Enfilade

Newly Discovered Portrait of John Locke on View at London Art Week

Posted in Art Market by Editor on June 27, 2022

From the press release via Art Daily:

Miles Wynn Cato | British Art Rediscovered: Unseen Pictures, Untold Stories
London Art Week, 3–8 July 2022

Dr. Alexander Geekie, Portrait of John Locke, 1696, pastel on paper.

As part of London Art Week, British art dealer Miles Wynn Cato will present a remarkable selection of fourteen important discoveries, including a rare portrait of the English philosopher John Locke (1632–1704). Unrecorded since 1727, this fine pastel portrait was drawn from life by Dr Alexander Geekie (1655–1727), who was Locke’s doctor and friend, as well as a highly-accomplished amateur artist and art collector.

John Locke is widely acknowledged as one of the great thinkers of the Enlightenment and indeed, of all time. Locke’s ideas were also profoundly influential in the founding of the United States. Thomas Jefferson believed Locke to be one of “the three greatest men that have ever lived, without any exception.”

Archive letters between Locke and Dr Geekie reveal their close mutual regard, and in this superb personal portrayal, Geekie has managed to capture the essence of Locke’s character. The image is inscribed on the reverse, “Mr Lock by A Geekie, 1696,” and it is singled out for special mention in Geekie’s will. This discovery marks a significant addition to the iconography of John Locke. It is also very rare on the market, since almost all the other known portraits of John Locke are owned by public institutions.

This special selling exhibition British Art Rediscovered: Unseen Pictures, Untold Stories is held in conjunction with London Art Week. It will contain fourteen rediscovered paintings and drawings by some of Britain’s most important artists including Sir Thomas Lawrence, Thomas Jones, Angelica Kaufman, Joseph Wright of Derby, and Thomas Gainsborough (with Gainsborough remarkably represented by five rediscovered pictures).

• All of these artworks had been long lost, miscatalogued, or previously unrecorded.
• Each picture is also notable in the artist’s oeuvre for stylistic reasons or because the sitter or scene is exceptionally rare, such as the portrait of John Locke.
• The exhibition will include three paintings by early female artists, including a lost painting by Angelica Kauffman, RA.
• In two instances—Thomas Gainsborough and Thomas Lawrence—the image on view is one of the artist’s earliest known pictures to survive; so these significant new finds will shed fresh light on the early techniques of these outstanding artists.

This is a unique, limited opportunity to see these exciting new discoveries for the first time.

New Book | America’s Philosopher

Posted in books by Editor on June 27, 2022

From The University of Chicago Press:

Claire Rydell Arcenas, America’s Philosopher: John Locke in American Intellectual Life (Chicago: The University of Chicago Press, 2022), 280 pages, ISBN: 978-0226638607, $35.

America’s Philosopher examines how John Locke has been interpreted, reinterpreted, and misinterpreted over three centuries of American history.

The influence of polymath philosopher John Locke (1632–1704) can still be found in a dizzying range of fields, as his writings touch on issues of identity, republicanism, and the nature of knowledge itself. Claire Rydell Arcenas’s new book tells the story of Americans’ longstanding yet ever-mutable obsession with this English thinker’s ideas, a saga whose most recent manifestations have found the so-called Father of Liberalism held up as a right-wing icon.

The first book to detail Locke’s trans-Atlantic influence from the eighteenth century until today, America’s Philosopher shows how and why interpretations of his ideas have captivated Americans in ways few other philosophers—from any nation—ever have. As Arcenas makes clear, each generation has essentially remade Locke in its own image, taking inspiration and transmuting his ideas to suit the needs of the particular historical moment. Drawing from a host of vernacular sources to illuminate Locke’s often contradictory impact on American daily and intellectual life from before the Revolutionary War to the present, Arcenas delivers a pathbreaking work in the history of ideas.

Claire Rydell Arcenas is assistant professor of history at the University of Montana.

C O N T E N T S

Preface
1  Locke’s Legacy in Early America
2  Locke’s Authority in the Revolutionary and Founding Eras
3  Problematizing Locke as Exemplar in the Early United States
4  Locke Becomes Historical
5  Making Locke Relevant
6  Locke and the Invention of the American Political Tradition
7  Lockean ‘-isms’
Epilogue

Acknowledgments
List of Abbreviations
Notes
Bibliography
Index

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