Tessin Lecture | Melissa Hyde on Pink and Portraits

Posted in conferences (to attend), lectures (to attend) by Editor on August 30, 2022

Jean-Baptiste Perronneau, Portrait of Olivier Journu, 1756, pastel on blue-gray laid paper, laid down on canvas, 58 × 47 cm
(New York: Metropolitan Museum of Art, 2003.26)

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This conference marks the 200th anniversary of the establishment of Sweden’s national portrait gallery at Gripsholm. Melissa Hyde will deliver this year’s Tessin lecture as the keynote address on Thursday, 15 September. The full conference schedule is available here.

Statens porträttsamling 200 år / The State Portrait Collection: 200 Years
Nationalmuseum, Stockholm and Gripsholm Castle, Mariefred, 15–16 September 2022

Melissa Hyde, In the Pink: Eighteenth-Century French Portraiture

Though never as ubiquitous in the eighteenth century as the colour blue, pink became the colour par excellence of the French Rococo. The colour was intimately associated with the so-called ‘Godmother of the Rococo’, Madame de Pompadour, the famous mistress of Louis XV. But even before Pompadour, pink was a hue much favored amongst elites in France, where it attained an unprecedented level of visibility in the visual and decorative arts and in the fashions worn by women, children, and men. This talk will demonstrate why, in the eighteenth-century, to wear pink was to make a statement—a statement made all the more emphatic and enduring when memorialized in portraiture; and one in which gender, class and/or race played a fundamental role. These matters concerning portraiture ‘in the pink’ will be addressed by way of some very basic, but actually quite complicated, questions: what did pink mean in the eighteenth century? What colors were comprehended by ‘pink’? Who did or didn’t embrace this color and why? In light of the complexities and nuances of pink, what might it have meant for a racially ‘white’ Frenchman to wear this notionally feminine colour (or to have himself depicted wearing it)?

Melissa Hyde is Professor and Distinguished Teaching Scholar at the University of Florida. Her scholarly interests include: women artists, and more broadly, the gendering of aesthetic culture, the cultural meanings of color, the history of the Salon and art criticism, self-portraiture, and questions of identity and place. She teaches courses on European art (c. 1650–1830), as well as courses on gender and the visual arts from the late Renaissance to the early nineteenth century. Professor Hyde’s research and publications focus on gender and visual culture in eighteenth- century France. Her work has appeared in The Art Bulletin, Eighteenth-Century Studies, Studies in Eighteenth-Century Culture, and numerous edited volumes. Key publications include Making Up the Rococo: François Boucher and His Critics (2006), Becoming a Woman in the Age of Enlightenment (catalogue for an exhibition she co-curated in 2017), and numerous book chapters and articles. She is author of two recent essays on the contemporary pastel artist, Nicolas Party. She is currently completing a book project entitled, Painted by Herself: Marie-Suzanne Giroust: Madame Roslin, the Forgotten Académicienne.

The Tessin Lecture
Once a year the Nationalmuseum, Stockholm invites a prominent international scholar to give a lecture in art history. The lecture, which is public, is a way to pay tribute to an exceptional scholar in art history and emphasize the museum’s commitment to research.

Exhibition | Eighteenth-Century Pastels

Posted in exhibitions by Editor on August 26, 2022

From the press release (1 August) for the exhibition:

Eighteenth-Century Pastels
Getty Museum, Los Angeles, 30 August 2022 — 26 February 2023

Curated by Emily Beeny and Ellie Bernick, with Julian Brooks

Pietro Antonio Rotari, Young Woman with a Fan, early 1750s, pastel on blue-green paper, mounted on canvas, 18 × 15 inches (Los Angeles: Getty Museum, 2019.111).

Exhibition highlights the Pan-European popularity of pastels with recently acquired works and loans from the Mauritshuis museum.

The J. Paul Getty Museum presents Eighteenth-Century Pastels, an exhibition that explores the popularity of pastels across eighteenth-century Europe and showcases their striking physical properties. Presenting works from the Getty Museum collection along with four loans, the exhibition is on view at the Getty Center from 30 August 2022 to 26 February 2023.

By the mid-eighteenth century, pastels reached an unprecedented peak of popularity and acclaim. The dry, satiny pigments, manufactured in sticks of every hue, were portable and allowed for swift execution—allowing artists to essentially ‘draw’ a painting.

“Working with pastels differs greatly from painting with oils, which require cumbersome equipment, long sittings, and extensive drying times,” says Emily Beeny, curator of European paintings at the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco and former associate curator of drawings at the Getty Museum. “Their relative ease and portability made pastels an especially desirable medium for traveling artists seeking to expand their portfolio with portraits.”

