Exhibition | The Splendor of Germany: Eighteenth-century Drawings

Posted in books, catalogues, exhibitions by Editor on October 20, 2019

From PHP:

The Splendor of Germany: Eighteenth-century Drawings from the Crocker Art Museum
Crocker Art Museum, Sacramento, 16 February — 10 May 2020

The Crocker Art Museum has one of the finest and earliest German drawings collections in the United States. Featuring artists such as Johann Wolfgang Baumgartner, Anton Raphael Mengs, and Johann Heinrich Wilhelm Tischbein, The Splendor of Germany examines the major developments in German draughtsmanship over the course of the eighteenth century. Published to coincide with the collection’s 150th anniversary.

In the twenty-first century, the collecting and study of eighteenth-century German drawings has become a major focus for American museums. One of the finest collections of them, however, has been in California for 150 years. The superb drawings at the Crocker Art Museum, from a Baroque altarpiece design by Johann Georg Bergmüller to a Neoclassical mythology by Johann Heinrich Wilhelm Tischbein, provide a panorama of German draughtsmen and draughtsmanship throughout the century.

Many of the drawings are remarkable for their modernity. A self-portrait by Johann Gottlieb Prestel bypasses convention to achieve a direct, unmediated likeness. Well-placed slashes with brush and black ink define the features below his peruke outlined in black chalk. Other drawings encapsulate specific developments and styles, such as Johann Wolfgang Baumgartner’s Lazarus and the Rich Man, which shows the florid dynamism of the Augsburg Rococo. A full range of eighteenth-century German artists are represented here, from the satirizing moralists Johann Elias Ridinger and Daniel Chodowiecki to the Classicist and friend of the art theorist Johann Joachim Winkelmann, Anton Raphael Mengs. Landscape artists are especially well represented, such as the key figure Johann Georg Wille, printmaker to the French king Louis XV, and generations of artists he taught and influenced all the way to the early Romantic landscapists.

The exhibition and catalogue gather together a variety of dynamic and sensitive portraits, charming scenes of daily life, and often humorous moralizing subjects, as well as narratives, both religious and mythological, from the late Baroque to Neoclassicism. In the realm of landscape, the depth of the collection allows the exhibition to trace schools and influences—in addition to Wille’s mentioned above—even in families such as that of Prestel, whose wife and daughter were both landscapists. It also allows it to demonstrate the great variety of works by single artists such as Christoph Nathe, represented by four landscapes in four different genres including a splendid scene near Görlitz. Some artists, in fact, work in several genres as in the case of Johann Christian Klengel, whose works include the scene of a family by candlelight, a farmstead landscape, and a sketchbook that he carried through the countryside to record picturesque views.

This is a rare opportunity for the public and for drawings enthusiasts. Two-thirds of the drawings in the exhibition have not been shown before; most of the exceptions have not been seen since 1989. Because of the drawings’ 150-year history of limited exposure, the state of preservation of the collection is exceptional, as is the condition of the new acquisitions included in the exhibition.

William Breazeale and Anke Fröhlich-Schauseil, The Splendor of Germany: Eighteenth-century Drawings from the Crocker Art Museum (London: Paul Holberton Publishing, 2020), 144 pages, ISBN: 978-1911300779, £40.

Exhibition | Marie-Antoinette: Metamorphosis of an Image

Posted in books, catalogues, exhibitions by Editor on October 16, 2019

The exhibition opens today, 226 years after Marie-Antoinette was executed (the press release is available here). . .

Marie-Antoinette: Métamorphoses d’une Image
Conciergerie, Paris, 16 October 2019 — 26 January 2020

Only a handful of historic figures have been the subject of such an abundance of representations: Marie-Antoinette is one of these, both during her lifetime and more notably after her death on 16 October 1793. Even today, this queen-turned-icon is still a key emblem in popular culture. The exhibition illustrates the many representations of Marie-Antoinette through almost 200 works, artefacts, heritage and contemporary archives, never-before-seen interviews, film extracts, and fashion accessories—shining a light on this worldwide phenomenon of media overkill through both a historic approach and a critical and comparative examination of forms.

Marie-Antoinette at the Conciergerie

This section illustrates the final ten weeks that saw the most dramatic moments experienced by the queen in the ‘corridor of death’, during her trial by the Revolutionary Tribunal. A number of memorial fetishes testify to this: shirt, shoe, belt, and archival documents from the trial and execution of the Queen

The Histories

Marie-Antoinette’s life has been transformed since her death through numerous accounts and biographies, as well as testimonies and memories, from the Restoration to the present day, and from all points of view. The exhibition illustrates twenty events, both public and private, in Marie-Antoinette’s life, from her birth to her death, and including her official funeral in 1814.

The Image of the Queen

The figure of Marie-Antoinette is a veritable ‘expanse of images’, which can quickly be packaged to suit an event, a commemoration, the latest cultural trend or fashionable motif. Thus, according to the era, this proliferation affected the official image of the queen, particularly the portraits of her by Elisabeth Louise Vigée Le Brun, the political images of the ‘martyred’ queen, the historical imagery, the character portrayed on-screen, and in Japanese manga.

