Enfilade

The Art Bulletin, June 2018

Posted in journal articles by Editor on August 4, 2018

In the current issue of The Art Bulletin 100 (June 2018):

Oliver Wunsch, “Watteau, through the Cracks,” pp. 37–60.

Antoine Watteau’s paintings decayed rapidly. Soon after his death, his contemporaries bemoaned the cracks ravaging his works. They regarded the problem as the product of Watteau’s restless character, noting that his shortsighted personality led him to paint improperly. A deeper explanation situates Watteau’s impatient attitude and impermanent techniques within an emerging culture of ephemeral consumption. An examination of the afterlife of Watteau’s decaying work in the form of reproduction points to an alternative understanding of permanence based less on material immutability than on commercial dissemination. Permanence has a history, and Watteau offers insight into a crucial transition.

Holly Shaffer, “‘Take All of Them’: Eclecticism and the Arts of the Pune Court in India, 1760–1800,” pp. 61–93.

At the peshwa’s court in the western Indian city of Pune in the late eighteenth century, the powerful minister Nana Fadnavis deliberately formulated an eclectic aesthetic. From soliciting Mughal and Rajput paintings at North Indian imperial centers such as Delhi and Jaipur to employing painters from South India and the painter James Wales from Britain, Fadnavis sought entry into a worldly artistic culture. Yet he balanced his cosmopolitan ambitions with emphasis on local devotional traditions. The resultant eclecticism would transform the nature of human and divine representation at the court, and it offers a model for investigating this period today.

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