Painter Gerrit Dou exhibition in Leiden, the Netherlands


This video about the present exhibition in Leiden, the Netherlands is called Gerrit Dou. The Leiden Collection from New York.

From Museum De Lakenhal in leiden, the Netherlands:

Sunday March 09 2014 till Sunday August 31 2014

Gerrit Dou. The Leiden Collection from New York

The largest collection of works by world-renowned 17th century Leiden painter Gerrit Dou is not to be found in one of the big museums, but in a private collection in New York.

The works by Dou from the exquisite ‘The Leiden Collection’ are on display in The Netherlands for the first time. This exhibition features both the results of recent material-technical research and a unique display of the stunning oeuvre of this painter, full of genre scenes and portraits, and in the typical style of this father of the Leiden Fijnschilders (fine-painters).

This painter is also known as Gerard Dou.

This video shows a preview of the Gerrit Dou exhibition.

Enhanced by Zemanta

Painter Mondriaan’s writings will be published


This video says about itself:

Piet Mondrian – A Journey Through Modern Art.

Music by Philip Glass from “Glassworks” Track 6 – Closing (Instrumental).

Dutch daily NRC writes that all writings by Dutch artist Piet Mondriaan will be published.

Work on this will start tomorrow, with transcription and annotation of 54 letters passed between Mondriaan and United States artist Harry Holtzman.

Mondriaan wrote about 1,500 letters and 125 theoretical writings.

From the NRC article:

Assistant Curator Wietse Coppes, involved in the project as a Mondriaan expert, suspect that the letters will adjust the image of Mondriaan as severe person.

“His letters indeed show his frivolous side. Mondriaan was a good cook and loved vegetarian food, he was a gifted dancer and a big music lover.”

Enhanced by Zemanta

Girl’s painting for grey seal


Lara bringing her painting, photo by Sytske Dijksen

Translated from Ecomare museum and seal rehabilitation center on Texel island, the Netherlands:

Painting for Annie – 06-01-14

Our gray seal Annie received a special gift from the 12-year-old Lara Cordes. Especially for Annie she had made a beautiful painting about a seal on the beach. Lara was with her family on holiday on Texel. After visiting Ecomare they decided to adopt Annie. A few days later she came to bring this painting, together with her aunt and cousin. Thank you Lara! We will find a nice spot for this in Ecomare.

Gray seal Annie

Enhanced by Zemanta

New Van Dyck painting discovery


A hunch by presenter Fiona Bruce leads to the portrait being identified as a genuine Van Dyck

From the BBC:

29 December 2013 Last updated at 09:57 GMT

Antiques Roadshow portrait revealed to be by Anthony Van Dyck

A painting bought for £400 and featured on the BBC’s Antiques Roadshow has been revealed to be a Sir Anthony Van Dyck portrait worth about £400,000.

Father Jamie MacLeod, who runs a retreat house in north Derbyshire, first took the artwork to Newstead Abbey, Nottinghamshire, in 2012.

He said he was now planning to sell the piece by the 17th century Flemish artist to buy new church bells.

The BBC show’s host Fiona Bruce said she was “thrilled” by the revelation.

More was revealed about the painting when Father Jamie took it to filming for another edition of Antiques Roadshow in Cirencester, Gloucestershire in June this year.

The Van Dyck portrait was identified after Ms Bruce, who was making a show about the artist with expert Philip Mould, saw the painting and thought it might be genuine.

Following restoration, the painting was verified by Dr Christopher Brown – one of the world authorities on Van Dyck.

The portrait, originally bought at a Cheshire antiques shop, is the most valuable painting identified in the show’s 36-year history.

Father Jamie, who runs a retreat house in Whaley Bridge, in the Peak District, said: “It’s been an emotional experience and it’s such great news.”

Van Dyck was the leading court painter in England under King Charles I and is regarded as one of the masters of 17th Century art.

The painting is a portrait of a Magistrate of Brussels which is believed to have been completed as part of the artist’s preparation for a 1634 work showing seven magistrates.

