Display | Visions of Rome: Lusieri and Labruzzi

Posted in exhibitions by Editor on November 30, 2014


Giovanni Battista Lusieri, Panoramic View of Rome: Capitoline Hill to the Aventine Hill, ca. 1778–1779, watercolour, 55.2 x 97.8 cm. (22 x 39 inches) (London: The British Museum).

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Press release from The British Museum:

Recent Acquisitions | Visions of Rome: Lusieri and Labruzzi
The British Museum, London, 12 December 2014 — 15 February 2015

The British Museum has acquired a rare early surviving work by one of the eighteenth century’s most innovative and technically gifted landscape artists, with the support of the Art Fund, the Ottley Group, the Oppenheimer Fund, Jean-Luc Baroni, the Society of Dilettanti Charitable Trust, and individual contributions.

Giovanni Battista Lusieri’s watercolour Panoramic View of Rome: Capitoline Hill to the Aventine Hill (ca. 1778–79) shows a panoramic view of his native city Rome from Piazza San Pietro in Montorio on the Janiculum, stretching from the Capitoline Hill on the left to the Aventine Hill on the right. It is one of three surviving views from a four-sheet 180 degree watercolour panorama of Rome from the Janiculum at different times of day from morning to evening. These were bought or commissioned by Philip Yorke (1757–1834), who became 3rd Earl of Hardwicke in 1790, during his time in the city in 1778–79. Panoramic View of Rome: Capitoline Hill to the Aventine Hill shows the panorama in the late afternoon with shadows lengthening in the now built over garden of the convent of San Callisto and San Michele in Trastevere in the foreground. (more…)

Display | Connecting Continents: Indian Ocean Trade and Exchange

Posted in exhibitions by Editor on November 30, 2014


Front and back of a pendant from Yemen made from a 1780 silver Maria Theresa thaler, 1950s. These coins were originally minted in the Hapsburg Empire but from the late 18th century onwards were used across the Indian Ocean (London: The British Museum). Click here for a high-resolution image.

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Press release from The British Museum

Connecting Continents: Indian Ocean Trade and Exchange
The British Museum, London, 27 November 2014 — 31 May 2015

Objects connected to the long history of trade in the Indian Ocean can be found throughout the British Museum. The new exhibition, Connecting Continents: Indian Ocean Trade and Exchange, is the first time a selection of these have been exhibited together to tell the story of how this vast oceanic space has connected people and cultures from Asia, East Africa, the Middle East and beyond. This intimate yet far-reaching exhibition features objects dating from around 4500 years ago to the present.

Connecting Continents: Indian Ocean Trade and Exchange explores trade from several perspectives. The exhibition features the commodities traded, such as textiles, precious stones and ceramics, which might have been found thousands of miles from their point of origin or production. Other objects on display indicate the use of foreign commodities, such as Roman jewellery made of South Asian sapphires and garnets. The exhibition also demonstrates how objects and their meanings change through these journeys. Coins, for example, were used in many ways—as money, bullion or incorporated into jewellery.


Model Boat Made of Threaded Cloves. Probably from Indonesia, 18th–20th century (London: The British Museum). Click here for a high-resolution image.

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A model boat, made entirely of dried cloves threaded together and displayed for the first time, is the centrepiece that embodies many of the themes in the exhibition. The clove tree is indigenous to Indonesia, from where this boat is likely to originate. The maker used this intricate technique to create a model of a traditional trading ship. These types of model were popular in the 18th and 19th centuries with Europeans, many of whom worked in the East India companies involved in the highly lucrative spice trade. Cloves, as well as cinnamon, pepper, ginger and other spices, have been central to Indian Ocean commerce for millennia. This single object, only half a metre long, illustrates the significance of spices within the Indian Ocean commercial world, the ships used to transport them and how this trade led to the interaction of different cultures.

The written records of merchants and travellers offer further insights into the nature of this trading system. The 14th-century Muslim pilgrim, Ibn Battuta, travelled to East Africa as well as to the Far East, describing in detail the commercial world and the cosmopolitan towns he encountered. Objects found in places Ibn Battuta visited form one section of this display.

The long duration of trade in the Indian Ocean is also demonstrated with beautiful jewellery incorporating carnelian beads from the Indus valley dating from around 2500BC found in the Royal Cemetery at Ur in Mesopotamia.

