Exhibition | The Variable Line: Master Drawings

Posted in exhibitions by Editor on December 21, 2016

Press release (via Art Daily). . .

The Variable Line: Master Drawings from Renaissance to Contemporary
Redwood Library & Athenæum, Newport, 1 December 2016 — 5 March 2017

Curated by Benedict Leca


Jean-Honoré Fragonard, Ruggiero Attacks the Orc (illustration for Ariosto, Orlando Furioso), pencil and wash on paper.

Departing from the appreciation that drawing not only remains foundational to art theory and pedagogy, but that it is also undergoing a discernible resurgence in current artistic practice, the Redwood Library and Athenaeum presents The Variable Line: Master Drawings, Renaissance to Contemporary. Organized by the Redwood Library, the sole U.S. venue, and featuring forty-five works, the exhibition is arranged as a survey featuring many types of drawings, rendered in a rich variety of styles and techniques, and treating a broad range of themes.

“Artists have always relied on drawing to put down ideas quickly—it serves this purpose perhaps even more now as the medium on-the-go appropriate to today’s global art world. In that sense drawing has always attached to the conceptual. Certainly drawing is integral to the larger turn towards conceptual thinking in contemporary art, from Sol Lewitt to Julie Mehretu,” explains Benedict Leca, Redwood Executive Director and exhibition curator. “That said, it is interesting to note how the works by contemporary women artists on view are at once visibly painstaking in their technique and contrary to traditional notions of skill.”

The presentation is arranged into seven sections—Académies and the Centrality of the Figure, Line and the ‘Grand Manner,’ Fragonard and Ariosto, The Light of Italy and the Lure of the Antique, Drawing the Pastoral, Landscape and the Bucolic, and Master/Mistress: the Gendered Line—enabling visitors to identify both continuities and ruptures in theme and technique across 500 years of drawing practice in Western Europe and America. Upending the now conventional dominance accorded to digital media or even painting, the selection of drawings on display crossing five centuries—from Renaissance to contemporary—speaks to drawing’s eternal relevance as consonant to art making in any medium, be it painting, sculpture, or video. It is for this reason that drawing’s ubiquity has stretched unbroken to this day, routinely entering our own lives as doodle or sketch. From the most pervasive to the most individual, drawing, like handwriting, thus offers historical perspectives through the continuities inherent to the medium, as well as insights into the stylistic idiosyncrasies of its adaptation by individual artists. The immutable simplicity of a line drawn across paper, parchment, or mylar makes the drawings exhibited here among those rare objects that enable visitors to ride along on the creative journey of both Renaissance and contemporary artists.




Sculpture from Tomasso Brothers on View in New York

Posted in Art Market by Editor on December 21, 2016


Massimiliano Soldani-Benzi, Ganymede and the Eagle,
ca. 1714, bronze, 31.5cm high, 38.5cm wide.

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Important European Sculpture from Tomasso Brothers Fine Art
Carlton Hobbs LLC, New York, 19–28 January 2017

Tomasso Brothers Fine Art returns to Manhattan soon after their participation in the inaugural TEFAF New York Fall to present their now well-established and much-anticipated annual catalogued exhibition of Important European Sculpture, at Carlton Hobbs LLC on the Upper East Side from 19th to 28th January 2017. The gallery will bring together examples of the finest antique sculptural works in terracotta, marble, and bronze—many of them rarities and new discoveries—from the Renaissance to the Neoclassical periods. Highlights include a pair of terracotta relief panels depicting Bacchanalian scenes from Pompeii created by the great English sculptor John Bacon the Elder, circa 1770; a rare bronze mythological group by Massimiliano Soldani-Benzi; a newly-discovered portrait bust by the prominent Roman Neoclassical sculptor Domenico Cardelli; and a superb and previously unpublished bronze by Gian Francesco Susini of The Borghese Satyr.


John Bacon the Elder, A Female Centaur with a Bacchante and A Male Centaur with a Bacchante, circa 1770, after Roman frescoes discovered in the Villa of Cicero at Pompeii (Naples), 1st century BC – 1st century AD, terracotta, each 34cm diameter.

