Art Buzz October 16, 2012: A Picasso and a Gauguin Are Among 7 Works Stolen From Kunsthal Museum

ART & ARCHITECTURAL HISTORY NEWS

MUSEUM NEWS

A Picasso and a Gauguin Are Among 7 Works Stolen From a Dutch Museum

Source: NYT, 10-16-12

Art thieves made off overnight with seven paintings, including a Picasso, a Matisse, a Gauguin and two Monets, from the Kunsthal museum in Rotterdam….READ MORE

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Art Buzz June 20, 2012: FBI returns $5 million of historic art & artifacts to Polish Museum of America

ART & ARCHITECTURAL HISTORY NEWS

MUSEUM NEWS

FBI returning stolen art to Polish museum

Source: Chicago Tribune, 6-20-12

The FBI says it is returning more than 120 stolen artifacts, worth a total of about $5 million, to the Polish Museum of America.

The artifacts disappeared from the museum in the 1970s or 1980s and were found last year at a home on the Northwest Side, according to the FBI.

Among the items are 18th and 19th-century documents, rare prints and sketches, Nazi propaganda from World War II and military medals. The documents include letters to and from Polish kings, a French emperor and American Revolutionary War heroes….READ MORE

Art Buzz June 19, 2012: Man Caught On Tape Vandalizing A Picasso At Houston Art Museum

ART & ARCHITECTURAL HISTORY NEWS

ART NEWS

Man Caught On Tape Vandalizing A Picasso At Houston Art Museum

Source: Business Insider, 6-19-12

In a brazen display of vandalism and apparent misguided expression, a Houston man was caught on cellphone and surveillance camera spray painting Picasso’s 1929 “Woman in a Red Armchair,” according to The Houston Chronicle.

The currently unknown vandal painted an image of a bullfighter killing a bull and sprayed the word “Conquista” on the painting, which is housed at The Menil Collection in Houston, an eyewitness told KPRC-TV in Houston.

An anonymous witness to the attack told KPRC that he began recording his video when he saw the man creep dangerously close to the painting’s canvas. After the defacement, the onlooker sprinted after the graffiti artist who told him that he had “retouched” the rare painting as a way to make a name for himself and honor Picasso’s work.

Let us be unequivocal in declaring — because apparently in Houston there is some confusion on the matter — that tastelessly tagging a masterpiece with ill-conceived scribbles is NOT an acceptable mode of self-expression, nor will it ever be construed as an homage. A matador slaying a bull is on nearly every t-shirt sold in Spain. It’s far from being a wondrously original graphical depiction….READ MORE

Art Buzz June 18, 2012: Aboriginal Rock Art Discovered in Australia is 28000 Years Old

ART & ARCHITECTURAL HISTORY NEWS

ART NEWS

Aboriginal Rock Art is 28,000 Years Old

Though this is some of the oldest known art, the site may contain far older paintings.

Source: Discovery, 6-18-12
THE GIST

  • The 28,000-year-old Aboriginal paintings were found in a remote area of Australia.
  • Only a small part of the find has been excavated, leading scientists to believe still older art may be found.

Ancient Australian Aboriginal rock art at Swinton's Shelter

Ancient Australian Aboriginal rock art at Swinton’s Shelter Click to enlarge this image.
Corbis

Aboriginal rock art found in remote Australia has been dated at 28,000 years old, experts said Monday, prompting new speculation that indigenous communities were among the world’s most advanced.

Archaeologists picked up the fragment in inaccessible wilderness in Arnhem Land in the country’s north a year ago, and recent carbon dating of its charcoal drawing has placed it among some of the oldest art on the planet.

“One of the things that makes this little fragment of art unique is that it is drawn in charcoal… which means we could directly date it,” said Bryce Barker, who found and first analysed the granite rock.

Barker said given it was one of the oldest known pieces of rock art on earth, it showed that Aboriginal people were responsible for some of the earliest examples.

