Enfilade

Exhibition | Heaven and Earth in Chinese Art

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

Square curiosity box with multiple treasures, Qianlong 1736–95, Qing Dynasty (1644–1911); wood, jade, bronze, amber, agate, and ink on paper; 20 × 25 × 25 cm (Taipei: National Palace Museum).

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Press release (via Art Daily) for the exhibition:

Heaven and Earth in Chinese Art: Treasures from the National Palace Museum, Taipei
Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney, 2 February — 5 May 2019

Curated by Cao Yin

The Art Gallery of New South Wales presents Heaven and Earth in Chinese Art: Treasures from the National Palace Museum, Taipei. The exhibition is a rare opportunity to encounter some of the highest artistic achievements in Chinese history. Featuring 87 masterworks, the exhibition explores the extraordinary creativity of Chinese artists over the centuries, with objects dating from 5000 years ago in the Neolithic period to the nineteenth century.

Director of the Art Gallery of NSW, Dr Michael Brand said the National Palace Museum holds one of the world’s finest collections of Chinese art with the majority of its holdings originating from the imperial collections of the Qing dynasty (1644–1911). “One of the most-visited museums in the world, the National Palace Museum in Taipei has a collection of outstanding beauty and historical importance.”

Heaven and Earth in Chinese Art presents the ancient Chinese philosophical concept of tian ren he yi, the harmonious coexistence of nature and humans within the cosmos, which holds particular relevance today as we face the environmental challenges of contemporary life,” Dr Brand said. “The Art Gallery of NSW is the first cultural institution to host these extraordinary objects in Australia providing local audiences an exclusive opportunity to see how Chinese art speaks to the modern world,” Dr Brand added.

Dr Chen, Chi-nan, Director of the National Palace Museum, Taipei, said the museum has had a long-term commitment to international cultural exchange and has successfully curated a large number of exhibitions in Europe, America, and Asia from its collection. “Despite this impressive record, the National Palace Museum, Taipei, has not exhibited in the southern hemisphere, until now,” Dr Chen said. “Major highlights from the National Palace Museum collection travelling to Sydney include one of its most popular treasures: the Meat-shaped stone—a Qing dynasty masterpiece. This is only the third time it has been seen outside Taipei,” Dr Chen said.

Meat-shaped stone, Qing dynasty, 1644–1911 (Taipei: National Palace Museum).

The Meat-shaped stone, carved from jasper and set in a decorative gold stand, draws thousands of admirers a day. The stone most closely resembles the dish dongpo rou which is believed to have been invented by Su Dongpo (also known as Su Shi), an 11th-century Chinese poet and artist.

Art Gallery of NSW exhibition curator and curator of Chinese art, Yin Cao said Heaven and Earth in Chinese Art showcases the many ways in which Chinese artists have represented the trinity of heaven, earth, and humanity. “Since the earliest times, the Chinese have created imaginative stories and rich symbols to explain the unfathomable aspects of the world around them. Each work in Heaven and earth in Chinese art tells a unique story of the society in which it is created and bears a broader cultural and philosophical meaning,” Cao said.

“From the miniature carving of an olive pit to one of the longest paintings in Chinese history, this exhibition presents the highest level of artistic skill and advances in technology over the different eras, and shows the aspiration of Chinese artists as they try to capture the essence of nature and the world around them,” Cao added.

Heaven and Earth in Chinese Art presents paintings, calligraphy, illustrated books, bronzes, ceramics, jade, and wood carvings divided into five thematic sections: Heaven and Earth, Seasons, Places, Landscape, and Humanity.

The exhibition is accompanied by a book Heaven & Earth in Chinese Art: Treasures from the National Palace Museum, Taipei edited and written by exhibition curator Yin Cao with Dr Karyn Lai, associate professor of Philosophy in the School of Humanities and Languages at the University of NSW. It includes catalogue entries by National Palace Museum curators.

