Anglo Irish Art Collection

Hopes that Anglo Irish Bank’s art collection might raise vital money for the state have been dashed on discovery that of the 320 pieces that the State took ownership of when it bailed out the disgraced bank only 100 are considered to be of some considerable value.  100 of the paintings are deemed to be worthless in financial terms, another 100 are deemed to be worth between €0 and €500 and the rest worth over the €500 price.  In total the value will be somewhere around the €750,000.00 mark, not enough to make any dent on the debts of the bank.

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Search For Favourite Painting

RTE has launched a search for Ireland’s favourite painting.  This painting must be hanging in a gallery and inspire or move you in some way.  Suggestions will be narrowed down to a manageable level and a documentary based on the shortlisted paintings will air in April.  The public will be asked to vote on the shortlist and the criteria is that you love the painting and that you are able to explain why it inspires you.  So what will it be?  A Jack B Yeats, a John Lavery, a Robert Ballagh, a Markey Robinson, a Declan Walshe, a David Ffrench Le Roy or a Graham Knuttel? Until the results air the art world will wait with natural curiosity but you can get involved by voting for the one that most moves you.

 

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Selling Silver For Scrap

Antique Dealers have come together to urge people not to sell Irish silver, (which has a worldwide reputation for quality), for scrap no matter what price is offered.  People may not be aware of the antique value attached to a certain Irish piece or an Irish silversmith.  If the silver is provincial i.e. coming from limerick, cork, kinsale, galway or any region outside of Dublin then it is really worth more from an antique value rather than scrap value.  A spoon from limerick might make €50 in scrap value but could make up to €2000 in an auction as the provenance attached to it might be where the value lies.  So please check with your local antiques dealer before selling your Irish silver for scrap.

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Charles Lamb Exhibition

An exhibition of Charles Lamb paintings, (The Lamb In Connemara Exhibition), is running in Adams Ava Gallery, Bangor, Co. Down and will run until February 24th.  The 38 paintings are on loan from private collectors and it is a rare opportunity to view the work of the Armagh born artist who specialised in landscapes and images of Connemara people.

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New Exhibition Centre For Belfast

Belfast will open the doors of its new exhibition centre in April at a cost of £18 million.  The Metropolitan Arts Centre will be popularly known as the MAC and will contain two theatres, three art galleries, a dance studio and a rehearsal area.  One of the first exhibitions will be of artist LS Lowry and an aptly timed Titanic play will be performed on the centenary of its sinking.

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Most Expensive Painting In The World

Despite months of speculation curiosity in the Art world can now be sated by the knowledge that the most expensive painting in the world is Cezanne’s “The Card Players”.  It is one of a series of five paintings, the other four housed in famous galleries, and made a cool £158 million when it was sold to the Qatari Royal family.  It almost doubled the record previously held by a Jackson Pollock work which sold for £88 million in 2006.

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Bronze of Mary McAleese

A bronze bust of our ex-president, Mary McAleese, will be unveiled in the coming weeks when it will take its place beside other busts of our presidents in the Francini Corridor of the Arás.  It was commissioned in 1999 but the Dept of Public Works held off on installing the bust until Mary McAleese had left office.  Carolyn Mulholland is the sculptor and the cost of the piece was €7600.  Carolyn was born in Lurgan, Co. Armagh in 1944 and studied in the Belfast College of Art.

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Mona Lisa Copy

Experts in Madrid have discovered that a painting believed to have been from a date after Leonardo Da Vinci’s death is actually a painting by one of Da Vinci’s students and will help art historians gain more knowledge on the mysterious lady.  Mona Lisa is believed to have been Lisa Gherardini, wife of a wealthy Florentine cloth merchant, and the masterpiece dates from 1503-1506.  The discovery by the Prado Museum in Madrid that their copy dates from the same time is vital to understanding the original in the Louvre as there are areas that are clearer and better preserved than the original.  Due to the fragility and value of the original Mona Lisa the Louvre could not run the risk of cleaning or restoring the painting but the copy in Madrid can be stripped of its dark layer and may reveal the true age of Mona Lisa, it being difficult to know from the original behind its glass case and the dark over-paint.  The copy is thought to be by one of Leonardo’s key students and the process of stripping the over-paint from this  painting has begun.  Art historians throughout the world await its revelations.

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Condition Vs Provenance?

A white porcelain imperfect Meissen lioness created a stir when it sold for €1,100,000.00 in Lempertz auction rooms in Germany.  The lioness was fired in one piece and is seated on its hind legs with its head turned slightly to its right.  Despite a network of thin hairline cracks on its back, two further deeper cracks and a tail which was broken off at one point and crudely restored, the Meissen piece generated great interest because of its provenance and in this instance condition took a back seat to its history.  Dating from 1733 it can be traced to Augustus II Elector of Saxony and King of Poland.  It proves that sometimes it pays not to throw out those broken pieces of porcelain!

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Elizabeth Taylor Painting

A painting owned by Elizabeth Taylor sold for $2million in Christies auction in New York.  “Portrait of a Man” was painted by the Dutch Master Frans Hals in 1630s.  Previously owned by Taylor’s art dealer father, he gave it to her in the 1950s and the work had been overlooked until it came up for auction.  Taylor loved the painting and even had it decorate her hospital room while recovering from an illness.  The remainder of her art collection will be sold on 7th and 8th of February.

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