The Guardian has a piece this week on the mysterious orb held by Christ in the Leonardo da Vinci painting currently on view at Christie’s. “Solid glass or crystal, whether shaped like an orb or a lens, produces magnified, inverted, and reversed images,” historian Walter Isaacson says of the image. “Instead, Leonardo painted the orb as if it were a hollow glass bubble that does not refract or distort the light passing through it.”
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Cohen, founder of the chain of Glyn Webb Home Improvement Stores, is one of the world’s premier art collectors. Initially a collector of Modern British, his collection now includes many prized 20th Century American and German Art and contemporary Japanese works, specifically those from the Superflat movement.
In early 2007, he opened the gallery Initial Accesss located in Wolverhampton, England. Also expected to open in 2007 is the FC MoCA, Frank Cohen Museum of Contemporary Art, located in Manchester. Sections of his collection featured at the museum will include works by Andy Warhol, Jeff Koons, Damien Hirst, Franz Ackerman and many more.
A short, blustery man with cheerful demeanor and a great sense of humor, he can be found snatching up work at prominent art fairs with the likes of Nicolai Frahm.
He has been referred to as both “Charles Saatchi of the North” and “Medici of the North”.