Conference | Re-framing Chinese Objects

Posted in conferences (to attend) by Editor on September 9, 2018

From H-ArtHist:

Reframing Chinese Objects: Collecting and Displaying in Europe and the Islamic World, 1400–1800
Heidelberg University, 7–8 December 2018

To attend the symposium, pre-registration is required. Please send your registration by to Mr. Yusen Yu: yusen.yu@asia-europe.uni-heidelberg.de.

Organizers: Sarah E. Fraser (Project P.I.), Lianming Wang, Yusen Yu, Institute of East Asian Art History, Heidelberg University

Supported by the Field of Focus 3: Cultural Dynamics in Globalized Worlds, Excellence Initiative II, Heidelberg University

F R I D A Y ,  7  D E C E M B E R  2 0 1 8

2:00  Welcome by Sarah Fraser

2:15  Session I
• Feng He, From Theatrical to Monumental: Social Spaces and Porcelain Display in Eighteenth-Century Dresden
• Muyu Zhou, The Origin of ‘Golden’: Analysis of Guangcai Porcelain through the Meissen Kiln
• Xue Yu, From Fantasy to ‘Authenticity’: The Changing Taste of the Chinese Collection in the Eighteenth-Century French Court and Its Entourage

3:30  Coffee break

3:45  Session II
• Dingwei Yin, Reframing the Antique: Gustav Klimt’s Asian Collection and His Figure Paintings in the 1910s
• Wenzhuo Qiu, Cabinet of Curiosities: Wandering and Wondering in Modern Cities as the Flâneurs
• Hua Wang, Interiority and the Female Figure: North African, French and Chinese Textiles in the Painting of Henry Matisse (1869–1954) and Chang Shuhong (1869–1954)

5:15  Roundtable discussion

5:45  Reception

S A T U R D A Y ,  8  D E C E M B E R  2 0 1 8

9:15  Keynote Address
• Stacey Pierson (History of Art and Archaeology Department, SOAS London), Framing ‘China’: Architecture, Collecting, and the Spatial Aesthetics of Chinese Porcelain in Global Display Contexts

10:00  Panel I: Perceiving Chinese Art in the Islamic World
Chair: Susanne Enderwitz (Department of Languages and Cultures of the Near East, Heidelberg University) and Ebba Koch (Institute of Art History, University of Vienna)
• Javad Abbasi (Department of History, Ferdowsi University, Mashhad), Perception of Chinese Art in Iranian Historiography, 15th–18th Centuries
• Sarah Kiyanrad (Department of Languages and Cultures of the Near East, Heidelberg University), Travelling China: Perceptions of Chīn va Māchīn in Early Modern Iran
• Yusen Yu (Institute of East Asian Art History / Cluster of Excellence ‘Asia and Europe in a Global Context’, Heidelberg University), Chinese Painting in Persianate Workshop: Practices of Remounting in the Fifteenth Century
Discussant: Susanne Enderwitz (Department of Languages and Cultures of the Near East, Heidelberg University)

11:30  Coffee break

11:45  Panel II: Objects as Site of Knowledge Production
Chair: Sarah Kiyanrad (Department of Languages and Cultures of the Near East, Heidelberg University)
• Nathalie Monnet (Département des manuscrits orientaux, Bibliothèque nationale de France, Paris), The Lion-Bull Symplegma across Time and Space
• Lianming Wang (Institute of East Asian Art History, Heidelberg University), Enframing Chinese Plants: Jesuit Botany and the Eighteenth-Century Physiocraticism
• Annette Bügener (Institute of East Asian Art History, Heidelberg University), Mirroring the Imperial Face in Western Art: The Case of the Qianlong Emperor (r. 1736–1795)
Discussant: Nathalie Monnet (Département des manuscrits orientaux, Bibliothèque nationale de France, Paris)

