Com uma tese (ja apresentada? A apresentar?) sobre a coleccao de pintura do Rei Dom Luis, o Hugo Andre Xavier surge agora na capa do Art Newspaper, com uma das revelacoes desta importante investigacao. Go Hugo!:
Queen duped Pope with dud Murillo
New research reveals that Queen Isabella II of Spain (1830-1904) knowingly gave Pope Pius IX a fake painting of a 16th century original in her collection in 1885. Ten years after her “generous” gift, she gave the original work by Murillo to King Luis of Portugal. The deceit was uncovered by Portuguese scholar Hugo Xavier, who recently found a period photograph depicting Murillo’s The Mystic Marriage of St Catherine, around 1650-55. It has an inscription by King Luis stating that the painting was a gift from Queen Isabella in 1865. Ten years earlier the queen had presented the Pope with a cope of the painting, passing it off as authentic. It became part of the collection of the Vatican, which was convinced it was original until a 1958 restoration found it was a clever, 19th century fake painted on an antiques canvas. According to curator Benito Navarrete, from the Museo de Bellas Artes de Bilbao (currently displaying the original in “The Young Murillo” until 17 January 2010: “It’s obvious that the painting must have been in her collection before 1855 and the Queen Isabella didn’t want to part with it.” He added that the copy was given to the Pope “with the clear intention of duping him”.