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Displaying items by tag: Rembrandt

While many museums post photos of their illustrious collections online, the images are not for public use. The Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam is about to change all of that. The institution, which focuses on the art and history of the Netherlands, is allowing visitors to download high-resolution images off of their website at no cost. They’re even going so far as to encourage patrons to copy, alter, and share the images.

The Rijksmuseum, whose collection includes works by Rembrandt (1606-1669), Johannes Vermeer (1632-1675), Piet Mondrian (1872-1944), and Vincent van Gogh (1853-1890), has already made 125,000 images available through Rijksstudio, an interactive section of their website. Officials aim to add 40,000 images per year until the entire collection, which is comprised of 1 million artworks, is available to the public. The decision to make all of the museum’s images public stems from the notion that they are a public institution, making the art and objects in their collection communal property. The proliferation of the Internet has also made image policing extremely difficult and officials would rather the public use high-quality images instead of poor reproductions.

Rijkstudio has seen over 2.17 million visitors since going live in October 2012 and approximately 200,000 people have downloaded images.

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A selection of oil paintings from Russia’s Hermitage Museum will be on view at Houghton Hall in England from May 17, 2013 through September 29, 2013. Great Britain’s first prime minister, Sir Robert Walpole, assembled the collection during the first half of the 18th century and built Houghton Hall to house the works. Paintings from Russian and American collections will complement the works, which are returning to England for the first time in 230 years.

Walpole built Houghton Hall, which now belongs to Lord Cholmondeley, one of his direct descendants, between 1722 and 1735. In 1779,When Walpole’s grandson was in need of money, he sold the majority of his grandfather’s collection to Catherine the Great for nearly $61,500. Approximately 75 of the sold works are returning to Houghton Hall for the exhibition including paintings by Rembrandt (1606-1669), Anthony van Dyck (1599-1641), Nicolas Poussin (1594-1665), and Diego Velázquez (1599-1660).

While a handful of the paintings have been on view in England since their sale in the 18th century, none of them have returned to Houghton Hall. Designed by the foremost architects of Walpole’s time, James Gibbs and Colen Campbell, Houghton Hall’s lavish interior was decorated by the eminent architect and furniture designer William Kent. Walpole spared no expense and Houghton Hall remains as one of the finest examples of Palladian architecture in England.

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Tuesday, 14 May 2013 16:43

Getty Museum Makes Two Major Acquisitions

The J. Paul Getty Museum in Los Angeles has acquired two major works of European art -- a self-portrait of Rembrandt (1606-1669) and a view of Venice’s Grand Canal by the Italian painter Canaletto (1697-1768). The portrait, titled Rembrandt Laughing (circa 1628), will round out the Getty’s collection of early works by the artist, which is the finest if its kind in the country.

The portrait of Rembrandt resided in private collections for centuries before appearing on the market in 2007. The work, which was only known through print reproductions, was attributed to a contemporary of Rembrandt until scholarly analysis and scientific testing proved it to be an authentic painting by the Dutch master. One of nearly 40 self-portraits by the artist, Rembrandt Laughing is the only one in which he appears in costume as he appears dressed like a soldier. The painting will be exhibited in the museum’s East Pavilion along with four other Rembrandt works – An Old Man in Military Costume (1630-31), The Abduction of Europa (1632), Daniel and Cyrus Before the Idol Bel (1633), and Saint Bartholomew (1661).

The painting by Canaletto, For the Grand Canal in Venice from Palazzo Flangini to Campo San Marcuola, is a superior work by the artist depicting everyday life in Venice during the 18th century. The painting will be exhibited alongside Francesco Guardi’s (1712-1793) The Grand Canal in Venice with Palazzo Bembo (circa 1768), which features the same stretch of the Grand Canal as Canaletto’s painting.