Pastelists were often very mobile, traveling far and wide in search of commissions. The artists and sitters represented in Eighteenth-Century Pastels hail from Austria, England, France, Germany, Italy, Switzerland, and the Netherlands—a testament to the Pan-European nature of the pastel phenomenon. The exhibition highlights works from the Getty Museum collection by Jean-Étienne Liotard, John Russell, and Rosalba Carriera, among others. The show also includes recently acquired works by Adélaïde Labille-Guiard and Pietro Antonio Rotari, as well as seldom-seen works by Cornelis Troost on long-term loan from the Mauritshuis in the Netherlands.

With standout pieces like Rotari’s Young Woman with a Fan and Liotard’s Portrait of Maria Frederike van Reede-Athlone at Seven Years of Age, the pastels in this exhibition will entrance audiences with their rich hues and ethereal quality.

“Featuring works by many of the most talented pastel portraitists of the age, this exhibition is a sumptuous feast for the eyes,” says Ellie Bernick, graduate intern at the Getty Museum and co-curator of the exhibition. “Plus, the exhibition features several works by female pastelists like Adélaïde Labille-Guiard, Rosalba Carriera, and Mary Hoare, exemplifying the important role the medium played in bringing women artists into the profession.”

Eighteenth-Century Pastels is curated by Emily Beeny, curator of European paintings at the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco and former associate curator of drawings at the Getty Museum, and Ellie Bernick, graduate intern at the Getty Museum, with the assistance of Julian Brooks, senior curator of drawings at the Getty Museum.

Exhibition | (Re)Inventing the Americas

Posted in exhibitions, today in light of the 18th century by Editor on August 25, 2022

Denilson Baniwa, The Celebration of the Lizard (detail), Spirit Animals (detail), 2022, digital intervention on Columnam à Praefecto prima navigation locatam venerantur Floridenses (Column in Honor of the First Voyage to Florida) (detail), from Jacques de Morgues Le Moyne (French, ca. 1533–before 1588), Brevis narratio eorum quae in Florida Americæ provincia Gallis acciderunt (Frankfurt, 1591), pl. 8 (Getty Research Institute, 87-B24110). Courtesy the artist. Design © 2022 J. Paul Getty Trust.

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From the press release (via Art Daily) for the exhibition:

(Re)Inventing the Americas: Construct. Erase. Repeat.
Getty Center, Los Angeles, 23 August 2022 — 8 January 2023

Curated by Idurre Alonso with Denilson Baniwa

America is a European invention. Between 1492 and the late 1800s, European conquistadors, travelers, and artists produced prints, books, and objects that illustrated the natural resources and Native peoples of the Americas, often constructing fantastic and fictional ideas. Mixing reality with their own conventions and interpretations, they created portable and reproducible images that circulated around the world, fueling the spread of stereotypes and prejudices. (Re)Inventing the Americas: Construct. Erase. Repeat., on view from 23 August 2022 until 8 January 2023, analyzes the creation of the mythologies that arose during the conquest and exploration of the continents and reveals the influence that those myths and utopian visions have had on defining the Americas.

“This exhibition reframes the colonial and 19th-century materials in the Getty Research Institute collections, challenging European representations of the American continents,” says Mary Miller, director of the Getty Research institute. “It proposes that the Americas were reinvented utilizing European conventions and imaginaries.”

Re)Inventing the Americas is divided into five thematic sections. The first one examines the allegorical construction of America and the sources and evolution of these images. The second section explores the natural wealth of the Americas, while highlighting the exploitation of those resources. The third part looks at the construction of archetypes by analyzing recurring topics, such as the depiction of local people with feathers and hammocks and the portrayal of idolatry and cannibalism. The fourth section is devoted to images of the conquest, emphasizing the political overtones of certain narratives. The final section looks at the work of European travelers, stressing the differences and commonalities with previous constructions.

The exhibition features a collaboration with Denilson Baniwa, a contemporary artist from the Brazilian Amazon region who will generate different artistic interventions throughout the show. Baniwa’s work prompts us to critically reevaluate the materials from the past to help us navigate the colonial traumas, generating new reinventions of the Americas. Additionally, commentary on exhibition objects by Latinx and Indigenous members of the Los Angeles community gives a multi-perspectival approach to the pieces.

“Our collections illustrate the construction of an image of the Americas based on the European perspective,” says Idurre Alonso, curator at the Getty Research Institute. “Thus, it was important to me to analyze and counter that European view by introducing a multilayered presentation of the exhibition objects. To do that, I collaborated with Denilson Baniwa and our local Latin American and Latinx community. Their voices became part of the narrative of the show, challenging the persistence of certain notions. The outcome of these collaborations is a multifaceted exhibition that showcases the complex reinventions of the Americas from the Colonial time to today.”

