Open Windows 12

January 2023

Still Life with a Chinese Bowl, a Nautilus Cup and other Objects. Bodegón con cuenco chino, copa nautilo y otros objetos, 1662

Blue and white: Willem Kalf and the 17th-century fascination with Chinese porcelain

Elsa Vallarino

Translation: Jenny Dodman

If you pay a visit to the Museo Thyssen-Bornemisza’s collection of Old Master paintings and stop to examine some of its still lifes, your attention will probably be powerfully drawn to a particular feature: pieces of exquisite porcelainware from the Far East enjoy pride of place among flowers, fruits, shells and other sumptuous objects in the oil paintings of Jacques Linard, Ambrosius Bosschaert I, Balthasar van der Ast, Jan Jansz. van de Velde III and, in particular, Willem Kalf.

Pages 2 — 13

Circle of Sir Joshua Reynolds (?). Portrait of a Man from the Island of Dominica (?)

New discoveries concerning the portrait of an unknown man, the Island of Dominica, and an unscrupulous dealer

Dorinda Evans


This bust portrait of an unknown man in white – long misattributed and misidentified – first came into public notice in England, where there is a precedent for this kind of likeness. Given its original location, it is possible that the sitter was the African servant or enslaved black attendant of a wealthy British citizen. In such a case, his outfit would bear witness to that citizen’s status.

Pages 14 — 25

Proun 1 C. Proun 1 C, 1919

El Lissitzky‘s Proun 1C

Tatiana Goriacheva


I realised that easel painting was not self-suficient perfection but a stage of development in my artistic process. I called this stage ‘Proun’.1 What we call a ‘Proun’ is a station on the way to creating a new form...2 The Proun moves from station to station along a chain of perfections.3

Pages 26 — 45

Master of the Monogram TK

Master of the Monogram TK

Dolores Delgado


These two exquisite German Renaissance panels are companion pieces that follow the usual scheme of portraits of this kind. They were probably painted in Nuremberg or Augsburg. The couple, the man on the left and the woman on the right, gaze at each other, interacting. The figures are likewise set against the same green background.

Pages 46 — 51