LATEST ARTICLES

Vincent Van Gogh lived his life creating iconic pieces of wonder and beauty. He was dedicated to the purest form of finding all the good things that the world had to offer, despite only having gained a few of those good things in life for himself. It is only fitting that, through his death, he inspired others to create. Today, the 29th of July, marks the passing of the legendary Dutch painter; the 125th anniversary, to be exact. As such, many of the things inspired by his life and works have been prevalent in popular culture. This article, published by Hannah Sheinberg via National Geographic, talks briefly about some of the geographical places Van Gogh’s legacy has impacted, including a bike path that lights up like the Starry Night, and a place to create your own masterpieces, inspired by Van Gogh’s work. Another piece by the BBC, talks about an artist, Mac Cauley, who has created a virtual reality where you can explore some of Van Gogh’s paintings, and to see the world as he might have seen it. Although most art critics agree that Van Gogh’s mental illness had nothing to do with the way he chose to paint...
The Laundress

Despite the many infamous painters of the Post-Impressionist movement, maybe the most unlikely stand-out was Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec. His aristocratic background and short-stature, (he only stood about 4ft 8inches) was perhaps the unique combination that informed his art, and is what ultimately made him an icon. During his life time, Lautrec contributed approximately 737 painted works; his most famous depicted the night life of the theater, both in Paris and London, and frequently featured mysterious redheads who exemplified his fascination of the urban underclass. Most of Lautrec’s works were created in the central hub of art at the time, Paris. During the 19th century Paris was a haven for bohemian folk, writers, musicians, actors, and painters. It was here that Lautrec rubbed shoulders with infamous artists, such as Emile Bernard, Vincent Van Gogh, and Oscar Wilde. Unfortunately Lautrec was not without his own suffering. Due to his short stature, he was often mocked and ridiculed. As a child he fractured his right leg at the thigh, and likely due to an undiagnosed genetic disorder (his parents were cousins), his legs did not heal, and in fact ceased to grow. Despite his talent far outreaching his short size, many people could not look...
looted art example

The research into the provenance of some artwork can reveal surprising twists and turns. Finding out the art you bought and cherish is a looted antiquity is a discovery that’s not exactly unique to the modern-day art world. For centuries robbers have been looting tombs, stealing priceless pieces of art, sculptures and other artifacts that they resell for major profits. How has looting changed over the years? It hasn’t – at least not by much. While the days of breaking into tombs or digging up art-filled graves have been replaced by more high-tech means, the crime is still the same. One of the most well-known cases of art theft was perpetrated by the Nazi’s during World War II. The mass looting resulted in more than 650,000 works going missing. Many of the pieces have been ‘hiding’ in plain sight for decades. Hung on the walls of some of Europe’s most prestigious museums, paintings by the likes of Monet and Rubens were sold to museums, where they remained – despite knowledge of their true origins. Forty-four countries signed a deal in 1998 to find, recover and return the looted art. That said, not every country has been completely committed to returning...
Creation Adam

Right at the Pope's doorstep, the Vatican is now the site of a gay-themed exploration of art history through its “Untold History” tour. If you think you’re in-the-know about the significance of the Catholic headquarters, take another look. Quikky, an LGBT-friendly travel company, now offers a look into the back story of the Vatican’s immeasurably historic collection. Thanks to the Catholic church's habit of art-hoarding throughout history: Quikky’s tour features the gay history of some of the world’s most famous and notable works of art. From the sculptures on view to the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel, the physicality of the pieces and paintings takes a turn from the traditional art history when looking at both the creations and creators in a very different way. For example, while not documented, Michelangelo is thought to have been gay. This puts the almost-erotic images on the Sistine Chapel’s ceiling into a new light. Even though the Catholic Church is quick to dismiss their famed ceiling as a sensual scene that sprung from the mind and hands of a gay man, the notion is controversial enough to put it at the forefront during this tour. The tour guide provides the audience with an overview...
lily 8 painting

Sanjay Punekar is an artist who paints from his inner dreams and the beauty of nature. Using vibrant colors, Punekar aims to create heart-touching works that show the amazing power that is internal the human experience. Born in Pune, the artist received a BFA in fine arts from AKMV (in Pune) and was in his first year of an MFA program as of 2015. He has exhibited is Mumbai at the Jehangir art gallery as well as in Delhi at the Taj Place, India Habitat Center and for the Indian Council for Cultural Relations. Punekar has received honors for his painting, winning the Hindustan Times award. As a contemporary painter, Punekar works mostly in acrylic colors and water colors. While he’s not currently exploring a new medium, he is experimenting with his inner dreams as subject matter for his work. In his work “Inner Power” Punekar brings the inner soul to the forefront with his bold use of color. The vibrancy of the piece evokes the beauty of nature via abstract forms that flow through the canvas. Like many of his other paintings, “Inner Power” reflects that artist’s style and internal beliefs. The artist delves deep inside to his soul in creating...
Le Havre