1:15  Lunch break

2:15  Panel III: Porcelain in Islamic Displaying Context
Chair: Julia Weber (Porzellansammlung, Staatliche Kunstsammlungen Dresden)
• Akbar Khakimov (Academy of Sciences of the Republic of Uzbekistan, Tashkent), The Traditions of Chinese Porcelain in Central Asia
• Elena Paskaleva (Institute of Area Studies, Leiden University, Leiden), The Chini-khana of Ulugh Beg in Samarqand: Tracing Archaeological Artefacts and Fabricated Fables
• Ebba Koch (Institute of Art History, University of Vienna), The Chini Khana in India: Collecting, Using, and Displaying Porcelain at the Mughal Court
Discussant: Tülay Artan (Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences, Sabanci University, Istanbul)

3:45  Panel IV: Porcelain in European Courtly Context
Chair: Sarah Fraser (Institute of East Asian Art History, Heidelberg University)
• Ruth Sonja Simonis (Porzellansammlung, Staatliche Kunstsammlungen Dresden), The Amsterdam-Dresden Porcelain Trade: Count Lagnasco’s Purchases for Augustus the Strong, 1716–17
• Cora Würmell (Porzellansammlung, Staatliche Kunstsammlungen Dresden), A Venue for Porcelain: The Japanese Palace from 1717 until 1727
• Julia Weber (Porzellansammlung, Staatliche Kunstsammlungen Dresden), ‘This Gallery is destin’d for the Porcelain of Meissen only’: Staging the Contest with the East Asian Imports in the Japanese Palace
Discussant: Stacy Pierson (History of Art and Archaeology Department, SOAS London)

5:15  Final remarks by Monica Juneja (HCTS Professor ‘Global Art History’, Cluster of Excellence Asia and Europe in a Global Context, Heidelberg University)


New Book | Picturing the Pacific

Posted in books by Editor on September 6, 2018

From Bloomsbury:

James Taylor, Picturing the Pacific: Joseph Banks and the Shipboard Artists of Cook and Flinders (London: Adlard Coles Nautical, 2018), 256 pages, ISBN: 978-1472955432, £25 / $35.

For over 50 years between the 1760s and the early 19th century, the pioneers who sailed from Europe to explore the Pacific brought back glimpses of this new world in the form of oil paintings, watercolours and drawings—a sensational view of a part of the world few would ever see. Today these works represent a fascinating and inspiring perspective from the frontier of discovery. It was Sir Joseph Banks, President of the Royal Society, who popularised the placement of professional artists on British ships of exploration. They captured striking and memorable images of everything they encountered: exotic landscapes, beautiful flora and fauna, as well as remarkable portraits of indigenous peoples. These earliest views of the Pacific, particularly Australia, were designed to promote the new world as enticing, to make it seem familiar, to encourage further exploration and, ultimately, British settlement. Drawing on both private and public collections from around the world, this lavish book collects together oil paintings, watercolours, drawings, prints, and other documents from those voyages and presents a unique glimpse into an age where science and art became irrevocably entwined.

Dr James Taylor, FRSA studied at the Universities of St Andrews, Manchester, and Sussex. He is an accredited lecturer for the National Association of Fine and Decorative Arts; a former curator of paintings, drawings and prints, organiser of exhibitions and galleries and corporate membership manager at the National Maritime Museum, Greenwich; and Victorian paintings specialist with Phillips Fine Art Auctioneers. He is an avid collector of artist-drawn picture postcards.

Call for Papers | Perceiving Processions, 1500–1800

Posted in Calls for Papers by Editor on September 6, 2018

From The Courtauld:

Eighth Early Modern Symposium: Perceiving Processions
The Courtauld Institute of Art, London, 24 November 2018

Proposals due by 24 September 2018

Procession of Süleyman I, from ‘Customs and Fashions of the Turks’, Pieter Coecke van Aelst, woodcut print, 30 × 39 cm, 1553 (Amsterdam: Rijksmuseum, RP-P-OB-2304L).

