long, flowing hair that the artist had sold for around $12,000 two years before, resold for $1.5 million, five times its high estimate.

It has been a rocket-fueled rise to the top of the contemporary art world for Ms. Weyant—and far from her unassuming start in Calgary, Canada. Spotted on Instagram three years ago and quickly vouched for by a savvy handful of artists, dealers and advisers, Ms. Weyant is now internationally coveted for her paintings of vulnerable girls and mischievous women in sharply lit, old-master hues. Imagine Botticelli as a millennial, whose porcelain-skin beauties also pop one leg high like the Victoria Beckham meme or sport gold necklaces that read, “Ride or Die.”

Ms. Weyant’s oeuvre of roughly 50 paintings has already filtered into the hands of top collectors such as investor Glenn Fuhrman and plastic surgeon Stafford Broumand. The Los Angeles County Museum of Art recently exhibited her work in a group show, and former Venice Biennale curator Francesco Bonami said he predicts she will make her own Biennale appearance soon, which would be another career milestone.

As is, demand for her art outstrips her supply: The waiting list to buy one of her paintings, dealers say, is at least 200 names long. And last month she teamed up with the biggest art gallery of them all, Gagosian. … Read the rest of this entry »

05 Nov 2019

Niccolò Machiavelli? By Leonardo da Vinci??

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Art News:

As art history lovers flock to the Louvre in Paris to see the blockbuster show celebrating the 500th anniversary of the death of Leonardo da Vinci, a new painting by his hand may have been discovered at a French chateau.

The work, a portrait of a bald man that has been in the historic house for centuries, could be by the Renaissance master, although the evidence is far from clear.

A 145-year-old letter mentioning a portrait of the philosopher Niccolò Machiavelli by Leonardo was discovered last year in the archives of Château de Valençay in central France. The chateau once belonged to Charles Maurice de Talleyrand-Périgord, the French diplomat known better as Talleyrand, who died in 1838 after serving under several French regimes, including Napoleon’s.

The director of the historic house, Sylvie Giroux, told Agence France Presse that “it is not impossible” that Leonardo painted the Italian political theorist, best known for his political treatise, The Prince.

The local archivist, Anne Gerardot, is more cautious. “Just because it says so in the archives does not mean it’s true,” she told AFP, noting that she thinks the Old Master portrait more closely resembles the French Renaissance essayist Montaigne.

There’s also the issue of the painting’s wooden support, which has a smooth appearance uncharacteristic of Leonardo’s time. It could be the result of restoration work done in the 1890s, or a clue that the painting was made at a later date.

But the painting, featuring a thin, bearded figure in a black coat and white shirt with necktie, does match the description in the letter, which mentions a portrait on wood measuring 22 by 17 inches. In the letter, which is dated 1874, the estate manager who wrote it says: “I am having the concierge wrap up and put on the train a box containing a painting (Machiavelli by Leonardo da Vinci).”

The chateau plans to submit the painting to a battery of tests in the hopes of determining its subject and authorship.

It’s difficult to judge from the photograph, but my own guess is: neither of the above.

30 Oct 2019

Recently Discovered Cimabue Sold for €24million

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The auction sale of the Cimabue painting whose discovery made news last month shattered estimates and (understandably enough) hit record levels for Old Master paintings.

The Guardian has the story.

An tiny early Renaissance masterpiece found in a French woman’s kitchen during a house clearance has fetched more than €24m at auction, making it the most expensive medieval painting ever sold.

Christ Mocked, by the 13th-century Florentine painter Cimabue, had hung for decades above a cooking hotplate in the open-plan kitchen of a 1960s house near Compiègne, north of Paris. It had never attracted much attention from the woman, in her 90s, or her family, who thought it was simply an old icon from Russia. It might have ended up in a bin during the house move this summer had it not been spotted by an auctioneer who had come to value furniture.

