Exhibition | Cabinet of Dutch Drawings: The 18th Century

Posted in books, catalogues, exhibitions by Editor on March 5, 2023

Idealized Italianate landscape with trees and a port in the distance.

Isaac de Moucheron, Italian Landscape with Trees and a Port / Paysage italien avec arbres et un port, 1738
(Brussels: Musées Royaux des Beaux-Arts de Belgique; photo by J. Geleyns)

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Now on view at the Fondation Custodia / Collection Frits Lugt:

Cabinet of Dutch Drawings: The 18th Century, from the Collection of the Royal Museums of Fine Arts of Belgium / Cabinet de dessins néerlandais: Le XVIIIe siècle 
Musées royaux des Beaux-Arts de Belgique, Brussels, 1 February — 23 May 2019
Rijksmuseum Twenthe, Enschede, 2020
Fondation Custodia / Collection Frits Lugt, Paris, 25 February — 14 May 2023

Curated by Stefaan Hautekeete, Robert-Jan te Rijdt, and Charles Dumas

The Fondation Custodia presents a selection of eighty eighteenth-century drawings, assembled by three generations in the city of Breda, in the province of North Brabant. The entire collection was bequeathed to the Belgian state in 1911, and the works were deposited in the Musées royaux des Beaux-Arts de Belgique.

Drawing of a nude woman seated

Bernard Picart, Nu féminin assis, sanguine, 30 × 36 cm (Brussels: Musées Royaux des Beaux-Arts de Belgique).

Many eighteenth-century drawings are preparatory studies for paintings. But drawings were also made for a different purpose, created to be sold as works of art in their own right, albeit on paper. This presupposes a large number of collectors who kept drawings in folders and albums, and who viewed and enjoyed them with fellow enthusiasts or in a family context. The phenomenon became widespread throughout the century and artists capitalised on this market. More than ever, they produced highly finished drawings which were appreciated by collectors of sophisticated taste.

The works in the exhibition provide a better understanding and appreciation of the art of drawing at a time when commerce, science, and culture were experiencing unprecedented development in the Netherlands. At the beginning of the century, historical and mythological scenes were in fashion, but public taste changed and tended to favour representations of an ‘ideal world’, before moving towards greater realism with a production that focused more on landscapes, city views, and interior scenes. Draughtsmen also did not hesitate to take inspiration from the old masters of the 17th century.

book coverThe exhibition is a collaboration with the Royal Museums of Fine Arts of Belgium in Brussels, where it was presented in 2019. It was then shown at the Rijksmuseum Twenthe, in Enschede, in 2020. The exhibition is accompanied by a thoroughly documented catalogue published in French and in Dutch. It is vividly written by a group of specialists led by Stefaan Hautekeete, Curator of Drawings at the Royal Museums of Fine Arts of Belgium, who, together with experts Robert-Jan te Rijdt and Charles Dumas, was responsible for the selection of works.

Cabinet des plus merveilleux dessins: Dessins néerlandais du XVIIIe siècle issus des collections des Musées royaux des Beaux-Arts de Belgique (Ghent: Snoeck Publishers, 2019), 223 pages, ISBN: 978-9461615176 (French version) / ISBN: 978-8461615169 (Dutch version), €29.

Exhibition | Drawing in Britain, 1700–1900, New Acquisitions

Posted in exhibitions by Editor on March 5, 2023

Opening in April at the National Gallery of Art in DC:

Drawing in Britain, 1700–1900: New Additions to the Collection
National Gallery of Art, Washington DC, 2 April — 6 August 2023

Curated by Stacey Sell

John Hoppner, A Young Boy Seated beneath a Tree, ca. 1790s/1810, red and black chalk with brush and grey and black ink (Washington, DC: National Gallery of Art, 2022.78.1).

Selected entirely from the National Gallery’s permanent collection, this exhibition of approximately 80 recently acquired drawings and watercolors provides an overview of two centuries of British art.

Works on view reveal European influences on British art starting in the 1700s. They trace the development of watercolor as a national specialty and introduce the varied approaches that emerged during the Victorian era. Drawing in Britain not only includes significant examples of the landscapes that are traditionally associated with British art, but it also highlights portraits, history scenes, and nude studies. Works by British women provide glimpses into the lives and work of several fascinating yet little-known artists.

