Exhibition | Genius and Grace

Posted in books, catalogues, exhibitions by Editor on March 1, 2014

From the exhibition press release:

Genius and Grace: Franҫois Boucher and the Generation of 1700
Cincinnati Art Museum, 14 February — 11 May 2014

Curated by Esther Bell

Boucher D-F-1000

François Boucher, Venus Presenting Aeneas to Jupiter and Juno, 1747, black chalk, pen with brown ink, and brush with brown wash and touches of white gouache on tan antique laid paper (Boston: The Horvitz Collection)

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This spring, the verve, grace, and exuberance of 18th-century French drawings will be on display at the Cincinnati Art Museum. The Cincinnati Art Museum will show drawings by the talented group of artists responsible for an unprecedented level of artistic and cultural production in the France of Louis XV in an exhibition titled Genius and Grace: Franҫois Boucher and the Generation of 1700, on view from February 14 to May 11, 2014. Franҫois Boucher, Charles-Joseph Natoire, Carle Vanloo, and their contemporaries, born in or around 1700, executed virtuoso compositions whose refined elegance epitomizes the French grand manner. Along with Boucher, Natoire, and Vanloo, the exhibition will also celebrate lesser known but equally talented figures such as Louis-Gabriel Blanchet and Joseph Franҫois Parrocel, as well as several pastels, including a rare example by Jean-Baptiste-Siméon Chardin. More than seventy master drawings, many of which have never before exhibited or published, will be on view.

This exhibition is organized by the Horvitz Collection in Boston—the preeminent private collection of early French art in the United States. Twenty-nine of the most distinguished artists of this period will be featured, along with a fully illustrated catalogue edited by Alvin L. Clark, Curator of the Horvitz Collection and the J.E.Horvitz Research Curator, Department of Drawings, Harvard Art Museums/Fogg Museum. The Cincinnati Art Museum venue for Genius and Grace: François Boucher and the Generation of 1700 is organized by Dr. Esther Bell, Curator of European Paintings, Drawings, and Sculpture; it is the first old master drawings exhibition to take place at the Cincinnati Art Museum in more than thirty years. “These are some of the most beautiful and sexiest images the Old Masters ever produced,” commented Cincinnati Art Museum Director Aaron Betsky. “They are stunning in their display of talent and the sensuality they convey.”

Boucher D-F-800

François Boucher, Recumbent Female Nude, ca. 1742–43, red chalk, heightened with white chalk  (Boston: The Horvitz Collection)

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Sixteen of the works on view were created by Franҫois Boucher, who an eighteenth-century critic called “the painter of voluptuousness and grace.” One of the artist’s drawings, Recumbent Nude, depicts a luscious female figure. This may, at first, seem to be a provocative and erotically charged image, but it may have simply developed from a figure study intended to be used when painting a sea nymph or other historical subject. Also part of the exhibition is Carle Vanloo’s Saint Augustine Disputing with the Donatists, which has never before been exhibited. This masterpiece is remarkable for its heavy contours and energetic forms encased within a scene of monumental Italian architecture.

According to Cincinnati Art Museum Curator Dr. Esther Bell, “A selection of master drawings was selected that best tell the story of the unfolding eighteenth century. Not only will visitors be able to enjoy the sumptuous forms of the high Rococo, but also the virtuoso drawings that resulted from rigorous academic training and the cool and classicizing manifestations of these artists’ Italian journeys.”

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From Artbooks.com:

Alvin Clark, ed., Genius and Grace: Franҫois Boucher and the Generation of 1700 (Boston: The Horvitz Collection, 2014), 151 pages, ISBN: 978-0991262502, $34.

129394Genius and Grace: Franҫois Boucher and the Generation of 1700 features over seventy master drawings from the Horvitz Collection, Boston—widely considered the preeminent collection of French art in the United States. The exhibition features works by a group of artists known as the Generation of 1700. This talented group of artists born in or around the year 1700, such as François Boucher, Charles-Joseph Natoire, Carle Vanloo, and their contemporaries, will be celebrated for their virtuoso compositions whose curvilinear elegance epitomizes the French grand manner. From Boucher’s sumptuous reclining female nude, to a rare, early pastel by Jean-Baptiste-Siméon Chardin, to Director of the French Academy Charles Coypel’s mature self portrait—the works on view celebrate Dezallier d’Argenville’s comment of 1745: “A painter’s way of drawing is as distinctive as handwriting and more so than a writer’s style.” Includes: A. Clark, “The Generation of 1700: Draftsmen, Drawings, and Questions”; F. Joulie, “Reflections on the Early Drawings of Boucher and His Contemporaries”; and E. Bell, “Charles Coypel and the Age of Eclecticism.”

Conference | Russian Art: Exhibitions, Collections, and Archives

Posted in conferences (to attend) by Editor on March 1, 2014

From the conference programme:

Exhibit A: Russian Art | Exhibitions, Collections, and Archives
The Courtauld Institute of Art, London, 21–22 March 2014

Exhibit A: Russian Art | Exhibitions, Collections and Archives, is the second conference in an on-going collaborative project between Moscow Lomonosov State University and the Cambridge Courtauld Russian Art Centre (CCRAC). Speakers will explore contemporary and historical practices of exhibiting and collecting Russian art and the potential of collections, exhibitions and documentary archives as important material resources and objects of study in their own right.  The conference is also intended as a forum through which to showcase important but less familiar collections of Russian art and documentary material located inside and outside of Russia. It is conceived without chronological boundaries, and papers will address topics ranging from the earliest instances of collecting, exhibiting and writing about Russian art to contemporary practice in these three areas.

Organised by Natalia Budanova (The Courtauld Institute of Art) and Jenn Brewin (University of Cambridge) in collaboration with Moscow Lomonosov State University and the Cambridge Courtauld Russian Art Centre (CCRAC), with additional support from the Russian Art World (РХМ).

