Enfilade

Exhibition | Sense of Humor

Posted in exhibitions by Editor on June 25, 2018

Opening next month at the NGA in Washington:

Sense of Humor
National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C., 15 July 2018 — 6 January 2019

Curated by Jonathan Bober, Judith Brodie, and Stacey Sell

James Gillray, Midas, Transmuting All into Paper, 1797, etching with hand-coloring in watercolor on laid paper, Wright and Evans 1851, no. 168, National Gallery of Art, Washington, 2015.49.1.

Humor may be fundamental to human experience, but its expression in painting and sculpture has been limited. Instead, prints, as the most widely distributed medium, and drawings, as the most private, have been the natural vehicles for comic content. Drawn from the National Gallery of Art’s collection, Sense of Humor celebrates this incredibly rich though easily overlooked tradition through works including Renaissance caricatures, biting English satires, and 20th-century comics. The exhibition includes major works by Pieter Brueghel the Elder, Jacques Callot, William Hogarth, James Gillray, Francisco Goya, and Honoré Daumier, as well as later examples by Alexander Calder, Red Grooms, Saul Steinberg, Art Spiegelman, and the Guerrilla Girls.

The exhibition is curated by Jonathan Bober, Andrew W. Mellon senior curator of prints and drawings; Judith Brodie, curator and head of the department of American and modern prints and drawings; and Stacey Sell, associate curator, department of old master drawings, all National Gallery of Art, Washington.

Exhibition | Jean Cotelle (1646–1708): Gardens and Gods

Posted in books, catalogues, exhibitions by Editor on June 24, 2018

From Versailles:

Jean Cotelle (1646–1708): Gardens and Gods
Grand Trianon, Château de Versailles, 12 June — 16 September 2018

Curated by Béatrice Sarrazin with Clara Terreaux

Jean Cotelle (1646–1708): Gardens and Gods, the first exhibition dedicated to the painter, will honour an artist who was very popular in his time, featuring some 120 works: paintings, drawings, engravings, miniatures, and sculptures from public and private collections. Jean Cotelle the Younger belonged to the generation of painters called upon by Louis XIV to decorate the Grand Trianon, a pleasure palace secluded from the hustle and bustle of the court.

For the Trianon Gallery, which overlooks the gardens and connects the Cool Room and the Garden Room, Cotelle was entrusted with the largest portion of the commission: twenty-one paintings. In order to adapt to the setting, he painted in vertical format, rather unusual for landscape painting, to create topographical representations of the Versailles gardens. He adorned the scenes with characters from mythology or fables arranged in two registers (earthly and heavenly), modelled upon the bucolic landscapes of Bolognese painter Albani.

This cycle, completed by three paintings by Jean-Baptiste Martin and Etienne Allegrain, represents a unique ensemble, providing insight into the king’s taste for his gardens which had recently been created by André Le Notre. Hidden by vegetation, the groves served as a backdrop for the portrayal of the loves and pleasures of the gods.

The exhibition will feature the twenty-four restored paintings following a restoration campaign that lasted several years. Along with the large format canvases, the fifteen gouaches created by the artist, masterpieces of miniature painting, will also be displayed. Additionally, a selection of lead sculptures will be included in the exhibition to evoke the decoration of the groves which have since disappeared, in relation to Cotelle’s paintings.

While the Trianon commission represents one of the highlights of Cotelle’s career, retracing the various stages of his work nevertheless reveals different aspects of his talent and his varied career in Saint-Cloud and Versailles as well as in Provence.

Jean Cotelle, Fountain Scene with Alpheus Pursuing Arethusa, 1689–91 (Château de Versailles, Dist. RMN/Jean-Marc Manaï).

Jean Cotelle the Younger was born into a cultured family in Paris in 1646. He grew up in the company of artists, especially painters, including his father Jean Cotelle the Elder, painter to the King, decorator and ornamental painter. He most likely received his early training from the portrait painter Claude Lefèvre. Jean Cotelle the Younger then visited Rome, where he stayed from 1665 until 1670 at his own expense.

His notable works from 1675 and the years which followed include miniatures to illustrate The Campaigns of Louis XIV as well as a large-format May for Notre-Dame in 1681 representing The Marriage at Cana. Cotelle also worked on other decorative commissions, in particular in Saint-Cloud where he created the jewellery cabinet as part of the decoration depicting the story of Venus and Aeneas.

