Online Symposium | Printmaking between Art and Science in Britain

Posted in conferences (to attend), online learning by Editor on July 31, 2021

From Eventbrite:

The Itinerant Image: Printmaking between Art and Science in Enlightenment Britain
Online, University of St Andrews, 12–13 August 2021

Charles Reuben Ryley, Ring-Tailed Lemurs, in George Shaw, Museum Leverianum (1792), op. p. 43.

In early modern Britain, the printed image was a major practical and conceptual tool for scientists. As recent research into the graphic practices of the Royal Society has shown, illustrations and diagrams were indispensable to communicating scientific knowledge, both collectively and by individuals. In particular printed images circulated between the Royal Society’s periodicals and the published volumes of its fellows. Some of these images, such as the flea from Robert Hooke’s Micrographia (London 1665), subsequently became widely reproduced and iconic images in the history of science. Yet these printed images were rarely confined to scientific domains; not only were they usually the result of collaboration with artisans and in some cases artists, but the most successful images would often circulate far beyond the scientific communities for which they were initially produced. Further still, images were often copied or translated into new locations, where their meaning might be altered for new audiences.

Over two days, this symposium will bring together scholars and curators of British art, science, and print culture from the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, to interrogate the creation, use, and function of prints in the production of new scientific knowledge. It considers how the ‘epistemic’ value of an image changed as it was reprinted, adapted, and modified; and pays particular attention to how and when a reproduced image might gain or lose scientific authority.

All sessions will take place over Zoom. Please register for an online ticket. A link will be sent to all attendees in advance of each day’s event.

T H U R S D A Y ,  1 2  A U G U S T  2 0 2 1

14.00–16.30 BST

Welcome and Introduction, Stephanie O’Rourke (University of St. Andrews) and Katherine Reinhart (Bibliotheca Hertziana – Max Planck Institute for Art History)

• Megan Barford (Royal Museums Greenwich), Travelling Charts and Shrinking Paper: Royal Naval Hydrography in the 1830s
• Richard Bellis (University of St. Andrews), Printing the Structures and Textures of Disease: Matthew Baillie’s A Series of Engravings … to Illustrate the Morbid Anatomy (1799–1802)
• Elaine Ayers (New York University), Drawing at a Distance: Botanical Illustration in the East India Company in the Early Nineteenth Century

Respondents: Jack Hartnell (University of East Anglia) and Katy Barrett (Science Museum)

F R I D A Y ,  1 3  A U G U S T  2 0 2 1

14.00–16.30 BST

• Anna Marie Roos (University of Lincoln), Lives and Afterlives of the Lithophylacii Britannici ichnographia (1699), the First Illustrated Field Guide to English Fossils
• John Bonehill (University of Glasgow) ‘Curious and Chargeable Cuts’: Michael Burghers and the Illustration of Robert Plot’s Natural Histories
• Meghan Doherty (Berea College), The Long Life of Ephemera: (Re)Printing the Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society

Respondents: José Marcaida (University of St. Andrews) and Aileen Fyfe (University of St. Andrews)

Call for Papers | Hidden Hands: Untold Stories of the Object

Posted in Calls for Papers by Editor on July 31, 2021

Plate 419, Silver-plating in L’Enclopédie, ou Dictionnaire Raisonné des Sciences, des Arts et des Métiers by Denis Diderot.

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From the Call for Papers:

Hidden Hands: Untold Stories of the Object
Rienzi Biennial Symposium
Online, Rienzi, The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, 6 November 2021

Proposals due by 1 September 2021

Rienzi, the house museum for European decorative arts of the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, presents the virtual symposium, Hidden Hands: Untold Stories of the Object. Geographic exploration and colonial expansion led to the introduction of new materials and technological innovation in the early modern period. These developments created an increased demand for goods made of ceramics, glass, exotic woods, textiles, and metals. The refining of raw materials and the production of these goods depended upon a diverse labor force made up of men, women, and children from across the globe. Despite the integral roles played by these workers in all of these varied enterprises, their names and contributions have often been lost to history. Who were these people? How did they interact and engage with these new materials and goods? What social, political, and economic forces contributed to the exclusion of their narratives? The symposium invites scholars to reconsider established ideas of craftsmanship and artistic authorship through the telling of these ‘hidden’ stories.