In recent years, a renewed interest in early modern rituals, festivals, and performances has prompted a reconsideration of ceremonious processions with a particular focus on their impact on social, cultural, artistic, and political structures and practices. Simultaneously, scholars have increasingly acknowledged the mobility of early modern artists across geographical, religious, and cultural borders. Although processions were witnessed by natives and visitors alike and were therefore prime instances of cross-cultural encounters, their depictions by artists both local and foreign remain a lesser-studied body of visual material. This symposium proposes to explore the visual representations of processions that took place within cross-cultural encounters both within and outside of Europe.

A procession was an act of movement that was particularly charged with meaning; an ambulatory mode of celebration, it had a global resonance in the early modern period. Processionals impressed foreign dignitaries, established modes of rule, communicated traditions, and negotiated power balances and were highly sensory occasions—as such they lent themselves readily to visual representation and were enthusiastically recorded in literature. Pageantries, military processions, and Joyous Entries (Blijde Inkomsten) were recorded in a variety of media, as exemplified by the festival books celebrating the ephemeral constructions orchestrated for Cardinal-Infante Ferdinand’s arrival in Antwerp (1635) or the eighteenth-century paintings depicting Venice’s dazzling boat parades in honour of foreign dignitaries. Furthermore, ceremonial processions conceived for births, weddings, circumcision feasts, and funerals occasioned visual representations such as the colourful Mughal miniature Wedding Procession of Dara Shikoh in Presence of Shah Jahan (1740). In addition, the notion of procession can be expanded to encompass various expressions of mobility that could be understood and were often depicted as a procession. Both Jan van Scorel’s frieze-like painting of the knightly brotherhood commemorating their Holy Land pilgrimage (c. 1530) and the depiction of ambassadors travelling with their retinue to foreign courts and cities can be perceived as a form of procession. Thus, the structure of a procession was increasingly adopted in the Early Modern period to depict moments of exchange and motion propelled by the quest for knowledge, as much as diplomatic concerns and religious piety. Well-known examples include The Voyage to Calicut tapestry series (1504) as well as the highly detailed printed frieze of a merchant endeavour by Hans Burgkmair (The King of Cochin, 1508).

We welcome proposals for papers that engage with processions in the early modern period (c. 1500–1800) in the context of cross-cultural encounters, with the locations of cross-cultural interaction defined here as both inter or extra-European and beyond the ‘East meets West’ dynamic. Participants are invited to explore artistic exchanges across geopolitical, cultural and disciplinary divides, and to examine drawings, prints, alba amicorum, painting, sculpture, decorative arts, architecture, and the intersections between them. Contributions from other disciplines, such as the history of science and conservation, are welcome.

We invite 20-minute papers that explore, but are not limited to, the following questions:
• How is the format of the procession used to structure visual representations of early modern ceremonial occasions and cultural difference?
• How were processions perceived visually both by local and foreign artists?
• Moreover, what audiences were interested in these visual representations and what scope did such a broad and diverse range of visual material serve? It is widely acknowledged, for instance, that Festival Books were not only designed for the audience of the spectacle, but also for armchair readers who could thus experience the procession as if they had been present.
• In what way does the visual representation of a procession signify a means of negotiating between one’s own identity, heritage and outlook whilst in dialogue with another culture?
• How did diplomatic encounters encourage the production of procession scenes both during and after the diplomatic mission, such as the depiction of gift-giving ceremonies? We strongly encourage speakers to also consider less conventional modes of processions. Could, for instance, the sequential depiction of costumes in costume albums also be interpreted as a procession of some sorts?
• Through which visual strategies and spatial arrangements did the ephemeral decorations and arches erected on the occasion of glorious entries orchestrate a procession through the urban space, or thematise the idea of cross-cultural encounter?
• What are the effects (both ephemeral and lasting) of these processions that sometimes involve the construction of specific architectural constructions and temporary settings (e.g. the Field of the Cloth of Gold, 1520)?

