Exhibition: Louis-Léopold Boilly (1761-1845)

Posted in books, catalogues, exhibitions by Amanda Strasik on September 30, 2011

From Art Media Agency:

Boilly (1761-1845)
Palais des Beaux-Arts de Lille, 4 November 2011 — 6 February 2012

The Palais des Beaux-Arts in Lille will host the first international retrospective dedicated to Louis-Léopold Boilly (1761-1845). The event, celebrating the 250th birthday of the artist, will run from 4 November to 6 February. . . .

It is the first Boilly retrospective since the 1930s and it will feature works from numerous collections. It will underline the painter’s originality. His talent as a portraitist will also be highlighted, as well as his taste for trompe-l’œil and his role as the century’s chronicler, precursory to Daumier. The exhibition will feature more than 170 paintings, drawings, lithographs, miniatures and furniture. It will be divided into seven sections, in chronological and thematic order, recounting the painter’s itinerary.

ISBN: 9782350391250

The full AMA posting is available here»

The exhibition press release (in French) is available here»

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Annie de Wambrechies, Louis-Leopold Boilly (1761-1845), exhibition catalogue (Paris: Chaudun, 2011), 304 pages, ISBN: 9782350391250, 42€ / $82.50 — The catalogue, scheduled for release in November, will be available from ArtBooks.com.

Clark Conference in LA: Vision and Knowledge

Posted in conferences (to attend) by Editor on September 29, 2011

Vision and Knowledge in the Seventeenth and Eighteenth Centuries
William Andrews Clark Memorial Library, UCLA, Los Angeles, 14-15 October 2011

Registration due by 7 October 2011

Conference Organized by Lynn Hunt and Ann Jensen Adams

“To see is to know,” wrote Aristotle.  Even today, “I see” can mean “I understand.” Aristotle understood the connection between sight and knowledge to be physical, however. Before the seventeenth century, the eye was believed to be connected directly to the spirit: an impression of objects seen were understood as physically impressed upon the soul. Sight was, therefore, both the most powerful and the most dangerous of senses. Its perceived power lay behind the explosion of image creation in a wide variety of forms and media in the early modern period; and its perceived danger lay behind the iconoclastic fury of the Protestants who destroyed images in Catholic churches in the Low Countries in 1566. Between the sixteenth and eighteenth centuries in Europe, in a paradigm shift sometimes referred to by the much discussed term the “Scientific Revolution,” a space was opened between vision and the soul, with new attention to the imperfect ocular apparatus, and such voluntary activities as reflection and reason, articulated memorably by Descartes’ “I think, therefore I am.” Empirical experience, enhanced by the invention of such optical devices as the microscope and telescope, took on new meaning, which in turn had a dramatic impact upon beliefs about the nature of images, their function in knowledge production, and the role of makers in their creation.

This conference investigates this moment so crucial to our modern world view through the perspectives of historians of art, of science, and of material culture, in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. Our participants examine contemporaneous understandings of sight, and the resulting epistemological status and function of images in producing knowledge, from optics and the practice of fine art, its display, religion, to diagrams and natural history, architecture, travel illustration, colonialism, revolution, and the telegraph.


Friday, October 14th

9:30 Morning coffee

9:55 Barbara Fuchs (UCLA), Welcoming and Opening Remarks

10:00 Session I: Religious and Scientific Dimensions of Vision
• Stuart Clark (University of Wales, Swansea), The Discernment of Spirits: Vision and Knowledge in a Religious Context
• Jeanette Peterson (University of California, Santa Barbara), The Science of Optics, Materiality, and the Visionary in Seventeenth- and Eighteenth-Century New Spain
• Lyle Massey (University of California, Irvine), Against the ‘statue anatomized’: Debates over Representation, Dissection, and Vision in Early Modern Anatomy

1:00 Lunch

2:00 Session II: Vision and Representation
• Ann Jensen Adams (University of California, Santa Barbara), Painted Surfaces and the Mechanisms of Sight
• Alexander Marr (University of Southern California), ‘Broken reflections of shapes in Sleepe’: Vision and Knowledge in Richard Haydocke’s Oneirologia
• Erica Naginski (Harvard University), Rococo Vision and the ‘Sonorous Body’ of Architecture