Cao Yin with Karyn Lai,  Heaven & Earth in Chinese Art: Treasures from the National Palace Museum, Taipei (Sydney: Art Gallery of NSW, 2019), 236 pages, ISBN: 978-1741741438, $40.

 

 

Exhibition | Boilly: Scenes of Parisian Life

Posted in books, catalogues, exhibitions by Editor on February 13, 2019

Opening this month at the National Gallery:

Boilly: Scenes of Parisian Life
National Gallery, London, 28 February – 19 May 2019

Curated by Francesca Whitlum-Cooper

Working in a politically turbulent Paris, Louis-Léopold Boilly (1761–1845) witnessed the French Revolution, the rise and fall of Napoleon, and the Restoration of the French Monarchy. From controversially seductive interior scenes, which saw him get into trouble with the authorities, to ‘first-of-their-kind’ everyday street scenes and clever trompe l’oeils, this exhibition shows Boilly’s daring responses to the changing political environment and art market he encountered, and highlights his sharp powers of observation and wry sense of humour.

Focusing on 20 works from a British private collection never previously displayed or published, this exhibition—the first of its kind in the UK—celebrates an artist who is little known in Britain and provides unparalleled context for our Boilly, A Girl at a Window.

The catalogue is distributed by Yale UP:

Francesca Whitlum-Cooper, Boilly: Scenes of Parisian Life (London: National Gallery Company, 2019), 96 pages, ISBN: 978-1857096439, £17 / $25.

Louis-Leopold Boilly lived a long life in the most turbulent times. From 1785 he spent half a century at the heart of the Parisian art world, throughout the turmoil of the Revolution, the rise and fall of Napoleon and the restoration of the monarchy. This first English-language publication on Boilly in over twenty years brings together portraiture, interiors on the theme of seduction, and vivid and groundbreaking scenes of raucous Parisian street life. The majority of these pictures have never been published before. The book introduces readers to Boilly’s richly detailed paintings and drawings, emphasising his technical brilliance, his acute powers of observation and his wry sense of humour, and illustrates Boilly’s daring responses to France’s changing political environment and burgeoning art market. It offers an alternative to the accepted view of Revolutionary French art as the purview of grand history painters such as Jacques-Louis David. Boilly popularised trompe l’oeil paintings—he invented the term—and by depicting daily life on the streets of Paris for the very first time, he turned the accepted hierarchies of art on their head.

Francesca Whitlum-Cooper is the Myojin-Nadar Associate Curator of Paintings, 1600–1800 at the National Gallery, London.

Exhibition | Futuruins

Posted in books, catalogues, exhibitions by Editor on February 1, 2019

Now on view at the Palazzo Fortuny:

Futuruins
Palazzo Fortuny, Venice, 19 December 2018 — 24 March 2019

Curated by Daniela Ferretti and Dimitri Ozerkov with Dario Dalla Lana

Over 250 works from the Venetian Civic Museums and the State Hermitage Museum, as well as from other Italian and international public and private collections, illustrate the multiple meanings attributed to ruins through the centuries: from the architectural and sculptural remains of the Greco-Roman, Egyptian, Assyrian-Babylonian and Syrian civilisations, to contemporary art that looks at the physical and moral ruins of today’s society—ruins of its architecture, cities and suburbs, but also of men and ideas, as the result of time, negligence, degeneration, natural or political tragedies such as war and terrorism.

Giovanni Battista Piranesi, View of the Foundations of the Theater of Marcellus, detail, from Antichità Romane, volume 4, 1756–57 (Venice: Fondazione Musei Civici di Venezia, Museo Fortuny).

As a result of the collaboration between the City of Venice, the Fondazione Musei Civici di Venezia, and the State Hermitage Museum of St. Petersburg—strengthened by the agreements signed in recent years and the presence of ‘Ermitage Italia’ in the lagoon city—and following Dimitri Ozerkov’s proposal, Palazzo Fortuny will host the exhibition Futuruins from 19 December 2018 to 24 March 2019.

