Friday, June 16, 2017

Jacques Blanchard and New South Wales Art Gallery van Mieris Art Theft


Summary: A Jacques Blanchard allegorical, mythological oil occupies the space opened with the New South Wales Art Gallery van Mieris art theft June 10, 2007.


"Mars and the Vestal Virgin," ca. 1630 oil on canvas by Jacques Blanchard; Art Gallery of New South Wales (AGNSW), The Domain, Sydney, southeastern Australia; "Mars and the Vestal Virgin" occupies the space left vacant by 2007 theft of Frans van Mieris the Elder's "A Cavalier (Self Portrait)": Public Domain, via Wikimedia Commons

Contributions and insurance add a Jacques Blanchard oil painting to the niche in 15th to 19th century art previously assigned to the New South Wales Art Gallery van Mieris art theft casualty.
Mars and the Vestal Virgin, alternately entitled Cymon and Iphigenia, brings allegory and mythology to the James Fairfax Gallery niche for landscapes, portraits and sacred artworks. It communicates the big, square uprightness of decorative schemes for the residences constructed by France's wealthy administrative class in the first half of the 17th century. It dazzles viewers in ways dissimilar to that of Frans van Mieris the Elder's (April 16, 1635-March 12, 1681) diminutive, oak panel-framed A Cavalier (Self Portrait).
The Jacques Blanchard masterpiece eases into gallery wall space forever emptied one decade ago by extraction of a Frans van Mieris the Elder masterpiece June 10, 2007.

"A Cavalier (Self Portrait)," oil on wood panel portrait by Dutch Golden Age painter Frans van Mieris the Elder; removed from Art Gallery of New South Wales (AGNSW) during art theft of June 10, 2007, "A Cavalier" numbers among the FBI list of top 10 unsolved art thefts: Public Domain, via Wikimedia Commons

The companion portrait to Young Woman with Feather Fan Prepared to Go Out of van Mieris's wife, Cunera van der Cock (1629/1630-1700), faces an unknown fate. It garners a spot on the Federal Bureau of Investigation's FBI list of top 10 unsolved art thefts despite investigations grinding to official halts in Australia. It has worldwide attention through the Stolen Cavalier blog of Anthony Amore, security chief since 2005 at Boston's Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum, with researcher Vicki Oliveri. A dissimilar successor, unlike the Gardner 13's empty frames from the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum art theft March 18, 1990, imperils its memory within Sydney, Australia.
One of the French Titian's 60-plus known paintings jeopardizes public memories, if not retrieval, of the New South Wales Art Gallery van Mieris art theft casualty.

"Young Woman With Feather Fan Prepared to Go Out," companion portrait of "A Cavalier (Self Portrait)," portrays Cunera van der Cock, Frans van Mieris's wife, and safely hangs in Kunstmuseum Basel, northwestern Switzerland: Public Domain, via The Athenaeum

The Sydney-based gallery knows no shrines because of $2 million in funds from the missing van Mieris's donor and in insurance from NSW Treasury Managed Funds. It lands the auto-portrait's successor through Art Gallery Society and James Oswald Fairfax (March 27, 1933-Jan. 11, 2017), Companion of the Order of Australia (AC), support.
Its frame makes the Blanchard painting's 51.18- by 43.46-inch (130- by 110.4-centimeter) stretcher measure 56.29 by 47.99 by 3.15 inches (143 by 121.9 by 8.0 centimeters). Provenance through 17th-century inventories neglects necessary notifications on the decorative scheme's subject matter and ultimate destination and notes only its commission contract date of March 1683.
The successor to the New South Wales Art Gallery van Mieris art theft casualty offers two less or more likely interpretations as to theme and title.