Ms Bruce said: “It’s everyone’s dream to spot a hidden masterpiece, I’m thrilled that my hunch paid off, to discover a genuine Van Dyck is incredibly exciting. I’m so pleased for Father Jamie.”

Mr Mould said: “Discoveries of this type are exceptionally rare.

“The painting’s emergence from beneath layers of paint was dramatic. It’s been revealed as a thrilling example of Van Dyck’s skills of direct observation that made him so great a portrait painter.”

A Van Dyck self-portrait that was recently sold to a collector who wants to take it abroad, has become subject to a temporary export ban.

The National Portrait Gallery is trying to raise £12.5m to keep it in the UK.

The portrait will be shown on Antiques Roadshow at 19:00 GMT on BBC One on Sunday.

See also here.

‘Painting invented by cavewomen’


This video from Penn State University in the USA is called “Getting a Grip On Hands” by Dr. Dean Snow.

By A’ndrea Elyse Messer in the USA:

Women leave their handprints on the cave wall

October 15, 2013

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — Plaster handprints from kindergarten, handprint turkeys, handprints outside Grauman’s Chinese Theater in Hollywood — are all part of modern life, but ancient people also left their handprints on rocks and cave walls. Now, a Penn State anthropologist can determine the sex of some of the people who left their prints, and the majority of them were women.

The assumption has been that hand prints, whether stencils — paint blown around the hand — or actual paint-dipped prints, were produced by men because other images on cave walls were often hunting scenes. The smaller handprints were assumed to be adolescent boys.

Dean Snow, emeritus professor of anthropology, came across the work of John Manning, a British biologist who about 10 years ago tried to use the relationships of various hand measurements to determine not only sex, but such things as sexual preference or susceptibility to heart disease. Snow wondered if he could apply this method to the handprints left in cave sites in France and Spain.

“Manning probably went way beyond what the data could infer, but the basic observation that men and women have differing finger ratios was interesting,” said Snow. “I thought here was a neat little one off science problem that can be solved by applications of archaeological science.”

When Snow saw a handprint in a book on Upper Paleolithic art, he realized that the image was female. A quick look at five other images found that two thirds were female.

Unfortunately, most cave art photographs lack size indication, making it difficult to determine relative size and the sex of the artist. Snow visited a number of caves and the few existing images with size indications. He also collected hand images from people with European and Mediterranean ancestry. He published his results in the current issue of American Antiquity.

Snow found he needed a two-step process for the modern hands to successfully differentiate men from women. He first measured the overall size of the hand using five different measurements. This separated the adult male hands from the rest. Snow found that step one was 79 percent successful in determining sex, but adolescent males were classified as female.

Step two compares the ratios of the index finger to the ring finger and the index finger to the pinky to distinguish between adolescent males and females. For the known hands, the success rate, though statistically significant, was only 60 percent. There is too much overlap between males and females in modern populations.

“I thought the fact that we had so much overlap in the modern world would make it impossible to determine the sex of the ancient handprints,” said Snow. “But, old hands all fall at or beyond the extremes of the modern populations. Sexual dimorphism was greater then than it is now.”

Sexual dimorphism implies that males and females differ. Not only were male hands larger, Snow found that development of the fingers, how long they are relative each other, also differs significantly.

The first step in the process showed that only 10 percent of the handprints on cave walls in Spain and France were left by adult males. The second step indicates that 15 percent were placed by adolescent males, leaving 75 percent of the handprints female.

“By just eyeballing, I’m more accurate with the modern hands than the formulas I developed,” said Snow. “There are some variables there that I’m not aware of yet. The algorithms are pretty good, but they could be better.”

Snow also looked at modern American Indian hands and found that the rules and algorithms developed for Europeans did not work. He notes that different populations require separate analysis.

The National Geographic Society funded this research.

Physics Solves Centuries-Old Mystery of Red Paint Darkening: here.

New Leonardo da Vinci discovery?