A series of frescoes were uncovered at the so-called Villa of Cicero at Pompeii in January 1749 illustrating, among other subjects, the revelries of Centaurs and Bacchantes, followers of the god Bacchus.  Josiah Wedgwood (1730–1795) had access to the Pompeiian models through the Marquess of Lansdowne (1737–1805).  It would seem Wedgwood had the present terracotta roundels faithfully produced after the ancient prototypes around 1770 by John Bacon the Elder, one of the most prominent English sculptors of the period, who collaborated on a number of other occasions with Wedgwood. Highly finished, the roundels are the models from which Wedgwood’s white stoneware and black basalt versions of the Centaur reliefs were derived. They display a confident handling of anatomies and a sense of movement that fully does justice to the lithe dynamism of the original Pompeiian frescoes. The roundels constitute a rare and beautiful example of the early resonance of Pompeii’s influence. Formerly in the collection of Dr. Terry Friedman (b. Terence Friedman in Detroit, Michigan), a leading art historian and authority on 18th-century architecture, keeper of decorative arts at Temple Newsam historic house (1969–93), and later principal keeper at Leeds City Art Gallery.

Another mythological subject, Ganymede and the Eagle, circa 1714, by Massimiliano Soldani-Benzi (1656–1740) is a wonderful example of the dramatic and pictorial style of Soldani’s compositions and a rare model by the artist. The only other known version is held by the Fitzwilliam Museum, Cambridge. Soldani-Benzi became the finest bronze caster in late 17th- and early 18th-century Europe and, along with Giovanni Battista Foggini, is considered the most significant proponent of the Florentine late Baroque style in sculpture. In 1682 Soldani-Benzi became Director of the Grand-Ducal Mint, and his large workshop in the Galleria degli Uffizi enjoyed the patronage of kings, princes, and dukes. The present work is probably one of the four bronzes ordered by the Earl of Burlington (1694–1753) after seeing terracotta models at Soldani’s studio on his Grand Tour.

A rediscovered portrait bust by Domenico Cardelli (1767–1797) of Prince Francis Xavier of Saxony (1730–1806) is a highlight among works in marble to be presented. Cardelli displayed remarkable talent from a young age, enjoying early patronage from members of the Polish court and Grand Tourists in Rome. By 1793 his work was compared to that of Canova by the art historian Georg Zoega. In 1797 Cardelli was summoned to Naples to complete a commission for the Riario-Sforza family but fell gravely ill during the journey and died, at only 30 years of age. This untimely death shortened a most brilliant career and makes the present marble portrait bust—a recent rediscovery by Tomasso Brothers Fine Art—a major addition to Cardelli’s oeuvre.

An unpublished and newly-discovered bronze statuette of The Borghese Satyr by Gian Francesco Susini (1585–1653) is a beautifully finished reduction of one of the most impressive and admired ancient marble statues in the Borghese Collection, Rome—currently displayed in the Entrance Hall of the Villa Borghese. The statuette, immaculately modelled after its ancient prototype, displays the characteristic traits of Susini’s oeuvre. These include the remarkably high and detailed quality of the casting, the silky-smooth polished texture of the surface, the use of a warm cherry red lacquer, and the size of the bronze.

Works to be offered at the exhibition range in price from $50,000 to $1,500,000 US, and a fully-illustrated catalogue will be available.



Fellowships | The Rijksmuseum, 2017–18

Posted in fellowships by Editor on December 21, 2016

Fellowship Programme
The Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam, 2017–18

Applications due by 12 March 2017

The Rijksmuseum operates a research Fellowship Programme for outstanding candidates working on the art and history of the Low Countries whose principal concern is object-based research. The aim of the programme is to train a new generation of museum professionals: inquisitive object-based specialists who will further develop understanding of art and history for the future. The focus of research should relate to the Rijksmuseum’s collection and may encompass any of its varied holdings, including Netherlandish paintings, sculpture, decorative arts, prints, drawings, photography, and historical artefacts. The purpose of the programme is to enable applicants to base part of their research at the Rijksmuseum, to strengthen the bonds between the universities and the Rijksmuseum, and to encourage the understanding of Netherlandish art and history. The programme offers students and academic scholars access to the museum’s collections, library, conservation laboratories and curatorial expertise.

Please review the eligibility, funding and application requirements by visiting the Rijksmuseum website. For the 2017–2018 academic year, candidates can apply for
• Andrew W. Mellon Fellowship for art historical research
• Johan Huizinga Fellowship for historical research
• Migelien Gerritzen Fellowship for conservation research
• Manfred & Hanna Heiting Fellowship for photo-historical research
• Dr. Anton C.R. Dreesmann Fellowship for art historical research

The closing date for all applications is 12 March 2017, at 6:00pm (Amsterdam time/CET). No applications will be accepted after this deadline. All applications must be submitted online and in English. Applications or related materials delivered via email, postal mail, or in person will not be accepted. Selection will be made by an international committee in April 2017. The committee consists of eminent scholars in the relevant fields of study from European universities and institutions and members of the curatorial staff of the Rijksmuseum. Applicants will be notified by 1 May 2017. All Fellowships will start in September 2017. Further information and application forms are available here.

