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.


Symposium | Spain and the Hispanic World

Posted in books, catalogues, conferences (to attend), exhibitions by Editor on March 20, 2023

Giovanni Vespucci, World Map, 1526, ink and colour on four sheets of parchment, 85 × 262 cm
(New York: The Hispanic Society of America)

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This week at the RA, in connection with the exhibition Spain and the Hispanic World, on view until 10 April 2023:

Spain and the Hispanic World Symposium: Cross-Cultural Exchanges
Royal Academy of Arts, London, 24 March 2023

The Royal Academy of Arts will host an academic symposium exploring the global exchange of Spanish art and culture—from the Islamic legacy of Al-Andalus to the transatlantic connections between Spain and Latin America. This interdisciplinary symposium, timed to coincide with our exhibition of treasures from the Hispanic Society Museum & Library, explores current academic perspectives on the histories of cultural exchange surrounding the Spanish and Latin American worlds.

We begin by considering material cultures through the movement of objects, tracing global exchange in the contexts of empire and colonialism. We move on to consider global imperialism through the lens of faith, studying religious art and objects. From the society of Al-Andalus to the history of Spanish Catholicism in Mexico, we look beyond the export of Spanish culture, to the influences and exchanges that were simultaneously being brought back into Iberia. Finally, we explore the legacies of Spanish art and literature in Latin America, investigating the layers of cultural difference caused by colonialism, as well as using a materials-based approach to investigate how these layers appear in objects and artworks. The symposium concludes with an artist in-conversation with Ana Maria Pachecho, exploring how the themes and ideas discussed throughout the day are still relevant to contemporary artist practice.

This intensive one-day symposium is a key moment in driving forward conversations and discussions on the art of the Latin world and is open to scholars, enthusiasts, and anyone wanting to know more about this groundbreaking exhibition. Ticket fees (£45 / £15) include exclusive early-morning access to the RA’s exhibition Spain and the Hispanic World starting at 8:30am and a drinks reception at 6:00pm.

This will be the first iteration of an annual symposium made possible by the Armando Garza-Sada Sr. Endowment for the Arts.


Andrew M. Beresford is Professor of Medieval and Renaissance Studies at the University of Durham, and has published widely on Iberian art and literature, focusing principally on the cults of the saints and the signifying potential of the human body. His most recent book (2020) offered a study of the flaying of St Bartholomew.

Caroline Egan is Assistant Professor of Colonial Latin American Literature in the Department of Spanish and Portuguese at Northwestern University. Her research examines the portrayal of Indigenous languages in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, focusing especially on works composed in and about Nahuatl, Quechua, and Tupi and their circulation in the transatlantic world. Dr Egan has published in the Bulletin of Hispanic Studies, Hispanic Review, and Latin American Literature in Transition Pre-1492-1800, edited by Rocío Quispe-Agnoli and Amber Brian (Cambridge University Press).

Akemi Luisa Herráez Vossbrink is a Researcher at Nicolás Cortés Gallery in Madrid, an Old Master gallery focusing on Spanish, Italian, and Latin American art from the fifteenth century to the early twentieth century. She has been the Enriqueta Harris Frankfort Curatorial Fellow at the Wallace Collection, as well as a curatorial fellow at the National Gallery and the Meadows Museum. Her doctoral thesis at Cambridge focused on Spanish seventeenth-century artist Francisco de Zurbarán and his reception in the Americas.

Claudia Hopkins is Director of the Zurbarán Centre for Spanish and Latin American Art at Durham University, and Associate Editor of the Getty-funded journal Art in Translation. She has published widely on nineteenth- and twentieth-century Spanish art and curated the exhibition La España romántica. David Roberts y Genaro Pérez Villaamil (Real Academia de Bellas Artes de San Fernando, Madrid, 2021–22). Her forthcoming book discusses Spanish art in relation to attitudes to al-Andalus and Morocco (from Romantic liberalism in the 1830s, to colonial discourse before Moroccan independence in 1956).

IIona Katzew is Curator and Department Head of Latin American Art at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA). Her most recent exhibition Archive of the World: Art and Imagination in Spanish America, 1500–1800 (2022) foregrounds the museum’s notable holdings of viceregal art. She was project director and co-curator of Painted in Mexico, 1700–1790: Pinxit Mexici (2017–18), which travelled to the Metropolitan Museum of Art and Fomento Cultural Banamex, Mexico City. She holds fellowships from the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Getty, and Fulbright. In 2018 she was selected by Artsy as one of the top 20 international curators taking a cutting-edge approach to art history.

Emmanuel Ortega is the Marilynn Thoma Scholar and Assistant Professor in Art of the Spanish Americas at the University of Illinois at Chicago, and a Scholar in Residence at the Newberry Library for 2022–23. Ortega has lectured internationally on images of autos-de-fe, nineteenth-century Mexican landscape painting, and visual representations of the New Mexico Pueblo peoples in Novohispanic Franciscan martyr paintings. Ortega has curated the exhibition Contemporary Ex-Votos: Devotion Beyond Medium, at the New Mexico State University Art Museum.

Adjoa Osei is a Research Fellow at Trinity College, University of Cambridge. She is a cultural historian whose research explores themes that are at the intersection of Performing Arts, Afro-Latin American Studies, and Francophone Studies. Her PhD, from the University of Liverpool, was in Latin American Studies, and her MPhil, from the University of Oxford, was in Portuguese Studies. Her research has been published in journals including Atlantic Studies and the Journal of Romance Studies, and she is a BBC New Generation Thinker.

Gabriela Siracusano is Scientific Researcher at CONICET (National Research Council, Argentina) and Director of the Centro MATERIA at the Universidad Nacional de Tres de Febrero (UNTREF), as well as Chair Professor at the Universidad de Buenos Aires. She has been a Guggenheim Fellow and a Getty Scholar, and has authored books including Pigments and Power in the Andes (London, Archetype, 2011) and Materia Americana (2020) (in co-edition with Agustina R. Romero). She received the 2022 Gratia Artis Award by the National Academy of Fine Arts.

Lucy West is Assistant Curator at Dulwich Picture Gallery, where her focus is on the Spanish and Italian paintings. She was previously Assistant Curator of Paintings at the Royal Collection Trust, London, and has worked across curatorial departments at the Ferens Art Gallery, Hull; the National Gallery, London; and Compton Verney, Warwickshire. Lucy is also completing an AHRC-funded PhD with the National Gallery, the Bowes Museum, and Leeds University, interrogating the roles of art dealers and agents in the market for Old Master paintings in nineteenth-century Britain.

Ana Maria Pachecho is a Brazilian artist who has lived in England since 1973. Pacheco is best known for her dramatic polychrome wooden sculptures. Her work draws upon the rich diversity of Latin American culture with echoes of African art, a reminder of the slave trade’s links with Brazil. She was the National Gallery’s Associate Artist between 1997 and 2000, when she produced the monumental multi-figured sculpture Dark Night of the Soul, inspired by the work of the sixteenth-century Spanish mystic, Saint John of the Cross. Her work has been shown in Cathedrals at Chichester, Norwich, and Salisbury, and most recently at the Galway International Arts Festival in 2022.

Colin Wiggins was Head of Education and Special Projects Curator at the National Gallery. He was responsible for the Associate Artist scheme and worked with artists such as Paula Rego, Peter Blake, and Michael Landy.


Print Quarterly, March 2023

Posted in books, catalogues, exhibitions, journal articles, reviews by Editor on March 19, 2023

Juan Francisco Rosa, Equestrian Monument to Philip V, ca. 1738–45, engraved copper-plate, 26 × 36 cm (Chicago: Carl and Marilynn Thoma Foundation). The plate was cut into an oval, likely from what was originally a rectangle, and used as a support for an oil painting; on the other side is The Christ Child with St Joseph.

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The long eighteenth century in the latest issue of Print Quarterly:

Print Quarterly 40.1 (March 2023)


• Emily C. Floyd with Suzanne Stratton-Pruitt, “Juan Francisco Rosa: Engraver to the Elite in Eighteenth-Century Lima,” pp. 33–51.

This article explores the life and works of the limeño engraver Juan Francisco Rosa (active in Lima, Peru, 1735–1756), with in-depth discussions pertaining to popular themes in his prints, patrons and contributions to the historic documentation of events and lost works in Lima. It adds two remarkable works to his oeuvre—a copperplate, now cut in two, and an illumination associated with a patent of nobility. The plate documents a famous statue of Philip V that was placed in 1738 on the bridge over the river Rímac and soon destroyed in the 1746 earthquake. The article demonstrates that Rosa produced important commissions for powerful organizations and individuals in the viceregal hierarchy, suggesting his prominence as an artist in mid-eighteenth-century Lima.

N O T E S  A N D  R E V I E W S

• Antony Griffiths, “Altered Plates,” pp. 63–66. Drawing attention to an anecdote in a 1726 biography of the London publisher, newspaper editor, and controversialist Abel Roper, this note charts the chronology of an altered plate by William van de Passe depicting the Duke of Buckingham on horseback in the first state, published 1625. The plate was then modified around 1630/32 in the second state to represent James, 1st Duke of Hamilton, before being transformed again in the third state of 1654–58 to portray Oliver Cromwell as Lord Protector. The plate is documented to have been subjected to a fourth “very profitable” change, altered to portray William III, though no impression has yet been found.

Romeyn de Hooghe, Les Monarches Tombants (James II falls off the back of a unicorn at left, Louis XIV on a globe at right, while William III is raised on a shield in the background), 1689, etching, sheet includes letterpress text below the image (Amsterdam: Rijksmuseum).

• Peter van der Coelen, Review of Meredith McNeill Hale, The Birth of Modern Political Satire: Romeyn de Hooghe (1645–1708) and the Glorious Revolution (Oxford University Press, 2020), pp. 66–68. Peter van der Coelen is persuaded by Hale’s argument that the satires De Hooghe produced between 1688 and 1690 were decisive for the development of political satire as a genre and that the birth of the genre should therefore be located not in eighteenth-century England but in the Dutch Republic of the late seventeenth century.

• Helmut Gier, Review of Eckhard Leuschner and Friedrich Polleross, eds., “Der Augsburger Kupferstecher und Verleger Johann Ulrich Kraus (1655–1719),” in Frühneuzeit-Info 32 (2021), pp. 68–71. A review of nine conference papers addressing Johann Ulrich Kraus, one of whose most important contributions to the history of art was the reception and dissemination in central Europe of the art favoured at the court of Louis XIV.

• Stephen Salel, Review of Timothy Clark, Hokusai: The Great Picture Book of Everything (British Museum Press, 2021), pp. 71–73.

• Janis A. Tomlinson, Review of the exhibition catalogue, Véronique Gerard, ed., Goya: Génie d’Avant-Garde. Le Maître et son École (Musée des Beaux-Arts and Éditions Snoeck, 2020), and “Goya peintre,” in Technè 53 (2022), pp. 73–75. Did Goya have a workshop? Whereas Goya’s prints seem to be a well-defined body of work, whose technique has been well-studied, as have their preparatory drawings and visual and historical sources, the paintings are another matter. Imitations, copies and forgeries began to circulate within a decade of Goya’s death and continue to complicate our understanding of his oeuvre. . . [These] two contributions . . . address some of these questions in very different ways.

• Heather Hyde Minor, Review of Ginevra Mariani, ed., Giambattista Piranesi: Matrici incise 1743–1753 (Edizioni Gabriele Mazzotta, 2010); Giambattista Piranesi: Matrici incise 1756–1757. Le Antichità Romane Lettere di giustificazione 2 (Edizioni Gabriele Mazzotta, 2014); Giambattista Piranesi: Matrici incise 1761–1765 (Editalia, 2017); and Giambattista Piranesi: Matrici incise 1762–1769 (De Luca Editori d’arte, 2020), pp. 102–06. This review explores the four-volume series of publications dedicated to cataloguing and discussing the 964 autograph printing plates by Giovanni Battista Piranesi in the collection of the Istituto Centrale per la Grafica in Rome. Further Matrici incise volumes are expected to be published in due course.

• Roger Kneebone, Review of the exhibition catalogue, Monique Kornell, ed., Flesh and Bones: The Art of Anatomy (Getty Research Institute, 2022), pp. 106–11. This review highlights the complex intersections between artists, engravers, anatomists and clinicians over four centuries. Worthy of note are the ways multiple perspectives from different kinds of parties informed the appearance of anatomical illustrations depending on their purpose and audience, resulting in images that were not always neutral in their ‘factual’ representations.

Exhibition | Claude Gillot: Satire in the Age of Reason

Posted in books, catalogues, exhibitions by Editor on March 6, 2023

Claude Gillot, Scene of the Two Carriages / Les Deux carrosses, ca. 1710–12, oil on canvas, 127 × 160 cm
(Paris: Musée du Louvre, RF2405)

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Now on view at The Morgan:

Claude Gillot: Satire in the Age of Reason
The Morgan Library & Museum, New York, 24 February — 28 May 2023

Curated by Jennifer Tonkovich

Around 1700, as an increasingly pious Louis XIV withdrew to Versailles, Paris flourished. The dynamic artistic scene included specialists such as Claude Gillot (1673–1722) who forged a career largely outside of the Royal Academy, designing everything from opera costumes to tapestries.

Known primarily as a draftsman, Gillot specialized in scenes of satire. He found his subjects among the irreverent commedia dell’arte performances at fairground theaters, in the writings of satirists who waged the Quarrel of the Ancients and Moderns, and in the antics of vice-ridden satyrs whose bacchanals exposed human folly. Gillot’s amusing critiques and rational perspective heralded the advent of the Age of Reason while his innovative approach attracted the most talented artists of the next generation, Antoine Watteau and Nicolas Lancret, to his studio.

With over seventy drawings, prints, and paintings, including an exceptional contingent from the Louvre, Claude Gillot: Satire in the Age of Reason explores the artist’s inventive and highly original draftsmanship and places his work in the context of the artistic and intellectual activity in Paris at the dawn of a new century.

The catalogue accompanying the exhibition, published by Paul Holberton, will provide the first comprehensive account of Gillot’s career.

Jennifer Tonkovich, Claude Gillot: Satire in the Age of Reason (London: Paul Holberton, 2023), 240 pages, ISBN: 978-1913645373, $60.


Exhibition | Sublime Ideas: Drawings by Giovanni Battista Piranesi

Posted in books, catalogues, exhibitions by Editor on March 6, 2023
Giovanni Battista Piranesi, Fantasy of a Magnificent Forum, ca. 1765, pen and brown ink and wash, 33 × 49 cm
(New York: Morgan Library & Museum, 1974.27)

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From the press release for the exhibition:

Sublime Ideas: Drawings by Giovanni Battista Piranesi
The Morgan Library & Museum, New York, 10 March — 4 June 2023

Curated by John Marciari

In a letter written near the end of his life, Giovanni Battista Piranesi (1720–1778) explained to his sister that he had lived away from his native Venice because he could find no patrons there willing to support “the sublimity of my ideas.” He resided instead in Rome, where he became internationally famous working as a printmaker, designer, architect, archaeologist, theorist, dealer, and polemicist. While Piranesi’s lasting fame is based above all on his etchings, he was also an intense, accomplished, and versatile draftsman, and much of his work was first developed in vigorous drawings.

The Morgan holds the largest and most important collection of Piranesi’s drawings, well over 100 works that encompass his early architectural capricci, studies for prints, measured design drawings, sketches for a range of decorative objects, a variety of figural drawings, and views of Rome and Pompeii. These form the core of the exhibition, which will also include seldom-exhibited loans from a number of private collections. Accompanied by a publication offering a complete survey of Piranesi’s work as a draftsman, the exhibition will be the most comprehensive look at Piranesi’s drawings in more than a generation.

book coverThis exhibition begins with Piranesi’s interest in theoretical architecture, showing works that combine an imaginative and fantastic approach to architectural study with a bookish understanding of ancient buildings and a Romantic appreciation of ruins. This blend of fantasy and theory would eventually give birth to the Invenzioni caprici di carceri (Capricious Inventions of Prisons), his most famous work. The drawings in the Morgan’s collection show how Piranesi’s work developed from precise architectural drawings to imaginative fantasies. Later sections of the exhibition document Piranesi’s study of the inventive work of Tiepolo in a series of trips to his native Venice, his turn from architectural theory and fantasy to archaeology, and his work as a practicing architect and as a designer and dealer of classicizing interior decoration.

The exhibition also highlights the role of paper in Piranesi’s working practice, showing his use and reuse of earlier drawings in later works. Close study of his surviving sheets makes clear that Piranesi preserved drawings in the workshop to serve as inspiration for future projects, and many sheets have reworking that can be dated years after the original drawing, a testament to the continual reuse of his archive.

Highlights of the exhibition include Design for a Ceremonial Gondola (1745–47), a large and fanciful design for a craft that was surely never set afloat; Piranesi nonetheless reused much of the decorative language in subsequent works. Piranesi’s Fantasy of a Magnificent Forum (ca. 1765) is one of his most accomplished fantasies, showing a play on ancient Roman architecture in a dramatic sketch that was likely dashed off as a command performance of his skill as a draftsman. The Proposed Alteration of San Giovanni in Laterano, with Columnar Ambulatory (ca. 1763–64) is Piranesi’s largest architectural drawing, a rendering almost five feet wide with an ambitious plan for the expansion of one of the largest churches in Rome. In addition, this exhibition includes a number of preparatory designs for his etchings, including very rare proof impressions of his printed views of Rome and Tivoli with drawn corrections by the artist. The exhibition ends with a group of large drawings of Pompeii, made in the bold style that Piranesi adopted in the last few years of his life.

Giovanni Battista Piranesi and workshop, Proposal for the Alteration of San Giovanni in Laterano, with Columnar Ambulatory, ca. 1763-64, pen and brown ink and wash, and gray wash, over graphite, on paper, 21 × 58 inches (New York: Morgan Library & Museum, 1966.11:55).

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The Morgan’s Director, Colin B. Bailey, said, “Given the depth of our collection of drawings by Giovanni Battista Piranesi, the Morgan has long been a leading institution in the study of his works. This new exhibition, the most complete showing of our Piranesis since 1989, reflects long study as well as new discoveries, and will bring Piranesi alive to a new generation of visitors.”

This exhibition is curated by John Marciari, Charles W. Engelhard Curator, Head of the Department of Drawings and Prints, and Curatorial Chair. Marciari is also the author of the accompanying publication, which reaches beyond the Morgan’s collections to offer a complete survey of Piranesi’s work as a draftsman. Marciari explains, “Very few of Piranesi’s drawings were carefully finished works made for sale or exhibition, but in looking closely at the hundreds of working drawings that survive, we not only see the artist devising new ideas and working through problems, but also understand how the archive of drawings served his workshop as a constant source of inspiration.”

John Marciari, Sublime Ideas: Drawings by Giovanni Battista Piranesi (London: Paul Holberton Publishing, 2023), 224 pages, ISBN: 978-1913645380, £40 / $60.

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Note (added 6 March 2023) — The exhibition was originally planned for 2020 (May–September) to mark the 300th anniversary of Piranesi’s birth; like so many other things, it had to be rescheduled for obvious reasons.

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 | Muse or Maestra? Women in Italian Art, 1400–1800

Posted in books, catalogues, exhibitions by Editor on February 24, 2023

Rosalba Carriera, Self-Portrait of the Artist, detail, 1707–08
(Staatliche Museen zu Berlin, Kupferstichkabinett / Jörg P. Anders)

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From the Staatliche Museen zu Berlin:

Muse or Maestra? Women in the Italian Art World, 1400–1800
Muse oder Macherin? Frauen in der italienischen Kunstwelt 1400 – 1800
Kupferstichkabinett, Berlin, 8 March — 4 June 2023

Curated by Dagmar Korbacher

Featuring some 90 works, this special exhibition organised by Berlin’s Kupferstichkabinett elucidates the lives and impact of women such as Rosalba Carriera, Artemisia Gentileschi, Elisabetta Sirani, Diana Scultori, Isabella d’Este, Christina, Queen of Sweden, and others. Their works, fates and enormous influence on the art world of their times have in part been forgotten today.

During the Renaissance and Baroque periods, the art of these women outshone that of their fathers, brothers, and husbands. They created and collected oeuvres that were sought after throughout Europe. They knew how to market themselves and how to network. The protagonists in the exhibition comprise not only women artists who created works in demand, but also wives who supported their husbands and posed for them as models and female patrons who gave commissions for artworks and supported women artists, as well as preservationists and collectors who kept and passed on the works.

Not only does the exhibition show the art of these women, it also provides details about the circumstances of their lives to the extent that this information is known. A number of issues are addressed. These include determining what influence being a woman had on these women’s roles in the art world, whether or not they married and became mothers, and which strategies they pursued to assert themselves in a man’s world, thus making it possible for us to still find traces of their respective impacts.

Women’s diverse, active roles in Italian art are presented with drawings and prints until 1800 from the Kupferstichkabinett’s vast collection, as well as some outstanding loans. In various interventions in the exhibition and catalogue, the youth advisory panel of the Staatliche Museen zu Berlin, Achtet AlisMB, contributes the younger generation’s perspective on this topic.

Muse or Maestra?: Women in the Italian Art World, 1400–1800 is curated by Dagmar Korbacher, director of the Kupferstichkabinett. A catalogue accompanies the exhibition.


New Book | Afterlives: Recovering the Lost Stories of Looted Art

Posted in books, catalogues, exhibitions by Editor on February 23, 2023

The exhibition was at the Jewish Museum in New York from August 2021 until January 2022. From Yale UP:

Darsie Alexander and Sam Sackeroff, with contributions by Julia Voss and Mark Wasiuta, Afterlives: Recovering the Lost Stories of Looted Art (New Haven: Yale University Press, 2022), 280 pages, ISBN: 978-0300250701, $50.

A strikingly original exploration of the profound impact of World War II on how we understand the art that survived it

By the end of World War II an estimated one million artworks and 2.5 million books had been seized from their owners by Nazi forces; many were destroyed. The artworks and cultural artifacts that survived have traumatic, layered histories. This book traces the biographies of these objects—including paintings, sculpture, and Judaica—their rescue in the aftermath of the war, and their afterlives in museums and private collections and in our cultural understanding. In examining how this history affects the way we view these works, scholars discuss the moral and aesthetic implications of maintaining the association between the works and their place within the brutality of the Holocaust—or, conversely, the implications of ignoring this history. Afterlives offers a thought-provoking investigation of the unique ability of art and artifacts to bear witness to historical events. With rarely seen archival photographs and with contributions by the contemporary artists Maria Eichhorn, Hadar Gad, Dor Guez, and Lisa Oppenheim, this catalogue illuminates the study of a difficult and still-urgent subject, with many parallels to today’s crises of art in war.

Darsie Alexander is the Susan and Elihu Rose Chief Curator, and Sam Sackeroff is the Lerman-Neubauer Assistant Curator at the Jewish Museum, New York.

Exhibition | The Gregory Gift

Posted in books, catalogues, exhibitions by Editor on February 16, 2023

From the press release (30 November) for the exhibition:

The Gregory Gift
The Frick Madison, New York, 16 February — 9 July 2023

Organized by Marie-Laure Buku Pongo

Cover of the catalogue for the exhibition, depicting a gilt-bronze Musical Automaton Rhinoceros Clock.A remarkable gift of twenty-eight fine and decorative works of art recently bequeathed to the Frick by Alexis Gregory (1936–2020) will be shown as a group for the first time at Frick Madison in 2023. The gift includes two eighteenth-century pastels, fifteen Limoges enamels, two eighteenth-century clocks, a large gilt-bronze figure of Louis XIV, and objects made of metal, enamel, and hardstone dating from the sixteenth through eighteenth centuries.

The celebrated holdings of decorative arts objects amassed by Henry Clay Frick have been significantly enriched in recent decades by gifts from other collectors. In 1999, Winthrop Kellogg Edey’s bequest added to the museum’s holdings an important group of European clocks and watches, and in the last decade or so, gifts from Dianne Dwyer Modestini (2008), Melinda and Paul Sullivan (2016), Henry Arnhold (2019), and Sidney R. Knafel (2021) have reshaped The Frick’s holdings of European ceramics with significant groups of Du Paquier and Meissen porcelain, French faience, and Italian maiolica.

The remarkable bequest in 2020 from the collection of Alexis Gregory builds on this tradition by enhancing the museum’s existing holdings and introducing to the museum new types of objects. The exhibition The Gregory Gift features the twenty-eight acquisitions in a variety of media and forms, curious luxury objects that, shown together, suggest a fine collector’s cabinet or Kunstkammer. Among them are fifteen Limoges enamels, two clocks, two ewers, a gilt-bronze sculpture, a serpentine tankard, an ivory hilt, a rhinoceros horn cup, a pomander, and two stunning pastels by Rosalba Carriera. The exhibition is organized by Marie-Laure Buku Pongo, Assistant Curator of Decorative Arts, and will be accompanied by a catalogue and complementary education programs.

Comments Ian Wardropper, Anna-Maria and Stephen Kellen Director of The Frick, “Alexis Gregory had one of the finest collections of Renaissance and Rococo decorative arts in this country. His deep affection for The Frick led to his bequest of a selection of a superb group of objects, and we are gratified to mount this exhibition in his memory.” Buku Pongo adds, “This generous and important gift to The Frick Collection opens new areas of research and lays the groundwork for exciting projects. From research into the context of their creation to technical analyses expanding our knowledge of how these objects were produced, the exhibition at Frick Madison will celebrate Alexis Gregory’s generous gift and The Frick Collection’s commitment to the display of European decorative arts.”

Pastel of an unidentified woman

Rosalba Carriera, Portrait of an Unidentified Woman, ca. 1730, pastel on paper, laid down on canvas, 59 × 48 cm (New York: The Frick, Gift of Alexis Gregory, 2020.3.02).

Gregory built his career in book publishing, establishing the celebrated Vendome Press, a publisher of significant volumes on French culture and art. His contributions to and engagement in the arts included serving on art committees at several cultural institutions in the United States, including the visiting committees of European Paintings and European Sculpture and Decorative Arts at The Metropolitan Museum of Art. His history with The Frick began with frequent visits to the museum as a youth. On one occasion, Gregory left the boarding school he was attending with a classmate to visit the museum and managed to convince his friend that he lived in its mansion, as everyone they encountered on staff seemed to know him extremely well. At Harvard, he studied with leading art historians. Those close to him often described him as a Renaissance man as he spoke several languages, wrote books, traveled the globe, and collected art. These pursuits went hand in hand, as collecting art allowed him to research objects and travel around Europe to find new acquisitions. The purchase of his first Renaissance bronze at the age of eighteen marked the starting point of his collection.

Gregory collected widely, from paintings and works on paper to bronzes and sculptures. In the 1980s, his deep interest in European decorative arts prompted him to exchange one of the Impressionist paintings he had inherited from his parents for an assortment of bronzes, sculptures, and Limoges enamels, as well as a watercolor. He later expanded his collection with additional sculptures, Italian bronzes, and Limoges enamels, continuing throughout his life to acquire objects from the United States and Europe. Gregory’s collection echoes, in many ways, the Kunstkammers created by princes during the Renaissance, where they would not only display enamels, faience, carved ivories, automatons and clocks, and precious and mounted metalwork, but also show exotic natural specimens.

A Saint-Porchaire ceramic ewer joins two such objects already in The Frick Collection. This addition is particularly significant as only about seventy Saint-Porchaire works exist today. The ewer is part of a limited experimental production that still poses many questions and is represented in a few museums, among them, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Victoria and Albert Museum, and the Musée du Louvre.

Other highlights from the gift include a fine group of Limoges enamels, including a significant number of grisaille examples, which strengthens The Frick’s holdings of mostly polychrome enamels. Grisaille refers to a technique developed in the sixteenth century that was often used by enamelers including the famed Pierre Reymond (1513–after 1584). The Gregory gift includes multiple enamels by Reymond and his workshop, as well as objects by Jean de Court (active 1541–83) and broadens the representation of these artists at The Frick. A large dish enameled on copper with at his center a Saxon silver coin engraved by Hans Biener (ca. 1556–1604), is the first of its kind to enter the collection. It belongs to a rare production in sixteenth-century Venetian workshops, and only about three hundred pieces exist today. (Of these, only about fifty have painted coats of arms or coins, making this example quite rare.)

Carved ivory sword hilt

Sword Hilt, possibly by Johann Michael Maucher, ca. 1700, ivory, 16 × 16 × 6 cm (New York: The Frick, Gift of Alexis Gregory, 2021.18.01).

Carved ivory and rhinoceros horn objects also enter the collection for the first time. A fine hilt in ivory, possibly made by Johann Michael Maucher (1645–1701)—one of the most important ivory carvers and sculptors at that time—will shed more light on ivory carving and production in southern Germany during the seventeenth century.

A gilt bronze that represents Louis XIV is attributed to Domenico Cucci (ca. 1635–1704) and his workshop. Cucci was one of the most talented cabinetmakers of the eighteenth century, and this bronze is likely one of the few remaining remnants of a elaborate cabinet made for the king, around 1662–64. In 1883, the Musée du Louvre tried unsuccessfully to acquire the bronze, which mostly remained in private hands before being acquired by Gregory in 2007. Gilt bronzes and other objects designed by Cucci and produced in the Gobelins Manufactory (which made sumptuous furnishings and objects for French royal residences and as lavish diplomatic gifts) are mostly held in private hands. Besides The Frick, only a few collections, including the Château de Versailles, hold remnants of cabinets made by Cucci and his workshop.

Two clocks, one made by the British jeweler and goldsmith James Cox (ca. 1723–1800) and the second by Johann Heinrich Köhler (1669–1736), jeweler at the court of Dresden, diversify The Frick’s holdings of important clocks and watches and are key examples of their respective types. Both jewelers worked for powerful patrons: Köhler for Augustus II (‘the Strong’), Elector of Saxonyand King of Poland, and Cox for the Chinese Qianlong Emperor. Cox crafted automatons with musical movements, also called ‘sing-songs’, which were exported to China, India, Persia, and Russia. Examples of their work are still on view in the Grünes Gewölbe (Green Vault) in Dresden and the Forbidden City in Beijing.

Gregory’s bequest also brings to The Frick several works by women. An enameled medallion by Suzanne de Court (active ca. 1600), the only known female artist to lead a Limoges workshop during the sixteenth century, joins a notable pair of saltcellars signed by de Court already in The Frick’s collection. Two portraits by the celebrated Venetian pastel artist Rosalba Carriera (1673–1757), significantly enhance the museum’s holdings in this medium.

The exhibition Is generously funded by the Alexis Gregory Foundation.

Marie-Laure Buku Pongo, The Gregory Gift (London: Paul Holberton Publishing, 2023), 96 pages, ISBN: 978-1913645434, £25 / $30.

Catalogue cover image: James Cox, Musical Automaton Rhinoceros Clock, ca. 1765–72, gilt bronze, silver, enamel, paste jewels, white marble, and agate, 40 × 21 × 9 cm (The Frick Collection, Gift of Alexis Gregory, 2021.6.02; photo by Joseph Coscia Jr).

Exhibition | Love Stories from the NPG

Posted in books, catalogues, exhibitions by Editor on February 14, 2023

Now on view at The Baker Museum in Florida:

Love Stories from the National Portrait Gallery, London
Worcester Art Museum, 13 November 2021 — 13 March 2022
Amsterdam Museum in the Hermitage, 17 September 2022 — 8 January 2023
The Baker Museum, Naples, 4 February – 7 May 2023

Curated by Lucy Peltz

Joshua Reynolds, Portrait of David Garrick and Eva Maria Garrick, 1772–73, oil on canvas, 55 × 67 inches (London: National Portrait Gallery, purchased, 1981).

This groundbreaking exhibition presents masterpieces from the collection of the National Portrait Gallery, London, arguing that ideas of love and desire have been critical to the development of portraiture from the 16th century to the present day. Portraits provide visual records of relationships, are used to memorialize dead or absent lovers and have often been given as love tokens. Featured artists include Sir Joshua Reynolds, Angelica Kauffman, Man Ray, Lee Miller, David Hockney, and others. At the heart of this exhibition are a series of real-life love stories, from the English Renaissance to today, grouped thematically. Each of the love stories sheds light on a different aspect of romantic love and the role of portraits within it, from images that capture an artist’s obsession with their muse to those that record tragic love affairs or celebrate the triumph of love against the odds.

Love Stories from the National Portrait Gallery, London is organized by the National Portrait Gallery, London, and is curated by Dr. Lucy Peltz. The presentation of this exhibition at Artis—Naples, The Baker Museum is curated by Courtney McNeil, museum director and chief curator.

Lucy Peltz, ed., with contributions by Peter Funnell, Simon Callow, Marina Warner, Louise Stewart, and Kate Williams, Love Stories: Art, Passion & Tragedy (London: National Portrait Gallery, 2020), 231 pages, ISBN: ‎ 978-1855147034, $40.

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