Call for Papers | Saint-Cloud to Bernardaud: French Porcelain

Posted in Calls for Papers by Editor on April 26, 2017

Saint-Cloud to Bernardaud: New Horizons in French Porcelain, 1690–2000 
The French Porcelain Society Symposium
The Wallace Collection, London, 20–21 October 2017 

Proposals due by 15 June 2017

From top left: Saint-Cloud Vase, 1695–1710 (New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art); Bastien & Bugeard Clock, 1848–58 (Paris: Musée des Arts décoratifs); Mennecy Jug, 1760 (London: Victoria and Albert Museum); Villeroy Monkey, 1745 (New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art); Guérhard & Dihl Vase, 1797–1804 (Clandon Park, National Trust); and Bernardaud Vase, 2015, by Hervé Van Der Straeten.

The French Porcelain Society is pleased to announce this year’s two-day symposium, entitled Saint-Cloud to Bernardaud: New Horizons in French Porcelain, 1690–2000. It will be chaired by Dr Aileen Dawson, former Curator, The British Museum, London, and will take place on 20–21 October 2017 at The Wallace Collection, London. The symposium will present new research on French porcelain factories outside royal or state control. At times unjustly neglected in favour of the royal manufactory at Sèvres, these earliest factories operated from the late seventeenth century; many continue in production today. They include, but are not limited, to Saint–Cloud, Villeroy, Mennecy, Niderviller, the Paris factories, such as Dihl, Schoelcher and Dagoty, and Limoges factories operating during the 19th century and up to the present day. Subjects for consideration include: locations, size, capitalisation, techniques of manufacture, employment of artists and designers, marketing, and clientele, each deserving of greater scholarly attention.

The French Porcelain Society encourages networking between academic researchers and museum professionals. Proposals are welcomed from doctoral candidates in art history as well as curators, collectors, and researchers; we are also pleased to receive papers from colleagues working in literature, philosophy, and history. Speakers confirmed to date include Sonia Banting, Howard Coutts, Aileen Dawson, Virginie Desrante, Nicole Duchon, Cyrille Froissart, Errol Manners, Audrey Gay-Mazuel, Hélène Huret, Tamara Préaud, and John Whitehead.

Themes for papers may include
• History of collecting (public and private) and connoisseurship
• Historical, political and socio-economic background to French porcelain production
• Design sources, production trends, fashion
• Cross-cultural influences
• Porcelain used as diplomatic gifts
• Domestic uses, tablewares and the history of dining
• Literary and theatrical themes, especially in figure production
• Porcelain as sculpture at Niderviller and other factories
• The art market

Papers should be between 20 and 50 minutes in length and fully illustrated. They may be presented in English or French. Please send a 300-word abstract with a short CV in the form of a PDF file to Aileen Dawson at aileendawson@hotmail.com by 15th June 2017.









New Book | Late Eighteenth-Century Music and Visual Culture

Posted in books by Editor on April 25, 2017

From Brepols:

Cliff Eisen and Alan Davison, eds., Late Eighteenth-Century Music and Visual Culture (Turnhout: Brepols Publishers, 2017), 225 pages, ISBN: 978  2503  546292, $106.

The late eighteenth century witnessed a flourishing exchange between music and visual art which was expressed in the creative as well as commercial cultures of the time. Nevertheless, there has been relatively little research to actively consider and thoroughly examine the symbiotic relationship between looking and listening during the period.

In this volume, nine prominent scholars employ a set of interdisciplinary methodological tools in order to come to a comprehensive understanding of the rich tapestry of eighteenth-century musical taste, performance, consumption and aesthetics. While the link between visual material and musicological study lies at the heart of the research presented in this collection of essays, the importance of the textual element, as it denoted the process of thinking about music and the various ways in which that was symbolically and often literally visualized in writing and print culture, is also closely examined.

