New Book | The Artist’s Studio

Posted in books by Editor on March 31, 2023

From Thames & Hudson:

James Hall, The Artist’s Studio: A Cultural History (London: Thames & Hudson, 2023), 288 pages, ISBN: ‎978-0500021712, $40.

book coverA revealing chronicle and visual history of the artist’s studio, examining the myth and reality of the creative space from early times to the present day.

The artist’s workplace has always been an idealized utopia as well as the domain of dirty, backbreaking work. Written descriptions, paintings, prints, and even photographs of the artist’s atelier distort as much as they document. This illuminating cultural history of the artist’s studio charts the myth and reality of the creative space from ancient Greece to the present.

Tracing a history that extends far beyond the bohemian, romantic, and renaissance cults of the artist, each chapter focuses on key developments of the studio space as seen in a variety of familiar and unfamiliar images. Mythical and divine makers and some amateurs are included, alongside craftspeople―potters, illuminators, weavers, embroiderers, and architects―along with artists such as Artemisia Gentileschi, Claude Monet, Michelangelo, Rosa Bonheur, and Diego Rivera. Each carefully chosen example places the studio within a cultural and political context, with the aim of correcting the historical imbalance that has distorted the picture by leaving out the many artisans who collaborated with artists. Leading authority James Hall also extends the discussion to the artist’s museum and the artist’s house, as well as the development of portable studios, with sections on ‘plein air’ painting and drawing in the East. Visually appealing, featuring images of the artist’s studio from around the world, this compelling, eye-opening history identifies key studios, individuals, trends, and turning points in the history of the creative space.

James Hall is an art critic, historian, lecturer, and broadcaster. He was formerly chief art critic for the Sunday Correspondent and The Guardian. He contributes to The Guardian Saturday Review, The Times, and Times Literary Supplement, as well as well as to magazines and catalogues. He is the author of several books, including The Self-Portrait: A Cultural History.


1  Luxury and Lameness: The Shield of Achilles
2  Wisdom’s Workshop: Simon the Shoemaker
3  Struggles in the Scriptorium: Waging War on Dead Skin
4  Pure Gold: Doing God’s (or the Devil’s) Work
5  The Velvet Revolution: Cennini’s Studietto
6  Piety and Pretentiousness: Saint Luke Paints the Virgin
7  ‘Always Keeping Paper in His Hand’: A School for Art and Scandal
8  In and Out of the Comfort Zone: Leonardo versus Michelangelo
9  Creatures of the Night: ‘Only the Dark Serves to Plant Man’
10  Making a Spectacle: The Systematic Studio
11  Mirroring the Process: Velázquez to Reynolds
12  Women in the Studio: Inspiration, Destitution, Cleaning, Crimes of Passion
13  Chaste Space: Friedrich to Mondrian
14  Eliminating Easels: Workshop and Factory
15  Inside / Outside: Studios for Nomads

Select Bibliography
Picture Credits


The Burlington Magazine, March 2023

Posted in books, catalogues, exhibitions, journal articles, reviews by Editor on March 30, 2023

The eighteenth century in the March issue of The Burlington . . .

The Burlington Magazine 165 (March 2023)

Magazine cover featuring two drawings by Delacroix.E D I T O R I A L

• “Omai,” p. 219.

Given his undisputed central place in the history of British art, it is surprising that the three-hundredth anniversary of the birth of Joshua Reynolds is not being celebrated this year with more éclat. The principal tribute will be an exhibition Reframing Reynolds: A Celebration (24 June – 29 October 2023) at the Box in Plymouth, the city where Reynolds made his reputation—he was born on 16th July 1723 at Plympton, on its outskirts. The exhibition will explore the patronage he enjoyed from the Eliot family of Port Eliot, St Germans, and will be supplemented by the museum’s collection of paintings by Reynolds, the largest outside London.

Reynolds’s reputation rests largely on his portraits, so it might have been expected that the museum that contains the largest number, the National Portrait Gallery, London (NPG), would have marked the occasion with an exhibition of its own, but given that it has been closed for the past three years for a comprehensive redevelopment and redisplay, due to be unveiled on 22nd June, it has had other priorities. Yet any disappointment that the NPG is neglecting Reynolds in his anniversary year was allayed by the announcement last August that it is seeking to raise £50 million to acquire one of his greatest paintings, the full-length portrait of Omai, the first Polynesian to visit Britain. Universally praised ever since it was first seen in public, at the Royal Academy of Arts in 1776, it is a work both of great beauty and of compelling historic interest as a document of the earliest European encounter with Pacific cultures. . . Keep reading here»

Jean-Baptiste Greuze, A Young Woman Praying at the Altar of Love (Votive Offering to Cupid), 1767, oil on canvas, 146 × 113 cm (London: The Wallace Collection).


• Yuriko Jackall, Barbara H. Berrie, John K. Delaney, and Michael Swicklik, “Greuze’s Greens: Ephemeral Colours, Classical Ambitions,” pp. 268–79.

Jean-Baptiste Greuze was criticized in his lifetime for the unduly muted palette of some of his paintings. New technical analysis, combined with the recent discovery of a list in his handwriting of pigments he used, has revealed that his greens have faded because they incorporate fugitive yellow lakes, a practice Greuze continued even after its disadvantages were obvious.


• Roko Rumora, Review of the exhibition Chroma: Ancient Sculpture in Color (The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 2022–23), pp. 312–15.

• Desmond Shawe-Taylor, Review of the newly opened, expanded Gainsborough’s House (Sudbury), pp. 322–25.

• Friso Lammertse, Review of the newly renovated Royal Museum of Fine Arts, Antwerp (KMSKA), pp. 332–35.

• Simon Swynfen Jervis, Review of Jean-Pierre Fournet, Cuirs dorés, ‘Cuirs de Cordoue’: un art européen (Éditions d’art Monelle Hayot, 2019), pp. 342–43.

