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Wednesday

Crystal Ball in Painting


John William Waterhouse The Crystal Ball with the skull,Crystal Ball in Painting, oil paintings, canvas painting,Figurative paintingJohn William Waterhouse The Crystal Ball with the skull 1902

Art detective work has uncovered the hidden secret of the painting after it was "doctored" in the early 1950s. "The Crystal Ball" by John William Waterhouse RA (1849-1917) shows a young model in a red dress gazing into the ball, apparently weaving a spell with the aid of a book and a skull.

It was shown alongside a more spiritual picture* by the artist at the Royal Academy in 1902. The study later entered the Pyman collection and eventually hung in the dining room at Glenborrodale Castle, Highland.
The painting was sold with the castle when the property changed hands in 1952-3. But the new owner did not like the skull and had it covered by curtains. The picture was later sold and came into the auction room in its amended state (Christie's, 1994).
But when Martin Beisly, head of the Victorian picture department, and his team began to research its background they came across photographs of the original in The Art Journal, 1909. An X-ray of the picture showed the skull still there.
A pigment analysis demonstrated that the original surface was still protected with a layer of varnish which meant the addition could be removed safely. The picture would clean up "quite beautifully", Mr Beisly said. (www.jwwaterhouse.com)



John William Waterhouse, The Crystal Ball,Crystal Ball in Painting, oil paintings, canvas painting,Figurative paintingJohn William Waterhouse, The Crystal Ball, 1902



Edward Burne-Jones Astrologia,Crystal Ball in Painting, oil paintings, canvas painting,Figurative paintingSir Edward Burne-Jones, Astrologia, 1865


Frank Dicksee The Magic Crystal,Crystal Ball in Painting, oil paintings, canvas painting,Figurative paintingSir Frank Dicksee, The Magic Crystal


Simeon Solomon The Toilet of a Roman Lady,Crystal Ball in Painting, oil paintings, canvas painting,Figurative paintingSimeon Solomon, The Toilet of a Roman Lady, 1869

Nelly Erichson The Magic Crystal,Crystal Ball in Painting, oil paintings, canvas painting,Figurative paintingNelly Erichson, The Magic Crystal

Marie Spartali Stillman, Madonna Pietra degli Scrovigni,Crystal Ball in Painting, oil paintings, canvas painting,Figurative paintingMarie Spartali Stillman, Madonna Pietra degli Scrovigni

Marguerite Gerard Le Chat Angora,Crystal Ball in Painting, oil paintings, canvas painting,Figurative paintingMarguerite Gerard (1761-1837), Le Chat Angora


Leonora Carrington And then we saw the Daughter of the Minotaur,Crystal Ball in Painting, oil paintings, canvas painting,Figurative paintingLeonora Carrington, And then we saw the Daughter of the Minotaur, 1953

Leonora Carrington,Crystal Ball in Painting, oil paintings, canvas painting,Figurative paintingLeonora Carrington


Jacques de Gheyn the Elder  Still Life,Crystal Ball in Painting, oil paintings, canvas painting,Figurative paintingJacques de Gheyn the Elder, Still Life, 1603


Gustav Klimt Veritas,Crystal Ball in Painting, oil paintings, canvas painting,Figurative paintingGustav Klimt, Veritas (detail)

Eleanor Fortescue-Brickdale Today for Me,Crystal Ball in Painting, oil paintings, canvas painting,Figurative paintingEleanor Fortescue-Brickdale, Today for Me, 1901

Edward John Poynter, Crystal Ball in Painting, oil paintings, canvas painting,Figurative paintingEdward John Poynter, 1877

Giovanni Bellini, Fortune from Four allegories,Crystal Ball in Painting, oil paintings, canvas painting,Figurative paintingGiovanni Bellini, Fortune from Four allegories, 1490



Beth Andrews Red Silk and Crystal Ball,Crystal Ball in Painting, oil paintings, canvas painting,Figurative paintingBeth Andrews, Red Silk & Crystal Ball

Georges Barbier, Odalisque With A Crystal Ball, Crystal Ball in Painting, oil paintings, canvas painting,Figurative paintingGeorges Barbier, Odalisque With A Crystal Ball, 1920


Max Beckmann, Self-Portrait with Crystal Ball,Crystal Ball in Painting, oil paintings, canvas painting,Figurative paintingMax Beckmann, Self-Portrait with Crystal Ball, 1936

This painting was done in Germany just before the artist fled persecution by the Nazis, who considered his work "degenerate." It was sold by the descendants of a European collector who bought it from the artist in Zurich, Switzerland in 1938; the buyer remained anonymous. ($16.8 m at Sotheby's)

Zuloaga Ignacio,Crystal Ball in Painting, oil paintings, canvas painting,Figurative paintingZuloaga Ignacio, 1899




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