The Art Institute of Chicago Recreates Van Gogh’s Famous Bedroom to be Rented on Airbnb 

Kate Sierzputowski writes: Moving the art viewing experience from a linear surface to a three-dimensional environment, the Art Institute of Chicago is launching an interactive experience alongside their latest exhibition—entry to a full-size replica of Van Gogh’s painting The Bedroom. The room, available on AirBnB starting today, includes all the details of the original painting, arranged in haphazard alignment to imitate the original room.

[Read the full story here, at Colossal]

The installation was built to celebrate the exhibition “Van Gogh’s Bedrooms,” a show which centers around three paintings of his domestic space he created from 1888 to 1889. The exhibition also serves as the first time the paintings will exist within the same space in North America. The first of the three paintings was produced shortly after moving into his “Yellow House” in Arles, France, yet suffered water damage soon after its completion. Van Gogh painted two other versions of the paintings to preserve the composition, one while at an asylum in Saint-Rémy in 1889 and…(read more)


Source: Colossal


Pablo Picasso’s ‘La Gommeuse’ Breaks Record at Sotheby’s: Sold for $67.5 Million

Barney Henderson reports: A double-sided erotic Picasso portrait has sold for a record price in New York, soothing the art world’s nerves after a nervous start to a major sale.

La Gommeuse (The Nightclub Singer), which hides a second hidden portrait of an art dealer on its back, sold for $67.5 million (£45 million) late on Thursday night, setting a new record for a blue period Picasso.

Auctioneer Henry Wyndham shows a Pablo Picasso artwork 'La Gommeuse' as it is auctioned at Sotheby's for $67,450,000, New York

Auctioneer Henry Wyndham shows a Pablo Picasso artwork ‘La Gommeuse’ as it is auctioned at Sotheby’s for $67,450,000, New York Photo: Getty Images

It’s sale, comfortably above its expectation, was one of several at Sotheby’s on Thursday night after a wobble in the market the night before.

The sale had got off to a lacklustre start, with a collection estimated at $500m selling for just $377m, including significant works left unsold and collectors fearing an impending chill in the market.

Unusually, the work by Piccaso has another painting on the rear of the canvas, seen reflected and upside down, in the mirror.

Unusually, the work by Piccaso has another painting on the rear of the canvas, seen reflected and upside down, in the mirror. Photo: JULIAN SIMMONDS

Officials seemed to breathe a sigh of relief on Friday, with Simon Shaw, co-head of Impressionist and modern art worldwide, lauding what he called “a small sale that packed a real punch,” and saw “a very strong result for any various owner sale in the category.”

The auction house noted its $1.67 billion Impressionist and modern total for the year so far was already the highest in its 271-year history…(read more)

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[PHOTO] Sacré Bleu! Rare Photograph: The Rediscovered Face of Vincent Van Gogh


It looks like any other old photograph you might find at an estate sale, but the gentleman highlighted in the 2nd image is someone who’s never been seen in photographic form: Vincent Van Gogh.

A pair of collectors found the image at an estate sale and brought it to a team of experts in France who verified that it really was the famous painter.


FRANCE – For loeildelaphotographie, Serge Plantureux writes: 

On a December morning, two somewhat hesitant people stood on the sidewalk of the Boulevard Haussmann, looking for a pop-up gallery we had opened for a period of six months next to the Musée Jacquemart André.

They had traveled over 800 kilometers, inquiring with different people who discouraged them and said their search seemed impossible. Perhaps the most difficult part was finding me, but thanks to their perseverance, and the kindness of a neighbor, Frédéric, the meeting happened.


The photograph they had brought to show me was small, dark and rather difficult to see. Six characters were around a table. The light was pale, perhaps it was a winter afternoon.

They told me, still hesitant, that they thought they recognized the people in it, artists in whom they had long been interested. They were collectors and liked the painters of the late 19th century, in particular the neo-impressionists. They also said it was possible that one of the figures around the table was someone whose true face had never been seen.

