Seven for seven: From Sitges to the Professor Castiñeiras.

1. Sitges as usual.

The day of conferences (October 20th) hosted by the Museums of Sitges, near Barcelona, and devoted to collectionism, museums and the art market, will as usual mark the rentrée in this corner of the Mediterranean. In a fitting coincidence, one of the speakers, Glòria Domènech, will elaborate on the late Antoni Tàpies as collector, just two weeks after some of the works he treasured will have gone to auction at Christie’s – at the Post-War and Contemporary Art Evening Auction (6 October, London) and the Up Close Sale, (3 October, London), with further works at the Impressionist and Modern sales in February 2018.

2. An Austrian abroad: Max Hollein.

Photo: Fine Arts Museums San Francisco

The FAZ has the ability of making good interviews to German-speaking directors abroad. Max Hollein, the former star of the European museum sector as director of the Frankfurt’s museums, and since last year, director of the Legion of Honor and the M.H.de Young Museum in San Francisco, says:

“European museums are heavily influenced by public cultural policies. There is not state-lead cultural policy in America. The museums are far more influenced by what the Board of Trustees says, not only from the economic point of view”.

3. A German abroad: Eike Schmidt.

All the same for Eike Schmidt, the current director of the Ufizzi: “The Italian bureaucracy is a giant hurdle. I have overcome it successfully many times”, states he in this interview for the FAZ. As it is known, he will leave the Florentine museum for the KHM Vienna in the second half of 2019.

4. Our common friend Leviathan.

Photo: Musées Dijon

The poor owner of Pleurant n. 17  from the tomb of Philippe the Bold (which has been reconstructed in the Musée de Beaux Arts de Dijon), can trace his ownership back to 1813, and has lent the piece to all the relevant exhibitions. Moreover, when he decided to sell it, he approached the tax authorities for a in lieu scheme, and also the museum of Dijon for a fundraising campaign, unsuccessfully. But when he eventually put it to auction, the heroes of Leviathan finally awoke, and he now risks expropriation by the French state on the grounds of a rule of 1804 (the tomb was however dismantled in 1793, articles at La Connaissance des Arts and Bilan).

5. A family matter.

Photo: Die Zeit

ARCA’s blog explains us the family connections behind the robbery of a Big Leaf in the Bode Museum, Berlin. Otherwise, you can find in Die Zeit a video showing three of the detainees, in their way home after the job, taking a walk together into an empty, CCTV surveilled S-Bahn.

6. Böhler? Ask the ZI.

Photo: Museen Bayern

The ZI in Munich has secured funds for research on the Julius Böhler archives (1903-1949), which they acquired in 2015. They are however looking for more suport for the digitization of all the material. Böhler was one of the most important German Old Masters dealers of the first half of the 20th century, closely related with the Royal museus an collections in Berlin and Munich. He was also active with American Museums – the MFA Boston bought him this fine Saint Francis by Francisco de Zurbarán.

7. A man with a mission.

Photo: Círculo Rojo

Professor Manuel A. Castiñeiras carries on in his effort to put the Hispanic Romanesque art in its right international context. In his new book you will find articles by the many specialists form home and abroad attracted by him in his seminars and courses, at the Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona and elsewhere (Manuel A. Castiñeiras, ed.: Entre la letra y el pincel: El artista medieval. Leyenda, identidad y estatus, Círculo Rojo, 2017, 420 p.; ISBN: 978-8491603368).

Seven for seven: From Monaco to Iraq.

1. Morgan the judge.

In the case brought in Monaco against him by his former client Dimitry Rybolovlev, over commissions as his advisor, Swiss “King of the Freeports” Yves Bouvier has been feeling the benefits of a having judge, Morgan  Raymond, asking the Russian magnate the right questions (article at Bilan, via artnet). Morgan came in some months ago, after the previously assigned judge asked for a low-key transfer to the Réunion Island (see Le Temps).

2. Fred the art historian.

Photo: www.fredgmeijer.com.

