Last summer, artnet News conducted a survey of the most expensive female artists at auction–and though we're a few months shy of hitting a year, with the auctions in New York and London having come and gone, a lot has already changed.
New to this year's list are Agnes Martin and Frida Kahlo, who advanced to the top of the auctions at Christie's earlier this month. Their rise, however, topples fan-favorite Yayoi Kusama, who ranked in ninth place last year. Her $7,109,000 painting, White No. 28 (1960), takes eleventh place with canvases by Barbara Hepworth and Kay Sage not far behind.
To determine the new shuffle, artnet News mined the Price Database for stats over the past 10 years. See the lineup below.
1. Georgia O'Keeffe, $44.4 million
Georgia O'Keeffe's Jimson Weed/White Flower No. 1 (1932) was picked up by Arkansas's Crystal Bridges Museum for a record-breaking $44.4 million at Sotheby's in 2014, and it still stands as the most expensive painting by a female artist. The work first bloomed in its new home at a special exhibition the following spring.
2. Louise Bourgeois, $28.2 million
Hot on O'Keeffe's heels is Louise Bourgeois's formidable, nine-foot-tall Spider (1996). The bronze arachnid, which secured fifth place in our roundup last year, jumped three slots at a Christie's Post-War sale in the fall of 2015. At $28.2 million, Bourgeois's Spider stands as O'Keeffe's closest challenger yet.
3. Joan Mitchell, $11.9 million
Beloved Abstract Expressionist Joan Mitchell maintains her seat in the top three with the 2014 sale of Untitled (1960). The painting sold at Christie's New York for just under $12 million, exceeding the high estimate of $9 million. Until O'Keeffe's Jimson Weed/White Flower No. 1 surpassed it later that year, the canvas set a new record for all female artists at auction. When Mitchell's Noon (1969) sold for $9.8 million on an estimate of $5 to $7 million this month at Christie's postwar and contemporary art evening sale, it showed that confidence in Mitchell's work is still high.
4. Berthe Morisot, $10.9 million
Impressionist master Berthe Morisot has seen several works fetch high sums at auction, the greatest of which belongs to the nearly $11 million sale of her Après le déjeuner (1881) in 2013. Within her movement, however, the work still trails behind fellow contemporary Pierre-Auguste Renoir's Bal du moulin de la Galette (1876), which took home $141.5 million at Sotheby's in 1990.
5. Natalia Sergeevna Goncharova, $10.8 million
As a prominent artist of Russia's avant-garde movement, which made waves at the turn of the 20th century, Natalia Sergeevna Goncharova enjoys continued art market success with the 2008 sale of Les fleurs(1912), which sold at Christie's London for a little under $11 million. And with her Espagnole and Picking Apples taking home $10.2 million and $9.8 million respectively, Goncharova (who features prominently in Madonna's art collection) has proven to be a consistent hit.
6. Agnes Martin, $10.7 million
Earlier this month, Agnes Martin broke her record with the $10.7 million sale of Orange Grove (1965). The Christie's sale, which catapulted Martin into the middle half of our roundup, is an impressive achievement for the artist—especially considering her previous record, for her canvas The Beach (1964), which sold at Sotheby's in 2013, comes in at $6.5 million.
7. Cady Noland, $9.7 million
As the only living female artist to make the cut, Cady Noland stands firm in our list with the 2015 sale of Bluewald (1989). The work, which exceeded the high estimate of $8 million at Christie's New York last May, surpassed the artist's prior record with Oozewald (1989), which sold for $6.5 million in 2011.
8. Tamara de Lempicka, $8.4 million
Pegged as the "first woman artist to be a glamour star," Tamara de Lempicka is a recurring hit at auctions. Her most successful moment came when Le rêve (Rafaëla sur fond vert) (1927) sold for $8.4 million atSotheby's New York in 2011. The artist also happens to have a loyal collector in Madonna, who told Vanity Fair in a 1990 interview: "I have a Lempicka museum."
9. Camille Claudel, $8 million
Camille Claudel joins the list with the $8 million sale of La valse, permière version (1893) at Sotheby's London in 2013.