Pottery from India and East Africa from the 7th to 10th centuries AD found in Siraf on the Gulf coastline of southern Iran illustrates the global movement of people. At this time Siraf was one of the major trading posts on the Ocean rim and these everyday items were likely to have been used for cooking by foreign merchants who sailed long distances to engage in trade.

By thinking about history from the perspective of the ocean, areas which appear small on the map such as the Maldives, become highly significant when we realise they were vital points of refreshment for ocean-going vessels and acted as trading posts. Islands such as these, which are often only associated today with luxury tourism, were central to this early globalised economic system.

The compelling object histories in this display represent a huge geographical spread and tell this long and significant history. Every object in this small space contains myriad stories of interaction, movement, exchange and connection which has characterised the Indian Ocean for thousands of years.

Phase II of the Conservation of Thornhill’s Painted Hall Announced

Posted in on site by Editor on November 30, 2014


Restoration of the West Wall of the Painted Hall at Greenwich, included in Phase I of the conservation project, was completed in the spring of 2013. Phase II is expected to begin in the summer of 2016.

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Press release, via Art Daily (29 November 2014). . .

The Heritage Lottery Fund today announced that it has earmarked funding of £2.77 million, including a development grant of £98,800, to The Greenwich Foundation towards its £7m scheme to complete the conservation of the Painted Hall at the Old Royal Naval College (ORNC). This first round pass will enable the Foundation to proceed with it plans for the conservation of the remaining 3,700 square metres of paintings: one of the most ambitious painting conservation projects ever undertaken within a historic interior. It will also support improved interpretation and accessibility, the delivery of conservation skills training, and a programme of associated community, learning and public events including scaffolding tours which proved immensely popular during Phase I of the conservation.

Created in the early 18th century by Sir James Thornhill for Sir Christopher Wren’s Royal Hospital for Seamen, the spectacular, Grade 1 Listed, Painted Hall is one of Europe’s most important architectural interiors and is considered to be the greatest achievement of English Baroque art. Phase I of the conservation, which was also supported by a grant from the Heritage Lottery Foundation, saw the west wall and upper hall ceiling restored to their former glory [opened in May 2013]. Phase II will see the lower hall, with its spectacular ceiling, the entrance vestibule and cupola similarly restored.

Sue Bowers, Head of the Heritage Lottery Fund for London, said, “This Baroque masterpiece is one of the lesser-known treasures at the heart of the Greenwich World Heritage Site. HLF funded the first stage of restoration works and we are now delighted to support plans to complete the project.”

“This is absolutely wonderful news,” adds Brendan McCarthy, Chief Executive of the Greenwich Foundation. “Ever since the first phase of conservation was completed, we’ve been looking forward to restoring the rest of the Painted Hall and the HLF stage 1 pass has taken us a long way towards that—although much fundraising remains to be done. The next few months will be very interesting and great fun. There will be changing exhibitions, information, exciting talks and hands-on workshops as part of our overall approach to involving the public as the project develops. Phase II of the Painted Hall conservation will transform the experience of visiting and viewing this remarkable painted interior, and people can also be part of the exciting project by helping us to reach our £7m target.”

The Foundation will submit detailed project proposals, based on a feasibility study by Martin Ashley Architects, to HLF at the end of 2015 with a view to starting work on the project in the summer of 2016. The Painted Hall will be under scaffolding for around two years after the start of works, however the public will have access to the Hall, including on the scaffolding itself. Visitors—including wheelchair users—will be able to get close up to the painted surfaces and watch conservators at work—an exciting element of project.

Key elements of the Phase II programme include
• Cleaning and conservation of the remaining 3,700 square metres of painted wall surface, including the great ceiling in the Lower Hall, executed by James Thornhill between 1708 and 1712. This will remove layers of dirt and varnish, unlocking the colour and vibrancy of these great paintings. The work will be undertaken by Paine & Stewart, leading specialists in the conservation of historic wall paintings who also undertook the conservation work in Phase I.
• Re-presentation of the interior with improved lighting, new seating and interpretation.
• Introduction of environmental improvements to ensure the best possible conditions for the painted surfaces.
• Creation of a new, fully accessible visitor reception in the King William Undercroft with improved facilities, innovative interpretation, dedicated retail, and a new café.
• Improved visibility of the Painted Hall within the Discover Greenwich visitor centre, including a new audio-visual exhibit.

