New Titles

Posted in books, catalogues by Editor on March 23, 2010

A selection of new titles from Michael Shamansky’s artbooks.com:

Nancy Keeler, Gardens in Perpetual Bloom: Botanical Illustration in Europe and America 1600-1850, exhibition catalogue (Boston: MFA, 2010), ISBN: 9780878467495, $24.95.

Originally developed as an aid to professional herbalists, botanical illustration quickly blossomed into an art form in its own right. The first flower books were intended as medicinal guides, or else illustrated volumes that catalogued the elaborate and extensive gardens of the well-to-do. But when Carl Linnaeus first classified the plant kingdom in 1735, the botanical book quickly took on a more scientific cast. By the nineteenth century, the flourishing of botanical publications reflected both the rapid rise of gardening as an amateur hobby and the desire of artists and decorators for new visual resources. Gardens in Perpetual Bloom: Botanical Illustration in Europe and America 1600–1850 traces the appreciation of flowers and their depiction, from the studious world of monks and princes to the era of the gardening enthusiast. The book’s 110 prints and drawings—which include masterful engravings by Georg Dionysus Ehret, the eighteenth century’s most accomplished botanical artist, and hand-colored prints by Pierre-Joseph Redouté, the premier draftsman of flowers for Marie Antoinette and Josephine Bonaparte—are remarkable for their technical virtuosity, delicate tonalities, scientific accuracy and seemingly infinite variety. Gardens in Perpetual Bloom is both a valuable historical survey and an affordable, attractively designed volume of jewel-like beauty.

◊  ◊  ◊  ◊  ◊

William Eisler, Lustrous Images from the Enlightenment: The Medals of the Dassiers of Geneva (Milan: Skira, 2010), ISBN: 9788857205076, $60.

The Dassiers (Jean Dassier,1676-1763 and his two sons, Jacques-Antoine, 1715-1759 and Antoine, 1718-1780) were the only medalists of their time to have had the honour of being mentioned in the Encyclopédie by Diderot and D’Alembert, in which one can read that they “have rendered their names famous through their same talent: their fine medals after nature and several other works emerging from their burin prove that they are worthy of being counted amongst the most celebrated engravers”. The book examines the works that established the reputation of the Dassiers, starting with an elegant silver watch case by Jean Dassier for the Fabrique de Genève (Paris, Louvre), three series of small medals or tokens: The Metamorphoses by Ovid (1717; 60 pieces) and Illustrious men of the century of Louis XIV (1723-1724; 73 pieces) and, finally, The Church reformers (1725; 24 pieces). This last series was dedicated to William Wake, Archbishop of Canterbury, who offered the Dassiers his support in obtaining royal authorization to strike two major series, The Kings of England (1731-1732) and Famous Britons (1731-1738). Borrowing from the fame of his father throughout Europe, Jacques-Antoine, a former pupil of the École de Rome, threw himself into the creation of a new series dedicated to worthies in England, including savants, writers and politicians. At the peak of his career, he had the privilege of producing a portrait of Montesquieu, a work that is a milestone in the history of art (1753). This European reputation ensured that he was invited as engraver to the court of Russia, where he produced his last masterpiece, The founding of the University of Moscow (1754), decorated with an extremely bold portrait of the Empress Elizabeth. The death of Jacques-Antoine in 1759 and of his father four years later marked the end of a glorious artistic and commercial enterprise after 60 years of activity. This publication offers a summary and updating of the catalogue raisonné, The Dassiers of Geneva: 18th-century European medalists (Lausanne and Geneva, 2002-2005), the scientific point of reference for the subject. The new bilingual publication aims to offer direct access for a wider public of enthusiasts, historians and researchers.

◊  ◊  ◊  ◊  ◊

Werner Busch, Englishness: Beiträge zur englischen Kunst des 18. Jahrhunderts von Hogarth bis Romney (Munich: Beuscher Kunstverlag, 2010), ISBN: 9783422069565, $92.50.

Ten essays on British art in the 18th century offer precise observations and historic as well as art-theoretic roots.

