UCCA, Beijing, China

Matisse by Matisse. News, 17th September 2021
© 2021 UCCA Center for Contemporary Art

From March through June 2022, UCCA Center for Contemporary Art, Beijing will present the largest solo exhibition by Henri Matisse (1869-1954) in China to date. This exhibition is presented in collaboration with Musée Matisse Le Cateau-Cambrésis and features some 250 works by the artist from the museum’s collection. It covers Matisse’s entire career and range, encompassing mediums including oil painting, sculpture, ink drawings, prints, cut-outs, illustrations, sketches, and textiles. The exhibition will subsequently travel to UCCA Edge, Shanghai, where it runs from July through October 2022.

Born on December 31, 1869 in Le Cateau-Cambrésis, northern France, Matisse came from a textile family that had been in the business for over 300 years. Two years before his death, Matisse bequeathed the most prized works from his own collection to his hometown, establishing the core of the collection of Musée Matisse. He took care in choosing the pieces and designed the gallery spaces, down to the details of the display of each artwork. Musée Matisse could thus be regarded as a unique artistic legacy left behind by the artist, exemplifying most directly and intimately his artistic practice, creative processes, and ideas about art. After the recent sesquicentennial of Matisse’s birth, and owing the current closure, for renovation, of the Musée Matisse, this valuable collection now has the unique opportunity to make its way to China.

Titled “Matisse by Matisse,” the exhibition is organized into ten sections, following the chronology of Matisse’s life and career, and marked by his signature touches throughout. It includes his early copies of old masters and stylistic explorations as an art student; works representative of the artist’s turn towards fauvism; and later, in the 1920 and 1930s, his study of the human body and portraiture through mediums such as sculpture, sketches, and prints. Other sections show the inspiration and influence of his 1930 trip to Tahiti; an iconic series of colorful oil paintings and ink drawings from the 1940s; the cut-outs, book illustrations, and textile works of his later years; and the artifacts, sketches, and models from his work on the chapel at Vence when he was almost in his eighties. An additional section organized by the curatorial team at UCCA will discuss Matisse and Fauvism’s influence on the modern painting movement in China during the 1920s to 1940s.

UCCA Director and Chief Executive Philip Tinari notes, “With this rare exhibition, UCCA is honored to further expand its efforts to present key figures in twentieth-century art to audiences in China. We are particularly excited by the range of work on offer, and by the chance to present works so dear to the artist himself. We look forward to bringing this important exhibition to Beijing and Shanghai next year.”

“Matisse by Matisse” is curated by Patrice Deparpe, Director and Chief Curator, Musée Matisse Le Cateau-Cambrésis. It is presented in collaboration with UCCA, and with support from the art and culture agency Doors门艺.

From 2022.3 – 2022.6.

National Museum of China, Beijing, China

Boats Floating Afar: Maritime Trade of Ancient Chinese Ceramics. News, 17th September 2021

The exhibition is divided into three parts, "Endless shores: Maritime Trade of Ceramics in the Tang and Five dynasties," "Expansive waves: Maritime Trade of Ceramics in the Song and Yuan dynasties," and "Sea of sails: Maritime Trade of Ceramics in the Ming and Qing dynasties." We have selected 294 ceramics and other cultural relics from the shipwrecks and sea trade along the Maritime Silk Road, together with important ruins, archaeological data of shipwrecks and related research findings. These artifacts depict the flourishing sea trade of ancient Chinese ceramics from the Tang and Five dynasties to the Ming and Qing dynasties, show China’s leading role in the global ceramics trading system, and reveal the constant deepening of cultural exchanges and friendly communications between China and the world based on maritime trade.

The Maritime Silk Road, the sea route for foreign trade and cultural exchanges in ancient China, took its initial shape in the Qin and Han dynasties. Since the mid- to late Tang dynasty, ceramics had become commodities exported in great quantities, which ushered in the golden era of Chinese export porcelain. In the Song and Yuan dynasties, the sea trade of ceramics flourished, international ports located in cities such as Guangzhou, Quanzhou and Mingzhou (today’s Ningbo of Zhejiang Province) were set up one after another, and a ceramics trading system dominated by China was gradually established. In the Ming and Qing dynasties, as new sea routes were opened, countless Chinese ceramics were exported to Europe and North America, which promoted the formation and development of early trade globalization.

RA, London, UK

Explore Francis Bacon’s visceral paintingsNews, 17th September 2021

Irish-born artist Francis Bacon was the horse-breeder’s son who became one of the most important painters of the 20th century.

An openly gay man at a time when homosexuality was illegal, he was banished from his conservative family home by his father at 16. After that, he drifted through Berlin and Paris before establishing himself in London, with his formative years running parallel with some of the 20th century’s most profoundly disturbing events.

This powerful exhibition will focus on Bacon’s unerring fascination with animals: how it both shaped his approach to the human body and distorted it; how, caught at the most extreme moments of existence, his figures are barely recognisable as either human or beast.

It also explores how Bacon was mesmerised by animal movement, observing animals in the wild during trips to South Africa; filling his studio with wildlife books, and constantly referring to Eadweard Muybridge’s 19th-century photographs of humans and animals in motion. Whether baboons or bulls, dogs or birds of prey, Bacon felt he could get closer to understanding the true nature of humankind by watching the uninhibited behaviour of animals.

Spanning Bacon’s 50-year career, highlights include some of Bacon’s earliest works and his last-ever painting, alongside a trio of bullfight paintings which will be exhibited together for the first time.

Seen together, these raw expressions of anxiety and instinct – both animal and human – feel poignantly relevant today.

From 29 January — 17 April 2022.

