Last Call for Entries for the 2022 George Clarke Prize

Posted in opportunities by Editor on November 30, 2022

From the Call for Proposals:

2022 George Clarke Prize for Research Proposal Pertinent to Stowe
Proposals due imminently (first week of December 2022)

Applications are invited for the 2022, biennial Prize of £2000, run by the Hall Bequest Trust. The prize is named after George Clarke, who was associated with Stowe for over more than 60 years—not least as historian of the building and temples. As editor of The Stoic for seven years, he published definitive articles on the history of the gardens and its buildings. In 1990, the Bucks Record Society published his edition of the Descriptions of Lord Cobham’s Gardens at Stowe 1700–1750. He established a close working relationship with the Huntington Library, where the 350,000 Stowe papers are. He is a founding trustee and past Chairman of the Hall Bequest Trust, which was established in 1983 with three aims: purchasing and displaying historic and cultural items relevant to Stowe, supporting educational projects, and providing bursaries for pupils at Stowe.

The George Clarke Prize is awarded for the best proposal for original archival research pertinent to Stowe within the fields of architecture, architectural history, and the material arts such as sculpture, collecting, or landscape design. The winner, who applies with evidence of their research record and a relevant and pertinent proposal, undertakes to pursue the research within the year of the award, and to write an article and to give a lecture within six months of completion of the research. Previous winners include Dr Myles Campbell, of the Office of Public Works, Dublin; Rhiannon Clarricoates, wallpaintings conservator at Lincoln University; and William Aslet, PhD candidate at the University of Cambridge.

Please email the prize administrators as soon as possible at amcevoy@stowe.co.uk for full application details.

New Book | Alexandre-Évariste Fragonard (1780–1850)

Posted in books by Editor on November 30, 2022

From Arthena:

Rébecca Duffeix, with a preface by Barthélémy Jobert, Alexandre-Évariste Fragonard (1780–1850) (Paris: Arthena, 2022), 520 pages, ISBN: 978-2903239688, €135.

Reconnu jusqu’aux années 1830 comme un artiste majeur, Alexandre-Évariste Fragonard (1780–1850) a été injustement éclipsé au profit de son père, le célèbre Jean-Honoré.

Peintre d’Histoire en vogue, artiste ‘troubadour’, Alexandre-Évariste est un créateur au talent éclectique. Précoce—il présente son premier dessin au Salon à treize ans—il n’aura de cesse d’explorer avec succès tous les domaines : peinture, dessin, gravure et sculpture. Si ses scènes d’Histoire nationale—François Ier armé chevalier par Bayard, Jeanne d’Arc sur le bûcher ou La Bataille de Marignan—sont entrées dans notre imaginaire, Fragonard a également fourni de nombreux dessins pour des recueils de gravures, des modèles de formes et de décors pour la manufacture de Sèvres ou pour des costumes de l’Opéra. Fidèle aux leçons de son maître David, ‘Fragonard fils’, nous montre aussi ses dons de coloriste, aux effets de lumière audacieux et maîtrisés, hérités de son père, et ses évocations de Bradamante ou de la statue du commandeur de Dom Juan peuvent être qualifiées de romantiques.

Diplômée en Lettres modernes et docteur en Histoire de l’art à l’université Lumière Lyon 2, où elle a enseigné, Rebecca Duffeix a soutenu sa thèse en 2000 sur la vie et l’oeuvre d’Alexandre-Evariste Fragonard. Spécialiste de cet artiste, elle a notamment été commissaire de deux expositions qui lui ont été consacrées (Grasse en 2017 et Angoulême en 2020–21). Elle est actuellement en charge du centre de documentation et de la bibliothèque des musées Gadagne à Lyon.

New Book | James Gillray: A Revolution in Satire

Posted in books by Editor on November 30, 2022

From Yale UP:

Tim Clayton, James Gillray: A Revolution in Satire (London: Paul Mellon Centre for Studies in British Art, 2022), 408 pages, ISBN: 978-1913107321, £50 / $65.

