YCBA’s Complete Collection Now Accessible Online

Posted in resources by Editor on November 30, 2012

The YCBA’s complete art collection, including nearly 50,000 works on paper, is now accessible online

The Yale Center for British Art is pleased to announce that its entire art collection is now available online. Visitors to the website can search the Center’s collection of more than two thousand paintings, two hundred sculptures, and nearly fifty thousand prints and drawings from the Elizabethan period to the present. This is the first time the Center’s complete holdings of works on paper, the most important and comprehensive collection of its kind outside the United Kingdom, have been are searchable online. The Center has also made available more than thirteen hundred records of its historic frame collection, among the first museums in the world to do so. These frames join other collections at the Center that have been made available online, including a sizable portion of the rare books and manuscripts collection, and the entire Reference Library.

More than one-third of the new prints and drawings records include high-resolution images, and the Center offers free downloads of works that are in the public domain as high-resolution TIFs. This update to the online collection also includes the release of expanded data, such as bibliographic citations, for the records of specific works of art. More than six thousand citations, including books, journals, newspaper articles, auction catalogues, and online resources, have been added to four hundred objects to date, with more being added daily.

Aside from making its collections accessible online, the Center has partnered with Google Art Project and is working with other platforms to allow broader audiences to discover British art. It has also created a data provider that allows third parties to harvest the Center’s collections for use in their own content platforms. Those interested in harvesting the collections as either extensible mark-up language (XML) or linked open data can now find simple instructions for how to do so at britishart.yale.edu/collections/usingcollections/ technology. The Center is particularly focused on the potential of linked open data to disseminate its collections, to expand the possibilities of integration between related collections, and to support
opportunities for developing new technologies for research in the realm of
cultural heritage.

Yale Center for British Art Refurbishment Project, 2013

Posted in resources by Editor on November 30, 2012

Good news for anyone planning to make use of the YCBA in 2014, but for the summer and fall of 2013, a bit of extra planning is in order. -CH

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Summer and Fall 2013

The first phase of a refurbishment project at the Yale Center for British Art has been scheduled for summer and fall 2013, and there will be limited availability of some services and partial closures on the second and third floors, as noted below. The permanent collection on the fourth floor will remain on view throughout this period. It is expected that the project will be completed by early January 2014.

The Departments of Prints & Drawings and Rare Books & Manuscripts will be temporarily relocating their offices within the building, and the Study Room will be closed from June through December 2013. The collections will be transferred to other parts of the building over the summer of 2013.

As soon as these transfers are completed, staff will make every effort to accommodate the needs of faculty, students, and scholars. However, access to the collections will be limited during the fall term and by appointment only. Requests for materials will require at least two weeks advance notice (ycba.prints@yale.edu). The Center will continue to accommodate classes using works from the Prints & Drawings and Rare Books & Manuscripts collections by special arrangement with the staff; to discuss your requirements, please contact Gillian Forrester, Curator of Prints & Drawings, and Elisabeth Fairman, Senior Curator of Rare Books & Manuscripts.

The Center will be unable to host Visiting Scholars during the refurbishment project. Please note that during this period, the second- and third-floor galleries will be closed, as will the Library Court. The second-floor classroom will remain accessible for teaching; please contact Jane Nowosadko, Senior Manager of Programs, to check availablity. The Reference Library will keep normal hours, although there may be some disruptions over the summer. Details will be circulated as they become known. Tours of the collection will be offered as normal, although requests need to be made two weeks in advance (ycba.education@yale.edu).

There will be a regular roster of programs in the Center’s Lecture Hall throughout the refurbishment project. It is expected that normal services in the Study Room will resume by early January 2014.

Contact Details

• Requests for materials from Prints and Drawings and Rare Books and Manuscripts should be made at least two weeks in advance by e-mailing ycba.prints@yale.edu.
• To discuss requirements for classes contact the curators: Gillian Forrester, Curator of Prints & Drawings, gillian.forrester@yale.edu, Elisabeth Fairman, Senior Curator of Rare Books & Manuscripts, elisabeth.fairman@yale.edu
• Inquiries about the availability of the second-floor classroom and the Docent Room should be e-mailed to Jane Nowosadko, Senior Manager of Programs, jane.nowosadko@yale.edu
• Inquiries about the Reference Library can be addressed to Kraig Binkowski, Chief Librarian, kraig.binkowski@yale.edu
• For information about the Visiting Scholar program for 2013–14, please visit britishart.yale.edu/research/visiting-scholars, or contact Lisa Ford, Associate Head of Research, lisa.ford@yale.edu.