RA, London, UK

John Constable: One of Britain’s best-loved artists had a radical side. News, 17th September 2021

This exhibition brings together majestic oil paintings and plein air sketches of the British countryside, from Hampstead Heath and Stonehenge to Brighton seafront, as well as studies of weather phenomena capturing ethereal cloud formations, dramatic storms, dappled sunlight and rainbows. John Constable is one of Britain’s best-known artists: a graduate of the RA Schools and a regular exhibitor at the Summer Exhibition, his ascent to fame is closely tied with the history of the RA. Yet, until now, the RA has never staged a major retrospective of his work.

This exhibition – which spans from 1825 until the artist’s unexpected death in 1837 – explores Constable’s late style through his paintings and oil sketches as well as watercolours, drawings and prints.

These 12 years are characterised by expressive brushwork, first developed in his plein air oil sketches from nature, as well as his full-size preparatory sketches. He also turned to watercolour with an enthusiasm missing since the early 1800s, and some of his late drawings show the same freedom of expression as his paintings from the same period.

Constable also explored the possibilities of printmaking, working on a series of mezzotints designed to promote his use of light and shade, which had become a powerful vehicle of expression in his later work.

This chapter in Constable’s career had an important impact on the next generation of painters, heralding the beginning of important movements in the late 19th century.

From 30 October 2021 — 13 February 2022.

British Museum, London, UK

Presents Hokusai The Great Picture Book of Everything. News, 17th September 2021

 © 2021 The Trustees of the British Museum

According to the British Museum this exhibition will display 103 recently acquired drawings by Hokusai, produced between the 1820s–1840s for an illustrated encyclopedia called "The Great Picture Book of Everything". 

The book was never published. These exceptional works present an opportunity which would otherwise have been destroyed as part of the woodblock printing process.

Depicting scenes from Buddhist India, ancient China and the natural world, the brush drawings not only showcase Hokusai's inimitable style and skill, but also reveal a version of 19th-century Japan much more intrigued by the wider world than previously thought. 

As well as offering the unique chance to study Hokusai's masterful brushwork directly, the show shines a light on the last chapter of the artist's career and life, uncovering a restless talent that burned brightly into his final years. 

In addition to the original brush drawings, the exhibition showcases Hokusai's masterpiece The Great Wave, alongside objects that give further insight into his working practices and demonstrate the intricate process by which his woodblock prints were created.

You can visit this exhibition from 30 Sep 2021 - 30 Jan 2022.

Kunsthistorisches Museum, Wien, Austria

opened an exhibition about Titian’s Vision of Women: Beauty, Love, Poetry. News, 17th September 2021

Titian, “Nymph and Shepherd,” c. 1570/75 © KHM-Museumsverband.

This exhibition features 60 paintings loaned from other international collections, but also draws on the Kunsthistorisches Museum’s own prestigious archive; the KHM’s collection includes around 30 works by Titian himself, for example (various Habsburgs proved diligent art collectors).

The focus it is on the portrayal of the female form relates to the peculiar circumstances of the time. In Venice, women enjoyed a heightened status both in sociopolitics and art when compared to other parts of the world.

Equally, Titian might be regarded as the father of the reclining female nude as a motif in painting…the application of the female form to various contexts: allegorical, realistic, historical, idealised, and mythological, for example.

These aspects and associated interpretations colour the exhibition, as well as more technical considerations relating to the depictions themselves and the concomitant fashions and themes on display.

You can visit this exhibition from 5 Ocotober 2021 – 16 January 2022.

The National Gallery, London, UK 

Journeys: Travels of a Renaissance Artist. News, 17th September 2021

Copyright © 2016–2021 The National Gallery 

Albrecht Dürer, 'Saint Eustace' (detail), about 1499–1503 ©️ Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam

This is the first major UK exhibition of German Renaissance artist Albrecht Dürer in nearly 20 years. Through paintings, drawings, prints, and letters, this exhibition follows Dürer’s travels across Europe, bringing to life the artist himself, and the people and places he visited.

Charting his journeys to the Alps, Italy, Venice and the Netherlands, the exhibition will explore how Dürer’s travels sparked an exchange of ideas with Netherlandish and Italian Renaissance artists, fuelled his curiosity and creativity, and increased his fame and influence across Europe.  

'Dürer’s Journeys' will bring together loans from museums and private collections across the world, including the artist's striking ‘Madonna and Child’ (c. 1496/1499) from the National Gallery of Art, Washington, never before seen in the UK.  

The exhibition is organised by the National Gallery in partnership with the Suermondt-Ludwig Museum, Aachen. 

The exhibition can be visited from 20 November 2021 – 27 February 2022.

The National Gallery, London, UK

Poussin and the Dance at National Gallery London. News, 17th September 2021

Tambourines shake, wine spills, and half-naked figures whirl across the canvas in these paintings of revelry, dance and drama that are brought together in this first exhibition dedicated to Poussin and dance.

Poussin’s paintings of dance are unique. He brings to life the Classical world of gods and mortals with wild and riotous movement but, the chaos on the canvas does not reflect the meticulous and inventive process that allowed him to capture bodies in motion.

In this exhibition, Poussin’s paintings and drawings of dance will be shown alongside the antique sculpture he studied, inviting you to trace the evolution of his ideas from marble to paper to paint.

Poussin’s working methods will be fully revealed with a reconstruction of his wax figurines, which the artist manipulated into different compositions, underscoring his role not only as painter of dance, but as choreographer in his own right.

Exhibition organised by the National Gallery, London and the Getty Museum, Los Angeles.

You can visit this exhibition from 9 October 2021 – 2 January 2022.