• Gauvin Alexander Bailey, Review of Aaron Hyman, Rubens in Repeat: The Logic of the Copy in Colonial Latin America (Getty Research Institute, 2021), pp. 343–44.

• Stephen Bann, Review of Joanthan Ribner, Loss in French Romantic Art, Literature, and Politics (Routledge, 2022), pp. 344–45.

• Charlotte Gere, Review of Julius Bryant, Enriching the V&A: A Collection of Collections, 1862–1914 (Lund Humphries and V&A Publishing, 2022), pp. 345–46.

• Jennifer Johnson, Review of Sam Rose, Interpreting Art (UCL Press, 2022), p. 350.


New Book | Intimate Interiors

Posted in books by Editor on March 29, 2023

From Bloomsbury:

Tara Zanardi and Christopher M. S. Johns, eds., Intimate Interiors: Sex, Politics, and Material Culture in the Eighteenth-Century Bedroom and Boudoir (London: Bloomsbury, 2023), 296 pages, ISBN: 978-1350277601, $120.

A desire for intimacy in domestic spaces—motivated by a growing sense of individualistic expression, an incentive to conceal the labor or enslavement taking place, and an appetite for solace and comfort—led to interiors taking on more specific roles in the eighteenth century. By examining the architectural, visual, and material culture of eighteenth-century spaces, Intimate Interiors foregrounds the interrelated concepts of intimacy, privacy, informality, and sociability in order to show how these ideas played an increasingly integral role in the period’s architectural and material design. Across eleven innovative chapters that explore issues of gender, politics, travel, exoticism, imperialism, sensorial experiences, identity, interiority, and modernity, this volume demonstrates how intimacy was a fundamental goal in the planning of private quarters. In doing so, the political nature of private spaces is uncovered, whilst highlighting the contradictions and complexities of these highly performative ‘private’ interiors. Employing distinct methodological perspectives across various geographical sites, from Turkey to Versailles, Britain to Benin, Intimate Interiors draws as-yet untraced connections between Enlightenment Europe, imperial outposts, and major metropolitan centers across the globe.

The volume is part of the Material Culture of Art and Design series, edited by Michael Yonan.

Tara Zanardi is Associate Professor of Art History at Hunter College, CUNY. She publishes on eighteenth-century Spanish visual and material culture, including “Silver” (Journal18 special issue, 2022), Visual Typologies from the Early Modern to the Contemporary: Local Practices and Global Contexts (co-edited with Lynda Klich, 2018), and Framing Majismo: Art and Royal Identity in Eighteenth-Century Spain (2016). She has received fellowships from NEH, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Fulbright Program, and the John Carter Brown Library.

Christopher M. S. Johns was the Norman L. and Roselea J. Goldberg Professor of History of Art at Vanderbilt University in Nashville. He began his teaching career at the University of Virginia in 1985 and rose to the position of endowed chair at Vanderbilt in 2003. A specialist in eighteenth-century Italian art, decorative art, material culture, and architecture, he published widely on the relationship between art, politics, and religion in early modern Italian culture in particular. He was a founding member of the Historians of Eighteenth-Century Art and Architecture. Sadly, Johns passed away in 2022.


List of Contributors
List of Plates
List of Figures


Introduction — Tara Zanardi (Hunter College, CUNY) and Christopher M.S. Johns (Vanderbilt University, until 2022)

Part 1: Power, Authority, Agency, Privacy
1  Sex, Lies, and Books: Staging Identity in the Comte d’Artois’s Cabinet Turc — Ashley Bruckbauer (Independent Scholar)
2  Enlightenment Naples Imagines Imperial China: Queen Maria Amalia’s Chinoiserie Boudoir — Christopher M. S. Johns (Vanderbilt University, until 2022)
3  Who Let the Dogs In?: The Hundezimmer in the Amalienburg Palace — Christina Lindeman (University of South Alabama)
4  Material Temptations: Isabel de Farnesio and the Politics of the Bedroom — Tara Zanardi (Hunter College, CUNY)

Part 2: Staging Identity and Performing Sociability
5  A Stage for Wealth and Power in Eighteenth-Century Lima: The Estrado of Doña Rosa Juliana Sánchez de Tagle, First Marchioness of Torre Tagle — Jorge Rivas (Denver Art Museum)
6  An Artist’s Bedrooms: Angelica Kauffman in London and Rome — Wendy Wassyng Roworth (University of Rhode Island)
7  The Mask in the Dressing Room: Cosmetic Discourses and the Masquerade Toilet in Eighteenth-Century British Print Culture — Sandra Gómez Todo (Independent Scholar)

Part 3: Hidden Lives and Interiority
8  Mythologies of the Boudoir: Jacques-Louis David’s The Loves of Paris and Helen — Dorothy Johnson (University of Iowa)
9  Political Interiority and Spatial Seclusion in West African Royal Sleeping Rooms — Katherine Calvin (Kenyon College)
10  On the Wings of Perfumed Reverie: Multisensory Construction of Elsewhere and Elite Female Authority in Marie-Antoinette’s Boudoir Turc — Hyejin Lee (Independent Scholar)
11  ‘Virginian Luxuries’ at Thomas Jefferson’s Monticello — Maurie McInnis (Stony Brook University)



New Book | All Walks of Life

Posted in books by Editor on March 28, 2023

From Arnoldsche:

Vanessa Sigalas and Meredith Chilton, eds., with additional contributions by André van der Goes, Jennifer Mass, and Aaron Shugar, and photography by Melissa Shimmerman, All Walks of Life: A Journey with The Alan Shimmerman Collection, Meissen Porcelain Figures of the Eighteenth Century (Stuttgart: Arnoldsche Art Publishers, 2023), 672 pages, ISBN: 978-3897906419, €68 / £75 / $115.