5:00 Reception

Saturday, October 15th

9:30 Morning Coffee

10:00 Session III: Vision, the Body, and Experience
• Elmer Kolfin (University of Amsterdam), When Africans Became Black: The Changing Image of Africans in Early Modern Netherlandish Prints (c.1500–1700)
• Bronwen Wilson (University of British Columbia), Inscription, the Horizon, and Early-Modern Journeys to Constantinople
• Annemieke Hoogenboom (Utrecht University), The Pictorial Diary of Christiaan Andriessen: The Snapshot View of an Eighteenth-Century Painter

1:00 Lunch

2:00 Session IV:  Vision and the Political
• Lynn Hunt (University of California, Los Angeles), French Revolutionary Prints and the Discovery of Social Categories
• Richard Taws (University College, London), The Telegraphic Image in Revolutionary France

Exhibition: British Watercolors of Italy at RISD

Posted in exhibitions by Editor on September 29, 2011

From the RISD Museum of Art:

Distant Climes: 18th-Century British Views of Italy
Museum of Art, Rhode Island School of Design, Providence, 1 September 2011 — 3 June 2012

John "Warwick" Smith, "Assisi in the Province of Umbria," 1794 (Providence: RISD Museum of Art)

Around 1750, British watercolorists began to travel to Italy to visit its ancient sites and idyllic countryside. Distant Climes assembles Italian views by some of these early travelers, including Richard Wilson, Richard Cooper II, and John “Warwick” Smith.

Watercolor, then a relatively new medium for landscape painting, became essential to these artists as they recorded their impressions of Italy for themselves and for collectors back home. Most adopted the idealizing and classicizing concept of nature promoted by the previous generation of landscape and perspective painters working in Italy, including Claude Lorrain and Antonio Canaletto. Their watercolors also demonstrate an interest in form, composition, and atmosphere rather than the naturalistic color, and layered washes more indicative of watercolors made after 1800.

Call for Papers: Symposium on French Bronzes

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

As noted at Le Blog de L’APAHAU and H-ArtHist:

French Bronzes: History, Materials, and Techniques, 16th-18th Centuries
Musée du Louvre and Centre de Recherche et de Restauration des Musées de France, Paris, 9-12 June 2012

Proposals due by 1 November 2011

With this three-day international symposium, we are aiming to bring together a diverse group of specialists — e.g., historians (of technology, art, trade, ideas), conservation scientists, curators, and conservator-restorers — to engage in an inter-disciplinary exchange and to promote further research into the development and cross fertilization of ideas and technology related to the making of bronzes in France — and by French artists abroad — from the Renaissance to the 19th century.

The conference will focus primarily on the following three inter-related subject areas:
1. The origins and cross-fertilization of ideas and technology related to the making of bronzes in France between the Renaissance and the 18th century. This would include three types of perspectives: chronological, geographical and typological.
2. The production of specific sculptors and founders, or of specific works of art. While technical aspects would be mostly discussed, all approaches aiming at documenting the production modes will be much appreciated, including the diverse roles of those who had a hand in the making of bronze statuary (e.g., sculptors, founders, merchants, …) and how this may have impacted stylistic and technical outcome.
3. Current state-of-the-art research methods and their application to multi-disciplinary studies. This would include historical and archaeological investigations, analytical studies of materials (e.g. metal, core and patina), as well as experimental reconstructions of metallurgical processes.

Genevieve Bresc-Bautier, musée du Louvre, France
David Bourgarit, C2RMF, France
Philippe Malgouyres, musée du Louvre, France
Jane Bassett, J. Paul Getty Museum, USA
Francesca Bewer, Harvard Art Museums, USA

Participants are invited to submit abstracts for oral or poster presentations before November 1st, 2011 (see http://frenchbronze.net ). The conference language will be English. Authors will be informed of the acceptance of their contribution and the type of presentation (oral or poster) by February 28th, 2012. A peer reviewed publication of the conference papers and poster presentations is planned to follow the conference. More information concerning the publication will be available in due course. There will be no registration fee, but conference places may be limited, so early registration is recommended.

