Art historians

Leonardo scholar claims newly discovered document proves artist’s mother was enslaved

While researching a work of historical fiction, Carlo Vecce says he found a document signed by Leonardo da Vinci’s father implying his mother was an enslaved woman from the North Caucasus region

Art history sleuths reunite mother with husband and son in 17th-century Flemish portrait

Scholars have pieced together separate parts of painting after 200 years

Drawing of male nude is Michelangelo’s sketch for Sistine Chapel, scholar says

Red chalk preparatory work may be linked to “Worship of the Brazen Serpent” section of Vatican masterpiece

Frank Popper—the historian at the forefront of art’s digital revolution—has died, aged 102

Expert in art and technology led the way in documenting the development of "virtual art"

Art historian Douglas Crimp, who defined the Pictures Generation, dies aged 74

The writer, curator and editor organised the influential Pictures exhibition and championed artist activism during the Aids crisis


Ruskin and Gombrich: revisiting two art historical heavyweights

Amid a wealth of events celebrating the bicentenary of John Ruskin’s birth we reconsider the breadth of his achievements. Plus, we talk to two experts in E.H. Gombrich. Produced in association with Bonhams, auctioneers since 1793.

Hosted by Ben Luke. Produced by Julia Michalska, David Clack and Aimee Dawson
Art marketcomment

The all-powerful market is sounding the death knell for connoisseurship

Today, art history is increasingly being written by dealers and auctioneers to suit their own purpose

Diary of an art historian: at last, some common sense for the abolition of image fees

Birmingham Museums Trust takes the lead and places images in the public domain, but who will follow?


How to force historians to use their eyes: book urges academics to 'take art more seriously'

Princeton University's Theodore K. Rabb says more visual materials—not only written records—should be explored


Many pictures but no big picture: book struggles to capture the extraordinary life of Harald Szeemann

Volume on pioneering curator takes an admiring, rather than a critically analytical, approach


Thinking with pictures: how images were used for philosophical thinking in the Early Modern period

A rich and fascinating book on what can rightly be called the art of philosophy

Lost artfeature

Lost art: the world’s invisible collections

Noah Charney on the Sadnikar family's extremely personal collection in Slovenia

TED-style art history platform aims to promote arts education online

Heni Talks features videos from artists including Damien Hirst and Jeremy Deller

Are Old Masters old fashioned?

How to bring new audiences to older art displays


Books essay: naturalist and artist Maria Sibylla Merian was a woman in a man’s world

Her work straddles the territories of art and science, bugs and flowers

Polish art world calls on national museum to stage 'major international show' against fascism

An open letter to Krakow institution asks for exhibition to counter rise of the right in Poland

Linda Nochlin: the American art historian who first pointed the finger at institutional barriers as the explanation for the absence of great female artists from the canon

She changed forever the way people thought about the mythology of artistic genius, and the masterpiece theatre version of art history

Pioneering feminist art historian Linda Nochlin dies aged 86

Her essay, Why Have There Been No Great Women Artists?, changed the course of art history


Sotheby's James Stourton glazes over the more cut-throat tendencies of private collectors in new book

This account by the UK chairman of Sotheby’s is enthusiastic but superficial

Husband and wife allege Guy Cogeval's Vuillard catalogues were “plagiarised” from their unpublished manuscript

Art historians go to court in France and the US to reclaim the research they say was stolen from them


Books: American art from Norsemen to Culture Wars

A well-written history of art in North America for students


Interview with John Richardson: His new memoirs as Cubism’s Falstaff

Richardson talks about his mentor and one time lover, Douglas Cooper—fiendish and funny art historian, aesthete and champion of Cubism

Ferrara pays homage to Aby Warburg

Palazzo Schifanoia displays archive material from the Warburg Institute to commemorate her work


Obituary for Michael Jaffé: As demanding of himself as he was of others

A formidable connoisseur, academic and museum director who inspired many top figures in the British art world.


Otto Von Simson dies

Professor Otto von Simson, the German art historian, died in Berlin at the end of May, aged 80.


The place of scholars in the commercial art market: how to avoid shameful infections and a diminution of the truth?

It is pointless to pretend that the commercial art world and the worlds of research do not interpenetrate each other. Here we look at the relationship, present and past, and ask ourselves, in what respect is the art historian any different from the lawyer who sells his opinion?