Barker said the find ranks among rock art sites such as France’s Chauvet caves dated at older than 30,000 years and caves in northern Spain now thought to be 40,000 years old….READ MORE

Art Buzz June 7, 2012: Lorenzo Ghiberti’s Gate of Paradise restored

ART & ARCHITECTURAL HISTORY NEWS

ART NEWS

Ghiberti’s Gate of Paradise restored

‘Extraordinary’ 27-year work says culture minister

Source: Ansa.it, 6-7-12

Ghiberti's Gate of Paradise restored

One of the glories of early Renaissance Italian art, Lorenzo Ghiberti’s Gate of Paradise for the Florence Baptistery, has completed a 27-year restoration, Culture Minister Lorenzo Ornaghi said Thursday.

The Gate, whose famed gilding has been burnished with painstaking care and cutting-edge techniques, will be put on show at the Museo dell’Opera del Duomo from September 8, Ornaghi said.

Ornaghi paid tribute to the “extraordinary” work the restorers did.

Ghiberti, having established his reputation with his work on the northern gate of the Florence Baptistery in the early 15th century, was commissioned to design the eastern door in 1425.

It took him 27 years to complete the 20-foot-high masterpieces, 10 panels showing episodes from the Old Testament….READ MORE

Art Buzz May 9, 2012: Christie’s Record Making Contemporary Art Auction Takes $388.5 Million — Mark Rothko’s “Orange, Red, Yellow, 1961” Alone Sold for $87 Million

ART & ARCHITECTURAL HISTORY NEWS

ART NEWS

Rothko Leads a Record Contemporary Art Sale

Source: NYT, 5-9-12

In a surge of bidding unprecedented in art market history, Christie’s Tuesday evening sale of contemporary art took in $388.5 million, the highest amount ever in that field.

Christie’s

Mark Rothko’s “Orange, Red, Yellow, 1961,” which sold for just under $87 million, had not appeared in the market for 45 years.

Christie’s

Yves Klein’s “FCI (Fire Color I),” which was completed in 1962 shortly before the French artist’s death, brought an astounding $36.48 million.

A world auction record was set for a work of contemporary art when Mark Rothko’s “Orange, Red, Yellow” painted in 1961 sold for just under $87 million. Christie’s estimate was $35 million to $45 million, plus the sale charge of more than 15 percent. Christopher Burge, who conducted the session with exceptional brio, brought down his hammer on the $77.5 million winning bid after one of the longest bidding matches yet witnessed in a contemporary art sale.

The Rothko had everything going for it. Acquired from Marlborough Fine Art in London in 1967 by David Pincus, one of the leading American collectors in the second half of the century, the picture, consigned from the connoisseur’s estate, had never appeared in the market during the intervening 45 years….READ MORE

Art Buzz May 2, 2012: Edvard Munch: ‘The Scream’ auctioned for record $119.9 million at Sotheby’s

ART & ARCHITECTURAL HISTORY NEWS

ART NEWS

Edvard Munch’s ‘The Scream’ goes for $119.9 million at Sotheby’s

Source: LAT, 5-2-12

Edvard Munch's 1895 pastel 'The Scream'

Sotheby’s sells Edvard Munch’s ‘The Scream’ for $119.9 million on Wednesday, May 2, 2012 (Carl Court / AFP /Getty Images / April 29, 2012 / May 2, 2012)

Sometimes beauty is trumped by the beast. After bullish expectations and an aggressive marketing campaign for an image considered the quintessential expression of modern horror, Sotheby’sNew York sold Edvard Munch‘s 1895 “The Scream” for $119.9 million on Wednesday night, setting a record for the most expensive artwork sold at auction.
The top spot was previously held by Picasso’s 1932 “Nude, Green, Leave and Bust” — a painting of his much-younger lover Marie-Therese Walter that sold at Christie’s in 2010 for $106.5 million.

The identity of the buyer, who was bidding by phone during the 12-minute auction, has not been confirmed. Bidding started at $40 million, with at least five bidders. Rumors before the sale, not confirmed, focused on interest from the royal family of Qatar.

Munch’s “The Scream” achieved another milestone: It now ranks as the most expensive drawing publicly sold. For this version of “The Scream” — one of four — is best described as a crayon or pastel drawing, not a painting, on board. The Munch Museum in Oslo owns a pastel as well as a painted version, while the National Gallery of Norway holds the earliest painting, dated 1893….READ MORE

And it easily beat out the previous auction record for Munch, also held by Sotheby’s. In 2008, the auction house sold the 1894 Munch painting “Vampire,” a melodramatic image of a red-haired, bare-armed woman kissing a man’s neck, for about $38 million.

