Enfilade

New Title | Quatremère de Quincy’s ‘Letters to Miranda and Canova’

Posted in books by Editor on April 27, 2012

From The Getty:

Antoine Quatremère de Quincy, introduction by Dominique Poulot, translation by Chris Miller and David Gilks, Letters to Miranda and Canova on the Abduction of Antiquities from Rome and Athens (Los Angeles: Getty Publications, 2012), 208 pages, ISBN: 9781606060995, $50.

In the 1790s and early 1800s, the art world experienced two big events: First came the military confiscation of masterpieces from Italy and northern Europe in order to build a universal museum in Paris’s Louvre. Then famous marble sculptures were prised from the Parthenon and sent to London. These events provoked reactions ranging from enthusiastic applause to enraged condemnation.

The French art critic, architectural theoretician, and political conservative Quatremère de Quincy was at the center of the European debates. In his pamphlet Letters to Miranda, he condemns the revolutionary hubris of putting “Rome in Paris” and urges the return of the works. In the Letters to Canova, however, Quatremère celebrates the British Museum for making the Parthenon sculptures accessible. Quatremère’s writing was highly controversial in its time. This book offers the first English translation of the two series of letters, as well as a new critical introduction.

Antoine Quatremère de Quincy (1755–1849) was a French archaeologist, architectural theoretician, arts administrator, and influential writer. Dominique Poulot is professor of the history of art at the Université Paris 1 Panthéon-Sorbonne. Chris Miller is a translator specializing in the fine arts. David Gilks is a Leverhulme Early Career Fellow at Queen Mary, University of London.

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