1. Rediscovered painting of Charles I by Delaroche to be shown at National Gallery:
After the 1941 bombing of the Duke of Sutherland's London residence, Bridgewater House, Paul Delaroche’s Charles I Insulted by Cromwell’s Soldiers, which had extensive shrapnel damage, was rolled up and taken to safety at Mertoun, the duke’s Scottish home (pictured above). The painting was kept in storage for 68 years and thought by its owner to be ruined, before being rediscovered by National Gallery conservators as part of the research for an upcoming exhibition on Delaroche’s work. Painted in 1837 and described by the director of the National Gallery as hugely important, Delaroche’s painting of Charles I will be shown as part of the ‘Painting History: Delaroche and Lady Jane Grey’ exhibition, which is due to open at the National Gallery on 24 February 2010.
2. Google to put treasures of Iraq’s National museum online:
Google CEO Eric Schmidt has announced that the company is currently documenting the collection of Iraq’s National Museum and will post photographs of its ancient treasures online in early 2010. After falling prey to looting in the aftermath of the fall of Saddam Hussein in April 2003, the museum, which houses one of the finest Mesopotamian collections in the world, reopened in February 2009. According to Schmidt, Google has already taken some 14,000 photographs of the museum and its collection. Schmidt hopes that the finished project will provide a useful tool for the study of ancient Mesopotamia, and ‘show that it's possible to do business in Iraq’.
3. Gallery of Late Gothic Art reopens at The Cloisters:
After an extensive five-year renovation, the Late Gothic Hall at the Cloisters – the Metropolitan Museum's holdings of medieval art in north Manhattan – will reopen on 8 December. Highlights of the new installation include a monumental early 16th-century Netherlandish tapestry from Burgos Cathedral, Spain, as well as statues by the renowned German sculptor Tilman Riemenschneider. The work in the Late Gothic Hall is part of the larger multi-year Building Preservation Project, which was started in the late 1990s and has already included extensive renovation of the Cloisters’ building and numerous campaigns of conservation for its collection.
4. Frick Collection awarded a $1 million challenge grant by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation:
The Frick Collection, New York, has been awarded a $1 million challenge grant by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation to support an endowed conservation post. The museum aims to match this donation with $3 million in contributions from other sources in the next four years, thus creating a $4 million endowment for the position of Chief Conservator, also providing, in perpetuity, funds for research, professional development, and related expenses. Frick Collection Board Chairman Margot Bogert said, ‘With this latest grant, we have the opportunity to create a firm foundation for permanence and growth in the vital area of conservation’.
The post of Chief Conservator of the Frick Collection is currently held by Mr. Joseph Godla.
5.Theatre of Dionysos under the Acropolis to be restored:
The ruined Theatre of Dionysos, which stands on the southern slopes of the Acropolis and is believed to be the birthplace of modern theatre, is to be the object of a 6 million restoration project. The restoration of the theatre, where works by playwrights such as Euripides and Sophocles premiered more than 2,500 years ago, will include extending and modernising surviving stone seats, but no new performances are planned there. The project is expected to be completed in 2015.
6. Artist Jeanne-Claude dies at age 74:
New York-based artist Jeanne-Claude, Christo’s wife and collaborator, died on 18 November from complications of a brain aneurism.Born in Morocco, Jeanne-Claude Denat de Guillebon’s dramatic installations, realised in collaboration with husband Christo, included wrapping fabric around the Reichstag in Berlin, and the 2005 project ‘The Gates’, an installation which saw 23 miles of saffron drapes hung from a series of specially designed frames in New York's Central Park. ‘New York City lost one of our great artists’, declared the mayor Michael Bloomberg.
The Guardian – Obituary
7. Spanish queen duped Pope Pius IX with a fake Murillo painting:
New research by Portuguese scholar Hugo Xavier has revealed that Queen Isabella II of Spain (1830-1904) knowingly gave Pope Pius IX a 19th-century copy of Bartolomé Esteban Murillo’s The Mystic Marriage of St Catherine, instead of the 16th-century original in her collection, passing it off as an authentic work by the Spanish master. Although scholars cannot be certain about the reasons behind the queen’s deceit, curator Benito Navarrete, from the Museo de Bellas Artes de Bilbao, suspects that it was ‘all due to politics at a time when she wanted to strengthen relations with Portugal’. The genuine Murillo painting now belongs to the Museu Nacional de Arte Antiga in Lisbon.
The Art Newspaper
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