Through a critical analysis of a number of important contemporary sources as well as current scholarship and research, the authors draw conclusions that extend well beyond the scope of their immediate material and closely-formulated questions. The conversation opened up in the chapters of this volume will hopefully break new ground on which the interrelationship between art and music, and more broadly between visual art and other forms of creative practice, may be studied and debated.


Introduction — Cliff Eisen and Alan Davison

Charles Burney’s Wunderkammer of Ancient Instruments in his General History of Music — Zdravko Blažeković

John Brown’s Dissertation (1763) on Poetry and Music: An Eighteenth-Century View on Music’s Role in the Rise and Fall of Civilization — Alan Davison

Developing an Eye for Harmony: Rubens in Mozart’s Education — Thomas Tolley

Gothic Musical Scenes and the Image of Performance — Annette Richards

The Visual Traces of a Discourse of Ineffability: Late Eighteenth-Century German Published Writings on Music — Keith Chapin

Marketing Ploys, Monuments, and Music Paratexts: Reading the Title Pages of Early Mozart Editions —Nancy November

Musical Allegories in the Printed Edition of the Máscara Real: New Iconographic Models in Catalonian Engravings of the Second Half of the Eighteenth Century — Vanessa Esteve Marull

Authenticity and Likeness in Mozart Portraiture — Cliff Eisen

Imaging Beethoven — Simon Shaw-Miller

New Book | Blake, Myth, and Enlightenment

Posted in books by Editor on April 24, 2017

From Palgrave Macmillan:

David Fallon, Blake, Myth, and Enlightenment: The Politics of Apotheosis (London: Palgrave Macmillan, 2017), 343 pages, ISBN: 978  11373  90349, $100.

This book provides compelling new readings of William Blake’s poetry and art, including the first sustained account of his visionary paintings of Pitt and Nelson. It focuses on the recurrent motif of apotheosis, both as a figure of political authority to be demystified but also as an image of utopian possibility. It reevaluates Blake’s relationship to Enlightenment thought, myth, religion, and politics, from The French Revolution to Jerusalem and The Laocoön. The book combines careful attention to cultural and historical contexts with close readings of the texts and designs, providing an innovative account of Blake’s creative transformations of Enlightenment, classical, and Christian thought.

David Fallon is Senior Lecturer in English at the University of Sunderland, UK. From 2009 to 2012 he was a British Academy Postdoctoral Fellow at the University of Oxford. He has published on Blake and on eighteenth-century and Romantic-period booksellers and co-edited Romanticism and Revolution: A Reader (2011) with Jon Mee.


1  Introduction: ‘A Saint Amongst the Infidels & a Heretic with the Orthodox’
2  ‘The Deep Indelible Stain’: Apotheosis in the Eighteenth Century
3  ‘Spirits of Fire’: Ambiguous Figures in The French Revolution
4  ‘Breathing! Awakening!’: Contesting and Transforming Apotheosis in America a Prophecy
5  ‘The Night of Holy Shadows’: Europe and Loyalist Reaction
6  ‘Serpentine Dissimulation’: Apotheosis in Urizen, Ahania, and The Song of Los
7  ‘The Name of the Wicked Shall Rot’: Blake’s Oriental Apotheoses of Nelson and Pitt
8  Transforming Apotheosis in The Four Zoas and Milton
9  ‘Ever Expanding in the Bosom of God’: Deification and Apotheosis in Jerusalem
10 Conclusion

List of Figures


Call for Papers | The Image of the Multitude in Art and Philosophy

Posted in Calls for Papers by Editor on April 24, 2017

From H-ArtHist:

Imago Multitudinis: The Image of the Multitude in Art and Philosophy
The Courtauld Institute of Art, London, 10 March 2018

Proposals due by 15 September 2017

The Courtauld Institute of Art, The British Academy and the Collège International de Philosophie are pleased to announce a one-day interdisciplinary conference focusing on the philosophical representation and the artistic conceptualisation of the multitude and its associated concepts: the many, the masses, the crowd, the mob, and the commonality.