Art Buzz April 19, 2012: Girolamo Romano Painting Looted by Nazis Is Returned to Owner’s Heirs

ART & ARCHITECTURAL HISTORY NEWS

ART NEWS

Painting Looted by Nazis Is Returned to Owner’s Heirs

Source: NYT, 4-19-12

A painting looted by the Nazis from its Jewish owner more than 70 years ago was returned to his heirs on Wednesday after being loaned to a Florida museum, Reuters reported.

The painting, ”Christ Carrying the Cross Dragged by a Rogue,” by the 16th-century Italian painter Girolamo Romano, was part of an exhibition on Baroque art that the Pinacoteca di Brera in Milan, Italy, had loaned to the Mary Brogan Museum of Art and Science in Tallahassee last fall.

A tip from an employee at Christie’s auction house alerted Interpol investigators that the painting may have been stolen. Last year the United States Attorney for the Northern District of Florida ordered the Brogan museum to hold on to the painting until the ownership question could be sorted out. In November federal agents removed the painting from the museum….READ MORE

Art Buzz April 15, 2012: Christie’s to unveil a very rare 15th century Renaissance Jewish prayer book in New York

ART & ARCHITECTURAL HISTORY NEWS

ART NEWS

Christie’s to unveil a very rare 15th century Jewish prayer book in New York

Offered at auction for the first time, the manuscript is estimated at $540,000-800,000. Photo: Christie’s Images Ltd 2012. 
On April 16-17, Christie’s New York will unveil a rare and splendid example of Renaissance Judaica, an illuminated manuscript Mahzor that will be included in the May 11, 2012 Books and Manuscripts auction at Christie’s Paris. Comprising over 400 pages, this illuminated manuscript on vellum is a festival prayer book written in Hebrew and was created in Tuscany, and probably Florence, circa 1490. Offered at auction for the first time, the manuscript is estimated at $540,000-800,000 (£360,000-530,000/€400,000-600,000).
The illuminating manuscript was purchased in Frankfurt before 1908 and was subsequently owned by Edmond Bicart-Sée. It has never been publicly exhibited and has remained in the possession of his descendants in Paris for over eighty years. This Mahzor, containing prayers for the entire liturgical year, is richly highlighted in gold with renaissance motifs and contains everyday customs, rituals and practices of Jewish life including daily prayers and blessings for Passover, Rosh Hashanah, Yom Kippur, and Sukkoth. The striking frontispiece of the Mahzor is in the characteristic style of Giovanni di Giuliano Boccardi, known as Boccardino il vecchio (1460-1529) – ‘one of the last representatives of the golden age of Florentine Renaissance Illumination.’ The Jewish community of Florence flourished in the 15th century, their position closely linked to the fortunes of the Medici. While there are other Hebrew manuscripts illuminated by Christian Florentines, this Mahzor is the only example we know illuminated by Boccardino. The coat-of-arms on the frontispiece is azure, a rampant lion or holding a flaming chalice and sun; the lion is flanked by a crescent moon and a sun or star, having some resemblance to the coat of arms of the Ambron family. Coats of arms used by Jewish families in Italy were inventions, often using traditional Jewish symbols and often variable, making certain identification difficult. The 16th century binding of the Mahzor has a central medallion with another coat-of-arms of two affronted rampant lions flanking a palm tree, combined elements featuring in the arms of a number of families in Italy, including the Tedesco/Tedeschi and Uzielli in Tuscany.

Art Buzz April 13, 2012: Edvard Munch’s Modern art masterpiece ‘The Scream’ up for auction at Sotherby’s

ART & ARCHITECTURAL HISTORY NEWS

ART NEWS

The masterpiece ‘The Scream’ up for auction

Source: CNN, 4-13-12

It’s one of the world’s most famous paintings; Edvard Munch’s “The Scream” is an iconic image of despair. And now a version of the painting is up for grabs in a public auction next month. But the winning bidder may also need to fork out money for extra security because this masterpiece also holds the dubious honor of being the “most stolen work of art”.

