Exhibition | Watteau’s Soldiers: Scenes of Military Life

Posted in books, catalogues, exhibitions by Editor on October 25, 2015

Press release (23 October 2015) from The Frick:

Watteau’s Soldiers: Scenes of Military Life in Eighteenth-Century France
The Frick Collection, New York, 12 July — 2 October 2016

Curated by Aaron Wile

Jean-Antoine Watteau, The Portal of Valenciennes (La Porte de Valenciennes),ca. 1711−12, oil on canvas, 12 3/4 x 16 inches (New York: The Frick Collection; photo by Michael Bodycomb)

Jean-Antoine Watteau, The Portal of Valenciennes (La Porte de Valenciennes), ca. 1711−12, oil on canvas, 12 3/4 x 16 inches (New York: The Frick Collection; photo by Michael Bodycomb)

It would be difficult to think of an artist further removed from the muck and misery of the battlefield than Jean-Antoine Watteau (1684–1721), who is known as a painter of amorous aristocrats and melancholy actors, a dreamer of exquisite parklands and impossibly refined fêtes. And yet, early in his career, Watteau painted a number of scenes of military life, remarkable for their deeply felt humanity and intimacy. These pictures were produced during one of the darkest chapters of France’s history, the War of the Spanish Succession (1701–14). But the martial glory on which most military painters of the time trained their gaze—the fearsome arms, snarling horses, and splendid uniforms of generals glittering amid the smoke of cannon fire—held no interest for Watteau, who focused instead on the most prosaic aspects of war: the marches, halts, encampments, and bivouacs that defined the larger part of military life. Inspired by seventeenth-century Dutch and Flemish genre scenes, the resulting works show the quiet moments between the fighting, when soldiers could rest and daydream, smoke pipes and play cards.

Watteau produced about a dozen of these military scenes, but only seven survive. Though known primarily only to specialists, they were once counted among the artist’s most admired works and owned by such prominent figures as Catherine the Great and the Prince of Conti. Presented exclusively at The Frick Collection in the summer of 2016, Watteau’s Soldiers is the first exhibition devoted solely to these captivating pictures, introducing the artist’s engagement with military life to a larger audience while offering a fresh perspective on the subject. Among the paintings, drawings, and prints are four of the seven known paintings—with the Frick’s own Portal of Valenciennes as the centerpiece—as well as the recently rediscovered Supply Train, which has never before been exhibited publicly in a museum. Also featured are about twelve studies of soldiers in red chalk, many directly related to the paintings on view.

Jean-Antoine Watteau, The Supply Train (Escorte d'équipages), ca. 1715, oil on panel, 11 1/8 x 12 3/8 inches (Private collection)

Jean-Antoine Watteau, The Supply Train (Escorte d’équipages), ca. 1715, oil on panel, 11 1/8 x 12 3/8 inches (Private collection)

The works on display offer a rare opportunity to study the drawings and paintings together and probe Watteau’s complex and remarkable working methods. Unlike most of his contemporaries, Watteau did not proceed methodically from compositional sketches, studies, and full-scale models to the final painting. Instead, his process followed the whims of his imagination and the demands of the moment. He began by drawing soldiers from life, without a predetermined end in mind. These drawings provided him with a stock of figures, often used multiple times, that he would arrange in an almost spontaneous fashion on the canvas. As a result, figures previously isolated in his sketchbook were brought together and juxtaposed in new social relationships on the canvas, producing the ambiguous, dreamlike effects that make his paintings so intriguing.

The exhibition is rounded out by a selection of works by Watteau’s predecessors and followers: the Frick’s Calvary Camp by Philips Wouwerman, a typical example of the seventeenth-century Dutch paintings after which Watteau modeled his own; a study of a soldier by Watteau’s follower Jean-Baptiste Pater, from the Fondation Custodia, Paris; and a painting of a military camp by his other great follower, Nicolas Lancret, from a private collection. These works shed light on the ways in which Watteau transformed the painting of military life in Europe, demonstrating his pivotal influence on the genre.

Aaron Wile, Watteau’s Soldiers: Scenes of Military Life in Eighteenth-Century France (London: D. Giles, 2016), 112 pages, ISBN: 978-1907804793, £25 / $40.

Published by The Frick Collection in association with D Giles, Ltd., London, the book accompanying the exhibition is the first illustrated catalogue of all Watteau’s works related to military subjects.