10. Frida Kahlo, $8 million
Frida Kahlo's Dos Desnudos en el Bosque (La Tierra Misma) (1939) sold for a record-breaking $8 million at Christie's this spring, capping off a rather lackluster auction week. Kahlo's recent market success comes as little surprise since the artist has been the center of considerable art-world attention in recent years. Notably, Kahlo's oeuvre is small, which makes opportunities for collecting her work all the more rare.
Rain Embuscado, Tuesday, May 24, 2016
"The 59 sculptures were among treasures seized by Stalin’s “Trophy Brigades” after the Second World War"
Read more from the source: The Arts Newspaper
The setting of ITV’s Downton Abbey, Highclere Castle in Hampshire is one of Britain’s most breathtaking castles.
Established on the site of a medieval palace built during the 12th/13th century, which was later succeeded by a red-brick Tudor house, the Highclere we recognise today was the work of the 3rd Earl of Carnarvon, who in 1838 hired famed architect Sir Charles Barry (best known for rebuilding of the Palace of Westminster) to transform his home into a resplendent mansion.
Faced in Bath stone and in the Jacobethan style (inspired by the English Renaissance, with elements of Elizabethan and Jacobean), the new Highclere Castle “dominated its surroundings in a most dramatic way”, says its website. A mahogany desk and chair that once belonged to Napoleon, purchased by the 3rd Earl of Carnarvon in 1821, were positioned in the music room, and Highclere’s saloon, the heart of the house, was designed in a gothic style with rich decoration including 17th-century Spanish gold-embossed leather wallpaper brought back by Carnarvon. The 3rd Earl did not live to see the completion of Highclere in 1878, however (he died in 1849). It is said Benjamin Disraeli's first words upon seeing the new Highclere were “How scenical! How scenical!”
Highclere was used as a hospital during the First World War by its owner, Lady Almina, the 5th Countess of Carnarvon, with the first patients arriving from Flanders in September 1914. The end of the First World War saw Almina’s husband, the 5th Earl of Carnarvon, return to Egypt, where in 1922 he funded Howard Carter’s search and excavation of the tomb of Tutankhamun. Back at home Highclere was returned to a private home.
During the Second World War Highclere Castle briefly became a home for evacuee children from north London. Today it boasts more than 200 rooms (even the mistress of the house doesn’t know exactly how many) and opens to the public for between 60 and 70 days a year.
To know more about 9 best castles in Britain, click the link to BBC History Magazine
The Prado is hosting the biggest exhibition of Hieronymus Bosch now till September 2016
On the occasion of the 5th centenary of the death of Hieronymus Bosch, the Prado Museum prepared to welcome the largest monographic exhibition on the artist in the coming year, 'Bosch. The Centenary Exhibition'. A unique opportunity, to enjoy the work of the great Dutch artist.
'Bosch. The Centenary Exhibition' arrived to Madrid May of 2016. It will be the 'sample' par excellence of the year and one of the most important that will host the Prado Museum, on the occasion of the fifth centenary of the death of the famous artist.
It is divided into six sections, five thematic and one dedicated to his drawings. As an introduction to the exhibition, we will see the beginning of the artist's work in his city with other Flemish painters of the time as Alart du Hameel or Adriaen van Wessel. It will close the sample with the epilogue 'After the Bosco' with a select representation of works in which will be latent the deep influence exerted by the painter after his death during the sixteenth century and a taste for 'the bosquiano'.
With the objective to facilitate the understanding of the context in which his works were performed, the Madrid gallery will show paintings, miniatures, drawings, carvings, and engravings burin, in which are represented some of the issues addressed by him, as the hell and the sins thus complementing the sections mentioned above.
A total of 65 works which 25 of them have been attributed to the own Bosch, nine to his workshop, and the rest for other artists of the time. The Prado funds have an important group of works, but also collaborate the Albertina and the Kunsthistorisches Museum of Vienna, the Museum of Fine Arts of Boston, The Metropolitan Museum of Art of New York, the National Gallery of Washington, the Musée du Louvre of Paris, the Polo Museale Veneto of Venice and the Museum of Ancient Art of Lisbon, among others, which will give us the opportunity to see exceptional works as the 'Triptych of Temptation of St. Anthony'.