“Shivering with anxiety, I felt the great scream in nature,” so wrote Norwegian artist Edvard Munch in 1895. They are lines from a poem that inspired one of the most famous paintings in the world. Simon Shaw with Sotheby’s says, “What Munch was trying to do was create the modern life of the soul as he described it. a new kind of history painting for the godless age where he would draw on his own personal experiences of love anxiety and death and create universal resonate images that we can all understand”

Munch created four versions of the painting, three of which are on public display in museums in Norway. This is the only version in private hands and the only one to feature the poem that inspired it hand painted on the original frame and the only one for sale to be auctioned off at Sotheby’s in New York in May. Shaw says, “Very challenging to put a price on a work so globally recognizable so famous as this one. Great modern masterpieces can sell for a bit over a hundred million dollars so we’re estimating that the scream will sell for somewhere above $80 million today.”

So what is so captivating about this painting? Shaw says, “It’s really a key image in the history of modern art. but on the other hand it’s become something quite different. It’s become a cornerstone of popular culture if you like.”…READ MORE

Sotheby’s London presents one of the most famous masterpieces in the world

Staff stand guard by Edvard Munch’s ‘The Scream’ as it is hung for display at Sotheby’s Auction Rooms in London, Thursday, April 12, 2012. The picture made with pastels is one of four versions of the composition, and dates from 1895, it will be auctioned in the Impressionist and Modern Art Sale in New York on May 2, with an estimated price of 80 million dollars. AP Photo/Kirsty Wigglesworth. 
Sotheby’s today presented Edvard Munch’s masterpiece The Scream will lead its Impressionist & Modern Art Evening Sale in New York on 2 May 2012. The iconic work is one of the most instantly recognizable images in both art history and popular culture, perhaps second only to the Mona Lisa. The present version of The Scream, which dates from 1895, is one of four versions of the composition and the only version still in private hands. It will be on view in London for the first time ever, with the exhibition at Sotheby’s opening on 13 April. In New York, and also for the first time ever, it will be on exhibition at Sotheby’s in advance of the sale beginning 27 April.
The work is owned by Norwegian businessman Petter Olsen, whose father Thomas was a friend, neighbor and patron of Munch. “Munch’s The Scream is the defining image of modernity, and it is an immense privilege for Sotheby’s to be entrusted with one of the most important works of art in private hands” commented Simon Shaw, Senior Vice President and Head of Sotheby’s Impressionist & Modern Art department in New York. “Instantly recognizable, this is one of very few images which transcends art history and reaches a global consciousness. The Scream arguably embodies even greater power today than when it was conceived. At a time of great critical interest in the artist, and with the 150th anniversary of his birth in 2013, this spring is a particularly compelling time for The Scream to appear on the market. For collectors and institutions, the opportunity to acquire such a singularly-influential masterpiece is unprecedented in recent times.” Mr. Shaw continued: “Given how rarely true icons come to the market it is difficult to predict The Scream’s value. The recent success of masterpieces at Sotheby’s suggests that the price could exceed $80 million.”…READ MORE

Art Buzz March 28, 2012: Da Vinci’s Last Painting “The Virgin and Child with Saint Anne” & Twin Mona Lisa Unveiled at Louvre Museum Exhibit

ART & ARCHITECTURAL HISTORY NEWS

ART NEWS & MUSEUM NEWS

The real da Vinci code: Louvre unlocks last work

https://i0.wp.com/www.theartnewspaper.com/imgart/louvre-Sainte-Anne-restored.jpg

Source: AP, 3-28-12

An intense and controversial restoration of the last great work by Leonardo da Vinci goes before the public Thursday at the Louvre Museum, revealing “The Virgin and Child with Saint Anne” in the full panoply of hues and detail painted by the Renaissance master 500 years ago.

The 18-month-long restoration of the painting that Leonardo labored on for 20 years until his death in 1519 will go a long way to raising “Saint Anne” to its place as one of the most influential Florentine paintings of its time and a step towards the high Renaissance of Michelangelo.

The cleaning has endowed the painting portraying the Virgin Mary with her mother Saint Anne and the infant Jesus with new life and luminosity. Dull, faded hues were transformed into vivid browns and lapis lazuli that had visitors awe-struck….

