Schwartzlist columns

421 Fleishig and Altstad in the news

With a helping of author’s vanity, Schwartz claims to have foreseen, in two passages from his novel Bets and scams, some things from today’s news. Below the line, he wrestles with his reactions to the ongoing tragedy in Israel and Gaza.


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Lady Pictura painting flowers

“Lady Pictura painting flowers,” Tableau 15 (1993), nr. 6, Summer, pp. 66-81

The editors of this art magazine asked me to write about a newly discovered, exceptional kunstkamer painting. The deadline was short, but I plunged into it, telling them that I would not be able to go in search of those paintings within the painting that could not easily be identified. Fortunately, my lapses in this regard were corrected in the following issue by Edwin Buijsen.

Lady Pictura painting flowers – the painting. (A press photo from the Noordbrabants Museum, in connection with an exhibition on the Brueghel family. Credit line, with a different attribution and dating than mine: Jan Brueghel de Jonge, Allegorie op de schilderkunst, ca. 1625-1630, olieverf op koper, 49 x 77 cm. JK Art Foundation. Foto Peter Cox).

“Lady Pictura painting flowers” – the article (6.7 MB)

Edwin Buijsen, Schildersportretten in een Antwerpse kunstkamer

Comparative images that are illustrated across two pages in the magazine:

Jan Brueghel I and eleven other Antwerp painters, including Peter Paul Rubens and Frans Francken II, Allegory of sight and smell, 1618. Madrid Museo del Prado

Jan Brueghel I and Peter Paul Rubens, Allegory of sight, 1617. Madrid, Museo del Prado

Click on the images to enlarge and view the delicious details.

See also Schwartzlist 408, “The Sephardi iconophile in me”

and

Schwartzlist 424, “The transparent connoisseur 8: an ill-judged attribution in Den Bosch”

 

420 A stolen Rembrandt in Dayton, Ohio

In the night of 9/10 April 1921 a Rembrandt self-portrait was stolen from the museum in Weimar, Germany, with three other paintings. Three of the four resurfaced on 3 August 1945 in Dayton, when an Ohio woman married to a German-American immigrant brought them to the director of the Dayton Art Institute. This did not become known to the public until 10 February 1947, after the paintings had been removed from the ownership of the couple. The documentation stunned Schwartz and will stun you!

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418 Naaman the leper and Elisha his healer: the trailer (in memory of Magdi Tóth)

On 1 July I will be lecturing (in Dutch) at the Hermitage Museum Amsterdam on a painting from the current exhibition, Rembrandt and his contemporaries: History paintings from The Leiden Collection. The painting is a depiction of the prophet Elisha declining to accept the gifts of the Syrian army commander Naaman, offered in thanks for curing his leprosy. Here is a preview, the part about leprosy. Seating still available.

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417 The transparent connoisseur 7: Explaining away Early Netherlandish discrepancies

On Monday, 8 May, in Berlin, Schwartz heard a top connoisseur account for differences in finish between two paintings by Hugo van der Goes as acceptable variations within a single artistic personality, and on 12 May, in Den Bosch, heard another top connoisseur denying the very possibility of such a thing concerning two paintings by Jheronimus Bosch. What a week!


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416 The Vermeer exhibitions of 1935

The current Vermeer exhibition in the Rijksmuseum is the second one ever to be held there. The first took place in 1935. For the 114 days that the present exhibition is running, the Rijksmuseum is admitting 450,000 visitors, about 4,000 a day. Some people, like me, find it too crowded. The 1935 exhibition was on view for only 13 days, and drew 123,000 visitors, about nine and a half thousand a day. Another reason to be glad that I hadn’t been born yet.

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414 Rembrandt – Vermeer: a centennial scorecard

Research on one topic (Vermeer exhibitions) put Schwartz on the track of another (historical Rembrandt numbers). This year is the 100th anniversary of the publication, in 1923, of the most extreme highs and lows known to man for the count of paintings by Rembrandt. (Click on images to enlarge them.)

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