Exhibition | Royal Paintbox: Royal Artists Past and Present

Posted in exhibitions by Editor on September 15, 2013

Press release from Windsor Castle:

Royal Paintbox: Royal Artists Past and Present
Windsor Castle, 22 June 2013 — 26 January 2014


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For generations, Britain’s kings, queens and their families have been inspired to paint, sketch and sculpt.  Accompanying the ITV programme Royal Paintbox, an exhibition of the same name at Windsor Castle this summer charts the history of royal artists from the 17th century to the present day. It includes works by George III and his children, Queen Victoria and Prince Albert and their children, King Edward VII and Queen Alexandra and by Her Majesty The Queen. Also on display are a group of watercolours by His Royal Highness The Prince of Wales, who plays a leading role in the film. The Prince, who is Chairman of The Royal Collection Trust, has described how his love of painting was inspired by his early years at Windsor Castle surrounded by great art – so it is fitting that the Castle’s Drawings Gallery provides the backdrop for an exhibition dedicated to his family’s work.

The story told in the exhibition, which brings together works from the Royal Collection and from the collection of The Prince of Wales, begins during the aftermath of the English Civil War. Charles I’s nephew, the military leader Prince Rupert of the Rhine, depicted the execution of St John the Baptist in a magnificent mezzotint entitled The Great Executioner (1658). Mezzotint was a new engraving technique which Prince Rupert introduced to Great Britain at the time of the Restoration in 1660. His subject matter may refer obliquely to the execution in 1649 of his uncle Charles I, who is buried in St George’s Chapel, Windsor Castle. During the reign of Charles I’s son and successor Charles II, Prince Rupert was appointed Governor and Constable of Windsor Castle.

A design for a Corinthian Temple for Kew, c.1759 Pencil, pen and ink and wash RCIN 981419

George III, Design for a Corinthian Temple for Kew, ca.1759
Pencil, pen and ink and wash (Royal Collection: RCIN 981419)

By contrast, a century later, the work of George III shows the ordered perfection characteristic of the Georgian style. The King’s drawings, which mostly date from the late 1750s, just before his accession in 1760, include a Design for a Corinthian Temple at Kew and a View of Syon House from Kew Gardens.

A familiar scene for visitors to Windsor is captured by George III’s fifth son, Prince Ernest Augustus, Duke of Cumberland. Aged nine, he painted an accomplished view in gouache of Windsor Town and Castle (1780), presumably under the careful supervision of his art teacher.

George III’s daughters were also tutored in art, and painted and drew throughout their lives. Like The Prince of Wales, the young Princesses were often inspired by the works of art they saw around them. In 1785, George III’s second daughter, Princess Augusta made an etching after a drawing by Leonardo da Vinci from the magnificent group of the artist’s work that entered the Royal Collection during the reign of Charles II. Leonardo’s drawing and the Princess’s etching will be shown side by side in the exhibition. George III’s third daughter, Princess Elizabeth, was particularly creative. One of the rooms at Frogmore House, a favourite royal retreat in Windsor Home Park, is decorated with her floral murals and decorative panels, including intricate cut-paper. Silhouettes and a large floral still life by Princess Elizabeth are included in the exhibition. (more…)

New Book | Travel, Collecting, and Museums of Asian Art

Posted in books by Editor on September 15, 2013

While addressing the nineteenth century, Ting Chang’s new book will be of interest to many dix-huitièmistes, particularly in connection with Edmond de Goncourt; in chapter four, Chang explores how Goncourt’s collection of Asian art and his writings on the subject supported his larger vision of an eighteenth-century revival. It’s part of Ashgate’s series on the Histories of Material Culture and Collecting, 1700–1950:

Ting Chang, Travel, Collecting, and Museums of Asian Art in Nineteenth-Century Paris (Aldershot: Ashgate, 2013), 210 pages, ISBN: 978-1409437765, $100 / £55.

Chang_cover_smTravel, Collecting, and Museums of Asian Art in Nineteenth-Century Paris book examines a history of contact between modern Europe and East Asia through three collectors: Henri Cernuschi, Emile Guimet, and Edmond de Goncourt. Drawing on a wealth of material including European travelogues of the East and Asian reports of the West, Ting Chang explores the politics of mobility and cross-cultural encounter in the nineteenth century. This book takes a new approach to museum studies and institutional critique by highlighting what is missing from the existing scholarship — the foreign labours, social relations, and somatic experiences of travel that are constitutive of museums yet left out of their histories. The author explores how global trade and monetary theory shaped Cernuschi’s collection of archaic Chinese bronze. Exchange systems, both material and immaterial, determined Guimet’s museum of religious objects and Goncourt’s private collection of Asian art. Bronze, porcelain, and prints articulated the shifting relations and frameworks of understanding between France, Japan, and China in a time of profound transformation. Travel, Collecting, and Museums of Asian Art in Nineteenth-Century Paris thus looks at what Asian art was imagined to do for Europe. This book will be of interest to scholars and students interested in art history, travel imagery, museum studies, cross-cultural encounters, and modern transnational histories.

Ting Chang teaches art history at the University of Nottingham. She has published in The Art Bulletin, Oxford Art Journal, and Les Cahiers Edmond et Jules de Goncourt.


1: The historical terms of Euro-Asian object acquisition
2: Gold, silver, and bronze: Cernuschi’s collection and re-appraisals of Europe and Asia
3: The labour of travel: Guimet and Régamey in Asia
4: Equivalence and inversion: France, Japan and China in Goncourt’s cabinet

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