Rare Van Gogh drawings, ‘forgotten’ Flincks go on display

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Dutch businessman John Fentener van Vlissingen (L) and director of the Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam Axel Ruger (R) look at a recently discovered drawing dated from 1886 by Dutch painter Vincent Van Gogh entitled "Montmartre Hill with Quarry" (De heuvel van Montmartre met steengroeve) in the Singer Museum in Laren, Netherlands, on January 16, 2018. (AFP)
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This image released by the Vincent Van Gogh Foundation on Tuesday Jan. 16, 2018 shows a drawing titled The Hill of Montmartre (1886). The drawing is housed at the Van Gogh Museum and shares an unmistakable connection to the newly-discovered van Gogh drawing in terms of subject, size, style, technique and materials. (Vincent Van Gogh Foundation via AP)
Updated 16 January 2018
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Rare Van Gogh drawings, ‘forgotten’ Flincks go on display

THE HAGUE: Art lovers are in for a rare treat as four forgotten works by Dutch masters Vincent van Gogh and 17th-century painter Govert Flinck have gone on display, after gathering dust for more than 100 years.
The works include a never-before-seen Van Gogh drawing, which had been in private hands until now.
Called “The Hill of Montmartre with Quarries,” Van Gogh’s monochrome artwork dates from 1886 when he was living in Antwerp and Paris, where he worked at the studio of leading French historical painter Fernand Cormon.
The sketch, together with a second drawing “The Hill of Montmartre,” were unveiled Tuesday at an exhibition at the Singer Laren museum in central Netherlands.
“Such a discovery is always great. It’s really exceptional and does not often happen,” Teio Meedendorp, senior researcher for the Amsterdam-based Van Gogh Museum, told AFP.
Meanwhile, two previously forgotten works by Rembrandt’s student Govert Flinck (1615-1660) were also revealed to the public at the Amsterdam Museum for the first time on Tuesday since disappearing around 1895.
The two portraits were only unearthed after their owner visited an exhibition of Flinck’s work at the Amsterdam Museum.
Researcher Meedendorp said the Van Goghs had undergone an extensive verification process.
For many years “Montmartre with Quarries” sat unnoticed in a private collection until it was brought to the Van Gogh Museum in 2013 for authentication, he explained.
“After it came in we verified that it was indeed a Van Gogh — but we were intrigued by the question of its origins.”
The Van Gogh Museum’s art sleuths discovered the sketch originally belonged to Johanna Van Gogh-Bonger, the wife of Vincent’s brother Theo.
It had been sold into a private collection in 1917.
“We authenticated it in 2013, but it took a bit longer because it’s up to the owner and not us to reveal the work,” he added, saying “we had to keep it under wraps for a few years.”
The sketch also gave the museum an opportunity to authenticate a second work in its possession, called “The Hill at Montmartre.”
The type of stationery used in both sketches is identical and “nicely illustrates how he (Vincent) was still searching for his own style in the winter and spring of 1886,” the Singer Laren museum said in a statement.
“It was a very nice investigation about a work that appeared out of nowhere. It was never published, never put on display,” Meedendorp added.

Meanwhile, the Flincks were uncovered after the anonymous owner contacted the museum to offer the portraits for its current exhibition of the 17th-century master, who studied under Rembrandt but later developed his own style.
“The paintings were hung on their owner’s living room walls when he contacted the Amsterdam Museum and asked if they’d be interested in seeing them,” Dutch newspaper Trouw said.
Believed to be portraits of Zeeland province representative Johan de Mauregenault and his wife Petronella van Panhuysm, they were last described in an 1895 auction catalogue.
“Since then the paintings disappeared into thin air until now,” the paper added.


Rare Ottoman dish to go on sale at Sotheby’s London

A rare piece of Iznik pottery is going on sale at Sotheby’s in London on Wednesday. (Shutterstock)
Updated 22 October 2018
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Rare Ottoman dish to go on sale at Sotheby’s London

LONDON: An exceptionally rare, museum-quality piece of Iznik pottery is to go on sale at Sotheby’s in London on Wednesday.

The Debbane Charger (circa 1480) is set to go on sale. Sotheby’s London

The Debbane Charger, or dish (circa 1480), one of the most important pieces of Iznik pottery held in private hands, represents a significant discovery in the field of Ottoman art.
Produced during the reign of Mehmet II, the piece belongs to the earliest group of Iznik, characterized by an intense, inky, blue-black coloring which reflects the embryonic stage of firing control two decades before a brighter cobalt blue was achieved.
The charger is a lost “sibling” to four other large dishes, all of which are held in museums, including the Louvre in Paris. They are described in Nurhan Atasoy and Julian Raby’s book “Iznik: The Pottery of Ottoman Turkey,” where it was suggested they were used in court banquets. Though not identical, they display a number of shared elements — the huge scale, central floret, and use of both Rumi and Hatayi motifs, the names given to the rigorously executed arabesque decoration and Chinoiserie floral scrolls respectively.
The charger was formerly in the collection of bibliophile and businessman Max Debbane, who patronized many leading cultural institutions in the town of his birth, Alexandria in Egypt, as well as serving as president of the Archaeological Society.
Opportunities to acquire works of Iznik pottery from this earliest period are very rare, with the most significant examples dating back to Sotheby’s sales in 1993 and 1997.
Further highlights of the Wednesday’s sale include Indian paintings from the estate of Joe and Helen Darrion and a costume album that presents a comprehensive catalogue of the costumes of Ottoman Turkey in the 19th century.

The sale also includes Indian artworks. Sotheby’s London