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Displaying items by tag: selfportrait

Friday, 13 December 2013 18:04

The Getty’s Curator of Paintings to Retire

Scott Schaefer, the J. Paul Getty Museum’s Senior Curator of Paintings, will retire on January 21, 2014. Schaefer joined the Getty in 1999 after stints at Sotheby’s, the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston, the Fogg Museum at Harvard University, and the Philadelphia Museum of Art.

Schaefer, who helmed the Getty’s Paintings department for four years, helped the museum acquire a total of 70 paintings and pastels and five sculptures. Among the most important recent acquisitions are the Getty’s first paintings by Paul Gauguin, J.M.W. Turner’s Modern Rome, and a rare self-portrait by Rembrandt.

Timothy Potts, the Getty’s director, said, “Through his acquisitions, Scott has made an impact on every one of the Museum’s paintings galleries and, in particular, transformed our eighteenth-century French collection. We will miss his discerning eye, keen intelligence and above all his unswerving commitment to the Museum.”


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The J. Paul Getty Museum in Los Angeles is exhibiting their newly acquired self-portrait by Rembrandt titled Rembrandt Laughing (circa 1628). The work rounds out the Getty’s collection of early Rembrandts, which is the finest of its kind in the United States.

Rembrandt Laughing 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.

Scott Schaefer, senior curator of paintings at the Getty, said, Painted when Rembrandt was a young, newly independent artist, possibly the third self-portrait of his career, Rembrandt Laughing exemplifies his signature spirited, confident handling of paint and natural ability to convey emotion. It is a measure of the artist’s consummate skill that the dynamism of his pose and the act of laughing translates into a painting of tremendous visual impact, far exceeding its modest dimensions. It is destined to become one of the Getty’s signature paintings.”

Rembrandt Laughing 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).

 

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Monday, 29 July 2013 18:21

Britain Lifts Export Ban on Raphael Drawing

British authorities have lifted the export ban on Raphael’s drawing Head of a Young Apostle. The Old Master work will go to Leon Black, a New York-based billionaire who paid $47.9 million for it at Sotheby’s London in December 2012. The drawing, which was created between 1519 and 1520, was a study for the artist’s revered painting The Transfiguration, which resides in the Vatican’s collection.

The UK’s arts minister Ed Vaizey quickly placed the work under an export ban following the sale, which broke the auction record for a work on paper. The point of the ban was to provide enough time for an interested buyer to raise the money necessary to keep the drawing in the country. The ban expired on July 3, 2013 and was not extended.

Britain has recently employed a number of export bans on culturally significant works. Two pieces, which were purchased by the J. Paul Getty Museum in Los Angeles, are currently being held in the U.K. Officials are waiting to see if any buyers will step forward for a rare 15th century Flemish manuscript titled Roman de Gillion de Trazignes and Rembrandt Laughing, a self-portrait by the Dutch master. The Getty paid $5.8 million and $25 million for the works respectively.

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Back in May 2013, the J. Paul Getty Museum in Los Angeles announced that it had bought Rembrandt Laughing, a 17th century self-portrait by the Dutch master, from the London-based art dealer’s Hazlitt Gooden & Fox. On Tuesday, July 16, 2013, it was revealed that Britain’s culture minister, Ed Vaizey, had delayed approval of the Getty’s application for an export license until October 15, 2013, a tactic usually used to give collectors and museums enough time to collect the funds necessary to keep an artwork in the country.

In 2007, Rembrandt Laughing was put up for sale at a small auction house in England and said to be by a “follower of Rembrandt” even though a number of dealers thought it to be an authentic work by the artist. Eventually, scientific tests and studies by a leading Rembrandt scholar confirmed the attribution, causing the work’s value to skyrocket. In order to keep the painting in England past October 15, a British institution interested in buying the work will need to raise around $25.1 million, the price the Getty has agreed to pay for it.

The Getty has run into trouble exporting works out of Britain in the past. In 1994, the institution was told that they could not have Antonio Canova’s sculpture Three Graces, after raising $12 million and waiting five years.  

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Wednesday, 03 July 2013 13:59

Andy Warhol Foundation Ends Lengthy Legal Battle

The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts has ended a six-year clash with its insurer Philadelphia Indemnity Insurance Company, recovering almost $6.6 million in legal fees. The battle between the foundation and its insurer began over authentication issues and snowballed to include the repayment of related legal fees.

The dispute began in 2007 when art collector Joe Simon-Whelan sued the foundation’s authentication branch for alleged fraud and conspiracy relating to the purchase of his 1965 Andy Warhol self-portrait, which he paid approximately $200,000 for in 1989 and was later deemed inauthentic. Another collector, Susan Shaer, filed a similar suit again the foundation in 2010 bringing the legal fees doled out to nearly $7 million.

