Robert Up for Auction on January 27th

Posted in Art Market by Editor on January 25, 2010

As reported by Artdaily.org:

Hubert Robert, "Le pont sur le torrent," 13 x 20', 1780s, commissioned by Duc de Luynes for his hôtel particulier in the St-Germain quarter of Paris

Following the record-breaking success of its Old Master & 19th Century Art sale in December in London, Christie’s will present its flagship New York sale of Old Master & 19th Century Paintings, Drawings, and Watercolors in a two-part auction on Wednesday, January 27. This extraordinary sale of over 320 works presents the best examples of European art from the 15th to the 19th century, and features master works and recent rediscoveries from Lucas Cranach the Elder, Jan Brueghel II, Thomas Gainsborough, Gaetano Gandolfi, Louis Léopold Boilly, Jean Baptiste Camille Corot, and Samuel Palmer, among others. Total sales are expected to achieve in
excess of $48 million.

At over 20 feet in width, Le pont sur le torrent (estimate: $2-3 million) by the 18th-century French master Hubert Robert (1733-1808) is one of the largest Old Master paintings ever to be offered at Christie’s New York. This vast painting, which depicts a wild torrent of roaring waters descending into a waterfall below an arched stone bridge, was originally commissioned by the Duc de Luynes (1748-1793) for the dining room of his opulent Paris townhouse. Subsequent owners include the American newspaper baron William Randolph Hearst, who installed the painting and its equally massive mate La cascade in his beachfront castle in Sands Point, Long Island. Though the pair was separated in later years, Le pont sur torrent survives in its original state as a masterpiece of decorative painting with a dominating presence that is nearly cinematic in effect. Given its immense size, the canvas will be stretched on-site and installed in Christie’s Rockefeller Center galleries – the first time in more than 50 years that the painting will be publicly displayed. Hubert Robert’s vast canvas depicting a wild torrent of roaring waters that descend into a waterfall, surmounted by an ancient, arched bridge and peopled with laundresses and fishermen, is one of the largest works that the artist ever attempted — it measures nearly 20 feet wide — as well as one of the best documented. It was commissioned in the mid-1780s by the Duc de Luynes (1748-1793) for the dining room of his opulent townhouse in the rue Saint-Dominique in the Quartier Saint-Germain in Paris, along with a pendant of identical size depicting a more placid landscape also featuring a waterfall. In payment for the two paintings — and perhaps for the promise of other works as well — Robert was granted on the 22 March 1786 the immense sum of 25,000 livres in principal by the duke, which provided the artist with a rente (or annuity) of 2000 livres a year in interest payments for life (see Jean de Cayeux, op. cit.). It was an indication of the high position Robert held in the Parisian art world of the time, as few painters of the era were paid anything approaching that amount for two paintings, regardless of their size. . . .

For the full article, click here»

Call for Papers: Not Such a Grand Tour after All?

Posted in Calls for Papers by Editor on January 22, 2010

Dirty Sheets: The Underside of the Grand Tour
International conference at the Villa Vigoni in Menaggio, Italy, 26-29 July 2010

Paper proposals due by 1 March 2010

Give what scope you please to your fancy, you will never imagine half the disagreeableness that Italian beds, Italian cooks, Italian post-horses, Italian postilions, and Italian nastiness, offer to an Englishman.

–Sharp, Letters from Italy (1766), p. 43 (letter XI, Rome, October 1765)

Organized by Joseph Imorde (University of Siegen) and Erik Wegerhoff (Swiss Federal Institute of Technology, Zürich), the conference Dirty Sheets: The Underside of the Grand Tour aims to establish the cultural context of unfavourable travel accounts of Italy from the long eighteenth to the twentieth century. Academic discourse, not to mention popular conception, have long seen Italy as a dazzling destination yearned for by the northern European soul. This conference, however, will address an equally important tradition: disenchantment with and desertion of the Italian ideal. The two-day workshop at the Villa Vigoni will focus on the disillusion with, aversion to and rejection of Italy in travel accounts, diaries and letters, and on historically situating critical or pejorative opinions with regard to the sources in which they appear. We welcome case studies which illustrate these, as well as continuities and changes in the negative perception of Italy. Why do Grand Tourists present themselves as the ‘other’? How is this ‘otherliness’ shaped, formed, created or staged? Where did the preconceptions with which they travelled originate? How did they become conventional? How widely shared are these criteria of evaluation? This conference aims to map the contours of a cultural history of disillusion for Italy.

