New Acquisitions by the Met, LACMA, Nat’l Galleries of Scotland & the Meadows
Multiple reports about new museum acquisitions ranging from small, 12th century English champlevé enamel plaque depicting Saints Peter and Andrew to a riotous, 18th century floral still by Jan van Huysum still life. According to ArtDaily, the van Huysum still life acquired by the National Galleries of Scotland is the artist’s largest work on copper. The museum’s press announcement notes the acquisition was made:
… through the Acceptance in Lieu scheme. It is the first Dutch flower still life to enter the Scottish National Gallery’s collection. The tax settlement value of the painting is £2.45million.
The painting is the first work by this artist to enter the National collection. Indeed, no painting from this period of van Huysum’s career is in any Scottish public collection.
The Acceptance in Lieu (AIL) scheme allows a deceased person’s estate to gift significant items to the nation and satisfy more tax than by selling items on the open market. This also allows the nation to acquire important works of art at favourable prices.
The enamel surfaced at an auction organized by De Baecque & Associés in Lyon, France. According to the auction catalogue, this “previously unheard of … plaque can be added to the seven others kept in French and foreign museums,” including one in the Met. “These eight plaques adorned the facing of the same object, a large altarpiece or reliquary casket, which was broken up during the XIXth century. They show the lives of Peter and Paul, the two patron saints of Rome. The plaque presented here is the first showing the life of Peter when, fishing with his brother Andrew, he was enlisted by Christ.” The work sold for €680,000, well in excess of its € 50,000-200,000 estimate.
Meanwhile, LACMA picked up two paintings – a sinuous Daniel Crespi Mocking of Christ and an eloquent Francesco Trevisani Pieta.
The Crespi is from Giovanni Sarti gallery in Paris. It was at Sarti’s booth in Maastricht in 2007 and is currently in their Caravaggism exhibition. According to the Art Tribune account: “A student of Giovanni Battista Crespi, known as Il Cerano, Daniele Crespi reveals here Caravaggio’s realism … [and] the influence of three Milanese painters who made the transition between Mannerism and the Baroque, Cerano himself, Pier Francesco Mazzucchelli, known as Il Morazzone and Giulio Cesare Procaccini.”
The Trevisani was also seen at Maastricht with Adams Williams Fine Art in 2013. From the Art Tribune: “This is a small copper by Francesco Trevisani … a painter who trained in Venice then arrived in Rome in 1676, spending the rest of his life there. His masterpiece is the décor of a chapel in the church of San Silvestro in Capite (1696), done in a “tenebrist” style he would later abandon.”
Finally, the Meadows Museum in Dallas has acquired a striking early 18th century polychromed terra cotta sculpture of Saint Paul by the Spanish artist Juan Alonso Villabrille y Ron.
This is an exquisite example of late Spanish Baroque naturalism and the only known terra cotta work by the artist who typically worked in polychromed stone and wood. The subject, as the Art Tribune reports, is “Saint Paul, the first Christian anchorite, often represented as here dressed in a cloth of woven palm leaves.”