The Art Inquirer is your source of news for the artist and the Art appreciator
Established in 2008

Saturday, October 30, 2010

"Claude Monet 1840-1926" at the Grand Palais

Claude Monet is one of the most celebrated leader exponents of Impressionism and his work is one of most recognized by art lovers and public in general.

For more than sixty years he painted landscapes, still lifes and the figure.
Among is famous works are Belle-Île, Étreta, Femme à l'ombrelle and Impression Soleil Levant.

In 1890, Monet acquired his now famous property at Giverny where he painted his large format Water Lilies series.

Organised by the Réunion des Musées Nationaux and the Musée D'Orsay, and bringing together 200 paintings featuring exclusive loans from countries all over the world including Australia, Brazil, Russia, The Netherlands and USA, the "Claude Monet 1840-1926" exhibition is the first monograph devoted to the artist since the major retrospective in 1980.

Running from September 22, 2010 through January 24, 2011 in the National Galleries (Galeries Nationales) of the Grand Palais, it can be visited during the following schedule:

Opening every day from 10:00 am to 10:00 pm, until 2:00 pm on Tuesdays and 8:00 pm on Thursdays. During holidays (from October 23 to November 7 and from December 18 to January 2), opening every day from 9:00 am to 11:00 pm (included Tuesdays). Closing at 6 pm on December 24 and 31. Closed on December 25.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Nearly 130 Fake Paintings Seized in Portugal

Through its branch of Lisboa e Vale do Tejo, the portuguese Judiciary Police (Polícia Judiciária) prehended near 130 presumable fake paintings.

Under the name of "Caverna do Tesouro" (Treasure Cave), the operation resulted in the apprehension of works from famous artists such as Chagall, Kandinsky, Matisse, Miro, Modigliani, Monet, Picasso, Vieira da Silva, and even Leonardo da Vinci, among others.
Also found were several supposedly forged certificates of authenticity intended to corroborate the origin of the paintings.

The paintings were found during a house search in the whereabouts of Lisbon (in Cascais, according to sources) and were in possession of a foreign female citizen.

This is the biggest apprehension of counterfeit paintings in Portugal and one of the major ones in Europe, sustaining the belief that Portugal is part of the international route of fake paintings.
Further investigation is being conducted in order to trace the several parts involded in this criminal activity.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Gian Bernini - The Art and Life of a Sculptor (Final Episode)

This serial of nine episodes about the life and art of the famous italian sculptor Gian Lorenzo Bernini arrives at its end.
Since its start in April, the readers of this blog had the opportunity to follow the story of one of the greatest sculptors of all time.
The previous episode can be watched here.

With the first episode about Caravaggio in December 2009, The Art Inquirer started the project of presenting several series about the art and life of famous artists, thanks to the wonderful work produced by the BBC in The Power of Art.

Soon this art blog will start another series of episodes about another famous artist.

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Cincinnati Art Museum: "Thomas Gainsborough and the Modern Woman"

Christened on the 14th of May 1727 in Sudbury, Suffolk, England, Sir Thomas Gainsborough was noted for his informal portraits and for his naturalistic landscapes. His paintings were characteristically based on his observations, rather than following formal academic rules.

He died of cancer on 2 August 1788 at the age of 61 and is interred at St. Anne's Church, Kew, Surrey (located on Kew Green). He is buried next to Francis Bauer, the famous botanical illustrator.

Some of his most famous works are: Two Daughters with a Cat (c. 1759); Sunset (1760); The Artist`s Daughters, Molly and Peggy (1760); Lady in Blue (c. 1770)

Coinciding with the restoration of the oil portrait of Ann Ford (Mrs. Thickness) and organized by Benedict Leca, Curator of European Painting, Sculpture and Drawings for the Cincinnati Art Museum, the exhibition "Thomas Gainsborough and the Modern Woman" takes place between September 18, 2010 and January 2, 2011.
Composed of 16 paintings, the exhibition reflects the concepts of modernity and femininity in Georgian England from the perspective of Thomas Gainsborough's portraits of women. Also included is a selection of dresses from the epoch.

