Enfilade

Stubbs at Christie’s on July 5

Posted in Art Market by Editor on June 30, 2011

Press release from Christie’s:

George Stubbs, "Gimcrack on Newmarket Heath, with a Trainer, a Stable-Lad, and a Jockey," 1765 (Photo: Christie's Images Ltd 2011)

Christie’s announce that they will offer for sale one of George Stubbs’ most important works at the Old Master and British Paintings Evening Sale on 5 July 2011 in London. Gimcrack on Newmarket Heath, with a Trainer, a Stable-Lad, and a Jockey by George Stubbs (1724-1806) is a true masterpiece of both British art and sporting painting, portraying Gimcrack, one of the most popular and admired of all eighteenth-century racehorses. It is offered from the Woolavington Collection, one of the finest private collections of Sporting Art, and is expected to realise in excess of £20 million.

John Stainton, Senior Director of British Pictures, Christie’s: “This is a truly exceptional example of eighteenth-century painting which holds immense importance on many levels — as an Old Master picture, as a great masterpiece of British Art, and as one of the finest sporting pictures ever painted. It is a great privilege for us to be able to work with this painting and to offer it at auction. Stubbs is an artist admired and collected by individuals and institutions from all around the world, and we look forward to presenting the opportunity for clients to acquire one of his greatest works at Christie’s on 5 July.”

Richard Knight, International co-head of Old Master and Nineteenth-Century Art at Christie’s: “Painted the year before James Christie oversaw our company’s first auction, the sale of this masterpiece will be a cornerstone moment in the history of Christie’s. It is telling that as a result of the global nature of the twenty-first-century art market, Stubbs, a very British artist, is set to join a small and select group who represent the most valuable old master artists ever sold, placing him alongside Raphael, Rubens, Rembrandt, and Turner.”

George Stubbs (1724-1806) is often celebrated as the greatest artist-scientist since Leonardo. His early career was spent working as a portrait painter, first in his native Liverpool, and subsequently in York.  Having briefly visited Rome in 1754, Stubbs spent 18 months in a farmhouse in Lincolnshire dissecting and drawing horses in preparation for the publication of his famous book The Anatomy of the Horse. His striking depictions of animals are true to science and he held an ability to portray the magnificence of beasts in paint with complete accuracy and with no compromise to sentimentality. His exceptional talent earned the artist the patronage of many important aristocrats, particularly those involved in horseracing, the ‘sport of Kings’.

Gimcrack on Newmarket Heath, with a Trainer, a Stable-Lad, and a Jockey (40 x 76¼ in. / 101.6 x 193.6 cm.) was executed in 1765 having been commissioned by the horse’s owner, Frederick St. John, 2nd Viscount Bolingbroke, who led an extravagant lifestyle pursuing his main interests of racing and gambling. Gimcrack was one of the most popular and admired of all eighteenth-century racehorses. Although he was small, he had great stamina and won an impressive 28 of his 36 races, finishing unplaced only once. The painting shows Gimcrack twice: in the background he is seen winning a ‘trial’ by some distance, and in the foreground he is depicted with his trainer and jockey, a stable-lad rubbing him down. Gimcrack is portrayed with the full magnificence of the artist’s talent; anatomical perfection with even his veins shown pulsing through his skin. A secondary, autograph version of the painting was owned by Lord Grosvenor (a subsequent owner of Gimcrack) and is now in the collection of the Jockey Club, Newmarket.

The painting is making its third appearance at Christie’s. Sold by the Bolingbroke family in 1943, it was bought by Walter Hutchinson, founder of the National Gallery of British Sports and Pastimes, before being sold again at Christie’s in 1951 when it made £12,600 and entered the Woolavington Collection. One of the greatest collections of Sporting Art in the world, the core of the Woolavington Collection was formed at the end of the nineteenth and the early twentieth century by Lord Woolavington, a whisky magnate, philanthropist, and successful racehorse owner. The collection also includes other paintings by Stubbs, as well as exceptional works by Marshall, Ferneley, Herring and Munnings.