Book coverAll Walks of Life offers a unique opportunity to get to know the eighteenth-century people of Saxony, Paris, London, and St. Petersburg through the Meissen porcelain sculpture of the Alan Shimmerman Collection. Readers will become participants in a tour through Dresden and Meissen with Johann Joachim Kaendler as their guide, with excursions to London, Paris, and St. Petersburg also on the itinerary. Kaendler, along with his fellow modellers and painters at Meissen, captured glimpses of everyday life by paying meticulous attention to the smallest details: the carefully arranged tray of a trinket seller, the personal writing of a love letter, the larding tools of a cook preparing a hare. Whimsical glimpses into the lives of these everyday characters are created by inserting the porcelain figures into their eighteenth-century setting, using period illustrations and engravings as a backdrop.

The outstanding porcelain figures and groups of the Alan Shimmerman Collection form an unrivalled assemblage of the finest creations from one of the most famous porcelain manufactories in the world. The collection, which includes not only the most excellent examples of courtly and commedia dell’arte figures, but also lesser known and under-researched representations of everyday people, presents an aspect of Meissen production missing from many other collections. Alan Shimmerman’s focus on collecting complete series of figures, such as the Criers and Artisans, enables a fresh look at the creation, output, and distribution of Meissen porcelain. The publication includes the first comprehensive large-scale scientific analysis of a major collection of Meissen figures revealing new and unexpected findings.

Vanessa Sigalas is the David W. Dangremond Associate Curator for Collections Research at the Wadsworth Atheneum Museum of Art in Hartford, Connecticut. Her research focuses on European decorative arts, especially German porcelain and ivory. She also serves as the Managing Editor of the American Ceramic Circle Journal.

Meredith Chilton, C.M., is an independent art historian and curator who lives in Warwickshire, UK. She is a specialist in European ceramics of the 1700s, court and theatre history, and food and dining culture. Her publications include Harlequin Unmasked (2001), Fired by Passion (2009), and The King’s Peas (2019).

Melissa Shimmerman is a Toronto-based freelance photographer. Specializing in fine art and in commercial and portrait photography, her work is featured in art publications and catalogues for museums, galleries, and private collectors. Her oeuvre includes photography of art by Pablo Picasso, Marc Chagall, and the collections of the Gardiner Museum in Toronto.

André van der Goes is a former director of the Museum of Applied Arts, Staatliche Kunstsammlungen Dresden, and lecturer of the History of Art at the Technische Universität Dresden. Since 2012 he has been organizing study tours to museums, collections, and palaces in Dresden and other important European cultural cities for Grand Tour Dresden. His publications principally cover the history of material and nonmaterial culture.

Jennifer Mass is the Andrew W. Mellon Professor of Cultural Heritage Science at Bard Graduate Center and the President and Founder of Scientific Analysis of Fine Art. She also leads the scientific vetting committee at TEFAF New York and has co-authored several publications on Meissen porcelain colorants and technologies.

Aaron Shugar is the Andrew W. Mellon Professor of Conservation Science in the Art Conservation Department at Buffalo State College, New York. He received his PhD in Archaeometallurgy from the Institute of Archaeology, University College London. He has published and conducted extensive scientific analysis on a wide range of art and archaeological materials for over twenty years.

Mount Vernon Symposium | Decorative Arts in the French Atlantic World

Posted in conferences (to attend), online learning by Editor on March 27, 2023

French porcelain tea and coffee service made for George and Martha Washington, and gifted by the Comte de Custine de Sarreck, ca. 1782.

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From Mount Vernon:

‘Very elegant & much admired’: Decorative Arts in the French Atlantic World
George Washington Presidential Library, Mount Vernon, Virginia, 2–4 June 2023

After the American Revolution, George Washington resolved that he would no longer “send to England (from whence I formerly had all my goods) for anything I can get upon tolerable terms elsewhere.” He instead turned to the United States’ greatest ally, France, where he found the furniture, ceramics, textiles, and decorative objects to be “very elegant” and “much admired.”

The symposium will take place at the George Washington Presidential Library at Mount Vernon, in Virginia. The library opened in 2013.

The 2023 Mount Vernon Symposium will examine George and Martha Washington’s adoption of the French taste, as a catalyst to further explore the complex interchange of culture, decorative styles, and objects in the French-Atlantic World. Join leading curators and historians as they examine the diffusion of French style, from the Ancien Régime through the French Revolution to the French Empire, and from Paris to London, Philadelphia, Port-au-Prince, and New Orleans, to 20th-century Los Angeles. In-person participation cost is $400 ($375 for members and donors), which includes all lectures, meals, and tours. Virtual participation (in real-time or through recordings available until 4 July 2023) is $40.

F R I D A Y ,  2  J U N E  2 0 2 3

1:00  Registration

1:30  Welcome and Introductions

1:45  The Garde-Meuble de la Couronne: From its Creation to Revolutionary Sales — Stéphane Castelluccio
The Garde-Meuble de la Couronne was the administration in charge of furnishing the apartments of the members of the royal family in the residences of the French sovereign. King Henry IV created it in 1604 as part of his policy to reorganize the kingdom after the Wars of Religion. This talk will present the management, exercised by only three different families during a century and a half, as well as the functioning of this administration which took an increasing importance throughout the 18th century. It will explain the changes in its organization during the Revolution, and end with the reasons, principles and organization of the revolutionary sales of the Crown’s furniture, decided by the new Republic from 1793.