Denilson Baniwa (born 18 April 1984) is an Indigenous artist who was born in the village of Darí, in Rio Negro, Amazonas, in the tri-border area between Brazil, Colombia and Venezuela. His artistic practice includes graphic design, drawings, performances, and urban interventions. His oeuvre seeks points of intersection between Indigenous culture and the contemporary art world. Through his art he questions the colonial past and stereotypical representations of Indigenous people, often layering components from colonial and nineteenth-century art with elements from his own cultural traditions. Some of the themes he approaches include the relationships of Indigenous peoples and technology as well as the harmful effects of agri-business for Native peoples.

Esta exhibición se presenta en inglés y en español.

Louis Bouquet, Chimborazo Seen from the Plain of Tapia, engraving from Alexander von Humboldt, Vues des Cordillères, et monumens des peuples indigènes de l’Amérique (Paris, 1810), between pp. 200 and 201 (Getty Research Institute, 85-B1535).


Statue of Elizabeth Freeman Unveiled in Massachusetts

Posted in anniversaries, on site, the 18th century in the news by Editor on August 24, 2022

On Sunday (21 August) a statue of Elizabeth Freeman (ca.1744–1829) was unveiled in Sheffield, Massachusetts, as reported by the Associated Press:

Brian Hanlon, Elizabeth Freeman, 2022 (Photo from the artist’s Instagram, hanlonstudio1). As noted by @PhyllisASears at Herstorical Monuments, there is also a sculpture of Freeman at the National Museum of African American History and Culture in Washington, DC.

The story of an enslaved woman who went to court to win her freedom [in 1781] more than 80 years before the Emancipation Proclamation had been pushed to the fringes of history.

A group of civic leaders, activists, and historians hope that ended Sunday in the quiet Massachusetts town of Sheffield with the unveiling of a bronze statue of the woman who chose the name Elizabeth Freeman, also when she shed the chains of slavery 241 years ago to the day.

Her story, while remarkable, remains relatively obscure. . . .

The enslaved woman, known as Bett, could not read or write, but she listened. And what she heard did not make sense.

While she toiled in bondage in the household of Col. John Ashley, he and other prominent citizens of Sheffield met to discuss their grievances about British tyranny. In 1773, they wrote in what are known as the Sheffield Resolves that “Mankind in a state of nature are equal, free, and independent of each other.”

Those words were echoed in Article 1 of the Massachusetts Constitution in 1780, which begins “All men are born free and equal, and have certain natural, essential, and unalienable rights.”

It is believed that Bett, after hearing a public reading of the constitution, walked roughly 5 miles from the Ashley household to the home of attorney Theodore Sedgwick, one of the citizens who drafted the Sheffield Resolves, and asked him to represent her in her legal quest for freedom, said Paul O’Brien, president of the Sheffield Historical Society.

Sedgwick and another attorney, Tapping Reeve, took the case. Women had limited legal rights in Massachusetts courts at the time, so a male slave in the Ashley household named Brom was added to the case. The jury agreed with the attorneys, freeing Bett and Brom on August 21, 1781. . . .

The full article is available here»

New Book | Stourhead: Henry Hoare’s Paradise Revisited

Posted in books by Editor on August 22, 2022

Published by Head of Zeus and distributed by IPG:

Dudley Dodd with an introduction by James Stourton and photographs by Marianne Majerus, Stourhead: Henry Hoare’s Paradise Revisited (London: Apollo, 2021), 320 pages, ISBN: ‎ 978-1788543620, £40 / $65.

An illustrated history of the landscape garden at Stourhead, created by generations of the Hoare banking dynasty.

Cross the south lawn at Stourhead and enter the leafy embrace of the Shades. Descend through the ancient and rare trees, and as the ground falls away a great lake appears. It is punctuated with classical temples, and a great arched bridge lunges to the other side of the water. Continue on and you will find a mystical, jagged grotto; a gothic hideaway; gods, muses and saints. This is how Henry Hoare—known as Henry the Magnificent—would have approached the garden he designed with Henry Flitcroft. It truly is an English arcadia. Perhaps he imagined himself as a journeying Aeneas, or wished to recreate a Claude Lorrain landscape? This is the history of a unique landscape, created in a misty Wiltshire valley by generations of the Hoare banking family. It follows its evolution, describing how flights of folly, individual flair and tastes, combined with careful stewardship, have formed a national treasure and one of the finest examples of the English landscape garden.

