Month: July 2015

Coming Exhibition: The Wrath of the Gods

The Wrath of the Gods:
Masterpieces by Rubens, Michelangelo, and Titian


Philadelphia Museum of Art

When: Sept. 12, 2015 – Dec. 6, 2015 (Hours Vary)


Philadelphia Museum of Art
2600 Benjamin Franklin Parkway
Philadelphia, PA 19130

More Information: Here.

The Wrath of the Gods focuses on Peter Paul Rubens’s masterpiece, Prometheus Bound, a singular vision of pain, torment, and creative struggle. This unprecedented exhibition places the work—one of the most important and beloved in the Museum’s collection—in conversation with paintings, drawings, and prints that inspired it. Highlights include Michelangelo’s Tityus, perhaps the artist’s most famous drawing, and Titian’s Tityus, the largest nonreligious painting on canvas of the Renaissance. The Wrath of the Gods brings together these and other pivotal works, offering a fresh opportunity to delve into the creative process of one of art history’s most important figures.Rubens’s painting depicts a scene from the Greek myth of Prometheus, a mighty Titan who steals fire from the gods on Mount Olympus to give to humanity. As punishment, Zeus, king of the Olympians, orders Prometheus to be forever chained to a rock, where each day an eagle devours his perpetually regenerating liver. Collaborating closely with famed animal and still-life painter Frans Snyders, Rubens rendered the brutal encounter in violent detail: the enormous bird viciously attacks the face and muscular body of Prometheus, who locks eyes with his assailant as he tumbles downward in agony. The monumental canvas, which Rubens considered one of his most important works, represents the virtuoso artist at his absolute height.Despite the significance of Rubens’s masterpiece, no exhibition has ever been devoted to it. The Wrath of the Gods shows how the artist’s talent for creating images bursting with physicality, movement, and color was profoundly shaped by the work of Italian Renaissance greats Michelangelo and Titian as well as antique sculpture, especially the Vatican’s famedLaocoön. During his extensive travels, Rubens studied these compelling examples firsthand, analyzing their figures, subject matter, and compositions and merging them with own Baroque sensibilities.To further explore Rubens’s sources of inspiration, the exhibition also presents an 1805 full-scale cast of The Laocoön, on loan from the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, and works by northern European artists Hendrik Goltzius and Michiel Coxcie, whose painting Cain and Abel debuts in Philadelphia as a newly rediscovered treasure after a recent cleaning by the Museo del Prado in Madrid. Other key works include Snyders’s sketch for Prometheus Bound’s menacing eagle and Jacob Jordaens’s Prometheus, one of the greatest artistic responses to Rubens’s masterpiece. 

50,000-flower display marks 125th anniversary of van Gogh’s death

“50,000-flower display marks 125th anniversary of van Gogh’s death”

by Gabby Shacknai via “PBS

AMSTERDAM, NETHERLANDS - JULY 29:  A display of dahlias is erected to celebrate the 125th anniversary of Vincent van Gogh's death, on July 29, 2015 in Amsterdam, Netherlands. The 50,000 flowers were picked behind the house of the artist's birth in Zundert. (Photo by Michel Porro/Getty Images)

On the 125th anniversary of Vincent van Gogh’s death, institutions across the world are celebrating the Dutch artist’s legacy.

A portrait of van Gogh made of 50,000 dahlias is on display in Amsterdam until the end of the week, and a cycling path, which drew on van Gogh’s “The Starry Night” with aninnovative light design, is available to the public. A 335-meter long cycling itinerary organized by Van Gogh Brabant takes visitors though five towns and cities, featuring sites like the school he attended in Tilburg and Etten-Leur, where his parents lived.

Auvers-sur-Oise, the French village where van Gogh spent his final days and died by suicide at age 37, has also planned several events to mark the day. Members of the artist’s family laid a wreath on his grave in Auvers-sur-Oise this afternoon. Visitors will explore the locations of some of van Gogh’s most famous work and see his former room in the Auberge Ravoux, where he lived the last 70 days of his life. Amsterdam’s Van Gogh Museum and the Institut Van Gogh in Auvers-sur-Oise worked together to organize the events.

Machteld van Laer (L) and Willem van Gogh, descendants of Dutch painter Vincent van Gogh, lay down sunflowers at his grave on the 125th anniversary of his death on July 29, 2015 in Auvers-sur-Oise, northern France. AFP PHOTO / ANP / BART MAAT +++ NETHERLANDS OUT        (Photo credit should read BART MAAT/AFP/Getty Images)

The Van Gogh Europe Foundation, a collection of approximately 30 organizations, is commemorating van Gogh the whole year under the theme “125 Years of Inspiration.” The foundation has organized events to take place throughout the year across the Netherlands, France and Belgium, all places where van Gogh once lived and worked. . . . .


Florida Sunken Treasure Discovery From 1715 Shipwreck Valued at Over $1 Million

“Florida Sunken Treasure Discovery From 1715 Shipwreck Valued at Over $1 Million”

by Kaylee Heck via “Yahoo News!

Florida treasure hunters hit the sunken treasure jackpot.