Early Career Fellowships | Göttingen Institute for Advanced Study

Posted in fellowships by Editor on December 21, 2016

Early Career Fellowships
The Lichtenberg-Kolleg, the Göttingen Institute for Advanced Study, October 2017 — July 2019

The Lichtenberg-Kolleg, the Göttingen Institute for Advanced Study in the Humanities and Social Sciences, invites applications for up to 10 Early Career Fellowships. For the period October 2017 to July 2019, we are inviting early career scholars to join one of the research groups for the study of
• Globalising the Enlightenment: Knowledge, Culture, Travel, Exchange, and Collections
• Human Rights, Constitutional Politics, and Religious Diversity
• Moritz Stern Fellowships in Modern Jewish Studies: Cultural, Intellectual, and Literary History (in cooperation with the Göttingen Academy of Sciences and Humanities)

Please find more information here.

Call for Papers | Beyond Reproductive Printmaking, 1500–1810

Posted in Calls for Papers by Editor on December 21, 2016

From H-ArtHist:

Beyond Reproductive Printmaking: Prints and the Canon of European Painting, ca. 1500–1810
Diesseits und jenseits von Reproduktion: Druckgrafik und der Kanon der europäischen Malerei
Kupferstich-Kabinett, Staatliche Kunstsammlungen Dresden, 18–19 September 2017

Proposals due by 15 February 2017

Conference for Ph.D. students, postgraduates and researchers at museums and universities in the Kupferstich-Kabinett (Museum of Prints, Drawings and Photographs) of the Staatliche Kunstsammlungen Dresden (Dresden State Art Collections) in collaboration with the TU Dresden Institute of Art and Music, Dresden, 18–19 September 2017.

Are paintings reproduced because they are famous, or have they become famous because they have been reproduced over and over again in the past centuries? The aim of this conference is to throw light on the status of reproductive prints in the process of the formation of (an) artistic canon(s). It aims at exploring artistic and technical aspects of the creative and innovative making process, including the printmakers’ ability to translate the original work into a new pictorial language and to the history of both reception and transmission of works of art.

The conference will cover the period running from the early 16th century to the introduction of the first lithographic press in the early 19th century. Geographically, the focus is on Europe. No restrictions are imposed concerning printing techniques—on the contrary, the characteristics of each technique as well as its ability and uses for reproducing original paintings constitute an important topic. We invite submissions of papers drawing from current research on specific prints or series of prints as well as on new theoretical approaches and methodologically promising developments in the study of interpretative prints, also exploring their potential as a source and as a subject matter of art history.

In particular we welcome submissions in (but not limited to) the following areas:
Yet again: The original and its graphic interpretation(s): How are collaboration and competition amongst the printmakers themselves, and between the engravers and the painters represented in the prints? To what extent did the engravers take liberties with the paintings’ details? Did printmakers even perhaps hide critical or satirical messages in their interpretations?
Questions of style: How is the painterly style of the original expressed in the graphic medium? What is the relationship between the printmaker’s technique and the pictorial style or the genre of the original? Is there experimental ground for innovations in new printmaking techniques? What role do special printmaking techniques—e.g. outline etching, aquatint, or colour(ed) print—play in the processes of translation and interpretation?
Reception: How were differences in style and in composition between the original and its reproduction perceived by the contemporary viewer? Is it possible to identify links between prints and theoretical writings on certain paintings or painting in general? Which influence do captions have in the process of reception?
• Reproductive prints as a source for new approaches in scholarship: What potential do reproductive prints have as a source for the study of canon formation and for (art) historical network research? How can the pictorial and textual information contained in those prints be gathered, and how can this be made accessible for practical use?

An important objective of the conference is to encourage networking between academic researchers and museum professionals. Proposals by both doctoral candidates in art history and aesthetics as well as students aiming at a Ph.D. in the field of the graphic arts are welcome. We also invite applications from curators and postgraduate researchers at museums and other research institutions, and we are pleased to receive papers from colleagues working in media studies, philosophy, and history.

Please submit your proposal in the form of a 400-word abstract and a short CV and send it in English or German as a PDF file to beyond-reproduction-2017@gmx.de by 15 February 2017. Please indicate in your proposal those prints that you wish to discuss in the original; we will be happy to check if they are available in the Kupferstich-Kabinett.


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