Brian Sewell Bequeaths a Painting by Lagrenée to the National Gallery

Posted in museums by Editor on December 4, 2016

Press release (17 November 2016) from the National Gallery in London:


Louis Jean François Lagrenée, Maternal Affection, 1773, oil on copper, 43.5 × 34.5 cm (London: The National Gallery, gift from the estate of Brian Sewell, 2016).

“As a child, there was not a major museum or art gallery in London I didn’t know, and the National Gallery was my favourite.” –Brian Sewell, interview for The Daily Telegraph (June 2012)

The legendary Evening Standard art critic would often talk about the weekly visits he made to the National Gallery as a child imbuing him with his love of art; indeed, he once quipped, “I’m leaving my body to science, and if there’s anything left, they can burn it, mix the ashes with bird food and scatter them on the steps of the National Gallery” (Mail on Sunday, April 2014). Therefore, it is fitting that a much-loved work from his private art collection will go on display in the National Gallery, presented as a gift to the Gallery following his death in September 2015.

Maternal Affection is a small oil on copper work from 1773 by the French artist Louis-Jean-François Lagrenée. The subject cannot be precisely identified. It takes place in a loggia and shows a woman nursing a child, with another infant held towards her by one of her female companions. Another woman is placing (or removing) bedding in the form of a pillow in or from a wooden crib. In this picture of quiet contentment, Lagrenee has sought balance—balance in the colours of the costumes both of, and between, the individual figures and balance in composition. Maternal Affection is highly typical of the small-scale paintings that the artist made for private collectors.

There are currently eleven paintings by Lagrenée in Great Britain: seven at Stourhead (National Trust) and four at the Bowes Museum, Barnard Castle. Maternal Affection is, therefore, the only one by the artist on public display in a national collection. Eighteenth-century French paintings are sparsely represented in Trafalgar Square, and this generous gift helps to extend the National Gallery’s collection in this area. Maternal Affection also adds to our understanding of the reception of 17th-century Bolognese painting in 18th-century Europe: Lagrenée’s style was greatly influenced by his admiration of the great Bolognese painters of the previous century, in particular the work of Guido Reni.

Christopher Riopelle, National Gallery Curator of Post-1800 Paintings said: “The painting is a beautifully preserved oil on copper of exquisite refinement which allows the National Gallery for the first time to show the work of an artist who was hugely admired by the most discriminating connoisseurs and collectors of contemporary French art, both French and foreign, in the final decades of the 18th century.”

National Gallery Director, Dr Gabriele Finaldi said: “Brian Sewell had a profound love for the National Gallery as well as a connoisseur’s passion for lesser known masters; so it is especially pleasing that Lagrenée’s beautiful and refined Maternal Affection, which he owned, has come to the Gallery as a gift from his estate.”

Maternal Affection can now be seen in Room 33 of the National Gallery hanging alongside other French 18th-century paintings by artists such as Boucher, Vigée Le Brun, Boilly, Nattier, Detroy, and Vernet.

Exhibition | The Art of Law: Three Centuries of Justice Depicted

Posted in books, catalogues, exhibitions by Editor on December 4, 2016

Now on view in Brugge:

The Art of Law: Three Centuries of Justice Depicted
De kunst van het recht: Drie eeuwen gerechtigheid in beeld
Groeningemuseum, Brugge, 28 October 2016 — 5 February 2017

Curated by Vanessa Paumen

image-1In the fifteenth century, it was customary to decorate courtrooms with works of art that were intended to ‘encourage’ the aldermen and judges to perform their duties in an honest and conscientious manner. These works often depicted the supreme moment of divine justice: the Last Judgement. But other scenes from the Bible were also used, as were images from more profane sources. Together, these are known as the exempla iustitiae (‘examples of fair justice’). In 1498, Gerard David was commissioned by the city council of Bruges to paint just such a work: The Judgement of Cambyses. This remarkably gruesome painting once hung in the courtroom of Bruges town hall and is now one of the finest masterpieces in the Groeningemuseum.

Subjects relating to justice were also depicted outside the courtroom in paintings, prints, drawings, sculpture and stained glass windows. The Art of Law exhibition has brought together some twenty works of art from the collections of Musea Brugge, supplemented by about hundred other pieces on loan from galleries and museums both at home and abroad. They paint a fascinating picture of the way in which justice and the law were represented in art during the Ancien Régime.