The exhibition will then travel to the San Diego Museum of Art, where it will be shown from January 29, 2011 through May 01, 2011.
"Mrs. Ann Ford" Oil on Canvas, 1760
Cincinnati Art Museum, Bequest of Mary M. Emery

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Fundação Eugénio de Almeida: “A Magia de M.C. Escher”

Born in Leeuwarden (The Netherlands) on June 17, 1898, Maurits Cornelis Escher, nicknamed "Mauk", was the youngest son of civil engineer George Arnold Escher and his second wife, Sara Gleichman.

Escher attented primary and secondary school in the city of Arnhem until 1918 and in 1919 he went to the Haarlem School of Architecture and Decorative Arts, where he studied until 1922 under Samuel Jessurun de Mesquita, gaining experience in drawing and woodcuts.

Due to his health condition, his grades since early age were generally poor, although he excelled at drawing.
In the year of 1922, Escher traveled to Italy and Spain and in the same year he completed his first artistic work, featuring eight human heads divided in different planes. Later around 1924, after returning to Italy, he met Jetta Umiker, whom he married and had a son called Giorgio Arnaldo Escher, named after his grandfather.

After losing interest in "regular division" of planes, he turned to sketching landscapes in Italy with irregular perspectives that are impossible in natural form.

Landscape, nature and even some insect studies completed during his early years, would be used on later works, such as Waterfall and Puddle (a woodcut where the trees are the same that he used on Pineta of Calvi completed in 1932)

The artist moved to Switzerland in 1931, drawing 62 of the total of 137 Regular Division Drawings he would complete in his lifetime. Two years later he travels to Belgium where in 1937 makes his first print of an impossible reality entitled Still Life and Street.

Finally moves to The Netherlands in 1941, where he lived until 1970 in the city of Baarn, where he completed most of his famous works and wrote his first paper, now publicly recognized, called Regular Division of the Plane with Asymmetric Congruent Polygons.

Escher moved to the Rosa Spier house in Laren in 1970, a retirement home for artists where he had his own studio. He died at home on the 27th of March 1972, at age 73.

During his lifetime, M. C. Escher made 448 lithographs, woodcuts and wood engravings, over 2000 drawings and sketches, as well as illustrating books and designing murals, tapestries and postage stamps.

Among his famous works are: Ascending and Descending; Drawing Hands; Relativity; Sky and Water

Like some of his famous predecessors, - Michelangelo, Leonardo da Vinci, Dürer and Holbein-, M.C. Escher was left-handed.

Now for the first time in Portugal and after showing the works of Francis Bacon, the Fundação Eugénio de Almeida (Eugénio de Almeida Foundation) in Évora, presents the exibition "A Magia de M. C. Escher" (The Magic of M.C. Escher)

Inaugurated on October 8, 2010 and running until January 30, 2011 (daily between 9h30 and 19h00) at the Fórum Eugénio de Almeida, the exhibition is consisted of near 50 original paintings, including Tower of Babel; Day and Night; Drawing Hands and Relativity.

"A Magia de M. C. Escher" exhibition is curated by Willem Veldhuysen and possible thanks to the loan made by the M.C. Escher Foundation (established by M.C. Escher himself in 1968)

On November 19 (18h00), there will be a conference at the Fórum Eugénio de Almeida with the title "M.C. Escher: Matemático sem o saber" (M. C. Escher: Mathematician without knowing it), presented by Professor Nuno Crato. Admission will be 5 Euro.

With another exhibition of a major artist, the Fundação Eugénio de Almeida continues to give its contribute to make Portugal a cultural destination.

