Online Talk | Robert Darnton, Pirating and Publishing

Posted in books, lectures (to attend), online learning by Editor on January 31, 2021

This Wednesday, from the Boston Athenæum:

Book Talk: Pirating and Publishing: The Book Trade in the Age of Enlightenment
Robert Darnton in Conversation with John Buchtel
3 February 2021, 6:00pm (EST)

In the late-18th century, a group of publishers in what historian Robert Darnton calls the ‘Fertile Crescent’ countries located along the French border, stretching from Holland to Switzerland pirated the works of prominent (and often banned) French writers and distributed them in France, where laws governing piracy were in flux and any notion of ‘copyright’ very much in its infancy. Piracy was entirely legal and everyone acknowledged tacitly or openly that these pirated editions of works by Rousseau, Voltaire, and Diderot, among other luminaries, supplied a growing readership within France, one whose needs could not be met by the monopolistic and tightly controlled Paris Guild.

Pirating and Publishing: The Book Trade in the Age of Enlightenment focuses on a publisher in Switzerland, one of the largest and whose archives are the most complete. Through the lens of this concern, Darnton offers a sweeping view of the world of writing, publishing, and especially bookselling in pre-Revolutionary France—a vibrantly detailed inside look at a cut-throat industry that was struggling to keep up with the times and, if possible, make a profit off them. Featuring a fascinating cast of characters lofty idealists and down-and-dirty opportunists this new book expands upon on Darnton’s celebrated work on book-publishing in France, most recently found in A Literary Tour de France. Pirating and Publishing reveals how and why piracy brought the Enlightenment to every corner of France, feeding the ideas that would explode into revolution.

Registration is requested. Boston Athenæum Members and VESP holders: free. Visitors: $5.

Robert Darnton is Carl H. Pforzheimer University Professor and University Librarian, Emeritus of Harvard University, and the author of The Great Cat Massacre (1984) and A Literary Tour de France (2018), among others.
John Buchtel is Curator of Rare Books and Head of Special Collections at the Boston Athenaeum.

◊  ◊  ◊  ◊  ◊

Robert Darnton, Pirating and Publishing: The Book Trade in the Age of Enlightenment (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2021), 400 pages, ISBN: 978-0195144529, $35.



1  The Rules of the Game and How the Game was Played
2  The Landscape in Paris
3  The Fertile Crescent

4  How to Pirate a Book
5  Portraits of Pirates and Their Businesses
6  Underground Geneva
7  A Confederation of Pirates
8  The Struggle to Pirate Rousseau and Voltaire

Inside a Swiss Publishing House
9  Business as Usual
10  Our Man in Paris
11  Relations with Authors
12  Making and Losing Money


New Book | Porcelain: A History from the Heart of Europe

Posted in books by Editor on January 30, 2021

From Princeton UP:

Suzanne Marchand, Porcelain: A History from the Heart of Europe (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2020), 544 pages, ISBN: 978-0691182339, $35.

Porcelain was invented in medieval China—but its secret recipe was first reproduced in Europe by an alchemist in the employ of the Saxon king Augustus the Strong. Saxony’s revered Meissen factory could not keep porcelain’s ingredients secret for long, however, and scores of Holy Roman princes quickly founded their own mercantile manufactories, soon to be rivaled by private entrepreneurs, eager to make not art but profits. As porcelain’s uses multiplied and its price plummeted, it lost much of its identity as aristocratic ornament, instead taking on a vast number of banal, yet even more culturally significant, roles. By the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, it became essential to bourgeois dining, and also acquired new functions in insulator tubes, shell casings, and teeth.

Weaving together the experiences of entrepreneurs and artisans, state bureaucrats and female consumers, chemists and peddlers, Porcelain traces the remarkable story of ‘white gold’ from its origins as a princely luxury item to its fate in Germany’s cataclysmic twentieth century. For three hundred years, porcelain firms have come and gone, but the industry itself, at least until very recently, has endured. After Augustus, porcelain became a quintessentially German commodity, integral to provincial pride, artisanal industrial production, and a familial sense of home. Telling the story of porcelain’s transformation from coveted luxury to household necessity and flea market staple, Porcelain offers a fascinating alternative history of art, business, taste, and consumption in Central Europe.

