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A recently authenticated painting by the celebrated 17th-century artist Caravaggio, titled “Ecce Homo,” is set to debut at the Prado museum in Madrid. Initially misattributed to a lesser-known artist, the painting narrowly avoided auction in 2021 when the Spanish government intervened. Now recognized as a Caravaggio masterpiece, it represents a significant discovery in the art world.

Caravaggio, renowned for his groundbreaking use of light and shadow to depict intense realism, is hailed as a precursor to modern painting. “Ecce Homo” portrays the moment when Roman governor Pontius Pilate presents Christ to the public. With only about 60 known works by Caravaggio, each authenticated piece holds immense value and historical significance.

Believed to have once been part of King Philip IV of Spain’s collection, “Ecce Homo” resurfaced in Madrid in 2021, attributed to a lesser-known artist associated with 17th-century Spanish painter José de Ribera. However, suspicions about its true authorship arose among experts at the Prado, prompting government intervention to prevent its sale.

The painting will be exhibited until October in a special showing at the Prado museum before joining its permanent collection for an additional four months. Sold for €36 million, it will remain on loan to public collections, ensuring its accessibility to art enthusiasts worldwide rather than being held privately.

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Environmental protesters targeted the iconic Mona Lisa at the Louvre in Paris, throwing soup at the protected artwork to emphasize their call for the right to “healthy and sustainable food.” The 16th Century masterpiece by Leonardo da Vinci, housed behind protective glass, remained undamaged despite the unconventional protest.

Video footage captured two female protesters, affiliated with a group called Riposte Alimentaire (Food Counterattack), tossing liquid at the painting and raising questions about the perceived prioritization of art over the fundamental right to nutritious food. The protesters, clad in T-shirts reading “food counterattack,” stood in front of the artwork, asserting concerns about the agricultural system and the challenges faced by farmers.

The Louvre promptly assured the public that the painting was unharmed, thanks to the security measures in place. The Salle des Etats, where the Mona Lisa is displayed, was evacuated, and the room reopened to visitors after cleaning at 11:30 local time. The museum announced its intention to file a complaint regarding the incident.

The group Riposte Alimentaire released a statement, posted on social media platform X, explaining that the protest was part of their broader efforts to integrate “food into the general social security system.” They argued that the current food model stigmatizes the most vulnerable and fails to respect the fundamental right to food. The group proposed the issuance of a monthly food card worth €150 (£128) for citizens to use on food.

France’s Minister for Culture, Rachida Dati, condemned the act, stating that “no cause” could justify targeting the Mona Lisa, emphasizing the painting’s status as part of the heritage for future generations. The incident occurred amid ongoing farmer protests in Paris, where demonstrators sought relief from rising fuel costs and simplified regulations, blocking key roads in and out of the city.

The Mona Lisa, housed in the Louvre since the early 1950s, has been shielded behind safety glass. In 2019, the museum installed a more transparent form of bulletproof glass to enhance its protection. This incident echoes a 2022 event when an activist threw cake at the painting, urging people to “think of the Earth.” The Mona Lisa’s history includes a notorious theft in 1911, with recovery two years later after the perpetrator attempted to sell it in Italy.

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Art Entertainment News Trending

A 1932 masterpiece by Pablo Picasso recently sold for $139 million, making it the second most expensive piece by the artist ever sold. Titled “Femme a la Montre” (Woman with a Watch), it portrays Marie-Therese Walter, Picasso’s French muse and lover, and was previously owned by the late art collector Emily Fisher Landau.

Picasso’s relationship with Walter, which began when she was 17 and he was 45, was clandestine as he was still married to Ukrainian ballerina Olga Khokhlova. The painting depicts Walter seated in a chair against a blue backdrop.

Picasso’s artistic contributions, which spanned eight decades, were diverse, with his experimentation with various styles and themes making him one of the most influential artists of the 20th century. His notable contributions include inspiring the “Cubism” movement, known for depicting objects and people from multiple perspectives simultaneously.

Despite his artistic legacy, questions have arisen in recent years regarding his behavior, with allegations of cruelty, womanizing, and coercive conduct. Picasso, born in Malaga in 1881 and raised in Barcelona, relocated to Paris in 1904. He had four children and passed away in 1973 at the age of 92.

