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The Art of Italy in the Royal Collection: The Baroque to Open in November
Caravaggio, Micheangelo Merisida (1571-1610), The Calling of Saints Peter and Andrew, c.1603-6. Photo: The Royal Collection © 2008, Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II.
LONDON.- The drama of the Baroque comes to Edinburgh in part two of The Art of Italy in the Royal Collection. The 31 paintings and 43 drawings selected for the exhibition reflect the great stylistic diversity of the period, which gave birth to the powerful realism of Caravaggio, the revolutionary naturalism of the Carracci and the cool classicism of Poussin and Domenichino. Highlights of the exhibition include two works by Caravaggio, The Calling of Saints Peter and Andrew and Boy Peeling Fruit, both previously thought to be copies of lost originals. Recent research by Royal Collection curators and conservators has resulted in the re-attribution of these paintings, which are now generally recognised by experts as by the master himself.

Seventeenth-century Italian art first entered the British Royal Collection in the reign of Charles I, when the king purchased a substantial part of the collection of the Gonzaga Dukes of Mantua in 1626-9. With the Gonzaga collection came Domenico Fetti’s dramatic David with the Head of Goliath, painted when the artist was employed at the Mantuan court, and Anastasio Fontebuoni’s Madonna di Pistoia, commissioned by Ferdinando Gonzaga, 6th Duke of Mantua. Orazio Gentileschi and his daughter Artemisia, both represented in the exhibition, worked for Charles I and Queen Henrietta Maria while in London during the 1620s and 1630s. The king was unsuccessful in his attempt to lure the painter Guercino to the English court; the artist refused the invitation on the grounds that the country was heretical and the climate terrible.

Although Charles I’s collection was sold after his execution in 1649, a significant number of paintings were reclaimed or bought back by his son, Charles II, after the Restoration of the Monarchy in 1660. Among those re-acquired were Judith with the Head of Holofernes by Cristofano Allori, a chilling response to the end of the artist’s love affair, and Artemisia Gentileschi’s Self Portrait as the Allegory of Painting, which the artist had presented to Charles I. Charles II also managed to retrieve some of the pictures that his mother had taken to France in her widowhood, including Orazio Gentileschi’s Joseph and Potiphar’s wife.

Drawing was central to the work of Italian artists in the 17th century. The examples in the exhibition include compositional sketches, designs for altarpieces, frescoes, prints, sculpture and architecture, and finished works of art in their own right. Most were acquired by George III in 1762 through the purchase of two outstanding collections – those of Consul Joseph Smith in Venice and Cardinal Alessandro Albani in Rome. With these collections came Domenichino’s St Jerome, Guido Reni’s Head of Christ, and The head of an oriental and Circe by Giovanni Benedetto Castiglione.

At the academy set up in Bologna by Ludovico Carracci and his younger cousins, Agostino and Annibale, life drawing was the foundation of artistic practice. In A Seated Male Nude by Ludovico Carracci, the power of the human form is skilfully conveyed through a few rapid marks in chalk and charcoal. Annibale Carracci’s Head of a Man in Profile, applies the same extraordinarily direct approach to subject-matter, but in the medium of oil. Emulating the Carracci, Guercino ran a life-drawing studio in the town of Cento, while the great Baroque master Gian Lorenzo Bernini was head of the artists’ Academy of St Luke in Rome for a brief period. Bernini’s chalk study A Male Nude from behind is probably associated with his teaching responsibilities during this time.






Last Week News

October 5, 2008

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Sotheby's New York Sale of 19th Century European Art to be Held on October 23

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One-of-a-Kind Salvador Dali Dedicatory Drawings Collection

Extraordinary Diverse Work of Ana Maria Pacheco to be Shown at The Herbert in Coventry

Sculptor Jesús Moroles to Create Reflecting Pool Installation for Joslyn Art Museum

DAR Museum Showcases Antique Toy Collection in New Exhibition

Exhibition Featuring Work of Leonardo da Vinci to Open at High Museum in October 2009

Raident Technology, Inc. Establishes Scholarships at Academy of Art University San Francisco

Avant-Garde China: Twenty Years of Chinese Contemporary Art on View at National Art Center

National Museum of the American Indian Presents Major Retrospective of Fritz Scholder's Art

