Enfilade

Conference | A Manorial World

Posted in conferences (to attend) by Editor on June 24, 2017

Gammel Estrup Manor, a Renaissance manor house 12 miles east of Randers in Jutland, Denmark.

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From the conference programme:

A Manorial World
Gammel Estrup Manor (near Randers, Denmark), 21–23 September 2017

Registration due by 1 September 2017

Manors and country houses were for centuries a fundamental characteristic of European societies. Notwithstanding national and regional differences across Europe, manors and country houses were in most countries an economic, administrative, and political cornerstone in society. Historical processes towards democratization have pushed the manors and country houses towards the periphery, but still manors and country houses occupy an important position in society, not least in the public memory and the heritage sector. They continue to capture the imagination of tourists and visitors, as well as the scholarly interest from researchers from a wide range of academic fields such as history, architecture, archaeology, art history, anthropology, geography, and heritage studies.

The conference will examine transnational similarities and differences in the historic role, the management and the functions of manors and country houses, as well as the present-day influence and use of estate landscapes. Not just the grand estates but all manors and country houses, large and small, have had a notable influence, and they still play an important role in the physical outline as well as the identity of place in contemporary European rural communities.

The conference will bring together curators and academics with an ambition to expand and nuance the notion of manors and country houses as European cultural heritage. In order to encourage the interdisciplinary discussion among participants, the conference does not schedule parallel sessions—all presentations will be addressed to the assembled conference audience.

The programme includes two conference days and one excursion day with visits to outstanding country houses in Jutland. The conference is held 21–23 September at Gammel Estrup – The Manor Museum, Denmark and it is organized by the Danish Research Centre for Manorial Studies at Gammel Estrup. The conference fee is 195€; the fee includes two conference days and an excursion day, catering during the conference, and a conference dinner on Thursday. The closing date for registration is 1 September 2017. To register, please send an e-mail to mf@gammelestrup.dk. More information about the programme, excursion, and how to register is available here.

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T H U R S D A Y ,  2 1  S E P T E M B E R  2 0 1 7

8.15  Bus from Randers to Gammel Estrup

8.45  Coffee and registration

9.15  Welcome (Mette Bock, Danish Minister of Culture), Else Søjmark (Chair for Culture Municipality of Norddjurs), and Britta Andersen (Gammel Estrup – the Manor Museum)

10.00  Keynote
• Carsten Porskrog Rasmussen (Museum Sønderjylland, DK), The Creation of a Manorial Landscape in Schleswig

11.00  Dutch Landscapes and Country Houses
Chair: Yme Kuiper (University of Groningen, NL)
• Yme Kuiper (NL), The Invention of the Dutch Landscape in the Golden Age?
• Gerrit van Oosterom (NL), The Danish Connection: How Dutch-Danish Oxen Trade Influenced the Development of the Manorial Landscape South of Amsterdam
• Lenneke Berkhout (NL), Joseph Dinant: Fontanier-grottier to the Prince of Orange, Successful Client, and Transnational Broker
• Martin van den Broeke (NL), Trying a New Research Model: Country House Culture on the Island of Walcheren

12.20  Lunch

13.30 Keynote
• Arne Bugge Amundsen (University of Oslo, N), Manorial Landscape of Norway

14.30  The House and the Family
Chair: Mikkel Venborg Pedersen (The National Museum of Denmark, DK)
• Stefanie Schuldt (D), Christina Piper’s Manorial World in Skåne
• Kristine Dyrmann (DK), The Social World of Funens Country Houses: The Pocket Books of Sybille Reventlow, Countess at Brahetrolleborg, 1779–1787
• Jon Stobart (UK), Ancient and Modern, English Country House, ca. 1700–1830
• Tora Holmberg (S), Choosing a Manor Dwelling? Class, Gender, and Housing Choices in Contemporary Sweden

16.15  Bus from Gammel Estrup to Hotel Randers

18.15  Bus from Hotel Randers to Clausholm

19.00  Conference dinner at Clausholm

F R I D A Y ,  2 2  S E P T E M B E R  2 0 1 7

8.15  Bus from Randers to Gammel Estrup

9.00  Keynote
• Heike Düselder (Museum Lüneburg, D), Heritage Management, Museums, and Manors

10.00  Gardens and Landscapes
Chair: Jonathan Finch (University of York, UK)
• Ismo Häkkinen (SF), Kultaranta: Three Lives of a Garden
• Lars Jacob Hvinden-Haug/Aina Aske (N), Reconstructing Historical Gardens: Negotiations and Debates, the Larvik Case
• Annegreth Dietze-Schirdewahn/Lei Gao (N), New Knowledge about the Manorial Austrått Landscape in Ørland, Norway

11.00  Coffee

11.30  Sustainability in the Country House Landscape
Chair: TBC
• Gerdy Verschuure-Stuip (NL), The Regional Country House Landscape
• Els van der Laan (NL), Gardens and the Green Heritage Landscape
• Rodrigo Dias (P), The Tagus Estuary Quintas: Lisbon Estate Landscape

12.30  Lunch

13.30  Managing the Manorial Landscape
Chair: Paul Zalewski (Europa-Universität Viadrina, D)
• Elyze Storm-Smeets (NL), Heritage Lost and Found
• Garry Keyes (DK), To Be or Not to Be a Manor House?
• Willemieke Ottens (NL), Who Is Better in Landscape Management? Private Owners vs. Heritage Organisations?
• Janneke van Dijk (NL), Private Heritage and Public Functions

15.00  Keynote
• Fred Vogelzang (Kenniscentrum voor kasteel en buitenplats, NL), New Functions for Castles and County Houses: The Fall and Rise of Heritage?