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A Dutch art detective, Arthur Brand, successfully recovered a stolen Van Gogh painting from a Dutch museum in March 2020, ending a quest spanning three and a half years.

Brand mentioned that the 139-year-old artwork was delivered to him in an unconventional manner: a man showed up at his doorstep with the painting concealed within a pillow and an Ikea bag. He emphasized that this operation was carried out in close coordination with Dutch law enforcement, and they were confident that the person returning the painting was not connected to the theft.

The original theft occurred when an individual used a sledgehammer to break into the Singer museum in Laren, located southeast of Amsterdam, at the onset of the COVID-19 lockdown. The stolen artwork, titled “The Parsonage Garden at Nuenen in Spring,” had been on loan from a museum in Groningen and is valued at several million euros.

In 2021, a career criminal named Nils M, who lived near Laren, was sentenced to eight years in prison for the theft, but by that time, the painting had already changed hands. DNA evidence linked Nils M to both the theft of the Van Gogh painting and another theft of a Frans Hals painting in Leerdam, near Utrecht.

Intercepted communications revealed that a criminal group had acquired the stolen Van Gogh painting with the intention of using it as leverage to secure reduced prison sentences. Arthur Brand, collaborating closely with Dutch law enforcement, had received images confirming the painting’s existence as early as June 2020.

Eventually, a man in Amsterdam approached Brand and offered to return the painting under the condition of strict confidentiality, as it had become a cumbersome burden for those in possession of it. The exchange occurred at Brand’s residence, with the director of the Groninger museum verifying the artwork’s authenticity at a nearby bar’s street corner.

The painting, upon recovery, was wrapped in a pillow with bloodstains, as the person returning it had injured their finger during retrieval.

The Dutch police’s arts crime unit authenticated the recovered painting, and Andreas Blühm, the head of the Groninger museum, expressed his delight at its safe return. While slightly damaged, the artwork can be restored. Currently, the Van Gogh painting is in the custody of the Van Gogh museum, and it may take several weeks or months before it is ready for public display.

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Art News

A France court has imposed a huge fine on an African activist who has staged a protest in a museum in Paris by attempting to remove an African artefact from the museum.

The activist livestreamed the whole episode. He alleged that the art piece was the part of art pieces looted from his continent during the colonial era.

He defended his act by saying that his attempt was to reclaim the art piece which was looted from his continent by France.

The act was intended to gain global attention over the matter of colonial looting.

Anyway, the France court has dismissed his defence. It has imposed a huge fine on the activist.

The court has justified its decision saying that the fine has been imposed to deprive others from following the same path adopted by the activist.

The activist has been found guilty fort aggravated robbery.

The judge has pointed out that he could have adopted other methods to invite the attention of the global community into the matter.

The action of the French court has invited mixed response. Many have come forward in support of the activist and the matter he attempted to project with his act to the world.

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Art Trending

“COME, balmy Sleep! tired nature’s soft resort!
On these sad temples all thy poppies shed;
And bid day dreams, from Morpheus’ airy court,
Float in light vision around my aching head!
Secure all thy blessings, partial Power!
On his hard bed the peasant throws him down;
And the poor sea-boy, in the rudest hour,
Enjoys thee more than he who wears a crown.
Clasp’d in her faithful shepherd’s guardian arms,
Well may the village girl sweet slumbers prove;
And they, O gentle Sleep! still taste thy charms ,
Who wake to labour, liberty, and love.
But still thy opiate aid dost thou deny
To calm the anxious breast; to close the streaming eye.” – Charlotte Turner Smith

Beautiful is her construction; thoughtful is her lines. Romantic poet Charlottee is nothing less than a legend. No poet conveys emotions better than this beautiful lady.

Her lines have soul; her lines speak to heart directly. There is no place for confusion in her poems. Her poems deliver exactly what they are supposed to convey.

Her poems care little to restrictions. They cannot be confined inside any boundary. They are free.

The freedom her poems enjoy is what that gives wings to them. They fly high. From them, even sky is not a limit.

Let’s take a minute to remember this legend poet.