The Early Modern Symposium offers an opportunity for research students from universities both in the UK and abroad to present, discuss and promote their research. We invite proposals from graduate students, early career researchers, conservators, and curators. Talks that draw upon technical analysis and other theoretical approaches are equally welcome. Please send proposals of no more than 300 words along with a short biography by 24th September 2018 to talitha.schepers@courtauld.ac.uk and alice.zamboni@courtauld.ac.uk.

The aim of this postgraduate symposium is to provide a platform for early career researchers and postgraduate students to their share research with peers. We may be able to provide a subsidy for travel and accommodation costs, but please be aware that this may not cover all of your expenses. We prioritise candidates from the UK and Europe. We will notify successful candidates by Monday, 1st October 2018.

Exhibition | The Orléans Collection

Posted in exhibitions by Editor on September 5, 2018

This fall at NOMA:

The Orléans Collection
New Orleans Museum of Art, 26 October 2018 — 27 January 2019

Curated by Vanessa Schmid

Guido Reni, The Meeting of David and Abigail, 1615–20, oil on canvas, 61 × 65 inches (Norfolk, VA: Chrysler Museum of Art).

At its founding in 1718, New Orleans was named for the French Regent, Philippe II, Duke of Orléans (1674–1723). A formidable personality, Philippe II’s legacy is his patronage of the arts: architecture, painting, furniture, music, dance, and theatre. In celebration of the tricentennial of the city that bears his regal title, NOMA will present an exhibition of selections from the Duke’s magnificent personal collection. This international loan exhibition will bring together masterpieces by Veronese, Valentin, Poussin, Rubens, and Rembrandt that formerly graced the walls of the Palais Royal in Paris.

The quality of the Orléans Collection was universally praised during Philippe II’s lifetime and its stature is attested by the astounding 772 paintings inventoried at his death. Although originally bequeathed to the duke’s heirs, in the 1790s the family hastily sold the collection to raise money during the French Revolution. The subsequent sales became a watershed event in the history of collecting and museology. The exhibition and its accompanying scholarly catalogue will explore exceptional aspects of the collection through four guiding themes: the Palais Royal and its grand redecoration as a center for the arts and exchange in Paris; the diplomatic and personal display of the collection in public and private spaces; the Duke of Orléans’ personal taste and psychology as a collector; and the fame and impact the collection had for contemporary visitors, artists, and collectors in Paris.

No exhibition of this fascinating subject has been undertaken and this project offers an exceptional opportunity for new scholarship, with a catalogue structured to maximize scholarly research and publish new research about Philippe II’s collection. The Orléans Collection will bring together, for the first time since its 1790s dispersal, a representative group of forty works that tell the story of its formation and character.

Vanessa Schmid with Julia Armstrong-Totten and essays by Jean-François Bédard, Kelsey Brosnan, Alexandre Dupilet, Nicole Garnier-Pelle, Françoise Mardrus, Rachel McGarry, and Xavier Salomon, The Orléans Collection (London: D. Giles Limited, 2018), 288 pages, ISBN: 978-1911282280, $55.

As described in John Kemp’s article for New Orleans Magazine (May 2018):

In addition to luxurious and historic artwork, the show also will explore the duke’s artistic tastes and psychology as a collector, the Palais-Royal as a center for the arts in Paris, how the duke displayed his collection in private and public spaces in the palace, the history of the collection, court life, the collection’s reputation based on earlier writings and Parisian guidebooks from the early 1700s, and, finally, the collection’s influences on 18th-century artists in Europe…

The full article is available here»

Call for Papers | The Orléans Collection

Posted in Calls for Papers by Editor on September 5, 2018

From the CFP:

The Orléans Collection: Tastemaking, Networks, and Legacy
New Orleans Museum of Art, 11–13 January 2019

Proposals due by 30 September 2018

Attributed to Guy Noël Aubry, Portrait of Philippe II, Duke of Orléans, 1715–23, oil on canvas, 248 × 160 cm (Orléans: Musée des Beaux Arts d’Orléans, François Lauginie).

