An Art History Mystery with No Shortage of SleuthsHistorians in the News
tags: statues, art history, digital history, public engagement
“Is it a ‘5’ or a ‘6’? ” a New York Times headline asked readers several days ago as the article detailed an art history dispute that is roiling the curatorial ranks. It was the kind of question that inspired the detectives among our readers. The story also sparked a debate among readers, akin to 2015’s viral blue dress or gold dress discussion, that highlighted how two people can look at the same image and see very different things.
This dispute revolves around a bronze statue titled “Bathing Venus” that is being presented as a newly discovered artwork by the venerated Italian sculptor Giambologna and exhibited in Florence, Italy.
But several experts argue the piece is actually a copy of another Giambologna statue, currently in the Getty in Los Angeles. They say “Bathing Venus” was made a century later by an obscure Swedish bronze maker. The debate turns, in part, on whether a number inscribed on the sculpture is read as a “5” or a “6,” making the year of the Venus’s creation 1597 — or 1697, long after Giambologna’s death, which would make it much less valuable.
comments powered by Disqus
- Do American Indians Celebrate the 4th of July?
- Trump Vows To Veto Defense Bill If It Removes Confederate Names From Military Bases
- Fourth of July: Beer’s Patriotic Connection to the Founding Fathers
- Calls for ‘The Star-Spangled Banner’ to be Replaced With a New US National Anthem
- As Young People Drive Infection Spikes, College Faculty Members Fight For The Right To Teach Remotely
- The Day the White Working Class Turned Republican (Review)
- David Starkey Criticised over Slavery Comments
- ‘A Conflicted Cultural Force’: What It’s Like to Be Black in Publishing
- Did Rutgers Find The Perfect President For 2020? Meet Jonathan Holloway, Black Historian.
- In Search of King David’s Lost Empire