Frida Kahlo self-portrait smashes auction record set by adulterous husband Diego Rivera

Frida Kahlo’s (1907-1954) intimate oil painting has sold for a staggering $34.9 million (£25.9 million) at Sotheby’s New York, setting a new auction record for the most expensive artwork by a Latin American artist. It is significant as one of her final self-portraits, which candidly reveals the artist’s distress over her husband Diego Rivera’s (1886-1957) public affair with friend and famed actress Maria Félix (1914-2002).

Continue reading

Prado museum curators latest to cast doubts on the attribution of the ‘Salvator Mundi’

Curators at the Museo del Prado in Madrid are the latest in a long string of scholars and other arts professionals to publicly announce their doubts about the attribution of the Salvator Mundi to Leonardo da Vinci. The painting was sold at Christie’s in 2017 as by Leonardo for a staggering $450m, however even prior to the sale there was considerable debate over this attribution.

Continue reading

Possible Rembrandt returned forty years after it was stolen in East Germany

In 1979, five paintings were stolen from Schloss Friedenstein in Gotha, Germany. The works did not re-emerge for 40 years, and the event became communist East Germany’s biggest ever art heist. In 2019, however, the paintings were returned to Friedenstein, and new scientific analysis and research indicates that one of the portraits, previously attributed to seventeenth-century artist Ferdinand Bol, might be a lost masterpiece by Rembrandt.

Continue reading

Maro Itoje scores a try at Sotheby’s with his guest curation of Contemporary African art

Professional rugby player Maro Itoje has ventured into the contemporary art auction world, with his guest curation of the upcoming ‘Contemporary Curated’ sale at Sotheby’s London. Itoje is one of English rugby’s biggest stars: he is blindside flanker for English Championship club Saracens and the England National team, and has won three European Rugby Champions Cups with his club, and three Six Nations titles with England, as well as being named European player of the year in 2016. However, Itoje is by no means only absorbed in the world of rugby. He has a keen interest in art, particularly contemporary Nigerian art, so his involvement in Sotheby’s upcoming contemporary auction seems the perfect fit.

Continue reading