Fetishes of the Queen

The relationship with Marie-Antoinette has often been passionate, creating cults, tributes, or, on the contrary, provoking violent attacks. Furthermore, it has often been subject to fantasy and imagination, on a level where intimacy can overlap with mythology. The exhibition here displays a selection of images and objects, based on three motifs, symbolising Marie-Antoinette throughout history and the world.
• The Hair
• The Body
• The Severed Head

The Return of the Queen

Marie-Antoinette is experiencing a surprising revival, due to the modernization of the character, who has become a young woman of hers, and our time. The revival is illustrated by Japanese manga, which reinvented Marie-Antoinette in Riyoko Ikeda’s The Rose of Versailles; the biography of the English writer Antonia Fraser, Marie-Antoinette: The Journey; and its Hollywood adaptation by Sofia Coppola. Fashion has also appropriated the phenomenon associating the queen with several contemporary supermodels. A fan cult has appropriated the figure of Marie-Antoinette, a phenomenon of globalised post-modernism, as commercial as it is cultural and ideological. The overriding style of this onslaught is a popularised form of pop art, and its diffusion affects all genres, every type of consumerism and every country. The exhibition highlights this great blend of genres and objects, while revealing its commercial aspect.

A cycle of Marie-Antoinette films will be screened at the Le Champo cinema from 5 November to 3 December.

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The catalogue is published by Éditions du Patrimoine:

Antoine de Baecque, ed., Marie-Antoinette: Métamorphoses d’une image (Paris: Éditions du Patrimoine, 2019), 215 pages, ISBN: 978-2757706817, 39€.

Un très beau livre qui donne à voir et à comprendre les multiples visages de la figure historique française la plus connue à travers le monde. De la princesse idéale à la ‘reine scélérate’, de la traîtresse étrangère à la figure martyre, de l’héroïne adolescente à la mère bigote, de la femme de culture à l’icône de mode, l’image de la reine Marie-Antoinette, tour à tour adorée ou honnie, n’a cessé d’évoluer au cours des siècles.

En suivant le fil de l’exposition qui se tiendra à la Conciergerie du 16 octobre 2019 au 26 janvier 2020, cet ouvrage, à travers 14 essais et 16 notices, commentera les multiples représentations de la reine et montrera comment le rapport à Marie-Antoinette a souvent été passionnel, déterminant des cultes, des hommages, ou au contraire de violentes attaques.

Historien, spécialiste de la culture des Lumières et de la Révolution française, Antoine de Baecque a entre autres publié Le Corps de l’histoire. Métaphores et politique 1770–1800 (Calmann-Lévy, 1993), La Gloire et l’effroi (Grasset, 1996) sur la Terreur, puis Les Eclats du rire (Calmann-Lévy, 2000), sur la culture des rieurs au XVIIIe siècle. Il a également écrit le volume sur les Lumières de l’Histoire culturelle de la France en 1998 aux éditions du Seuil, et participé aux volumes collectifs, Histoire du corps, Histoire de la virilité, Histoire des émotions. Antoine de Baecque est également commissaire de nombreuses expositions, membre du comité de rédaction de la revue L’Histoire, du conseil scientifique de la BNF, président de la commission d’aide à l’écriture documentaire au CNC et professeur d’histoire du cinéma à l’École normale supérieure de la rue d’Ulm.


La tradition royale
• Marie-Antoinette, reine de France, Fanny Cosandey
• Marie-Antoinette et ses soeurs : portrait de groupe, Mélanie Traversier
• La fabrique de la célébrité, Antoine Lilti
• La reine des modes, du chic au kitsch, Catriona Seth
> Notices : Les colliers de la reine. Gravures de mode royale

Face à la Révolution
• Une reine traînée dans la boue : les caricatures contre Marie-Antoinette, Annie Duprat
• Un fantasme de reine, entretien avec Chantal Thomas
> Notices : Une Autrichienne en goguette. Archives du procès et dernière lettre de Marie-Antoinette. La chemise de Marie-Antoinette. Soulier « à la Saint-Huberty » dit de Marie-Antoinette. Marie-Antoinette conduite à son exécution. Le peintre David dessinant Marie-Antoinette conduite au supplice.

Le culte de Marie-Antoinette
• « C’était là »… », l’ombre tutélaire de la Conciergerie, Guillaume Mazeau
• L’impératrice Eugénie et le culte visuel de Marie-Antoinette, Clémence Poupin
• Pierre de Nolhac, le chevalier servant des images, Baptiste Roger-Lacan
• Deux clés biographiques : des Goncourt à Stefan Zweig, Cécile Berly
> Notices : la cellule de la reine, oratoire de la Conciergerie. La châtelaine-reliquaire de la duchesse de Tourzel. La Chapelle expiatoire. Marie-Antoinette à la basilique-cathédrale de Saint-Denis.

Métamorphoses et revival
• Marie-Antoinette à l’écran, François Huzar
• Marie-Antoinette, héroïne manga-pop, fille d’Ikeda, Cyril Triolaire
• Effigie en série, trajectoire iconique d’une reine de France dans la pop culture internationale, Martial Poirson
• Marie-Antoinette en quelques clics…, Cécile Berly
> Notices : Les collections de la Cinémathèque française. Anne Seibel, chef décoratrice. Œuvres contemporaines. Michèle Lorin, collectionneuse passionnée.