Colby Museum, Maine, US

Inside Out: The Prints of Mary Cassatt at Colby Museum. News, 5th September 2021
© Copyright 2021 – Colby College Museum of Art
This exhibition invites viewers to reflect on how we each experience family, caregiving, and identity in our own lives, and to explore Cassatt’s extraordinary capacity to evoke mood, feeling, and setting.


The experimental nature of these prints, combined with an attention on modern urban women, made these works quite unusual in their time. Yet, today, those very qualities of domesticity, intimacy, and privacy could be seen as reinforcing stereotypes of women. 

Inside Out: The Prints of Mary Cassatt, drawn primarily from The Lunder Collection, highlights Cassatt’s creative process and her fearless experimentation. 

From June 17–November 2, 2021.

Colby Museum, Maine, US

Bob Thompson: This House Is Mine at Colby Museum. News, 5th September 2021
Garden of Music, 1960. Oil on canvas. 79 1/2 × 143 in. (201.9 × 363.2 cm). Wadsworth Atheneum Museum of Art, Hartford, Connecticut. The Ella Gallup Sumner and Mary Catlin Sumner Collection Fund. © Michael Rosenfeld Gallery LLC, New York. Photo: Allen Phillips / Wadsworth Atheneum

This exhibition offers a rich reconsideration of a visionary African American painter. Born in Louisville, Kentucky, Bob Thompson (1937–1966) earned critical acclaim in the late 1950s for his paintings of figurative complexity and chromatic intensity. Bob Thompson: This House Is Mine borrows its name from a diminutive but exquisite painting created by the artist in 1960. With this title, Thompson declared his ambition to synthesize a new visual language out of elements of historic European painting.

The first museum exhibition devoted to the artist in more than twenty years, This House Is Mine traces Thompson’s brief but prolific transatlantic career, examining his formal inventiveness and his engagement with universal themes of collectivity, bearing witness, struggle, and justice. Over a mere eight years, he grappled with the exclusionary Western canon, developing a lexicon of enigmatic forms that he threaded through his work. Human and animal figures, often silhouetted and relatively featureless, populate mysterious vignettes set in wooded landscapes or haunt theatrically compressed spaces. Thompson reconfigures well-known compositions by European artists such as Piero della Francesca and Francisco de Goya through brilliant acts of formal distortion and elision, recasting these scenes in sumptuous colors. On occasion, familiar individuals appear: the jazz greats Nina Simone and Ornette Coleman, and the writers LeRoi Jones (later Amiri Baraka) and Allen Ginsberg.

Bringing together paintings and works on paper from more than fifty public and private collections across the United States, This House Is Mine centers Bob Thompson’s work within expansive art historical narratives and ongoing dialogues about the politics of representation, charting his enduring influence. The exhibition is accompanied by a lavishly illustrated catalogue featuring scholars, artists, and poets, published in association with Yale University Press. Contributors include Kraig Blue, Adrienne L. Childs, Bridget R. Cooks, Robert Cozzolino, Crystal N. Feimster, Jacqueline Francis, Rashid Johnson, LeRoi Jones, Adjoa Jones de Almeida, Alex Katz, Mónica Mariño, George Nelson Preston, Lowery Stokes Sims, A. B. Spellman, and Henry Taylor.

From July 20, 2021 – January 9, 2022.


The Met’s first-ever exhibition exploring the work of Walt Disney and the Walt Disney Animation Studios. News, 5th September 2021
© 2000–2021 The Metropolitan Museum of Art. All rights reserved.

Pink castles, talking sofas, and a prince transformed into a teapot: what sounds like fantasies from Walt Disney Animation Studios’ pioneering animations were in fact the figments of the colorful salons of Rococo Paris. The Met’s first-ever exhibition exploring the work of Walt Disney and the Walt Disney Animation Studios’ hand-drawn animation will examine Disney’s personal fascination with European art and the use of French motifs in his films and theme parks, drawing new parallels between the studios’ magical creations and their artistic models.

Forty works of 18th-century European decorative arts and design—from tapestries and furniture to Boulle clocks and Sèvres porcelain—will be featured alongside 150 production artworks and works on paper from the Walt Disney Animation Research Library, Walt Disney Archives, Walt Disney Imagineering Collection, and The Walt Disney Family Museum. Selected film footage illustrating the extraordinary technological and artistic developments of the studios during Disney’s lifetime and beyond will also be shown.

The exhibition will highlight references to European visual culture in Disney animated films, including nods to Gothic Revival architecture in Cinderella (1950), medieval influences on Sleeping Beauty (1959), and Rococo-inspired objects brought to life in Beauty and the Beast (1991). The exhibition marks the 30th anniversary of Beauty and the Beast’s animated theatrical release.

Harvard Art Museums, Mass, US

States of Play: Prints from Rembrandt to Delsarte. News, 1th September 2021
© 2021 President and Fellows of Harvard College

Spanning more than three centuries, the works in this exhibition—by artists such as Pablo Picasso, Rembrandt, Lee Krasner, Jacques Philippe Le Bas, and Louis Delsarte—unveil the layers of creative revision, correction, and adjustment behind finished prints. Central to this process is the concept of a “print state,” which traditionally refers to a version of a print that precedes the final product. The exhibition explores how artists across time have maximized the iterative potential of states, for reasons ranging from the practical to the whimsical. By decoding creative choices that the artist pursued or abandoned in each successive step, the exhibition helps uncover the full breadth of experimentation and demystifies printmaking terminology and techniques.

The works on view, which also include prints by Anthony van Dyck, Louise Nevelson, Paul Signac, Edvard Munch, Albert Besnard, Félix Hilaire Buhot, Sol LeWitt, and others, are drawn from the Harvard Art Museums collections.

From September 4, 2021–January 2, 2022, University Research Gallery, Harvard Art Museums.