At an auction outside Paris on Sunday, the unsigned work, measuring just 26cm by 20cm, fetched €19.5m under the hammer, rising to over €24m when fees were included.

The Actéon auction house in Senlis said in a statement that the sale was the biggest for a medieval painting and the eighth highest for a medieval or old master painting. The painting now ranks alongside works by Leonardo da Vinci, Rubens, Rembrandt and Raphael in the top 10 of most expensive old painting sales.

“When a unique work of a painter as rare as Cimabue comes to market, you have to be ready for surprises,” said Dominique Le Coent, who heads the Actéon auction house in Senlis. “This is the only Cimabue that has ever come on the market.”

As 800 people gathered in the auction hall in Senlis, the crowd fell silent during the nail-biting final moments of bidding. Some bids came in by telephone to agents. As the auctioneer brandished his hammer as the price crept up, he said: “There will never be another Cimabue at auction.”

Actéon did not reveal the identity of the buyer but said a foreign museum had been among the bidders.

The painting had hung on the kitchen wall for so long that the woman, who asked to remain anonymous, told the auction house she had no idea where it had come from or how it had come into the family’s hands.

Cimabue, also known as Cenni di Pepo, was one of the pioneering artists of the early Italian Renaissance. Only 11 works painted on wood have been attributed to him, none of them signed.

RTWT

28 Apr 2019

“Interior al aire libre”

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Ramon Casas i Carbó, “Interior al aire libre (Outdoor interior), 1892, La Colección Carmen Thyssen-Bornemisza, Madrid.

29 Jan 2019

Behind a Wall in Paris

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In Paris, renovation work for a new retail store wound up revealing a treasure concealed within the wall. NYT

Alex Bolen, the chief executive of Oscar de la Renta, planned to have his new store in Paris open around this week, just in time for the couture shows. He planned to have a presence in the city even if he didn’t have a show. He had it all figured out.

Then, last summer, in the middle of renovations, Mr. Bolen got a call from his architect, Nathalie Ryan.

“‘We made a discovery,’” he remembered her saying. On the other end of the phone, Mr. Bolen cringed. The last time he received a call like that about a store, their plans to move a wall had to be scrapped because of fears the building would collapse. He asked what, exactly, the discovery was.

“You have to come and see,” she told him.

So, gritting his teeth, he got on a plane from New York. Ms. Ryan took him to the second floor of what would be the shop, where workers were busily clearing out detritus, and gestured toward the end of the space. Mr. Bolen, she said, blinked. Then he said: “No, it’s not possible.”

Something had been hidden behind a wall, and it wasn’t asbestos. It was a 10-by-20-foot oil painting of an elaborately coifed and dressed 17th-century marquis and assorted courtiers entering the city of Jerusalem.

“It’s very rare and exceptional, for many reasons,” said Benoît Janson, of the restoration specialists Nouvelle Tendance, who is overseeing work on the canvas. Namely, “its historical and aesthetic quality and size.” …

Demolition was halted to figure out what the painting was and how it came to be in what was about to be a shop. Seeing the aristocrats on horseback and the mosque in the picture, Mr. Bolen said, visions of Crusaders and Knights Templar began to dance in his head. “I think maybe I have seen too many movies,” he said. …

So when the painting was found, and it became clear Mr. Bolen would have to talk to the building’s owners, whom he had never met (the lease had been negotiated through a broker), his relative was able to make the introductions. Another de La Rochefoucauld, who happened to work at the Louvre, got a recommendation for an art historian: Stephane Pinta of the Cabinet Turquin, an expert in old-master paintings.