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Sale Results (updated 7 July 2011), from a Christie’s press release:

Stubbs’s Gimcrack on Newmarket Heath Fetches $35.9Million

The Evening Sale of Old Master & British Paintings realised £49,766,050 / $79,625,680 / €54,991,485, selling 67% by lot and 83% by value. The evening’s top price was paid for Gimcrack on Newmarket Heath, with a Trainer, a Stable-Lad, and a Jockey by George Stubbs (1724-1806) which sold for £22,441,250 / $35,906,000 / €24,797,581, becoming the third most valuable Old Master painting ever sold at auction. A masterpiece of both British art and sporting painting, it portrays Gimcrack, one of the most popular and admired of all eighteenth-century racehorses. It was last sold at auction in 1951 when it realized £12,600. . . .

The Irish Georgian Society to Restore Dublin’s City Assembly House

Posted in on site, the 18th century in the news by Editor on June 29, 2011

From the Irish Georgian Society:

One of the most exciting developments in the history of the Irish Georgian Society has been its acquisition of the old City Assembly House, on South William Street, on a lease from Dublin City Council. In partnership with the Council, the Society aims to restore and revitalise this landmark building as a centre for its heritage and cultural activities but also, and most importantly, to give back to the life of the city one of its long forgotten but once venerable public spaces — the octagonal Exhibition Room of the former Society of Artists.

Over fifty years the Irish Georgian Society has established an unparalleled reputation for rescuing and restoring historic buildings throughout Ireland. In turning its attention to the City Assembly House, the IGS, in partnership with Dublin City Council, aims to restore this historically and architecturally significant building to its former glory. To achieve this the Irish Georgian Society, through its international membership in Ireland, the UK and the US, need to raise €2,000,000 over three years. Significant fundraising has already taken place on both sides of the Atlantic.

Once fully restored, the City Assembly House will become:

  • An incomparable middle sized venue for exhibitions, lectures, musical performances and for other public gatherings.
  • Headquarters for the Irish Georgian Society A centre for those interested in the Society’s activities relating to the preservation and conservation of our built heritage and support for the nation’s heritage in the decorative arts.
  • A venue for other organizations active in the architectural conservation and heritage fields.
  • A significant addition to the amenities of one of the oldest streets in Dublin, of the local community and as a new tourist destination for visitors to Dublin.

Please join with us in this amazing adventure. Our ambition is to complete this task in time for the building’s 250th anniversary in 2016 and for this we need your support. Information about how you can donate is available here»

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On Sunday, 3 July 2011, from 2-4pm, the City Assembly House (58 South William Street) will be open to visitors. Staff and the IGS Committee will be on hand to guide you around the house.

Resources Offered at the Irish Georgian Society Website

Posted in resources by Editor on June 29, 2011

In addition to providing news about numerous events and various programmes, the website for the Irish Georgian Society includes two interesting resources: 1) A Register of Traditional Building Skills and 2) A Catalogue of Irish Theses and Dissertations Relating to Architecture and the Allied Arts. The following information comes from the IGS site:

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Traditional Building Skills Register

The needs of historic buildings and structures differ to those of new buildings. In dealing with a historic building professional input is vital and craftsmen with traditional skills are a necessity. Those involved need to understand the principles and practices of conservation, as using incorrect, inappropriate or unnecessary methods can do a great deal of irreversible damage. The Register was established to ensure that those undertaking conservation work can identify craftspeople and professionals with good conservation expertise.

Users of the register should be mindful that the register has been complied from information given by those listed and no responsibility is accepted by the Irish Georgian Society for the accuracy of the information, or for any fault or accident arising from the workmanship of anyone listed, or from materials used or supplied by them. Descriptions of conservation work undertaken was requested, and is listed under each entry, so that the skills and achievements of each individual or firm can be assessed by the user of the register. Inclusion should not be regarded as either a recommendation or an endorsement by the Society. The Register is not comprehensive and no criticism is implied or intended of an individual or firm not included. Every reasonable care has been taken in the compiling of the register but no responsibility is accepted for errors and omissions. . . .