Please send an abstract (max. 400 words) and a brief CV by 1 March 2010 to both Joseph Imorde (imorde@kunstgeschichte.uni-siegen.de) and Erik Wegerhoff (erik_wegerhoff@yahoo.de). Presentations should be no longer than 30 minutes. Papers may be presented in English, Italian and German. A knowledge of German will be beneficial to those who wish to actively participate in discussion. Travel expenses and accommodation will be reimbursed.

Indexing Art History Websites

Posted in resources by Editor on January 21, 2010

As Christian Fuhrmeister recently noted on the Consortium of Art and Architectural Historians listserv (CAAH) — so faithfully moderated by Marilyn Lavin — ART-Guide usefully indexes thousands of art history websites. The Guide is available in English and German and currently features some 4300 sites. As described on the site itself:

ART-Guide provides access to art history websites, such as subject gateways, image databases, search engines, or mailing lists. The websites are of high quality and academic relevance; for they are reviewed according to criteria concerning the quality of content and form before admission into the collection. The collection covers the full range of European medieval, modern, and contemporary art history, and aesthetics. The websites are recorded following library bibliographic, objective, and systematic standards, and are provided with an abstract. The collection of art history websites is updated frequently by link checkers. Research in the database can be made using the basic “Search” or the “Advanced Search”, in which detailed search parameter can be entered. Additional browsing entrances provide systematic access. and the WWW-SearchSpace Art History permits full-text searching within the art history internet sources of ART-Guide.

ART-Guide is a service of Heidelberg University Library and Dresden Saxon State and University Library. The database is under construction. It is part of arthistoricum.net – The Virtual Library for Art History, which is a joint-project of Zentralinstitut fuer Kunstgeschichte in Munich and Heidelberg University Library, funded by the German Research Foundation (DFG). Within the scope of the project the database is constructed, expanded, and updated by the team in Heidelberg. An inventory of internet resources on contemporary art, made available by the ART-Guide Dresden, has been in the database integrated. The Guide in Dresden exists since 2002 as a module of ViFaArt, the Virtual Library of Contemporary Art, which is also funded by the German Research Foundation (DFG) and was constructed by the SLUB Dresden. . .

For the full description, click here»

ART-Guide is searchable by full-text, subject, region, time period, institutions, and sourcetype. There are nearly 200 sites presently included for the eighteenth century.

New Book on the Dilettanti

Posted in books, Member News by Editor on January 20, 2010

Jason Kelly, The Society of Dilettanti: Archaeology and Identity in the British Enlightenment (London: Paul Mellon Centre for Studies in British Art, 2010), 9780300152197, $75.

In 1732, a group of elite young men, calling themselves the Society of Dilettanti, held their first meeting in London. The qualification for membership was travel to Italy where the original members had met each other on the grand tour. These noblemen’s youthful indulgences while on the Continent and upon their return to London were often topics of public discussion, and ribald and licentious tales about the group circulated in the press. Originally formed as a convivial dining society, by the middle of the eighteenth century the Dilettanti took on an influential role in cultural matters. It was the first European organization fully to subsidize an archaeological expedition to the lands of classical Greece, and its members were important sponsors of new institutions such as the Royal Academy and the British Museum. The Society of Dilettanti became one of the most prominent and influential societies of the British Enlightenment. This lively and illuminating account, based on extensive archival research, is the most detailed analysis of the early Society of Dilettanti to date. Not simply an institutional biography, three themes dominate this history of the Dilettanti: eighteenth-century debates over social identity; the relationships between aesthetics and archeology; and the meanings of natural philosophy. Connecting the world of the grand tour to the sociable masculinity of London’s taverns, this book reveals that the trajectory of British classical archeology was as much a consequence of shifting notions of politeness as it was a product of antiquarian discoveries and elite tastes. The book places the Society of Dilettanti at the complex intersection of international and national discourses that shaped the British Enlightenment, and, thus, it sheds new light on eighteenth-century grand tourism, elite masculinity, sociability, aesthetics, architecture and archeology.

Note: — The book is not available in the U.S. until February, but I saw a copy a few days ago while browsing in Galignani, just across the street from the Louvre (I’m here in Paris, teaching a two-week January term). I’m glad to report that it’s stunning — and high on my wish list (I’m afraid I’m already returning with too many books to fit this one into my suitcase, and the pre-order price at Barnes & Noble or Amazon is especially attractive). –C.H.

