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Daumier bequest from Hans-Jürgen Hellwig

Städel Museum, Frankfurt

The Städel Museum’s new show of 120 graphic works by Honoré Daumier (1808-79), running until 12 May, is drawn entirely from the collection of the Frankfurt arts patron Hans-Jürgen Hellwig. Spanning 4,200 lithographs and wood engravings, 19 drawings, two paintings and 36 bronze sculptures, the entire collection will be donated to the museum’s friends association to celebrate its 125th anniversary. Hellwig’s bequest is also a gesture of gratitude to Margret Stuffmann, the Städel’s former head of prints and drawings and an expert on 19th-century French art. “For considerable time, I had seen Honoré Daumier only as a caricaturist of political events,” Hellwig says. “It was she who opened my eyes to the artist Daumier.”


Standing Figure Holding a Were-Jaguar Baby (around 900BC-300BC)

Kimbell Art Museum, Fort Worth

Despite its diminutive 21cm height, this Olmec statuette carved from jade became the Kimbell Art Museum’s “most significant work of ancient American art” when it joined the collection late last year. It is the only jade example among 11 known Olmec sculptures of a human holding an infant were-jaguar—effigies believed to have sacred significance. The baby’s headband denotes its supernatural association with the Olmec deity of rain and maize, while the standing figure may have had its leg broken as part of a ritual. The sculpture previously belonged to the renowned Guennol Collection of Alastair and Edith Martin and was purchased by the Kimbell from the Robin B. Martin Trust, established by their son.


La Piedad (1772-74) by Francisco de Goya

Museo del Romanticismo, Madrid

The Spanish culture ministry announced the €1.5m purchase of an early Goya for Madrid’s Museo del Romanticismo in December, a year after the painting was offered for auction at €3m by Abalarte Subastas but did not find a buyer. La Piedad was previously believed to be the work of the court painter Francisco Bayeu, Goya’s mentor and later brother-in-law, and was only reattributed to Goya in 2011. The Spanish state placed the work under export ban in 2014 due to its rarity as one of Goya’s few religious compositions. It is dated to 1772-74, a few years after the young artist’s formative stay in Italy, where he studied works by Michelangelo and Annibale Carracci before returning to Zaragoza in Spain.

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