Biographie des auteurs


Exhibition | The Moon

Posted in books, catalogues, conferences (to attend), exhibitions by Editor on October 15, 2019

From the press release (4 April 2019) for the exhibition:

The Moon
National Maritime Museum, Greenwich (London), 19 July 2019 — 5 January 202

Curated by Melanie Vandenbrouck, Megan Barford, Louise Devoy, and Richard Dunn

To celebrate 50 years since NASA’s Apollo 11 mission landed the first humans on the Moon, the National Maritime Museum (NMM) stages The Moon, the UK’s biggest exhibition dedicated to Earth’s nearest celestial neighbour. Featuring over 180 objects from national and international museums and private collections, the exhibition presents a cultural and scientific story of our relationship with the Moon over time and across civilisations. Through artefacts, artworks and interactive moments, the exhibition will enable visitors to reconnect with the wonders of the Moon and discover how it has captivated and inspired us.

The exhibition will explore how humans have used, understood and observed the Moon from Earth. Visitors will get the chance to relive the momentous events of the Space Race and the Moon landings before discovering the motivations behind 21st-century lunar missions.

Significant objects on display include Apollo mission artefacts that travelled to the Moon, loaned from the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum in Washington D.C. The ‘Snoopy Cap’ Communications Carrier, worn by astronaut Edwin ‘Buzz’ Aldrin during Apollo 11, will be exhibited alongside the Hasselblad camera equipment that captured some of the most recognisable and iconic images of the 20th century.

Lunar samples collected from NASA’s Apollo missions and the Soviet Union’s Luna programme, will be accompanied by a rare lunar meteorite from the Natural History Museum’s collection. This will give visitors to the NMM’s exhibition a unique opportunity to get close to such a diverse range of moon rocks and discover how researching these specimens continues to advance our understanding of the Moon.

Historical and contemporary artworks will illustrate how the Moon has long inspired artists, acting as a metaphor for the human condition. Moonlit scenes by J.M.W. Turner and John Constable will be displayed alongside contemporary pieces by Katie Paterson, El Anatsui, Chris Ofili, and Leonid Tishkov. Artworks by Cristina De Middel, Aleksandra Mir, and Larissa Sansour will consider our relationship with the Moon through the lenses of gender and nationhood.

In the exhibition’s opening section, visitors will discover ways in which the Moon has been embedded in human culture, spiritually, practically, and artistically, with its changing phases used to mark time in religion, navigation, and medicine. The oldest object on display, a Mesopotamian Tablet from 172 BCE on loan from the British Museum, shows how lunar eclipses were considered to be bad omens. Detailed Islamic and Chinese calendars highlight the continuing importance of using the Moon to set the date for key festivals such as Chinese New Year and Ramadan. Examples of historic medical texts, such as a 1708 pamphlet by the English Doctor Richard Mead show how the position of the Moon was once believed to influence our physical and mental health.

The exhibition will explore how new technologies, such as 17th-century telescopes, 19th-century cameras and remote equipment for space photography and mapping in the 20th century brought increasing understanding of the lunar surface and the Moon’s origins. A selection of maps, paintings, photographs, models, and drawings from the 17th century to the present will emphasise humanity’s continuing desire to understand more about the Moon. Examples include the earliest-known drawing of the lunar surface made from telescopic observations by British astronomer Thomas Harriot in 1609 and the detailed pastel drawings of the Moon by 18th-century Royal Academician John Russell.

From classic science fiction through to the defining events of the Space Race, visitors will see how the Moon went from being a distant object of observation and place of imagination to a destination that was within human reach. The Moon looks at key moments within the Space Race, highlighting how a number of Soviet ‘firsts’ were ultimately overshadowed by Neil Armstrong’s century-defining ‘one small step’ in July 1969. Video artist Christian Stangl will show a new and exclusive version of his film ‘Lunar’, in which animated photographs from Apollo missions allow visitors to experience the Moon landings through the eyes of the astronauts. Apollo objects will sit alongside film posters, books, comics, and magazines that celebrated and questioned these momentous events.

In 1969, the Apollo 11 astronauts left a plaque on the Moon claiming, “we came in peace for all mankind.” Today, there is renewed drive to return to the Moon, reflected in future projects from China, Europe, India, Israel, Japan, Russia, and the United States. No longer the domain of superpowers, international space agencies, private companies, and entrepreneurs are all part of this 21st-century race for the Moon. Scientists, lawyers, artists, and architects are considering the practical, psychological, and ethical implications of human exploration and settlement on the Moon. The closing chapter of the exhibition will look at these contemporary motivations for Moon travel, leaving visitors to contemplate whether the Moon will become a theatre for exploitation and competition or remain a peaceful place for all humankind.

Melanie Vandenbrouck, Megan Barford, Louise Devoy, and Richard Dunn, eds., The Moon: A Celebration of Our Celestial Neighbour (London: Collins, 2019), 256 pages, ISBN: 978-0008282462, £20.

From ArtHist.net:

Art and Science of the Moon
Royal Museums Greenwich, London, 14–15 November 2019

With contributions from academics, artists, and curators exploring the interface between art, in its widest sense, and science, this conference will consider various creative responses to our cosmic companion. In keeping with RMG’s interest in interrogating the collision of science, history and art, The Art and Science of the Moon will explore how the Moon’s motions and phases have influenced human activities, beliefs, and behaviours; how sustained scrutiny of the lunar surface have enabled us to understand more about ourselves; how attempts, imaginary and real, to reach this other world have fostered creativity and technological progress; and how in the 21st century we are rethinking our relationship with the Moon.