For more information you can contact the Foundation through the following contacts:

Tel: (+351) 266 748 300

Fax: (+351) 266 705 149

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Thomas Lawrence: Regency Power and Brilliance

From 21st of October 2010 to 23rd of January 2011, the National Portrait Gallery, London, UK, will present a retrospective of artworks by Sir Thomas Lawrence (1769–1830) who was President of the Royal Academy and Fellow of the Royal Society.
He is regarded as the greatest British portrait painter of his generation and one of the most remarkable artists in Europe during the early decades of the nineteenth century.

Organized by the National Portrait Gallery in partnership with the Yale Center for British Art, New Haven, and with the support of the Thomas Lawrence Exhibition Supporters Group and the endorsement from Gallery Patrons, the Thomas Lawrence: Regency Power and Brilliance exhibition shows fifty-four works by the artist, including drawings and paintings.

From early works such as the painting of actress Elizabeth Farren to magnificent images created at the pinnacle of his fame, such as Pope Pius II and Earl of Aberdeen, his paintings feature an innovative palette and splendid brushwork evidencing the luxurious Regency period.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Museo Thyssen: Mario Testino. Todo o Nada

Born in the city of Lima, Peru, on October 30, 1954, Mario Testino was the eldest of seven children born to an Italian father and an Irish mother.
He attended the Universidad del Pacifico, the Pontificia Universidad Catolica del Peru and the University of San Diego.
After completing his studies, Testino arrived in London in 1976 to pursue a career in photography, city to where he moved permanently after 1982.

Testino has shot fashion stories for Gucci, Vogue, V, and Vanity Fair.
His Celebrity portraits have most famously included Diana, Princess of Wales and her sons, Prince Nikolaos of Greece, Her Majesty Queen Rania al Abdullah of Jordan, as well as famous actresses such as Cameron Diaz, Emma Watson, Gwyneth Paltrow, Julia Roberts, Kim Basinger, and Catherine Zeta-Jones.
Considered one of the most preeminent celebrity and fashion photographers, Mario Testino has shot sessions with models such as Claudia Schiffer, Gisele Bündchen, Elizabeth Hurley, Kate Moss, and with performers Janet Jackson, Kylie Minogue, Lady Gaga, and Madona.
The photographer has contibuted to the image develpoment of brands such as Burberry, Gucci, Dolce & Gabbana, Estée Lauder, Michael Kors, Valentino, Versace and Zara.
His work has been exhibited in numerous galleries and museums worldwide, including the National Portrait Gallery in London in 2002 and a private view at the Phillips de Pury & Co auction house.
He is the author of books such as Any Objections ?, Front Row-Back Stage, Let me in !, and Kate Moss.

Mario Testino has been honoured for his contributions to many charitable causes and organizations, including The Elton John AIDS Foundation, Life Ball, Aid for Aids, the Naked Heart Foundation, and others. He was the first man to receive the Commitment Award from the charity Women Together in conjuction with the United Nations.

Now the Museo Thyssen-Bornemisza (Madrid) brings to the public fifty four photographs by Mario Testino comprising the subjects of fashion and nude, some of them especially taken for this exhibition.
Sponsored by Lancôme, the exhibition Todo o Nada seeks out for the frontier between fashion photograpy and portraiture, contemplated in the process and implications of removing one's clothes and becoming naked.
The photography of Testino is being shown between the 21st of September, 2010 and the 9th of January, 2011, at the First Basement galleries in the Pallacio de Villahermosa.

Mario Testino is currently represented exclusively by Art Partner.

