In the final post from this weeks wrapup of everything OM in 2009 so far, OMNP takes a look at some of the interesting developments over the past several months.
Outside of market news, the UK National Gallery’s purchase of Titian’s “Diana and Acteon” has been most noteworthy. The allegorical masterpiece had been a part of the museum’s collection for years, on loan from the Duke of Sutherland. In what became a patriotic campaign, the nation raised enough money to retain the work at a generously discounted price, keeping the work from possibly leaving its borders on the open market.
Other major acquisitions this year have been the Kimbell Museum’s purchase of what is being slated as Michelangelo’s first painting, and little-known painter Pierre Subleyra’s excellent portrait of Pope Benedict XIV, by the Metropolitan Museum of Art.
Thefts of Old Masters in Europe continue to be commonplace, as some of the smaller, less protected museums continue to be victimized.
The discovery of new works by some of the some of most well known Old Masters remains prevalent as well as controversial. In addition to the Kimbell’s Michelangelo work, three works allegedly by Leonardo da Vinci have been found since last Fall. Such scenarios can cause even the most savvy experts to look with their hearts and not their eyes, and have led to dubious speculation.
Disputed works notwithstanding, reports of a new portrait by Rembrandt have come from Antwerp. The work, “Portrait of Pastor Swalmius,” had been originally ascribed to one of his pupils. An extensive cleaning process and verification by the Rembrandt Research Project brought about its current identity and an understandably ecstatic celebration of the curatorial staff at the Royal Museum of Fine Arts in Antwerp.
Another masterpiece that has enjoyed the benefits of restoration has been Jacob Jordaen’s “The Tribute Money”, which was gloriously restored and exhibited by the Statens Museum for Kunst in Copenhagen. Perhaps the revelation of such an outstanding work by Jordaens will build to the growing momentum of interest for minor masters..stay tuned.