Exhibition | Canova and the Dance

Posted in exhibitions by InternRW on August 24, 2016

Opening in October at the Bode-Museum:

Canova and the Dance / Canova und der Tanz
Bode-Museum, Berlin, 21 October 2016 — 22 January 2017


Antonio Canova, Dancer with Cymbals (Tänzerin), marble, 1809/1812 (Berlin: Bode-Museum; photo by Andreas Praefcke, Wikimedia Commons, 2007)

Dancer with Cymbals by Antonio Canova (1757–1822) numbers among the most significant and popular of the Bode-Museum’s works of art. The most important sculptor of Italian Neoclassicism was to explore the theme of dance three times in life-size sculptures. On the occasion of the special exhibition, Canova and the Dance, the Berlin dancer is to be joined by her counterparts: Dancer with Hands on Hips, created for Napoleon’s first wife Josephine and held at the Hermitage Museum in Saint Petersburg, and Dancer with Finger on Chin, the model of which is kept at the Museo Canova in Passagno (the sculptor’s place of birth). Additionally, Hebe—a work from the Alte Nationalgalerie acquired for the Berlin collections in 1825—will for the first time be displayed alongside the Dancers. Artistically, Hebe is considered a precursor to Canova’s Dancers, and is the second major work by the Italian sculptor held by the Staatliche Museen zu Berlin. The exhibition gives centre stage to these fascinating marble sculptures, along with a work known as the Berlin Dancer from the Antikensammlung (Collection of Classical Antiquities). Sculptures like this were to serve as a source of inspiration for Canova during the composition of the Dancer in the Bode-Museum’s collection. A key aspect of the exhibition is the way in which Canova, a master of materiality, applied himself to exploring one of his favourite themes—dance—through design sketches, then paintings and models, and finally in the completed marble artwork.

Canova and the Dance is a project undertaken in partnership with two museums in Veneto: the Museo Canova in Passagno and the Museo Civico in Bassano del Grappa—which in 2011 began work on reconstructing the plaster model of the Berlin Dancer (made in Passagno and damaged during World War I), featuring it as part of an exhibition entitled Canova e la danza. The model will now appear in a more advanced state of completion at the Bode-Museum. Paintings both in oil and tempera, created by Canova for his private home, drawings, illustrations, and sculptures—many of which have never previously been exhibited in Germany—will form a display around Canova’s unique suite of Dancers, tracing a visual account of the sensuousness and movement at play in the great Italian sculptor’s work.

New Book | Ancients and Moderns in Europe

Posted in books by Editor on August 24, 2016

From the Voltaire Foundation:

Paddy Bullard and Alexis Tadié, eds., Ancients and Moderns in Europe: Comparative Perspectives (Oxford: Oxford University Studies in the Enlightenment, 2016), 328 pages, ISBN: 978-0729411776, £60 / €74 / $85.

The Querelle des Anciens et des Modernes, or Battle of the Books as it was known in England, famously pitted the Ancients on the one side and the Moderns on the other. This book presents a new intellectual history of the dispute, in which authors explore its manifestations across Europe in the arts and sciences, from the sixteenth to the eighteenth centuries. By paying close attention to local institutional contexts for the Querelle, contributors yield a complex picture of the larger debate. In intellectual life, authors uncover how the debate affected the publication of antiquarian scholarship, and how it became part of discussions in London coffee houses and the periodical press. Authors also position the Low Countries as the true pivot for a modernistic realignment of intellectual method, with concomitant rather than centralised developments in England and France. The volume is particularly concerned with the realisation of the Querelle in the realm of artistic and technical practice. Marrying modern approaches with ancient sympathies was fraught with difficulties, as contributors attest in analyses on musical writing, painting and the querelle du coloris, architectural practice and medical rhetorics. Tracing the deeper cultural resonances of the dispute, authors conclude by revealing how it fostered a new tendency to cultural self-reflection throughout Europe. Together, these contributions demonstrate how the Querelle acted as a leading principle for the configuration of knowledge across the arts and sciences throughout the early modern period, and also emphasise the links between historical debates and our contemporary understanding of what it means to be ‘modern’.

Paddy Bullard is Associate Professor of English literature and book history at the University of Reading. He has published books on Burke and Swift, and his research encompasses material culture studies, intellectual history and political thought.
Alexis Tadié is Professor of English literature, University of Paris-Sorbonne and Senior Research Fellow at the Institut Universitaire de France. He works on eighteenth-century literature and intellectual history, and has published books on Bacon, Locke, and Sterne.

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Paddy Bullard and Alexis Tadié, Introduction

I | Ancient Knowledge and Modern Mediations
1  Vittoria Feola, The Ancients with the Moderns: Oxford’s Approaches to Publishing Ancient Science
2  Alexis Tadié, Ancients, Moderns, and the Language of Criticism
3  Stéphane Van Damme, Digging Authority: Archaeological Controversies and the Recognition of the Metropolitan Past in Early Eighteenth-Century Paris

II | Logic and Criticism across Borders
4  Martine Pécharman, From Lockean Logic to Cartesian(ised) Logic: The Case of Locke’s Essay and Its Contemporary Controversial Reception
5  Marcus Walsh, Scholarly Documentation in the Enlightenment: Validation and Interpretation
6  Karen Collis, Reading the Ancients at the Turn of the Century: The Third Earl of Shaftesbury (1671–1713) and Jean Le Clerc (1657–1736)

III | Conversing with the Ancients: Arts and Practices
7  Théodora Psychoyou, Ancients and Moderns, Italians and French: The Seventeenth-Century Quarrel over Music, Its Status, and Transformations
8  Elisabeth Lavezzi, Painting and the Tripartite Model in Charles Perrault’s Parallèle des Anciens et des Modernes
9  Paddy Bullard, John Evelyn as Modern Architect and Ancient Gardener: ‘Lessons of Perpetual Practice’
10 Sylvie Kleiman-Lafon, Ancient Medicine, Modern Quackery: Bernard Mandeville and the Rhetoric of Healing

IV | The Persistence of the Quarrel
11 Amedeo Quondam, Petrarch and the Invention of Synchrony
12 Karin Kukkonen, Samuel Richardson among the Ancients and Moderns
13 Ourida Mostefai, Finding Ancient Men in Modern Times: Anachronism and the Critique of Modernity in Rousseau
14 Ritchie Robertson, Ancients, Moderns, and the Future: The Querelle in Germany from Winckelmann to Schiller

Biographies of contributors

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