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Revealed: the plans to show Salvator Mundi at the Louvre

Exclusive photograph from the Paris museum shows the intended installation set up



This exclusive photograph shows where the Salvator Mundi was supposed to hang at the Louvre's Leonardo show

This exclusive photograph shows where the Salvator Mundi was supposed to hang at the Louvre’s Leonardo show © The Art Newspaper, all rights reserved

A photograph sent to The Art Newspaper of the original Louvre ground plan for the Leonardo exhibition graphically illustrates that the Salvator Mundi was intended to be part of the show. The plan was removed from the Louvre’s exhibition hall at the last minute on Friday, the day of the advance press preview.

The plan also shows the key role that the Salvator Mundi was intended to play in the exhibition. It is given pride of place in the final room, shown as part of a concluding triumvirate of great works—along with the Louvre’s St Anne and the National Gallery Cartoon of St Anne—on the adjacent wall to the Ganay version of the Salvator Mundi and the two Windsor studies.

Just how late in the day the news came that the Salvator Mundi would not arrive in time for the press viewings is unknown. Intriguingly, at the viewing on 18 October the wall where it was intended to hang was briefly adorned with just three picture hooks: the Louvre’s St John the Baptist, sans label, was then hung in its place at the last minute.

The space where the Salvator Mundi was supposed to hang

The space where the Salvator Mundi was supposed to hang © The Art Newspaper

Yesterday we reported that a missing catalogue entry occurs between Cat 156—one of the Windsor studies for the Salvator Mundi—and Cat 158, the Ganay version of the subject. A Louvre official told The Art Newspaper that two versions of the catalogue were produced as negotiations for the painting’s inclusion continued: one to be used if the picture arrived in time, the other if it did not. It is possible that the late omission or delay could be due to bureaucratic logistics or the state of cultural diplomatic relations between France and Saudi Arabia, whose Ministry of Culture is rumoured to be the current owner of the painting. It looks as if the logistics were in place for the picture to travel to Paris, but something occurred between 27 September and the advance exhibition preview on 18 October to make the picture’s timely arrival less likely.

The Art Newspaper has learned that on 18 October, while the advance preview of the Leonardo show was underway at the Louvre, a legislative amendment was made to the French government’s decree of 27 September indemnifying the loans to the exhibition. The “order” of amendment anticipates the possible loan of Salvator Mundi, from 20 October to 31 December 2019 inclusive. This suggests that the Louvre is open to displaying the Salvator Mundi even if it arrives halfway through the exhibition’s run (it closes on 24 February 2020).

The full photograph of the Louvre's plan

The full photograph of the Louvre’s plan © The Art Newspaper

The amendment guarantees €800m for transport of works and also for the length of their stay on site at the Louvre during those dates, but this threshold is lowered to €450m for the period from 1 January to 31 March 2020 inclusive “if the loan of the Salvator Mundi, attributed to Leonardo da Vinci, is confirmed before the 1st of January 2020 inclusive”. The amount is reduced further, to €275m, “if this loan is not confirmed”.

Another legislative document reveals that negotiations for the loan of Salvator Mundi have been continuing for more than a year. In June 2018, the French government issued a decree of immunity from seizure for the painting during a proposed loan period lasting up to 3 March 2020. The owner listed in the legislative document at that time is the Department of Culture and Tourism, United Arab Emirates (UAE).

The October 2018 “order” also reveals that the museum is describing the $450m Salvator Mundi as “attributed to” Leonardo rather than as a definitive autograph work. The term “attributed to” usually refers to an attribution made by a knowledgeable expert, but suggests that the attribution has not been confirmed by a scholarly consensus.

NEWS Andy Warhol Drawings to Show at New York Academy of Art

Andy Warhol, Self-Portrait, 1986, synthetic polymer paint on paper.


Joining a veritable bounty of shows devoted to the silver-haired Pop artist, the New York Academy of Art will present “Andy Warhol: By Hand, Drawings from the 1950s-1980s,” an exhibition of more than 150 illustrations, many of which have never been exhibited in the United States.

Opening January 22 and running into March, the show has been co-curated by David Kratz, the president of the New York Academy, and Vincent Fremont, formerly an executive manager of the artist’s studio and a founder of the Andy Warhol Foundation. (Fremont was also formerly the CEO of the holding company that previously owned ARTnews.)

In a statement, Fremont said, “It is important for people to know the vital role drawing played in Andy Warhol’s life as an artist. By focusing only on Andy’s drawings, this exhibition is a way to highlight without distraction Andy’s innovative process and experimentation which encompassed pen and ink, ballpoint pen, blotted line, graphite, and acrylic paint.” Works in the show were culled from the private collections of dealers Daniel Blau, Paul Kasmin, and Anton Kern.

