Conference at Tate Britain: ‘British Art 1660-1735, Close Readings’

Posted in conferences (to attend), exhibitions by Editor on January 31, 2011

From the University of York:

British Art 1660-1735: Close Readings
Tate Britain, 20 May 2011

Sir Godfrey Kneller, "The Harvey Family," 1721 (Tate Britain)

This conference will showcase some of the latest scholarship on art and artists in this dynamic period. Focusing on the detailed study of works of art, the event is designed to open up new perspectives on their place within British culture. This is the second of a series of major scholarly events hosted by the AHRC-supported research project Court, Country, City: British Art 1660-1735. This three-year project runs from October 2009 to September 2012, and is led by Professor Mark Hallett of the University of York and Professor Nigel Llewellyn and Dr Martin Myrone of Tate Britain.

  • Anthony Geraghty (University of York), Robert Streeter at the Sheldonian
  • Helen Pierce (University of Aberdeen), Francis Barlow: The political animal
  • Christine Stevenson (Courtauld Institute), Court, city, cosmos: meditations of London’s second Royal Exchange
  • Sarah Monks (University of East Anglia), Drawing fire: the van de Veldes, and the imagery and implications of late Stuart naval conflict
  • Jacqueline Riding (University of York), Joseph Highmore’s ‘David Le Marchand’ and the search for Kneller’s heir
  • Mark Hallett (University of York), Genres and Transformations: Reflections on the first ‘Court, Country, City’ display

The conference is free, but you must register to attend. Please email Clare Bond, at cecs1@york.ac.uk, or write to the Centre for Eighteenth Century Studies, University of York, The King’s Manor, Exhibition Square, York Y01 7EP, with your name, address, and affiliation, if any.

There will be an opportunity at lunch time to see the Court, Country, City Display in Room 3 (see below).

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Court, Country, City: British Art 1660-1735
Tate Britain, November 2010 — November 2011

Edward Collier, "Still Life," 1699 (Tate Britain)

This display introduces a major new research project, Court, Country, City: British Art 1660-1735, which will explore how the visual arts developed in these years. The period 1660-1735 was a dramatic time. Many people’s lives were transformed by the restoration of the monarchy, the establishment of a modern economy and government, and the expansion of global trade and empire. In art historical terms, the period covers the time between the appointment of Peter Lely as court painter to Charles II, and the emergence of a new form of modern British art with Hogarth and the St Martin’s Lane Academy in the 1730s.

The ways in which art was commissioned, practiced, viewed and experienced changed dramatically over these decades, as the balance of power between the Court (centred on the monarch), the Country (the land-owning elite) and the City (the urban middle class) shifted. The display divides paintings into groups according to genre – history, portraiture, landscape and still life. These groups may suggest how the
styles and forms of art changed between 1660 and 1735.

The research team would welcome your comments about the works of art you see here, and what you think they tell us about this key period of British history. Please send comments to cccresearch@tate.org.uk. The display can be seen in Room 3, Tate Britain, London, from November 2010 to November 2011.

Additional information and links to the images included in each genre are available here»

Melissa Hyde on the Saint Aubins at the Bard Graduate Center

Posted in lectures (to attend) by Editor on January 30, 2011

From the Bard Graduate Center:

Melissa Hyde, Needling: Embroidery and Satire in the Hands of the Saint-Aubins
Bard Graduate Center, New York, 16 February 2011

This talk will explore the themes of social satire and self-parody that are to be found in the illicit and uncensored drawings of the Livre de caricatures tant Bonnes que mauvaises, a collaborative work produced over several decades of the eighteenth century by the Saint Aubins, a family of artists (and embroiderers). A private, though monumental work comprised of nearly 400 drawings, the Livre engages with a dizzying array of highly topical and often hermetic subjects. This lecture will focus on a few images that satirize “effeminate” men, particularly society men who reputedly practiced embroidery and other forms of needlework. The talk will consider how these images relate to similar thematics in contemporary theater and to broader cultural anxieties about the undue influence of women like Mme de Pompadour – one of the Saint Aubin’s patrons and a favorite target in the Livre de caricatures. Taking into account that the patriarchs of the Saint Aubin family were themselves extremely successful royal embroiderers, this talk will also address some of the ways in which the Livre playfully and self-reflexively parodies the Saint Aubins themselves. (more…)

Royal Academy of Arts: Object of the Month, Kauffman’s ‘Design’