You can’t get something for nothing. Or can you? In the case of art gallery director Jonathan Greene, you absolutely can! When Green bought two early pastel studies by Claude Monet he had no clue that there was a third artwork hidden behind the others. The director of London’s Richard Green Gallery bought the Monet’s at a Paris auction in 2014 for an undisclosed amount. After returning home, Green realized that he had three (not just two) original Monet’s. The surprise artwork was taped to the back of one of Green’s purchases. The first two artworks are studies of skies, dating from 1868. The pieces are from an early period in the artist’s career and depict Monet’s fascination with the changes of the natural world. The exploration of light and the natural transitions in the sky were treasure enough when it came to the two Monet pastels. The third work features the jetty and lighthouse at Le Havre in Normandy. The artist used a blue-tinted paper to accompany the sea-side scene that features the area where he grew up (and the subject of his first professional painting created when he was only 18). All three pieces are rare and were not originally...
Van Gogh Unknown Photo

A newly surfaced photo begs the question, “Is this Van Gogh as an adult artist?” The photo, which dates back to 1887, was set to be sold at the Brussels auction house Romantic Agony on June 20th. Supposedly featuring Van Gogh (along with a group of men, including Paul Gauguin), the tin type was taken in Paris by Jules Antoine. With a pre-auction sales estimate of between $136,000 and $170,000, the photograph failed to sell at all. Why would such an impressive photograph fail at sale? The would-be rarity may not actually feature the famed artist. Well-known for shirking photographs, there are no known authenticated images of the adult artist (aside from paintings). Purchased at an estate sale, the buyers brought the photograph to French photo expert Serge Plantureux. The owners thought that they recognized the post-Impressionist artists in the photo as Van Gogh, Gauguin and Emile Bernard. After researching the photo and its origins Plantureux was convinced about the authenticity of it. That said, not everyone else in the art/photography world is as game to agree. The only authenticated photographs of Van Gogh are from his childhood or shot from behind (i.e., not revealing the artist’s face). A photography expert...
Girl With Pearl Earring

The iconic Johannes Vermeer masterpiece “Girl with a Pearl Earring” is the focus of the new film “Girl with a Pearl Earring and Other Treasures from the Mauritshuis in The Hague”. Do not confuse this behind the scenes documentary look at one of the most notable art collections on the planet with the 2003 film starring Scarlet Johansson and Colin Firth. The soon-to-be released documentary is narrated by British actor Hugh Bonneville and features the Vermeer, along with other works of the period, showcased in the Hague's, Mauritshuis’s newly renovated space. Tracy Chevalier, the author of the novel that the fictional 2003 film was based on, discusses her research in the new documentary. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iFCsH1zq0L8 The Story behind "the Mona Lisa of the North" Vermeer is one of the most well-known and well-regarded Dutch artists. That said, he was relatively obscure during his lifetime. It wasn’t until the 19th century that the artist’s work came to the forefront of the art world. Unlike other painters, Vermeer didn’t create vast numbers of works. With a total of roughly 45 paintings total, only 36 of Vermeer’s pieces are known to contemporary art enthusiasts. Many of Vermeer’s works, such as “Girl With a Pearl Earring” focused on his...
CaravaggioFrancisMeditation

Is it real, or more of a real fake? Art buyers don't like surprises when it comes to authenticity. That said, forgeries, fakes, faux’s and phonies abound in the art world. That makes the authentication process key in any sale, auction or acquisition. Recently, Rembrandt's “Saul and David” was declared authentic. This was after decades of indecision. Cut down the center in the 19th century, the painting was defaced to be sold as two separate works. Years later it was sewn back up and displayed at the Mauritshuis Royal Picture Gallery. In the late 1960’s one of the world’s top experts of the artist’s work declared the painting a fake. So what has changed? For eight years the museum’s curators (along with pros from Cornell University, the National Gallery of Art in Washington, the Delft University of Technology and the Netherlands Institute for Art History) inspected and examined the painting to declare it authentic, or not. Although the state of the disputed piece is far from pristine, the experts declared the work a true Rembrandt. With the use of technology, such as macro X-ray fluorescence analysis, authenticators are better able to scan paintings and separate the fakes from the real thing. In...
The Reader by Jean Fragonard

Whether you’re heading off to a beach vacation, sitting pool-side or are just relaxing at home, our top six new books about art and artists are perfect for your summer must-read list. From behind-the-scenes looks at the world of auctions to Impressionist and other style-makers, these books are sure to educate and entertain every art enthusiast. The Impressionists: Their Lives and Works in 350 Images:         Featuring the Greatest Paintings and Biographies of the Most Famous Painters, by Robert Katz and Celestine Dars. Monet, Pisarro, Manet, Sisley, Degas and Renoir are the subjects of this historical take on the famed artists, the development of their style and the period in art history. Not only does this book feature biographies of the artists, but also includes 350 images of famed works. Auctioneers Who Made Art History, by Ursala Bode, Barbara Bongartz, This Brunner and editor Dirk Boll. Go behind the scenes of the rapidly-changing art market, and learn about the business end of auctions through portraits of notable auctioneers, who are becoming critical to the success of auctions, and thus stepping into the limelight. Uncovered Secrets of Wartime, An Auctioneer Lisa Spencer Murder Mystery, by Marlene Ritchie. In this work of fiction, auctioneer Lisa...