15.00  Coffee

16.15  Discussion

16.45  Guided tour at Gammel Estrup – the Manor Museum

18.15  Bus from Gammel Estrup to Randers

S A T U R D A Y ,  2 3  S E P T E M B E R  2 0 1 7

8.15  Bus leaves Randers

8.45  Visit to Rosenholm (tbc)

10.30  Guided tour and lunch at Bidstrup

13.00  Arrival at Randers railway station

14.00  Arrival at Aarhus airport

15.10  SAS flight to Copenhagen

Details are subject to change.

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In October 2015 the European Network for Country House and Estate Research (ENCOUNTER) was founded at Gammel Estrup – the Manor Museum, Denmark, by a group of European researchers, curators, professionals in the heritage sector and others with an academic interest in the field.

The aim of the network is to form European partnerships between scholars and cultural institutions who share a professional interest in research and interpretation of manor and country house history. It aims to explore and highlight regional variations and notable similarities in the history of castles and manors across Europe from 1500 to the present and will discuss how estates and estate landscapes are preserved and interpreted as cultural heritage today.

Members of the network wish to cross traditional boundaries between history, archaeology, art history, architecture and heritage management and to further international transdisciplinary partnerships between researchers and professionals in universities and museums.

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Call for Paperes | Zwinger and Schloss

Posted in Calls for Papers by Editor on June 24, 2017

From H-ArtHist:

Zwinger & Schloss: Augustus the Strong’s Dresden Residence in a European Context, 1694–1733
Dresden, 9–11 November 2017

Proposals due by 28 July 2017

Organized by Henrik Karge, Peter Heinrich Jahn, and Juliane Beier

The Saxon elector Frederick Augustus I, King of Poland from 1699 and better known as Augustus the Strong, invested considerable effort in modernizing his palatial buildings in the center of Dresden. The so-called Dresden Zwinger—a sumptuous, architecturally enclosed showground—and the Taschenbergpalais—residence of his mistress, the Countess of Cosel—still bear witness to this grand-scale, though ultimately unfinished, project. In Dresden’s archives, numerous valuable plans and sketches provide evidence of the project’s complex planning process, and this material is currently being catalogued and examined as part of a research project at the TU Dresden. An international conference is planned to present the results of this project and to take a look at the wider historical and art-historical context of the Dresden palace plans. At the same time, the conference will continue an exploration begun at a Dresden symposium in 2015 dealing with the planning of the Japanisches Palais, the last of Augustus the Strong’s palatial projects in Dresden. As a cooperation partner, the Rudolstadt Working Group for Residential Culture is offering its interdisciplinary expertise in support of the conference.

Following his ascent to the Polish throne, Augustus the Strong felt that his original residence in Dresden should architecturally reflect his new status. The majority of his extensive plans never progressed past the planning stage, however, including the renovation of the palace, which was supposed to form an architectural ensemble, together with the Zwinger. The planning process could be characterized as a dialog between the royal client, with his passionate interest in architecture, and the Dresden court’s master builder, Matthäus Daniel Pöppelmann (1662–1736). Of course, other voices made themselves heard as well, including leading members of the principality’s civil building authority as well as court officials and policy makers. The project encompassed elaborate facades, triumphal gateways, the arrangement of ceremonial and private apartments for the sovereign and his court, event and museum spaces for official use such as dining and gaming rooms, theaters, a palm gaming hall, an animal hunting arena, and a riding school with royal stables and showground. It foresaw, as well, the construction of a palace garden including an orangery which, following a series of concept changes, evolved into the Zwinger court. The orientation of the palace construction efforts apparently oscillated between a regional, traditional conservatism and a European-international focus.

Research on the Dresden palace plans is part of the art history project Matthäus Daniel Pöppelmann (1662–1736): Plans for the Electoral Palace and the Zwinger in Dresden—Planning and Building in the ‘modus Romanus’, funded by the Fritz Thyssen Foundation for Scholarship and carried out at the Institute for Art and Music at the TU Dresden. Analyses of the project’s results are to be based on a variety of topics and methods, including planning and construction chronologies, geneses of type and motif, culture transfer, palace research, architectural semantics as well as questions pertaining to medium and performance in representational architecture. Taking the Dresden palace plans as a case study, historians, art historians, and cultural studies scholars are invited to participate in the discussion from other perspectives and contexts. In addition to fundamental questions concerning the possibilities of baroque representation in architecture, interior design and landscape architecture as well as questions related to medium, other disciplinary approaches are encouraged. Political history, historical sociology, cultural transfer, palace culture, court ceremony, music, and theater are valuable fields of inquiry in this context.