Suzanne L. Marchand is the Boyd Professor of History at Louisiana State University. Her books include German Orientalism in the Age of Empire and Down from Olympus.


List of Illustrations and Tables
Note on Currencies and Other Abbreviations

1  Reinventing the Recipe
2  The Challenge of Wedgwood and the Rise of the Private Firm
3  Making, Marketing, and Consuming in the ‘Golden Age’
4  Surviving the Revolutions
5  The Discrete Charms of Biedermeier Porcelain
6  Of Capitalism and Cartels: The Glory Days of the Private Producer, 1848–1914
7  Porcelain, the Whilhelmine Plastic
8  The Fragility of Interwar Porcelain
9  From Cold War Wonder to Contemporary White Elephant: Does the Story End Here?

Image Credits

New Book | The City of Blue and White

Posted in books by Editor on January 29, 2021

From Cambridge UP:

Anne Gerritsen, The City of Blue and White: Chinese Porcelain and the Early Modern World (New York: Cambridge University Press, 2020), 354 pages, ISBN: 978-1108499958, $35.

We think of blue and white porcelain as the ultimate global commodity: throughout East and Southeast Asia, the Indian Ocean including the African coasts, the Americas and Europe, consumers desired Chinese porcelains. Many of these were made in the kilns in and surrounding Jingdezhen. Found in almost every part of the world, Jingdezhen’s porcelains had a far-reaching impact on global consumption, which in turn shaped the local manufacturing processes. The imperial kilns of Jingdezhen produced ceramics for the court, while nearby private kilns manufactured for the global market. In this beautifully illustrated study, Anne Gerritsen asks how this kiln complex could manufacture such quality, quantity and variety. She explores how objects tell the story of the past, connecting texts with objects, objects with natural resources, and skilled hands with the shapes and designs they produced. Through the manufacture and consumption of Jingdezhen’s porcelains, she argues, China participated in the early modern world.

Anne Gerritsen is Professor of History and directs the Global History and Culture Centre at the University of Warwick. Since 2013, she has also held the Chair of Asian Art at the Universiteit Leiden where she teaches at the Leiden Institute for Area Studies (LIAS) and the Leiden University Centre for the Arts in Society (LUCAS).



1  The Shard Market of Jingdezhen
2  City of Imperial Choice: Jingdezhen, 1000–1200
3  Circulations of White
4  From Cizhou to Jizhou: The Long History of the Emergence of Blue and White Porcelain
5  From Jizhou to Jingdezhen in the Fourteenth Century: The Emergence of Blue and White and the Circulations of People and Things
6  Blue and White Porcelain and the Fifteenth-Century World
7  The City of Blue and White: Visualizing Space in Ming Jingdezhen, 1500–1600
8  Anxieties over Resources in Sixteenth-Century Jingdezhen
9  Skilled Hands: Managing Human Resources and Skill in the Sixteenth-Century Imperial Kilns
10  Material Circulations in the Sixteenth Century
11  Local and Global in Jingdezhen’s Long Seventeenth Century
12  Epilogue: Fragments of a Global Past


ASECS Repudiates Report of 1776 Advisory Commission

Posted in the 18th century in the news, today in light of the 18th century by Editor on January 28, 2021

This statement repudiating the “1776 Report”—which was released by the Trump Administration on 18 January 2021—was approved by the ASECS Executive Board on 22 January 2021. The statement follows the condemnation offered by the American Historical Association (AHA), which was signed by 42 organizations, including the College Art Association. As Tina Nguyen reports for Politico (19 January 2021), the “1776 Report” appears to contain multiple instances of self-plagiarism from prior texts by commission members Thomas Lindsay and Matthew Spalding, including direct quotes left unacknowledged in the document (the report includes neither a bibliography nor notes of any kind). HECAA is an affiliate society of both ASECS and CAA.

◊  ◊  ◊  ◊  ◊

The American Society for Eighteenth-Century Studies stands in solidarity with other academic organizations that condemn the Trump Administration’s “1776 Report,” issued on January 18, 2021. We reject the report’s caricature of the transformative period of American and global history that we study. The report proffers a facile myth of cardboard great men creating a Utopian nation and fails to represent the fullness, the complexity, and, critically, the failures of the American experiment in instituting Enlightenment philosophical ideals.