A lavishly illustrated biography of James Gillray, inventor of the art of political caricature

James Gillray (1756–1815) was late Georgian Britain’s funniest, most inventive and most celebrated graphic satirist and continues to influence cartoonists today. His exceptional drawing, matched by his flair for clever dialogue and amusing titles, won him unprecedented fame; his sophisticated designs often parodied artists such as William Hogarth, Joshua Reynolds, and Henry Fuseli, while he borrowed and wittily redeployed celebrated passages from William Shakespeare and John Milton to send up politicians in an age—as now—where society was fast changing, anxieties abounded, truth was sometimes scarce, and public opinion mattered.

Tim Clayton’s definitive biography explores Gillray’s life and work through his friends, publishers—the most important being women—and collaborators, aiming to identify those involved in inventing satirical prints and the people who bought them. Clayton thoughtfully explores the tensions between artistic independence, financial necessity, and the conflicting demands of patrons and self-appointed censors in a time of political and social turmoil.

Tim Clayton is a historian and writer. He is a specialist in eighteenth and early nineteenth-century history and culture and a leading authority on the printed images of that period.

Journal18, Fall 2022 — Silver

Posted in journal articles, reviews, today in light of the 18th century by Editor on November 30, 2022

In the latest issue of J18:

Journal18, Issue #14 (Fall 2022) — Silver
Issue edited by Agnieszka Anna Ficek and Tara Zanardi


Agnieszka Anna Ficek and Tara Zanardi

In his 1656 treatise El Paraíso en el Nuevo Mundo, Antonio de León Pinelo contends that the amount of silver extracted from Potosí’s Cerro Rico was enough to build a bridge of silver from the top of the mountain to the doors of Madrid’s Royal Palace: 2,070 leagues long, 14 rods wide, and 4 fingers thick.[1] The vivid imagery of León Pinelo’s account encapsulates the magnitude of silver’s potential as the material foundation for a fantastical building project that could physically scale the earth much like the Spanish Empire did politically, militarily, and financially. Silver’s beauty, mutability, and strength coveted by Spanish colonists led to the production of spectacular objects, such as the ornamental plaque from a Jesuit Mission in the Andean highlands that serves as this issue’s cover image. At once luxurious and symbolic, the plaque’s decoration features tulips and other plants cultivated in Europe, interwoven in a repouséd floral ground with indigenous passion flowers (mburucuyà), nibbled by native birds, to create an image of a harmonious colonial society. Both the imaginary bridge and the ornamental plaque belie the violence the Spanish Crown and the Church exerted in subjugating native populations and instituting a system of forced labor to extract this precious metal.

Within and beyond the Spanish Empire, silver financed wars, upheld dynasties, and cemented political alliances. Forged into currency, silver funded slavery and the institution’s production of goods such as sugar and cacao. Silver was also valued around the globe for its pliability and sheen. From Beijing to Versailles, Mexico City to Lisbon, it furnished grand homes, glittering on dinner tables and dressing tables alike. Skilled artists manipulated silver into opulent objects, capitalizing on its luster to fabricate sinuous forms in small-scale decorative artworks as well as ambitious commissions that communicated wealth and political might.

This issue probes silver’s capacity for metamorphosis—from raw material into objects and currency. Such transformative characteristics made it a valuable medium for artists, a tool for global expansion, and a form of income for rebuilding state treasuries. . . .

Keep reading»


• Dani Ezor — ‘White when Polished’: Race, Gender, and the Materiality of Silver at the Toilette
• Christina K. Lindeman — Silver Thread Textiles: Industry, Dynasty, and Political Power in Eighteenth-Century Prussia
• Susan Eberhard — The Asian Silver Chocolatière: The Transpacific World in a Diplomatic Gift


• James Middleton — An Eighteenth-Century Portrait Miniature on Silver: An Artifact from the Silver Age of Mexico
• José Andrés De Leo Martínez — La distinción del cáliz de Puebla de los Ángeles en el s. XVIII, entre dos Mundos
• Christina Clarke — Reanimating the Goldsmith: An Artisanal Reading of the Archive

Cover image: Ornamental Plaque (mariola or maya), one of a pair, 1725–50, Moxos or Chiquitos missions, Alto Peru (present-day Bolivia), silver, 42 × 31 × 3 cm (Museum of Fine Arts Boston, 1992.346).

