To receive Morning Links in your inbox every weekday, sign up for our Breakfast with ARTnews newsletter.


MICHELANGELO’S POST-IT. A scribble by Michelangelo on a Post-it-like, small paper square (reports did, after all, say it was a “yellowed piece of paper”) sold for $200,000 at Christie’s in New York yesterday, over 33 times its estimated value. The drawing of a black square, or chunk of marble and the word “simile” [similar in English], is believed to have been drawn while Michelangelo worked on the Sistine Chapel, and it was found accompanied by an 1836 letter from Michelangelo’s last direct descendant, Cosimo Buonarroti. The unsigned note was found stuck to the back of the frame of another drawing attributed to Michelangelo’s associate, and had been expected to sell for between $6,000 and $8,000, according to the auction house, which also confirmed the Italian Renaissance artist was its true author.

Related Articles

Michelangelo's Scribble Sells—and More Art News

A Quick Scribble by Michelangelo Sold for Over $200K at Christie’s New York

National Portrait Gallery’s Nicholas Cullinan Appointed Director of British Museum

BEHIND THE MASK. “I am not a Satanist,” artist Maurizio Cattelan tells The Telegraph in an engrossing interview pegged to his unlikely participation in the Vatican’s Holy See Pavilion for the Venice Biennale. The artist provocateur also insisted his hyper-realistic sculpture La Nona Ora (1999), of Pope John Paul II getting crushed by a meteorite, is “absolutely not” anti-Catholic. Calling it instead “an image of strength,” he notes the pope is “not completely flattened. It’s not so different from Jesus Christ on the cross. Both are an image of torture.” The artist also responded to questions about his suspected involvement with various stunts in connection to his work and no, his famously duct-taped banana artwork Comedian (2019), was not intended to provoke, though “it will always be funny,” Cattelan said. Most intriguing of all, Cattelan reveals that under a “glaze” of humor, “there is a different taste inside” his artworks, and lately, “there is a mask that I’m trying to remove,” from himself, “a very hard job for me.”


Orlando Whitfield has written a book, All That Glitters: a Story of Friendship, Fraud and Fine Art, about his friend, the convicted swindler, and former dealer Inigo Philbrick, described as the “art-world’s Bernie Madoff.” Ahead of its May publication, The Guardian delves into Philbrick’s salacious hustling, in an interview with Whitfield, who worked with Philbrick before having a nervous breakdown and quitting, and then receiving a truckload of incriminating evidence from the convicted fraudster. [The Guardian]

A new study has revealed why the Mayan city of Teotihuacán disappeared between the second and seventh centuries. The study states that five major seismic movements between the years 100 and 650 led to the collapse of the pre-Hispanic civilization, effectively solving one of the great archaeological mysteries around the massive drop in population of the important Central American center. [El Pais and Journal of Archaeological Science]

37 years after their theft, French police have returned a brightly painted, blue porcelain pitcher and bowl that Marie-Antoinette had gifted to the Duchesse of Tourzel, who was the governess to the French king and queen’s children in 1789. [Le Figaro and Le Parisien]

The artist Dindga McCannon unveiled her co-created mural at the Re-entry Service Center for the notorious prison on Rikers Island in New York. The mural Towards a Brighter Tomorrow! (2024) depicting people happily walking out of jail while carrying bags labelled “resilience,” “job,” and “family,” was made with McCannon’s son, artist Harmarkhis McCannon and individuals in the island’s therapeutic housing units for substance use and mental health issues. [The Art Newspaper]

London’s National Portrait Gallery has apologized and amended a label to a portrait of Edward Fox White, a Glasgow-based gallery owner, whom the institution assumed had built his art business with the help of slavery money via a marriage. However, White’s great-great-grandson, Donald Gajadhar, pointed out this was inaccurate, and White had built his gallery prior to his wife’s inheritance of an estate that included government compensation for enslaved Africans after its abolition. [The Times]


ALL-BOOKED. A new museum in Kansas City, Missouri brings children’s books to life in interactive, immersive exhibits. With the rights to over 70 works, The Rabbit hOle works with the writers and illustrators of estates for books like Where the Sidewalk Ends by Shel Silverstein, or Goodnight Moon, by Margaret Wise Brown, illustrated by Clement Hurd, allowing visitors to physically explore recreations of beloved story settings like the “great green room.” Co-founded by Deb Pettid and Pete Cowdin, the duo decided to build the museum in a 150,000-square-foot former warehouse after years of running a children’s bookstore. “We want to bring more critical culture to children’s literature,” Cowdin told NPR.