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Apollo Awards 2017

Acquisition of the Year

The Shortlists | Artist of the Year | Book of the Year | Digital Innovation of the Year | Exhibition of the Year | Museum Opening of the Year

14 November 2017

The Fortress of Königstein from the North (c. 1756–58), Bernardo Bellotto

National Gallery, London

This vast panoramic landscape, depicting an imposing fortification, is considered one of Bellotto’s finest works. It fills a gap in the National Gallery’s collection, which does not include another major 18th-century depiction of a northern European view. It was acquired for £11.7m after a temporary export bar was placed on the painting.

The Fortress of Königstein from the North (around 1756–58), Bernardo Bellotto. © The National Gallery, London

The Fortress of Königstein from the North (c. 1756–58), Bernardo Bellotto. © The National Gallery, London


Sixteen master drawings and a painting (16th–19th centuries)

J. Paul Getty Museum, Los Angeles

Acquired from a British private collection, this selection of exceptional drawings includes work by Michelangelo, Andrea del Sarto, Parmigianino, Barocci, Rubens, Goya, Degas, and La Surprise by Watteau, which was rediscovered in a private collection in 2007.

Study of a Mourning Woman (detail; c. 1500–1505), Michelangelo Buonarotti. Courtesy of J. Paul Getty Museum

Study of a Mourning Woman (detail; c. 1500–05), Michelangelo Buonarroti


Marlene and Spencer Hays Gift: 187 works by modern artists (late 19th–early 20th centuries)

Musée d’Orsay, Paris

The American collectors Marlene and Spencer Hays promised their entire collection of some 600 works of art to Paris’s Musée d’Orsay, beginning with a donation of 187 French masterpieces from the turn of the 20th century. Among the artists represented are Odilon Redon, Pierre Bonnard and Édouard Vuillard.

Les Couturières (1890), Édouard Vuillard. Image: © Droits réservés

Les Couturières (1890), Édouard Vuillard. Image: © Droits réservés


The Watlington Hoard of King Alfred the Great (late 9th century)

The Ashmolean, Oxford

The Ashmolean raised £1.35 million to purchase the Watlington hoard, a small but important collection of Viking coins, jewellery and ingots. The hoard includes 13 examples of the rare ‘Two Emperors’ coin, depicting both King Alfred the Great and his contemporary and rival, Ceolwulf II of Mercia.

Selection of pieces from the Watling Hoard. © Trustees of the British Museum

Image © Trustees of the British Museum


Joel and Bernice Weisman Gift: 800 Japanese prints (17th–19th centuries)

Cincinnati Art Museum

This group of 800 works spans four centuries of printmaking, with the earliest dating from the 17th century. Alongside the prints, the Weismans have also donated extensive reference material to the museum in order to support continued research into Japanese prints and art.

The Actor Onoe Kikugorō V as the Englishman Spencer (from the series One Hundred Roles of Baikō, 1893), Toyohara Kunichika. Courtesy Cincinnati Art Museum

The Actor Onoe Kikugorō V as the Englishman Spencer (from the series One
Hundred Roles of Baikō, 1893), Toyohara Kunichika


Van Otterloo and Weatherbie Promised Gift: 113 works by Dutch and Flemish artists (17th century)

Museum of Fine Arts, Boston

The Van Otterloos and Weatherbies have committed to giving 113 works by 76 artists to the museum – including works by Rubens, Van Dyck, and Rembrandt – which will make it one of the country’s foremost collections of Dutch art from the Golden Age. They will also donate a research library of more than 20,000 volumes, and funding to establish a Center for Netherlandish Art at the MFA.

Still Life with Various Vessels on a Table (c. 1610), Osias Beert. Courtesy Museum of Fine Arts, Boston

Still Life with Various Vessels on a Table (c. 1610), Osias Beert. Courtesy Museum of Fine Arts, Boston


The Apollo Awards 2017 in association with BonhamsThe Shortlists | Artist of the Year | Book of the Year | Digital Innovation of the Year | Exhibition of the Year | Museum Opening of the Year

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