Preferred Topics
• The Dresden residence (history of its concept, construction, and furnishings; architectural and interior design iconography; functional, ceremonial, and sociological aspects)
• Architectural typology of palaces and palace construction, ca. 1700 (in the Holy Roman Empire, within the Saxon-Polish union, in Europe)
• Relationship between Saxony and Prussia (neighbors and/or competitors)
• Court planning and construction organization
• Adaptation methods and means of model-based design
• Questions of medium and performance in palace architecture
• Courtly spatial planning and spatial manifestations of authority
• Cultural transfer

The conference begins on Thursday midday and continues until midday on Saturday. Those interested are invited to present a talk at the conference. Presentations are limited to 30 minutes. Please e-mail an abstract (max. 400 words) and brief CV summarizing important publications related to the conference topic by July 28, 2017. Invitations will be sent in mid-August. Submit abstract to juliane.beier@mailbox.tu-dresden.de.

Organized by the Technische Universität Dresden (TU Dresden), Institut für Kunst- und Musikwissenschaft in cooperation with the Staatliche Kunstsammlungen Dresden and the Rudolstädter Arbeitskreis zur Residenzkultur e.V. Financed by the foundation Fritz Thyssen Stiftung für Wissenschaftsförderung.

Print Quarterly, June 2017

Posted in journal articles, reviews by Editor on June 23, 2017

The current issue of Print Quarterly includes several items relevant to the long eighteenth century:

Print Quarterly 34.2 (June 2017)

Philibert-Louis Debucourt, National Almanac Dedicated to the Friends of the Constitution, 1790, aquatint and etching, 42.5 × 33.5 cm (Paris, Archives Nationales).

A R T I C L E S
• Lucia Simonato, “Cornelis Bloemaerts’s Estate Inventory and his Final Years,” pp. 150–61.

N O T E S
• Deborah L. Crohn, “Festival Prints (The Edible Monument),” pp. 199–201.
• Elmer Kolfin, “Coloured Prints (Afsetters en meester–afsetters: De kunst van het kleuren 1480–1720),” pp. 203–05.
• Deborah Howard, “Lost in Translation: Reinterpretation of Architectural Treatises (Traduire l’architecture),” pp. 207–09.
• Christiane Wiebel, “Karoline Luise von Baden as Collector,” pp. 209–11.
• John E. Moore, “Piranesi’s Published Books,” pp. 211–14.
• Kristel Smentek, “Ephemera in Revolutionary France (The Politics of the Provisional),” pp. 214–16.
• Martin Myrone, “William Blake (1757–1827),” pp. 217–18.
• Katarina Klaric, “Adam Buck (1759–1833),” pp. 218–21.

R E V I E W S
• Sheila O’Connell, “The Land of Cockayne and the Joys of Matrimony,” pp. 231–34.

A full contents list is available here»

 

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Bedford Square Festival, 2017

Posted in on site by Editor on June 23, 2017

From the Paul Mellon Centre:

Bedford Square Festival
London, 28 June — 1 July 2017

The Paul Mellon Centre is part of in the inaugural Bedford Square Festival taking place in and around the Square between 28th June and 1st July 2017.

Bedford Square Festival is a collaboration between five of the cultural institutions that reside on Bedford Square, Bloomsbury. In September of 2016, representatives from these institutions—Paul Mellon Centre, Architectural Association, Sotheby’s Institute of Art, Yale University Press, and New College of Humantities met to the discuss the idea of putting on a free collaborative event in the Square.

The aim was to work together to create a series of free events to promote the culture based around the Square whilst collaborating with each other to create a sense of community. We wanted to open the doors of the grand facades of the buildings in the Square and celebrate the themes that the Institutions are known for—Art, Publishing, Architecture, Culture, Education, Writing, and more.

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Lots of the events look fascinating, such as this one at Sotheby’s Institute of Art:

Kiddell Collection: An Object Handling Session with Elisabeth Bogdan
Sotheby’s Institute of Art, London 29 June 2017, 10am

This session is an introduction to the Kiddell Collection (also colloquially known as ‘The Black Museum’). The Collection is a fascinating accumulation of fakes, forgeries and reproductions that was built up over a number of decades by Sotheby’s Auction House former Director, Jim Kiddell, and now on permanent loan to Sotheby’s Institute. Originally formed as a pedagogic handling tool for auction house specialists, the Collection today continues to support student enquiry. Importantly, it also is of scholarly interest to specialists, scholars and collectors, who regularly use the Collection to further their knowledge, and who contribute to its evolving interpretation and authentication.

Lis Bogdan’s specialist teaching includes 18th- to 20th-century European and American design, decorative arts, and architectural history. Previously Lis was senior lecturer at Southampton Solent University, and has taught at Oxford Brookes University, the University of Wales Institute, Cardiff, and the Victoria and Albert Museum. Bogdan is a former Trustee of the Design History Society.