A spectre is haunting our times: the spectre of the multitude. Uprisings, popular unrests, mass migrations, revolutions—the past ten years have been marked by unprecedented quests for freedom, embodied by unconventional political subjects pointing to the possibility of alternative outcomes of the crisis of both authoritarian regimes and representative democracies. Through the masterful drawing of Abraham Bosse, Hobbes attempted to tame the multitude forever. Constrained within the body politic of the monstrous Leviathan (1651), the multitude was transfigured into an obedient people and its potentia was (apparently) usurped. Yet, the multitude resisted—and still resists—this movement, challenging the predominant definitions of sovereignty. Following the collapse of modern master narratives, such as in the nascent seventeenth century, the multitude has returned.

Our investigation revolves around the political and aesthetic meanings of this omnipresent, if elusive, collective being. In particular, we would like to ask the following questions: how do philosophers represent the multitude and translate their concepts into cogent images? How do artists think about the multitude and its agency? This enquiry, which spans from the Middle Ages to the present, concentrates on the way in which images and iconographic motifs are elaborated in philosophy, as well as how political concepts are articulated in the visual arts. In order to understand the images pervading, and the concepts informing, recent collective political action (from Tahrir Square to the streets of Tunis, New York, Madrid, Ferguson via Rojava and Lampedusa), we intend to focus on their modern and contemporary genealogies. This is not only a historical enquiry. The history of the multitude can help us better understand the present. The aesthetic, agency and ambitions of this political subject do not only survive in books and museums, they also live on among us. The multitude resists, and if this is the conflict that characterises political modernity, then modernity has begun again.

Invited speakers: Horst Bredekamp (Humboldt-Universität); Claire Fontaine (artist); Sandro Mezzadra (Università di Bologna).

We invite submissions on the following topics including, but not limited to
• Political iconography (from the Revolt of the Ciompi to the Arab Spring via the German Peasants’ War)
• Feminism and the multitude
• The multitude in the USSR
• The multitude and the English Civil Wars
• Hobbes’ Behemoth
• Spinoza’s, Machiavelli’s, Negri’s, Deleuze’s and Schmitt’s depictions of the multitude
• The ‘popular hydra’ in nineteenth-century Paris
• Baroque and the multitude
• The multitude and migrations in contemporary art

Please send a title and an abstract of no more than 500 words together with a short CV to jacopo.galimberti@manchester.ac.uk by the 15th of September. Successful candidates will be notified in early October. Papers should not exceed 25 minutes in length.

Call for Papers | The Tools of the Architect

Posted in Calls for Papers by Editor on April 23, 2017

From the conference website:

European Architectural History Network: The Tools of the Architect
Delft and Rotterdam, 22–24 November 2017

Proposals due by 15 May 2017

The European Architectural History Network (EAHN) is pleased to announce the EAHN’s fifth thematic conference The Tools of the Architect, to be held at Delft University of Technology and Het Nieuwe Instituut HNI (Delft and Rotterdam, The Netherlands) 22–24 November 2017.

Architects have for their activities of drawing, writing, and building always depended upon the potential of particular tools—ranging from practical instruments such as straight edges, French curves, compasses, rulers, and pencils to conceptual tools such as working drawings, collages, photographic surveys, infographics, diagrams, casts, and mass models.

As technologies advanced, the toolbox of architects has changed and expanded. Today architects have an extraordinary array of sophisticated tools at their disposal but also rely on many of same tools as their 18th- and 19th-century peers. Working drawings, pencils, and tracing paper continue to appear in the designer’s studio while their role and potential is being redefined.

Time and time again, architects have engaged with new tools. The quest to find the most appropriate and adequate tools to articulate, test and communicate design ideas has never ended, and in this pursuit architects have appropriated tools from other disciplines, such as art, historiography, sociology, philosophy, computer sciences and engineering. Out of this perspective the tools of the architect have become a field of intense exploration of the encounter of architecture with other disciplinary perspectives.