Posted in exhibitions by Editor on January 29, 2011

From the Royal Academy of Arts in London:

Royal Academy of Arts, Object of the Month — January 2011
Angelica Kauffman, Design, oil on canvas, 1778-80

Angelica Kauffman RA, "Design," oil on canvas, 1778-80 ©Royal Academy of Arts, London

. . . This painting is part of a set of the four ‘Elements of Art’ represented by female allegories of Invention, Composition, Design and Colour which were commissioned by the Royal Academy in 1778 to decorate the ceiling of the Academy’s new Council Chamber in Somerset House. The present painting shows the figure of Design as an imposing allegorical female dressed in white and pale red with a purple mantle, seated beside two Roman columns. The figure is copying a fragment of an Antique male nude statue, commonly called the Belvedere torso. The original statue was first documented in Rome in the 1430s and is now in the Vatican Museum, Rome. However a cast of this torso was in the Royal Academy’s collection at the time of Kauffman’s commission and was for the use of the students of the Royal Academy Schools.

This composition alludes to one of the cornerstones of artistic academic training at that period which focused on proportion, scale and form based on antique prototypes. This training was also echoed in Kauffman’s own study, which was based on copying Antique statues and the Renaissance great masters. . . .

The full essay is available here»

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Usually on display in the Front Hall of the Royal Academy, the painting can be seen until 6 March 2011 in the exhibition, Rome and Antiquity: Reality and Vision in the Eighteenth Century at the Museo of the Fondazione Roma.

Royal Academy of Arts: Artist of the Month, John Bacon

Posted in exhibitions by Editor on January 29, 2011

From the Royal Academy of Arts in London:

Royal Academy of Arts, Artist of the Month — January 2011
John Bacon RA (1740-1799)

John Bacon, "Sickness," marble, 1778 Diploma Work given by John Bacon, R.A., accepted 1778 © Royal Academy of Arts, London (Photo by Paul Highnam)

Bacon was the son of a cloth-worker, and was originally apprenticed to Nicholas Crispe, the owner of a porcelain factory, in 1755. Here he learnt to create designs for small scale productions in both ceramic and metalwork. In 1759 he was ambitious enough to enter the first of many sculptures into the Society of Arts premium competitions. He was successful in winning 11 premiums as well as being awarded the Society’s gold medal. Bacon went on to work with Josiah Wedgwood, Matthew Boulton and James Tassie. By 1769 the establishment of the Royal Academy Schools provided further opportunities and Bacon enrolled as a student by June of that year. He was again successful in the RA Schools competitions and won a gold medal in his first year there. His rise in the Royal Academy was rapid as he was elected as Associate of the Royal Academy in 1770 and a full Royal Academician in 1778.

His Diploma Work, given to the Royal Academy on his election to full Membership, was Sickness which is a copy of the head of figure which forms part of the monument to Thomas Guy in Guy’s Hospital Chapel, London (1779). Completed in 1779 the founder of the Hospital is depicted life size,
in contemporary dress, bending down to help an emaciated, ailing man. Unlike his contemporary and rival Thomas Banks, Bacon never visited Rome and was not greatly interested in looking to classical prototypes. The tortured expression of Sickness is more naturalistic than the Neo-classical ideal of noble simplicity would allow. . . .

The full essay is available here»

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The bust of Sickness can be seen in the Louvre exhibition Antiquity Rediscovered: Innovation and Resistance in the 18th Century until 14 February 2011.

New Acquisition at The Brooklyn Museum: Painting by Brunias

Posted in exhibitions, the 18th century in the news by Editor on January 28, 2011

Press release from the Brooklyn Museum (as noted at ArtDaily) . . .

Agostino Brunias, "Free Women of Color with their Children and Servants in a Landscape," oil on canvas, ca. 1764-96 (Brooklyn Museum)

The Brooklyn Museum has acquired, by purchase from the London Gallery Robilant + Voena, Agostino Brunias’s (1730–96) painting Free Women of Color with Their Children and Servants in a Landscape (circa 1764–96), a portrait of the eighteenth-century mixed-race colonial elite of the island of Dominica in the West Indies. Brunias, a London-based Italian painter, left England at the height of his career to chronicle Dominica, then one of Britain’s newest colonies in the Lesser Antilles. The painting depicts two richly dressed mixed-race women, one of whom was possibly the wife of the artist’s patron. They are shown accompanied by their mother and their children, along with eight African servants, as they walk on the grounds of a sugar plantation, one of the agricultural estates that were Dominica’s chief source of wealth. Brunias documented colonial women of color as privileged and prosperous. The two wealthy sisters are distinguished from their mother and servants by their fitted European dresses.