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On May 8, 2013, the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston unveiled a number of transformed galleries including a new Dutch and Flemish gallery, which has opened to the public after almost a year of renovations. The Art of the Netherlands in the 17th Century Gallery features seven paintings by Rembrandt (1606-1669) and other works by Peter Paul Rubens (1577-1640), Anthony van Dyck (1599-1641), and Jacob van Ruisdael (1628-1682). There are approximately thirty paintings in the gallery including landscapes, genre scenes, portraits, and religious works. The paintings are accompanied by a collection of Dutch furniture, decorative art objects, silver, and Delft pottery.

A companion gallery of 30 works, the Leo and Phyllis Beranek Gallery, also opened this week. Besides their respective collections, the Beranek and the Art of the Netherlands galleries highlight loans from important collections such as the Rose-Marie and Eijk van Otterloo collection, a renowned grouping of Dutch and Flemish paintings.

Two 18th century rooms from Great Britain have been reinstalled at the MFA as part of the Alan and Simone Hartman Galleries. A gallery for British Art, 1560-1830 complements the Newland House Drawing Room, which has been on view at the MFA since the 1970s, and the Hamilton Palace Dining Room, which features the Hartman Collection’s silver holdings. The Hartman Galleries feature British paintings, furniture, silver, ceramics, and works on paper.    

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Officials at the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam announced that the museum will reopen to the public on April 14, 2013. The Rijksmuseum, a Dutch national institution devoted to arts, crafts, and history, has been closed for 10 years as part of a massive renovation and modernization project.

The museum is currently working to reinstall around 8,000 masterpieces from the national collection spanning from the Middle Ages to present day. While the Rijksmuseum’s main building was closed, the institution sent a selection of 400 works, including their most famous painting, Rembrandt’s (1606-1669) The Night Watch (1642), to the Philips Wing, a previously renovated “fragment building” belonging to the museum. The works formed a major exhibition titled Masterpieces of the Dutch Golden Age, which saw approximately 1 million visitors during its run.

The Rijksmuseum renovation cost approximately $481 million to complete and included restoring all eighty of the museum’s galleries with their original decorations and paintings as well as implementing the most up-to-date technologies and applications. The project was expected to reach completion in 2008, but a series of contractor issues and planning problems delayed progress.  

Museum officials expect attendance to increase significantly after the institution reopens; prior to the Rijksmuseum’s closure, it saw approximately 1 million visitors each year. The museum is also planning to stay open 365 days a year, which would make it the first national museum in the world to be open every day.

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Wednesday, 27 March 2013 16:53

Masterpieces Return to UK After 234 Years

A new exhibition sponsored by BP will bring over 70 masterpieces back to the UK after 234 years. The paintings, which originally hung at Houghton Hall in Norfolk, England during the 1720s, were part of Britain’s first Prime Minister Robert Walpole’s collection. The exhibition includes works by Sir Anthony Van Dyck (1591-1644) and Rembrandt (1606-1669), which will hang in their original positions in Houghton Hall.

The show opens on May 17, 2013 and has been met with some criticism. Many of the works on view are on loan from the Hermitage Museum and other Russian institutions as well as the National Gallery in Washington, D.C. and the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York. Critics feel that BP’s involvement is meant to benefit its relationship with Russia and that the company chooses its sponsorship events based on business rather than its interest in the art.

After Walpole’s death, his illustrious collection was sold to Russia for $61,355 and was sent from Britain 1779. Houghton Hall is currently owned by Walpole’s descendants and contains the furniture, bronzes, and antiquities that once belonged to the former Prime Minister.

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In 2010, the UK’s National Trust was given five paintings from the estate of the late Edna, Lady Samuel of Wych Cross, the widow of Harold, Lord Samuel of Wych Cross, a property developer, philanthropist, and prominent art collector. Among the bequest was a portrait of an ornately dressed man believed to be a relatively unremarkable 17th century painting. Although the work bears a signature and date reading “Rembrandt 1635,” experts believed it to be a later copy or the work of one of the Dutch master’s pupils.

The painting, which spent nearly two years in storage, has just been identified as an authentic Rembrandt (1606-1669) self-portrait worth over $30 million. The painting hadn’t been examined since 1968 and recent X-ray analysis along with newly found circumstantial evidence from the Rembrandt Research Project indicates that the work is in fact genuine.

