Enfilade

New Title | Plumes et Pinceaux: Discours de femmes sur l’art en Europe

Posted in books, Member News by Editor on June 30, 2012

This new collection of essays, with a number of contributions from HECAA members, is published in memory of Anne Schroder and Angela Rosenthal. Now available in hard copy, it’s scheduled to appear online in three years, joining the second volume, an anthology of primary sources, already online at the INHA website.

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From the publisher:

Edited by Mechthild Fend, Melissa Hyde, and Anne Lafont, Plumes et Pinceaux: Discours de femmes sur l’art en Europe (1750-1850) – Volume 1 (Dijon: Les Presses du Réel, 2012), 336 pages, ISBN: 9782840664574, €28.

Introduction

• Mary D. Sheriff — Portrait de l’artiste en historienne de l’art : à propos des Souvenirs de Mme Vigée-Lebrun

• Noémie Étienne — La pensée dans la pratique : le cas de Marie-Jacob Godefroid, restauratrice de tableaux au XVIIIe siècle

• Sarah Betzer — Marie d’Agoult : une critique d’art « ingriste »

• Anne L. Schroder — « Elle était née pour peindre les héros ! » : l’éducation artistique des filles et les femmes peintres vue par Mme de Genlis

• Isabelle Baudino — Les voyageuses britanniques à Paris : un point de vue féminin sur l’art ?

• Satish Padiyar — Les lettres de Mme Récamier à Canova (1813-1819) : une écriture féminine entre grâce et exil

• Heather Belnap Jensen — Quand la muse parle : Julie Candeille sur l’art de Girodet

• David Blankenstein, Nina Struckmeyer et Malte Lohman — Helmina von Chézy, une historienne de l’art (?) berlinoise à Paris sous l’Empire

• Susan L. Siegfried — Expression d’une subjectivité féminine dans les journaux pour femmes, 1800-1840

• Charlotte Foucher — Le bas-bleu artistique : portrait au vitriol de la femme critique d’art

• France Nerlich — Johanna von Haza, alias Heinrich Paris. De la critique d’art comme critique sociale

Index

Crédits photographiques

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The second volume, as described at Les presses du réel:

Edited by Anne Lafont, with Charlotte Foucher and Amadine Gorse, Plumes et Pinceaux: Discours de femmes sur l’art en Europe (1750-1850) – Volume 2, Anthologie (Dijon: Les Presses du Réel, 2012), 560 pages, ISBN: 9782840664581, €32.

Si Germaine de Staël et Marceline Desbordes-Valmore sont connues pour leurs réflexions sur l’art, d’autres écrits et pensées de femmes des années 1750-1840 en France, mais aussi en Angleterre et en Allemagne, le sont moins, ou pas du tout. C’est un florilège de ces voix qui est donné à lire dans ces pages : de Mme de Beaumer à Edmée de Syva, en passant par Félicité de Genlis (dont sont publiés ici deux textes inédits, Essai sur les arts et Catalogue pittoresque du cabinet de tableaux de Monsieur le comte de Sommariva), Élisabeth Vigée-Lebrun, Helmina von Chézy, Anne Plumptre, parmi une quinzaine d’autres. Journalistes, critiques d’art, artistes ou voyageuses curieuses et averties visitant les musées européens avec passion, elles usent de tous moyens littéraires, pour faire entendre des positions esthétiques, morales, voire politiques sur l’art et
son histoire. Elles portent un regard aigu, mais pourtant jamais univoque, sur les grands événements de leur temps – de la Révolution
française à la conquête napoléonienne et à ses conséquences –, et sur
l’art et la création artistique.

At Sotheby’s | Treasures, Princely Taste

Posted in Art Market by Editor on June 29, 2012

Press release from Sotheby’s:

Treasures, Princely Taste (L12307 )
Sotheby’s, London, 4 July 2012

A gilt-bronze-mounted mahogany table “À l’Antique” designed by Jacques-Louis David (1748-1825), attributed to Georges Jacob (1739-1814), Louis XVI circa 1785-89 (est. £200,000-300,000). Photo: Sotheby’s.

Sotheby’s London will hold its third Treasures, Princely Taste auction on 4th July, 2012 (L12307) . The sale will comprise an outstanding selection of rare and important furniture, silver, objets de vertu and tapestries, many with aristocratic provenance and each displaying the remarkable qualities of princely taste. The centrepieces of the sale are a historic gilt-bronze-mounted table by Jacques-Louis David (est. £200,000-300,000), which appears in a painting by David in the collection of the Louvre Museum, and the Shah of Persia’s golden elephant automaton clock, an 18th-century, British-made technical marvel and a dazzling sight (est. £1-2 million). The sale comprises 42 lots, which are estimated to realise a total in excess of £12 million. Mario Tavella, Sotheby’s Deputy Chairman, Europe, comments: “Each of the masterpieces in this, our third offering of Treasures, Princely Taste, has its own compelling story to tell. In the case of the table designed by Jacques-Louis David, its history is recorded for posterity in a painting in the Louvre which communicates not just its sophisticated craftsmanship, but the extraordinary partnership between one of France’s greatest 18th-century ébénistes and one of the greatest painters of the day. The extraordinary Shah of Persia’s Elephant Automaton, was created specifically to redress the yawning trade balance between Britain and China. All the works we have selected reflect connoisseurs’ continued demand for the very finest pieces at the top-end of the market. Many of these spectacular and meticulously sourced works have aristocratic provenances, and represent the very pinnacle of the decorative arts of their era.”