Brent Brisben — a co-founder of 1715 Fleet-Queens Jewels LLC, which has the rights to dive at the wreckage site where the gold was ultimately discovered — told ABC News that the 60 gold artifacts on the bottom of the ocean floor are valued at over $1 million.

The artifacts include 51 gold coins and 40 feet of gold chains with hand-crafted links, he said.

The centerpiece of the discovery is a single coin, given the nickname the “Tricentennial Royal,” which was destined to be delivered straight to Spanish King Phillip V, Brisben said.

This coin constitutes about half of the discovery’s expected value, with a price tag of more than $500,000, Brisben said.

The valuable find comes right before the 300-year anniversary of the 11-ship fleet sinking during a hurricane on July 31, 1715, off the Florida coast. The fleet had left from Havana, Cuba, on July 24, 1715.

Brisben said the discovery was made about a month ago, but he wanted to keep everything under wraps until the anniversary got closer.

“The work that goes on out there is not typical of what you see here today. I don’t want to call it an abrogation, but it’s what the dreams of every one of the people doing this are made of,” Brisben said at a news conference today. . . .


1,500-Year-Old Text Has Been Digitally Resurrected From a Hebrew Scroll

“1,500-Year-Old Text Has Been Digitally Resurrected From a Hebrew Scroll”

by Devin Powell via “The Smithsonian

More than four decades ago, an archaeologist discovered a scroll in the ruins of an ancient settlement built near the Dead Sea. Found inside a holy ark, the fragile document was so badly burned that the scientist decided not to risk unrolling it, lest it crumble to pieces. Kept safe in storage ever since, the Ein Gedi scroll has held on to its secrets—until now.

This week a computer scientist announced that his team found a way to unroll the scroll virtually. Working off x-ray scans of the artifact, specialized software detected the layers of parchment and digitally unwound them, revealing for the first time Hebrew characters written on the scroll about 1,500 years ago.

“I’ve actually never seen the actual scroll,” says Brent Seales, a professor at the University of Kentucky. “For me, that’s a testament to the power of the digital age.”

His interest in damaged texts began years ago with a cache of old Roman scrolls unearthed at what had once been the resort town of Herculaneum. Buried during the infamous A.D. 79 Vesuvius eruption, the Herculaneum scrolls seemed like little more than cylinders of charcoal. To try and take a deeper look, Seales and his colleagues bombarded the relics with x-rays from a micro-CT scanner—a device similar to the computerized tomography scanners hospitals use to see inside human bodies, but much more powerful.

“It’s a bit expensive and time-consuming to do, but you’re able to see inside an object without destroying it,” says James Miles, a graduate student at the University of Southampton and director of Archaeovision, a company that scans ancient objects. “You can’t do this any other way.”

To suss out the contours of rolled papyri, Seales wrote a computer program. He likens the process to cartography: the density data from a micro-CT scan is a whole world of chaotic shapes and forms, and the turns of the papyri are like edges of continents that his algorithms can sketch. Sadly, his x-rays and algorithms proved blind to the carbon-based ink on the Roman scrolls, which was too similar to the carbonized papyri to be distinguished.. . .


Coming Exhibition: Magnum – Contact Sheets

“Magnum – Contact Sheets”


Istanbul Modern

When: Feb. 26, 2015 – Aug. 2, 2015 (Hours Vary)


Istanbul Modern
Meclis-i Mebusan Cad. Liman İşletmeleri Sahası Antrepo No: 4, 34433 Karaköy – İSTANBUL

More Information: Here.

“Magnum – Contact Sheets” is a major exhibition that takes the contact sheet as the basis for exploring the creative process behind some of the world’s most iconic photographs from the Magnum Photos agency. The exhibition gives audiences remarkable access and insight into the decision-making processes of many of Magnum’s famous members through the inclusion of first-person accounts. With the development of digital technologies and their huge impact on photographic production, this exploration of photography’s analogue period sets out to both investigate and celebrate a technique that is becoming increasingly historic; to provide an “epitaph”, in the words of Martin Parr.

A contact print is obtained by exposing an image or a set of images against a single sheet of photographic paper of the same size as the negative. Often compared to an artist’s sketchbook, contact sheets are the photographer’s first look at what he or she has captured on the film roll. Because contact sheets provide raw images of the photographs, without any interventions in the process, they offer the artist an opportunity for self-criticism and making a choice. In this sense, looking at contact sheets is like entering the photographer’s private area of work, which he or she keeps secret. On the other hand, by showing us the before and after of the unique scene selected by the photographer, they enable us to witness how that moment came to be. They give the viewer a sense of walking alongside the photographer and seeing through their eyesas they capture the scene. Contact sheets give clues as to the artist’s working process, the way they approach the subject matter and the extent to which the selected snapshot reflects reality.

Shedding light on the behind the scenes process of Magnum photographers, the exhibition reproduces work from over seventy years of visual history, including the D-Day landings by Robert Capa, the 1968 Paris riots by Bruno Barbey, Stuart Franklin’s Tiananmen Square, the Vietnam war by Philip Jones Griffiths and 9/11 by Thomas Hoepker. It showcases iconic portraiture of political figures, actors, artists and musicians, from Che Guevara and Malcolm X, to Miles Davies and The Beatles. Contact sheets and photographs are accompanied by close-up details, articles, books and magazine spreads.