Vanessa Paumen works at the Groeningemuseum in Bruges as the coordinator of the Flemish Research Center for the Arts in the Burgundian Netherlands. She earned a BA degree, cum laude and an MA degree in Art History, with a focus on European Art at the University of Texas in Austin. In her master’s thesis, “Judged, Beheaded, Burned: Dieric Bouts, The Justice of Emperor Otto III within the Context of Fifteenth-Century Punitive Practices,” she looked at how justice paintings functioned in fifteenth-century Flemish society.

Vanessa Paumen, et al., The Art of Law: Three Centuries of Justice Depicted (Tielt: Lannoo Publishers, 2016), 208 pages, ISBN: 978 9401440417, £30.



Call for Articles | Spring 2018 Issue of J18: Coordinates

Posted in Calls for Papers by Editor on December 3, 2016


From J18:

Journal18, Issue #5 (Spring 2018) — Coordinates
Digital Mapping & 18th-Century Visual, Material, and Built Cultures

Proposals due by 1 April 2017; finished articles will be due by 1 November 2017

Art history’s digital turn has been stimulated by the possibilities of spatial research.  Spurred by the collection, preservation, and distribution of art historical data in digital space—practices that have both collapsed and expanded our own discursive geographies—scholars have exploited the potential of geospatial analysis for art historical study. These new methods are particularly promising for the study of the early modern world, which has been fruitfully understood through the prisms of connections and exchanges that crossed world regions and defied the boundaries drawn on static maps. Digital mapping platforms and applications like CartoDB, Neatline, ArcGIS, Leaflet, and MapBox have made it possible, for example, to visualize the movement of people, such as artists, through temporal and geographic space, thus allowing us to reimagine personal and material contacts in tangible ways. Moreover, the dynamic lives of mobile and fungible objects can be displayed in extended and often circuitous trajectories, thus encouraging the kind of nonlinear visual analysis that is foundational to the practice of art history. Georectification tools have further facilitated the reconciliation of historical figurations of space with contemporary visualizations, which allows competing spatial narratives to coexist productively in a digital realm, while also challenging the magisterial view offered by modern cartography.

In this issue of Journal18, we seek to feature current scholarship that relies on the analytical power provided by digital mapping interfaces for the study of visual, material, and built cultures during the long eighteenth century. How do digital humanities methods and tools shape our understanding of space and place in the early modern period? What impact might digital mapping have on our historical investigations of people, objects, and their environments? Submissions may take the form of an article (up to 6000 words) or a project presented through a digital platform that takes full advantage of Journal18’s online format. We also welcome proposals for shorter vignettes (around 2,500 words) that reflect on projects in progress or consider the potential for particular mapping methodologies for eighteenth-century art history.

Issue Editors
Carrie Anderson, Middlebury College
Nancy Um, Binghamton University

Proposals for issue #5 Coordinates are now being accepted. Deadline for proposals: April 1, 2017. To submit a proposal, send an abstract (200 words) and a brief CV to editor@journal18.org and carriea@middlebury.edu. Articles should not exceed 6000 words (including footnotes) and will be due on November 1, 2017. For further details on the submission process, see Information for Authors.



Exhibition | Creating History: Stories of Ireland in Art

Posted in books, catalogues, exhibitions by Editor on December 2, 2016


Francis Wheatley, The Dublin Volunteers on College Green, 4th November 1779, 1779–80, oil on canvas, 175 × 323 cm
(Dublin: National Gallery of Ireland)

◊  ◊  ◊  ◊  ◊

Now on view at the National Gallery of Ireland:

Creating History: Stories of Ireland in Art
National Gallery of Ireland, Dublin, 8 October 2016 – 15 January 2017

Curated by Brendan Rooney

This exhibition represents the Gallery’s principal contribution to the Decade of Centenaries. It brings together over 50 paintings spanning the seventeenth century to the 1930s, depicting or inspired by episodes in Irish history from the early fifth century arrival of St. Patrick to the establishment of the Free State. A significant number of paintings in the exhibition are drawn from the Gallery’s collection, many of which have undergone extensive conservation in preparation for this show, such as Jan Wyck’s The Battle of the Boyne, Francis Wheatley’s The Dublin Volunteers on College Green, 4th November 1779, and Joseph Patrick Haverty’s The Monster Meeting at Clifden. Other artists represented in the exhibition include James Barry, Charles Russell, John Lavery, Richard Thomas Moynan, Seán Keating, and Jack B. Yeats, complemented by loans from public and private collections in Ireland and overseas.

