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

Michael's posts

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At the British Museum: French Portrait Drawings
French Portrait Drawings: From Clouet to Courbet  British Museum to 29 January, free This exquisite exhibition shows the evolution of portrait drawing in France, but it's also about the development of the British Museum's collection. It shows some smart rec...

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Brian Sewell Sale
A large part of Brian Sewell's private collection was sold at Christie's this week, and it has come in for quite a battering from envious (and often ignorant) critics. The New Statesman even asserts that he didn't own a Hockney. He did , and it's pictured a...

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Auction previews: summer old masters at Sotheby's, Christie's and Bonham's
Take a moment to look at the image above. Better still, follow this link and zoom in on the Christie's website. It's not the sort of thing to open a blog post, or put on Instagram. It's not an immediately powerful picture, especially in this dirty and worn ...

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Let her go
Picture: The Art Fund The Art Fund has launched an appeal to buy this picture for £16 million for the National Maritime Museum. It might be the prime version of a famous picture of a famous queen, but there are two others. One is at the National Portrait Ga...

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Who will review the reviewers? Thoughts on Giorgione
In the Age of Giorgione   Royal Academy London to 5 June The word 'Age' is a warning sign in exhibition titles. It means 'we couldn't borrow the things we wanted, so we've blurred the edges a bit'. Blurring boundaries can be interesting and context is good,...

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Why the old master market really is dead
The lackluster totals from the recent old master auctions in London prompted more observations about the parlous state of the old master market. I liked Scott Reyburn's account in the New York Times , but Bendor Grosvenor has issued a firm critique with use...

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Old Master Results
Picture: Sotheby's London's auctioneers put on a fine show last week: plenty of good pictures with mostly quite reasonable estimates. But results were disappointing. High levels unsold (about half the Christie's evening auction), and no really spectacular p...

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Old Master Auctions
Picture: Christie's It's the week of the winter old master sales in London, and Sotheby's and Christie's have some great pictures for sale just in time for Christmas. Best of all is surely this wonderful hare, at once stunningly beautiful, marvelously endea...

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'Saving' treasures
Art Fund director Stephen Deuchar has written an intemperate article about Britain's export controls, in the context of the sale of the Penrhyn Rembrandt . Bendor Grosvenor has written a considered response (naturally my choice of adjectives reflects my pos...

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Recent reading
Jan Royt  The Master of the Trebon Altarpiece   Carolinum Press 2015 £31.50 This is a book and an artist worthy of more attention. The artist's work is almost all in Prague, and the book was published by Charles University and seems not to have been widely ...
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