Exhibition | Bouke De Vries: War & Pieces

Posted in exhibitions by Editor on November 29, 2012

My apologies for posting this one so late. I’m afraid this is the last weekend. -CH

From The Holburne Museum:

Bouke De Vries: War & Pieces
The Holburne Museum, Bath, 1 September — 2 December 2012

Bouke de Vries, War & Pieces, installation at
The Holburne Museum, Bath, 2012

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Ceramic artist Bouke de Vries has created a unique contemporary installation on the Holburne’s Ballroom table. His work is inspired by the eighteenth-century fashion for decorating banqueting tables with extravagant porcelain and sugar sculptures, War & Pieces draws on the tradition of grand banquets and balls held on the eve of battle.

The centre-piece is a dramatic atomic-bomb mushroom cloud made using shards of white ceramics, old and new, around which the table is set with an intervention incorporating Sir William Holburne’s Chinese tobacco-leaf pattern dinner service. A battle will be fought out along the table with figures derived from 1770s Derby porcelain, some of which have mutated into cyborgs using elements from plastic toys – a new and contemporary material fighting to defeat the forces of sugar and ceramic.

Conference | Interiors and Interiority

Posted in conferences (to attend) by Editor on November 28, 2012

Expanding on a previous conference and workshop on the theme of interiority at the Radcliffe Institute for Advaced Study in 2009 and 2011, Beate Söntgen and Ewa Lajer-Burcharth have organized a three-day conference in Berlin on the subject.

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As posted at the H-ArtHist List:

Interiors and Interiority
Denkerei, Oranienplatz 2, Berlin, 6-8 December 2012

Organized by Beate Söntgen and Ewa Lajer-Burcharth

T H U R S D A Y , D E C E M B E R  6

14.00  Beate Söntgen (Leuphana Universität Lüneburg) / Ewa Lajer-Burcharth (Harvard University)

Conceptualizing Interiority
14.30  Brigid Doherty (Princeton University), “‘Armlos wie Inneres’: Interior, Surface, and Metaphor in Rilke’s Rodin Lecture”
15.15  Bettine Menke (Universität Erfurt), “Interiors: The Exteriority of Inwardness”

Visualizing Interiority
16.30  Catherine Girard (Harvard University), “Violence and Interiority: Stags at Louis XV’s Versailles”
17.15  Anne Hemkendreis (Leuphana Universität Lüneburg), “The Alienation of Inwardness: Female Figures at a Threshold in the Paintings of Vilhelm Hammershøi”
18.15  Susan Sidlauskas (Rutgers), “House Inside Out—Cézanne’s Perforated Wall”

F R I D A Y ,  D E C E M B E R  7

Interiority and Consumer Culture
10.00  Holger Kuhn (Leuphana Universität Lüneburg), “From the Household of the Soul to the Economy of Money (around 1500)”
10.45   Charlotte Klonk (Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin), “Africa Interiorised: Displaying Non-European Artefacts in the Late 1920s and Early 1930s”
12.00  Katrin Grögel (Leuphana Universität Lüneburg), “Andrea Zittel’s ‘Small Liberties’: Situating Interiors in Contemporary Media Culture”

Building Interiors / Interiority Furnished
14.30  Katie Scott (The Courtauld Institute of Art), “Rococo Interiors: An Inside Story”
15.15  Mimi Hellman (Skidmore College), “Staging Retreat: Designs for Bathing in the Eighteenth Century”
16.30  Etienne Jollet (Université Paris 1 Panthéon-Sorbonne), “Interiors in the Exterior: Eighteenth-Century Grottoes and the Intimacy of Nature”
17.15  Johannes Grave (Universität Bielefeld), “Living with Pictures: Goethe’s Interiors”