The provisional programme is available here»

Exhibition | Making Marvels: Science & Splendor

Posted in books, catalogues, exhibitions by Editor on October 14, 2019

From the press release (21 May 2019) for the exhibition:

Making Marvels: Science & Splendor at the Courts of Europe
The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, 25 November 2019 — 1 March 2020

Curated by Wolfram Koeppe

Between 1550 and 1750, nearly every royal family in Europe assembled vast collections of exquisite and entertaining objects. Lavish public spending and the display of precious metals were important expressions of power, and possessing artistic and technological innovations conveyed status. In fact, advancements in art, science, and technology were often prominently showcased in elaborate court entertainments that were characteristic of the period. Opening November 25, Making Marvels: Science and Splendor at the Courts of Europe will explore the complex ways in which the wondrous objects collected and displayed by early modern European monarchs expressed these rulers’ ability to govern.

The exhibition will feature approximately 170 objects—including clocks, automata, furniture, scientific instruments, jewelry, paintings, sculptures, print media, and more—from The Met collection and over 50 lenders. A number of these works have never been displayed in the United States. Among the many exceptional loans will be silver furniture from the Esterházy Treasury; the largest flawless natural green diamond in the world, weighing 41 carats and in its original 18th-century setting; the alchemistic table bell of Emperor Rudolf II; a large wire-drawing bench made for Elector Augustus of Saxony; a rare example of an early equation clock by Jost Bürgi; and a reconstruction of a late 18th-century semi-automaton chess player, known as The Turk, that once famously caught Napoleon Bonaparte cheating.

Making Marvels is the first exhibition in North America to highlight the important conjunction of art, science, and technology with entertainment and display that was essential to court culture. The exhibition will be divided into four sections dedicated to the main object types featured in these displays: precious metalwork, Kunstkammer objects, princely tools, and self-moving clockworks or automata.

In order to emphasize the scientific and technological content of these objects, the exhibition will begin by establishing the high level of material value and artisanal quality that princes had to meet in these displays of wealth and power. Visitors will encounter a set of superbly fashioned silver furniture that was considered the ultimate symbol of power, status, and money during the early modern period. The second section will be dedicated to the unusual objects of the Kunstkammer, as these collections were known in German-speaking provinces. These pieces were typically composed of newly discovered natural materials set in finely crafted mounts of silver or gold, whose highly inventive designs often embodied the most up-to-date knowledge of the natural world. Reflective of the multi-layered objects they housed, Kunstkammern functioned simultaneously as places of amusement, research retreats for the investigation of nature, and political showcases for magnificence.

Knowledge of subjects such as natural philosophy, artisanal craftsmanship, and technology was considered tantamount to the practical wisdom, self-mastery, and moral virtue integral to successful governance. Pursuits such as metalsmithing, surveying, horology, astronomy, and turning at the lathe were part of the education and entertainment of princes in courts across Europe. The exhibition’s third section will present the scientific instruments, artisanal tools, and experimental apparatus used by rulers as they developed the technical skills so important to their princely identity.

The exhibition will conclude with innovations in mechanical technology. Self-moving clockwork machines—perhaps the most well-known technological display objects—were also a rich source for allegories of rulership. Additionally, as courts competed for technical supremacy, many innovations in mechanical technology were developed at the urging of princely patrons. Automata represented the ultimate attempt to use mechanics to create life-like movement, and were extremely popular additions to princely collections from the Renaissance to the Enlightenment. One highlight will be The Draughtsman Writer, a late 18th-century writing automaton that inspired the book The Invention of Hugo Cabret and its movie adaptation. The advanced mechanism of this piece, which stored more information than any machines that came before it, was the forerunner of the computer, the most common technology used today.

Throughout each gallery, videos and digital models will vividly evoke the historical reality of the objects on view and emphasize the similarities between early modern objects and contemporary technological entertainments. Exhibition visitors will discover innovative marvels that engaged and delighted the senses of the past much like 21st-century technology holds our attention today—through suspense, surprise, and dramatic transformations.

Making Marvels is organized by Wolfram Koeppe, Marina Kellen French Curator in The Met’s Department of European Sculpture and Decorative Arts. The exhibition and accompanying catalogue, distributed by Yale University Press, are made possible by the Anna-Maria and Stephen Kellen Foundation.

Wolfram Koeppe, ed., Making Marvels: Science and Splendor at the Courts of Europe (New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 2019), 320 pages, ISBN: 978-1588396778, $65.

Above Image: Gerhard Emmoser, Celestial Globe with Clockwork, 1579; partially gilded silver, gilded brass (case); brass, steel (movement); diameter of globe: 14 cm (New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, Gift of J. Pierpont Morgan, 1917).


Exhibition | Hogarth: Place and Progress

Posted in books, catalogues, exhibitions by Editor on October 11, 2019

Press release (via Art Daily) for the exhibition:

Hogarth: Place and Progress
Sir John Soane’s Museum, London, 9 October 2019 — 5 January 2020

Hogarth: Place and Progress unites all of the paintings and engravings in Hogarth’s series for the first time, displayed across the Georgian backdrop of Sir John Soane’s Museum. Through these works the exhibition will explore the artist’s complex stance on morality, society, and the city, and the enduring appeal of his satires.

• The concept of progress has positive connotations in the twenty-first century but was often construed negatively in Hogarth’s time. Hogarth’s complex and often darkly satirical narrative progresses move from moral abandon and social ostracism, to poverty, madness and death.

• New research pinpoints precise locations in London depicted in Hogarth’s works and examines the key role they play in a moral reading of Hogarth’s paintings.