Additional works included in the exhibition are illustrated here»




PhD Studentships in French Studies at the University of Exeter

Posted in graduate students by Editor on October 25, 2015

Niklaus-Cartwright PhD Studentships
University of Exeter

Proposals due by 15 November 2015

Through the generosity of Professor Michael Cartwright (French, Exeter 1960), and the Professor Robert Niklaus fund, established to support and strengthen eighteenth-century French studies, the Department of Modern Languages at Exeter is delighted to be offering excellent funding opportunities for exceptional researchers in the area of French Studies. Three Doctoral Studentships (open to UK/EU students only) will provide full tuition fees and an annual maintenance grant for three years. The maintenance grant will be £14,057 per year. At least one studentship is expected to be awarded in the field of eighteenth-century French studies.

The Department prides itself on its vigorous research culture, in which postgraduate research students play central roles. Our academic staff produce excellent research across a wide variety of disciplines including European and other global literature and culture, Art History and Visual Culture, Film, Linguistics, Medieval studies, Gender studies, and Translation. Modern Languages at Exeter is ranked in the Top Ten within the UK and in the top 150 language departments worldwide. Committed to providing outstanding, research-led teaching, the department maintained its momentum in the 2014 Research Excellence Framework (REF) with nearly a third of its research classified as ‘world-leading’—more than double that of the previous assessment. The REF also underlined what a great place Exeter is to pursue research in languages and culture: the department was rated 100% for providing ‘an environment that is conducive to producing research of world-leading (70%) or internationally excellent (30%) quality’. In French we have a wide range of research specialists and research interests, covering many aspects of French literary and visual culture from the medieval to the contemporary, linguistics, and French thought.

Research interests in French

•Specialists in linguistics carry out research in the sociolinguistics and linguistic variation of contemporary French.
•Recent and contemporary writing: including biographical fiction, women’s writing, and modern critical theory.
•Medieval French literature and culture
•Renaissance thought and literature
•French and Francophone cinema
•Seventeenth century literary studies
•Eighteenth and nineteenth-century visual art and literature.

Research carried out by staff in French deals with issues including the reception of Classical myth, sexuality, gender, war and trauma, and questions of ‘race’, citizenship, and national identity.

Entry criteria

We invite applications from candidates with a strong academic background and a clear and engaging research proposal which can be developed through available research supervision. Successful applicants normally have a good first degree (at least 2.1, or international equivalent) in Modern Languages or a Humanities discipline, and have obtained, or are currently working towards, a Masters degree at Merit level, or international equivalent, in Modern Languages or a Humanities discipline. If English is not your native language then you will also need to satisfy our English language entry requirements.

There is a French language requirement for candidates taking up these opportunities. All candidates will have achieved at least A-level French or equivalent.

To apply

To be considered for these doctoral awards, you must complete an online web form where you must submit personal details and upload a full CV, research proposal, transcripts, details of two referees and, if relevant, proof of your English language proficiency, by 15 November 2015. In addition you must also ensure that your referees email their references to the Postgraduate Administrator at humanities-pgadmissions@exeter.ac.uk by 15 November 2015. Please note that we will not be contacting referees to request references and so you must arrange for them to be submitted to us by the deadline. References should be submitted by your referees to us directly in the form of a letter. Referees must email their references to us from their institutional email accounts. We cannot accept references from personal/private email accounts, unless it is a scanned document on institutional headed paper and signed by the referee.

Please note that if you have already submitted references to support your application to one of our MPhil/PhD programmes you may re-use these to support your funding application.  However, this is not automatic and you must email us at humanities-pgadmissions@exeter.ac.uk to confirm that we have two references on file to support your application, and to request that they be used to support your funding application.

All application documents must be submitted in English. Certified translated copies of academic qualifications must also be provided.

For more information contact:
Dr Matt Barber, Graduate School Administrator
College of Humanities Graduate School, University of Exeter
Queen’s Building, The Queen’s Drive
Exeter, Devon, EX4 4QH

For informal enquiries, contact Professor Melissa Percival, M.H.Percival@exeter.ac.uk

Exhibition | Greece’s Enchanting Landscape

Posted in exhibitions by Editor on October 24, 2015


Edward Dodwell, The Parthenon, Athens, after 1805, watercolor, framed: 58.4 × 73.7 cm (The Packard Humanities Institute, Accession No. VEX.2015.1.35).

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Press release (12 October 2015) from The Getty:

Greece’s Enchanting Landscape: Watercolors by Edward Dodwell and Simone Pomardi
The J. Paul Getty Museum, Getty Villa, Pacific Palisades (Los Angeles), 21 October 2015 — 15 February 2016

Curated by David Saunders

“Almost every rock, every promontory, every river, is haunted by the shadows of the mighty dead,” wrote the English antiquarian Edward Dodwell of his travels in Greece at the beginning of the nineteenth century. During this time, he and the Italian artist Simone Pomardi traversed the country, producing around one thousand watercolors and drawings of the ancient Greek countryside.

