The history of things

How do objects get into the museum? Have they been bought, collected, inherited or even stolen? Provenance research has been dealing with these fundamental questions not only since the sensational picture discovery in Munich in 2013, but they also serve four Frankfurt museums as a connecting element of their cooperative project Purchased. Collected. Stolen. From the path of things to the museum.

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A New View on Evelyn De Morgan

Can art oppose war? Can wars and conflicts be fought with art? Can a work of art influence the thinking of its viewers and create peace? If the English artist Evelyn De Morgan (1855-1919) had been asked, she would certainly have answered these questions in the affirmative. Two wars were reflected in her work: the Second Boer War (1899-1902), the last great war of the British Empire, and the First World War (1914-1918), the original catastrophe of the 20th century. Even though the artist was neither mother nor wife of a soldier, she was still deeply moved by the political events of her time and used them in her works.

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Rubens is here!

From 8 February to 21 May the exhibition “Rubens. Power of transformation” takes place at the Museum in Frankfurt. The title of the exhibition is program. It is about Peter Paul Rubens’ adaptation and transformation of ancient and contemporary models. In the sense of the Aemulatio (overbid competition), the Fleming enters into dialogue with masterpieces of antiquity, but also with the great names of his time such as Titian, Tintoretto, Hendrick Goltzius and Adam Elsheimer.

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The Dead Alchemist Painting

The alchemist is exhausted in his workshop, which bears witness to eager activity, sinking down and gently falling asleep. In his right hand he still holds the pen with which, until recently, he recorded his observations in the book opened in front of him. The fire of the alchemical furnace is extinguished, the tool lies scattered in front of it as if it had been dropped in the middle of the activity. The time of death cannot be far back. It is a strange tension between zealous work and the silence of death that dominates this image. The search for the Philosopher’s Stone, so often praised in various manuscripts, seems to have failed. The journey of the adept remains unfinished. It is a picture of desperation and surrender that Elihu Vedder draws here with his work The Dead Alchemist.

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Silent designers

This link allows you to watch live recordings from cameras attached to the ISS space station. I keep coming back, primarily because it’s possible and I think it’s pretty crazy. Sometimes I get lucky and see a spectacular sunrise. But most of the time you see clouds clouds clouds clouds in various shapes and constellations. Depending on the weather, they appear from the ground as rain, thunderstorm, cirrus, fair weather and feather clouds. They form fronts and walls, towers and fields, dress with veils, ceilings and ribbons. And there are also benches, which I particularly like, because although we know that it doesn’t work, the thought that you can first walk around on the fluffy structures (or “walk like on clouds”) and then sit down on such a bench is simply too beautiful. And of course the most beautiful thing would be to sit in pairs on the coveted cloud 7. Continue reading “Silent designers”

Like father, like son

Would the artists of that time have gone to more trouble in naming them if they had known that naming the son (the younger) after the father (the older) makes life difficult for the scientists of today? Only historians who deal with the family members of the high nobility have it even harder with all the many Charlemagne, Charles, Louis, etc. Continue reading “Like father, like son”

The museums today are full of great artists

That’s why I’d like to talk today about the many other artists whose names hardly tell us anything today – not because they’ve been forgotten (like Rembrandt and Caravaggio for a long time, for example), but because they were certainly technically good painters, but lacked great talent. I’m really not interested in making fun of them! I’m sure they all did their best. But some of them are so weird that only a completely humorless person wouldn’t laugh at them. I also don’t say I could do better. Like most of us (I’m just assuming now), none of the works I made in art class were worth preserving. But that’s why I didn’t become an artist.

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