Enfilade

Exhibition | Curieux Antiquaires: Les débuts de l’archéologie à Bavay

Posted in books, catalogues, exhibitions by Editor on June 23, 2019

From the Forum Antique de Bavay:

Curieux Antiquaires: The Origins of Archaeology in Bavay in the 18th and 19th Centuries
Forum Antique, Bavay (Nord), 7 February — 27 August 2019

L’antiquaire est par définition un grand collectionneur… Mais, celui que nous connaissons aujourd’hui et celui des XVIIIe et XIXe siècles sont bien différents. Un antiquaire dans les années 1700 et 1800 est en réalité un précurseur de l’archéologie, il se passionne pour la collection d’objets antiques et s’intéresse à leur passé pour raconter notre Histoire. Avec l’exposition Curieux antiquaires, les débuts de l’archéologie à Bavay aux XVIIle et XIXe siècles, pénétrez au coeur du passé antique de Bavay avec les yeux de ces amateurs éclairés. Découvrez des érudits hauts en couleurs à travers leurs méthodes de travail, réseaux, collections et dessins.

Cette exposition grand public a pour but de faire part aux visiteurs des avancées dans la connaissance de l’histoire de l’archéologie à Bavay en mettant d’une part en avant des portraits des acteurs de cette histoire (l’abbé Carlier, J.B. Lambiez, Antoine Niveleau, Parent) et d’autre part leurs publications (Recueil de dessins de Carlier, Histoire monumentaire du Nord des Gaules de Lambiez, Bavay ancien et nouveau de Niveleau …). Il est aussi question de faire prendre conscience au public du fait que la manière de construire l’image de l’Antiquité est conditionnée par l’époque.

Curieux Antiquaires: Les débuts de l’archéologie à Bavay aux XVIIIe et XIXe siècles (Paris: Snoeck, 2019), 200 pages, ISBN: 978-9461614711, 22€.

Si l’histoire de l’antique Bagacum est bien connue, la manière dont celle-ci s’est construite l’est moins. Curieux antiquaires, les débuts de l’archéologie à Bavay aux XVIIIe et XIXe siècles permet d’appréhender le patrimoine bavaisien sous un nouvel angle. Offrant une mise en perspective tant géographique que chronologique, ce catalogue apporte une vision nouvelle sur les premiers antiquaires bavaisiens. A travers les contributions d’Odile Parsis-Bazubé et d’Alain Schnapp, c’est la construction de l’antiquariate et de l’archéologie en France aux XVIIIe et XIXe siècles qui est mise en lumière. Plus loin, Véronique Beirnaert-Mary, Delphine Morana-Burlot et Véronique Krings détaillent l’exemple de Bavay. La première dresse le paysage bavaisien en présentant les acteurs locaux et leurs actions. Delphine Morana-Burlot propose ensuite une réflexion autour de la question du faux, Enfin, Véronique Krings ouvre une fenêtre sur la période du début du XXe siècle en s’attachant à relater la correspondance entre Franz Cumont et Raoul Warocqué autour des objets bavaisiens. Richement illustré, cet ouvrage rassemble toutes les pièces présentées à l’occasion de l’exposition. Des documents inédits sont ici publiés pour la première fois. La juxtaposition des objets archéologiques et de leur représentation dessinée est elle aussi inédite.

Exhibition | Thai Buddhist Tales

Posted in exhibitions by Editor on June 22, 2019

Extracts from the Pāli Canon (Tipiṭaka) and Qualities of the Buddha (Mahabuddhaguna), 18th century, Thailand
(Dublin: Chester Beatty Library, CBL Thi 1341)

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Press release (via Art Daily) for the exhibition, which includes an especially impressive virtual gallery:

Thai Buddhist Tales: Stories along the Path to Enlightenment
Chester Beatty Library, Dublin Castle, Dublin, 14 June 2019 — 26 January 2020

Curated by Laura Muldowney

The Chester Beatty has opened an exhibition of Thai Buddhist manuscripts dating to the 18th and 19th centuries. The world-renowned collection of beautifully illustrated books provides a rare opportunity to explore the Buddhist tales depicted within. Presented as colourful illustrations alongside sacred texts, some of the most popular Buddhist stories within the books are the birth tales of the Buddha and the legend of the monk Phra Malai.