All presentations will be given Saturday, 6 November 2021, virtually via Zoom webinar organized by the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston. The symposium will be held in conjunction with the exhibition Hidden Hands: Invisible Workers in Industrial England, on view at Rienzi from 1 September 2021 to 3 January 2022.

Graduate students as well as entry-level and mid-career professionals are invited to submit a 400-word abstract outlining a 20-minute presentation, along with a CV, by 1 September 2021, to rienzisymposium@mfah.org. Selected participants will be notified by 15 September 2021 and offered a $250 honorarium. Possible themes for investigation may include, but are not limited to:
• Transatlantic trade
• Workshop traditions
• Empire and colonialism
• Technology
• Gender
• Race
• Economics
• Labor
• Class

Education programs at Rienzi receive generous funding from the Sterling-Turner Foundation, The Brown Foundation, the Carroll Sterling and Harris Masterson III Endowment, and the Caroline Wiess Law Endowment for Rienzi.

ECCO Access for N. American Members of ASECS

Posted in resources by Editor on July 30, 2021

ASECS members will likely already have received news of this new perk, but it could be most useful for people who are not (yet) members. Please note the North American stipulation. Press release (28 July 2021) from Gale:

New partnership gives ASECS members access to the world’s largest collection on the eighteenth-century, advancing research and instruction of the period.

Gale, a Cengage company, has partnered with the American Society for Eighteenth-Century Studies (ASECS), the world’s largest organization of eighteenth-century scholars, to provide its North American members[i] with access to Gale’s Eighteenth-Century Collections Online (ECCO). Now ASECS members have access to the most comprehensive online historical archive on the eighteenth-century, enabling scholarship, enhanced teaching and advanced study of the era.

“ECCO is an essential resource for scholars of the eighteenth-century, but many people working in the field do not currently have access to it. They have to travel across the world to research libraries to view and study eighteenth-century collections, which can be very expensive,” said Mark Boonshoft, executive director at ASECS. “By providing online access to ECCO to our members in North America, we help ameliorate this inequity and better support research and teaching on the eighteenth-century. We are thrilled to partner with Gale to make this happen.”

ECCO contains every significant English-language and foreign-language title printed in the United Kingdom between the years 1701 and 1800, offering scholars full-text searching across 26 million pages of books and directories, bibles, sheet music, sermons, advertisements and works by both celebrated and lesser-­known authors. Expanding the ECCO archive, the titles in Part II have an emphasis on literature, social science, and religion. It also includes nearly fifty thousand titles and seven million pages from the library holdings of the British Library, the Bodleian Library, University of Cambridge, the National Library of Scotland and the Ransom Center at the University of Texas.

With ASECS members coming from a wide range of disciplines and professions beyond academia, ECCO access will:
• Put the world’s largest archive on the eighteenth-century in the hands of hundreds of scholars, creating greater public awareness and understanding of the eighteen-century world.
• Provides access to independent scholars (those without university affiliation), making it easier for them to conduct research on the eighteenth-century.
• Expand scholarship and research to less endowed institutions and independent researchers, with continued access to eighteenth-century content outside of academia.

“As the leading provider of digital humanities learning tools and primary sources to support research, Gale is committed to promoting scholarship on the eighteenth-century,” said Roger Strong, vice president of sales for academic libraries at Gale. “This partnership with ASECS enable us to more closely align resources like ECCO to course integration and digital humanities pedagogy, including joint efforts around the sharing of research outcomes, and the continued development of primary source tools and platforms to support the future needs of ASECS and other learned societies.”

ASECS north American members can access ECCO at: https://www.asecs.org/ecco.

i. Due to pre-existing licensing arrangements, access to Eighteenth Century Collections Online is limited to ASECS members in the U.S., Canada, Mexico, and the Caribbean.