Japan: A History of StyleNews, 1th September 2021

© 2000–2021 The Metropolitan Museum of Art. All rights reserved.
The MET opens a new exhibition that celebrates how gifts and acquisitions of the last decade have transformed the ability to narrate the story of Japanese art by both expanding and deepening the range of remarkable artworks that can meaningfully elucidate the past. Each of the ten rooms that make up the Arts of Japan Galleries features a distinct genre, school, or style, representing an array of works in nearly every medium, from ancient times to the present. Highlights include the debut of a spectacular group of contemporary metalwork by Living National Treasures and emerging artists, and, in the first rotation, a selection of woodblock prints from the Lee E. Dirks Collection.

'Third largest diamond' ever seen found in Botswana mine. News, 30th June 2021

Miners in Botswana have uncovered what could be the third largest diamond of its kind in the world, bringing hope to the "struggling" African nation. - DW

The 1,098-carat diamond was unearthed on June 1 by Debswana, a joint venture between the Botswanan government and precious stone multinational De Beers.

As it is the biggest stone of gem quality the company has found, Botswana President Mokqweetsi Masisi was shown the giant diamond in the capital Gabronne.

How significant is this find?

"It is believed to be the third largest gem-quality find in the world," Debswana Managing Director Lynette Armstrong told the AFP news agency.

"This rare and extraordinary stone means so much in the context of diamonds andBotswana. It brings hope to the nation that is struggling," she said.

It follows the discovery of a 998-carat diamond in northeastern Botswana′s Karowe mine in November by Lucara Diamond. Botswana is the leading diamond producer in Africa.

Which are the biggest diamonds ever found?

The 3,106-carat Cullinan is the largest diamond ever discovered. It was found in South Africa and named after Thomas Cullinan, the mine′s founder.

It was eventually bought by the Transvaal Colony government and presented as a gift to the then king of the United Kingdom, Edward VII.

The 1,109-carat Lesedi La Rona was the second largest diamond ever found. It was also mined at Karowe in northeastern Botswana in 2015 and is the size of a golf ball.

Diamonds can fetch millions of dollars on the international market.

jc/msh (AFP, Reuters)

Gropius Bau, Berlin, Germany

Yayoi Kusama: A Retrospective. News, 17th June 2021

Yayoi Kusama, “Infinity Mirror Room – Phalli’s Field”, 1965© YAYOI KUSAMA, courtesy: Ota Fine Arts, Victoria Miro & David Zwirner

Presented across almost 3000 m², Yayoi Kusama: A Retrospective will offer an overview of the key periods in her oeuvre, which spans more than 70 years, and feature a number of current works as well as a newly realised Infinity Mirror Room.

The retrospective will focus primarily on tracing the development of Kusama’s creative output from her early paintings and accumulative sculptures to her immersive environments, as well exploring her lesser-known artistic activity in Germany and Europe.

Since the 1960s, the artist has been actively engaged in realising exhibition projects outside the former centre of her life in New York and showing her work in a European context. This has also brought to the fore Kusama’s role as a pioneer of personal branding, who early on in her practice intentionally staged and marketed her own artistic persona and multidisciplinary work.

Within the exhibition framework, reconstructions will allow viewers to experience the pioneering nature of her presentational forms and artistic subjects, making accessible Kusama’s early exhibition projects in Germany and Europe in the 1960s and central solo exhibitions in the USA and Asia from the 1950s to 1980s.

From 23 April to 15 August 2021.


In Praise of Painting. News, 17th June 2021
Johannes Vermeer (Dutch, 1632–1675). Young Woman with a Water Pitcher (detail), ca. 1662. Oil on canvas, 18 x 16 in. (45.7 x 40.6 cm). The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, Marquand Collection, Gift of Henry G. Marquand, 1889 (89.15.21)

Dutch paintings of the seventeenth century—the Golden Age of Rembrandt, Hals, and Vermeer—have been a highlight of The Met collection since the Museum's founding purchase in 1871. This exhibition brings together some of the Museum's greatest paintings to present this remarkable chapter of art history in a new light. Through sixty-seven works of art organized thematically, In Praise of Painting orients visitors to key issues in seventeenth-century Dutch culture—from debates about religion and conspicuous consumption to painters' fascination with the domestic lives of women.

The exhibition provides a fresh perspective on the canon and parameters of the Dutch Golden Age by uniting paintings from Benjamin Altman's bequest, the Robert Lehman Collection, and the Jack and Belle Linsky Collection. Works typically displayed separately in the Museum's galleries—such as Rembrandt's Gerard de Lairesse and Lairesse's own Apollo and Aurora—are presented side by side, producing a visually compelling narrative about the tensions between realism and idealism during this period. The presentation also provides the opportunity to conserve and display rarely exhibited paintings, including Margareta Haverman's A Vase of Flowers—one of only two known paintings by the artist and the only painting by an early modern Dutch woman currently in The Met collection. The exhibition takes its title from one of the period's major works of art theory, Philips Angel's The Praise of Painting (1642), a pioneering defense of realism in art.

Gustave Moreau’s 34 surviving Fables watercolours get a very rare outing. News, 17th June 2021
“Drunk on colour”: A detail of The Frogs Who Ask for a King (1884), one of Gustave Moreau’s 34 surviving Fables illustrations © Jean-Yves Lacote

In 1886, when England last saw Gustave Moreau’s Fables watercolours, the young George Bernard Shaw was most impressed by the French artist’s feverishly colourful illustrations, which were made to accompany the 17th-century poems of Jean de la Fontaine. “Lovers of literature, who have been soured and hardened against artists by the exasperating brainlessness of the common sort of illustrations to the works of great authors, need not fear the works of Moreau,” Shaw wrote. “The La Fontaine series entitles him to rank with Delacroix and Burne-Jones as illustrator.” - ART NEWSPAPER

It has been a long time since the public has had the chance to reassess this view. All the surviving Fables works are about to go on show at Waddesdon Manor, a National Trust mansion formerly owned by the Rothschild family, more than a century since they were last seen in public anywhere.