The conservation work is expected to be completed by the summer 2018 with the overall project completed the following year.

A masterpiece that was almost 20 years in the making
With over 4,250 square metres of painted surfaces, the Painted Hall was Thornhill’s most extensive commission, taking the artist almost 20 years to complete. In the dining hall proposed for the Royal Hospital for Seamen the artist was asked to create an homage to Britain’s maritime power and royal family. The astonishing ceiling of the lower hall shows the contribution the British navy made to the prosperity of the nation at the time of William III and Mary II, under during whose reign the Hospital was commissioned, and the Upper Hall ceiling features the last of the Stuart monarchs, Queen Anne, during whose reign the Lower Hall paintings were made. The allegorical theme of the huge and exuberant Lower Hall ceiling is the Triumph of Peace and Liberty over Tyranny, and pays due tribute to Stuart monarchs William and Mary and British maritime power. Within the oval frame are the four seasons and other references to the passing of time including the signs of the zodiac. Beyond the arch in the Upper Hall Queen Anne surveys the continents of the world, while on the west wall her Hanoverian successors, George I and his family, are shown in sober glory. Elsewhere much use is made of trompe l’oeil painting, on the columns, windowsills and in the vestibule. During the period when he working on the painting Thornhill became court Painter to the new King, George I, and was subsequently knighted. After completion in 1727, the Greenwich pensioners moved their dining room to the undercrofts below, and the Hall became a popular visitor attraction with an admission price of 6d. In the early 19th century the Painted Hall became the home of the National Gallery of Naval Art—one of Britain’s first public art galleries. It was not used again as a dining room until 1936, when the paintings were moved to the newly-established National Maritime Museum.

Sir James Thornhill (1675–1734)
Born in Dorset in 1675, artist James Thornhill was to rise to become a court painter and sergeant painter to George I and George II, a master of the Painters’ Company and a fellow of the Royal Society. He was the first English painter to be knighted for his work, in 1720, and sat as a Member of Parliament for 12 years from 1722 until his death in 1734. The eight scenes in the dome of St. Paul’s Cathedral (1715–19) and the allegories in the Painted Hall, Royal Hospital for Seamen (1708–27), are his two most considerable commissions with the majority of his paintings largely executed on the ceilings and stairs of country houses and palaces such as Hampton Court, Blenheim, and Chatsworth. Among Thornhill’s few canvases are the altarpiece for St. Mary’s Parish Church, Weymouth, and a group portrait of the members of the House of Commons in which he was assisted by William Hogarth (who eloped with Thornhill’s daughter in 1729). Thornhill also made a number of portraits (his sitters including Sir Isaac Newton and co-founder of The Spectator Magazine, Richard Steele), book illustrations, theatre scenery, and the rose window of the north transept of Westminster Abbey. Thornhill’s works can be seen in collections across the globe including The Louvre, Paris; Metropolitan Museum, New York; and National Portrait Gallery, Tate, Royal Academy and Courtauld Institute, London.

Exhibition | Treasures from India: Jewels from the Al-Thani Collection

Posted in books, catalogues, exhibitions by Editor on November 29, 2014

Press release (21 October 2014) from The Met:

Treasures from India: Jewels from the Al-Thani Collection
The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, 28 October 2014 — 25 January 2015

Curated by Navina Haidar

Flask, 1650–1700, North India, Rock crystal, inlaid with gold wire, rubies, and emeralds, with gold collar, stopper, and foot, 9.2 x 5.5 cm (The Al-Thani Collection).

Flask, 1650–1700, North India, Rock crystal, inlaid with gold wire, rubies, and emeralds, with gold collar, stopper, and foot, 9.2 x 5.5 cm (The Al-Thani Collection).

Some 60 jeweled objects from the private collection formed by Sheikh Hamad bin Abdullah Al-Thani will be presented at The Metropolitan Museum of Art in the exhibition Treasures from India: Jewels from the Al-Thani Collection, opening October 28.  The presentation will provide a glimpse into the evolving styles of the jeweled arts in India from the Mughal period until the early 20th century, with emphasis on later exchanges with the West. The exhibition will be shown within the Metropolitan Museum’s Islamic art galleries, adjacent to the Museum’s own collection of Mughal-period art.