Christie's New York Announces European Decorative Arts Month

Unique Temporary Printing Machine Highlights Ephemeral Nature of Digital Data

AT & T Donates $500,000 in Artwork to Community organizations in California

October 4, 2008

Statuephilia Opens Today at The British Museum; Kate Moss in Gold By Marc Quinn Unveiled

Mint Museum of Art Presents Major Andy Warhol Exhibition

Miro, Calder, Giacometti, Braque: Aime Maeght And His Artists Opens at Royal Academy of the Arts

Sotheby's To Auction One of the Greatest Modern Paintings Ever Offered for Sale

Darwin's Garden: An Evolutionary Adventure Opens at The Huntington Library

The Fluidity of Glass - Etsuko Ichikawa: Traces of the Molten State

Tate St. Ives Presents Heimo Zobernig and the Tate Collection

Christie's Spanish Art Sale in Madrid Totals $7.7 Million

Hong Kong International Arts and Antiques Fair Opens

Moderna Museet Presents Time & Place: Los Angeles 1957-1968

American Artists from the Russian Empire Opens

Gallery of the New York School of Interior Design Hosts Two Art Deco-Era Exhibitions

The Andy Warhol Museum Opens 1958 Exhibition

L.A. PAINT Opens at Oakland Museum of California

International Russian Exhibition to Premiere at University of Oklahoma Art Museum

Knoxville Museum of Art Presents American Masterpieces of Southern Craft and Traditional Art

Edinburgh College of Art Opens New Print Workshop With Exhibition

Wild Beauty: Photographs of the Columbia River Gorge, 1867 - 1957

The Many Faces of David Diaz at The Joslyn Art Museum

Art.Fair 21 Opens in Cologne

New Bamboo: Contemporary Japanese Masters Opens at Japan Society

Act/React: Interactive Installation Art Makes its World Premiere at the Milwaukee Art Museum

October 3, 2008

All the Histories of Art: Kunsthistorisches Museum Vienna Exhibit at Guggenheim in Bilbao

Nude Portait of Alaska Governor Sarah Palin Unveiled in Chicago

Paris/New York: Design Fashion Culture 1925-1940 Opens

Brooklyn Museum Presents Retrospective of Work By Artists Gilbert & George

Exhibition Celebrates the 125th Anniversary of the Dutch Rembrandt Association

Meijer Gardens Opens Largest Exhibition by Jaume Plensa

Lino Tagliapietra in Retrospect: A Modern Renaissance in Glass (Renwick)

Demuth Museum to Mount Two-Part David Brumbach Exhibition

VMFA Great Hall Is Reinstalled With Focus On 17th Century Age of Magnificence

First Museum Exhibition for Anthony Lepore at Kemper Museum of Contemporary Art

Treasures from the Garden of Eden: Masterpieces of Ancient Jewelry Opens

Hannah Wilke: Gestures Opens at The Neuberger Museum of Art

John James Audubon: American Artist and Naturalist Opens

Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, Displays Zen Paintings and Calligraphies From the Gitter-Yellen Collection

Avocats Sans Frontieres Presents "Room for Justice"

Canada's Only Major Modern and Contemporary International Art Fair Returns to Toronto

Staatliche Kunstsammlungen Dresden Launches Major Project Researching Provenance

Tony Gill - New Work 2008 Opens at Idea Generation Gallery

George Nakashima's Family Gifts Famed 20th-Century Furniture Designer's Archives

New Museum Announces Stuart Regen Visionaries Fund

October 2, 2008

Joseph Beuys: We are the Revolution Gives Shape to Artist's Large Expanse of Ideas

Princeton University Art Museum Premieres Jasper Johns Exhibition

The Mingei Spirit in Japan From Folk Craft to Design at Musee du Quai Branly

Watercolours from the Stadel Museum Collection on View in Germany

Le Petit Palais in Paris Shows Images and Fashion by Patrick Demarchelier

Zaha Hadid's Portrait in Changing Colors Shown at National Portrait Gallery

Georg Baselitz: Prints 1964 to 1983 to Open at The Alte Pinakothek in Munich

Displacement: The Three Gorges Dam and Contemporary Chinese Art

The 2008 Sovereign European Art Prize Exhibition Opens at the Embankment Galleries