Brendan Rooney, ed., Creating History: Stories of Ireland in Art (Dublin: Irish Academic Press, 2016), 312 pages, ISBN: 978-1911024286, €25.

Brendan Rooney is Curator of Irish Art at the National Gallery of Ireland, and author/editor of numerous works on Irish art, including Thomas Roberts: Landscape and Patronage in Eighteenth-Century Ireland (2009) and A Time and a Place: Two Centuries of Irish Social Life (2006).



A-Levels in Art History Retained in England, Wales, and Northern Ireland

Posted in opportunities by Editor on December 2, 2016

As reported by Judith Burns for BBC News (1 December 2016) . . .

Campaigners for art history A-level say they are “absolutely thrilled” by a late decision to save the subject, which was set to be discontinued. Exam board Pearson has confirmed plans to develop a new history of art A-level for teaching from next September.

October’s decision by the AQA board to drop the subject provoked an outcry from experts who argued “society had never required its insights more” . . .

The full article is available here»

Call for Papers | Early Modern Satire

Posted in Calls for Papers by Editor on December 2, 2016

From H-ArtHist:

Early Modern Satire: Themes, Re-Evaluations, and Practices
University of Gothenburg, Sweden, 2–4 November 2017

Proposals due by 4 January 2017

Early modern satire—broadly from around 1500 to 1800—is a vast but still under-examined field of representation. Although flourishing in certain periods and certain places, satire can be said to be integral to the European project, often challenging the limits of tolerance and evoking hostility but also associated, increasingly in this period, with notions of freedom and enlightenment. This conference, hosted by Gothenburg University, seeks to position satire as a mode of representation throughout early modern Europe and clarify its role in politics, culture, and religion. We seek proposals from scholars in all fields who work on aspects of satire in the period. Especially welcome are contributions that explore satire as a form of representation existing across boundaries—of territories, of genres, and/or periods. We also welcome proposals that situate satire in a wider aesthetic context, including cross-disciplinary work that seeks to address satire as a mode of for example visual representation.

Topics may include, but are not limited to:

The mediation of satire. Described variously as a ‘genre’ and a ‘mode’, satire often transgresses medial and generic boundaries during the early modern period. Is satire more of an ‘intermedial’ phenomenon in certain periods and places?

The gendering of satire. Early modern satire in has been characterized as very much a male enterprise. Are there variations over time and between places, as regards for example female authorship, and in terms of form and theme, how does satire depict aspects of femininity and masculinity?

Satire and censorship. Always having had a complex relationship with authority, satire in the early modern period also saw the rise of the print medium and various attempts at regulating published output. How do censorship and other forms of regulative interventions shape satirical texts (in a wide sense)?

Perspectives on the classical heritage. Although a thoroughly investigated field, the relationship between early modern satire and its classical predecessors is still relevant as a field of inquiry. Just how dependent was early modern satire on its Horatian, Juvenalian and other role models?

Satire and religion. While relating to classical forms and themes, satire also has a complex relation to Christian religion as both a target and a formative system of belief. In what ways do changes in religious institutions and norms affect the production of early modern satire?

Satire and medical discourse. The frequent description of satire as ‘melancholy’, for example, suggests links to humoral theory and other aspects of physiology. To what extent can satire be understood in such terms?

Satire and the canon. While for example literary history has ascribed a central role to satire in the 18th century, scholarly discussions are often based on select examples and relegate others to the margin. What are the social and historical determinants of the ‘lasting appeal’ of certain satirical texts?

Keynote speakers: Howard Weinbrot and Ola Sigurdson

Presentations are strictly limited to 20 minutes in length. A 250-word abstract, a title, and a 50-word biographical statement should be submitted to earlymodernsatire@lir.gu.se by 4 January, 2017. Enquiries may be directed to this address, to Dr. Per Sivefors at per.sivefors@lnu.se or Dr. Rikard Wingård rikard.wingard@lir.gu.se. Additional information is available here.

