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"Art authentication" vs "Art appraisal"

An Art Authentication is not an Art Appraisal ... It's a common mistake in the US that people think an art appraisal equals an art authentication. It could not be more wrong. An art appraisal is an opinion of an item's value in fair market value or replacement value. It doesn't engage the art appraiser's responsibility if the painting is a fake or a copy. Fair Market vs Repalcement Value A/ Fair market value: The amount for which personal property would be sold in a voluntary transaction between a buyer and a seller. The auction value is most of the time considered as fair market value. B/ Replacement value: Replacement value or cost is the price an entity would pay to replace an existing asset at the current market price with a similar asset. Usually, the replacement asset is found in a gallery; that's why a replacement value is often compared with a gallery value. This gallery value is substantial as the value in auction, it may as well be double or triple the value of auction. An art authentication process includes: -Justification of authenticity by comparison with other works by the artist - Establish the place of the artwork in the "catalog raisonne" - Comparison with other works by the same artist of the same period. - Comparison with other artists of the same period or movement. - Research about the history, provenance, etc. - Establish and verify the history of the painting. - Graphology analysis of handwriting. ( rarely) - Signature analysis. ( always) - On-site analysis of the painting. ( if possible ) - Study of the pigments, usually when a COA was denied - Study of the support - Study of the manner. - Wood lamp test. Presentation of the file to the solely universal recognized expert for the artist. Each major artist has his own "SOLELY UNIVERSAL RECOGNIZED AUTHENTICATION EXPERT". COA & Galleries, Auction Houses Sotheby's, Christie's , whatever major gallery do not have the authority to give an authentication certificate for an artwork. Sotheby's and Christie's or any good auction house will consult the solely recognized authentication expert for an artist before accepting it in their auction. They should do so, but we know today that many fakes were sold in these major auction houses. Art expert responsibility Art experts, in general, may give an opinion at their responsibility ( Don't forget that in the US everybody can sue anybody for whatever reason..), for which they can be sued if the sole authenticator refuses to authenticate artwork. In the US because of this possibility to sue an individual or an organization several major institutions so the Warhol-Pollock-Haring-Dekooning-foundation decided to stop the service of authentication. For these painters, if you didn't receive an authentication before they decided to close the authentication service there is one solution left: making a file that proves the item's authenticity with indisputable and verifiable arguments. Art experts are reluctant to put in writing opinions because of the possibility to be sued: See Wildenstein, Warhol Foundation etc contact me for information : vwx123@gmail.com or whatsapp: 7602967175

"For me, in front of a painting or a sculpture, the right criterion is... goosebumps"

Laurent Fabius, known as the pillar of the Socialist Party or the President of the Constitutional Council, less as the passionate about art. Son of an antique dealer, friend of Pierre Soulages and Yan Pei-Ming, he has been handling the brush himself for several years. This prompted him to write on the material and spiritual character of polyptychs, the theme of his latest book to be published on October 20 by Gallimard. “Personally, I didn't experience like others this sudden changeover, this vision-click in front of a sculpture or a specific painting. My life with works of art has gone through several stages. The first, until I was thirty, was marked by complete rejection. My father, from a family of antique dealers and an antique dealer himself, took us, still children, almost every week, to visit a museum for hours. It was the overdose. In a second phase, I relearned, as an autodidact, to frequent galleries, artists, specialists, sales rooms, with growing pleasure. In 2007–2008, I was struck by a Standing Woman by Alberto Giacometti, then on view at the Center Pompidou. In front of this figure, of a strength and a touching fragility, I understood better that, to enrich and transmit an emotion, I had to write. In 2010, my first book Le Cabinet des Douze: views on the paintings that make France appeared . Final (?) step: a few years ago, I started painting myself. This allowed me both to better understand the designer's point of view, tempted me to paint large formats and led me to juxtapose panels, often for lack of space. This is the starting point for my research on multiple-panel works and for my forthcoming new book Tableaux pluriels – Journey among the polyptychs of yesterday and today . Through these stages, art has become an essential part of my life. If I were asked, today, what I need to appreciate a work, I would gladly answer, beyond all useful analyses, that for me, in front of a painting or a sculpture, the right criterion is is… goosebumps. » Beaux Arts magazine Sarah Belmont

#MeToo catches up with Picasso!