We decry in particular the following distortions and falsehoods:

Government: The report ignores the ways in which the American experiment in republican form of government emerged in crisis and conflict and disagreement in 1776 and 1789. Those events—winning independence from the British Empire and founding a new federal republic on principles of liberty and equality—seeded the new nation with democratic ways of mediating conflict and negotiating difference. This enabled the early reform movements like Abolition and Women’s suffrage.

Religion: The report advances the false belief that the Founding established a “common American morality” by promoting religious faith and revelation as components of political discourse. The Founders did not fuse but separated church and state.

Slavery: We deplore the report’s minimization of slavery’s role in the formation of our nation and the creation of its wealth and power in the modern world. It ignores the role of racism in perpetuating slavery, as well as slavery’s persistent effects in American society today. We reject the false characterization of the Founders as uniformly opposed to slavery; of course, many prominent Founders owned slaves and enshrined slavery in the Constitution.

Indigenous First Nations: We denounce the glaring omission from the report of any mention of indigenous peoples, as well as the failure to acknowledge the oppression, violence, and erasure done to our First Nations, who, as the report evidences, continue to be banished from our collective history.

We support the decision by the new administration inaugurated on January 20, 2021, to remove this report from the White House website and to dissolve the 1776 Commission. The rejection of the report by the new administration, however, has not prevented other institutions from posting it on their websites, and the false narrative that it promotes may still be exploited.

The history of the United States is often a painful one. Rather than ignore or underplay its dark side, we hope that future scholars will interrogate comforting narratives of America’s greatness and replace them with a clear-eyed understanding of our history in all its complexity. Our wish can be summed up in the words of Amanda Gorman: “It’s because being American is more than a pride we inherit, it’s the past we step into and how we repair it.”

New Book | She Being Dead Yet Speaketh

Posted in books by Editor on January 27, 2021

Distributed by The University of Chicago Press:

Mary Franklin and Hannah Burton, She Being Dead Yet Speaketh: The Franklin Family Papers, edited by Vera Camden (Toronto: Iter Press, 2020), 349 pages, ISBN: 978-0866986236, $60.

On Black Bartholomew’s Day—August 24, 1662—nearly two thousand ministers denied the authority of the Church of England and were subsequently removed from their posts. Mary Franklin was the wife of Presbyterian minister Robert Franklin, one of the dissenting ministers ejected from their pulpits and their livings on that day. She recorded the experience of her persecution in the unused pages of her husband’s sermon notebook. In 1782—some hundred years after the composition of her grandmother’s narrative— Mary’s granddaughter, Hannah Burton, took up this same notebook to chronicle her experience as an impoverished widow, barely surviving the economic revolutions of eighteenth-century London. Collected for the first time, this volume of the Franklin Family Papers offers rare insight into the personal lives of three generations of dissenting women.

The Other Voice in Early Modern Europe: The Toronto Series, 71

Mary Franklin (d. 1711) was the wife of an English Presbyterian minister.
Hannah Burton (1723–1786) was the granddaughter of Mary and Robert Franklin and the wife of a London goldsmith.
Vera J. Camden is professor of English at Kent State University, training and supervising analyst at the Cleveland Psychoanalytic Center, and assistant clinical professor of psychiatry at Case Western Reserve University. She is associate editor of American Imago and American editor of the Journal of Graphic Novels and Comics.



Mary Franklin (d. 1711)
The Notebook of Mary Franklin (ca. 1685)
The Experience of Mary Franklin (ca. 1689–90)
The Prison Correspondence of Mary and Robert Franklin (1670)
The Last Will and Testament of Mary Franklin (1709, probated 1711)
Hannah Burton (1723–1786)
The Diary of Hannah Burton (1782)

Appendix 1: The Funeral Sermon for Mary Franklin
• The Dissolution of the Earthly House of this Tabernacle (1713)

Appendix 2: Letters
• The Letters of Ralph Snow (1691)
• The Letter of William Bailey to Joshua Wilson (1817)