Inventions and innovations of tools throughout history have not only provided better answers to questions of analyzing and representing the built environment, but they have also pointed to new ways of conceiving and intervening. Ellipsographs made it possible to precisely draw an elliptical space in the 19th century and computer-aided drafting software has allowed for a new conception and construction of complex geometries in the 20th and 21st century. New tools have continuously affected the imagination, character and qualities of architectural projects.

This conference wants to focus on the changing practical and conceptual tools of the architect and their effect on the logos and praxis of architecture. The conference will be structured along three thematic lines:
• The Instruments of the Architect  (i.e. the apparata and equipment of the architect)
• The Tools of Analysis (i.e. the devices to study architecture and the built environment in general)
• The Tools of Intervention (i.e. the devices to intervene in the built environment)

We welcome papers that consider the tools of the architect from this threefold perspective. Papers should be based on well-documented research that is primarily analytical and interpretative rather than descriptive in nature. Abstracts (of 500 words) can be registered and uploaded. Please click here to register.

Time Frame
15 May 2017: Deadline Submission of abstracts
15 June 2017: Notification of Acceptance
1 September 2017: Full papers

Keynote Speakers
Mari Lending (Professor of architectural theory and history, Oslo School of Architecture and Design/ OCCAS: the Oslo Center for Critical Architectural Studies)
Michiel Riedijk (Professor at Chair of Public Building, Delft University of Technology/ Neutelings Riedijk Architects, Rotterdam)

Conference Chairs
Tom Avermaete, Delft University of Technology
Merlijn Hurx, Utrecht University

Organising Committee
Carola Hein, Delft University of Technology
Marie-Terese van Thoor, Delft University of Technology
Koen Ottenheym, Utrecht University
Petra Brouwer, University of Amsterdam
Dirk van den Heuvel, Jaap Bakema Study Centre/ Het Nieuwe Instituut

Scientific Committee
Tom Avermaete, Delft University of Technology
Merlijn Hurx, Utrecht University
Alona Nitzan-Shiftan, Technion – Israel Institute of Technology, Haifa
Maristella Casciatio, Getty Research Institute, Los Angeles
Anthony Gerbino, University of Manchester
Sebastian Fitzner, Freie Universität Berlin
Wolfgang Lefevre, Max Planck Institute, Berlin

Discovered: New Parchment Copy of the Declaration of Independence

Posted in the 18th century in the news by Editor on April 22, 2017

A parchment manuscript of the Declaration of Independence, believed to date from the 1780s and held in the West Sussex Record Office in England
(West Sussex Record Office Add Mss 8981)

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For me, this discovery is particularly interesting in terms of the process: knowledge of the Sussex copy grew out of Dr. Danielle Allen’s creation in 2015 of the online resource the Declaration Resource Project. Allen was, incidentally, awarded a MacArthur ‘Genius’ Grant in 2001, when she was part of the Department of Classical Languages & Literatures at The University of Chicago. CH

From The New York Times:

Jennifer Schuessler, “A New Parchment Declaration of Independence Surfaces. Head-Scratching Ensues,” The New York Times (21 April 2017).

In a bit of real-life archival drama, a pair of scholars [Danielle Allen and Emily Sneff] are announcing a surprising discovery: a previously unknown early handwritten parchment of the Declaration, buried in a provincial archive in Britain. The document is the only other 18th-century handwritten parchment Declaration known to exist besides the one from 1776 now displayed at the National Archives in Washington. It isn’t an official government document, like the 1776 parchment, but a display copy created in the mid-1780s, the researchers argue, by someone who wanted to influence debate over the Constitution. . . .

Its subtle details, the scholars argue, illuminate an enduring puzzle at the heart of American politics: Was the country founded by a unitary national people, or by a collection of states? “That is really the key riddle of the American system,” said Danielle Allen, a professor of government at Harvard, who discovered the document with a colleague, Emily Sneff. . . .

