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Thursday, 29 October 2015 11:49

Europe Lifts Ban on Cadmium Pigment

The future is bright for artists across Europe after politicians announced October 28, they will not enforce a Europe-wide ban on cadmium pigment. The U-turn came following extensive public consultation with artists and paint-makers, who objected to a palette without the golden yellows, fiery oranges and deep maroons created from cadmium and used by masters such as Monet, Cézanne and Munch since the 1840s.

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  For two decades, Henry W. Bloch, co-founder of H&R Block, and his wife Marion, collected what they described as "pretty pictures" — mostly French Impressionist works by the likes of Degas, Matisse, and Monet. Nearly 30 of these paintings filled the walls of their Mission Hills, Kansas home.

Although these masterworks are not there now — you wouldn't know it by looking.

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“Poussin and God” is one of a three-part series of exhibitions through which the Musée du Louvre is showcasing the art of the seventeenth century. On show at the museum’s Hall Napoléon through June 29, 2015, “Poussin and God” marks the 350th anniversary of the death of Nicolas Poussin in 1665.

According to the Musée du Louvre, although Poussin is the greatest French painter of the seventeenth century and is considered by some as the greatest of all time, he is less well known today than Watteau, Delacroix, Monet, or Cézanne. The Musée du Louvre is aiming to rectify the situation by proposing a fascinating yet accessible entry point to the work of the great French master.

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The IRS taxed a Texas tycoon $40.6 million on the false belief he had taken ownership of a treasure trove of art including works by Picasso, Monet and van Gogh, his widow claims in court. Barbara B. Allbritton sued the United States for herself and the estate of her husband, self-made millionaire Joe L. Allbritton, on Jan. 30 in Federal Court.

Joe Allbritton died in 2012 at 87, ending a life fit for the big screen. After a stint in the Navy during World War II, and graduating from Baylor College of Law, Allbritton took out a $5,000 loan to buy land outside Houston. He made a nice profit selling the land, which was used to build a freeway from Houston to Galveston, and founded San Jacinto Savings and Loan.

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The victim of a devastating art heist that took place last Friday, the Kunsthal Museum in Rotterdam claims their security system is not to blame. The Museum’s director Emily Ansenk shot down allegations that a rear emergency door had been left open. However, police are investigating whether or not there was someone in the museum after hours that could have opened the door for the thieves, as there were no signs of forced entry.

After robbers swiped seven artworks including paintings by Picasso, Matisse, and Monet, the Kunsthal became the subject of intense scrutiny. The Museum admitted to Dutch police that there were no security guards on duty when the robbery occurred. An external security firm was the first to respond when the Museum’s alarm went off. Museum officials claim that their security system, which relies solely on alarms and security cameras, is state-of-the-art.

Late on Friday, police released three grainy surveillance photos of the burglars exiting the Museum out of a back door. While their faces were not visible, police hope that the bags the thieves were carrying are recognizable. Police proceeded to post leaflets around the neighborhood, asking potential witnesses to step forward.

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The men face maximum sentences of 30 years in prison for armed robbery at the end of the week-long trial in Aix-en-Provence. The leader's lawyer claims they were a bunch of bumbling art amateurs talked into the heist by the world's most notorious art detective bent on catching bigger prey.

At lunchtime on August 5, 2007, thieves dressed in blue overalls and ski masks burst into the poorly guarded Musée des Beaux Arts.

Their leader, Pierre Noël-Dumarais, then 60, pointed a Colt 45 at the welcome desk while four accomplices unhooked four paintings from the museum walls and stuffed them into black bin bags. Five minutes later, they made their escape in a blue Peugeot van.

In the boot were two Breughels – Allegory of Water and Allegory of Earth – Alfred Sisley's Avenue of Poplars at Moret and Claude Monet's Cliffs Near Dieppe. While their combined value has been estimated at 22 million euros, their stolen sale price would be no more than three million euros.

The French police had few leads bar DNA from a cigarette butt and a bin bag, but they would soon receive help from across the Atlantic.

Robert K Wittman, then FBI special agent and chief of its Art Crimes Team, first got wind of the paintings while undercover as a shady American dealer moving stolen art for crime syndicates and drug lords. He was told about the works by Miami-based Frenchman Bernard Jean Ternus, with links to Marseille's Brise de Mer Corsican mafia clan.

Now retired, "Bob" Wittman recovered around $300 million-worth of stolen art and objects in his 20-year career, including Geronimo's war bonnet, one of the original 14 copies of the US Bill of Rights, and works by Rembrandt, Rodin and Rockwell.

But the greatest unsolved art crime in history still eluded him, namely the 1990 theft from the Isabella Steward Gardner Museum in Boston of a long-lost Vermeer, two Rembrandts and five sketches by Degas worth around $500 million.