Gustave Moreau’s 34 surviving Fables watercolours get a very rare outing. The 19th-century French symbolist's works will go on show at Waddesdon Manor before travelling to Paris.

In 1886, when England last saw Gustave Moreau’s Fables watercolours, the young George Bernard Shaw was most impressed by the French artist’s feverishly colourful illustrations, which were made to accompany the 17th-century poems of Jean de la Fontaine. “Lovers of literature, who have been soured and hardened against artists by the exasperating brainlessness of the common sort of illustrations to the works of great authors, need not fear the works of Moreau,” Shaw wrote. “The La Fontaine series entitles him to rank with Delacroix and Burne-Jones as illustrator.”

It has been a long time since the public has had the chance to reassess this view. All the surviving Fables works are about to go on show at Waddesdon Manor, a National Trust mansion formerly owned by the Rothschild family, more than a century since they were last seen in public anywhere.

The series of 64 illustrations was commissioned by Moreau’s wealthy patron, Antony Roux. On his death in 1913, they were bought for 300,000 francs by Miriam Alexandrine de Rothschild, the daughter of the well-known collector Edmond de Rothschild, and a considerable collector in her own right, as research by the exhibition’s curator Juliet Carey has established.

Miriam gave one watercolour to the Musée National Gustave Moreau in Paris, which was once the artist home and studio, and where the exhibition will travel to this winter. But almost half the collection was looted by the Nazis from Miriam’s Paris flat and another Rothschild home. The 34 surviving works in the show are on loan from one of the family collections.

The Museum of Modern Art presents a major exhibition offering a new look at the celebrated modern artist Paul Cézanne. News, 16th June 2021
Paul Cézanne. Mont Sainte-Victoire (La Montagne Sainte-Victoire vue des Lauves). 1902–06. Watercolor and pencil on wove paper, 16 3/4 x 21 3/8″ (42.5 x 54.2 cm). The Museum of Modern Art, New York. Gift of Mr. and Mrs. David Rockefeller. Photo © 2021 MoMA, NY
The Museum of Modern Art presents a major exhibition offering a new look at the celebrated modern artist Paul Cézanne (1839–1906) through close attention to his process in pencil and watercolor and fresh insights into this profoundly original yet lesser-known body of work. Cézanne Drawing is the first major effort in the United States to unite drawings from across the artist’s entire career, tracing the development of his practice on paper and exploring his working methods. 

More than 250 works on paper—including drawings, sketchbooks, and rarely seen watercolors—are shown alongside a selection of related oil paintings, all drawn from MoMA’s collection as well as public and private collections from around the world. Presented together, these works reveal how this fundamental figure of modern art—more often recognized as a painter—produced his most radical works on paper.

$1B feud involving Leonardo's 'Salvator Mundi' reveals dark side of the art world. News, 2nd June 2021
The "Salvator Mundi" on display at a press preview at Christie's in New York in 2017. Credit: Dennis Van Tine/Sipa USA/AP

It is the biggest legal fight the art world has ever witnessed: a Russian oligarch, who claims he was ripped off buying multi-million-dollar masterpieces, versus a Swiss art dealer who says it was just business. - CNN

Now, after six years of lawsuits in multiple jurisdictions, the tables appear to be turning once more in a saga so dramatic it's been given a name worthy of a movie script: "The Bouvier Affair."

Russian fertilizer tycoon Dmitry Rybolovlev has pursued Swiss art dealer and freeport storage magnate Yves Bouvier around the world for years in various courts, claiming to have been swindled out of $1 billion on 38 exorbitantly priced artworks sold to him by Bouvier over the course of a decade.

But in a new twist, Bouvier has told CNN he is preparing his own billion-dollar damage counter suit against Rybolovlev, after taking legal action in Singapore in February, alleging a long-running court battle with Rybolovlev has ruined his businesses and reputation.

The cases so far have kept an army of lawyers and reputation managers employed on either side, as one allegation against another is levied by each party, including claims of intimidation and political intrigue.

Fittingly, the tortuous imbroglio also involves some of the most priceless and controversial pieces of art, including the 2013 purchase of what is now the world's most expensive and enigmatic painting: the "Salvator Mundi," thought by some to be the work of Leonardo da Vinci despite years of debate over its authenticity -- a work on which Bouvier made a markup of more than 50%.

Long believed by others to be a copy or the work of Leonardo's studio, the "Salvator Mundi" was purchased in 2005 by a consortium of speculative art dealers for under $10,000. Eight years later, after the painting had been restored and declared the work of the Renaissance master, Bouvier bought it for $80 million after enlisting the help of a poker player to beat down the price. The dealer swiftly sold it on for $127.5 million to his then-client, Rybolovlev, via the pair's offshore vehicles, according to an invoice referred to in court papers, and taking a 1% commission. And while the oligarch later auctioned off the painting for an astonishing $450 million in 2017, to a secret buyer now widely believed to be Saudi Arabia's Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, he nonetheless alleges that Bouvier defrauded him -- a claim Bouvier denies.

Rybolovlev declined to be interviewed for this story, but a spokesperson for Dmitry Rybolovlev's family entities told CNN: "These matters are being fought in the courts where we expect to prove what happened and that Bouvier's fanciful story is false. For now, what is most notable is what Bouvier does not dispute: as an art adviser, he pretended to help his clients assemble an art collection at a cost of $2 billion while secretly reaping half of that price for himself."

