Conference | Color between Science, Art, & Technology

Posted in conferences (to attend) by Editor on May 30, 2012

Colour in the 17th and 18th Centuries: Connexions between Science, Art, and Technology
Technische Universität, Berlin, 28-30 June 2012

Organized by Magdalena Bushart, Reinhold Reith, and Friedrich Steinle

Knowledge of how to use, combine, analyse, and understand colour has always been widely distributed, if not dispersed. Painters and architects, dyers and printers, pigment producers and merchants, physicists and chemists, natural historians and physiologist, among others, have been dealing with colour, its properties, mixtures, harmonies, meanings and uses. For long periods, different communities that were concerned with colour and the knowledge about it did not interact? at least so it appears.

One of the first to come up with fundamental claims concerning colour in full generality was Newton whose 1704 Opticks indeed quickly became a common reference point for most of those who reflected on colour. Throughout the 18th century, however, the reactions to Newton remained wildly controversial, from unrestricted appraisal via indifference to open and fierce opposition. Several attempts to reconcile Newton’s account with practitioner’s knowledge remained unsuccessful, and this was still the case in early 19th century, when the physiology of colour perception opened yet another field of colour research. The central aim of the conference is to bring together scholars who are interested in how the various strands of colour use and knowledge were interwoven and connected.

Technische Universität Berlin, Architekturgebäude, Room A 053, Straße des 17. Juni 150/152, 10623 Berlin,

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Thursday, 28 June

12:00  Registration

13:00  Welcome

13:30  Sarah Lowengard (New York), Analogies, Adaptations and Disorientations in the Mechanization of Color-Printing

14:30  Coffee Break

15:00  PRACTICES Chair: Reinhold Reith (Salzburg)
• Ad Stijnman (Amsterdam) and Elizabeth Upper (Cambridge), Early Modern Colour Printing 1600-1700
• Susan Wager (New York), Coloring the Rococo: Intermedial Reproduction and the Invention of Color in Eighteenth-Century France
• Carole Blumenfeld (Rome), Colors for Paintings Sold at Market in Rome and Paris

17:00  Coffee Break

17:30  COLOURS IN NATURE Chair: Magdalena Bushart (Berlin)
• Karin Leonhard (Berlin), Painting the Rainbow: Colour in Nature versus Colour in Art
• Ulrike Kern (Los Angeles), Broken Colours: A Key Concept in Seventeenth-Century Colour Theory

18:50: Snacks

20:00  PUBLIC LECTURE — Jenny Balfour-Paul (Exeter), Indigo: Not Just a Colour

Friday, 29 June

9:15  Alan Shapiro (Minneapolis), Newton’s Theory of Color and Painters’ Primaries

10:15  Coffee Break

10:30  COLOUR AND NEWTONIANISM Chair: Friedrich Steinle (Berlin)
• Fokko Jan Dijksterhuis (Twente), Perception of Colours by Different Eyes
• Gerhard Wiesenfeldt (Melbourne), Practitioners’ Materials and Optical Theories: Colour in Dutch Eighteenth-Century Natural Philosophy
• Heiner Krellig (Berlin/ Venice), Algarotti, Newton, and the Advantage of Their Theory of Light for Painterly Practice

12:30  Lunch Break

14:00  NATURAL PHILOSOPHY BEFORE NEWTON Chair: Sven Dupré (Berlin)
• Tawrin Baker (Bloomington), Colour in Seventeenth-Century Natural Philosophy Textbooks
• David Brafman (Los Angeles), Broken Colours: A Key Concept in Seventeenth-Century Colour Theory

15:20  Coffee Break

15:40  PRACTICE AND SYSTEM Chair: Lissa Roberts (Twente)
• Sachiko Kusukawa (Cambridge), The Colour Chart of Richard Waller, FRS, 1686
• Bruno Belhoste (Paris), Dyeing at the Gobelins in the Eighteenth Century: The Challenge of Quémizet

17:00  Coffee Break

17:20  COLOURS AFTER NEWTON Chair: Sven Dupré (Berlin)
• Robin Rehm (Basel), ‘Beauty and Perfection of the Pure Colours’: Anton Raphael Mengs and the Singularity of Yellow, Red, Blue
• Olaf L. Müller (Berlin), Border Spectra in the Atmospheric Colours of Hokusai and Hiroshige?