smh.com.au @smh via Twitter tweet of Jan. 12, 2017

One interpretation presents Cypriot nobleman Galesus, nicknamed Cymon (brute), pursuing Iphigenia, fiancée of Pasimondas of Rhodes, in Giovanni Boccaccio's (June 16, 1313-Dec. 21, 1375) The Decameron.
The war god Mars with the Vestal Virgin Rhea Silvia qualifies as the New South Wales Art Gallery's interpretation because of the man's Roman soldier-like attire. The Blanchard painting references the meeting of the subsequent parents of Romulus (March 24, 771 B.C.-July 5 or 7, 716 B.C.), legendary founder of Rome, Italy. It sustains cultural connections for Italian Australians, fifth most identified ancestry in the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) 2011 Census and second commonest, non-English language speakers.
The New South Wales Art Gallery van Mieris art theft trades Dutch connections since Captain Willem Janszoon's (1570?-1630?) landing Feb. 26, 1606, for 250-plus-year-old Italian ties.

night view of Art Gallery of New South Wales (AGNSW), former home of van Mieris' Cavalier and current home of its replacement, Blanchard's Mars and the Vestal Virgin: jasoncstarr, CC BY SA 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Acknowledgment
My special thanks to:
Talented artists and photographers/concerned organizations who make their fine images available on the Internet;
Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University for superior on-campus and on-line resources.
Image credits:
"Mars and the Vestal Virgin," ca. 1630 oil on canvas by Jacques Blanchard; Art Gallery of New South Wales (AGNSW), The Domain, Sydney, southeastern Australia; "Mars and the Vestal Virgin" occupies the space left vacant by 2007 theft of Frans van Mieris the Elder's "A Cavalier (Self Portrait)": Public Domain, via Wikimedia Commons @ https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:%27Mars_and_the_Vestal_Virgin%27,_oil_on_canvas_painting_by_Jacques_Blanchard,_ca._1630,_Art_Gallery_of_New_South_Wales.jpg
"A Cavalier (Self Portrait)," oil on wood panel portrait by Dutch Golden Age painter Frans van Mieris the Elder; removed from Art Gallery of New South Wales (AGNSW) during art theft of June 10, 2007: Public Domain, via Wikimedia Commons @ https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Frans-van-mieris-thecavalier.jpg
"Young Woman With Feather Fan Prepared to Go Out," companion portrait of "A Cavalier (Self Portrait)," portrays Cunera van der Cock, Frans van Mieris's wife, and safely hangs in Kunstmuseum Basel, northwestern Switzerland: Public Domain, via The Athenaeum @ http://www.the-athenaeum.org/art/detail.php?ID=263946
"Prominent philanthropist and art patron James Fairfax has died, aged 83.": smh.com.au @smh via Twitter tweet of Jan. 11, 2017, @ https://twitter.com/smh/status/819344740747460608
night view of Art Gallery of New South Wales (AGNSW), former home of van Mieris' Cavalier and current home of its replacement, Blanchard's Mars and the Vestal Virgin: jasoncstarr, CC BY SA 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons @ https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Art_Gallery_of_New_South_Wales_at_night.jpg

