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Architecture stands at the cross-section of art, technology, and humanity. At the most basic level, it shelters us, and on the grandest level, it seeks to inspire and awe. Whether inspired to honour their religious beliefs, house their pursuit of knowledge, or pay tribute to the grandeur of their monarchs, mankind has for centuries been dreaming up the most beautiful buildings. We encounter many of these structures throughout our life’s travels, seeing rich culture reflected...

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Henri Matisse is widely thought of as one of the great artists of the 20th century. His mastery of colour as expression, displayed through a body of work spanning half a century, has won him extensive recognition and respect among art critics and more casual art enthusiasts alike. He is regarded, along with his contemporary and friend Pablo Picasso, as responsible for revolutionary developments in both visual art and sculpture in modern art. This year, marking the sesquicentennial of Matisse’s birth, provides an opportunity to reflect on...

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On April 2nd 2019, Sotheby’s is launching a Modern and Contemporary African Art auction to exhibit masterpieces by renowned Sudanese artists. The line up will include artwork from Ibrahim El Salahi and Kamala Ibrahim Ishaq, who helped found the Khartoum School in Sudan, alongside artwork from Salah Elmur and Hussein Shariffe. Formed in 1960, The Khartoum School was a modernist art movement formed to simulate the changing face of the newly independent Sudan, from Anglo-Egyptian...

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Swann Auction Galleries of Manhattan is to offer 160 works rescued by the family of Ismar Littmann as they left Poland for the United States in 1934. The major selection of German Expressionist works from one of the movement’s most important collections will be sold at auction on March 5. The extraordinary gathering of 160 prints, paintings and drawings in the New York auction house’s 19th & 20th Century Prints & Drawings sale features significant...

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Caviar is basically the fresh and only slightly salted roe of the female sturgeon. The sturgeon is a prehistorical migratory fish that has roamed the cold waters of the northern hemisphere for over 250 million years. Depending on the type of sturgeon, size and weight can vary. Some types (e.g. Huso Huso ‘Beluga’, Acipenser Transmontanus) can grow to over 1980 lbs, while others (e.g. Russian sturgeon, Siberian Sturgeon) average around 130 lbs. Interesting to know...

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In an effort to give museums a better chance of acquiring historic items before they disappear into private hands, the government has announced plans to expand the definition of ‘treasure’. At present, those who find items at least 300 years old made substantially of gold and silver, or which are found with artefacts of precious metals, have a legal obligation to report to a coroner within 14 days. If the object is deemed to be...

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More than a century after it left the royal household, five years after Queen Victoria’s death in 1901, a travelling mahogany bed used by the monarch has been acquired by Historic Royal Palaces (HRP). The relic is set to feature at a May exhibition marking the bicentenary of the Queen’s birth.  Auctioneer Andrew Aldridge, from Henry Aldridge & Son auctioneers in Devizes, Wiltshire, described the collapsible single bed as a ‘heavy and sturdy’ item. Made...

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Betwixt vibrant red and calm blue sits ‘royal’ purple. You may call it mauve or violet, and it may not always be accompanied by a catchy preliminary adjective, but the colour purple was the most sought after in history, and has roots in mythology, piety, art and royalty. The most refracted colour when light passes through a prism, purple is at the far end of the visible colour spectrum, and is the hardest colour for...

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As quickly as it was rediscovered, a painting believed to be a lost work of Renaissance master Michelangelo has disappeared, a matter of days before experts were due to examine it. The 16th-century artwork depicts Mary, Joseph and a sleeping baby Jesus and had been undisturbed in a dark corner of the Sin Ludgerus church in the small Flemish town of Zele. Upon his discovery, pastor Jan Van Raemdonck, 61, noted the startling similarities between...

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Unseen by the public for two centuries, Marie Antoinette’s diamonds and pearls went under Sotheby’s hammer as part of one of the most important royal jewellery collections ever to come to auction. The auction took place in the Swiss city of Geneva on Thursday 15 November and, out of more than 100 lots, included 10 breathtaking treasures that belonged to the ill-fated Queen of France. The major collection—held by the Italian royal House of Bourbon-Parma...

Unique in its broad international coverage of both arts and cultural events, Arts & Collections covers fine art from antiquity to modern times, auction records, a special sale preview by Sotheby’s, as well as market trends that inform collectors of the world’s finest items.

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