Enfilade

November 2011 Issue of ‘Art History’

Posted in books, journal articles, reviews by Editor on December 16, 2011

Eighteenth-century offerings from the November 2011 issue:

Andrei Pop, “Sympathetic Spectators: Henry Fuseli’s Nightmare and Emma Hamilton’s Attitudes,” Art History 34.5 (November 2011): 934-57.

Henry Fuseli, "The Nightmare," 1781, exhibited in 1782 at the Royal Academy of London (Detroit Institute of Arts)

Abstract: Henry Fuseli’s painting The Nightmare (1782), unusual in the artist’s oeuvre and in the painting of its time as the public visualization of a private mental state, can be made sense of in light of late eighteenth-century practices and theories of privacy and of the agency that minds can exert on the world on on each other. By comparison with another dream-like performance, Emma Hamilton’s Attitudes, and informed by David Hume’s theory of sympathy, which was designed to explain the social communicability of mental states, a reading of The Nightmare emerges which shows that it did not aim to make visible dream imagery, but to induce spectators to have or feel as if they had an analogous experience. The painting is thus typical of the formative stage of a modern understanding of public life as a contingent
association of private lives.

Andrei Pop studied art history at Stanford and Harvard Universities and is a postdoctoral fellow at the Universität Berlin. The present essay is part of Neopaganism, a book in progress on the cultural politics of classicism. His article on Fuseli and tragedy will appear in the March 2012 Art Bulletin. His translation, together with Mechtild Widrich, of Karl Rosenkranz’s Aesthetics of Ugliness (1853) is forthcoming.

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Steven Adams, “Amateurs and Revolutionaries in Eighteenth-century France,” Art History 34.5 (November 2011): 1042-46.

Review of Charlotte Guichard, Les Amateurs d’art à Paris au XVIII siècle (Paris: Champ Vallon, 2008); Laura Auricchio, Adélaïde Labille-Guiard: Artist in the Age of Revolution (Los Angeles: Getty Publications, 2009); and Rolf Reichardt and Hubertus Kohle, Visualizing the Revolution: Politics and the Pictorial Arts in Late Eighteenth-century France (London: Reaktion Books, 2008).

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Marion Endt-Jones, “Commemorative Reconsiderations,” Art History 34.5 (November 2011): 1053-56.

Review of Diana Donald and Jane Munro, eds., Endless Forms: Charles Darwin, Natural Science, and the Visual Arts (New Haven and London: Yale Center for British Art, 2009); and Andrew Graciano, ed., Visualizing the Unseen: Imagining the Unknown, Perfecting the Natural: Art and Science in the 18th and 19th Centuries (Newcastle: Cambridge Scholars Publishing, 2008).

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Editor’s Note: At February’s CAA meeting in Los Angeles, there is an entire session, sponsored by the Midwest Art History Society, on the subject of The Nightmare. -CH.

Icons of the Midwest: Henry Fuseli’s Nightmare
Wednesday, 22 February, 12:30–2:00
Chairs: Laura Gelfand (Utah State University) and Judith Mann (Saint Louis Art Museum)

• Salvador Salort-Pons (Detroit Institute of the Arts), Living with Fuseli’s Nightmare
• Beth S. Wright (University of Texas at Arlington), ‘As I Was Perpetually Haunted by These
Ideas’: Fuseli’s Influence on Mary Shelley’s Mathilda and Frankenstein
• Scott Bukatman (Stanford University), Dreams, Fiends, and Dream Screens

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