More New Books: Monkeys and Museum Education

Posted in books by Editor on September 27, 2011

Nicole Garnier-Pelle, Anne Forray-Carlier, and Marie Christine Anselm, The Monkeys of Christophe Huet: Singeries in French Decorative Arts (Los Angeles, Getty Publications, 2011), 176 pages, ISBN: 9781606060650,$50.

Although monkeys had been used to mimic man and his foibles in the margins of medieval illuminated manuscripts, a taste for depictions of elegant monkeys developed among the French aristocracy at the end of the seventeenth century. This delightful book traces the evolution of the monkey motif into a distinct genre known as singerie (from the French word “singe” meaning monkey) during the exuberant Rococo period.

The designer and engraver Jean Bérain (1640–1711) was the first to insert monkeys into scenes of Renaissance grotesque decoration, surrounding them with scrolling foliage, fantastical creatures, and Chinese motifs. Claude Audran III (1658–1734) developed this style further with his satirical wall painting of monkeys at Louis XIV’s Château de Marly. But it was Christophe Huet (1700–1759), an acclaimed painter of animals, who produced the best-known surviving examples of singeries for the Château de Chantilly north
of Paris.

Huet’s life and work is the focus of this book. In his whimsical paintings monkeys, acting as surrogates for the château’s aristocratic occupants and guests, are shown singing and dancing, bathing, hunting boar, and sledding on the frozen lake. Huet’s work is placed in context through an examination of lesser-known interiors with singeries decoration as well as monkey motifs in the decorative arts ranging from tapestries and teapots to furniture mounts and fireplace accessories.

Nicole Garnier-Pelle is curator in charge of cultural heritage at the Condé Museum in Chantilly, France. Anne Forray-Carlier is chief curator at the Museum of Decorative Arts in Paris. Marie Christine Anselm is an art historian specializing in harpsichords and their decoration.

N.B.Kimberly Chrisman-Campbell provides a useful review at WornThrough (added 14 October 2011).

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Rika Burnham and Elliott Kai-Kee, Teaching in the Art Museum: Interpretation as Experience (Los Angeles: Getty Publications, 2011), 192 pages, ISBN: 9781606060582, $30.

At the heart of all good art museum teaching is an effort to bring people and artworks together in meaningful ways. But what constitutes an experience of a work of art? What should be taught and why? What kinds of uniquely valuable experiences are museum educators alone equipped to provide? This book—unlike any other publication currently available—addresses these and myriad other questions and investigates the mission, history, theory, practice, and future prospects of museum education. Every critical issue that has preoccupied the profession throughout its hundred-year history is considered, including lecture- versus conversation-based formats; the place of information in gallery teaching; the relation of art museum teaching to the disciplines of art history, curation, and conservation; the use of questions to stimulate discussion; and the role of playfulness, self-awareness, and institutional context in constructing the visitor’s experience.

The book will prove invaluable for all professional museum educators and volunteer docents as well as museum studies students, art and art history teachers, curators, and museum administrators. The essays distill the authors’ decades of experience as practitioners and observers of gallery teaching across the United States and abroad. They offer a range of perspectives on which everyone involved with art museum education may reflect and in so doing, encourage education to take its proper place at the center of the twenty-first century art museum.

Rika Burnham is head of education at The Frick Collection in New York. Elliott Kai-Kee is an education specialist at the J. Paul Getty Museum.

New Title: Vauxhall Gardens

Posted in books by Editor on September 26, 2011

From Yale UP:

Alan Borg and David E. Coke, Vauxhall Gardens: A History (New Haven: Paul Mellon Centre for Studies in British Art, 2011), 400 pages, ISBN: 9780300173826, $95.

From their early beginnings in the Restoration until the final closure in Queen Victoria’s reign, Vauxhall Gardens developed from a rural tavern and place of assignation into a dream-world filled with visual arts and music, and finally into a commercial site of mass entertainment. By the 18th century, Vauxhall was crucial to the cultural and fashionable life of the country, patronized by all levels of society, from royal dukes to penurious servants.