On view at the Getty Villa October 21, 2015 – February 15, 2016, Greece’s Enchanted Landscapes: Watercolors by Edward Dodwell and Simone Pomardi presents, for the first time in the United States, a selection of 44 magnificent illustrations from the expansive archive acquired by the Packard Humanities Institute, as well as four photographs from the Getty Museum’s photographs collection and six prints from the collection of the Getty Research Institute. They depict picturesque landscapes infused with memories of the classical past, often in striking juxtaposition with the realities of Greek life under Ottoman rule. The exhibition culminates in a series of monumental panoramas of Athens, each over thirteen-feet-long, that are both sweeping in scope and rich in scrupulous detail.

“These captivating drawings represent one of the most beautiful and compelling manifestations of Europe’s fascination with modern and ancient Greece—its landscape, archaeological sites and social customs—in the years before its independence from Ottoman rule,” says Timothy Potts, director of the J. Paul Getty Museum. “Displaying them at the Getty Villa, alongside our unparalleled collections of Greek, Roman, and Etruscan art, will allow visitors to experience these unique images in a particularly appropriate setting.” Potts adds: “We are particularly grateful to David Packard and the Packard Humanities Institute, not only for their generosity in supporting this exhibition, but for the decades of work they have done in researching, preserving, and publishing this extraordinary body of work that serves as an important record of Greece’s ancient past.”


Edward Dodwell and/or Simone Pomardi, Removal of Sculptures from the Parthenon by Lord Elgin’s Men, after 1801, watercolor (The Packard Humanities Institute). Read Dodwell’s description here

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Edward Dodwell (1777/78–1832) was one of an increasing number of travelers in the nineteenth century who combined Hellenism—an erudite passion for the legacy of Greek antiquity—with documentary intent. He first traveled through Greece in 1801, and then returned in 1805 with the Italian artist Simone Pomardi (1757–1830). They toured the country for fourteen months, drawing and documenting the landscape in all its aspects. Dodwell described the objective of his travels in Greece as “to leave nothing unnoticed,” and the illustrations—many never published—are a valuable record of the country and its monuments in the years at the beginning of the nineteenth century.

“The sight of ancient temples lying in ruin, or of the Greek people under Turkish rule, contrasted poignantly with nostalgic imaginings of the classical past. Yet for Dodwell and Pomardi, such juxtapositions only magnified the lost splendor of Greek antiquity,” says David Saunders, curator of the exhibition.

For many of their illustrations, the artists made extensive use of the camera obscura, an optical device that Dodwell described as “that infallible medium of truth and accuracy.” This is most fully apparent with the panoramas of Athens. Combining expansive vistas and topographical exactitude on a grand scale, the four monumental illustrations in this exhibition are the most complete expression of Dodwell and Pomardi’s project to document Greece, and capture what Dodwell referred to as “the delights of the present, and recollections of the past.” Also, included in the exhibition is a portable tent camera obscura from the Getty’s collection. Dodwell and Pomardi would have used a similar camera obscura during their travels.

Greece’s Enchanted Landscapes: Watercolors by Edward Dodwell and Simone Pomardi is curated by David Saunders, associate curator of antiquities at the J. Paul Getty Museum. This exhibition is made possible through the generous support of the Packard Humanities Institute

New Essays | Corrélations: les objets du décor au siècle des Lumières

Posted in books, journal articles by Editor on October 23, 2015

A presentation of the book is scheduled for Wednesday, November 18, in Paris at the Institut national d’histoire de l’art (INHA) in conjunction with the seminar Penser le décor : quelques hypothèses sur ses fonctions dans l’histoire de l’art, which will run from noon to 4:00. From the book flyer and Éditions de l’Université de Bruxelles:

Anne Perrin Khelissa, ed., Corrélations: les objets du décor au siècle des Lumières (2015), 264 pages, ISBN 978-2800415857, 28€ [Études sur le XVIIIe siècle 43 (Octobre 2015)].

D’après Jean-Baptiste Oudry, La jeune veuve. Fable cxxiv, gravure illustrant Jean de La Fontaine, Fables choisies, Paris, chez Desaint et Saillant, 1755, t. ii, Bibliothèque municipale de Toulouse, Res A xviii 1(2) (Bibliothèque municipale de Toulouse)

D’après Jean-Baptiste Oudry, La jeune veuve. Fable cxxiv, gravure illustrant Jean de La Fontaine, Fables choisies, Paris, chez Desaint et Saillant, 1755, t. ii, Bibliothèque municipale de Toulouse, Res A xviii 1(2) (Bibliothèque municipale de Toulouse)

Expositions, nouvelles présentations muséographiques, colloques internationaux, programmes de recherche, travaux universitaires, publications : les arts du décor connaissent ces dernières années un vaste regain d’intérêt. Le présent volume répond à une actualité. Il entend également porter un regard renouvelé sur l’ameublement des demeures, en interrogeant la qualité artistique et technique des objets, mais aussi leurs significations sociales et culturelles. Autour d’une réflexion commune, professeurs des universités et jeunes chercheurs, conservateurs, spécialistes des arts décoratifs, de peinture, d’architecture, de littérature et d’histoire du genre font le point sur les mutations épistémologiques récentes et ouvrent la discussion.