According to a statement released by the foundation, “both suits alleged an absurd scheme to manipulate the prices for Andy Warhol’s (1928-1987) artwork yet [they] were forced to dismiss their claims in late 2010…The Foundation’s insurers nevertheless refused to reimburse the Foundation for its legal costs incurred in defending these bogus suits, alleging that the Foundation’s insurance policies did not cover claims of this nature.” The funds have since been repaid by Philadelphia Indemnity and transferred to the foundation’s endowment.

The Andy Warhol Foundation was established in 1987 following the artist’s sudden death. The organization’s mission is to support the creation, presentation and documentation of contemporary visual art.

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Tuesday, 16 April 2013 20:38

Egon Schiele’s Lost Sketchbook Recovered

An unpublished sketchbook belonging to the Austrian painter Egon Schiele (1890-1918) has surfaced from a private collection. Dating back to 1906 when Schiele enrolled at the Vienna Academy of Fine Arts where he was to meet his future mentor, Gustave Klimt (1862-1918), the sketchbook contains over 40 never-before-seen works by the artist. The images will be reproduced later this month in Egon Schiele: The Beginning, the first book to explore the expressionist’s early works.

Schiele was an important figurative painter of the 20th century and many of his works are erotically charged and noted for their raw emotional intensity. Schiele’s early sketchbook includes a self-portrait and various landscapes that illustrate his early predilection for the expressive brush strokes and dramatic lines that are now readily associated with his work.

Egon Schiele: The Beginning will also include sketches Schiele completed in 1905 on an old English dictionary. Only one of the dictionary sketches has been exhibited before.

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To this day, Albrecht Dürer (1471-1528) is widely considered the greatest German artist ever to live. A master of drawings, watercolors, and engravings, Dürer produced the earliest known self-portrait drawing in European art at the age of 13 as well as some of the first stand-alone landscapes. The craftsmanship of his woodcuts was so exceptional that he singlehandedly changed the public’s perception of the medium from commonplace to fine art.

The National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C. is currently hosting the exhibition Albrecht Dürer: Master Drawings, Watercolors, and Prints from the Albertina. The Albertina in Vienna, Austria holds one of the finest and largest collections of Dürer’s work including masterpieces such as The Great Piece of Turf, a watercolor nature study of the Renaissance; the beyond iconic chiaroscuro drawing Praying Hands; and his famous self portrait.

Master Drawings, Watercolors, and Prints from the Albertina presents 91 remarkable works from the Albertina as well as 46 related engravings, woodcuts, drawings, and prints from the National Gallery’s own collection. This exhibition, which is the culmination of decades of acquisition, study, and exhibitions of early German art at the National Gallery, will be on view through June 9, 2013.

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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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On February 19, 2013 the Detroit Institute of Arts (DIA) will present one of Vincent van Gogh’s (1853-1890) most well known paintings, Van Gogh’s Bedroom in Arles, to the public. The work, which is being loaned to the DIA by the Musée D’Orsay in Paris, will be exhibited in the museum’s Dutch galleries along with three other van Gogh paintings owned by the Detroit Institute.

Van Gogh created three nearly identical paintings of his bedroom; the first rendition was completed in 1888 and is currently part of the Van Gogh Museum’s collection in Amsterdam. After the initial work was damaged in a flood, van Gogh made two copies of the painting, one of which is in the Art Institute of Chicago’s collection and the other, which belongs to the Musée D’Orsay.

The additional works to be exhibited alongside Van Gogh’s Bedroom in Arles are The Diggers, an interpretation of Jean-Francois Millet’s (1814-1875) painting by the same name, The Portrait of the Postman Roulin, which was painted in van Gogh’s house in Arles, and Self-Portrait, which was completed just before van Gogh moved to Arles from Paris.

The van Gogh paintings will be on view at the DIA through May 28, 2013.

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Phillips de Pury & Company’s Contemporary art auction took place on November 15 in New York and garnered $79,904,500, a seemingly humble amount compared to the $887.5 million auction powerhouses Sotheby’s and Christie’s collectively raked in just days earlier.

A smaller scale auction house than its counterparts, Phillips de Pury offered 37 works, many of which were by younger emerging artists. Dan Colen, Tauba Auerbach, Rashid Johnson, and Sterling Ruby all hit record prices, but the top lot of the night was Andy Warhol’s portrait of Mao Zedong (1973) that sold for its low estimate of $12 million. Another Warhol portrait, this time of Jacqueline Kennedy from 1964, was being sold by Eli Broad and reached $11 million; it was expected to bring $10 million to $15 million. Jean-Michel Basquiat’s Humidity (1982) sold for $9 million, falling considerably behind its low estimate of $12 million. Another Basquiat, Self-Portrait (1982) fared better and brought $4 million, breaking its high estimate of $3.5 million despite having its authenticity questioned earlier in the day.

The auction total landed in the middle of its pre-sale estimate of $73,620,000-$110,730,000. While the edgier offerings from Phillips continued to sell well, works by more established artists brought less impressive prices. While this could be the result of mediocre quality, it is important to remember that tying up a $1 billion auction week is no easy feat.

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