The conservator’s eye: Rembrandt’s Aristotle with a Bust of Homer

 

The conservator’s eye: Rembrandt van Rijn, Aristotle with a Bust of Homer, 1653, oil on canvas, 143.5 x 136.5 cm (The Metropolitan Museum of Art)
Speakers: James Coddington and Beth Harris

Aristotle with a Bust of Homer, also known as Aristotle Contemplating a Bust of Homer, is an oil-on-canvas painting by Rembrandt.

It was painted in 1653, as a commission from Don Antonio Ruffo, from Messina in Sicily, who did not request a particular subject.

Aristotle, world-weary, looks at the bust of blind, humble Homer, on which he rests one of his hands. This has variously been interpreted as the man of sound, methodical science deferring to Art, or as the wealthy and famous philosopher, wearing the jeweled belt given to him by Alexander the Great, envying the life of the poor blind bard.[1] It has also been suggested that this is Rembrandt’s commentary on the power of portraiture.[1]

The interpretation of methodical science deferring to art is discussed at length in Rembrandt’s Aristotle and Other Rembrandt Studies.[1] The author notes that Aristotle’s right hand (traditionally the favored hand), which rests on the bust of Homer, is both higher and painted in lighter shades than the left hand on the gold chain given to him by Alexander.

The exact subject being portrayed in this portrait has been challenged in the book by Simon Schama titled Rembrandt’s Eyes, applying the scholarship of Paul Crenshaw.[2] Schama presents a substantial argument that it was the famous ancient Greek painter Apelles who is depicted in contemplation by Rembrandt and not Aristotle.[3]

It was purchased in 1961 for $2.3 million by the Metropolitan Museum of Art[4] in New York City, USA. At the time this was the highest amount ever paid for any picture at the public or private sale.[5] During the renovation of the Rembrandt wing of the Metropolitan Museum, the painting was retitled in November 2013 as Aristotle with a Bust of Homer.

The painting forms the central theme of Joseph Heller‘s 1988 novel Picture This.

PAUL KOLKER COLLECTION

Paul Kolker (b. 1935) is a New York-based artist with doctorate degrees in medicine and law. He is Fellow American College of Surgeons, Fellow American College of Legal Medicine and Emeritus Chief of Cardiothoracic Surgery at Northwell Glen Cove Hospital, having practiced cardiothoracic surgery on Long Island from 1969 to 2013. In October 2001 Kolker moved his Long Island studio to his current address in the Chelsea art district so that he could produce his works and curate his exhibitions as an experiment in perception. His studio and gallery have together become his laboratory in which the viewer is the measuring instrument for Kolker’s art as a perceptual experiment; therefore linking Kolker’s curation and exhibition with his art production. Gesundheit Reimagined! is Kolker’s sixtieth solo exhibition.

Paul Kolker: Gesundheit Reimagined! is on view from September 28 through November 10, 2017, at the Paul Kolker collection, 511 West 25th Street in Chelsea, adjacent to the Highline between Tenth and Eleventh, Avenues. Also on view at 600 Third Avenue is Abstract Decalcomania… An ExperiHighlinePerception.

For information or press materials, please call 212.367.7300, email info@paulkolker.com or visit http://www.paulkolker.com and the exhibitions.

Website: http://nycgalleryopenings.com
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AFFORDABLE ART FAIR 2017 FALL

“The very first edition of the Affordable Art Fair launched in Battersea Park in October 1999. 10,000 art lovers descended upon the fair to take advantage of the ease of buying, range of choice, and of course, the affordable prices! We now welcome over 220,000 art enthusiasts each year to our fairs globally, where they can fall in love with art. At our fairs, visitors can take their pick from a mix of local, national and international galleries showcasing a wide range of contemporary paintings, original prints, photographs and sculptures, both by established artists and rising stars.”

“We’ve come a long way since 1999 – holding over 230 fairs and spanning over 10 different cities, which today include Amsterdam, Milan, Hong Kong, Hamburg, Brussels, Singapore, and Stockholm. Now, with an extended programme that includes live artist performances, innovative talks and tours, hands-on workshops, live music and irresistible restaurants and bars, the Affordable Art Fair continues to grow and bring art to new audiences around the world: a staggering £299(€367/$408)million worth of art has found loving new homes since our humble beginnings!”