Loin d’être un amas désaccordé de bibelots, les intérieurs du xviiie siècle proposent un système unitaire co- hérent, où arts manufacturés et beaux-arts cohabitent. Quels liens ces artefacts de nature et de statut hétérogènes entretiennent-ils entre eux et avec leur environ- nement ? Comment le principe d’harmonie fonctionne- t-il et s’adapte-t-il à la variété des aménagements et à la succession rapide des goûts ? Quel écart existe-t-il entre ce que les traités et la critique esthétique du temps préconisent et ce qu’attendent les commanditaires et les acheteurs ? Telles sont les questions que soulèvent les auteurs du recueil, à partir d’exemples célèbres ou méconnus de décors réalisés en France, en Grande-Bretagne, en Italie et en Suisse, entre la fin du xviie siècle et le début du xixe siècle.

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T A B L E  D E S  M A T I È R E S

XVIII-43-cover• Roland Mortier et les Études, Hervé Hasquin
• Pour une mise en corrélation des arts et des savoirs : introduction à l’étude des intérieurs domestiques, Anne Perrin Khelissa

I  Principes et logiques structurants
• Le système d’ameublement des élites françaises au xviiie siècle, Christian Michel
• Decorated Interiors : Gender, Ornament, and Moral Values, Mary Sheriff
• L’appartement au xviiie siècle : un espace diversifié au service d’une convivialité nouvelle, Claire Ollagnier

II  Normes et pratiques sociales
• Une application de la théorie du décorum : le décor textile de la chambre du roi au palais de l’archevêché de Reims, le jour du sacre de Louis xv, Pascal-François Bertrand
• Declaring an interest : the decoration of Norfolk House, London (1748–1756), Sarah Medlam
• « Trop doré pour la Suisse » : canon parisien et convenance neuchâteloise, Carl Magnusson

III  Dispositions et assemblages plastiques
• Le cabinet du Régent au château de Saint-Cloud : un décor pour une collection de petits bronzes. Essai de reconstitution, Michaël Decrossas
• Du « tact flou et séduisant des couleurs » chez Jullienne ou l’art de marier tableaux, porcelaines, laques, statuettes, meubles, et autres effets, Isabelle Tillerot
• La rencontre des matériaux au service de l’harmonie du décor ? L’exemple du salon Martorana du palais Comitini à Palerme (1765–1770), Sandra Bazin-Henry

IV  Imaginaires et incarnations sensuels
• « L’amour égalisait tout » : l’unité du décor des intérieurs libertins du roman des Lumières, Fabrice Moulin
• Le succès du boudoir au xviiie siècle ou les prestiges de l’intime, Alexia Lebeurre
• La nature dans le boudoir, Bérangère Poulain

Bibliographie générale
Notices biographiques des auteurs

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Une présentation du livre est organisée le mercredi 18 novembre à l’INHA (salle Walter Benjamin) dans le cadre du séminaire « Penser le décor : quelques hypothèses sur ses fonctions dans l’histoire de l’art » qui se déroulera de 12 h à 16 h.

Exhibition | Wicked Wit: Darly’s Comic Prints

Posted in books, catalogues, exhibitions by Editor on October 23, 2015
Album of Darly prints in the Chester Beatty Collection (Wep 0494), with its much deteriorated eighteenth-century binding, as photographed in the Library’s conservation studio in 2015. More information is available at the Chester Beatty Conservation Blog.

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Now on view at the Chester Beatty Library:

Wicked Wit: Darly’s Comic Prints
Chester Beatty Library, Dublin Castle, Dublin, 11 September 2015 — 14 February 2016

Curated by Jill Unkel

imagesDrawing on the Library’s own collections, this exhibition features over 100 hand-coloured, eighteenth-century etchings by the husband and wife team, Mary and Matthew Darly. From the time of their marriage, they worked in tandem designing, engraving and publishing prints using the signature, MD or MDarly.

This printer-publisher team produced well over 500 comic images of Caricatures, Macaronies, and Characters from no. 39 Strand (London) between 1770 and 1780. At the height of their fame, carriages lined the streets so their occupants could titter at the images on display in Darly’s Comic Exhibitions, held every spring from 1773 to 1778. By the end of the decade, they had become so popular that their publications were available throughout Great Britain and Ireland, Europe and even America. The name Darly became synonymous with the humorous images they produced.