We read at CODART’s news service Dr. Fred G. Meijer, an specialist in Dutch Golden Age painting, has left the RKD, where he was the point of reference in his role as Senior Curator, and has set up shop by himself (at www.fredgmeijer.com). He offers attribution services, excluding any valuation, on a set hourly fee, plus lectures, essays and collection cataloguing.

3. Manuel the director.

Photo: Il Giornale dell’Arte.

The opening of the magical “Louvre of the Sands” in Abu Dabhi is scheduled for November 11th. Il Giornale dell’Arte offers you an exclusive interview with his director, Manuel Rabaté.

4. See you in Berlin…

Photo: Gemäldegalerie.

…to see Jean Fouquet’s Von Melun’s Diptych surviving panels reunited, along others works of the master and his contemporaries, at the exhibition in the Gemäldegalerie, until January, 7th, 2018.

5. And in Florence afterwards…

Photo: Biennale de l’Antiquariato

… at the 30th Biennale de l’Antiquariato (from September 29th to October 7th), the first one after the changes in Italian rules for the export of cultural goods. This changes were partly based on the conclusions of a symposium hold by the Biennale’s organization in March this year.

6. Or even in New York …

Photo: Cover of the Lindau Gospels, The Morgan Library.

… to see Magnificient Gems: Medieval Treasure Bindings at The Morgan Library,  a small exhibition of their extraordinary holdings on jeweled Medieval bindings (plus their Beatus from San Salvador de Tábara, Castille). But if you cannot visit it, you don’t need to worry, because the Morgan has a put online generous selection of its collection, with thousands of images and fine commentaries.

7. ARCA’s blog.

For me, one of the best blogs in heritage and heritage protection is the one published by ARCA (Association for Research into Crimes Against Art). Their last post is about an Iraqi Jewish Archive to be returned by the US authorities to the Iraqi ones next year. It teaches you about what to do when papers and books have been hit by water: freeze them.

Seven for seven: From Valldoreix to your clients.

1. In good hands.

Photo: www.cataloniasacra.cat

The last issue of RESCAT the biannual bulletin of the CRMB, Catalonia’s Institute for Restauration in Valldoreix (Barcelona), includes many examples of the good work the institute is doing with important works of art owned by the Church – among them 31 pieces of jewellery currently in the Museu Diocesà de la Seu d’Urgell or the Mare de Déu del Patrocini in Cardona (photo). You will find also find an interview with Father Jesús Tarragona Bay, a key figure in heritage protection in Lleida.

2. Grandeur.

Photo: Gallerie Kugel

If you are a Biennale-goer (September 11-17), most probably you are also a Kugel-goer, and next week you will be enjoying their Classical sculptures and Old Masters paintings exhibition, in the new six rooms extension of their grandiose gallery in the Hôtel Collot, at Quai Anatole (article at the Antiques Trade Gazzette, paying).

3. Tefaf NY Fall.

Photo: Jaime Eguiguren

The American leg of TEFAF has posted its list of exhibitors, and photos of some of the works on offer – like this recently attributed Madonna and Child by Musical Angels by the Maestro of Belmonte (146 x 121 cm), at Jaime Eguiguren’s. The doors of the Park Avenue  Armory, New York, will open on October 27th, for just 6 days.

4. The rise of the online catalogue raisonée.

Photo: WIP

The Wildenstein Platter Institute is following the trend and has plans to put online not only the vast Wildenstein archive, but also the catalogues raisonées of Edouard ManetBerthe Morisot, and Claude Monet. The WPI is a partnership between the Wildenstein Institute and Hasso Platter, the co- founder of the tech giant SAP SE and the man behind, among other things, the successful Museum Barberini  in Postdam. Now the obvious advantages of the online catalogue are more and more clear, is good to remember the pioneers, like the Fundació Dalí in Figueres, breaking ground since 2004.

5. Miró introduces Dalí to Breton.

Photo: Ajuntament de Girona.