Exhibition | Fan Leaves: Between Europe and Japan

Posted in exhibitions by Editor on July 29, 2021

From the press release for the exhibition:

Feuilles d’éventail entre Europe et Japon
Musée d’art et d’histoire, Geneva, 1 October 2021 — 30 January 2022 (extended until 29 May 2022)

Curated by Bénédicte De Donker

Katsukawa Shunshō 勝川 春章, Ippitsusai Bunchō 一筆斎 文調, Kariganeya Ihei 雁金屋 伊兵衛, The Actor Onoe Kikugorō, also called Kobaikō, 1770, woodblock print (Musée d’art et d’histoire de Genève, Inv. E 2013-0032). In 1770, Katsukawa Shunshō and Ippitsusai Bunchō published an illustrated book, in three volumes, of actors’ portraits on fans, introducing a new genre of portraiture known as nigao-e.

Cet automne, l’éventail est au cœur d’une présentation inédite déployée dans les trois cabinets consacrés aux arts graphiques au deuxième étage du musée. Accessoire de mode apparu dès l’Antiquité dont l’usage se retrouve de par le monde, l’éventail a également intéressé les artistes qui se sont plu à le représenter dans leurs œuvres, voire à réaliser des feuilles pour l’habiller. Feuilles d’éventails, entre Europe et Japon fait écho à la grande exposition proposée au même moment dans les salles palatines, Pour la galerie: Mode et portrait.

Cette présentation revient sur les influences croisées de l’art de l’éventail entre Europe et Asie, qui atteint son apogée au XIXe siècle avant son déclin irrémédiable. Elle témoigne surtout de l’engouement européen pour cet accessoire, dont les formes les plus répandues (brisé et plié) proviennent d’Extrême-Orient. Certains exemplaires, par le choix de matières précieuses ainsi que par la finesse et la qualité de leur travail sont de véritables œuvres d’art. Car au-delà de son utilité, un éventail présente également une dimension artistique, et même parfois politique, selon ses créateurs et les sujets représentés. Sans surprise, il rejoint le panthéon des objets avec lesquels l’on aime—et doit—se montrer. Accessoire de mode, il arbore des formes variées (brisé, plié, ballon, plein vol…) et des matériaux divers, au gré des tendances (plumes, dentelle, parchemin…).

Feuilles d’éventails, entre Europe et Japon puise sa sélection dans le fonds d’arts graphiques du MAH, ainsi que dans sa collection d’arts appliqués. Autour de quelques splendides éventails, se déploie une sélection de feuilles d’éventails provenant elles aussi d’Europe et du Japon. Dessinées ou gravées, celles-ci étaient destinées à être montées ou à servir de modèle. Cet ensemble inclut une série exceptionnelle de huit feuilles peintes au XVIIIe siècle, dévoilée pour la première fois au public. Enfin, une quinzaine de représentations de leur usage en Europe, du XVIe à l’aube du XXe siècle, côtoie des gravures japonaises mettant en scène des personnages hauts en couleurs munis d’éventails.

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Coordinating with the exhibition To Play to the Gallery: Fashion and Portrait, the Prints and Drawings Department has chosen to focus on a fashion accessory that is both an artistic medium and the subject of numerous representations: the fan. The three cabinets on the first floor show fan mounts, drawn or engraved, to be mounted or used as models, representations of their use in Europe from the 16th to the early 20th century, as well as a collection of Japanese engravings and fans. This presentation includes an exceptional series of eight sheets painted in the 18th century, unveiled to the public for the first time.

The full press release is available here»

Exhibition | To Play to the Gallery: Fashion and Portrait

Posted in exhibitions by Editor on July 29, 2021

Opening this fall at the MAH in Geneva:

Pour la Galerie: Mode et Portrait
Musée d’art et d’histoire, Geneva, 17 September — 14 November 2021

Longtemps réservé à l’élite, aujourd’hui à portée de téléphone mobile, le portrait est le lieu de la projection et de la fabrication de l’image de soi par excellence. Le vêtement, des somptueux drapés des portraits d’apparat à la variété du vestiaire contemporain, en constitue un élément clé : il est un moyen de distinction, entre conformisme et quête d’originalité. Et au-delà de tout ce qui caractérise une époque, les codes traversent les modes comme autant de signes d’un statut affirmé ou rêvé. En confrontant les peintures et les objets du MAH à la collection d’histoire de la mode de la Fondation Alexandre Vassiliev, du XVe siècle à la période contemporaine, cette exposition invite à s’élancer dans un tourbillon de matières et de couleurs, un grand défilé déployé dans les salles palatines du musée transformées en galerie des miroirs. Instruments de pouvoir, de séduction ou d’évasion, vêtements et portraits nous entraînent dans une foire aux vanités où trouve à s’exprimer, de manière éblouissante ou dérisoire, toute la gamme des aspirations et des émotions humaines.

