Art News from Madrid …….


The Museo del Prado is presenting an unpublished work by Velázquez donated to American Friends by William B. Jordan

A Portrait of Philip III, a painting recently attributed to Velázquez, has been donated to the non-profit organisation American Friends of the Prado Museum by William B. Jordan, a leading specialist in Spanish still-life painting.  With this donation American Friends of the Prado Museum is embarking on a direction determined by its mission to support the Museum and work closely with it, and the reception of this masterpiece represents a major event in its first year of existence.  With the intention of reinforcing cultural ties between the United States and Spain through the Museo del Prado and its historic holdings, American Friends is now placing this magnificent work on deposit with the Prado for its display in the context of the permanent collection, contributing to a more complete and detailed understanding of Velázquez’s initial period as a royal portraitist.


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Heilbrunn Timeline of Art History, at The Met


The Weird Sisters (Shakespeare, Mac Beth, Act 1, Scene 3)

Shakespeare and Art,1709-1922

By Constance C. McPhee, Department of Drawings and Prints, The Met

Shakespeare’s preeminence as a dramatist is today unquestioned, but after his death (in 1616), it took time for that reputation to be established. Artists began to engage with the plays only in the early eighteenth century, and first steps were modest—small engraved frontispieces created to embellish new English editions by Nicholas Rowe (1709) and Lewis Theobald (1740). More ambitious images followed when David Garrick took the London stage by storm in the 1740s—his bravura acting as Richard III and King Lear stimulating paintings by William Hogarth (32.35(238) and Benjamin Wilson (17.3.911). As manager of the Drury Lane Theatre between 1749 and 1777, Garrick helped turn the Bard into a national obsession, a status confirmed by the Shakespeare Jubilee in 1769. That three-day celebration at Stratford-upon-Avon centered on the unveiling of a new statue and declamation of an ode by Garrick—both painted by Robert Edge Pine, who exhibited his work in London in 1782 together with six additional Shakespearean subjects, all subsequently engraved (53.600.449053.600.4488).

We bring you this item with the compliments of The Metropolitan Museum, New York.  This link will take you to the full news release.

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Albert Besnard, his works from the Belle Époque on view…..


The Petit Palais and the Palais Lumière d’Evian are pleased to introduce this retrospective dedicated to Albert Besnard, French painter from the Belle Époque.

Albert Besnard, decorated with an array of honours and positions (Prix de Rome in 1874, Member of the Académie des Beaux-arts in 1912, Director of the Villa Médicis from 1913 to 1921, admitted to the Académie Française in 1924, Director of the Ecole des Beaux-arts from 1922 to 1932, the Grand-Croix de la Légion d’Honneur in 1926), was the first painter to whom the government granted the honour of a State funeral, well before Georges Braque. However, in the context of the 20th century which first celebrated the misunderstood genius, this multitude of honours can distort the artist’s posthumous reputation by quickly categorizing him as a bleak academic. Yet this is far from the case, and it is his relative modernity that made him worthy of honour in his time, for the boldness of his colours and his rich inspiration. Nearly a century after his death, the time has come to reconsider Albert Besnard’s work itself. Famous for his grand decoration work (École de Pharmacie, Hôtel de Ville, the Chemistry amphitheatre of the Sorbonne, the dome of the Petit Palais, the ceiling of la Comédie Française etc.), Besnard dazzled his contemporaries with his “dazzling enchantment”. He was a relatively late symbolist, a champion of the curvy silhouette of the 1900s woman, and was also an audacious and sought-after portrait painter. Still today we are immediately enchanted by the work produced by this adept pastel artist and unsettling engraver. After Evian’s Palais Lumière, the Petit Palais offers visitors the opportunity to reconsider the remarkable journey of this artist, from Paris to Rome, with stops in London and on the banks of the Ganges.