The exhibit brings together some 130 preparatory drawings and studies by Leonardo and his apprentices — something curator Vincent Delieuvin likened to “a police investigation” — tracing the painting’s conception and revealing to experts today the entire development over the last 20 years of Leonardo’s life….READ MORE

Art Buzz March 13, 2012: Uncovering Leonardo da Vinci’s ‘Battle of Anghiari’ will destroy one of the great legends of Renaissance art history.

ART & ARCHITECTURAL HISTORY NEWS

ART NEWS

Leonardo Da Vinci: nothing to find but disappointment

Uncovering Leonardo da Vinci’s ‘Battle of Anghiari’ will destroy one of the great legends of Renaissance art history.

Source: Telegraph UK, 3-13-12

 'Proof' that long lost Leonardo da Vinci masterpiece lies behind Florence painting

Image 1 of 3
National Geographic Fellow Maurizio Seracini (foreground) and his team view footage captured by the endoscope behind the Vasari wall Photo: Dave Yoder
'Proof' that long lost Leonardo da Vinci masterpiece lies behind Florence painting

Image 1 of 3
A banner showing the painting which might be hidden Photo: DARIO THUBURN/AFP/Getty Images
 'Proof' that long lost Leonardo da Vinci masterpiece lies behind Florence painting

Image 1 of 3
The endoscope and sampling tool used to investigate the air gap behind the Vasari mural in Florence’s Palazzo Vecchio Photo: Dave Yoder

It is one of the most influential paintings that never quite were. Commissioned for the Hall of the Five Hundred, the gigantic meeting room of Florence’s governing body in the city’s Palazzo Vecchio in 1504, Leonardo’s ‘Battle of Anghiari’ was to have been his largest painting, a vast fresco that was for centuries a watchword among artists for the portrayal of heroic muscular effort.

Depicting a battle of 1440, in which the papal forces, led by Florence, defeated those of Leonardo’s home city Milan, it centred on a murderous struggle between four horsemen for the possession of a standard. Their snorting steeds writhing and rolling as the knights grapple, the scene couldn’t be further from the transcendant serenity that characterised the National Gallery’s recent Leonardo blockbuster.

Yet it’s a work that changed the way artists approached the problems of movement and physical struggle. Or that is what we’ve been led to understand, for no one has set eyes on the painting for over 450 years.

Its great rival in this category of non-existent exemplar was commissioned to hang on the wall opposite: Michelangelo’s ‘Battle of Cascina’. This was to have been the place where the two giants, and the great artistic rivals, of that extraordinary period came face to face across the political fulcrum of the most important city of the Renaissance.

In fact, the whole thing was a fiasco from first to last. The two artists had as little to do with each other as possible. Leonardo, who had had problems with fresco – tempera on wet plaster – while working on the ‘Last Supper’, took the unprecedented step of applying oil paint directly onto the wall. A thunderstorm created excessive humidity, causing the colours to drip and merge into each other. Discouraged, he abandoned the project….READ MORE

Art Buzz March 13, 2012: Maurizio Seracini: Has Lost Leonardo Da Vinci the Battle of Anghiari Been Found? Mona Lisa Paint Found Behind Wall in Florence’s Palazzo Vecchio Lends Clue

ART & ARCHITECTURAL HISTORY NEWS

ART NEWS

Lost Da Vinci Found? Mona Lisa Paint Lends Clue

The search for a Leonardo Da Vinci masterpiece reveals intriguing traces of paint that was also used in the Mona Lisa.

Source: Discovery News, 3-13-12

THE GIST

  • Art experts have drilled a hole through a 14th-century frescoed wall and recovered traces of a paint once used by Da Vinci in the Mona Lisa.
  • The researchers believe this may be evidence that a long lost Da Vinci masterpiece has been hidden behind the wall.
  • The work is a painting called the “Battle of Anghiari” and its recovery would be a huge discovery.
Rubens copy of Leonardo's Battle of Anghiari

Peter Paul Rubens’ copy of Leonardo’s “The Battle of Anghiari.” Click to enlarge this image.
Wikimedia Commons

Researchers struggling to solve a longstanding Leonardo da Vinci mystery — the fate of a lost masterpiece known as the “Battle of Anghiari — have found intriguing traces of paint hidden behind a 5-inch-thick frescoed wall in Palazzo Vecchio, Florence’s 14th-century city hall.