Extracts from the Pāli Canon (Tipiṭaka) and Qualities of the Buddha (Mahabuddhaguna), 18th century, Thailand (Dublin: Chester Beatty Library, CBL Thi 1344).

Handsomely decorated folding books were used by monks as teaching aids and for chanting during religious ceremonies. Many were commissioned following the death of a relative and then donated to a temple. This earned religious merit for the donor as well as the deceased.

The Buddha had many past lives, but stories of his last ten are particularly important in Thai culture. Known as jatakas, or ‘birth tales’, these stories tell of the Buddha’s moral evolution over countless incarnations as he attained the ten perfections required for Buddhahood. Well-known scenes from these stories are featured in Thai folding books of the 18th and 19th centuries. They are presented as paired paintings, flanking the passages of sacred text. The life of the historical Buddha was much less frequently depicted in Thai folding books, but the museum has several examples that show scenes from his life before and after he became the Buddha.

The legend of a monk named Phra Malai was one of the most popular subjects of 19th-century Thai illustrated folding books. The pious monk Phra Malai visited heaven and hell using powers he earned through meditation and acts of merit. On his return to earth he reported what he had seen. The tale was often recited at wakes. Its detailed descriptions of hell and heaven served as powerful reminders that actions in this life determine one’s next life.

Illustrated folding books continued to be made in Thailand into the early twentieth century. However by the 1920s, the availability of inexpensive printing meant their production had almost completely come to an end. Introducing cherished stories and preserving the devotion of their makers and the communities who used them, these beautiful books offer a unique window onto Thai Buddhist heritage.

The exhibition is curated by Laura Muldowney, researcher of the museum’s East Asian collection.

Extracts from the Pali Canon (Tipitaka) and Story of Phra Malai, late 18th century, Thailand
(Dublin: Chester Beatty Library, CBL Thi 1328)

Une journée d’étude | Blue / Bleu

Posted in conferences (to attend) by Editor on June 21, 2019

In September at INHA, via ArtHist.net:

Blue: Intersecting Worlds of Colour in the 18th Century
Bleu: Les mondes croisés de la couleur au XVIIIe siècle
Institut national d’histoire de l’art, Paris, 6 September 2019

Organized by Charlotte Guichard, Anne-Solenn Le Hô, and Hannah Williams

Pigments, paints, and dyes. Made from organic and inorganic materials, derived from natural substances or synthetic processes, these chemical products are responsible for every artwork ever painted, drawn, printed, or woven. In the eighteenth century, at a moment just before the mass production and marketization of artists’ materials, colour became a vibrant space for scientific invention, artistic experimentation, technological advancement, and commercial success. Blue in particular—from Indigo to Prussian Blue—became a site of energetic entrepreneurship and innovation, leading from the macrocosms of global trade and the international circulation of scientific knowledge, to the microcosms of the laboratory, factory, shop, and studio. Encompassing a diverse range of actors, objects, and spaces, the intersecting worlds of colour present a fascinating space for inquiry into eighteenth-century relationships between art, chemistry, commerce, and industry, and into the materials, practices, and economies that brought them together.

Taking ‘blue’ as its focus, this workshop will explore the artistic, scientific, and social histories of colour in the eighteenth century, and above all, the intersections between them. What happens when artists’ colours are considered as interdisciplinary substances? What relationships exist, for instance, between a colour’s physico-chemical properties, its economic values, and its aesthetic qualities? How might these materials set histories of artworks in dialogue with histories of gesture and technique, or with social histories of the ‘art world’, in Howard Becker’s sense of the term? Where is colour in these multi-layered histories, and where do their narratives meet and diverge? Attending to Tim Ingold’s injunction to “follow the materials,” this workshop seeks micro-historical engagements that recontextualise the colour blue (as a material) by tracing it through the intersecting worlds of art, science, technology, and commerce across the long eighteenth century.