“Andy Warhol: By Hand” follows numerous Warhol offerings that are coinciding with Whitney Museum’s retrospective “Andy Warhol—From A to B and Back Again.” Among them are “Andy Warhol: Endangered Species” at New York’s Ukrainian Museum, “Warhol 1968” at the Moderna Museet in Stockholm, an exhibition of portraits of the artist at Camera Work Gallery in Berlin, and “Contact Warhol: Photography Without End” at the Cantor Arts Center at Stanford University in California. Warhol’s monumental painting series Shadows (1978–79) was also displayed at Calvin Klein’s headquarters in New York until this past December, with plans for it to appear again this year in a long-term exhibition at Dia:Beacon in upstate New York.

Record set in Canada for Nobel Prize-winning doctor and artist Frederick Banting

A painting of the University of Toronto lab where he co-discovered insulin goes for ten times its high estimate in Toronto

24th November 2018 03:24 GMT


Nobel laureate Frederick Banting painted The Lab late on a winter’s night in 1925 at the University of Toronto facility where he and Charles Best had discovered insulin just a few years prior© Heffel Fine Art Auction House/The Canadian Press

The Canadian auctioneer Robert Heffel had a feeling, going into Wednesday night’s sale in Toronto, that the 10in by 14in painting The Lab by the Nobel Prize-winning doctor Frederick Banting was a bit underpriced at C$20,000-C$30,000, calling the appraisal “conservative”. But even he must have been surprised when it went for over ten times that estimate, realising C$313,250 ($237,000) with buyer’s premium and setting an auction record for the artist.

There was unprecedented interest in the work, which depicted the very room at the University of Toronto in which Banting and his lab partner Charles Best discovered insulin in 1921. All ten phones in the salesroom were humming and there were a like number of bidders on the floor, reportedly a record for a single offering at Heffel. Opening at just $18,000, within seconds the bidding had jumped to $50,000, then $100,000 and then to $200,000 before finally slowing. Heffel will donate the $53,000 buyer’s premium to the University of Toronto’s Banting and Best Diabetes Centre.

As a Heffel spokesperson put it later: “It’s incredibly hard to monetise passion in advance. It doesn’t happen often that a work sells that much higher than its original estimate.” She cited paintings by the Group of Seven founder Lawren Harris and Jean Paul Riopelle, both among Canada’s best-known artists, that far exceeded expectations. But Banting’s work came with an interesting backstory.

The Lab highlighted an otherwise uneventful night in Toronto, which generated some C$22m in sales. Top sellers were an abstract canvas by Riopelle, titled Jouet, and E.J. Hughes’s Fishboats, Rivers Inlet, both of which made more than C$2m. And Christopher Pratt’s House in August went for more than double estimate, taking in C$253,250, while his wife Mary Pratt’s Preserving Summer–Black Currant Jam more than tripled its estimate, realising $133,250.


New York auction houses get set for an ‘extraordinary season’

Auguste Rodin’s Le Penseur, taille de la porte dit “moyen modèle” during a media preview at Christie’s May 3, 2018 in New York.

NEW YORK (AFP).- Six months after selling a Leonardo da Vinci for half a billion dollars, New York art auction season is back, gearing up to break new records with a magnificent Rockefeller collection and a Modigliani.

The collection was amassed by the late billionaire banker David Rockefeller, who died last year aged 101, and his wife Peggy.

In all, Christie’s is selling 1,600 items over three days, with an expected take of $600 million. The proceeds are going to charity.

The jewel in this collection’s crown is Picasso’s 1905 masterpiece “Fillette a la corbeille fleurie” (“Young Girl With a Flower Basket”). Its purchase by Gertrude and Leon Stein, along with two other Rose Period paintings, helped jumpstart the artist’s career.

The Picasso alone is valued at $100 million, but the combined total is expected to smash the previous record for a collection set by that of Yves Saint Laurent and Pierre Berge, which fetched $484 million in 2009.

For the first time, Christie’s this year will spread its spring sales over two weeks, twice the traditional length, kicking things off on Tuesday.

This comes after Christie’s sold da Vinci’s “Salvator Mundi,” a 500-year-old depiction of Jesus Christ, for $450.3 million in November, making it the most expensive work of art ever sold at auction.

Christie’s ‘biggest ever’ 
“After the Leonardo, I went through three weeks of a bit of a lowdown. But then you get excited by new projects,” said Loic Gouzer, co-chairman for postwar and contemporary art at Christie’s.

