Enfilade

New Book | The Jacobites and Their Drinking Glasses

Posted in books by Editor on December 31, 2016

Charles Edward Stuart (Bonnie Prince Charlie) was born on this day (31 December) in 1720; whether you harbor Jacobite sympathies or simply anticipate ringing in the new year with a toast, these glasses might provide some inspiration. Happy New Year! CH

From ACC Distribution:

Geoffrey B. Seddon, The Jacobites and Their Drinking Glasses, third edition (Woodbridge: Antique Collectors Club, 2016), 208 pages, ISBN: 978-1851497959, £35 / $65.

imageThis book, first published in 1995, remains the most detailed study of Jacobite glass ever undertaken, and the glasses are described against the compelling history of the Jacobite movement in the 18th century. Hundreds of detailed photographs of the engravings help to authenticate the genuine glasses in a field well known to be infested with fakes. This third edition follows the same format as previous editions but is published in a more compact form, replete with an additional chapter.

The diamond point engraved ‘Amen’ glasses are, without question, the most valuable of all Jacobite glasses and indeed one of the most valuable of any of the 18th-century drinking glasses. Further studies have revealed that the ‘Amen’ glasses were engraved by the famous Scottish line engraver, Sir Robert Strange, and the evidence for this is provided in the final chapter.

Geoffrey B. Seddon, a retired medical practitioner, has been a member of the Glass Circle for over 40 years and has contributed papers to its publications and to Country Life magazine.

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Exhibition | Enlightened Princesses

Posted in books, catalogues, exhibitions by Editor on December 30, 2016

Press release (2 November 2016) for the exhibition:

Enlightened Princesses: Caroline, Augusta, Charlotte, and the Shaping of the Modern World
Yale Center for British Art, New Haven, 2 February — 30 April 2017
Kensington Palace, London, June 22–November 12, 2017

Curated by Joanna Marschner

51zjtb2cxlThis exhibition will be the first to explore the instrumental roles played by Caroline of Ansbach (1683–1737), Augusta of Saxe-Gotha (1719–1772), and Charlotte of Mecklenberg-Strelitz (1744–1818) in the promotion of the arts, sciences, medicine, education, charity, trade, and industry in Britain over the course of the long eighteenth century. “The princesses had sweeping intellectual, social, cultural, and political interests, which helped to shape the courts in which they lived, and encouraged the era’s greatest philosophers, scientists, artists, and architects to develop important ideas that would guide ensuing generations. The palaces and royal gardens they inhabited served as incubators for enlightened conversation and experimentation, and functioned as platforms to project the latest cultural developments to an international audience. Their innovative contributions across disciplines held great signi cance centuries ago and continue to inform our lives,” said Amy Meyers, Director of the Yale Center for British Art, and organizing curator at the Center.

These three German princesses, who all married into the British royal family, played an important part in the shaping of their nation’s culture during a time of change that in its complexity and dynamism would presage our own age. “Until this point, their contributions have been little understood and it is the aim of this exhibition to demonstrate how they influenced the interests of their era in the most vibrant of ways and left a legacy that resonates in the world today,” said Joanna Marschner, Senior Curator at Historic Royal Palaces, and lead curator of this exhibition. Caroline and Charlotte became queens consort to George II and George III respectively, while Princess Augusta never achieved this distinction but held the titles of Princess of Wales and Princess Dowager, and was mother to King George III.

Nearly three hundred magnificent objects have been drawn together from numerous public and private collections from across Britain, Europe, and the United States, including the Royal Collection Trust; Royal Society; British Museum; National Portrait Gallery, London; and Smithsonian Institution, Washington, D.C., as well as Historic Royal Palaces and the Yale Center for British Art. The exhibition will feature works by the most influential artists of the period, such as Hans Holbein the Younger, Allan Ramsay, Mary Delany, George Stubbs, Thomas Gainsborough, Joshua Reynolds, and Johan Joseph Zoffany, as well as craftsmen such as Josiah Wedgwood and Matthew Boulton, and architects such as William Kent and William Chambers.

