Exhibition | A Handful of Dust: Pastel Portraits

Posted in exhibitions by InternRW on July 31, 2016
Unknown artist, A Market Woman with Fruit, eighteenth century, pastel on paper, 81.3 × 66 cm (Bath: The Holburne Museum)

Unknown artist, A Market Woman with Fruit, eighteenth century, pastel on paper, 81.3 × 66 cm (Bath: The Holburne Museum)

On view now at The Holburne Museum:

A Handful of Dust
Holburne Museum, Bath, 13 February — 6 November 2016

To celebrate The Holburne’s centenary in its current home, this exhibition gathers together the best of the Museum’s delightful eighteenth-century British portraits in pastel. A mixture of china clay, plaster, and pigments, pastel is little more than brightly coloured dust, as fragile as a butterfly’s wing, yet when applied to paper the effect can be magical.

Pastel (also called crayon) was a favourite new medium in Britain between about 1730 and 1830. It was restricted almost entirely to portraits, as it silkiness and luminosity were found to be particularly suitable for depicting skin and textiles. The exhibition includes work by some of the great masters of eighteenth-century pastel painting: Jean-Etienne Liotard, John Russell, and Bath artists William Hoare and Lewis Vaslet.


New Book | Richard Rawlinson and His Seal Matrices

Posted in books by InternRW on July 31, 2016

From Artbooks.com:

John Cherry, Richard Rawlinson and His Seal Matrices: Collecting in the Early Eighteenth Century (Oxford: The Ashmolean Museum, 2016), 192 pages, ISBN: 978-1910807026, £40 / $75.

Richard RawlinsonThe Rawlinson collection of seal matrices in the University of Oxford is the most important early collection of European seal matrices to survive. Created by Dr Richard Rawlinson (1690–1755) in the first half of the eighteenth century, it consists of 830 matrices ranging in date from the 13th to the early 18th century. It includes the collection of seal matrices formed by Giovanni Andrea Lorenzani, a Roman bronze caster, which Rawlinson acquired in Rome together with a catalogue written in 1708. This collection is primarily Italian, but the Rawlinson collection also includes examples from England, Wales, Scotland, Ireland, France, Germany, Spain, and Scandinavia.

The study of seals was much neglected in the middle of the twentieth century, but the study now attracts greater interest. This is due to their visual appeal, sense of identity, and their representation of symbols. This book will appeal to a wide variety of readers from those interested in collecting, Jacobitism, history of the early eighteenth century, the Grand Tour, antiquaries, and seals and seal matrices. This book has four introductory chapters which set the scene for the collecting of seal matrices, tell the life of Richard Rawlinson and Giovanni Andrea Lorenzani, analyze their collections, and relate the history of the collection after Rawlinson’s death in 1755. One hundred seals, all illustrated, are described in detail, with much unpublished data, and an indication is given of the contribution they make to the sigillography of the different countries.

John Cherry is a sigillographer and deputy keeper in the Department of Medieval and Later Antiquities at The British Museum.