The exhibition reflects on the theme of ruins: an allegory for the inexorable passage of time, always uncertain and changeable, disputed between past and future, life and death, destruction and creation, nature and culture. The aesthetics of ruins is a crucial element in the history of Western civilisation. The ruin as concept symbolises the presence of the past but at the same time contains within itself the potential of the fragment: a fragment that comes from antiquity, covered by the patina of time, which with its cultural and symbolic implications also becomes a valid ‘foundation stone’ for building the future. It comes from the past, confers a wealth of meaning on the present, and offers an awareness to future projects.

The contemporary itinerary opens with the extraordinary environmental installation by Anne and Patrick Poirier and is followed by works by Acconci Studio, Olivio Barbieri, Botto & Bruno, Alberto Burri, Sara Campesan, Ludovica Carbotta, Ugo Carmeni, Lawrence Carroll, Giulia Cenci, Giacomo Costa, Roberto Crippa, Lynn Davis, Giorgio de Chirico, Federico de Leonardis, Marco Del Re, Paola De Pietri, Jean Dubuffet, Tomas Ewald, Cleo Fariselli, Kay Fingerle, Maria Friberg, Luigi Ghirri, Gioberto Noro, John Gossage, Thomas Hirschhorn, Anselm Kiefer, Francesco Jodice, Wolfgang Laib, Hiroyuki Masuyama, Jonatah Manno, Mirco Marchelli, Steve McCurry, Ennio Morlotti, Sarah Moon, Margherita Muriti, Claudio Parmiggiani, Lorenzo Passi, Fabrizio Prevedello, Dmitri Prigov, Judit Reigl, Christian Retschlag, David Rickard, Mimmo Rotella, Anri Sala, Alberto Savinio and Elisa Sighicelli. In line with the tradition of exhibitions at the Fortuny, there are also a series of works specifically made for Futuruins that offer new stimuli for reflection on the present, works by Franco Guerzoni, Christian Fogarolli, Giuseppe Amato, Renato Leotta, and Renata De Bonis.

Between the two chronological extremes of the exhibition, there is a series of masterpieces in various media—paintings, sculptures, applied arts, graphic works—to suggest the major themes being examined. Many have been selected from Venetian collections—ranging from the jellyfish by Arturo Martini and Franz von Stuck to the fire-lit nocturnal ruins of Ippolito Caffi and Urbino-made ceramics bearing themes of genesis and death—while others come from museums and private collections. For its part, the State Hermitage Museum has loaned more than 80 works by such artists as Albrecht Dürer, Monsù Desiderio, Giovanni Paolo Pannini, Jacopo and Francesco Bassano, Parmigianino, Veronese, Jacob van Host the Elder, Arturo Nathan, and Alessandro Algardi.

The contemporary relevance of ruins has been made apparent in the light of recent history, characterised by wars in which iconic and symbolic aspects stand out (the collapse of the Twin Towers, the devastation of the Baghdad museum, Palmyra…) and of the increasingly extreme climate changes on our planet.

Dimitri Ozerkov, ed., with contributions by Dimitri Ozerkov, Mikhail Piotrovsky, and Gabriella Belli, Futuruins: The Future of Ruins and Ruins of the Future (Berlin: Hatje Cantz, 2019), 816 pages, ISBN 978-3775745413 (English edition), €50.

Exhibition | Anton Maria Zanetti and His Collections

Posted in books, catalogues, exhibitions by Editor on February 1, 2019

The exhibition closed a few weeks ago, but the catalogue is available from ArtBooks.com:

A Life as a Work of Art: Anton Maria Zanetti and His Collections
Ca’ Rezzonico, Venice, 29 September 2018 — 7 January 2019

Curated by Alberto Craievich

Anton Maria Zanetti (1679–1767) was a central figure in the eighteenth-century history of Venetian collecting and in the world’s endorsement of Venetian art. An art patron and influential intermediary on behalf of nobles and sovereigns, commissioning and purchasing works by Venice’s most famous artists, Zanetti was perhaps the most influential character in the Venetian art scene of the time. Known as ‘il Vecchio’, or ‘di Girolamo’—to distinguish him from his namesake younger cousin, a famous librarian at the Marciana Library in Venice—Zanetti was not only a passionate collector but also a talented draughtsman and skilled engraver.