Sale Highlights

Jacques-Louis David, The Lictors Bring to Brutus the Bodies of His Sons, 1789 (Paris: Louvre)

A gilt-bronze-mounted mahogany table À l’Antique designed by Jacques-Louis David (1748-1825), attributed to Georges Jacob (1739-1814), Louis XVI circa 1785-89 (est. £200,000-300,000). This exceptional table appears in David’s famous painting Les Licteurs rapportent a Brutus les corps de ses fils of 1789, in the Louvre. David designed and commissiond various pieces of furniture to use in his paintings. These were executed by the prominent Parisian cabinet-maker, Georges Jacob, who crafted the chairs for Marie-Antoinette’s laiterie at Rambouillet. The table can be considered as one of the most important precursors of what would be defined as the Empire style. A brass plaque inside the pedestal tells that the table was left to David’s great
granddaughter by David’s grandson, Jules David Chassagnol.

The Shah of Persia’s Elephant Automaton Clock – George III paste-set ormolu musical automaton clock, ca 1780, signed by Peter Torckler (est. £1-2 million). Photo: Sotheby’s.

The Shah of Persia’s Elephant Automaton Clock – A George III paste-set ormolu musical automaton clock, circa 1780, signed by Peter Torckler (est. £1-2 million). This magnificent automaton clock of a rare and impressive scale stands over one metre tall and was probably acquired by Naser al-Din Shah of Persia (1831–96) in London in the 1890s. The Shah had been mesmerized by similar clocks he saw while visiting Baron Ferdinand de Rothschild at Waddeson Manor in 1889. It typifies the intriguing and inventive objects produced in London by skilled British craftsmen in the second half of the 18th century and would have originally been destined for the Chinese market. Promoted by the East India Company, such objects played a key role in lessening the trade deficit between Britain and China and were articles of tribute in Chinese society, where gifts flowed through the official hierarchy, passing through the system to superiors and eventually, the Emperor. Similarly ornate elephant figures were frequently found throughout the Chinese Imperial Palaces and a large number remain in the Palace Museum, Beijing. The iconography of an elephant supporting a vase on its back forms
the auspicious rebus Daping Jingxian, or Daping Youxian,
representing the message of Peace and Harmony.

Sèvres soft-paste porcelain vases, with gilt-bronze mounts attributed to Pierre-Philippe Thomire (1751-1843), ca 1788-90 (est. £600,000-1,000,000). Photo: Sotheby’s.

A pair of important gilt-bronze-mounted Sèvres soft-paste porcelain vases, almost certainly supplied by the marchand-mercier Dominique Daguerre, the mounts attributed to Pierre-Philippe Thomire (1751-1843), circa 1788-1790 (est. £600,000-1,000,000). This magnificent pair of vases is exceptional in both form and decoration. The rare sky-blue colour was developed specifically for Louis XVI and Marie-Antoinette by the Royal Manufacture of Sèvres, during the king’s building and decoration of his Rambouillet estate. The design is by celebrated Parisian marchand-mercier Dominique Daguerre, who was the chief supplier to the court of Louis XVI, while the finely cast and chased gilt-bronze mounts can be almost certainly attributed to Pierre-Philippe Thomire, the renowned bronzier who made pieces for Louis XVI’s bedchamber at Compiègne and for Marie-Antoinette’s apartments at Versailles.

George III 12-inch diameter Selenographia, ca 1797 (est. £200,000-300,000). Photo: Sotheby’s.

A George III 12-inch diameter Selenographia, circa 1797 (est. £200,000-300,000). John Russell R.A., who patented this ‘moon globe’ in 1796, was a highly successful society portraitist, Royal Academician and painter to King George III and the Prince of Wales. Russell had a passion for astronomy and was so “stricken by the beauty of the Moon” that he devoted considerable time to observing, mapping and drawing it. This Selenographia apparatus accurately depicts the Moon, while a small globe of the Earth demonstrates the oscillations of the Moon in relation to the planet. The globe was first purchased by George O’Brien Wyndham, the 3rd Earl of Egremont (1751-1837), who also had an interest in science. The Earl’s mistress, ‘Mrs Wyndham’, was also a lady of great scientific repute and for whom much scientific equipment was purchased, so it is possible that it may have been purchased with her in mind. Only a few examples of Selenographia globes are known to have survived, and are currently held in prominent science museums in London, Oxford and Madrid as well as other private collections. (more…)