The City Council of Girona has put online the archives of the fabled Galeries Dalmau in Barcelona, given by the heirs of art critic Rafael Santos Torroella following Girona’s purchase of his art collection.  You will find there this letter of introduction for Salvador Dalí, written by Joan Miró to André Breton in March 20th, 1920, and also the  catalogue with prices of Miró’s first solo exhibition, of just two years before.

6. “Museums are still about their collections, and about striving for a higher experience”

Artnet offered a two-installments interview (here and here) with Philippe de Montebello, on the place of museums in our societies, and his plans to revive the Hispanic Society in New York.

7. Sure you know all that.

In this article in Artnet you will find some basic advice you can always give to someone new to the Old Masters field. I will only add the great joy of discovering, buying and researching a good piece.

Seven for seven: From Florence to Lisbon.

1. Bold.

In its coming auction, Pandolfini has decided to be open about a difficult issue: auctioning to an international audience important works that are already banned, or in risk to be banned, for export, because of public heritage regulations. They  will devote them a specific section, with a refined title: Opere di Eccezionale Intresse Storico-Artistico. No more nasty surprises, then.

2. New rules in Italy.

Pandolfini initiative is related to the rules for the export of artworks in Italy. We read in Il Giornale dell’ Arte the Italian senate has approved the reform of the Codice dei Beni Culturali, softening Italian’s strict export rules for private cultural goods in two points. They now give free export to (a) all works not older than 70 years (before was 50 years), provided they have not been classified as of cultural importance; and (b) to works older than 70 years with a value up to  € 13,500 (the statement declaring the value being provided by the vendor).

3. Museummaker.

In the FAZ, Ulrich Raulff publishes an obituary for Martin Roth, the former director of the Dresden Museums and the V&A in London. He finds a name for him, “museummaker”, and notes that (in my own free translation):

“Roth was a fundraising genius, and took no shame in it, because he knew very well what kind of fuel needs the most important motor for success in a museum. This motor is called research”.

Otherwise, in artnet you will find a review of his last book, Widerrede, published posthumously

4. Next stop, Barcelona?

Photo: Ajuntament de Barcelona

If everything goes as planned, Barcelona will have a new large exhibition hall (6350 sqm) that should help it attract the international blockbuster art shows still rare in the city. According to a surprise announcement of an agreement  (to be signed in September)  between the ICUB, the city house’s body responsible for culture matters, and Fira Barcelona, the one responsible for commercial shows: after a year of reforms to be started in October, the second will allow the first to use of the Pabelló de Victoria Eugenia in Montjuic. The only problem is that this building was wanted by the nearby sitting Museu Nacional d’Art de Catalunya for expansion. Will see.

5.  A proposal.

Photo: Alma Mater Museum, Zaragoza

Let’s contribute with our own ideas for exhibitions in this brand new space. My first one could have for title “Gold for God. Medieval silversmithing in the Catalan-Aragonese Crown”,  borrowing from collections in cathedrals (like Zaragoza, Barcelona, Girona, Valencia), museums (Victoria and Albert, Musee de Cluny, Metropolitan), and private collections. The setting could be as elegant as in this room in Zaragoza’s cathedral museum, called Alma Mater Museum.

6. A second proposal.

Plan of the current Fira’s pavillions

In any case the agreement for the exhibition hall establishes the principle of more space for art in Montjuic. But I find it a bit too shy: I would rather see a whole plan for all the area, bringing together the museums already there, the university faculties and research centres relevant to the field, the official art restoration centre, the public art library and even the public cultural authorities – and the big exhibition hall, of course. In fact, this is the idea behind the Humboldt Forum in the original Museumsinsel, in Berlin – although back there the Berliners are still asking themselves whether form and function, that is, the somehow rebuild Prussian imperial palace and a colletion in part inhereted from colonialism, are a really good pairing; see director Neil McGregor trying to answer the question in this interview in Zeitonline, and this one in the FAZ (paying).

7. Otherwise, we’ll have always Lisboa.

 MNAC vs. MNAC.

Seven for seven: From Barcelona to Bilbao.