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The catalogue is available for purchase through the Beatty Library’s shop:

KMBT_C364-20150927124310Jill Unkel, Wicked Wit: Darly’s Comic Prints (Dublin: Chester Beatty Library, 2015), 80 pages, ISBN: 978-0957399822, 20€.

This fully illustrated catalogue is divided into a number of themes and opens with a general introduction to Mary and Matthew Darly. It then examines more specifically their comic prints, publications, and exhibitions. This is followed by a more detailed exploration of the various subjects presented in their comic images: stereotyped characters (and their relation to theatre), caricatures of notable contemporaries, satires of the dress of young macaroni (akin to a dandy or fop) men and their feathered-feminine counterparts, and finally the impolitical satires related to the war with the American Colonies.

Symposium | Rembrandt and Printmaking

Posted in conferences (to attend) by Editor on October 23, 2015

From the Miriam and Ira D. Wallach Art Gallery:

Rembrandt and Printmaking: New Views on a Golden Age
Columbia University, New York, 5 November 2015

Presented by the Miriam and Ira D. Wallach Art Gallery in conjunction with the exhibition Rembrandt’s Changing Impressions and the International Fine Print Dealers Association Print Fair, this symposium will spark a new and closer look at Rembrandt’s astonishing print practice, its context, and its contributions.

Thursday, 5 November 2015, 3–6pm
612 Schermerhorn Hall, Columbia University, 116th Street & Broadway, New York City

• “Hercules Segers and Rembrandt:  Direct Influence or Kindred Spirits?” Nadine M. Orenstein, Drue Heinz Curator in Charge, Department of Drawings and Prints, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York
• “St. Jerome in Darkness and Light,” Clifford S. Ackley, Ruth and Carl J. Shapiro Curator of Prints and Drawings, Museum of Fine Arts, Boston
• “Rembrandt and the Faust Tradition,” Robert Fucci, exhibition curator
• “Edme-François Gersaint as Chroniqueur of Knowledge about Rembrandt’s Etchings,” Erik Hinterding, Curator of Prints, Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam
• “Desire and Disgust: Collecting Rembrandt’s Etchings in Georgian England,” Stephanie Dickey, Professor of Art History and Bader Chair in Northern Baroque Art, Queen’s University, Kingston, Ontario
• “Rembrandt as Experimental Etcher,” Jan Piet Filedt Kok, former Curator of Prints and Director of Collections, Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam

Reception and viewing of the exhibition to follow at 6pm at The Wallach Art Gallery

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Rembrandt-200Rembrandt’s Changing Impressions, on view through December 12, is curated by art history PhD candidate Robert Fucci. This extraordinary project highlights Rembrandt’s most dramatically altered prints. It gathers 52 seventeenth-century impressions from 14 major U.S. collections to best examine his manipulations and transformations, and is an unprecedented opportunity to examine the range, power, and nuance of Rembrandt’s fine prints. A fully illustrated, 160-page catalogue, co-published by The Wallach Art Gallery and Verlag der Buchhandlung Walther König, Köln is available for $35.

This exhibition and related programming received generous support from the Netherland-America Foundation, the Dutch Culture USA program by the Consulate General of the Netherlands in New York, the IFPDA Foundation, and the European Institute at Columbia University. We are especially grateful for our collaboration with the European Institute and the Department of Art History and Archaeology in presenting this symposium.

Symposium | Portraiture as Interaction

Posted in conferences (to attend) by Editor on October 22, 2015

From the Yale Center for British Art and the conference program:

Portraiture as Interaction: The Spaces and Interfaces of the British Portrait
The Huntington, San Marino, California, 11–12 December 2015

marinellaThis two-day international symposium has been inspired by the important collections of British portraits at the Huntington Art Gallery and the Yale Center for British Art, and by an upsurge of scholarly interest in the interactive nature of portraiture—both in its intrinsic character and as a curatorial construct.

Portraiture implies an interaction between the sitter and the spectator. It often rehearses an interaction between two or more protagonists and regularly focuses on the interaction between the person(s) represented and his, her, or their surroundings. Portraits—of husbands and wives, sisters and brothers, friends, and colleagues—are often depicted by artists and arranged by curators so as to interact with each other in meaningful ways. As they are created, and once they are completed, portraits (and the figures they represent) interact with their settings: with the studio, the exhibition space, the domestic interior, the public building or square; and with the objects, people, and spaces found in those settings. The same portrait, or portraits of the same sitter, can also find themselves interacting with each other across different media—paint, print sculpture, and more.