Chantal Beauvalot, Doctor in the History of Art;
Stéphanie Cantarutti, Curator at the Petit Palais;
Christine Gouzi, Lecturer at the University of Paris-Sorbonne;
Christophe Leribault, Director of Petit Palais;
William Saadé, Honorary Head Curator, mission head for the City of Evian.

Dear Reader, we bring you this special item of interest with the compliments of the Petit Palais in Paris.  This link will take you to further information….

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Am I Rembrandt?


London:  Explore how curators and conservators work together to investigate a painting’s authorship. X-ray and technical analysis of two paintings by Rembrandt – A Young Man, perhaps the Artist’s Son Titus, and the National Trust’s recently re-attributed Self-portrait wearing a White Feathered Bonnet – will demonstrate how stylistically different works can be attributed to the same artist.   November 8, 2016 – March 5,2017

Dear Reader: We bring you this item with the compliments of London’s Dulwich Picture Gallery.  This link is your key to further information …..

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At the Uffizi Florence …. The resurgence of colour over line

The dichotomy in the title of the show refers to the traditional opposition of the Tuscan figurative school, based on drawing, to the Venetian school focused instead on colour. This historiographical division is attributed to Vasari but has an older origin. In the Florentine bottega, drawing had always been considered a fundamental exercise, an authentic preparation for apprentices and a necessary preliminary to painting. It was Giorgio Vasari, in his work ‘Le vite’ [Lives of the Most Excellent Painters, Sculptors] who theorized in 1550 the supremacy of the Tuscan school based on drawing, the importance of line with respect to colour and criticised the Venetian painters for using theirrich polychrome technique to mask their limited expertise in drawing.

In proposing a series of exceptionally beautiful drawings, the show categorically contradicts this theory. The drawings of the Venetian school, no longer necessarily considered preparatory studies, are autonomous and represent an unprecedented occasion to better understand, perhaps from a more intimate perspective, the great masters in the exhibition: Giovanni Bellini, Vittore Carpaccio, Titian, Lorenzo Lotto, Jacopo Bassano, Veronese, Tintoretto, Francesco Guardi, Canaletto, Piazzetta and Tiepolo.

The less emphatic importance attributed to line – in the sense of clear contours or pronounced separation of areas – is compensated by a series of extraordinary pictorial effects that seem to cancel the distinction between the two techniques, drawing and painting. The group of eighteenth century drawings, with the chiaroscuro and light effects of Canaletto, Guardi, Piazzetta and Tiepolo are particularly fascinating and extremely modern in the extemporaneous strokes, the vaporous translucency and the synthesis of form.

The Ashmolean Museum is named for Elias Ashmole, whose collection formed the first nucleus of what would become the heart of the museum system of the University of Oxford.

The show is open 8.15 am – 6.00 pm, Tuesdays to Sundays, until 15 January. Closed Mondays.

Dear reader, we bring you this  article by Andrea Giordani with the compliments of the Uffizi Gallery in Florence you may follow this link for further info…….

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A Great time to be in London and…………………at the V&A


Friday 4 Sunday 6 November
Exhibition in partnership with Levi’s® Sound experience by Sennheiser

In celebration of our major autumn exhibition You Say You Want a Revolution? Records and Rebels 1966-1970, join us for a weekend of free music, events and activities inspired by the ‘swinging’ sixties. Kicking off with a one-day international symposium, the weekend is filled with events including a live performance from Beatie Wolf & The Pack, the London premiere of John Lennon’s 1964 book In His Own Write, a pop-up recording studio hosted by Levis®, a Revolutionary Reading Room, as well as a host of family events.

You Say You Want a Revolution? Join us for a festival of peace, love and music

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Berthe Morisot”s Young girl in a low cut dress with a flower in her hair


Berthe Morisot was the only female painter who took part in the first Impressionist exhibition in Nadar’s studio, in 1874. In the same year she married Eugène Manet (1833-1892), Edouard Manet’s brother, who had painted her portrait several times.