His pulse raced when his plump, shaggy-haired French connection, Mr Ternus, alias "Sunny" boasted that he could get hold of the Vermeer and a Rembrandt.

To "hook" Sunny, Mr Wittman invited him to a party on a Miami yacht, complete with bikini-clad models and staged the sale of five fake masterpieces to a Colombian drugs baron in exchange for gold and diamonds. The entire crew and cast were FBI agents, but Sunny fell for it.

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A former art dealer was arrested Thursday on a federal indictment that alleges he sold paintings stolen from a Los Angeles art gallery as well as forged pieces he claimed were by Monet and other artists.

Matthew Taylor, 43, of Vero Beach, Fla., was arrested without incident by the FBI in Florida

A federal grand jury in Los Angeles indicted Taylor last week on seven felony charges related to art theft and a long-running fraud that targeted a Los Angeles art collector.

The indictment charges Taylor with defrauding the art collector victim out of millions of dollars by selling him forged artworks. Taylor allegedly sold the collector more than 100 paintings -- including works that he falsely claimed were by artists such as Claude Monet, Vincent van Gogh, Jackson Pollock and Mark Rothko -- for a total of more than $2 million, according to prosecutors.

The indictment charges that Taylor altered paintings from unknown artists to make them appear to be the products of famous artists, and then sold the bogus artwork to the victim at higher prices than their actual worth.

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Trinity House Paintings, will unveil Claude Monet’s ‘Waterloo Bridge’ at the private view of their New York gallery opening and inaugural exhibition: ‘From Constable to Cézanne | Inaugural Exhibition by Trinity House Paintings NY’ on October 19, 2011, 6:30-9:00 PM at 24 East 64th Street.

Simon Shore is delighted to be opening the new gallery in New York “with Monet’s pastel sketch of London’s Waterloo Bridge. It has such an interesting place in the story of Impressionist art, but it is also particularly appropriate for our New York opening as an illustration of a London landmark.  The gallery in New York will show case some of our most important works as well as ensuring that Trinity House can provide a more attentive service for our American based clients.”

‘Waterloo Bridge’, executed by Monet in January, 1901 from room 618 on the 6th floor of London’s celebrated Savoy Hotel, the drawing is one of only 26 pastels of the River Thames to survive from this period and the only example currently available on the open market. All other versions are held in museum collections.

Monet arrived in London in January 1901 and stayed (as he always did) at the Savoy.  From this exclusive hotel, he could look right onto Charing Cross Bridge and left to Waterloo Bridge. He intended to paint the Thames in oil on canvas, however, frustratingly for Monet and fortunately for today’s collectors, his paints, brushes and canvases did not arrive. He found himself, unable to work.  In despair he wrote to his wife Alice and complained his luggage was missing and he resorted to working at "many pastels" describing them as being "like exercises" preparing him for the task ahead. A week after his arrival in London his artist’s materials arrived and he conceded that things had gone well; "It is thanks to my promptly made pastels that I saw what I had to do."

The exhibition will feature a selection of important British paintings by John Constable, Sir Edwin Henry Landseer, Alfred Munnings and a work by George Stubbs once owned by the great American art collector, Paul Mellon.  Claude Monet’s view of ‘Waterloo Bridge’ will also be exhibited alongside works by other Impressionist and Post-impressionist artists such as Paul Cézanne, Jean-Baptiste-Camille Corot and Eugène Boudin.

An important work that was to be included in this inaugural exhibition is “Préparation en dedans”, a charcoal on paper drawing by Edgar Degas (1834-1917) which at the request of the Royal Academy has gone on loan to be included in heir autumn blockbuster show, Degas and the Ballet; Picturing Movement (17 September-11 December 2011).

Guests invited to the opening of Trinity House Paintings New York gallery based at 24 East 64th Street will be treated to a quintessentially British affair, with valets sporting bowler hats and Savile Row tailoring and waiters plying them with English fare. If the weather holds true to British expectations, there will even be elegant union jack umbrellas at hand for the journey home.

Following on from their successful move to the heart of Mayfair Maddox Street, London in 2010, Trinity House Paintings has and will continue to exhibit at the world’s top art fairs, including Masterpiece in London, International Fine Art Fair New York and the American International Fine Art Fair Palm Beach.

The gallery will be open from September 15 -16, 2011 leading up to their inaugural exhibition ‘From Constable to Cézanne | Inaugural Exhibition by Trinity House Paintings NY’, private view October 19, 2011 6:30-9pm.