• Hogarth’s ability to see beyond social conventions continues to resonate with 21st-century audiences, as he presented with wit and empathy the depictions of immorality and vice that he perceived in all classes of society.

The Soane Museum’s own Rake’s Progress and An Election will be joined by Marriage A-la-Mode from the National Gallery, The Four Times of Day from the National Trust and The Trustees of the Grimsthorpe and Drummond Castle Trust, as well as the three surviving paintings of The Happy Marriage from Tate and the Royal Cornwall Museum. The exhibition also includes engraved series of prints, lent by Andrew Edmunds, such as The Four Stages of Cruelty, Industry and Idleness, and Gin Lane and Beer Street. The works span Hogarth’s career as an engraver and painter and the exhibition will explore Hogarth’s increasing skill—or progress—in both fields, culminating in the masterly execution of An Election.

Hogarth’s concept of ‘progress’ was influenced by John Bunyan’s The Pilgrim’s Progress, where the word described a journey towards moral and spiritual redemption through dismal places: from the City of Destruction to the Slough of Despond and Valley of Humiliation. Hogarth: Place and Progress explores how Hogarth’s series depict this idea. Hogarth’s narratives move from moral abandon and social ostracism, to poverty, madness and death and are often presented as highlighting the follies of the upper classes.

The exhibition also examines the idea that Hogarth was not simply ‘the people’s champion,’ but increasingly his narrative series perceived immorality and impropriety at all levels of society. Those most likely to be safe from Hogarth’s satirical wit were those who knew their ‘place’ in the social order and lived up to the positive ideals of their class, high and low alike.

Hogarth’s self-titled ‘Modern Moral Subjects’ present detailed characters, plots and changes of scene, set in specific and recognisable locations. The idea of spiritual progress is shown through visible representations of London life. The key geographic contrast is between the City of London, with its winding alleys and crumbling houses, livery guilds, the Mansion House and Monument, associated with merchants, and the West End where the landed aristocracy live in spacious and orderly squares, physically nearer to the royal place of St James. Between the two, the area around Covent Garden is repeatedly presented as a hotbed of immorality. In A Rake’s Progress, the Rake moves from the City of London to an extravagant property in the West End, then a brothel in Covent Garden, and ultimately travels outside the City walls, ending up in Bedlam, where his dissolute life has led him to insanity and death. The exhibition demonstrates how Hogarth’s ‘Modern Moral Subjects’ married the idea of progress with the moral geography of London, in a dynamic and evolving way throughout his own progress as an artist.

Bruce Boucher, David Bindman, Frederic Ogee, and Jacqueline Riding, Hogarth: Place and Progress (London: Sir John Soane’s Museum, 2019), 144 pages, ISBN: 978-1999693213, £25.

Exhibition | Savour: Food Culture in the Age of Enlightenment

Posted in books, catalogues, exhibitions by Editor on September 28, 2019

Boar’s Head Tureen, France, probably Strasbourg, ca. 1745; tin-glazed earthenware (faïence)
(Toronto: Gardiner Museum, anonymous loan; photo by Toni Hafkenscheid)

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Opening next month at the Gardiner Museum:

Savour: Food Culture in the Age of Enlightenment
Gardiner Museum, Toronto, 17 October 2019 — 19 January 2020
Wadsworth Atheneum Museum of Art, Hartford, CT, 29 February — 24 May 2020

Curated by Meredith Chilton

Food and dining were transformed in Europe during the age of Enlightenment by profound changes that still resonate today. What many of us eat, the way food is cooked, and how we dine continues to be influenced by radical changes that occurred in France from 1650 until the French Revolution in 1789.

Philippe Mercier, The Sense of Taste, 1744–47, oil on canvas, 132 × 154 cm (New Haven: Yale Center for British Art, Paul Mellon Collection, B1974.3.18).

Savour: Food Culture in the Age of Enlightenment explores the story of this transformation with rare objects, fascinating histories, and amusing stories. We start in the kitchen gardens at Versailles where advances in horticulture expanded the growing seasons of vegetables and fruits, making a greater selection of foods available year-round. Then we visit the steamy kitchens of cooks who advocated light, flavourful cuisine centuries before our time. Next, we discover surprisingly modern philosophies for healthy eating and vegetarianism, and join ardent foodies as they savour meals served on newly invented ceramic and silver wares, from sauceboats to tureens. Along the way, we explore how social changes were impacting eating then, just as now, as the grand formality of the past was abandoned in favour of informality and intimacy.

Savour: Food Culture in the Age of Enlightenment is organized by the Gardiner Museum and curated by Meredith Chilton, C.M., Curator Emerita. Works of art and objects from major North American museums and private collections, as well as key pieces of contemporary ceramics and knitted art, will come together in a delectable feast for the senses designed by Opera Atelier’s Resident Set Designer, Gerard Gauci.

After the Gardiner Museum, the exhibition will tour to the Wadsworth Atheneum Museum of Art, Hartford, Connecticut. The exhibition is accompanied by a cookbook titled The King’s Peas: Delectable Recipes and their Stories from the Age of Enlightenment by Meredith Chilton, with contributions by Markus Bestig, Executive Chef, The York Club, Toronto.

