Saturday, January 10, 2015

Our newsletter for December 10, 2015

Claude Monet, Le Grand Canal (1908), will be offered at Sotheby's London evening Impressionist sale on February 3 with an estimate of $30.6–45.9 million (£20–30 million). 
Photo: Courtesy Sotheby's.

Banksy, Flower Thrower (2003).
Bonhams is breaking out the Banksy this month, with an auction of the guerrilla graffiti artist's work from the collection of his former agent, Steve Lazarides. The January 28 contemporary art and design sale, held at Bonham's London headquarters, will feature 32 lots by the anonymous British street artist, including two sculptures.

Goya once wrote, “I have had three masters, nature, Velázquez and Rembrandt.” There is a certain arrogance in this statement but you could hardly fault the Spanish artist’s taste, or his ambition. Two major exhibitions, now in their closing weeks, Velázquez at the Kunsthistorisches Museum in Vienna (until February 15), and Rembrandt: the Late Works at the National Gallery in London (until January 18, transferring to the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam from February)... more

Cartooning Is No Job for Cowards
Cartoonists in every corner of the world have found themselves and their art at the heart of political controversy for hundreds of years. The presence of Philippe Honoré among the dead at Hebdo recalles Honoré Daumier, the great caricaturist who in 1832 spent six months in prison for his depiction of Emperor Louis-Philippe in a weekly journal...

Charlie Hebdo’s gross out cartoons are an ancient French tradition worth preserving, but how much did we need of this blasphemy?
Thought Leader Handbook, Rule 1: After disaster, lie in wait. Wait until the “What hath God wrought” phase is over, usually about 12 hours.
Rule 2: Take either the stance that the victims (in this case, Charlie Hebdo) were stupid (as the Financial Times’s Tony Barber claimed on Wednesday) or that they were…well, still stupid, but never mind that, even idiots have a right to free speech, ra ra ra. more at

Would you be beautiful in the ancient world?
In ancient Greece the rules of beauty were all important. Things were good for men who were buff and glossy. And for women, fuller-figured redheads were in favour - but they had to contend with an ominous undercurrent, historian Bettany Hughes explains.