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The Philadelphia Museum of Art has acquired three important French Impressionist paintings by Claude Monet, Camille Pissarro, and Alfred Sisley, and a pastel by Mary Cassatt, the Pennsylvania native and American expatriate who became famously associated with Paris during the late 19th century. All of the works are gifts from Chara C. and the late John Haas, longtime supporters of the Museum. They include Path on the Island of Saint Martin, Vétheuil (1881) by Claude Monet (French, 1840-1926); Apple Tree in the Meadow, Éragny (1893) by Camille Pissaro (French, 1830-1903); Mooring Lines, the Effect of Snow at Saint Cloud (1879) by Alfred Sisley (French, 1839-1899); and Madame Bérard’s Baby in a Striped Armchair (1880-81) by Mary Cassatt (American, 1844-1926). The Monet and the Pissarro have now been placed on view in gallery 152, while the Sisley hangs in gallery 157 and Cassatt’s pastel can be seen in gallery 162.

“With these remarkable gifts, John and Chara Haas have greatly enriched the Museum’s collections,” said Timothy Rub, The George D. Widener Director and CEO, “adding strength to the Museum’s extensive holdings of Impressionist art and enabling us to present a more complete picture of these artists’ remarkable achievements. We are deeply grateful to John and Chara Haas, who now join the many great collectors whose gifts have made the Philadelphia Museum of Art a major destination for art enthusiasts from around the world.”

“We are delighted to have these four works, which expand and enhance our rich Impressionist holdings with a radiant landscape by Monet created during the years he spent in Vétheuil in the late 1870s and early 1880s, a period that has not been represented in our collection, a remarkably fresh and beautifully painted winter scene by Sisley, a handsome landscape that Pissarro painted at his home in Éragny, and a charming pastel portrait of the young Lucie Bérard by Mary Cassatt,” said Joseph Rishel, The Gisela and Dennis Alter Senior Curator of European Painting before 1900, and Senior Curator of the John G. Johnson Collection and the Rodin Museum.

Monet’s Path on the Island of Saint Martin, Vétheuil (1881)is a colorful view of the fields near the village of Vétheuil on the north bank of the Seine, where Monet moved with his family in 1879. During the summer of 1881, Monet painted lush views of the town from the island of Saint Martin as his pictorial style evolved from the blunt, broad strokes of the 1870s to the delicate, rhythmic brushwork of Path on the Island of Saint Martin. This is the first work from Monet’s Vétheuil period to come into the Museum’s collection, and its presence will enable visitors to understand the development of the artist’s work during this important time in his career.

Apple Tree in the Meadow, Éragny (1893) captures the fields and gardens around Camille Pissarro’s (French, 1830-1903) home in Éragny, a small village about 90 miles northwest of Paris. This focused study joins four other views of the Pissarro home in the Museum’s collection from earlier years. A view of the meadow adjacent to Pissarro’s house (the brick building visible on the left), it is marked by the strongly-patterned brush and palette knife work common in the artist’s paintings of the 1890s and clearly demonstrates the influence that the work of the Post-Impressionist painter Georges Seurat (French, 1859-1891) had on Pissarro’s work during this period.

Alfred Sisley, an Impressionist landscape painter well represented in the Museum’s collection, painted Mooring Lines, the Effect of Snow at Saint Cloud (1879) while living to the west of Paris. Of particular note is Sisley’s dramatic treatment of the winter view in which the snowy river bank is animated by the mooring lines that secure an unseen barge to the bank of the river. Sisley was widely admired for his skillful renderings of winter scenes. Here the sky and the fugitive effects of light and weather are depicted here in nuanced tones of white and blue.

Mary Cassatt achieved remarkable success as a woman working in a field almost entirely dominated by men. Several of her sensitive portraits depicting family scenes and her nieces and nephews are in the collection at the Museum, including Portrait of Alexander J. Cassatt and His Son, Robert Kelso Cassatt (1884) and A Woman and a Girl Driving (1881). Madame Bérard’s Baby in a Striped Armchair, a portrait of 9-month-old Lucie seated on a vibrant blue striped chair, demonstrates the artist’s mastery of the pastel medium by the early 1880s. The brilliant use of red and blue in the background offsets the child, who is dressed in a formal white gown. Cassatt’s assured and sensitive handling of her young subject is particularly apparent in the modeling of Lucie’s moving hands.
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Paintings by Renoir, John Singer Sargent and William Merritt Chase that have long been held in private hands will be the centerpieces of a new museum in Santa Barbara.

Basic instructions for the museum were revealed Wednesday in the last will and testament of art collector Huguette Clark, who died at age 104 last month in New York. The daughter of U.S. Senator William A. Clark, she had a 42-room apartment on Fifth Avenue full of art, books and musical instruments at the time of her death.

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