Concluding a research project—PaintItBlue—on ‘Matériaux anciens et patrimoniaux’, funded by the Île de France region, this interdisciplinary workshop will bring together art historians, historians, curators, scientists, and conservators in an effort to prompt new conversations about the histories of artists’ materials, while shaping rich methodological terrains through which to pursue them. This event is supported by a grant from the Ile-de-France Region – DIM ‘Matériaux anciens et patrimoniaux’ ».

Organising Committee
Charlotte Guichard (CNRS/ENS-PSL)
Anne-Solenn Le Hô (C2RMF/Chimie ParisTech-PSL)
Hannah Williams (Queen Mary University of London)

P R O G R A M M E

9.00  Accueil

9.20  Ouverture – Sigrid Mirabaud (INHA)

9.30  Bleu de Prusse: Les histoires d’une couleur — Le projet ‘PaintItBlue’ en contexte
• Charlotte Guichard (CNRS / ENS-PSL), Le bleu de Prusse comme ‘objet frontière’
• Anne-Solenn Le Hô (C2RMF / Chimie ParisTech, PSL), Le bleu de Prusse comme produit chimique
• Hannah Williams (Queen Mary University of London), Le bleu de Prusse comme matériau artistique

11.00  Pause café

11.20  Session 1 — Couleur: Art et Chimie
Modérateur: Michel Menu (C2RMF / Chimie ParisTech, PSL)
• Myriam Eveno (C2RMF / Chimie ParisTech, PSL), La palette de Watteau et de ses épigones: l’analyse des pigments bleus
• Alexandra Gent (National Portrait Gallery, London), Turchino, Azzurro, Blue: Joshua Reynolds’s Use of Blue Pigments

13.00  Déjeuner / Lunch

14.30  Session 2 — Couleur: Historicité et Matérialité
Modérateur: Guillaume Faroult (Musée du Louvre)
• Sven Dupré (Artechne ERC, Universiteit Utrecht), Re-working Recipes, Reconstructing Colour Worlds
• Marguerite Martin (Université Paris 1 Panthéon Sorbonne), Indigo: de la construction des savoirs sur un produit exotique à la définition commerciale du produit et de ses usages
• Yuriko Jackall (Wallace Collection, London), Greuze’s Greens: Colour and Biography in Eighteenth-Century Paris

16.30  Cocktail

Display | Pietre Dure

Posted in exhibitions by Editor on June 20, 2019

Depiction of the Tomb of Cecilia Metella, Grand Ducal workshop, Florence, 1795; marble, painted alabaster, pietre dure, gilt bronze
(Rosalinde and Arthur Gilbert Collection)

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Now on view at the V&A:

Pietre Dure: Highlights from the Rosalinde and Arthur Gilbert Collection
Victoria and Albert Museum, London, 22 March 2019 — 20 March 2020

In celebration of the highly skilled techniques of hardstone marquetry, this display showcases the wide range of pietre dure objects in the Gilbert Collection. With examples from the early seventeenth to the twentieth centuries, the display draws together objects produced on diverse scales and for a variety of functions, offering an insight into the history of pietre dure techniques, designs, and workshops.

Chippendale Tables and Mirrors Acquired for the UK

Posted in museums by Editor on June 20, 2019

Thomas Chippendale, Set of pier tables and glasses, installed in the Music Room at Harewood House in West Yorkshire, ca. 1771.

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From the press release (via Art Daily, 18 June 2019) . . .

An important set of pier tables and glasses (mirrors) by Thomas Chippendale, often described as ‘the Shakespeare of English furniture-making’, has been accepted in lieu of inheritance tax for the nation and allocated to the V&A. Through the Acceptance in Lieu in situ loan agreement with Harewood House Trust, the pair will remain on public display in the Music Room, the most complete Robert Adam-designed room at Harewood House in West Yorkshire, and the room for which they were specifically designed.

Thomas Chippendale (1718–79) is the most famous name in 18th-century English furniture. His neo-classical and rococo furniture is some of the most acclaimed and sought-after ever produced. Dating from c.1771, these tables and glasses are among the most distinguished items from his important and most valuable commission for Edwin Lascelles, 1st Baron Harewood, at Harewood House. The pier tables, with exquisite marquetry tops, are of outstanding sophistication and quality. The large and impressive glasses, surmounted by fluted columns, represent the pinnacle of Chippendale’s craftsmanship.