“It is with great delight that we present to the public this selection of works representing several centuries of tradition and craftsmanship in the jeweled arts—from India’s Mughal workshops to the ateliers of Paris,” Thomas P. Campbell , Director and CEO of the Metropolitan Museum, said when announcing the exhibition.

Sheikh Hamad stated: “The jeweled arts of India have fascinated me from an early age and I have been fortunate to be able to assemble a meaningful collection that spans from the Mughal period to the present day. I am delighted that The Metropolitan Museum of Art will be exhibiting highlights from the collection, making the subject known to a wider audience.”

Box (dibbi), 1740–80, North India; Jade, inlaid with gold wire, rubies, emeralds, and crystal, 4.2 x 10.8 x 10.2 cm (The Al-Thani Collection)

Box (dibbi), 1740–80, North India; Jade, inlaid with gold wire, rubies, emeralds, and crystal, 4.2 x 10.8 x 10.2 cm (The Al-Thani Collection)

The display will include historical works from the Mughal period in the 17th century and from various courts and centers of the 18th and 19th centuries, including Hyderabad; a group of late 19th- and 20th-century jewels made for India’s Maharajas by Cartier and other Western firms; and contemporary commissions inspired by traditional Indian forms. On view will be several antique gems that were incorporated into modern settings by Maison Cartier, jewelry designer Paul Iribe, and others. Contextual information will be provided through historical photographs and portraits of Indian royalty wearing works similar to those on view.

India has been a vibrant center for the jeweled arts for many centuries, with its own mines yielding gold, diamonds, and many other precious and semiprecious stones. India’s Mughal rulers and their successors appreciated ceremonial and functional objects made of luxury materials. Among the Mughal works will be an elegant jade dagger originally owned by two emperors—the hilt was made for Jahangir and it was re-bladed for his son Shah Jahan, builder of the Taj Mahal. In the 19th century, the dagger was in the collection Samuel F. B. Morse, inventor of the Morse code. The hilt features a miniature sculpture—a European-style head.

Historically, the gem form favored throughout India has been the cabochon. In the traditional kundan technique, a gem is set within a bed of gold, and often backed in foil to enhance its color.  Another highlight of the exhibition will be a gem-set tiger head finial originally from the throne of Tipu Sultan (1750–1799), which incorporated numerous cabochon diamonds, rubies, and emeralds in a kundan setting.

Huqqa Mouthpiece, 1750–1800, North India, Jade, inlaid with gold, rubies, and emeralds; 7.1 x 1.9 cm (The Al-Thani Collection)

Huqqa Mouthpiece, 1750–1800, North India, Jade, inlaid with gold, rubies, and emeralds; 7.1 x 1.9 cm (The Al-Thani Collection)

Also on view will be several examples of North Indian sarpesh and jigha (turban ornaments) from 1875–1900, brought together in a display that traces their evolution from traditional plume-inspired forms and techniques toward more Western shapes and construction.  Silver foil backing was used; however, the diamonds were set using a Western-style claw or coronet, rather than the kundan setting. And a work designed by the artist Paul Iribe and made by goldsmith Robert Linzeler in 1910 in Paris recalls the kind of aigrette (decorative pin) that would have ornamented the turban of a Maharaja or Nizam. At the center is a large emerald, carved in India between 1850 and 1900.

The exhibition is organized by Navina Haidar, Curator, Islamic Art Department. Exhibition design is by Michael Batista, Exhibition Design Manager; graphics are by Sophia Geronimus, Graphic Design Manager; and lighting is by Clint Ross Coller and Richard Lichte, Graphic Design Managers, all of the Museum’s Design Department. The exhibition is made possible by Cartier.

The exhibition will be accompanied by a catalogue published by the Metropolitan Museum and distributed by Yale University Press. Written by Navina Haidar, with a foreword by Sheila Canby, the Patti Cadby Birch Curator in Charge of the Department of Islamic Art, and contributions from Courtney Stewart, Senior Research Assistant, it draws on a study of the collection called Beyond Extravagance, edited by Amin Jaffer, that was printed by Assouline Publishing in 2013.

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From Yale UP:

Navina Najat Haidar and Courtney Ann Stewart, Treasures from India: Jewels from the Al-Thani Collection (New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 2014), 144 pages, ISBN: 978-0300208870, $40.

