A man from Wanneperveen, Overijssel has been sentenced to nine months in jail with three months suspended sentence for trying to sell a painting by Vincent van Gogh using a collection of fake documents. He was trying to sell a preparatory sketch of the painting ‘The Harvest’ (close up shown here) for 15 million euro.
Someone who found out about the sale had the idea something was off and called the police. The man apparently had many dubious small companies in his name and already a bit of a bad reputation.
(Link: www.crimesite.nl, Image: extreme close-up of The Harvest via Van Gogh Museum)
Tags: Overijssel, Vincent van Gogh
Daan Roosegaarde, who showed us the Netherlands as a network of light, has now installed a Smog-Free Tower in Beijing’s well-known 798 arts district, in a city that has become synonymous with smog.
Roosegaarde’s partial contribution towards a solution to the smog is a seven-meter metal structure that takes in smog and expels cleaner air, made up of 45 silver plates that look like window blinds, the tower contains an air-purifying machine that runs continuously. He says he came up with the idea for the tower after a visit to Beijing three years ago. His team of designers raised more than $120,000 online to help pay for the tower by selling metal rings with a clear cube that includes a bit of black carbon from smog.
However, it has been difficult to tell if the air was actually cleaner. An unscientific test using a handheld monitoring device throughout the day showed the air next to the tower was slightly cleaner than further away. Let’s be fair: it’s about the idea of showing that it is possible, as well as inspiring people to come up with solutions instead of doing nothing and hoping the government will magically care enough to do something about it.
(Link: phys.orgPhoto of a particulate polluted Shanghai sky by Wikimedia Commons user Saperaud, some rights reserved)
Tags: Beijing, China, Daan Roosegaarde, invetion, smog
First the the Westfries Museum in Hoorn, North Holland gets five paintings back from Ukraine and now the Fries Museum in Leeuwarden is getting back a portrait of etcher Leopold Löwenstam by Dutch-born British painter Sir Lawrence Alma-Tadema (aka Lourens Alma-Tadema), shown here.
The lost painting showed up on BBC’s Antiques Roadshow, as the owner explained that their great-great grandfather and the artist were close family friends and their great-great grandmother was the governess of Tadema’s children. According to the show, Alma-Tadema holds the record for a Victorian painting at US$36 mln (about EUR 32 mln) for an enormous picture sold in New York a few years ago, but this painting is smaller and would be worth less, with no estimation suggested.
The painting has been restored and will be part of the upcoming touring exhibition of Alma-Tadema’s work at the Fries Museum as of 1st October. The portrait was exhibited at the Royal Academy in 1884, and went on display again in Liverpool in 1913, after which it hadn’t been seen until now.
UPDATE: the BBC showed aired, and the painting was valued at 230.000-346.000 euro.
(Links: www.telegraph.co.uk, omropfryslan, Photo of Lourens Alma-Tadema by John Boers, some rights reserved)
Tags: Alma-Tadema, BBC, Fries Museum, Friesland
On 7 October, Ukraine is giving back five masterpieces stolen from the Westfries Museum in Hoorn, North Holland 11 years ago. Twenty-four Dutch Golden Age masterpieces and 70 pieces of silverware were stolen from the museum on January 9, 2005, which back then had an estimated total value of 10 million euro.
In Ukraine earlier this year four Dutch Golden Age masterpieces were recovered in dubious circumstances while a fifth painting was handed back to Ukrainian authorities by an Ukrainian art buyer, also under dubious circumstances. The five paintings were ‘A Peasant Wedding’ by Hendrick Boogaert, ‘Kitchen Scene’ by Floris van Schooten, ‘Return of Jephta’ and ‘Lady World’ by Jacob Waben, and ‘Nieuwstraat in Hoorn’ by Isaak Ouwater.
To celebrate the return of the paintings, the museum will let people in for free as of 8 October for a week. The bad news is, ‘A Peasant Wedding’ and ‘Kitchen Scene’ are in very bad condition and will need crowdfunding to pay for their costly restoration estimated at 100,000 euro.
(Links: au.news.yahoo.com, wfm.nl, Photo of Westfries Museum, Hoorn by Fnorp, some rights reserved)
Tags: Hoorn, North Holland, paintings
From 13 September through 17 September from 11:00 to 17:00, Amsterdam artist Pavèl van Houten will have a shop open that is actually an art project on the Mercatorplein in Amsterdam West selling worthless junk. You’ll be able to browse through and purchase stuff like bottle caps and plastic bits for ‘flutten’, fake money that derives its name from ‘flut’ meaning ‘trash’. The shop will be housed in a wooden structure not far from 24oranges HQ, so we’ll pay it a visit and report back to you.
The more useless the item, the more ‘flutten’ you’ll get for it. The fun stuff collected by the shop will be exhibited by Van Houten in the Waardeloos Museum, which will open at the public library on the Mercatorplein and two shops nearby. The shop of useless junk has already done the rounds in Breda, Leeuwarden and Vlieland. Items such as coloured plastic, expired public transport tickets, crooked nails, flattened beer caps and broken water balloons are very popular.
Challenge accepted: we’ll going to try and top that.
Tags: Amsterdam, junk, Mercatorplein
Amsterdam artist Femke Schaap, known internationally for her “life-size, spatial film-installations”, is being jerked around by Amsterdam’s Zuid district who has suddenly dropped a commissioned project of hers that’s been seven years in the making. Schaap has 200,000 euro hanging in the balance owned to her once the work is placed, and is taking the city to court to make sure it gets placed according to their binding agreement.
