Symposium | Bouchardon and His Contemporaries
Left: Gilles Demarteau after Edme Bouchardon, Model Posing for ‘The Genius of Summer’, ca. 1740s–50s (Los Angeles: Getty Research Institute, 2015.PR.58). Right: Edme Bouchardon, The Genius of Summer, 1745 (Paris: Grenelle Fountain).
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In February, I noted the symposium; here’s the schedule:
Bouchardon and His Contemporaries
The Getty Center, Los Angeles, 2 April 2017
Organized in conjunction with the exhibition Bouchardon: Royal Artist of the Enlightenment (J. Paul Getty Museum, 10 January — 2 April 2017), this symposium explores the relationships that Bouchardon (1698–1762), an extraordinarily talented sculptor and draftsman, had with his contemporaries (artists, patrons, and connoisseurs). It also investigates the diffusion and reception of his oeuvre. Bouchardon’s career as a sculptor appears exceptional in several respects when compared to that of other artists active during the eighteenth century in France, England, or Italy. Atypically, most of his work (whether drawn, printed, modeled, cast, or carved) related to three-dimensional objects in a wide range of scales, from small gems to monumental sculpture, such as the Grenelle Fountain.
The human body was a constant subject of interest to Bouchardon. He explored its inner structure by conceiving and publishing a treatise on artistic anatomy, and he devised a very personal and elaborate aesthetic of the body that subtly blended his passion for antiquity and his commitment to the truthful depiction of nature. His experiments in the graphic arts and his interest in human expression also led him to make grotesque depictions of the human figure in the genre of caricature. Bouchardon’s masterpieces, especially those staged in public spaces, such as the Grenelle Fountain and the Equestrian Monument to Louis XV, had a critical impact on the artist’s contemporaries. In this regard, the reception and portrayal of these artworks through drawings and prints made by Gabriel de Saint-Aubin during the two decades that followed Bouchardon’s death are particularly enlightening.
P R O G R A M M E
10:00 Welcome by Thomas Gaehtgens (The Getty Research Institute)
10:05 Introductions: Anne-Lise Desmas (The J. Paul Getty Museum) and Édouard Kopp (Harvard Art Museums)
10:10 Morning Session
Moderator: Guilhem Scherf (Musée du Louvre)
• Malcolm Baker (University of California, Riverside), Some Ways of Carving out a Sculptural Career: Bouchardon, Roubiliac, Pigalle
• Anne-Lise Desmas, Bouchardon and Early Modern Sculptors in Rome
• Kristel Smentek (Massachusetts Institute of Technology), Bouchardon, P.-J. Mariette, and the ‘Pure Taste’ of the Antique
• Katie Scott (The Courtauld Institute of Art), Modelling Water: Bouchardon and the Fountain at the rue de Grenelle
2:30 Afternoon Session
Moderator: Juliette Trey (Musée du Louvre)
• Monique Kornell (University of California, Los Angeles), Bouchardon’s Unusual Anatomy Book for Artists: L’anatomie nécessaire pour l’usage du dessein  in Context
• Ewa Lajer-Burcharth (Harvard University), Bouchardon’s Body
• Édouard Kopp, Bouchardon, Caricature, and the Grotesque
• Perrin Stein (The Metropolitan Museum of Art), Activating Public Space: Bouchardon through the Eyes of Saint-Aubin