The new discovery grew out of the Declaration Resources Project, which Ms. Allen, the author of the book Our Declaration, created in 2015 as a clearinghouse for information about the myriad versions—newspaper printings, broadsides, ornamental engravings—that circulated in the decades after independence. So far, the project’s database counts some 306 made between July 4, 1776, when Congress commissioned a broadside from the Philadelphia printer John Dunlap, and 1800. (The parchment ‘original’ at the National Archives was in fact signed in early August 1776, nearly a month after independence.) . . .

The full NY Times article is available here»

An article by Allen and Sneff describing the Sussex copy and addressing its significance is in preparation for publication in Papers of the Bibliographic Society of America; the article is available for download from the Declaration Resources Project.

From the Declaration Resources Project:

Danielle Allen is a political theorist who has published broadly in democratic theory, political sociology, and the history of political thought. Widely known for her work on justice and citizenship in both ancient Athens and modern America, Allen is the author of The World of Prometheus: The Politics of Punishing in Democratic Athens (2000), Talking to Strangers: Anxieties of Citizenship since Brown v. Broad of Education (2004), Why Plato Wrote (2010), and Our Declaration (2014), and co-editor with Rob Reich of Education, Justice, and Democracy (2013) and with Jennifer Light of From Voice to Influence: Understanding Citizenship in a Digital Age (2015). She is a Chair of the Mellon Foundation Board, past Chair of the Pulitzer Prize Broad, and a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and American Philosophical Society.

Emily Sneff is a graduate of Johns Hopkins University with a passion for historical research, content development, and curation. Before joining the Declaration Resources Project, Emily was a member of the curatorial team at the American Philosophical Society Museum for two exhibitions on Thomas Jefferson: Jefferson, Philadelphia, and the Founding of a Nation in 2014, and Jefferson, Science, and Exploration in 2015.

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Note (added 3 May 2017) — Danielle Allen, in an OpEd for The Washington Post, offers a compelling defense of the National Endowment for the Humanities in connection with the discovery of the Sussex copy of the Declaration of Independence. The essay is available here»





New Book | Eighteenth-Century Women Artists

Posted in books by Editor on April 21, 2017

Distributed in the USA and Canada by The University of Chicago Press:

Caroline Chapman, Eighteenth-Century Women Artists: Their Trials, Tribulations, and Triumphs (London: Unicorn Press, 2017), 176 pages, ISBN: 978  191078  7502,  £20 / $35.

The eighteenth century was an age when not only the aristocracy, but a burgeoning middle class, had the opportunity to pursue their interest in the arts. But these opportunities were generally open only to men; any woman who wished to succeed as an artist still had to overcome numerous obstacles. In a society in which women were expected to marry, become mothers, and conform to rigid social conventions, becoming a professional artist was a controversial choice. Nevertheless, if a woman possessed charm and ambition, and united her talent with hard work, success was possible.

Eighteenth-Century Women Artists celebrates the work of women who had the tenacity and skill (and sometimes the necessary dash of luck) to succeed against the odds. Caroline Chapman examines the careers and working lives of celebrated artists like Angelica Kauffman and Elisabeth Vigée Le Brun as well as the equally interesting work of artists who have now mostly been forgotten. In addition to discussing their varied artworks, Chapman considers artists’ studios, the functioning of the print market, how art was sold, the role of patrons, and the rise of the lady amateur. It is enriched by over fifty color images, which offer a rich selection of art from the time.

Caroline Chapman is a writer, editor, and picture researcher. She has worked for both the Arthur Tooth and Son Art Gallery and the Crane Kalman Gallery as well as working as a freelance picture researcher for 30 years for Times Books, Dorling Kindersley, Phaidon, and Weidenfeld. She is the author of Elizabeth and Georgiana: The Duke of Devonshire and his Two Duchesses for John Murray and John and Joséphine: The Creation of The Bowes Museum for The Bowes Museum and has written an number of travel articles for the Times Education Supplement and Cosmopolitan.