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Art Trending

Bright star, would I were steadfast as thou art –
Not in lone splendour hung aloft the night
And watching, with eternal lids apart,
Like nature’s patient, sleepless Eremite,
The moving waters at their priestlike task
Of pure ablution round earth’s human shores,
Or gazing on the new soft-fallen mask
Of snow upon the mountains and the moors –
No – yet still steadfast, still unchangeable,
Pillow’d upon my fair love’s ripening breast,
To feel for ever its soft fall and swell,
Awake for ever in a sweet unrest,
Still, still to hear her tender-taken breadth
And so live ever – or else swoon to death
.” – John Keats

Drawing a comparison with star, omitting all its qualities except its steadfastness, is extremely brilliant.

Here star is an unchangeable observer. He carefully and eagerly watches all beautiful things happen around him. His eyes are at snow-filled mountains. And, it is in running waters. He is aware of the purpose for which the aforesaid beauties exist. Yet, he keeps a safe distance from the said things, making sure he does not get trapped inside these beauties. He does not want to get lost in those beauties. What he wants is to stay constant. Importantly, he attempts to remain unchangeable.

Like that constant star, the protagonist wants to stay undisturbed besides his love. His only need is to stay immersed in the love of his love. He enjoys her softness. And, what fuels him is his love’s calm breadth.

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Art Trending

How do I love thee? Let me count the ways
I love thee to the depth and breadth and height
My soul can reach, when feeling out of sight
For the ends of being and ideal grace.
I love thee to the level of everyday’s
Most quiet need, by sun and candlelight.
I love thee freely, as man strives for right.
I love thee purely
, as they turn from praise.
I love thee with the passion put to use
In my old grief and with my childhood’s faith.
I love thee with a love I seemed to lose
With my lost saints – I love thee with breadth,
Smiles, tears, of all my life – and, if God choose
I shall but love thee better after death
.” – Elizabeth Barrett Browning

Nothing defines the concept of eternal love better than these fourteen lines of Mrs. Browning. The poem portrays the depth of Mrs. Browning’s love towards her husband, Robert Browning.

‘How do I love thee’ is one of the truly heart-touching poems the British literature has ever witnessed.

The poem has a soul. It is simple, yet deep. It is eternal. Interestingly, it does not have a defined gender. In that sense, it is universal also.

The deeper you go into the poem, the purer your notion about eternal love becomes. In fact, that is the only thing this poem demands.

What the poet discusses is not the love that can only be experienced physically. Her love transcends everything – including the cycle of death and birth.

What she portrays is a love which is selfless. Her love does not expect praise either. It even fills the usual silence she experiences with her loved one, like it occupies their joyous moments.

Those who have not experienced this poem at least once are real losers. What they have missed is a rare opportunity to feel the taste of eternal love.

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Art Trending

A group of thieves have broken into the largest treasure collection in Europe, known as Green Vault – situated in Germany.

Several treasures worth millions are feared to have been stolen by the group. No information regarding that has been released yet.

The German police are examining the view. They have not yet responded to any media personal.

It is yet to know whether they have received any clue about the group who has committed the theft.

Green Vault is an 18th century treasure collection. It is the contribution of the then ruler of Saxony, where the centre is located.

It houses several rare diamonds and similar expensive things.

It is important to understand how the group has managed to escape the security cover offered to the centre to avoid similar failures in future. It is also pertinent to understand has the theft been the contribution of any security failure; if it is so, those responsible should be brought to justice.

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Art News

A rustic sculpture of US first lady, Melania Trump was made in her home town in Slovenia. The figure was cut from the trunk of a living linden tree. This was built in a field beside the Sava River in the village of Rozno, near Slovenia.

The sculpture was commissioned by Berlin-based American artist Brad Downey. A local folk artist Ales Zupevc carved the figure with a chainsaw.

The figure cannot actually be said as a perfect sculpture. The face of the sculpture is rough-hewn and unrecognizable.

The figure shows the lady wearing a pale blue dress that Melania wore at Donald Trump’s inauguration as U.S. president.

Mr. Brad Downey, who commissioned the sculpture said that he wanted to have a dialogue with his country’s political situation, and highlight Melania Trump’s status as an immigrant married to a president sworn to reduce immigration.

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