Exhibition | Homer

Posted in exhibitions by Editor on April 6, 2019

Press release for the exhibition:

Homer / Homère
Musée du Louvre-Lens, 27 March — 22 July 2019

Curated by Alain Jaubert, Alexandre Farnoux, Vincent Pomarède, Luc Piralla, and Alexandre Estaquet-Legrand

The Musée du Louvre-Lens presents one of the most ambitious exhibitions ever devoted to Homer, the ‘prince of poets’, author of two celebrated epics, The Iliad and The Odyssey, that have been an integral part of Western societies since antiquity. It explores the origins of Homer’s fascinating influence on Western artists and culture down the centuries and sheds light on its many mysteries.

Achilles, Hector, Ulysses: these names continue to resonate in people’s minds today. From antiquity to the Renaissance, artists borrowed from Homer’s stories a multitude of fundamental subjects that have shaped the history of art. What is the reason for this uninterrupted success? This exhibition of international scope sets out to explore how artists drew on Homer and the heroes of The Iliad and The Odyssey. It also provides an opportunity to examine numerous questions: Did Homer exist? Was he the sole author of these monumental works? Where and when did he live?

‘Homeromania’ has led the Homeric poems to be used repeatedly as sources of inspiration. The exhibition explores the various aspects of this phenomenon and analyses its diverse manifestations in language, literature, the sciences, the arts, morality, and life. Through almost 250 works, dating from antiquity to the present day, the exhibition offers an unprecedented immersion in the riches of the Homeric world. It presents a selection of works as dense and varied as Homer’s influence, ranging from paintings and objects from ancient Greece, sculptures and casts, and tapestries to paintings by Rubens, Antoine Watteau, Gustave Moreau, André Derain, Marc Chagall, and Cy Twombly.

After a prelude devoted to the gods of Olympus, visitors begin their visit by discovering the ‘prince of poets’ and above all the mysteries that surround him. They then begin their visit in the company of the principal heroes of The Iliad and The Odyssey: archaeological objects and modern works evoke the way in which these seminal sagas, reconsidered, reinterpreted, and updated so many times, have been captured in images over time. The exhibition includes a detour by way of other poems from the Epic Cycle that were lost over the course of time and which contained narratives recounting the most famous scenes of the Trojan War, including the Trojan horse, the death of Achilles, and the abduction of Helen. These episodes reveal the full extent of the ancient epic literature and the miraculous nature of the conservation of Homer’s work. The adventure ends with an exploration of the phenomena of ‘Homeromania’ that has marked the science of archaeology and inspired works and behaviour, based on the extensive imitation of Homer that even extended to everyday life.

Curators: Alain Jaubert, writer and filmmaker, Alexandre Farnoux, director of the École Française d’Athènes, Vincent Pomarède, assistant general administrator of the Louvre, Luc Piralla, assistant director of the Musée du Louvre-Lens, assisted by Alexandre Estaquet-Legrand.

New Book | Hellenomania

Posted in books by Editor on April 6, 2019

From Routledge:

Katherine Harloe, Nicoletta Momigliano, and Alexandre Farnoux, eds., Hellenomania (New York: Routledge, 2018), 332 pages, ISBN: 978-1138243248, $150.

Hellenomania, the second volume in the MANIA series, presents a wide-ranging, multi-disciplinary exploration of the modern reception of ancient Greek material culture in cultural practices ranging from literature to architecture, stage and costume design, painting, sculpture, cinema, and the performing arts. It examines both canonical and less familiar responses to both real and imagined Greek antiquities from the seventeenth century to the present, across various national contexts. Encompassing examples from Inigo Jones to the contemporary art exhibition documenta 14, and from Thessaloniki and Delphi to Nashville, the contributions examine attempted reconstructions of an ‘authentic’ ancient Greece alongside imaginative and utopian efforts to revive the Greek spirit using modern technologies, new media, and experimental practices of the body. Also explored are the political resonances of Hellenomaniac fascinations, and tensions within them between the ideal and the real, the past, present, and future.

Part I examines the sources and derivations of Hellenomania from the Baroque and pre-Romantic periods to the early twentieth century. While covering more canonical material than the following sections, it also casts spotlights on less familiar figures and sets the scene for the illustrations of successive waves of Hellenomania explored in subsequent chapters. Part II focuses on responses, uses, and appropriations of ancient Greek material culture in the built environment—mostly architecture—but also extends to painting and even gymnastics; it examines in particular how a certain idealisation of ancient Greek architecture affected its modern applications. Part III explores challenges to the idealisation of ancient Greece, through the transformative power of colour, movement, and of reliving the past in the present human body, especially female. Part IV looks at how the fascination with the material culture of ancient Greece can move beyond the obsession with Greece and Greekness.

