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Retrospective of the Work of Berthe Morisot at the Musée Marmottan Monet, through July 1, 2012

[Press Release, Musée Marmottan Monet, February 2012]  From 8 March to 1 July 2012, the Musée Marmottan presents the first major retrospective of the work of Berthe Morisot (1841-1895) to be held in Paris for almost half a century. One hundred and fifty paintings, pastels, watercolours and drawings in red chalk and charcoal, from museums and … Continue reading

Rare, Perhaps Unique Film Footage of Pierre-Auguste Renoir at his Easel, ca. 1913

I have just come across this extraordinary footage of Pierre-Auguste Renoir at roughly age 72, apparently in the company of his grandson, Claude Renoir.  As is clearly visible, the great master was in the advanced stages of rheumatoid arthritis, and although he could hold a brush, needed someone to place it between his fingers. . Thanks … Continue reading

Rediscovered Masterpieces by Cezanne and de Lempicka to be Auctioned

Reuters reports that a rare, pristine Paul Cezanne watercolor, which has not been seen in public since 1953, is expected to sell for as much as $20 million at Christie’s in May. The late 19th-century work on paper is one of Cezanne’s preparatory studies for his seminal Card Players series of five paintings, “Joueurs des cartes.” Its whereabouts … Continue reading

Vandals and Thieves Using Google Earth to Inflict Egregious Damage on Britain’s Heritage Sites

In its issue of March 19, The Telegraph reports that metal thieves are using Google Earth and other online resources to identify Britain’s historic buildings to plunder. Historically important sites are being irrevocably damaged by criminals who plunder them for “trophies” which cannot be replaced. Mike Harlow, legal director at English Heritage, said he believed … Continue reading

Museum Acquisition Funds: How the Major Players Continue to Grow Their Collections in Lean Times

Cultural journalist Judith H. Dobrzynski recently reported in The New York Times on the shocking state of the acquisition funds of America’s major museums: Although acquiring art is a core mission, private collectors donate 80 to 90 percent of what is on view in American art museums. Fewer than two dozen museums have sizable nest eggs … Continue reading

Artemisia Gentileschi: The Power, Glory and Passions of a Female Painter, The Musée Maillol, March 14 – July 15, 2012

Artemisia: Pouvoir, gloire et passions d’une femme peintre . The paintings of Artemisia Gentileschi (on show at the Musée Maillol from March 14 to July 15) are so expressive you can practically smell the blood and sweat. They also portray women as assertive beings, capable of giving themselves over to both crime and pleasure (often both at the same … Continue reading

Happy 413th Birthday, Sir Anthony van Dyck!

Anthony (Antoon) van Dyck, Antwerp, 22 March 1599 – London, 9 December 1641. [Biographical notes from the website of the National Gallery of Art] Anthony van Dyck, a true genius at portraiture, revealed the aspirations of his sitters. He often flatteringly elongated his subjects and portrayed them sharply from below to enhance their stature. With … Continue reading

New Van Gogh Discovered, and It was There All the Time!

In a letter Vincent van Gogh wrote to his brother Theo in 1886, he describes a work-in-progress depicting two half-nude male wrestlers. No such painting was known to exist — until now. The lost wrestlers have been discovered underneath the painting of a Van Gogh still life acquired in 1974 by the Kröller-Müller Museum in Otterlo, Holland. Thought … Continue reading

Late Billionaire Teddy Forstmann’s Entire Art Collection to be Sold at Sotheby’s in May

The auction house will present the entire collection of the late financier and philanthropist Theodore Forstmann — some 50 items estimated at $75 million — in a series of spring sales. The pieces include a Picasso portrait of Dora Maar valued between $20 and $30 million and a record-setting portrait by Chaïm Soutine (est. $10-15 million). Sotheby’s announced the sale in a press … Continue reading

Auction Prices for Old Art Reach the Stratosphere

In the New York Times Art section of March 16, 2012, Souren Melikian, longtime art editor of The International Herald Tribune, reports on recent auction sales of art by the old masters at prices many times their estimates. He points out that “[t]he factor underlying the phenomenon is the unprecedented popularization of art. As art supplies shrink, … Continue reading

Archaeologists Protest ‘Glamorization’ of Looting on TV

Archaeologists are mounting a campaign against two new cable TV shows that they say encourage and glamorize looting of American archaeological sites. On 20 March, Spike TV will premiere a new show called American Digger, while a show called Diggers on the National Geographic Channel made its debut 28 February. Both shows “promote and glorify the looting and … Continue reading

Happy St. Patrick’s Day! featuring “Jo, La Belle Irlandaise” (Portrait of Jo), by Gustave Courbet

During his three-month stay in Trouville in 1865, Courbet attracted a following as a portraitist among the society women at this fashionable resort on the Normandy coast. He possibly encountered Joanna Hiffernan (born 1842/43), a “beautiful Irishwoman,” through his acquaintance with fellow artist James McNeill Whistler, who was also working in Trouville in 1865. This … Continue reading

Joyeux Anniversaire, Rosa Bonheur!

Rosa Bonheur (March 16, 1822 – May 25, 1899) was a French animalière,  realist artist, and sculptor. As a painter, she became famous primarily for two chief works: Ploughing in the Nivernais (in French: Le labourage nivernais, le sombrage), which was first exhibited at the Salon of 1848, and is now in the Musée d’Orsay in Paris. The painting depicts a team of oxen ploughing a field while attended by … Continue reading

Restored Rubens Masterpiece Goes Back on Public View at The Courtauld Gallery reports: The newly-conserved masterpiece, Cain Slaying Abel, by Sir Peter Paul Rubens went back on public display at The Courtauld Gallery today. The magnificent painting, widely considered to be one of the most important in the Gallery’s world-class collection of works by Rubens, has been restored as part of the Bank of America Art Conservation … Continue reading

Andrea del Sarto’s depiction of Julius Caesar, assassinated on March 15 – the Ides of March – in 44 B.C.

Study for the Head of Julius Caesar Andrea del Sarto (Andrea d’Agnolo)  (Italian, Florence 1486–1530 Florence) © 2000–2012 The Metropolitan Museum of Art. All rights reserved. Related articles Andrea del Sarto Andrea del Sarto – Virtual Uffizi Andrea del Sarto a/k/a Andrea d’Agnolo Browning’s Andrea (

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