Appendix 3: Probated Wills
• The Last Will and Testament of Walter Boddington (1734, probated 1736)
• The Last Will and Testament of William Burton (1777, probated 1781)


Call for Papers | Figures of Widows

Posted in Calls for Papers by Editor on January 26, 2021

Jean-Baptiste Greuze, The Widow Receiving Her Priest Surrounded by Her Children , 1784, oil on canvas, 50 × 63 inches
(Saint Petersburg: Hermitage Museum)

◊  ◊  ◊  ◊  ◊

The Call for Papers for this GRHAM Study Day, via ArtHist.net, where the French version is also available:

Widows in the 17th and 18th Centuries: Images of Social Status—Accepted, Hidden, Claimed?
Figures de veuves à l’époque moderne (XVIIe et XVIIIe siècles): Images d’un statut social accepté, caché, revendiqué
INHA (Institut National d’Histoire de l’Art), Galerie Colbert, Paris, 15 June 2021

Proposals due by 15 March 2021

Woman and widow under the Ancien Régime? The images defining a woman abound, should they describe a seductive woman, an influential or a common one. However, the images that could characterize the widow remain vague. As a matter of fact, the widow is defined essentially in negative terms; a widow is ‘the one who has lost her husband’ [1]. The social status imposed by widowhood is considered less favorable than that of a married woman, the Dictionnaire de Trévoux specifying that ‘a widow mourns her husband, not so much for her loss, but mostly because she is deprived of the rank she held and the consideration she benefited from’ [2]. This could lead her to condemnable behaviors: ‘The widow often subtracts and conceals her husband’s most beautiful furniture’ [3]. Opposite to this unattractive vision, however, widowhood seems then to offer to women a freedom that neither daughters nor wives experienced [4].

Several images arise from this contrasting portrait. The first one to appear is the widow seen through a state policy point of view such as Marie de Medici as Regent by Frans Pourbus (1613), Anne of Austria in Mourning Clothes with her Children by Philippe de Champaigne (1643) or Marie-Antoinette in the Conciergerie Prison by Alexandre Kucharski (1793). These portraits evoke in turn the woman in position of power, the patron, the arts and letters’ amateur, but also the grieving, lonely, old and fallen woman.

The widow can be portrayed in many other ways. Like Madame Godefroid, Keeper of the King’s Paintings by Jean Valade (1755), she could hold a position by succession to her late husband. She could also be the spokesperson for various passions highlighted by bourgeois drama: the sadness of Greuze’s Inconsolable Widow (1762), the melancholy of Reynolds’s Countess of Lincoln (1781), or the moral probity of Greuze’s Widow Receiving her Priest Surrounded by her Children (1782). These different aspects of widowhood revealed by the artists enable to question all the statutory references that define the widow: her mourning clothes, her attributes such as the faithful dog and her psychological characteristics which give great importance to sentimentality. The absence of some of these visual codes allows to question other widow figures for the young widow rarely remains inconsolable, as La Fontaine’s fable reminds us [5]. Under Choderlos de Laclos’ pen, the Marquise de Merteuil became even a manipulative libertine, taking full advantage of the financial autonomy and independence of mind that the widowhood offered her.

This brief panorama would be incomplete without mentioning the widow in religious paintings such as The Raising of the Son of the Widow of Naim, The Raising of Lazarus, or Agrippina Landing at Brindisi with the Ashes of Germanicus. The image of the widow is also endowed with a strong allegorical power that makes her one of the first figures in war memorials, such as the Monument for the Heart of Victor Thérèse Charpentier, Count of Ennery (1777–81).

This study day aims to question the identity of these widows—famous or unknown—in order to better understand their intellectual, political, and social influence, by finding out whether their widowhood proved to be an asset or a weakness. How did the image of the widowed woman develop during the 17th and 18th centuries? And how did it deal with the particular 18th-century rising value shaped by Rousseau’s representation of a woman as a mother dedicated to both her home and the education of her children?

This study day proposes several topics in order to better define and understand the image of the widow in the arts, not only in France but also in Europe:

• The image of the widow through her various portraits, emphasizing her political, economic, intellectual, and moral power. Were such portraits reserved only for influential women or for those who had famous husbands? Or, could they also depict women belonging to different social classes?