Williamsburg Acquires Wooldridge Collection of Virginia Maps

Posted in museums by Editor on April 21, 2017

Press release (19 April 2017) from the Colonial Williamsburg Foundation:

Sebastian Bauman, Plan of the Investment of York and Gloucester, 1781 (Colonial Williamsburg Foundation).

The Colonial Williamsburg Foundation has acquired one of the finest collections of early Virginia-related maps ever assembled. Through a part gift/part purchase agreement, the Foundation has added more than 220 maps, charts, atlases and documents to its collection, all dating between 1540 and 1835. Collected over four decades by William C. Wooldridge of Suffolk, Virginia, the maps were until recently owned by the Virginia Cartographical Society, a private, Norfolk, Virginia-based consortium. The addition of the Wooldridge Collection gives Colonial Williamsburg the most comprehensive assemblage of Virginia maps outside of the Library of Congress. These objects will be displayed in multiple future exhibitions at the Art Museums of Colonial Williamsburg and will be made available this spring through the Foundation’s online database.

“We are thrilled to announce this landmark acquisition, which represents a critical investment in the Foundation’s core mission to advance the public’s understanding of early America and its inhabitants,” said Mitchell B. Reiss, president and CEO of Colonial Williamsburg. “The maps contained in the Wooldridge Collection—in addition to being true works of art in their own right—offer extraordinary insight into the exploration, settlement and development of Virginia.”

“Maps are among the most illuminating of artifacts because they reveal the interests, aspirations, and even biases of those who made and used them,” said Ronald Hurst, Colonial Williamsburg’s Carlisle Humelsine chief curator and vice president for collections, conservation, and museums. “When paired with the Foundation’s early Virginia maps, the Wooldridge Collection gives us an unparalleled ability to understand and share Virginia’s role in our national story.”

Maps were made for a variety of reasons: to document new discoveries, facilitate travel, claim land and record military activity. This collection contains numerous examples of each type. One visually unique map in the Wooldridge collection was made to facilitate travel. Carta particolare dela Virginia Vecchia e Nuova by Sir Robert Dudley was published in Florence, Italy, in 1647, and was the first map to depict the region using Mercator’s projection (to flatten the spherical shape of the Earth on paper required increasingly distorting the lines of longitude the farther they were from the equator so that lines of longitude and latitude were at 90° angles. Although the land formations were altered, navigators could draw a straight line between any two points), which provided a practical aid for navigators.

Also in the Wooldridge Collection is a rare copy of Thomas Harriot’s 1590 publication, Admiranda Narratio fida tamen, de Commodis et Incolarum Ritibus Virginiae, with engravings by Theodore de Bry after John White in original color. De Bry’s engravings portray Virginia as a latter-day Eden, perhaps to stimulate interest in settlement. The Native American “Town of Secota” depicts such a scene, showing an abundance of thriving crops in neatly ordered gardens carefully manicured by a Native population. The map of Americae Pars, Nume Virginia drawn by John White and engraved by de Bry provides the first printed English record of Sir Walter Raleigh’s attempts to plant a colony in the New World. Although described in the title as Virginia, it delineates the region between the mouth of the Chesapeake Bay and Cape Lookout, North Carolina.

Another highlight among the new acquisitions dates to the close of the American Revolution in 1781. Immediately after the British surrender at Yorktown, each of the generals enlisted their engineers to create surveys of the battlefield. The most engaging of these, Plan of the Investment of York and Gloucester, was produced by George Washington’s engineer, Major Sebastian Bauman (who served as artillery commander at West Point in 1779 after emigrating from Austria). In addition to providing substantial, detailed military information, this map is interesting for its artistic composition. Yorktown, Gloucester Point, and troop positions are confined primarily to the top half of the map. The lower half is dominated by an explanation embellished with ornaments of war. The shape of the scrollwork cartouche surrounding the explanation, with flags and banners that thrust upward from both sides, forces the eye to the center of the image. Here, in an open space, is the very heart of the map: “The Field where the British laid down their Arms.”