The #MeToo movement has made "violence against women" a social issue that even Pablo Picasso, who died nearly 50 years ago, seems unable to escape, a subject that museums and his grandson, Olivier, wish to approach with "accuracy." Since the 1980s, several controversial works have painted negative portraits of the icon of modern art, whose work has been nourished by his relationships with the women in his life. Fernande Olivier, Olga Khokhlova, Marie-Thérèse Walter, Dora Maar, Françoise Gilot, Jacqueline Roque... so many "muses". Their names are cited in art history, speaking of "identities, personalities very different" and "relationships on which my grandfather never spoke publicly," told Olivier Widmaier-Picasso. The latter devoted two books to the painter, born in 1881 in Malaga (Spain) and died in 1973 in France, in Mougins, "by questioning his still living entourage and the family archives" to "set the record straight". - "Missing" work - "There were ascents, descents, violent works, others very tender, very gentle, but we realize each time that after having exhausted his inspiration, he moves on to something else", adds the son of Maya Widmaier-Picasso. Maya Widmaier-Picasso was born in the union of the Spanish artist with Marie-Thérèse Walter, she was a "privileged confidante of her father until the 1950s". "Without his women, the work would be missing." "#MeToo damaged the artist", recognizes Cécile Debray, director of the Picasso museum in Paris, questioned by AFP on a feminist podcast created by Julie Beauzac, including an episode devoted to Pablo Picasso ("Separating the man from the 'artist') was followed by 250,000 people. However, there is no question of approaching the subject "in a frontal and unequivocal way", continues the museum director. This podcast gives the floor to Sophie Chauveau, journalist and author of "Picasso, the Minotaur" who describes "the irresistible and devastating hold of genius on those who loved him." Ms. Chauveau claims to have investigated "for years" without having access to the family archives. She evokes a "brilliant" painter as much as a "violent", "jealous", "perverse" and "destructive" man, "great seducer" not hesitating to conquer and abuse very young women. "Assertions without reference to historical, approximate, and anachronistic sources", deplores Ms. Debray. - "Idol to knock down" - "The attack is all the more violent because Picasso is the most famous and popular figure in modern art. An idol that must be destroyed," adds Ms. Debray. According to Olivier Widmaier-Picasso, Picasso's descendants never attacked the book, preferring "not to shed any additional light on it." "How do you resist such a personality?" he wonders. "There are those who got away with it and some who struggled. I don't think it was voluntary and conscious, I think he had such a creative force that he was devoted to his art from an early age, and finally, at the end of his life, he was facing the canvas all alone and did not need anyone. However, it is impossible to avoid a debate, he concedes, like the two representatives of the museums in Paris and Barcelona. But "you have to show the work in a didactic, rich and varied way, in its formal radicalness, through a broad presentation of the collection and by inviting contemporary looks", explains Ms. Debray. Among these looks: the French artist Orlan and her series "The crying women are angry", which offers a rereading of the work of Picasso "to put the woman-subject at the center", the Belgian visual artist Farah Atassi, who re-examines the question of the painter and his model, or the French visual artist Sophie Calle, programmed in Paris. "This reflection on Picasso and the feminist or feminine gaze on his work is an eminently current debate, which must not be diverted or caricatured", adds Mr. Guigon. In Barcelona, the Picasso Museum has launched a series of workshops inviting specialists, art historians, and sociologists to offer a diversity of points of view on the work. They are also highlighted by exhibitions devoted to Picasso's sister Lola Ruiz-Picasso, or Brigitte Baer, ​​an art historian specializing in Picasso's engravings. Seen on France24.com © AFP

$ 35 bust bought in Austin Goodwill, is priceless.