Exhibition | Geneva and Greece: Friendship and Independence

Posted in exhibitions by Editor on July 29, 2021

Opening this fall at the MAH in Geneva:

Genève et la Grèce: Une amitié au service de l’indépendance
Musée d’art et d’histoire, Geneva, 15 October 2021 — 30 January 2022

A l’occasion du bicentenaire de la déclaration d’indépendance de la Grèce (25 mars 1821), la Fondation Hardt pour l’étude de l’Antiquité classique (Vandœuvres) et le MAH rappellent les relations d’amitié unissant la Grèce et Genève au début du XIXe siècle. Un Grec, Jean Capodistrias, et deux Genevois, Charles Pictet de Rochemont et Jean-Gabriel Eynard, ont joué un rôle clé pour l’intégration de Genève à la Confédération helvétique et pour l’indépendance de la Grèce. Eynard fut, en outre, co-fondateur de la Banque nationale de Grèce.

L’exposition met en valeur la collection du MAH ainsi que celles d’institutions genevoises et de musées suisses. Elle bénéficie également d’importants prêts venant de Grèce, accordés notamment par le Musée d’histoire nationale et le Musée Philhellénique d’Athènes, le Musée Capodistrias de Corfou ainsi que par des collectionneurs privés.

Exhibition | A Taste for the Antique: Anna and Jean-Gabriel Eynard

Posted in exhibitions by Editor on July 29, 2021

Opening this fall at the MAH in Geneva:

Le goût de l’antique: Anna et Jean-Gabriel Eynard
Musée d’art et d’histoire, Geneva, 15 October 2021 — 2 January 2022

Le banquier et philhellène genevois Jean-Gabriel Eynard (1775–1863) s’est acquis une renommée internationale en soutenant la guerre d’indépendance grecque. Mais quel était donc son rapport à l’antique ? Nombre de philhellènes, fascinés par la littérature et l’art grecs, s’engagèrent ainsi en faveur de la liberté de la Grèce.

L’anticomanie des époux Eynard est manifeste. Elle transparaît au travers des édifices qu’ils bâtissent (Palais Eynard, Athénée). Elle imprègne aussi leur cadre de vie comme en témoignent les aquarelles d’Alexandre Calame : outre le mobilier de style néoclassique, de nombreuses peintures et sculptures renvoient à la mythologie gréco-romaine. La statue d’Anna Eynard, réalisée par Bartolini, en est un très bel exemple. L’exposition, où les représentations figurées font écho aux objets, dévoile en outre une partie de la collection de vases antiques du couple Eynard, récemment redécouverte.

Exhibition | Bellotto: The Königstein Views Reunited

Posted in books, exhibitions by Editor on July 28, 2021

The National Gallery acquired Bellotto’s The Fortress of Königstein from the North (1756–58) in 2017. This exhibition unites it with four other paintings of the site by the artist—paintings from the Manchester Art Gallery, Knowsley Hall, and The National Gallery of Art in Washington D.C.

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Now on view at the National Gallery:

Bellotto: The Königstein Views Reunited
National Gallery, London, 22 July — 31 October 2021

Bernardo Bellotto (1722–1780) painted this historic site—a stronghold located approximately 25 miles south-east of Dresden, in the picturesque Elbe valley—not just once, but five times. In this exhibition, we reunite these five monumental views, which includes our recently acquired view from the north, for the first time in more than 250 years.

Painted at the height of Bellotto’s career, when he was court painter to August III, Elector of Saxony and King of Poland, these views were commissioned as part of a larger series of 30 views of Dresden and its surroundings. The five paintings of Königstein show the ancient fortress from outside its forbidding walls as well as from within. Bellotto succeeds in capturing both the drama and detail of this commanding site, on canvases measuring more than two metres wide. Stand back and you can see the sharp, angular forms of the fortress, but look closely and you can make out the crumbling stone walls, tiny soldiers on the ramparts and women hanging washing in the courtyard.