The most important commission he received was a commission in 1688 from Louis XIV to decorate the Trianon gallery also called the Cotelle gallery. Cotelle painted twenty-one topographical representations of the gardens of Versailles, which he adorned with mythological and literary characters. At the same time, he carried out a series of twenty gouaches representing the Trianon Gallery in miniature.

In 1693, he left Paris for Provence, first making a stop in Lyon, where he created the decoration on the ceiling of the great hall for the Château de la Damette. From 1695 to 1700, he lived in Marseille and became the co-director of the opera with Duplessis. He also created ephemeral decorations such as The Entry of the Duke of Burgundy and the Duke of Berry into the City of Avignon. Jean Cotelle the Younger returned to Paris in 1703 where he continued his work for the Academy until his death in 1708.

Beatice Sarazin, ed., Jean Cotelle (1646–1708): Des Jardins et des Dieux (Paris: Liénart, 2018), 240 pages, ISBN: 978-2359062366, 39€ / $68.

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In preparation for the exhibition on Jean Cotelle, the Palace of Versailles launches a research notice for three works attributed to the painter: two gouaches and a drawing. These works disappeared from the public eye in the 1980s for two of them and soon after the year 2000 for the last one. However, reproductions and publications confirm that they exist (see the Château de Versailles website for images).

The works are:
La Toilette de Vénus, drawing
Vue du Château de Choisy du côté des parterres et la famille de Louvois, gouache
Eliezer et Rebecca au Puits, gouache

Once found, their identification would enrich the corpus of the artist and the value of these works, which could be displayed in the exhibition. Internet users are invited to spread this search as far as possible with the hashtag: #ExpoCotelle. People having information about these works can contact the Palace of Versailles through: cotelle@chateauversailles.fr.

Early Modern French Studies 40 (2018)

Posted in journal articles by Editor on June 24, 2018

Three of the articles focus specifically on the eighteenth century:

Early Modern French Studies 40 (2018)
Anticipated Afterlives: Envisaging Posterity in Early Modern France

• Oliver Wunsch, “Diderot and the Materiality of Posterity,” 63–78.
• John Leigh, “Posterity and Progeny: Memoirs and Autobiographical Writing in the Late Eighteenth Century,” 79–92.
• Olivier Ritz, “La Postérité Littéraire à l’Epreuve de la Révolution,” 93–101.

An excerpt from Jessica Goodman’s introduction to the issue:

Much work has been done on the questions of reception history, literary influence, commemoration, and life writing. Rather than treading over the same ground, however, this volume, in a self-reflexive twist, addresses what we have called ‘anticipated afterlives’: the different ways in which early modern individuals are aware that they stand to ‘live on’ in some sense after their biological death, and how they attempt to manage this transition to posterity. This focus on the ‘before’ of anticipation rather than the ‘after’ of posthumous reputation derives from the idea that posterity, in its purest sense, can only ever be anticipated. It is almost always a projection into an unknown future, a continually receding vanishing point. The individual, standing Janus-like between a lived but disappearing past, and a future that retreats as he approaches it attempts nonetheless to fix a version of that past (whether his own, or that of another) for those to come, whose interpretations he can only guess at.

New Book | Unfabling the East

Posted in books by Editor on June 23, 2018

From Princeton UP:

Jürgen Osterhammel, Unfabling the East: The Enlightenment’s Encounter with Asia, translated by Robert Savage (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2018), 696 pages, ISBN: 9780691172729 (hardcover), $35 / ISBN: 9781400889471 (ebook).

During the long eighteenth century, Europe’s travelers, scholars, and intellectuals looked to Asia in a spirit of puzzlement, irony, and openness. In this panoramic and colorful book, Jürgen Osterhammel tells the story of the European Enlightenment’s nuanced encounter with the great civilizations of the East, from the Ottoman Empire and India to China and Japan.