Hunting antiques in thrift stores and flea markets sometimes allows you to have surprises: buying a Roman bust for $35, only to discover a few years later that it dates from the 1st century AD. This beautiful story comes from the United States where, in 2018, an antique dealer named Laura Young decides to go in search of "something cool" in a second-hand store in Austin, Texas. She quickly sights a sculpted marble bust, slightly dirty and left abandoned under a second-hand clothes table. His price? Just 35 dollars. Laura Young decides to buy it without any idea of ​​its real value. The American, however, has a doubt. The bust, which she knows nothing about, appeared to be "really, really old , " she told the BBC . The woman then embarked on research to date and determine the character that this sculpture represents. The experts follow one another, and the verdict falls: the statue turns out to be a 2,000-year-old Roman bust, which dates back to the 1st century AD. Its value is priceless. Stolen in Bavaria Throughout the expertise, the mysteries surrounding the sculpture arise, particularly on the identity of the character it represents. It would be a Roman general named Drusus Germanicus (38-9 BC), known to have fought in German lands. However, not everyone is of the same opinion. Some believe that it is rather one of the sons of Pompey the Great (106-48 BC), who had faced Julius Caesar during the civil war (49-45 BC). -C) . Its provenance has also been clarified. The bust is believed to be from a replica of a Roman villa in Germany called Pompejanum, built in Aschaffenburg, Bavaria, and badly damaged during World War II. The sculpture would have been brought to the United States by an American soldier stationed in the German city, specifies the British media . Stolen, the bust, therefore cannot be sold by Laura Young and will soon be exhibited in a museum in San Antonio, in the southern United States. At least until 2023 . In a year, the work will indeed make the opposite journey, and will return to Germany. Seen in Slate - Robin Tutenges

1 Billion $ for Paul Allen art collection sale in Christie's ?

No matter how we turn the problem in all directions, the market makes the artists. The buyers make the art market, that is, collectors, gallery owners, and the State. And if we say that it is the market that drives the artists, it is because the recognition of the status of the artist goes through their income, mainly the sale of their works. Because despite the abolition of the distinction between affiliates and taxable people, the criterion of annual income (nearly $ 10,000) remains decisive for opening the rights to social protection of authors and thus being considered an artist. The alternative to the market would be the wage that would compensate for the work; in other words, the time an artist spends to produce his work. But it is hard to imagine the painter or the plastic artist going to point to the gallery owner or a public person (State, local community) and work thirty-five hours a week at his employer. A report mentions a possible commission contract to compensate the artist working time. Still, he must turn to the Superior Council of Literary and Artistic Property with the multiple operational, legal, and fiscal obstacles. The former president of the Center Pompidou and the BNF, and future director of the Pinault Collection in Venice must, therefore, rely on the criterion of non-salaried income to distinguish professional, occasional, and amateur artists. But it is trying to regulate the invisible hand of the market with devices that make it possible to reach this famous threshold. $ 10,000 a year is not enough to make a living from your art, but this safety net keeps you waiting for commercial success, especially if the affiliate has other income. By the way, many professions are recognized but complain of being discredited, unlike artists who enjoy a rather flattering image but would like to be recognized. In conclusion, whether the market has the taste and knows how to recognize talent, that's another story.
Seen in Le Monde - Culture

