Leonard A. Lauder Cubist Collection at the Met

The Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York has received a major gift in the form of Leonard Lauder’s collection of Cubist art, considered one of the greatest of its kind still in private hands. The 78 works in the Lauder Collection include 33 paintings by Pablo Picasso, 17 by Georges Braque, and 14 each by Juan Gris and Fernand Léger.

You can read the Met’s press release here, and an article about the donation in The New York Times here.

New Collections in ARTstor

Pierre-Auguste Renoir, La Loge, 1874, Courtauld Gallery, London

Pierre-Auguste Renoir, La Loge, 1874, Courtauld Gallery, London

ARTstor has released a number of important new image collections recently. These include the following:

  • The Courtauld Gallery (one of London’s most renowned small museums; it’s the home to Édouard Manet’s famous A Bar at the Folies-Bergère and other masterpieces of Impressionist and Post-Impressionist painting)
  • IAP images from the Walters Art Museum, Baltimore (the Walters has long contributed to ARTstor, but now it is making available high-resolution images of its works suitable for publication as part of the Images for Academic Publishing (IAP) program)
  • Additional images from the Indianapolis Museum of Art (over 1000 new images from the museum, some of which are also part of the IAP program)

For a more complete list of recent collection releases in ARTstor, click here.

New Website for the Ghent Altarpiece

Detail of the Ghent Altarpiece

Detail of the Ghent Altarpiece (http://closertovaneyck.kikirpa.be)

Last summer I announced a preview for a new website on Jan and Hubert van Eyck’s Polyptych of the Mystic Lamb, commonly called the Ghent Altarpiece. The completed site, called “Closer to Van Eyck: Rediscovering the Ghent Altarpiece,” is now online. Created by the Royal Institute for Cultural Heritage in Brussels, Belgium, and funded by a grant from the Getty Foundation, this site lets you explore this Early Netherlandish masterpiece up close. In addition to high-resolution macrophotography that allows you to zoom in on minute details, there are also x-rays and infrared images that allow you to look beneath the surface of the paint. The Royal Institute for Cultural Heritage has been one of the pioneers in such technical examinations of works of art since the 1950s.

You can visit the site here, and read the Getty’s press release here.

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.

New Website for the Ghent Altarpiece

IRR detail of an angel in the Ghent Altarpiece

Infrared detail of an angel in the Ghent Altarpiece, showing the underdrawing (IRR assembly from vaneyck.kikirpa.be)

Belgium’s Royal Institute for Cultural Heritage in Brussels has created a new website for images of the Van Eyck brothers’ celebrated Ghent Altarpiece, one of the most important works of Northern Renaissance art.

Only a preview version of the site is currently available, and its images are limited to infrared reflectography made during the recent restoration of the altarpiece. Infrared reflectography (IRR) is a tool in the technical examination of a painting to reveal the preliminary sketches, or underdrawings, that lie beneath the paint surface. These underdrawings often provide clues to the artistic process, such as what changes the artist made along the way, or even who the artist was.

The full site is expected to launch in January 2012, and it will presumably also contain full-color views and details of the altarpiece.

You can read a description of the project here, or visit the preview site at vaneyck.kikirpa.be.

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.