Katherine Harloe is Associate Professor of Classics and Intellectual History at the University of Reading. Her research specialisms are the history of classical scholarship and the reception of Greek and Roman antiquity in European (especially German) culture from the mid-eighteenth to the mid-twentieth centuries. In addition to numerous articles, she is author of Winckelmann and the Invention of Antiquity: History and Aesthetics in the Age of Altertumswissenschaft (2013) and co-editor of Thucydides and the Modern World: Reception, Reinterpretation, and Influence from the Renaissance to Today (2012).

Nicoletta Momigliano is Professor of Aegean Studies at the University of Bristol, specialising in Minoan archaeology and its reception. She has directed and co-directed several archaeological projects in Crete and Turkey, and has published many articles and book on Aegean subjects, including Cretomania: Modern Desires for the Minoan Past (2017, co-edited with Alexandre Farnoux) and Archaeology and European Modernity: Producing and Consuming the Minoans (2006, co-edited with Yannis Hamilakis).

Alexandre Farnoux is Professor of Archaeology and History of Art at the University of Paris IV (Sorbonne) and, since 2011, has been Director of the French School in Athens. He is an expert on the archaeology of Delos and especially of Crete, where he has directed excavations at Malia and Dreros. He has published many works on Greek and Aegean topics, including Cnossos, l’archéologie d’un rêve (1993) and Homère, le prince des poètes (2010).


Hellenomanias from Early Modern to Modernism
1  Fiona Macintosh, Modern Stage Design and Greek Antiquity: Inigo Jones and His Greek Models
2  Katherine Harloe, Winckelmania: Hellenomania between Ideal and Experience
3  Richard Jenkyns, The British Reception of Greek Visual Culture in the Nineteenth and Twentieth Centuries

Ideal and Real Structures of Hellenomania
4  Frank Salmon, The Ideal and the Real in British Hellenomania, 1751–1851
5  Athena Leoussi, Making Everyone Greek: Citizens, Athletes, and Ideals of Nationhood in Nineteenth-Century Britain, France and, Germany
6  Lena Lambrinou, The Parthenon from the Greek Revival to the Modern Movement
7  David Watkin, The Greek Spirit: Current Architecture and Sculpture in England

Hellenomania Comes to Life: Colour, Movement, and the Body
8  Charlotte Ribeyrol, From Galatea to Tanagra: Victorian Translations of the Controversial Colours of Greek Sculpture
9  Pantelis Michelakis, ‘Grecian Dances’ and the Transformations of Corporeality in the Age of Moving Images
10  Artemis Leontis, Fashioning a Modern Self in Greek Dress: The Case of Eva Palmer Sikelianos
11  Eleni Sikelianou, From Delphi, 1927
12  Martin Winkler, Aphroditê kinêmatographikê: Venus’ Varieties and Vicissitudes

Beyond Hellenomania?
13  Esther Solomon and Styliana Galiniki, Las Incantadas of Salonica: Searching for ‘Enchantment’ in a City’s Exiled Heritage
14  Eleana Yalouri, Afterword: Hellenomanias Past, Present, and Future


Exhibition | Canova and the Antique

Posted in books, catalogues, exhibitions by Editor on April 6, 2019

Now on view in Naples at the MANN:

Canova and the Antique
Museo Archeologico Nazionale di Napoli, Naples, 28 March — 30 June 2019

Curated by Giuseppe Pavanello 

The magnificent art of Antonio Canova (1757–1822) has rightly earned him praise as “the last of the ancients and the first of the moderns.” This exhibition focuses on Canova’s constant, intense, and fruitful relationship with classical antiquity, which made him known as “the new Phidias” among his contemporaries. Throughout the course of his artistic activity, Canova followed Winckelmann’s call “to imitate but not to copy the ancients” in order to “become inimitable.”

Antonio Canova, Dancer with Hands on Hips, 1811–12 (Saint Petersburg: State Hermitage Museum).

The exhibition is organised on two floors and displays over 110 works by Canova, including drawings, sketches, paintings, plaster casts, and marble sculptures. It showcases some of Canova’s greatest masterpieces, such as the famous group of The Graces on loan from the Hermitage State Museum in Saint Petersburg. The National Archaeological Museum of Naples is in a uniquely privileged position to present this complex and fascinating dialogue between Canova’s works and the great works of antiquity, with stunning pieces that can delight the modern spectator as thoroughly as they did Canova’s contemporaries.

The two installations dedicated to Canova in the entrance hall of the Museum are hosted in theatre-like round structures with a six-metre diameter. The visual journey takes the visitor through virtual imagery and scientific study, going from a single detail to a bird’s eye view, from the butterfly of Cupid and Psyche, to Hercules hurling Lichas, the great myths sculpted in marble and the polychrome paintings on a dark background, dedicated to dance. Adriano Giannini’s voice and the original soundtrack by the cello-player Giovanni Sollima contribute to a show that mixes deep emotion and accurate knowledge.

