Some New Internet Web Sites

28/12/11 - Internet - Of the four sites we point out here for their interest to our readers, only the last one has been available for many years although we had not yet talked about it nor included it in our links page.

We begin our article with an English blog which is extremely interesting because highly informative, Art History News, created in December 2010 by Brendor Grosvenor, an art dealer working for Philip Mould Ltd. in London. It offers short articles, often for the first time, on heritage questions concerning the United Kingdom, new discoveries or attributions, essentially in the field of old masters, as well as providing news about the art market.

Thanks essentially to this blog we discovered the very recent posting of a database for the National Trust collections. There are no less than 735,282 objects (certain ones with thorough entries) already published, in all techniques. Although only some are photographed, this is an extremely valuable tool for finding works which are at times unfamiliar. However, there are still a few bugs in the system : some of the works with a picture in the database, appear without the illustration. This is the case, for example, for a painting by Bernardo Strozzi, Saint John the Baptist Questioned about Christ, held with its pair Christ and the Samaritan Woman at Kedleston Hall, in Derbyshire : a search brings up this item, apparently with no photograph, but which in fact is at the bottom of the page in miniature, then appears in the frame when the reader clicks on it. On the contrary, a picture of Strozzi comes up in place of another painting, in this case anonymous, from the Italian school, representing Saint John the Baptist with the Lamb, found nonetheless at the bottom of the page, in a miniature where, again, one must click. We hope these minor technicalities will soon be corrected.

Another internet website devoted to British collections was posted a few months ago and is updated regularly. This is Your Paintings, a database for paintings residing in public collections inside the United Kingdom. The major holders are the BBC and a non-profit organization, The Public Catalogue Foundation. With 104,000 paintings, all photographed, its purpose is to include all the paintings in museums, but also universities, hospitals, libraries and city halls, as well as non-profit instutions (including the National Trust). Collections which are not accessible to the public, such as those found in episcopal palaces or the colleges at Oxford and Cambridge, are also provided.

We conclude our article on internet resources with Fototeca "Giovanni Previtali" (named for the art historian who started the project). This photographic database, managed by the art history department of the Universita degli Studi in Sienna, currently holds over 45,000 photographs of works. These concern architecture, paintings, sculpture, miniatures, silver or goldsmith objects as well as drawings and engravings. Naturally, this offering deals mainly with Tuscan, and more particularly Siennese, works.

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Didier Rykner, jeudi 29 décembre 2011

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