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Displaying items by tag: miniatures

The art of French lacquer developed in the late 17th century in response to the rising popularity of Japanese and Chinese lacquerware and quickly led to concentration of gilder-varnisher workshops in the Saint-Antoine quarter in Paris where the cabinetmakers and joiners were already established. The French even developed their own technique, Vernis Martin — as recently retraced in an exhibition at the Musée des Arts Décoratifs, Paris — that enabled the craftsmen to generate blues, greens, and yellows, in addition to Asian reds and blacks. Vernis Martin was soon used to cover all kinds of materials and decorative objects, from woodwork paneling to musical instruments and even horse-drawn carriages.

While lacquering is most traditionally associated with wood and bamboo, it can also be applied on metal, and it is this technique that the skilled craftsmen and women at Hermès have applied in miniature to a new limited edition collection of three new watches under the Arceau Cheval d’Orient name.

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The Cleveland Museum of Art acquired a rare enamel-on-copper copy of Titian’s (1485-1576) iconic 16th century masterpiece Bacchus and Ariadne by the English enamel painter Henry Bone (1755-1834). The museum purchased the 19th century work at Christie’s London on July 4, 2013 for $478,346. Curator John Seydl made the winning bid over the telephone from a London hotel in an effort to disguise the museum’s interest from other bidders.

The enamel measures 16 inches by 18 inches, which is exceptionally large for the medium typically used to execute portrait miniatures. The work includes an ornate gilt-wood and gesso frame and serves as a prime example of Bone’s innovative and widely admired enamel technique.

After being shipping to Cleveland, the Titian copy is expected to hang in the museum’s early 19th century gallery, which features French and English art.  

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The Louvre’s new outpost in Abu Dhabi, which is slated to open in 2015, has assembled the 130 paintings, miniatures, sculptures, and other artworks that will form its permanent collection. Museum officials allowed reporters a sneak peek of the works including paintings by Pablo Picasso (1881-1973), Rene Magritte (1898-1967), Édouard Manet (1832-1883), and Paul Gauguin (1848-1903). The entire collection will be on view from April 22 to July 20, 2013 as part of the exhibition The Birth of a Museum at a gallery on the island of Saadiyat, close to where construction for the new museum is currently underway.

Louvre Abu Dhabi’s collection is comprised of numerous works from private collections, many of which have never been on public view before. Highlights from the museum’s holdings include Picasso’s gouache, ink, and collage work on paper Portrait of a Lady (1928); Gauguin’s Children Wrestling (1888); and Paul Klee’s (1879-1940) Oriental Bliss (1938).

The Louvre’s new venue, which was designed by the French architect Jean Nouvel, is the museum’s first branch outside of France. The venture is expected to bring the Louvre and its French partner museums approximately $1.31 million over 30 years. The Louvre also has an offshoot location in the northern city of Lens.

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Thursday, 06 December 2012 17:53

Getty Museum Buys Rare Illuminated Manuscript

Los Angeles’ J. Paul Getty Museum purchased a Flemish illuminated manuscript at Sotheby’s for $6.2 million on Wednesday, December 5. The Roman de Gillion de Trazegnies by Lieven van Lathem (1430-1493) consists of eight painted half-page miniatures and 44 historiated initials. Lathem is renowned for his paintings of secular scenes during the Flemish high Renaissance of manuscript illumination. The Roman de Gillion de Trazegnies is considered his finest work from the period.

The major acquisition adds to the Getty’s already phenomenal collection of 15th century illuminated manuscripts, which includes Lathem’s only documented manuscript, The Prayer Book of Charles the Bold. Acquired in 1989, Prayer Book serves as the main reference for all other Lathem attributions. The purchase of the Roman de Gillion de Trazegnies joins two of the artist’s defining works in one collection – a remarkable feat.

Roman de Gillion de Trazegnies tells the story of the curious adventures of a nobleman from the family of Trazegnies, whose seat was in Hainaut (present-day Belgium). The tale mixes genres including travelogue, romance, and epic and follows the protagonist, Gillion, on a journey to Egypt, where he comes a bigamist and dies in battle as a hero.

The illumination had been on loan for the Getty’s 2003 landmark exhibition, Illuminating the Renaissance.

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