Display | An Impossible Bouquet

Posted in exhibitions by Editor on August 22, 2014

Press release for the display at Dulwich:

An Impossible Bouquet: Four Masterpieces by Jan van Huysum
Dulwich Picture Gallery, London, 1 July — 28 September 2014

Curated by Henrietta Ward


Jan van Huysum, Vase with Flowers, ca. 1715 (Dulwich Picture Gallery)

A special collection of works by the 18th-century Dutch artist Jan van Huysum will be on display at Dulwich Picture Gallery from 1 July until 28 September 2014. An Impossible Bouquet, Four Masterpieces by Jan van Huysum will bring together beautiful works from private collections alongside Dulwich’s own painting that together showcase the artist’s ingenuity and astonishing ability to paint flowers, fruit and insects with minute attention to detail.

Included within the display are two paintings that have remained together since they left Van Huysum’s studio around 1732: Flowers in a Vase with Crown Imperial and Fruit and Flowers in front of a Garden Vase. Their complementary compositions suggest he conceived them as pendants (painted as a pair)—a rarity amongst his oeuvre of 241 paintings. His impressive arrangements could depict over 35 different types of flowers, which, before modern cultivation techniques, would never have been seen together at the same time of year. To overcome this Van Huysum worked from sketches and painted some of his arrangements over two years, explaining why he signed his paintings with two dates.

huysum 2

Jan van Huysum, Flowers in a Vase with Crown Imperial and Apple Blossom at the Top and a Statue of Flora, 1731–32 (Private Collection)

Van Huysum is widely regarded as the greatest still-life painter of his time. His ambitious compositions demonstrate his ability to combine a huge variety of species into beautiful, coherent still lifes that made him popular with collectors both during and beyond his lifetime. The paintings included within this display were once owned by prominent 18th-century collectors, including the Gallery’s founders, Sir Francis Bourgeois and Noël Desenfans, as well as the Swiss painter and dealer Jean-Étienne Liotard.

An Impossible Bouquet, Four Masterpieces by Jan van Huysum has been curated by Dulwich’s Curatorial Fellow Henrietta Ward. The Gallery’s forthcoming Dutch and Flemish schools catalogue, to be published by 2016, will feature Vase with Flowers along with detailed entries for masterpieces by Rembrandt, Rubens, Van Dyck, and Teniers. The catalogue is part of the Gallery’s strategy for the Curatorial Centre of Excellence, a major long-term commitment towards scholarship, learning and training of future curators.

About the Artist

Jan van Huysum (1682–1749) was based in Amsterdam, where he painted flower and fruit still lifes, as well as landscapes. He was taught by his artist-father Justus and worked in his studio until around 1701 when he decided to set up as an independent painter. His depictions of luxuriant flowers in classical vases were soon admired by collectors, particularly the way flowers, fruit and insects were rendered with astonishing accuracy and detail. He achieved this precision with fine brushes—some might have only had a single hair—which were ideal for depicting the vein structure of a leaf, the delicate hairs on a raspberry or the translucency of a water droplet. His skills earned him great acclaim and in 1750 the Dutch writer Jan van Gool (1685–1763) wrote Van Huysum’s first biography which reaffirmed the painter’s unwavering popularity amongst the wealthiest European collectors of the day; his floral paintings could be found in the aristocratic estates of the Duke of Orleans in France, Sir Robert Walpole in England, Prince William of Hesse-Kassel and the King of Poland.

Around 1720, Van Huysum turned from painting on a dark to a light background, believing the flowers and fruit wouldbe seen to better effect. He then placed his vases in architectural gardens which hinted at a grand, classical landscape beyond. The splendour of his new approach substantially increased the demand for his work, so much so that they sold for unprecedented prices, a luxury he experienced during his lifetime. Fully aware of the value of his unique skills, Van Huysum disliked anyone entering his studio, and supposedly taught only one student, for fear they might learn the secrets of his meticulous—and highly lucrative—painting techniques.

Dulwich Picture Gallery

Dulwich Picture Gallery is England’s first purpose-built public art gallery, founded in 1811 and designed by Regency architect Sir John Soane. It houses one of the finest collections of Old Masters in the country, especially rich in French, Italian and Spanish Baroque paintings and in British portraits from the Tudor period to the 19th century. The Gallery’s permanent collection is complemented by its diverse and critically acclaimed year round temporary exhibitions.

Getty Thesaurus of Geographic Names Released as Linked Open Data

Posted in resources by Editor on August 22, 2014

Posted by James Cuno at Iris: The Online Magazine of the Getty (21 August 2014) . . .

lod_logoWe’re delighted to announce that the Getty Research Institute has released the Getty Thesaurus of Geographic Names (TGN)® as Linked Open Data. This represents an important step in the Getty’s ongoing work to make our knowledge resources freely available to all. Following the release of the Art & Architecture Thesaurus (AAT)® in February, TGN is now the second of the four Getty vocabularies to be made entirely free to download, share, and modify. Both data sets are available for download at vocab.getty.edu under an Open Data Commons Attribution License (ODC BY 1.0).

What Is TGN?

The Getty Thesaurus of Geographic Names is a resource of over 2,000,000 names of current and historical places, including cities, archaeological sites, nations, and physical features. It focuses mainly on places relevant to art, architecture, archaeology, art conservation, and related fields.

TGN is powerful for humanities research because of its linkages to the three other Getty vocabularies—the Union List of Artist Names, the Art & Architecture Thesaurus, and the Cultural Objects Name Authority. Together the vocabularies provide a suite of research resources covering a vast range of places, makers, objects, and artistic concepts. The work of three decades, the Getty vocabularies are living resources that continue to grow and improve.

Because they serve as standard references for cataloguing, the Getty vocabularies are also the conduits through which data published by museums, archives, libraries, and other cultural institutions can find and connect to each other. . . .

All four Getty vocabularies will be released as Linked Open Data by late 2015. To follow the progress of the project at the Getty Research Institute, see our Linked Open Data page.

The full announcement with lots of links is available here»

Call for Papers | Cities and Citizens, ca. 1580–1720

Posted in Calls for Papers by Editor on August 22, 2014

From the Call for Papers:

Cities and Citizens: Seventeenth-Century Studies Conference
Institute of Medieval and Early Modern Studies, Durham University, 13–15 July 2015

Proposals due by 1 November 2014

Durham’s Centre for Seventeenth-Century Studies—now part of the Institute of Medieval and Early Modern Studies—has, since its foundation in 1985, organized over a dozen high-profile international conferences. Next year’s conference will address the topic of ‘Cities and Citizens’ and will focus on the ways in which urban centres were perceived, experienced, understood and represented in the ‘long seventeenth century’ (c.1580–1720). The conference will be held within the UNESCO World Heritage Site on Palace Green in the heart of the medieval city of Durham.

The built environment of the city was represented in cartography, painting, printed images and in literary and dramatic works. What were the physical and sensory characteristics of the urban environment? How did the material form of the city change? Especially important here is architectural form—civic, ecclesiastical, official and vernacular. How did urban and rural people read the urban landscape? Here we hope to draw on the insights of archaeological theory as well as on recent findings in post-medieval urban archaeology.

The distinctiveness of the urban experience will be explored. What were the effects of inter-urban trade and of trade and migration between town and countryside? What were the economics of urbanization? In what ways did urban labour differ from that in rural communities and how was it regulated? How did urban people understand customary law and access to common resources? How did civic remembrance connect with popular memory? How did religious conflict change cities and in what ways were confessional identities inflected by the urban experience?
Special emphasis will be placed upon the idea and practice of citizenship. Who did this term include and who was left out? In what ways were ideas about citizenship inflected by nationality, ethnicity, belief, class, gender, property, skill, schooling and age? How far were early modern ideas about citizenship reflective of classical ideals, and how did they connect to those of the late medieval period? To what extent did citizenship guarantee inclusion within the urban polity, and what rights and obligations came with that inclusion? In what ways did those excluded from citizenship nonetheless participate in the urban polity?

We invite proposals either for single papers or for 3-paper panels. Papers should last for 20 minutes, with half an hour at the end of each panel for discussion. Panels may be specific to a particular town or city, or might be national or international in scope, including New World urban centres. Potential subjects might include (but are not restricted to):
• Defining towns, cities and urban communities
• The urban environment and the urban landscape
• Perceptions of space and time
• Gender, age, household and citizenship
• Social relations and social conflicts
• Crime, authority, resistance and the law
• Civic identities and vernacular urban cultures
• Urban customary rights and common resources
• Urban political cultures and public spheres
• Work and leisure
• Print, literacy and education
• Cities and international trade and exchange
• Fuelling and feeding the city
• Migration and social mobility
• Urban parish identities and patterns of belief
• Monastic houses, cathedrals and religious authority
• Occupations, social structures and demographics
• Disease, famine, medicine, and social policy
• Siege warfare
• Urban revolt
• Art, architecture and civic portraiture

Proposals for 20-minute papers and full panels should be submitted to early.modern@durham.ac.uk by 1 November 2014. Replies will be sent in early December 2014. Details concerning travel and accommodation for both speakers and delegates will be made available around the same time. It is hoped that the conference will give rise to an edited volume of selected essays.

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