The color is consistent with that used by the Renaissance creator of the Mona Lisa, suggesting that Leonardo’s artwork has remained hidden behind that frescoed wall for more than 500 years.

Known as the “Battle of Marciano,” the mural was painted by the renowned 15th-century painter, architect and writer Giorgio Vasari (1511-1574) in the imposing Hall of the Five Hundred. The hall was a room built at the end of the 15th century to accommodate the meetings of the Florentine Council.

PHOTOS: The Face of Da Vinci: An Enduring Mystery

Right behind that wall could lie one of the biggest discoveries in the history of art, according to art diagnostic expert Maurizio Seracini, director of the Center of Interdisciplinary Science for Art, Architecture and Archaeology at the University of California, San Diego, who has been searching for the lost masterpiece since the 1970s….READ MORE

Art Buzz March 1, 2012: Website lets world admire ‘Ghent Altarpiece’ in 100 billion pixels

ART & ARCHITECTURAL HISTORY NEWS

ART NEWS

Website lets world admire ‘Ghent Altarpiece’ in 100 billion pixels

Source: CNN, 3-1-12
<br/>Thought to be one of the most famous panel paintings in the world, the Ghent Altarpiece, completed in 1432, can now be viewed on a specially-designed, open source website.
Thought to be one of the most famous panel paintings in the world, the Ghent Altarpiece, completed in 1432, can now be viewed on a specially-designed, open source website.
<br/>Stolen several times from St. Bavo Cathedral in Ghent where it is housed, the altarpiece features many intriguing details, including a 'Mystic Lamb' bleeding into a chalice.
Stolen several times from St. Bavo Cathedral in Ghent where it is housed, the altarpiece features many intriguing details, including a ‘Mystic Lamb’ bleeding into a chalice.
<br/>Consisting of 12 panels and depicting numerous complex theological scenes, the documentation project has rendered the work into 100 billion pixels using the highest resolution photography.


Consisting of 12 panels and depicting numerous complex theological scenes, the documentation project has rendered the work into 100 billion pixels using the highest resolution photography.

<br/>Here the Virgin Enthroned is seen in digital infrared reflectograms, which look past the painted surface of the picture and reveal the under-drawings beneath.


Here the Virgin Enthroned is seen in digital infrared reflectograms, which look past the painted surface of the picture and reveal the under-drawings beneath.

<br/>The same panel of the Virgin Enthroned seen with digital infrared macrophotographs. One major question scholars are hoping to answer is how involved Hubert van Eyck, older brother of Jan van Eyck, was in the painting of the work.


The same panel of the Virgin Enthroned seen with digital infrared macrophotographs. One major question scholars are hoping to answer is how involved Hubert van Eyck, older brother of Jan van Eyck, was in the painting of the work.

<br/>Digitized X-radiographs of the Virgin Enthroned panel. These images allow the viewer to see the skeleton of the picture, revealing the evolving nature of the composition over time.


Digitized X-radiographs of the Virgin Enthroned panel. These images allow the viewer to see the skeleton of the picture, revealing the evolving nature of the composition over time.

<br/>A detail from the Angel Musicians, in digital macrophotographs on the left and in digital infrared reflectograms on the right.
A detail from the Angel Musicians, in digital macrophotographs on the left and in digital infrared reflectograms on the right.
<br/>A detail from the famed Adoration of the Lamb. Viewed with digital macrophotographs on the left and an assembly of digital infrared reflectograms on the right.
A detail from the famed Adoration of the Lamb. Viewed with digital macrophotographs on the left and an assembly of digital infrared reflectograms on the right.
SHOW CAPTION

STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Minute details of Ghent Altarpiece now available to view online in 100 billion pixels
  • Project emerged from documentation process prior to conservation work
  • Website shows under-drawings beneath surface of the painting
  • Site — a rich resource for scholars — is open to all

With its remarkably realistic depictions and dramatic history, the Ghent Altarpiece (1432) is widely thought to be one of the most famous panel paintings in the world.