Saturday, 30 June

9:15  Ulrike Boskamp (Berlin), Primary Colours in the Eighteenth Century: Concepts and Uses

10:15  Coffee Break

10:30  MEANINGS Chair: Regina Lee Blaszczyk (Philadelphia)
• Corinne Thépaut-Cabasset (London), Words of Fashion: Words of Colours in Parisian Textile Trade in the Seventeenth and Eighteenth Centuries
• Theresa M. Kelley (Madison, WI), Fugitive and Variable: Color, Material Practice, and Aesthetic Contingency
• Romana Filzmoser (Florence), Color Knowledge and Color Practice in English Cosmetic Treatises of the Seventeenth Century

12:30  Lunch Break

14:00  ARTISTS’ ACCOUNTS I Chair: Ulrich Heinen (Wuppertal)
• Audrey Adamczak (Paris), A Dry Coloured Powdery Medium: The Art of Making Pastel and the Artistic and Technical Literature in France Ancien Régime
• Matthias Vollmer (Berlin), Disegno versus Colorito: Science versus Illusion?

15:20  Coffee Break

15:40  ARTISTS’ ACCOUNTS II Chair: Ulrich Heinen (Wuppertal)
• Ioana Magureanu (Bucharest), Colour: From Damnation in the Scientific Discourse to Its Recovery in Art Theory
• Petra Schuster (Berlin), How Knowledge of Color Affected Value Judgments in Siglo de Oro Painting Technique Innovation: Carducho’s Diálogos de la Pintura (1633) in Comparison to Pacheco’s Arte de la Pintura (1649)

17:00  Coffee Break

17:20  BLUE! Chair: Lissa Roberts (Twente)
• Aida Yuen Wong (Boston), Kingfisher Blue in Ming China
• Francois Delamare (Paris) and Bernard Monasse (Paris), Dyeing with Berliner Blue: A Jointed French Venture

18:40  Closing Remarks

Forthcoming | Hanneke Grootenboer’s ‘Treasuring the Gaze’

Posted in books by Editor on May 30, 2012

As noted in Heidi Strobel’s review of The Look of Love from yesterday, Hanneke Grootenboer’s book on eye miniatures is scheduled for release in November. Here’s the description from the University of Chicago Press:

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Hanneke Grootenboer, Treasuring the Gaze: Intimate Vision in Late Eighteenth-Century Eye Miniatures (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2012), ISBN: 9780226309668, $45.

The end of the eighteenth century saw the start of a new craze in Europe: tiny portraits of single eyes that were exchanged by lovers or family members. Worn as brooches or pendants, these minuscule eyes served the same emotional need as more conventional mementoes, such as lockets containing a coil of a loved one’s hair. The fashion lasted only a few decades, and by the early 1800s eye miniatures had faded into oblivion. Unearthing these portraits in Treasuring the Gaze, Hanneke Grootenboer proposes that the rage for eye miniatures—and their abrupt disappearance—reveals a knot in the unfolding of the history of vision.

Drawing on Alois Riegl, Jean-Luc Nancy, Marcia Pointon, Melanie Klein, and others, Grootenboer unravels this knot, discovering previously unseen patterns of looking and strategies for showing. She shows that eye miniatures portray the subject’s gaze rather than his or her eye, making the recipient of the keepsake an exclusive beholder who is perpetually watched. These treasured portraits always return the looks they receive and, as such, they create a reciprocal mode of viewing that Grootenboer calls intimate vision. Recounting stories about eye miniatures—including the role one played in the scandalous affair of Mrs. Fitzherbert and the Prince of Wales, a portrait of the mesmerizing eye of Lord Byron, and the loss and longing incorporated in crying eye miniatures—Grootenboer shows that intimate vision brings the gaze of another deep into the heart of private experience.

With a host of fascinating imagery from this eccentric and mostly forgotten yet deeply private keepsake, Treasuring the Gaze provides new insights into the art of miniature painting and the genre of portraiture.