“La Pietà Bandini”


Florence – A marble masterpiece by Michelangelo

Nothing else need be said ………………..

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Belmond reveals its first curated art collection “Inspirations of Ireland”, on board Belmond Grand Hibernian, Ireland’s only luxury sleeper train. The collection provides a unique perspective on the Republic and Northern Ireland’s rich heritage, contemporary culture and dramatic scenery, through a series of evocative artwork celebrating the island’s wealth of creative talent.

Belmond’s art collection is curated by Belfast-born international art consultant Katie Kennedy Perez who has brought together both emerging and prominent artists, selected for their personal and often surprising view of Ireland and its landscapes.

Calling on her decade of experience, connections in the art world and knowledge of the destination, she explains, “It was important that the artworks have a strong sense of place, tell an interesting story and offer the guest an elevated understanding of the destination. I was delighted to be able to source artists from the rich pool of Irish talent that exists and showcase Ireland’s contemporary culture in such a unique way.”

Together, the diverse collection of photographs, oil paintings and water colours aim to enhance the emotional connection between guest, journey and destination. Care has been taken to ensure the artworks help to ‘bring the outside in’ and perfectly complements the train’s interior design inspired by the island’s flora and fauna.

Some works take a magnifying glass to the dramatic scenery that can be seen along route. The series of analogue photographs by Samuel Laurence Cunnane depict unusual plants in extraordinary light and detail that can only be found in his home County of Kerry where the train visits. Amelia Stein’s black and white photographic ‘The Palm House Series’, which took two years to complete, captures exotic vegetation in the Victorian structure of the Glass House in the National Botanical Gardens in Dublin; the city from which the train departs.

Celebrated contemporary Irish artist Mick O’Dea paints landscapes from around his home at Portacloy on the north coast of County Mayo by positioning his easel close to nature as the weather causes the colours to evolve. Guests can experience some of these dramatic ever-changing landscapes as the train passes through County Mayo.

Dorothy Cross transports guests to unexpected places and Ireland’s hidden natural wonders with her striking ‘Wormhole I-VI’ photographic series. Based on a geographical phenomenon that can only be accessed by foot on the island of Inis MÓr, she has photographed a rectangular water basin measuring 10 by 25 metres that is created by natural erosion.

Belfast-born Laurence Riddell’s oil painting Moon Cactus (III), which shows a blurred horse galloping, is inspired by Ireland’s rich and complex relationship and the essential role horses play in Irish rural life.

Gary Franklin, Managing Director Trains & Cruises Belmond says, “It is fitting that our first curated art collection is brought to life on such a skillfully crafted train, operating throughout an island of such outstanding natural beauty. This is the start of an exciting artistic journey for Belmond and our guests.”

Each artist’s work has been assigned to a carriage and is either on the walls of the en-suite cabins or displayed publically in the dining ‘Sligo’ and ‘Wexford’ carriages. The full collection can be viewed in a specially designed ‘Inspirations of Ireland’ booklet as a beautiful guest keepsake.

Belmond Grand Hibernian offers two, four and six-night rail experiences that visit the major destinations of the North and South, including the train’s Dublin base, Belfast and Cork. For more information or to make a reservation contact: 0845 077 2222; reservations.uk@belmond.com or visit belmond.com/grandhibernian

About Belmond:  Belmond is a global collection of exceptional hotel and luxury travel adventures in some of the world’s most inspiring and enriching destinations. Established almost 40 years ago with the acquisition of Belmond Hotel Cipriani in Venice, the Company owns and operates 46 unique and distinctive hotel, rail and river cruise experiences in many of the world’s most celebrated destinations. From city landmarks to intimate resorts, the collection includes Belmond Grand Hotel Europe, St. Petersburg; Belmond Copacabana Palace, Rio de Janeiro; Belmond Maroma Resort & Spa, Riviera Maya; and Belmond El Encanto, Santa Barbara. Belmond also encompasses safaris, six luxury tourist trains including the Venice Simplon-Orient-Express, three river cruises and ‘21’, one of New York’s most storied restaurants. belmond.com

Please note:  We bring you this item with the compliments of  Belmond’s Grand Hibernian, Ireland

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Monet: The Early Years

blogpic_monet_the_early_years Monet: The Early Years will be the first major US exhibition devoted to the initial phase of Claude Monet’s (French, 1840–1926) career. Through approximately sixty paintings, the exhibition demonstrates the radical invention that marked the artist’s development during the formative years of 1858 to 1872. In this period the young painter developed his unique visual language and technique, creating striking works that manifested his interest in painting textures and the interplay of light upon surfaces.

This exhibition is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to experience Monet’s mastery before Impressionism, and includes paintings that are profoundly daring and surprising. Depictions of moments both large and small, with friends and loved ones, in the solitude of forests and fields and in the quiet scenes of everyday, offer new revelations about an artist that many consider to be ubiquitous.

With a selection of works gathered from some of the most important international collections – the Musée d’Orsay in Paris, the National Gallery of Art in Washington D.C., the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York and other public and private collections worldwide – Monet: The Early Years authoritatively demonstrates the artist’s early command of many genres, not only the landscapes for which he has become so renowned but also still lifes, portraits and genre scenes.

This exhibition follows the Legion of Honor’s strong history of showing highly important moments in French Impressionism. By following Monet before Impressionism, visitors can see the emergence of his style and how he helped shape the movement. Monet: The Early Years will be on view at the Legion of Honor in San Francisco from February 25 through May 29, 2017. This is the first of two exhibitions curated by George Shackelford, Deputy Director of the Kimbell Art Museum in Fort Worth, Texas to examine the full artistic career of Claude Monet. The companion exhibition, Monet: The Late Years, will come to San Francisco in 2019. Esther Bell is the curator of both exhibitions for the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco.

This exhibition is organized by the Kimbell Art Museum in collaboration with the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco. Presenting Sponsor: John A. and Cynthia Fry Gunn, San Francisco Auxiliary of the Fine Arts Museums, Diane B. Wilsey. Benefactor’s Circle: Lucinda B. Watson. Patron’s Circle: David A. Wollenberg. Additional support is provided by Carol Nelson and Kathryn Urban, and Marianne H. Peterson.

Dates : February 25, 2017May 29, 2017
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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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