10 films about "Art" to watch on Netflix

1. The last years of Vincent Van Gogh If many filmmakers (Maurice Pialat, Robert Altman, Vincente Minnelli) had already taken possession of the life of Vincent Van Gogh, Julian Schnabel - himself a painter - signs a unique biopic of its kind. Blue and yellow filters, unstable camera, twilight fields, charred sunflowers: the expressionist aesthetic of the film perfectly expresses the mystical torments of the accursed artist. Artist last years are followed in Arles, Saint-Rémy-de-Provence and Auvers- sur-Oise. Although it is always strange to hear Van Gogh speak English, the actor Willem Dafoe fits perfectly into the skin of the painter. With him, other big names from the big screen like Mads Mikkelsen (fantastic), Rupert Friend, and Niels Arestrup. At Eternity's Gate American film by Julian Schnabel • 2018 • 1 h 50 2. The provocative itinerary of Chris Burden Chris Burden was locked in a locker for five days, shot in the arm and crucified on the hood of a Volkswagen, in the name of ART. But he is also the creator of Urban Light (2008), a magical forest of lampposts installed in front of the Los Angeles County Museum of Art. Nourished by videos of the extreme performances which made him known in the 1970s, comments by art critics, glimpses of his private life and reflections from the artist himself, this documentary released the year of his death in 2016 paints a portrait of a provocative trash, whose works have calmed down over time. Burden A documentary by Timothy Marrinan and Richard Dewey • 2016 • 1 h 30 3. Experts in the kingdom of painters Monet, Rembrandt, Turner, Renoir, Chagall, and others, each episode of this British documentary series, launched in 2011 on the BBC, looks at a possible lost work by a great artist. The goal? Determine if it is an original or an excellent copy! Already at the origin of several discoveries, the English art dealer and art historian Philip Mold and the journalist Fiona Bruce are leading the investigation, assisted by Bendor Grosvenor, an art historian recognized in Great Britain, as well as of a team of scientists and archivists. Ready for a treasure hunt? Fake or Fortune British docu-series • 2011-2019 • 7 seasons each containing between 3 and 5 episodes of 1 hour each. 4. Velvet Buzzsaw: contemporary art in lint In Los Angeles, a mannered art critic, a ruthless gallery owner, and a long-toothed assistant discover the posthumous work of a marginal artist. Dark and tortured canvases that could pay big if an evil power did not inhabit them... Worn by excellent actors including Jake Gyllenhaal, Toni Collette, and John Malkovich, Velvet Buzzsaw reveals himself - despite a caricature a little too pushed - an enjoyable satire across the world of contemporary art. Nonsense, vanity, greed, perversity, fierce competition. Absolutely nothing is spared us! Velvet Buzzsaw Dan Gilroy's American film • 2019 • 1 h 52 5. An artist's fight against Kim Jong-un This superb documentary traces the poignant journey of a North Korean propaganda painter who fled his country in the 1990s to become a satirist artist whose committed works defy the Kim regime. Although one of the first North Korean artists to be able to show his work around the world freely, Sun Mu - a pseudonym meaning without borders - continues to hide his face, including during his performances in public, to protect his family who stayed in North Korea. I am Sun Mu A documentary by Adam Sjöberg • 2015 • 1 hr 27 mins 6. Diary of a Korean painter of the XVIth century In this series River, an art historian discovers the diary of Shin Saimdang (1504-1551), a famous woman painter, poet, and calligrapher Korean XVIth century. Then follows a play of mirrors between the lives of the two women (one fictitious, the other romanticized) and their respective eras. Faced with the beauty and elegance of the staging, we easily forgive the melodramatic exaggerations specific to Korean dramas. The ceremonial of color preparation lulls us, the brushes tracing their sinuous path on paper, the light filtering in through the bamboo leaves, and the ballet of fabrics stretched in the wind. Saimdang, Memoir of Colors Korean series by Yun Sang-Ho • 2017 • 1 season (28 episodes of 1 hour each) 7. Cai Guo-Qiang's pyrotechnic reveries Build a light ladder to reach the sky: everyone dreamed of it, Cai Guo-Qiang did it. This contemplative documentary traces the history of an ambitious and poetic project while painting the portrait of its author, Cai Guo-Qiang, known for his pyrotechnic performances of great beauty. Eye powder? No, because the film also evokes angry questions. Like the fact that this 61-year-old Chinese artist, living in New York since 1995, fueled the propaganda of the Chinese government by carrying out the fireworks for the opening of the Beijing Olympics in 2008. The Celestial Ladder - The Art of Cai Guo-Qiang A documentary by Kevin Macdonald • 2016 • 1 hr 19 mins 8. Art as a remedy This Brazilian story tells us a true story. In 1944, Nise da Silveira rebelled against the electroshock and lobotomy. They were performed by her colleagues on schizophrenic patients in a psychiatric hospital in the suburbs of Rio. To these barbaric methods, this woman doctor opposes art therapy by opening a clinic-workshop, then a museum dedicated to the creations of her patients. Particularly touching and soothing, the painting scenes follow the emergence of a group of self-taught artists of fascinating sincerity. One of the most powerful functions of art is the revelation of the unconscious, says one of Nise only supporters. Nise: The Heart of Madness Roberto Berliner Brazilian film • 2016 • 1 h 49 9. A Polish genius emerges from the shadows In this documentary, several artists relate the life of a forgotten genius: the Polish painter and sculptor Stanislaw Szukalski (1893–1987), who had endeavored to create an art based on the history and mythology of his country, and whose pre-war works were all destroyed by the German army. Emigrated to the United States, this eccentric had become a key figure in the Chicago Renaissance movement in the 1910s, before developing a far-fetched theory in 42 volumes on the history of humanity. Funny detail, the film was produced by Leonardo DiCaprio, Szukalski, having befriended the father of the actor during his exile in Los Angeles in the 1970s. Struggle: Szukalski life and lost art A documentary by Irek Dobrowolski • 2018 • 1 hr 45 mins 10. Contemporary design in series This original Netflix docu-series, produced by multi-award winning documentary filmmaker Morgan Neville, has offered to immerse the viewer at the heart of the work of genius contemporary designers since 2017. After a first season which was interested in the work of the German illustrator Christoph Niemann or the legendary creator of the Nike shoe, Tinker Hatfield, the second season is devoted in particular to the spectacular art of Olafur Eliasson and the costumes of Ruth Carter films. Abstract has the distinction of filming the creative process as closely as possible, letting the words of these everyday hubcaps shine.
seen in Beaux-Arts