Exhibition | The Horse: From Arabia to Royal Ascot

Posted in books, catalogues, exhibitions by Editor on June 28, 2012

While you probably wouldn’t know it from the description provided below, the eighteenth century is a major theme for this exhibition on horses at The British Museum — with a good showing of Stubbs, including Letitia, Lady Lade from the Royal Collection, but other treats, too. I found it immensely instructive, one of the most interestingly layered exhibitions I recall seeing in a long time. There’s something for everyone — antiquity and the role of the horses in early civilizations and empires of Mesopotamia and Egypt, extraordinary Persian and Mughal miniatures, textiles, equestrian rock art (photographed in stunning detail), paintings, books, portraiture, agrarian history, and sport. The challenge, however, is not simply putting together a varied exhibition but imparting coherence, and given just how much is covered in this relatively modest sized show, it succeeds brilliantly, appropriately acknowledging both the Diamond Jubilee and the Olympics without being obsequious to either one. It also offers, I think, an example of how projected photographs and video can be used effectively in an exhibition without taking over or supplanting the objects on display. For better or worse, I’m guessing we’ll see lots more moving images in the exhibitions of the future. Integrating that technology thoughtfully into the larger intellectual program of a show is a tall order. The Horse: From Arabia to Royal Ascot offers a start and plenty else besides.

-Craig Hanson

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From The British Museum:

The Horse: From Arabia to Royal Ascot
The British Museum, London, 24 May — 30 September 2012

Curated by John Curtis and Nigel Tallis

The history of the horse is the history of civilisation itself. The horse has had a revolutionary impact on ancient civilisations and this major exhibition explores the influence of horses in Middle Eastern history, from their domestication around 3,500 BC to the present day. Britain’s long equestrian tradition is examined from the introduction of the Arabian breed in the 18th century to present day sporting events such as Royal Ascot and the Olympic Games.

Important loans from the British Library, the Fitzwilliam Museum and the Royal Armouries, as well as rare material from Saudi Arabia, will be seen alongside objects from the British Museum’s exceptional collection, including famous pieces such as the Standard of Ur and Achaemenid Persian reliefs. Supported by the Board of Trustees of the Saudi Equestrian Fund, the Layan Cultural Foundation and Juddmonte Farms. In association with the Saudi Commission for Tourism & Antiquities. (more…)

Call for Papers | AAH 2013 at Reading

Posted in Calls for Papers by Editor on June 27, 2012

From AAH:

39th Annual Association of Art Historians Conference
University of Reading, 11-13 April 2013

Proposals due by 12 November 2012

AAH2013 will represent the interests of an expansive art-
historical community by covering all branches of its discipline/s and the range of its visual cultures. Academic sessions will reflect a broad chronological range, as well as a wide geographical one. We will address topics of methodological, historiographical, and interdisciplinary interest as well as ones that open up debates
about the future of the discipline/s.

Keynote Speakers: Adrian Forty (Professor of Architectural History, The Bartlett, University College London) and Okwui Enwezor (Curator and Director of Haus der Kunst, Munich)

If you would like to propose a paper for one of the sessions listed below, please follow the proposal guidelines outlined on the paper proposal form.

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The following selections might be relevant for dixhuitièmistes. A full list of panels along with descriptions is available here (as a PDF file).

(In)formal Networks and the Professionalisation of Art and Design History: Conversations with art and design historians
Liz Bruchet (Voices in Art History) and Joanne Gooding (Design History Society)

Painted Gladiatrices: Women, art and the 18th-century social arena
Heather Carroll and Lauren Puzier (Sotheby’s)

Landscape and Economy
Kevin Chua (Texas Tech University) and Ross Barrett (University of North Carolina)

Poster Session
Susan Grange (Independent) and Lawrence Buttigieg (Independent)

The Art History of the Animal
Alastair Harden (University of Reading)

Ceremonial and the City
Caroline Arscott (Courtauld Institute of Art) and Pat Hardy (Museum of London)

Rhythm in Art and Life
Michelle Ying-Ling Huang (Hong Kong Baptist University) and Charlotte de Mille (Courtauld Institute of Art)

‘Action Painting’: The theatrical and the dramatic in narrative art
Mark Ledbury (University of Sydney) and Andrei Pop (University of Basel)

Shut your Eyes! Iconophobia in the modern era
Sarah Lippert (University of Michigan-Flint)

The Permanence of the Transient: Precariousness in art
Camila Maroja (Duke University) and Caroline Menezes (University of the Arts – UAL)

The Knowing Gaze: The shifting role of the connoisseur and connoisseurship in art and its histories
Jordan Mearns (University of Edinburgh Jordan) and Tom Denman (University of Reading)

Into the Light: The changing significance of light in art, design and architecture
Melissa Miles (Monash University)

The Imaginary Drinker: Bodies and beverages in art and society
Frédérique Desbuissons (Institut national d’histoire de l’art) and Edward Payne (Courtauld Institute of Art)

From Utopian Teleologies to Sporadic Historiographies: ‘Interfaces’ of art and cybernetics
Maia Toteva (Montana State University) and Jennifer Way (University of North Texas)

Twitchers: Birds and art
Tracey Warr (Oxford Brookes University), Paul Kilsby (Oxford Brookes University), and Clair Chinnery (Oxford Brookes University)