• The representation of the widow in history and genre painting: is she the main figure in these paintings or secondary one? In these paintings, which psychological characteristics are most often solicited? Do these descriptions reflect a widow’s specific identity?

• The destination of the image of the widow in the arts of the Ancien Régime. Are these representations kept within family confines or are they disseminated in a wider environment? If so, which are the reasons behind?

• Beyond the specific matter of representation, particular attention will be paid to widows who are also artists as well as artists’ widows. What is their place in society? What role do they play in the preservation of their husband’s artistic heritage?

• Finally, considering also the material culture, do external signs of mourning worn by widows—clothes and accessories—act as a testimony of constant imposed codes or, conversely, bear witness of an evolution, not only in fashion, but also in the way in which widows are represented?

We welcome proposals in French or English, of about 500 words, for papers addressing either broader analyses or specific case studies. Candidates are invited to attach a curriculum vitae. Submission and contact: asso.grham@gmail.com.

This study day is organized by GRHAM with the support of the Doctoral School of Art History of the University Paris 1 Panthéon-Sorbonne (ED 441) and the HiCSA (EA 4100).

[1] Antoine FURETIÈRE, Dictionnaire universel contenant généralement tous les mots françois tant vieux que modernes, & les Termes des Sciences & des Arts (La Haye, Rotterdam, Arnoud & Reinier Leers, 1701), III, See «Veuf, Veuve».
[2] Dictionnaire universel François et latin, vulgairement appelé Dictionnaire de Trévoux (Paris, Delaune, 1743), VI, See «Veuf, Veuve».
[3] FURETIÈRE, Dictionnaire, op. cit., See ‘Soustraire’.
[4] Françoise FORTUNET, «Veuves de guerre à l’époque révolutionnaire», PELLEGRIN, Nicole, WINN, Colette H. (dir.), Veufs, veuves et veuvage dans la France d’Ancien Régime (Paris, Champion, 2004), 138–39: ‘It has long been noted that widowhood was the most favorable status that a woman could have had in our old society, for it gave her a freedom ignored by daughters and wives. In theory it was known, but living examples are stronger proof’ (translated from French).
[5] Jean de LA FONTAINE, Fables choisies mises en vers (Lyon, Sarrazin, 1696, 1668), 140, CXXIV: «La perte d’un époux ne va point sans soupirs//On fait beaucoup de bruit, et puis on se console».

Call for Paper by GRHAM (Research Group in Modern art History) / Appel diffusé par les membres du bureau du GRHAM (Groupe de Recherche en Histoire de l’Art Moderne):
• Florence Fesneau (Université Paris 1 Panthéon-Sorbonne)
• Barbara Jouves-Hann (Université Paris 1 Panthéon-Sorbonne/ENS Paris-Saclay)
• Maxime Georges Métraux (Université Paris-Sorbonne)
• Alice Ottazzi (Université Franche-Comté)
• Marine Roberton (Université Paris 1 Panthéon-Sorbonne)
• Maël Tauziède-Espariat (Université de Bourgogne)
• Marianne Volle (Université Paris 1 Panthéon-Sorbonne et York University)

New Book | A Catalogue of the Sculpture Collection at Wilton House

Posted in books by Editor on January 25, 2021

From Oxbow Books:

Peter Stewart, ed., A Catalogue of the Sculpture Collection at Wilton House, with photographs by Guido Petruccioli (Oxford: Archaeopress Archaeology, 2021), 438 pages, ISBN: 978-1789696554, $160.

The Wilton House sculptures constituted one of the largest and most celebrated collections of ancient art in Europe. Originally comprising some 340 works, the collection was formed around the late 1710s and 1720s by Thomas Herbert, the eccentric 8th Earl of Pembroke, who stubbornly ‘re-baptized’ his busts and statues with names of his own choosing. His sources included the famous collection of Cardinal Mazarin, assembled in Paris in the 1640s and 1650s, and recent discoveries on the Via Appia outside Rome. Earl Thomas regarded the sculptures as ancient—some of them among the oldest works of art in existence—but in fact much of the collection is modern and represents the neglected talents of sixteenth-and seventeenth-century artists, restorers and copyists who were inspired by Greek and Roman sculpture.