The New Orleans Museum of Art and the Frick Center for the History of Collecting will host a
symposium in conjunction with The Orléans Collection exhibition dedicated to the collecting and collection of Philippe II duc d’Orléans (1674–1723) on view at the New Orleans Museum of Art 26 October 2018 through 27 January 2019.

Collecting over just over two decades, Philippe II d’Orléans amassed one of the most important collections of European paintings in the history of art, which he displayed in his Palais-Royal in Paris. This celebrated collection assembled over 500 masterpieces of European Art and this landmark exhibition reunites a representative group of forty works to tell the complex story of the collection’s formation and character and the impact of the sales of the collection in London during the French revolution, a watershed event in the history of collecting.

The Orléans Collection exhibition catalogue essays offer an overview of the collection, Philippe’s relationship with his court painter Antoine Coypel, the refurbishment of the Palais-Royal during the regency, his collecting of Venetian, Dutch and Flemish and Bolognese Art, contemporary artists studying the collection, and a review of the circumstances of the collection’s dispersal. The catalogue’s extensive Appendix transcribes the earliest 1727 publication of the collection tracing picture to their current locations.

The symposium seeks to expand beyond the scope of the catalogue and consider a wider range of relationships concerning Philippe d’Orléans’s taste and the impact the collection had for generations of collectors and artists, and an increasingly wider public throughout the eighteenth century. Subjects of interest might include: Philippe II’s patronage network; fellow collectors and trends in collecting in Paris; dealers and the art market in eighteenth-century Paris; connections with contemporary collections in the German principalities; the ‘Orléans Effect’ in Great Britain and later entrance in public collections.

Travel can be provided to a limited number of applicants. To propose a paper, please submit a message of interest and 300-word abstract by 30 September 2018 to: nomasymposium@noma.org.

Workshop | Heritage Revisited: Objects from Islamic Lands in Europe

Posted in conferences (to attend) by Editor on September 5, 2018

As many of you will already know, H-ArtHist has returned from summer break:

Heritage Revisited: Rediscovering Objects from Islamic Lands in Enlightenment Europe
Kunsthistorisches Institut, University of Vienna, 20–21 September 2018

Registration due by 15 September 2018

Organized by Isabelle Dolezalek and Mattia Guidett

For centuries, objects from Islamic lands were unquestioned parts of the material and visual culture of pre-modern Latinate Europe. A textile from Fatimid Egypt, for instance, the so-called ‘Veil of Sainte Anne’, was kept in the cathedral treasury of Apt and venerated as a Christian relic.

The workshop Heritage Revisited: Rediscovering Objects from Islamic Lands in Enlightenment Europe is dedicated to the long eighteenth century, a period in which, so we believe, an important shift in the perception of such objects took place. Islamic provenances were rediscovered, objects were studied, drawn and discussed. Finally, they were subjected to the classificatory scheme of European modernity, which leaves little space for conceptions of a historically entangled heritage.

Object case-studies shed light on the networks of scholars and institutions involved in the rediscoveries and will be framed in the discussions within broader discourses on (European) cultural heritage. Ultimately, we wish to offer new perspectives on the history of scholarship, notably Islamic art history, but also on perceptions of cultural belonging, of ‘Europeanness’ and ‘Otherness’, which deeply resonate with current societal concerns.

Attendance is free. Please register by 15 September 2018, mattia.guidetti@univie.ac.uk. The workshop is kindly supported by the Fritz-Thyssen Foundation, the Chair of Islamic Art History and the Historisch-Kulturwissenschaftliche Fakultät of the University of Vienna.

T H U R S D A Y ,  2 0  S E P T E M B E R  2 0 1 8

10:00  Visit to the Dom Museum Wien with Gregor Pirgie (Universität Wien), Pia Razenberger (Tabadul Project), and Markus Ritter (Universität Wien). Places for the visit are limited; please register by 15 September 2018, mattia.guidetti@univie.ac.uk.