1. Back to work.

I am reviewing these notes, which I wrote some days ago for this week’s post, after six days of extraordinary events in my city and my country. One of the attacks’ objectives was to break up our way of life, and it would be too easy to pretend nothing has changed.  But, even if they have hit hard, some good is coming out of it, thanks to the stubborn and generous efforts of so many. We are healing the wound, and perhaps these notes, which are business as usual, are not out of place.

2. MNAC’s list.

I just realized an interesting fact. In 2009 the Museu Nacional d’Art de Catalunya celebrated its 75th anniversary with an exhibition called Guests of Honour, bringing into the museum a group of fine works the museum wished were in its collection. For most of them this was just impossible, since they were already in other museums. For others, still in private hands, there was still hope, and in fact, today two of them are hanging in its walls: The Darcawi Holy Man of Marrakesh, a watercolour by Josep Tapiró acquired in 2013, and Pere Serra’s Crucifixion of Sant Peter (c. 1400, tempera on wood), which was part of the Gallardo donation of 2015.

 3. Fidel Aguilar (1894-1917).

Fidel Aguilar, Head, 1916

One of the works in the MNAC’s exhibition was this Head by Fidel Aguilar of 1916, now in a private collection. It has been exhibited again, until two weeks ago, in the retrospective, short (Aguilar died with only 22 years) but very comprehensive, in the Casa Pastor of Girona (A Shooting Star: Fidel Aguilar (1894-1917). Its fine catalogue is by Eva Vàzquez and Jordi Falgàs. In both the central essay of the book and the central room of the exhibition they draw parallels between the works of Aguilar and his friend Enric Casanova, on the basis of their common influence by Archaic Greece’s sculpture – they were following the trend set by Aristides Maillol some years (as seen in the Maillol and Greece exhibition in the Museu Marés in Barcelona last year).

4. Enric Casanovas (1882-1948).

Enric Casanovas, Eros (1911)

After Aguilar’s, perhaps it is time for a Casanovas’s retrospective – the last one was in 1984 in Barcelona, with Teresa Camps as its curator and writer of its catalogue. In 2008, Susanna Portell presented Enric Casanovas: escultor i amic, (“Enric Casanovas, and sculptor and a friend”) in the Fontana d’Or in Girona, which focused in his relationships with other artists. More recently, both Camps and Portell edited Les cartes de l’escultor Enric Casanovas (“The Letters of Enric  Casanovas, Sculptor”, Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona, 2015).

5. Pere Jou (1891-1964).

Photo: Viena Editors

A member of Aguilar’s and Casanova’s generation, Pere Jou has also received his share of research recently. Last year, Ignasi Domènech published his PhD dissertation, which is a biography and catalogue raisonné of his work:  L’escultor Pere Jou, 1981-1964. Forma i matèria,  (“The Sculptor Pere Jou, 1891-1964. Form and matter”, 2016, 334 pàgs; the original of the dissertation here.

6. Freedom works.

Photo: Galleria Borghese

The reform of the Italian museums introduced two years ago, which gave them more autonomy and new directors (some of them foreigners), continues to deliver. Minister Franceschini proudly announced a global increase of 7% in visitors for the first half of 2017, reaching a record 50 million – Il Giornale de l’Arte features the case of the Galleria Borghese, which introduced a new ticketing system. Furthermore, Franceschini’s policy of allowing hiring non Italian directors has been recently uphold by the State Council, the highest administrative court in Italy, in the case over the Colosseum’s administration brought by the Major of Rome (more at Il Fatto Quotidiano).

7.The Zugaza’s factor. 

Photo: Deia

Miguel Zugaza is performing as his best in his second round as director of the Museo de Bellas Artes in Bilbao. Their current exhibition, of the excellent collection of Alicia Koplowitz (until October 23th) is an enlarged version of the one showed in the Jacquemart-André in Paris. His is also talking about an expansion of the museum (article at El País).

