Friday, February 26, 2010

This Week in Lost and Found

This post has a specific build-up. It gets progressively worse on the relativism scale (come to think of it, perhaps it's no coincidence this also happens to be the right chronologicalorder) -

New York Times: "Descartes Letter Found, Therefore It Is" 

It was the Great Train Robbery of French intellectual life: thousands of treasured documents that vanished from the Institut de France in the mid-1800s, stolen by an Italian mathematician. Among them were 72 letters by René Descartes, the founding genius of modern philosophy and analytic geometry.

Now one of those purloined letters has turned up at a small private college in eastern Pennsylvania, providing scholars with another keyhole into one of the Western world’s greatest minds. The letter, dated May 27, 1641, concerns the publication of “Meditations on First Philosophy,” a celebrated work whose use of reason and scientific methods helped to ignite a revolution in thought. (...) >>>

Indeed. Number two, art (of sorts) - Van Gogh's "Le Blute-Fin Mill" and an expert's vindication - "Art collector Dirk Hannema proved right as Van Gogh work verified" 

An excentric art collector mocked for insisting one of his paintings was an unknown van Gogh has been vindicated 25 years after his death. It is the first to be authenticated since 1995. It was bought in 1975 by Dutchman Dirk Hannema.

Louis van Tilborgh, curator of research at the Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam, said the painting was unusual for the 19th-century impressionist, depicting large human figures in a landscape. It shows Parisians climbing wooden steps to a windmill in the Montmartre district.

But the work was typical of Vincent van Gogh at that time in other ways, with its bright colours lathered roughly on the canvas. Mr van Tilborgh said it was painted in 1886 when the artist was living in Paris. The canvas bore the stamp of an art shop he was known to use, and used pigments common in other works.

The work "adds to his oeuvre", he said. "You can link it to certain works of van Gogh in that period, but not that many of them." Mr Hannema bought the painting from an antique and art dealer in Paris who did not believe it was of much value. But the Dutch collector did: he paid £2,000 for it and another unknown work but immediately insured the painting for 16 times what he paid. >>>

OMG! Fancy that! Another Hitler turning up. It's a ghost this time - "Adolf Hitler nude sketch for sale" 

The two previously unseen pictures turned up in Europe and are expected to raise £20,000 between them. Hitler drew them in the early 1900s when he was based in Vienna and was practising various styles so that he might win a place at art college.

The picture of the elderly woman's face is similar to photographs of his mother and shows a lined and world-weary visage. It was drawn in 1908 - the year after she died from cancer. The closed eyes might signify her demise.

The contrasting nude drawn a year earlier is a young, pert and attractive figure with breasts obscured by an arm and a blank face.(...) >>>

- Hitler Historical Museum- The Nazi Appreciation Movement (Politeia dossier)
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1 comment:

James Higham said...

I'll have to revisit this, clearly.