Enfilade

Exhibition | Peter the Great: A Tsar in France, 1717

Posted in books, catalogues, exhibitions by Editor on May 14, 2017

Press release for the exhibition at Versailles, with thanks to Elizabeth Jane Timms for noting it:

Peter the Great: A Tsar in France, 1717
Grand Trianon, Château de Versailles, 30 May — 24 September 2017

Cuarated by Gwenola Firmin, Thierry Sarmant, and George Vilinbakhov

The exhibition Peter the Great: A Tsar in France, 1717 will be on display in the Grand Trianon from 30 May to 24 September 2017. It is dedicated to Tsar Peter the Great’s trip in and around Paris in May and June 1717 and will commemorate the 300th anniversary of this diplomatic visit. The fruit of exceptional collaboration between the Palace of Versailles and the Hermitage Museum, the exhibition will present over 150 works including paintings, sculptures, decorative artworks, and tapestries, as well as plans, medallions, scientific instruments, books and manuscripts, two thirds of which belong to the collections of the prestigious museum in Saint Petersburg.

A member of the house of Romanov and son of Tsar Alexis Mikhailovich (1645–1676) and Nataliya Naryshkina (1651–1694), Peter I (1672–1725) embarked on a second journey to the West twenty years after the Grand Embassy, which took him to Europe for the first time in 1697–98. He arrived in France on 21 April 1717 and remained until 21 June. He stayed at Versailles twice and was accommodated in the Grand Trianon, from 24 to 26 May and from 3 to 11 June. The exhibition will lead visitors step by step through the trip, which, although official, nonetheless allowed a certain amount of freedom since Peter I, being little accustomed to French etiquette and with his imposing figure and unpredictability, departed from protocol on multiple occasions. His encounter with Louis XV particularly shocked onlookers when, flouting the ceremonial custom of the court, he spontaneously took the young king, aged 7, in his arms. A number of memorialists, including Saint-Simon, the Marquis de Dangeau and Jean Buvat, left precious testimonies allowing us to retrace the journey.

Although there were political and economic aims to the stay—a project for an alliance with France against Sweden and the signature of a trade agreement—the reforming Tsar and founder of modern Russia most particularly wanted to see the finest of France in order to adapt certain models for his own empire. During the two months that Peter the Great spent in Regency Paris, his visits and discussions with French people provided him with food for thought and had an influence on the works he started in 1703 in Saint Petersburg and the surrounding area.

Pierre le Grand: Un Tsar en France, 1717 (Paris: 2017), 240 pages, ISBN: 978  23590  62014, 38€.

Curators
• Gwenola Firmin Curator in charge of paintings from the 18th century at the Palace of Versailles
• Thierry Sarmant Chief curator, head of the Archives historic Center, historic department of the Defence
• George Vilinbakhov Vice-director of the State Hermitage Museum in Saint Petersburg

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Call for Articles | Fall 2018 Issue of J18: Albums

Posted in journal articles by Editor on May 14, 2017

From J18:

Journal18, Issue #6 (Fall 2018) — Albums
The Culture of Albums in the Long 18th Century

Proposals due by 1 October 2017; finished articles will be due by 1 April 2017

Selecting, collecting, classifying, curating, displaying, narrating, disseminating, transporting, entertaining, educating, subverting: what other single object does all of that at once? Ordering knowledge through the rationale of a sequenced and empirical display of data (visual, textual, material), the album became an archetypical site of the eighteenth century’s way of thinking about and representing the world. Neither a treatise implementing a master-hypothesis nor a random gathering of material, albums can be described as both hybrid and structured objects. They have the physical structure of a book and the appearance of a narrative but are also pure displays, a rhetorical organization of iconic discourses and a virtual folding or unfolding of a larger idea having a specific program. They simultaneously contain pictorial imagery (paintings, cut-ups, and, later in the nineteenth century, photographs) and are themselves artistic creations. They provide microcosmic and portable representations of a polity, a culture, or an individual. Unexpected mixtures of media and topics also form the repertoire of many albums. They invite us to think through regimes of readability, visibility, and seriality. Often studied for their contents rather than as creations in their own right, albums raise many important questions regarding their status as archival or museum objects. Their contrived nature makes them ideal objects to be studied in terms of social practice, identity politics, and interconnectedness. They invoke relationships, compositions, and collectivity. The album offers a very fertile ground for probing the material and intellectual productivity of cultures.

What does album-making tell us about cultural and individual identities? And how do these identities utilize and make sense of this specific practice? How do albums work iconographically and textually? What is their historical significance and how can we interpret them? For Issue 6 of Journal18, we invite papers that explore these and related questions to appraise this hitherto neglected object of our discipline. In particular, we call for an investigation of parallel developments of albums around the globe across the long eighteenth century  (1650–1850), as well as the theoretical debates informing notions of serialization and authenticity. Drawing upon neighboring fields of anthropology, literary criticism, philosophy, and museum studies, we invite scholars to think about these objects as ubiquitous and intimately interconnected artefacts, and to investigate them within cultures of imperialism, colonialism, identity politics, and theoretical approaches of artistic hybridity and difference.

Issue Editor
Nebahat Avcioglu, Hunter College/CUNY

Proposals for issue #6 Albums are now being accepted. Deadline for proposals: October 1, 2017. To submit a proposal, send an abstract (200 words) and a brief CV to editor@journal18.org and navciogl@hunter.cuny.edu. Articles should not exceed 6000 words (including footnotes) and will be due on April 1, 2018. For further details on the submission process see Information for Authors.

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