2:45  ‘A little French ease adopted would be an improvement”: Lessons in Sociability and Decorative Arts from 1780s Paris — Amy Hudson Henderson
After the American Revolution, an increasing number of American diplomats, businessmen, students, artists, and tourists found themselves in Paris mixing amongst themselves in the upper echelons of French society. It was a heady time, ripe with opportunities for forging new relationships and identities. Here, in 1784, a young Nabby Adams observed that Americans would do well to adopt “a little French ease” as an antidote to the stiffness and reserve that seemed to mar their social circles back home. What did she mean? This paper answers that question by exploring extant correspondence and household furnishings. By focusing on the acquisitions and behaviors of the prominent Americans who spent time in Paris during the 1780s, we deepen our understanding of the role of French decorative arts in both sociability and diplomacy and discover why these objects appealed to George and Martha Washington.

3:45  Break

4:00  Adam T. Erby – TBA

5:00  Henry Auguste: A Goldsmith in Revolutionary Paris — Iris Moon
This talk explores the unlikely career trajectory of the Parisian goldsmith Henry Auguste (1759–1816) during the French Revolution, drawing on new research published in Luxury after the Terror. Crafty, wily, and untrustworthy, but obviously talented with a hammer and chisel, Auguste started off as an apprentice to his well-known goldsmith father, who worked for Louis XVI. Beyond the French court, Auguste acquired a number of prestigious clients, including the British connoisseur William Beckford, for whom he fashioned an ewer made out of pure gold. Just as the volatile politics of the French Revolution sought to overturn the values of the Ancien Régime in favor of new ones, Auguste sought to refashion himself as more than a goldsmith during a moment of tremendous opportunity—and great risk.

6:30  Reception

7:15  Dinner

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7:30  Breakfast

8:45  Welcome and Introductions

9:00  Emerging Scholars’ Panel

10:00  Break

10:15  Revolutionary Things — Ashli C. White
During the late 18th century, a wide range of objects associated with the American, French, and Haitian revolutions crisscrossed the ocean. Furniture and ceramics; clothing and accessories; maps, prints, and public amusements—all circulated among diverse actors who wrestled with the political implications of these items. In this presentation we will examine the unique ways that transatlantic revolutionary things shaped how people understood contested concepts like equality, freedom, and solidarity. And, we will explore how these objects became a means through which individuals—enslaved and free, women and men, poor and elite—promoted, and sometimes tried to thwart, the realization of these ideals on the ground.

11:15  À la française: Designing French North America, 1700–1820 — Philippe Halbert
At its height, New France extended from eastern Canada, across the Great Lakes, and down the Mississippi River to Louisiana. Although its population remained small, French North America was no less dynamic in terms of artistic originality or creative output. Even after New France’s fall in 1763, areas of French settlement held fast to creole syntheses of Gallic aesthetics and vernacular tradition. This presentation will introduce a cross-section of objects and buildings whose stories reveal the vibrant legacies of French cultural identity as it took root in North America before 1800.

12:15  Lunch

1:45  An American in Paris: Walt Disney and France — Wolf Burchard
Walt Disney was about to turn 17 when he first set foot in France in December 1918. The buildings, the art and the atmosphere had a lasting impact on the animated world he would go on to create. Inspiring Walt Disney: The Animation of French Decorative Arts, an exhibition shown at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, the Wallace Collection in London and the Huntington Art Gallery in Pasadena, brought together the seemingly disparate worlds of 20th-century hand-drawn animation and 18th-century decorative arts, which upon closer inspection reveal remarkable similarities. Wolf Burchard will relate how the exhibition explored Disney’s fascination with European art and the impact it had on the studio’s output, especially the three French fairytales retold in hand-drawn animation: Cinderella (1950), Sleeping Beauty (1959), and Beauty and the Beast (1991).

2:45  Break

3:15  A Passion for Porcelain: Sèvres in the Wallace Collection — Helen Jacobsen
Ever since the early days of its development in the mid-18th century, the porcelain produced at the Sèvres Manufactory outside Paris has been a magnet for collectors, attracted by its vibrant colours, rich gilding, and innovative designs. The Sèvres collection at the Wallace Collection was put together in the 19th century, but its collectors were no less beguiled by its flamboyant luxury and exquisite craftsmanship. This lecture will follow the evolution of some of the most celebrated pieces ever produced at the manufactory and will explore the passions that gave shape to what is now one of the finest collections of Sèvres porcelain in the world, a testament to its enduring fascination.

4:15  James Monroe’s Use of French Furnishings in the White House and the Restoration of the Bellangé Suite — Melissa Naulin
Following its burning during the War of 1812, the President’s House required almost all new furnishings before it could reopen for President James Monroe’s use in 1817. Relying on his extensive knowledge of fashionable home goods gained through his two European diplomatic appointments, Monroe worked to secure a large number of these new furnishings from Paris. My talk will focus on these government-purchased French goods, many of which remain amongst the most-treasured objects in the White House collection. I will also detail the recent effort to restore the furniture suite made by Pierre Antoine Bellangé and purchased for Monroe’s “large oval room” (today’s Blue Room) to its original splendor.

5:45  Reception

7:00  Dinner

S U N D A Y ,  4  J U N E  2 0 2 3

9:00  Breakfast

9:30  From West to East: Huguenot Craft Communities in London’s Soho and Spitalfields — Tessa Murdoch
Drawing on research undertaken for her recent publication, Tessa will speak about the formation of Huguenot artisan communities in Soho and Spitalfields. Leading personalities, include engraver Simon Gribelin, resident in West London who married into the Spitalfields based Mettayer family. The complex history of the Courtauld family, established in West London, gravitates from silversmithing in Soho and the City to textile production in Spitalfields and beyond. Craft communities centered on conformist and non-conformist French speaking churches and were gradually assimilated into Anglican churches. Huguenot refugees developed mutual support systems, friendly societies, the French Hospital which still flourishes as almshouses and the Westminster French Protestant Charity School. These Huguenot charities document the contribution of Huguenot craftsmen and women to British culture.