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R E C E N T  N O T E S  &  Q U E R I E S

• Jessica L. Fripp — Review of Raphaël Barontini’s show Blue Lewoz (Paris: Mariane Ibrahim Gallery, summer 2022), published in J18 October 2022. Link»
The title Blue Lewoz brings together léwoz, the music and dance created by the enslaved people on Guadaloupe, and indigo blue, a dye that was a staple of the transatlantic slave trade. Barontini writes on his Instagram that Creole Dancer was inspired by a 1950 collage by Matisse of the same name, and a tribute to the “Caribbean women and the place of the dance in the Guadeloupean léwoz tradition.” From this twentieth-century inspired work, viewers quickly moved into an alternative history of fashion and luxury of early modern Europe: collages that incorporate Jean-Marc Nattier’s eighteenth-century dresses, Bronzino’s elaborate fabrics, and Elizabethan ruffs. While Barontini’s appropriation and sources stretch wider than the long eighteenth century, many of the fashions in those portraits were the product of, as Alicia Caticha notes, “Atlantic slave trade and a host of other exploitative global networks.” And, as scholars such as Anne Lafont and Mechtild Fend have shown, portraits were often used to construct and highlight whiteness.[1] Barontini’s work reinvents those portraits and, through collage, tapestries, and textiles, celebrates resistance and Caribbean festivals. . .

• Michelle Sylliboy — “Artist’s Notes: Nm’ultes is an Active Dialogue: I Reclaiming Komqwejwi’kasikl, II An Autobiographical Creative Inquiry, and III forthcoming” published in J18 in three parts, June 2022, October 2022. Link»
Published in three installments, this intervention by L’nu interdisciplinary artist, poet, and scholar Michelle Sylliboy offers an Indigenous perspective on the colonial archive. Sylliboy responds to the dehumanizing accounts of her ancestors in Nouvelle Relation de la Gaspésie (Paris, 1691) and reclaims the komqwejwi’kasikl language from its author, French missionary Chrestien Le Clercq, who culturally appropriated its writing system. Using autobiographical creative inquiry and Nm’ultes theory, Sylliboy addresses the ongoing impact of settler colonialism on her people, the L’nuk. As a survivor of intergenerational trauma, she tells the intersecting stories of healing and reconnecting with the worldview of her ancestors, who have been caretakers of a land that stretches from the Gaspé peninsula to Newfoundland since immemorial times.

New Book | Louis Lagrenée (1725–1805)

Posted in books by Editor on November 30, 2022

From Arthena:

Joseph Assémat-Tessandier, with a preface by Jan Blanc, Louis Lagrenée (1725–1805) (Paris: Arthena, 2022), 472 pages, ISBN: 978-2903239701, €99,

Peintre d’Histoire, à la belle carrière officielle, Louis Lagrenée (1725–1805) présente plus de 150 tableaux au Salon du Louvre de 1755 à 1789. Soulevant à plusieurs reprises l’enthousiasme de Diderot, sa peinture est appréciée des milieux financiers et aristocratiques, jusqu’à la Cour de Russie. Son succès au Salon de 1763 lui donne accès aux commandes pour les demeures royales. Il participe ensuite au programme d’encouragement de la peinture d’Histoire, organisé par le comte d’Angiviller de 1777 à 1789 (La Mort de la femme de Darius ou Les Deux Veuves d’un officier indien). De ses petits tableaux de cabinet (Vierge à l’Enfant, allégories ou scènes mythologiques) aux grands sujets inspirés de l’histoire ancienne (Annibal ayant trouvé le corps de Marcellus), son style épuré et raffiné au coloris délicat lui vaut le surnom d’ ‘Albane français’.