Call for Papers: 2011 Anglo-Italian Conference in York

Posted in Calls for Papers by Editor on January 19, 2010

Third Anglo-Italian Conference on Eighteenth-Century Studies
Centre for Eighteenth Century Studies, University of York, 12-14 September 2011

Proposals due by 31 December 2010

Following the success of the first two Anglo-Italian Conferences, in York in September 2006 and in Capri, Italy in April 2009 the Italian Society for Eighteenth Century Studies and the British Society for Eighteenth Century Studies are proud to announce the third in this series of conferences. The focus of the conference will be The Marginal and the Mainstream in Eighteenth-Century Italy and Britain. Proposals are invited for 20-minute papers that deal with the theme essentially in Italy and Britain but also in a wider context. Abstracts of no more than 200 words should be sent by email to: Frank O’Gorman (fog17@btinternet.com) or Lia Guerra (dog@unipv.it). (more…)

Arts and Sciences in Early Modern Naples

Posted in conferences (to attend) by Editor on January 18, 2010

The Arts and Sciences in 17th- and 18th-Century Naples: Discovering the Past, Inventing the Future
William Andrews Clark Memorial Library, 26-27 February 2010

Organized by John A. Marino (UC San Diego)

In the past year Melissa Calaresu (University of Cambridge) and Helen Hills (University of York) organized three workshops in England on Exoticizing Vesuvius? Formations of Naples circa 1500–Present that explored Neapolitan historiography, topography and piety, and collecting. The aims of the workshops were “to critically examine the principal historiographical currents that have operated and that continue to operate within scholarship on Naples, particularly in relation to visual and literary representations of Naples from circa 1500 to the present” and “to encourage the rethinking of Neapolitan history across chronological and disciplinary divides; to resist reinscribing Neapolitan cultural history into the familiar and over-worn paradigms of modernity and nationhood (the failure of the south), the Grand Tour (as seen from northern Europe, especially aristocratic Britain), periodization that serves to draw an apparently unbridgeable gulf between the early modern period and the nineteenth century.”

This conference on The Arts and Sciences in Naples: Discovering the Past, Inventing the Future continues this rethinking of early modern Naples from the theory and practice of representation and knowledge as it developed in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. Topics will focus on the disciplines and practices of the arts and sciences—their origins, development, and contributions—within Naples itself during this period. Topics include the practice and institutions in Naples of the arts (painting, architecture, music, vernacular literature), the social sciences (ethnography, political economy), the natural sciences, and the art of cooking and entertaining. (more…)

Seven Years’ War at the Huntington

Posted in exhibitions by Editor on January 17, 2010

From the Huntington’s website:

A Clash of Empires: The Seven Years’ War and British America
Huntington Library (West Hall), San Marino, CA, 13 February — 28 June 2010

Some 20 years before the shot “heard ‘round the world” initiated the War of Independence, other shots, fired in what is now southwestern Pennsylvania, literally set the world on fire. On May 28, 1754, a detachment of Virginia militia commanded by a young George Washington ambushed a party of French soldiers in the territory claimed by both France and England. Less than two months later, French reinforcements surrounded the stockade hastily built by Washington’s men and forced their surrender. This skirmish triggered a chain of events that erupted in a conflict known as the French and Indian War or the Seven Years’ War and drew into its vortex all the European powers and engulfed the entire globe. A Clash of Empires examines the causes, course, and consequences of the conflict through the eyes of its many participants, publicly displaying for the first time materials from the Huntington Library’s vast collections documenting this turning point in modern history.

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Fellowships at UCLA

Posted in fellowships by Editor on January 16, 2010

Fellowship Opportunities at UCLA sponsored by UCLA Center for 17th-& 18th-Century Studies and the William Andrews Clark Memorial Library
All Applications due by 1 February 2010

Clark Short-Term Fellowships

Stipend of $2500 per month. Fellowship support is available to scholars with research projects that  require work in any area of the Clark’s collections. Applicants must hold a Ph.D. degree or have equivalent academic experience. Awards are for periods of one to three months in residence.

ASECS/Clark Fellowships

Stipend of $2,500 for the month of residency. Fellowships jointly sponsored by the American Society for Eighteenth-Century Studies and the Clark Library are available to postdoctoral scholars and to ABD graduate students with projects in the Restoration or the eighteenth century. Fellowship holders must be members in good standing of ASECS. Awards are for one month of residency.