Here is the acclaimed book that challenges the notion that Europe’s formative engagement with the non-European world was invariably marred by an imperial gaze and presumptions of Western superiority. Osterhammel shows how major figures such as Leibniz, Voltaire, Gibbon, and Hegel took a keen interest in Asian culture and history, and introduces lesser-known scientific travelers, colonial administrators, Jesuit missionaries, and adventurers who returned home from Asia bearing manuscripts in many exotic languages, huge collections of ethnographic data, and stories that sometimes defied belief. Osterhammel brings the sights and sounds of this tumultuous age vividly to life, from the salons of Paris and the lecture halls of Edinburgh to the deserts of Arabia, the steppes of Siberia, and the sumptuous courts of Asian princes. He demonstrates how Europe discovered its own identity anew by measuring itself against its more senior continent, and how it was only toward the end of this period that cruder forms of Eurocentrism–and condescension toward Asia—prevailed.

A momentous work by one of Europe’s most eminent historians, Unfabling the East takes readers on a thrilling voyage to the farthest shores, bringing back vital insights for our own multicultural age.

Jürgen Osterhammel is professor of modern and contemporary history at the University of Konstanz. He is a recipient of the Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz Prize, Germany’s most prestigious academic award. His books include The Transformation of the World: A Global History of the Nineteenth Century and, with Jan C. Jansen, Decolonization: A Short History (both Princeton). He lives in Freiburg, Germany.

Kee Il Choi, On Johannes Kip and Export Landscape Painting

Posted in journal articles by Editor on June 23, 2018

Johannes Kip, A Prospect of West-minster & A Prospect of the City of London, Netherlands, ca. 1720; two engravings, printed from two plates on four sheets of paper, 51 × 234 cm overall (New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 2017.128a,b).

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In the latest issue of The Rijksmuseum Bulletin, a paper that emerged from a 2017 ASECS session on Art Markets organized by Wendy Roworth.

The Rijksmuseum Bulletin 66.2 (2018)

Dish, or Plate, ca. 1730, hard paste porcelain, 28.4 cm (New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, Gift of Mrs. Joseph V. McMullan, 58.126).

Kee Il Choi, Jr., “‘Partly Copies from European Prints’: Johannes Kip and the Invention of Export Landscape Painting in Eighteenth-Century Canton,” pp. 120–43.

This paper introduces the way Johannes Kip’s A Prospect of Westminster & A Prospect of the City of London (c. 1720) furnished the design for a handscroll of the Thames River enamelled on the rim of a renowned armorial porcelain service made around 1730–40. Having thus situated an important exemplar of northern European landscape art in China by 1750, it further suggests that Kip’s topographic print may well have played an influential, not to say seminal role in the conceptualization of monumental, panoramic handscrolls of the foreign factories from which ultimately the iconic landscape genre emerged. Descriptive of the site of both commerce and aesthetic exchange, these export paintings have exercised a lasting hold on the historical imagination. In as much as export porcelain signified the China trade for Westerners, export paintings came to represent Canton, if not the whole of China for a global audience.

Enfilade Turns Nine! Buy an Art Book! Donate to HECAA!

Posted in site information by Editor on June 22, 2018

From the Editor

As Enfilade turns nine (22 June 2018), I’m glad to write with my usual observations and admonitions. The site exists because you—along with lots of others reading alongside you—continue to tune in. We’ve just surpassed 920,000 views. Thanks so much! And so to celebrate . . .

1) Buy an art book this weekend. In the world of academic art history publishing, several hundred books sold over a few days is stellar. It’s an important way to communicate that the eighteenth century is a thriving field with a vital, engaged audience. The more people who buy books addressing the eighteenth century, the easier it will be to publish your next book on the eighteenth century.

2) Renew your HECAA membership. In the normal world $30 doesn’t really count as philanthropy. For a small academic society it does. Because HECAA is registered as a 501c3, all donations are tax deductible in the United States. So send in a contribution of $100 or $5. But donate something. We accept PayPal.

3) Register for the HECAA conference in November. Early registration rates apply until July 1. More information is available here.

4) Finally, send in news you’d like to see reported!  I’m glad to post announcements about conferences, forthcoming books, journal articles, exhibitions, fellowship opportunities, &c. Just about anything except job listings. The postings readers most enjoy are inevitably original content, reports of interesting collections, house museums, resources, and the like. No reason to be shy.

Again, thanks to all of you and all the best!
Craig Hanson

Nationalmuseum Sweden Acquires Per Krafft’s ‘Belisarius’

Posted in museums by Editor on June 21, 2018

Press release (19 June 2018) from Sweden’s Nationalmuseum:

Per Krafft the Younger, Belisarius, 1799, oil on canvas, 125 × 94 cm (Stockholm: Nationalmuseum, NM 7468).