10:15  Forging a New Vernacular: The Transformation and Triumph of a French Ébéniste in Federal New York — Peter M. Kenny
Charles-Honoré Lannuier (1779–1819) arrived in New York in the spring of 1803 a thoroughly-trained Parisian ébéniste who, according to his inaugural newspaper advertisement, had “worked at his trade with the most celebrated Cabinet Makers of Europe.” Well-versed in the elegant forms of the late Louis XVI period, which still held sway during the earliest period of his training in Paris, Lannuier’s design vocabulary at the time of his arrival also included the harder edged yet brilliant neoclassical style of post-Revolutionary France known as Directoire (1795–99), and the Consulat (1799–1804), a heavier more monumental style featuring the more archaeologically correct forms of le goût antique. This was Lannuier’s Parisian stylistic legacy. How he transformed this legacy, ultimately becoming one of the two principal leaders of the New York school of cabinetmaking alongside his greatest rival, Duncan Phyfe, is an inspiring and uniquely American story.

11:00  Break

11:15  Elizabeth Patterson Bonaparte and the Material Creation of an Imperial Legacy — Alexandra Deutsch
Elizabeth Patterson Bonaparte (1785–1879) is often remembered for her short, but remarkable marriage in 1803 to Napoleon’s youngest brother, Jerome Napoleon Bonaparte. Although their mésalliance resulted in divorce, their union set her and future generations of American Bonapartes on a path that allied them with France and an imperial legacy. Drawing from thousands of documents and a collection of more than 600 objects associated with the Bonapartes, this lecture charts the history of Elizabeth’s long life during which she meticulously created and documented a material world tethered to France. From her fashion to her silver, jewels, and furniture, Elizabeth’s self-presentation proclaimed her French connection. Her obsessive documentation of her possessions reveals a fascinating and complex narrative that spans multiple generations and reaches far beyond Baltimore.

Masterclass in Palermo | European Collectors as Patrons

Posted in on site, opportunities by Editor on March 27, 2023

Photograph of the Palazzo Butera with a view of the sea to the right.

The oldest portions of the Palazzo Butera date to the early eighteenth century, when the Duke of Branciforti constructed a grand house according to designs produced by the Palermo architect Giacomo Amato. In 1759, fire destroyed a portion of the palazzo. Prince Butera responded by acquiring the adjacent property and rebuilding, doubling the size of the Palazzo Butera. More information is available here»

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From ArtHist.net and the Palazzo Butera:

Masterclass in Palermo: European Collectors as Patrons
Palazzo Butera, Palermo, 28–30 June 2023

Applications due by 30 April 2023

European Collectors as Patrons is a three-day masterclass based in Palermo, Sicily focused on how patronage supports and defends artistic and cultural activity. Bertrand du Vignaud and Claudio Gulli will outline how over the last three centuries a range of historical and current European patrons have advocated for art and culture by building their own private collections. These individuals have contributed both to social progress and urban development. Examples will include the Roman Cardinals Alessandro Albani and Pietro Ottoboni, along with the English amateur-architects Lord Burlington and Sir John Soane, and the Spanish Count Alexandre Aguado. From more recent history, we will consider Harry Kessler, Vittorio Cini, and Calouste Gulbenkian. Professors Andrea Rurale and Piergiacomo Mion, of the SDA Bocconi School of Management, will discuss the economic longevity and long-term impact of these enterprises.

During these three days, lectures will take place at Palazzo Butera, and visits across the city will include both well-known and lesser known places. In the evenings, private dinners have been arranged in historic houses and other places of significant cultural importance. The dinners are designed as an integral part of the masterclass allowing for a greater depth of understanding. They also offer time for discussion and reflection on the days’ experiences and learning.

The use of Palazzo Butera as host to this masterclass is intentional as it represents a fine example of the sort of enlightened patronage being discussed. This eighteenth-century seafront palace, once the home of the Branciforti family, was purchased by Francesca and Massimo Valsecchi in 2016. The new owners privately undertook a complete restoration of the building and have transferred their art collection to the palazzo. Since the 1960s the Valsecchi’s collecting has been guided by a fascination in cultural exchanges and the cross-pollination of ideas. Assembled quietly over decades of intense research, the collection opened to the public in the spring of 2021. The main works in the collection arrived in Palermo after long-term loans to the Fitzwilliam Museum in Cambridge and the Ashmolean Museum in Oxford (2016–2020).

Classes will be held in English. The course fee, excluding dinners, is €350; including dinners, the cost is €700. It is possible to receive a grant to cover €350 (applicants will be selected by Bertrand du Vignaud and Claudio Gulli). Lunch is included in the price, except on June 29, when lunch will take place at Villa Tasca. Registration is open to anybody, there is no age limit, and an educational qualification is not a requirement. To register, please send an email to info@palazzobutera.it. For those applying for a grant, please include your CV and a personal statement. We also advise staying in Palermo, if possible, some days prior to or after the course, so as to visit the city’s main points of interest.

W E D N E S D A Y ,  2 8  J U N E  2 0 2 3

10.00  Visit to the Francesca and Massimo Valsecchi Collection

12.00  Meet with Francesca and Massimo Valsecchi

15.00  Lecture by Bertrand du Vignaud and Claudio Gulli — European Collectors as Patrons, Part 1

18.30  Visit to the Chiaramonte Bordonaro Collection

Dinner at Villa Chiaramonte Bordonaro (optional)

T H U R S D A Y ,  2 9  J U N E  2 0 2 3

10.00  Visit to Villa Tasca

15.00  Lecture by Bertrand du Vignaud and Claudio Gulli — European Collectors as Patrons, Part 2

19.00  Visit to Palazzo Mazzarino

Dinner at Palazzo Mazzarino (optional)