Ticket/entry details: £25 (£15 students, Courtauld staff/students and concessions) Book online or send a cheque made payable to ‘The Courtauld Institute of Art’ to: Research Forum Events Co-ordinator, Research Forum, The Courtauld Institute of Art, Somerset House, Strand, London WC2R 0RN, stating ‘CCRAC conference’.

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F R I D A Y ,  2 1  M A R C H  2 0 1 4

13:45  Registration

14:15  Opening remarks

14:30  Session 1 | Collecting Russian Religious and Folk Art
Chair: Nicola Kozicharow (University of Cambridge)
• Engelina Sergeevna Smirnova (Moscow Lomonosov State University), The collection of antiquities in sixteenth-century Russia: motivations and methods
• Aleksandr Sergeevich Preobrazhenskii (Moscow Lomonosov State University), Icon collections of Moscow Old Believers in the early nineteenth century: evidence of owners’ inscriptions
• Valery Stefanovich Turchin (Moscow Lomonosov State University), Collectors of lubki [Russian popular prints] and the development of the avant-garde in Russia (In Russian)

15:40  Coffee

16:10  Session 2 | Collections and Exhibitions in Eighteenth-Century Russia
Chair: Natalia Budanova (The Courtauld Institute of Art)
• Andrey Aleksandrovich Karev (Moscow Lomonosov State University), The portrait gallery in eighteenth-century Russia as an ensemble: a typological aspect
• Zalina Valerievna Tetermazova (Moscow Lomonosov State University), Collecting Russian portrait engravings from the age of Peter to the twentieth century: an outline of the phenomenon and its main features
• Vera Sergeevna Naumova (Moscow Lomonosov State University), The art collection of Count K. Razumovskii: the history of the collection’s formation and composition
• Rosalind P. Blakesley (University of Cambridge), Exhibiting Russian success?: the 1770 exhibition at the Imperial Academy of Arts

17:45  Drinks reception (more…)

Journal of the History of Collections 26 (March 2014)

Posted in journal articles by Editor on March 1, 2014

The eighteenth century in the current issue of the Journal of the History of Collections:

Journal of the History of Collections 26 (March 2014)


José Saporiti Machado and Miguel Telles Antunes, “Aniceto Rapozo’s Cabinet at the Lisbon Academy of Sciences: A Window into Brazilian Eighteenth-Century Timber Resources,” pp. 21–33.

From the end of the eighteenth until the beginning of the nineteenth century, wood samples were regularly sent to the Royal Army Arsenal in Lisbon for testing. The large number and variety of samples, as well as increasing interest on Brazil, explain why, in 1805, the Prince Regent of Portugal commissioned the preparation of four collections containing 1,213 timber specimens from Brazil and twelve from other origins. One of these collections, housed in a cabinet at the Lisbon Academy of Sciences, is now being studied in order to reveal its origins and to identify the wood samples. Botanical identifications will provide valuable information about the wood resources and the species used by furniture-makers in the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries.

Arthur MacGregor, “Patrons and Collectors: Contributors of Zoological Subjects to the Works of George Edwards (1694–1773),” pp. 35–44.

Through his lavishly illustrated and eminently accessible Natural History of Uncommon Birds (1743–51) and Gleanings of Natural History (1758–64), George Edwards became one of the most influential naturalists and illustrators of mid-eighteenth-century England. The specimens on which he relied – either alive, stuffed, or in spirits – were generally in the ownership of others and his practice of carefully acknowledging the source of each of his subjects sheds considerable light on the extent to which exotic birds and animals were to be found in the possession of a range of owners from wealthy grandees to humble citizens, as well as specialist traders who emerged to supply this growing market. Edwards’s texts are drawn upon here to chart the degree to which exotic species, alive or dead, had begun to penetrate households great and small by the mid 1700s, particularly in the London area; an online appendix lists and identifies those who supplied him with specimens.

Debora J. Meijers, “An Exchange of Paintings between the Courts of Vienna and Florence in 1792–1793: A Logical Step Taken at the Right Moment,” pp. 45–61.

It may come as a surprise that in the turbulent political period of spring 1792 a decision was taken at the courts of Vienna and Florence to carry out an exchange of paintings, the aim of which was ‘to complete’ the collections of the Emperor and the Grand Duke, each ‘with the profusion of the other’. There are, however, signs that this step originated in the recent past of both galleries and further that it related to the developments of that particular historical moment. The exchange can be interpreted as a logical consequence of the recently introduced taxonomic division into schools, the advancement of which would lead to an unprecedented level of ‘completeness’. Besides being a perfect seed-bed for emerging artists, the presentation of ‘all’ the schools could also be seen as a metaphor for political power. But in this time of war with France the exchange served mainly as a bond between two brothers who were pursuing very different political courses.


• David Howarth, Review of Christopher Rowell, ed., Ham House: 400 Years of Collecting and Patronage (2013), pp. 117–19.

• Rosemary Sweet, Review of Noah Heringman, Sciences of Antiquity: Romantic Antiquarianism: Natural History and Knowledge Work (2013), pp. 119–20.

• Arthur MacGregor, Review of Glyn Williams, Naturalists at Sea: Scientific Travellers from Dampier to Darwin (2013), pp. 120–22.

• Mark A. Roglán, Review of Shelley M. Bennett, The Art of Wealth: The Huntingtons in the Gilded Age (2013), p. 125.

• Fiona Savage, Review of Sarah Longair and John McAleer, eds., Curating Empire: Museums and the British Imperial Experience (2012), pp. 125–26.

• Francesco Paolo de Ceglia, Review of Medical Museums: Past, Present, Future (2013), pp. 126–27.

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