Art News: Gauguin Art Lawsuit, AI Creates Art, A Vatican Raphael Revelation

The art world is full of fascinating exhibitions, intriguing discoveries, and moments that shape history. Here are some of the latest news items making art headlines.

 

Lawsuit Arises Centered on ‘Most Expensive Artwork’

“Nafea Faa Ipoipo” (When Will You Marry?), 1892, Paul Gauguin

“Nafea Faa Ipoipo” (When Will You Marry?), 1892, Paul Gauguin (Image courtesy of Wikipedia)

A lawsuit has revealed that a masterpiece by Paul Gauguin reportedly sold for $300 million in 2015 was actually bought for $210 million.

The Telegraph reports that the discrepancy was revealed when veteran art dealer Simon de Pury filed a lawsuit with the U.K. High Court seeking his $10 million commission. The article states de Pury believes he is owed the commission as part of a “gentleman’s agreement” for helping negotiate the sale of “Nafea Faa Ipoipo” (When Will You Marry?), painted by Gauguin in 1892.

The sale occurred between de Pury and Guy Bennett, a former Christie’s executive who now works for the Emir of Qatar as director of collections and acquisitions.

If the sale price discrepancy is true, Willem de Kooning’s 1955 painting “Interchanged” will be the only painting to have ever sold for $300 million.

 

Artificial Intelligence Could Shake Up the Art World

All of the above images were generated by artificial intelligence (Images courtesy of Ahmed Elgammal)

Masters like Pablo Picasso and Claude Monet redefined the art world by revolutionizing a myriad of styles and techniques, but the next new style may originate through artificial intelligence.

An article in New Scientist talks about an artificial intelligence that produces images in unconventional styles. The AI operates by having two neural networks work against one another to create increasingly better results. One network generates images while the other judges them, drawing on a database of 81,500 paintings to tell the difference between images classified as artworks as opposed to photos or diagrams.

Once the AI produced images, members of the public were asked to judge them alongside paintings created by people. The results showed more people preferred the AI images than those created by humans.

 

Vatican Conservators Discover Raphael Painted Fresco Figures

art news “The Battle of the Milvian Bridge" Park West Gallery

“The Battle of the Milvian Bridge” fresco in the Hall of Constantine. The Justice figure, seen on the far right, was painted by Raphael himself (Public domain. Image courtesy of Wikipedia)

Frescoes in the Vatican Museums’ Hall of Constantine are largely attributed to Raphael’s workshop, but the Renaissance master is now believed to have directly contributed to the project.

Hyperallergic reports that Vatican conservators now believe that the Renaissance master painted the allegorical figures of Friendship and Justice located in two sprawling frescoes. The Friendship figure is on the far right of the “Vision of the Cross” fresco, while Justice is seen on the right side of “The Battle of the Milvian Bridge.”

Conservators had the revelation during renovations that began in March 2015. Raphael designed the entire room, but died in 1520 at the age of 37, meaning his students had to complete the project. This new discovery means Raphael painted the figures shortly before his death.

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