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After James Hamilton’s execution in 1649, his brother, the 2nd Duke, transported a large portion of his collection to the Netherlands to be sold. Could Hamilton’s Salvator Mundi have been part of this consignment, and could this explain the “how and the why” Hollar etched it “from the original” in Antwerp at that precise time? (Indeed, in 1649 and 1650, Hollar made a number of etchings after Italian paintings that were available to him in the original.) Wenceslaus Hollar claimed to have etched the Salvator Mundi “from the original” while he was in exile in Antwerp Thomas Fisher Rare Book Library, Toronto There is even an intriguing possible piece of evidence to support this: in a shipping crate containing Hamilton’s pictures there was a “Christ holding up his two fingers”, but without an attribution. The shortage of other candidates in the Hamilton collection, Wood believes, makes this at least an avenue worth exploring. Dalivalle places this hypothesis among the “red herrings” that will be fully addressed in the forthcoming book Leonardo’s Salvator Mundi and the Collecting of Leonardo in the Stuart Courts, co-authored by Dalivalle, the US art dealer Robert Simon and the Leonardo expert Martin Kemp (Oxford University Press)—much-delayed and now due for publication next year. As of now, it is impossible to determine whether Hamilton’s Salvator Mundi is also the Salvator Mundi now in Louvre Abu Dhabi—so the hunt is on. The writer Ben Lewis, who alerted The Art Newspaper to Woods’s discovery, is also producing a publication on the Salvator Mundi (Ballantine/HarperCollins, 2019), and believes that Wood’s research will “significantly change the direction of his book”. Experts will now be scrutinising Hamilton’s collecting habits and asking whether any credible Leonardos—rather than works by his pupils—have emerged from the Venetian collectors and dealers he bought from. They will also be researching the works that Hamilton inherited from his forebears. Regarding the subsequent history of Hamilton’s Salvator Mundi, there are two alternatives at issue.
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As the Times points out, Russia will never extradite them to Britain , and they may never travel to a country in which the European Arrest Warrant obtained in their names could be used against them. The Daily Telegraph says it remains unclear how Alexander Petrov and Ruslan Boshirov secured visas to travel undetected, smear Novichok on to the door handle of Sergei Skripal’s home in daylight and then discard the bottle it was carried in. Nigel West – the espionage author – writes in the Telegraph that their identification takes us back to the darkest days of the Cold War, when trained KGB killers were deployed to hunt down defectors – often using theatrical methods of elimination. Health Secretary Matt Hancock writes in the Daily Telegraph ahead of his speech pledging to bring NHS IT systems into the 21st Century. He describes them as “downright dangerous” and promises a “bonfire of the fax machines” and outdated technology. “The fact that your hospital can’t see your GP record, or that you as a patient don’t have control over your own data, or that even within the same hospital different departments have to write down basic details is expensive, frustrating for staff, and risks patient safety,” Mr Hancock says. “What is in our food?” the Daily Mail asks , after tests by local councils first revealed by the BBC showed that nearly one in five samples of meat from restaurants and shops contained products from animals which were not on the label. They included “lamb” korma with a 100% beef, and “pork” sausages with lamb, beef and chicken in them. The paper says the use of tainted meat appears to be part of a scam across the food sector – mainly involving small independent businesses but also some supermarkets – that is designed to mislead and profiteer. Consumers have every right to be outraged, it says. Would you go to a rock concert wearing ear plugs or cotton wool to protect your hearing?
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