Panel Discussion  
18.15  Wilfried Kuehn (Architekturbüro Kuehn Malvezzi, Berlin/Mailand) / Andreas Beyer (Deutsches Forum für Kunstgeschichte, Paris), “Contemplation or Communication? The Museum’s Interior”

S A T U R D A Y ,  D E C E M B E R  8

Interiority on the Move
9.30  Annette Urban (Ruhr-Universität Bochum), “Wild Walls, Revolving Sets, Built Cuts: Staged Interiors in Contemporary Photography and Film Installation”
10.15  Peter Schneemann (Universität Bern), “Anagrammatic Spaces: Moving Interiors in Contemporary Art”
11.30  Stefanie Diekmann (Universität Hildesheim), “Scenes from the Backstage: Theatrical Interiors and Interiority”
12.15  Gertrud Koch (Freie Universität Berlin), “Inside/Outside: The Two Sides of the Wall and the Filmic View”

Contact: Eva Frey, Fon 04131.677-1990, frey@leuphana.de

Attingham Offerings for 2013

Posted in resources by Editor on November 27, 2012

In 2013 the Attingham Trust for the Study of Historic Houses and Collections will offer three courses: the three-week Summer School (5-22 July), the nine-day Royal Collection Studies (1-10 September), and the nine-day Study Programme (12-20 September). Whereas the first two courses follow similar itineraries each year, the Study Week is set in a different location each year, and its timing varies as well. 2013 will offer an in-depth study of the Norfolk Country House, corresponding with the upcoming William Kent exhibition (at the Bard Graduate Center in the fall of 2013 before appearing at the V&A in 2014) and taking advantage of the summer exhibition Houghton Revisited: The Walpole Masterpieces from Catherine the Great’s Hermitage, which will reassemble the collection of Sir Robert Walpole in its eighteenth-century home of Houghton Hall (it’s a safe bet that the course will include special, private viewing opportunities for a show that’s sure to be crowded much of the summer). The Study Week will be directed by Andrew Moore, the former Keeper of Art at Norwich Castle Museum and Art Gallery, and the co-editor of A Capital Collection: Houghton Hall and the Hermitage (Yale UP, 2002). -CH

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From the Attingham Trust:

Attingham Trust Course Offerings for 2013
Application due dates vary according to the programme, starting 31 January 2013

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Attingham Study Programme — The Norfolk Country House: Collections and Networks

THE ATTINGHAM STUDY PROGRAMME is a strenuous and stimulating nine-day course studying historic houses and their collections. Based in specific regions of Britain and often abroad, a wide range of houses, many of them private, are visited in the company of tutors. The architecture, gardens and interiors, including collections of paintings, furniture and other decorative arts, are studied within a context of social and cultural history. It is intended for museum curators, lecturers, architects, conservationists and others with a keen interest in the fine and decorative arts. Accommodation is in modest hotels where lectures are also given. Some full and partial scholarships are available.

The eastern wetlands and broad skies of Norfolk boast a landscape which was the inspiration behind the first regional School of painting in Britain, together with an array of classic country houses that few other English regions can equal. The county’s close proximity to London placed it in the pole position of England’s second city from the medieval period, until the coming of the railways reduced the centrality of its agrarian economy. The 15th-century origins of the moated manor house of OXBURGH HALL and the privately owned Tudor pile of EAST BARSHAM survive today as testimony of the earlier period.

The focus of the 2013 programme will be two great Palladian houses still in private hands, both with magnificent interiors and furnishings by William Kent. The quintessential Grand Tour house, HOLKHAM HALL will feature seminars on the library, archive, silver, textiles and sculpture. We also visit HOUGHTON HALL, the country palace that Sir Robert Walpole controversially built to house his great collection of European master paintings and classical sculpture while based at 10 Downing Street as first minister successively to both George I and George II. This visit will also include seminars on paintings and textiles, visits to the private Picture Gallery and the contemporary sculpture within the park, together with the newly established gardens in memory of Sybil Cholmondeley.