Furthermore, curators are continually thinking about the ways in which the portraits they display—and the individuals these pictures portray—will relate with each other across and around a gallery. The Thornton Portrait Gallery at the Huntington and the galleries at the Yale Center for British Art exemplify portraiture’s continuing forms of interaction: implied and actual, pictorial and physical, and formal and figural.

This symposium, which is jointly organized by the Yale Center for British Art, the Paul Mellon Centre for Studies in British Art, and the Huntington Library, Art Collections, and Botanical Gardens, will use the rich collections at the Center and the Huntington and the different concepts of interaction outlined above as points of departure and return, in order to open up new approaches to the history and workings of British portraiture up to the present.

Registration details are available here»

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F R I D A Y ,  1 1  D E C E M B E R  2 0 1 5

8:30  Registration and coffee

9:30  Welcome by Steve Hindle (The Huntington)

9:35  Introduction
• Mark Hallett (Paul Mellon Centre for Studies in British Art) “Portraiture as Interaction”

10:00  Session 1
Moderator: Cassandra Albinson (Harvard Art Museums)
• Jack Hartnell (Columbia University), “Specimen, Surgeon, Self: Three Medical Portraits and Four Hundred Years”
• Adam Eaker (The Frick Collection), “The Scene of the Sitting”

12:00  Breakout Sessions in the Collections
• Ann Bermingham (University of California, Santa Barbara)
• Malcolm Warner (Laguna Art Museum)
• Kimberly Chrisman-Campbell (FIDM Museum & Galleries)
• Melinda McCurdy (The Huntington)
• Cora Gilroy-Ware (The Huntington and California Institute of Technology)

1:00  Lunch

2:00  Session 2
Moderator: Lars Kokkonen (Yale Center for British Art)
• Caroline Fowler (The Getty Research Institute), “Raphael’s Apostles and Portraiture in the Eighteenth Century”
• Brigid Von Preussen (Columbia University), “Wedgwood’s Portrait Medallions”

S A T U R D A Y ,  1 2  D E C E M B E R  2 0 1 5

9:30  Registration and coffee

10:00  Session 3
Moderator: Catherine Hess (The Huntington)
• Sean Willcock (Queen Mary University of London), “The Politics of Interaction between British and Indian Portraits during the Victorian Period”
• Juliet Carey (Waddesdon Manor), “Faces for a House Party: British Portraits at Waddesdon Manor”

12:00  Lunch

1:00  Session 4
Moderator: Martina Droth (Yale Center for British Art)
• Petra ten-Doesschate Chu (Seton Hall University), “Interaction and ‘Interfacing’ in Lawrence Alma Tadema’s Portrait of Ignacy Jan Paderewski”
• Linda Docherty (Bowdoin College), “Encircling Robert Louis Stevenson: The Origins and Afterlife of Augustus Saint-Gaudens’s Profile Portrait”

3:00  Break

3:15  Session 5
Moderator: Mark Hallett
• Barbara Creed (University of Melbourne), “The Interactive Eye: Portraiture in Painting and Film”
• Steven Jacobs (Ghent University), “Noir Portraits: Hollywood’s Take on British Portraiture”

Exhibition | Dutch Dining: Four Centuries of Table Settings

Posted in books, catalogues, exhibitions, today in light of the 18th century by Editor on October 22, 2015

Thanks to Hélène Bremer for noting this exhibition (along with installation by Bouke de Vries). . .

Nederland Dineert: Vier Eeuwen Tafelcultuur
Dutch Dining: Four Centuries of Table Settings
Gemeentemuseum, The Hague, 28 February 2016

Fine dining is a form of sensory seduction. It operates not only via the taste buds, but also via the visual appeal of the food and table setting. Beautiful porcelain and silverware, glittering crystal, fine damask and extravagant sugarwork table ornaments all have a part to play. This exhibition at the Gemeentemuseum Den Haag uses a spectacular display of complete table settings, complemented by drawings, paintings and liveries, to bring the history of formal dining among the Netherlands’ wealthy elite, ruling class and royal house to vivid life. The perfect place to find inspiration for that very special Christmas dinner table!

Nederland-dineert-Vier-eeuwen-tafelcultuurDutch Dining paints a fascinating picture of the way people in the top echelons of Dutch society were once accustomed to dine together. At tables laden with exquisite culinary delights and surrounded by an army of liveried footmen. The show is both a feast for the eye and a unique insight into the past. All of the objects in the reconstructed table settings are completely authentic—from the tableware to the ornaments, and even the furniture. The table linen comes from the very linen cupboard in which it has lain ever since the 18th century.

No table setting would be complete without meticulously folded napkins. The European fashion for the decorative use of table linen dates back to the Renaissance. In our own day, Catalan artist Joan Sallas is reviving this ‘forgotten art’ with his astonishingly skilful birds, fish and rabbits. The exhibition will feature ten such virtuoso constructions, all specially folded for the occasion.

