art say what?

art history is where it's at.

A Grand European Gallery Transformed

What took us months, you can watch in seconds. See this gallery of masterpieces transformed. Learn more about the gallery here:http://bit.ly/OsSlDl.

MFA Boston, 2012.

installator:

"Royal Engineers preparing the crate used to transport Raphael Cartoons from Hampton Court; anon, 1865, albumen print. V&A 68:729. © Victoria and Albert Museum, London.” (art-conservation)

installator:

"Royal Engineers preparing the crate used to transport Raphael Cartoons from Hampton Court; anon, 1865, albumen print. V&A 68:729. © Victoria and Albert Museum, London.” (art-conservation)

Stockholm, represent!

installator:

"La DS rullas varsamt ut inför Gabriel Orozco utställningen." (Moderna Museet) [Feb 2014]

Houston, represent! From the linked NPR article (see below):

Demosthenous says what Dominique de Menil did stands as an example to the collecting world. Instead of quietly purchasing the frescoes for her museum — in the guise of “rescuing them for mankind” — and then defending her acquisition against subsequent ownership claims, she negotiated a historic agreement with the Church of Cyprus.”

installator:

"800-Year-Old Frescoes Leave Texas For Cyprus" (npr.org) [2012] (submitted by anewfaceinhell)

Behold, the beauty of the wig (and everything else about this tiny portrait). 

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Samuel Cooper (1608/9-1672), Portrait miniature of an Unknown Man, perhaps Anthony Ashley Cooper, 2nd Earl of Shaftesbury, 1666-1670. Watercolour on vellum, put down on a leaf from a table book in a gilt locket. Victoria and Albert Museum, London. Accession number P.66-1968.

Behold, the beauty of the wig (and everything else about this tiny portrait). 

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Samuel Cooper (1608/9-1672), Portrait miniature of an Unknown Man, perhaps Anthony Ashley Cooper, 2nd Earl of Shaftesbury, 1666-1670. Watercolour on vellum, put down on a leaf from a table book in a gilt locket. Victoria and Albert Museum, London. Accession number P.66-1968.

Highlights from Kunsthistorisches Museum, Vienna. More complete post to come!

From the National Gallery

From lapis lazuli to cobalt blue, to dazzling gold and silver – travel through the story of colour with the National Gallery. ‘Making Colour’, the first exhibition of its kind in the UK, invites you on an artistic and scientific voyage of discovery. From sparkling minerals to crushed insects, learn about the surprising materials used to create pigments and the incredible journeys made by artists in their pursuit of new hues.

Why hasn’t anyone done this before?? Such a great idea for an exhibition!

Making Colour, on view from 18 June to 7 September 2014, National Gallery, London. 

Bronzino, Portrait of Eleanor of Toledo with her son Giovanni de’ Medici, 1544-45. Oil on panel, 115 x 96 cm. Uffizi, Florence.

Bronzino, Portrait of Eleanor of Toledo with her son Giovanni de’ Medici, 1544-45. Oil on panel, 115 x 96 cm. Uffizi, Florence.

Painting of murdered Renaissance beauty revealed under layers of paint

This is so bizarrely fascinating. Seriously. The fact that museum employees during the 1800s did things like this is just… weird. But even more interesting is the whole process that the Carnegie Museum curators and conservations went through to find out who the sitter actually was, as well as the fact that they took the painting to a medical x-ray clinic for scanning (love it!).

And even more awesome is that the sitter, Isabella de’ Medici, is Maria Salviati's granddaughter! The previous attribution was Eleanor of Toledo, who was Maria's daughter-in-law (and whose portrait I have a postcard of pinned to the bulletin board above my desk).

It’s really cool to see how standards of beauty fluctuate over time. Apparently while she was alive, Isabella was considered to be a quite the looker. I personally can see how that might have been, especially considering not only what people thought was attractive at the time (i.e. double chins, high hairlines, tightly clamped lips), but also that this could be just a less-than-talented artist who wasn’t all that great at capturing likenesses. It happens! Sometimes you get five different portraits of the same person where they look completely different in each one. Anyway, lots of interesting aspects to consider!

The painting is currently on view at the Carnegie Museum of Art’s exhibition Faked, Forgotten, Foundwhich sounds pretty great. So if you’re in the Pittsburgh area between now and September 15th, stop by and check out the show!

Jan Havicksz. Steen, Adolf and Catharina Croeser, Known as ‘The Burgomaster of Delft and his Daughter’, 1655. Oil on canvas, 82.5cm × 68.5cm. Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam.
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What a curious way to choose to be depicted: not as a wealthy merchant in the act of giving money to a poor woman, but instead as a wealthy merchant looking disdainfully at the less fortunate. Maybe he’s in the act of pulling something from his wallet, who knows, and I guess that’s not the point. But it’s an interesting portrayal of what is most likely a more realistic depiction of the sitter’s character, instead of the usual idealized Christian charity theme that we often see. 



But then again, maybe not…



Here’s what the Rijksmuseum has to say about this double portrait:

Legs wide apart and his right arm akimbo, Croeser sits on the stoop of his house on the Oude Delft canal in Delft. His thirteen-year-old daughter Catharina looks straight out at us. Jan Steen included a narrative element in this portrait: a poor woman and child beg for alms from the wealthy grain merchant. In 1657, just two years after this portrait was made, Croeser stood surety for Steen, who was seriously in debt.

So, there we go. There’s no use in passing judgement based on what you see on canvas, although as art historians, it’s sometimes the only thing we have to go on. But I guess it’s complexities like these that are around to keep us on our toes!

Jan Havicksz. Steen, Adolf and Catharina Croeser, Known as ‘The Burgomaster of Delft and his Daughter’, 1655. Oil on canvas, 82.5cm × 68.5cm. Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam.

What a curious way to choose to be depicted: not as a wealthy merchant in the act of giving money to a poor woman, but instead as a wealthy merchant looking disdainfully at the less fortunate. Maybe he’s in the act of pulling something from his wallet, who knows, and I guess that’s not the point. But it’s an interesting portrayal of what is most likely a more realistic depiction of the sitter’s character, instead of the usual idealized Christian charity theme that we often see. 

But then again, maybe not…

Here’s what the Rijksmuseum has to say about this double portrait:

Legs wide apart and his right arm akimbo, Croeser sits on the stoop of his house on the Oude Delft canal in Delft. His thirteen-year-old daughter Catharina looks straight out at us. Jan Steen included a narrative element in this portrait: a poor woman and child beg for alms from the wealthy grain merchant. In 1657, just two years after this portrait was made, Croeser stood surety for Steen, who was seriously in debt.
So, there we go. There’s no use in passing judgement based on what you see on canvas, although as art historians, it’s sometimes the only thing we have to go on. But I guess it’s complexities like these that are around to keep us on our toes!