The tables and glasses join the world’s most important collection of English furniture held at the V&A, alongside other examples of Chippendale furniture, including pieces commissioned for leading 18th-century actor David Garrick’s Thames-side villa in 1775. The tables and glasses will undergo a programme of conservation by the V&A’s conservators to restore the surface finish closer to Chippendale’s original intention.

Tristram Hunt, Director, V&A said: “It is exceptionally rare to find Thomas Chippendale furniture as well documented as that at Harewood House—the most lavish commission Chippendale ever received. Of superlative quality, the tables and glasses are welcome additions to the V&A’s world-class collection of English furniture. We are delighted that they can remain in their original location to be seen and appreciated by visitors to Harewood House for years to come.”

Rebecca Pow, Heritage Minister said: “Thomas Chippendale is one of the most talented and gifted furniture makers the country has ever produced. I am delighted that, thanks to the Acceptance in Lieu scheme, these important works now belong to the British public and will remain on display, continuing to inspire the next generation of crafts people.”

Jane Marriott, Director, Harewood House Trust said: “As an Independent Charitable Trust and Arts Council Accredited Museum, we are delighted these objects have been gifted to the nation and that we have been able to agree an in-situ loan with the V&A. This will enable us to continue to share examples of one of Chippendale’s largest and finest commissions in this country, with all of our visitors throughout the year. These pieces were designed specifically for the Music Room in this house and are an integral part of an important decorative scheme designed by Robert Adam and Thomas Chippendale still largely intact today.”

Edward Harley OBE, Chairman, Acceptance in Lieu Panel said: “I am delighted that the Acceptance in Lieu scheme has facilitated the retention of these Chippendale pier tables and glasses in situ at Harewood House. Harewood represents one of the most important commissions of the most important furniture maker of the eighteenth century. I am particularly grateful to the V&A for enabling the pier tables and glasses to remain in Harewood House, the house for which they were designed and where they form part of an ensemble of other pieces of furniture from the same commission.”

Exhibition | Romantic Germany

Posted in books, catalogues, exhibitions by Editor on June 19, 2019

Now on view at the Petit Palais:

Romantic Germany: Drawings from the Museums of Weimar
Petit Palais, Paris, 22 May — 1 September 2019

Curated by Hermann Mildenberger, Gaëlle Rio, and Christophe Leribault

For the first time in France the Petit Palais is presenting a selection of 140 drawings from the lavish collections of Weimar’s museums. These remarkable images—initially chosen by Goethe (1749–1832) for the Grand Duke of Saxe-Weimar-Eisenach and his own collection—offer a spectacular overview of the golden age of German drawing (ca. 1780–1850).

In the late 18th century the city of Weimar, seat of the Dukes of Saxe-Weimar, was Germany’s intellectual hub. A key figure at this enlightened court, Goethe accumulated numerous posts of cultural responsibility, in addition to writing most of his works there. Himself a knowledgeable collector and draftsman, he built up for the Grand Duke a handsome collection representing every facet of German drawing.

At this time, literature, the visual arts, and music were undergoing profound upheavals in terms of their rules and practice. While the Romantic movement never had a leader as such, its artists unanimously stood for expression of the passions and subjectivity of vision; and in many cases this period saw a blossoming of drawing that made it the most innovative of the creative disciplines of the time.

Divided into seven sections, the exhibition combines the chronological and the aesthetic. As well as such emblematic figures as Caspar Friedrich, Philipp Runge, and Johann Füssli, visitors will discover some 35 artists who played vital parts in the history of drawing, among them Tischbein, Carstens, Fohr, Horny, von Schadow, Schinkel, von Schwind, Richter, and the Nazarenes Overbeck and Schnorr von Carolsfeld, driven by Christian spirituality and national feeling. Portraits and genre scenes, castles in ruins, compositions of biblical and medieval inspiration—but above all landscapes mingling idealism and naturalism in every imaginable media—offer viewers a sublime frisson in their illustration of the private, inner and sometimes flamboyant lives of the Romantic artists.