Children Shelling Peas, England, Chelsea, ca. 1759–70; soft-paste porcelain, enamels, and gilding
(Museum of Fine Arts, Boston)

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Meredith Chilton, The King’s Peas: Delectable Recipes and Their Stories from the Age of Enlightenment (Stuttgart: Arnoldsche Verlagsanstalt, 2019), 144 pages, ISBN: 978-3897905603, $50.

Food and dining were transformed in Europe during the Age of Enlightenment, and these profound changes continue to resonate today. What many of us now eat, the way our food is prepared and how we dine are the result of radical changes that occurred in France from 1650 until the French Revolution in 1789. Over thirty French and English recipes of the period are presented in this cookbook, offering readers a taste of the past. Amusing stories, culinary insights, and snippets of history outline the cultural milieu of the time. The King’s Peas is richly illustrated with pictures of paintings, books, silver, glass and ceramics to stimulate the imagination—and the appetite. You are cordially invited to take part in this delectable historical feast.

Exhibition | Cut and Paste

Posted in books, catalogues, exhibitions by Editor on September 14, 2019

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Now on view at Edinburgh’s Modern Two; for the earlier period, see the catalogue essay by Freya Gowrley:

Cut and Paste: 400 Years of Collage
Scottish National Gallery Of Modern Art (Modern Two), Edinburgh, 29 June — 27 October 2019

A huge range of approaches is on show, from sixteenth-century anatomical ‘flap prints’, to computer-based images; work by amateur, professional and unknown artists; collages by children and revolutionary cubist masterpieces by Pablo Picasso and Juan Gris; from nineteenth-century do-it-yourself collage kits to collage films of the 1960s. Highlights include a three-metre-long folding collage screen, purportedly made in part by Charles Dickens; a major group of Dada and Surrealist collages, by artists such as Kurt Schwitters, Joan Miró, Hannah Höch, and Max Ernst; and major postwar works by Henri Matisse, Robert Rauschenberg, and Peter Blake, including the only surviving original source photographs for Blake’s and Jann Haworth’s iconic, collaged cover for the Beatles’ album Sergeant Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band.

The importance of collage as a form of protest in the 1960s and 70s will be shown in the work of feminist artists such as Carolee Schneemann, Linder, and Hannah Wilke; Punk artists, such as Jamie Reid, whose original collages for the Sex Pistols’ album and posters will feature; and the famously subversive collages of Monty Python founder Terry Gilliam. The exhibition also features the legendary library book covers which the playwright Joe Orton and his lover Kenneth Halliwell doctored with collages, and put back on Islington Library’s shelves—a move which landed them in prison for six months. In addition, the exhibition also demonstrates how collage remains important for the practice of many artists working today. Owing to the fragility of much of the work, the exhibition will not tour: it can only be seen at the Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art in Edinburgh.

Patrick Elliott, ed., with essays by Freya Gowrley and Yuval Etgar, Cut and Paste: 400 Years of Collage (Edinburgh: National Galleries of Scotland, 2019), 184 pages, 978-1911054313, £25.

The Burlington Magazine, August 2019

Posted in books, catalogues, exhibitions, journal articles, reviews by Editor on September 9, 2019

The August issue of The Burlington was especially rich for the eighteenth century; apologies for not posting it much sooner, but it’s worth noting. CH

The Burlington Magazine 161 (August 2019)


• “At the Yale Center for British Art,” p. 619. At the end of June Amy Meyers stepped down as Director of the Yale Center for British Art, New Haven, after seventeen years.


• Sam Rose, “Peer Review in Art History,” pp. 621–25. A more recent development than is often realized, and historically imposed in a variety of ways, peer review is a fundamental but rarely discussed aspect of academic life. What impact does it have on publishing in art history?

• Alexander Echlin, “Was Lord Burlington a Jacobite?,” pp. 626–37. A thesis first put forward thirty years ago that Lord Burlington was a Jacobite, who used buildings and gardens to express his clandestine views, has won a measure of support. However, the biographical evidence is circumstantial and the architectural evidence is so ambiguous that it cannot sustain the argument.

• Gauvin Alexander Bailey, “Buenos Aires Cathedral in the Eighteenth Century,” pp. 638–47. Greatly altered in the early eighteenth century, the original appearance of the interior of Buenos Aires Cathedral, designed by Antonio Masella and completed by Manuel Álvarez de Rocha in 1771, is here reconstructed from newly identified visual sources, a watercolour of c.1830 and nineteenth-century photographs.

• Alexandra Gajewski and Michael Hall, “The Fate of Notre-Dame, Paris,” pp. 648–52. The first at Notre-Dame in April destroyed its largely medieval roof and the flèche designed by Violeet-le-Duc as well as badly damaging the vaults. Plans for repairs depend on an assessment of the long-term structural damage to the cathedral, despite which a five-year timetable for the restoration has been imposed by President Macron and a competition for a replacement flèche initiated.

• Giovan Battista Fidanza, “New Evidence for the ‘Barberini Apostles’ by Andrea Sacchi and Carlo Maratti,” pp. 653–59. Unpublished documents in the Barberini Archives in the Vatican Library clarify the patronage, authorship, and dating of a celebrated series of nine paintings of the Apostles commissioned from Andrea Sacchi and Carlo Maratti by Cardinals Antonio Barberini the Younger and Carlo Barberini.


• Simon Lee, Review of the exhibitions The Majesties’ Retiring Room and A Painting for a Nation: The Execution of Torrijos (Prado, 2019), pp. 673–76.

