What happens when you combine detective skills with art history and then throw in a good chunk of science?
You unlock new information about some of history’s most renowned painters and a method for dating and authenticating their artworks.
Confused? Let’s back up.
For hundreds of years, up until the 20th century, there was one type of white paint that reigned supreme globally. It was called “lead white” and artists were drawn to its particular buttery texture and concealing power.
Now, a group of scientists have devised a method for studying the lead in “lead white”.
Paolo D’Imporzano of the Free University and his colleagues in Amsterdam studied samples from 77 Dutch paintings from 1588 to 1700. This include works by Rembrandt and Rubens, and Gerard ter Borch’s painting, titled Godard van Reede.
Using a technique called lead isotope analysis, what they found was that changes in lead chemistry reflected changes in history.
For instance, a noticeable change in the lead white of Dutch paintings in the 1640s coincided with the English Civil War.
“We know that warfare was requiring a lot of lead. The civil war disrupted or changed the lead supply … and that’s what we see in the pigments,” D’Imporzano said.
Clues like that helped the team conclude that the masterpiece Cimon en Pero, painted by Rembrandt’s pupil Willem Drost, may not have been painted during his time in Venice as was previously thought.
“The isotopic signature of this painting is really similar one of the paintings coming from a Rembrandt studio in the same period, so the painting is most likely to be from his period in Amsterdam,” D’Imporzano said.
D’Imporzano and colleagues’ findings were published in the journal Science Advances. And as part of their work, they created an international database of lead isotopes in lead white, which will help shape our collective understanding of this paint’s history.
Future use cases may include the attribution of disputed paintings to the correct artist, as well as understanding how artists worked and traveled throughout Europe in the 17th century.
“It’s really a sort of a detective story that needs not just one Sherlock Holmes but a team that have very different expertise — the historian, the economic historian, the art historian, the research scientist,” says Francesca Casadio, Ph.D chemist at the Art Institute of Chicago.
“To think that 17th century Dutch paintings can excite new researchers in chemistry, it’s heartwarming because it really shows the ingenuity that you need to be an artist and to be a scientist. And that’s the the good side of being a human.”
Copyright 2021 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.
Library Line: Parrott Art Gallery open to viewers online – Belleville Intelligencer
By Wendy Rayson-Kerr
Although the Parrott Gallery is closed until at least January 26 due to public health restrictions, we are still working to bring you art. We hope that our awesome gallery supporters will sign onto our website to view new virtual exhibitions, participate in online art workshops and register for free Armchair Traveller presentations on Zoom. We’ll also be increasing our social media posts, so please follow us on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram to view artwork from our current exhibitions as well as from our permanent collection, because everyone could use a little more art in their life right now!
Coming next: The Bay of Quinte Modern Quilt Guild is presenting an exhibition called, “Outside the Block” which will be available to view online through our website starting on Saturday, January 22. The traditional Log Cabin Quilt design, generally speaking, starts with a center shape which is surrounded by strips of coloured pieces that follow a specific sequence of light and dark patterning. Colours have meanings in these quilts, whose shapes can be seen to symbolize log cabins with both dark and sunny corners, and much has been written about their connection to North American pioneers. In our upcoming exhibition, this traditional pattern has been given a modern interpretation. The twenty quilters represented in this group show have all used the Log Cabin Quilt pattern as their inspiration, resulting with an assortment of unique designs. Each artwork is as original as the artists themselves, and we certainly hope you will log in to view them on our website (for now) as well as get the chance to view them in our gallery in the near future.
Another exhibition that will soon be available to view online is called “Corona and Friends” by George Kratz. This prolific Stirling artist has assembled a large collection of paintings that he has been working on over the past two decades. He describes his Corona series as, “an abstract journey” which he completed during the pandemic. The earlier work in his Friends series is equally intense, full of symbolism both borrowed and unique to the artist. George Kratz is a story-teller and this exhibition tells the story of vivid colour, strong lines and imagery you will not soon forget.
Both of these online shows will be available to view in person when we are allowed to re-open our doors once again.
