Art News: Swindled Masterpieces, Goya’s Disease, and Emoji Gargoyles

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.

Thieves Swindle Italian Art Dealer Out of Paintings by Rembrandt and Renoir

The hunt is on for two men who stole nearly $30 million worth of artwork by Rembrandt van Rijn and Pierre-Auguste Renoir from an art dealer in northern Italy.

ArtNetNews reports two men posing as art buyers contacted a dealer on several occasions for the sale of multiple masterpieces. The suspects rented office space in downtown Monza, located north of Milan, where the dealer met them to finish the supposed sale. The date of the meeting was not disclosed.

After the suspects finalized the deal, they claimed they were going to make coffee for everyone. Instead, they disappeared with the paintings, leaving the dealer in the office empty-handed. According to the Carabinieri’s online database, the country is missing eight works by Rembrandt and nine by Renoir, but it is unclear as to which works were stolen.

 

Doctors Diagnose Goya’s Mystery Illness 200 Years Later

The sleep of reason produces monsters Francisco Goya Park West Gallery

“El sueno de la Razon produce Monstruos”
(The sleep of reason produces monsters)
(c. 1799), Francisco Goya

Famous Spanish painter Francisco Goya suffered from an unknown disease that rendered him deaf. Nearly two centuries later, experts may have determined the cause to be Susac’s syndrome.

Goya is considered one of the most important Spanish painters of the 18th and 19th centuries. In 1793, the royal court painter developed a severe illness, leaving him bedridden for months. Symptoms included headaches, dizziness, vision problems, hallucinations, and ringing in his ears. While most of these subsided, the disease claimed his hearing.

Past speculations included bacterial meningitis, syphilis, or even lead poisoning from his paints. In an article from LiveScience, Dr. Ronna Hertzano, a surgeon and hearing expert at the University of Maryland School of Medicine, is suggesting Goya suffered from an autoimmune disease known as Susac’s syndrome. The disease causes the immune system to attack blood vessels in the brain, retina, and inner ear.

Hertzano says the disease would explain Goya’s “constellation of symptoms,” but notes it is not a definitive diagnosis due to a lack of written records about Goya’s condition.

The diseases forever impacted Goya’s artwork, causing him to create dark and pessimistic imagery.

 

Emoji Gargoyles Cast as Architectural Relics

(Photo from Atticka Architekten)

There is a debate as to whether emojis are art, but one designer in the Netherlands decided they would make the perfect gargoyles.

The Verge reports Changiz Tehrani of Attika Architekten designed a four-story brick building with 22 face emojis cast in concrete. The emojis help designate the top of each floor and are generally met with positive feedback.

“The students sit in the square and have lunch and they take pictures,” Tehrani told the Verge. “They like it. And with our architecture we always like to put in small details that makes the project a little bit more than a boring building.”

Critics say the emojis will become dated quickly, but Tehrani argues this is what he hoped to achieve. He said when people look at the building “in 10 or 20 years you can say ‘hey this is from that year!’”

Leave a comment

Prove you\'re human. *

Latest News

  • View Rare Dominic Pangborn Art During Gala Fundraiser

    At the age of 10, Dominic Pangborn was adopted by a family in Jackson, Michigan. Now, 55 years later, the Jackson Art Network is honoring his artistic legacy with a ...
    Read More
  • Art News: Thieves Steal Invader Art, ‘Loving Vincent’ Images, Childhood Art from Masters

    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.  Thieves Target ‘Space Invaders’ Mosaics ...
    Read More
  • Voting Begins for the Next MI Great Artist

    Help decide who will be named the 2017 MI Great Artist by casting your votes at MIGreatArtist.com.Public voting for the MI Great Artist contest runs from August 17–28. Individuals ...
    Read More
  • 6 Destinations for the Ultimate Museum Road Trip

    Want to experience the beauty of fine art around the country but don’t know where to go? Look no further—read on for a museum “bucket list” that will inspire the ...
    Read More
  • Park West Gallery’s 2017 Fall Sale Now Online

    Summer may be cooling down, but the hottest artworks are now available in Park West Gallery’s 2017 Fall Sale.Whether you’re intrigued by the work of master artists or the newest ...
    Read More
  • Art News: Chicago’s Picasso Turns 50, Virtual Van Gogh Exhibition, Met Open Access...

    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. Picasso’s Chicago Sculpture Celebrates 50th ...
    Read More
  • Nature vs. Nurture: Is Artistic Talent Innate or Learned?

    Is artistic talent something we are born with or learned through external influences?The age-old debate of nature versus nurture questions whether genes and biology or environment and experience determine particular ...
    Read More
  • 4 Ideas for Beating Post-Cruise Blues

    We’ve all had post-vacation blues from time to time—whether it hits you when you disembark or finally arrive home, it’s easy to become bummed out going back to the grind.Post-cruise ...
    Read More
  • Video Premiere: Alexandre Renoir Continues Great-Grandfather’s Legacy

    Alexandre Renoir’s artistic journey continues on the path started by his great-grandfather, Pierre-Auguste Renoir. The enthusiastic artist says he is looking forward to where his art takes him next.“If ...
    Read More
  • Behind the Artist: David Najar

    In the midst of our digitally-driven age, David Najar has two words of advice: “Just breathe.”Najar’s philosophy is simple, underlying the cause of his discipline as an artist, an optimist, ...
    Read More
  • Art News: Met Art Investigated, Mass. Museum Selling Art, Kurt Cobain Art Unveiled

    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.  The Met Relinquishes Two Artworks ...
    Read More
  • Summer Sale Offers the Art of Yaacov Agam

    Collectors who want to add the fourth dimension to their collection can acquire the artwork of kinetic artist Yaacov Agam during the 2017 Summer Sale.Agam is often referred to ...
    Read More