9780300208870_p0_v1_s600India’s rich tradition of jeweled arts has produced extravagant and opulent creations that range from ornaments for every part of the body to ceremonial court objects such as boxes, daggers, and thrones.  Starting with the Mughal rulers of India (1526–1858) and continuing to the present day, this artistic practice is characterized by an abundance of costly materials such as gold, ivory, jade, and precious stones of astounding size and quality, which artists have used to create unique and valuable works.

Treasures from India presents 60 iconic works from the world-renowned Al-Thani collection, accompanied by a text that introduces readers to their significance within the history of Indian jeweled arts. Included are some of the earliest pieces created for the imperial Mughals in the 16th century, others made for Maharajahs of the 18th through 20th centuries, and later Indian-inspired works created by Cartier in the 20th century. These examples represent the range and scope of the finest expression of the jeweled arts in India, and stand among the highest expressions of Indian culture and artistry.

Navina Najat Haidar is curator and administrator, and Courtney Ann Stewart is senior research assistant, both in the Department of Islamic Art at The Metropolitan Museum of Art.

New Book | James Barry’s Murals at the Royal Society of Arts

Posted in books by Editor on November 28, 2014

James Barry’s Murals at the Royal Society of Arts: Envisioning a New Public Art will be launched at the Royal Society of Arts in London on December 9th and at the Crawford Art Gallery in Cork on December 3rd. From Cork UP:

William L. Pressly, James Barry’s Murals at the Royal Society of Arts: Envisioning a New Public Art (Cork: Cork University Press, 2014), 384 pages, ISBN: 978-1782051084, €49 / $66.

9781782051084-2Between 1777 and 1784, the Irish artist James Barry (1741–1806) executed six murals for the Great Room of the Society of Arts in London. Although his works form the most impressive series of history paintings in Great Britain, they remain one of the British art world’s best kept secrets, having attracted little attention from critics or the general public. James Barry’s Murals at the Royal Society of Arts is the first to offer an in-depth analysis of these remarkable paintings and the first to demonstrate that the artist was pioneering a new approach to public art in terms of the novelty of the patronage and the highly personal nature of his content. Barry insisted on, and received, complete control over his subject matter, the first time in the history of Western art that the patron of a large, impressive interior agreed to such a demand. The artist required autonomy in order to present his personal vision, which encompasses a complex surface narrative as well as a hidden meaning that has gone unperceived for 230 years. The artist disguised his deeper message due to its inflammatory nature. Were his meaning readily apparent, the Society would have thrown out him and his murals.

Ultimately, as this book seeks to show, the artist intended his paintings to engage the public in a dialogue that would utterly transform British society in terms of its culture, politics, and religion. In making this case, the book brings this neglected series into the mainstream of discussions of British art of the Romantic period, revealing the intellectual profundity invested in the genre of history painting and re-evaluating the role Christianity played in Enlightenment thought.

William L Pressly is Emeritus Professor of Eighteenth- and Nineteenth-Century European Art at the University of Maryland. He is the author of James Barry: The Life and Art of James Barry (Yale University Press, 1981) and James Barry: the Artist as Hero (Tate Gallery, 1983).

Thankful for Saved Collections: Wedgwood and the DIA

Posted in museums by Editor on November 27, 2014

Announced 3 October 2014, from Save the Wedgwood Collection:

The Wedgwood Collection—one of the most important industrial archives in the world and a unique record of 250 years of British art—has been saved for future generations. The Art Fund raised £15.75m in total, including £2.74m through a public appeal that reached its target within a month of launching. Donations were matched pound-for-pound by a private charitable trust. Thank you to everyone who donated to and supported the appeal!

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From the Detroit Free Press:

Mark Stryker, “With Its Art Collection Saved, DIA Looks to the Future,” Detroit Free Press (9 November 2014)

Museum leaders spent the past year and a half fighting to prevent the sale of any of its irreplaceable treasures to satisfy city creditors—an epic battle for its life that ended with Friday’s [November 7’s] court approval of the bankruptcy restructuring plan that preserved the DIA collection. . . . The grand bargain granted the DIA its freedom from city ownership for the first time in nearly a century. The move, which will take effect in the coming weeks, ensures that its collection will never again be held hostage to municipal debt or the vagaries of city government. . .