“Not only is the Rockefeller sale the biggest sale we’ve ever had at Christie’s, but the Impressionist and modern sale is also the biggest one ever,” he told AFP.

“It’s probably going to be the biggest season Christie’s has ever had.”

The highlight of the second week is Sotheby’s May 14 sale of a stunning nude by Amedeo Modigliani, expected to fetch more than $150 million, the highest presale estimate for any work of art at auction.

Another of the Italian’s nudes sold for $170.4 million in 2015, currently the third most expensive work of art ever sold at auction.

A revolutionary Modigliani 
Not only is Modigliani’s “Nu couche (sur le cote gauche)” his biggest painting, Sotheby’s calls it the greatest of his celebrated reclining nudes. It was the cover star of a recent retrospective at the Tate Modern gallery in London.

Simon Shaw, co-head of Impressionist and modern art at Sotheby’s, said Modigliani quietly revolutionized nude painting in the work — rooted in tradition but reflecting the changing status of women during World War I.

“This is a nude of a very self-possessed, sexually confident woman who is not looking out from a distance. She’s absolutely meeting our gaze,” he told AFP.

Overall, the season includes five works estimated at $70 million or more, including a painting by Malevich and a sculpture by Brancusi, and will test the depth of an increasingly globalized art market.

“I think demand is at an all-time high at this point for the very best of the best. It’s a selective market. It’s not every work that would meet that appetite,” Shaw said.

The ‘new’ collector 
After the remarkable marketing blitz around the “Salvator Mundi” in November, the spring season is focused more than ever on a new generation of buyers building collections differently than in the past.

Traditionally divvied into Impressionist and modern, and postwar and contemporary, those categories are ebbing away as the new generation wants not just a savvy investment but the ultimate status symbol.

Both Christie’s and Sotheby’s, rivals founded in 18th-century London and still dominating the market, have mixed and matched periods in the hanging and grouping of their presale exhibitions.

Shaw says collectors “want the best of its kind rather than collecting a particular school or period,” adding that categories are increasingly “anachronistic.”

“It’s going to be an extraordinary season,” he predicted.

“We’ve seen a lot of great works of art in recent times on the auction market but never anything quite like this.”

© Agence France-Presse

Japanese manga strip fetches record price at Paris auction

PARIS (AFP).- A rare series of sketches of Japanese manga artist Osamu Tezuka’s robot character Astro Boy sold for a record 269,400 euros in an auction in Paris Saturday.

“It’s a world record for this artist whose works are few in the market,” said Eric Leroy, an expert on comic strips in the auction house Artcurial.

The winning bid was five times the pre-sale estimate and Leroy put this down to “the rarity and exceptional character” of the China ink and water colour strip measuring 35 centimetres by 25 centimetres.

It drawn at the end of the 1950s and comprises six panels showing Astro Boy fighting an enemy.

The buyer was a “European collector who had been dreaming for a long time” of buying the sketch, he said.

“Astro Boy is an emblematic work which has nursed a whole generation of collectors,” he said.

Astro Boy was serialised in Japan from 1952 to 1968 centred around an android with human emotions who is sold to a robot circus but saved from servitude by a professor who creates a robotic family for him.

Reviews Art Record Covers, book review: A comprehensive look at some of the most memorable artworks in music history

From The Velvet Underground to Patti Smith, Kanye West and Lady Gaga, record covers are a piece of affordable art for the everyday music fan.


An insightful, intriguing and comprehensive look at the extensive history of album artwork arrives in the form of Art Record Covers [Taschen].

In its introduction, author Francesco Spampinato – who is currently completing a PhD at the Sorbonne Nouvelle in Paris – explains how records are an opportunity to remove some of the sacredness from contemporary art and can be viewed as the artist’s way of escaping the constraints that are imposed by the art world.

The book was borne out of Spampinato’s interest in the relationship between art and pop culture; his dual approach to music and sound “from the perspective of both a contemporary art and visual culture historian, and as an enthusiast, listener and music collector”.


The Velvet Underground & Nico’s eponymous 1967 album, with artwork by Warhol (who is also credited as producer)

Artwork itself, spanning 500 different covers in a 448-page tome, is richly coloured, diverse and lovingly arranged so the reader can enjoy either flitting from page to page to find their favourites; or to allow for a closer analysis on the history of each work and its respective artist, showing how pop art, postmodernism and contempary art have informed the spread of images over the years.

Of course it takes a look at the classics – Mapplethorpe’s exquisite portrait of Patti Smith for Horses is just one example – but it also avoids reiterating what has already been said by also looking at the likes of Jeff Koons for Lady Gaga, and Takashi Murakami for Kanye West.