For further information:
Amore, Anthony; and Oliveri, Vicki. Stolen Cavalier: Dedicated to Recovering a Cavalier by Frans van Mieris Through Crowd-Sourcing Information. Blog at WordPress.com.
Available @ https://stolencavalier.wordpress.com/
"Frans van Mieris Leiden 1635 - 1681 Leiden. Zum Ausgehen bereite junge Dame mit Federfächer, um 1657/1659." Kunstmuseum Basel > Werker > Künstler.
Available @ http://sammlungonline.kunstmuseumbasel.ch/eMuseumPlus?service=ExternalInterface&module=collection&objectId=2916&view
Hollington, Kris. 22 July 2014. "After Drugs and Guns, Art Theft Is the Biggest Criminal Enterprise in the World." News Week > Culture.
Available @ http://www.newsweek.com/2014/07/18/after-drugs-and-guns-art-theft-biggest-criminal-enterprise-world-260386.html
"Jacques Blanchard's 'Mars and the Vestal Virgin.'" American Broadcasting Corporation News > Australia > 20 March 2008.
Available @ http://www.abc.net.au/news/2008-03-18/jacques-blanchards-mars-and-the-vestal-virgin/1076702
Marriner, Derdriu. 9 June 2017. "New South Wales Art Gallery van Mieris Theft June 10, 2007." Earth and Space News. Friday.
Available @ https://earth-and-space-news.blogspot.com/2017/06/new-south-wales-art-gallery-van-mieris.html
Miess, Michael. 11 March 2014. "Frans van Mieris: A Cavalier (Self Portrait)." ArtRobberies.com > 32 Art Theft Stories.
Available @ http://www.artrobberies.com/32-art-theft-stories/frans-van-mieris-a-cavalier-self-portrait
    "New 17th-Century Painting at the Art Gallery of New South Wales: Jacques Blanchard (France 1600-1638), Mars and the Vestal Virgin." Art Gallery of New South Wales > Archives 2008.
    Available @ http://archive.artgallery.nsw.gov.au/media/archives_2008/jacques_blanchard/
    Oliveri, Vicki. 2014. "A Tale of Two Cities, A Tale of Two Art Thefts." Pp. 79-99. In: Contemporary Perspectives on the Detection, Investigation and Prosecution of Art Crime: Australasian, European and North American Perspectives. Edited by Duncan Chappell and Saskia Hufnagel. Farnham, Surrey, United Kingdom; and Burlington VT: Ashgate Publishing.
    Available @ https://books.google.com/books?id=TCgpDAAAQBAJ&pg=PA86&lpg=PA86&dq=frans+van+mieris+man+with+a+smoking+pipe&source=bl&ots=8DZBwfmaNz&sig=B6YMjMFdGHibkh-5634SL88qUi8&hl=en&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwjB4fqIq5DTAhVLj1QKHaioAcAQ6AEIUTAO#v=onepage&q=frans%20van%20mieris%20man%20with%20a%20smoking%20pipe&f=false
      "Reflecting a Nation: Stories from the 2011 Census, 2012-2013." Australian Bureau of Statistics > Browse Statistics > Browse by Catalogue Number > 2071.0 > Latest Issue Released at 11:30 AM (Canberra Time) 21/06/2012.
      Available @ http://www.abs.gov.au/ausstats/abs@.nsf/Lookup/2071.0main+features902012-2013
      Rykner, Didier. 15 June 2007. "Theft of a Painting by Frans van Mieris from The Art Gallery of New South Wales." The Art Tribune.com > The News.
      Available @ http://www.thearttribune.com/Theft-of-a-painting-by-Frans-van.html
        smh.com.au @ smh. 11 January 2017. "Prominent philanthropist and art patron James Fairfax has died, aged 83." Twitter.
        Available @ https://twitter.com/smh/status/819344740747460608
        Sullivan, Rohan. 14 June 2007. "Van Mieris' A Cavalier Stolen from Australian Gallery." Houston Chronicle.com > A&E > Entertainment.
        Available @ http://www.chron.com/entertainment/article/Van-Mieris-A-Cavalier-stolen-from-Australian-1802039.php
          Taylor, Andrew. 20 May 2012. "Search for Stolen Masterpiece Ends." The Sydney Morning Herald > Entertainment > Art.
          Available @ http://www.smh.com.au/entertainment/art-and-design/search-for-stolen-masterpiece-ends-20120519-1yxis.html
            Taylor, Andrew. 6 June 2015. "A Cavalier Approach: Investigation of Art Gallery of NSW's Stolen Painting Mishandled." The Sydney Morning Herald > Entertainment > Art.
            Available @ http://www.smh.com.au/entertainment/art-and-design/a-cavalier-approach-investigation-of-art-gallery-of-nsws-stolen-painting-mishandled-20150608-ghi4e1.html
              "Theft from Gallery of New South Wales." Federal Bureau of Investigation > What We Investigate > Violent Crime > Art Theft > FBI Top Ten Art Crimes Art Crime Team.
              Available @ https://www.fbi.gov/investigate/violent-crime/art-theft/fbi-top-ten-art-crimes/theft-from-art-gallery-of-new-south-wales
              Villarreal, Ignacio. "The Art Gallery of New South Wales Acquires Mars and the Vestal Virgin by Jacques Blanchard." ArtDaily.org > Museums > Australia > Art Gallery of New South Wales.
              Available @ http://artdaily.com/news/23602/The-Art-Gallery-of-New-South-Wales-Acquires-Mars-and-the-Vestal-Virgin-by-Jacques-Blanchard#.WOZzQ_mANBc

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