More information and access is available here»

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A Catalogue of Irish Theses and Dissertations Relating to Architecture and the Allied Arts

This catalogue is an academic resource tool that has been compiled by the Irish Georgian Society in collaboration with Ireland’s academic institutions. It provides a centralised database of Irish theses and dissertations relating to architecture and the allied arts, which have been submitted as part of an academic qualification awarded on the island of Ireland. . . .

More information and access is available here»

Call for Papers: Centre and Periphery in the Enlightenment

Posted in Calls for Papers by Editor on June 28, 2011

From the society’s website:

Centre and Periphery in the Enlightenment: The Annual Conference of the Werkgroep 18e Eeuw
Groningen, The Netherlands, 20-21 January 2012

Proposals due by 30 June 2011

In recent years, Enlightenment studies have moved away from a traditional national, most often Francocentric or Anglocentric focus toward a new view of the Enlightenment as an international process. New conceptual categories have emerged, including that of an international, transnational or Atlantic Enlightenment, while older categories such as the Republic of Letters have been revived. Yet these categories do not fully do justice to the power relations also underlying much Enlightenment debate, in the Low Countries and beyond. As attractive as the notion of a transnational Enlightenment may be, it obscures the unequal access to power of different participants in Enlightenment debate, not only in terms of geography but also related social, institutional, and gender identifications.

This conference would therefore like to ask whether the older concept of centre and periphery might be useful in addressing power discrepancies between participants in Enlightenment debates. In doing so, it takes up the provocative question formulated by one of the conference’s key-note speakers, Jorge Cañizares-Esguerra: whose Enlightenment was it anyway? Who defined what the Enlightenment’s central discourse and players were, and who defined its periphery? Can centre-periphery relations be perceived not only horizontally, i.e. across national borders, but also vertically, i.e. within them? What was the relation between various forms of regionalist consciousness and Enlightenment discourse? Topics that may be considered include, but are not restricted to:

• colonial discourse on / and the Enlightenment
• regionalism and Enlightenment
• the participation of ‘small’ or peripheral countries and regions to Enlightenment debate
• gatekeepers controlling access to Enlightenment discourse
• key institutions / mediators within larger configurations of power structures
• authors’ positioning as insiders / outsiders

Prospective speakers are invited to submit a 300-word paper proposal, together with a short bio-bibliographical statement, by 3oth June 2011 to the conference organizers: M.M.Lok@uva.nl and A.C.Montoya@rug.nl. Accepted proposals will be printed as abstracts in the conference booklet, together with high-resolution illustrations where relevant. Speakers will be asked to limit their papers to 20 minutes. The conference language will be English.

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From the society’s website:

The Werkgroep 18e Eeuw / The Dutch-Belgian Society for Eighteenth-Century Studies

The ‘Werkgroep 18e Eeuw’ endorses research into all aspects of eighteenth-century history in the Low Countries (Belgium and the Netherlands). The society is open to anybody who is interested in eighteenth-century history; both interested laymen and professional researchers alike. The Werkgroep intermediates between members and is a meeting place for all those interested in eighteenth century history. The Werkgroep approaches its objectives primarily through the organisation of annual conferences and the publication of the periodical De Achttiende Eeuw. By means of an electronic news letter, the Werkgroep keeps its members informed about conferences, calls for papers, guest lectures by foreign experts, and other current developments. Each year, the Werkgroep awards a the author of the most outstanding MA thesis on a topic concerning eighteenth-century history. (more…)

Bernheimer-Colnaghi at Masterpiece London

Posted in Art Market by Editor on June 28, 2011

Press release from Colnaghi:

Masterpiece London
The Royal Hospital Chelsea, London, 30 June — 5 July 2011

Bernheimer-Colnaghi will show the unusual combination of Old Master paintings and contemporary photographs at the second staging of Masterpiece London, the luxury fair that was launched to great acclaim last summer and will take place in the South Grounds of The Royal Hospital Chelsea, London SW3, from 30 June to 5 July 2011. The stand will be divided into two parts, the large photographic masterpiece by Candida Höfer from her Louvre series forming a bridge between the two disciplines.