After his father’s death in 1711, he was forced to provide for the rest of the family as an insurance agent, but despite difficulties, this did not prevent him from following his own inclinations. A friend to artists such as Canaletto, Rosalba Carriera, Sebastiano and Marco Ricci, and Giambattista Tiepolo, Zanetti was in close contact with the most important European collectors. He himself assembled an extraordinary collection of antique gems, drawings, and prints that was dispersed after his death. He also promoted splendid publishing initiatives, most notably two volumes on ancient sculpture, now conserved in the vestibule of the Marciana Library and one of the most beautiful and luxurious illustrated publications of the entire eighteenth century. An inexhaustible collection of letters, now spread among libraries and private collectors, documents his dense network of relationships and friendships and offers a rare insight into the cultural life of the period.

To commemorate this extraordinary figure, the Fondazione Musei Civici di Venezia presents an exhibition highlighting Zanetti’s activities as an artist and patron. Testimonies from his life in the form of books, letters, engravings, and drawings—none of which are usually exhibited for conservation reasons—will be shown together with art from his collection, including works by Tiepolo, Sebastiano and Marco Ricci, Palma il Giovane, and others, now preserved in the city’s museums, including the Gallerie dell’Accademia di Venezia, the Giorgio Cini Foundation, the Biblioteca Nazionale Marciana, and Venice’s civic museums, as well as in several private collections.

Alberto Craievich, La Vita Come Opera d’Arte: Anton Maria Zanetti e le sue collezioni (Antiga: Crocetta del Montello, 2018), 336 pages, ISBN: 978-8884351029, €38 / $60 (on sale for $42).

Exhibition | Maestro Van Wittel: Dutch Master of the Italian Cityscape

Posted in books, catalogues, exhibitions by Editor on January 29, 2019

Caspar van Wittel, Piazza Navona, 1699, oil on canvas, 97 × 216 cm (Madrid: Carmen Thyssen-Bornemisza Collection on loan at the Museo Nacional Thyssen- Bornemisza).

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Now on view at the Kunsthal KAdE:

Maestro Van Wittel: Dutch Master of the Italian Cityscape / Hollandse meester van het Italiaanse stadsgezicht
Kunsthal KAdE, Amersfoort, 26 January — 5 May 2019

Kunsthal KAdE and Museum Flehite introduce the Netherlands to a world-renowned Dutch master who remained largely unknown in his country of birth, the Netherlands. Caspar Adriaensz van Wittel (1653–1736), also known as Gaspare Vanvitelli, became famous and revered in his adopted homeland of Italy. During the 17th and 18th century, he painted Rome, Naples, and Venice in minute detail, influencing famous Italian cityscape painters such as Canaletto and Bellotto. Van Wittel was born in Amersfoort, left around 1673 for Italy, earned a good reputation for himself there, and never returned to the Netherlands. Today, the vast majority of his works are in collections in Italy, England, and Spain. In the Netherlands, there are only a few drawings and a single gouache: View of Amersfoort in Museum Flehite. With the exhibition Maestro Van Wittel: Dutch Master of the Italian Cityscape, Museum Flehite and Kunsthal KAdE honour this master with a major retrospective from 26 January through 5 May 2019. It puts his extensive oeuvre in the context of his Dutch learning period and his influence on the later Italian vedutisti.

The exhibition at Kunsthal KAdE presents the entire Van Wittel story: the places he painted, the style he developed, his Dutch roots, his high-born patrons, and his undeniable influence in Italy. With this retrospective, Museum Flehite and Kunsthal KAdE want to give Caspar van Wittel his place in the canon of Dutch art history as maestro of the Italian cityscape.