About half of the original collection remains intact today, adorning the Gothic Cloisters that were built for it two centuries ago. After a long decline, accelerated by the impact of the Second World War, the sculptures have been rehabilitated in recent years. They include masterpieces of Roman and early modern art, which cast fresh light on Graeco-Roman antiquity, the classical tradition, and the history of collecting.

Illustrated with specially commissioned photographs, this catalogue offers the first comprehensive publication of the 8th Earl’s collection, including an inventory of works dispersed from Wilton. It re-presents his personal vision of the collection recorded in contemporary manuscripts. At the same time, it dismantles some of the myths about it which originated with the earl himself, and provides an authoritative archaeological and art-historical analysis of the artefacts.

Peter Stewart is Director of the Classical Art Research Centre and Associate Professor of Classical Art and Archaeology at the University of Oxford. He has worked widely in the field of ancient sculpture. His publications include Statues in Roman Society: Representation and Response (2003) and The Social History of Roman Art (2008). Much of his research concerns the relationship between Gandhāran art and Roman sculpture.

Guido Petruccioli is an Oxford University-trained classical archaeologist and professional photographer with specialist interests in Roman imperial portraiture and the documentation of ancient sculpture.


Image Credits


Statues, Statuettes, and Herms
Busts and Heads
Reliefs and Miscellaneous Objects
Architectural Elements

Appendix 1  Works Formerly in the Collection
Appendix 2  Concordance to Michaelis

Index of Names and Places

London to Re-Site Statues of Two Politicians Tied to Slave Trade

Posted in the 18th century in the news by Editor on January 24, 2021

Left: Replica of a statue by Louis-François Roubiliac of Sir John Cass (1661–1718), original from 1751. As noted in the Wikipedia entry on the statue, the original bronze sculpture “stood for many years on Aldgate High Street, before being relocated to the John Cass Institute in Jewry Street in 1869. The statue was finally relocated to the Guildhall in 1980.” Right: John Francis Moore, Statue of William Beckford (1709–1770), 1772 (London: Guildhall).

◊  ◊  ◊  ◊  ◊

As widely reported, including in this piece by Tessa Solomon for ARTnews (22 January 2021). . .

The City of London Corporation, which manages London’s historic center and financial hub, has voted to remove two monuments to British politicians linked to the transatlantic slave trade. The statue of William Beckford, a two-time mayor of London who made his fortune in plantations in Jamaica in the late 1700s, will reportedly be re-sited and replaced with a new work. The monument to Sir John Cass, a 17th-century member of Parliament, philanthropist, and merchant who profited from the Royal African Company, a major force in the slave economy, will be returned to the Sir John Cass Foundation. His name has already been stripped from the City University of London’s business school. . . .

◊  ◊  ◊  ◊  ◊

For the decision in light of a forthcoming UK government policy aimed at safeguarding historic monuments, see Gareth Harris’s article for The Art Newspaper (22 January 2021). Pushed by Boris Johnson, the new policy goes in to effect in March.

Both statues were discussed over thirteen years ago in this essay by Madge Dresser, “Set in Stone? Statues and Slavery in London,” History Workshop Journal 64.1 (Autumn 2007): 162–99, the abstract of which opens as follows: “This article examines public monuments in London and their relationship to slavery and abolition, a topic that has attracted remarkably little empirical research.”

Exhibition | Goya’s Graphic Imagination

Posted in books, catalogues, exhibitions by Editor on January 23, 2021

Francisco de Goya y Lucientes, Giant Seated in a Landscape (detail), by 1818, burnished aquatint with scraping and strokes of ‘lavis’ added along the top of the landscape and within the landscape; plate: 28.4 × 20.8 cm (New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 35.42).