Cartoons & Coronets: The Genius of Osbert Lancaster on View at The Wallace Collection

Serbian-Born Sculptor John David Brcin's Monumental Sculpture Sioux Warrior Realized for Joslyn Art Museum

Le Corbusier - The Art of Architecture Opens at The Crypt in Liverpool Metropolitan Cathedral

Aspen Art Museum Presents Artist Lisa Anne Auerbach's Non-Partisan Political Knit Sweater Exhibition

New Art Trust Names John R. Lane as President and CEO

Make me a Home! The Northsore Development Partnership Launches International Architectural Competition

Arts Leaders Converge on Technology in the Arts from October 9-11, 2008

The New York Transit Museum Presents a Screening and Discussion

RIBA to Launch International Chapters

October 1, 2008

100th Anniversary of Gustav Klimt And The Kunstschau 1908 at Belvedere in Vienna

Musee du Quay Branly Opens a Window onto the Different Eskimo and Inuit Cultures

Factura 2008 the Second International Painting Festival of Villefranche de Lonchat Set to Open

Bob Dylan - The Drawn Blank Series Takes to the Road with International Exhibition Tour

Christie's Auction of Post-War and Contemporary Art to Offer Exceptional Works

Five Museums and Five Libraries to Receive Nation's Highest Honor at White House Ceremony

Renzo Piano to Receive the Sonning Prize 2008 at the Ceremonial Hall at University of Copenhagen

Roger M. Buergel Appointed Chief Curator of Miami Art Museum

The Holburne Portrait Prize Finalists on View at Holburne Museum of Art

Casa Asia in Barcelona Presents Rong Rong & inri: The Power of Ruins

Detroit Institute of Arts Opens Jane Hammond Exhibition

Young Belgian Painters Award 2009 Selects Seven Candidates

Huntington Expands Collections Strategically, Acquiring Eight Works of Art

Cue Art Foundation Presents Jim Pirtle Curated by the Art Guys

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Symposiun: Disruptions: The Political in Art Now

California Sculptor Peter Schifrin Creates Monumental Sculpture for Upstate New York Estate

Fuller Craft Museum to Host Community Day to Ready for the Perfect Fit

September 30, 2008

Still Life Exhibition From the Prado Museum Opens at Caja Inmaculada in Zaragoza

Lynda and Stewart Resnick Donate $55 Million to LACMA

Important November Russian Art Auction Announced at Gene Shapiro Auctions LLC

Christie's to Offer an Exceptional Auction of International Modern and Contemporary Art in Dubai

SBMA Celebrates Decade of Photography Acquisitions

Turn and Widen: 5th Seoul International Media Art Biennale

Sotheby's London to Hold Inaugural Sale of Modern and Contemporary Design in October

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Christie's to Offer Fine Chinese Art From the Arthur M. Sackler Collections in March 2009

Danish Filmmaker Jesper Just has U.S. Premiere at Brooklyn Museum

Treasures from the British Museum Going to Royal BC Museum

Miyako Ishiuchi - Photographs 1976 - 2005 at FOAM Fotografiemuseum

Tacoma Art Museum Announces the 9th Northwest Biennial Participants

South Street Seaport Museum Exhibition Explores Roosevelt's Passion for Collecting and the Allure of the Sea

Most Popular Last Seven Days



1.- Image of a Christ without a beard, short hair and wearing a toga unearthed in Spain

2.- Giant mosaic unearthed in mysterious tomb in Amphipolis in northern Macedonia

3.- Bonhams sale of 18th century French decorative arts to benefit Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco

4.- Paris flustered by erection of 'sex-toy' sculpture; Paul McCarthy slapped by a passer-by

5.- High art or vile pornography? Marquis de Sade explored in Orsay museum exhibition

6.- 'Cubism: The Leonard A. Lauder Collection' opens at the Metropolitan Museum of Art

7.- Greek culture minister says Elgin Marbles return a matter of 'global heritage'

8.- Vandals deflate Paris 'sex-toy' sculpture by American artist Paul McCarthy after outrage

9.- Exhibition at National Gallery in London explores Rembrandt's final years of painting

10.- 'Hans Memling: A Flemish Renaissance' opens at the Scuderie del Quirinale in Rome

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