News has come to to me of yet another attempt to turn a sow’s ear into a silk purse. See Wall Street Journal (link). Curators at the Santa Barbara Museum of Art say that they’ve found another version of Delacroix’s Poussin-inspired death bed scene, The Last Words of Marcus Aurelius.
In this digital age, perhaps I’m not surprised to hear of attribution by IPhone , but can’t think that they are really convinced of their claim. According to the WSJ:
Enter Eik Kahng, the museum's assistant director and chief curator. "It's always bizarre when something like this pans out," she says, "because nine times out of 10, it's some wacky thing that someone thinks is a Picasso or what have you and usually it's nothing." But after looking at the iPhone images, Ms. Kahng thought "Hmm; that's kind of odd and interesting." Six days later, she was viewing the work in a Santa Barbara living room. "As soon as I saw the painting in person and, especially, in full sunlight, I knew it was far too good to be a simple copy."
The great Delacroix scholar Lee Johnson is mentioned, (died in 2006) but I can just imagine his reaction to this mediocre rendition of a an illustrious painting..
It might be the last words of Marcus, but no silence on rediscoveries …..
Here’s the original at Lyons.