Photography and the Histories of Sculpture: What role has photography played in forming sculpture’s place in art history?
Lisa Le Feuvre (Henry Moore Institute) and Jon Wood (Henry Moore Institute)

Student Session: Collaboration
Sibyl Fisher (University of Leeds)

Visualising Architecture: Fictive buildings c.1300 – c.1750
Amanda Lillie (University of York)

Sculpture and the Sea: Figureheads and ship sculpture
Alison Yarrington (University of Hull), Douglas Hamilton (University of Hull and Maritime Historical Studies Centre), and Julia Kelly (University of Hull)

Museums & Exhibitions Session: Curating the Book: Exhibiting books, archives and manuscripts
Layla Bloom (Stanley & Audrey Burton Gallery, University of Leeds) and Ben Thomas (University of Kent)

Reviewed | Wax Exhibition in Venice

Posted in exhibitions, reviews by Editor on June 26, 2012

Notice of this exhibition appeared here at Enfilade back in March, but it’s nice to include a portion of Allison Goudie’s review from The British Society for Eighteenth-Century Studies. It also serves as a reminder of the rich offerings at the BSECS site. Links to other relevant reviews are included toward the bottom of this posting.

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From BSECS:

Avere una Bella Cera: Le Figure in Cera a Venezia e in Italia, Exhibition at the Fortuny Museum, Venice (10 March – 25 June 2012)

Reviewed by Allison Goudie, University of Oxford; posted 16 May 2012

. . .The current exhibition was conceived by its curator, Andrea Daninos, as a tribute to Schlosser’s pioneering efforts. Daninos recently published an Italian translation of Schlosser’s History (Officina Libraria, 2011), accompanied by an augmented catalogue of works, complementing the 2008 English translation that was incorporated into the outstanding Getty Research Institute publication ‘Ephemeral Bodies: Wax Sculpture and the Human Figure‘. Certainly, as such publications demonstrate, recent scholarly interest in the medium of wax has already very quickly made up for lost time and made significant inroads towards writing the medium back into the history of art. The Italian title of the exhibition translates in English as ‘in the pink’ – an apposite assessment of the current scholarly enthusiasm for the medium.

All the while however, what has been lacking, rather conspicuously – and of particular urgency given the investment in the materiality of wax by contemporary scholarship – is a cohesive exhibition in which the physical objects of this hitherto lost chapter in the history of portraiture may be viewed quite literally in the flesh. The exhibition at Palazzo Fortuny does exactly this. While its scope may be limited to the Italian context, its treatment of it is comprehensive, surveying almost all the life-size wax portraits extant today in Italian collections, public and private, and broaching private and commemorative, religious and quasi-scientific applications of wax portraiture. A notable absence in this survey of Italian wax portraiture would be the work of Medardo Rosso, however Schlosser, too, chose not to extend his exploration of the topic into the modern age. It was the eighteenth century that witnessed an expansion of wax portraiture on a scale incomparable in other periods, and the majority of portraits on display are eighteenth-century works. . .

The full review is available here»

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Additional reviews available at the BSECS site


Nicholas Hawksmoor: Architect of the Imagination

Location: Royal Academy of Arts, London
Event Date: June 2012
Reviewed By: David Frazer Lewis, University of Oxford
An homage to Hawksmoor to mark the 350th anniversary of his birth.

Read Full Review…


1740, un Abrégé du Monde

Location: Institut National d’Histoire de l’Art (INHA), Galerie Colbert, Paris
Event Date: June 2012
Reviewed By: Valérie Kobi, University of Neuchâtel
This perfectly formed exhibition captures the essence of how knowledge was visualised in the age of the encyclopaedia.

Read Full Review.


Johan Zoffany RA: Society Observed

Location: Royal Academy of Arts, London
Event Date: June 2012
Reviewed By: Allison Goudie, New College, Oxford
An impressive exhibition of the RA’s very own master of the conversation piece, Johan Zoffany.

Read Full Review…


Turner Inspired: in the Light of Claude

Location: National Gallery, London
Event Date: June 2012
Reviewed By: Clare Pettitt, King’s College, London
The new National Gallery show emphasises links between Turner and Claude, to the detriment of both.

Read Full Review…


Taking Time: Paintings by Chardin

Location: Waddeston Manor, Aylesbury
Event Date: May 2012
Reviewed By: Hannah Williams, University of Oxford
An enlightening exhibition of the four versions of Chardin’s Boy Building a House of Cards.

Read Full Review…


Luoghi Comuni

Location: Museo di Roma
Event Date: May 2012
Reviewed By: Hannah Malone
A subtle exhibition showing Rome and its many faces, as city and myth.

Read Full Review…


The Triumph of Pleasure

Location: The Foundling Museum, London
Event Date: May 2012
Reviewed By: Olive Baldwin and Thelma Wilson
Explore the world of Vauxhall Gardens at the Foundling Museum.