10,000 years ago, British were black!

Analysis of the skeleton of an individual who lived in the southwest of England ten thousand years ago showed that he had black skin, brown hair, and blue eyes, thus contradicting the idea that the first Britons were white and blond. Named "Cheddar Man", this well-preserved skeleton discovered in 1903 in Cough Cave, near Cheddar's village in Somerset, underwent a comprehensive DNA analysis that allowed the faithful facial reconstruction of its owner who belonged to a group black-skinned human. Researchers eventually established that clear-skinned Europeans did not appear until around 4000 BCE. Due to genetic changes and to a change in diet, hunters moved to agriculture and a more sedentary life with climatic conditions different from those experienced by their ancestors from Africa. "Cheddar Man" therefore, belonged to a group of individuals who came to Great Britain (we could then pass on foot between France and England) after having passed through Europe 14,000 years ago. According to researchers, 10% of Brits are said to be genetically linked to them. The skeleton analysis has enabled researchers to observe that immigrants' successive waves had reached the British Islands over the millennia. Researchers were also able to find that humans were endowed with different pigmentations when they swarmed across Africa 300,000 years ago before arriving in Europe 250,000 years later. It may be recalled that the study of the fossil of a 7000-year-old individual found in Spain had already suggested that he had dark skin and blue eyes, whereas until now, we had remained in doubt concerning humans living during the Mesolithic period in Great Britain where the study of more recent skeletons showed that they belonged to farmers from the Near East, some of whom already had fair skin. Adrian Darmon for artcult.com

100% sure authenticity does it exist?

