Meet Our New Intern: Ashley Hannebrink

Posted in graduate students, site information by ashleyhannebrink on December 4, 2011

I’m happy to introduce Enfilade’s current intern, Ashley Hannebrink, who already has lots of great ideas in store for the next couple of months. -CH

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I am thrilled to join Enfilade as an intern, especially as I have found the resource to be so valuable in my own studies. I recently completed my M.A. in History of Art at University College London, where I focused largely on eighteenth- and nineteenth- century French visual cultural. My dissertation, under the supervision of Dr. Mechthild Fend, addressed animated statues in Watteau’s fêtes galantes, exploring how material metamorphosis- between paint and marble, flesh and stone -may offer new ways for understanding broader historical transformations unfolding in Regency France. In particular, I was concerned with the intersection between the erotics of sculpture and that of narratives of change. My engagement with questions of materiality, especially the fascinating eighteenth-century phenomenon of statues ‘coming to life’, emerged out of a thematic interest in matters of sexuality and gender, as well as art and politics, which I developed not only in the field of art history as an undergraduate at Dartmouth College, but also as a student at Stanford Law School. Other primary interests concern eighteenth-century Western European art in a global context and postcolonial theory, especially with regards to turquerie.

Seeking to explore such questions in the context of British art and architecture of the period, I am currently interning at Dr. Johnson’s House in London and working at The Georgian Group, an architectural conservation charity. I plan to return to art historical studies in the future, however, and, in the interim, am excited about the chance to remain involved in the field. In particular, I look forward to deepening my familiarity with the work of various scholars through contributing to the site, and, in turn, refining my own research interests. I am grateful to Dr. Hanson and HECAA for such a fantastic opportunity and look forward to supporting Enfilade! -AH

At Bonhams: A Large Doccia Figure of the Farnese Hercules

Posted in Art Market by Editor on December 4, 2011

Press release from Bonhams:

Bonhams: Fine European Ceramics
New Bond Street, London, 7 December 2011

A very rare and important 82cm high porcelain figure of Hercules created at the Doccia factory in Tuscany in 1753-55 is to be sold at Bonhams, New Bond Street, London in the Fine European Ceramics sale on 7th December 2011. This is the first time that a Doccia figure of this size has come to auction and the piece is estimated to sell for £300,000-500,000. Nette Megens, Bonhams European Ceramics Specialist, comments, “It is an unprecedented event that a Doccia figure of this size and importance comes to the market by public sale. It is truly a once in a lifetime chance for an auctioneer to handle an object of this beauty and museum quality.”

The Doccia factory was founded in the middle of the 18th century by Carlo Ginori, and is still operating in Sesto Fiorentino, just outside of Florence. The factory started making large-scale porcelain figures, a hugely ambitions task, in the late 1740s. The stunning work on offer in this sale is based on the famous Antique sculpture of the Farnese Hercules, now in the Archaeological Museum in Naples. The gesso model used in its creation has not moved since the 18th century, and is still kept in the Doccia factory museum. The factory often used bronze models from well-known sculptors to translate into porcelain and even bought the waxes from the workshops of Massimiliano Soldani Benzi and Foggini. For this Hercules, artists were sent to Rome to take casts of one of the many smaller marble versions of the monumental Farnese Hercules, which was one of the most famous Antique sculptures in the 18th century. These moulds were brought back to the Doccia factory to be re-worked into porcelain by the most famous sculptor-modeller at the factory, Gasparo Bruschi. Models of this size were generally kept at the factory, while smaller examples, often with their titles on the base, were sold as expensive souvenirs to travellers on the Grand Tour.

Porcelain sculptures of this size are very rare; Most of the known examples are now in museum collections. Dr. Rita Balleri, guest-curator at the Doccia Factory and author of ‘Omaggio a Venere’ has added an article on the Doccia Hercules, which has been published in the printed catalogue.

