New Book | Imagining Qianlong

Posted in books by Editor on February 16, 2018

From Columbia University Press:

Florian Knothe, Pascal-François Bertrand, Kristel Smentek, and Nicholas Pearce, Imagining Qianlong: Louis XV’s Chinese Emperor Tapestries and Battle Scene Prints at the Imperial Court in Beijing (Hong Kong University Press, 2017), 84 pages, ISBN: 9789881902498, $25 / £20.

This publication accompanies an unprecedented exhibition (on view at Hong Kong University from 15 March until 28 May 2017) highlighting four of the magnificent chinoiserie tapestries of Chinese Emperor Qianlong, woven after designs by François Boucher at the famous Beauvais manufactory between 1758 and 1760. The large and well-preserved textiles form part of the royal French commission by King Louis XV, objects of which were presented to Qianlong in 1766.

These celebrated tapestries are joined by another historic set of culturally related depictions in print—The Battles of the Emperor of China. The engravings were ordered by Qianlong, drawn by Jesuit painters at the Imperial Court in Beijing and then printed in Paris 1769–74. The ‘culture’ of these prints follows King Louis XIV’s influential images of the Histoire du Roi and presents Qianlong as both a war hero and as the undisputed leader of China in the mid-eighteenth century. These depictions date to the exact same time period, one that coincides with the high demand for chinoiserie in France—culminating in the world-famous designs by Boucher—and the Imperial Court of China’s interest in French design and culture. Despite their world-renowned fame, these groups of images previously have not been shown together.

Imagining Qianlong presents one of the rare topics to celebrate the court cultures in both France and China, at a time when the empires idolized each other, and cultural influences and exchanges were highly significant and supported by well-established and prosperous monarchs during an increasingly enlightened eighteenth century.

New Book | The Art of the Peales

Posted in books by Editor on February 16, 2018

Distributed by Yale UP:

Carol Eaton Soltis, The Art of the Peales in the Philadelphia Museum of Art: Adaptations and Innovations (Philadelphia: Philadelphia Museum of Art, 2017), 344 pages, ISBN: 978 0300229 363, $65.

Active from the late 18th through the early 20th century, the Peale family was America’s first artistic dynasty. This overview of the art of the Peales documents and interprets more than 160 works in a variety of media from the renowned collection of the Philadelphia Museum of Art. With discussions of both internationally famous masterworks such as Charles Willson Peale’s Staircase Group and lesser-known but equally engaging pictures including Rubens Peale’s Magpie Eating Cake, Carol Eaton Soltis traces the family’s history and reveals how the Peales’ energy, innovation, and entrepreneurship paved the way for generations of American artists.

Rigorously researched and generously illustrated, The Art of the Peales is an essential and wide-ranging study that considers the family’s substantial output and contextualizes their historical legacy. Examining the different ways that the Peales instructed, influenced, supported, and competed with one another, this book is full of new revelations on this extraordinary family that remained a transformative force in America’s cultural life for more than a century.

Carol Eaton Soltis is project associate curator at the Philadelphia Museum of Art.

Symposium | Continuing Curiosity: The Art of the Peales

Posted in conferences (to attend) by Editor on February 16, 2018

From the Philadelphia Museum of Art:

Continuing Curiosity: The Art of the Peales
Philadelphia Museum of Art, 17 February 2018

On Saturday, 17 February, five Peale scholars share their ongoing research in the context of the Museum’s new publication, The Art of the Peales in the Philadelphia Museum of Art: Adaptations and Innovations. Registration required, $20 (Philadelphia Museum of Art members free). Included in the fee is general museum admission for Friday evening’s ‘Gallery Conversation’ (starting at 5:45pm), which includes an installation discussion with scholars, along with musical programming.

Morning Session | 10:30–12:30
• Welcome and introduction, Carol Soltis (Project Associate Curator, Philadelphia Museum of Art)
• ‘Pealed all Around’: The Making of Curious Revolutionaries at the American Philosophical Society, Amy Noel Ellison (Andrew W. Mellon Post-Doctoral Curatorial Fellow, American Philosophical Society)
• Under My Skin: Raphaelle Peale’s Venus Rising from the Sea-A Deception and the Hidden Mechanisms of Disease, Lauren Lessing (Mirken Director of Academic and Public Programs, Colby College Museum of Art)

Afternoon Session | 1:30–4:30
• Looking ahead with Charles Peale Polk, Linda Simmons (Curator Emerita, The Corcoran Gallery
• Replicating Nature: The Peales and Their Still Lifes, Lance Humphries (Executive Director, Mount Vernon Place Conservancy)
• Hanging Shakespeare: Charles Willson Peale and Benjamin West at PAFA in 1807, Wendy Bellion (Professor, Sewell C. Biggs Chair in American Art History, University of Delaware)


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