Dudley Dodd had a long career with the National Trust, where he was Secretary of the Arts Panel, and has published widely on Stourhead, whose first modern guidebook he wrote in 1981, as well as guidebooks to several other National Trust houses. He is co-author of Roman Splendour, English Arcadia: The Pope’s Cabinet at Stourhead.

The Met Acquires an Early Work by the Marquise de Grollier

Posted in museums by Editor on August 21, 2022

Charlotte Eustache Sophie de Faligny Damas, marquise de Grollier, Still Life with a Vase of Flowers, Melon, Peaches, and Grapes, 1780, oil on canvas, 46 × 56 cm (New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, Purchase, Friends of European Paintings Gifts, 2022.264).

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The Metropolitan Museum of Art recently acquired an early still life by the marquise de Grollier, a French painter largely ignored in the history of art, though Antonio Canova described her as “the Raphael of flower painting.” The object webpage went live on Friday, with a catalogue entry by David Pullins.

Charlotte Eustache Sophie de Faligny Damas, the marquise de Grollier (1741–1828), “painted flowers with great superiority,” in the words of her artist-friend Elisabeth Louise Vigée Le Brun. However, Grollier’s aristocratic status prevented her from painting professionally or from exhibiting her work to any extent. Still Life with a Vase of Flowers, Melon, Peaches, and Grapes from 1780 is one of the artist’s earliest dated works, and shows how Grollier worked through a number of technical challenges as she mastered the still life genre. The acquisition is part of The Met’s goal of expanding the narratives told in its European Paintings galleries. It will be displayed in late 2023, when the galleries are fully reinstalled upon the completion of the Skylights Project.

More information about the painting is available here»

Call for Applications | Decorative Arts Curatorial Internship Grants

Posted in opportunities by Editor on August 19, 2022

Decorative Arts Curatorial Internship Grants, starting 2023
Institutional applications due by 30 September 2022

The Decorative Arts Trust underwrites curatorial internships for recent Masters or PhD graduates in partnership with museums and historical societies. These internships allow host organizations to hire a deserving young professional who will learn about the responsibilities and duties common to the curatorial field while working alongside a talented mentor.

The Trust’s internship program seeks to provide mutually beneficial opportunities that will nurture the next generation of museum curators while providing essential staffing for the host. The Trust encourages projects that advance diversity in the study of American decorative arts and will have a defined impact on the professional development of emerging scholars. Preference is given to those internships that provide opportunities for interns to make consequential contributions to exhibitions, publications, public programs, and community outreach. Read about the impact of the internship experience here.

We currently offer two 24-month internships with one grant cycle opening per year. For this cycle, the Trust is offering a two-year grant with $40,000 available per year for the intern’s salary. The Trust requires the host organization to allocate funds for the intern’s health insurance and other available benefits. The host organization need not be in the United States, nor does the intern need to be a United States citizen.

More information is available here»


New Book | Ceremonial Splendor

Posted in books by Editor on August 18, 2022

From U of Penn Press:

Joy Palacios, Ceremonial Splendor: Performing Priesthood in Early Modern France (Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 2022), 288 pages, ISBN: 978-1512822786, $55.

By the end of France’s long seventeenth century, the seminary-trained, reform-minded Catholic priest had crystalized into a type recognizable by his clothing, gestures, and ceremonial skill. Although critics denounced these priests as hypocrites or models for Molière’s Tartuffe, seminaries associated the features of this priestly identity with the idea of the vray ecclésiastique, or true churchman.

Ceremonial Splendor examines the way France’s early seminaries promoted the emergence and construction of the true churchman as a mode of embodiment and ecclesiastical ideal between approximately 1630 and 1730. Based on an analysis of sources that regulated priestly training in France, such as seminary rules and manuals, liturgical handbooks, ecclesiastical pamphlets and conferences, and episcopal edicts, the book uses theories of performance to reconstruct the way clergymen learned to conduct liturgical ceremonies, abide by clerical norms, and aspire to perfection.

Joy Palacios shows how the process of crafting a priestly identity involved a wide range of performances, including improvisation, role-playing, and the display of skills. In isolation, any one of these performance obligations, if executed in a way that drew attention to the self, could undermine a clergyman’s priestly persona and threaten the institution of the priesthood more broadly. Seminaries counteracted the ever-present threat of theatricality by ceremonializing the clergyman’s daily life, rendering his body and gestures contiguous with the mass. Through its focus on priestly identity, Ceremonial Splendor reconsiders the relationship between Church and theater in early modern France and uncovers ritual strategies that continue to shape religious authority today.