Exhibition | Ornements: Chefs-d’oeuvre de la Collection Jacques Doucet

Posted in books, catalogues, exhibitions by Editor on November 27, 2014

From INHA:

Ornements, XVe-XVIIIe Siècles: Chefs-d’oeuvre de la Collection Jacques Doucet
Institut national d’histoire de l’art, Galerie Colbert, Paris, 2 October — 31 December 2014

orneme10La Bibliothèque de l’Institut national d’histoire de l’art, héritière de la Bibliothèque d’art et d’archéologie créée par le couturier Jacques Doucet (1853–1929) à partir de 1908, est aujourd’hui riche de plus de 25 000 estampes d’ornement, réunies en près de 700 volumes. Son fonds  d’estampes couvre la production, tant française qu’italienne ou allemande, du XVIe au XVIIIe siècle. Sources importantes pour les historiens des arts décoratifs, de l’architecture, de l’estampe, ces œuvres ont fait l’objet d’un catalogage informatisé et d’une numérisation, dans le cadre du programme « Histoire de l’ornement » de l’INHA. L’exposition, organisée dans la salle Roberto Longhi de la Galerie Colbert, correspond à l’achèvement de ce programme et à la parution d’un livre consacré à la collection d’estampes d’ornement de l’INHA, publié en coédition par Mare et Martin et l’INHA.

À travers la présentation d’une cinquantaine d’estampes, où se déploie une multiplicité de motifs (rinceaux, frises, fleurs, volutes, grotesques, trophées, cuirs…), l’exposition permet d’éclairer les fonctions de l’estampe d’ornement, mais aussi le contexte de sa production et de sa diffusion, et enfin, son statut d’objet d’étude et de collection. Sont particulièrement mis en valeur les points forts de la collection Doucet, telles les estampes allemandes des XVIe–XVIIe siècles (Martin Schongauer, Virgil Solis, Albrecht Dürer), les gravures d’orfèvres « cosses de pois » du premier XVIIe siècle (Jean Toutin), mais aussi les estampes françaises du XVIIIe siècle représentant rocailles et chinoiseries (Pillement, Huquier), ainsi que leurs copies européennes. Des objets d’art permettent de resituer la place de l’estampe au sein du processus de création. Enfin, reliures remarquables, états rares, épreuves coloriées, illustrent l’histoire des praticiens, amateurs  ou collectionneurs de ces estampes, tel Edmond Foulc, dont la collection fut acquise par Jacques Doucet en 1914.

Michaël Decrossas, Lucie Fléjou

Jérémie Cerman, Rose-Marie Chapalain, Sophie Derrot, Elli Doulkaridou, Ludovic Jouvet, Léonie Marquaille, Étienne Tornier, Céline Ventura-Teixeira, qui par leur travail de catalogage des recueils d’ornement des collections Jacques Doucet de la Bibliothèque de l’INHA permettent aujourd’hui cette exposition. Ainsi que la Cité de la céramique, Sèvres & Limoges, musée national de Sèvres et Les Arts Décoratifs pour leurs prêts.

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From INHA:

Michaël Decrossas and Lucie Fléjou, eds, Ornements, XVe–XIXe Siècles: Chefs-d’œuvre de la Bibliothèque de l’INHA, Collections Jacques Doucet (Paris: INHA-Mare & Martin, 2014), 384 pages, ISBN: 979-1092054378, 37€.

Livre-ornementsMarquant l’aboutissement d’un programme de recherche porté par l’Institut national d’histoire de l’art depuis 2010, cet ouvrage réunit vingt-six essais abordant quelques-unes des questions les plus intéressantes posées par l’ornement entre le XVIe et le XIXe siècle, et sa place dans l’histoire de l’art, qu’il s’agisse des estampes d’ornement ou des styles d’ornement (rococo, rocaille, « à l’antique »), ou encore d’artistes comme Jean Lemoyne, Gabriel Huquier, Charles Percier et Pierre-François-Léonard Fontaine. Un chapitre de l’ouvrage est consacré à Jacques Doucet, le grand couturier collectionneur qui est à l’origine de la Bibliothèque de l’INHA, laquelle conserve un fonds exceptionnel d’environ 25 000 estampes d’ornement.