A rich variety of objects will offer a glimpse into the princesses’ private lives, their courts, and their legacy. The exhibition will bring together state portraits of the royal women, musical manuscripts, elaborate court costume, botanical and anatomical renderings, the Princesses’ own scientific instruments, architectural drawings and garden designs, royal children’s artwork, rare books and manuscripts, and much more. The display also will include a work created by the artist Yinka Shonibare MBE (RA), for this exhibition. It is inspired by the meeting, in 1753, between Princess Augusta and Mrs. Eliza Lucas Pinckney, the owner of a profitable slave plantation in South Carolina in the British colonies of North America. A letter written by Mrs. Pinckney to a friend, detailing the encounter, will be featured in the exhibition as a special loan from the collection of The National Society of The Colonial Dames of America in the State of South Carolina. The dress worn by Mrs. Pinckney on this occasion, made of silk produced on her plantation, will be lent to the Yale Center for British Art from the Smithsonian Institution.

E X H I B I T I O N  T H E M E S

The exhibition will be organized according to five basic themes. Grand oil portraits by Joseph Highmore of Queen Caroline of Ansbach (ca. 1735), Allan Ramsay of Augusta, Dowager Princess of Wales (1769), and Johan Joseph Zoffany of Queen Charlotte (1771) will set the stage for the exhibition.

The Court as a Stage

In the world of the palaces, the royal court operated as a stage, not only in the literal sense for the performance of music, dance, and theater but also as a political and cultural arena in which the intricate power plays between and among monarch, consort, and courtier took place. In their furnishing of the spaces, Caroline, Augusta, and Charlotte constructed a visual statement of the authority of the Hanoverian dynasty–past, present, and future– under which the patronage of music and the arts would flourish. Yet at the same time they had to navigate the inherently political nature of public and private life (even family life) at court during a period that saw an information revolution, initiated by the mass circulation of newspapers, journals, and magazines providing commentary, debate, and critique. Art illustrative of this theme includes works by Hans Holbein the Younger, such as Lady Lister (ca. 1532–43), drawn together in celebration of the distinguished pedigree of royal ancestry, and displayed alongside images of the royal children, the future hope of the dynasty, represented by such works as a lively genre scene by Phillippe Mercier, ‘The Music Party’: Frederick, Prince of Wales with his Three Eldest Sisters (1733).

Cultures of Learning: Powerful Conversations

At the heart of their social circles, Caroline, Augusta, and Charlotte built relationships with leading cultural and intellectual figures of their age, including politicians, clergymen, natural philosophers, gardeners, architects, authors, playwrights, and composers. While each princess developed these connections in different ways and with different priorities, their interests often overlapped or had a common focus, such as in science, medicine, philanthropy, and especially maternity, the care of infants, and the commercial interests of the state in Britain and abroad. Their pursuits in this area are re ected in objects on display including an oil portrait by John Vanderbank of Sir Isaac Newton (1726); Thomas Gainsborough’s splendid grand manner portrait of his friend, the musician Carl Abel, later acquired by Queen Charlotte for whom he provided music; and Allan Ramsey’s beautifully nuanced portrait of Charlotte’s medical adviser, Dr. William Hunter.

Royal Women: Education, Charity, and Health

Attitudes regarding royal child-rearing changed rapidly over the lifetimes of Caroline, Augusta, and Charlotte. There were shifts in methodology and focus in response to the evolving contemporary philosophies about childhood, sentimentality, and the freedom of the individual. The princesses were active contributors to the educational programs devised for their children, the future promise for the dynasty, and sought to draw them into worlds outside the palace walls. In their public roles as encouragers and protectors, the princesses sought involvement with ambitious and wide-reaching public philanthropic projects, organizations, and societies, especially those connected with health and social welfare. A precious silk satin baby robe (1762) belonging to George, Prince of Wales (later George IV), the eldest child of George III and Queen Charlotte, compares poignantly with tokens left by unmarried and impoverished mothers as they consigned their children to the Foundling Hospital. The hospital was a charity supported by all three of the princesses, which reflected their concern for progressive social change.