The Andy Warhol Museum opens ‘Adman: Warhol Before Pop’

Andy Warhol, Andy Warhol, 1950s, The Andy Warhol Museum, Pittsburgh, © The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, Inc.

PITTSBURGH, PA.- The Andy Warhol Museum announces Adman: Warhol Before Pop, opening April 27, 2018. With the backdrop of 1950s New York and its burgeoning advertising industry, Adman: Warhol Before Pop focuses on the formative years of one of the 20th century’s most influential artists. It provides insights into the beginning of Andy Warhol’s career, from his award-winning work as a commercial illustrator through to his first, little-known gallery exhibitions of drawings and artist books. With over 300 objects—from rare drawings and photographs to vintage advertisements, artist books and recreated department store window displays—many on public display for the first time, Adman provides a comprehensive look at Warhol’s first decade in New York.

Children, shoes, album covers, and women’s fashions, dominate this early period of commissioned commercial work and artistic projects. But intimate drawings of young men, archival material from a world tour through Europe and southeast Asia, and drawings produced with his mother, present the complexities of Warhol’s personal journey for success at the start of his career. Foremost to the narrative of this exhibition, Adman lays bare the visual and aesthetic foundation, one dependent on a commercial sensibility, that influenced Warhol’s entire artistic career.

This exhibition is a collaboration between The Andy Warhol Museum and Art Gallery of NSW, Sydney and was curated by Nicholas Chambers, senior curator, modern and contemporary international art at Art Gallery of NSW. The exhibition at The Andy Warhol Museum is organized by Jessica Beck, The Warhol’s Milton Fine curator of art.

The Adman: Warhol Before Pop exhibition is accompanied by a catalogue co-published by The Andy Warhol Museum and Art Gallery of NSW, Sydney. The hardcover, 248 page book includes over 150 illustrations and essays by Warhol scholars and other experts in their field, providing insight into the beginning of Warhol’s career, from his award‐winning work as a commercial illustrator through to his first, little‐known exhibitions. The publication is available at The Warhol Store

Original vintage comic cover art by legendary illustrators will be auctioned April 28th

Volume 2, Issue 2, pages 20 and 21 of DC Comics Justice League, drawn by the illustrators Jim Lee and Scott Williams and signed by both (est. $8,000-$12,000).

CRANSTON, RI.- Nearly 350 lots of toys, comic books and comic art will be sold to the highest bidder in an auction planned for Saturday, April 28th, by Bruneau & Co. Auctioneers, in partnership with Altered Reality Entertainment and Travis Landry. The sale will be held online and in the Bruneau & Co. gallery, located at 63 Fourth Avenue in Cranston, at 11 am Eastern.

The auction will open with 87 lots of vintage Star Wars items, featuring a selection from the collection of David Montauck in Brooklyn, N.Y. The group is highlighted by a 1985 Power of The Force AT-AT Driver, graded AFA 85 and packaged with a Warlock coin – a hard cardback to find, as it only saw limited release in Australia (est. $5,500-$7,500).

“It’s like being a child again back in 1978, going to Almac’s with my mother to pick out my Star Wars figure for the week,” said Kevin Bruneau, the president and auctioneer of Bruneau & Co. Auctioneers. “The 1985 Power of the Force AT-AT Driver is sure to be the strongest with the force, but that’s only one of several gems from the Montauck collection certain to get attention.”

One such gem is the 1977 Star Wars Luke Skywalker theater display, exceedingly rare and with an estimate of $2,500-$3,500. Luke stands a towering 8 feet 3 inches tall, striking an iconic pose from the style C one-sheet. The display is constructed of cut plywood, with a laminated image, and originated in Europe – most likely England or Italy. Montauck found it in a theater trash bin.

Other Star Wars highlights will include a 1978 Star Wars Power Passers Duel at Death Star Race Set, graded CAS 85, and Droids Series Tig Fromm, graded CAS 70+. The Montauk collection will also feature an additional 17 Power of the Force graded figures.

The second portion of the catalog will offer an eclectic mix of vintage American toys, led by a CAS high-grade set of ten 1988 Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. The set will be sold in single lots and all are early production variants. Also sold will be a 1964 GI Joe Action Pilot Dress Uniform set and a Knickerbocker Humpty Dumpty dart gun set, circa 1950s.

The GI Joe Action Pilot Dress Uniform set is from the collection of a previous Hasbro employee in Central Falls, R.I. The individually carded set includes the 7804 dress jacket, 7805 dress pants and 7806 dress shirt. Each piece of equipment is factory sealed in its original cellophane, with a GI Joe helmet form sticker. The set should bring $600-$900.