During her first exhibition in Nadar’s studio, the young woman exhibited pastel and watercolour works and four paintings which included The Cradle, painted in 1872 (Paris, Musée d’Orsay), which depicts her sister Edma watching her sleeping daughter. After these noteworthy beginnings, Berthe continued to exhibit regularly with the group and built strong friendships with painters and writers with similar artistic interests. Monet and the poet Mallarmé were very close friends of her and her family. Renoir was also a loyal companion, particularly at the end of Berthe Morisot’s life. They sometimes painted together and exchanged themes and ideas.

The painting in the Petit Palais shows the free and vigorous touch and freshness of tone which are characteristic of Impressionist works. Its harmonious pink and green tones are reminiscent of those of Renoir’s bathers. As a work produced in the painter’s later years, it can be viewed as a nostalgic hymn to youth. After the death of Eugène Manet, Berthe increasingly abandoned open-air painting in order to work on figure painting using models, in the studio set up in her new apartment, on Rue Weber, near Bois de Boulogne. Her daughter Julie, who donated Young girl in a low-cut dress to the Petit Palais, often posed for her. Amongst the models who came to the studio were two sisters, Jeanne-Marie, recognisable in other paintings by her red hair, and Marthe, depicted here with a bunch of flowers in her brownhair.

Dear Reader, We bring you this item with the compliments of the Petit Palais in Paris


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How many major airports have a library?


The Airport Library at Amsterdam Airport Schiphol will soon re-open its doors. The library offers travellers an exciting and inspiring way to spend their time before or between flights. There they will find a wide range of Dutch fiction translated into 30 languages, music by Dutch musicians, picture books and I pads full of information offering a reflection of Dutch culture.

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“The Light Dawned” an annual festival in Latvia

blogpic_staro_rigaLatvia – In 2008, the light festival “Staro Rīga” took place for the first time being born in the minds of creative, enthusiastic people who wanted to make the dark and humid November lighter and more joyful for us all.  Each year the festival has a theme, and this year it is “The Light Dawned” – words taken from the song “The Castle of Light” by the Latvian music classic Jazeps Vitols and the poet, national romantic Auseklis.  The theme provides rich options for interpretation by keeping in mind the idea expressed in the popular choir song: the victory of light over darkness. It relates to the fight of the Latvian nation for independence and freedom.

November is not only the darkest and the most humid month of the year, but it is also the month when in 1918 the State of Latvia was established. Thus the lighting of the dark time holds a significant additional dimension: the joy over our country.   There were 40 light projects in the first festival; over the nine years both the local artists and art enthusiasts and foreign masters have been involved in organising the light festival in greater numbers.

The facades of the buildings, small and big bridges, parks and squares are lit. Each year brings us a special surprise; for example, the fountain of the water of light will be remembered by many, as well as the Fairy Tale Forest in the popular Vermanes Garden, the projection on the Monument of Freedom with the musical composition “Three Stars”, the romantic clothlines in the Old Riga, displays in the “Aerodium” wind tunnel, etc.   Even though the festival enters the streets of the city as a special time when you have no wish to go to bed in the evenings and instead wander off for a walk through the old Riga, the festival might be especially magnificent after two years: in November of 2018 we will celebrate the hundredth anniversary of our country.

Editor’s Note:  We bring you this item with the compliments of Latvia, use this link for further info ………

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The Final Days of the Exhibition


To mark the 50 years since the restoration of the Grand Trianon in 1966 by General de Gaulle, the Palace of Versailles is playing host to the exhibition A President in the King’s Palace. This exhibition showcases the Grand Trianon as a Palace of the French Republic during the presidency of General de Gaulle.   The exhibition comprises archive documents, videos and photographs, including some items which belonged to the General.   Come and discover the fully refurbished apartments of the former president, and visit the huge kitchens built in the basement to cater for official receptions for heads of state visiting France.

Please note: We bring you this item of interest with the compliments of  the Palace of Versailles

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