• John Bold, Review of Matthew Walker, Architects and Intellectual Culture in Post-Restoration England (Oxford University Press, 2017), pp. 688–89.

• Anthony Colantuono, Review of Claire Farago, Janis Bell and Carlo Vecce, The Fabrication of Leonardo da Vinci’s ‘Trattato della pittura’ (Brill, 2018), pp. 693–95.

• Sandra Miller, Review of Valerie Steele, ed., Pink: The History of a Punk, Pretty, Powerful Colour (Thames & Hudson, 2018), pp. 701–02.

Exhibition | George Stubbs: ‘All Done from Nature’

Posted in books, catalogues, exhibitions by Editor on September 6, 2019

Skeleton of Eclipse (Collection of the Royal Veterinary College, University College London). Eclipse died in 1789 at the age of 25. The Veterinary College was built in 1791, with its first students enrolling in January of 1792.

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Opening next month at MK Gallery:

George Stubbs: ‘All Done from Nature’
MK Gallery, Milton Keynes, 12 October 2019 — 26 January 2020
Mauritshuis, The Hague, 20 February — 1 June 2020

George Stubbs: ‘All done from Nature’ presents the first significant overview of Stubbs’s work in Britain for more than 30 years and brings together 100 paintings, drawings, and publications—from the National Gallery’s Whistlejacket to pieces that have never been seen in public.

Born in Liverpool in 1724, Stubbs was a quintessential product of the Enlightenment and embodied all of its core principles, questioning traditional authority and embracing the notion that humanity could be improved through the application of reason. Rather than trust to history and the untested example of his artistic and scientific precursors, Stubbs championed doing as a way of thinking and deployed pictorial representation as a form of knowledge and understanding. Today, he is recognised as one of the most original artists of the eighteenth century. His wide-ranging subjects included portraits, conversation pieces, and pictures of exotic and domestic animals—horses included—and his obsession with scientific exactitude has drawn comparison with the work of Leonardo da Vinci.

A major theme of the exhibition is anatomy. The show includes Stubbs’s contributions to a pioneering treatise on midwifery and his preliminary work on A Comparative Anatomical Exposition of the Structure of the Human Body with that of a Tiger and a Common Fowl. It also includes the detailed studies and drawings that led to The Anatomy of the Horse—the greatest coming together of art and science in British art—alongside the actual skeleton of the legendary racehorse Eclipse, which Stubbs depicted on several occasions.

A version of the show will tour to the Mauritshuis in The Hague where it will be the first-ever exhibition on the artist in the Netherlands. The exhibition is accompanied by a fully illustrated catalogue with major contributions from Alison Wright, Jenny Uglow, Martin Myrone, Martin Postle, and Nicholas Clee as well as new and existing poetry by Roger Robinson.

Anthony Spira, Martin Postle, and Paul Bonaventura, George Stubbs: ‘all done from Nature’ (London: Paul Holberton Publishing, 2019), 224 pages, ISBN: 978-1911300687, £35.

More information on the skeleton of Eclipse is available from this article by Mark Brown for The Guardian (6 July 2019).

Print Quarterly, September 2019

Posted in books, catalogues, exhibitions, journal articles, reviews by Editor on September 2, 2019

James Gillray, New Morality; – or – The Promis’d Installment of the High-Priest of the Theophilanthropes, with the Homage of Leviathan and his Suite, 1798, hand-colored etching, 8 × 24 inches (New Haven: Yale Center for British Art, Paul Mellon Collection, B1981.25.1001). 

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The eighteenth century in the current issue of Print Quarterly:

Print Quarterly 36.3 (September 2019)


Allison M. Stagg, “William Cobbett, James Gillray and the Market for Caricatures in 1790s Philadelphia,” pp. 263–74.

In the decades immediate following the American Revolution (1775–83), caricature prints were imported from London to cities along the east coast of North America. Evidence of a transatlantic transfer of British satirical imagery can be found in the numerous advertisements published in American newspapers from this period. Despite the frequency with which caricatures are mentioned in newspapers, few details can readily be discerned from them. The advertisements primarily reference the general arrival of collections of British caricature prints, usually as an addendum to other imported items such as books, stationery and even clocks, and provide little to no mention as to what specific caricatures crossed the Atlantic (263) . . . Details found in documents dating from the last decade of the eighteenth century, however, allow for a more thorough examination of the availability of and interest in imported and American caricatures in Philadelphia in the late 1790s. The primary source is an account book in the collection of the American Antiquarian Society in Worcester, MA, of the famous British radical, polemicist and publisher William Cobbett (1763–1835), who took refuge in American in 1793 (264).

N O T E S  A N D  R E V I E W S

Truusje Goedings, Review of Wolf Eiermann, Claudia Steinhardt-Hirsch and Eckhard Leuschner, Prachtvoll illuminirt: Das Handkolorit in der Druckgrafik, 1493–1870 (Hirmer Verlag, 2018), pp. 304–06.

Neglected for a long time, the hand-colouring of prints, book illustrations and maps has been the subject of serious research during the last three decades, resulting in major exhibitions with comprehensive catalogues. . . [The present] catalogue, edited by Wolf Eiermann . . . is another effort to make the picture of 400 year of handcolouring more complete . . . The Sammlung Frank, a private collection in Stuttgart focused on German art and formed in the previous century, served as the main source, supplying about 110 of the 134 catalogued items (304) . . . The period from c. 1760 to 1880 is well represented with about one hundred items, mainly topographical, but also on costumes and natural history, including a rare example of Christian Gottlieb Ludwig’s Ectypa vegetabilium . . . / Nach der Nature verfertigte Abdrucke der Gewachse (nature-printed prints of plants; Halle and Leipzig, 1760–64) with 200 nature prints in contemporary colouring” (306).