In the first book on the subject for over fifty years, Alan Borg and David E. Coke reveal the teeming life, the spectacular art and the ever-present music of Vauxhall in fascinating detail. Borg and Coke’s historical exposition of the entire history of the gardens makes a major contribution to the study of London entertainments, art, music, sculpture, class and ideology. It reveals how Vauxhall linked high and popular culture in ways
that look forward to the manner in which both art and entertainment have
evolved in modern times.

David E. Coke was formerly the Curator of Gainsborough’s House Trust, Sudbury, Suffolk, and Director of Pallant House Gallery Trust, Chichester.
Alan Borg is a former Director of two of Britain’s national museums, the Victoria and Albert Museum and the Imperial War Museum. He lives in London.

Exhibition: French Artists in Eighteenth-Century Rome

Posted in books, catalogues, exhibitions by Editor on September 25, 2011

From the exhibition website:

Drawn to Art: French Art Lovers and Artists in 18th-Century Rome
National Gallery of Canada, Ottawa, 21 October 2011 — 2 January 2012
Musée des Beaux-Arts de Caen, 4 February — 23 April 2012

Curated by Sonia Couturier

Jacques-Louis David, "St. Jerome," 1779 Musée du Séminaire, Quebec City (deposited by the Fabrique Notre-Dame, inv. PE34.984) on loan to the National Gallery of Canada, Ottawa

In the 18th century, Rome was the principal crossroads for the European community and an important source of influence for French artists who rose to prominence in the Eternal City. This exhibition highlights the flowering of French art in 18th-century Rome, focusing on some 100 works, of which many are travelling to North America for the first time.

Visitors will have the opportunity to view an exceptional selection of drawings and prints as well as a number of paintings by many important French artists of the period, including Hubert Robert, Jean-Honoré Fragonard and Jacques-Louis David. After its presentation in Ottawa, the exhibition Drawn to Art: French Artists and Art Lovers in 18th-Century Rome will be on view at the Musée des Beaux-Arts de Caen, France from 4 February to 23 April 2012.

Catalogue: Sonia Couturier, ed., Drawn to Art: French Artists and Art Lovers in 18th-Century Rome (Milan: Silvana, 2011), 216 pages, ISBN: 9788836620548, $67.50. [available from artbooks.com]

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Academic Training

Jean-Baptiste Frédéric Desmarais, "The Shepherd Paris," 1787–88 (Ottawa: National Gallery of Canada) Photo © NGC

The Académie de France in Rome, founded in 1666, provided training for the most talented students from the Académie royale de peinture et de sculpture in Paris, for a period of about four years. This group of artists comprised the dozen recipients of the Grand Prix de Rome, awarded for excellence in painting, sculpture and architecture.

The students made copies of antiquities in public squares, gardens and the Capitoline Museum, and they visited the churches and palazzos of Rome to study Renaissance and Baroque masters. The Académie also offered a live model class, open to these pensionnaires (as they were called), external students and foreigners. Although the nude study was part of the curriculum, many of the resulting paintings of academy figures were of exceptional quality. Students’ work was regularly dispatched to the king of France to attest to their progress.

A number of French artists went on to successful careers in Rome or submitted proposals for major Roman projects. The length of time that both pensionnaires and independent artists spent in Rome varied depending on
their financial resources and patron support.

The Landscape of Rome and its Surroundings

Claude-Joseph Vernet, "View of Lake Nemi," 1748 (Ottawa: National Gallery of Canada)

A revival of interest in the art of landscape was sparked in 1725 when Nicolas Vleughels, who took over as director of the Académie de France in Rome, encouraged young painters to sketch in situ. This desire to breathe new life into the landscape genre resulted in a variety of forms.

Rome and its environs provided painters and draughtsmen in search of picturesque views with a constant source of inspiration. Some artists offered an idyllic, pastoral vision, mixing imagination and reality, while others opted for a more objective portrayal of the land and its inhabitants, carefully reproducing the natural and built environment. During his Roman sojourn (1754–65), Hubert Robert made countless images of the surrounding landscape, building a vast repertoire of motifs. Like other French pensionnaires in the 1740s, he was influenced by the vedutisti Giovanni Paolo Panini and Giovanni Battista Piranesi. The masterful studies of atmospheric effects by Adrien Manglard, Claude-Joseph Vernet and Pierre-Henri de Valenciennes helped to bring landscape to the forefront in the following century.