The programme, based in the heart of the medieval market town and seaport of KING’S LYNN in West Norfolk, will also visit the city of NORWICH, and will include tours of the historic built environment of both centres, with their merchant houses and guildhalls. Seminars in NORWICH CASTLE will focus on Norwich Silver and the redisplayed Colman galleries featuring the paintings of Norwich School of Artists. The course plans to feature significant private houses, including RAYNHAM HALL, seat of the Townshend family, which also features the work of William Kent, and NARFORD HALL, home to successive generations of the Fountaine family.

Additional information about all three courses is available here»

Exhibition | Houghton Revisited: The Walpole Masterpieces

Posted in exhibitions, lectures (to attend) by Editor on November 27, 2012

More than sixty paintings from the Hermitage will spend the summer of 2013 back at Houghton Hall. The exhibition curator Thierry Morel will be in New York providing a preview at The Metropolitan Museum of Art on Friday, 7 December 2012, at 6pm.

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From the exhibition website:

Houghton Revisited: The Walpole Masterpieces from Catherine the Great’s Hermitage
Houghton Hall, Norfolk, 17 May — 29 September 2013 [extended to 24 November]

Curated by Thierry Morel

Colen Campbell, James Gibbs, and William Kent, Houghton Hall,
Norfolk, 1722-35 (Photo: 2008, Wikimedia Commons)

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The magnificent art collection of Great Britain’s first Prime Minister, Sir Robert Walpole, sold to Catherine the Great to adorn the Hermitage in St. Petersburg, is reassembled in its spectacular original setting, Houghton Hall, Norfolk, for the first time in over 200 years.

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From the Mail Online (6 October 2012) . . .

Lord Cholmondeley is about to announce plans to stage a very special exhibition next year that will see the triumphant, if temporary, return to the house of about 60 old master paintings from Sir Robert Walpole’s once celebrated collection, the bulk of which was sold to Catherine the Great of Russia in 1779 and which to this day remains one of the greatest treasures of the Hermitage Museum in St Petersburg. To provide an authentic and breathtaking backdrop for the pictures, the principal rooms of the house will be restored to their exact appearance of the early 1740s, a time when Walpole was at the height of his powers. . .

The full article is available here»

Conference | 3D Scanning and Documentation

Posted in conferences (to attend) by Editor on November 26, 2012

My hunch is that art historians whose work often overlaps with archaeology are more inclined to envision the future of the field as making important use of three-dimensional scanning technologies (with Representing Re-Formation, a three-year project producing digital reconstructions of some of the best Tudor monuments, serving as a fine example). Perhaps, however, we all should. Jack Hinton of the Philadelphia Museum of Art will be speaking at the upcoming Cambridge conference on Houdon’s Portraits of Benjamin Franklin. An abstract is available at the conference website. -CH

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3D Scanning and Documentation: Three Dimensional Artefacts from the Past, for the Future
St Catharine’s College, Cambridge, 10-11 December 2012

Registration due by 4 December 2012

This timely symposium at St Catharine’s College, Cambridge, draws together scientists, art historians, conservators, historians and archaeologists, to discuss current and future developments in 3D scanning across many different fields, advances in scanning techniques and equipment, approaches to interdisciplinary research and the provision of 3D images and models on the web. A round table on day 2 will discuss key priorities for the future.

The conference has been convened by the art-historian Phillip Lindley, who directs one of the innovative Science and Heritage Programme projects, co-funded by the AHRC and EPSRC (heritagescience.ac.uk). Speakers will include David Arnold, Mike Howe, Anna Thirion, Laura Bartolome Riviras, Annemarie La Pensee, Marcos Rodrigues, Andrew Wilson, Stephen Gray, George Fraser, and others.

Five fully subsidised places are available for students, covering all accommodation and meals etc. Applications must be made to the Conference Organiser, Dr Phillip Lindley pgl1@le.ac.uk by Friday, 30 November. Funded students will be asked to write blogs on the conference.

