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“I have painted the Seine throughout my life, at every hour, at every season,” Claude Monet once said. “I have never tired of it: for me the Seine is always new.” In October 2014, the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, will present Monet and the Seine: Impressions of a River, an exhibition that chronicles Monet’s abiding fascination with the iconic French waterway. A selection of 52 paintings by the Impressionist painter will be displayed, beginning with scenes of leisure activities, modern life and cityscapes along the Seine River and culminating in the ethereal works from the famous Mornings on the Seine series (1896–97). Monet and the Seine will be on view at the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, from October 26, 2014, to February 1, 2015.

Monet and the Seine: Impressions of a River has been co-curated by Helga Aurisch, curator of European Art, the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, and Tanya Paul, Isabel and Alfred Bader Curator of European Art, Milwaukee Art Museum, to examine Monet’s attachment to the Seine by tracing his life along the river, both chronologically and geographically.

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Thursday, 29 May 2014 11:31

Getty Acquires Pastel by Édouard Manet

The J. Paul Getty Museum announced today the acquisition of Portrait of Julien de la Rochenoire (1882), a pastel by Édouard Manet (1832–1883), one of the greatest late 19th-century French artists. This is the first pastel by Manet to enter the Getty Museum’s collection.

“Manet’s pastels are striking for their virtuoso technique, displaying all of the spontaneity and deftness one finds in his best paintings,” says Timothy Potts, director of the J. Paul Getty Museum. “While the Getty owns two of Manet’s celebrated paintings, this pastel—made informally for a friend—is a particularly intimate and personal work, offering the perfect complement to our other holdings of this great artist’s work.”

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The ‘forgotten’ son of the late artist Lucian Freud has launched a legal battle to claim a share of his late father’s multi-million pound fortune.

A secret trust fund set up by the painter will be examined in the High Court after Paul Freud, 55, cast doubt on its legality.

Freud, one of the greatest painters of his generation whose subjects included the Queen and Kate Moss, left a fortune of £95.9m when he died in 2011 at the age of 88.

In his will he ordered that his assistant, David Dawson, should be left £2.5m, as well as his west London home.

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If you've ever wanted to wallpaper your living room with the work of the old masters, now's your chance. The Metropolitan Museum of Art this month released an astounding 394,000 high-resolution images to the public. Visitors to the Met’s website can sort images by artist, medium, location, and era, and freely download images that are generally at least 10 megapixels in size.

The Met’s collection is one of the most extensive in the world, with more than 500 Picassos available for download, along with dozens of paintings from Monet, Van Gogh, and Degas. Aside from European painters, the collection also includes photographs of Aztec stonework, Greek sculpture, and Chinese calligraphy. Looking for an image of a 200-year old spittoon from India? It's yours.

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No one saw the depraved underbelly of post-war Weimar-era Germany as surely as Otto Dix.

His famous triptych Metropolis set dismembered veterans alongside bourgeois revellers and femme fatales.

A year later, in 1928, came the dehumanised, androgynous Portrait Of The Journalist Sylvia von Harden, a masterpiece currently held in Paris.

But it is a series of 50 prints titled Der Krieg (The War), made ten years after the beginning of the First World War, whose unerring focus is pertinent as the world commemorates the centenary of the start of machine-led, industrial-scale killing.

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The collection of American art at the Shelburne Museum tells the story of a new country finding its way through the 1700s and the 1880s. The 540 paintings help illustrate the history of a nation growing through westward expansion. The artwork, with its images of country stores and horse-drawn carriages, also begins to explain the Shelburne Museum itself, which was founded by Electra Havemeyer Webb in 1947.

"(The paintings) were kind of animating the museum for visitors," according to the museum's director, Tom Denenberg. "Without a doubt, the museum is already fixed in her head when she's buying these (paintings) in the late 1950s."

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In 17th-century France, Charles Le Brun was as hot as any artist could be. He created work for the Cathedral of Notre-Dame in Paris, for the Galerie d’Apollon in the Louvre, for Hôtel Lambert on Île St. Louis, for the Château de Vaux-le-Vicomte and for much of Versailles. Louis XIV declared him “the greatest French artist of all time.” Whatever he produced made an impact.

Now, after a nail-biting three months for officials at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, Le Brun’s presence will make a difference there, too.

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Works by Edgar Degas and Mary Cassatt usually reside in separate French and American wings of an art museum, and rarely ever do their paintings hang together.

Now the National Gallery of Art is studying how these impressionists influenced each other while working in Paris and how Cassatt introduced Degas to American audiences. A new show “Degas/Cassatt” opens Sunday as the first major exhibition to explore their relationship.

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German Nazi-era art hoarder Cornelius Gurlitt, who died on Tuesday, has made the Bern Art Museum in Switzerland his "sole heir".

The reclusive son of Adolf Hitler's art dealer is estimated to have amassed a collection worth up to a billion euros.

The museum said the news struck "like a bolt from the blue", given that it had had no relationship with Mr Gurlitt.

The collection was the subject of a long legal dispute over works that may have been taken illegally by the Nazis.

Published in News
Thursday, 08 May 2014 09:15

Postwar Painter Maria Lassnig has Died

Austrian artist Maria Lassnig, whose brushy, psychologically tense, sometimes darkly comic paintings affected generations of artists over the course of her 70-plus-year career, died today at a hospital in Vienna. She was 94. Her death was confirmed by one of her galleries, Hauser and Wirth, and has been reported in the European press. She has no immediate survivors.

Lone figures typically occupy Ms. Lassnig’s paintings, often partially disfigured or abstracted and in the midst of all kinds of unspeakable mental and emotional trauma. Many are chilling, fleshy self-portraits. In one a plastic bag covers her head, in another she holds a gun up to her temple. A survey of them now on view at MoMA PS1 shows that, though tastes changed, her core devotion to her unflinching practice did not.

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