The self-portrait is the only Rembrandt in the National Trust’s collection of 13,500 paintings and will remain on view at Buckland Abbey through the end of tourist season. Once it is taken off view the painting will be undergo a thorough cleaning and further technical analysis. Experts will perform dendrochronology to date the beech panel the work is painted on, the paint will be analyzed, and the painting will be x-rayed again to check for under-drawings.

David Taylor, the National Trust’s curator of paintings and sculpture, expects to have a final confirmation on the painting by early next year.       

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Monday, 18 March 2013 16:00

FBI Identifies Gardner Heist Thieves

23 years after the notorious Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum heist took place in Boston, the FBI announced that they have identified the thieves responsible for the crime. Officials stated in a press release that the unnamed suspects are from a “criminal organization” based in the Mid-Atlantic States and New England. It is believed that some of the stolen artworks were transported to the Connecticut and Philadelphia regions, where they were offered for sale.

While the works have yet to be recovered, the FBI is reaching out to the public for helpful information and a $5 million reward is being offered for the paintings’ safe return. Today at a news conference, federal law enforcement officials announced that they will launch a comprehensive public awareness campaign that will include a dedicated FBI website, video postings on FBI social media sites, digital billboards, and a podcast.

On March 18, 1990 two thieves posing as Boston police officers entered the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum and made off with thirteen works of art valued at $500 million. The stolen masterpieces include Johannes Vermeer’s (1632-1675) The Concert, one of only 34 known works by the artist in the world; three works by Rembrandt (1606-1669) including his only known seascape; five drawings by Edgar Degas (1834-1917); and an ancient Chinese vessel from the Shang Dynasty. The Gardner heist remains the largest private property theft ever.

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Wednesday, 13 March 2013 13:25

Stolen Rembrandt Masterpiece Found in Serbia

Serbian police recovered Rembrandt’s (1606-1669) Portrait of a Father on Tuesday, March 12, 2013, seven years a after it was stolen from the Novi Sad City Museum located in the northern city of Novi Sad. Police arrested four people in connection to the 2006 heist that involved three other paintings including a work by the Flemish Baroque painter Peter Paul Rubens (1577-1640), a 17th century piece by the Italian Baroque painter Francesco Mola (1612-1666), and another painting from the 16th century by an unknown German-Dutch artist.

Rembrandt, one of the greatest painters and printmakers in European art history, painted Portrait of Father in 1630 and it is estimated to be worth around $3.7 million. The painting was stolen 10 years prior to the 2006 robbery, but it was eventually recovered in Spain.

None of the other works involved in the Serbian heist have been found.

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London’s National Gallery announced that they will send three cherished works from their collection on a tour of galleries and museums around the country between 2014 and 2016. Édouard Manet’s (1832-1883) The Execution of Maximilian (circa 1867-8), Canaletto’s (1697-1768) A Regatta on the Grand Canal (circa 1740), and Rembrandt’s (1606-1669) Self Portrait at the Age of 63 will comprise the traveling exhibition titled The Masterpiece Tour (1669).

Officials at the National Gallery hope that The Masterpiece Tour will promote understanding, knowledge, and appreciation of Old Master paintings to a wider audience. Christie’s is assisting the museum with the endeavor and will send one masterpiece on tour per year. Each annual tour will run from January to July and visit three different regional museums, spending approximately six weeks in each venue.

The first painting to go on tour in 2014 will be Manet’s masterpiece depicting Austrian Archduke Ferdinand Maximilian’s deadly capture by Mexican forces. The work was cut up after the artist’s death and the fragments were eventually purchased by Edgar Degas (1834-1917) and reassembled on a single canvas. The painting has been a part of the National Gallery’s collection since 1918.

Canaletto’s painting of the annual carnival regatta in Venice will tour during 2015 and Rembrandt’s self-portrait, which was painted during the final year of the artist’s life, will go on tour in 2016. The poignant work has been on display at the National Gallery since 1851.

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