2010 NASA & Etsy Space Craft Contest

Sponsored by Etsy, Inc. (owner and operator of and by The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) the 2010 Nasa & Etsy Space Craft Contest is open to all registered members of with 18 years of age or older, and who are United States citizens residing in one of the 50 states or the District of Columbia during the period beginning at 12:01 A.M. on October 12, 2010, (the "Contest Start Date") and ending at 11:59:59 P.M. on November 2, 2010 (the "Contest End Date"). All deadlines and time periods found in these Official Rules will be based on United States Eastern Time (read the rules to learn about elegibility exceptions)

Divided in three categories, the contest includes a Grand Prize composed of $500 Etsy shopping spree and a V.I.P. invitation for the winner and one guest to attend an upcoming Space Shuttle Launch attempt at the Kennedy Space Center (KSC) in Florida, which will include tours of NASA KSC facilities and presentations by experts in the space community. Approximate retail value (ARV) of Grand Prize: $2500.00 USD.
Each of the "Best in Category" winner will receive a $250.00 USD Etsy Shopping Spree and a Sponsor gift package of NASA and Etsy merchandise (approximate retail value $500.00 USD). Approximate retail value (ARV) of each of the three Best in Category Prizes is $750.00 USD. The ARV of all of the Prizes to be awarded in the 2010 NASA & Etsy Space Craft Contest totalizes $4,750.00 USD.

Participants can submit their original handmade items or works of art inspired by the NASA Space Shuttle Program and space exploration through web or mail, not forgetting to respect the deadlines and observing the official rules.

Friday, October 15, 2010

16th International Exhibition of Vendas Novas

The 16th edition of the Fine Arts Exhibition of Vendas Novas will open on October 23 (15h00) at the Municipal Auditorium of Vendas Novas (Alentejo, Portugal)

Open to the public until November 21, 2010, the exhibition will show the works of international artists and will include different mediums.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Mini Barter at the Maurice Einhardt Neu Gallery (East London)

Art Barter was launched in London last November 2009 at The Rag Factory and after its successful debut, the second show was held in Berlin during the month of June 2010.

Now, to coincide with Frieze Art Fair, East London’s Maurice Einhardt Neu Gallery will host the first Mini Barter.
Ten artists selected from previous shows and two newcomers will show their works and you'll have just one night and one day to try your luck at bartering for their work.

The Art Barter platform permits visitors to acquirer art through alternative means to money
Those interested in a work of art can make an offer by filling a form that will be displayed on a pin board while the show lasts, eventually creating bidding wars.
At the end of the show the artists will choose which offer, if any, they'll want to exchange for their work.
One of the interesting features of Art Barter is that people don't know which artwork belongs to which artist until after the show’s end, making the public value the art for what it really is.
This event is also a great chance for visitors to get their unique skills recognized and eventually start a partnership with an artist.

Mini Barter at the Maurice Einhardt Neu Gallery (East London) will take place on Friday 15th October 2010 – 6pm – 11pm and Saturday 16th October 2010 – 11am – 9pm, and will include the following artists: Mat Collishaw, Charlotte Dualé, Wolfgang Ganter, Isabelle Graeff, Phoebe Collings-James, Sarah Lederman, Polly Morgan, Boo Saville, Volker Sieben, and Tim Noble & Sue Webster.

The second Mini Barter will take place in Miami, coinciding with the Art Basel Miami Beach (2nd-5th December 2010), while the next major Art Barter show will be held in New York City (9th-12th December 2010) at Envoy Enterprises.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Famous Fakes in the History of Art

Even during recession times, the art business is still an attractive one and although it may receed during worst economic times, soon picks up and new auction records are often broken, just as it happened in 2009 and is happening in 2010.
With this constant demand, art forgers know well about market preferences and have always resorted to available knowledge, techniques and talent to counterfeit the works of famous artists.

Some counterfeits are so good that only recently with new technology they were found out as so.
However some works thought of being from famous old masters, are copies made by their disciples, not with the intent of counterfeiting but as a common training practice, although of course that could happen.

The College Crunch features an interesting article with some useful links to probably the 11 Most Famous Fakes in Art History, including "Christ and the Disciples at Emmaus" attributed to Vermeer; "Kouros" acquired by the Getty Museum, still in exhibition and labeled "Greek, about 530 B.C., or modern forgery"; "Portrait of Alexander Mornauer" attributted to Hans Holbein and other works from famous masters.