More information, including a full schedule, is available here»

 

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Musée d’art Hyacinthe Rigaud to Reopen This Week

Posted in books, museums by Editor on June 23, 2017

The newly renovated and expanded Hyacinthe Rigaud Art Museum in Perpignan is scheduled to open on June 24th. From Snoeck Publishers:

Musée d’art Hyacinthe Rigaud, 14th–21st Centuries (Gent: Snoeck Publishers, 2017), 214 pages, ISBN: 978 946161 3998, 25.

In 2017 the Musée d’Art Hyacinthe Rigaud is reopening. After three years of work, a renovated building now houses an enriched and restored collection, to be discovered through a completely redesigned itinerary. To accompany the rediscovery, this guide presents a selection of works chosen to reflect the diversity and excellence of this heritage. Richly illustrated, it is both a souvenir of your visit and an invitation to open the museum’s doors.

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Symposium | The Pleasures of the Historical Imagination

Posted in conferences (to attend) by Editor on June 22, 2017

Attributed to Johann Zoffany, The Antique Room of the Royal Academy at New Somerset House, 1780–83
(London: Royal Academy of Arts)

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From the symposium schedule (which includes abstracts of the papers). . .

The Pleasures of the Historical Imagination: A Dialogue with John Brewer
European University Institute, Villa Salviati, Florence, 22–23 June 2017

Organized by Silvia Sebastiani, Matthew Hunter, and Fredrik Albritton Jonsson

John Brewer’s work has cut a wide swathe through political, cultural, and economic history. To mark his retirement from teaching, this symposium gathers his former students, interlocutors, and friends for an exchange of conversation, discussion, and convivial disagreement, along with an update from John on his current research. These twenty-one papers are not retrospective tributes in the manner of a traditional Festschrift but rather an occasion to report on exciting new findings in the many different fields touched by John’s scholarship.

T H U R S D A Y ,  2 2  J U N E  2 0 1 7

9.30  Welcome and Introduction

9.45  1. Politics and the State
Chair: Eckhart Hellmuth (Ludwig-Maximilians Universität, München)
• Joanna Innes (University of Oxford), Britain and the Liberation of Europe: Napoleon and After
• Paul Monod (Middlebury College), Eighteenth-Century European Politics: Ideology or Culture?
• Holly Brewer (University of Maryland), Creating a Fashion for Slavery in the Stuart Court(s)
• Kathleen Wilson (Stony Brook University), Provincializing Britain: English Theatre in an Imperial Public Sphere, or, Modernity at the Margins

11.15  General Discussion

12.15  Lunch

14.00  2. Cultural History
Chair: Arthur Legger (University of Amsterdam)
• Xenia von Tippelskirch (Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin), Imagining the Italian Renaissance around 1900
• Sophie Maisonneuve (Université Paris Descartes/IIAC), Collecting Recorded Music, 1877–2017: From Document to Experience
• Alexis Schwarzenbach (Lucerne University), The Great Wave: Katagami, Mangas and Other Japanese Artefacts Exported to the West around 1900
• Michèle Cohen (UCL Institute of Education, University of London), The Grand Tour: Fashioning ‘Citizens of the World’ or ‘Worthy Citizens of England’?

15.00  General Discussion

16.00  Coffee Break

16.30  3. Art History and Visual Culture
Chair: Malcolm Baker (University of California Riverside)
• Davide Lombardo (NYU in Florence), Repressed? Daumier and the Massacres of June 1848: Drawings, Paintings, and Lithographs
• Flaminia Gennari Santori (Gallerie Nazionali d’Arte Antica di Palazzo Barberini e Palazzo Corsini), ‘Your Reader Is a Martian Who Understands Everything’: Readers, Viewers, and Visitors, Past and Present
• Mark Hallett (Paul Mellon Centre), The War of the Portraitists: Artistic Competition and the Dynamics of Exhibition Culture in Georgian London
• Matthew C. Hunter (McGill University), Thick Slicing: Frederic Edwin Church’s Actuarial Imagination

17.30  General Discussion

F R I D A Y ,  2 3  J U N E  2 0 1 7

10.00  4. Intellectual History and History of Science
Chair: Lawrence Klein (Unversity of Cambridge)
• Silvia Sebastiani (EHESS, Paris), At Tea with Madame Chimpanzee: A ‘société de spectacle’ in 1730s London
• Jan Albers (Independent Writer and Museum Consultant), ‘I Don’t Like History, But Do You Know What Happened Here?’ Writing a Cultural History of the Landscape
• Alexander Geppert (NYU), The Pleasures of the Imagination in Space, or: the Alien Contact Phenomenon
• Nick Wilding (Georgia State University), Forging the Moon

11.30  General Discussion

12.30  Lunch

14.00  5. Consumption and Economic History
Chair: Laurence Fontaine (CNRS)
• Fredrik Albritton Jonsson (The University of Chicago), Anthropocene History
• John Styles (University of Hertfordshire), Industrial Revolution: From Production to Consumption, and Back Again
• Dawn Lyon (University of Kent), What is a Fish Worth? Sensory Knowledge, Labour, and the Production of Value at Billingsgate Fish Market
• Frank Trentmann (Birkbeck, University of London), Material Histories: Scales, Objects, and Networks

