New & Forthcoming Books

Posted in books, Member News by Editor on December 15, 2009

Here’s a selection of new titles from the December 15th issue of the Michael Shamansky catalogue. Shamansky – online as artbooks.com – specializes in monographs, guides, and exhibition catalogues imported from European publishers.

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Item #104324 – Mary Sheriff, ed., Cultural Contact and the Making of European Art since the Age of Exploration (Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 2010), ISBN: 9780807833667, $35.
Art historians have long been accustomed to thinking about art and artists in terms of national traditions. This volume takes a different approach, suggesting instead that a history of art based on national divisions often obscures the processes of cultural appropriation and global exchange that shaped the visual arts of Europe in fundamental ways between 1492 and the early twentieth century. Essays here analyze distinct zones of contact–between various European states, between Asia and Europe, or between Europe and so-called primitive cultures in Africa, the Americas, and the South Pacific–focusing mainly but not exclusively on painting, drawing, or the decorative arts. Each case foregrounds the centrality of international borrowings or colonial appropriations and counters conceptions of European art as a “pure” tradition uninfluenced by the artistic forms of other cultures. The contributors analyze the social, cultural, commercial, and political conditions of cultural contact–including tourism, colonialism, religious pilgrimage, trade missions, and scientific voyages–that enabled these exchanges well before the modern age of globalization. Contributors include: Claire Farago, Elisabeth A. Fraser, Julie Hochstrasser, Christopher Johns, Carol Mavor, Mary D. Sheriff, and Lyneise E. Williams.

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Item #100864 – P. M. Harman, The Culture of Nature in Britain, 1680-1860 (New Haven: Yale University Press, 2009), ISBN: 9780300151978, $65.
This wide-ranging book investigates the emergence of modern ideas about the natural world in Britain from 1680–1860 through an examination of the cultural values common to the sciences, art, literature, and natural theology. During this critical period, spanned by Newtonian science, natural theology, Darwin’s Origin of Species, and Ruskin’s Modern Painters, the fundamental conception of nature and humanity’s place within it changed. P. M. Harman calls for a new understanding of the varied ways in which the British comprehended natural beauty, from the perception of nature as a “design” flowing from God’s creative power to the Darwinian naturalistic aesthetic. Harman connects a variety of differing views of nature deriving from religion, science, visual art, philosophy, and literature to developments in agriculture, manufacturing, and the daily lives of individuals. This ambitious and accessible book represents intellectual history at its best.

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Item #104097 – Giuseppe Pavanello, ed., Rosalba Carriera, 1673-1757: Atti del convegno 26-28 aprile 2007, Fondazione Cini, Venezia (Verona: Scripta, 2009), ISBN: 9788896162088, $75.
Thanks to the initiatives promoted by the Veneto Region and the Giorgio Cini Foundation through the Regional Committee for the celebrations of the 250th anniversary of the death of Rosalba Carriera (1757-2007), it was possible to render due homage to a painter who rose to be a leading artist on the European scene. This prominent role, highlighted by the exhibition Rosalba Carriera: prima pittrice de lEuropa held in the Palazzo Cini in 2007, has now been emphasised again with the publication of the proceedings of the Conference held at the Giorgio Cini Foundation and in Chioggia in the spring of the same year. The papers in the book cast new light on Rosalba’s activities in the Venetian art world and on the European scene. One specific enquiry was focused on the topic of collecting Rosalba Carriera works, which was dealt with in a conference session and also finds a place in the proceedings. For the first time (and in Italian) the remarkable Dresden collection has been examined and illustrated with exhaustive images as never before. One gem from the Dresden museum, the Portrait of Giambattista Recanati in Abbots Dress, was chosen for the cover of the book: the sitter is depicted immersed in thought with a hand over his chest, an allusion to his heart. This ‘portrait in grey’ is a forerunner of the celebrated masterpieces of the late 18th century painted in a single colour tone.