Amongst the Old Master paintings will be a selection of works inspired by artistic life in Rome in the 18th century. One of the highlights is the Architectural Capriccio with Figures Discoursing among Roman Ruins by Giovanni Paolo Panini (1691-1765), the leading 18th-century painter of vedute in Rome. He worked exclusively in the Eternal City, where his patrons included Pope Innocent XIII, and his capricci of the ruined monuments of ancient Rome appealed greatly to Grand Tourists. In this example, signed and dated 1730, the artist has invented a grand, monumental setting with architectural elements inspired by the Basilica of Constantine and the Temple of Castor and Pollux while the statues of Athena and the crouching lion may be based on real sculptures from the antique.

Giovanni Paolo Panini, "Architectural Capriccio with Figures Discoursing among Roman Ruins," 1730

Bernheimer-Colnaghi will also be exhibiting the only known portrait of Panini (apart from the small-scale depictions in some of his own paintings). This extremely rare portrait of the vedutista was painted by Louis-Gabriel Blanchet (1705-1772), one of the leading French painters in 18th-century Rome, and presents the sitter as a relaxed and elegant gentleman-painter amidst the tools of his trade, standing before his easel and leaning on a portfolio, brush in hand. That Panini would have been formally portrayed by a French artist should not be surprising as he was closely associated with the French community in Rome from the outset of his career and counted many important French collectors among his patrons.

The international aspect of the Roman art world in the 18th century is also shown by another fine portrait being exhibited by Bernheimer-Colnaghi. The picture depicts the Scottish architect, art dealer and antiquary James Byres (1733-1817) and was executed by the Austrian artist Anton Von Maron (1733-1808), who settled in Rome in 1755. It was probably painted around the time of Byres’ election to the Accademia di San Luca in 1768, where he had won 3rd prize for architectural design in 1762, and features one of his drawings prominently in the foreground.

Hubert Robert (1733-1808) was one of a number of French artists who visited Italy as a young man. His River Landscape with an Artist Sketching beneath a Ruined Temple, possibly the Temple of the Sibyl at Tivoli, probably painted in the late 1770s, draws upon that visit. The temple with its Corinthian columns is undoubtedly inspired by the famous Temple of the Sibyl at Tivoli outside Rome, although the artist has taken considerable liberties with the surrounding landscape which is depicted as much gentler and more low-lying than the actual rugged terrain. (more…)

Exhibition: ‘Georges de Lastic: Amateur, Collector, and Curator’

Posted in books, catalogues, exhibitions by Editor on June 27, 2011

As reviewed by Bénédict Ancenay for The Art Tribune (18 February 2011) . . .

Georges de Lastic: Le Cabinet d’un amateur, collectionneur et conservateur
Musée de la Chasse et de la Nature, Paris, 7 December 2010 — 14 March 2011
Musée de la Vénerie, Senlis, 7 December 2010 — 14 March 2011
Musée d’Art Roger-Quilliot, Clermont-Ferrand, 4 October 2011 — 5 February 2012

ISBN: 978-2350391021, 42.00€

One man and two exhibitions, Georges de Lastic (1927-1988), a curator and collector, amply deserves this celebration in the two locations which distinctly marked his professional life. . . . An aesthete and historian, both in his professional and personal life, Georges de Lastic assembled a private collection which is now highlighted in the double exhibition presented at the Musée de la Vénerie in Senlis and the Musée de la Chasse et de la Nature in Paris. . . .

In 1970, Georges de Lastic inherited the château de Parantignat, his “little Versailles in Auvergne,” the residence for the Marquis de Lastic for over three centuries which, along with his Parisian apartment on quai de Bourbon, housed his collection of 17th- and 18th- century French paintings acquired over the years at the Drouot auction house and from various art dealers. The ensemble is made up mainly of three artists, the portraitists Nicolas de Largillierre and Hyacinthe Rigaud, representative of the “grand genre” in the Grand Siècle and the Regency, as well as François Desportes, an artist who illustrated the Sun King’s hunting parties. His wife, Françoise de Lastic and his son, Anne-François, who today are in charge of preserving the collection, accepted to lend over sixty paintings, drawings and sculptures. . . .

