Five Fun Things: January 2023

I know – January is almost over. But better late than never, right?

  1. Did you notice, on your visits to the Frick, that none of their Italian Renaissance portraits depicted female subjects? It probably says something about me that I never noticed this deficiency. (I was probably too busy looking at their small bronzes…) In any case, this issue has finally been rectified, with the purchase of a Moroni portrait. If the painting looks familiar, it’s because the portrait was included in the Frick’s 2019 Moroni exhibition.
  2. The Old Master’s Market, Hot or Not? Two votes in favor of Hot (Nicholas Hall and Artnet), one vote in favor of Not (from the NY Times).
  3. While we’re talking about the market for Old Master paintings, here’s a look back at the 19th-century market, from the November 1860 Issue of the Atlantic: James Jack Jarves on “Italian Experiences in Collecting “Old Masters.” (Who was Jarves? The intro to this catalogue will help clarify things.)
  4. A fun way to explore medieval manuscripts: Jesse Hurlbut’s Manuscript Art.
  5. Need a Valentine’s Day Gift? The Getty’s Gift Shop has some intriguing suggestions. I think I need my own desktop Aphrodite. Or perhaps a 7-inch tall version of the Lansdowne Hercules?

& 1 Cool Object

An Embroidered Workbox from the V&A Museum.

Hannah Downes made the needlework panels on this workbox around 1684. The panels are made of canvas, worked with silk thread, and it looks surprisingly modern due to Downes’s choice to embroider each panel with geometric abstractions of flowers.

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