Showing posts from June, 2019

A Spectacular Pissarro that Escaped Theft by the Nazis

Sotheby's Impressionist & Modern Art Evening sale on 19 Junefeatures a magnificent workby Pissarro that narrowly escaped theft by the Nazis.

Pissarro's series paintings of Paris in the late 1890s are amongst the supreme achievements of Impressionism, taking their place alongside Claude Monet’s series of Rouen Cathedral, poplars and grain stacks and the later waterlilies.


This painting has a dramatic story. Formerly owned by Alfred Sommerguth, a Jewish businessman who built his fortune through his leadership of the German tobacco conglomerate Loeser & Wolff, it nearly fell victim to the Nazi theft of Jewish property carried out during the late 1930s. While many of the works in the Sommerguths’ extensive art collection were looted by the Nazis, Alfred and his wife Gertrud managed to ship 22 of their best paintings, including this one, to Switzerland, where they were loaned to the Sturz…


Over the course of his long career, Pierre-Auguste Renoir (French, 1841–1919) continually turned to the human figure for artistic inspiration.

The body—particularly the nude—was the defining subject of Renoir’s practice, from his days as a student copying the old masters in the Musée du Louvre to the early twentieth century, when his revolutionary style of painting inspired the masters of modernism. In recognition of the centenary of Renoir’s death, the Clark Art Institute and the Kimbell Art Museum present Renoir: The Body, The Senses. This exhibition is the first major exploration of Renoir’s unceasing interest in the human form, and it reconsiders Renoir as a constantly evolving artist whose style moved from Realism into luminous Impressionism and culminated in the modern classicism of his last decades. Co-organized by Esther Bell, Robert and Martha Berman Lipp Chief Curator at the Clark, and George T. M. Shackelford, Deputy Director at the Kimbell, the exhibition will be on view a…

Leonardo da Vinci expert declines to back Salvator Mundi as his painting

Dr Carmen Bambach believes the polymath likely only did small retouchings to the work.

The Salvator Mundi on display at Christie’s auction rooms in London. Photograph: Kirsty Wigglesworth/AP

One of the world’s leading experts on Leonardo da Vinci has criticised Christie’s auction house for wrongly suggesting in its cataloguing of the Salvator Mundi that she was among scholars who had attributed the picture to the Renaissance master. Dr Carmen Bambach, who is a curator at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, told the Guardian: “That is not representative of my opinion.” In 2008, she had been among scholars invited by the National Gallery in London to view the painting. In 2017, Christie’s New York sold it for a record-breaking $450m (£356m), having listed her in its cataloguing as among scholars whose “study and examination of the painting … resulted in a broad consensus that the Salvator Mundi was painted by Leonardo”. But, in her forthcoming four-volume study of the polymath – a …