All of these magnificent pieces now on display to the general public will soon return to their private residence, but the catalogue will remain in testimony. The entries, under the supervision of Pierre Rosenberg, were all written by the most respected specialists of each of the artists in the exhibition. Curators, university scholars, historians or researchers, each has achieved a hymn to the glory of French painting during the Grand Siècle and Georges de Lastic’s refined taste.

A visit to the Marais, at the Musée de la Chasse et de la Nature, is a traditional part of any art lover’s itinerary. They should now add a trip to Senlis to better understand the range and complexity of the Lastic collection. This sidetrip will also allow visitors to rediscover the Musée de la Vénerie, which houses a valuable collection presented with great quality, thus going far beyond the misleadingly limited confines of its name in a historic city which has known how to preserve all of its charm.

The full review is available here»

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Exhibition catalogue: Pierre Rosenberg et al., Le cabinet d’un amateur, Georges de Lastic (1927-1988), collectionneur et conservateur (Paris: Chaudun, 2010), 240 pages, ISBN: 978-2350391021, 42€.

At the Louvre: New Multimedia Exhibition Highlights Sèvres Porcelain

Posted in exhibitions by Editor on June 26, 2011

Press release from the Louvre:

Sèvres Porcelain: An Art of Living in the 18th Century
Musée du Louvre, Paris, from 8 June 2011

Vase à fleurs "Duplessis," manufacture de Vincennes, ca. 1752 (Musée du Louvre, département des Objets d’art. N° d’inventaire OA 7610) © 2010 musée du Louvre / Martine Beck-Coppola.

Feast your eyes on the beauty of 18th-century Sèvres porcelain in the Louvre’s magnificent Napoléon III Apartments. Cuttingedge multimedia resources, designed in the context of the Museum Lab project, will help you discover how these porcelain pieces were made and provide an introduction to this aspect of the French art of living. Visit Rooms 93 and 95 on the first floor of the Richelieu Wing, where a multimedia experience awaits you! The displays entitled “Court dining in France” and “Manufacturing technique of soft-paste porcelain” will appeal to new and regular visitors alike, adding an entertaining, interactive dimension to their museum experience.

The manufacturing process of what was referred to as “white gold” was long a well-kept secret and the preserve of the most experienced craftsmen. The animated images in this display offer visitors an insight into traditional manufacturing techniques and the materials that were used to produce soft-paste porcelain since the founding of the Vincennes-Sèvres Manufactory in 1746.

On April 21, 1757, Louis XV held a supper for his guests at the Château de Choisy. The dishes were presented “French style,” which meant that the food was served in successive courses, and guests could help themselves to soups and hors-d’oeuvre, medium and large entrées, roast meats and salads, hot and cold entremets, and desserts. Each course required a specific range of plates and hollow ware. This multimedia display invites museum visitors to the King’s table. They approach the touch-table, select their language, and experience the atmosphere of a royal supper served on Sèvres porcelain.

The porcelain technique was first mastered in France in the mid-18th century, at the Vincennes-Sèvres Manufactory. Technique, form and design constantly evolved as craftsmen emulated FarEastern then European models, and this is reflected in the pieces on display—a vase and tableware in “soft-paste” porcelain (so-called because of the fragility of the enamel). The quality of the colors and elegance of the decoration testify to the skill of the Manufacture’s craftsmen, while the various forms and functions evoke the sophistication of the French art of living in the 18th century. (more…)

Call for Papers: François Cointeraux and Earthen Architecture

Posted in Calls for Papers by Editor on June 25, 2011

François Cointeraux (1740-1830), Pioneer of Modern Earthen Architecture:
Theory, Teaching and Dissemination of a Vernacular Technique
Lyons, 10-12 May 2012