Exhibition | Drawings of Natoire and the Roots of Artistic Creation

Posted in catalogues, exhibitions by Editor on June 25, 2012

Thanks to Hélène Bremer for noting this exhibition at the Musée des Beaux-Arts in Nîmes. It brings together more than 90 drawings from private and public collections, including loans from the Louvre and the Atger Museum (an English description is available here).

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Charles-Joseph Natoire (1700-77): Le dessin à l’origine de la création artistique
Musée des Beaux-Arts de Nîmes, 8 June — 16 September 2012

A l’occasion de la parution de la monographie de Natoire aux éditions Arthena, rédigée par Susanna Caviglia-Brunel, le Musée des Beaux-Arts propose une exposition sur Charles-Joseph Natoire dessinateur (Nîmes, 1700 – Castel Gandolfo, 1777). Après les célébrations du bicentenaire de la mort de Natoire en 1977 et le tricentenaire de sa naissance en 2000, le Musée des Beaux-Arts rend hommage, par l’exposition inédite de sa production graphique, à cet artiste d’origine nîmoise, considéré comme l’un des grands représentants de la peinture française du XVIIIe siècle.

Né à Nîmes en 1700, Charles-Joseph Natoire illustre sans doute le mieux, avec François Boucher, un certain esprit de la peinture française sous le règne de Louis XV. Peintre subtil, dessinateur inspiré et virtuose, sa réputation s’établit rapidement après son entrée à l’Académie Royale de peinture et de sculpture en 1734 et les nombreuses commandes royales qu’il exécute avec brio (Fontainebleau, Versailles…). A partir de 1756, Natoire réduit sa production peinte au profit du dessin.

Au cœur des peintures de grands formats dont font partie les quatre cartons de tapisseries du Cycle de l’Histoire de Marc-Antoine que conserve le musée (L’entrée de Marc-Antoine à Ephèse, L’Arrivée de Cléopâtre à Tarse et Le Repas de Cléopâtre et Marc-Antoine, La Paix de Tarente), près de 90 dessins sortent exceptionnellement des réserves de collections privées et publiques (dont le musée du Louvre et le Musée Atger de Montpellier) pour le plus grand plaisir du public. Les sanguines, pierres noires et lavis permettent d’aborder les différentes fonctions du dessin dans les étapes de la création chez Charles-Joseph Natoire. Copie d’après l’Antique, étude des grands maitres, dessin sur le motif, moyen d’exercice, étude préparatoire de l’œuvre d’art ou œuvre d’art… le dessin chez Natoire révèle un charme des contours, une harmonieuse association des matériaux, le goût de l’élégance, la recherche de la beauté.

Exposition organisée avec la participation du musée du Louvre et l’aide de la DRac Languedoc-Roussillon et de l’AAMAC.

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From Dossier de l’Art:

Dossier de l’Art: Natoire. N° 196 (May 2012), 9€.

C’est l’un des plus illustres enfants de Nîmes que célèbre aujourd’hui le musée des Beaux-Arts en consacrant une exposition à l’abondante production graphique de Charles-Joseph Natoire. Près de quatre-vingt-dix feuilles sorties exceptionnellement des réserves de collections privées et publiques offrent un large panorama de l’usage qu’il fit du dessin tout au long de sa carrière, des bancs de l’Académie de peinture et de sculpture de Paris à la direction de l’Académie de France à Rome. Sanguines, pierres noires, lavis, études rehaussées à la craie ou à l’aquarelle illustrent les différentes étapes du processus de création, de la copie de motifs d’après les maîtres au premier tracé, de l’étude de variantes à l’esquisse minutieuse et jusqu’au dessin comme œuvre autonome.

Articles

Entretien avec Pierre Rosenberg, de l’Académie française
Le dessin à l’origine de la création
Arrêt sur une oeuvre : la copie de motif
Arrêt sur une oeuvre : la première pensée
Arrêt sur une oeuvre : les reprises et les variantes
Arrêt sur une oeuvre : les dessins de paysage
Les techniques graphiques au XVIIIe siècle
Le songe d’une Académie idéale
Le cas Greuze
L’invention à l’œuvre

Actualités

Le musée Atger, une collection exceptionnelle de dessins anciens
Le musée des Beaux-Arts de Nîmes
Les dessins du XVIIIe siècle du musée Fabre
Les collectionneurs de dessins au XVIIIe siècle
Les dessins de la collection Adrien au musée des Beaux-Arts de Rennes

Art Fair | Masterpiece London 2012

Posted in Art Market, lectures (to attend) by Editor on June 24, 2012

From the fair’s website:

Masterpiece London 2012
Royal Hospital Chelsea, London, 28 June — 4 July 2012

Now in its third year Masterpiece London confirms its position as the capital’s leading art and antiques fair. This is no ordinary event, but a forum for distinctive design and aesthetic excellence where every exhibit offered is scrutinized by a team of experts to ensure every confidence in each purchase. The variety on offer at the fair is second to none: cars, wine, contemporary design and exquisite jewellery sit alongside the best of the fine and decorative arts. Presenting a snapshot of the history of art and design from antiquity to the present day, visitors will relish the chance to acquire rare collectors’ items or simply enjoy temptation on a grand scale. There is nowhere better than Masterpiece London 2012 to discover a rich and varied treasure trove. . .