Exhibition | Festivities and Entertainment at Court

Posted in exhibitions by Editor on December 1, 2016


Slodtz Brothers, Stage backdrop, Temple of Minerva, Olympia version, Fontainebleau, 1754.

◊  ◊  ◊  ◊  ◊

Press release for the exhibition:

Festivities and Entertainment at Court / Fêtes et divertissements à la Cour
Château de Versailles, 29 November 2016 — 26 March 2017

Curated by Béatrix Saule, Élisabeth Caude, and Jérôme de La Gorce

As a political monarch, King Louis XIV took ‘grand entertainment’ to the height of magnificence, making Versailles a venue for monumental, extraordinary, and fantastical parties and shows. The king had a shrewd understanding of the human mind and understood that “this society of pleasure, which gives members of the Court an honest familiarity with [the sovereign], and touches and charms them more than can be said,” was necessary for the political framework he had built (Louis XIV, Memoirs for the Instruction of the Dauphin, 1661). Everyday life in Court required multiple forms of entertainment, and extraordinary royal events needed to surprise and enthrall the court, the kingdom—all of Europe. Each of his successors maintained the tradition of splendid, creative shows in their own way, according to their own tastes and the fashions of the time.

affiche-fetes-et-divertissements-a-la-cour_blockx2This exhibition presents the infinite variety and ingenuity of entertainment in the court, whether put on by the king or enjoyed by the court. These included all forms of public shows, comedies, operas, concerts, fireworks, and light displays, as well as private performances in which Seigneurs and Ladies of the court went on stage themselves. The was a large amount of gambling, leading to fortune or ruin, as well as physical activities in which members of the court had to shine, including hunting, dancing in balls and masked balls, pallmall, and real tennis.

Spanning three reigns, from Louis XIV to the Revolution, the exhibition does not aim to be exhaustive but focuses on the courtier’s point of view. A large selection of clothing, paintings, objects, and graphics from French and foreign public and private collections convey the wide range of entertainment and the refinement associated with them. The objects are accompanied by large visuals, 3D images, and immersive scenes that invite visitors to rediscover the atmosphere in the venues—some of which no longer exist—and imagine what it would be like to be in the king’s court.

Section 1: Hunting

Versailles was initially built as a hunting lodge, and the sport always remained the most popular form of royal entertainment. All three kings partook in the activity several times a week, but Louis XV was the most enthusiastic adherent. He enjoyed hunting with weapons but was especially fond of hunting with dogs. To accompany the king on a hunting trip, courtiers had to fully master the customs of hunting with hounds or to share the sovereign’s passion and thus gain his favour. Hunting was also a means of relaxation; the speed and open air were a way to escape from the constraints of court life.


Pierre Gobert, Portrait of Marie Adélaïde of Savoy, Duchess of Burgundy in Her Hunting Attire, 1704 (RMN-GP / Château de Versailles).

• The hunting ritual: moments, participants, personnel, clothing, and equipment
• The game, horses, and especially the importance of hounds
• Courteousness: the role of the ladies and the pleasure of picnics

Section 2: The Last Carousels

Carousels were another equestrian pleasure, replacing the tournaments that were banned after the death of Henry II. The last carousels were held at Versailles in 1664 during the Delights of the Enchanted Island party and in 1685 and 1686 in the Great Stables at the initiative of the Grand Dauphin.

This equestrian ballet was doomed to fade out, since in the 18th century the Seigneurs of the court could no longer afford its exorbitant cost, notably to the luxurious clothing required.

Section 3: Temporary Stages and Venues

The whole of Versailles, and even Marly and Trianon, served as a theatre. Until the Royal Opera House was finally built in Versailles in 1770 for the Dauphin’s wedding, stages were set up in the park and its perspectives, in various apartments using removable installations, and even in rooms which were temporarily or permanently modified for the purpose. This proliferation of stages demonstrates the incredible theatre culture in Versailles.

• The Temple of Minerva, the fully preserved unique stage backdrop from the Ancien Régime, which has been restored and reassembled for the exhibition.
• Five videos guide visitors through sites of ordinary and extraordinary spectacles, using 3D modelling to present both still-existing and bygone performance venues.