13:30  Welcome and Introduction — Isabelle Dolezalek (Technische Universität Berlin/SFB ‘Episteme in Bewegung’ Freie Universität Berlin) and Mattia Guidetti (Universität Wien)

14:00  Collections
Chair: Ebba Koch (Universität Wien)
• Elisabeth Rodini (Johns Hopkins University Baltimore), The Redaldi Inventory: A Prologue to Enlightenment Collecting
• Federica Gigante (Ashmolean Museum Oxford), Objects of a ‘Certain Antiquity’ and the Quest for Their Cultural Context

15:20  Coffee

15.50  Rediscovering Objects from Islamic Lands
Chair: Barbara Karl (Textilmuseum St. Gallen)
• Claire Dillon (Columbia University New York), The Many Dimensions of a Work of Art: The Mantle of Roger II as a Case Study in Imperial Representation, Origin Stories, and the Formation of Specific Others
• Michelina di Cesare (Sapienza Università di Roma), Four Eleventh and Twelfth-Century Islamic Tombstones Discovered in Pozzuoli in the Seventeenth Century
• Carine Juvin (Musée du Louvre Paris), The ‘Baptistère de Saint-Louis’ through the Seventeenth and Eighteenth Centuries: The Making of a ‘Historical Monument’
• Anna Contadini (School of African and Oriental Studies London), Changing Perceptions of the Pisa Griffin and Other Objects

19:00  Dinner

F R I D A Y ,  2 1  S E P T E M B E R  2 0 1 8

9:30  Protagonists of the Rediscoveries
Chair: Johannes Wieninger (MAK Österreichisches Museum für angewandte Kunst Wien)
• Mattia Guidetti (Universität Wien), Reading Ottoman Flags in the Marches Region, 1684–1838
• Markus Ritter (Universität Wien), A Documentary Encounter with Medieval (Islamic) Art in Eighteenth-Century Vienna
• Tobias Mörike (Museum für Kunst und Gewerbe Hamburg), Knowledge-Brokers and Object-Interpreters: Maronite Christians and the Redefinition of ‘Islamicate Objects’ by the 1800s

11:30  Coffee

12:00  Discussion Tables
Table 1 with Isabelle Dolezalek (TU/FU, Berlin), On the Concept of Cultural Heritage: What Is European and What Is Not?
Table 2 with Tobias Mörike (Museum für Kunst und Gewerbe Hamburg), Art Market Networks and Their Role in Constituting ‘Islamic Art’ Objects
Table 3 with Barbara Karl (Textilmuseum St. Gallen), Object Biographies and Dynamics of Collecting

12:45  Plenum Discussion

13:30  Lunch

14:30  Classifiying, Framing, Exhibiting
Chair: Markus Ritter (Universität Wien)
• Sabine Du Crest (Université de Bordeaux), Islamic Border Objects in Seventeenth-Century Europe
• Gül Kale (McGill University Montreal), Image as Text: Fischer von Erlach’s Take on Guillaume Grelot’s Drawings of Islamic Monuments in the Eighteenth Century
• Ebba Koch (Universität Wien), Mughal Miniatures at Habsburg Vienna

16:30  Final Discussion

New Book | Romantic Art in Practice

Posted in books by Editor on September 3, 2018

From Cambridge UP:

Thora Brylowe, Romantic Art in Practice: Cultural Work and the Sister Arts, 1760–1820 (New York: Cambridge University Press, 2018), 280 pages, ISBN: 978-1108426404, $105.