Proposals due by 31 July 2011

From 1785 onwards, the builder and master mason François Cointeraux actively promoted a construction technique of vernacular origin, known as pisé de terre (or ‘rammed earth’), which was at that time confined to southeast France. His cahiers or fascicules from the Ecole d’architecture rurale (School of Rural Architecture), published in Paris in 1790-91, were rapidly translated into seven languages (German, Russian, Danish, English, Finnish, Italian and Portuguese). They attracted the attention of major architects such as Henry Holland (1745-1806) in England, Thomas Jefferson (1743-1826) in America, David Gilly (1748-1808) in Germany and Nicolaï L’vov (1751-1803) in Russia, founder of a flourishing school of earthen architecture in Tiukhili near Moscow, based on Cointeraux’s school of the Colisée in Paris. Through his publications, Cointeraux generated an almost universal interest for this material, as cheap as it was abundant, and encouraged its adaptation to rural or residential architecture.

This success can largely be explained by a desire to revive rural architecture, which was in perfect harmony with both the physiocrats’ line of thought and the actions of agricultural societies. However, Cointeraux never managed to popularise its use widely and lastingly in France. His numerous publications did not achieve their expected uptake with the institutions concerned. He is nonetheless representative of a culture of invention and innovation, highly characteristic of the first industrial revolution and the birth of modern architecture. The aim of the conference is to present a synthesis of the extensive research carried out on François Cointeraux over the course of the last twenty years and to re-situate his work in the wider context of the evolution of ideas and techniques.

T H E M E S  O F  T H E  C O N F E R E N C E (more…)

Reviewed: ‘Thomas Gainsborough and the Modern Woman’

Posted in books, catalogues, exhibitions, Member News, reviews by Editor on June 24, 2011

Benedict Leca, Aileen Ribeiro, and Amber Ludwig, Thomas Gainsborough and the Modern Woman, ed. Benedict Leca (London: Giles Limited, 2010) 196 pages, ISBN: 9781904832850, $49.95.

 Reviewed for Enfilade by Susan M. Wager

After a visit to Thomas Gainsborough’s studio in October 1760, the socially and culturally accomplished Mary Delany wrote, “There I saw Miss Ford’s picture—a whole length with her guitar, a most extraordinary figure, handsome and bold; but I should be sorry to have any one I loved set forth in such a manner.” The picture in question, Gainsborough’s Ann Ford of 1760, and the ambivalent reactions (like Mrs. Delany’s) it has engendered, is the central focus of Thomas Gainsborough and the Modern Woman. This lavishly illustrated catalogue, published to accompany an exhibition of the same name that originated at the Cincinnati Art Museum in 2010 before traveling to the San Diego Museum of Art earlier this year, was edited by Benedict Leca, Curator of European Painting, Sculpture, and Drawings at the Cincinnati Art Museum.

The portrait of Ann Ford—an eighteenth-century woman who garnered an ambiguous reputation by daring to organize public performances of her talent at the viola da gamba (unusual for a woman at the time)—was acquired by the Cincinnati Art Museum in 1927 and remains a highlight of the Museum’s collection. Leca has cleverly constructed an exhibition around the portrait, enriching our understanding of it through the juxtaposition of several well-selected loans. These include some of Gainsborough’s portraits of other “demireps”—women whose “social and sexual assertiveness combined with their flair for personal style and public exposure ran counter to propriety,” as defined by Leca. The catalogue’s three essays—by Leca, Aileen Ribeiro, and Amber Ludwig—all seem to be underpinned, implicitly, by the question: to what extent were these “demireps” in control of the constructed identities mediated through their painted portraits?

Leca’s approach to this question is decidedly optimistic. Drawing on compelling evidence such as Ann Ford’s published writings on the merits of the female sex, Leca argues that Gainsborough and Ford, in addition to some of his other female sitters, were equal partners in the production of images that challenged circumscribed gender codes and asserted female liberation from masculine control. Leca reads the correlation of Gainsborough’s signature loose brushwork—deemed “feminine” by his contemporaries—with painted passages of conventionally feminine accessories adorning sexually assertive women as the artist’s ironic and progressive rejection of masculinist norms. As Leca writes, Gainsborough’s portraits present “provocative women provocatively painted.”