How to be sure that the painting you buy is 100 % authentic ? Unless you bought a painting directly from an artist, and that you have a certificate of authenticity emitted by him, and a bill of sale or a paper showing a gift, it is in my opinion impossible to have a 100 % certitude that the painting you buy is authentic. If you buy a painting with a certificate of authenticity, you need to: 1- have this certificate updated at the time you buy or re-sell the painting a/ an expert may change his opinion about a painting. I saw a Parisian expert for Eugene Boudin change his opinion about the painting he authenticated 30 years earlier and that he inventoried in his catalogue raisonne. b/the certificate you have has been made by Mr. X, but today Mr. X passed away and is replaced by Mr. Y. Mr. Y may or may not renew the certificate of authenticity. c/ you need to be sure that the painting has the appropriate certificate: By example a painting by Amedeo Modigliani. You need to have a certificate of authenticity made by Ceroni , only 337 paintings have been admitted as authentic by Mr. Ceroni. The problem is our important expert passed away .. You have other very important experts on Modigliani's work, Parisot, Restellini, etc By example if you have a painting with the COA from Christian Parisot, who is a very charming man, and a great historian, you will have it very difficult to have it sold because he was accused of making fake Modigliani works etc ..see links here under. Restellini ( ex secretary of Christian Parisot !)abandoned the writing of the catalogue raisonne he started since he received death threats ... yes fine art has his" Dark side" very dark... http://www.independent.co.uk/arts-entertainment/art/news/modigliani-expert-accused-of-being-arts-biggest-fraud-8463883.html http://www.nytimes.com/2014/02/03/arts/design/a-modigliani-who-says-so.html?_r=0 2- Does the certificate of authenticity made by a gallery 100 % reliable? a/ if the certificate is made by a gallery of very high standing, they will have the certificate made by the sole recognized painter in any way. Often these galleries were exhibiting the artist in the past. Those galleries are of course reliable but I will always ask the original certificate since several scandals made surface recently and especially one of the oldest gallery in the USA, the Knoedler Gallery in NY: http://www.nytimes.com/2015/10/12/arts/design/lawsuits-in-knoedler-forgery-case-are-set-for-trial.html http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/08/12/marc-dreier_n_3744677.html b/ if the certificate is made by a gallery that is not considered as one of the top 25 galleries in the world, just consider that this certificate is completely useless. You always should request the original updated certificate by the sole recognized authenticator and submit your buy to the contingency of providing this certificate if they don't want to see the sale canceled.

14 French museums put online 100,000 artworks photos, free to use.

From the Petit Palais to Carnavalet, from the Cognacq-Jay Museum to the Museum of Modern Art in the city of Paris, this "open content" operation aims to "promote the increase in the visibility of works and knowledge of collections in France and abroad " , explained Paris Musées in a press release. These museums, containing many treasures, suffer from the notoriety of Parisian giants like the Louvre, Orsay, the Grand Palais or the Center Pompidou. The opening of the data "guarantees free access and reuse by all of the digital files, without technical, legal or financial restrictions, for commercial or non-commercial use, " said Paris Musées. Beyond the 100,000 of today, Paris Musées will put more and freer access images as they are digitized and when they go into the public domain. It will now suffice for the Internet user to go to the Paris Musées collections site, and, using keywords - for example, Petit Palais and Claude Monet - to display all the corresponding works, accompanied by cards indicating the date of realization, the materials used, the origin. It will then suffice to download the image he has chosen to have it in high definition. Each user will receive in addition to the image and the notice of the work, an invitation to cite the source and the information on the work. "If this license is already used by international museums such as the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam or the Metropolitan Museum in New York, Paris Musées is the first French Parisian institution to take it up," the press release said. Le journal des arts

19th Century Vampire Killing Kit Sparks International Bidding Wa

A kit for killing vampires © Joanna Poe/ Wikimedia Commons Selling for more than six times its estimated price, an antique 19th century vampire killing kit has sparked a bidding war.
It's an astonishing object that caused a real bidding war during a sale. Dating back to the 19th century, a kit for killing vampires has generated a lot of covetousness, cnn tells us . It was finally sold for 13,000 pounds, or nearly 15,700 euros.
This paraphernalia once belonged to an English aristocrat named Lord William Malcolm Hailey, who served as administrator of British India. For the owner of the auction house Hansons Auctioneers Charles Hanson, "whether out of fear or fascination, it is interesting to know that a member of the highest aristocratic social order, a man with a place in the House of Lords, acquired this object, ” he underlines in the American media. Crucifixes and holy water
This mysterious kit includes all the tools and weapons one would expect to find in a vampire hunter's kit. The box thus contained crucifixes, holy water, a stake and its mallet, rosary beads, a Bible, brass candlesticks, as well as a pair of pistols and a powder flask.
This unusual object has attracted bidders from all over the world such as France, the United States and Canada. It was ultimately an anonymous buyer from UK who won the auction. As Charles Hanson points out, nothing tells us if the purchaser intends to use it to fight these mythical creatures. seen on Geo article Martin Nolibe