The Art Inquirer cannot be held responsible for third party content and links found at other websites or blogs.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Contemporary Art Fair of Amadora 2010

Tomorow, October 8, 2010, the Contemporary Art Fair of Amadora, Portugal (Feira d’Arte Contemporânea da Amadora 2010) will open to the public at 16h00 (official inauguration at 18h00)
Running through October 10, the event will include exhibitions, workshops, panel discussions, lectures, poetry, music and street animation.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

The Museo Nacional del Prado unveils "The Wine of Saint Martin’s Day" by Pieter Bruegel the Elder

Late September the Museo Nacional del Prado (Madrid, Spain) disclosed to the public a painting by the flemish artist Pieter Bruegel the Elder.
With the title "The Wine of Saint Martin's Day" the painting depicts the saint's feast day, the 11th of November, celebrated by eating “Saint Martin’s Goose” and sampling the new wine from the recent grape harvest, events coinciding with the autumn pig-killing.
The Saint Martin's Day would become associated with the free distribution of wine to country people outside city gates.
Despite the presence of Saint Martin dividing his cloak, the subject of the composition is the celebration of Saint Martin’s Day as it took place in Flanders and in the Germanic world during this period, where it had something of the character of a bacchanal and was the prelude to the Winter Carnival, thus not having the usual religious connotation.
The composition is set in late autumn with numerous bare trees and is located outside a city gate, the architectural style of which suggests the Porte de Hal in Brussels.

In the early XVII century and according to descriptions, the painting would be acquired by the Duke Vincenzo II, a patron of Rubens and a connoisseur of flemish painting.
However the first known documented owner was Luis Francisco de la Cerda y Aragón, 9th Duke of Medinaceli (1660-1711), who probably acquired it during the years that he spent in Italy, first as Spanish Ambassador in Rome (1687-1696), then as Viceroy in Naples (1696-1702)14.
The painting was in Spain no later than 1702 if not before. This was the year in which the 9th Duke left his post as Viceroy of Naples and returned to the Madrid court. It has been in the collection of the same family since then.
It is quite probable that the present work is the same one that was to be found during the early 17th century in the Gonzaga collection in Mantua: "Un quadro dipintovi la festa di S. Martino con una quantità di pitochi che bevano ad una botta, opera del Bruol Vecchio, L.36015" [A picture in which is painted the feast of Saint Martin with many poor people drinking from a barrel, a work of Bruegel the Elder, 360 Liras]

Measuring 148cm by 270cm (Bruegel's biggest known work until now) The Wine of Saint Martin's Day is a work on linen of the tuchlein type, painted in glue-size tempera on an unprepared ground.
The original support is made from a fine, regularly woven linen of a pale tone and with a taffeta weave and treated with nothing more than a coat of animal size.

The restoration of the painting began in February, supervised by Elisa Mora from the Museo del Prado and despite the overall wear it's possible to appreciate the brushstrokes characteristic of Pieter Bruegel the Elder.

Aside Quintin Massys and Joachim Patinir, Bruegel is considered the most important flemish painter of the 16th-century and was considered the "new Bosch"
Pieter Bruegel the Elder (also Brueghel or Breughel) was the only one from the same family line of dutch/flemish painters that signed his paintings with Bruegel.
In fact until 1599 he would sign Brueghel, dropping the "h" from there on, and since the painting was completed between 1565 and 1568, it's signed Bruegel.

The work belongs to a private collection, however the Spanish Government is negotiating its purchase.

Friday, October 1, 2010

Gian Bernini - The Art and Life of a Sculptor (Part Eight)

This is the penultimate episode about the art and life of the great italian sculptor Gian Lorenzo Bernini (also spelled Gianlorenzo or Giovanni Lorenzo)

You can watch this series starting from the first episode, or watch the previous one.