Art in Print


Portrait of the Artist


Portrait of the Artist at the Queen’s Gallery takes us on a delightful trawl through the vaults of the Royal Art Collection, digging out oddities and rarities that illuminate the changing role of the artist.
There are many excellent self-portraits here, including works by Rembrandt, Rubens, Bernini and Freud. The principal motive for creating self-portraits, from the 15th century on, has been less the existential examination of self, more none-too-subtle self-promotion. However, self-portraits are just one of many ways that artists have been represented over the centuries, and the show explores the subject further, by mixing paintings, prints and drawings, and putting major names beside minor works to make intriguing points. By including sections on artists dramatizing themselves in fictional roles, as well as portraits done by their friends, relatives and pupils, the exhibition investigates questions of artistic identity, art as industry, self-promotion and craftsmanship.
Via : The Telegraph

Relief for Dickens Museum as experts say portrait of writer's wife is genuine

The good news for the Charles Dickens Museum in London is that it does own an original portrait of the writer’s unfortunate wife, Catherine, by an important Victorian artist. The bad news is that it is almost entirely hidden under later overpainting.
Doubts about the authenticity of the portrait emerged in the past year. It was considered the better of only two paintings of Catherine in the collection, and believed to be the work of the Irish artist Daniel Maclise, a friend of the author’s. Closer study revealed heavy overpainting across most of the surface, covering up to 70% of the original including most of the face. The painting is believed to be an attempt to mask the damage caused by an equally disastrous attempt to clean the picture, long before it came to the museum. Cindy Sughrue, director of the museum, hopes to raise the money for full restoration of the painting. “This has been an interesting process to say the least, and one that has seen us swinging from despair to elation.”
The painting probably dates from 1847, when a £55 payment from Dickens to Maclise was recorded, and shows Catherine as the lovely young woman the author first met.
Via: The Guardian

Jimmy Page Welcomes Flaming June Painting Back to Kensington

Jimmy Page came face to face with one of his early artistic inspirations when he welcomed one of 19th-century English painting’s most famous portraits home.
The Led Zeppelin guitarist — and avid art collector — was at Leighton House Museum in Kensington when Flaming June was installed for a show dedicated to its creator Frederic, Lord Leighton.
The aristocratic artist painted the work, and four others, at what was then his home before submitting them for the 1895 Royal Academy Summer Exhibition shortly before his death in 1896. Flaming June, which shows an unknown woman sleeping, was bought by a gallery in Puerto Rico after failing to sell at auction in the Sixties. At the time, Victorian art was deeply unfashionable. The other four paintings have been borrowed from private collectors and galleries around the world to be reunited for the first time since they were created.
Page, 72, said: “To be able to see it close up and really appreciate what it is and see it in Leighton House, where it was painted, well it’s quite a day. I connected with Pre-Raphaelite art in my early teens when I realised that there was a movement and a brotherhood. I was at art college for a period of time ... but oil painting, things that I wanted to do, were avoided so I admired the techniques of the  Pre-Raphaelites from afar.”
Via: Evening Standard

Scottish painting Monarch of the Glen could end up abroad

One of Scotland’s most recognised and reproduced paintings, Sir Edwin Landseer’s The Monarch of the Glen, is to appear at auction with a real possibility of it being sold abroad.
The Englishman’s depiction of an enormous stag in a misty Highlands landscape is being sold by Diageo, the multinational drinks company. The painting came into the firm’s possession after a merger – it was formerly owned and used as a trademark for Dewar’s and then Glenfiddich whiskies.
For the past 17 years the artwork has been on long-term loan to the National Museum of Scotland in Edinburgh. It will go on sale at Christie’s in London on 8 December and is expected to fetch about £10m. A spokesman for Diageo said the painting was being sold because it had no direct link to its business or brands. “We have made a major contribution by loaning the work for the past 17 years, but we believe the time is right for us to pass on the ownership of the painting.”
The question posed by the sale is whether any public gallery would be able to make a bid for such a well-known painting. If it were sold to a foreign buyer the government could place a temporary export bar on the work to allow a Briton to purchase it instead.
A spokesperson for the National Galleries of Scotland said The Monarch of the Glen was “an important Victorian picture that has taken on various layers of meaning, which include its use in advertising and as a romantic emblem of the Highlands of Scotland. National Galleries of Scotland always carefully considers any paintings with a strong Scottish dimension that come on to the market, but for obvious reasons we never comment on our potential interest ahead of a sale”.
Via: The Guardian