Nationalmuseum has acquired a painting by Per Krafft the Younger (1777–1863) depicting the blind former general Belisarius. This painting ought to be regarded as one of the most prominent Swedish works executed in the French Neoclassical style.

In 1796, at the age of nineteen, Per Krafft the Younger was awarded a travel scholarship by the Royal Swedish Academy of Fine Arts, in part because Jonas Åkerström (1759–1795), who had used the scholarship to spend time in Rome, had suddenly died the year before at the early age of 36. Krafft went to Paris where as the only Swede he spent three years studying under Jacques-Louis David (1748–1825). David had a large number of pupils, and his teaching, which in those days was held at the Louvre, laid emphasis on painting and drawing technique, modelling, and nature studies in order to depict only the ideal subject matter: themes from antiquity.

David’s influence is evident in Krafft’s painting, which ought to be regarded as one of the most prominent Swedish works executed in the French Neoclassical style. It shows the strict lines of classical architecture in the background and a sculptural approach to the figure drawing. The palette is also a reminder of David’s work, with fine contrasts between their clothing—white and green and red—worn by Belisarius and the boy, their skin tone, and the shiny surface of the reflective metal on the belt and helmet. The figures almost stand out in relief against the light brown, yellow, and blue-grey tones of the background. The work was executed in 1799 and sent together with three other paintings—Phrygian Lyre Player Meditating, Paris, and Love—to Stockholm for exhibiting at the Royal Academy of Fine Arts in 1801.

The motif showing the successful Byzantine general Belisarius who was reduced to beggar status proved popular in the latter part of the 18th century as a result of the novel Bélisaire by Jean-François Marmontel (1723–1799), which was published in 1767. As a punishment for the general who was suspected of having conspired against him, the Byzantine emperor Justinian I is alleged to have put out Belisarius’s eyes, after which Belisarius was forced to beg by the gates of Rome. This choice of motif gave Krafft the opportunity to direct criticism in allegorical form at the tyrannical rulers of his day. Nor is it altogether surprising that Krafft’s teacher, the Republican David, had used the motif in a famous painting from 1781, now on display in the Palais des Beaux-Arts in Lille. A further famous example was executed by another of David’s pupils, François-Pascal-Simon Gérard (1770–1837), now on display in the J. Paul Getty Museum in Los Angeles.

Krafft emphasises the pathos of his subject in the sober mood that permeates his work in general and in the detail in particular, such as the way the old soldier uses his helmet to collect the alms received. Per Krafft the Younger enjoyed a long life. He was appointed court painter and professor at the Royal Academy of Fine Arts. During his career he was to become primarily a portrait painter.

Nationalmuseum receives no state funding for art acquisitions; rather, the collections benefit from donations and funding from private trusts and foundations. This acquisition has been made possible by a generous donation from the Hedda & N.D. Qvist Memorial Fund.

Nationalmuseum in Stockholm to Reopen October 13

Posted in museums by Editor on June 21, 2018

From the Nationalmuseum in Stockholm:

The New Nationalmuseum at Blasieholmen opens again October 13, 2018. After five years closed, we wish you a warm welcome to a whole new museum experience. The renovation is finished, and we are currently working on the displays and exhibitions.

The renovation project has created a modern museum environment that is better for the art, the exhibitions, and for visitors. The New Nationalmuseum will be an open, visitor-friendly place where art can be experienced on both a large and a small scale—while preserving the integrity of the museum’s architectural heritage. The long-awaited climate control system will enable us to present the museum’s collections in an integrated way, crossing the boundaries between artistic disciplines. We will be able to exhibit paintings and other works that are more climate-sensitive, such as drawings and graphic art, alongside applied art and design. This will enhance the visitor experience by tying together multiple stories. It will also allow us to put more artworks on display.

Thanks to the relocation of behind-the-scenes activities such as administration and storage, the New Nationalmuseum will have more public space for exhibits and visitor amenities. By opening up both courtyards for use as multifunctional spaces, we can also improve the logistics of the main floor. The building will have multiple entrances and exits, as required by the fire code, which determines the maximum number of visitors that can be accommodated at any time—a number that is likely to increase.