F R I D A Y ,  3 0  J U N E  2 0 2 3

10.00  Lecture by Bertrand du Vignaud — Heritage at Risk

11.00  Lecture by Andrea Rurale — Art Orientation vs Market Orientation

12.00  Lecture by Piergiacomo Mion — A New Model for Cultural Business: Key Issues Faced by Art Managers

15.00  The Financing of Restorations, Museums, and Heritage. Attended by Bertrand du Vignaud, Claudio Gulli, Andrea Rurale, and Piergiacomo Mion (open to the public)

16.15  Walking Tour of Palermo’s Historical Center: Restored Churches and Churches To Be Restored, curated by Claudio Gulli

17.30  Gallery of Francesco Pantaleone

18.15  Meeting with Alexandre Giquello and Cocktails


Villa Chiaramonte Bordonaro alle Croci

In 1892, Ernesto Basile designs an extension for Gabriele Chiarmonte Bordonaro’s (1835–1914) villa to house his art collection. Assembled at the end of the 19th century, it included works by Giotto, Botticelli, and Van Dyck. Today you can still see many of these works here, even though the collection was divided in three parts in 1950.

Villa Tasca

The origins of Villa Tasca date from the 16th century, though it was restored with its current decorations beginning in 1855. It has since been called the ‘Villa Borghese of Palermo’ because of the eight hectares of surrounding park, preserved to this day. It includes a swan lake and a temple to Ceres. Richard Wagner was a long-time guest of the villa and during his stay in Palermo wrote much of Parsifal. The park opened to the public in 2020. The visit will be guided by Giuseppe Tasca owner and CEO of Villa Tasca.

Palazzo Mazzarino

Within walking distance of Teatro Massimo, Palazzo Mazzarino, belongs to Marquis Berlingieri. Historically it has been one of the city’s most important palazzi, because of its links to the Lanza family. In the Minerva Hall, where a sculpture of Valerio Villareale towers, you will also find butterfly paintings by Damien Hirst. The palazzo is a showcase for this type of cross-pollination between new and old. The visit will be guided by Marialda Berlingeri.


Contemporary art gallery founded in Palermo by Francesco Pantaleone in 2003, located at the Quattro Canti.

House of Alexandre Giquello

Alexandre Giquello is co-owner of the Parisian auction house Binoche-Giquello and president of Drouot. He owns an apartment in Palermo at the Quattro Canti.


Art historian Bertrand du Vignaud has been Chairman of Christie’s Monaco and Vice-Président of Christie’s France. Passionate about the safeguarding the world cultural heritage, he has been President of the World Monuments Fund organisations for Europe, France, and Italy. Currently, he advises the Fondation Evergète in Geneva and is the scientific advisor of Dassault Histoire et Patrimoine in France and is the President of the Comité International des Amis de la Bibliothèque Vaticane in Rome. For more than 40 years, he has launched numerous projects to save and restore masterpieces of cultural heritage in danger or in urgent need of work around the world: from baroque churches in Peru, Brazil, and Austria, to the Queens’ Theatre at Trianon, from the Carracci Gallery in Rome to the Palace of Dario in Persepolis; the most original and iconic of these was the reinstallation of the spectacular decors of an 18th-century mansion, the Hôtel de Voyer d’Argenson, or Chancellerie d’Orléans, in Paris. He is also a great nephew of the painter Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec, and through his writing and lectures, works to make the little-know aspects of this artist’s life better known to the public. His last book, Les Thellusson. was published in French and English by In Fine in 2021 and is dedicated to an important European family of collectors and art patrons.

Claudio Gulli was born in Palermo in 1987. He read History of Art at the Università degli Studi di Siena and gained his PhD at the Scuola Normale Superiore in Pisa, with a thesis on the late-nineteenth century Chiaramonte Bordonaro collection (published by Officina Libraria in 2021). Between 2009 and 2011, he worked in the Paintings Department of the Louvre Museum in Paris, where his contributions to the research on Leonardo da Vinci focused on the literary popularity of the master’s Saint John the Baptist (2009) and Saint Anne (2011). He is involved in the project of Palazzo Butera in Palermo, where he is now director, since the acquisition of the building by Francesca and Massimo Valsecchi

Andrea Rurale is a Lecturer at the Department of Marketing at Università Bocconi. At SDA Bocconi, he is the Director of the Master in Arts Management and Administration (MAMA). He has conducted research and education projects with major enterprises. His research activities focus on cultural marketing, consumer behaviour, experiential marketing, CRM, and marketing communication. He is the author of books and articles on his topics of interest. His works have been published in Psychology and Marketing. He has been a Visiting Professor in many international universities, including Simon Fraser in Vancouver (Canada), Tinsgua University in Beijing (China), SMU in Dallas (USA), UTS in Sydney (Australia), and Universidad de Aguascalientes (Mexico). He is President of the Istituto musicale superiore Monteverdi Conservatory in Cremona. Andrea earned a degree from Università Bocconi and a PhD in Marketing from Universitat de València. He is President of the Lombardy Delegation of FAI – Fondo Ambiente Italiano.

Piergiacomo Mion Dalle Carbonare is SDA Junior Lecturer of the Government, Health and Non-Profit Division and Coordinator of the Master in Arts Management and Administration (MAMA) at SDA Bocconi School of Management. He is Deputy Director of the Master of Science in Economics and Management for Arts, Culture, Media, and Entertainment (ACME) at Bocconi University where he also teaches courses related to Cultural Policies, Public Management, and Territorial Marketing. He holds a PhD in Marketing from the University of Valencia. He has been visiting scholar at SMU Dallas. Piergiacomo is also Head of the Milan Delegation of FAI – Fondo Ambiente Italiano.

New Book | Piranesi@300

Posted in books, conferences (summary) by Editor on March 26, 2023

From Artemide Edizioni:

Mario Bevilacqua and Clare Hornsby, eds., Piranesi@300 (Rome: Artemide Edizioni, 2023), 296 pages, ISBN: 978-8875754327, €48.