Stolen several times (most notoriously during World War II by the Nazis, who hid it in a salt mine), the altarpiece, currently housed in St. Bavo Cathedral in Ghent, Belgium, depicts among other things a ‘Mystic Lamb’ bleeding into a chalice.

It has been admired and coveted for centuries. Now an ambitious digital documentation project is allowing scholars and art-lovers alike to pore over the minute details of Jan and Hubert van Eyck’s multi-part painting in a specially-designed, open source website entitled ‘Closer to Van Eyck: Rediscovering the Ghent Altarpiece.’

Consisting of 12 panels (one of which is a copy, the original having been stolen in 1934) and depicting numerous complex theological scenes, the documentation project has rendered the already composite work into 100 billion pixels using the highest resolution photography.

A collaboration between the Royal Institute for Cultural Heritage in Lukasweb, Belgium, and the Vrije Universiteit Brussel, and funded with support from the Getty Foundation in Los Angeles and the Netherlands Organization for Scientific Research, the venture to digitally document the work took 9 months, initially to assess it for conservation.

“And then it grew into ‘These results are interesting, how can we share this information with the widest possible audience on a website?’” said Deborah Marrow, Director of the Getty Foundation.

The documentation process — which made use of macrophotography in visible light, macrophotography in infrared light, infrared reflectography and X-radiography — probed beneath the painted surface to reveal the under-drawings.

It’s technically an amazing feat that they were able to juxtapose the regular image, as you would normally see it, with the under-drawing
Antoine Wilmering, Getty Foundation

“One of the big open questions surrounding the polyptych is the involvement of Hubert van Eyck, the older brother of Jan van Eyck, in the production of the painting,” said Ron Spronk, Professor of Art History at Queen’s University in Kingston, Ontario, who led the project.

“We ought to look for Hubert’s hand in the under drawings of the panels, which were revealed with infrared macrophotography, and with infrared reflectography,” he explained….READ MORE

Art Buzz February 28, 2012: Jiri Kuchar: 16 paintings by Nazi era artist purchased by Adolf Hitler found in Czech Republic by Art historian

ART & ARCHITECTURAL HISTORY NEWS

ART NEWS

16 paintings by Nazi era artist purchased by Adolf Hitler found in Czech Republic

Paintings Hitler bought found in Czech Republic

Source: AP, 2-28-12

The art works, which Hitler bought in Germany during World War II, had been moved to Czechoslovakia after it was occupied by the Nazis to prevent them being damaged by Allied attacks.

On Monday, author Jiri Kuchar put seven of the paintings on display for reporters at the convent in Doksany in northern Czech Republic where he had identified them. Today, he said, they are probably worth about 50 million koruna ($2.7 million).

“Nobody believed me it could be true,” Kuchar said of his findings. The author, who calls himself “an amateur and enthusiast,” has written about his findings.

Kuchar said Hitler bought the 16 paintings _ by German artists such as Franz Eichhorst, Paul Herrmann, Sepp Hilz, Friedrich W. Kalb, Oscar Oestreicher, Edmund Steppes and Armin Reumann _ in 1942 and 1943 at the Great German art exhibitions that were held annually in Munich from 1937 to 1944.

The German institute whose database includes the works and their buyers _ Zentralinstitut fur Kunstgeschichte in Munich _ confirmed Hitler’s ownership to The Associated Press. Its art experts said Tuesday that while “interesting,” the collection is of “low” value.

As a former artist, Hitler was an art lover and collector. Countless paintings, many done by major European painters, were seized by the Nazis during the Second World War.

At one point, Hitler’s private collection, known as the “Linz Collection,” included almost 5,000 works, and the Nazis had once planned to create a museum for them in Linz, Austria.

In addition to the seven works identified at the convent, Kuchar found seven more that Hitler had once owned at the northern Czech chateau of Zakupy, and one each at the Military History Institute in Prague and the Faculty of Law of Charles University in Prague.

Some contain obvious signs of Nazi propaganda, the author said.

During the occupation, it is believed that the 16 works were part of Hitler’s collection of more than 70 pieces of contemporary German art that the Third Reich stored at a monastery in the southern Czech town of Vyssi Brod, together with larger collections of valuable paintings stolen from Jewish families in Europe….READ MORE