Media Archive: Fine Art

Exhibition Showcases Newly-Uncovered Renaissance Paintings

Faked, Forgotten, Found opens June 28

Pittsburgh, PA…Carnegie Museum of Art (CMOA) announces the results of two recent investigations of old master paintings in its collection: the discovery of an original 16th-century portrait of Isabella de’ Medici (1542–1576), hidden beneath Victorian-era overpainting; and the findings of a technical analysis of a portrait of Sir George Nevill, Lord Bergavenny, historically attributed to Hans Holbein the Younger. Both paintings were examined for display in Faked, Forgotten, Found: Five Renaissance Paintings Investigated, a new exhibition which details the careful analysis, conservation, and outstanding questions surrounding selected works in the museum’s collection.

Through inspection of paint crack-lines, and later X-radiographs, conservators determined that the original portrait of Isabella de’ Medici had been creatively repainted, likely to suit 19th-century tastes. CMOA paintings conservator Ellen Baxter was able to successfully clean and restore the painting, revealing a portrait of much greater depth and personality.

Before and after: Isabella de’ Cosimo I de Medici, c. 1570–1574

Attributed to Allesandro Allori
Isabella de’ Cosimo I de Medici, c. 1570–1574
oil on canvas (transferred from panel)
Gift of Mrs. Paul B. Ernst
Courtesy of Carnegie Museum of Art

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Jacques Bellange; 
The Martyrdom of Saint Lucy, after 1613; Etching and engraving; Patrons Art Fund in honor of Linda Batis, associate curator of fine arts, 2005.30

This Summer, Meet the (Old) Masters

Carnegie Museum of Art offers a summer-spanning schedule of programming on Old Masters exhibitions.

Small Prints, Big Artists: Masterpieces from the Renaissance to Baroque
Opens May 31, 2014

Faked, Forgotten, Found: Five Renaissance Paintings Investigated
Opens June 28, 2014

Carnegie Museum of Art holds an exceptional collection of Old Masters prints, from the masterful innovations of Albrecht Dürer and Rembrandt in 15th- and 16th-century Northern Europe to the fantastical prints of Canaletto, Tiepolo, and Piranesi in 18th-century Italy. Small Prints, Big Artists, opening this summer, presents more than 200 masterworks from the museum’s exceptional collection of over 8,000 prints. The intimately scaled woodcuts, engravings, and etchings reveal the development of printmaking as a true art form. Due to their fragility, many of these prints have not been on view in decades.

In Faked, Forgotten, Found, discover conservators’ forensic analysis of Renaissance paintings in the museum’s collection that have undergone significant scientific analysis and conservation. The discoveries about each work are presented through extensive multimedia documentation, highlighting a fascinating but little-seen aspect of museum practice

To read more about the exhibitions, and view images, please read the press release.

Programming Schedule

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Rembrandt Harmensz. van Rijn; Self Portrait with Saskia, 1636; Etching; Bequest of Charles J. Rosenbloom, 74.7.205

Renaissance and Baroque masterpieces, on the walls and under the microscope

Summer exhibitions at CMOA present Old Master prints, and forensic investigations of paintings

Small Prints, Big Artists: Masterpieces from the Renaissance to Baroque
May 31–September 15, 2014
Heinz Galleries A & B

Faked, Forgotten, Found: Five Renaissance Paintings Investigated
June 28–September 15, 2014
Heinz Gallery C

Around the middle of the 15th century, as the development of the printing press in the West led to an unprecedented exchange of ideas, artists began to make prints. By the year 1500, a new art form and a new means of communicating ideas was widespread—one that had as great an impact in its time as the Internet has had in our own.

Carnegie Museum of Art holds an exceptional collection of prints from this period, from the masterful innovations of Albrecht Dürer and Rembrandt in 16th- and 17th-century Northern Europe to the fantastical prints of Canaletto, Tiepolo, and Piranesi in 18th-century Italy. Small Prints, Big Artists, opening this summer, presents more than 200 masterworks from the museum’s collection of over 8,000 prints. The intimately scaled woodcuts, engravings, and etchings reveal the development of printmaking as a true art form. Due to their fragility, many of these prints have not been on view in decades.

Small Prints, Big Artists traces the development of prints over the centuries, exploring the evolution of printmaking techniques and unlocking the images’ hidden meanings. It offers a unique opportunity to discover works by some of the best-known artists of the Renaissance and beyond.

Adjacent to Small Prints, Big Artists in the museum’s Heinz Galleries, Faked, Forgotten, Found: Five Renaissance Paintings Investigated showcases forensic analysis of paintings in the museum’s collection that have undergone significant scientific examination and conservation. Learn how curators and conservators discovered a portrait of Isabella de Medici attributed to Alessandro Allori beneath the surface of a fake repainted in the 19th century, or discover how to tell the museum’s genuine painting by Francesco Francia of the Virgin and Child apart from later imitations and copies. The discoveries about each work are presented through extensive multimedia documentation, highlighting a fascinating but little-seen aspect of museum practice. The exhibition offers a behind-the-scenes perspective on the intersection of art and science taking place in the museum every day.

Featured prints on view include: Continue reading

19th-century sculpture collection gallery; Photo: Tom Little, 2012

Carnegie Museum of Art Reinstallation an Act of Storytelling

Newly-reinstalled 19th-century galleries highlight major works

Pittsburgh, PA…On September 14, 2012, Carnegie Museum of Art will open its newly-reinstalled 19th-century galleries of European and American art. These four galleries have been closed since May 2012. Visitors to the galleries will discover a shift in the way that the museum presents this particularly strong part of its permanent collection.

Bright, skylit spaces will showcase some of the museum’s most significant works, with galleries organizing artworks around the social and historical contexts from which they arose. “Each collection—great and small—gives us a part of the larger history of art, and tells the unique story of its own development,” said Lynn Zelevansky, The Henry Heinz II Director of Carnegie Museum of Art. “CMA’s new installations will emphasize our uniqueness, highlight major works, and attempt to make the art as accessible and compelling as possible.” Among the changes, art will hang in a less-dense arrangement than in some of the previous salon-style galleries, and the thematic arrangement of artworks is a departure from the prior chronological approach. Continue reading