Call for Papers | Landscape Now

Posted in Calls for Papers by Editor on June 2, 2017

Thomas Gainsborough, Wooded Landscape with a Cottage and Shepherd, 1748–50, oil on canvas, 43.2 × 54.3 cm (New Haven: Yale Center for British Art, Paul Mellon Collection, B1976.2.1).

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From the Paul Mellon Centre:

Landscape Now
Paul Mellon Centre for Studies in British Art, London, 30 November – 1 December 2017

Proposals due by 30 June 2017

The pictorial representation of the landscape has long played an important role in the history of British art. It has been central to writers from Gilpin and Ruskin onwards, and was the subject of sustained scholarly attention in the 1980s and 1990s with the emergence of a social history of art. Writers such as John Barrell, Anne Bermingham, Stephen Daniels, Christiana Payne, Michael Rosenthal and David Solkin not only helped transform interpretations of British landscape painting, but made the study of such imagery seem essential to a proper understanding of British art itself.

Over the past two decades the centre of gravity of British art studies has shifted. An imperial turn has characterized some of the most ambitious scholarship in the field; a raft of powerful new voices have shifted attention to the Victorian and modern periods, and to the imagery of urban life; and there has been a dramatic growth of interest in such topics as print culture, exhibition culture, and the material culture of the work of art. With these developments, existing approaches to the study of landscape pictures lost some of their urgency and relevance.

However, this same period has seen the growth of a broader interest in landscape images in adjacent disciplines, driven in part by political and environmental imperatives. A newly energised category of ‘nature writing’, associated with authors such as Robert Mcfarlane and Helen MacDonald, has gained widespread currency beyond the purely academic arena. Cultural geographers such as David Matless and film-makers such as Patrick Keillor have offered nuanced investigations of the British landscape in their work, asking us to think afresh about its relationship to national identity, memory and post-imperial decline. And while many scholars in the humanities, in an age of globalisation and deepening ecological concern, have felt compelled to think about landscape on a vastly expanded basis, others have been driven to offer a new and suggestive focus on the local.

The moment thus seems ripe for a major art-historical reassessment of the image of the British landscape, taking account these and other emergent concerns. This international conference—the third in an annual series organised collaboratively by the Paul Mellon Centre, the Yale Center for British Art, and the Huntington Library, Art Collections, and Botanical Gardens—is designed to offer an opportunity for such a reassessment.

We seek proposals for 20-minute papers that offer new perspectives on the visual representation of the British landscape of any period. We equally welcome papers that focus on canonical landscape artists and paintings, and those that deal with lesser-known figures and objects, as well as those that investigate the topic in relation to drawing, printmaking, photography, film and television. Themes that might be addressed include:

• Landscape imagery and national identity
• Local/global histories of British landscape art
• The production of landscape images – in the field and in the studio
• Alternative landscapes: urban, suburban, rural, wild, touristic, agricultural
• The landscape image in a wider visual culture
• The pictorial logic of the landscape image
• The landscape image in an age of erosion

Please send proposals of 400 words maximum together with a short biography of no more than 100 words to events@paul-mellon-centre.ac.uk by 30 June 2017.



Montreal Acquires Rigaud’s Modello for Portrait of Louis XIV

Posted in Art Market, museums by Editor on June 2, 2017

Press release via Art Daily (31 May 2017). . .

Hyacinthe Rigaud, Modello for the Portrait of Louis XIV in Royal Ceremonial Robes, 1701, oil on canvas, 55 × 45 cm (Musée des beaux-arts de Montréal).

The Montreal Museum of Fine Arts has just acquired a remarkable work: the modello, or painted sketch, for the famous Portrait of Louis XIV in Royal Ceremonial Robes by Hyacinthe Rigaud (Musée du Louvre, Paris).

“We are pleased that we were able to acquire this iconic painting on the art market. It is the modello for one of the most famous portraits in the history of Western art,” said Nathalie Bondil, the MMFA’s Director General and Chief Curator. “Often copied and even imitated, the painting is the origin of a rich iconographic lineage in the history of state portraiture. It is an important addition to our collection of historical international art, since Louis XIV enabled New France to evolve from a trading outpost to a populated settlement.”

Hilliard T. Goldfarb, Senior Curator of Old Masters, had this to say about the work: “The canvas is in very good condition and has not been refixed. The exquisite execution succeeds in concentrating formidable power into a small format. The attention paid to the textures is admirable and is to some extent more impressive than the large final version: look attentively at the rendering of the ermine and the velvet and also the way in which the fleurs de lys, following the curves of the folds in the cloak bend and twist, catching the light, something that is not evident in the final version.”

“By representing the contact of the king’s skin with the regalia, the painter is accentuating his special status among men,” added Sylvain Cordier, Curator of Early Decorative Arts. “Louis XIV is the only one who can touch with his bare hands the sacred instruments that confirm his royalty: anyone looking at the painting was aware of this. In our world, awash in political images, it is exciting to look at the composition of an official portrait as emblematic as this one, which uses specific codes and a profusion of detail to depict his royal majesty and legitimacy as a ruler in the seventeenth century. We are the inheritors of this past, which also raised profound questions that led to the rise of democracy and citizenship. Today, as we view this ‘icon,’ it feels both familiar and distant.”

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The Musée des Beaux-Arts de Montréal acquired the painting from Paris-based Galerie Éric Coatalem, which, as reported by Didier Rykner for La Tribune de l’Art (16 May 2017), displayed the painting at this year’s TEFAF in Maastricht.

Much more information is available from Ariane James-Sarazin’s essay “Le modello du portrait de Louis XIV en grand costume royal” for the online catalogue raisonné Hyacinthe Rigaud (1659–1743). L’homme et son art (Editions Faton, added 2 March 2017 and updated 17 May 2017).




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