Do not miss one of the events of this year!
More info: 'Bosch. The Centenary Exhibition'
Here, we look at the life and downfall of Marie Antoinette…
Born: 2 November 1755, Hofburg Palace, Vienna, Austria
Died: 16 October 1793, Place de la Concorde (previously known as Place de la Revolution), Paris, France
Remembered for: Being overthrown by French revolutionaries and being publically guillotined after the abolition of the monarchy.
Family: Marie was the 15th child of Francis I, Holy Roman Emperor, and Empress Maria Theresa. Together the couple had 16 children, 10 of whom lived into adulthood.
At the age of 14, Marie married the heir to the French throne, Louis-Auguste, Duke of Berry and Dauphin of France, by proxy (a wedding that takes place without the presence of at least one of the two individuals) on 19 April 1770. Together they had four children: Marie Thérèse Charlotte, Louis Joseph, Louis Charles, and Sophie Hélène Béatrice.
Her life: Born an archduchess of Austria in 1755, Marie Antoinette spent her childhood in Vienna’s Schönbrunn Palace and Hofburg Palace. Her education was typical of that given to a royal woman of the time, and she learned how to sing, dance and play music. Marie and her siblings would perform for their parents in the evenings at court. Growing up, Marie shared a governess with her elder sister, Maria Carolina, and the sisters remained close for the rest of Marie’s life.
In 1756, France and Austria signed the Treaty of Versailles. This treaty promised that both countries would support one another after the outbreak of the Seven Years’ War (1754–63) – a series of battles fought between the strongest powers of Europe over British and French colonies in the US.
King Louis XV of France and Marie’s mother, Empress Maria Theresa, decided that a marriage alliance would secure this treaty between the French and Austrians. As a result, the 14-year-old Marie was married to Louis XV’s heir, his eldest grandson Louis-Auguste, by proxy on 19 April 1770. After meeting her husband for the first time on 14 May 1770, an official wedding ceremony took place at the Palace of Versailles on 16 May 1770.
In June 1770, some 50,000 people eagerly gathered along the streets of Paris to catch a glimpse of Marie during her first public appearance as a member of the French royal family. Members of the crowd were so keen to see the teenager that at least 30 people were crushed to death during the frantic rush. Many contemporaries were charmed by Marie during this public occasion, and praised her for her beauty.
Marie soon became involved in the extravagance of French court life, attending lavish balls and gambling. Her husband, however, shied away from public affairs. The couple would not consummate their marriage until seven years later – this became a popular matter of discussion and ridicule both at court and among the public.
King Louis XV died on 10 May 1774 after contracting smallpox. Marie, who was not yet 19 years old, became Queen of France when her husband inherited the throne as King Louis XVI. Marie gave birth to the couple’s first child, Marie Thérèse Charlotte, in December 1778.
France experienced poor harvests during the 1780s, which consequently increased the price of grain, and the government faced mounting financial difficulties. As a result, Marie’s lavish lifestyle at court came under attack. Numerous pamphlets and satires were distributed across the country demonstrating peoples’ disgust towards the queen’s extravagant spending. Dangerous rumours also circulated that Marie was having an affair with her close companion Hans Axel von Fersen, a Swedish count, and questions arose regarding the paternity of Marie’s children.
In 1783, Marie’s extravagance reached new levels when she began building a secluded farming village on the grounds of the Palace of Versailles. Fitted with a farmhouse, cottages, a mill and farm animals, Le Hameau de la Reine (or 'The Queen’s Hamlet') was created to allow the queen and her closest companions to escape the busy court in Versailles. Marie and her ladies-in-waiting would dress up as shepherdesses and pretend to be peasants, walking around the farm and milking the cows and sheep. Marie even employed servants to uphold the village and care for the animals.
Despite the idyllic nature of this retreat, members of the court and the public believed that Marie was mocking French peasants by dressing up as shepherdesses and acting as if she was impoverished.