Curators
Hermann Mildenberger, professor and curator at Klassik Stiftung Weimar
Gaëlle Rio, director, Musée de la Vie romantique
Christophe Leribault, director, Petit Palais

L’Allemagne romantique: Les dessins du musée de Weimar (Paris: Éditions Paris Musées, 2019), 232 pages, ISBN: 978-2759604258, 40€.

Call for Papers | RSA 2020, Philadelphia

Posted in Calls for Papers by Editor on June 18, 2019

Next year’s RSA meeting takes place in Philadelphia, with a handful of panels welcoming late seventeenth- and early eighteenth-century topics. I’ve noted a few of these below, and the larger list of sessions is available at the RSA blog. CH

Renaissance Society of America
Philadelphia, 2–4 April 2020

Proposals due by July 2019 (specific dates vary)

Accommodations and meeting rooms have been booked at the Philadelphia Marriott Downtown and the nearby Courtyard Philadelphia Downtown, both of them a short walk from the famed Reading Terminal Market and City Hall. The Philadelphia Historic District, which was the first World Heritage city in the US, is also within walking distance or accessible by a short cab, bus, or subway ride. The Library Company of Philadelphia houses collections on American society and culture dating from the seventeenth century. The majestic Philadelphia Museum of Art, originally chartered for the Centennial Exposition in 1876, with its main building on Fairmont Hill completed in 1928, has pay-as-you-wish evening hours on Wednesdays and evening hours on Fridays as well.

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Exhausted with Antiquity: A Symptom of Early Modern Invention
Organizers: Marisa Bass (Yale University) and Carolyn Yerkes (Princeton University)

Where and when did early modern artists, architects, and writers begin to show signs of fatigue with the models of the classical past, and what kinds of creative experiments developed in response? Renaissance scholarship has long since moved beyond an understanding of its period as one defined first and foremost by a revival of antiquity. Although the significance of antiquarianism and classicism to manifold developments in early modern art and culture remains incontrovertible, both of those projects also met with productive resistance.

We invite papers addressing works of art or literature that reveal an exhaustion with antiquity and a conscious attempt to develop alternative modes, forms, and principles of invention. Especially welcome are proposals for papers that consider competing notions of the past, the distinction between ‘antique’ and ‘modern’, the political and cultural implications of the choice to forgo classical models, and the reasons why antiquity may have come to be perceived as an exhausted source in the context of certain moments and localities.

To submit a paper proposal please provide the following by email to Marisa Bass (marisa.bass@yale.edu) and Carolyn Yerkes (yerkes@princeton.edu) by 22 July 2019:
• your name and institutional affiliation
• paper title (15-word maximum)
• abstract (150-word maximum)
• keywords
• curriculum vitae (up to 5 pages)
• PhD completion date (past or future)

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The Miniature and the Monumental in Early Modern Art, 1500–1700
Organizers: Isabelle Lecocq (Royal Institute for Cultural Heritage, Brussels) and Elizabeth Rice Mattison (University of Toronto)

This panel aims to examine the role of scale and size in early modern art (ca. 1500–1700). This period witnessed increasingly ambitious projects: massive tomb complexes, immense palaces, and large programs of stained glass. Meanwhile, diminutive arts became increasingly popular: collectible statuettes, tiny prints, portrait miniatures, and small painted glass (commonly known as ’roundels’). Scale and size affected the production and reception of the arts across media in the face of shifts in patronage, organization of artists’ workshops, and dissemination of objects.

Questions this panel considers include: What is the difference between scale and size in early modern art? What is the relationship between scale and size and the circulation of objects, ideas, and materials? How does choice of medium affect the scale of a work? What happens to scale in translations of an iconography across media, and how does scale transform that iconography? How are the miniature and monumental connected, as in instances of microarchitectural projects such as sacrament houses, altarpiece cases, or reliquaries? How did artists working on simultaneously small and large scales adapt their style accordingly? What is the role of scale in new cultures of collecting and display?