Mr. Pinta determined that the painting was an oil on canvas created in 1674 by Arnould de Vuez, a painter who worked with Charles Le Brun, the first painter to Louis XIV and designer of interiors of the Château de Versailles. After working with Le Brun, de Vuez, who was known for getting involved in duels of honor, was forced to flee France and ended up in Constantinople.
Mr. Pinta traced the painting to a plate that was reproduced in the 1900 book “Odyssey of an Ambassador: The Travels of the Marquis de Nointel, 1670-1680” by Albert Vandal, which told the story of the travels of Charles-Marie-François Olier, Marquis de Nointel et d’Angervilliers, Louis XIV’s ambassador to the Ottoman Court. On Page 129, there is a rotogravure of an artwork depicting the Marquis de Nointel arriving in Jerusalem with great pomp and circumstance — the painting on the wall.

But how it ended up glued to that wall, no one knew, nor why it was covered up. There was speculation that maybe it happened during World War II, given the setting. It could be “a fog-of-war issue,” Mr. Bolen said.

RTWT

19 Aug 2018

Turin, Then and Now

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Turin, Piazza San Carlo: Giovanni Michele Graneri, Market at Piazza San Carlo, 1752, Museo Civico d’Arte Antica, Torino above Photograph 2017. (Click on image for larger version.)

07 May 2018

Enlightenment

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Mi-Young Choi (Korean, b. 1971), Enlightenment, 2013.

08 Mar 2018

Vive L’Empereur!

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Edouard Detaille, 1891, Art Gallery of New South Wales.

The painting depicts the cavalry charge of the 4th Hussars during the Battle of Friedland, 14 June 1807.

05 Mar 2018

Toulouse-Lautrec

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Henri Toulouse-Lautrec, The Dog-Cart, 1880, Musée Toulouse-Lautrec, Albi, France.

HT: Karen L. Myers.

19 Jan 2018

Lost Rembrandt Found in New Jersey Estate Sold for Over $1 Million

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FoxBusiness.com:

Nobody expects to find a Rembrandt sitting under the ping-pong table in the basement. So the Landau brothers, natives of Teaneck, N.J., felt perfectly comfortable skipping their own estate auction. …

Their inheritance tale started typically: Back when Ned, Roger and Steven Landau’s grandparents died, their mother cleared out their house, keeping some items that might go well in her dining room – like his silver tea set and a couple of old paintings. Then mom died in 2010, and her three sons repeated the drill.

“We had a garage sale, but there were a few things like the china and silver that looked very nice and we thought, well, we don’t really want to just give them away,” Ned tells Colby in the program.

One item that again made the cut was a small painting that had always creeped out Ned.

“It was of a woman passed out in a chair, and two men trying to revive her. As a kid I thought, ‘why did we have a painting like that in our dining room?’” he says.

Mom’s nice stuff went straight into Roger’s basement. Though the boxes made it hard to play ping-pong, Roger procrastinated another four years before calling the estate sale guy up the parkway, John Nye. Nye valued the silver pieces at a couple of thousand dollars, and each of three paintings at a few hundred. Like Ned, Nye wasn’t impressed by the picture of the men reviving the woman with smelling salts: “It had varnish that had cracked and paint loss. Not a beautiful painting and the people in the picture were not beautiful people. It was remarkably unremarkable.”

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Kovels:

A painting offered in an estate sale by John Nye in New Jersey was appraised for $500 to $800. It had been stored for five years before the family finally got around to selling items from their mother’s estate in 2015. It created an amazing sale when it sold for over $1 million. … The painting was left by a mother to her three sons in 2010. It had been left to her by her parents and she hung it in her dining room. The boys had always thought the picture of two men trying to revive a fainting woman was “creepy.” But it was actually a Rembrandt painting from the 1600s, part of a series of paintings of the Five Senses. This one was “The Unconscious Patient (An Allegory of the Sense of Smell).” The other four are in museums. The boys didn’t even go to the sale since there were so few of their item being sold. The auction went as expected until bidding for the picture went from $250 up to $800. Then came a surprising $5,000 from a bidder in France, and then a higher bid from Germany. The bidding war went from $80,000 to $450,000, then finally ended at $1.1 million (including buyer’s premium). The boys didn’t get the news for a few days because it was a Jewish holiday and they didn’t answer the phone.

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