Ribeiro’s essay considers how the costumes worn by Gainsborough’s demireps participated in the negotiation of reputation, class, and status. Ribeiro subtly complicates Leca’s reading of Ann Ford by evoking scholars who have suggested that paintings of accomplished women like Ford could be seen as relatively traditional presentations of ideal and precious objects of beauty, served up for the viewer’s delectation. Although Ribeiro ultimately disagrees with these readings, her essay nonetheless gestures toward the plurality of interpretations that can be gleaned from images of demireps.

Joshua Reynolds, "Portrait of Nelly O'Brien," ca. 1762-64 (London: Wallace Collection)

Leca and Ribeiro mobilize two different portraits by Joshua Reynolds of the courtesan Nelly O’Brien to make divergent points about Ann Ford. Leca emphasizes the “subversive femininity” and “suggestiveness” of Ford’s pose by contrasting it to Reynolds’s 1762-4 portrait of O’Brien (The Wallace Collection). Whereas Reynolds dissembles the unsavory profession of O’Brien through the imposition of a pyramidal, closed, Marian pose onto her body, Gainsborough flaunts the immodesty and impropriety of Ford’s dynamic, crossed-leg attitude. Ribeiro, however, juxtaposes Ann Ford with a 1763-7 Reynolds portrait of O’Brien (The Hunterian Museum & Art Gallery, University of Glasgow) in order to underscore the formality of Ford’s dress in contrast to O’Brien’s “loose bed-gown.” The latter is far more scandalous than Ford’s costume, which would have been chosen precisely to shore up Ford’s ambiguous reputation. Conflicting readings like these do not detract from the overall thrust of the book; instead, they strengthen it, attesting to the complexity of the images under examination.

Joshua Reynolds, "Portrait of Nelly O'Brien," ca. 1763-67 (Glasgow: Hunterian Museum)

Indeed, complexity characterizes the images addressed by Amber Ludwig in her essay on how portraiture could attach the appearance of virtue to women with dubious reputations. Addressing pictures of Emma Hamilton, she underscores, for instance, tensions between the desires and personality of the sitter and the desires for propriety imposed by her husband or lover.

Thomas Gainsborough and the Modern Woman would be a welcome addition to the libraries of scholars and general readers alike. The catalogue’s clear prose is supplemented by sumptuous, full-color plates and extraordinarily high-resolution details, offering a worthy substitute for individuals who did not see the exhibition, or a handsome aide-mémoire for those who did.

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Susan M. Wager is a Ph.D. candidate in Art History & Archaeology at Columbia University. Her research examines eighteenth-century reproductions after François Boucher in the mediums of gems, porcelain, and tapestries at the intersection of consumer culture, natural history, antiquarianism and connoisseurship, and global exchange.

Call for Papers: 200 Years of Sense and Sensibility

Posted in Calls for Papers by Editor on June 23, 2011

I realize this is more literary than art historical, but how nice it would be to hear a strong visually-oriented talk on sensibility in Austen’s context. From the conference website:

200 Years of Sense and Sensibility
University of St Andrews, 9-10 September 2011

Proposals due by 30 June 2011

Keynote speakers: Kathryn Sutherland (St Anne’s College, Oxford) and Paula Byrne (author of the new Harper Collins Jane Austen biography).

“I am never too busy to think of S&S,” Jane Austen wrote to her sister, Cassandra in April 1811. The year saw the publication of her first novel and to mark the anniversary, we are hosting a conference that reflects upon two hundred years of readership and opens up new interpretations of the novel. We invite proposals for 20-minute papers and round table panels on any aspect of the novel. Possible topics may include but are not limited to:

• Social and historical context
• Reception
• Tradition of Sensibility/contemporary aesthetic theory
• Literary influences
• Sibling relationships
• Feminist readings
• Adaptations and appropriations
• Re-writings and sequels
• The novel’s place in the canon

Please send abstracts of no more than 250 words to the conference organisers, Marina Cano López and Rose Pimentel, at  200sensibilities@gmail.com. Please also email us with any questions. The deadline for proposals is 30 June 2011.