A glazed plate that had sat in a make-shift frame hidden behind a door in an English cottage for years was recently discovered to be worth far more than its owner knew.
The 16.5 inch Italian maiolica plate was ”uncovered” by an auctioneer who been asked to assess some items in the unidentified woman’s home in Dorset, England.
Only about two inches of it were visible when appraiser Richard Bromell caught a glimpse of the plate behind a door.
“It had been on the wall for a number of years and you couldn’t really see it but it was hugely exciting …” he told the BBC.
When put up for sale by Charterhouse Auctioneers on Feb. 14, the plate brought $880,000, despite having a small chip.
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.
The fruits of the Europeana Regia project, a 30-month effort which involved the digitization of more than 850 rare manuscripts from the Middle Ages and Renaissance, offer a tantalizing glimpse into a world where the written word’s beauty was as important as its meaning.
Three collections of royal manuscripts – the Bibliotheca Carolina, the Library of Charles V and Family, and the Library of the Aragonese Kings of Naples – were scattered among five major libraries in four countries.
But the Europeana Regia project, with the support of the European Commission, has brought the different collections together online, with each representing a distinct period of history.
The Bibliotheca Carolina (from the Carolingian Court) dates to the 8th and 9th centuries, the Library of Charles V is from the 14th century and the Library of the Aragonese Kings of Naples goes back to the 15th and 16th centuries.
Parts of all were dispersed among different European libraries.
This is the first time that the public at large will have easy access to some of Europe’s most precious Medieval and Renaissance manuscripts, according to information aggregator called ResourceShelf.
“Almost none of these manuscripts have been digitized before … If you want to see these manuscripts at the moment, you have to do a tour of European libraries, which is far from practical, or you have to ask for copies.”
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.
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 Leonardo Da Vinci masterpiece hidden for four centuries may have been uncovered inside a Florence palace, according to art historians.
Art sleuths said Monday they believe they have found traces of a da Vinci work masterpiece on a hidden wall in the Palazzo Vecchio.
The traces were collected using tiny probes introduced into a wall covering the original surface in a lavish hall in palace and contained a black pigment also used in the “Mona Lisa,” historians and officials said.
The research, which employed cutting-edge technology, is the result of a decades-long quest by San Diego University art history professor Maurizio Seracini.
“The composition of manganese and iron found in the black pigment has been identified exclusively on Leonardo’s paintings,” Seracini said.
Seracini pointed out that Leonardo had painted the “Mona Lisa” at around the same time as the long-lost fresco, “The Battle of Anghiari,” but said the research was “not conclusive” and would have to be continued, according to Agence France-Presse.
“Although we are still in the preliminary stages of the research and there is still a lot of work to be done to solve this mystery, the evidence does suggest that we are searching in the right place,” he said.
How prideful was the Renaissance painter Tintoretto? He once turned down a knighthood from French king Henry III because, it is said, he did not want to kneel down.
The 16th-century Venetian master, who was so productive that he was known as Il Furioso, is the subject of an exhibition that opened in Rome this past weekend.
“Tintoretto was the most controversial painter of his time,” Melania Mazzucco, one of the organizers and a Tintoretto expert. “His experimental way of painting, the speed with which he worked and his prolific aspect, his aggressive and competitive character evoked very strong reactions among his contemporaries.”
The exhibition, which follows the painter’s career from his days as an ambitious disciple of Titian to a bitter old age, focuses on the three main themes that distinguish the artist’s work: religion, mythology and portraiture. It runs through June.
Tintoretto, born in 1518, owed his nickname to his father who was a manufacturer of dyes (“tinta” in Italian). He became one of the greatest practitioners of the Venetian style.
The exhibition begins with one of his monumental works “The Miracle of the Slave,” painted in 1548 and measuring 14 feet by 18 feet.
A rarely seen self-portrait by Leonardo da Vinci that is insured for $67 million has gone on display near the Italian city of Turin.
The self-portrait of the Renaissance master as an elderly man is kept in the Royal Library in Turin where it has only gone on public display twice previously, in 1929 and 2006.
It is being displayed through the end of January under special shock-proof glass case lined with sensors, according to Agence France-Presse.
The work, being shown at the Reggia di Venaria, a 17th-century former royal residence near Turin, is part of an exhibition titled “Leonardo: The Genius and the Myth.”
In all, the exhibition includes 30 drawings and writings about the work.
Federal officials recently ordered the Mary Brogan Museum of Art & Science in Tallahassee, Fla., not to return one of 50 paintings on loan from a museum in Italy because it is believed to have been stolen by Nazis during World War II.
US authorities are working with the Brogan and the Italian government to resolve questions of ownership amid claims the work had been stolen from a Jewish family in World War II, according to The Associated Press.
The work in question is a 473-year-old painting by the Italian Renaissance artist Girolamo Romano titled Christ Carrying the Cross Dragged by a Rogue.
It was part of the 50-piece exhibit, Baroque Painting in Lombardy from Pinacoteca di Brera in Milan, which went up March 18 and was disassembled earlier this month.
It is believed that the Nazi-backed French Vichy government seized and sold the painting in question, along with more than 150 other works, in 1941 to pay off debts.
A famed Leonardo da Vinci painting stolen from Poland by the Nazis and only returned after the end of the six-year conflict, has gone on display in Germany for the first time since the Second World War.
Da Vinci’s treasured 15th century painting “Lady with an Ermine,” a work that first arrived in Poland around 1800, shows a young woman holding a white ermine – otherwise known as a stoat or short-tailed weasel – and headlines a major exhibition of Renaissance art to open today at Berlin’s Bode Museum.
Along with the Mona Lisa, the work is one of just four paintings of women by the Italian Renaissance master.
In 1939, almost immediately after the German occupation of Poland, the work was seized by the Nazis and sent to the Kaiser Friedrich Museum in Berlin.