J18 | Mary Sheriff on Casanova, Art, and Eroticism

Posted in journal articles by Editor on January 11, 2018

Jean-Marc Nattier, The Lovers, detail, 1744, oil on canvas
(Munich: Alte Pinakothek)

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Trusting that readers regularly visit J18 (always available through the link to the right), I only occasionally note content here at Enfilade. But this contribution from Mary Sheriff is worth highlighting. It’s also worth noting, incidentally, that Journal18 and HECAA are mentioned in the editorial of the January 2018 issue of The Burlington Magazine! I imagine Mary would have been thrilled. CAH

From Journal18:

Mary D. Sheriff, “Casanova, Art, and Eroticism,” Journal18 (January 2018).

Mary D. Sheriff, one of the most brilliant and beloved scholars of eighteenth-century European art, died on October 19, 2016. Among her last essays was a playful and erudite encounter with Casanova’s memoirs, seen through the prism of eighteenth-century European painting. She originally wrote it for the catalogue to the exhibition Casanova: The Seduction of Europe, connecting paintings in the show with episodes from Casanova’s erotic intrigues. This explains the choices behind some of the artworks she discusses. Due to late changes in the exhibition’s checklist, however, Mary’s essay did not appear in the catalogue. We wanted to publish it in Journal18 so that her vivid insights into Casanova’s libertine text and like-minded artworks could be shared with our scholarly community. The essay is yet another testament to Mary’s unique talent for bringing eighteenth-century art to life and for making us think about it in a new way, as well as her own seductive powers of analysis and wordplay. We are grateful to Keith Luria and Melissa Hyde for making final revisions to the essay and for permitting us to publish it in Journal18.

The essay is available here»

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