An exclusive peek inside the royal porcelain and silverware cabinet will transport visitors right to the heart of the Noordeinde Palace. Stars of the show are two complete table services—a silver one of modern design and its more traditional porcelain counterpart—on loan from the collection of the Dutch Royal House. Both services were presented to Queen Wilhelmina and Prince Hendrik on the occasion of their marriage in 1901 and the exhibition discloses which of the two found most favour with the royal couple.

The design of the exhibition is by Maarten Spruyt and Tsur Reshef. The lavishly illustrated Dutch-language catalogue, Nederland dineert. Vier eeuwen tafelcultuur, offers the first ever reliable survey of four centuries of Dutch table settings and contains historical essays. For the museum’s youngest visitors there is also a children’s picture book and a related exhibition in the children’s gallery. The Gemeentemuseum Den Haag and the Netherlands Nutrition Centre (Voedingscentrum) are joining forces to organize a range of activities during the Dutch Dining exhibition.

The exhibition includes items generously loaned by the Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam Museum, Museum Van Loon, Kastelen Middachten, Amerongen, Twickel and de Haar, Fundatie van Renswoude Utrecht, Koninklijke Verzamelingen Den Haag, RCE/Jachthuis St. Hubertus, Huis der Provincie Arnhem and private collections.  

Nederland Dineert: Vier Eeuwen Tafelcultuur (Zwolle: Waanders, 2015), 320 pages, ISBN: 978-9462620575, €34.50.

Koken en eten hoort als vanzelfsprekend bij het leven. Veel esthetiek komt hier in eerste instantie niet bij kijken. Maar zodra gezamenlijk wordt gegeten, wordt eten een sociale bezigheid, een middel tot communicatie, tot representatie, tot onderscheid. Voor dit boek is een keur aan specialisten op zoek gegaan naar de specifieke eetcultuur van Nederland. Aan de hand van een tiental authentieke ensembles van eetvertrekken van verschillende landgoederen en paleizen met daarbij bewaard gebleven voorwerpen, wordt het dineren in de afgelopen vier eeuwen geïllustreerd. Laat u betoveren door de verhalen rond de maaltijd en de uitstraling van volledig opgetuigde tafels, gedekt met tafellinnen, porselein en zilver, decoraties van suikerwerk en bloemen, van de bijbehorende meubels en het dienstpersoneel in livrei.


Exhibition | Bouke de Vries: War & Pieces

Posted in exhibitions by Editor on October 22, 2015


Bouke de Vries, War & Pieces, 19th- and 21st-century porcelain and mixed media, 2012 (Photograph by Tim Higgins).

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Complementing the exhibition Dutch Dining: Four Centuries of Table Settings at the Gemeentemuseum (with thanks to Hélène Bremer for pointing out both) . . .

Bouke de Vries: War & Pieces
The Holburne Museum, Bath, 1 September — 2 December 2012
Gemeentemuseum, The Hague, 17 October 2015 — 28 February 2016
The Harley Gallery, Welbeck, Nottinghamshire, 4 November 2017 — 7 January 2018

A nuclear bomb seems to have been dropped in this installation by artist Bouke de Vries. The eight-metre table, with a mushroom cloud as its centrepiece, is the scene of a fierce battle: thousands of fragments of porcelain mixed with parts of modern plastic toys. De Vries’s huge War & Pieces is a contemporary interpretation of the decorative sculptures that adorned 17th- and 18th-century banqueting tables. Specially for the Gemeentemuseum de Vries has for the first time designed cutlery, producing his ominous-looking set entitled Kalashnikov. His work is an interesting contrast with the reconstructed table settings in the museum’s Dutch dining exhibition—opening at the same time—that gives a unique insight into the history of dining culture in the Netherlands.

In previous centuries an extravagant ball or banquet might be held on the eve of a major battle—notably that given by the Duchess of Richmond the night before the battle of Waterloo in 1815, exactly 200 years ago. The decorative sugar or, later, porcelain table sculptures at such events might depict classical allegories, temples of love, or perhaps even the impending battle. War & Pieces is Bouke de Vries’s (b.1960) contemporary response to this old tradition. Besides war, chaos and aggression, the installation also features humour and beauty, undermining classical symbols in a satirical and critical way. By mixing contemporary references and objects with historical ceramics, De Vries builds a bridge between the past and the present and creates his own visual language.

In his work as a restorer, Bouke de Vries became moved by the beauty of imperfection, of deconstruction. Six years ago he started producing artworks using broken ceramics that were beyond repair. “A beautiful 17th-century soup dish with a small hairline crack has almost no market value. Which is strange, because it is still lovely to look at. Rather than hiding the cracks, I emphasise the imperfections and give the piece a new life,” he explains. He never deliberately breaks objects to use in his work. Instead, he sources his old ‘bits and pieces’ online, through auctions, and at antique markets such as Portobello Road near his home in London.