Meanwhile, the nobility – including the king’s brother, the Count of Provence, and his cousin, the Count of Orleans – became disgruntled with Louis XVI’s attitude towards pressing governmental matters: Louis was indecisive about how to rectify the growing government debt, and was hesitant in resolving the issues surrounding the poor harvests.
Facing mounting pressure from his nobles, on 8 May 1788 Louis XVI ordered the first meeting in 175 years of the Estates General – the general assembly of the representatives of the clergy (first estate); the nobility (second estate), and the common people (third estate). Louis hoped that this would allow the representatives of France the opportunity to discuss ways to overcome the increasing state debt.
However, after reaching an impasse over France’s financial situation, the third estate broke away from the Estates General and expressed plans to govern without the authority of the king. They were soon joined by representatives from the first and second estates, who were increasingly frustrated by the king’s hesitancy over the rising prices of foodstuff and the queen’s excessive lifestyle.
On 14 July 1789, public opposition to the royal family reached its height, and the Bastille – a state prison in Paris – was stormed by an angry, armed mob. The Bastille was seen to represent the monarchy’s absolute authority, and the storming of its walls instigated the French Revolution and the beginning of the fall of the French monarchy.
Several weeks later, thousands of people surrounded the Palace of Versailles, demanding political reforms and changes to the way in which the monarchy governed. The royal family was then imprisoned within the walls of Tuileries Palace in Paris by the revolutionary forces that opposed the monarchy.
As more people joined the revolutionary cause in Paris, and public opinion of the monarchy deteriorated further, in 1791 Marie planned to flee France with her family and find sanctuary in Austria. However, the family was captured while attempting to escape and was taken back to Paris. They faced hostile crowds of people in the streets upon their return.
Amid mounting pressure from his political opponents, in September 1791 Louis XVI agreed to instigate a constitutional monarchy, and promised to share his political power with the French Assembly. This failed to quell the rebellion, however: less than a year later, on 10 August 1792, a gang of revolutionaries broke into Tuileries Palace, where the royal family was being kept under surveillance, and took Louis XVI and Marie prisoner.
A month later, the Republican government was determined to eradicate anyone who opposed the French Revolution and the eradication of the monarchy. As a result, thousands of royalists, nobles and people affiliated with the royal family across the country were guillotined and brutally massacred, including the Princesse de Lamballe, who was one of Marie’s closest companions. With the king and queen now under arrest, the National Convention ordered that the monarchy be abolished, and France was officially declared a republic.
After being put on trial by members of the new republican regime, Louis XVI was convicted of treason and was sentenced to death. On 21 January 1793, Louis was executed by guillotine at the Place de la Concorde in Paris.
On 14 October 1793, after months of imprisonment, Marie was put on trial and found guilty of treason. Two days later, at the age of 37, the queen suffered the same fate as her husband and was executed. Marie’s guillotined body was hurled into an unmarked grave in the cemetery of L'église de la Madeleine in Paris.
The bodies of Louis XVI and Marie were discovered during the restoration of the monarchy in France in the early 19th century. Their remains were properly reburied at the Basilica of St Denis on 21 January 1815.
Source: BBC History Magazine
You may find interesting to read more articles on this course:
Incredibly erotic and philosophic art masteries from Gemaldegalerie Berlin, Stauche Museen zu Berlin
Like a theatrical play, Cranach staged his painting on the theme of man's longing for immortality and eternal youth. Man dreams of being able to leave his spent mortal frame, emerging rejuvenated, fresh and ready for action. The idea of the purifying forces of the elements, fire and water, is as old as mankind itself.
The image is centred around the so-called "Fountain of Youth". It is set in a detailed landscape, far from human settlements The course of events is read from left to right.
Old, frail women are brought along stony paths from the left, coming from a barren, rocky landscape. They come in carriages or carts, are carried, or make their own painful way, sustained by hope, to the pool. Others are being undressed and examined by the doctor. Some hesitate, or need to be persuaded. In the water itself they become visibly younger, and climb out on the right-hand side, fresh and youthful in form.
Here they are received by a cavalier and taken to a tent, where they are dressed again. After this they devote themselves to the joys of life, in new garments and festively adorned. All this cheerful activity, with eating, dancing, music and play love takes place in a blossoming landscape. This is the home eternal youth.