I tried to avoid making a judgment too quickly and considered how I should react. I didn’t want to start doing what Americans call “wishful thinking,” that trap into which collectors and researchers fall, where their reasoning is governed only by what they want to see.

I asked them if they could describe the circumstances in which they had discovered the object. To my delight, they were extremely precise, talking about their quest for old paper, old books and old trinkets. Sometimes what’s left in a house wouldn’t be worth the cost of moving to an auction house so everything is sold on site. That’s where the photograph had come from, two years before. And they remembered perfectly having found a similar photograph, manuscripts, a letter from a major poet of the time, and the archives and catalogue of a bookseller named Ronald Davis.

They said his name without any particular emphasis on it, and it was as though a beam of light had shone down on me. Ronald Davis’s name had been long forgotten, but I had recently encountered it by chance while researching a portrait of Charles Baudelaire.

Davis had been a figure in Paris in the 1920s, a model for many sellers of old books. He was known for being an editor and friend of Paul Valéry. One of his clients was the wealthy Myriam de Rothschild. Read the rest of this entry »

Picasso, Munch, Van Gogh, Giacometti, Oh My: Poised to Set Records at NYC Auctions

Spring Art Auctions Preview

NEW YORK (AP) — New York City’s spring art auctions get underway Tuesday with exceptional pieces by Pablo Picasso, Alberto Giacometti, Vincent Van Gogh and others whose work continues to fuel a robust market for impressionist, modern and contemporary art.

Picasso’s “Women of Algiers (Version O),” estimated to bring over $140 million, is poised to become the most expensive artwork sold at auction, while Giacometti’s “Pointing Man” could set an auction record for a sculpture if bidding soars to an expected $130 million.

Both are being offered at Christie’s on May 11.

Experts say the once unimaginable prices are fueled by established and wealthy new buyers and the desire by collectors to own the best works.

“I don’t really see an end to it, unless interest rates drop sharply, which I don’t see happening in the near future,” said Manhattan dealer Richard Feigen. “Buyers will flock in from the Far East, the Gulf and Europe.”

In 2012, Edvard Munch‘s “The Scream” fetched nearly $120 million only to be bested a year later when Francis Bacon’s triptych “Three Studies of Lucian Freud” sold for $142.4 million.

Now Picasso’s 1955 “Women of Algiers” could potentially eclipse that stratospheric price tag. The vibrantly colorful work featuring a scantily attired female amid smaller nudes is part of a 15-work series that Picasso created in 1954-1955. It has appeared in several major museum retrospectives of the artist.

Giacometti’s 1947 “Pointing Man,” a life-size bronze of an elongated figure with extended arms, has been in the same private collection for 45 years. Giacometti, who died in 1966, made six casts of the work; four are in museums, the others are in private hands and a foundation collection.

His “Walking Man I” holds the auction record for a sculpture. It sold in 2010 for $104.3 million. Read the rest of this entry »

The Art of Japanese Woodblock: Upcoming Katsushika MFA Boston Exhibition


The art of Japanese woodblock master Katsushika Hokusai will flood the MFA Boston from April 5 through August 9, in possibly one of the largest shows of his work ever mounted in the U.S. The exhibition will be comprised of 200 works from its collection, spanning the artist’s 70-year career.

Imagery from Hokusai’s ukiyo-e woodblock prints and paintings have become iconic all over the world, and the MFA Boston happens to have the largest collection of Japanese art outside of Japan. Prints such as Under the Waves Off Kanagawa and Phoenix will be presented alongside lesser-known pieces, such as painted lanterns and delicate cut-out dioramas.

Three Women Playing Musical Instruments, (1818-44). (Photo: MFA Boston)

Three Women Playing Musical Instruments, (1818-44). (Photo: MFA Boston)

Museum-goers will be given a rare chance to see a textile work by the artist: a piece of silk square (called a faukusa in Japanese) that prominently features a mythological Chinese lion. The piece would most likely have been used as a gift wrapper in the 19th century. Read the rest of this entry »

Claude Monet: Willows in Giverny


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

[VIDEO] The Fluid Dynamics of ‘The Starry Night’: How Van Gogh’s Masterpiece Explains the Scientific Mysteries of Movement and Light


…more than a masterwork of art, Van Gogh’s painting turns out to hold astounding clues to understanding some of the most mysterious workings of science.