Avec la collaboration de Jean-François Bédard (Syracuse University, New York), Michèle Bimbenet-Privat (musée du Louvre), Jean-Gérald Castex (Cité de la céramique – Sèvres & Limoges), Jérémie Cerman (université Paris-Sorbonne), Catherine Chédeau (université de Franche-Comté),  Michaël Decrossas (INHA), Marzia Faietti (Galleria degli Uffizi), Lucie Fléjou (INHA), Rossella Froissart (université de Provence), Jean-Philippe Garric (université Paris 1 Panthéon-Sorbonne), Marianne Grivel (université Paris-Sorbonne), Caroline Heering (université catholique de Louvain), Rémi Labrusse (université Paris Ouest Nanterre La Défense), Corinne Le Bitouzé (Bibliothèque nationale de France),  Guy-Michel Leproux (École pratique des hautes études), Estelle Leutrat (université de Rennes 2), Marie-Pauline Martin (université de Provence), Véronique Meyer (université de Poitiers), Christian Michel (université de Lausanne), Odile Nouvel-Kammerer (musée des Arts décoratifs), Anne Perrin-Khelissa (université de Toulouse II – Le Mirail), Antoine Picon (Harvard University), Sébastien Quéquet (musée des Arts décoratifs), Kristel Smentek (MIT, Massachusetts), Carsten-Peter Warncke (Georg-August-Universität Göttingen)

Display | William Hogarth, 1697–1764

Posted in exhibitions by Editor on November 26, 2014

Now on view at Tate Britain:

William Hogarth, 1697–1764
Tate Britain, London, 27 October 2014 — 26 April 2015
Bristol Museum & Art Gallery, Summer 2015

William Hogarth, The Painter and his Pug, 1745 (London: Tate, purchased 1824).

William Hogarth, The Painter and his Pug, 1745 (London: Tate, purchased 1824).

This display marks the 250th anniversary of the death of Hogarth. It includes almost all of his paintings in the Tate Collection, as well as prints, drawings and rarely seen items from the Tate Library and Archive.

The story of art in this country often begins with William Hogarth, who died in late October 1764. Satirist, printmaker, portraitist, history painter and art theorist, in the two hundred and fifty years since his death Hogarth has regularly been positioned as the founding father of British art. This persistent notion was reflected in the early years of Tate’s displays: for decades his was the earliest British work on show at Tate.

Hogarth first gained recognition painting scenes from the theatre. He went on to make his name with his darkly humorous ‘modern moral’ series depicting the declining fortunes of foolish or ignoble characters, and brought similar vivacity to the polite interiors of his ‘conversation piece’ portraits. In 1735 he founded an academy for artists and later wrote a treatise on the aesthetic theories he developed over the course of his career. Whether painting, printmaking or writing, he was concerned with forging and defending a distinctly British art.

In 1951 Tate mounted the first major exhibition of Hogarth’s work since 1814. Tate gained independence from the National Gallery in 1955 and started acquiring works in its own right, and further exhibitions and displays followed reflecting research into Hogarth’s life and art. From the early 1950s Tate also acquired work by earlier British artists, allowing Hogarth to be seen in the context of his predecessors: an innovative champion of British art, but by no means the first British artist.

Read more about Hogarth at the Tate

The online materials are useful, particularly Tim Batchelor’s account of the “Exhibitions and Displays” of Hogarth’s work at Tate (11 November 2014). CH

Exhibition | Miniaturportraits um 1800

Posted in exhibitions by Editor on November 25, 2014

From the Wallraf-Richartz-Museum:

Im Blauen Salon: Miniaturportraits um 1800
Wallraf-Richartz-Museum & Fondation Corboud, Cologne, 14 November 2014 — 1 February 2015

2014-02-Teaser-SalonMehr als 170 gemalte Porträts an einer Wand? Was klingt, wie ein Ding der Unmöglichkeit, wird im Wallraf wahr. Im Winter 2014/15 zeigt das Museum eine faszinierende Sammlung von Miniaturporträts aus dem 18. und 19 Jahrhundert: Da posiert der Musiker mit stolzer Miene am Klavier, ein Junge im Sonntagsstaat lächelt gequält und die feine Dame mit dem Silberblick schaut schüchtern am Betrachter vorbei. Das sind nur drei der en miniature gemalten Personen, aber sie lassen das breite Spektrum der Sammlung erahnen. Die kaum bierdeckelgroßen Werke kamen als Schenkung ans Wallraf und sind nun erstmals öffentlich zu sehen.