Art Lovers, Patrons, and Artists

François-André Vincent, "Portrait of Pierre-Jacques-Onésyme Bergeret de Grancourt," 1774 (Besançon: Musée des beaux-arts et d'archéologie)

Rome was a cosmopolitan centre that attracted not only artists of diverse nationalities but also sophisticated sponsors and connoisseurs eager to hone their knowledge. A number of dilettanti emerged as key figures of this lively community, in which the most promising talents of the time flourished.

The well-established artistic relationships linking Paris and Rome were forged primarily through the directors of the Académie de France in Rome and reinforced by visiting amateurs, each with his own set of connections. The diplomatic realm also provided a fertile terrain for exchanges and development of the network.

Art tourists rarely stayed in Rome for more than a few months. They took full advantage of the resources offered by the Académie, which had available a pool of young artists keen to serve as guides. Certain visitors seem to have warranted special attention; the most important was the Marquis de Marigny, future director of the king’s buildings, who was in Rome in 1750–51 in preparation for his upcoming appointment.

Celebrations and Festivities

Jean-Marie Vien, 32 plates Illustrating the "Caravane du Sultan à la Mecque" during the Carnival in Rome, 1748, detail (Ottawa: National Gallery of Canada)

Life in Rome was punctuated by numerous celebrations and festivals, and the French artists made the most of them. Especially memorable were the extraordinary Turkish and Chinese masquerades organized by students at the Académie de France for Rome’s annual carnival. The caricatures produced offer a glimpse into a milieu full of camaraderie.

Various works illustrate the extravagant set pieces, parade floats and fireworks displays conceived for the secular celebrations and religious ceremonies that regularly transformed the city. Among the official ceremonies held to mark political events was the Chinea festival, commemorating the ceding of the kingdom of Naples by Pope Clement IV to Charles of Anjou in 1265. As the new king of Naples, Charles presented the papacy with a white mare known as a chinea (a “hackney” in English). When Naples passed into Spanish hands, the tradition was preserved. Temporary structures made of wood, canvas and stucco were built before the ambassador’s palace. These macchine, inspired by allegorical themes that glorified the kingdom of Naples, were lit up at night by fireworks.

Williamsburg Symposium on Maps and Prints of Early America

Posted in conferences (to attend), exhibitions by Editor on September 24, 2011

From The Colonial Williamsburg Foundation:

Symposium: More than Meets the Eye: Maps and Prints of Early America
DeWitt Wallace Decorative Arts Museum, Williamsburg, VA, 16-18 October 2011

In conjunction with the exhibition More than Meets the Eye: Maps and Prints of Early America, Colonial Williamsburg will sponsor a symposium from October 16-18, 2011 that will feature lectures focusing on the men who created these objects, how they assembled and disseminated their information, and the factors that motivated them to create powerful and influential images. Speakers will include Philip Burden, Paul Cohen, Louis De Vorsey, Matthew Edney, William Gartner, and Henry Taliaferro. The conference begins with an opening reception Sunday evening followed by two days of lectures, Monday and Tuesday.

The conference brochure is available for download here»

Exhibition & Symposium: Drawings from the Louvre at the Morgan

Posted in books, catalogues, conferences (to attend), exhibitions by Editor on September 23, 2011

I noted the show back in February, but I’m afraid tomorrow afternoon’s lecture series nearly slipped by me. From The Morgan:

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David, Delacroix, and Revolutionary France: Drawings from the Louvre
The Morgan Library and Museum, New York, 23 September — 31 December 2011

Curated by Louis-Antoine Prat and Jennifer Tonkovich with assistance from Esther Bell

ISBN: 9780875981598, $40

From the time of the French Revolution of 1789 through the reign of King Louis-Philippe and the establishment of the Second Empire in 1852, an incredible concentration of artistic talent brought its collective skill to bear on one of the most turbulent times in French history. This exhibition features some of the greatest examples of works on paper of the period from Paris’s famed Musée du Louvre. Included are eighty drawings by such noted artists as David, Prud’hon, Ingres, Géricault, Delacroix, and Corot.