The exhibition is curated by Stacey Sell, associate curator of old master drawings, National Gallery of Art, Washington.


6th Annual Ricciardi Prize from Master Drawings

Posted in graduate students, journal articles, opportunities by Editor on March 5, 2023

From Master Drawings:

Sixth Annual Ricciardi Prize from Master Drawings
Submissions due by 15 November 2023

Woman writing at a desk, with her face shown in profile facing the left side.

Édouard Manet, Woman Writing, brush and black ink on paper (Clark Art Institute, MA).

Master Drawings is now accepting submissions for the Sixth Annual Ricciardi Prize for Young Scholars. The $5,000 award is given to the best new and unpublished article on a drawing topic (of any period) by a scholar under the age of 40. The winning submission will be published in a 2024 issue of Master Drawings. Information about past winners and finalists is available here.

The average article length is between 2,500 and 3,750 words, with five to twenty illustrations. Submissions should be no longer than 10,000 words and have no more than 100 footnotes. Please note that all submissions must be in article form, following the format of the journal. We will not consider submissions of seminar papers, dissertation chapters, or other written material that has not been adapted into the format of a journal article. Written material that has been previously published, or is scheduled for future publication, will not be eligible. Articles may be submitted in any language. Be sure to include a 100 word abstract outlining the scope of your article with your submission, along with a current CV or resume, as well as your birth date. Please submit your application online by 15 November 2023. If the file is too large, please use Wetransfer.com addressed to administrator@masterdrawings.org.

Call for Articles | Spring 2024 Issue of J18: Color

Posted in Calls for Papers by Editor on March 5, 2023

From the Call for Papers:

Journal18, Issue #17 (Spring 2024) — Color
Issue edited by Ewa Lajer-Burcharth and Thea Goldring

Proposals due by 1 April 2023; finished articles will be due by 1 September 2023

The question of color has been at the center of artistic debates at least since the seventeenth century, and it has remained a key issue in the historiography of art. What may be at stake in reconsidering color in its historical dimensions now? Recent research on the issue has gone in two directions. On the one hand, color has been studied as a material substance and a technology. Scholars have documented the relation between technological, industrial, and commercial developments and the quality, range, and availability of pigments and colorants available to artists, manufacturers, and consumers. Another approach has focused on the key role of color in the construction of social, racial, and gender hierarchies. Recent scholarship has revealed the intimate connection between aesthetic debates on chroma and the development of the modern discourse of race. Moreover, the eighteenth century’s feminization of color entangled with the notions of make-up and artifice has been reexamined. Clearly, it is no longer viable to think of color in purely aesthetic, ideologically innocent terms.

This issue of Journal18 aims to consider how the current interest in materiality and the matter of art could be harnessed to alter–enrich, complicate, or challenge–our understanding of the historical functions and social and cultural meanings of color in the long eighteenth century. In what ways may the materialist discussion of color as a substance inflect the account of its ideological and discursive functions? What were the new meanings and effects of color as the physical product and sign of growing global trade networks, colonial and slave economies, and expanding empires? How did colored materials­­—pigments, dyes, feathers, shells, mineral—serve as tools of hybridity and a means to delineate cultural difference? Can color’s inherent capacity for infinite nuance offer modern art historians alternative lenses onto to the past? We welcome papers that are attuned to color’s mobility, look beyond Western Europe, and decentralize Euro-centric narratives. We are especially interested in papers that consider the broader methodological questions raised by their subject and seek to develop tools to address the urgent issues posed by color.

Issue Editors
Ewa Lajer-Burcharth, Harvard University
Thea Goldring, Harvard University

To submit a proposal, send an abstract (250 words) and brief biography by 1 April 2023 to the following three addresses: editor@journal18.org, burchart@fas.harvard.edu, and tgoldring@g.harvard.edu. Articles should not exceed 6000 words (including footnotes) and will be due by 1 September 2023. For further details on submission and Journal18 house style, see Information for Authors.

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