Monday 10 October 2011

Elizabeth Taylor's taste proves impeccable

The real Hals (detail)
At her home in Bel Air, California, the late actress Elizabeth Taylor hung a painting entitled "Portrait of a Man, Half-Length" in pride of place. Once thought to be in the style of seventeenth century Dutch master Frans Hals, the Los Angeles Times reports that experts now believe the portrait to be a real Hals.

The painting was listed in Seymour Slive's 1970s catalogue raisonné of Hals as being 'doubtful and wrongly attributed', but Slive had seen only a black and white photo of the work. When Ben Hall (head of Christie's Old Masters in New York) saw the real thing, the looseness of the brushwork and sensitivity of the face made him suspect Slive had been wrong. Pieter Biesboer, former curator of the Frans Hals museum in the Netherlands, agreed with Hall and told the Los Angeles Times that he had 'no doubts' about the painting's authenticity.

The portrait spotted by Taylor's keen eye, once valued at a mere $100,000, could now bring in around $1m when sold in January.

Written for Art & Artifice by Elizabeth Emerson (thanks!)
For further reading see LA Times here; AFA News here

Jeremy's question: portraits valued at $100,000 are likely to be insured for a sum of that nature. Authenticated originals demand insurance at a far higher level and insurance companies do not take kindly to works being either over-insured or under-insured. This raises the question: how are claims settled in respect of loss or damage to a work when the insured event takes place after a reassessment of the insured work has been commenced but before its authenticity has been confirmed. Does anyone know ...?

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