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M O N D A Y ,  1 0  D E C E M B E R
3D scanning and its uses in Art History and Archaeology

10.00  Registration and Coffee

11.00  Welcome

11.30  Phillip Lindley (University of Leicester), ‘Representing Re-Formation: The Search for Objectivity’

12.30  Lunch

1.30  Anna Thirion (Université Montpellier 3), ‘Proposal for a Digital Reconstruction of the Romanesque “Tribune” of Saint-Michel-de-Cuxa (France): Methodological Considerations’

2.15  Laura Bartolomé Roviras (Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya), ‘The Romanesque Portals of Santa Maria de Ripoll, Santiago de Compostela and Sant Pere de Rodes: From Modelling to Reconstruction’

3.00  Annemarie La Pensée (National Museums Liverpool), ‘The Non-Contact 3D Laser Scanning of Cultural Artefacts and Its Applications at Conservation Technologies, National Museums Liverpool’

3.45  Tea

4.00  Marcos A. Rodrigues (Sheffield Hallam University), ‘3D Scanning of Highly Reflective Surfaces: Issues on Scanning the Museums Sheffield Metalwork Collection’

4.45  George Fraser (University of Leicester), ‘Scanning in Space and Time’

5.30  Jack Hinton (Philadelphia Museum of Art), ‘Measuring Genius: 3D Scanning and Jean-Antoine Houdon’s Portraits of Benjamin Franklin’

7.00  Dinner

T U E S D A Y ,  1 1  D E C E M B E R
Wider 3D scanning and digitisation projects

9.00  Mike Howe (British Geological Survey), ‘Laser Scanning 563 Million Years of Evolution: The JISC GB/3D Type Fossils Online Project’

9.45  Andrew S. Wilson (University of Bradford), ‘3D Bones: Digital Documentation of Skeletal Remains’

10.30  Paul Bryan (English Heritage), ‘Scanning the Stones’

11.00  Coffee

11.45  David Arnold (University of Brighton), ‘3D Documentation: Current Practice and Future Potential’

12.30  Lunch

1.45  Doug Pritchard (CyArk Europe Director), ‘The Scottish Ten Project: Laser Survey, 3D Visualisation and International Diplomacy’

2.30  Stephen Gray (University of Bristol), ‘The Challenges of Using Digital 3D Tools and Methodologies across Different Research Disciplines’

3.15  Tea and Round Table Discussion

Abstracts for the papers are available at the conference website.

Conference | Yorkshire Tourism in the Eighteenth Century

Posted in conferences (to attend) by Editor on November 26, 2012

From York’s Centre for Eighteenth Century Studies:

Yorkshire Tourism in the Eighteenth Century
University of York, King’s Manor, 8 December 2012

J.M.W. Turner, Bolton Abbey, Yorkshire, on the Wharfe
ca. 1798, watercolour on paper

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Travel for pleasure or health in Britain and Ireland first became widely available to the affluent middling classes in the eighteenth century. For much of the period 1700-1830, Britain was at war with at least one of its continental neighbours; possibilities for European travel were severely restricted, and tourism within Britain and Ireland flourished. What did this newly accessible and eagerly grasped freedom to roam mean to the domestic tourist; how did the pictorial and/ or textual representation of journeys or sites shape their sense of themselves or of the country in the crucial period of its transition to becoming a modern and united kingdom?

The workshop is a follow-up to last year’s successful event, The Grand Tour in Britain and Ireland. Each speaker will consider an image or series of images, a short text or extracts from a longer piece, and offer a brief exploration of the possibilities of this material before opening the floor to discussion.


• Ann-Marie Akehurst (York), ‘Broken Stones, Decayed Buildings, and Old Rubbish’: Genealogy of Place, Imagination, and Identity in Early Modern York(shire)’
• John Bonehill (Glasgow), ‘Fairfaxiana: J.M.W Turner at Farnley’
• Oliver Cox (Oxford), ‘Back in the Summer of (17)69: Domestic Tourism and the Yorkshire Petition’
• Mary Fairclough (York), ‘Infidel Missionaries: Robert Taylor and Richard Carlile in Leeds’
• Harriet Guest (York), ‘A Trip to Scarborough’
• David Higgins (Leeds), ‘The Wordworths Visit Yorkshire’
• Emma Major (York), ‘Sibyl, Yorkshire, and the Two Nations’

The registration fee for the day is £12 (£5 for students and unwaged). To register, please email cmb14@york.ac.uk.