Political Gardening

Caroline, Augusta, and Charlotte created and recast each other’s gardens, which were by turns political and social spaces, as well as private retreats. They drew in the products of empire; plants and animals were collected from many continents, not only for their beauty and rarity but also their economic value. Likewise, the development of the collections of animals and birds brought back from the exploration of these ‘new’ worlds were an important feature in the royal gardens. In the design of their gardens, the princesses explored contemporary garden philosophies and exercised their architectural ambitions. Many of their landscapes, which they invested with message, were made to
be shared, not just with the community of gardeners, philosophers, and scientists the princesses drew into their circle, but with a wider community of the middling sort, which allowed a new relationship between monarchy and subject to be brokered. The gardens served each princess well but each manifestation was different, reacting to a volatile commercial environment as well as a changing perception of the bonds between and among the dynasty, nationhood, and empire.

Over the course of the long eighteenth century these three royal women seized the opportunities of a dynamic age, and their determined and imaginative promotion of the arts, sciences, medicine, education, charity, trade, and industry, shaped not only society and politics of their own time but were the forbearers of much of the beliefs and policies that continue in modern British culture. A brilliant watercolor by Mark Catesby, The Painted Finch and the Loblolly Bay (ca. 1722–26), and an intricate cut-paper collage by Mary Delany, Cactus Grandi orus, melon thistle (1778), serve as evidence of the princesses’ interest in Britain’s widespread imperial range.

To Promote and Protect: The Princesses and the Wider World

In working to promote and encourage the arts and science, Caroline, Augusta, and Charlotte supported and championed national products and allowed their interest to be used by enterprising industrialists, which helped win hearts and minds for the new regime. The development of new industrial technologies enabled mass-produced consumer goods, ensuring for the first time the dissemination of the image of the British monarchy, in a way that today is recognized as a ‘brand’, for a domestic and international audience. In the furnishing of their homes and the development of their gardens, the princesses celebrated the fruits of empire. The first British incursions into the Americas began in the sixteenth century, burgeoned in the seventeenth century, and matured over the first half of the eighteenth century. Following the War of Independence, these efforts would be succeeded by increased colonial expansion (Caribbean, India, Africa, China, and Australasia). Masterpieces that reflect the imperatives of empire which helped to brand the character of the British monarchy internationally will include one of the Center’s treasured works, a painting by William Verelst, Audience Given by the Trustees of Georgia to a Delegation of Creek Indians (1734–35), and a painting by George Stubbs of a zebra belonging to Queen Charlotte (1763).

C R E D I T S  A N D  P U B L I C A T I O N

Enlightened Princesses: Caroline, Augusta, Charlotte, and the Shaping of the Modern World is a collaboration between Historic Royal Palaces and the Yale Center for British Art. Lead curator Joanna Marschner, Senior Curator at Historic Royal Palaces, is assisted by Samantha Howard, Curatorial Assistant. The organizing curator at the Center, Amy Meyers, Director, is assisted by Lisa Ford, Assistant Director of Research; Glenn Adamson, Senior Research Associate; and Tyler Griffith, Postdoctoral Research Associate. The exhibition will be accompanied by a publication of the same title, a beautifully illustrated catalogue of works edited by Joanna Marschner, with the assistance of David Bindman and Lisa Ford. Co-published with Historic Royal Palaces in association with Yale University Press, this book will feature contributions by an international team of scholars.

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The catalogue is scheduled for March publication from Yale UP:

Joanna Marschner, ed., with David Bindman and Lisa Ford, Enlightened Princesses: Caroline, Augusta, Charlotte, and the Shaping of the Modern World (New Haven: Yale Center for British Art, 2017), 592 pages, ISBN: 978  0300  217100, $85.

