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May 2024

Vol. 166 | No. 1454

Art in France



The British Museum has recently mounted a small and rather underwhelming display about Graeco-Roman gems. This fascinating, although esoteric subject, would not normally attract large numbers of visitors. However, the display seems to have drawn a significant amount of attention. This must, in part at least, be because it has been used to exhibit a few recently recovered gems, which come from the group of about 2,000 objects, the loss of which was announced in a dramatic fashion last year, as part of a sequence of events that have had such a corrosive impact on the museum’s status.

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Free review

Roelant Savery’s Wondrous World

On display in the Mauritshuis is an intimate selection of carefully chosen works by Roelant Savery (1576/78–1639), forty-three in total, of which twenty-four are works on paper and nineteen are paintings. The small number of exhibits signals by no means a weakness of the show. At present, a total of three hundred paintings and 250 drawings are attributed to Savery, and more works are constantly emerging from lesser-known collections and are appearing on the art market. However, Savery’s later paintings fall short of the artistic qualities displayed in his early period and at the peak of his career, which are the focus here.

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  • Ferrante Loffredo, Marquess of Trevico.

    A medal of the Sun King by Claude I Ballin

    By Ludovic Jouvet
  • Duthé lying down

    ‘The swing’ by Jean-Honoré Fragonard: new hypotheses

    By Yuriko Jackall
  • Environs of Southampton

    The provenance of ‘The death of Sardanapalus’: new insights from unpublished correspondence

    By Andrew M. WATSON
  • Mustapha

    Dāvūd Gürcü, Ottoman refugee and Girodet’s first Mamluk model

    By Thadeus Dowad
  • Jacob Rothschild, 4th Baron Rothschild (‘Man in a Chair’)

    Jacob Rothschild (1936–2024)

    By Michael Hall