An English museum has received confirmation that a painting in its collection since the 19th century is the work of Flemish Baroque master Anthony van Dyck.
Portrait of Olive Boteler Porter was purchased by the founders of the Bowes Museum in 1866 and has been in its collection since it opened to the public in 1892. However, because the work was in poor condition, it had long been relegated to storage.
“Its sophisticated drapery, coloring and facial expression are typical of van Dyck’s female portraits of the 1630s, although they were overlooked due to the painting’s poor condition, leading to it being recorded in the Museum’s files as, ‘School of Van Dyck,’” according to the museum.
“Art historian and dealer Dr. Bendor Grosvenor was perusing the Public Catalogue Foundation’s massive database of all 210,000 publicly owned paintings in the UK … to research an upcoming exhibition when he spotted the Portrait of Olive Boteler Porter,” according to The History Blog.
When Grosvenor suggested that it could be a work by van Dyke himself, the museum enlisted him and his colleagues at Philip Mould & Co., who have conserved more than 20 Van Dyck’s, to restore the painting.
Authorities in Romania have arrested three men suspected of stealing paintings worth tens of millions of dollars late last year from Rotterdam’s Kunsthal museum.
Thieves made off with seven paintings, including works by Monet, Matisse, Picasso and Gauguin, in a brazen and meticulously planned operation last October.
A Bucharest district court made a ruling last month that allows authorities to hold the three men for 29 days, Reuters reported, citing the Romanian news agency Mediafax.
The seven masterpieces were stolen in a pre-dawn heist from Kunsthal museum in Rotterdam, the biggest such theft in the Netherlands in more than two decades.
The stolen paintings were: Pablo Picasso’s 1971 “Harlequin Head”; Claude Monet’s 1901 “Waterloo Bridge, London” and “Charing Cross Bridge, London”; Henri Matisse’s 1919 “Reading Girl in White and Yellow”; Paul Gauguin’s 1898 “Girl in Front of Open Window”; Meyer de Haan’s “Self-Portrait,” around 1890, and Lucian Freud’s 2002 work “Woman with Eyes Closed.”
It is the biggest art theft in The Netherlands since 20 paintings were stolen from Amsterdam’s Van Gogh museum in 1991.
A quarter century after an impressionist work by Henri Matisse was taken from a Swedish museum by a thief wielding a sledgehammer, the 1920 painting has been recovered.
The work, “Le Jardin,” an oil on canvas now worth approximately $1 million, was about to be sold when dealer Charles Roberts ran it through a global database of stolen art – standard practice before a sale, according to Agence France-Presse.
Roberts, who runs Charles Fine Art in southern England, said he was stunned to discover the Matisse had been filched in May 1987.
“It’s not something that happens every day,” Roberts said. “I’m glad I found out now rather than later.”
Roberts said the current Polish owner, whom he did not name, had bought the artwork in good faith 20 years ago, according to the Associated Press.
Christopher Marinello, a lawyer working with the London-based Art Loss Register, which tracks stolen, missing and looted art, said the painting, valued at about $1 million, would be returned to Stockholm’s Moderna Museet.
Tashkent, Uzbekistan, where the largest statue of Vladimir Lenin once resided for decades, may be home to a lost masterpiece of Renaissance art.
One of Paolo Veronese’s versions of “Lamentation of Christ” has gone on display at the Uzbek State Arts Museum, according to Uzbek experts. Officials with the museum say it is one of several versions of the 16th century work the Italian artist painted that portrays the lamentation after Christ’s descent from the cross.
However the Italian embassy in Tashkent has urged caution, saying while the show is a remarkable event, further work will be needed to confirm that the picture is a genuine Veronese, according to Agence France-Presse.
The Arts Museum said the work was brought to Uzbekistan in the 19th century when the territory was part of the Russian Empire. It was part of the collection which belonged to the Romanovs, Russia’s last dynasty.
“The painting came to Tashkent as part of the luggage of Grand Duke Nikolai Konstantinovich Romanov, the grandson of Tsar Nicolas I who was exiled to Uzbekistan after falling out with the royal family over an affair with an American woman,” according to the wire service.
Veronese, Titian and Tintoretto are known as the pre-eminent Venetian painters of the late Renaissance. Veronese is touted for his work with colors and for his illusionistic decorations in both fresco and oil, according to art historian Lawrence Gowing.
Called “the most beautiful, the greatest and most magnificent floor” ever created, the sweeping marble panels which make up the floor of the Siena Cathedral in Italy are so spectacular that they are unveiled for just a few weeks each year.
Recently, the stunning Renaissance mosaics were revealed, giving visitors a chance to glimpse scenes local artists worked centuries to create.
