What happened to Barbara?

2 02 2014

The traffic information provided by blogging platforms like WordPress can throw up some pretty interesting things – like which countries readers are from (well, at least their ISP), and what other websites have sent traffic your way (either through direct links, or sometimes through the ‘similar’ suggestions generated automatically at the bottom of pages).

A few days ago I noticed that The First Book of Fashion tumblr had sent a visitor my way; specifically from the post about the upcoming sale of the Barbara Schwarz portrait.

Portrait of Barbara Schwarz, 1542 Oil on panel, 74 x 61 cm; click on image for original source

Portrait of Barbara Schwarz, 1542 Oil on panel, 74 x 61 cm; click on image for original source

This was incredibly interesting to me because the Barbara Schwarz portrait by Christophe Amberger was the basis of a piece I made in my third year at uni : Brooch for a Mother.

J#1: brooch for Mother

J#1: brooch for Mother

Further though, this tumblr was inspired by Matthaus Schwarz and his Trachtenbuch, his book of paintings of his own clothing ensembles – who was also the key inspiration for my entire collection in that uni project. How wonderful to discover kindred spirits.

image from ... Lübbeke, Isolde (translator). The Thyssen-Bornemisza Collection – Early German Painting 1350 – 1550, Sotheby’s Publishing, London, 1991

image from … Lübbeke, Isolde (translator). The Thyssen-Bornemisza Collection – Early German Painting 1350 – 1550, Sotheby’s Publishing, London, 1991

To the point at hand though: the portrait was being offered for sale at Christies in New York (expected to realise US$4 – $6m), and I also thought it would be super-fabulous if the Museo Thyssen-Bornemisza were able to acquire it to hang with the companion portrait of Matthaus.

As the sale had already happened by the time I saw this post, I thought it would be a simple matter of searching the auction house’s website to see what it sold for; or search the internets to see if the museum had managed to buy it.

I failed to find anything. Even the original listing for the painting has been removed; and the audio that was released before the sale to promote it has also gone. Intriguing. The ‘auction results’ published on their websites only seem to contain those lots that realised sale; this is different to many other auction house sites I visit, which also note if lots were passed in.

The options seem to be that the painting was either (1) withdrawn from sale or (2) passed in. I’ve undertaken a little internet searching but have so far found no answer.

Well, I can only hope in the next few months something surfaces about this portrait. Hopefully it does make its way ‘home’ and will be next to Matthaus once again.

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Update (4th February): I’ve just noticed that the post about the upcoming sale of the Barbara Schwarz portrait has been updated to include a mention and link to my original jewellery post – sharing the blog loving, how fabulous indeed!

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Update (11th February): I emailed Christie’s PR/media department to ask about the portrait, a week ago, no reply yet, but if I get one I’ll update this post.

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