Call for Papers | Connected Histories of Empire

Posted in Calls for Papers by Editor on November 26, 2012

Connected Histories of Empire
University of Bristol, Centre for the Study of Colonial & Postcolonial Societies, 15-16 July 2013

Proposals due by 14 January 2013

Over the last two decades, scholars have begun to characterise the British Empire as a complex patchwork of interacting and dynamic agencies, rather than as a homogenous monolith. As a result, the traditional spatial framework based on a stable division between the metropole and the periphery seems increasingly outmoded. Instead, historians, literary critics, scholars of globalisation, and philosophers have been writing about the webs, networks, and circuits in which people, objects, and ideas moved. This conference will interrogate the idea of an empire of connections, considering the possibilities opened up by thinking in terms of global interaction, as well as the challenges of incorporating the myriad interconnections of empire into coherent historical narratives.

The conference is the culmination of a year of events at the University of Bristol which have focused particularly on the memorialisation and commemoration of the British Empire. As scholars have begun to uncover the intricately woven interconnections of empire, a central concern of the conference will be to consider how this might influence how empire has been, and is, remembered and memorialised in Britain and elsewhere.We would like to invite proposals for papers and panels that speak to the following broad themes:

·      Commemoration and memorialisation of different imperial sites, events and phenomena
·      Links between imperial port-cities/global cities
·      Flows of people, goods (physical and cultural), and cash
·      The movement, preservation and display of imperial artefacts and archives
·      Imperial networks and imperial careering
·      Imperial audiences and public spheres
·      Links between global history and imperial history

We would like to encourage broad discussion of connections and comparisons between different modern empires: proposals need not be restricted to the history of the British empire. We would also welcome papers from a range of academic disciplines. To apply, please send a 250-word abstract to the organisers at connectedhistoriesofempire@yahoo.co.uk by 14 January 2013.

Conference Organisers

History: Emily Baughan, Robert Bickers, Peter Coates, Tim Cole, Simon Potter, Jonathan Saha, and Rob Skinner
Hispanic, Portuguese and Latin American Studies: Matthew Brown and Joanna Crow
English: John Lee
Archaeology and Anthropology: Mark Horton

Exhibition | Laurent Pécheux: A French Painter in Italy

Posted in books, catalogues, exhibitions by Editor on November 24, 2012

Exhibition press release from the Musée des Beaux-Arts de Dole:

Laurent Pécheux: A French Painter in the Italian Enlightenment
Musée des Beaux-Arts de Dole, 27 June — 30 September 2012
Musée des Beaux-Arts de Chambéry, 24 October 2012 — 20 January 2013

Curated by Sylvain Laveissière with Sylvie de Vesvrotte and Anne Dary

Rome au XVIIIe siècle : foyer artistique fécond où l’Europe entière vient s’instruire, admirer, mais aussi créer. L’Antique, exhumé, restauré, collectionné, est l’objet d’approches nouvelles avec Piranèse, défenseur de la création étrusque et romaine, et Winckelmann, théoricien du « beau idéal » dans l’art grec. Les deux peintres les plus en vue sont l’allemand Anton Raphaël Mengs (1728-1779), et Pompeo Batoni (1708-1787), le portraitiste obligé des jeunes lords accomplissant leur « Grand Tour » d’Europe. Arrivé de Lyon à Rome en 1753, Laurent Pécheux est d’emblée en contact étroit avec ces deux maîtres éminents : Mengs qui le conseille, et Batoni avec lequel il sera associé pour certaines commandes. Il s’affirme comme l’un des représentants les plus accomplis de la peinture d’histoire romaine, au moment
où s’élabore ce qu’on devait plus tard nommer le Néoclassicisme.