Section 4: Stage Performances

All performances, from comedies to tragedies, operas to ballets, fell into one of three categories: extraordinary (open to a large audience), ordinary (reserved for the court), and society theatre (highly exclusive). In particular, there were constant repeat performances, mixing of genres within a single evening and a predilection for the comical and even burlesque.

Ordinary Theatre
Ordinary performances, or ‘court performances’, were given in the winter three or four evenings a week, from 6:00 to 10:00, by three dedicated troops. They alternated between French comedy, Italian comedy, and tragedy. Italian comedy notably included comedies in three acts, entertainment and pieces de circonstance of all kinds. Marivaux was an official playwright of Italian comedies. French comedy was characterised by grand five-act dramas, comedies and tragedies. Lyric tragedies and tragic operas were put on by the Royal Academy of Music. Since Versailles did not have a suitable theatre space (unlike Saint-Germain and Fontainebleau), tragedies were performed without scenery, mechanisms or costumes. Under Louis XV, who did not much care for music, lyric works were rarely performed for ordinary audiences.

Society Theatre
• For the education of the Duchess of Burgundy in the Grand Chamber of Mme de Maintenon. She was taught by Baron. Edifying plays by Racine were put on (Esther at Saint-Cyr but attended by the entire court, and Athalie in 1702), as were plays that were specially written by Duché, the king’s Valet de Chambre.
• The Marquise de Pompadour in the theatre in the private apartments on the Ambassadors’ Staircase. During four seasons, from 1747 to 1750, from 6:00 until 10:00 or 11:00pm, plays were performed in two parts, with an interval for scenery and costume changes. Additional pieces were recited or sung alongside works from the great repertoire by Molière, Lully, and others.
• The Seigneurs’ Troop at the Petit Trianon. Much less professional than Mme de Pompadour’s troop, the Seigneurs’ Troop was composed of ten or so artists performing simple plays, comic operas and comedies. There were three major seasons: August and September of 1780, the summers of 1782 and 1783, and the one-time, crowning performance of The Barber of Seville (Beaumarchais) on August 19, 1785 (with the queen as Rosine, Artois as Figaro, and Vaudreuil as Count Almaviva) in front a very small audience and with the playwright present as a guest.

Section 5: Concerts

Jean-Marc Nattier, Portrait of Madame Henriette of France Playing the Viola da Gamba (RMN-GP / Château de Versailles).

Jean-Marc Nattier, Portrait of Madame Henriette of France Playing the Viola da Gamba (RMN-GP / Château de Versailles).

Music was everywhere. Under the aegis of the all-powerful Superintendent of His Majesty’s Music, the Musique de la Chamber was in charge of the Court’s daily entertainment. Balls, comic ballets, lyric tragedies and dances at evening gatherings were all part of the Musique de la Chambre’s remit.

Chamber Concerts and, under Marie Leszczyńska, the Queen’s Concerts
Chamber concerts were performed without costumes, backdrops, or ballets and lasted an hour. The princes would sometimes play instead of musicians who were not up to standard. Grand chamber concerts were also held two or three times a week.

Concerts in the King’s Chamber
The flautist Michel de la Barre quickly became a frequent performer in the rooms of Versailles, alongside François Couperin, Antoine Forqueray and the Hotteterre brothers, at the famous concerts in the King’s Chamber, which Louis XIV enjoyed toward the very end of his reign.

Private Practice
Louis XIV was very skilled at the lute and guitar, which had until then been considered commoners’ instruments but which he made respectable. The Mesdames played the violin and viola da gamba, and Marie Antoinette played the harp.

Section 6: Promenades and Outdoor Games

Like hunting, with which they alternated, promenades and strolls in the gardens provided a breath of fresh air. Under Louis XIV, promenades were a courtly affair, with the king travelling on foot, in a wheeled chair or in a carriage. Conversely, Louis XV and Louis XVI preferred to take their strolls in a less ceremonial manner, so their presence did not detract from the pleasure.

Groves were constant sources of surprise and marvel thanks to their variety, landscape design and water features, providing a cool, summertime refuge full of birdsong.

Trianon was popular for its botanical collections, and the Menagerie for its curious animals. The canal was perfect for boating in the summer and ice skating and sled races in the winter.