If your interest is piqued by what you see, Masterpiece London offers you the chance to develop your knowledge and appreciation. During each day of the fair, select exhibitors will present insights into their given area of expertise so if your interest is portraits or pocket watches, mirrors or miniatures, Degas or diamonds, Masterpiece London gives you the opportunity to get up close and personal with some of the finest examples shown at the fair and to learn from the world’s leading luminaries.

Building on the success of 2010 and 2011 Masterpiece London promises you an impressive choice of art and design enlivened with its own special twist to ensure you have a memorable and enjoyable visit. All is displayed in a fresh and lavish setting, so that whether you are a seasoned collector, or a new buyer or just an admirer of exquisite beauty, you will experience countless opportunities to buy, enjoy and learn from.

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Of all the events associated with the fair, Saturday’s Wallace Collection Symposium might be most interesting to Enfilade readers:

Wallace Collection Symposium at Masterpiece London
Royal Hospital Chelsea, London, 30 June 2012

The Wallace Collection will be hosting a symposium on Saturday 30 June, led by Director, Dr Christoph Vogtherr. There will be four talks by Collection curators, from 11.30 – 16.00 on great collectors and their collections to include the French court of Louis XVI and British collecting in the nineteenth century.

11.30 A Golden Age: Collecting Medieval and Renaissance Sculpture and Decorative Arts in the Nineteenth Century
Jeremy Warren, Collections and Academic Director

12.00 Nineteenth-Century British Collectors of Contemporary French Paintings
Stephen Duffy, Curator of Pictures

13.00 Lunch

14.30 Royal Collectors at the Court of Louis XVI
Helen Jacobsen, Curator French Eighteenth-Century Decorative Arts

15.15 How Paintings Were Displayed in the Eighteenth Century
Christoph Vogtherr, Director

The day and each talk is free to Masterpiece London ticket holders. To reserve a place at the symposium, please email contact@masterpiecefair.com with your full name and address, with the subject: The Wallace Collection Symposium, indicating how many spaces you wish to reserve and a confirmation letter will be sent to you. Places are subject to availability.

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Note (added 9 July 2012) — A press release highlighting the successes of Masterpiece London 2012 is available at Art Daily.

Enfilade at Three — Buy a Book and Open a Door

Posted in anniversaries, books, opinion pages, site information by Editor on June 22, 2012

From the Editor

Enfilade turns three today, and to celebrate, I’m announcing a campaign to establish June 22 as Buy-an-Art-Book Day. As I’ve said repeatedly, you deserve credit for making this site so much more than I could have possibly envisioned when I stepped on-board several years ago as newsletter editor. With more than 220,000 hits on some 1300 posts, Enfilade attests to the global depth of interest in eighteenth-century art — both among scholars and a wider, engaged public. The site now receives around 10,000 hits each month with some 1500 from returning visits. In short, there are hundreds of you who read Enfilade on a regular basis, and the site’s success depends on you. Thank you!

With these numbers in mind, it seems to me that Enfilade readers could mobilize to make an impact — modest perhaps but still an impact. In transitioning from traditional print formats to the digital realm, academic publishing, particularly art historical publishing, faces tremendous challenges. With the ‘business’ of the academy more generally plagued by questions of sustainability, it’s easy to see how hard decisions about budgets have wreaked havoc on the sales of books (when major universities are cutting whole departments, declining library budgets may seem relatively benign, but in both cases, fewer books will be sold). For most of us, such gloomy observations are all too familiar, and you don’t turn to Enfilade for more bad news. Today is after all a birthday celebration!

So as a gesture of positive action, I’m asking all of you to buy a book today (and fellow bloggers to spread the word). It’s easy to think that it won’t matter, but it does. Most people are astounded to learn just how small the circulation numbers are for art history books published by university presses. However humbling it may be for those of us who spend years of our lives producing a book, it’s not uncommon for only 400 or 500 copies to be sold. Surpass 1000 and you’re a superstar. There’s a tendency to assume that university presses receive generous funding from their host universities. It’s almost never the case. If they’re not in the business to turn huge profits, they must still be economically viable. Several years ago, I heard Susan Bielstein, executive editor at the University of Chicago Press, give a talk on the nuts and bolts of publishing. How did she begin? By asking members of her audience (almost entirely composed of art historians) to go buy a book. She was entirely serious. So am I.

Many of you buy lots of art history books already. Bravo! Buying a book today won’t be any major change for you. As I think about my own buying habits, they tend to go something like this: I buy discounted display copies at conferences, I buy things I need for an upcoming talk, I buy remaindered copies of books I should have bought a year or two earlier, or I buy used copies I need for an article via Amazon. None of that’s what I have in mind in launching Buy-an-Art-Book Day. Those used books do nothing to help the authors or the university presses who produced them. For that matter, new purchases through Amazon often result in smaller royalties than buying from the publisher directly. Ever wonder who shoulders the expense of that reduced price? Yes, the publisher and the writer.

