Showing posts from September, 2015

High-stakes art world

This is bad news for people who spend millions on art
In the high-stakes art world, a fear of lawsuits is putting a muzzle on authenticators.
“Art is about life and the art world is about money,” Damien Hirst famously said. And with the European Fine Art Foundation estimating $57.3 billion in global art sales last year, his observation has never rung more true. But as art prices soar, ensuring the authenticity of one’s artwork (read: its value) is becoming an increasingly muddled and costly affair. Four years ago, the Andy Warhol Foundation dissolved its authentication board, the official arbiter holding sway over which works are certified as those of the artist’s and those that are not. Embroiled in a series of lawsuits after rejecting the validity of questionable pieces, Red Self-Portrait (1965) among them, the board decided it could no longer bear the financial toll of continuously defending itself against disgruntled collectors, even though they had signed agreements in advance, bi…

teenaged Rembrandt discovered !

Has a long-lost painting by a teenaged Rembrandt been discovered in New Jersey?
The small oil on board sold for $870,000—1,000 times above its high estimate—and is suspected to be part of the artist’s earliest series on the Five Senses, made while he was still a student.
A painting catalogued simply as “Oil on Board, Triple Portrait with Lady Fainting” sold today, 22 September for $870,000 at Nye & Company Auctions in Bloomfield, New Jersey, against an estimate of $500-$800. The sleeper hit (lot 216), is believed to be a long-lost panel by a teenaged Rembrandt.

The 12.5in x 10in panel was described by the auction house as “Continental School, 19thC, appears unsigned”, and potential buyers were advised that the condition included “paint loss, some restoration to paint, wood cracks”. The painting shows an unconscious young woman with a handkerchief (presumably holding smelling salts) held to her nose by an older figure, while a man (perhaps her husband) looks on. 
The painting had been …


The origin of sunglasses dates back to the eighteen century, when the noblewomen and gentlemen of Venice began feeling the need to protect their skin, but also their eyes, from the reflections on the water of the Lagoon. Venetian noblewomen who wanted to protect their skin during the navigation of the city’s canals on board of the typical gondolas would use a sort of hand-held mirror made of green lens (the typical color of the Venetian glass, obtained by a mysterious and unknown material) that were called gondola glasses or vetri di dama. These can be considered as the very first attempt to protect the eyes and skin from the rays of sunshine. But Venetian opticians were also the first in Italy who started producing eyeglasses for men with temple pieces that reached to the ear, holding the lenses on the nose, in the way we still wear them today. This type of male sunglasses was known as Goldoni glasses and even …