Icecap Launches High-End NFT Diamond and Jewelry Collectibles News, 14th June 2021

Icecap, LLC, the first company to offer investment-grade diamonds via NFT technology, has announced the launch of tokenized “Icecap Collectibles,” a selection of high-end natural and rare colored diamonds, plus unique finished jewelry pieces. The company said in its press release that initial offerings include an intense red diamond valued at approximately $3 million USD. - GEMATLAS

Icecap recently relocated its headquarters to Dubai.

Non-Fungible Tokens, or NFTs, are blockchain-based tokens which document ownership of real world or virtual world assets. As blockchain tokens, once sold they can move efficiently between buyers/sellers for trading purposes on NFT exchanges.

“NFT technology has opened up diamonds as an asset class for diversification,” explained Jacques Voorhees, CEO of Icecap. “Diamonds typically out-perform inflation, but now with NFT technology diamonds can be bought, sold, and traded almost as efficiently as gold and silver. Thanks to NFTs, we might say the world’s hardest asset is now liquid.”

Icecap is the brainchild of the father/son team of Jacques Voorhees, who revolutionized the diamond industry in the 1980s by introducing online trading technology via Polygon, and Erik Voorhees, the well-known bitcoin advocate and founder of ShapeShift.

“Interest in diamonds as an investment goes back over a thousand years,” continued Voorhees. “But diamonds are not fungible—each one is unique. The technology of non-fungible tokens now makes it easy to trade this asset class without the friction of having to track the physical product itself—which is kept secure, vaulted, and insured.”

Icecap’s diamond tokens are traded on the world’s largest NFT exchange, A buyer can hold the token as an investment, sell the token to liquidate, or redeem the token and take delivery of the physical diamond itself—which can later be re-tokenized if desired.

Icecap’s decision to relocate from the United States to Dubai was an easy one, according to Voorhees. “In the last twelve months, Dubai has become the primary trading center for diamonds globally. And the UAE is a global leader in having a stable and well-evolved regulatory framework for the trading of blockchain assets. Dubai in general, and the DMCC free-zone, in particular, is a natural home for a company that combines diamonds with NFT trading.”

Icecap’s new line of diamond collectibles are targeted to those who value rarity and uniqueness over liquidity. The Company’s “investment grade” diamonds, by contrast, are lower price point, less unique, but highly liquid. “There’s a market for both,” added Voorhees. “And NFT technology is ideally suited to both.”

For more information on Icecap, please visit To visit the OpenSea marketplace directly, go to

NFT Home Sells for More Than $500,000. News, 14th April 2021
Krista Kim Studio

NFT mania is showing no signs of slowing down.

The latest proof? The world’s first NFT house just sold for more than $500,000, according to CNN. And while artist Krista Kim’s Mars House is certainly a sight to behold, it’s also a property that doesn’t actually exist in the real world. The futuristic structure is a 3-D digital model that can only be experienced in virtual reality.

The one-of-a-kind Mars House is a non-fungible token (or NFT), which is a unique digital asset “minted” by the blockchain technology. The encryption provides proof of the asset’s authenticity as well as records showing who created it and who owns it.

The neon-lit, glass dwelling was listed for sale on SuperRare last week and sold to the Art on the Internet foundation for 288 Ethereum coins, which were worth $514,557.79 at the time of the sale. Kim announced that the “majority” of proceeds will go to the Continuum Foundation and used for a world tour of sound and light installation designed to promote mental health. Last week, the artist told Architectural Digest that the Mars House’s design is meant to promote meditative well-being, one of her creative focuses since the outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic.

“Mars House represents the next generation of NFTs,” the artist told CNN. “It is a sign of things to come, as we enter an [augmented reality] interfaced future, with the launch of Apple AR glasses and AR contact lenses. Art, NFTs, cryptocurrencies. . .these sweeping changes and ideas of how we will live with digital assets is becoming a reality and will create a global paradigm shift.”

The Mars House NFT includes a 3-D file of the residence which can be uploaded to the foundation’s “metaverse.” It also comes with tech support and an ambient soundtrack composed by the Smashing Pumpkins’s Jeff Schroeder. Should the new owner ever decide to sell the home, they must delete the files from their metaverse and provide proof to Kim that they have done so.

The transaction is one of just several jaw-dropping sales of NFTs this month. Two weeks ago, Everydays—The First 5000 Days, a JPEG by the digital artist Beeple sold for sold for $69.3 million at auction. Earlier this week, an NFT of Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey’s first published tweet sold for $2.9 million.

Restoration of 16th-century English tapestries nears completion after 20 years. News, 2nd June 2021
Trevor Ray Hart/National Trust Images

Conservation work that began 20 years ago on a giant set of 16th-century tapestries is almost complete: 12 down -- as the most recently cleaned and repaired panel goes back on the wall at England's Hardwick Hall, where they have hung since 1592 -- and one to go, now on its way to the workshop. - CNN

The job has been the lengthiest textile project ever carried out by the British heritage charity, the National Trust. Each panel is around six meters (20 feet) tall, and the 13 add up to more than 70 meters (230 feet) in length, the largest surviving set in England.

The tapestries were bought by a suitably towering personality, Bess of Hardwick, who outlived four husbands and became richer each time she was widowed.

She built and remodeled English stately homes on an imperial scale, including Chatsworth House, family home of her second husband, and her own astonishing residence, Hardwick Hall in Derbyshire, famously dubbed "more glass than wall" at a time when any glass window was a costly luxury.

The tapestries were originally woven in Flanders, Belgium, for Sir Christopher Hatton, for his own vast new house, Holdenby Hall in Northamptonshire, and sold after his death in 1591 to meet heavy debts.

