What a shaky ground one steps in when it comes to discussing the inevitable yet so uncomfortable questions of the restitution of the works of art.
Wait, why returning something unlawfully taken away in the past could ever be labelled uncomfortable?
Isn’t it a perfect case where “common sense often makes a good law”, like the American jurist and politician William O. Douglas once said?
Perhaps, this bias of lawful/unlawful and appropriate/unethical has all the potential to become one of the most burning issues of the day in the art world.
While general history seems to repeat itself all the time, the course of art evolution is a whole ‘nother story.
Not that I’m saying that no one ever tried to imitate the successful inventions of their predecessors — artists are no different to any one of us here.
It’s that the repetition in art doesn’t make it into history.
That’s why, perhaps, some best art history books don’t get outdated and never lose their value in the eyes of art-loving readers.
You may have read my numerous Art Collecting Guide stories on how to safely buy an Old Master [including examining the painting surface, the frame, and the back of the picture]. Here I follow precisely the steps I covered in those elaborate articles you could use in the art research and discovery process of your own.
I bought this intriguing female portrait by an unknown painter more than three years ago. “England, 19th century” — that’s basically all the details a provincial German auction house has included in the lot information space.
The painting had a rather modest estimate which…
Well, at least to set your foot on this path of enjoying art and learning more about it. Especially in the post-COVID era [are we already post or rather still in though?].
In this article, I won’t go into just simply numbering the commonly known resources like Wikipedia or WikiArt (which is always good to find some initial information and visuals if you know exactly what you are looking for).
Instead, I’d rather show you some resources I use myself — the ones that feed my own art passion and keep me in the loop of that’s going on the…
A little more than half-a-year has passed since the day I launched my experimental Smart Art group on Facebook in early December 2019.
Don’t get me wrong with this tricky word experimental. Back then I simply didn’t know almost anything of how to manage the community or what to do to make it growing, and, most importantly, engaged.
All that I had back then — is a strong and irresistible desire to spread my passion about art and art history and make this part of the international heritage of mankind more accessible to a wider audience of art lovers across…
This is the second part of the Mysterious Portrait series of articles from the Hidden Gem blog where I capture my journey of researching the identity of the sitter of this remarkable portrait by one of the most important French painters of the 18th century Carle van Loo (1705–1765).
In the Part I of this story I challenged the existing suggestion that has been around for centuries and some of my initial ideas on the way to rule out the unlikely candidates that may seem appropriate at first sight.
Read it first if you haven’t and welcome to Part II…
This amazing portrait caught my eye back in 2018. I was looking through my insane art-only Instagram feed and stumbled upon the detailed close-up details of the rich and juicy fabric of the sitter’s nightgown.
Looking forward to finding this piece in a high-resolution somewhere online I searched for the artist’s name and the painting title and found nothing, but the suggestion it was painted by Carle van Loo (1705–1765).
In this two-part series of the Hidden Gem blog articles I’ll try to capture my journey of researching the identity of the sitter of this remarkable portrait and take him…
This post was inspired by a recent sale of the notable The Pohl-Ströher Collection of Portrait Miniatures that happened on Sotheby’s couple of weeks ago.
A skillful self-portrait of not-a-household-name artist was estimated at quite an ambitious sum for this type of art [while portrait miniatures are usually still well under-estimated] — £ 1,200–1,800.
To everyone’s big (and happy) surprise it made a striking £137,500 in spite of a crack from the left side and some initial colour fading! What a record!
This was a miniature self-portrait before her easel by Sarah Biffin (or Biffen), later Mrs Wright, from circa…
This is my second list of Old Master sale highlights this December, this time coming from Christie’s Evening Sale that is about to happen in London, 3 Dec 2019.
See the Part I of this mini-series here.
I would like to share with you my selection of the forthcoming winter sales with my short commentary on side. …
End of the year is a time when we all love to receive gifts and indulge ourselves with some pleasures we treasure. For those in love with art there is always a tradition to look through the forthcoming Old Master weeks at the grand auctions in the sourse of inspiration.
And there are things to look at, no worse than at headliner exhibition shows by the best museums.
As an art collector myself I am always interested to see what’s on. If not to buy, then at least to “train the eye” — to see the best examples of art…