Caroline of Ansbach (1683–1737), Augusta of Saxe-Gotha (1719–1772), and Charlotte of Mecklenberg-Strelitz (1744–1818) were three German princesses who became Queens Consort—or, in the case of Augusta, Queen in Waiting, Regent, and Princess Dowager—of Great Britain, and were linked by their early years at European princely courts, their curiosity, aspirations, and an investment in Enlightenment thought. This sumptuously illustrated book considers the ways these powerful, intelligent women left enduring marks on British culture through a wide range of activities: the promotion of the court as a dynamic forum of the Hanoverian regime; the enrichment of the royal collection of art; the advancement of science and industry; and the creation of gardens and menageries. Objects included range from spectacular state portraits to pedagogical toys to plant and animal specimens, and reveal how the new and novel intermingled with the traditional.

 

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Exhibition | ​18th- and 19th-Century British Watercolours

Posted in Art Market, exhibitions by Editor on December 29, 2016

Loan exhibition at the 2017 Works on Paper Fair:

18th- and 19th-Century British Watercolours from the Eton College Collections
Works on Paper Fair, Royal Geographical Society, London, 9–12 February 2017

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Julius Caesar Ibbotson, Skating on the Serpentine, exhibited at the Royal Academy in 1796, watercolour, pen and grey ink (Eton College Collections).

Eton College have kindly agreed to loan 38 watercolours from their impressive College Collection. This exceptional selection contains some of the finest works from the classic period of English watercolour painting that can be seen anywhere in Britain. It represents an opportunity to see watercolours which are rarely on view to the public, and shines a spotlight on the best collection of early watercolours to belong to any school in Britain. Some of the pictures have never been publicly displayed by the school before.

Most of the famous names are represented, and the selection includes work by Alexander and John Robert Cozens (Alexander taught drawing at Eton in the 1760s), Gainsborough, Francis Towne, Thomas Girtin, and J.M.W. Turner. The last is represented by a small watercolour of Chateau d’Arques, near Dieppe, which was published as an engraving in 1836, and a much earlier view from the mid-1790s of Skiddaw and Derwentwater in the Lake District, drawn before the artist visited the Lake District and very much in the manner of the influential Edward Dayes.

Other highlights include works by Edward Lear (The Forest of Valdoniello, Corsica), a large watercolour by Julius Caesar Ibbetson of figures skating (and falling over) on the Serpentine, exhibited at the Royal Academy in 1796 with the title Hyde Park—Winter, a Paul Sandby watercolour of Windsor Bridge (with animated figures and a runaway horse), and a large watercolour of Donnybrook Fair outside Dublin by Francis Wheatley dating from circa 1780 and packed with characterful figures, all drawn with the artist’s sublime skill, which belies the improvidence of his personal life.

Since the upsurge of enthusiasm for landscape drawing and watercolour painting in Britain during the final decades of the 18th century, Eton College has been associated with topographical artists and watercolourists. Views of the college from the River Thames, or of Windsor Castle from the Eton side of the river, soon became favourite subjects. Meanwhile Alexander Cozens rented rooms on the High Street in Eton, from where he offered drawing lessons to boys. These first unofficial art lessons, first led by Cozens and then from 1765 by Richard Cooper, began a tradition of professional artists being employed as Drawing Masters at the school, which continues today.

As the Eton College Drawing Schools developed, so too did the college’s collection of Fine & Decorative Art, which now includes some 1,500 drawings and watercolours. The college strives to make this rich resource available to a wide public and hence a selection will be lent for display at the Works on Paper Fair in February 2017. Although exhibitions drawn from the collection have been held at the Morgan Library & Museum, New York (1990); Christie’s, King Street, London (2003), and W.S Fine Art / Andrew Wyld, London (2010), and individual works are at times lent to public exhibitions, many of the works loaned to the fair will be exhibited in public for the first time.

At the core of Eton College’s collection of works on paper are the examples of leaving portraits, which show boys soon after leaving the school, executed in pastel, chalk and watercolour, rather than the more usual media of oil-on-canvas. To these, generous Old Etonian collectors have added impressive assemblages of drawings and watercolours and their donations reflect the particular expertise and passion of the individual benefactors. Alan Pilkington (1879–1973), who worked for his family company of glass manufacturers, started collecting watercolours in about 1920 and presented some 270 mainly 18th- and some 19th-century works in the 1960s and ‘70s. Martin Whiteley (1931–1984), who left Eton in 1948 and returned to become a House Master, began collecting in the 1950s and later gave or bequeathed over 40 works. These two considerable donations inspired others to follow suit. In addition, the college has commissioned or purchased Eton-related landscapes and portrait drawings and Drawing Masters have presented examples of their own work, further enhancing the collection.