TIME LINE

1:03:25 1.51 ABLE FINE ART NY GALLERY New York, NY
0:21:54 1.13 AGORA GALLERY New York, NY
0:06:34 1.4 ALIDA ANDERSON ART PROJECTS Washington, DC
0:31:58 1.23 APERTURE CONTEMPORARY Paris, France Singapore
0:34:47 1.26 ART ANGLER New York, NY
0:47:09 1.37 ARTERED GALLERY Barcelona Spain
0:37:50 1.28 ARTERIA GALLERY Bromont Canada
0:28:48 1.20 ARTMIX Brooklyn, NY
1:02:30 1.50 ARTSPACE WAREHOUSE Los Angeles, CA
0:45:15 1.35 ASTERISK Brooklyn, NY
0:14:20 1.9 AXION CONTEMPORARY Santa Monica, CA
0:56:38 1.44 BRUCE LURIE GALLERY Los Angeles, CA
0:42:50 1.33 CARINA HASLAM ART Amsterdam UK
0:52:22 1.41 CONNECT CONTEMPORARY Atlanta, GA
0:11:35 1.7 CUBE GALLERY London UK
1:04:38 1.52 DECORAZONgallery Dallas, TX London, UK
0:59:03 1.46 DURAN MASHAAL Montreal Canada
0:25:38 1.17 ELISA CONTEMPORARY ART Riverdale, NY
0:10:50 1.6 EMMANUEL FREMIN New York, NY
0:55:24 1.43 ENVIE D’ART GALLERY Paris France
0:53:51 1.42 GALERIE BARROW PLANQUART Paris France
0:40:40 1.31 GALERIE JULIANE HUNDERTMARK Berlin Germany
0:30:08 1.21 HAVOC GALLERY Burlington, VT
0:33:02 1.24 JCAMEJO ART LIC, NY Miami, FL
0:57:55 1.45 LILAC GALLERY New York, NY
0:20:21 1.12 LUSTRE CONTEMPORARY Toronto Canada
0:13:41 1.8 MANIFOLD EDITIONS London UK
0:46:20 1.36 MOOKJI ART COLLABORATION Shanghai China
0:39:05 1.29 ONE CHURCH STREET GALLERY London UK
0:23:32 1.15 PAINTBOX AUSTRALIA Canberra Australia
1:00:58 1.48 PALMA ARTE Piacenza Italy
0:41:53 1.32 QUANTUM CONT ART London UK
0:03:51 1.3 RETROSPECT GALLERIES Byron Bay Australia
0:09:28 1.5 RHG NYC New York London
0:49:32 1.38 SORAYA CARTATEGUI FA New York, NY Madrid, Spain
0:02:49 1.2 SPACE776 Brooklyn, NY
0:24:22 1.16 SPENCE GALLERY Toronto Canada
0:39:39 1.30 STUDI PARADISE Dubai, UAE New Delhi, India
0:31:05 1.22 STUDIO AMBRE ITALIA Padua Italy
0:22:42 1.14 SUGARLIFT New York, NY
0:18:04 1.11 TAG FINE ARTS London UK
0:35:39 1.27 THE LAWLEY ART GROUP Dallas, TX
0:01:21 1.1 THE PUBLIC HOUSE OF ART Amsterdam Netherlands
0:34:09 1.25 TURNER BARNES GALLERY Chelmsford, UK Durban, SA
0:00:51 1.0 UGALLERY San Francisco. CA
0:59:48 1.47 UPRISE ART New York, NY
0:43:41 1.34 VAN RENSBURG GALLERIES Chai Wan Hong Kong
0:27:47 1.19 VIETNAMESE CONT FA New York, NY
0:15:23 1.10 VILLA DEL ARTE GALLERIES Amsterdam Barcelona
0:26:31 1.18 VK GALLERY Amsterdam Netherlands
0:51:21 1.40 WOOK + LATTUADA GALLERY New York, NY Milan, Italy
0:50:26 1.39 ZK GALLERY San Francisco, CA