Lecture | Robin Myers on Andrew and James Ducarel

Posted in books, lectures (to attend) by Editor on March 31, 2019

From Eventbrite:

Robin Myers, Dr Andrew Ducarel, Lambeth Librarian 1757–85, Seen through His Brother’s Eyes
Lambeth Palace, London, 8 May 2019

Andrew Ducarel (1713–1785), the eldest of three Huguenot brothers, was a successful ecclesiastical lawyer, Librarian at Lambeth, historian of the palaces of Lambeth and Croydon and of the architecture of Normandy. In Robin Myers’s new book The Two Brothers, it is Andrew’s younger brother James who takes centre stage, writing letters to Andrew in London about his life in France. Wednesday, 8 May 2019, 6pm (admittance not before 5.30pm). Guests should arrive via the main Gatehouse of Lambeth Palace. For any queries, please email melissa.harrison@churchofengland.org.

Robin Myers is a Past President of the Bibliographical Society and Archivist Emeritus of the Worshipful Company of Stationers. Her principal research interests are the history of the Company and its archive, on which she has published widely. She has also worked on Andrew Ducarel for more than twenty years. Her edition, with Gerard de Lisle, of Two Huguenot Brothers: Letters of Andrew and James Coltee Ducarel (1732–1773) has recently been published by Bernard Quaritch.

Exhibition | The Tale of Genji

Posted in books, catalogues, exhibitions by Editor on March 31, 2019

Press release (26 February 2019) from The Met:

The Tale of Genji: A Japanese Classic Illuminated
The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, 5 March — 16 June 2019

Curated by John Carpenter and Melissa McCormick with Monika Bincsik and Kyoko Kinoshita

A major international loan exhibition focusing on the artistic tradition inspired by Japan’s most celebrated work of literature will go on view at The Metropolitan Museum of Art beginning March 5, 2019. Bringing together more than 120 works of art from 32 public and private collections in Japan and the United States—including National Treasures and Important Cultural Properties, most of which have never left Japan—The Tale of Genji: A Japanese Classic Illuminated explores the tale’s continuing influence on Japanese art since it was written around the year 1000 by the noblewoman Murasaki Shikibu (ca. 978–ca. 1014). Often referred to as the world’s first novel, The Tale of Genji has captivated readers for centuries through its sophisticated narrative style, humor and wit, and unforgettable characters, beginning with the ‘radiant prince’ Genji, whose life and loves are the focus of the story.

Tosa Mitsunari (Japanese, 1646–1710), ‘Murasaki Shikibu’, late 17th–early 18th century, one of a triptych of hanging scrolls, ink and color on silk (Ishiyamadera Temple).

The Tale of Genji has inspired generations of artists over centuries, and ours is the first exhibition to explore this phenomenon in such a comprehensive way,” said Max Hollein, Director of The Met. “The magnificent works of art in the show will also offer a view into the development of Japanese art, a testament to the prevalence and impact of the renowned story.”

The exhibition is organized by The Metropolitan Museum of Art and The Japan Foundation, with the cooperation of the Tokyo National Museum and Ishiyamadera Temple. It is made possible by the Mary Livingston Griggs and Mary Griggs Burke Foundation Fund, 2015; the Estate of Brooke Astor; the E. Rhodes and Leona B. Carpenter Foundation; and Ann M. Spruill and Daniel H. Cantwell.

The exhibition presents the most extensive introduction to the visual world of Genji ever shown outside Japan. It features nearly one thousand years of Genji-related art—an astonishing range of works including paintings, calligraphy, silk robes, lacquerware, a palanquin for a shogun’s bride, and popular art such as ukiyo-e prints and contemporary manga—and provide viewers with a window into the alluring world of the Heian imperial court (794–1185) that was created by the legendary authoress.

Comprising 54 chapters, The Tale of Genji describes the life of the prince, from the amorous escapades of his youth to his death, as well as the lives of his descendants, introducing along the way some of the most iconic female characters in the history of Japanese literature.  Organized thematically in eight sections, the exhibition pays special attention to the Buddhist reception of the tale, while also giving prominence to Genji’s female readership and important works by female artists.

Among the works on view, highlights include two of Japan’s National Treasures. The first, on loan from Seikado Bunko Art Museum, is a pair of screens by the Rinpa master Tawaraya Sotatsu (ca. 1570-ca. 1640)—Channel Markers and The Barrier Gate—depicting two chance encounters between Genji and a former lover. The second is the breathtaking Heian-period Lotus Sutra with Each Character on a Lotus, from the Museum Yamato Bunkakan. These works will be on view for six weeks and then rotated with other masterpieces over the course of the exhibition. A number of works recognized as Important Cultural Properties will be on view throughout the exhibition, including beautifully preserved album leaves by Tosa Mitsuyoshi (1539–1613), from the Kuboso Memorial Museum of Arts, Izumi, which will be shown together with rare Tosa School album paintings from the Harvard Art Museums and The Met’s own collection.