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New Book | Silver for Entertaining: The Ickworth Collection

Posted in books by Editor on December 28, 2016

From Philip Wilson:

James Rothwell, Silver for Entertaining: The Ickworth Collection (London: Philip Wilson Publishers, 2016), 304 pages, ISBN: 978  1781  300428, £50 / $90.

9781781300428This book is a comprehensive, well illustrated guide to one of the most important collections of 18th-century silver in Europe, extending to nearly a thousand individual pieces, being of the highest quality, style, and exuberance of form and surviving virtually intact along with extensive and previously untapped archival evidence of its commissioning and use. The book analyses the silver from stylistic and technical perspectives and uses it to shed light on the patronage, fashion, and diplomatic, political and social history of the period. It also casts new light on the Herveys, one of England’s most famous and eccentric aristocratic families.

James Rothwell studied art history at Warwick University and gained a master’s degree at the Courtauld Institute of Art. He has worked for the National Trust since 1995 and is the organisation’s adviser on silver, carrying out extensive research on the collections and guiding displays, interpretation, and acquisitions. He has published numerous articles on the subject and is the co-author of Country House Silver from Dunham Massey (2006). In collaboration with the Goldsmiths’ Company, he has overseen a ground-breaking series of exhibitions of works by contemporary silversmiths in National Trust houses.

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New Book | Ceramics: 400 Years of British Collecting

Posted in books by Editor on December 27, 2016

From Philip Wilson:

Patricia Ferguson, Ceramics: 400 Years of British Collecting in 100 Masterpieces (London: Philip Wilson Publishers, 2016), 192 pages, ISBN: 978  1781  300435, £45 / $75.

ceramics-400-years-of-british-collectingThe aim of this publication is to introduce the rich and varied ceramics in the National Trust’s vast and encyclopaedic collection, numbering approximately 75,000 artefacts, housed in 250 historic properties in England, Wales, and Northern Ireland. One hundred key pieces have been selected from this rich treasure trove, each contributing to our knowledge of ceramic patronage and history, revealing the very personal stories of ownership, display, taste, and consumption. The selection includes the following Continental wares: ‘Red-figure’ wares, Italian armorial tablewares, Dutch Delft from the Greek A factory (owned by Adrianus Kocx), Chinese Kraak ware and Dehua ware, Japanese Kakiemon-style and Imari-style tablewares and garnitures, Meissen table sculpture by Johann Joachim Kandler and tablewares attributed to Adam Friedrich von Lowenfinck, along with Castelli fayence from the Grue workshop. There are wares from the following porcelain manufactories: Doccia, Vienna, Vincennes, Sevres, Dihl, and Feulliet. English pottery and porcelain includes delftware, salt-glazed stoneware, creamware, Wedgwood Black Basalt and Etruscan ware, Chelsea, Bow, Worcester and Derby porcelain, Minton China, De Morgan, and Martin ware. And from the Americas, Pueblo ware. Many pieces are published for the first time, sometimes illustrated in their original interiors. Collectively, the selection surveys patterns of ceramic collecting by the British aristocracy and gentry over a four-hundred-year period.

Patricia F. Ferguson is an external adviser on ceramics to The National Trust, having researched their collections since 2003, and is a consulting curator at the Victoria & Albert Museum, London. She has an MA from SOAS, University of London, where she studied Chinese, Japanese, and Safavid ceramics. At the George R. Gardiner Museum of Ceramic Art in Toronto, she re-displayed the European galleries, curated Containers of Beauty: The Art of Floral Display and Your Presence Is Requested: The Art of Dining in Eighteenth-Century Europe, and was author of Cobalt Treasures: The Robert Murray Bell and Ann Walker Bell Collection of Chinese Blue and White Porcelain (2003).

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MFA, Boston Displays Newly Acquired Altarpiece by Benjamin West

Posted in museums by Editor on December 26, 2016

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MFA staff members install Benjamin West’s large painting Devout Men Taking the Body of Saint Stephen (1776) in the Ruth and Carl J. Shapiro Gallery. Fidelity Investments chairman Edward ‘Ned’ Johnson III acquired the painting in 2014 for $2.9million from St. Stephen Walbrook (the export license was issued in March of that year). He donated it, anonymously, to the MFA in 2015 in honor of Malcolm Rogers to celebrate the museum director’s twenty years of leadership. Details and more on Johnson’s collections are available from Beth Healy’s article, “The Quiet Man of Boston’s Art Scene,” in The Boston Globe (22 August 2015).

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From the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston (via Art Daily), and good timing: it’s St Stephen’s Day! . . .

The recently acquired Devout Men Taking the Body of Saint Stephen (1776) by Benjamin West (1738–1820) is one of the largest paintings in the MFA’s collection—together with its towering frame, it measures more than 18 1/2 feet tall. Over the past two years, the monumental altarpiece was treated in the Conservation in Action studio, where Museum visitors were able to witness the gradual process of cleaning and restoring the work. The painting and its original gilded wood frame, which was also conserved, are now reunited as the dramatic centerpiece of a new installation that explores how 18th-century artworks and artists traveled across both intellectual and geographical borders.

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Thomas Malton (1748–1804), St Stephen Walbrook, London, watercolour over pencil, 26 × 18 inches (London: Lowell Libson LTD). West’s painting is visible at the altar.

West was the first American-born painter to study abroad, second president of the Royal Academy of Arts, and painter to the English king. Devout Men Taking Away the Body of Saint Stephen, among the largest works he ever produced, was commissioned for London’s St. Stephen’s Walbrook, a church designed by Christopher Wren, and showcases West’s profound understanding of Italian Renaissance art. Italy likewise held special allure for well-to-do travelers on the Grand Tour, such as the American couple in John Singleton Copley’s portrait of Mr. and Mrs. Ralph Izard (1775), painted in Rome. Meanwhile, Italian painters ventured abroad as well—the gallery includes Canaletto’s Bacino di San Marco, Venice (about 1738), a trademark view of his home city, and Capriccio: A Sluice on a River with a Chapel (1754), painted in England, where he spent nine years catering to an enthusiastic clientele. Adding to the rich mix of works by American, English, and Italian painters are sculpture and decorative arts by French and German artists.

The 18th century was a cosmopolitan age. Artists and patrons traveled widely: in pursuit of artistic training or opportunity, political service, or social refinement. And as people moved, so too did ideas, styles, and tastes, in art and beyond. Across Europe (and America), Italy held special allure: artists traveled there to absorb its millennia of artistic traditions, as did well-heeled visitors on the Grand Tour. The fashion for Italian art was especially strong in England, where American-born painter Benjamin West created this towering altarpiece, influenced by his study of Renaissance masters Titian and Raphael. Italian artists also often ventured abroad. Canaletto, famous for his view paintings of his home city of Venice, spent nearly a decade in England, catering to an enthusiastic clientele.

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Exhibition | Wooden Sculptures, Busts, Reliquaries, and Shrines

Posted in books, catalogues, exhibitions by Editor on December 25, 2016

Now on view at Pinacoteca Giovanni Züst:

Sculptures, Busts, Reliquaries, and Shrines from the Middle Ages to the Eighteenth Century
Legni Preziosi: Sculture, Busti, Reliquiari e Tabernacoli dal Medioevo al Settecento
Pinacoteca Giovanni Züst, Rancate, Switzerland, 16 October 2016 — 22 January 2017

Curated by Edoardo Villata

image003La mostra presenta una carrellata di sculture in legno dal XII al XVIII secolo— Madonne, Crocifissi, Compianti, busti, polittici scolpiti e persino un Presepe—provenienti da musei, chiese e monasteri del territorio ticinese, dove questi autentici capolavori sono stati oggetto di devozione e ammirazione per secoli. L’allestimento è stato curato da Mario Botta, che ha studiato, a titolo completamente gratuito, ogni dettaglio, affinché il visitatore sia immerso in un’atmosfera suggestiva e solenne, in cui la sacralità delle immagini esposte risulta pienamente valorizzata.