Werner Busch hat sich als einer der wenigen deutschen Kunsthistoriker immer wieder mit der britischen Malerei und Graphik beschäftigt. Der Band, der anlässlich seines 65. Geburtstages erscheint, versammelt zehn Aufsätze Buschs zur englischen Kunst und spannt einen Bogen vom Beginn bis zum Ende des 18. Jahrhunderts. Neben Hogarth werden mit Joshua Reynolds, Joseph Wright of Derby, Thomas Gainsborough und George Romney die prominentesten englischen Künstler des 18. Jahrhunderts in den Blick genommen.

◊  ◊  ◊  ◊  ◊

Marcello Fantoni, George Gorse, and Maclolm Smuts, eds., The Politics of Space: European Courts ca. 1500-1750 (Rome: Bulzoni, 2009), ISBN: 9788878704190, $55.

Contents: Malcolm Smuts and George Gorse, “Introduction”; Marcello Fantoni, “The City of the Prince: Space and Power”; Jeroen Duindam, “Palace, City, Dominions: The Spatial Dimension of Habsburg Rule”; John Robert Christianson, “Terrestrial and Celestial Spaces of the Danish Court, 1550-1650”; Jesús Escobar, “A Forum for the Court of Philip IV: Architecture and Space in Seventeenth-Century Madrid”; John Beldon Scott, “Fashioning a Capital: The Politics of Urban Space in Early Modern Turin”; Linda A. Curcio-Nagy, “Commemorating the Conquest: Local Politics and Festival Statecraft in Early Colonial Mexico City”; Monique Chatenet, “The King’s Space: The Etiquette of Interviews at the French Court in the Sixteenth Century”; Patricia Waddy, “”Many Courts, Many Spaces”; Tracy Ehrlich, “Otium cum negotium: Villa Life at the Court of Paul V Borghese”; Nicola Courtright, “A New Place for Queens in Early Modern France”; Simon Thurley, “The Politics of Court Space in Early Stuart London”; Caroline M. Hibbard, “The Somerset House Chapel and the Topography of London Catholicism”; Anna Keay, “Charles II: Buildings, Politics and Power”; Magdalena S. Sánchez, “Privacy, Family, and Devotion at the Court of Philip II”. (“Europa delle Corti” Centro studi sulle società di antico regime, Biblioteca del Cinquecento, 142)

◊  ◊  ◊  ◊  ◊

Isabelle Michel-Evrard and Pierre Wachenheim, eds., La gravure: quelles problématiques pour les Temps modernes? (Bordeaux: William Blake & Co, 2009), ISBN: 9782911059261, $60.

Annales du Centre Ledoux,Universite Paris-I, Pantheon-Sorbonne, VII

Essays include: Anne Nadeau, “Charles Simmoneau : un graveur de l’entre-deux siècles. Un aperçu de la gravure d’interprétation de 1667 à 1727”; Jean-Gérald Castex, “Un seul graveur peut-il « interpréter » tous les peintres ? Etienne Fessard ou les paradoxes de la gravure d’interprétation dans la seconde moitié du XVIIIe siècle”; Antonia Nessi, “Fabriquer Venise. La production de vedute gravées au XVIIIe siècle”; Isabelle Michel-Evrard, “Les échos visuels et philosophiques de la gravure dans la peinture des XVIIe et XVIIIe siècles”; etc.

◊  ◊  ◊  ◊  ◊

Linda Borean and Stefania Mason, eds., Il collezionismo d’arte a Venezia: Il Settecento (Venezia: Marsilio, Fondazione di Venezia, 2010), ISBN: 9788831799263, $65.

Includes: L. Borean “Dalla galleria al ‘museo’: un viaggio attraverso pitture, disegni e stampe nel collezionismo veneziano del Settecento,” C. Whistler “Venezia e l’Inghilterra: Artisti, collezionisti e mercato dell’arte 1700-1750,” E. Manikowska “I polacchi e la pittura veneziana,” S. Mason “Il caso Mocenigo di San Samuele,” etc.

%d bloggers like this: