New Book | Siting China in Germany

Posted in books by Editor on August 20, 2019

From Penn State UP (available in October). . .

Christiane Hertel, Siting China in Germany: Eighteenth-Century Chinoiserie and Its Modern Legacy (University Park: The Pennsylvania State University Press, 2019), 304 pages, ISBN: 978-0271082370, $125.

Chinoiserie—the use of motifs, materials, and techniques considered ‘Chinese’ in ceramics, furniture, interior design, and landscape architecture—has often been associated with courtly decadence and shallow escapism. In Siting China in Germany, Christiane Hertel challenges conventional assumptions about this art form by developing a fresh, complex perspective on collections, gardens, and literature in the long eighteenth century.

From the extraordinary porcelain palaces at Dresden and Rastatt and the gardens of Wilhelmsthal and Wilhelmshöhe in Kassel to the literary and artistic translation practices in Dresden and Thomas Mann’s historical novel Lotte in Weimar, Hertel interprets the extensive history of chinoiserie within but also beyond court culture. In particular, her study focuses on how manifestations of chinoiserie in Germany oscillated between the imagination, judgment, and critique of cultural and historical difference as well as identity. Hertel’s erudite analysis of the cultural significance of German chinoiserie will interest art historians and scholars of Orientalism, German Sinophilia, and German Sinophobia.

Christiane Hertel is Professor Emerita of History of Art at Bryn Mawr College. She is the author of several books, including Pygmalion in Bavaria: The Sculptor Ignaz Günther and Eighteenth-Century Aesthetic Art Theory, also published by Penn State University Press.

Exhibition | Wild and Majestic: Romantic Visions of Scotland

Posted in books, catalogues, exhibitions by Editor on August 18, 2019

John Knox, Landscape with Tourists at Loch Katrine, 1815, oil on canvas
(Edinburgh: National Galleries of Scotland)

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From the press release (25 June 2019) for the exhibition:

Wild and Majestic: Romantic Visions of Scotland
National Museum of Scotland, Edinburgh, 26 June — 10 November 2019

Curated by Patrick Watt

A major exhibition at the National Museum of Scotland this summer tells the fascinating story of how tartan, bagpipes, and rugged, wild landscapes became established as enduring, internationally recognised symbols of Scottish identity and how Scotland became established in the popular imagination as a land of wilderness, heroism, and history. Wild and Majestic: Romantic Visions of Scotland spans the period from the final defeat of the Jacobites at the Battle of Culloden in 1746 to the death of Queen Victoria in 1901. The exhibition explores the efforts made to preserve and revive Highland traditions in the wake of post-Jacobite persecution, depopulation, and rapid socio-economic change. It shows how Scotland’s relationship with the European Romantic movement transformed external perceptions of the Highlands and was central to the birth of tourism in Scotland. These developments would in turn influence the relationship between the Hanoverian royal family and Scotland, particularly George IV and, later, Queen Victoria.

Pompeo Battoni, Portrait of Colonel William Gordon of Fyvie, 1766 (National Trust for Scotland, Fyvie Castle).

Over 300 objects will be on display, drawn from the collections of National Museums Scotland and 38 lenders across the UK. The objects tell a story with a stellar cast, including Queen Victoria and Prince Albert; King George IV; Sir Walter Scott; Robert Burns; J.M.W. Turner; Henry Raeburn; Felix Mendelssohn; William and Dorothy Wordsworth; Ludwig Van Beethoven; and Lord Byron, whose 1807 poem Lachin y Gair (Lochnagar) is quoted in the exhibition’s title. Prominent Highlanders featured include the Ossian author-translator James Macpherson, the soldier-historian David Stewart of Garth, the clan chief Mac Mhic Alasdair (Alasdair Macdonnel of Glengarry), and the folklorists Alasdair Gilleasbaig MacGilleMhìcheil (Alexander Carmichael) and Iain Òg Ìle (John Campbell of Islay).

Dr Patrick Watt, exhibition curator, said: “This is a contested, complex history, and also a fascinating one. There are competing claims, still, over the extent to which those symbols of Scotland we see today are Romantic inventions or authentic expressions of an ancient cultural identity. Using material evidence, we will examine the origins and development of the dress, music, and art which made up the Highland image. We will show how cultural traditions were preserved, idealised, and reshaped to suit contemporary tastes against a background of political agendas, and economic and social change.”

Through rich displays reflecting the colour and flamboyance of the Highland image, visitors will encounter key developments such as the Ossian controversy, the overturning of the ban on Highland dress, the pageantry around King George IV’s visit to Edinburgh in 1822, the Highland tourism boom, and the creation of a Romantic idyll for Queen Victoria at Balmoral.

National Museums Scotland has partnered with Sabhal Mòr Ostaig College on Skye, part of the University of the Highlands and Islands (UHI), on the production of content for the major summer exhibition. Throughout the exhibition, the influence of Gaelic language and culture, and the impact of these developments on it will be shown through objects, text, and film. The primary exhibition text will be presented in both English and Gaelic.

The Romantic period undoubtedly coloured perceptions, both at the time and to this day to the extent that the popular images of Highland culture are sometimes dismissed as a 19th-century fabrication. However, the exhibition will stress the deep historical roots underpinning the Romantic image. The heritage of clan tartans is introduced in portraiture in the extravagant dress of the Laird of Grant’s piper and champion painted by Richard Waitt in 1714. The bagpiping tradition is introduced by oldest known Scottish chanter, which belonged to Iain Dall Mackay, a piper and composer born on Skye in 1656.

Following the final defeat of the Jacobites in 1746 at the Battle of Culloden, there were reprisals across the Highlands. The power of the Clans was dismantled, male civilians were banned from wearing Highland dress, and Gaelic culture was disparaged. The ban on tartan did not apply to those men who enlisted in the newly raised Highland Regiments of the British Army. The heroic image of the tartan-clad Highland soldier went on to become an icon of the military power of the British Empire, and the ideal of the heroic Highland warrior would recur throughout the nineteenth century.

In the 1760s the literary culture of the Scottish Highlands and Islands was introduced to the world. Highland schoolmaster and poet, James Macpherson, claimed to have researched, collected and translated the fragments of ancient poetry of Ossian, a legendary 3rd-century Gaelic bard. Despite a raging controversy over its authenticity, MacPherson’s work was translated into multiple languages and admired by many influential European writers, artists, and composers. A first edition volume will be shown, as well as artwork inspired by Ossian, and the Red Book of Clanranald, one of the Gaelic manuscript sources Macpherson consulted. Robert Burns travelled the Highlands, looking for poetic inspiration. His publisher, George Thomson, commissioned major European composers to set Scottish songs to music, including a version of Burns’ Highland Harry scored in the original hand of Ludwig Van Beethoven.

From the late 18th century, visitors were drawn to Scotland in increasing numbers, attracted to locations depicted in romantic paintings, prints, and literature. Many artists, writers, and musicians visited, often on personal pilgrimages inspired by the lasting influence of Ossian, or the fame of Burns, Sir Walter Scott and others. Works by major figures, including Wordsworth, Turner and Mendelssohn—all of whom met with Scott during their travels—inspired more people to seek out the places evoked in music, art, and literature for themselves. Dorothy Wordsworth’s travel journal, Mendelssohn’s sketchbook and his original score of the Hebrides Overture, and a silver urn gifted from Byron to Scott after the two literary giants met in 1815 all feature in the exhibition.

Edwin Landseer, The Monarch of the Glen, ca. 1851 (Edinburgh: National Galleries of Scotland).

Seeing change all around them, influential Highlanders made efforts to preserve elements of traditional Gaelic culture, even as they promoted a new rural economy whose human impact we now know as the Highland Clearances. The exhibition will look at the early Highland societies, and their material legacies, including the standardisation of the Great Highland Bagpipe which we know today, and the codification of clan tartans, through the first gathered samples dating to 1815. The Highland Society of London championed the image of the Highland soldier, commemorating military exploits through the commissioning of medals and trophies, and successfully campaigned for the repeal of the legal ban on Highland dress in 1782. The Repeal of the Act of Proscription was issued in both English and Gaelic, and the Gaelic version will be shown.

With the Jacobite cause extinguished as a political and military threat, the Hanoverian Royalty began to embrace and champion their own Stuart lineage, and gestures were made towards healing the divisions of the previous century.  This was shown most vividly in the Highland pageantry associated with the events stage-managed by Sir Walter Scott during King George IV’s visit to Edinburgh in 1822. A parade of ceremonial costume will give a flavour of this spectacular, if controversial, event along with contemporary accounts and the tartans and weaponry which Sir Walter Scott encouraged people to wear for the occasion.

It was the young Queen Victoria who took this royal fascination to new heights. Following a series of royal visits to the Highlands, the Queen and Prince Albert acquired the Balmoral estate.  Later, with the death of Prince Albert, the estate became a Highland retreat from the realities of court and government for Queen Victoria. Balmoral helped to ensure that the ideal of the Scottish Highlands which emerged from the culture and politics of the late 18th century would endure, even as fashions and attitudes to history changed. Among the objects on display will be a tartan dress worn by a young Victoria, a brooch she gifted to famed piper John Ban Mackenzie and a mourning pin she had made to commemorate her Highland servant, friend, and confidant John Brown.

The exhibition is sponsored by Baillie Gifford Investment Managers. It will be supported by a publication and programme of public events. Sarah Pittman, Sponsorship Manager at Baillie Gifford said: “We are delighted to continue our successful association with National Museums Scotland by supporting Wild and Majestic: Romantic Visions of Scotland. The exhibition promises a unique and beautiful array of objects which together will tell a fascinating story of how the Romantic movement drew on the real traditions and history of Highland culture to form an enduring international image of Scotland.”

Wild and Majestic: Romantic Visions of Scotland is part of Edinburgh Art Festival, taking place between 25 July and 25 August 2019. edinburghartfestival.com @EdArtFest #EdArtFest.

Patrick Watt and Rosie Waine, Wild and Majestic: Romantic Visions of Scotland (Edinburgh: National Museum of Scotland, 2019), 80 pages, ISBN: 978-1910682241, £10.

New Book | Robert Adam and His Brothers

Posted in books by Editor on August 17, 2019

Distributed in partnership with Liverpool UP, which offers this special offer for Enfilade readers: at checkout, enter the code ROBERTADAM20 for a 20% discount.

Colin Thom, ed., Robert Adam and His Brothers: New Light on Britain’s Leading Architectural Family (Swindon: Historic England, 2019), 280 pages, ISBN: 978-1848023598, £65.

Robert Adam is perhaps the best known of all British architects, the only one whose name denotes both a style and an era. The new decorative language he introduced at Kedleston and Syon around 1760 put him at the forefront of dynamic changes taking place in 18th-century British architecture. His later claim that his practice with his brother James had effected ‘a kind of revolution’ in design was no idle boast. Their style dominated the later Georgian period and their influence was widespread, not only in Western Europe but in Russia and North America. But for such a well-known figure, much of Robert Adam’s art still remains poorly understood.

This new study, based on papers given at a Georgian Group symposium in 2015, looks afresh at many aspects of the Adam brothers’ oeuvre, such as interior planning, their use of colour, the influence of classical sources, their involvement in the art market, town planning and building speculation, and Robert Adam’s late picturesque drawings and castle designs – all within the context of the Adam family background and their personal and working relationships. The Scottish architecture of Robert and James’s older brother, John, is also assessed. There are essays by established Adam experts as well as contributions from a younger generation of historians and postdoctoral scholars, one of the book’s aims being to stimulate further research on the Adams’ contribution to British architecture, art and design.

Colin Thom is a Senior Research Associate with the Survey of London at UCL’s Bartlett School of Architecture and an expert on the work of the Adam brothers.


Colin Thom, Introduction: ‘Some Promising Young Men’: Robert Adam and His Brothers
1  Alistair Rowan, Johnnie, the Eldest Adam Brother
2  Jonathan Yarker, ‘Antique Mad’: The Adams as Dealers and Their Stock of Antiquities
3  Jerzy J. Kierkuc-Bielinski, Context and Attribution: Antonio Zucchi’s Portrait of James Adam (1763)
4  Adriano Aymonino, ‘The True Style of Antique Decoration’: Agostino Brunias and the Birth of the Adam Style at Kedleston Hall and Syon House
5  Miranda Hausberg, Robert Adam’s Scenographic Interiors
6  Conor Lucey, Design by Correspondence: Robert Adam and Headfort House
7  Peter N. Lindfield, A ‘Classical Goth’: Robert Adam’s Engagement with Medieval Architecture
8  David King, The Ingenious Mr Adam
9  Colin Thom, The Adam Brothers and Portland Place: A Reassessment
10  Marrikka Trotter, Temporal Sublime: Robert Adam’s Castle Style and Geology in the Scottish Enlightenment
11  Eileen Harris, ‘The Parent Style or the Original Sin’: The Adam Revival in America


New Book | Canons and Values: Ancient to Modern

Posted in books by Editor on August 12, 2019

From The Getty:

Kevin Terraciano and Larry Silver, eds., Canons and Values: Ancient to Modern (Getty Publications, 2019), 344 pages, 
ISBN 978-1606065976, $60.

A century ago, all art was evaluated through the lens of European classicism and its tradition. This volume explores the foundations of the European canon, offers a critical rethinking of ancient and classical art, and interrogates the canons of cultures that have often been left at the margins of art history. It underscores the historical and geographical diversity of canons and the local values underlying them.

Twelve international scholars consider how canons are constructed and contested, focusing on the relationship between canonical objects and the value systems that shape their hierarchies. Deploying an array of methodologies—including archaeological investigations, visual analysis, and literary critique—the authors examine canon formation throughout the world, including Africa, India, East Asia, Mesoamerica, South America, ancient Egypt, classical Greece, and Europe.

Global studies of art, which are dismantling the traditionally Eurocentric canon, promise to make art history more inclusive. But enduring canons cannot be dismissed. This volume raises new questions about the importance of canons—including those from outside Europe—for the wider discipline of art history.

Larry Silver is the Farquhar Professor, emeritus, of Art History at the University of Pennsylvania. Kevin Terraciano is professor of history and director of the Latin American Institute at the University of California, Los Angeles, and cofounder of the Getty Research Institute’s Digital Florentine Codex project.

Exhibition | Angelika Kauffmann: Unknown Treasures

Posted in books, catalogues, exhibitions by Editor on August 9, 2019

On view last year in Wörlitz at Louise of Brandenburg-Schwedt’s Grey House, the exhibition is now split between two Austrian venues:

Angelika Kauffmann: Unknown Treasures from Vorarlberg Private Collections
Haus der Fürstin, Wörlitz, 8 July — 21 October 2018
Vorarlberg Museum, Bregenz, 15 June — 6 October 2019 [second venue, part 1]
Angelika Kauffmann Museum, Schwarzenberg, 16 June — 3 November 2019 [second venue, part 2]

Curated by Bettina Baumgärtel

Angelika Kauffmann, Portrait of Louise Herzogin von Anhalt-Dessau, 1796, oil on canvas (Kulturstiftung Dessau-Wörlitz).

Ist erstmals eine umfangreiche Ausstellung zur schweizerisch-österreichischen Malerin Angelika Kauffmann (1741–1807) im Haus der Fürstin in Wörlitz zu sehen. Die Präsentation zahlreicher Kunstwerke wie Ölgemälde, Zeichnungen, Druckgraphiken, Skulpturen und schriftlicher Dokumente verdeutlicht die Vielfalt ihres künstlerischen Wirkens und Lebens. Die Ausstellung ist Ergebnis der Kooperation zwischen zwei österreichischen Privatsammlungen aus Vorarlberg, dem UNESCO-Welterbe Gartenreich Dessau-Wörlitz in Sachsen-Anhalt, dem Bregenzer vorarlberg museum, dem Angelika Kauffmann Museum in Schwarzenberg im Bregenzerwald und dem Angelika Kauffmann Research Project (AKRP).

1741 im schweizerischen Chur geboren, wurde Angelika Kauffmann in Italien und in Vorarlberg im Bregenzerwald ausgebildet. Bereits in jungen Jahren knüpfte sie europaweit Kontakte bis in die höchsten Kreise und unterhielt zuerst ein erfolgreiches Atelier in London, später in Rom, wo sie ebenso einen vielbesuchten Salon führte.

Das Herausragende der Schau ist die besondere Beziehung der Künstlerin zum Gartenreich Dessau-Wörlitz und die Seelenverwandtschaft mit Fürstin Louise von Anhalt-Dessau (1750–1811). Diese begegnete der Malerin erstmals während ihrer Reise nach England mit Leopold III. Friedrich Franz von Anhalt-Dessau (1740–1817) im Jahr 1775. Im Schloss Luisium kam ihre Verehrung für Angelika Kauffmann durch die Präsentation zahlreicher Graphiken und eines bedeutenden Gemäldes bestens zum Ausdruck. Während die Kulturstiftung heute noch über das von Angelika Kauffmann gemalte Porträt der Fürstin verfügt, wurde das Bild Amor und Psyche vor rund 100 Jahren verkauft. Für die Dauer der Ausstellung kehrt dieses Gemälde aus dem Kunsthaus Zürich in das Gartenreich zurück.

Eine Auswahl von hochkarätigen Leihgaben aus öffentlichen und weiteren privaten Sammlungen vertiefen die Auseinandersetzung mit Angelika Kauffmann. Nach der “Erstausgabe” der Ausstellung im Gartenreich wird sie 2019 bei den PartnerInnen des vorarlberg museums in Bregenz und des Angelika Kauffmann Museums in Schwarzenberg zu sehen sein. Kuratiert wird die Ausstellung von der international renommierten Kunsthistorikerin Dr. Bettina Baumgärtel. Sie ist Leiterin des Angelika Kauffmann Research Project (AKRP) sowie der Gemäldesammlung im Museum Kunstpalast Düsseldorf.

Gleichzeitig und gleichsam als Kontrapunkt zur Angelika-Kauffmann-Ausstellung wird vor dem Haus der Fürstin im Wörlitzer Kirchhof die von dem zeitgenössischen österreichischen Künstler Peter Baldinger gestaltete Garten-Installation Amor sucht Psyche präsentiert, die sich auf eines der Hauptwerke der Ausstellung bezieht. Ein weiterer Teil der Intervention des Künstlers ist im Park Luisium zu sehen.

Bettina Baumgärtel, Angelika Kauffmann: Unbekannte Schätze aus Vorarlberger Privatsammlungen (Munich: Hirmer Verlag, 2018), 304 pages, ISBN: 978-3777430843, 40€.

New Book | Karikatur in der Goethezeit

Posted in books by Editor on August 8, 2019

From Schnell & Steiner:

Waltraud Maierhofer, Karikatur in der Goethezeit: Die Bildergeschichte ‘Leben Strunks des Emporkömmlings’ von Johann Heinrich Ramberg (Regensburg: Schnell & Steiner, 2019), 48 pages, ISBN: 978-3795433925, €7.

Der Hannoveraner Hofmaler Johann Heinrich Ramberg (1763–1840) schuf in den Jahren 1822–1825 mit Das Leben Strunks des Emporkömmlings eine Geschichte in 25 satirischen Bildern. Auf 21 der Blätter hat er jeweils kurze Erklärungen geschrieben und—mit einigen Änderungen in der Reihenfolge—in ein Heft übertragen. Es handelt sich nicht um Illustrationen zu einem vorhandenen Text, sondern um eigene, satirische Bilderfindungen, die der Text nur kurz erklärt und pointiert. Die Bildgeschichte wird hier erstmals in ihrer Gesamtheit reproduziert. Die Bilder zeigen den Aufstieg des armen Bauernjungen Strunk, der mit Hilfe der Finessen seines jüdischen Freundes Moses Israel zu Reichtum kommt und einen exzessiven Lebensstil übernimmt: Er bringt es zum Grafen, ändert seinen Namen zum nobleren „Strahlenstrunk“ und geht „noblen Passionen“ wie der Sauferei unter Männern, Kartenspiel, Jagd, Tierhetze, Tanz- und Reitvergnügen nach. Auch wenn dieser Lebensstil zunehmend Spuren an Strunk hinterlässt, macht er doch weiterhin Geschäfte mit den Schwächen seiner Zeitgenossen und tritt zuletzt sogar als Prediger auf. Ramberg nimmt die Lebensweise der Parvenues aufs Korn, wobei nicht klar ist, ob der Erfolg der beiden der Bauernschläue, körperlichen Kraft und Potenz sowie dem rücksichtslosen Vorgehen Strunks zu verdanken ist oder ob Israel als Ideenlieferant der Hauptgrund ihres Aufstiegs ist. Zwar folgt Ramberg den Stereotypen des jüdischen Aussehens, religiöse Bräuche und Glaubensunterschiede werden aber nicht thematisiert. Die satirischen Bilder laden zum Betrachten und Entdecken ein.

Waltraud Maierhofer lehrt im German Department der University of Iowa. Ihr Forschungsschwerpunkt liegt auf deutscher Literatur besonders des 18. und 19. Jahrhunderts (Novelle, historische Novelle, Autobiografie und Biografie, weibliche Autoren) sowie den Wechselbeziehungen zwischen Literatur und Kunst, Kulturgeschichte und Korrespondenz.

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Editor’s Note –Maierhofer also recently published an edition of Ramberg’s Reynard the Fox: Waltraud Maierhofer, ed., Reineke Fuchs von Johann Heinrich Ramberg und Dietrich Wilhelm Soltau (Weimar: VDG, 2016), 174 pages, ISBN: 978-3897398542, 20€. In regard more broadly to problematic depictions of Jewish figures—including within the work of Ramberg, as noted by Maierhofer—see also Frank Felsenstein’s essay “‘If You Tickle Us, Do We Not Laugh?’: Stereotypes of Jews in English Graphic Humor of the Georgian Era,” in No Laughing Matter: Visual Humor in Ideas of Race, Nationality, and Ethnicity, edited by Angela Rosenthal, David Bindman, and Adrian W. B. Randolph (Hanover, NH: Dartmouth College Press, 2015), 328 pages, ISBN: 978-1611688214, $45 [and distributed by The University of Chicago Press]; it’s a work that I should have noted here at Enfilade several years ago. CH

Exhibition | George IV: Art & Spectacle

Posted in books, catalogues, exhibitions by Editor on August 7, 2019

Press release for the exhibition, opening this fall:

George IV: Art & Spectacle
The Queen’s Gallery, Buckingham Palace, London, 15 November 2019 — 4 May 2020

Sir Thomas Lawrence, Coronation Portrait of George IV, 1821, oil on canvas, 295 × 205 cm (Royal Collection Trust, RCIN 405918).

George IV (1762–1830) was the collector and commissioner of many of the finest works of art in the Royal Collection. He turned Buckingham House into a Palace, radically remodelled Windsor Castle inside and out, and built the Royal Pavilion at Brighton, an oriental-style pleasure palace by the sea. In London, his architectural vision extended to the laying out of Regent Street and Regent’s Park.

From 1811, George ruled as Regent, due to the decline in the mental health of his father, George III. By the time he came to the throne in 1820, aged 57, he was intensely disliked by a nation tired of his extravagant lifestyle. Today he is perhaps best known as the rotund, gout-ridden, drunken buffoon lampooned by the satirists of the day for his acrimonious marriage to Princess Caroline of Brunswick and his many mistresses.

Set against the backdrop of the French Revolution and Napoleonic Wars, and a period of unprecedented global exploration, George IV: Art & Spectacle considers the Monarch’s public image, taste for the theatrical and exotic, admiration of French style and all-consuming passion for collecting. It will present George as a man of extreme contrasts: on the one hand, a recklessly profligate showman, and on the other, a connoisseur with intellectual interests whose endless acquisitions made him one of the most important figures in the formation of the Royal Collection.

As Prince of Wales, George lived at Carlton House on London’s Pall Mall. Within ten years of taking possession of his residence, he had run up debts of around £400,000 (around £31 million today). He bought the best works available by the 17th-century Dutch and Flemish painters whose reputations had been established in French aristocratic circles. The walls of Carlton House were hung with luminous works by Aelbert Cuyp, the lively interiors of Adriaen van Ostade, intimate domestic scenes by Jan Steen, and David Teniers’s depictions of village life, which appealed to George’s taste for narrative subject matter. In 1811, George purchased Rembrandt’s The Shipbuilder and his Wife, 1633, for 5,000 guineas, the most expensive painting he ever acquired.

Upheavals on the Continent following the French Revolution flooded the market with works of art that had belonged to the French aristocracy. With the help of agents and friends, George acquired the finest examples of 18th-century French decorative arts, including bronzes and furniture mounted with pietra dura panels by André-Charles Boulle. He had a particular passion for Sèvres porcelain. His most important acquisition of works by the French factory was the Louis XVI service, 1783–92, the most costly service ever created by Sèvres and so extensive that it was delivered to George in batches over 23 years.

George IV’s coronation at Westminster Abbey was the greatest theatrical production of his life and came at a cost of £240,000. He personally oversaw the designs for his elaborate coronation robes and the Diamond Diadem, made for the occasion by the goldsmiths Rundell, Bridge & Rundell. At the coronation banquet in Westminster Hall, the great Shield of Achilles, 1821, designed by John Flaxman, was among many pieces of spectacular dining and buffet silver-gilt on display from the Grand Service.

The King was among the leading patrons of British artists of the day, favouring the work of Sir Thomas Lawrence, Sir Joshua Reynolds and Richard Cosway. In 1784, he commissioned Sir Thomas Gainsborough to paint his three eldest sisters, the Princesses Charlotte, Augusta and Elizabeth, and after the artist’s death purchased Gainsborough’s only surviving mythological painting, Diana and Actaeon, c.1785–88. George’s favourite pastimes were equestrian, as captured in George IV, when Prince of Wales, 1791, an elegant portrait by George Stubbs. The everyday subject matter of the painter David Wilkie appealed to the King as modern-day versions of the 17th-century Dutch genre paintings he so admired. In a vibrant sketch, Wilkie recorded the King’s arrival at the Palace of Holyroodhouse in 1822, the first visit to Scotland by a reigning monarch since Charles I.

George IV positioned himself at the forefront of the European political stage, in direct competition with Napoleon Bonaparte. Following the French Emperor’s abdication in April 1814, George invited several of the allied leaders and commanders to London, and commissioned Britain’s pre-eminent portraitist, Sir Thomas Lawrence, to paint them. After Napoleon’s final defeat at Waterloo, Lawrence travelled to the Congress of Peace at Aix-la-Chapelle, then to Vienna and Rome to complete the series. The paintings were later installed in the purpose-built Waterloo Chamber at Windsor Castle. In George’s mind he was one of this cast of heroes, as responsible for the victory over Napoleon as the Duke of Wellington.

As Prince Regent or Monarch, George never travelled beyond Europe, but amassed a large collection of artefacts from the wider world. Between 1800 and 1830, he assembled the most important group of Asian porcelain in Britain. To harmonise with the gilded interiors of his residences, these pieces were augmented by elaborate gilt-bronze mounts—converting a simple jar into an incense burner, candelabrum, or even a clock. His taste for the oriental found its greatest expression in the Royal Pavilion at Brighton, designed by John Nash in 1815–33.

Many of the finest non-Western pieces in George’s collection were received as diplomatic gifts, among them a red and yellow feather cape (‘ahu’ula) from King Kamehameha II and Queen Kamamalu of the Sandwich Islands (now Hawaii), and a First Nations coat of caribou skin. His collection of arms and armour covered almost every part of the world, from a Maori club brought from Hawaii by Captain Cook’s ship Resolution, to a Persian sabre and a samurai sword.

George’s IV’s print and book collection reveals a more measured side to the Monarch in the variety of his intellectual pursuits. The books that he acquired for his Carlton House library, including a copy of Emma sent to him by Jane Austen’s publisher following the writer’s visit to the royal residence, highlight his interest in literature, geography, theology, European history, and the antique.

Despite the King’s efforts to control his image, satirical artists of the day mocked him mercilessly in widely circulated prints. The caricatures of Thomas Rowlandson, John Doyle, and Robert Seymour share the recurring themes of George’s excesses in food, fashion, and sex. Although George collected some satirical prints of himself when Prince of Wales and King, these were of the gently comic kind. At the same time, he tried to suppress the more hostile images, threatening legal action and, through his agents, bribing publishers not to criticise him or his mistresses, with little success.

Kate Heard and Kathryn Jones, George IV: Art & Spectacle, ISBN: 978-1909741607 (London: Royal Collection Trust, 2019), £30.


New Book | London and the Emergence of a European Art Market

Posted in books by Editor on August 6, 2019

From Getty Publications:

Susanna Avery-Quash and Christian Huemer, eds., London and the Emergence of a European Art Market, 1780–1820 (Los Angeles: Getty Research Institute, 2019), 
ISBN 978-1606065952, $60.

In the late 1700s, as the events of the French Revolution roiled France, London displaced Paris as the primary hub of international art sales. Within a few decades, a robust and sophisticated art market flourished in London. London and the Emergence of a European Art Market, 1780–1820 explores the commercial milieu of art sales and collecting at this turning point. In this collection of essays, twenty-two scholars employ methods ranging from traditional art historical and provenance studies to statistical and economic analysis; they provide overviews, case studies, and empirical reevaluations of artists, collectors, patrons, agents and dealers, institutions, sales, and practices. Drawing from pioneering digital resources—notably the Getty Provenance Index—as well as archival materials such as trade directories, correspondence, stock books and inventories, auction catalogs, and exhibition reviews, these scholars identify broad trends, reevaluate previous misunderstandings, and consider overlooked commercial contexts.

From individual case studies to econometric overviews, this volume is groundbreaking for its diverse methodological range that illuminates artistic taste and flourishing art commerce at the turn of the nineteenth century.

Susanna Avery-Quash is senior research curator in the history of collecting at the National Gallery, London, where she is in charge of the research area of buying, collecting, and display. She has led research projects, organized conferences, and published extensively on the history of collecting and the art market. Christian Huemer is director of the Belvedere Research Center, Vienna. From 2008 to 2017 he headed the Project for the Study of Collecting and Provenance at the Getty Research Institute.


Thomas W. Gaehtgens and Nicholas Penny, Foreword

Susanna Avery-Quash and Christian Huemer, Introduction

Part I: Patterns
• Neil de Marchi, Introduction to Part One
• Peter Carpreau, English and French Auctions in a Troubled Period, 1780–1820: A Quantitative Analysis of Volume, Price, and Taste Based on the Getty Provenance Index® Databases
• Bénédicte Miyamoto, British Buying Patterns at Auction Sales, 1780–1800: Did the Influx of European Art Have an Impact on the British Public’s Preferences?
• Hans J. Van Miegroet, Hilary Cronheim, and Bénédicte Miyamoto, International Dealer Networks and Triangular Art Trade between Paris, Amsterdam, and London
• Guido Guerzoni, The Export of Works of Art from Italy to the United Kingdom, 1792–1830
• Olivier Bonfait, The Taste for Eighteenth-Century French Paintings: Internationalization and Homogenization of Demand on the London Art Market around 1800

Part II: Collections
• Malcolm Baker, Introduction to Part Two
• Camilla Murgia, From Private to National: Exhibiting Fine Arts in London around 1800
• David Alexander, The Evolution of the Print Market and Its Impact on the Art Market, 1780–1820
• Wendy Wassyng Roworth, Angelica Kauffman: The Acquisition and Dispersal of an Artist’s Collection, 1782–1825
• Susanna Avery-Quash and Nicholas Penny, The Dispersal of the Orléans Collection and the British Art Market
• Sarah Bakkali, The Trumbull Sale of 1797: Players in the Paris–London Art Market during the French Revolution
• Rebecca Lyons, Selling the Collection of Welbore Ellis Agar in 1806

Part III: Agents
• Filip Vermeylen, Introduction to Part Three
• Julia Armstrong-Totten, From Jack-of-all-Trades to Professional: The Development of the Early Modern Picture Dealer in Eighteenth-Century London
• Francis Russell, James Christie: Auctioneer and More
• Carole Blumenfeld, Pierre-Joseph Lafontaine and His Exploitation of European Art Market Imbalances in Paris and London, 1795–1815
• Maria Celeste Cola, Thomas Hope and Gioacchino Marini: “Roman Agent of English Gentlemen”
• Ana María Fernández García, Commercial Agents of Spanish Painting in the United Kingdom, 1780–1820

Selected Bibliography
Biographical Notes on the Contributors
Illustration Credits

Exhibition and Book | Mudlarking

Posted in books, exhibitions, lectures (to attend) by Editor on August 4, 2019

As noted in Salon, the newsletter of the Society of Antiquaries of London, issue 432 (30 July 2019) . . .

Foragers of the Foreshore
Bargehouse on Bankside, London, 25–29 September 2019

Curated by Florence Evans

Mudlarking is gaining new attention. It is an old profession, a term applied especially to people who once lurked on the banks of the Thames in London searching for things they could sell, washed up on the tide or rising from the mud and sewage . . . The poor became less visible and scavengers faded away, but more recently detectorists and collectors have returned to the river, for the thrill and fascination of discovery and contact with people from the past.

Modern mudlarkers need a three-year permit, issued by the Port of London Authority (PLA) for £80, and must report all their finds to the Portable Antiquities Scheme’s Finds Liaison Officer at the Museum of London. . . .

Lara Maiklem is more communicative about mudlarking than many practitioners. She has tens of thousands of followers on social media, where she posts striking photos of her finds (often to be left where they are)—Instagram is made for determined mudlarkers—and has written a book, Mudlarking: Lost and Found on the River Thames. Though not be released until 22 August, on Amazon it is already at no 1 in ‘Urban & rural planning’ and no 7 in ‘Social science human geography’. It will be Radio 4 Book of the Week from 12 August. And now there is to be an exhibition.

For five days, writes Karen Hearn FSA, Foragers of the Foreshore will be at the Bargehouse on Bankside (25–29 September), part of a Totally Thames festival. Curated by Florence Evans, says the blurb, this will be “the most expansive exhibition on Mudlarking that has ever taken place.” It will feature new art, photographic portraits of mudlarkers taken by Hannah Smiles, and “a chance to meet Mudlarker in Residence Nicola White.” Museum of London Archaeology’s Thames Discovery Programme, Thames21, and Unruly Heritage will explain inter-tidal archaeology. Maiklem is among event speakers.

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From Bloomsbury:

Lara Maiklem, Mudlarking: Lost and Found on the River Thames (London: Bloomsbury Publishing, 2019), 320 pages, ISBN: 978-1408889213, £19.

For thousands of years human beings have been losing their possessions and dumping their rubbish in the River Thames, making it the longest and most varied archaeological site in the world. For those in the know, the muddy stretches provide a tangible link with the past, a connection to the natural world, and an oasis of calm in a chaotic city.

Lara Maiklem left the countryside for London in her twenties. At first enticed by the city, she soon found herself cut adrift, yearning for the solace she had known growing up among nature. Down on the banks of the River Thames, she discovered mudlarking: the act of scavenging in the mud for items discarded by past generations of Londoners. For the next fifteen years her days would be dedicated to and dictated by the tides, in pursuit of the objects that the river unearthed: from Neolithic flints to Roman hair pins, medieval shoe buckles to Tudor buttons, Georgian clay pipes to discarded war medals. Moving from the river’s tidal origins in the west of the city to the point where it reaches the sea in the east, Mudlarking is the story of the Thames and its people as seen through these objects. A fascinating search for peace through solitude and history, it brings the voices of long-forgotten Londoners to life.

Lara Maiklem moved from her family’s farm to London in the 1990s and has been mudlarking along the River Thames for fifteen years. She now lives with her family on the Kent coast within easy reach of the river, which she visits as regularly as the tides permit. This is her first book.


New Book | The Place of the Viewer

Posted in books by Editor on July 19, 2019

From Brill:

Kerr Houston, The Place of the Viewer: The Embodied Beholder in the History of Art, 1764–1968 (Leiden: Brill, 2019), 270 pages, ISBN: 978-9004400238 , €112 / $135.

In recent decades, art historians and critics have occasionally emphasized a dynamic, embodied mode of looking, accenting the role of the viewer and the complex interplay between beholders and works of art. In The Place of the Viewer, Kerr Houston shows that an attention to the position and physical experiences of beholders has in fact long informed art historical analyses—and that close study of the theme can lead to a fuller understanding of the discipline, the act of viewership and individual works of art. Simultaneously attentive to historical ideas and contemporary scholarship, this book identifies a vein of thought that has been generally overlooked, and proposes new ways of seeing familiar works and traditions.

Kerr Houston (PhD, Yale, 2001) has taught art history and criticism at The Maryland Institute College of Art since 2002. He is the author of An Introduction to Art Criticism (2013) and numerous articles and reviews.



The Communicative Viewpoint: Photography, Frontality, and Multiplicity in the 1800s
The Beholder in Motion: Kinetic Viewership
The Body Physical, the Body Politic: Incorporated Viewership in the 1960s
Art History and the Place of the Viewer since 1968