This panel invites papers of any geographic focus that explore aspects of scale between 1500 and about 1700. Please send proposals including a paper title (15 words), abstract (150 words), keywords, PhD completion date (past or expected), and CV (max. 5 pages) to the organizers: Isabelle Lecocq (isabelle.lecocq@kikirpa.be) and Elizabeth Rice Mattison (elizabeth.mattison@mail.utoronto.ca) by 15 July 2019.

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Art Theory and Global Dissemination of Early Modern Spain and Colonial Spanish America
Organizers: Livia Stoenescu (Texas A&M University) and Luis Javier Cuesta Hernández (Universidad Iberoamericana)

Papers are sought for panel presentations on the impact of art theory and the global dissemination of works of art from Early Modern Spain and the Hispanic territories of the New World. Spain’s visual culture and literary arts thrived amid a time of political turmoil, instability, and economic crisis. The theoretical discourses generated by Spain, the Hispanic Kingdoms, and Viceroyalties prompted new conceptions of art and unprecedented claims to artistic originality while producing an intense circulation of artistic works around the world.

We invite papers that examine sacred allegories, historical painting, philosophical and literary texts from Golden Age Spain, as well as architectural settings, public processions, miraculous relics and the venerated saints that were held up as symbols of the city and/or the kingdom. The presentations comprising this panel will provide an in-depth perspective on the interrelated issues of Early Modern Spain and the Hispanic territories, and on understudied aspects of the interaction with the arts of Colonial Spanish America in a global context.

500–1,000-word abstracts are invited for consideration on topics including but not limited to the following:
• Spanish paintings distributed in Peru, New Spain, and the rest of the Americas and the impact of the imported art on the art of the colony from the late sixteenth century to mid-eighteenth century.
• the majolicas of Spanish America and global distribution
• early global trade and lavish consumption in the Spanish America
• art theory and the circulation of works of art at the Court, and in the cities of Valencia and Naples as independent art centers, as well as in other major regional centers such as Toledo, Seville, Madrid
• art theory and art dissemination in the main centers of Colonial Spanish America such as Mexico and Lima, and their interrelation with Early Modern Spain
• the status of painting as a liberal art and the painter as its noble practitioner on both the Spanish national art scene and in the Hispanic territories
• the large body of art theory in Early Modern and Baroque Spain: Carducho, Pacheco, Jusepe Martínez, Lázaro Díaz del Valle, and Antonio Palomino (1724).
• Italian Renaissance ideas and Palomino’s theory of 1715 that Spanish artists should attend the schools of Spain, rather than the osterie of Rome where they experience only bewilderment and disorientation
• art theoretical positions by major artists such as Diego de Velázquez, Alonso Cano, Francisco Ribalta, Jusepe de Ribera, Felipe Gómez de Valenica, Bartolomé Esteban Murillo, and others that mark the historical and political events of the Siglo de Oro
• Spanish Baroque artists engaging the Italian Renaissance art, culture, architecture, and art theoretical discourse
• materials and techniques of polychrome sculpture as well as the important centers, clientele, and art theorists associated with its production
• innovative art theoretical approaches to the integration of painting and carving that characterize the complex medium of polychrome sculpture as a devotional art form
• old practices of processional statues, altarpieces, stalls, and their reassessment by art theorists
• the true portrait, or the Veras Imagos, sculpted likeness that stood on the church altar
• the dissemination and circulation of drawings in Colonial Spanish America

Abstracts, one-page CV (not in prose!), and keywords should be sent by 1 July 2019 to Dr. Livia Stoenescu livias@tamu.edu and to Dr. Luis Javier Cuesta Hernández luis.cuesta@ibero.mx.

New Book | Female Portraiture and Patronage in Marie Antoinette’s Court

Posted in books by Editor on June 18, 2019

From Routledge:

Sarah Grant, Female Portraiture and Patronage in Marie Antoinette’s Court: The Princesse de Lamballe (New York: Routledge, 2018), 248 pages, ISBN: 978-1138480827 (hardcover), $150 / ISBN: 978-1351061827 (ebook), $55.