The painting appears to be a completed, painted version of a pencil sketch drawn by Leonardo da Vinci in Mantua in the Lombardy region of northern Italy in 1499

From the Daily Telegraph in Britain:

Leonardo da Vinci painting lost for centuries found in Swiss bank vault

It was lost for so long that it had assumed mythical status for art historians. Some doubted whether it even existed.

By Nick Squires, Rome

3:32PM BST 04 Oct 2013

But a 500-year-old mystery was apparently solved today after a painting attributed to Leonardo da Vinci was discovered in a Swiss bank vault.

The painting, which depicts Isabella d’Este, a Renaissance noblewoman, was found in a private collection of 400 works kept in a Swiss bank by an Italian family who asked not to be identified.

It appears to be a completed, painted version of a pencil sketch drawn by Leonardo da Vinci in Mantua in the Lombardy region of northern Italy in 1499.

The sketch, the apparent inspiration for the newly found work, hangs in the Louvre Museum in Paris.

For centuries it had been debated whether Leonardo had actually had the time or inclination to develop the sketch into a painted portrait.

After seeing the drawing he produced, the marquesa wrote to the artist, imploring him to produce a full-blown painting.

But shortly afterwards he embarked on one of his largest works, The Battle of Anghiari on the walls of Florence’s town hall, and then, in 1503, started working on the Mona Lisa.

Art historians had long believed he simply ran out of time — or lost interest — in completing the commission for Isabella d’Este.

Now it appears that he did in fact manage to finish the project — perhaps when he encountered the aristocrat, one of the most influential female figures of her day, in Rome in 1514.

Scientific tests suggest that the oil portrait is indeed the work of da Vinci, according to Carlo Pedretti, a professor emeritus of art history and an expert in Leonardo studies at the University of California, Los Angeles.

“There are no doubts that the portrait is the work of Leonardo,” Prof Pedretti, a recognised expert in authenticating disputed works by Da Vinci, told Corriere della Sera newspaper.

“I can immediately recognise Da Vinci’s handiwork, particularly in the woman’s face.”

Tests have shown that the type of pigment in the portrait was the same as that used by Leonardo and that the primer used to treat the canvas on which it was painted corresponds to that employed by the Renaissance genius.

Carbon dating, conducted by a mass spectrometry laboratory at the University of Arizona, has shown that there is a 95 per cent probability that the portrait was painted between 1460 and 1650.

But there needs to be further analysis to determine whether certain elements of the portrait — notably a golden tiara on the noblewoman’s head and a palm leaf held in her hand like a sceptre — were the work of Leonardo or one of his pupils, Prof Pedretti said.

A likely contender would be Gian Giacomo Caprotti, nicknamed Salai, who began working with Leonardo as a child and is believed to have become his lover.

He is believed to have entered Leonardo’s household around 1490, when he was about 10 years old.

Working as the artist’s apprentice for the next 20 years, he acquired the nickname Salai, or Little Devil. He was the subject of several erotic drawings produced by the Renaissance master.

The newly discovered portrait, which measures 24in by 18in, does bear a striking similarity to the Leonardo sketch held by the Louvre — the woman’s posture, her hairstyle and her dress are almost identical, while her enigmatic smile recalls that of the Mona Lisa.

Martin Kemp, professor emeritus of the history of art at Trinity College, Oxford, and one of the world’s foremost experts on da Vinci, said if the find was authenticated it would be worth “tens of millions of pounds” because there are only 15 to 20 genuine da Vinci works in the world.

But he raised doubts about whether the painting was really the work of Leonardo.

The portrait found in Switzerland is painted on canvas, whereas Leonardo favoured wooden boards.

“Canvas was not used by Leonardo or anyone in his production line,” Prof Kemp told The Daily Telegraph. “Although with Leonardo, the one thing I have learnt is never to be surprised.”

There are further doubts – Leonardo gave away his original sketch to the marquesa, so he would not have been able to refer to it later in order to paint a full oil version.

“You can’t rule out the possibility but it seems unlikely,” Prof Kemp said.

It was more likely to have been produced by one of the many artists operating in northern Italy who copied Leonardo’s works.