Exhibition and Lectures | Diverse Maniere: Piranesi, Fantasy and Excess

Posted in exhibitions, lectures (to attend) by Editor on March 7, 2014

From the Soane Museum:

Diverse Maniere: Piranesi, Fantasy and Excess
Sir John Soane’s Museum, London, 7 March — 31 May 2014

Coffee pot from Diverse Maniere D’Adornare I Cammini… cast in silver from digitally modeled elements © Factum Arte.

Coffee pot from Piranesi’s Diverse maniere d’adornare i cammini… (1769), cast in silver from digitally modeled elements © Factum Arte.

Sir John Soane’s Museum has one of the richest holdings of graphic work by Piranesi and this exhibition continues the exploration of Soane’s interest in Piranesi. Diverse Maniere will focus upon Piranesi’s engagement with the decorative arts. The displays will consist of meticulous three dimensional reproductions of the objects, such as coffee pots, chairs, chimneypieces and antique candelabra, tripods and altars imagined by Piranesi in such publication as Diverse Maniere or Vasi, Candelabri, Cippi etc…, but never actually realised physically. Now using the latest scanning and 3-dimensional printing technologies Factum Arte has realised Piranesi’s vision as a designer. Bronze Tripods, porphyry altars and marble candelabra will embellish the rooms of No 13 Lincoln’s Inn Fields, whilst in the Soane Gallery a display of Piranesi’s related etchings and explication of Factum Arte’s work will accompany the show. Surely, Sir John Soane, with his love of new technologies, his collections of plaster ‘reproductions’ after the antique, and his fascination with Piranesi’s boundless imagination would find this a particularly appropriate exhibition.

As part of our programme of events, three panel discussions, involving architects, designers, artists and academics, will look at how different disciplines approach these issues and what they might tell us about architectural and design practice in the past and how it has evolved today. All talks will begin at 6pm and take place at the Royal College of Surgeons, WC2A 3PE. Early bird ticket offer: purchase tickets for all three talks for £40. Individual lecture tickets, £15. Click here to find out more or to purchase tickets.

Visualising Design Ideas, 10 March 2014
Speakers: Michele de Lucchi, Ross Lovegrove and Adam Lowe

Using Objects as Evidence of Themselves, 18 March 2014
Speakers: Jerry Brotton, Lisa Jardine and Grayson Perry

Casts, Copies & the Dissemination of Design Ideas, 19 May 2014
Speakers: Adriano Aymonino and Sam Jacob

Display | Art, Revolution and War: France, 1789–1914

Posted in exhibitions by Editor on March 7, 2014

From The Fitzwilliam:

Art, Revolution and War: France, 1789–1914
The Fitzwilliam Museum, Cambridge, 4 March — 28 September 2014

20140228161607tah25Medals, coins, and banknotes illustrate key moments in the political and artistic history of France. This display focuses on the 1789 revolution, Napoleon, the 1848 revolution, and the artistic triumphs of Art Nouveau. One of the most famous examples of the Art Nouveau style in French medals is Orphée by Marie-Alexandre Lucien Coudray (pictured right). This was exhibited to great acclaim at the 1900 Universal Exhibition in Paris, with thousands of copies sold to art lovers.

Display | From Root to Tip: Botanical Art in Britain

Posted in exhibitions by Editor on March 7, 2014

From The Fitzwilliam:

From Root to Tip: Botanical Art in Britain
The Fitzwilliam Museum, Cambridge, 28 January — 11 May 2014

20131218113928lac59This exhibition brings together a selection of watercolours from the Fitzwilliam’s outstanding collection of botanical art. It draws on over 300 years of work by both professional and amateur artists, tracing a history of flower drawing in Britain. Works on show date from the seventeenth century to present day. See finely executed watercolours by many well-known and influential artists, including Georg Dionusius Ehret, who settled in Britain in 1736, and William Henry Hunt. These are displayed alongside recently acquired pieces by contemporary artists such as Margaret Stones and Rebecca John. The exhibition shows how artists have depicted plants and flowers in glorious detail as both botanical specimens and as part of decorative arrangements.