Map aficionados, American history scholars and students in addition to anyone interested in early Virginia will find this newly combined collection a must-see resource. The addition of the Wooldridge Collection to Colonial Williamsburg’s existing holdings cements the significance of the Art Museums of Colonial Williamsburg as the premier destination for the study and appreciation of early American artifacts.


Print Quarterly, March 2017

Posted in journal articles, reviews by Editor on April 20, 2017

Antoine Masson, after Titian, Supper at Emmaus, second half of the seventeenth century, engraving, 452 x 586 mm
(London: The British Museum).

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Foremost among the several items in the current issue of Print Quarterly relevant to the eighteenth century is an article by Thomas Frangenberg addressing Franz Christoph von Scheyb (1704–77) on the art of engraving. Von Scheyb’s unusual detailed discussion of a print by Antoine Masson (1636–1700) after Titian demonstrates the sophistication with which aspects of reproductive prints could be articulated during this period, revealing prints’ merits and shortcomings, both as sources of art history and works of art in their own right. The issue also includes shorter reviews on books about Tiepolo, Piazzetta, and Novelli in the context of the eighteenth-century Venetian illustrated book; drawings and prints after the antique; and prints by Luigi Rossini (1790–1857).

Print Quarterly 34.1 (March 2017)

• Thomas Frangenberg, “Franz Christoph von Scheyb on the Art of Engraving,” pp. 32–41

• Viccy Coltman, “Drawn from the Antique: Artists & the Classical Ideal,” pp. 70–72.
• Giorgio Marini, “Book Illustration in Eighteenth-Century Venice (Tiepolo, Piazzetta, Novelli: L’incanto del libro illustrato nel Settecento Veneto), pp. 73–76.
• David R. Marshall, “Luigi Rossini 1790–1857,” pp. 76–77.

A full contents list is available here»






Master Class | Graphic Satire and Anglo-American History Painting

Posted in opportunities by Editor on April 20, 2017

From The Lewis Walpole Library:

Master Class: A Contest of Two Genres: Graphic Satire and
Anglo-American History Painting in the Long Eighteenth Century

The Lewis Walpole Library, Farmington, CT, 15–18 May 2017

Mark Salber Phillips, Professor of History at Carleton University, Ottawa
Cynthia Roman, Curator of Prints, Drawings, and Paintings at the Lewis Walpole Library

William Hogarth, The Battle of the Pictures, 1745 (Farmington: The Lewis Walpole Library, lwlpr22633).

Centuries-old hierarchies of the visual arts have placed history painting and graphic satire at opposite ends of the spectrum. ‘History painting’—high-minded narrative art depicting exemplary heroes and events—carried enormous prestige, bringing fame to the individual artist as well as to the national school. In contrast, graphic satire was viewed as the lowest form of visual expression—more closely connected to political prints than to high-minded ‘histories’.

This residential seminar is intended to give doctoral students in a variety of disciplines the opportunity to consider issues and overlaps between these two narrative genres. Making use of visual material and textual resources from the collections of the Lewis Walpole Library’s at Yale, we will examine the often-embattled efforts of artists to construct new modes of visual representation as well as of narrative and history. Through a multidisciplinary approach, we  will take note of a variety of key issues, including the theoretical context of Enlightenment intellectual history, the more focused discourse of art treatises, and direct encounters with the formal and aesthetic qualities of works of art. Among history painters we will give our attention to the works of William Hogarth, Gavin Hamilton, Benjamin West, and John Trumbull, while among the satirists we will focus on James Gillray, Thomas Rowlandson, and Isaac and George Cruikshank.

The class will be taught as a combination of seminars, small group discussions, and visits to the Yale Center for British Art, the Yale University Art Gallery, and the Wadsworth Atheneum Museum of Art. Most of the teaching will take place in the Lewis Walpole Library in Farmington. For more information about this class and to apply, please visit our Master Class page.

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