Seven for seven: From Los Angeles to Vic

1. Getty’s grand catch.

Photo: Sotheby’s

The Getty has announced its biggest acquistion of drawings ever, a group of 16 works by Michelangelo, Andrea del Sarto, Parmigianino, Beccafumi, Rubens, Barocci, G. D. Tiepolo, Degas and others. They include Goya’s The Eagle Hunter, sold at Sotheby’s in 2010 for GBP 881,250. All of them come from the same Britisch colletion, from which the Getty can still make further pruchases. Articles in The New York TimesLos Angeles Times; a press release with the complete list of the works at Getty’s website; and images and name-gessing in The Art Newspaper.

2. The Delgado Collection.

Las Provincias first and Ars Magazine after, report on the 5 years loan of 32 works from the Delgado Collection to the Museu de Belles Arts, Valencia. The artists represetned include Velázquez, Cajés, Meléndez, Murillo, but also Ramsay. They are showing them until October 29th, with a catalogue by the art historian José Gómez Frechina,  who was key in managing the loan, and David Gimillo Sanz, a curator in the museum.

3. Restoring the Valencian Van Dyck.

Photo: MBA Valencia

At the web of the same Museu de Belles Arts de València you will find the videos documenting, step by step, the ongoing restoration of their Van Dyck’s Portrait of Francesc de Montcada.

4. Face to face at the National Portrait Gallery.

Photo: NPG

The NPG London ins hosting an attractive exhibition of Renaissance and Baroque portrait drawings from British collections, with fine sheets by Holbein, Rembrandt, Leonardo, and others. Reviews are enthusiastic, like this one by Alastair Sooke in The Telegraph. The Encounter, NPG London, until October 22nd.

5. And in 2020, Morosov.

If, despite some faults in its installation, you enjoyed the grand exhibition of the Collection Schukin in the Fondation Louis Vuitton, here is your next appointment. They announced that in autumn 2020 they will show the Collection Morosov, two brothers from his same circle. This entertaining biography of Shukin gives some insights on their social and professional relationships: Natalia Semenova and André Delocque: Chtchoukine. Le patron de l’art modern, ed. La Collection Chtchoukine, Paris, 2016; 400 p. The Art Newspaper remembers us of Pierre Konowaloff, an active descendant of the Morosovs.

6. Béton box.

Photo: Musée de Cluny

This is how the entry to the Musée de Cluny, Paris, will look like, once the building work is finished – by the end of this year, if it goes as planned. For the full renovation project, named Cluny 4, see the feature at museum’s website.

7. See you in 125 years from now?

Photo: MEV

The blog Mev125 (in Catalan) is closing. It has been open for a year at the excellent website of the Museu Episcopal de Vic, to celebrate its 125th anniversary. Its 40 posts have set an example on how to give relevant information in a clear, reliable, enjoyable way. We have learnt about the museum’s history, the works it houses, and the people behind it – among them, Dr. Eudald Junyent (1901-1978), who gave up a promising career in Rome for it. They will keep all the content uploaded.

Seven for seven: From Paris to Petrella Tifernina.

1. Beyond one’s own walls.

Photo: Musée Picasso, Paris

The July newsletter from the Musee Picasso, Paris, shows the first fruits of the Picasso-Mediterranée project  (programme here) and makes the unusual move to inform not only about the activities of the Musee, but also of the many others museums in France and Spain related with involved in the project. The grand project, led by the Parisian museum, will run from now until December 2019 and will include some 45 exhibtiions – at the three Picasso museums in Paris, Barcelona and Malaga, the Reina Sofia in Madrid, the Scuderia in Rome, Capodimonte in Naples, Musée Rigaud in Perpignan (already showing Picasso Perpignan. Le cercle de l’ntime 1953-1955, until November 5th), Musée Fabre in Montpellier and many others.

2. Michel Hilaire.

Photo: Wikipedia

At La Tribune de l’Art you will find an interview with Michel Hilaire, director of the Musée Fabre of Montpellier. He explains how he turned it in to one of the most interesting and active in France.