Miniaturporträts erfreuten sich vor rund 200 Jahren großer Popularität. Auf Pergament, Papier und sogar Elfenbein ausgeführt, dienten sie der Erinnerung an geliebte Mitmenschen. Die hochspezialisierten Maler hoben dabei gerne die besonderen Merkmale der Dargestellten lebendig hervor und schufen damit die vielleicht persönlichsten kunsthistorischen Zeugnisse überhaupt. Erst gegen Ende des 19. Jahrhunderts wurden die Miniaturporträts von der Fotografie verdrängt.

Workshop | The Enlightenment and Sacred Space

Posted in conferences (to attend) by Editor on November 25, 2014

Aufklärung und sakraler Raum. Ästhetische Strategien und religiöses Wissen im katholischen Milieu des 18. Jahrhunderts

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From the Kunsthistorisches Institut at Tübingen:

Aufklaerung und sakraler Raum
Ästhetische Strategien und religiöses Wissen im katholischen Milieu des 18. Jahrhunderts

Eberhard Karls Universität Tübingen, Kunsthistorisches Institut, 29 November 2014

In Kooperation mit dem Graduiertenkolleg 1662 „Religiöses Wissen im vormodernen Europa (800–1800)“

Der Workshop thematisiert theologische und ästhetische Strategien der Kirchenerneuerung im monastischen Milieu der zweiten Hälfte des 18. Jahrhunderts. Im Austausch zwischen kunst- und kirchenhistorischer Forschung werden Ausstattungen sakraler Räume und Predigttexte im Kontext einer katholisch motivierten Aufklärung in den Jahrzehnten vor der Säkularisation diskutiert: die Rolle von Bildern, Objekten und Dekorationen, theologischen und künstlerischen Konzepten bei der Vermittlung religiösen Wissens in Auseinandersetzung mit im weitesten Sinne aufklärerischen Denkmustern und Handlungsfeldern.

Die Entscheidungen über die Neuordnung der Kirchenräume hingen von diversen thematischen, formalen und liturgischen Postulaten ab. Über eine Dichotomie von Barock und Klassizismus hinaus geraten Bildordnungen und Raumstrukturen, die Inszenierung figürlicher Darstellungen, ihre Einbindung oder Nichteinbindung in rituelle Praktiken und die offensive Zurschaustellung historischer Überlieferung im Spannungsfeld von institutioneller Legitimation und inhaltlicher Neubewertung in den Blick. Im Fokus der Beiträge stehen konkrete Phänomene – Predigten, ortsfeste und mobile Ausstattungen, Fresken, Stuck, Altarbilder, Grabmonumente und liturgisches Mobiliar bzw. ihre diskursive Reflexion –, die auf ihre mediale Funktion hin untersucht werden.


9.10  Birgitta Coers und Markus Thome (Tübingen), Begrüßung und Einführung

9.30  Florian Bock (Tübingen), Inszenierung oder Entzauberung der Liturgie? Katholische Predigten und Kirchenraum zwischen 1650 und 1800

10.40  Dörte Wetzler (Jena), Aufgeklärte Wies? Überlegungen zum Einfluss der katholischen Aufklärung auf das Bild- und Ausstattungsprogramm der Wallfahrtskirche zum gegeißelten Heiland (1745–1754)

11.30  Lorenz Enderlein (Tübingen), „Umbettungen“. Retrospektive Sepulturen in barocken Klosterkirchen

14.00  Ute Engel (München), „Simplicitet, welche mit sanfter Gefaelligkeit verschwetert“. Deckengemälde von Johann Baptist Enderle in Kurmainz

15.10  Katinka Häret-Krug (Mainz), Die Ausstattung der Bronnbacher Klosterkirche in der zweiten Hälfte des 18. Jahrhunderts – Reaktion auf die katholische Aufklärung in den Bistümern Mainz und Würzburg?

16.00  Meinrad von Engelberg (Darmstadt), Aufklärung und Renovatio – Ergebnisse und Abschlussdiskussion

Dr. Birgitta Coers
Jun.-Prof. Dr. Markus Thome

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