15.00  General Discussion

16.00  Coffee Break

16.30  John Brewer, Remarks and new projects

17.00  Concluding Discussion

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Workshop | Landscapes of the Long 18th Century in South Asia

Posted in conferences (to attend) by Editor on June 22, 2017

From H-ArtHist:

Landscapes of the Long 18th Century
Mediating Places, Powers, and Pasts in South Asia and Beyond
Forum Transregionale Studien and the Museum for Asian Art, Berlin, 21–23 June 2017

Organized by Dipti Khera and Hannah Baader

This workshop seeks to explore how painters, poets, historians, and intellectuals have imagined landscapes and urbanisms in and of early modern South Asia, particularly over the course of the long eighteenth century. The mediation of memory and place in pictorial and literary practices in this time period was shaped by aesthetic and philosophical ideas and an epistemic situation that had deeper genealogies in the subcontinent and the broader Asian and Islamic world. Nonetheless, images, moods and ideologies encapsulated in British landscape painting and colonial photography have constructed the dominant lens that has shaped historical inquiries into spatial imaginings in the South Asian context. The focus on the long eighteenth century enables us to establish conversations between the intersections, connections, and comparisons that emerged in visual practices commissioned by diverse patrons from regional kings, Mughal emperors, trans-regional merchants, and British officers.

W E D N E S D A Y ,  2 1  J U N E  2 0 1 7

18.00 Evening Lecture
• Tim Barringer (Yale University), The Panorama as Global Landscape

T H U R S D A Y ,  2 2  J U N E  2 0 1 7

10.00  Welcome and Introduction from Hannah Baader (Arthistories/ Kunsthistorisches Institut in Florenz, Max-Planck-Institut)  and Dipti Khera (NYU/ Arthistories Fellow 2015–16)

10.30 Morning Session
Chair: Lamia Balafrej (ArtHistories Fellow 2016–17/Wellesley College)
• Sunil Sharma (Boston University), The Pastoral Landscape in Early Modern Persian Poetry and Painting
• Chanchal Dadlani (Wake Forest University), History Without Words: Mughal Architecture in the ‘Amal-i Salih.
• Hannah Baader (Forum Transregional Studies/Kunsthistorisches Institut in Florenz, Max-Planck-Institut), Seascape and Landscape, Florence 1604

14.30  Afternoon Session, Part I
Chair: Monica Juneja (Universität Heidelberg)
• Yuthika Sharma (Edinburgh College of Art), Picturing Place: Topography as Mughal Identity in Late 18th-Century Delhi
• Dipti Khera (NYU, Arthistories Fellow 2015-16), The Art of Feeling Place: Udaipur’s Affective Assertions

16.40  Afternoon Session, Part II
Chair: Ning Yao (CAHIM Fellow 2016-17)
• Nobuko Toyosawa (Oriental Institute of the Czech Academy of Sciences), Mediating the Sense of Place from Tokugawa to Meiji Japan
• Lihong Liu (Rochester University), Long Day and Sleepless Night: Temporal Sensitivity in Chinese Landscape Painting

F R I D A Y ,  2 3  J U N E  2 0 1 7

9.45  Study Session in the Museum for Asian Art with Raffael Gadebusch, New ‘Perspectives’: Landscape and Architecture as Subject Matter in Late 18th-Century Indo-Islamic Painting (speakers and invited guests only)

14.00  Afternoon Session
Chair: Venugopal Madipatti (Art Histories Fellow 2016–17/Ambedkar University Delhi)
• Francesca Orsini (SOAS University of London), The Work of Description: Shifting Modes of Poetic Description of Places in 19th-Century Urdu Narratives
• Tim Barringer (Yale University), The Proleptic Picturesque of Joseph Bartholomew Kidd

Enfilade Turns Eight! Buy an Art Book! Donate to HECAA!

Posted in site information by Editor on June 21, 2017

Adriaen Manglard (French, 1695–1760), Fireworks in Rome Over Castel Sant’ Angelo, etching, plate: 23 × 31 cm (New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 67.542.26).

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From the Editor

As Enfilade turns eight (22 June 2017), I’m glad to write with my usual observations and admonitions. The site exists because you—along with lots of others reading alongside you—continue to tune in. We’ve just surpassed 800,000 views. Thanks so much! And so to celebrate . . .

1) Buy an art book this week. In the world of academic art history publishing, several hundred books sold over a few days is stellar. It’s an important way to communicate that the eighteenth century is a thriving field with a vital, engaged audience. The more people who buy books addressing the eighteenth century, the easier it will be to publish your next book on the eighteenth century.

2) Renew your HECAA membership. In the normal world $30 doesn’t really count as philanthropy. For a small academic society it does. Because HECAA is registered as a 501c3, all donations are tax deductible in the United States. So send in a contribution of $100 or $5. But donate something. We accept PayPal.

3) Finally, send in news you’d like to see reported!  I’m glad to post announcements about conferences, forthcoming books, journal articles, exhibitions, fellowship opportunities, &c. Just about anything except job listings. The postings readers most enjoy are inevitably original content, reports of interesting collections, house museums, resources, and the like. No reason to be shy.