A volume of essays celebrating the 300th anniversary of the birth of Giovanni Battista Piranesi (1720–1778).

Piranesi: printmaker, architect, antiquarian, art theorist, art dealer, and polemicist, passionate in his praise of the greatness of Rome. He was a protagonist in 18th-century European arts and letters, a brilliant artistic innovator, and a controversial and exuberant personality, universally celebrated and admired. The 26 essays in this volume—from a wide range of authors writing in Italian, English, and French—include the contributions to the 2021 conference celebrating the 300th anniversary of his birth, a collaboration between architectural historian Mario Bevilacqua, director of the Centro di Studi sulla Cultura e l’Immagine di Roma, and art historian Clare Hornsby, Research Fellow at the British School at Rome; they are also the editors of this volume published by Artemide Edizioni. The essays represent new research on the artist, on the collecting of his work internationally, and on his profound and long lasting influence in Europe and beyond, from the age of the Grand Tour until now.


Piranesi incisore, architetto, antiquario e teorico
• Ginevra Mariani — Progetto Piranesi: il catalogo generale delle matrici di Piranesi, 2010–2020. Riflessioni e nuovi dati
• Lucia Ghedin — Deduzioni e ipotesi sulla tecnica incisoria di Piranesi
• Giovanna Scaloni — Piranesi riflette su Montano: la genesi della pianta del Campo Marzio
• Maria Grazia D’Amelio, Fabrizio De Cesaris — Giovanni Battista Piranesi e l’architettura pratica
• Paolo Pastres — Fantasia al potere: Piranesi, Algarotti e la lezione di Antonio Conti
• Lola Kantor-Kazovsky — Piranesi’s Invenzioni capric di carceri and the Cartesian concept of dream
• Silvia Gavuzzo-Stewart — La dedica di Piranesi a Lord Charlemont nella tavola II delle Antichità Romane
• Adriàn Fernàndez Almoguera — Rêver le Nil depuis le Tibre: le regard de Piranèse sur la question égyptienne
• Eleonora Pistis — The thinkability of architecture: Piranesi without images
• Heather Hyde Minor — Piranesi’s Epistolic Art

Collezionare Piranesi
• Ebe Antetomaso — Materiali piranesiani nella collezione Corsini: appunti dai bibliotecari
• Georg Schelbert, Charleen Rethmeyer — Piranesi in Prussia: spotlights on a variable relationship
• Gudula Metze — 1720–1778: Giovanni Battista Piranesi and the Kupferstich-Kabinett Dresden
• Delfin Rodríguez Ruiz — Piranesi e la Spagna: rapporti culturali, artistici e architettonici durante l’illuminismo spagnolo

L’influenza di Piranesi: Europa e oltre
• Clare Hornsby — Piranesi’s Ichnographiam Campi Martii Antiquae Urbis: an investigation into its sources and innovations and its influences on the work of Robert Adam
• Valeria Mirra — Dalla fortuna di Giovanni Battista Piranesi in Francia allo stabilimento dei Piranesi frères a Parigi
• Olga Medvedkova — La Dévideuse italienne ou habiter la Ruine
• Aleksander Musiał — Beyond capriccio: Piranesi’s transgressive classicism and its Eastern European receptions
• Mario Bevilacqua — Piranesi in eighteenth-century America
• Angela Rosch Rodrigues — Piranesi at the Brazilian National Library: a trajectory of the ruine parlanti from Rome to Rio de Janeiro
• Helena Perez Gallardo — Sotto il cielo di Parigi: Piranesi negli incisori e fotografi francesi nel 1850
• Hiromasa Kanayama — Piranesi nel Giappone dell’Ottocento: le vicende della collezione Kamei

Piranesi XX–XXI secolo
• Victor Plahte Tschudi — Carceri and Cubism
• Giacomo Pala — Architetto postumo, o il postmoderno e ‘Piranesi’
• Angelo Marletta — Forma Urbis forma Architecturae: Piranesi, Kahn e i frammenti di Roma
• Jeanne Britton, Michael Gavin, Zoe Langer, Jason Porter — The Digital Piranesi

Call for Papers | Visualizing Antiquity: The Apelles-Problem

Posted in Calls for Papers by Editor on March 25, 2023

From ArtHist.net, which includes the German version:

Visualizing Antiquity: On the Episteme of Early Modern Drawings and Prints — Part I: The ‘Apelles-Problem’
Bildwerdung der Antike: Zur Episteme von Zeichnungen und Druckgrafiken der Frühen Neuzeit — I: Das ‚Apelles-Problem‘
Berlin-Brandenburg Academy of Sciences and Humanities, 28–29 September 2023

Organized by Ulrich Pfisterer, Cristina Ruggero, and Timo Strauch

Proposals due by 30 April 2023

The academy project Antiquitatum Thesaurus: Antiquities in European Visual Sources from the Seventeenth and Eighteenth Centuries, hosted at the Berlin-Brandenburg Academy of Sciences and Humanities (thesaurus.bbaw.de), and the Zentralinstitut für Kunstgeschichte Munich (zikg.eu) are organizing a series of colloquia in 2023–2024 on the topic Visualizing Antiquity: On the Episteme of Drawings and Prints in the Early Modern Period. These colloquia will examine the significance of drawings and prints for ideas, research, and the circulation of knowledge about ancient artifacts, architecture, and images in Europe and neighboring areas from the late Middle Ages to the advent of photography in the mid-19th century.