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From the Bonhams online catalogue:

Bonhams: Fine European Ceramics, 7 December 2011 (Sale 19110)
Lot #30 — An important unrecorded large Doccia figure of the ‘Farnese Hercules’, ca. 1745-55

After the Antique, with some variations, mounted on a two-tier, gilded and polychrome wooden scroll-edged rockwork base, probably later, 82cm high (excluding the base) (some restoration and original factory repairs) (2)

Estimate: £300,000 – 500,000 / € 350,000 – 580,000

Comparative Literature:
Klaus Lankheit, Die Modellsammlung der Porzellanmanufaktur Doccia (1982);
John Winter (ed.), Le Statue del Marchese Ginori (2003);
John Winter, “Die Skulpturen der Porzellanmanufaktur Docia,” in J. Kräftner (ed.), Barocker Luxus Porzellan, exhibition catalogue, Liechtenstein Museum (2005), pp. 179-189;
Alessandro Biancalana, Porcellane e Maioliche a Doccia (2009)

From the important series of large-scale figures and groups produced at the instigation of the founder of the Doccia manufactory, Marchese Carlo Ginori, between 1744 and Ginori’s death in 1757. No other example of this figure is recorded in the literature. The Inventario de’Modelli, the list of plaster, wax and terracotta models that were exhibited as a Galleria, or kind of museum, throughout six rooms of the Doccia manufactory, which was probably compiled by Gaspero Bruschi sometime between 1765 and 1780, includes two mentions of the Farnese Hercules:

  1. (Busti e statue posate sul banco della seconda stanza, nale è in Campidoglio) — No. 16 Una statua rappresentate Ercole di Farnese. L’originale è dei Signori Marchesi Verospi, senza forma (pagina 14) (published by Lankheit, p.115).
  2. (Sesta Stanza, Quinto palchetto) — No. 1. Vi è 14 statuette parti di Galleria di Firenze e parte di altri luoghi che sono Mercurio. Ganimede la seconda. Le terza la Baccante. La quarta la Pomona. La quinta la Venere de Medici. La sesta il Fauno. La settima 2 Venere delle belle chiappe. L’ottava Ercole del Farnese. La nona Apollo di Belvedere. La decimal una Diana. L’undecima 2 Venere una vestita e l’altra nuda. La duodecima un Giove, e tutto colle forme. (pagina 76) (published by Lankheit, p. 153).

In 1753, Carolo Ginori appointed a Florentine living in Rome, Guido Bottari, as his agent in the search for Antique statues to copy for his porcelain manufactory. It is clear from the correspondence between the two men that Ginori regarded copies of Antique statues as being of great interest. The same year, he despatched one of the modellers in the manufactory, Francesco Lici, to Rome to produce copies of desirable models. The correspondence between Bottai and Ginori reveals the difficulties the former encountered in securing permission to copy Antique statues in the Capitoline Museum. Although permission to copy six statues was eventually granted in September 1753, Bottari had in the meantime obtained permission to make copies from more easily accessible collections, such as the Villa Medici and the Palazzo Verospi. (more…)

Fellowships in American Art and Visual Culture

Posted in fellowships, graduate students by Editor on December 4, 2011

Smithsonian American Art Museum Research Fellowships
Washington, D.C.

Applications due by 15 January 2012

The Smithsonian American Art Museum and its Renwick Gallery in Washington, D.C., invite applications for research fellowships in art and visual culture of the United States. A variety of predoctoral, postdoctoral, and senior fellowships are available. Fellowships are residential and support independent and dissertation research. The stipend for a one-year fellowship is $30,000 for predoctoral fellows or $45,000 for senior and postdoctoral fellows, plus generous research and travel allowances. The standard term of residency is twelve months, but shorter terms will be considered; stipends are prorated for periods of less than twelve months.

Contact: Fellowship Office, American Art Museum, (202) 633-8353, AmericanArtFellowships@si.edu. For information and a link to the online application, visit the museum’s website.

Phillips Book Prize

Posted in opportunities by Editor on December 4, 2011

Phillips Book Prize
Applications due by 15 January 2012

The Phillips Collection Center for the Study of Modern Art offers an annual prize for an unpublished manuscript presenting new research in modern or contemporary art from 1780 to the present. Preference is given to applicants whose research focuses on subjects related to the museum’s areas of collecting. The winner receives $5,000, and his or her manuscript will be published by the Univ. of CA Press. Scholars who received their PhDs within the past 5 years are strongly encouraged to apply.

TO APPLY: submit a cover letter, a CV, an abstract of the proposed book (1-page max), and a book proposal (8-10 pages). The book proposal should include a project overview, chapter outlines, a plan for revisions and completion of the manuscript, and a description of the book’s position in the literature of modern or contemporary art. Three current letters of recommendation are also required. Please send materials electronically to CSMAprograms@phillipscollection.org.

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