Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Terminology and Cycladic figures

I have been working on a review article relating to attributions for Cycladic figures. I observe that not all have realised that the terminology has changed.

The 2007 handbook to the Art of the Classical World in the Metropolitan Museum of Art illustrates the "Namepiece of the Bastis Master". By 2012 the curatorial staff had recognised that this was now attributed to the "Bastis Sculptor" (Checklist, no. 4).[1] The 2010 Handbook of the Antiquities Collection at the J. Paul Getty Museum contains a colour photograph of the "Name-piece of the Steiner Master" (Checklist, no. 6).[2] This is all the more surprising in that the 2002 Silent Witnesses exhibition included the figure with the attribution to the "Steiner Sculptor". And in December 9, 2010, Christie's New York auctioned a figure attributed to "the Schuster Master" for $16,882,500 (lot 88; Checklist, no. 2). This had originally formed part of the Marion Schuster collector, but Getz-Gentle does not add that its later collecting history included Robin Symes and Phoenix Ancient Art. There is no clarification of the report in the New York Times that the figure was allegedly sold by Michael Steinhardt.[3]


1. Carlos A. Picón, J. R. Mertens, E. J. Milleker, C. S. Lightfoot, and S. Hemingway, Art of the Classical World in the Metropolitan Museum of Art: Greece, Cyprus, Etruria, Rome (New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 2007), 33, 410, no. 6; Seán Hemingway, "Art of the Aegean Bronze Age", The Metropolitan Museum of Art Bulletin 69 (2012), 19, fig. 27.

2. J. Paul Getty Museum, Handbook of the Antiquities Collection (Malibu: J. Paul Getty Museum, 2010), 7.

3. Carol Vogel, "Potential Titian Buyers Get an Advance Look", New York Times October 28, 2010. Steinhardt was linked to the gold phiale returned to Sicily in 2000.

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