Exploring the relationship between visual art and literature in the Romantic period, this book makes a claim for a sister-arts ‘moment’ when the relationship between painting, sculpture, pottery, and poetry held special potential for visual artists, engravers, and artisans. Elaborating these cultural tensions and associations through a number of case studies, Thora Brylowe sheds light on often untold narratives of English labouring craftsmen and artists as they translated the literary into the visual. Brylowe investigates examples from across the visual spectrum including artefacts, such as Wedgwood’s Portland Vase, antiquarianism through the work of William Blake, the career of engraver John Landseer, and the growing influence of libraries and galleries in the period, particularly Boydell’s Shakespeare Gallery. Brylowe artfully traces the shifting cultural connections between the imaginative word and the image in a period that saw new print technologies deluge Britain with its first mass media. Part of the Cambridge Studies in Romanticism series.

Thora Brylowe is Assistant Professor of English at the University of Colorado, Boulder.


List of Figures

Introduction: The Sister-Arts Moment
1  Original Copies: Wedgwood’s Portland Vase in Paint and Poem
2  William Blake, Antiquarians, and the Status of Copy
3  Literary Galleries and the Media Ecology: Painting for Print in the Age of Anthologies
4  Poetry against the Wall: The (Sister) Arts in Crisis
5  Crossing the Line: Engraving, John Landseer, and the Aftermath of the Shakespeare Gallery
6  Ravaged brides: Grecian Urns on Romantic Paper


New Book | The Invention of Rare Books

Posted in books by Editor on September 2, 2018

McKitterick is especially interested in how the idea of ‘rarity’ emerged as a part of a selection process in the face of the plenitude of print. As a secondary (maybe tertiary) theme, he also considers how books, especially during the eighteenth century, came to be regarded as rare alongside other “material relics of the past,” in part thanks to shared “aspects of connoisseurship both in sculpture and in painting, and even in old buildings” (23). The other crucial text, as noted repeatedly by McKitterick, is Kristian Jensen, Revolution and the Antiquarian Book: Reshaping the Past, 1780–1815 (Cambridge UP, 2011). CH

From Cambridge UP:

David McKitterick, The Invention of Rare Books: Private Interest and Public Memory, 1600–1840 (New York: Cambridge University Press, 2018), 460 pages, ISBN: 978-1108584265, $63.

When does a book that is merely old become a rarity and an object of desire? David McKitterick examines, for the first time, the development of the idea of rare books, and why they matter. Studying examples from across Europe, he explores how this idea took shape in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, and how collectors, the book trade and libraries gradually came together to identify canons that often remain the same today. In a world that many people found to be over-supplied with books, the invention of rare books was a process of selection. As books are one of the principal means of memory, this process also created particular kinds of remembering. Taking a European perspective, McKitterick looks at these interests as they developed from being matters of largely private concern and curiosity, to the larger public and national responsibilities of the first half of the nineteenth century.

David McKitterick, FBA, was for many years Librarian of Trinity College, Cambridge, and Honorary Professor of Historical Bibliography at Cambridge. His previous publications include the three volume A History of Cambridge University Press (Cambridge, 1992–2004), Cambridge University Library: A History, Volume 2: The Eighteenth and Nineteenth Centuries (Cambridge, 1986), Print, Manuscript and the Search for Order, 1450–1830 (Cambridge, 2003), and most recently Old books, New Technologies (Cambridge, 2013). Professor McKitterick is one of the general editors of the Cambridge History of the Book in Britain.


List of Illustrations
List of Abbreviations

1  Inventio
2  Books as Objects
3  Survival and Selection
4  Choosing Books in Baroque Europe
5  External Appearances (1)
6  External Appearances (2)
7  Printers and Readers
8  A Seventeenth-century Revolution
9  Concepts of Rarity
10  Developing Measures of Rarity
11  Judging Appearances by Modern Standards
12  The Harleian Sales
13  Authority and Rarity
14  Rarity Established
15  The French Bibliographical Revolution
16  Books in Turmoil
17  Bibliophile Traditions
18  Fresh Foundations
19  Public Faces, Public Responsibilities
20  Conclusion

Select Bibliography

Display | Bad-boy Adrian Beverland

Posted in exhibitions by Editor on September 1, 2018

Now on view at the Rijksmuseum:

Bad-boy Adrian Beverland / Hadriaan Beverland
Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam, 26 April — 17 September 2018

Isaak Beckett, after Simon Dubois, Portrait of Adrian Beverland Drawing a Statue of Venus, ca. 1685–90 (Amsterdam: Rijksmuseum).