The exhibition also includes a section featuring important works of art from Ishiyamadera Temple whose hall contains a ‘Genji Room’ that commemorates the legend that Murasaki started writing the novel within the temple precincts. And the final section of the exhibition features a series of original manga drawings by Yamato Waki that were inspired by The Tale of Genji. She translated Genji into the comic book idiom, making Murasaki’s tale accessible to a whole new generation of readers.

A site-specific opera entitled Murasaki’s Moon—commissioned by MetLiveArts, On Site Opera, and American Lyric Theater in conjunction with the exhibition—will be presented in The Met’s Astor Court on May 17, 18, and 19.

This exhibition will be the opening highlight of Japan 2019, a series of events organized by The Japan Foundation to introduce Japanese arts and culture in the United States throughout 2019.

The Tale of Genji: A Japanese Classic Illuminated will be accompanied by a fully illustrated catalogue, made possible by The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation; the Florence and Herbert Irving Fund for Asian Art Publications; the Charles A. Greenfield Fund; The Miriam and Ira D. Wallach Foundation; the Mary Livingston Griggs and Mary Griggs Burke Foundation Fund, 2015; the Parnassus Foundation; and Richard and Geneva Hofheimer Memorial Fund.

The exhibition is curated by John T. Carpenter, Mary Griggs Burke Curator of Japanese Art in the Department of Asian Art at The Met; and guest curator Melissa McCormick, Professor of Japanese Art and Culture at Harvard University; with Monika Bincsik, Diane and Arthur Abbey Assistant Curator for Japanese Decorative Arts at The Met; and Kyoko Kinoshita, Professor of Japanese Art History at Tama Art University.

John Carpenter and Melissa McCormick, The Tale of Genji: A Japanese Classic Illuminated (New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 2019), 368 pages, ISBN: 978-1588396655, $65.

Rijksmuseum Acquires Portrait by Joseph-François Ducq

Posted in museums by Editor on March 31, 2019

Press release (25 March 2019) from the Rijksmuseum:

Joseph-François Ducq, Portrait of the Engraver Joseph-Charles de Meulemeester at Work in the Raphael Loggia in the Vatican, 1813 (Amsterdam: Rijksmuseum).

Last week the Rijksmuseum was able to acquire several remarkable works of art at TEFAF Maastricht, thanks to the generosity of private donors. The objects include two 16th-century panels by Maarten van Heemskerck, a book published in 1627 on locks and keys made by the French locksmith Mathurin Jousse, and an 1813 painting by Joseph-François Ducq of the engraver Joseph-Charles de Meulemeester. . . .

Through the support of the Gerhards Fund/Rijksmuseum Fund, Rijksmuseum has acquired a painting by Joseph-François Ducq (1762–1829), an artist from the Southern Netherlands (Flanders). Portrait of the Engraver Joseph-Charles de Meulemeester at Work in the Raphael Loggia in the Vatican was made in Rome in 1813. Ducq portrayed his fellow artist full-length, resting one foot on the stretcher of a chair. On the seat are his palette, a box of watercolours, a glass of water and a brush. De Meulemeester (1771–1836) had set himself the aim of reproducing Raphael’s entire oeuvre, and he can be seen here working on a drawing of a section of the ceiling above him—the Rijksmuseum collection contains a print by De Meulemeester of Rapheal’s The Ecstasy of St. Cecilia. Further along the arcade we can see one artist standing with a drawing folder under his arm and another on a tall scaffold, making a drawing of the ceiling. At the far end, a Swiss Guardsman can be seen guarding the large door.

De Meulemeester and Ducq belonged to a group of artists from the Southern Netherlands whom the government had sent to Rome to complete their education and to study the Italian masterpieces. This fine depiction of the activities of an artist in Italy is also a historical document, because on the shadowed pillar on the left we can see, written in red and brown paint, the names of all the artists who had come from the Southern Netherlands to Rome, with their year of arrival.

The Rijksmuseum collection contains works sent back by artists from the Northern Netherlands who went to Rome in about the same period. There were many contacts between these artists and their counterparts in the Southern Netherlands. However, except for a single painting by Frans Vervloet, these compatriots are not represented in our collection. This portrait of De Meulemeester serves as the desired link between North and South. This painting will be an attractive and valuable addition to the Waterloo Gallery, which is partly dedicated to Dutch artists in Italy.

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