For many years Bellotto was overlooked, in favour of his more famous uncle and master, Canaletto, but today he is recognised as one of the most distinctive artistic personalities of the 18th century. Applying what he had learnt in Venice to his highly original panoramic depictions of northern Europe, Bellotto took the tradition of view painting in an entirely new direction.

Letizia Treves, with Lucy Chiswell, Stephen Lloyd, and Hannah Williamson, Bellotto: The Königstein Views Reunited (London: National Gallery, 2021), 88 pages, ISBN: 9781857096743, £15 / $20.

Exhibition | Table Delights: Historical Linen Damasks

Posted in books, catalogues, exhibitions by Editor on July 27, 2021

Press release for the exhibition, via the European Textile Network (‘Tafelfreuden’ is my new favorite word! -CH). 

Tafelfreuden: Historische Leinendamaste / The Delights of Dining: Historical Linen Damasks
Abegg-Stiftung, Riggisberg, 25 April — 7 November 2021

Linen Damask with Grapevines, United Provinces, 1660–80 (Abegg-Stiftung, inv. no. 3573; photograph by Christoph von Viràg). White-in-white patterned table linen was generally more expensive than fine glassware, exquisite porcelain, and cutlery in the seventeenth century.

Patterned table linen has adorned festive dining tables since the Late Middle Ages. These pure white tablecloths, napkins, and hand towels are patterned with discreet, artfully-drawn pictorial compositions and coats of arms. Used in conjunction with fine silverware, linen damasks served as a status symbol in both princely and bourgeois households. The textiles that have survived are valuable testimony to historical dining culture. Among the many pleasures of dining, besides indulging the palate, is the spectacle of fine glassware, exquisite porcelain, and silver. And since the early sixteenth century, table linen made of white linen damasks has also been a common part of festive banquets. Often it was the most expensive item on the table.

White-in-white patterned table linen? Is there anything to see at all? Most definitely. For concealed within these seemingly plain white cloths are hitherto unimagined visual worlds and experiences. Their subtlety prompts us to ponder our sense of sight and optical phenomena generally, since depending on the fall of light—and unlike on perfectly illuminated photographs—the woven designs are not always clearly visible. But anyone ready to engage with them will soon discover motifs drawn from seafaring or everyday life, mythological and Biblical scenes, portraits of rulers, historical events, and the patrons’ coats of arms. The Abegg-Stiftung in Riggisberg possesses one of the world’s most important collections of historical linen damasks. These monumental tablecloths, napkins, and hand towels are normally kept in storage. This year’s special exhibition, however, will feature a selection of exceptionally fine examples dating from the sixteenth to eighteenth century. These will be flanked by texts and short films explaining their manufacture, place of origin, and use.

Related publication from the museum:

Cornelis A. Burgers, White Linen Damasks: Heraldic Motifs from the Sixteenth Century to circa 1830 (Riggisberg: Abegg-Stiftung, 2014), 2 vols, 564 pages, ISBN: 978-3905014563, CHF 280.

The Abegg-Stiftung’s collection of white linen damasks ranks amongst the foremost in the world. With tablecloths, banquet napkins, handtowels, and napkins, it covers a wide range of patterns, including heraldic and historical motifs, biblical and mythological stories, flowers, hunting scenes, views of towns, etc. With emphasis on heraldic motifs all such patterns feature in this catalogue. Occasionally clients also had their names and a date woven in. Most of this napery originates from weaving centres in the Southern and Northern Netherlands, Germany, Scotland, Ireland, and Russia.

Exhibition | Family & Friends: Reynolds at Port Eliot

Posted in exhibitions, museums by Editor on July 26, 2021

Joshua Reynolds, Portrait of the Eliot Family, 1746, oil on canvas, 85 × 112 cm (Plymouth: The Box, A16; acquired from the Trustees of Port Eliot Estate through the acceptance in lieu scheme, 2007).

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Press release for the exhibition, via Art Daily. . .