Carrière exceptionnellement riche que la sienne. Après avoir travaillé vers 1757 pour un lord écossais, puis pour des couvents et des particuliers de Lyon, sa ville natale, il est reçu à la prestigieuse Académie romaine de Saint-Luc en 1762. Il est bientôt appelé à Parme en 1765 pour y portraiturer avec succès la future reine d’Espagne, et les plus grandes familles romaines lui confient les plafonds de leurs palais urbains (Borghèse, Barberini). Il travaille pour des amateurs français, pour le grand-maître de l’ordre de Malte, le pape Pie VI, ainsi que la Grande Catherine. En 1777, il quitte Rome pour Turin, où le roi de Piémont-Sardaigne, Victor Amédée III, l’a choisi comme premier peintre et directeur d’une Académie tombée en léthargie. Son activité de peintre de cour, qui lui vaut de décorer le palais royal de Turin, ne l’empêche pas d’assurer de prestigieuses commandes privées, tel le plafond de la salle du Gladiateur à la Villa Borghèse à Rome, dont la décoration est la plus fameuse entreprise picturale de l’époque.

Il n’a suscité jusqu’à présent aucune exposition monographique. Les villes de Dole et Chambéry possèdent un ensemble remarquable de ses oeuvres. A Dole se trouve un cycle de douze tableaux sur la vie du Christ commandé pour la collégiale et récemment restauré, dont huit esquisses sont conservées au musée des Beaux-Arts. L’exposition présente 115 oeuvres, prêtées par des collections publiques et privées françaises ainsi qu’italiennes, et sera accompagnée d’une importante monographie. Celle-ci étudie, au-delà des oeuvres exposées, l’ensemble de la production de cet artiste aux dons multiples, l’un des derniers de sa stature qui restaient à découvrir.

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From Dessin Original books:

Catalogue: Sylvain Laveissière, Sylvie de Vesvrotte, Vittorio Natale, Bénédicte Gaulard, Laurent Pécheux (1729-1821): Un peintre français dans l’Italie des Lumières (Silvana, 2012), 192 pages, ISBN: 978-8836623174, 28€.

Publié à l’occasion de l’exposition des musées des Beaux-Arts de Dole et de Chambéry, cet ouvrage est le premier, depuis l’étude de Luigi Bollea parue en 1942, à être consacré à ce peintre, dont l’importance commence seulement à être reconnue.

D’origine Lyonnaise, Laurent Pécheux effectue l’ensemble de sa carrière en Italie, à Rome, puis à Turin, où il devient peintre officiel du roi de Piémont-Sardaigne. Sa carrière fut exceptionnellement riche : après avoir travaillé vers 1755 pour des clients lyonnais ou écossais, il est reçu à l’Académie romaine de Saint-Luc en 1762. Il est bientôt appelé à Parme en 1765 pour y portraiturer avec succès la future reine d’Espagne et les plus grandes familles romaines lui confient les plafonds de leurs palais. Il travaille également pour des amateurs français. En 1777, il quitte Rome pour Turin, où le roi de Piémont-Sardaigne l’a choisi comme premier peintre. Son activité de peintre de cour, qui lui vaut de décorer le palais royal de Turin, ne l’empêche pas d’assurer de prestigieuses commandes privées (par exemple : plafond de la salle du Gladiateur à la villa Borghèse, le plus fameux ensemble décoratif de Rome à l’époque ; suite de douze grands tableaux de la Vie du Christ pour la collégiale de Dole, auxquels une restauration exemplaire vient de rendre leur éclat et plusieurs chefsd’oeuvre conservés à Chambéry : Mort d’Epaminondas, Vénus, Narcisse, etc.). Cet ouvrage étudie, au-delà des oeuvres exposées, l’ensemble de la production de cet artiste aux dons multiples, l’un des derniers de sa stature qui restaient à découvrir.

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Didier Rykner reviewed the exhibition for The Art Tribune (21 August 2012) . . .

An artist from Lyon who spent most of his career in Italy, first Rome then Turin where he became official painter to the King of Piemonte-Sardegna, Laurent Pécheux is however not very well known outside of the restricted circle of art historians. The first retrospective highlighting his oeuvre, organized by the Musée des Beaux-Arts in Dole, which will then travel to Chambéry, now reveals a first rate artist, a pioneer of European Neo-Classicism though he maintained, in certain works, a Baroque spirit or even, if we adopt the term now used for some paintings corresponding to the second half of the 19th century, “Neo-Baroque” . . .

The full review (in English or French) is available here»

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