On the left-hand side one is reminded of old age and its complaints, symbolised by the barren rocky wilderness. Thus the elements of the landscape relate entirely to the events of the picture, and are subordinated to them.
The figures of Venus and Cupid can be seen on the fountain in the pool, indicating that this is a fountain of love the miracle-working power of love is the actual source of eternal youth. But it appears that only women need to bathe in the pool: the men rejuvenate themselves through contact with the women.
Lucas Cranach reinterpreted the old theme of the fountain of youth entirely in the spirit of the courtly taste of his princely patrons, turning it into a fountain of love, or of Venus.
Literature: Pastel Verlag, Gemaldegalerie Berlin, Stauche Museen zu Berlin, Old Master Paintings, Museum Guide, 2014
The first group art educational session from Private Art Education took place today at the magnificent museum in central London
The Wallace Collection is one of the finest ever assembled by one family and now a national museum. Five generations of collectors, four Marquesses of Hertford and Sir Richard Wallace, each made their own contribution. There so many things about this collection that we love, its elaborate interiors, world known masterpieces by top european artists from Renaissance to Romanticism, Royal provenance furniture, Sevre porcelain and more... There so much to learn and discover... Today we tried to have a glance on everything, run throw the highlights of this collection and two hours were hardly enough. Next lectures would include much more devoted topic and specify the style, iconography and distinguish features of the chosen period of art history. Looking forward to hearing from you, encouraging your interest in culture, beauty around us and your curious mind!
Feel like walking into a Van Gogh painting? Now's your chance!
Two Van Gogh paintings, depicting his bedroom in Arles, France, recently arrived from Europe to join their triplet, which hangs permanently in Chicago. To celebrate, the Institute built a replica of his iconic bedroom with the same dimensions and coloring.
Bringing classic paintings to life is one of the most interesting ways to keep art alive and relevant, especially for younger audiences. By making a painting less abstract and returning it to its original physical place that first inspired the audience, art transcends strictly creative boundaries and becomes accessible to all.
Obsidian Tear / The Invitation / Within the Golden Hour, 28 MAY—11 JUNE 2016
Three ballets from three very different choreographers, all closely associated with The Royal Ballet: a world premiere from McGregor, dark drama from MacMillan and acclaimed ensemble work from Wheeldon.
Kevin O’Hare, Director of the Royal Ballet: "Welcome our final mixed programme of the Season contrasts the radical spirit of Kenneth MacMillan in the 1960s with that of Resident Choreographer Wayne McGregor in an exciting world premiere, alongside the return of a ballet by Artistic Associate Christopher Wheeldon presented earlier this Season. The physicality of dance finds riveting expression in Obsidian Tear with the powerful combination of Wayne McGregor's unique vocabulary and the muscular, epic soundscape of Finnish composer and conductor Esa-Pekka Salonen two exceptional and acclaimed artists in their fields. Wayne's selection of an all-male cast reflects the raw energy of the music and we are honoured that Maestro Salonen himself guest-conducts three performances for this collaboration. We are also delighted to welcome Katie Shillingford to the creative team as fashion director, joining Wayne's regular collaborator, lighting designer Lucy Carter. Fierce dance-making of another kind follows with The Invitation, created by Kenneth MacMillan half a century ago. This groundbreaking work broke taboos in ballet with controversially explicit content that still has the power to shock today. We move from dark drama to the glow of Christopher Wheeldon's rippling ensemble piece Within the Golden Hour to complete the programme. I would like to extend my grateful thanks to Linda and Philip Harley, Victoria Robey and an anonymous donor for their generous philanthropic support of Obsidian Tear to Richard and Delia Baker and The Friends of Covent Garden who have generously supported The Invitation, and to Kenneth and Susan Green for their most generous support of Within the Golden Hour Obsidian Tear, a co-production with Boston Ballet, is also made possible by the Boston Ballet Commissioners circle: the Stephanie L. Brown Foundation, Andrea and Frederick Hoff and Ruth and John Littlechild."