Again, thanks to all of you and all the best!
Craig Hanson

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Exhibition | Paintings of the Abbés Desjardins

Posted in books, catalogues, exhibitions by Editor on June 21, 2017

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Press release for the exhibition now on view at the MNBAQ:

The Fabulous Destiny of the Paintings of the Abbés Desjardins / Le Fabuleux Destin des Tableaux des Abbés Desjardins
Musée National des Beaux-Arts du Québec, 15 June — 4 September 2017
Musée des Beaux-Arts de Rennes, 14 October 2017 — 28 January 2018

Curated by Daniel Drouin and Guillaume Kazerouni

This exhibition highlights the bicentennial of the arrival in Canada of some 200 paintings initially done by renowned artists for churches in Paris in the 17th and 18th centuries. These paintings, confiscated during the French Revolution and reunited by clergyman Philippe-Jean-Louis Desjardins (1753–1833) , were shipped to Québec City to be sold to the rapidly growing parishes and religious congregations at the time. Fairly unfamiliar in France, this important body of religious paintings was researched recently. The history of the paintings is marked by two major periods—their use in France and their 19th-century use and impact in the Province of Québec. First, thanks to recent discoveries in France resulting in new attributions, more is known about the background for their creation. Several big names in French painting were involved—artists such as Claude Vignon, Simon and Aubin Vouet, Frère Luc, Charles-Michel-Ange Challes, Jean-Baptiste Corneille, Daniel Hallé, Pierre Puget, Michel Dorigny, Louis Boulogne le jeune, Joseph Christophe, Pierre Dulin, Samuel Massé, Jean-Jacques Lagrenée, François-Guillaume Ménageot, and Matthias Stomer—several of whom were French Court painters.

Philippe-Jean-Louis Desjardins, through his brother Louis-Joseph (1766–1848), chaplain to the Augustines de l’Hôtel-Dieu de Québec, was very aware of the situation of Québec churches. The clergy and religious communities were booming and did not have sufficient art of devotional calibre. In 1817 and 1820, nearly 200 paintings made the voyage to Quebec. They would go on to be reframed and sold on site before being placed in various churches and chapels. Alongside this, a new cohort of Canadian artists such as Jean-Baptiste Roy-Audy, Joseph Légaré, Antoine Plamondon and Théophile Hamel would get their training by restoring French works and copying them at the request of sponsors, thereby making up for the shortage of painters in the British colony. This period saw the birth of Canadian painting, but also the creation of the first art collections in Québec and the appearance of the first museum.

A selection of some 40 French paintings and 20-or-so Québec copies of French masterpieces that have disappeared, as well as of genuine Québec work, are on display in the Pierre Lassonde Pavilion using contemporary staging. Only the French paintings from the Québec exhibition will cross the ocean again in the fall of 2017, bound for the Musée des beaux-arts de Rennes, the MNBAQ’s partner in this great museological adventure.

Once Upon a Time… Philippe-Jean-Louis et Louis-Joseph Desjardins

Philippe-Jean-Louis and Louis-Joseph Desjardins were born in Messas, France. They both studied theology at the Seminary of Orléans, and then in Paris and Bayeux. The former was ordained in 1777 and the second in 1790. During the Revolution, the two brothers, faithful to their values, fled France to England. The elder arrived in Québec City in 1793—followed by his younger sibling the following year—and held various positions, including vicar general, Séminaire professor, and chaplain of the Augustines de l’Hôtel-Dieu and of the Ursulines. The youngest was initially a missionary in Baie-des-Chaleurs before becoming vicar, then pastor, of Notre-Dame de Québec, the chaplain of the Augustines and the Superior of the Ursulines.

Philippe returned to France in 1802. His interest in the Diocese of Québec and his experience made it clear to him that painters able to meet local demand were few and far between. On returning home, he also realized that the family business was in dire financial straits. It dawned on him that there was simple solution: combine both interests by selling paintings in Lower Canada and using the profits to help his family.

Between 1803 and 1810, he acquired paintings in circumstances that remain largely unknown. The first shipment was in 1816. Four rolls and a case totaling 120 paintings left the port of Brest bound for New York City. On site, the imports had to be cleared and transportation to Québec City arranged. In the winter of 1817, the works of art made the voyage to Québec City in a sleigh. Once there, the works were delivered to Louis-Joseph in the outer chapel of the Augustines, which was transformed into a workshop where several young artists remounted the pieces and restored them before the art was sold to various parishes and communities. The same scenario was repeated in 1820, but this time with some sixty paintings.

The 17th-Century Desjardins Paintings

Most of the Desjardins paintings are 17th-century French works and, with a few exceptions, work from Italian and Northern schools. The composition of this ensemble speaks volumes about the taste of the French at the time of the Revolution. It reflects the conservation choices made in separating the works that would be placed in the newly created museums from those destined to be sold and saved by amateurs like Philippe Desjardins. As a result, the generation of painters of the 1640s, appreciated for their classicism by the curators who formed the nucleus of French national collections, such as Jacques Stella, Laurent de La Hyre, Eustache Le Sueur, Philippe de Champaigne, Sébastien Bourdon and obviously, their model, Nicolas Poussin, is either totally absent or is represented by work incorrectly attributed even before it arrived in Québec City. Only a few paintings by Philippe de Champaigne and his studio are the exception to the rule.

