These are All Manmade Artworks… There’s Nothing Edible Here
I think that Yolkin’s attitude to Andy Warhol is a little less than “reverent”… this doesn’t mean that he thinks that it’s piffle… but it’s certainly not complimentary.
Sergei Yolkin takes a tongue-in-cheek look at an exhibition at the St Petersburg Academy of Arts showcasing Campbell’s Soup Cans, in a show featuring “New Artists” Pop Art genius Andy Warhol.
16 May 2013
In London, Christie’s sold Boris Kustodiev’s masterpiece The Coachman for 7 million USD (217.4 million Roubles. 5.4 million Euros. 4.4 million UK Pounds), breaking the old price record regarding his works. The 250th auction “The Masterpieces of Russian Art”, timed to coincide with the 40th anniversary of the Russian Christie’s trading auctions is still underway. The painting went to a private buyer from Europe who took part in the trading by phone. Earlier, MacDougall’s auction house sold Ivan Aivazovsky’s painting A View of Isla di San Giorgio in the Venetian Lagoon for 1.62 million USD (50.3 million Roubles. 1.25 million Euros. 1.02 million UK Pounds). Currently, a week of Russian art auctions is underway in London.
26 November 2012
Voice of Russia World Service
Kustodiev’s most colourful and “happiest” paintings were made after he was confined to a wheelchair in 1916. He was also a convinced supporter of the Soviets and an Orthodox Christian. What’s not to like? He was a decent man, a cheerful human being, a lover of justice, and a real Christian… that’s the ticket for me. Sadly, he died young in 1927 at the age of 49… but he was happy to the end, may we all die so well.
On the Shore of the Seine
A decades-old theft report discovered by police in the USA on Friday could be the clue that links a piece of artwork purchased for 7 USD (220 Roubles. 5.50 Euros. 4.40 UK Pounds) to a costly Pierre-Auguste Renoir painting that was stolen from the Baltimore Museum of Art in 1951. The report, dated 17 November 1951 described Renoir’s On the Shore of the Seine, as a “river scene in pink and blue”. It confirmed that someone stole the painting from the museum, and noted that police found no evidence of forced entry. Police never solved the case.
A Virginia woman purchased a painting that matches the description in a box of junk at a West Virginia flea market two years ago, and had the piece valued by The Potomack Company auction house this summer. Experts there confirmed it was the Renoir masterpiece On the Shore of the Seine, worth up to 100,000 USD (3.125 million Roubles. 78,000 Euros. 62,000 UK Pounds), and found that the frame contained a plaque with the famous painter’s name on it. Where the artwork came from was a mystery, and the owner… who hasn’t publicly revealed her name… made plans to sell it at an auction scheduled for Saturday.
However, an investigation by The Washington Post this week found that the Impressionist painting might have been stolen from the BMA. The Post reporter also discovered evidence that the painting was on loan to the museum from 1937 until 1951, it belonged to an art collector named Saidie May, whose ex-husband bought the painting in 1926 from a Paris gallery. BMA Director Doreen Bolger said in an interview with the Washington Post, “Obviously, we take our responsibility for our collections and the things entrusted to us very seriously. We have to do more research and get to the bottom of the real story, and we’re still in the midst of that process. We have a lot of written and printed records, and they’re filed in many areas of the museum”.
In light of the new information, The Potomack Company cancelled the auction of the Renoir painting scheduled for Saturday, whilst the US Federal Bureau of Investigation is investigating the case to confirm the painting’s rightful owner. Robert Wittman, a former FBI investigator of art thefts, said, “I just figured it’d be a matter of time before somebody made a claim, because those things just don’t disappear”.
29 September 2012
A new chapter may be opening in the history of world art. Italian art historians have found about a hundred previously unknown works by Michelangelo Merisi da Caravaggio. The unique discovery was made because of research work conducted by art historians Maurizio Bernardelli Curuz and Adriana Conconi Fedrigolli. What is at issue are early works by Caravaggio created in the period from 1584 to 1588 during his study at Simone Peterzano’s studio in Milano. More than 1,400 paintings and graphics are stored in the Peterzano Fund located in Sforza Castle in Milano. Until recently, it was believed that Caravaggio’s teacher created all of them. While studying the collection, researchers discovered a stylistic and compositional similarity of some of the works… mostly the graphics… to famous works by Caravaggio. This allowed them to conclude that one of the most influential artists of the Baroque period created 83 of the drawings.
If the international community confirms the authenticity of the discovered drawings, their value may come to some 700 million Euros (28.3 billion Roubles. 860 million USD. 560 million UK Pounds). This is rather a rough estimate, as the works by Caravaggio almost never appear on the antiques market, and a comparative base simply does not exist. Irina Osipova, art critic and of the antiques market expert, said in a VOR interview, “The story is as fascinating as it is incredible. Caravaggio’s legacy is rather small and is scattered in museums all over the world and only a few museums that can boast of owning more than one work by Caravaggio. If Caravaggio’s authorship is confirmed, the Sforza Castle Museum’s collection will become significantly richer. Nevertheless, in this connection it is worth remembering another recent discovery… the Salvator Mundi painting by Leonardo da Vinci. Last year, before it was displayed on show at the National Gallery in London, the absolute majority of all the living specialists in his works had confirmed Leonardo’s authorship… only one person had had some doubts. However, things can happen the wrong way round. Perhaps, if art critics reattributed only one picture or a couple of paintings to Caravaggio, it would’ve aroused more confidence. At present, the number of works and their evaluation seem unreal”.
Moscow antique dealer Alexei Zaitsev believes, “Miracles do happen, of course. However, we mustn’t forget that very often a student’s drawings don’t resemble even remotely the manner of a mature master. I think there’s still a lot of work left for experts, both Italian and the rest of the world. Furthermore, they may come to an agreement. At least, I wouldn’t deny this discovery outright. It’s worth admitting that today’s the perfect moment for such a discovery… a serious crisis has struck Italy, and, suddenly, there appears an opportunity of supporting both the economy and national feelings”.
7 July 2012
Voice of Russia World Service