Art history

The Provenance of Thomas Cole’s “View of Florence”: an unsolved mystery

During my tenure as the provenance researcher at the Cleveland Museum of Art (CMA), I worked on the provenances of a few paintings that had particularly complex and/or elusive ownership histories.  I researched these provenances fairly continuously over the course of my nearly 3.5 years there, vari...

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Unknown Drawing, Unknown Provenance

The Witt Library at the Courtauld Institute of Art in London, with its approximately 2 million reproductions (see photo) after works of art that are often accompanied by provenance information, is an invaluable research for provenance researchers. I went to the Witt Library while conducting provenan...

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Venerdì Gnoccolare: Gnocchi, Carnevale, and Punchinello

The majority of Giambattista Tiepolo’s Punchinello drawings, on which I wrote my dissertation, depict Punchinelli celebrating venerdì gnoccolare, the carnival bacchanalia that takes place in Verona on the Friday before Ash Wednesday (see image).  The festivities and rituals of venerdì gnoccolar...

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Omen and oracle: Dutch images of beached whales

“A large whale, thrown up out of the blue sea (gods, let it not be a bad omen!), washed up on the beach near Katwijk.  What a terror of the deep Ocean is a whale, when it is driven by the wind and its own power on to the shore of the land and lies […]

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