Built in 1866, the Nationalmuseum building is over 150 years old. For decades, the building has been constantly repurposed and adapted to the museum’s changing and growing requirements. One layer of modifications has been piled on top of another. However, the building had never been thoroughly renovated and did not meet today’s accepted international standards in terms of safety, climate control, fire safety, working environment, and logistics. The renovations has brought the building up to modern operational and regulatory standards.

Technical innovations have made it possible to reinstate bricked-up windows to let in natural light. Specially developed technology will ensure that no artworks are damaged. A state-of-the-art climate control system will be installed, improving the environment for artworks, visitors, and staff. The public spaces will be expanded considerably, adding about 2300 square metres. Both courtyards, which currently house the auditorium and the restaurant, will be turned into public spaces housing visitor amenities and some exhibits. A new layout and security technology will enable us to keep the museum’s lower level open in the evenings independently of the rest of the building.

New Book | Raffinesse im Akkord: Meissener Porzellanmalerei

Posted in books by Editor on June 20, 2018

Published by Michael Imhof and available from ArtBooks.com:

Claudia Bodinek, Raffinesse im Akkord: Meissener Porzellanmalerei und ihre grafischen Vorlagen (Petersberg: Imhof, 2018), 2 volumes, 768 pages, ISBN: 9783731904724, 135€ / $195.

Ohne grafische Vorlagen wäre die erstaunliche Themenvielfalt der malerischen Dekore auf Meissener Porzellan des 18. Jahrhunderts nicht denkbar. Die reich bebilderte Publikation führt erstmals anhand einer Fülle von Beispielen aus Barock, Rokoko und beginnendem Klassizismus vor Augen, wie kreativ die Meissener Maler Motive aus Kupferstichen, Radierungen und Zeichnungen in immer neue Dekore auf Porzellan übertrugen. Neben den bis heute erhaltenen Vorlagen im Manufakturarchiv diente auch die einstige königliche Kollektion im Dresdner Kupferstich-Kabinett als Vorbildersammlung. Beiden historischen Beständen sind gleichfalls eingehende Studien gewidmet.

New Book | Eighteenth-Century Wallpaper in Britain

Posted in books by Editor on June 19, 2018

From Routledge:

Clare Taylor, The Design, Production and Reception of Eighteenth-Century Wallpaper in Britain (New York: Routledge, 2018), 234 pages, ISBN: 978-1472456151 (hardback), $150 / ISBN: 978-1351021784 (ebook), $55 (ebook rental from $27).

Wallpaper’s spread across trades, class, and gender is charted in this first full-length study of the material’s use in Britain during the long eighteenth century. It examines the types of wallpaper that were designed and produced and the interior spaces it occupied, from the country house to the homes of prosperous townsfolk and gentry, showing that wallpaper was hung by Earls and merchants as well as by aristocratic women. Drawing on a wide range of little known examples of interior schemes and surviving wallpapers, together with unpublished evidence from archives including letters and bills, it charts wallpaper’s evolution across the century from cheap textile imitation to innovative new decorative material. Wallpaper’s growth is considered not in terms of chronology, but rather alongside the categories used by eighteenth-century tradesmen and consumers, from plains to flocks, from China papers to papier mâché and from stucco papers to materials for creating print rooms. It ends by assessing the ways in which eighteenth-century wallpaper was used to create historicist interiors in the twentieth century. Including a wide range of illustrations, many in colour, the book will be of interest to historians of material culture and design, scholars of art and architectural history as well as practicing designers and those interested in the historic interior.

Clare Taylor is Senior Lecturer in Art History, The Open University.

C O N T E N T S

List of Figures and Plates
Preface

Introduction
1  ‘Paper Hangings for Rooms’: The Arrival of Wallpaper
2  A Contested Trade
3  Imitation and the Cross-Cultural Encounter: ‘India’ and ‘Mock India’ Papers, Pictures, and Prints
4  In Search of Propriety: Flocks and Plains
5  Challenging the High arts: Papier Mâché, Stucco Papers, and ‘Landskip’ Papers
6  ‘Our Modern Paper Hangings’: In Search of the Fashionable and the New
Epilogue

Appendix 1: List of Principal Wallpapered Rooms Discussed, c.1714–c.1795
Appendix 2: List of Eighteenth-Century London Paper Hangings Tradesmen DIscussed
Bibliography
Index

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