New Book | The Golden Age of Botanical Art

Posted in books by Editor on March 7, 2014

Published by The University of Chicago Press in September 2013 (having first appeared in Europe in 2012). . .

Martyn Rix, The Golden Age of Botanical Art (Chicago: The University of Chicago Press, 2013), 256 pages, ISBN: 978-0226093598, $35.

9780226093598The seventeenth century heralded a golden age of exploration, as intrepid travelers sailed around the world to gain firsthand knowledge of previously unknown continents. These explorers also collected the world’s most beautiful flora, and often their findings were recorded for posterity by talented professional artists. The Golden Age of Botanical Art tells the story of these exciting plant-hunting journeys and marries it with full-color reproductions of the stunning artwork they produced. Covering work through the nineteenth century, this lavishly illustrated book offers readers a look at 250 rare or unpublished images by some of the world’s most important botanical artists.

Truly global in its scope, The Golden Age of Botanical Art features work by artists from Europe, China, and India, recording plants from places as disparate as Africa and South America. Martyn Rix has compiled the stories and art not only of well-known figures—such as Leonardo da Vinci and the artists of Empress Josephine Bonaparte—but also of those adventurous botanists and painters whose  names and work have been forgotten. A celebration of both extraordinarily beautiful plant life and the globe-trotting men and women who found and recorded it, The Golden Age of Botanical Art will enchant gardeners and art lovers alike.

Martyn Rix is a botanist and the Editor of Curtis’s Botanical Magazine, and as such has an unrivalled knowledge of botanical art. With a PhD in Botany from the University of Cambridge, he has worked at the University Botanic Garden in Zurich and at the RHS Garden, Wisley and has made many expeditions to different parts of the world, to collect new plants for gardens. He is the author or co-author of a number of books, including the highly acclaimed The Botanical Garden.


1 The Origins of Botanical Art / Leonardo da Vinci
2 Early Works of the Sixteenth Century / Jacopo Ligozzi
3 Seventeenth-Century Florilegia / Dutch Flower Paintings
4 North American Plants / Linnaeus and Plant Classification
5 Travellers to the Levant / Maria Sybilla Merian
6 The Exploration of Russia and Japan / Les Vélins du Muséum
7 Botany Bay and Beyond / Sir Joseph Banks
8 The Golden Age in England / Mrs. Delany and Her Paper Mosaicks
9 South American Adventures / Thornton’s The Temple of Flora, or Garden of Nature
10 The Golden Age in France / Empress Joséphine
11 Botanical and Horticultural Illustrated Journals / Henry C. Andrews
12 Early Chinese Plant Drawings / Père David and the French Missionaries
13 The Company School in India / The Story of Flora Danica 1761–1883
14 A New Era at Kew / George Maw
15 Victorian Travellers / Elwes and the Genus Lilium
16 Bringing China to Europe / Modern Florilegia
17 The Flowers of War and Beyond / Exhibiting Botanical Watercolours
18 Carrying on the Tradition
Publishers’ Credits

Call for Papers | Paragone Studies

Posted in Calls for Papers by Editor on March 7, 2014

Paragone Studies
Musée des Beaux-Arts du Québec, 18–20 September 2014

Proposals due by 1 April 2014

Papers are invited for The 3rd Annual International Conference in Paragone Studies, to be held at the Musée des beaux-arts du Québec, just outside of the old quarter of the City of Québec in Canada. The conference’s purpose is to support the scholarly investigation of the paragone, or rivalry in the arts, as it has been manifested in all media across history. The conference will also include a round-table session featuring artists who choose to discuss how competition in the arts, past or present, has impacted their work or their professional lives. To apply, please submit a 300-word abstract using the paper or round-table presenter appropriate form on the conference website and send to paragonestudies@gmail.com. Please include a c.v.

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