Edoardo Villata, Legni Preziosi: Sculture, busti, reliquiari e tabernacoli dal Medioevo al Settecento nel Cantone Ticino (Milan: Silvana, 2016), 208 pages, ISBN: 978  8836  634767, $55.

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At Sotheby’s | Important Judaica

Posted in Art Market by Editor on December 24, 2016

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Lot 53: Hanukah Lamp, Polish or German, late 18th or early 19th century, bronze, 85 cm. With baluster stem and scroll and bud branches, pricket sconces linked by a brass plate. Sale price (with buyer’s premium): $3,250 (estimate $4,000–6,000).

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From Sotheby’s:

Important Judaica Including Property from the Estate of Shlomo Moussaieff Sale N09589 (286 lots)
Sotheby’s, New York, 15 December 2016

The Important Judaica sale began with a significant selection of property from the estate of Shlomo Moussaieff. The group was led by Simeon Solomon’s Carrying the Scrolls of Law, which set a new world auction record for the artist selling for $492,500—nearly double its high estimate of $250,000. Other highlights included a copy of the first English translation of the Jewish liturgy issued for a Jewish audience (1761), which sold—to applause—for $468,500, a record for a work of American Judaica at auction.

0efc4f7ba703ad601afefd3e724e1b37The late Shlomo Moussaieff was a renowned collector whose home was a meeting place for connoisseurs from all over the world. Mr. Moussaieff delighted in sharing his treasures with others, and he gave generously of his time and knowledge. Highlights from his collection include a remarkable selection of Kabbalistic manuscripts and a magnificent array of menorahs and Hanukah lamps—mostly of substantial size—featuring examples from Europe and the Middle East. The second part of the auction presented silver and books from various owners. Highlights include two outstanding 18th-century silver Sabbath lamps, a magnificent Italian silver-gilt Torah crown, and important American Judaica, including the earliest Jewish prayer book printed in America (New York, 1761), as well as splendid textiles and paintings.

Lot 270: Large Torah Crown, Venice, early 18th century, parcel-gilt silver, 23 × 22 cm.

Boldly embossed with baroque foliage, fruit and flowers, applied with five urns of flowers within recesses with cut-sheet petals, between cartouches and emblems of the Ark of the Covenant, Priest’s hat, hands of Cohen, priestly garment, and flaming altar, base band with cartouches, all on matted grounds, marked near base with Venice city mark twice and assay master’s mark ZC with tower between twice, the interior fitted with a later bar centered by a ring. Sale price (with buyer’s premium): $225,000 (estimate $180,000–220,000).

 

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Rijksmuseum Acquires Painting by Liotard

Posted in museums by Editor on December 23, 2016

Press release (21 December 2016) from the Rijskmuseum (as announced by The Burlington Magazine via Twitter, the magazine will publish an article on the painting in February).

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Jean-Etienne Liotard, A Dutch Girl at Breakfast, ca. 1756–57, oil on canvas, 47 × 39 cm (Amsterdam: Rijksmuseum).

The British government today granted an export license for the painting A Dutch Girl at Breakfast by Jean-Etienne Liotard, which the Rijksmuseum has recently purchased from a private collection in which it had remained for more than 240 years. The painting is an intimate ode to Dutch Golden Age painting. The peripatetic Genevan pastellist Jean-Etienne Liotard (1702–1789) created the work in the style of Dutch seventeenth-century masters during a long sojourn in Holland around 1756. As one of his few oil-paintings, A Dutch Girl at Breakfast is an important addition to the famous group of pastels by Liotard that have been in the Rijksmuseum since 1885. This stunning new acquisition will be shown in the Rijksmuseum’s Gallery of Honour from mid-January.

