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Michael Savage
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Grumpy art historian, bibliomaniac, investment banker.
Grumpy art historian, bibliomaniac, investment banker.

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Contrasting Rubens portraits at London auctions
Sotheby's and Christie's each offered Rubens portraits at their auctions last week. The Christie's picture, Clara Serena Rubens (above) had been recently deaccessioned by the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, and sold by Sotheby's in 2013 as the work ...
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Auction bargains
The glitzy evening sales are a precious opportunity to see
masterpieces that might not return to public view for a long time.
There's usually a handful of optimistic attributions and
bad-but-commercial pictures, too. The day sales are more of a mixed bag...
Auction bargains
Auction bargains
grumpyarthistorian.blogspot.com
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Summer auction highlights
It's bronze-o-rama this month. Really great bronzes rarely come up for sale, but this month there are three in London. My favourite is by the greatest sculptor of small bronzes, Giambologna. The Dresden Mars (£3m-£5m, above) is a heart-stopping masterpiece....
Summer auction highlights
Summer auction highlights
grumpyarthistorian.blogspot.com
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Christmas shopping: old masters at Sotheby's and Christie's
I hear there were some expensive things at recent contemporary sales, but I don't pay much attention to such vulgarities. The real action is at the Old Master auctions. They were queuing around the block last month at Christie's to see something from the co...
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How not to clean pictures: the risk of gels
An
art dealer has taken down the video nasty of this picture being
scrubbed 'clean' with a harsh brush while gel drips across the cleaned
area. You can still see it here as of today. The American Institute for Conservation issued a critical statement and...
How not to clean pictures: the risk of gels
How not to clean pictures: the risk of gels
grumpyarthistorian.blogspot.com
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Museums are not the answer for Confederate monuments
Confederate monuments celebrate a failed war to defend slavery. Most were erected long after the Civil War as a deliberate assertion of white supremacy, alongside Jim Crow laws and a resurgent Ku Klux Klan. Other historical figures have flaws against the st...
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It's all about context: assessing the old master market
The old master auctions that I wrote about recently did ... OK. Sold percentage was high, but the major Turner that I didn't care for just squeaked by at £18.5m. Some wonderful Northern pictures did deservedly well, a portrait of Anne of Hungary's court foo...
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Summer auctions: Old Master Week in London
Auction viewings are under-rated. Collectors and dealers go, but the interested public neglects these rare chances to see things that might not be on public display again for a generation. It's not just the museum-quality masterpieces that are worth seeing....
Summer auctions: Old Master Week in London
Summer auctions: Old Master Week in London
grumpyarthistorian.blogspot.com
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'Michelangelo & Sebastiano' at the National Gallery
Michelangelo & Sebastiano National Gallery London to 25 June Sebastiano del Piombo’s great fortune was to be taken under Michelangelo’s wing. But that was his great misfortune too, for he has lingered in Michelangelo's shadow. This scholarly and delightful ...
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