Can you help discover who painted the Linder Gallery?
Much evidence has been uncovered about the origins of the Linder Gallery over the past fifteen years. We now know with reasonable certainty that the painting was commissioned by German merchant Peter Linder and that it involved significant intellectual input from Urbino mathematician Mutio Oddi. It appears to have been painted between 1622 and 1629; and it seems that intellectual exchanges between artists in Antwerp and scientists and intellectuals in Milan played a key role in its creation. Linder resided in Milan during this period and it is likely that he previously traveled to Antwerp where his likeness appears (along with those of Peter Paul Rubens and, possibly, Anthony van Dyck) in the study drawing for the painting. We know where the painting was in the mid-17th Century and from the mid-19th Century to the present. However, we are still far from certain of the identity of the artist (or artists) responsible.
A 10,000 euro prize, the Linder Gallery Prize (the “Award”), has been established for the discovery of documentary evidence which leads to the certain attribution of the painter of the Linder Gallery.
The jury which will decide the winner or shared winners of the Award will be composed of Ronald H. Cordover (private collector, New York, New York), Michael John Gorman (Director, Science Gallery, Dublin, Ireland), and Alexander Marr (University Lecturer in the History of Art, University of Cambridge, Cambridge, England). Its decision on granting all or part of the Award shall be considered final and not subject to dispute, and by participating each person or persons submitting information shall confirm this element of the Award process.
The prize has been created to further appreciate the commerce in ideas during the scientific revolution of the seventeenth century and the roles played by artists and scientists in the wider dispersal of these ideas; to better understand the mechanisms for the exchange of information between Antwerp and Milan at the beginning of the 17th Century; and to discover additional provenance for the Linder Gallery Interior from c.1640 in the Linder family to c.1850 when it appears in the collection of Baron Anselm von Rothschild. We believe that research leading to the certain attribution of the Linder Gallery painting will aid in better understanding these matters.
As those of you who are familiar with this site know, clear evidence suggests that the Linder Gallery Interior painting was commenced after 1622 and completed between 1627 and 1629. The latter date is determined by a 1629 letter written to Mutio Oddi in which the author describes seeing the painting in the home of Peter Linder in Milan. A partial translation of the letter is available on the website. The earlier date is suggested by the beginning of the relationship between the conceptual father of the painting’s allegory, Mutio Oddi, and Linder its patron. In addition, from the study drawing for the painting in which Linder seems to appear with Peter Paul Rubens and his apprentice Anthony van Dyck, there is a reasonable likelihood that Linder traveled to Antwerp around 1618.
Eligibility: The Award shall be open to all, but shall exclude the jurors or their family members.
Term of the Award: The Award will remain open for submissions until year end 2013. However, if a winner is not selected by that time, depending on the progress of submissions, the jury may decide to extend the deadline.
Selection: The prize will be awarded to the first person (according to the timestamp on the web submission) to submit evidence establishing reasonably certain attribution, as determined by the jury in its sole and final judgment
Confidentiality: All submissions will be treated confidentially unless specifically permitted to be released by their author or authors.
Background information/publications: For background information and relevant publications to assist in your research see: Resources
Making your submission: Please forward your submission including relevant documentary references, or any queries, by clicking on the Contact menu at the top of the home page.
We will publish relevant information in a timely manner on this website.
Ronald H. Cordover
July 5, 2012