The video-installation WEstLAndWElls, has white blocks with video projections of fountains, which would only be turned on after sunset – that’s it, nothing vulgar or controversial. Built to be placed on the Theophile de Bockstrook, a local green patch, the artwork had already angered residents a few years back who took to writing letters. Everything they complained about was verified and deemed unfounded, like claiming children could hurt themselves, attracting graffiti and even causing epileptic seizures. It sounds like the neighbourhood was already upset about all the construction around them (houses, schools and parking) and WEstLAndWElls became the drop that made the bucket spill over.
According to the artist, the fountain projection is in slow motion and ‘romantic’, there’s a budget for an anti-graffiti crew for ten years and no one is going to hurt themselves on the artwork. Problem is, the city district legally dismissed all the letters against placing the artwork, but all of a sudden has decided not to place the artwork after all, to everyone’s surprise. But they can’t just do that. Schaap’s lawyer claims the whole situation has been “stressful and damaging” for the artist and her excellent international reputation.
This isn’t over yet, or as a friend of mine would say, it went from a ‘situation’ and it’s turning into a ‘-gate’.
(Link: www.parool.nl, Screenshot of artwork from this video)
Tags: Amsterdam, controversy, Femke Schaap, installation
After Orville the helicopter cat, a badger submarine and a few others, controversial Dutch artist Bart Jansen is currently working on a flying cow.
Together with his collaborator, engineer Arjen Beltman, they are taking deceased animals to the next level by creating something they can fly in themselves, which reminds me of the flying moths from the 1990s science-fiction series, Lexx.
“If I’m going to fly, I want to fly in something weird. So we’ve been thinking about animals that are big enough to fly in. We have a cow at the moment – it’s at the tannery right now. It’s going to be like a bovine personnel carrier, but airborne,” Jansen explains.
If you guys want to get weirder, check out Lexx’s main ship, a huge flying insect that talks to its crew, as inspiration.
Tags: Bart Jansen, cows, Lexx
A Belgian man from Turnhout, Jan Starckx, bought a portrait of a young girl in a red dress for 450 euro, which has turned out to be an original Willem de Kooning (shown here), a Dutch-American painter originally from Rotterdam.
Authenticated by experts on the BBC television show ‘Fake or Fortune’, the painting has been valued at between 55,000 and 100,000 euro. Starckx intends to exhibit the work first in Turnhout and then in Sint-Jans-Molenbeek in Brussels where it was painted. In April the work will be brought together with a similar work, ‘Portrait of Renée’ at the Winterthur Museum in Delaware, USA.
“I thought it was a great painting and I was intrigued by the signature that misses the final ‘g’: ‘Wim Koonin’ it says”, explained Starckx.
(Link: deredactie.be, Photo of Willem de Kooning by Smithsonian Institution Archives, some rights reserved)
Tags: BBC, Belgium, paintings, Rotterdam, Willem de Kooning
The year was 1672. The 80-year war of independence of the United Provinces against Spain had been hard fought, but had also ushered in a golden age in which trade, science and arts blossomed. Now that progress was halting. The Treaty of Münster in 1648 had seen the recognition of the young Dutch republic as an independent nation, but 24 years later fresh enemies were at the door. England had declared war, followed by France and a bunch of German bishops.
An Anglo-French attack over sea had been thwarted with ease by the mighty Dutch fleet, but the weakened Dutch army could not stop the French from invading over land. The Dutch tried to retreat to the redoubt formed by the Dutch Water Line; a huge lake formed by flooding parts of Utrecht and Brabant. The flooding went slower than expected and it also made the people outside the redoubt feel they were being left to their own devices. People started panicking and started looking for scapegoats.
These scapegoats were found in the brothers Johan and Cornelis de Witt. The former was the grand pensionary of the provinces of Holland and Zeeland, which made him the de facto leader of a federation of provinces that preferred not to have leaders. It also brought him in direct competition with the line of Orange-Nassau which had assumed the stadtholdership and had turned it into a hereditary position. The Oranges were the favourites of many people who saw in the latest heir, William III, a new leader for the new war.
Cornelis had been framed for the crime of conspiracy and had been banished from the country. On 20 August 1672 his brother Johan came to pick him up from prison in The Hague, but outside a mad crowd awaited them. The rabble lynched the brothers, mutilated their bodies and cut parts off. The heart of Johan was cut out of his body and thrown in his face.
The painting shown here was created by Jan de Baen. On the back is written: “These are the corpses of Jan and Cornelis de Witt, painted from life by an important painter, as they were hanging from the gallows at 11 o’clock in the evening. Cornelis is the one without a wig, Jan de Witt has his own hair. This is the only painting painted from life on 20 August 1672 and therefore worth a lot of money.”
According to vandaagindegeschiedenis.nl, “some of their body parts were even traded, taken as souvenirs and eaten. The Haags Historisch Museum owns a tongue and a toe of one or both of the brothers. These became the property of supporters of the brothers who kept them as relics.”
(Illustration: Jan de Baen / Wikimedia Commons)
Tags: Cornelis de Witt, Dutch Republic, gallows, Golden Age, House of Orange-Nassau, Jan de Baen, Jan de Witt, Johan de Witt, lynching, William of Orange
When fine art painter Willem van der Made saw a print he liked at a car boot sale in Oosterhout last Sunday and found out it was only 5 euro, he didn’t hesitate and bought the work.
When he got home and removed the cardboard back, he found another print hidden underneath. And another and another. The frame turned out to contain 63 lithographic prints in total.
Van der Made told BN De Stem that something did not feel right when he first lifted the frame. It was heavy and thick. “I immediately asked the salesman where he got the print. He told me that an old lady had asked him to clear out her attic which was full of stuff dating back to World War II.”
Van der Made believes that the frame was purpose-built to hide so many prints. “It was hand-made and reasonably deep. The prints all fit in.” The prints all depict biblical scenes. Van der Made wants to sell them as a collection.
(Illustration: BN De Stem, artist unknown)
Tags: lithography, paintings, prints