The third portion of the catalog will offer over 220 lots of Golden, Silver, Bronze, and Modern Age comics and original artwork. “It’s like Christmas in spring,” said Travis Landry, a Bruneau & Co. specialist and auctioneer who is also a partner in the sale. “This auction is certain to draw collectors out of the woodwork with a great selection of comics and comic art.”

Landry added, “I’m most excited to see the original artwork for page 16 of Avengers #69, the first appearance of the Grand Master, cross the block. To think that page is the actual physical piece of paper on which Sal Buscema and Sam Grainger worked their artistic and creative magic gives me the chills. It’s a true piece of Marvel and all comic history.”

The page 16 artwork was executed around 1969 and carries a pre-sale estimate of $8,000-$12,000. It introduced the Grand Master character to the Marvel universe, later portrayed in an ironically hysterical way by Jeff Goldblum in the movie Thor: Ragnarok. The page is one of four from a collection out of Rumford, R.I. It is a rare piece of Marvel history.

Another piece of rare and highly collectible cover art is lot 165: Volume 2, Issue 2, pages 20 and 21 of DC Comics Justice League, drawn by the illustrators Jim Lee and Scott Williams and signed by both. The action-packed double splash features Batman, Flash, Green Lantern and Superman, facing an onslaught of parademons (est. $8,000-$12,000).

The Golden Age comics will be led by a copy of Timely Comics Sub-Mariner, issue #24 (Winter, 1947), graded CBCS 8.0 (est. $2,500-$4,000). The comic book features just the third appearance of Namora, and a bondage cover. Only one known copy is graded higher, at 8.5. This example, with white pages and an 8.0 grade, is sure to attract interest.

Other comic books in the auction include the following:

• Marvel Comics Strange Tales #110 (July 1963), CGC 4.5, the first appearance of Doctor Strange, Ancient One, Nightmare and Wong (est. $1,200-$1,800).

• Marvel Comics Uncanny X-Men #145 (May 1981), CBCS 9.9, the newsstand edition and featuring a Doctor Doom cover and appearance (est. $1,200-$1,800).

• DC Comics Superman #46 (May-June 1947), CBCS 9.0, featuring the first appearance of Superboy in a title and a Mr. Mxyzptlk cameo (est. $1,000-$1,500).

• Marvel Comics Amazing Spider-Man #129 (Feb. 1974), CBCS 7.0, featuring the first appearance of the Punisher and the Jackal, overall VG (est. $700-$1,000).

• DC Comics Batman #44, CBCS 8.5; Timely Comics Young Allies #9, CBCS 6.5.

Internet bidding will be available through, the Bruneau app, eBay,,, ePaiLIVE (Asia), and



Rembrandt etchings brought together in exhibition at Allen Memorial Art Museum

Rembrandt Harmensz. van Rijn (Dutch, 1606–1669), St. Francis Beneath a Tree Praying, 1657. Drypoint and etching on oatmeal paper. Allen Memorial Art Museum, R.T. Miller Jr. Fund, 1952.31

OBERLIN, OH.- Etchings by Rembrandt figure prominently in the collections of many American academic museums, in part because they reward close looking and appeal to a wide range of learners and visitors. Lines of Inquiry: Learning from Rembrandt’s Etchings, an exhibition at the Allen Memorial Art Museum at Oberlin College that runs from February 6 through May 13, 2018, brings together 60 prints by the 17th-century Dutch master.

The exhibition has been co-organized by the Allen with Cornell University’s Herbert F. Johnson Museum of Art. Lines of Inquiry is curated jointly by Oberlin’s Curator of European and American Art Andaleeb Badiee Banta and Andrew C. Weislogel, the Seymour R. Askin, Jr. ’47 Curator of Earlier European and American Art at Cornell. In addition to prints from Oberlin and Cornell, the show includes etchings on loan from Harvard, Princeton, Syracuse, Vassar, Yale, the University of Kansas, the Morgan Library & Museum, and private collections.

Rembrandt’s etchings have long been treasured for their technical innovation and perceptive portrayal of the human psyche. The exhibition explores how the technical study of these etchings and the papers on which they were printed reveal Rembrandt to be a savvy businessman. Research on the watermarks found in the papers can provide clues about the timelines of his print production and distribution. The exhibition introduces Cornell’s Watermark in Rembrandt Etchings (WIRE) project: a collaboration among museum staff, faculty members in art history and engineering, and students from many disciplines designed to digitally facilitate access to Rembrandt watermark scholarship.



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