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Michaelina Wautier via Wikimedia Commons // Public Domain
Michaelina Wautier via Wikimedia Commons // Public Domain

After 400 Years, This Forgotten Master Painter Is Getting Her First Solo Show

Michaelina Wautier via Wikimedia Commons // Public Domain
Michaelina Wautier via Wikimedia Commons // Public Domain

Hundreds of years after her death, an Old Master whose artistic oeuvre has long been underappreciated by wider audiences is finally getting her due, artnet reports. In 2018, Antwerp’s Rubens House will host the world’s first exhibition dedicated solely to Michaelina Wautier, a 17th-century Flemish painter. 

Wautier has often had her work misattributed to other artists. Her self-portrait (seen above) was labeled as being by painter Artemisia Gentileschi in the 1905 book Women Painters of the World. Another work called Boys Blowing Bubbles listed Jacob van Oost—another Flemish painter of the era—as the artist up until a 2005 paper on Flemish patronage pointed to Wautier as its creator.

Boys Blowing Bubbles, housed at the Seattle Art Museum. Image Credit: Miguel Hermoso Cuesta via Wikimedia Commons // CC BY-SA 4.0

Historians don’t know much about Wautier's life, except that she was born around 1617 in the Belgian town of Mons, and lived with her brother in Brussels for much of her life. Supported by the Austrian Archduke Leopold Wilhelm, she painted at least 30 works, including portraits, everyday scenes, historic images, and still lifes. Wilhelm owned at least four of her works.

It may be a little late coming, but Wautier's art is finally fetching proper attention—and compensation. Her paintings fetched hundreds of thousands of dollars at auction in 2016.

[h/t artnet]

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Hulton Archive/Getty Images
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Art
Art Lovers in England, Rejoice: France's Famous Bayeux Tapestry is Coming to the UK
Hulton Archive/Getty Images
Hulton Archive/Getty Images

One of France’s most prized national treasures, the Bayeux Tapestry, is officially heading to England for exhibition. The loan will mark the first time the fragile 11th century work has left France in nearly 1000 years, according to The Washington Post.

French president Emmanuel Macron announced news of the loan in mid-January, viewed by some as a gesture to smooth post-Brexit relations with Britain, ABC reports. The tapestry depicts the Norman Conquest of England in 1066, a historically important event replete with guts and glory.

Stretching for 210 feet, the Bayeux Tapestry’s nine embroidered panels tell the tale of Harold, Earl of Wessex, who swore an oath to support the right of William, Duke of Normandy, to the English throne once King Edward (a.k.a. Edward the Confessor) died without an heir. But after Edward's funeral at Westminster Abbey, Harold breaks his oath to William so he could be crowned king instead. Believing he was the rightful ruler, William—today remembered as William the Conqueror—decides to wage war and ultimately defeats Harold at the Battle of Hastings.

The historical narrative has endured for centuries, but the tapestry's provenance has been lost to time. Experts think that the artwork may have been created in England, shortly after the Battle of Hastings, although it’s unclear who designed and embroidered the scenes. Its original owner, Bishop Odo of Bayeux, the half-brother of William the Conqueror, may have commissioned the Bayeux Tapestry. He became Earl of Kent after the Battle of Hastings, and this new title would have afforded him access to skilled artisans, The Guardian explains.

The Bayeux Tapestry is currently on display in the town of Bayeux in Normandy. It likely won’t leave France until 2020, after conservators ensure that it’s safe to move the artwork. According to The Telegraph, the tapestry might be be displayed at the British Museum in 2022.

[h/t The Washington Post]

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Photo composite, Mental Floss. Car, ticket, Simon Laprise. Background, iStock.
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Design
This Snow Sculpture of a Car Was So Convincing Cops Tried to Write It a Ticket
Photo composite, Mental Floss. Car, ticket, Simon Laprise. Background, iStock.
Photo composite, Mental Floss. Car, ticket, Simon Laprise. Background, iStock.

Winter is a frustrating time to be on the road, but one artist in Montreal has found a way to make the best of it. As CBS affiliate WGCL-TV reports, his snow sculpture of a DeLorean DMC-12 was so convincing that even the police were fooled.

Simon Laprise of L.S.D Laprise Simon Designs assembled the prank car using snow outside his home in Montreal. He positioned it so it appeared to be parked along the side of the road, and with the weather Montreal has been having lately, a car buried under snow wasn’t an unusual sight.

A police officer spotted the car and was prepared to write it a ticket before noticing it wasn’t what it seemed. He called in backup to confirm that the car wasn’t a car at all.

Instead of getting mad, the officers shared a good laugh over it. “You made our night hahahahaha :)" they wrote on a fake ticket left on the snow sculpture.

The masterpiece was plowed over the next morning, but you can appreciate Laprise’s handiwork in the photos below.

Snow sculpture.

Snow sculpture of car.

Snow sculpture of car.

Note written in French.

[h/t WGCL-TV]

All images courtesy of Simon Laprise.

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