Kanner Fellowship in British Studies

Stipend of $7,500 for the three-month tenure. This three-month fellowship, established through the generosity of Penny Kanner, supports research at the Clark Library in any area pertaining to British history and culture. The fellowship is open to both postdoctoral and predoctoral scholars.

Clark-Huntington Joint Bibliographical Fellowship

Stipend of $5,000 for two months in residence. Sponsored jointly by the Clark and the Huntington Libraries, this two-month fellowship provides support for bibliographical research in early modern British literature and history as well as other areas where the two libraries have common strengths. Applicants should hold a Ph.D. degree or have appropriate research experience.

Built by Numbers

Posted in books, catalogues, exhibitions by Editor on January 15, 2010

This exhibition was on view at Oxford’s Museum of the History of Science last summer; it opens at the YCBA in February. The following description comes from the latter’s website:

Compass & Rule: Architecture as Mathematical Practice in England, 1500-1750
Museum of the History of Science, Oxford, 16 June — 6 September 2009
Yale Center for British Art, New Haven, 18 February — 30 May 2010

Catalogue edited by Anthony Gerbino and Stephen Johnston (New Haven: Yale University Press, 2009)

The spread of Renaissance culture in England coincided with the birth of architecture as a profession. Identified as a branch of practical mathematics, architecture became the most artistic of the sciences and the most scientific of the arts. During this time, new concepts of design based on geometry changed how architects worked and what they built, as well as the intellectual status and social standing of their discipline.

Compass & Rule examines the role of mathematics in architectural design and building technology, highlighting the dramatic transformation of English architecture between the sixteenth and eighteenth centuries. The exhibition brings together some of the finest architectural and scientific material from the early modern period, including drawings of St. Paul’s Cathedral, an astrolabe commissioned for Queen Elizabeth I, and architectural drawings by King George III. Also on view will be nearly one hundred drawings, paintings, printed books and manuscripts, maps, and other unique mathematical instruments that illustrate the changing role of both the architect and the profession 1500 to 1750.

An illustrated catalogue edited by exhibition curators Anthony Gerbino, architectural historian and Senior Research Fellow of Worcester College, University of Oxford, and Stephen Johnston, Assistant Keeper at the Museum of the History of Science, University of Oxford, will accompany the exhibition.

A New Model for Publishing Art History Articles

Posted in journal articles by Editor on January 14, 2010

Kunstgeschichte: Open Peer Reviewed Journalhttp://www.kunstgeschichte-ejournal.net/
Transparent Reviewing and Prompt Interaction

Following the motto “Democratization of scientific communication,” this international and cross-epochal scholarly journal for art history was launched in January 2009. Papers submitted to the e-journal are first put up as ‘Discussion Papers’ for public peer assessment over a period of six months. After this stage, the authors have the option of revising their work according to the public comments. Only then will the definitive papers be published as ‘Journal Articles’. By proceeding thus we capitalize on the specific possibilities of the internet: It allows scholars to interact immediately, and to contribute comments, criticism, and additional information online to the papers published in Kunstgeschichte: Open Peer Reviewed Journal.

Contributions for the period from October-December 2009

A) New Research

  • Frank Zöllner, ‘Kanon und Hysterie: Primavera, Mona Lisa und die Sixtina im Chaos der Deutungen’
  • Sylvia Diebner, ‘Kunst am Bau: Die Scuole centrali antincendi in Rom-Capannelle (1941)’
  • Steffen Krämer, ‘Charles Jencks und das Prinzip der Doppel-, Mehr- und Überkodierung: Kommunikation und Interpretation der postmodernen Architektur’
  • Jürgen Tabor, ‘Zur sozialen Logik der Kunstindustrie’

B) Reconsidered

  • Hans Sedlmayr, ‘Die macchia Bruegels [1934]’

C) Comments

  • Tanja Michalsky, Hans Sedlmayr, ‘Die macchia Bruegels [1934]’ (Kunstgeschichte. Texte zur Diskussion 2009-54)
  • Lambert Wiesing, Kommentar zu Martina Sauer: Wahrnehmen von Sinn vor jeder sprachlichen oder gedanklichen Fassung? Frage an Ernst Cassirer (Kunstgeschichte. Texte zur Diskussion 2008-6)
  • Renate Prochno, Bemerkungen zu Anastasia Dittmann: ‘Imitation is the means, not the end, of art: Peter Paul Rubens und Sir Joshua Reynolds über die Grammatik antiker Skulptur’ (Kunstgeschichte. Texte zur Diskussion 2009-35) (more…)
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