Copy
Fakes, forgeries and originals in competition
In this issue: :

A new Rembrandt. 3D printed

Fake? I'll buy it! 


Paintings out of jail: the restoration of the paintings of Porto Azzurro.

The world needs beauty!





 


A new Rembrandt. 3D printed
 
The quintessence of Rembrandt.
 
The subject of the painting (a white man, aged between 30 and 40, with beard and moustaches, typical eyes, nose, mouth, facial proportions and dressed in the characteristic Dutch clothes), the brushstrokes, the shading of light.. all formal values point towards one painter: Rembrandt.

No part betrays an imitator, or may reveal a forgery. However, it is a fake. Indeed an ingenious experiment that challenges the limits of imagination.

‘The next Rembrandt’ is a project sponsored by the Dutch banking group ING which has designed and launched a seemingly crazy challenge: imagine and produce a masterpiece that Rembrandt’s could have painted if he had not died 347 years ago. The subtitle indeed reads: "Can the great master be brought back to create one more painting?"”

A study performed together with Microsoft, the University of Delft and the Mauritshuis Museum, during 18 months, with 346 paintings studied and acquired digitally.

The result is fascinating. “If I would have seen it in a museum I'd believed that it was a genuine Rembrandt, only one that I had not yet seen”, it is said in the video. Probably the same would have happened if a photograph had reached an expert.

Certainly not if the painting had been subject to diagnostic investigation. ‘... any art demands its instruments”, writes Leonardo (" ogni arte dimanda is suoi strumenti"). For the attribution of a painting, the assessment possible with the connoisseurs' eye is certainly increasingly just one of them.


 
Fake? I'll buy it! 

 
At the upcoming auction “14th to 20th century paintings” scheduled for the 17th of May in Florence at Pandolfini's auction house, a “Madonna with the Child and an angel” on wood, 59x42 cm, 112x77 cm with frame, painted by the well-known forger Umberto Giunti (Siena 1886-1970) is offered with an estimate of 8000/12000 euros.

Not a novelty in itself that a painting recognised as false is offered for auction.  It is interesting however the comparison with the estimate of 2000/3000 euros proposed e.g. for the Trasfigurazione an original, Tuscany school, XVII cent, oil on canvas, 97x76 cm, unframed. Shall the price difference be due to the frame?



 

Paintings out of jail: the restoration of the paintings of Porto Azzurro.
 
 
On the 9th of April, at SACI (www.saci.florence.edu) a symposium was held on the paintings belonging to the Church of San Giacomo Maggiore the Fort of Elba, now the chapel of the current penitentiary.

The Symposium was an interesting opportunity to learn, thanks to the Superintendent of Pisa, Dott. Francesco D'Anselmo, the official Amedeo Mercurio and to Dr. Roberta Lapucci, head of the restoration department of SACI, about the history and the current status of the fortification built in 1603 on the initiative of Philip II, and the adjoining church. A nodal and strategic site to defend Elba and Argentario from pirate raids from the south and French attacks from the north. Depleted from this function, from the mid-nineteenth century the fortification was gradually converted to a penitential institution.

The paintings which belong to the church and were the subject of analysis and restoration are of the Florentine school and dated between the seventeenth and eighteenth century. They were donated by the Tuscan grand ducal court or commissioned by the governors of the Fort. The iconographic theme is centered on sacred subjects and honours the saints celebrated by the post-Tridentine tradition.

In 1987, because of a riot in the prison, the church was severely damaged and has since been abandoned.

Only now, thanks to the synergy between the SACI school and the Superintendent a project is being carried out to return to the public part of the goods stored here Art-Test has contributed a diagnostic campaign that has studied the first four paintings which underwent restoration. Both addressing conservation aspects and studying the genesis of the paintings through the study of the underlying composition, visualized thanks to reflectographic imaging performed.

The day ended with a praise for the initiative, with the confirmation of the obvious need to recover a site so important to the history of Elba island but also with a reflection, as underlined by dr. Mercurio on what could be the future of the church’s art apparatus. Currently it is not foreseen for the church to be reopened to the public. The restored works if not relocated would still remain unseen by the community. Alternative solutions are therefore being sought after. An alternative way of exhibit could for example include showing the diagnostic surveys to add intriguing information and create fascinating opportunities for the curious tourist.
 
Here the link to a video of the exhibition https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iS9Jb3GkM9o


 
The world needs beauty!
 
 
Pope Francis in one of his first posts on Instagram seems to be idling talking about beauty. One may wonder, aren't there more serious problems? Should he not better speak of poverty, of hunger in the world? Or is it true that we all indeed do need beauty in our lives, independently from our conditions?

We tend to agree with him!






 

 
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