2 Men in custody after arrest for the theft of a Banksy work in Paris

Two men, 32 and 35, were arrested in Val d'Oise and Seine-et-Marne on Tuesday morning, according to a source close to the investigation confirming information from LCI. They were taken into custody as part of the investigation opened by the Paris prosecutor's office on September 3 following the theft of a Banksy stencil near the Pompidou center, according to this source. A judicial source confirmed to AFP "police custody" on the commission of an investigating judge, who can then decide whether to put them under investigation. Banksy's works were seized during the searches; they still need to be assessed to know whether they are originals or copies. The work stolen near the Pompidou center has not been found. The British artist, who likes to keep his identity secret but is one of the most highly regarded in his community, had struck a big blow in June 2018 by disseminating a series of stencils, sometimes with a very political tone, in the capital. He had claimed authorship of eight works on his Instagram account, including a hijacking of the painting Napoleon Crossing the Alps by Jacques-Louis David, a sad-faced silhouette on a door of the Bataclan or a small masked rat holding up a pencil (or a cutter), near the Center Pompidou. It is this work "produced on the back of the entrance panel" of a parking lot which was stolen on the night of September 1 to 2. The Pompidou center had filed a complaint "for theft and damage, within a space within its perimeter" . The Paris prosecutor's office then opened an investigation, entrusted to the 1st district of the judicial police. Le Journal des Arts

2 major sculptures return to Versailles

Long research has made it possible to retrace the singular itinerary of these works commissioned by two kings, Louis XIV and Louis XV, and which finally joined the collections of the Palace of Versailles. This weekend the French will discover in Versailles two masterpieces of 18th-century sculpture commissioned by Louis XIV and Louis XV, which have become the property of Angola. The epilogue of a unique itinerary for these major works. The artwork Zephyr, Flora, and Love (begun in 1713 by Philippe Bertrand and René Firmin then completed in 1726 by Jacques Rousseau) was commissioned by Louis XIV for the gardens of the Grand Trianon. The arrival this weekend in Versailles of this group will materialize one of the last dreams of Louis XIV, who saw exhibited in his gardens only the preparatory version of this sculpture. As for Abundance, a major work that Lambert Sigisbert Adam executed between 1753 and 1758, was commissioned by Louis XV for his residence in Choisy. From the Rothschild mansion to the Angolan embassy These two sets of sculpted groups were sold in 1881 and acquired by Alphonse and Edmond de Rothschild for their mythical Parisian hotel on rue Saint-Florentin. Several archival documents, including an album of unpublished photographs, make it possible to evoke the fate of these two sculptures looted during the Occupation. Returned after the war, these works were placed in the garden of the Hôtel Ephrussi de Rothschild, which in 1979 became the seat of the Angolan Embassy in France. These two sculptures were somewhat forgotten until their identification in 2018 led to a retracing of their prestigious past. A donation from Angola materialized on February 4, 2022 Considering the historical and artistic value of the two works as well as the efforts made by the Palace of Versailles to reconstitute its artistic heritage, the Republic of Angola has decided to donate them to France so that they join the collections of the National Museum of the Palaces of Versailles and Trianon. The signing took place on Friday afternoon in the presence of the Minister of Culture Roselyn Bachelot. An exhibition at Versailles The Masterpieces exhibition sets out to place Zephyr, Flora and Love, and Abundance in their context of creation and inspiration. It also sheds light on their unique destiny: from the royal commission to today's entry into the national collections. Seen in France Culture,
Video of the sculptures