September 29nd, 2012
1. Books: Rush for Bosch!
I just received an email from the publisher Brepols reminding me next September, 30, their introductory offer expires for F. Koreny Bosch. Die Zeichnungen, the 456 pages (451 colour ill.) complete catalogue of the master’s drawings. 100 Euros, instead of 125 Euros: irresistible? Then buy it here now.
2. Putting together Peter’s puzzles.
The lists of works for the exhibition the Frick Collection in New York has just announced, lead to a natural question. Named Piero della Francesca in America (February 12th to May 19th, 2013, catalogue by James Banker, Machtelt Israels, Elena Squillantini and Giacommo Guazzini) it will present Madonna and Child attended by Angels from the Sterling and Francine Clark Art Institute, alongside with the different panels of his Sant Agostino’ altarpiece now in New York and Washington. But it will also show an additional panel from the other side of the Atlantic: Saint Augustine from the Museu Nacional de Arte Antiga, Lisbon. “Why?” – I asked in my email to Heidi Rosenau , Frick’s Head of Media Relations. She promptly provided me with the answer from guest curator Nathaniel Silver:
“The title of the exhibition, Piero della Francesca in America, signifies the fact that this is the first exhibition of his work in the United States. Significantly, all of the paintings were made for the artist’s native city so the exhibition is about Piero working in his hometown. While the vast majority of paintings in the exhibition are in American collections and this theme introduces the exhibition catalogue, it is not the show’s primary theme. The magnificent painting from Lisbon was, however, discovered partly as a result of Miss Frick’s acquisition of St. John the Evangelist. In 1947, Kenneth Clark attributed the Lisbon St. Augustine to Piero for the first time, a discovery catalyzed by the recently published Frick acquisition.”
Then, the exhibition will perhaps be the first step to see, one day, all the surviving panels from the altarpiece at one place – this time, the Saint Michael in the National Gallery, and Saint Nicholas Tolentino in Museo Poldi Pezzoli, Milan, stayed home.
3. Your man in Paris.
And there attending last night of the Biennale des Antiquaires at Grand Palais, last day of Richter’s exhibition in the Pompidou, and second public day in the new Islamic Arts wing in the Louvre. I could write a long post on all of that, but what really caught my attention this time were the not so new salles n .18 and n. 1 of the infinite museum – that is Ruben’s 1621 – 1622 clever cycle for Maria de Medici’s self-celebratory hall in Palais du Luxembourg, and the extraordinary Byzantine (Barberini Ivory, first half of the 6th century) and Caroligian ivories (The Earthy Paradise, c. 870-875.) you find on your way to the Baroque feast. What make a great museum grand are these permanent, sometimes unexpected lessons.
4. When did it all start? (2).
Last week’s note dealing with the pioneering relationship between Pelegrí Clavé and German Nazarenes in Rome around 1845, prompted an interesting comment from Dr. Francesc Miralpeix, from the University of Girona. This is it:
“The connection of 19th century Catalan artists with their European colleagues can be pushed some years back. I will propose the generation of Solà, Campeny, and especially the little known, yet very interesting Francesc Lacome. I suspect they were the link with the Romantics and the Nazarenes”.
Here you have a nice subject for your thesis. Anyway, what strikes me from Pelegrí Calvé is his willingness to surpass the Nazarene model in its own field, and his decision to embark on an international career (in Mexico) after his Roman years. In this sense, I would say he was a forerunner of the great star of the following generation, Marià Fortuny (1838-1974) – a truly European phenomenon.
5. A bold choice.
The “guess-who’s-coming-to-dinner” way, by which top posts in Barcelona’s museums are provided, has struck gold over these last months. If Dr. Pilar Vélez (Barcelona 1957) was an excellent choice as director of DHUB (which will hold the city collections of decorative arts, dress, industrial design and graphic arts) in May, now filling her previous post as director of Museu Marès with Josep Maria Trullén (Barcelona 1954), deliver good news again. Mr Trullén is a good friend of mine, which is totally irrelevant, especially when taking into consideration his brilliant job of first transforming the Museu of Solsona, then the Museu of Vic into regional powerhouses that involved up to three different public bodies, plus the Church. His years as director of the Museu d’Art de Girona was not that successful, but we can be sure he will now show this was not his fault, by no means. But who will take the crown in Girona? Stay tuned!
6. Another good reason for transferring to Italy.
Just in case you wonder about spending a long time in Italy, let me give you another good reason for the move. This upscale bocetto (Glory of Saints, oil on canvas, 92 x 136 cm) by Corrado Guiaquinto (1703-1766) has been denied an export licence, so it cannot travel outside the country. It will be auctioned, therefore, by Antonina in the Italian capital on October 2nd, with the ridiculous estimate of 12,000 / 15,000 Euros. Why not buy it, and doubly enjoy your stay in the land that produces such kind of wonders?
7. Work in a Royal Palace, Central London.
My alma mater is looking for a marketing “s/he” – political correctness can be so creative! Working in Somerset House selling world-class exhibitions and art-history courses, might perhaps lure you? At £59,715-£66,923 pa you will better paid than the President of Spain (the increasingly busy man gets only €78,000, according to the new budget). Details in The Art Newspaper.