Peter Fuhring, Review of Thomas Wilke, Innendekoration: Graphische Vorlagen und theoretische Vorgaben für die wandfeste Dekoration von Appartements im 17. und 18. Jahrhundert in Frankreich, 2 volumes (Scaneg Verlag, 2016), pp. 308–10.

The study of prints related to the decoration of secular interiors in France from the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, in association with theoretical guidelines, . . . reveals an ambition that is difficult to fulfill. . . So far not a single catalogue or study encompasses the entire French print production of wall decorations, mantelpieces and ceilings made during both centuries. . . Further research is necessary to complete the still lacunar state of our knowledge. This is what Wilkie strives to do. His study is composed of two parts: the first volume offers a presentation of the issues as set out in the title, while the second consists of a catalogue of prints that form the basis of the author’s demonstration (308).

Véronique Meyer, Review of Katie Scott, Becoming Property: Art, Theory, and Law in Early Modern France (Yale University Press, 2018), pp. 313–15.

[Scott’s] recent book . . . examines the relationship between intellectual property and the visual arts in France from the sixteenth century to the beginning of the nineteenth . . . It traces the history of this relationship, highlighting key moments with exemplary case studies as well as citing regulations and legal texts, (313) and examines the role of the parties involved, including booksellers, publishers, engravers, draughtsmen and authors. Although the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries occupy and important place in the book, which shows how the definition of privilege and copyright evolved over the years, it is above all France of the Enlightenment and Revolution that lies at the heart of this study (314). . . [It] is a must for all who are interested in the history of printmaking, the decorative arts and artistic theories and institutions such as the Académie Royale (315).

David Bindman, Review of Cynthia Roman, ed., Hogarth’s Legacy (Yale University Press, 2016), pp. 315–16.

Hogarth’s enormous and long-lasting influence on art and popular imagery is the subject of a series of essays, largely by scholars of eighteenth-century art, including . . . Douglas Fordham, Dominic Hardy, Brian Maidment, Patricia Mainardi, Ronald Paulson, Mark Salber Philips, and Michael Printy. . . Collections of essays inevitably fall somewhere on the spectrum between the tightly focused, based on a close conversation between the authors, and the loose and baggy, in which the connections between the essays are more informal. Although the quality of the essays is uniformly excellent, this volume tends more toward the baggy . . . The main and entirely commendable purpose of the volume seems to have been to make scholarly use and draw further attention to the relatively little-known and underused, and in some areas quite spectacular, collections of Hogarth engravings and late eighteenth-century caricature in the Walpole Library (315).

Roger Paas, Review of Josef Biller, Calendaria Bambergensia: Bamberger Einblattkalender des 15. bis 19. Jahrhunderts von der Inkunabelzeit bis zur Säkularisation, 2 volumes (Anton H. Konrad Verlag, 2018), pp. 317–19.

Biller has dedicated over four decades to the collecting and studying of broadside (316) calendars published for the bishopric of Bamberg, and the results of his in-depth research have now been published in a detailed and richly illustrated two-volume catalogue (318).

Daniel Godfrey, Review of Anke Fröhlich-Schauseil, Schenau (1737–1806): Monografie und Werkverzeichnis der Gemälde, Handzeichnungen und Druckgrafik von Johann Eleazar Zeißig, gen. Schenau (Michael Imhof Verlag, 2018), pp. 319–23.

The son of a damask weaver from Großschönau in Saxony, Schenau fled the outbreak of the Seven Years’ War in 1756 to Paris. There he Frenchified his name and established a reputation as an artist of ‘society paintings’ focused on liaisons between the sexes, coiffure and the texture of material. The mentorship of Johann Georg Wille (17151808), engraver, print publisher and art dealer, must have motivated Schenau to execute a set of twelve etchings in 1765, six of children acting as adults and six of heads . . . These were to remain Schenau’s only autograph prints (319) . . . Yet, Schenau’s career developed in symbiosis with the print.

Mark Bills, Review of John Ford, Rudolph Ackermann and the Regency World (Warnham Books, 2018), pp. 323–25.

Although Ackermann belongs to and epitomizes the Regency Period (17881830), one cannot help but think that he would be a very useful figure in the art and design world of today (323) . . . John Ford has absorbed an enormous body of material and given us a fascinating chronological account of Ackermann as well as adding important new research and insights (324).

P U B L I C A T I O N S  R E C E I V E D

• Joachim Jacoby, Guillaume Jean Constantin (1755–1816): A Drawings Dealer in Paris (Ad Ilissum for the Fondation Custodia, 2018), p. 339.

• Peter Stoll, Französische Buchillustration des 18. Jahrhunderts in der Oettingen-Wallersteinschen Bibliothek (Universität Augsburg Bibliothek, 2018), p. 339.

• Thora Brylowe, Romantic Art in Practice: Cultural Work and the Sister Arts, 1760–1820 (Cambridge University Press, 2019), p. 339.

• Helen Rosslyn, A Buyer’s Guide to Prints (The Royal Academy of Arts in association with the London Original Print Fair, 2018), p. 342.