At Auction | The Marquis de Sade’s Chair

Posted in Art Market by Editor on June 17, 2016

This week, the Agence France-Presse (AFP) reported that

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Louis XIII armchair owned by the Marquis de Sade; for auction at Drouot in Paris, 15 June 2016.

The chair on which France’s most notorious writer, the Marquis de Sade, wrote his most shocking work went under the hammer [at Drouot] in Paris Wednesday [15 June 2016] with nearly 100 of his rare surviving manuscripts. The aristocratic author of The 120 Days of Sodom and Philosophy in the Bedroom brought the Louis XIII armchair with him through a series of prisons after he was repeatedly locked up for his outrageous sexual antics. And it was on it that he wrote some of his most erotic and blasphemous works including his masterpiece Justine in 1791.

The chair and drafts of plays and letters belonging to the marquis were part of a secret cache found by his descendants sealed in a chest behind the shelves of the library of the family’s chateau at Conde-en-Brie in the northern Champagne region. . . .

The full article is available at Art Daily.

The piece weirdly fails to mention that the narrative depicted is that of Susanna and the Elders, and I’ve had no luck tracking down further details (including whether it actually sold). . . I just keeping thinking of Steve Martin’s brilliant performance in the 1979 film The Jerk. CH

. . . And that’s it, and that’s the only thing I need, is this. I don’t need this or this. Just this ashtray. And this paddle game, the ashtray and the paddle game, and that’s all I need. And this remote control. The ashtray, the paddle game, and the remote control, and that’s all I need. And these matches. The ashtray, and these matches, and the remote control, and the paddle ball. And this lamp. The ashtray, this paddle game, and the remote control, and the lamp, and that’s all I need. And that’s all I need, too. I don’t need one other thing, not one—I need this. The paddle game, and the chair, and the remote control, and the matches, for sure. What are you looking at? What do you think I am? Some kind of jerk or something? And this. That’s all I need. The ashtray, the remote control, the paddle game, this magazine, and the chair.

Exhibition | Catherine the Great: Self-Polished Diamond

Posted in exhibitions by Editor on June 17, 2016

Now on view at the Hermitage Amsterdam:

Catherine the Greatest: Self-Polished Diamond of the Hermitage
Catharina, de Grootste: Zelfgeslepen diamant van de Hermitage

Hermitage Amsterdam, 18 June 2016 — 15 January 2017

HA CDG affiche A2 420x594-TE PAARD-LRTwo hundred and fifty years after Catherine the Great founded the Hermitage, the Hermitage Amsterdam presents her life story in a sumptuous exhibition on Europe’s longest-reigning empress. Her name has always been surrounded with stories and superlatives, often about her private life and court intrigues. Some of these stories belong to the realm of myth, but others are perfectly true.

At the age of fourteen, the German princess Catherine (1729–1796) was married off to the Russian tsar. She later overthrew her husband, Peter III, and claimed the throne for herself. Catherine would become the greatest tsarina of all times. She had ambitious plans to reform the whole empire and acted with great foresight. Although she encountered setbacks, her achievements were astounding.

Catherine had a tremendous passion for art and contributed more than anyone else to the world’s greatest art collection. She was an enlightened despot, corresponding with Voltaire and Diderot. She added a new territory to her empire as large as France, and including the Crimea. And in all her endeavours, she had a sharp eye for talented people who could help her, such as the Orlov brothers and her most influential lover, Potemkin. She was a diamond of her own making.

After her death, Catherine was central to hundreds of books, films, and plays, and she inspired great actresses like Marlene Dietrich, Bette Davis, Hildegard Knef, Catherine Deneuve, and Julia Ormond.

Aided by her memoirs and those of her contemporaries, we present more than 300 objects from the Hermitage in St Petersburg, which invite visitors into Catherine’s world. The exhibition unravels her life story and sketches her personality. It is also an exhibition like a jewellery box, with magnificent personal possessions such as dresses, bijoux, cameos, and snuff boxes, as well the finest art works from her vast collection: paintings, sculptures, exquisite crafts, and portraits of her friends and loved ones.

The poster reproduces a detail of Vigilius Eriksen’s Portrait of Catherine the Great on Horseback, 1762 (St Petersburg: State Hermitage Museum)

Call for Articles | Winterthur Portfolio

Posted in Calls for Papers by Editor on June 17, 2016

From The University of Chicago Press:

682942.fp.png_v03“More images, please.” These words—all too rare in publishing—are commonplace for editors at Winterthur Portfolio: A Journal of American Material Culture. More than a bunch of pretty pictures, images act as essential evidence, allowing Portfolio readers to explore a wide range of topics based on substantive object-based research. Interdisciplinary material culture scholarship rests on seeing the objects, images, places, and spaces under discussion, and the editors of Winterthur Portfolio and the University of Chicago Press are committed to providing the highest level of image quality and editing for authors from any stage in their careers.

As a journal that appears both in print and digital formats, Winterthur Portfolio welcomes traditional manuscripts as well as innovative textual, graphic, and video content. We encourage authors to use a broad range of tools and media to bring new insights and spark conversations about the material world in the Americas. A generously illustrated article, a 3-D model, a digital photo essay, or an analytical model all have a place at Winterthur Portfolio, and we look forward to hearing your ideas for cutting-edge, interdisciplinary material culture research. For inquiries and questions, please contact Executive Editor Catharine Dann Roeber (croeber@winterthur.org), or Managing Editor Amy Earls (aearls@winterthur.org), or click here .

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