3. A couple of centuries old, and fit.

The celebration’s programme for Museo del Prado 200th anniversary, planned for 2019, adds some specific proposals (like two exhibitions on the museum’s history) to an already ambitious Masterplan for 2017-2020. This includes three new catalogues on the museum’s holdings of Velázquez, Giordano and Teniers; exhibitions of star artists (Velázquez again, plus Rembrandt, Goya, Fra Angelico, Brueghel); among many other activities.

4. Hear the lawyer.

Lawyer Leila Amineddoleh explains in artnet news why the US government was right in pursuing the Hooby Lobby’s looted art case not as a criminal one, but as a civil one. Anyway, we learn from npr that there has been arrests in the Isarel’s side of the story .

5. Too cheap?

Photo: Wikimedia

In this note by Reuters and this one by Art Law and More, I finally found the raisoning behind which an appeal judge, in California, agreed to reopen a case that seemed closed for good. The fact that Baron Thyseen first and the Spanish State from him, bought the Pissarro (Rue Saint-Honoré, Après-midi, Effet de Pluie, 1897) at a price below the market price, undermines now his good faith. But perhaps we should treat differently the first purchase, of a single painting, from the second, of an entire collection for a wholesale price? Will see.

6. Autumn’s reading.

Photo: Wikipedia

Harvey Miller is about to publish Cut in Alabaster: a Material of Sculpture (320 ps, €125), in which Kim Woods discusses, among other European examples, the Doncel of Sigüenza (above) and some Iberian retables.

7. Not always an Ecce Homo.

 

Foto: AnsaThis year’s summer popular restauration story differs greatly from 2012 Ecce Homo of Borgia’s disaster. The Giornale dell’Arte reports about the nice restauration, paid by the inhabitants of the small Italian village of Petrella Tifernina (Campobasso, Molise), of their local Christ: what looked as a popular pastiche was in fact hiding a fine 15th-16th century wooden figure. More information at ANSA.

Seven for seven: From Bilbao to where your luck will take you.

1. Paret, at a discount.

Photo: MBA Bilbao

The Museo de Bellas de Bilbao is exhibiting the first acquisition of Miguel Zuzaga as his new director: an exquisite copper by Luis Paret y Alcázar (Madrid 1746-1799), The Harbour of Bermeo (60 x 83,5 cm). It was bought in at the sale of its former collection at Christie’s, on December 7h, 2016. The estimate then was GBP 1,200,000 – 1,800,000; the selling price now has been €900,000, according to EFE’s note. The museum has posted a commentary on the work.

2. Torino wins.

Photo: Il Giornale dell’ Arte

Already home of one of the best Egyptian museums of Europe, and also of the fine Galleria Sabauda, Torino, Italy, has announced it has won the long term loan of extraordinary and very private collection of the late Francesco Cerrutti. It plans to open to the public in January 2019 in its Castello di Rivolo, according to Il Giornale dell’Arte and artnet news. The renowed collection is a careful selection of 300 paintings and sculptures from Medieval to Contemporary, plus 200 rare books and 300 items of fine furniture, which, according to its director Carolyn Christov-Bakargiev, will make the Castello “the first contemporary art museum in the world to incorporate an encyclopedic historic art collection”. At The Art Newspaper you will find a portrait of Cerrutti and the announcement of a conference about him for 2018.

3. Sacharoff heads north.

Photo: Museu d’Art de Girona

Georgia-born refugee Olga Sacharoff (1889-1967) will have her 50th death anniversary celebrated with a retrospective (“Olga Sacharoff. Pintura, poesia, emancipació”) at the Museu d’Art de Girona, opening on November 25th (Elina Norandi is its curator). A good occasion to rediscover her, after her previous retrospective in la Pedrera, Barcelona, in 1994 (catalogue here). Other activities of this Year Sacharoff will be held in Barcelona, where she lived with his husband, the photographer and painter Otto Lloyd, from 1940 until her death.

4. Rosa Maria Malet, segona part?

Photo: El Punt Avui

Rosa Maria Malet is retiring as Director of the Fundació Miró, Barcelona, after 37 years of distinguished service. She gave a long interviewsto Avui,  El País and Ara (in Catalan). But perhaps these are not the last words we hear from her in public: “I would perhaps have an opinion and think about different options”, she answered when asked whether she would like to be further involved in culture public matters. The deadline for candidates to her post is July 21st (requirements here).