Les découvertes de ces dernières années (carnets de croquis, dessins préparatoires et réapparition d’oeuvres perdues), qui ont permis de doubler le corpus connu de Lagrenee l’aîné, ainsi différencié de son frère Jean-Jacques (1739–1821), apportent un nouvel éclairage sur son art, jalon précieux dans l’évolution de la peinture française vers le néoclassicisme naissant.

Joseph Assémat-Tessandier a soutenu en avril 2020 à l’université de Genève, sa thèse en histoire de l’art sur le peintre Louis Lagrenée. Diplômé de Sciences Po Paris et de l’Insead, il a travaillé auparavant dans des institutions financières américaine et française. Ses recherches se poursuivent à l’heure actuelle sur le peintre Jean-Jacques Lagrenée.

Exhibition | Promenades on Paper: 18th-C. French Drawings

Posted in books, catalogues, exhibitions by Editor on November 29, 2022

From The Clark:

Promenades on Paper: 18th-Century French Drawings from the Bibliothèque Nationale de France
The Clark Art Institute, Williamstown, MA, 17 December 2022 — 12 March 2023

Curated by Esther Bell, Sarah Grandin, Anne Leonard, Corinne Le Bitouzé, Pauline Chougnet, and Chloé Perrot

François-Joseph Bélanger, The Garden of Beaumarchais, 1788, watercolor and pen and ink (Bibliothèque nationale de France).

In partnership with the Bibliothèque nationale de France (BnF), the Clark is organizing the first exhibition of the library’s eighteenth-century French drawings. The selection of eighty-six enchanting studies, architectural plans, albums, sketchbooks, prints, and optical devices expands our understanding of drawing as a tool of documentation and creation in the age of Enlightenment, spanning the domains of natural history, current events, theater design, landscape, and portraiture. Displayed together, these objects immerse audiences in the world of eighteenth-century France—a world shaped by invention, erudition, and spectacle. Works by celebrated artists of the period such as François Boucher (1703–1770) and Gabriel de Saint-Aubin (1724–1780) are featured alongside exquisite drawings by lesser-known practitioners, including talented women, royal children, and visionary architects.

Promenades on Paper: Eighteenth-Century French Drawings from the Bibliothèque nationale de France is co-organized by the Clark Art Institute, Williamstown, Massachusetts, and the Bibliothèque nationale de France, Paris. It is curated by Esther Bell, Deputy Director and Robert and Martha Berman Lipp Chief Curator; Sarah Grandin, Clark-Getty Curatorial Fellow; and Anne Leonard, Manton Curator of Prints, Drawings, and Photographs from the Clark, and by Corinne Le Bitouze, Conservateur général; Pauline Chougnet, Conservateur en charge des dessins; and Chloé Perrot, Conservateur des bibliothèques from the Bibliothèque nationale.

This exhibition is made possible by Jessie and Charles Price. Major funding is provided by Elizabeth M. and Jean-Marie Eveillard, the Getty Foundation through its Paper Project initiative, and the Samuel H. Kress Foundation. The exhibition catalogue is made possible by Denise Littlefield Sobel.

Esther Bell, Pauline Chougnet, Sarah Grandin, Charlotte Guichard, Corinne Le Bitouzé, Anne Leonard, and Meredith Martin, Promenades on Paper: Eighteenth-Century French Drawings from the Bibliotheque nationale de France (Williamstown: Clark Art Institute, 2023), 272 pages, ISBN: 978-0300266931, $50.


New Book | La légèreté et le grave

Posted in books by Editor on November 29, 2022

From Passés Composés:

Cécile Berly, La légèreté et le grave: Une histoire du XVIIIe siècle en tableaux (Paris: Passés Composés, 2021), 150 pages, ISBN: 978-2379334009, €24.