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Item #104119 – Jean Raoux, 1677-1734, exhibition catalogue (Paris: Somogy, 2009), ISBN: 9782757202876, $58.95.
Jean Raoux (1677-1734) is, along with Sébastien Bourdon, Joseph-Marie Vien, François-Xavier Fabre and Frédéric Bazille, one of the great French artists born in Languedoc. The painter, a contemporary of Antoine Watteau, actively participated in the revival of French painting during the Regency. Virtuoso, sensual, elegant, Jean Raoux truly merits that his home town dedicates a major exhibition to him. This first-ever retrospective reunites the artist’s most beautiful masterpieces, on loan from the great French museums as well as from collections in Germany, Austria, Italy, Britain, America and Russia. Rarely shown and with prestigious provenance, the paintings in this exhibition reveal the extent of his talent as portraitist of the aristocracy, of the world of performance, of historical and religious subjects, as well as a painter of genre scenes in the Dutch style. His artistry exalts the beauty of women, whether as a mythological heroine or a coquettish woman going about her everyday occupations. This selection highlights the multiple facets of Raoux, famous in his time and highly esteemed by Voltaire.

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Item #104322 – Philip Conisbee, ed., French Paintings of the Fifteenth through the Eighteenth Century: The Collections of the National Gallery of Art Systematic Catalogue (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2010), ISBN: 9780691145358, $99.
Georges de La Tour’s haunting depiction of a repentant Mary Magdalen gazing into a mirror by candlelight; Jean Siméon Chardin’s perfectly balanced image of a young boy making a house of cards; Jean Honoré Fragonard’s monumental suite of landscapes showing aristocrats at play in picturesque gardens–these are among the familiar and beloved masterpieces in the National Gallery of Art, which houses one of the most important collections of French old master paintings outside France. This lavishly illustrated book, written by leading scholars and the result of years of research and technical analysis, catalogues nearly one hundred paintings, from works by François Clouet in the sixteenth century to paintings by Élisabeth Louise Vigée Le Brun in the eighteenth. French art before the revolution is characterized by an astonishing variety of styles and themes and by a consistently high quality of production, the result of an efficient training system developed by the traditional guilds and the Royal Academy of Painting and Sculpture, founded in 1648 by King Louis XIV. The National Gallery collection reflects this quality and diversity, featuring excellent examples by all the leading painters: ideal landscapes by Claude Lorrain and biblical subjects by Nicolas Poussin, two artists who spent most of their careers in Rome; deeply moving religious works by La Tour, Sébastien Bourdon, and Simon Vouet; portraits of the grandest format (Philippe de Champaigne’s Omer Talon) and the most intimate (Nicolas de Largillierre’s Elizabeth Throckmorton); and familiar scenes of daily life by the Le Nain brothers in the seventeenth century and Chardin in the eighteenth. The Gallery’s collection is especially notable for its holdings of eighteenth-century painting, from Jean Antoine Watteau to Hubert Robert, and including marvelous suites of paintings by François Boucher and Fragonard. All these works are explored in detailed, readable entries that will appeal as much to the general art lover as to the specialist.

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Item #104006 — Les Cahiers d’Histoire de l’Art, n.7 (2009), ISBN: 9782953301410, $58.50. Includes:

  • S. Gopin / M. Eidelberg, “Jean Baptiste Vanmour 1671-1737 ‘Peintre ordinaire du Roy et en Levant'”
  • Y. Jackall “Recovering the work of Marie-Genevieve Bouliar 1763-1825: The invention of self in Revolutionary France”
  • M. T. Caracciolo “Jean Baptiste Wicar (Lille, 1762 – Rome, 1834) – Catalogue raisonné des peintures, Premiere partie: peintures historiques et religieuses,” etc.

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Item # 102894 – Edmond and Jules Goncourt, L’Art du XVIIIe siècle, edited and annotated by Jean-Louis Cabanès, 2 vols. (Tusson: De Lerot, 2007), ISBN: 9782355480089, $160.

  • Volume I: Watteau, Chardin, Boucher, La Tour, Greuze, Les Saint-Aubin
  • Volume II: Gravelot, Cochin, Eisen, Moreau, Debucourt, Fragonard, Prudhon

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Item Number: 104080 — Elena Marenghi, Ignazio Stern: (1679-1748),  l’opera di un pittore tedesco in Romagna (Imola: Associazione culturale San Macario, 2007), $77.50.

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