Enfilade

Current Issue of ‘The Art Bulletin’

Posted in books, journal articles by Editor on September 6, 2010

Eighteenth-century coverage in the current issue of The Art Bulletin 92 (September 2010):

Richard Taws, “Material Futures: Reproducing Revolution in P.-L. Debucourt’s Almanach National,” pp. 169-87.

Abstract: Philibert-Louis Debucourt’s 1790 Almanach national, intended to serve as a frame for a pasted calendar for the subsequent year, is a unique combination of allegory and everyday scene. Dominated by a bas-relief representing the National Assembly, the image presents responses to the French Revolution organized in terms of race, age, and social class and features a singular representation of a female newspaper vendor at work. Debucourt’s image effectively mobilizes print to conceptualize the reproduction of Revolution across temporal and national boundaries, providing a means of thinking about the relation between Revolutionary time and the materiality of the image.

Darius A. Spieth, “Giandomenico Tiepolo’s Il Mondo Nuovo: Peep Shows and the ‘Politics of Nostalgia’,” pp. 188-210.

Abstract: What was the historiography of Il mondo nuovo, a fresco painted in 1791 by Giandomenico Tiepolo? How did its title emerge? Giandomenico likely found the inspiration for his subject in popular entertainment on Venice’s Piazzetta. The houselike structure in the fresco’s middle ground—a peep show—had been labeled il mondo nuovo by the eighteenth-century playwright Carlo Goldoni. Yet the fresco was not named until after 1906. Art historian Pompeo Molmenti introduced the Goldoni-inspired title, his efforts seconded by Corrado Ricci, a powerful art administrator. Both were steeped in the “politics of nostalgia,” associated with the Italian Aesthetic movement.

Satish Padiyar, Review of Erika Naginski’s Sculpture and Enlightenment, pp. 256-58.

“. . . This ambitious book is the result of a productive interaction between the new cultural history, which has sought to rethink a history of cultural objects and practices beyond disciplinary confines, art histories of French sculpture and architecture, the history of philosophy, and the study of iconoclasm, or demonumentalizing acts of destruction. Over the last twenty years, the sculptural work of Augustin Pajou, Jean-Antoine Houdon, Clodion, Pierre Julien, and Jean Guillaume Moitte has received monographic and curatorial attention: it is thus no longer true to say that eighteenth-century French sculpture is a neglected field. But a careful reframing of key sculptural projects (either realized or planned) within the shift from a theological to a secular idea of immortality, leading to the radical minimalism of sculpture produced during the French Revolution, is long overdue — and very welcome. It begins to do for the eighteenth-century French public funerary monument what has already been achieved so impressively for the British . . .”

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