Le XVIIIe siècle s’ouvre avec Le Pèlerinage à l’île de Cythère d’Antoine Watteau et s’achève avec La Mort de Marat de Jacques-Louis David : la naissance de la fête galante versus l’agonie d’un tribun révolutionnaire. Deux chefs-d’œuvre qui illustrent la légèreté et la gravité d’un siècle, deux facettes antagonistes mais complémentaires d’une même époque.

Les dix œuvres ici racontées sont ainsi autant de jalons pour saisir ce siècle passionnant dans ses innombrables contradictions : elles correspondent toutes à un moment du XVIIIe et disent son histoire artistique, culturelle, philosophique, sociale, économique et, bien évidemment, politique. Autant de chefs-d’œuvre qui ont forgé une société nouvelle, éprise de liberté, d’indépendance et de transgressions, au fil d’un siècle qui, sous la plume sensible de Cecile Berly, oscille sans cesse entre une légèreté savamment entretenue et une gravité qui confine au drame.

Historienne, spécialiste du XVIIIe siècle, Cécile Berly a publié plusieurs ouvrages sur Marie-Antoinette. Elle a également présenté et annoté la correspondance de Madame de Pompadour, et est l’auteure des Femmes de Louis XV et de Trois femmes: Madame du Deffand, Madame Roland, Madame Vigée Le Brun.

Exhibition | Fashion and Music in Revolutionary France

Posted in exhibitions by Editor on November 28, 2022

Magasin des Modes Nouvelles, Troisième Année, Vingtième Cahier, 30 Mai 1788, 30, 1788, text with engraving
(Mia, The Minnich Collection The Ethel Morrison Van Derlip Fund, 1966, P.15,303-P.15,305)

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From the press release (22 August 2022) for the exhibition at Mia:

Revolution à la Mode: Fashion and Music in Revolutionary France
Minneapolis Institute of Art, 10 September 2022 — 5 March 2023

Curated by Nicole LaBouff

The Minneapolis Institute of Art presents an exhibition of 18th-century French periodicals documenting the French Revolution and the tumultuous years leading up to it. Revolution à la Mode: Fashion and Music in Revolutionary France features hand-colored fashion plates, illustrating how fashion, theater, and politics influenced one another as France constructed a new democracy. The exhibition, curated by Nicole LaBouff, Mia’s Associate Curator of Textiles, will be on view in the Cargill Gallery from 10 September 2022 until 5 March 2023. This exhibition marks the first time these items have been on view.

In a unique pairing, the exhibition showcases fashion plates and musical scores that were published side by side in periodicals for the entertainment and edification of the public. These publications were among the first modern fashion magazines, with the illustrations documenting the fashions that fluctuated with the changing political tides. More than 20 of these fashion plates will be on display, alongside paintings and sculpture that offer context.

In planning for this project, Mia partnered with violinist Peter Sheppard Skærved of London’s Royal Academy of Music and musicologist Rebecca Geoffroy-Schwinden of the University of North Texas to arrange new recordings of these songs long lost to history, which visitors will be able to hear in the gallery and on Mia’s website. Important but understudied contributions by women to the music of this period–uncovered through exhibition research–will be highlighted in the display. [Skærved performed the pieces live at Mia in a public program on October 18.]

“We learn more about the fashion plates and the musical scores by featuring them side-by-side in this exhibition,” said LaBouff. “Most of this music has never been recorded before and we are excited to bring it to life in this exhibition. Clothing and music shape politics from the ground up, and this show offers visitors the chance to understand the atmosphere of Revolutionary France through those lenses.”

The fashion plates and musical scores featured in this show were a gift from the collection of Dwight and Helen Minnich.

New Book | L’autre famille royale: Bâtards et maitresses

Posted in books by Editor on November 28, 2022

From Passés Composés:

Flavie Leroux, L’autre famille royale: Bâtards et maitresses d’henri IV à Louis XVI (Paris: Passés Composés, 2022), 272 pages, ISBN: 978-2379334801, €22.