The strength of the Desjardins paintings lies in the art from the opposite ends of the century. Christ in the Garden of Olives, a rare canvas by Quentin Varin, introduces a remarkable ensemble from the 1630s, with two paintings by Simon Vouet and several works by his pupils and followers such as Michel Dorigny and Jean Senelle. For the second half of the century—basically the years 1680 to 1690—there are some interesting anonymous paintings such as Angels and Shepherds Adoring the Child Jesus, but especially the great paintings by Daniel Hallé, Brother Luc, Jean-Baptiste Corneille and Louis de Boullogne, including The Presentation of Jesus in the Temple, one of the masterpieces of the exhibition.

Master Simon Vouet and His Entourage

Around 1630, a new generation of artists who had trained in Italy came back to France. The most notable return was that of Simon Vouet, in 1627. After a brilliant career primarily in Rome, the painter was recalled to Paris by Louis XIII. At that time, Philippe de Champaigne and Claude Vignon—whose works are exhibited in this gallery—were beginning their careers and the biggest workshop in the city was that of Georges Lallemant, which was soon surpassed by Vouet’s. Alongside private assignments, in which Vouet excelled, the artist received commissions for religious art throughout his career.

The Desjardins paintings feature a particularly important set of works by Vouet and his entourage. This is undeniably one of the strong points of the ensemble and of this exhibition. The master himself is represented by two canvases. Saint Francis of Paola Resuscitating a Child is one of the last commissions by Vouet before his death, while The Apparition of the Virgin and Child Jesus to Saint Anthony, revealed here after its de-restoration, is situated at the very beginning of the painter’s Parisian career, just after he returned from Italy. Around these two altarpieces are paintings in which Vouet’s influence and the propagation of his artistic manner are palpable.

Jean-Jacques Lagrenée, The Entombment, 1770, oil on canvas, 155 × 205 cm
(Québec City, MNBAQ, 1970.115; photo: Patrick Altman)

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The 18th-Century Desjardins Paintings

The Desjardins paintings consist of fewer 18th-century works—mainly French—than 17th-century ones. However, chronologically, they cover the entire century. It comprises a body of work done for the churches of Paris by the most important artists of the time. At first there were originals or copies by all the big names (Collin de Vermont, Restout, Cazes, Massé or Vanloo), but several have disappeared since. The absence of a Boucher or a Fragonard is not surprising, since religious commissions occupied only a very minor place in their respective work.

The second half of the century, which marks a renewal of history painting and a gradual return to the antique model, is illustrated through Challe’s paintings for the Louvre Oratory, Lagrenée’s two masterpieces from the Abbey of Montmartre, and the large painting by Menageot. This work by well-known painters is complemented by paintings by less famous artists such as Godefroy and Preudhomme (Ursulines de Québec chapel). As a result, the paintings from the 18th century provide a far more exhaustive portrait of their era than their 17th-century counterparts. It must be borne in mind that the paintings of the Enlightenment were still very recent at the time when the Revolution broke out and did not always enjoy the same prestige as the works of the Grand Siècle.

Jean-Jacques Lagrenée, The Incredulity of St Thomas, 1770, oil on canvas, 156 × 206 cm
(Québec City, MNBAQ, 1970.114; photo: Patrick Altman)

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The Desjardins Paintings, Joseph Légaré and Art Museums in Québec

Starting in the early 1820s, self-taught Québec painter Joseph Légaré purchased several canvases from among the Desjardins paintings, some of which were the inspiration for his numerous copies. His collection would pave the way for the creation of the first two art museums in Québec in the 19th century.

As early as 1829, Légaré exhibited his collection in the meeting room of the Literary and Historical Society of Quebec. In 1833, he moved it to his three-storey residence on Sainte-Angèle Street. In association with lawyer Thomas Amiot, he inaugurated the Québec Gallery of Paintings in 1838. However, Légaré’s ventures did not seem to spark much interest, and the gallery folded in 1840. Undaunted, in 1852 the painter opened the Quebec Gallery in his new home at the corner of Sainte-Ursule and McMahon Streets. Légaré died in 1855, but his widow kept the museum open until her death in 1874. Monseigneur Thomas-Étienne Hamel, Superior of the Séminaire de Québec and Rector of Laval University, bought the collection.

This acquisition laid the foundation for the Pinacotheque at Laval University as North America entered a period of museum-mania. Even before the inauguration of the first building of the Art Association of Montreal (the future Montréal Museum of Fine Arts) in 1879, the City of Québec had an art museum, thanks to Joseph Légaré’s determination. The Desjardins paintings imported some 60 years earlier formed the core of the museum’s collection.

The Augustines and Ursulines de Québec Paintings

As we have seen, the Abbés Desjardins had special ties with the Augustines de l’Hôtel-Dieu and the Ursulines de Québec, ties that went well beyond the paintings themselves. From the outset, the former were an integral part of the adventure by lending their buildings for the reception, uncrating and remounting of the paintings and by extending their hospitality to the painters involved and customers from everywhere in Québec. François-Guillaume Ménageot’s The Virgin Placing Saint Teresa under the Protection of Saint Joseph, usually found on the left lateral altarpiece of the exterior chapel of the Augustines, attests to this significant episode in the life of the paintings.

Several generations of Ursulines have venerated Christ Exposing his Sacred Heart to Margaret Mary Alacoque, by Pierre-Jacques Cazes, usually strategically placed in the exterior chapel, a place of worship which is the permanent home of the greatest number of Desjardins paintings. Seven paintings are displayed there, including Brother André’s The Meal at the House of Simon, the biggest of all the Desjardins paintings, at 3.66 metres high by 6.10 metres wide.

Copying and Distribution of the Desjardins Paintings

The Desjardins paintings played a crucial role in the growth of painting in Lower Canada by stimulating the budding careers of artists who, after having done copies of certain works, diversified their output. Since at the time there were no fine arts academies or schools in Lower Canada, these painters were able to learn the basics by borrowing to various degrees from the French academic tradition made available through this pool of 17th- and 18th-century paintings.

The inventory of the copies—a little over 120 done in the 19th century—shows that one quarter of the Desjardins paintings were used as templates by Québec artists. The most of the copies were in the chapel of the Séminaire de Québec, at the Cathedral-Basilica of Notre-Dame-de-Québec and in Joseph Légaré’s collection. The copies found their way to nearly 70 parishes or collectors, the result being considerable visibility for these paintings in our churches.

Laurier Lacroix, Guillaume Kazerouni, and Daniel Drouin, Le Fabuleux Destin des Tableaux des Abbés Desjardins: Peintures des XVIIe et XVIIIe siècles des musées et églises du Québec (Gent: Snoeck Publishers, 2017), 312 pages, ISBN: 978 94616 14162, 39€.

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Call for Papers | The Tableau Vivant

Posted in Calls for Papers by Editor on June 21, 2017

The Tableau Vivant: Across Media, History, and Culture
Columbia University, New York, 30 November – 2 December 2017

Proposals due by 30 July 2017

Film and Media Studies, Columbia University’s School of the Arts invites proposals for a two-day conference on The Tableau Vivant: Across Media, History, and Culture, to be held in New York from 30 November to 2 December 2017. The conference will be opened with a keynote presentation by Brigitte Peucker, Elias W. Leavenworth Professor of Germanic Languages and Literatures and Professor of Film Studies at Yale University.

The Tableau Vivant conference hopes to bring together research that cuts across media, histories, and cultures, just like the form itself. The phenomenon of the tableau vivant is anchored in Ancient Greek mythology and mime traditions and came into being as a liturgical and ceremonial event in the eleventh and twelfth centuries, first flourishing in the late medieval and early Renaissance period before seeing a resurgence in nineteenth-century performance culture after Emma, Lady Hamilton’s famous parlor attitudes inspired a notable passage in Goethe’s 1808 Wahlverwandtschaften [Elective Affinities].

Tableaux vivants were synonymous with living paintings, statues vivants, living pictures, living statues, Grecian statues, poses plastiques, attitudes, and lebende bilder, to name but a few. While these terms could indicate that an actor, or ensemble of actors, would be holding a pose for a prolonged time in imitation of a famous painting, sculpture, or religious scene, just as often the references were omitted and the static poses and procession of scenes in themselves were the attraction; actors could be entirely nude, whitewashed, marbled, bronzed, veiled, or costumed. In its diverse forms, tableaux vivants were a part of mythology, with statues coming to life as an intermediary for gods to talk to men; they became a part of religious liturgy, such as the Passion Play; were staged at official ceremonies, such as a king’s entry into the city; functioned as anonymous political expression, in the talking statues of Rome, for instance; and were transformed by mechanical media such as photography—from Henry Peach Robinson to Jeff Wall—and film—from Georges Méliès to Ray Harryhausen and Peter Greenaway.

The Tableau Vivant conference invites proposals on the form:
• From Ancient Greece to today
• In different cultures and cultural contexts
• On its terminology and conceptual application in cultural theory
• In religion and religious ceremonies
• In society—e.g. as part of political expression or official entertainment
• In literature—e.g. in the work of Greek and Roman poets, Italian Renaissance authors, or Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
• In performance – parlor entertainment, vaudeville, burlesque, musical theatre, legitimate theatre, contemporary performance art, etc.
• In photography—e.g. in the work of the Pictorialists or Jeff Wall
• In film and (new) media, from the 19th century to today

Please submit an abstract (300–500 words) with 5 key sources and a 150-word bio via email to Vito Adriaensens, Visiting Scholar and Adjunct Assistant Professor at Columbia University and Researcher at the Research Centre for Visual Poetics at the University of Antwerp (va2329@columbia.edu) by July 30, 2017.