This comprehensive book brings to light the portraits, private collections and public patronage of the princesse de Lamballe (1749–1792), a pivotal member of Marie-Antoinette’s inner circle. Drawing extensively on unpublished archival sources, Sarah Grant examines the princess’s many portrait commissions and the rich character of her private collections, which included works by some of the period’s leading artists and artisans. The book sheds new light on the agency, sorority, and taste of Marie-Antoinette and her friends, a group of female patrons and model of courtly collecting that would be extinguished by the coming revolution.

Sarah Grant is Curator, Prints, at the Victoria & Albert Museum, London.

C O N T E N T S

Introduction
1  From Wife to Widow: Early Portraits of the Princesse de Lamballe
2  Paying Court: Careerism, Sentiment, and Sorority in Portraits of the Princesse de Lamballe
3  The Anglophile Princesse de Lamballe: Portraits, Prints, Gardens, and Anglomania at the Court of Marie-Antoinette
4  ‘Protector of the Fine Arts’: The Private Collection and Public Patronage of the Princesse de Lamballe, a Courtier-Collector
5  Epilogue

Bibliography
Index

New Book | Marie Antoinette at Petit Trianon

Posted in books by Editor on June 17, 2019

From Routledge:

Denise Maior-Barron, Marie Antoinette at Petit Trianon: Heritage Interpretation and Visitor Perceptions (New York: Routledge, 2018), 328 pages, ISBN: 978-1138565562 (hardcover), $140 / ISBN: 978-1315123080 (ebook), $55.

Marie Antoinette at Petit Trianon challenges common perceptions of the last Queen of France, appraising the role she played in relation to the events of French Revolution through an original analysis of contemporary heritage practices and visitor perceptions at her former home, the Petit Trianon.

Controversy and martyrdom have placed Marie Antoinette’s image within a spectrum of cultural caricatures that range from taboo to iconic. With a foundation in critical heritage studies, this book examines the diverse range of contemporary images portraying Marie Antoinette’s historical character, showing how they affect the interpretation and perception of the Petit Trianon. By considering both producers and receivers of these cultural heritage exponents—Marie Antoinette’s historical figure and the historic house museum of the Petit Trianon—the book expands current understandings of twenty-first century cultural heritage perceptions in relation to tourism and popular culture. A useful case study for academics, researchers, and postgraduate students of cultural heritage, it will also be of interest to historians, keepers of house museums, and those working in the field of tourism studies.

Denise Maior-Barron is a Visiting Research Fellow at the School of Tourism at Plymouth University and a Reader at the Huntington Library. She obtained her PhD from Plymouth University in collaboration with the Château de Versailles, following two consecutive research internships at this UNESCO heritage site. Her research focuses on critical cultural heritage and tourist consumption, with an emphasis on rehabilitative history and popular representations in the social imaginary.

C O N T E N T S

Introduction
1  ‘Places of Memory’ in the Nationalist Era of the French Third Republic
2  ‘Places of Memory’ Anchored in Postmodernity
3  Methodology and Fieldwork Research at the Petit Trianon
4  Historical and Cinematic Narratives Encoding Marie Antoinette’s Contemporary Perception
5  Eighteenth-Century Architectural and Heritage Narratives of the Petit Trianon
6  ‘Memories’ of Marie Antoinette: Field Research Evidence at the Petit Trianon
7  ‘Ange ou Démon?’ Contemporary Images of the Last Queen of France at the Petit Trianon
Conclusion

Exhibition | Generation Revolution: French Drawings

Posted in books, catalogues, exhibitions by Editor on June 16, 2019

Philippe-Auguste Hennequin, Les Remords d’Oreste, ca. 1800
(Montpellier: Musée Fabre)

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Press release for the exhibition now on view at the Cognacq-Jay:

Generation Revolution: French Drawings from the Musée Fabre in Montpellier, 1770–1815
Musée Cognacq-Jay, Paris, 16 March — 14 July 2019

From 16 March through 14 July 2019, the Musée Cognacq-Jay explores the choices made by a generation of artists who were in their thirties during the French Revolution. The art world they had known was completely overthrown. How did they adapt? Where did they stand, and what coping strategies did they find? Artists were obliged to profoundly re-examine their practices and their opportunities, reconsidering even their subjects and their stylistic orientation, between Neoclassicism and Pre-Romanticism.