◊  ◊  ◊  ◊  ◊

Opening next month at The Met:

Goya’s Graphic Imagination
The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, 12 February — 2 May 2021

Regarded as one of the most remarkable artists from the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries, Francisco Goya (1746–1828) is renowned for his prolific activity as a draftsman and printmaker, producing about nine hundred drawings and three hundred prints during his long career. Through his drawings and prints, he expressed his political liberalism, criticism of superstition, and distaste for intellectual oppression in unique and compelling ways. This exhibition will explore Goya’s graphic imagination and how his drawings and prints allowed him to share his complex ideas and respond to the turbulent social and political changes occurring in the world around him. The broadly chronological presentation will follow Goya’s evolution and different phases as a graphic artist as well as his approaches to his subjects. Around one hundred works on display will come mainly from The Met collection—one of the most outstanding collections of Goya’s drawings and prints outside Spain—with other works coming from New York, Boston, and Madrid’s Museo Nacional del Prado and the Biblioteca Nacional.

The catalogue is distributed by Yale University Press:

Mark McDonald, with contributions by Mercedes Ceron-Pena, Francisco J. R. Chaparro, and Jesusa Vega, Goya’s Graphic Imagination (New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art , 2021), 320 pages, ISBN: 978-1588397140, $50.

This book presents the first focused investigation of Francisco Goya’s (1746–1828) graphic output. Spanning six decades, Goya’s works on paper reflect the transformation and turmoil of the Enlightenment, the Inquisition, and Spain’s years of constitutional government. Two essays, a detailed chronology, and more than 100 featured artworks illuminate the remarkable breadth and power of Goya’s drawings and prints, situating the artist within his historical moment. The selected pieces document the various phases and qualities of Goya’s graphic work—from his early etchings after Velázquez through print series such as the Caprichos and The Disasters of War to his late lithographs, The Bulls of Bordeaux, and including albums of drawings that reveal the artist’s nightmares, dreams, and visions.

Mark McDonald is curator in the Department of Drawings and Prints at The Metropolitan Museum of Art.


New Book | Meltdown!

Posted in books, catalogues, exhibitions by Editor on January 22, 2021

◊  ◊  ◊  ◊  ◊

Accompanying the exhibition Fortune and Folly in 1720 (scheduled to open at the New York Public Library in September), the related publication is now available from Brepols:

Madeleine Viljoen, Nina Dubin and Meredith Martin, Meltdown! Picturing the World’s First Bubble Economy (Turnhout: Harvey Miller, 2020), 157 pages, ISBN: 978-1912554515, $65 / €50.

Meltdown! focuses on the depiction of the first international financial crisis following the 1720 collapse of stock market bubbles in England, France and the Netherlands.

This book tells two parallel stories: one of the spectacular rise and fall of the world’s first bubble economy, and another of the enterprising art industry that chronicled its collapse. The Mississippi and South Sea Bubbles, spawning the invention of French banknotes as well as joint-stock companies built on fantasies of New World trade, imposed on everyday Europeans a crash course in new financial products. In turn, a bubbling print market relentlessly caricatured the meltdown of 1720, offering viewers an entertaining primer on the otherwise bewildering realities of modern economic life. Such satirical works—most notably a Dutch compendium titled The Great Mirror of Folly (Het groote tafereel der dwaasheid )—helped to demystify the disaster by deploying familiar theatrical characters and tragic-comic motifs. Likening the speculative mania to an infectious disease, and spoofing the ‘herd behavior’ of a money-crazed public, its prints portrayed malevolent traders, hoodwinked investors, and a chorus of heroes and villains both real and legendary, from the rakish financier John Law to the foolish Harlequin to the goddess Fortuna. Three hundred years later, our current moment offers a uniquely fitting vantage point from which to reconsider the significance of the bubbles and of the artworks that channeled the fears and desires they unleashed.

Nina L. Dubin is an associate professor of Art History at the University of Illinois at Chicago. Specializing in European art since 1700, she has published widely on the production of art within an economy of risk.

Meredith Martin is an associate professor of Art History at New York University and the Institute of Fine Arts. Specializing in European art of the long eighteenth century, she has published widely on gender and architectural patronage as well as maritime art, mobility, and exchange in the early modern world.

Madeleine C. Viljoen is Curator of Prints and the Spencer Collection at The New York Public Library. Responsible for the Library’s collection of prints and rare illustrated books, she has published widely on early modern printed images, with special attention to the goldsmith-engraver, the reproductive print, and ornament.

%d bloggers like this: