Van Gogh experienced delirium from alcohol withdrawal

The artist Vincent van Gogh is likely to have experienced two episodes of delirium caused by alcohol withdrawal, new research has shown. The post-Impressionist painter, known for works such as ‘Sunflowers’ and ‘The Starry Night’, famously sliced off his left ear during an argument. Van Gogh dismissed the episode as “a simple artist’s bout of craziness” and later a “mental or nervous fever”, but research in the Netherlands has thrown new light on his mental state. Experts at the University Medical Centre Groningen conducted a psychiatric examination based on hundreds of letters he wrote – the majority to his beloved … Continue reading Van Gogh experienced delirium from alcohol withdrawal

Mysterious Berlin attack targets 70 museum artefacts

It is being described as one of the biggest attacks on art and antiquities in post-war German history, but it has taken more than two weeks to emerge, at least 70 artefacts were sprayed with an oily liquid on Berlin’s Museum Island, a Unesco world heritage site that is home to five famous museums, the attack took place on 3 October, the anniversary of German reunification. German reports have speculated whether supporters of a far-right conspiracy theorist may have been involved, Attila Hindmann, who has spread conspiracy theories about the Covid-19 pandemic, has also claimed that one of the five … Continue reading Mysterious Berlin attack targets 70 museum artefacts

Shakespeare First Folio fetches a record $10m at auction

This is the embodiment of greatness after death, a copy of William Shakespeare’s First Folio has been sold for a record $9.98m (£7.6m) at auction in New York. The 1623 book, published seven years after the Bard’s death, was the first collected edition of his plays, about 235 copies of the book exist, but only a handful of complete versions are known to be in private hands. The edition sold on Wednesday was the first complete copy to go under the hammer since 2001, when one fetched $6.1m (£4.9m) the previous record. It was sold by Mills College in Oakland, … Continue reading Shakespeare First Folio fetches a record $10m at auction

Once unknown Nigerian ‘masterpiece’ by Ben Enwonwu up for sale

The Court of the Oba of Benin is one of 12 of his works on sale from the auction house’s London base and they all reflect this thinking. A previously unknown work by Ben Enwonwu, Nigeria’s most celebrated 20th Century visual artist, is up for auction in an online sale organized by Sotheby’s. The Court of the Oba of Benin, thought to have been painted in the 1940s, is described as a “masterpiece” by the auctioneers, but was never documented and was held in a private collection. It was created in the wake of Enwonwu’s apprenticeship with the bronze casters … Continue reading Once unknown Nigerian ‘masterpiece’ by Ben Enwonwu up for sale

Stolen Mao Zedong scroll worth millions found cut in half

A stolen Chinese calligraphy scroll worth millions has been found in Hong Kong, after it was cut into half, thieves had stolen the scroll by Chinese communist leader Mao Zedong from an art collector’s home in a burglary last month. They then sold it at a fraction of its value, it was apparently cut up as the 2.8m-long (9ft) scroll was deemed too long to display, said Hong Kong police. The original owner says the artwork’s value has been “definitely affected”. The scroll, which contains stanzas of poetry handwritten by the founder of the People’s Republic of China, is estimated … Continue reading Stolen Mao Zedong scroll worth millions found cut in half

Archibald: Vincent Namatjira named art prize’s first Aboriginal winner

Australia’s most prestigious award for portraiture has been won by an Aboriginal artist for the first time in its 99-year history. Vincent Namatjira, 37, claimed the annual Archibald Prize for a painting of himself and Adam Goodes, a champion Aboriginal Australian Rules footballer. Last week another painter, Meyne Wyatt, became the first Aboriginal artist to win a secondary prize. Namatjira is the great-grandson of celebrated artist Albert Namatjira. Previous Archibald winners include some of Australia’s most acclaimed artists, including Brett Whiteley, John Olsen, Wendy Sharpe and Ben Quilty. To be the first Aboriginal artist to win is really special,” Namatjira … Continue reading Archibald: Vincent Namatjira named art prize’s first Aboriginal winner