Bess paid the then-enormous price of £326, 15 shillings and 9 pence, roughly the equivalent of £128,000 ($182,000) today, according to the National Trust.

She brought the tapestries to Hardwick Hall, where they have remained ever since, and had patches of her own coat of arms stitched and painted over Hatton's. His golden hind emblem was also converted into a Cavendish stag by adding painted antlers.

The conservation work included replacing thousands of broken threads, strengthening points of heavy wear, and recording and removing some historic repairs made out of patches cut from other old tapestries. All the panels were strengthened by being stitched onto a linen backing, and then given a cotton lining.

Work on the 13th panel, funded by a private donation of more than £287,000 ($407,000), should be finished by 2023, completing the epic project. The 12th panel will be left to be admired on its own for at least two years, without reinstating the portraits which had hung on top of it.

Polish region loses €1.65m European heritage grant after declaring itself 'LGBT-free zone'. News, 10th February 2021
The grant was meant to fund a "Carpathian Route" through the Polish side of the mountain range © Marek Piwnicki

The magazine The Art Newspaper published an article where states that after Podkarpackie declaring itself one of more than 100 “LGBT-free zones” in Poland, the region has apparently lost €1.65m in European heritage funding. Podkarpackie, at the foot of the Subcarpathian Mountains, is a popular winter holiday destination.

According to the Polish LGBTQ activist Bart Staszewski, the grant, which was earmarked for the development of a "Carpathian Route" that helps to "explore, promote and protect the richness of the cultural and natural heritage of the Carpathian region", was withdrawn in September last year. But details of its cancellation only came to light this month after Staszewski questioned Polish officials over their refusal to publicly acknowledge the matter.

The curious saga of a Russian cosmetics entrepreneur and his €107m Cellini painting. News, 10th March 2021
The painting found in a French village that its owner claims is a self-portrait of Benvenuto Cellini © Tamoikin Art Fund.
Bizarre story of a painting discovered in a French village, said by its owner to be a self-portrait by Cellini, is told in a new BBC radio series. The story is the subject of a compelling ten-part BBC Radio 3 series Blood and Bronze (to be broadcast between 22 March and 2 April and available on BBC Sounds afterwards) researched, written and narrated by Jerry Brotton, a professor of Renaissance studies at Queen Mary University in London. Nasobin is described as a collector, actor, blogger and publicist on the Russian website Rucompromat. He had a part in the British TV series McMafia in 2017, but for years also ran a cosmetics business, Green Mama, in France. He recounts his story in a thriller, Benvenuto: the Mystery of one Picture, and he claims all the events in it are absolutely true. The Russian press has reported on the difficulties of the company, and even some disagreements with Russian banks, leading to a lawsuit.

Read the full article at The Art Newspaper

Francis Bacon: Man and Beast Post by Francisco Lacerda, 24th November 2020

In January 2021, the Royal Academy of Arts will present Francis Bacon: Man and Beast, the first exhibition to chart the development of the artist’s work through the lens of his fascination with animals and its impact on his treatment of the human figure. Francis Bacon (1909–1992) is recognised as one of the most important artists of the twentieth century. Since his death, the world has changed in ways that make his unnerving work ever more prescient. This important exhibition will include 45 remarkable paintings spanning his career; from his earliest works of the 1930s and 40s through to the final painting he ever made in 1991, which will be exhibited publicly here for the first time in the UK. Among the works, a trio of paintings of bullfights will also be displayed together for the first time, all painted in 1969.

© The Royal Academy of Arts
In Bacon’s paintings, man is never far from beast. That humankind is fundamentally an animal was a truth that lay at the heart of his imagery. From the biomorphic creatures of his earliest work, to the distorted nudes that define the latter part of his career, Bacon remained convinced that, beneath the veneer of civilisation, humans are animals like any other. Throughout his life, the artist was captivated by the movement of animals, tracking them on trips to South Africa and amassing a vast collection of wildlife books. By observing their uninhibited behaviour, he believed he could get closer to the core of humanity.
© The Royal Academy of Arts

The exhibition will conclude with the last painting Bacon ever made, Study of a Bull, 1991 (Private Collection), which was not discovered until 2016. The bull emerges from the picture as if about to charge, but the black void behind has opened to claim it forever. From 30 January – 18 April 2021

© 2020 TEFAF
"TEFAF Online has proven an outstanding experience for the more than 30 thousand art lovers and collectors who visited the Fair from around the world, resulting in prominent sales and connections,” said Charlotte van Leerdam, Managing Director, TEFAF. 

Robert Simon Fine Art, New York. Lucas Cranach the Elder and Workshop (Kronach 1472-1553 Weimar) ‘The Judgment of Paris’. Oil on panel. 61.5 x 39.6 cm (24.2 x 15.6 in.). Circa 1518-1522

“Translating our signature environment of quality and splendor to a digital platform, this inaugural Fair brought collectors along on an exciting TEFAF journey of discovery. We are enormously gratified that so many people have been able to engage with TEFAF in a meaningful way, during this time when in-person fairs are not possible.” “We feel it was a very smart (and brave) decision on the fair’s part to limit the offering from each gallery to one piece. As a dealer it forced us to distill our vision for the fair and the way in which we wished to represent the gallery,” said Juliet Burrows of Holster Burrows. “[...] the unique place that TEFAF holds in the art world brought focus to this artist in a way that might not have occurred had we been offering a full stand of material.”