They depict vivid stories from the Bible and classical antiquity, in black, white, green, red and blue marble, with some dating back to the 14th century.
The marble mosaics cover the entire floor of the cathedral.
Most of the panels, created between the 14th and 16th centuries, have a rectangular shape, but the later ones are hexagons or rhombuses.
They represent many different concepts, including the sibyls, scenes from the Old Testament, allegories and virtues.
When 59-year-old Fiona McLaren of Scotland fell on hard times recently, she took an old oil painting that had been gathering dust in her home for decades to be appraised.
The reaction from Harry Robertson, the director of Sotheby’s in Scotland, indicated it might have some value: “I showed it to him and he was staggered, speechless save for a sigh of exclamation,” McLaren said.
That would be because the painting, shown above, may well be a previously unknown work by Renaissance master Leonardo da Vinci and worth more $150 million.
The 23-inch-by-28-inch painting depicts a woman holding a young child and had been collecting dust in Fiona McLaren’s home for decades, according to The Daily Mail.
The painting may be of Mary Magdalene. It is now being analyzed by experts at the Cambridge University and the Hamilton Kerr Institute, the publication added.
The painting came into the possession of the McLaren family through her late father George, a doctor who had received it as a gift from a patient in the 1960s, according to the Global Post.
An 1824 work by English painter John Constable sold for $35 million at auction earlier this month, setting a record for the influential artist while also highlighting an ugly family spat.
According to several media reports, Baroness Carmen Thyssen-Bornemisza blamed the decision to sell “The Lock,” a work that had hung in Madrid’s Thyssen-Bornemisza Museum, founded by the baroness’ late husband, on Spain’s slumping economy.
Apparently oblivious to the benefits of modern public relations, the baroness quipped to a Spanish newspaper, ”I need the money – I really need it. I have no liquidity. Keeping the collection here is costly to me, and I get nothing in return.”
The sale drew the ire of the baroness’ family as well as a board member of the museum, who resigned in protest, according to a Reuters report.
A stepdaughter of the baroness was quoted in the British press saying that her stepmother “has shown absolutely no respect for my father and is simply putting her own financial needs above everything else,” according to the Los Angeles Times.
A pair of Italian art historians say they have found as many as 100 works by famed artist Caravaggio, purportedly done when the temperamental master was very young.
The works, most of them drawings, were discovered in a collection long attributed to a Milanese artist Caravaggio studied under as a youth in the late 16th century.
The claim, being made by Maurizio Bernardelli Curuz and Adriana Conconi Fedrigolli, could not be verified, according to The Associated Press. The duo will shortly release a pair of ebooks laying out the case for their assertion.
If true, the find would be stunning. There are few surviving examples of Caravaggio’s work. The Italian baroque painter, whose realistic and dramatic canvases set a new standard for Western art, died in 1619 in his late 30s after a troubled life.
“But one expert familiar with the collection said it was unlikely that more than a few at most were actually done by Caravaggio and that none show the mature hand of the temperamental artist – who was famed for his dramatic chiaroscuro effect of dark space contrasting with light, vivid still life and the then-scandalous use of models from the lower walks of life for religious scenes,” according to the wire service.
A watercolor by Post-Impressionist master Paul Cezanne, missing for nearly six decades before being found recently in Texas, fetched $19.12 million Tuesday at Christie’s auction house in New York.
The work, titled “A Card Player,” depicts Paulin Paulet, a gardener on the Cezanne family estate near Aix-en-Provence in France.
It was found in the private collection of the late Heinz Eichenwald, a medical doctor and art collector who emigrated to the United States in the mid-1930s and spent his career in Dallas.
The work was last seen in public in 1953, according to Agence France-Presse.
It had been known to scholars only as a black-and-white photograph since then.
A watercolor by Post-impressionist master Paul Cezanne, missing for nearly six decades, has been relocated and will be auctioned this spring in New York.
The work depicts Paulin Paulet, a gardener on the Cezanne family estate near Aix-en-Provence in France. It was known to scholars only as a black-and-white photograph.
It was unknown if the actual work still existed and, if it did, who owned it, according to the New York Times.
But the watercolor recently surfaced in the home of a Dallas collector and will be auctioned at Christie’s in New York on May 1, officials at the company said Monday.
It is expected to fetch up to $20 million.
“Cézanne’s images of workers on his family farm – pipe-smoking men sitting around a table, their expressions dour, their dress drab, absorbed in a game of cards – are among his most recognizable works,” according to the Times. “Some are pictured alone; others are shown in groups of two or more. Paulet is the only one of the figures to appear in all five paintings in the ‘Card Players’ series.”