Conference | Hadrian’s Villa and Its Reception

Posted in conferences (to attend) by Editor on October 1, 2018

From Munich’s Zentralinstitut für Kunstgeschichte:

Villa Adriana: Die kaiserliche Residenz und ihre Rezeption
Zentralinstitut für Kunstgeschichte, Munich, 17 October 2018

17:15  Cristina Ruggero (ZI, München), Bares für Rares: Antike aus der Hadriansvilla und der römische Kunstmarkt

17:45  Clare Hornsby (London), Man of Spirit, Man of Taste, Man of Fashion: Deciphering Identities of the British Collectors of Ancient Marbles

This talk will examine some examples of motivations for collecting: art as investment, response to peer pressure or fashion, ambition to form taste or to improve national standards; rarely were the motivations clear cut. The collectors included here will range from the politically ambitious commoner Bubb Dodington and his highly-placed dealer Cardinal Albani in the late 1740s, to the archetype of the nobleman collector the Earl of Shelburne, who acquired several pieces from Hadrian’s Villa in the 1760s and 70s. Others considered are the obsessively acquisitive gentleman-scholar Charles Townley and the banker-collector Lyde Browne, their activities furnishing us with a look at the role of the secondary market and the expansion of the mania for collecting. For all of these collectors, Hadrian’s Villa was the provenance par excellence for any ancient statue; reference will be made in this talk to some of the sculptures discovered there and how the British excavators and dealers used that provenance to add even further value to the perennial glamour of the ancient work of art.

18:30  Adriano Aymonino (The University of Buckingham), The Reception of Ancient Painting in the Eighteenth Century: Theoretical Debate, Antiquarian Publications, and the Visual Arts

This talk focuses on the nature of the relationship between the reception of ancient painting and the humanistic theory of art. It argues that this relationship was twofold: on the one hand, surviving textual evidence on Greek and Roman painting provided examples, tropes and principles that were instrumental in shaping art theory, from Leon Battista Alberti to Giovanni Pietro Bellori and the theoreticians of eighteenth-century classicism. On the other hand, the almost complete lack of physical remains of these artworks contributed to an idealised vision of ancient painting that was equally influential in defining some of the essential tendencies that shaped this theoretical tradition. Specifically, my paper will investigate how the relationship between theory and object evolved in the face of those new discoveries, publications and antiquarian ideas that proliferated over the course of the eighteenth century—with a particular focus on Hadrian’s Villa.

Additional information is available here»

Research Lunch | Nicole Cochrane on Classical Art in Britain

Posted in lectures (to attend) by Editor on October 1, 2018

From the PMC:

Nicole Cochrane, Ancient Sculpture and the Narratives of Collecting: (Re)Contextualising the Collection and Display of Classical Art in Britain
Paul Mellon Centre for Studies in British Art, London, 5 October 2018

Joseph Wright of Derby, Academy by Lamplight, 1769, oil on canvas (New Haven: Yale Center for British Art, Paul Mellon Collection).

Collections of ancient art are an ever-present sight in British museums and art galleries, largely due to the efforts of the collecting practices of Britain’s wealthy, male elite. Through an exploration of private collections of ancient art and their transition to public display, this paper explores the implicit and explicit role of the individual collector on the reception of antiquity in the late eighteenth and nineteenth century museum. It will analyse how collection formation and display reinforced the connection between owner and object, irrevocably tying the collector with his possessions. Turning then to their museum contexts, arguing that the individual created a reception of the classical world which is always necessarily mediated by the narrative of the collector. It hopes to shed new light on the way we analyse the space and context of the public and private gallery, arguing that the identity and narrative of the collector continues to have an important, yet overlooked, effect on the way we understand the ancient world.

Research Lunches are a series of free lunchtime research talks. All are welcome, but please book a ticket in advance. 1:00–2:00pm, Seminar Room, Paul Mellon Centre.

Nicole Cochrane is a final year PhD candidate at the University of Hull as part of the AHRC Heritage Consortium. Her PhD explores the way we understand and interpret the ancient world within the museum environment, asserting the importance of the private collector and their private display as imbedding legacies and narratives of collecting on British museums and galleries of ancient art. As part of her PhD project, in 2016 she completed an internship at the Henry Moore Institute in Leeds proposing a project on the global history of sculpture collecting.

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