Taco Dibbits, General Director of the Rijksmuseum, states: “A Dutch Girl at Breakfast radiates the same atmosphere of peace and simplicity as Vermeer’s Milkmaid. In this sensitive representation, the painter allows us to get very close to his subject. As the girl carefully opens the tap of the coffee-pot, she won’t allow herself to be disturbed by the millions of visitors who will come to see her. We are extremely grateful to the funds and private donors who made it possible to acquire this masterpiece for The Netherlands.”

With the support of the BankGiro Loterij, Rembrandt Association through its ‘Nationaal Fonds Kunstbezit’, Mondriaan Fund, VSBfonds, Rijksmuseum Fonds, and many private donors, the Rijksmuseum was able to purchase this work at auction in London for nearly €5.2 million (commission included) [Sotheby’s London, Old Masters Evening Sale (6 July 2016), Sale L16033, Lot #36].

A Dutch Girl at Breakfast is one of Jean-Etienne Liotard’s most beautiful works. In it, he reveals himself as one of the earliest eighteenth-century artists from abroad to put his fascination with Dutch painting of the seventeenth century into practice. On this small canvas (47 × 39 cm) he portrays a young woman sitting in a typically Dutch interior. All the characteristics of Dutch seventeenth-century ‘genre’ are present: the everyday scene, the intimate ambiance, the sober colours, the sophisticated rendering of textures, and the painted church-interior in the background. Nevertheless the furnishings and tableware are all from Liotard’s own time. The mise-en-scène is strongly reminiscent of the well-known interiors of his predecessors Johannes Vermeer, Gerard Dou, and Frans van Mieris.

After long sojourns in Vienna, Paris, and London—where he enjoyed great success as a portraitist—Liotard travelled to Holland in 1755 to pursue this lucrative career. A Dutch Girl at Breakfast was clearly inspired by his experiences in the country. As a connoisseur of Dutch Golden Age painting, he also managed to assemble a collection of over 60 works by Old Masters. In 1756 at Amsterdam he married Marie Fargues, born and bred in Holland but a Huguenot like himself. His splendid pastel portrait of her is in the Rijksmuseum’s collection. Their eldest son later settled in Amsterdam, bringing many of this father’s works with him.

Eighteenth-century European painting is not particularly well represented in the Netherlands. The subject of this painting, the way it is presented, and the work’s close historical connection with the Netherlands will give iconic status to A Dutch Girl at Breakfast within the Dutch national collections. After its presentation in the Gallery of Honour it will take pride of place in the Rijksmuseum galleries for the arts of the eighteenth century. It will also be reunited there with the remarkable group of Liotard’s pastels donated by his Dutch descendants at the end of the nineteenth century. Only some 30 oil paintings by Liotard are known—as opposed to 540 pastels. Genre pieces by him are even scarcer, though this is a type of art for which he is well known, especially in works such as The Belle Chocolatière at Dresden. With this acquisition, the Rijksmuseum’s representation of Liotard’s oeuvre has been considerably strengthened.

Liotard appears to have kept the A Dutch Girl at Breakfast for himself until 1774, when he included it in a sale of his collection in London. It was bought there by his principal British patron, the 2nd Earl of Bessborough (1704–1793), with whose descendants it has remained until now.

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And if the acquisition weren’t enough reason by itself to visit the Rijksmuseum, there’s also the news that RIJKS, the Rijksmuseum restaurant led by chef Joris Bijdendijk, has just been awarded a Michelin star, as announced during the launch of the Dutch edition of Michelin’s 2017 hotel-and-restaurant guide in Amsterdam.

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Publication Grant, Historians of British Art

Posted in resources by Editor on December 23, 2016

HBA Publication Grant

Each year HBA awards a grant to offset publication costs for a book manuscript or peer-reviewed journal article in the field of British art or visual culture that has been accepted for publication. To be eligible for the $600 award, applicants must be current members of HBA who can demonstrate that the HBA subvention will replace their out of pocket costs. Applications are not accepted from institutions. To apply, send a 500-word project description, publication information (correspondence from press or journal confirming commitment to publish and projected publication date), budget, and CV to Kimberly Rhodes, HBA Prize Committee Chair, krhodes@drew.edu by 15 January 2017.