Canova visited Naples in 1780 to admire the beauties of the city and the antiquities of Herculaneum and Paestum. In his second Quaderno di Viaggio he writes about Naples: “everywhere is like Heaven.” He also reports of his visits to the Sansevero Chapel—where he appreciated the Dead Christ (Veiled Christ) by Giuseppe Sammartino—to the Gallery of Capodimonte, and to the Museum of Portici, where all the antiquities from the Vesuvian area had been gathered. Among the bronzes from the Villa of Papyri of Herculaneum he praises the Seated Mercury for “its wonderful beauty.” Canova obtained permission to draw the nude at the Academy (of Fine Arts), then in the area of San Carlo alle Mortelle. Today, in the Academy’s Gipsoteca, it is possible to admire some of Canova’s plaster models. The master returned to Naples in 1787 and carved for Francesco Maria Berio the marble group Venus and Adonis, to be placed in a little temple in the garden of the marquis’ palace, along via Toledo. The work, inscribed in the genre “delicate and gentle,” is today in Geneva. For the Neapolitan Onorato Caetani he sculpted the group Hercules and Lichas, classified in the genre “strong” or “fierce,” taking inspiration from the ideal model of the Farnese Hercules and from the composition of Hector and Troilus—both on display at the MANN. The Herm of a Vestal, commissioned by the count Paolo Marulli d’Ascoli, would leave Naples for Switzerland first and for the Getty Museum of Los Angeles later. After the short life of the Parthenopean Republic, the Bourbon king Ferdinand IV asked Canova to sculpt for him a portrait-statue. In 1821, as suggested by the master himself, it was placed in the niche of the monumental staircase of the Royal Bourbon Museum, today Museo Archeologico Nazionale. During the French decade Canova carved the marble busts, today lost, of Caroline and Joachim Murat, known through their plaster models. In the same period, the king Joseph Bonaparte and his successor Joachim Murat commission an Equestrian Monument to Napoleon, but, with the French domination coming to an end, the work was never completed. When the Bourbon king of Naples Ferdinand I regained the throne as king of the two Sicilies, he asked Canova to complete the piece with the statue of his father, Charles III. The monument can be admired today in Piazza Plebiscito.

Blasco Pisapia and Valentina Moscon, Canova e l’Antico (Milan: Electa, 2019), 360 pages, ISBN: 978-8891825063.

Antonio Canova, Theseus and Pirithous in the Temple of Diana Ortia See Diana Dancing, between Two Dancers, in Front of the Figure of Artemis of Ephesus (Abduction of Helen), 1799, tempera (Possagno: Gypsotheca e Museo Antonio Canova). The painting is one of 34 works inspired by Pompeiian wall paintings.

Call for Papers | Un-Fair Trades

Posted in Calls for Papers by Editor on April 6, 2019

From the Call for Papers:

Un-Fair Trades: Artistic Intersections with Social and Environmental Injustices in the Atlantic World, 1500–Present
The Graduate Center, CUNY, New York, 10–11 October 2019

Hosted by the Art History Department, The Graduate Center, CUNY

Proposals due by 15 May 2019​

Artists have engaged with issues of oppression and exploitation—byproducts of colonialist and capitalist systems—throughout the history of transatlantic encounters: from slavery and resource extraction; to exploitative labor practices and the environmental consequences of industrialization; and human rights movements and climate change anxieties of the past century. This conference will examine a multitude of artistic responses to increasing global connections, which could include plantation scenes, images of the Middle Passage, social reform photography, industrialized cityscapes, and images of workers and employment. When examined through the lens of our contemporary social and environmental concerns, artworks whose motifs intersect with these imbalances of power compel us to analyze the visualizations of oppression and environmental degradation from a new perspective. Amid the 21st-century activist revival (with movements like Occupy Wall Street, #BlackLivesMatter, #NODAPL, and #MeToo) it is more prescient than ever to acknowledge, examine, and reflect upon both historic and perpetuating inequalities.

Un-Fair Trades seeks to establish a forum for intersectionality, Pan-American approaches, and transnational perspectives. We welcome paper abstracts that utilize an array of theoretical approaches to the visual culture of the Americas, Europe, and Africa and intersect with the issues of equity, equality, and environmentalism. We invite proposals for papers that critically engage with, but are not limited to, depictions of
• Native artists and indigenous populations amid forced migration and assimilation
• Harvested land and the plantation economy.
• Forced labor, the Middle Passage, and the Triangle trade
• The visual, economic, and social treatment of minority populations
• Scientific expeditions, expansionism, and extractive industries in the American West
• Exploitative labor practices, trades, and environmental damage caused by the Industrial Revolution
• Women’s work, expanding economic independence, and the suffrage movement
• Immigration, xenophobia, and the ‘melting pot’
• African Diaspora, the Harlem Renaissance, and Pan-Africanism
• Social Reform initiatives

Keynote Speakers: ​Dr. Alan C. Braddock and Dr. Charmaine A. Nelson

Proposals should be submitted to Caroline L. Gillaspie and Alice J. Walkiewicz at unfairtradesconference@gmail.com​ by ​15 May 2019​. Please include a ​300-word abstract​ and a ​current CV​. Applicants will be notified of acceptance by mid-June.

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