War & Pieces, the largest work in the exhibition of the same name, is a travelling installation that de Vries adapts to each new location. Originally created in 2012 for the Holburne Museum in Bath, it has also appeared at Charlottenburg Castle in Berlin, Chateau de Nyon in Switzerland and at the Taiwan Ceramics Biennale. The exhibition at Gemeentemuseum Den Haag also features a number of his smaller sculptures, including a series of ‘memory jars’—in which broken pieces of Delftware are contained within glass jars made in the shape of the original object—and a ceramics map of the Netherlands entitled ‘Homeland White’. In this collage, de Vries uses shards of 17th- and 18th-century Dutch white domestic Delftware recovered from archaeological digs.

Bouke de Vries, Memory Tobacco Jar 2, 18th-century Dutch Delft drug jar and glass, 2015 (Photograph by Tim Higgins).




Call for Papers | Creating Markets, Collecting Art

Posted in Calls for Papers by Editor on October 21, 2015

Of the twelve sessions slated for inclusion in the conference, Creating Markets, Collecting Art, I’ve listed details for two that seem particularly relevant for the eighteenth century. The full listing is available here. CH

Creating Markets, Collecting Art: Celebrating 250 Years of Christie’s
Christie’s King Street, London, 14–15 July 2016

Proposals due by 7 December 2015

To commemorate the anniversary of the foundation of Christie’s auction house in 1766 a two-day conference will be held at Christie’s King Street, St James’s. Organised by Christie’s Education, the theme of Creating Markets and Collecting Art has been chosen to reflect a progressive, collaborative and cross-disciplinary approach to the study of works of art. The conference is designed to explore the interrelationship between commerce, collecting and the idea of the ‘academy’ and how this has evolved over time.

Confirmed keynote speakers include Professor Craig Clunas, University of Oxford and Inge Reist, Director of the Frick Collection’s Center for the History of Collecting.

Please send your proposal to the Session Convenor/s listed at the top of each Session by 7 December 2015. Papers should be 20–25 minutes in length and there will be 3–4 in each 2-hour session, with time for discussion. Proposals should be accompanied by a brief biography and the whole submission not more than 250 words. Please also cc your proposal to conference2016@christies.edu. We look forward to hearing from you.

Rebecca Lyons, Head of Subject: Renaissance to Modern
M Michael, Academic Director, London
Véronique Chagnon-Burke, Academic Director, New York

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Christie’s and the Birth of the European Art Market
Filip Vermeylen, Erasmus University Rotterdam; vermeylen@eshcc.eur.nl

The basic structure of today’s global art market has its roots in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries with the establishment of auction houses and art dealerships. These are fascinating times when the art markets of Europe were becoming inter-connected and the cross-border trade in works of art was expanding rapidly. Christie’s in London was a prime mover of these developments, as the company fast rose to primacy after its inception in 1766. This session aims to explore how Christie’s pioneering business practices were instrumental in shaping the London art market, and how the company was able to secure the sale of the most prominent art collections of the period. The session thereby addresses one of the seminal themes of the conference by examining how intermediaries in the art ecosystems may have shaped national tastes in the visual arts in the early years of Christie’s, and how this relates to the business models of the major auction houses in the contemporary art market. In addition, the internationalization of the art trade invites interesting comparisons with today’s emerging art markets.

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Home Subjects: The Art Market and the Domestic Sphere in Britain
Anne Nellis Richter, American University and Morna O’Neill, Wake Forest University; anne.nellis@gmail.com / oneillme@wfu.edu

The commonly-held assumption that the English style of living is intertwined with tastes in collecting and patronage can be traced back centuries. In the 1790s, for example, when important Italian paintings were being imported into Britain during the French Revolution, the idea that such pictures might be unsuitable for English collectors and houses gained a certain currency. One critic wrote, “A most puerile objection is…made against the pictures of Paul Veronese, because…they cannot be admitted into our London houses.” The decoration of the private home has become the focus of a tremendous amount of academic energy during the past five years. What is missing from these accounts, however, is a consideration of the vital role that the art market played in enabling the decoration of interiors at all social ranks. This session seeks to reconsider the relationship between the art market and the domestic sphere in the eighteenth through early twentieth centuries. We welcome proposals that explore the complicated set of expectations governing the acquisition and sale of artworks intended for private display, including but not limited to the role of the art dealer as interior decorator, the auction ‘house’ and the domestic ideal, and the relationship between private and public modes of display and decoration, plotting a new trajectory for modernity traced through the private, domestic sphere.

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