Conference | Challenging Materials: Joshua Reynolds

Posted in conferences (to attend) by Editor on March 11, 2015

From The Paul Mellon Centre for Studies in British Art:

Challenging Materials: Joshua Reynolds and Artistic Experiment in the Eighteenth Century
The Wallace Collection, London, 15 May 2015

Organized by The Paul Mellon Centre for Studies in British Art and The Wallace Collection

Joshua Reynolds Portrait of Mrs Mary Robinson, 'Perdita', 1783–84 (London: The Wallace Collection)

Joshua Reynolds, Portrait of Mrs Mary Robinson, ‘Perdita’ , 1783–84 (London: The Wallace Collection)

This on-day conference, which accompanies the exhibition Joshua Reynolds: Experiments in Paint at the Wallace Collection, is designed to investigate and contextualise the artist’s famously experimental practice. Building upon the technical findings of the Reynolds Research Project at the Wallace Collection, and also on a range of recent conservation projects on Reynolds’s paintings, it will explore his distinctive manipulation of paint as a medium. Papers will explore new perspectives on Reynolds’s experimental forms of pictorial composition, narrative and allusion, and to look afresh at the dynamic interactions between the artist, his sitters and his models in the studio. As well as focusing on Reynolds’s own art in detail, the conference seeks to place his experimental activities within the context of wider artistic, cultural and scientific practices of the eighteenth century.

Confirmed Speakers: Mark Aronson, Helen Brett, John Chu, Cora Gilroy-Ware, Matthew C. Hunter, Rica Jones, Andrew Loukes, Martin Myrone, Marica Pointon, Martin Postle, Sophie
Reddington, Lisa Renne and Iris Wien.

The conference will take place on 15th May 2015 in London at The Wallace Collection. Tickets can be purchased via Eventbrite. General Admission: £65 (+ admin fee) / Concession Ticket: £45 (+ admin fee).

◊  ◊  ◊  ◊  ◊

F R I D A Y ,  1 5  M A Y  2 0 1 5

9.00  Private view of Joshua Reynolds: Experiments in Paint

10.00 Introduction: Mark Hallett and Christoph Vogtherr

10:15  Session 1
• Marcia Pointon (Professor Emeritus in History of Art, The University of Manchester), Known Knowns, Known Unknowns and Unknown Unknowns: Finish and unfinish, in a portrait by Reynolds from the 1750s (?)
• Helen Brett (Painting Conservator, Tate and Martin Postle, Deputy Director, The Paul Mellon Centre), ‘New Light on an old Warhorse’: Joshua Reynolds’s portraits of Lord Ligonier

11:15  Coffee Break

11:45  Session 2
• John Chu (Research Cataloguer, Tate Britain), Experiment, Excess, Patronage: Joshua Reynolds and the 3rd Duke of Dorset
• Iris Wien (Marie Curie/IPODI Fellow, Technical University Berlin), Character as experiment: Reynolds’s A Strawberry Girl and his Boy Holding a Bunch of Grapes
• Rica Jones (Conservator of Paintings, formerly at Tate Gallery), ‘I can vouch for them to be authentick and just, either from my own experiments and observations, the information of persons of undoubted veracity who have practised them, or clear deductions from unquestionable principles’: An appraisal of Robert Dossie’s ‘Handmaid to the Arts’ and the climate in which it was produced in the 1750s

13:15  Lunch Break

14:15  Session 3
• Sophie Reddington (Paintings Conservator, Private Studio and Andrew Loukes, Curator of Exhibitions and Collections, Petworth House, National Trust), Toil and Trouble: The history, materials and restoration of Reynolds’s largest work
• Mark Aronson (Chief Conservator, Yale Centre for British Art), Canvas, a Time Based Media: Joshua Reynolds’s portraits revealed through X-radiography
• Elizaveta Renne (Keeper of British and Scandinavian Paintings at the State Hermitage Museum in St Petersburg), The painting which ‘might be called great if it were more correct: it might perhaps have been correct had it not attempted to be great’

16:00  Coffee Break

16:30  Session 4
•  Matthew Hunter (Assistant Professor and Graduate Program Director, Department of Art History and Communication Studies, McGill University), ‘The Unique Art of Hightening and Preserving the Beauty of Tints to Futurity without a Possibility of Changing’: William Birch’s Chemical Gambits
•  Cora Gilroy-Ware (from September 2015, Huntington Library/California Institute of Technology), ‘Her swelling breast palpitates’: Life and death in the works of William Hilton
•  Martin Myrone (Lead Curator for Pre-1800 British Art, Tate Britain), Painting after Reynolds (around 1820)

18.00  Drinks Reception

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