The painting is a Caribbean version of contemporaneous English works made popular by artists such as William Hogarth and Thomas Gainsborough, whose art often depicts the landed gentry engaged in leisurely pursuits. Free Women of Color with Their Children and Servants in a Landscape and other Caribbean paintings by Brunias celebrate the diversity of European, Caribbean, and African influences in the region. (more…)

Christoph Vogtherr Announced as New Director of the Wallace

Posted in the 18th century in the news by Editor on January 28, 2011

From The Wallace:

The Chairman, Sir John Ritblat, and the Trustees of the Wallace Collection are most pleased to announce the appointment of Dr Christoph Vogtherr as the next Director of the Collection upon the retirement of Dame Rosalind Savill DBE next October 2011. ‘Having run a fully international competition, it is very satisfying to find the right balance of scholarship and leadership from within the Wallace Collection itself, and that the appointment of Dr Vogtherr has the wholehearted endorsement of the Board of Trustees’ says Sir John Ritblat, Chairman of the Trustees.

Dr Christoph Martin Vogtherr is a specialist scholar/curator in eighteenth-century French painting. He was born in 1965 and studied Art History, Medieval History and Classical Archaeology at Berlin (Freie Universität), Heidelberg and at Trinity College, Cambridge. He received his Ph.D. from the Freie Universität in 1996 with a thesis on The Early History of the Berlin State Museums (published in 1997). After two years as a Research Assistant at the Akademie der Künste (Academy of Fine Arts), Berlin, he became Curator of French and Italian Paintings at the Stiftung Preußische Schlösser und Gärten (Foundation Prussian Palaces and Gardens) in Potsdam and Berlin in 1997. He curated exhibitions on Chardin, Pater and on the patronage of the Prussian Royal house and initiated an interdisciplinary research project on French paintings in the collection of Frederick II sponsored by the Getty Foundation. His catalogue raisonné of the paintings by Antoine Watteau, Jean-Baptiste Pater and Nicolas Lancret in Berlin and Potsdam appeared in December 2010. Since 2007 he has been Curator of Pictures pre-1800 at the Wallace Collection, from 2008-10 he was Acting Head of Collections, and is the curator of two exhibitions on Watteau which will open at the Wallace Collection in March 2011. He will take up his appointment on 24 October 2011.

Lecture at the Louvre: The Sculpture of Pierre-François Berruer

Posted in lectures (to attend) by Editor on January 27, 2011

From the Louvre:

Guilhem Scherf (Department of Sculpture, Louvre)
Louis XV récompense la Peinture et la Sculpture de Pierre-François Berruer
Musée du Louvre, Paris, 9 February 2011

Pierre-François Berruer Paris, "Louis XV récompense la Peinture et la Sculpture." 1770 © Musée du Louvre/P. Philibert

Ce petit bas-relief en marbre fut sculpté en 1770 par Pierre-François Berruer (1733-1797), au moment de son entrée à l’Académie royale de peinture et de sculpture. Par le traitement élaboré des draperies et la gradation subtile des plans dont il fait preuve, ce morceau de réception témoigne d’une réflexion sur l’esthétique du bas-relief dans le contexte académique. Également intitulée parfois Louis XV prenant sous sa protection l’Académie royale, cette œuvre est aussi l’occasion de revenir sur le rôle du souverain et de la politique royale en faveur des arts.

Visiting Scholar Program, University of Illinois at Urbana–Champaign

Posted in fellowships, opportunities by Editor on January 27, 2011

The John ‘Bud’ Velde Visiting Scholar Program
The Rare Book & Manuscript Library at the University of Illinois at Urbana–Champaign

Applications due by 1 April 2011

The Rare Book & Manuscript Library at the University of Illinois at Urbana–Champaign is the University’s principal repository of early printing, rare editions, and manuscripts. Since 2006, the Velde Visiting Scholar program has provided financial support to researchers unaffiliated with the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign who wish to further compelling projects utilizing these renowned collections. A gift of the estate of John E. “Bud” Velde, Jr. (1917-2002), a longtime friend of the Library and its rare book collections, funds the award. Among Velde’s many contributions to the Library are the Library’s seven-millionth volume, the 1486 edition of Breydenbach’s Peregrinatio in Terram Sanctam (Journey to the Holy Land) in 1986, and the eight-millionth volume, Frank Lloyd Wright’s The House Beautiful (1896/97). He also made a considerable contribution to the Audubon Folio Restoration Project in 1987 and established a generous endowment fund in 1999.