Between Versailles, Trianon, and Marly, skilled players of pall-mall and real tennis had a number of courts at their disposal. Boldness and athleticism were a must in a competitive world where education and personality traits required players to give it their all in appearance and in reality.

Section 7: Games

In the court, games took three forms:
• ‘The king’s game’ and ‘the queen’s game’, played at evening gatherings in the apartments at Versailles during the reign of Louis XIV. Marie Leszczyńska’s game was played in the Peace Room starting in 1739. It continued in the Royal Room at Marly during all three reigns and included lotteries.
• ‘The royal game’ was played at evening gatherings in the State Apartments during grand royal festivals as a spectacle open to a wider audience than just the court.
• Private games, open only to certain members and more with a more relaxed etiquette. The games were played after the king’s supper in his private rooms or in the accommodation of one of the courtiers.

High-stakes games attracted bold and expert players, both male and female. Losses meant financial dependence on the king. To be permitted to play at the king’s table was a mark of favour that made and lost fortunes.

Games required luxurious furniture and accessories. Agreements were put in place to codify the Court’s house rules.

• Card games: lansquenet, ombre, quadrille, reversis, brelan, whist, pharaoh
• Games of chance: dice, lotto, cavagnole
• Strategy games: chess, checkers, and especially tric trac
• Games of skill: billiards, gym sets

Section 8: Balls and Masquerades

Court Balls
In the time of Louis XIV, balls were held every Saturday in the Mars Room or in the gallery next to the War Room. Under Louis XV, dances at Versailles were more spread out, taking place mainly in the Hercules Room but also sometimes spreading to four locations: the Hercules, Mars, Mercury, and Apollo Rooms. Later on, the theatre in the Princes’ Courtyard, which could be transformed into a ballroom when enlarged, was also used. Beginning in 1775, Marie Antoinette restored the pomp to court balls, which she held on Wednesdays […] from the start of the year until Lent, often in wooden houses constructed temporarily for the purpose.

Ballroom dancing required great technical skill acquired from childhood. Dancing was practiced under the supervision of dance masters (Beauchamp, Pécour and Ballon, and later Lany, Laval, Gardel, and Vestris). Balls began with group dances (the branle under Louis XIV, then later the gavotte), followed by couples’ dances (frequently minuets, which were replaced by contra dances in the 1750s).

Formal Balls and Masked Balls
Held for special occasions, formal balls involved a higher degree of ceremony and pomp than court balls and were held in the largest rooms (the Royal Stables, the Hall of Mirrors, the Royal Opera House). During Carnival and other major celebrations, ordinary balls were replaced by masked balls, which were an opportunity to show off extravagant costumes, although in terms of choreography the two were nearly indistinguishable.

Section 9: Behind the Scenes

Of Monsters and Machines
Special effects, monsters, splendour, and sound effects transported courtiers to fantastical worlds that were as much a testament to the inventiveness of the engineers and designers of the King’s Chambers as to the kings’ passion for Baroque effects.

Fireworks and Illuminations
No extraordinary event could be held without a firework show, with temporary constructions set aflame, illuminations along the grand canal, and fireworks in the Marble Courtyard. Every spectacle required creativity, technical knowledge, and ingeniousness; only the best pyrotechnicians were hired.


• Beatrix Saule — Head curator of the exhibition, Director – general curator of the Musée National des Chateaux de Versailles et de Trianon
• Elisabeth Caude — General curator, Head of the Department of Furniture and Works of art of the Musée National des Chateaux de Versailles et de Trianon
• Jerome de La Gorce — Emeritus director of research at the CNRS, Scientific advisor at the Centre de recherche du chateau de Versailles

Artistic Director
Patrick Hourcade















New Book | A Civic Utopia

Posted in books, catalogues, exhibitions by Editor on December 1, 2016

When we noted the exhibition A Civic Utopia this past summer, we didn’t include information on the catalogue, which is now available from Drawing Matter:

Nicholas Olsberg and Basile Baudez, A Civic Utopia: Architecture and the City in France, 1765–1837 (London: Drawing Matter, 2016), 52 pages, ISBN: 978-0995630901, £20.

