Recent links of note:
“Ignored by the Louvre, ‘lost’ Caravaggio bought in private sale is destined for ‘important museum’ ”
Vincent Noce, The Art Newspaper
A canvas depicting the biblical story of Judith beheading Holofernes, found in a Toulouse attic and recently attributed by one specialist to Michelangelo Merisi da Caravaggio, was bought this week by a private collector who reportedly plans on loaning the work out to a prominent museum. Since its 2014 rediscovery, the painting and its attribution have attracted debate and controversy—reminiscent of the Salvator Mundi saga that has gripped the art world these past few years. In unveiling the work in 2016, the French cultural minister declared the work a “national treasure,” but the Musée du Louvre declined to buy the work amid lingering doubts regarding its authorship, leaving its fate up to the private market. Just today, it was reported that the billionaire hedge fund manager J. Tomilson Hill is the purchaser of the work. The news might come as particularly welcome for residents of New York, as Hill serves on the board of two of that city’s most venerable art institutions: the Metropolitan Museum of Art and the Frick Collection.
“ ‘The European Guilds’ Review: Of Standards and Strangleholds”
Marc Levinson, The Wall Street Journal
Sheilagh Ogilvie’s new scholarly work, The European Guilds, out now from Princeton University Press, is an essential new work of history and economic analysis, says Marc Levinson in The Wall Street Journal. Ogilvie’s tome (it runs to 645 pages) collects a prodigious body of research drawn from written guild records that largely refutes the popular notion of guilds as pro-consumer enterprises. Rather, Ogilvie finds, guilds were self-interested institutions largely created to concentrate power, and to stifle growth, innovation, and competition.
“Beto O’Rourke Gives Art History Lesson About Trumbull Painting at Democratic Debate”
Alex Greenberger, ARTnews
You can’t roller skate in a buffalo herd, and you can’t lecture on art history in a presidential primary debate. That seems to be the only lesson derived from Beto O’Rourke’s aside on John Trumbull’s 1824 General George Washington Resigning His Commission, which hangs in the United States Capitol rotunda. Beto was trying to make a winding point about impeachment proceedings on President Donald Trump, but ended up only flubbing the dates of both the painting’s completion and the event it depicts. Alex Greenberger at ARTnews reports.
From our pages:
“Saint Francis in the House of Morgan”