If 200 or 300 of you buy an art history book this week — ideally one treating the eighteenth century and, better yet, one written by a HECAA member — it would send a strong message that there is an eager audience for such books. Whether you spend $6 or $1000, buy a book.

I like the metaphor of an enfilade because of the way it suggests an open — almost limitless — vista, with each room leading to a deeper, more intimate experience. But such a vision is premised on those doors being opened. Reading a book — buying a book — is one way we turn the handle, one way we open doors to the eighteenth century.

-Craig Hanson

At Christie’s | Exceptional Decorative Arts

Posted in Art Market by Editor on June 21, 2012

Press release (1 June 2012) from Christie’s:

At Christie’s, The Exceptional Sale: Decorative Arts (#5702)
London, 5 July 2012

“Brand Cabinet,” a George II ivory-mounted padouk medal-cabinet, ca 1743. Est: £800,000-1,200,000. Photo: Christie’s Images.

In 2008 Christie’s launched a unique sale platform for the very best decorative arts; The Exceptional Furniture Sale saw 10 masterpiece works realise a total of £10.3 million. Building on the success of this sale and The Exceptional Sale held in 2011, Christie’s is pleased to announce details of The Exceptional Sale 2012 which will take place on the evening of 5 July. Comprising 48 lots, the sale presents three centuries of decorative arts, from the first quarter of the 16th century to the first quarter of the 19th century. Featuring the finest examples of furniture, silver, sculpture, clocks and porcelain – including recent discoveries and previously unknown examples – the sale exemplifies the very best of European decorative arts. It is expected to realise a total in excess of £13 million. Robert Copley, Deputy Chairman Christie’s UK, International Head of Furniture and Decorative Arts states: ‘With The Exceptional Sale Christie’s celebrates excellence in furniture and the decorative arts. The attributes of this carefully curated auction are provenance, rarity, design, and craftsmanship. From exquisite furniture by André-Charles Boulle and Thomas Chippendale to the magnificent Leinster silver dinner-service; from a rare maiolica plate by Nicola da Urbino to a newly discovered marble group by Jan van Delen; from glittering Chinese clocks and ormolu-mounted porcelain to the finest examples of Italian pietre dure, The Exceptional Sale offers collectors an opportunity to acquire the very best.’

The exceptional Brand Cabinet, a George II ivory-mounted padouk medal-cabinet, circa 1743 (estimate: £800,000-1,200,000), was made for the wealthy young Dilettante Thomas Brand, who like many English milordi went on The Grand Tour, arriving in Rome in 1738. It is here that he probably purchased the ivory plaques that depict figures from Classical mythology such as Leda and the Swan. A couple of years later, Brand’s contemporary and ‘intimate friend’ Horace Walpole also made the Tour. On his return he designed a cabinet to house his precious ‘enamels and miniatures’. No doubt inspired by William Kent, his cabinet and Brand’s are both made of padouk and are attributed to William Hallett of Great Newport Street, in Covent Garden. Walpole’s cabinet subsequently hung in the Tribune at Strawberry Hill and is now in the Victoria and Albert Museum, while Brand’s cabinet remained at the family house, The Hoo, in Hertfordshire until it was first sold at Christie’s in 1938.

The Ogden Mills Armoires a Six Medailles. Attributed to Andre-Charles Boulle and his workshop, first half 18th century. Estimate: £1,000,000-1,500,000. Photo: Christie’s Images Ltd 2012.

The Ogden Mills ‘Armoires à Six Medailles’ are lavishly decorated with spectacular gilt-bronze mounts that fuse seamlessly with the scrolling foliate pattern of the sumptuous ground of brass and tortoiseshell première and contre-partie marquetry (estimate: £1,000,000–1,500,000). The Louis XIV armoire in contre partie is attributed to André-Charles Boulle, while the late Louis XVI in première partie is by Delorme. They are decorated to the doors with trails of medals celebrating the Life of Louis XIV as well as the figures of Aspasia and Socrates. Conceived initially with shelves to house collections of precious medals this series of armoires proved so successful it remained in production in Boulle’s workshop throughout the first half of the 18th century and was subsequently continued by Boulle’s followers. (more…)

Exhibition | Canaletto: The Venetian Notebook

Posted in books, exhibitions by Editor on June 20, 2012

Thanks to Stacey Sloboda for noting this one that almost slipped by me (a brief English description is available here). From the Palazzo Grimani:

Canaletto: Il Quaderno Veneziano
Palazzo Grimani, Venice, 1 April — 1 July 2012

Curated by Annalisa Perissa Torrini

Apre a Venezia il 1 aprile, nella cornice straordinaria delle sale di Palazzo Grimani, la mostra Canaletto. Il Quaderno veneziano dedicata al celebre Quaderno di schizzi di Canaletto, un unicum nella storia dell’arte del Settecento, codice mai visibile al pubblico, ora presentato assieme a ventiquattro  disegni di antica provenienza veneziana, appartenenti a collezioni pubbliche e private, per la prima volta insieme.

