2011 Artists’ Obituaries

Last summer I posted links to obituaries for Cy Twombly and Lucian Freud. Let me add the names of a few more noteworthy figures in 20th-century art who have passed away since then:

ARTstor’s Tribute to Steve Jobs

Screenshot of ARTstor's search page, with its tribute to Steve Jobs (1955-2011)

Screenshot of ARTstor's search page on October 6, 2011

If you have gone to ARTstor’s search page in the past few days, you may have been greeted by a new image. The Macintosh 128K Home Computer pictured there is the original model released by Apple in 1984, and the one marketed that year in the company’s famous Super Bowl commercial. It’s ARTstor’s low-key tribute to the late Steve Jobs, Apple’s co-founder.

This image also highlights the Museum of Modern Art’s Architecture and Design collection in ARTstor, which includes images of a number of Apple products at MoMA. Also among the nearly 7000 images in this collection are works by such designers as Louis Comfort Tiffany, Hector Guimard, Antoni Gaudí, Marcel Breuer, and Frank Lloyd Wright.

Dead Sea Scrolls Online

The Israel Museum in Jerusalem has teamed up with Google to digitize the Dead Sea Scrolls and make them accessible online. The Dead Sea Scrolls Digital Project has just released the first five complete scrolls.

The Dead Sea Scrolls were first discovered in 1947, and over the next decade fragments of nearly a thousand scrolls came to light. They are among the oldest and most important Biblical artifacts ever found, yet for years access to them was tightly controlled. The Huntington Library‘s decision in 1991 to make even its photographs of the scrolls available to scholars caused controversy at the time, so this latest development is truly welcome news.

Art in the News

Nicolas Poussin, Adoration of the Golden Calf (detail)

Nicolas Poussin, detail from the Adoration of the Golden Calf, 1633-34 (Photo © The National Gallery, London)

Two more art-related headlines out of Britain:

  • An obituary for figurative painter Lucian Freud, 1922-2011.
  • An article on the recent vandalism of two works by 17th-century French painter Nicolas Poussin in the National Gallery, London.

Art in the News

A few more art-related items in the recent headlines:

  • An obituary for Cy Twombly, 1928-2011. The American artist, best known for making paintings that look like blackboard scribbles, died on July 5th at age 83.
  • An architectural review of Zaha Hadid’s Guangzhou Opera House in China.
  • An article on Samuel F. B. Morse’s Gallery of the Louvre. The painting, currently on view at the National Gallery of Art in Washington, is one subject in David McCullough’s new book, The Greater Journey: Americans in Paris.

A New Leonardo da Vinci?

Attributed to Leonardo da Vinci, Salvator Mundi (after restoration)

The Salvator Mundi, newly attributed to Leonardo da Vinci, as it appears after restoration (photo from Mail Online)

Attributed to Leonardo da Vinci, Salvator Mundi (after restoration)

The appearance of the Salvator Mundi before restoration (photo from Mail Online)

Is this a newly discovered painting by Leonardo da Vinci? Some experts say it is.

It has long been known that the famous Renaissance artist painted a picture of Christ as the Savior of the World (Salvator Mundi), but while many copies and emulations by Leonardo’s followers have survived, the master’s own original was presumed lost.

After a recent cleaning (left), several Leonardo scholars now think that one of these supposed “copies” is in fact the original. Its authenticity, they believe, was obscured by centuries of retouching and overpainting (right).

The newly unveiled “Leonardo” will be exhibited at the National Gallery in London later this year. You can read more about the painting in Mail Online and Art News.

What do you think? Is this really a long-lost masterpiece by Leonardo da Vinci?