This fascinating short animation from TED-Ed and Natalya St. Clair, author of The Art of Mental Calculation, explores how “The Starry Night” sheds light on the concept of turbulent flow in fluid dynamics, one of the most complex ideas to explain mathematically and among the hardest for the human mind to grasp. From why the brain’s perception of light and motion makes us see Impressionist works as flickering, to how a Russian mathematician’s theory explains Jupiter’s bright red spot, to what the Hubble Space Telescope has to do with Van Gogh’s psychotic episodes, this mind-bending tour de force 51I-8MpSgWL._SL250_ties art, science, and mental health together through the astonishing interplay between physical and psychic turbulence.

[Check out Natalya St. Clair’s bookThe Art of Mental Calculation” at Amazon]

Van Gogh and other Impressionists represented light in a different way than their predecessors, seeming to capture its motion, for instance, across sun-dappled waters, or here in star light that twinkles and melts through milky waves of blue night sky.

“The effect is caused by luminance, the intensity of the light in the colors on the canvas. The more primitive part of our visual cortex — which sees light contrast and motion, but not color — will blend two differently colored areas together if they have the same luminance. But our brains primate subdivision will see the contrasting colors without blending. With these two interpretations happening at once, the light in many Impressionist works seems to pulse, flicker and radiate oddly.”

That’s how this and other Impressionist works use quickly executed prominent brushstrokes to capture something strikingly real about how light moves.

Sixty years later, Russian mathematician Andrey Kolmogorov furthered our mathematical understanding of turbulence when he proposed that energy in a turbulent fluid at length R varies in proportion to the five-thirds power of R. Experimental measurements show Kolmogorov was remarkably close to the way turbulent flow works, although a complete description of turbulence remains one of the unsolved problems in physics. Read the rest of this entry »

Van Gogh expert sheds new light on lost sunflower paintings

Van Gogh: Six Sunflowers, 1888, oil on canvas. Photograph: Mushakoji Saneatsu Memorial Museum

Six Sunflowers, 1888, oil on canvas. Photograph: Mushakoji Saneatsu Memorial Museum

 writes: One day in Arles in August 1888, Van Gogh was planning to paint from life. But the models he had hired failed to show up, and a harsh, hot mistral was blowing, making conditions for painting outdoors unbearable.

So he improvised: he took bunches of Provençal sunflowers, then at their golden-blooming best, and arranged them in locally made, half-glazed earthenware pots. He started work on Monday morning and by Saturday he had made four sunflower pictures. Read the rest of this entry »

New Van Gogh painting discovered, had been sold because owner thought it was fake

Van Gogh Museum director Axel Rueger, left, and senior researcher Louis van Tilborgh, right, unveil "Sunset at Montmajour" during a press conference at the Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam, Netherlands, Monday Sept. 9, 2013. The museum has identified the long-lost painting which was painted by the Dutch mater in 1888, the discovery is the first full size canvas that has been found since 1928 and will be on display from Sept. 24.AP Photo/Peter Dejong

Van Gogh Museum director Axel Rueger, left, and senior researcher Louis van Tilborgh, right, unveil “Sunset at Montmajour” during a press conference at the Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam, Netherlands, Monday Sept. 9, 2013. The museum has identified the long-lost painting which was painted by the Dutch mater in 1888, the discovery is the first full size canvas that has been found since 1928  —  AP Photo/Peter Dejong

AMSTERDAM — The first full-size Vincent Van Gogh painting to be discovered in 85 years has been authenticated as a genuine long-lost work of the Dutch master after an odyssey that included lingering for six decades in the attic of a Norwegian industrialist who had been told it was a fake. Read the rest of this entry »