Il progetto espositivo è a cura del Direttore del Gabinetto dei Disegni delle Gallerie dell’Accademia, Annalisa Perissa Torrini, programmato nell’ambito della valorizzazione del fondo grafico, promosso dalla Soprintendenza Speciale per il Patrimonio storico, artistico ed etnoantropologico e per il Polo Museale della città di Venezia e dei comuni della Gronda lagunare e prodotto da Venezia Accademia con il contributo di Save Venice Inc.

La mostra indaga il modus operandi dell’artista, definendone la concreta operatività   nella fase di costruzione grafica e stabilisce il ruolo svolto dalla camera ottica nell’ideazione e realizzazione  delle vedute di Venezia.

Il Quaderno di Canaletto è un prezioso piccolo  volume (mm 175×235) formato da 7 fascicoli, rilegati nell’Ottocento, ma in origine sciolti,  ricolmo di schizzi realizzati probabilmente in un breve arco di tempo, poi riutilizzato dal pittore veneziano negli anni. Ogni fascicolo racconta il processo creativo del suo lavoro: le tipiche annotazioni sui colori, sui materiali e sui luoghi ritratti, le correzioni e abrasioni, i cambi di inchiostro e di penna, lo sporadico uso del righello e l’impiego della punta metallica, la cui presenza è stata osservata nel corso degli studi e delle analisi delle tecniche e della carta.

Insieme al Quaderno, vengono esposti otto fogli, tra cui il cosiddetto “scarabotto” con il Canal Grande di fronte alla Salute e il Traghetto di San Moisé, della raccolta delle Gallerie, sette fogli della Galleria Nazionale d’Arte Antica di Trieste, sette fogli poco noti di collezione privata italiana di provenienza Corniani-Algarotti, il foglio della Fondazione Cini e quello del Museo Correr di Venezia. Importanti dipinti di collezioni pubbliche e private mostreranno poi la realizzazione pittorica di alcuni  disegni esposti in mostra: capolavori delle Gallerie dell’Accademia, di Ca’ Rezzonico, degli Uffizi, di Castello Sforzesco e di importanti collezioni private italiane, mentre alcune incisioni, di Visentini e Smith, documentano l’importanza delle stampe sia nell’iter creativo dell’artista, che nella diffusione della sua opera.

In occasione della mostra verrà pubblicato un fac-simile del Quaderno di Canaletto, edito da Marsilio Editori, accompagnato da un saggio storico interpretativo di Annalisa Perissa Torrini e seguito da uno studio sulla fascicolazione e rilegatura condotto da Barbara Biciocchi, da un testo sulla camera ottica a cura di Dario Maran, e documenti sulla vita di Canaletto trovati da Alessandra Schiavon all’Archivio di Stato di Venezia.

Il progetto di allestimento, curato da Annunziata Genchi, comprende supporti audiovisivi e multimediali didattici, fra i quali una riproduzione digitale del Quaderno,  realizzata da Mauro Tarantino, che permetterà al visitatore di sfogliare virtualmente tutte le pagine del prezioso codice, mentre diversi filmati illustreranno l’utilizzo e le finalità della camera ottica, i modi di fascicolazione del volume e le tecniche grafiche di esecuzione, un filmato in 3D  con il confronto tra i disegni e i dipinti ed un altro sul funzionamento della camera ottica. Un modello funzionante di camera ottica, inoltre, è stato realizzato in collaborazione con il Musée Maillol di Parigi, dove il visitatore potrà guardare le “vedute” come faceva lo stesso Canaletto.

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From Marsilio:

Annalisa Perissa Torrini, ed., Canaletto. Il Quaderno veneziano (Marsilio, 2012), 236 pages, ISBN: 9788831713009, €33.

In occasione della mostra Canaletto. Il Quaderno veneziano, in programma a Venezia nella splendida cornice di Palazzo Grimani dall’1 aprile all’1 luglio, verrà pubblicato un fac-simile dell’affascinante manufatto, un unicum nella storia dell’arte del Settecento, solitamente non visibile al pubblico. Il prezioso volume formato da sette fascicoli, rilegati nell’Ottocento ma in origine sciolti, ricolmo di schizzi realizzati probabilmente in un breve arco di tempo, venne riutilizzato negli anni da Canaletto come strumento di lavoro. Ogni fascicolo racconta l’operare del maestro veneziano: racchiude le tipiche annotazioni sui colori, sui materiali e sui luoghi raffigurati, le correzioni e le abrasioni, i cambi di inchiostro e di penna, tutte quelle tracce che rappresentano la sua memoria grafica, la registrazione di dati veri, oggettivi, esatti da interpretare e rielaborare nella fase creativa della composizione della veduta. In apparato al fac-simile saranno inseriti, oltre agli interessanti risultati delle recenti analisi sulle cosiddette informazioni “nascoste” – non visibili a occhio nudo – e su fascicolazione e rilegatura dell’opera, anche un saggio storico interpretativo di Annalisa Perissa e un testo di Dario Maran che stabilisce il ruolo svolto dalla camera ottica nell’ideazione e realizzazione delle vedute di Venezia.

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