The medium of intimacy par excellence, drawing reflects the richness and diversity of this transitional period. The exhibition brings together a selection of 80 exceptional drawings from the collection of the Musée Fabre in Montpellier. This unique group of drawings, never before shown in Paris, attests the acceleration of history and a prelude to modernity

The decades bridging the 18th and 19th centuries were a period of major political, economic, and social upheaval. The art world was by no means spared: royal commissions disappeared, the Académies were suppressed, and large projects cancelled. This exhibition, organised in collaboration with the Musée Fabre in Montpellier, speaks to the renewal of artistic techniques, styles, subjects, and sensibilities that emerged from these upheavals. While the birth of a republican patriotic ideal inspired artists to draw from the history of Antiquity, private and picturesque subjects also experienced an unprecedented success.

Focused on drawing, the exhibition presents a corpus of almost a hundred remarkable sheets, assembled by one of David’s favourite students, the painter François-Xavier Fabre, who was also a collector, art expert and art dealer. The collection he bequeathed to his native city was the basis for the Cabinet des arts graphiques at the Musée Fabre. The most famous artists of the time: David, Girodet, Vien, Fragonard and Prud’hon clustered around the personality of Fabre.

The exhibition plan is based on around four thematic sections presenting the different genres practiced by artists of the time, the development of artistic trends, and the emergence of individual personalities along with the diversity of graphic techniques employed.

Drawing to Learn

Until the end of the Ancien Regime, training at the Royal Academy was a requirement for any artist who hoped to obtain official commissions. Drawing instruction occupied a preeminent place in the curriculum and required a mastery of geometry, perspective, and anatomy. Figure drawing was considered the most noble exercise (and the most revelatory of youthful potential), so much so that the male nude was known as an ‘academy figure’. With the coming of the Revolution, the practice of drawing took off in an extraordinary way.

In Praise of the Individual

Although historical subjects continued to dominate the hierarchy of genres in painting, representations of daily life and its pleasures attracted an ever more substantial clientele. The portrait and the genre scene—less subject to political shifts and embraced by a growing bourgeoisie—expanded in an unprecedented way. Fragonard, for example, made a specialty of these types of painting.

The Virtues of History

The hegemony of history painting was exacerbated by the Revolution and took on a moralising role: the nascent Republic seized upon ancient Rome for its examples of virtue and heroism. Interest in subjects taken from the Bible and ancient history strengthened the dominance of Neoclassicism. Meanwhile, however, artists were fascinated by other imaginaries: the national past, especially the medieval past, and the Middle-East, revealed by scientific investigations and military campaigns, two points of reference which are at the source of later Neo-Gothic and Orientalism.

Travel and Nature

Antoine-Laurent Castellan, Etude de nuages, 1815 (Montpellier: Musée Fabre).

For the artists who chose exile, Italy remained a favoured destination. Attractive above all for its masterpieces of ancient and Renaissance art, Italy’s vast panoramas and striking light effects were also a draw. The French artists sojourning on the peninsula—in particular François-Xavier Fabre and his friends—went off into the countryside looking to immortalise grandiose sites where nature dominates the human figure.

Lead Curators
Michel Hilaire, Director, Musée Fabre
Annick Lemoine, Director, Musée Cognacq-Jay
Rose-Marie Herda-Mousseaux, chief curator for the modern era at the Louvre Abu Dhabi

Scientific Curators
Benjamin Couilleaux, Curator for cultural heritage, Director Musée Bonnat-Helleu
Florence Hudowicz, Curator for cultural heritage, Curator of drawings and decorative arts, Musée Fabre, Montpellier

Benjamin Couilleaux, Michel Hilaire, and Florence Hudowicz, Génération en Révolution: Dessins français du musée Fabre, 1770–1815 (Paris Musées, 2019), 174 pages, ISBN: 978-2759604197, 35€.

Catalogue cover Image: François-Xavier Fabre, Personnage nu saisissant un cube de pierre, 1789–92 (Montpellier: Musée Fabre).