Rarely does the Louvre allow such a major group of drawings, with so many iconic works, to travel. The exhibition will offer visitors a singular opportunity to experience the mastery of the era. The Morgan is the only venue for this important show.

David, Delacroix, and Revolutionary France: Drawings from the Louvre is organized by Louis-Antoine Prat, curator in the Department of Graphic Arts at the Musée du Louvre and Jennifer Tonkovich, curator in the Department of Drawings and Prints at The Morgan Library & Museum, with the assistance of Esther Bell, Moore Curatorial Fellow, The Morgan Library & Museum.

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Symposium — Drawing in the Age of Revolutions: New Perspectives
The Morgan Library and Museum, New York, 24 September 2011

This symposium coincides with the exhibition David, Delacroix, and Revolutionary France: Drawings from the Louvre, which offers the American public a rare opportunity to view some of the most celebrated French drawings from the Louvre. Through a series of brief talks, leading scholars will explore the diversity of draftsmanship during the period and present new research in the field. The program will conclude with a gallery conversation with curators and speakers, allowing for a closer examination of works on view.

The Art Market, Drawings Galleries, and Collectors
Louis-Antoine Prat, Curator, Department of Graphic Arts, Musée du Louvre, and Professor, Ecole du Louvre

Between Language and Painting: the Function of Drawing in the Later Work of Jacques-Louis David
Thomas Crow, Rosalie Solow Professor of Modern Art, and Associate Provost for the Arts, Institute of Fine Arts, New York University

The Louvre Drawings: A Cultural Historian’s Perspective
Stéphane Gerson, Associate Professor of French and French Studies, New York University

Drawing’s Stepchild: The Printed Image from David to Delacroix
Patricia Mainardi, Doctoral Program in Art History Graduate Center, City University of New York

In-Gallery Talks:
“Petits Souvenirs de Bonne Amitié”: Drawings and Friendship in Nineteenth-Century France
Esther Bell, Moore Curatorial Fellow, Department of Drawings and Prints, Morgan Library & Museum

Place and Memory in Nineteenth-Century French Drawings
Alison Hokanson, Research Assistant, Department of Drawings and Prints, Metropolitan Museum of Art

Winterthur Exhibition & Conference: ‘With Cunning Needle’

Posted in conferences (to attend), exhibitions by Editor on September 23, 2011

As noted at A Fashionable Frolick, Winterthur explores the past four centuries of embroidery with the exhibition and conference, With Cunning Needle:

With Cunning Needle: Four Centuries of Embroidery
Winterthur Museum, Delaware, 3 September 2011 — 8 January 2012

Apron, England, 1730-40, silk with gold and silver on silk. Winterthur Museum, 1987.84

In 2006 Plimoth Plantation in Massachusetts began an exciting and innovative project to accurately re-create a 17th-century embroidered woman’s jacket. The process of designing and making what has become known as the Plimoth Jacket has shed new light on the tools and methods employed by the skilled embroiderers of the 1600s. Using the Plimoth Jacket as a touchstone, With Cunning Needle delves into the designs, materials, techniques, and makers of embroidery over four centuries.

Explore each step in the process of creating needlework, from skeins of silk and pattern books to embroidered bed covers and silkwork pictures. Learn about the women and men who made these beautiful objects for themselves, their friends and families, and commercial sale. Discover “lost” skills that have been revived through the Plimoth Jacket project.

With Cunning Needle explores the history of embroidery and invites visitors to take a closer look at the wide array of styles, technology, and people reflected by this art form.

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From the conference webpage:

Embroidered petticoat fragment (detail), France, early 1700s. 2010.15. All Winterthur objects pictured on this page were purchased by the museum with funds provided by the Henry Francis du Pont Collectors Circle .

With Cunning Needle: A Winterthur Needlework Conference
Winterthur Museum, Delaware, 21-22 October 2011

L E C T U R E S (more…)

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