Joy Palacios is an Assistant Professor of Religious Studies in the Department of Classics and Religion at the University of Calgary.

New Resource | Russian Books of the 18th Century

Posted in resources by Editor on August 17, 2022

Атлас российской, состоящей из девятнадцати специальных карт представляющих Всероссийскую империю… / Atlas rossiiskoi, sostoiashchei iz deviatnadtsati spetsial’nykh kart predstavliaiushchikh Vserossiiskuiu imperiiu… / (Atlas of Russia, consisting of nineteen special maps representing the All-Russian Empire), 1745. Link»

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Thanks to Margaret Samu for noting this new digital collection. The examples of particular titles are her selections, underscoring the range of books included. CH

As noted several days ago at H-SHERA (Society of Historians of Eastern European, Eurasian, and Russian Art and Architecture). . .

The Slavic Reference Service at the University of Illinois has just announced the publication of a new digital collection: Russian Books of the 18th Century, which is now freely available on Internet Archive.

This collection is an ongoing project to make all of the books listed in Svodnyi katalog russkoi knigi grazhdanskoi pechati XVIII veka digitally available. It is designed to be used in tandem with the catalog: each item is cross-referenced with its entry number and transliterated title for easy access. We hope this will be a more convenient option for finding 18th-century Russian books than its microform predecessor. There are currently over 400 items uploaded, with our eventual goal being to have the full contents of the catalog online. Digitized books have been curated from the Russian National Electronic Library (RusNEB).

From the Internet Archive. . .

Russian Books of the 18th Century is a newly available collection of books printed in Russia from 1725 to 1801 based on the Union Catalogue of Russian 18th-Century Civil Typeface Books (Svodnyi katalog russkoi knigi grazhdanskoi pechati XVIII veka). Most titles were curated from the impressive digitization project, Natsional’naia Elektronnaia Biblioteka, operated by the Russian State Library in Moscow. This collection is curated by the Slavic Reference Service (SRS) at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign and is open to all researchers. Items are cross-referenced with Svodnyi katalog entry numbers and ALA-romanized titles. Descriptions contain a truncated version of the item’s listing in Svodnyi katalog. Users can use the ‘Search this collection’ function to search by entry number, title, and author in Latin or Cyrillic letters.

The ‘civil type’ refers to the new, simplified typeface introduced by Peter the Great in 1708, intended for secular publications, replacing the earlier Church Slavonic. Some titles are original Russian works, others are texts translated from European languages, while still others appear in bilingual editions, such as this Allegorical Imagery of Fireworks in Honor of Her Imperial Highness Elizaveta Petrovna in Russian and German.

Other notable books:

The Life and Deeds of Marcus Aurelius (1740), link»

• A 1745 atlas with maps, link»

The Adventures of Chevalier de ***. A True Story, by Jean-Baptiste de Boyer, marquis d’Argens (1772), link»

Theoretical and Practical Arithmetics, by D. S. Anichkov (1775), link»

New Book | Against the Map

Posted in books by Editor on August 16, 2022

From UVA Press:

Adam Sills, Against the Map: The Politics of Geography in Eighteenth-Century Britain (Charlottesville: University of Virginia Press, 2021), 318 pages, ISBN: 978-0813945989 (hardback), $115 / ISBN: 978-0813946009 (ebook), $35 / ISBN: 978-0813945996 (paperback), $45.

Over the course of the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, the increasing accuracy and legibility of cartographic projections, the proliferation of empirically based chorographies, and the popular vogue for travel narratives served to order, package, and commodify space in a manner that was critical to the formation of a unified Britain. In tandem with such developments, however, a trenchant anti-cartographic skepticism also emerged. This critique of the map can be seen in many literary works of the period that satirize the efficacy and value of maps and highlight their ideological purposes. Against the Map argues that our understanding of the production of national space during this time must also account for these sites of resistance and opposition to hegemonic forms of geographical representation, such as the map.

This study utilizes the methodologies of critical geography, as well as literary criticism and theory, to detail the conflicted and often adversarial relationship between cartographic and literary representations of the nation and its geography. While examining atlases, almanacs, itineraries, and other materials, Adam Sills focuses particularly on the construction of heterotopias in the works of John Bunyan, Aphra Behn, Jonathan Swift, Daniel Defoe, Samuel Johnson, and Jane Austen. These ‘other’ spaces, such as neighborhood, home, and country, are not reducible to the map but have played an equally important role in the shaping of British national identity. Ultimately, Against the Map suggests that nation is forged not only in concert with the map but, just as important, against it.

Adam Sills is Associate Professor of English at Hofstra University.

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