We continue to offer Online Acrylic Pouring Workshops at the Parrott Gallery. These monthly projects are meant for beginners and skilled artists alike, and are the perfect way to learn knew creative skills. Prepared and presented by Warkworth artist Sheila Wright, these workshops are fun and easy to complete. Each kit costs thirty dollars and contains all you will need to create a unique artwork, including materials and video instructions. The January project is a painting called “Rainbow Swipe” and the deadline to register is Saturday, January 22. Please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org or call us as 613-968-6731 x 2040 if you are interested or would like more information.
On February 19, Photographer Lydia Dotto will be sharing her online Armchair Traveller presentation on the Antarctic. From the comfort of your own home you can take a journey across the globe, for free! “The Antarctic: Abundance of Life” is your chance to view a place that most of us will never have the chance to visit. You can register for this live Zoom presentation through our website. When we re-open our doors, our Corridor Gallery will feature the photography of Susan and Clint Guy, in a show they have called “India: The Golden Triangle”. Plans for an in-person presentation are also under way, so stay tuned for this next part of our Armchair Traveller Series.
We know 2022 is going to be an exciting year of exhibitions and programs here at the Parrott Gallery, so we won’t let the current closures discourage us. We hope that we will be open for in-person viewing again soon.
Wendy Rayson-Kerr is the Acting Curator of the John M. Parrott Art Gallery
Eden Deering Started Her Art Career at 8 – The New York Times
She is the director of PPOW, a venerable art gallery in TriBeCa co-founded by her mother in 1983.
Name: Eden Deering
Hometown: New York City
Now Lives: In a one-bedroom apartment in the Williamsburg section of Brooklyn that she shares with her boyfriend, Weston Lowe, who also runs a gallery.
Claim to Fame: Ms. Deering is a director at PPOW, a contemporary art gallery in TriBeCa that grew out of the 1980s East Village art scene. She curates book-fueled exhibitions that comment on social life. “Everything, for me, starts with reading,” Ms. Deering said. “Writers and artists have always been in conversation with each other. Books give me a tool to think about the importance of art.” Her first group exhibition in 2019, “Do You Love Me?,” focused on “the unbalanced power dynamic between those that desire love and those in our culture who have the power to give it,” she said.
Big Break: Ms. Deering unofficially began her art world internship at age 8, when her mother, Wendy Olsoff, one of PPOW’s founders, took her to Art Basel in Switzerland, the Venice Biennale in Italy, and various artists’ studios. In 2016, while working as an assistant at Gladstone Gallery, she started a roving art collective, Duplex, with Sydney Fishman. Duplex now has a permanent gallery on Essex Street in Lower Manhattan. “All of my friends are artists,” she said. “It is why I am.”
Latest Project: Ms. Deering will lead the programming at PPOW’s second downtown gallery, opening later this year a block away. It’s “a space for experimentation,” she said. “We don’t always get to work with the artists that I bring in for group shows.”
Next Thing: PPOW’s summer 2022 exhibition will feature feminist landscape paintings, including works by Carolee Schneemann, women artists in their 20s, as well as some from the 19th century. “Carolee always said she was a painter,” Ms. Deering said. “The general culture does not think of her as one.”
Personal Space: Her mother and Penny Pilkington, who co-founded PPOW in 1983, are still involved with the gallery. “I feel very honored to work for such incredible women,” Ms. Deering said. She credits the co-founders for their clarity of purpose. “Artists need money and space to work,” she said. “And that’s always been Wendy and Penny’s No. 1 priority.”
City eyeing a temporary downtown art exhibit through grant funding – Energeticcity.ca
The city is hoping the exhibit will encourage more residents to go downtown and visit its businesses in the process while celebrating “the reconnection of our communities in the aftermath of the
“This project directly supports free, accessible delivery of arts and culture programming to the community while enhancing the downtown core,” said a January 24th report for council.
The city can apply for up to $100,000 and must do so before the end of March 2023.
Council meets on Monday, January 24th, 2022.
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