La faillite de l’absolutisme

Maîtresses et bâtards sont au cœur de l’histoire monarchique et tiennent, à l’avènement de ce qu’on appelle « l’absolutisme », un rôle de premier plan. Mais quel est-il ? Et surtout comment la famille royale peut-elle s’en accommoder alors que sur elle reposent la légitimité et la continuité du pouvoir ? C’est à cette question que Flavie Leroux répond en relisant les règnes des Bourbon, d’Henri IV à Louis XVI. Elle redonne leur place aux maîtresses successives et à leurs enfants, aussi bien dans l’idéologie monarchique que dans la réalité du pouvoir et de la vie de cour. D’abord famille de substitution sous Henri IV, avec Gabrielle d’Estrées et les Vendôme, ils s’imposent ensuite, avec Henriette d’Entragues, Louise de La Vallière ou Mme de Montespan, comme une famille parallèle que le roi garde auprès de lui et impose aux côtés de sa lignée légitime. Cette « contre famille » va concurrencer la « véritable » famille à un point tel que, sous Louis XV puis Louis XVI, c’est la crédibilité du pouvoir des Bourbon qui est mise en péril par cette nouvelle organisation. Entre famille, pouvoir et société, un livre inédit, brillant et décisif sur l’inexorable déclin de la monarchie française avant la Révolution française.

Docteur de l’École des Hautes Études en Sciences Sociales, chargée de recherche au Centre de recherche du château de Versailles, membre associée au Centre de recherches historiques, Flavie Leroux est spécialiste d’histoire de la cour et des femmes en France à l’époque moderne, en particulier des maîtresses royales, auxquelles elle a consacré sa thèse et un ouvrage, Les maîtresses du roi, de Henri IV à Louis XIV (2020).

Versailles Apartment of Mme du Barry Unveiled after Restoration

Posted in exhibitions, films, on site by Editor on November 27, 2022

The suite of fourteen rooms was completed in 1770 under the direction of Ange-Jacques Gabriel. Madame du Barry lived there for five years (1770–1774).

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The newly restored private apartment of Jeanne Bécu, Comtesse du Barry (1743–1793) opened last month in connection with the exhibition Louis XV: Passions of a King. From The Art Newspaper:

Claudia Barbieri, “Louis XV’s Official Mistress Leaves the Shadows, as Restoration of her Versailles Apartment Reveals Secretive Life,” The Art Newspaper (19 October 2022). Madame du Barry, whose life is the subject of a new Netflix film, was born into poverty and sold trinkets on the streets of Paris before joining court circles in her 20s.

François-Hubert Drouais, Portrait of Madame Du Barry, 1769 (Château de Versailles).

In late October 1722, King Louis XV was crowned in Reims cathedral. This month, the Château de Versailles in Paris marks 300 years since the king’s coronation with an exhibition of 400 works and artefacts that reveal the private life of a monarch whose regal lifestyle paved the way for the French Revolution.

But the highlight of the exhibition is the restored chambers of the king’s last official mistress, Madame du Barry, which are fully open to the public for the first time.

Over the past 18 months, and at a cost of €5m, the Parisian restoration specialists Ateliers Gohard—known for restoring the Statue of Liberty’s torch—have painstakingly renovated the 18th-century decor of Du Barry’s home by gradually stripping away layer upon layer of paint to reveal the colours the king’s mistress chose. . . .

Du Barry was famed for her patronage of artists and craftsmen. But, after her death, her possessions were scattered through the Paris sale rooms. Most have never been recovered. An approximation of her chambers will soon be used in a Netflix-produced film adaptation of her life, with the US actor Johnny Depp playing King Louis XV and the French actor Maïwenn playing Du Barry [Maïwenn also directs the film]. Shooting is currently taking place at locations in and around Versailles.

The full article is available here»

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