img_9593This large format, finely illustrated edition is published to coincide with the exhibition A Civic Utopia at The Courtauld Gallery of Art. In addition to the ‘Introduction’, it contains an essay entitled ‘Law, Order and the Beautiful’ by Nicholas Olsberg and ‘Case Studies’ by Basile Baudez. The essay explores the Enlightenment themes: A New Rome, Porta, Ratio, Lex, Sanitas, Spectaculum, Lexicon, and Exemplum. The case studies examine the work of Louis Combes, Pierre-François-Léonard Fontaine, André Sainte-Marie Châtillon, Paul Piot, François-Joseph Bélanger, François-Joseph Bélanger, and Louis-Pierre Baltard. The book expands on a selection of architectural drawings from the exhibition that show public building and public space in Enlightenment-era France. The drawings served as models for the expression of an ordered and open civic life as the foundation of an ideal polity. They responded to the urgings of writers, critics, and philosophes to make a systematic effort toward civic improvement, or what Voltaire entitled the “embellissement de la ville.”

The book traces how, over the next century, a new model of the modern French city emerged, one that deployed a consistent architecture capable of expressing the liberal qualities of the civic life within it: ordered, open, and dignified. These ideal forms, the methods of visualising and realising them through drawing, and the techniques of design and construction developed to build them, were circulated through engravings and compendia throughout the world. With their new emphases on turning their principal face out towards the street and square, on the horizontal line, and on the evident entrance, these models established an international aesthetic for the architecture of public life, and a universal system of architectural training.

Basile Baudez is maître de conférences at Université Paris-Sorbonne, Paris IV and visiting professor at the Ecole nationale des Chartes. His main areas of research are the history of architectural schools and the Beaux-Arts system and the history of architectural representation in the Western world. Recent publications include, Les Hôtels de la Guerre et des Affaires étrangères à Versailles (co-editor), and Chalgrin, architectes et architecture entre l’Ancien Régime et l’Empire as well as numerous journal articles. His current book project addresses the history of colour in architectural representation.

Nicholas Olsberg is an historian, archivist, curator and writer. As Editor of the Colonial and State Records of South Carolina from 1967–74, he published numerous studies on political and civic life in the eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries, and as Archivist of the Commonwealth from 1975 to 1979 produced a major exhibition on the 1790 constitution of Massachusetts. His recent published works in architecture include major monographs on Cliff May, John Lautner, Arthur Erickson, and Ernest and Esther Born; a series of essays on Frank Lloyd Wright; and regular contributions to journals of architecture.




Study Day | Print Collecting in the 18th Century

Posted in conferences (to attend) by Editor on December 1, 2016

A study day in connection with the exhibition An Amateur’s Passion: Lord Fitzwilliam’s Print Collection . . .

Print Collecting in the 18th Century: English Print
Collectors and Collections of English Prints

The Fitzwilliam Museum, Cambridge, 20 January 2017


Jan Collaert Album (Cambridge: The Fitzwilliam Museum)

From the outset the print collection was one of the chief glories of the Fitzwilliam. The collection of Richard, 7th Viscount Fitzwilliam (1745–1816), which he left to the University of Cambridge in order to found the Fitzwilliam, included 198 albums of prints and four unbound portfolios, containing some 40,000 prints. Lord Fitzwilliam’s collection of Rembrandt prints was considered one of the two best collections of his day, but he had much else besides. His collections of Netherlandish and early German prints, notably those by Dürer, were remarkably complete. He spent much time in Paris in the 1780s (he had a mistress there), thus affording him the opportunity to collect French prints in large number. Some of his albums derive from French aristocratic collections broken up at the time of the French Revolution. These albums still sit on the shelves in the Print Room of the Fitzwilliam today. Although the stars of the collection—the Rembrandts, the Dürers—have long since been mounted in separate mounts (mats) for ease of study and display, most of Fitzwilliam’s albums remain intact: a fabulously rare and precious document of an eighteenth-century print collection. Fitzwilliam himself carefully supervised the arrangement of the prints in these albums, mostly during the last years of his life, when he retired to his house in Richmond to devote himself to such tasks.

Tickets £10. Lunch is not included, but coffee is provided. Booking is essential: telephone 01223 332904 or email education@fitzmuseum.cam.ac.uk.

