Bibliography for National Trust Properties

Posted in on site, resources by Editor on September 18, 2010

As reported by Emile de Bruijn at the ever useful Treasure Hunt, the National Trust has recently released a massive bibliography for its properties. It’s an immensely valuable research guide and — one hopes — a model for other such institutions. . . .

The Rotunda, with the Temple of Venus in the distance, at Stowe, Buckinghamshire. ©NTPL/Andrew Butler

Our curatorial and publishing teams have been collaborating on a bibliography listing all the books and articles about the properties of the National Trust. This bibliography has just been made available online. It currently contains over 4,000 entries – the earliest one is a record of a visit by Queen Elizabeth I to Melford Hall in Suffolk in 1578. The property with the most entries is Stowe in Buckinghamshire. This very grand garden full of pavilions and monuments has inspired texts and interpretations almost from its inception. Even in the mid eighteenth century it had its own guidebook explaining the monuments to visitors. . . .

Raphael Tapestries and Cartoons Briefly Reunited at V&A

Posted in books, exhibitions by Editor on September 18, 2010

For the implications of the Raphael cartoons during the eighteenth century, see Arline Meyer, Apostles in England: Sir James Thornhill & the Legacy of the Raphael’s Tapestry Cartoons, exhibition catalogue (New York: Columbia University, 1996); and more recently, Cathleen Hoeniger, The Afterlife of Raphael’s Paintings (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2010), especially chapter 5, “The English Reception and Restoration of Raphael’s Cartoons, c. 1525-1800” (this latter text is also useful for Raphael’s reception in France and Germany). The following description of the exhibition in London comes from the V&A’s website:

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Raphael: Cartoons and Tapestries for the Sistine Chapel
Victoria & Albert Museum, London, 8 September — 17 October 2010

This is a display of four of the ten tapestries designed by Raphael for the Sistine Chapel in Vatican City. These are the original tapestries from the only series designed by Raphael of which examples survive, and are comparable with Michelangelo’s Sistine Chapel Ceiling as masterpieces of High Renaissance art. The tapestries are displayed alongside the full-size designs for them – the famous Raphael Cartoons . This is the first time that the designs and tapestries have been displayed together – something Raphael himself never witnessed. The tapestries have not been shown before in the UK.

The tapestries of the Acts of St Peter and St Paul, The Miraculous Draught of Fishes, Christ’s Charge to Peter, The Healing of the Lame Man, and The Sacrifice at Lystra, were made for the Sistine Chapel almost 500 years ago. Raphael was commissioned by Pope Leo X to design these great tapestries, which were woven in Brussels, Europe’s leading centre for tapestry-weaving, and then sent to Rome for display. As the cartoons remained in Brussels, Raphael himself never saw the cartoons beside the tapestries woven from them. Several European monarchs, including Henry VIII, later commissioned copies of the tapestries which were made from the cartoons in Brussels. In 1623 Charles I, while Prince of Wales, had the Cartoons brought to England to have his own set woven in the Mortlake tapestry workshops, and they have remained in England ever since. (more…)

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