Old Masters Today #4

Back from an unplanned summer hiatus, a bimonthly irreverent take on the market for Old Masters, essential events, and generally absurd artworld adjacent news. HIGHLIGHTS You don’t need me to reproduce Leonardo’s drawing of Head of a Bear (which yes, objectively, £ 8.86 million seems like a lot, but it is well within the original estimate of £ 8 – 12 million) or…

Slavery: Ten True Stories at the Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam

The Rijksmuseum’s long-awaited exhibition “Slavery: Ten True Stories” is a project about people, not least among them the visitors who traverse the eleven galleries where the show unfolds. To experience the exhibition is to meet constantly with one’s own image: in every room, mirrored walls and display cases incorporate the person who sees, reads, and…

The Director’s Choice: National Gallery, London

In keeping with the present spirit of virtual tours and online events, the National Gallery in London offered a unique recasting of its collection whilst its doors were closed to the public. The Director’s Choice originated from a series of weekly emails from the Gallery’s Director, Dr. Gabriele Finaldi, to their supporters in which individual…

Old Masters Today #3

A monthly column featuring mostly lowbrow auction highlights and essential Old Masters news and events. HIGHLIGHTS Originally commissioned by Alfonso I d’Este (1476-1534), this panel (right) was sold at Christie’s and has an absolutely illustrious provenance worth a click to the lot description. The frieze corresponds to a painting at the National Gallery of Art…

After Michelangelo, Past Picasso: Leo Steinberg’s Library of Prints

Clio and Diderot attend (virtually) an exhibition featuring the extensive print collection of the legendary Leo Steinberg at the Blanton Museum, Austin. Having recently visited a few other digital shows, what are your thoughts about the format of this online exhibition?   Diderot: In terms of format, this was the most similar to the MSK’s Van…

April Book Club Selection : Hamnet by Maggie O’Farrell

Welcome to the Ars Longa book club! Each month, we’ll read something–a novel, a book of poetry, a work of creative nonfiction–that touches upon Early Modern themes. Book Club books are strictly non-academic. This is a space to unwind and explore creative approaches to the past. This April, join the Ars Longa book club as…

Reframing the Frick

Clio and Diderot visit the Frick Madison. The official title of the temporary installation is “The Frick Reframed: The Frick Collection Presents Highlights Reconsidered at Frick Madison.” For the next two years, a “selection of highlights” from the Frick collection will be on view in the Breuer building, the former home of the Whitney Museum….

Old Masters Today #2

A monthly column featuring mostly lowbrow auction highlights and essential Old Masters news and events. March, so we meet again. No matter where you are based, we’ve all more or less hit the anniversary of global lockdown measures. While most of us can’t travel due to the pandemic, I’ve looked across the pond to *curate*…

ars longa journal : cfp

Ars Longa is a new, independent online journal and blog dedicated to Early Modern art and visual/material culture.  Our aim is to create an open-access, creative platform where early career scholars and advanced graduate students can share their research and current projects.  We present work that challenges conventional forms and categories, that is often open-ended…