◊  ◊  ◊  ◊  ◊


10.00  Registration and coffee

10.20  Morning Session
• David Alexander, Print Collecting in Eighteenth Century Britain: An Overview
• Nick Stogdon, Collecting Rembrandt Prints in the Eighteenth Century
• Simon Turner, Collecting Hollar: Drawings and Prints
• Elenor Ling, Lord Fitzwilliam’s Print Collection
• Meredith Hale, Thomas Kerrich as Print Collector

12:30  Short tour of An Amateur’s Passion

12:45  Group A visits Graham Robertson Study Room to view selection of albums

13:00  Group B visits Graham Robertson Study Room to view selection of albums

13:15  Lunch

14.30  Afternoon Session
• Sileas Wood, John Brand: Antiquarian
• Sarah Grant, Marie-Antoinette and the Princesse de Lamballe’s English Prints’ Prints
• Kate Heard, ‘A Most Profitable and Intelligent Study’: George IV as a Collector of Prints

15.30  Closing remarks and final discussion





Call for Papers | Curating History

Posted in Calls for Papers by Editor on December 1, 2016


Kunstkammer, Landesmuseum Württemberg (Württemberg State Museum), Stuttgart (Photo by Bernd Gross, Wikimedia Commons, June 2016).

◊  ◊  ◊  ◊  ◊

From the workshop website:

Curating History Workshop
European University Institute, Florence, 10–13 October 201

Proposals due by 15 January 2017

Museums display objects constructed in historical complexity that cannot be explained by a single narrative. This complexity constitutes an obstacle for museum actors, who are assigned the task of providing an interpretation that can never embrace the entirety of the narratives contained in one object. Additionally, this difficulty expands when objects have to be placed in the narrative of permanent exhibitions, which present certain specific constraints.

Permanent exhibitions are at the core of the work of most museums. Even if ‘permanent’ does not mean eternal, these exhibitions are the public expression of the museum’s collections and mission. Thus, considering the limitations in both presenting the historical complexity of objects and taking into account the constraint of choosing a narrative for permanent exhibitions, we wish to look out for ways in which the museum can be turned into a place of convergence where curators, researchers, and audiences can think historically about objects. Are there new and old ways of curating history in permanent exhibitions? How is it possible to bring together museums, academia, and the public? In organising this workshop, we would like to offer a place for discussion where curators and scholars from a broad variety of institutions (museums, universities, research institutes, etc.) elaborate a joint reflection in both theoretical and practical terms, structured around four sessions: History, Responsibility, Mediation, and Communication (between Curators and Scholars).

Confirmed Speakers
Kim Sloan, The British Museum
Marta Lourenço, Museums of the University of Lisbon
Sébastien Soubiran, University of Strasbourg

The European University Institute, in Florence, the Global History & Culture Centre at the University of Warwick, and the CHAM – Centro de Humanidades, in Lisbon, in collaboration with the Victoria & Albert Museum and the Royal College of Art in London, welcome papers for the workshop Curating History, which will take place in Florence from the 10th to the 13th of October 2017. You are invited to send proposals (maximum of 250 words, in a PDF file, to curating.history@gmail.com) for a 4000-word paper of a case study or a theoretical discussion that fits one of the four sessions: History, Responsibility, Mediation, or Communication (between Curators and Scholars). The paper will be the basis for a 15-minute presentation at the workshop. Please ensure that you indicate your name, academic/professional affiliation, and which session you are writing your paper for (depending on the number of papers received, the organising committee may have to decide to allocate papers to a different session). Deadline for submitting abstracts is the 15th January 2017. Selection of abstracts will take place during the following two weeks. Once selected, participants will be invited to write their papers and submit them to the organising committee by the 1st September 2017. Papers will be made available so that participants can prepare for the discussion. The organising committee is applying for funding to help covering travel expenses or accommodation in Florence; at this stage, however, grants for participants cannot be guaranteed.

Email for abstract submission: curating.history@gmail.com

European University Institute
Charlotte Bellamy
Deborah Dubald
Bruno A. Martinho

CHAM – Centro de Humanidades
Carla Alferes Pinto
Sofia Lapa

Global History and Culture Centre, University of Warwick
Holly Winter
Josephine Tierney

V&A Museum / Royal College of Art
Matthew Wells