The research strengths of The Rare Book & Manuscript Library are manifold. Comprehensive collections support studies in printing and printing history, Renaissance studies, Elizabethan and Stuart life and letters, John Milton and his age, emblem studies, economic history, and works on early science and natural history. The library also houses the papers of the modern literary figures Carl Sandburg, H.G. Wells, William Maxwell, and W.S. Merwin.

Two John “Bud” Velde awards are given annually to facilitate a period of extended individual study (usually one month or more) in The Rare Book & Manuscript Library at the University of Illinois at Urbana–Champaign. The program is open to all scholars, from graduate students to retired professors and independent researchers, regardless of nationality. The awards are primarily intended to help defray the costs of travel and living expenses for scholars from outside the region. Each award consists of a stipend of $3,000. Recipients are responsible for making their own travel and housing arrangements, though information about campus housing will be provided. (more…)

Furniture: ‘Inspired by Antiquity’ Highlights Thomas Hope

Posted in Art Market, books, catalogues, exhibitions by Editor on January 26, 2011

From a Carlton Hobbs press release:

Inspired by Antiquity: Classical Influences on 18th- and 19th-Century Furniture and Works of Art
Carlton Hobbs, New York, 20 January — 14 February 2011

One of a pair of wall lights in the form of a griffin, related to a design by Thomas Hope, bronze, ca. 1802

The opening night reception, on January 19th, benefited the Sir John Soane Museum Foundation. Tim Knox, the Soane Museum’s eminent director, lectured on the subject of the exhibition and elaborated on some of the highlights on view. “We are honored to have Sir John Soane’s Museum Foundation as the opening night beneficiary,” said Carlton Hobbs. “We are particularly enthusiastic to present forty magnificent pieces inspired by antiquity, including the important group of Thomas Hope pieces from the Philip Hewat-Jaboor collection of Regency furniture and works of art,” he said. “It is the single largest collection of Thomas Hope pieces to come onto the market since the Christie’s auction of the contents of Deepdene, Hope’s country estate, in 1917.” Thomas Hope, the fabulously successful banker, connoisseur collector and designer, revolutionized British taste of the late 18th, early 19th century with his radical, classically inspired design ideas and came to be one of the key figures shaping the Regency taste.

In the continuous effort to deepen our understanding of the decorative arts of the 18th and 19th centuries we wanted to further explore the visual and philosophical inspirations that gave rise to the multitude of fascinating designs, which are now broadly described as Neoclassical,” said Stefanie Rinza. “We are thrilled to collaborate with some of today’s leading academics in identifying the ancient design sources for our pieces and in interpreting the symbolism of the decorative devices used. We hope our clients, colleagues and friends will much enjoy the catalog accompanying the exhibition.

Carlton Hobbs is most grateful for the contributions and collaboration of some of today’s leading experts in the field of decorative arts and in the compilation of the catalog accompanying the exhibition, including Martin Levy, former chairman of the British Antiques Dealers Association, author and specialist in 19th-century furniture and works of art, Tim Knox, Director of the Sir John Soane Museum, Philip-Hewat Jaboor, the authority on Thomas Hope and independent art consultant to private and institutional collectors, and John Hardy, the long-time director of Osterley Park House Museum, who added his insights into the meaning of the symbolism of the classical design elements to every entry.

Wiebenson Prize Deadline Approaching Soon

Posted in graduate students by Editor on January 25, 2011

Note from the President

Dear HECAA members,

Each year HECAA awards the Wiebenson Prize for an outstanding graduate student paper presented during the previous calendar year at a scholarly conference or as a sponsored lecture. Announced at HECAA’s annual luncheon (each spring at ASECS), the prize includes modest remuneration.

The prize is named for Dr. Wiebenson, Professor Emerita at the University of Virginia School of Architecture.

By 15 February 2011, students should submit three copies of their papers — as read, without notes, but with illustrations — to me, and I will then forward the submissions to an ad hoc committee responsible for selecting the winner. Honorable mention is also an option for papers of distinction not chosen for the prize. Recipients must be HECAA members in good standing.

Dr. Julie-Anne Plax

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