Detail of a hand-colored woodcut print from Giovanni Battista Casali, De profanis et sacris veteribus ritibus (Rome 1644), p. 67 (UB Heidelberg). More information is available here»

The first colloquium inquires into a form of the ‘Apelles problem’. According to Pliny, the Greek painter knew how to depict “what lies outside the realm of painting.” For the representation of ancient artifacts, therefore, the question is asked how in drawings and prints can ‘unrepresentable’ qualities of the depicted object—such as color, material properties, proportions, three-dimensionality, and the like—nevertheless be conveyed? In terms of colorfulness, for example, colored hand drawings have an advantage over prints, but they do not have the same range. Is an attached scale key sufficient to clarify dimensions? And what possibilities do new techniques of representation open up? Or can accompanying texts, commentaries, annotations, source citations, etc. do justice to the difficulties of depicting the above-mentioned characteristics, or help to classify and interpret the artifact depicted? These are some of the central questions posed; suggestions beyond these are welcome.

We welcome proposals for 20-minute papers in English, French, German, or Italian. Presentations will ideally combine case study and larger perspective. Publication in extended form is planned. Proposals (max. 400 words) can be submitted until 30 April 2023, together with a short CV (max. 150 words) to thesaurus@bbaw.de. Travel and hotel expenses (economy-class flight or train; 2 nights’ accommodation) will be reimbursed according to the Federal Law on Travel Expenses (BRKG).

Subsequent colloquia in the series will address other aspects of the creation of images of antiquity:
• Find and Display, Fragment and Whole
• Fake News? Fantasy Antiquities
• Collectors, Artists, Scholars: Knowledge and Intention in Collection Catalogs

Conceived by Antiquitatum Thesaurus (Ulrich Pfisterer, Cristina Ruggero, Timo Strauch)

New Book | Mudlark’d: Hidden Histories from the River Thames

Posted in books by Editor on March 24, 2023

Mudlarking depends upon tides, and the Thames is particularly affected by robust tidal churning (as the Seine is not, as noted by Jason Goodwin in a 2019 Country Life essay). From Princeton UP:

Malcolm Russell, Mudlark’d: Hidden Histories from the River Thames (2022), 224 pages, ISBN: ‎978-0691235783, $35.

Book coverA captivating history of London as told through objects recovered from the muddy banks of the Thames and the lives of the people who owned them.

Mudlark’d combines insights from two hundred rare objects discovered on the foreshore of the River Thames with a wealth of breathtaking illustrations to uncover the hidden histories of ordinary people from prehistory to today. Malcolm Russell tells the stories behind each find, revealing the habits, customs, and artistry of the people who created and used it.

In the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, London was the busiest port in the world, exchanging goods and ideas with people from every continent. The shores of the Thames have long been densely packed with taverns, brothels, and markets, and the river’s muddy banks are a repository of intriguing and precious objects that evoke long-forgotten ways of life. With Russell as your guide, a bottleneck of a jug is shown to be a talisman to counter the ill effects of witchcraft. Glass beads expose the brutal realities of the transatlantic slave trade. Clay tobacco pipes uncover the lives of Victorian magicians. A scrap of Tudor cloth illuminates the experiences of Dutch and French religious refugees. These are just some of the stories told in Mudlark’d, which also contains a primer, giving advice on how to mudlark on tidal rivers around the world and outlining the tools and equipment you will need.

Malcolm Russell has contributed to publications such as Treasure Hunting, The Searcher, and Beachcombing. A lifelong mudlark, he studied history at the University of Sheffield, where he was recently an honorary research fellow in the Department of History. His remarkable finds were featured in the Thames Festival exhibition Foragers of the Foreshore.

New Book | Enslaved: The Sunken History

Posted in books by Editor on March 23, 2023

From Simon & Schuster:

Sean Kingsley and Simcha Jacobovici, with a preface by Brenda Jones, Enslaved: The Sunken History of the Transatlantic Slave Trade (New York: Pegasus Books, 2023), 336 pages, ISBN: ‎978-1639362387, $29.

From the writers behind the acclaimed documentary series Enslaved (starring Samuel L. Jackson), comes a rich and revealing narrative of the true global and human scope of the transatlantic slave trade. The trade existed for 400 years, during which 12 million people were trafficked, and 2 million would die en route.

In these pages we meet the remarkable group, Diving with a Purpose (DWP), as they dive sunken slave ships all around the world. They search for remains and artifacts testifying to the millions of kidnapped Africans that were transported to Europe, the Americas, and the Caribbean. From manilla bracelets to shackles, cargo, and other possessions, the finds from these wrecks bring the stories of lost lives back to the surface.

As we follow the men and women of DWP across eleven countries, Jacobovici and Kingsley’s rich research puts the archaeology and history of these wrecks that lost between 1670 to 1858 in vivid context. From the ports of Gold Coast Africa, to the corporate hubs of trading companies of England, Portugal and the Netherlands, and the final destinations in the New World, Jacobovici and Kingsley show how the slave trade touched every nation and every society on earth.

Though global in scope, Enslaved makes history personal as we experience the divers’ sadness, anger, reverence, and awe as they hold tangible pieces of their ancestors’ world in their hands. What those people suffered on board those ships can never be forgiven. Enslaved works to ensure that it will always be remembered and understood, and is the first book to tell the story of the transatlantic slave trade from the bottom of the sea.

Sean Kingsley is a marine archaeologist who has explored over 350 wrecks from Israel to America. Off the UK he identified the world’s earliest Royal African Company English ‘slaver’ ship. Dr. Kingsley writes for National Geographic and is the founder of Wreckwatch Magazine about the world’s sunken wonders.

Simcha Jacobovici is a three-time Emmy winning Israeli/Canadian filmmaker, New York Times bestselling author, and an internationally acclaimed journalist. He is also an adjunct professor in the Department of Religion at Huntington University in Ontario. Jacobovici was Showrunner/Director of the 6-part series Enslaved: The Lost History of the Transatlantic Slave Trade, for which he has received numerous awards including two NAACP Image Award nominations. Enslaved is his fourth book. He divides his time between Toronto and Israel.

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