Fractal Analysis: Famous Works by Artists Like Dali Showed Early Signs of Disease

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Brushstrokes in paintings could help early diagnosis of neurodegenerative diseases, according to a study published on Thursday of works by famous sufferers such as Salvador Dali and Willem De Kooning.

The analysis was carried out on 2,092 paintings, including those of two artists with Parkinson’s disease, Dali and Norval Morrisseau, and two with Alzheimer’s disease, De Kooning and James Brooks.

Works by Marc Chagall, Pablo Picasso and Claude Monet, who were not know to suffer from any such disease, were also included for comparison.

“Knowing that you have a problem sooner rather than later is always going to be an important medical breakthrough,” said Alex Forsythe from the University of Liverpool, one of the authors of the study.

Fractal analysis — a way to study patterns that is already used to spot fake paintings — was used to gauge the relative complexity of the works.

Fractals are often described as “fingerprints of nature.”

For De Kooning and Brooks, the study showed a sharp decrease in the complexity starting around the age of 40 — long before their Alzheimer’s diagnosis.

De Kooning received an official diagnosis in 1989 — the year he turned 85 — and Brooks when he turned 79. Read the rest of this entry »


Claude Monet: Willows in Giverny

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MONET, Claude
Willows in Giverny
1886
Oil on canvas, 74 x 93 cm
Konstmuseum, Gothenburg


Claude Monet: Turkeys, 1876

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Claude Monet
Turkeys
1876
Oil on canvas, 175 x 173 cm
Musée d’Orsay, Paris


Claude Monet Born Today in 1840

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Claude Monet, born today in 1840, painted Water Lilies in the last decade of his life.

Claude Monet. Water Lilies. 1914-26. Photograph by John Wronn

 The Collection | Claude Monet. Water Lilies. 1914-26


Swiss Museum Sole Heir in Will of Art Collector Cornelius Gurlitt

Hildebrand Gurlitt originally assembled his son Cornelius's collection. Photograph: AP

Hildebrand Gurlitt originally assembled his son Cornelius’s collection. Photograph: AP

Several works in his collection suspected of having been looted from Jewish families during Nazi era

For The GuardianPhilip Oltermann writes: A Swiss museum has inherited one of the most controversial art collections in recent European history. Kunstmuseum Bern confirmed on Wednesday it has been named the “unrestricted and unfettered sole heir” in the will of the reclusive collector Cornelius Gurlitt, who died on Tuesday.

[See also: Oops! Nazi-Looted Art Found in German Parliament]

Several works in the collection, which was originally assembled by Gurlitt’s father Hildebrand, are suspected of having been looted from Jewish families during the Nazi era. A taskforce of art experts is examining the provenance of the works in a secret location in Germany until the end of the year.

[See also: First glimpse of newly uncovered, Nazi looted art collection released on German website]

Kunstmuseum Bern’s director, Matthias Frehner, said in a statement: that the news had come “like a bolt from the blue”, since Gurlitt had at no time had any connection to the museum. Already boasting works by Pablo Picasso and Paul Klee, the museum could soon be showing paintings and sketches by Claude Monet,Pierre-Auguste RenoirMarc Chagall, Oskar Kokoschka and Max Liebermann among others. Read the rest of this entry »


Monet, Other Art from Big Collectors Lead Auctions

Claude Monet's "Water Lilies" from the Huguette Clark collection.  (AP Photo/Christie's)

Claude Monet’s “Water Lilies” from the Huguette Clark collection. (AP Photo/Christie’s)

NEW YORK (AP) — Works from the estates of heiress Huguette Clark, Edgar Bronfman and other major collectors are among the highlights leading the spring art auctions in New York City, including a Monet painting that’s been out of the public eye for decades.

The anticipated auction season begins Tuesday evening with the sale of impressionist and modern art at Christie’s, which expects to raise a total of more than $245 million.

Among the top lots is Claude Monet’s shimmering “Water Lilies.” The 1907 work of Monet’s beloved garden in Giverny, France, has not been publicly exhibited since 1926 and is estimated to sell for $25 million to $35 million.

Pierre-Auguste Renoir‘s “Young Women Playing Badminton” is another highlight expected to sell for between $10 million and $15 million. Read the rest of this entry »