5. Fortuny revisited.

Photo: Museo del Prado

The Prado will host a generous retrospective of the works of Marià Fortuny (1838-1874), from November 21st 2017 to March 18st,  2018. “This will be an exceptional and unrepeatable exhibition as in addition to examples of his paintings, watercolours, drawings and prints it will include items from Fortuny’s exquisite collection of antiquities and works of art which he housed in his studio”, reads the announcement. It will include his copy of Ribera’s Saint Andrew sold to the museum by truly yours.

6. The French director inside you.

Photo: Connaissance des Arts

For sure you have always dreamed about directing a big French museum: : Connaisance des Arts offers you a test to finally discover which one.

7. In the meantime.

If you have more modest dreams, however, you can still aply for directorships at Palais Galliera- Musée de la Mode, Paris (until September 15th), Musées de la Ville de Béziers (until August, 31st) or Musée de la Ville de Challon (until September, 15th). All the details in museesemplois.worpress.com.

 

Seven for seven: From Sijena to Washington.

1. Italy, capital Sijena.

Photo: Stuker

Among this season’s sleepers, this powerful Adoration of the Magi (155,5 x 130,5 cm) stands out. It came as “Italian School, 16th century” at Stuker Bern last June, 20th. It rocketed from a modest CHF 5,000 estimate to a CHF 130,000 result and can safely be assigned to the Aragonese Master of Sijena, probably for the main retable in the monastery of the same town – his Nativity from the same retable now at the Prado measures 171,5 x 130,5 cm, a difference of 16 cm that may be explained by some trimming on the bottom of the piece.

2. Sunnier days for Venusti?

Photo: Christie’s

At Christie’s last Old Masters Day Sale (July 7th), this fine Deposition attributed to Marcello Venusti (?1512/1515 – 1579) rose from an estimate of GBP 20,000 to a final price of GBP 115,000 (including buyer’s premium). It is a record for an artist who, as the title of the forthcoming catalogue by Dr Francesca Parrilla points out, has yet to come out from his friend Michelangelo’s long shadow (Marcello Venusti, un pittore all’ombra di Michelangelo, ed. Campisano, Rome). For a good report on the best results of the rest of the Old Masters sales, see this article at The Telegraph.

3. Already here.

Photo: Yale

Quite ahead from the opening day, the catalog for the upcoming exhibition “Murillo. The Self-portraits” in the Frick Collection, NY (30.10.2017-10.02.2018) and then in the National Gallery, London (28.02.2018 – 21.05.2018) is already on sale – edited by Xavier F. Salomon, Chief Curator at the Frick, and Letizia Treves, curator of later Italian, Spanish, and French 17th-century paintings at the National Gallery.

4. Rigaud reopens.

Photo: L’Indépendant

After a 9M€ refurbishment, the Musée Rigaud reopened last May. Didier Rikner dislikes the result.  Anyway, you will still find there the great Retable of the Trinity, by the anonymous Master of the Llotja de Mar de Perpinyà, and also some new loans of works by Aristides Maillol from the Foundation Dina Vierny.

5. Challenging Nonell.

Photo: NCWAW

In this interesting article in Nineteenth Century Art Worldwide, Illinois University PhD student Maria A. Dorofeeva explores the reasons behind the negative contemporary reaction to Isidre Nonell’s exhibition in 1903, at the all-conservative Sala Pares, Barcelona: the gipsy, destitute women portrayed in his  paintings challenged stablished and reassuring conventions about them.

6. It’s a hospital… are the new NATO’s headquarters …. no, it’s a museum!

The new but not opened Museo de Colecciones Reales (Madrid) has been bestowed with the FAD Architecture Award 2017. Not my taste.

7. Alternatives.

Photo: Artsy

Artsy has a nice piece about fine new buildings for art – among them, David Adjaye’s strong and elegant National Museum of African American Art, Wahington.