Family & Friends: Reynolds at Port Eliot
The Box, Plymouth, 24 July — 5 September 2021

Curated by Emma Philip

Family & Friends: Reynolds at Port Eliot is a new, free exhibition that draws on The Box’s extensive collection of paintings by Sir Joshua Reynolds (1723–1792)—the UK’s single largest public collection of the artist’s work outside of London—to explore the enduring connection between the Plymouth-born master painter and the Eliot family of Port Eliot in St Germans, Cornwall. On view from 24 July until 5 September, the exhibition paints an intimate picture of how a rare fusion of patronage and genuine friendship supported Plymouth’s most famous portrait painter throughout his life, from budding local artist to founding president of the Royal Academy. Intimate in scale and subject matter, the exhibition is a precursor to a major celebration in 2023 which will mark the 300th anniversary of Reynolds’ birth.

It was Reynolds’s early portraits of naval officers living around Plymouth Dock (Devonport) that caught the attention of Captain John Hamilton, a man Reynolds would paint three times over the course of his life and a close friend of the Eliots who later married into the family.

The Eliot connection proved both lucrative and personally fulfilling as Edward Eliot—later the first Lord Eliot—was one of Reynolds’s repeat patrons and acted as one of the pallbearers at his funeral at St Paul’s Cathedral in 1792. The close bond between the Eliots and Reynolds endured even after his death, with the family continuing to purchase his work when it became available, such as Hope Nursing Love, acquired in 1835.

Joshua Reynolds, Portrait of Lady Anne Bonfoy, née Eliot (1729–1810), oil on canvas, 125 × 101 cm (Plymouth: The Box, A18; acquired from the Trustees of Port Eliot Estate through the acceptance in lieu scheme, 2007).

Perhaps it was Reynolds’s exceptional ability to capture the individual characters of his sitters that first attracted the Eliot family, or perhaps it was this close relationship that gave rise to some of Reynolds’ most eye-catching work. Many of the pieces within the exhibition speak to this mastery, in particular a rare example of an early group portrait in The Eliot Family (1746), which remarkably shows children actually playing and foreshadows Captain John Hamilton’s future role as part of the family, and Lady Anne Bonfoy (née Eliot) (1755), a stunning portrait which depicts the young woman—whom Reynolds had known for a number of years—in the type of dynamic stance previously reserved for portraits of men.

Family & Friends: Reynolds at Port Eliot is an opportunity for the visitors to see 14 of the 23 paintings that were accepted by Plymouth City Council in lieu of inheritance tax in 2007, and which now form part of The Box’s permanent collection. The Box owns a total of 18 autograph works by Reynolds, plus three attributed to or after Reynolds, as well as a number of his personal items.

After visiting the exhibition, visitors can explore additional gallery spaces at The Box displaying work by and objects belonging to Reynolds. The collection features his 1746 Self-Portrait, his 1755 sitter’s book, palettes, mahl sticks, paint box, and sketchbook from 1750–52. Four works are also on display in the Cottonian Research Room: portraits of Reverend Samuel Reynolds (his father), Frances Reynolds (his sister), Charles Rogers, and a further self-portrait.

Emma Philip, Senior Curator at The Box said: “We’re delighted to display these important Reynolds paintings from our collections for our audiences to enjoy this summer. Now, more than ever, we all feel the importance of our family and friends, and of our images of them. This exhibition offers the opportunity to see an intimate, historic set of portraits and examine the relationship between Reynolds and the Eliot family from a new perspective.”

Councillor Mark Deacon, Cabinet Member for Customer Services, Culture, Leisure and Sport said: “Sir Joshua Reynolds is an artist of immense local significance as well as national and international importance and so it’s wonderful to see this intimate celebration of his portraiture of people who meant a great deal to him staged here in Plymouth. The works you’ll see at the exhibition offer a glimpse into those accepted in lieu by Plymouth City Council in 2007 ahead of a more substantial celebration of Reynolds in 2023.”

The Box is Plymouth’s new £46 million cultural destination, proudly led by Plymouth City Council in Britain’s Ocean City. A museum, gallery, and archive. A cafe, shop, and bar. A place that you can make your own, and where there’s always something new to discover. The opening of The Box was one of the most significant cultural events in the UK in 2020. Plymouth’s former Museum and Art Gallery, Central Library and St Luke’s church buildings have been completely transformed with a series of new galleries and exhibition spaces.

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