J & A Beare and Amati Release Books on 18th-Century Violins

Posted in Art Market, books by Editor on August 25, 2014

“With the closure of Sotheby’s and Christie’s music departments, Amati is leaping into the gap in the market with gusto and is changing the shape of the industry. Amati not only provides owners with a valuation service but allows dealers and makers around the world to upload their instruments, with full provenance and documentation for the valuable instruments.” More usefully for most of us, Amati’s online magazine includes reviews of concerts and recordings. CH

From Art Daily (24 August 2014). . .


Antonio Stradivari ‘La Pucelle’ Violin, 1709

The Monograph Collection is a collaboration between J & A Beare and Amati, who will be releasing a series of books each dedicated to a single masterwork of the classical school of violin making. The Monograph Collection books are sold as an annual subscription and are available to pre-order, with the first three books due out in September and the fourth in December. Each volume includes a detailed history as well as descriptive text on the technical and aesthetic features of each instrument, alongside professional photos and measurements. Written by strings specialist John Dilworth, it is hoped that the books will become treasured collector’s items.

Extract from I – Antonio Stradivari ‘La Pucelle’ Violin 1709: “The soundholes are wonderfully elegant and beautifully finished, as one would expect. They sit with great poise and balance on the front, the edges still looking sharp enough to cut paper. Comparing these virtually perfect soundholes with those on other celebrated instruments by Stradivari brings home the great variation observable in position, inclination, widths, and even symmetry in the work as a whole. These particular soundholes on ‘La Pucelle’ are cut with a quite generous width in the arm, a feature going back to the 1680s. Amongst these and later examples there are soundhole pairs that lean inwardly at the upper hole, and later there appear soundholes cut with a slender arm, set sometimes very upright and parallel. Then, in the Golden Period and beyond, there appear mixtures of all these traits in pairs of soundholes on the same instrument. The explanations for all this apparently random treatment lie in the techniques Stradivari used to draw out the soundholes and the obvious fact that there were more than one pair of hands at work in the atelier.”

Amati, the marketplace for stringed instruments, was set up to offer free evaluations and to provide transparency in the sale and purchase of violins, cellos, violas and bows—from a child’s violin to mid-range instruments for young professionals and antique violins of the highest calibre. By taking the market online, it empowers buyers and sellers to become better informed about an industry often shrouded in mystique. For those with a violin gathering dust in an attic, Amati is the first port of call for finding out the value of an instrument and sourcing comparisons, to enable those with little knowledge to access accurate information in the public domain. Amati will also be providing access to illustrated, hardbound monographs written by John Dilworth on some of the most famous Stradivarius violins and cellos in existence. With the closure of Sotheby’s and Christie’s music departments, Amati is leaping into the gap in the market with gusto and is changing the shape of the industry. Amati not only provides owners with a valuation service but allows dealers and makers around the world to upload their instruments, with full provenance and documentation for the valuable instruments.

Amati was co-founded by husband and wife team James and Sarah Buchanan in July 2013. Sarah is the company Director, while James offers specialist expertise in valuations. He has gained expert knowledge of the industry, having co-founded a specialist auction house in 2006, after running the Music Department at Christie’s Auctioneers in London.

Call for Papers | Artists’ Homes before 1800

Posted in Calls for Papers by Editor on August 25, 2014

As noted at Le Blog de l’ApAhAu (24 August 2014) . . .

‘Visual Artists Must Live like Kings or Gods’
Artists’ Homes in the Middle Ages and the Early Modern Era

Nuremberg, 11–14 June 2015

Proposals due by 31 August 2014

“Plastic artists should dwell like kings and gods: how else are they to build for kings and gods?”(Goethe, Wilhelm Meister’s Journeyman Years II, 8). What pertained to Goethe in a figurative sense is our question from varying perspectives in respect to the real visual artist in Europe up to 1800. Exceptional artists such as Goethe but also Mantegna, Dürer, Michelangelo, Rubens, Rembrandt or the Asam Brothers sometimes lived almost princely. But does this apply in general to the European artist of the pre-modern era?

The conference will take a look at the artist’s home and initially examine his status from the perspective of social topography. What factors influenced this status? To be considered are, for example, the neighbourhood, the proximity to possible clients or to prestigious places for sales such as centrally located squares, prominent streets or significant churches. The conference will investigate architecture and furnishings, the iconography and iconology of an iconographical program of artists’ homes from the perspective of art history and cultural history. Finally, the conference will also examine an early nascent conservation of the artist’s home or the dwelling as a place of remembrance in the period before 1800 and thus explore questions of the history of discourse or perception.

But we also expressly request papers deviating from the idea of the artist’s home à la Goethe, rather talks considering those visual artists who rented or who frequently moved and therefore acquired no property, also talks on artists who found accommodations with their clients. What do we know about these artists’ flats or their homes? Where and in what cities did artists’ quarters, artists’ streets or blocks of flats evolve, places where artists lived over a longer period? Who lived with the artist? How were the studios situated? Were there sales rooms in the house, in the flat? Were they also used for art instruction, to hold ‘academies’ (Joachim von Sandrart)? Is there a difference between the artists bound to guilds and those who worked at court?

The conference will examine text and picture sources to determine the image of artistic self-portrayal at the time via the medium ‘artist’s house’. The latter is primarily to be viewed from the standpoint of the visual artist’s strategies to rise to a higher stratum in a hierarchical society where he was relegated to the status of craftsman. What was the role of the sometimes extensive art collections for which rooms were often exclusively built or reserved? Using case studies, overview representations and comparative examinations, the conference will approach the topic from the perspective of different disciplines, primarily, however, from the perspective of art history, cultural history, and social history.

Abstracts for as yet unpublished articles (a maximum of 2,000 characters, including spaces) with a brief CV and a possible selection of relevant publications may be submitted in German or English by 31 August 2014 to Danica Brenner M.A., brenner@uni-trier.de. Publication of the articles is planned for 2016 in the series Artifex: Sources and Studies on the Social History of the Artist [Artifex: Quellen und Studien zur Künstlersozialgeschichte] (Michael Imhof Verlag, Petersberg).

The conference is held in cooperation with the Albrecht-Dürer-Haus, curated by Dr. Thomas Schauerte (the Nuremberg Museums) and the Social History of the Artist Research Centre (SHARC), principally the EU project « artifex », directed by Dr. Andreas Tacke, Professor (University of Trier, Chair, Art History).

Le colloque international « Visual artists must live like kings or gods ». Artists’ homes in the Middle Ages and the Early Modern Era se tiendra à Nuremberg du  11 au 14 juin 2015 ; les communications seront dispensées en allemand ou en anglais.
Organisateurs : Dr. Thomas Schauerte, Dr. Andreas Tacke, University Professor.

Call for Papers | Le Paysage Spectacle: La Suisse et Tourisme

Posted in Calls for Papers by Editor on August 25, 2014

As noted at Le Blog de l’ApAhAu (18 August 2014) . . .

Le Paysage Spectacle: La Suisse au Regard du Tourisme, 1750–2015
Université de Lausanne, 23–25 April 2015

Proposals due by 15 September 2014

Le paysage construit le « pays », ce territoire naturel, urbain, rural et social. Ce dernier est le produit d’un processus d’artialisation, notamment par le truchement du regard que les artistes portent sur leur environnement biophysique et humain, et qui obéit à des codes esthétiques, culturels ou idéologiques. L’attrait du naturel et de l’artifice forge des visions utopiques ou des anticipations dystopiques. Le paysage est un lieu renvoyant le spectateur à son propre « lieu » géographique et culturel. Dans ce cadre, les points de vue des touristes ont joué un rôle primordial, du Grand Tour au voyage virtuel sur Google Maps. Le « regard touristique » opère ainsi une esthétisation de sites conventionnels ou inhabituels.

Depuis les écrits de Albrecht von Haller, la Confédération helvétique, et les Alpes en particulier, ont occupé une place centrale dans les pratiques et les théories paysagères. Ces dernières se développèrent notamment par le tourisme européen et ses projections. Les Alpes constituent à cette époque un lieu d’expérimentation que s’approprient les écrivains, artistes, philosophes, géographes, ingénieurs, biologistes, etc., construisant un ensemble de représentations historiques et culturelles. L’essor des moyens de transport et le développement de la production industrielle a favorisé de nouvelles pratiques artistiques et littéraires telles que la gravure coloriée, le panorama, l’affiche, le récit de voyage, la photographie de montagne et diverses formes de décor dans l’espace public (expositions nationales, « peintures de gares », etc.).

Ce colloque interroge les sources et les modèles qui ont contribué à l’image de la Suisse moderne et contemporaine, entre regards exogènes et indigènes. L’accent sera mis sur les approches du touriste spectateur, sur ses représentations et ses discours, sur son interaction avec les paysages et sur les approches des sciences, de l’histoire de l’art, de l’histoire, de la littérature, de la sociologie, de la philosophie, des sciences des cultures ou des sciences naturelles.

Nous nous réjouissons de recevoir des propositions de contribution (max. 300 mots) adressées à Valentine von Fellenberg : valentine.vonfellenberg@unil.ch avant le 15 septembre 2014.

Comité scientifique
Valentine von Fellenberg (UNIL)
Philippe Kaenel (UNLI)
Mathis Stock (IUKB)

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