Interesting Art Facts

Sotheby’s. World records.

Sotheby’s is distinguished by a number of world records for auctioned works of art. On 22 May 2002, Norman Rockwell‘s painting of Rosie the Riveter was sold for $4,959,500. Source:  en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sotheby%27s

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Grace and style

Grace and style

by Lottie Johansson If you are visiting a major city and in need of a shot of culture, instead of an art show you might choose to see a fashion exhibition such as Grace Kelly: Style Icon, newly opened at the Victoria & Albert Museum in London. You would not be alone: the number of people attending fashion exhibitions at art galleries and fashion institutions around the world has increased considerably over the past few years. And we are not just talking fashion insiders here; these shows attract a wide demographic audience. With recent inspiring and diverse shows such as The Golden Age of Couture at the V&A, Superheroes: Fashion & Fantasy at the Metropolitan Museum of Modern Art in…

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Forgery of Albrecht Dürer

Scientific examination of The Madonna with the Iris was able to clarify, to some degree, the complex genesis of this work. Careful study of the infrared reflectogram revealed many changes made at different stages in the working process, and suggested that more than one hand might have been involved in the painting’s execution. Analysis of paint cross-sections showed that some finishing touches were added after varnish had been applied to the otherwise completed painting. A troubling attribution In 1945, National Gallery trustees approved the proposed purchase of ‘The Madonna with the Iris’. However, the painting’s problematic attribution engendered caution, and minutes of the Board Meeting for 3 May 1945 record: ‘… the Board must not purchase it as an authentic…

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Fine Art. FAKES.

For many years The Virgin and Child with an Angel was prized as Francesco Francia’s earliest known dated painting (faintly signed and dated 1490) and for representing, in the chalice held by the angel, the only known example of the type of object Francia may have produced during his presumed earlier career as a goldsmith. But in 1954 an apparently identical version surfaced in a London auction. A thorough investigation of both paintings was undertaken to determine which was Francia’s original. Side-by-side investigation In 1955 examination of the National Gallery painting found the wood panel,ground and paint layers to be reasonably consistent with 15th-century practice, although it was noted that the gessoground was a remarkably bright white. The imprimatura was a pinkish-brown. Although most unusual…

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Being Botticelli. Forgery.

Being Botticelli. Forgery.

In the 19th century the painting of Venus with three putti was thought to be by Sandro Botticelli. It was acquired by the Gallery with Botticelli’s famous Venus and Mars, although more was paid for the former work despite the fact that it is today the less well-known of the two pictures. The attribution of the painting now laconically entitled An Allegory has been downgraded, but this does not call into question its authenticity, however awkward and eccentric its design. Two Botticellis? In 1874 the sale of the collection of Alexander Barker, the son of a fashionable bootmaker, was eagerly watched in London. Even the Prime Minister, Benjamin Disraeli, wrote to Lady Bradford that he meant “to rise early tomorrow…

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Highly skilful forgery of Botticelli

When this painting first appeared around 1930, it was praised as a work byBotticelli. Not long afterwards, however, the investigations of art historians and scientists revealed it to be an outright fake, made with the intention to deceive. Acquisition The noted art collector Lord Lee of Fareham bought the Madonna of the Veil in 1930 from an Italian dealer for the sum of $25,000. He subsequently bequeathed it to The Courtauld Gallery, London in 1947. Despite a lack of information about its origins, the picture was universally hailed by connoisseurs and academics as a masterpiece by Botticelli when it first arrived in London in the early 1930s. The directors of the Medici Society published the painting as a ‘superb composition of the greatest of…

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Art Movements of 2000s: Superflat

Superflat is a postmodern art movement, founded by the artist Takashi Murakami, which is influenced by manga and anime. It is also the name of a 2001 art exhibition, curated by Murakami, that toured West Hollywood, Minneapolis and Seattle. Description Superflat is used by Murakami to refer to various flattened forms in Japanese graphic art, animation, pop culture and fine arts, as well as the “shallow emptiness of Japanese consumer culture.” A self-proclaimed art movement, it was a successful piece of niche marketing, a branded art phenomenon designed for Western audiences. In addition to Murakami, artists whose work is considered “Superflat” include Chiho Aoshima, Mahomi Kunikata, Sayuri Michima, Yoshitomo Nara, Tatsuyuki Tanaka, and Aya Takano. In addition, some animators within anime and some mangaka are considered Superflat, especially Koji Morimoto (and much of the output of his…

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Raphael Renaissance: Sistine Madonna

Sistine Madonna, also called The Madonna di San Sisto, is an oil painting by the Italian artist Raphael. Finished shortly before his death, ca. 1513–1514, as a commissioned altarpiece, it was the last of the painter’s Madonnas and the last painting he completed with his own hands. Relocated to Dresden from 1754, the well-known painting has been particularly influential in Germany. After World War II, it was relocated to Moscow for a decade before it was returned to Germany. There, it resides as one of the central pieces in the Gemäldegalerie Alte Meister. Composition In the painting, the Madonna, holding the Christ Child and flanked by Saint Sixtus and Saint Barbara, stands on clouds before dozens of obscured cherubs, while two distinctive winged cherubs rest on their elbows beneath her. American travel guideRick…

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