On display in Gallery 2.21 is a small exhibition of the work of 17th-century bad-boy Adrian Beverland (1650–1716), a Dutch classicist who devoted his studies exclusively to one subject: sex! The display in this gallery of a selection of fourteen portraits, publications, and erotic prints from Beverland’s collection offers a tantalising glimpse into his intriguing life and his predilection for erotica.

For many years, Beverland worked on an encyclopaedia of eroticism in the ancient world entitled De Prostibulis Veterum (On the Prostitution of the Classics). But it was never published. When another provocative treatise by Beverland appeared in print in 1679, he was banished from the Dutch provinces of Holland, Zeeland and West-Friesland. His reputation as a scholar lay in ruins.

The disgraced classicist moved to London, where he built up a new life, earning a respectable living as an agent in art and literature and hunting out interesting antiquities, shells, and manuscripts for wealthy collectors. But the delights of erotica still beckoned, and Beverland continued his studies in secret. He illustrated his notes with intriguing, erotic collages comprising cut-out fragments of prints, and he was apparently unable to restrain himself from referring to his bad-boy status in curious portraits of himself. In one we see a mischievous Beverland drawing the bare buttocks of a statue of Venus.

Those wishing to find out more about Adrian Beverland will be interested to know that Joyce Zelen, an Andrew W. Mellon Fellow, is currently studying the life of this ostracised eroticist. Her research into Beverland’s portraits will be published in the Rijksmuseum Bulletin later this year, and the complete results of her broader study of Beverland will appear in a year’s time.

Rijksmuseum Acquires Floral Painting by Gerard van Spaendonck

Posted in museums by Editor on September 1, 2018

Press release (29 August 2018) from the Rijksmuseum:

Gerard van Spaendonck, Still Life of Flowers in Alabaster Vase, 1783, oil on canvas, 80 × 64 cm (Amsterdam: Rijksmuseum).

The Rijksmuseum has procured a painting by Gerard van Spaendonck, the most famous painter of floral still lifes of the second half of the 18th century. It was a long-cherished wish of the museum to include in its collection an important work by this Dutch painter of international renown. The Rijksmuseum’s director Taco Dibbits describes this painting as “a radiantly beautiful acquisition.” The purchase of Still Life of Flowers in an Alabaster Vase from a gallery in Paris for €900,000 was made possible in part by participants in the BankGiro Lottery. The painting is now on display in Gallery 1.11.

Gerard van Spaendonck (1746–1822) was born in the southern Dutch city of Tilburg and settled in Paris in the 1760s. He gained fame not only as a painter of floral still lifes, but also as the illustrator of the French king’s botanical collection, a highly prestigious position. He was a leading and active figure in the Parisian art world and a teacher of countless French and foreign artists. Gerard van Spaendonck did not make a great number of paintings, instead devoting much of his time to his watercolours of plants, and to his students. He is nonetheless considered to be his era’s best painter of flowers.

Gerard van Spaendonck exhibited this floral still life at the Salon de 1783 in Paris, and it received great praise from critics, including compliments for his lifelike depictions of insects. The painting shows a bouquet of flowers in an alabaster vase standing atop a marble block on which children are depicted in relief. The painter’s studio window can be seen reflected in the polished surface of the vase. The flowers that feature in this painting include large white and smaller pink peonies, blue delphiniums, purple lilacs, and yellow and purple flamed tulips. Insects can be seen dotted about, and five green blackbird eggs lie in the nest on the right. Even the wicker basket seems almost real enough to touch.

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