Goya's graphic imagination Post by Francisco Lacerda, 24th November 2020

© Goya, (Francisco de Goya y Lucientes) (Spanish, 1746–1828). Seated Giant,by 1818. Burnished aquatint with scraping and strokes of 'lavis' added along the top of the landscape and within the landscape, 11 3/16 x 8 3/16 in. (28.4 x 20.8 cm). The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, Harris Brisbane Dick Fund, 1935 (35.42)

Regarded as one of the most remarkable artists from the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries, Francisco Goya (1746–1828) is renowned for his prolific activity as a draftsman and printmaker, producing about nine hundred drawings and three hundred prints during his long career. Through his drawings and prints, he expressed his political liberalism, criticism of superstition, and distaste for intellectual oppression in unique and compelling ways.

This exhibition will explore Goya's graphic imagination and how his drawings and prints allowed him to share his complex ideas and respond to the turbulent social and political changes occurring in the world around him. The broadly chronological presentation will follow Goya's evolution and different phases as a graphic artist as well as his approaches to his subjects. Around one hundred works on display will come mainly from The Met collection—one of the most outstanding collections of Goya's drawings and prints outside Spain—with other works coming from New York, Boston, and Madrid’s Museo Nacional del Prado and the Biblioteca Nacional.

Body and Soul - Italian Renaissance Sculpture from Donatello to Michelangelo Post by Francisco Lacerda, 19th October 2020

© Musée du Louvre

Following on from the "Springtime of the Renaissance" exhibition (September 26, 2013–January 6, 2014), the "Body and Soul" exhibition, organized in collaboration with the Castello Sforzesco Museum in Milan, seeks to bring to light the main themes and ideas developed in Italy during the second half of the Quattrocento.

In the first two decades of the 16th century, these elements would lead to a defining moment in the history of Renaissance sculpture, with the arrival on the art scene of one of the greatest creators of all time, Michelangelo. The exhibition will focus primarily on the art of sculpting, but will also explore a number of works from other fields (painting, printmaking, and drawing). Sculptors were drawn to the interpretation of human beings; both in outward appearance and inner state. The portrayal of human figures in their range of movements took highly innovative forms at the time. These explorations of the expression and emotions of the human figure were at the heart of the approaches of the leading sculptors of the time, from Donatello to Michelangelo. 

The exhibition discusses three major themes: “Fury and Grace” firstly reveals the interest for complex compositions and the intensification of bodily movements; next, “Affect and Persuasiveness” aims to highlight how emotional states were at the core of artistic practices, with the clear desire to have a powerful impact on viewers’ emotions; and lastly, “From Dionysos to Apollo” brings to light the inexhaustible contemplation of classical antiquity expressed in sculpture, developing the search for new harmony that transcended the naturalism of gestures and extreme emotions.

Louvre Abu Dhabi has a new exhibition. Furusiyya: The Art of Chivalry between East and West Post by Francisco Lacerda, 10th October 2020
Department of Culture and Tourism - Abu Dhabi

Furusiyya in the East meets Chivalry in the West. Discover how these distinct practices of combat and knightly values led to a specific culture in the Islamic East and the largely Christian West.

Tales of knightly culture have been told throughout history – of brave heroes fighting for their sovereign, their religion and their honour; stories of war, loss, comradery and courtly love. But what was this culture of furusiyya and chivalry? How did they begin? And how did they face each other in important historical periods? 

This unique exhibition explores the ancient roots of chivalry as well as the role of a knight in combat and the different chivalric codes that developed around the world, from Iraq and Syria in the East, to France and Spain in the West. Through over 130 rare artworks from the 10th to the beginning of the 16th centuries, including spectacular arms, armour, and rare manuscripts, discover how some of these practices and the knightly spirit became a past time, and how some of them continue around the world to this day. 

Organised by Louvre Abu Dhabi, Musée de Cluny – Musée national du Moyen Âge and Agence France Muséums. Curated by Elisabeth Taburet-Delahaye, Director, Musée de Cluny – Musée national du Moyen Âge; Carine Juvin, Curator, Department of Islamic Art, Musée du Louvre and Michel Huynh, Head Curator, Musée de Cluny – Musée national du Moyen Âge.

Kremlin Museums present the exhibition "Karl Faberge and Fyodor Rückert" Post by Francisco Lacerda, 10th October 2020
‘Moscow Kremlin’ Easter Egg. Russia, St Petersburg, 1904-1906. The firm of C. Fabergé. Gold, silver, glass; casting, enamel, carving. Easter gift from Emperor Nicholas II to Empress Alexandra Fyodorovna, 1906.

Between 9 October 2020 and 10 January 2021, "Carl Fabergé and Feodor Rückert. Masterpieces of Russian Enamel" will be on show at the exhibition halls of the Assumption Belfry and Patriarch’s Palace in the Moscow Kremlin Museums. Visitors will have a rare opportunity to see about four hundred enamelled pieces made of precious metals—all produced by Russian jewellery firms of the late 19th – early 20th century.

The project focuses on the works by the court jeweller to Russian Tsars, Carl Fabergé, and on the skill of the finest Russian "enamel painter" Feodor Ivanovich Rückert. For the first time, masterpieces of outstanding Russian jewellers and enamellists of the turn of the 19th and 20th centuries, now kept in more than twenty museums and private collections, will be united within a single exhibition space. Fabergé and Rückert enjoyed long and fruitful cooperation: Feodor Rückert created enamelled pieces, commissioned to him by the court jeweller, as well as worked for the legendary Russian firms of P. Ovchinnikov and I. Khlebnikov—suppliers to the Highest Imperial Court—and other famous Moscow companies. Along with the pieces by Fabergé and Rückert, visitors will be able to contemplate items produced by other firms, companies, workshops and artels founded by O. Kurlyukov, A. Postnikov, M. Semenova, G. Klingert, A. Kuzmichev.


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