Van Wittel’s Dutch Period

Caspar van Wittel was a student of Matthias Withoos, who had trained at Jacob van Campen’s painting school at the Randenbroek country estate in Amersfoort. Withoos’ masterpiece is his View of Amersfoort; commissioned in 1671 by the city government at the time, it was painted in the time that Van Wittel was training with him and therefore it is possible that the young student—he was 16 or 17 years old at the time—worked on it. Van Wittel relocated to Hoorn with Withoos in 1672. As a result of the move, he was neighbours with the painters Jan van der Heyden and Gerrit Berckheyde, who had developed a ‘pure’ rendering of the cityscape in Amsterdam and Haarlem. This ‘Dutch’ way of painting is conveyed in Van Wittel’s work.

Inventor of the Italian Cityscape

Accompanied by a fellow young painter—Jacob van Staverden—Van Wittel travelled to Rome sometime around 1673. In Rome, he found himself in the Dutch Schildersbent (‘painters’ clique’) faction of the Bentvueghels (‘birds of a feather’), a group that had been an artists’ colony for decades in the eternal city. In Rome, he became acquainted with the work of Lieven Cruyl and Abraham Genoels, who made topographic drawings of the city. He also met Cornelis Meyer, a mechanical engineer who was striving to land an assignment from the Pope to build water works along the Tiber. Meyer asked the young Caspar—now in his mid-20s—to help with the illustrations for the manuscript. One of the subjects that Van Wittel drew was Piazza del Popolo, the square where Van Wittel arrived in Rome from the north. Ultimately, he would paint this square some 15 times in his career, always from the same perspective.

From that moment (around 1680), Van Wittel also began capturing other places in Rome with his signature precision: the Tiber with its bridges and the Castel Sant’Angelo on the banks, the Piazza Navona, the Colosseum, St. Peter’s Square, the Quirinal, Villa Borghese, churches, streets, and smaller squares. He often repeated these compositions numerous times, too, working from a single basic drawing. From Rome he travelled to Naples, the countryside surrounding Rome (Tivoli), Florence, and Venice. In the lagoon city of Venice, he captured the view of San Marco and the Doge’s Palace from the water. He painted the majestic La Salute church at the entrance to the Grand Canal. Nowadays it belongs to the standard repertoire of Venetian cityscape painting, but Van Wittel was the first to paint it.

Van Wittel Inspires Canaletto

Around 1719, the young Venetian painter Antonio Canal was in Rome to paint several decorative pieces with his father. It is highly likely that he met Van Wittel during this time and saw a number of his Venetian cityscapes. Filled with inspiration, Canal, who would quickly be called Canaletto, dedicated himself entirely to this subject. At the time, the Grand Tour—an educational trip for young members of the nobility—became incredibly popular and Canaletto, together with his cousin Bernardo Bellotto, became the go-to painters of Venetian cityscapes that were snapped up by the travellers. Incidentally, Van Wittel led the way here, too; he had provided Grand Tour travellers—including Thomas Coke—with these sorts of ‘picture postcards’. Upon his return to England, Coke built Holkham Hall in the north of Norfolk, which was inspired in part by his travels in Italy and the work of architect Palladio.

Once he arrived in Rome, Van Wittel established an extensive network of patrons that included not only Roman aristocracy such as the Sacchetti and Colonna families—in whose palaces he took up residence from time to time—but also the Spanish nobleman Medinaceli, who lived in Rome as an ambassador, became the viceroy of Naples in 1696 and commissioned a total of 35 paintings by Van Wittel, most of which were views of Naples and around the city.

Photographer Wilschut Follows in Van Wittel’s Footsteps

As part of the exhibition, Rotterdam photographer Hans Wilschut was asked to follow in Van Wittel’s footsteps and capture a number of the places in Rome, Naples, Venice, and Amersfoort that Van Wittel frequently painted. Some of these places have remained essentially the same; some have been completely transformed. Just as Van Wittel liked to capture the urban hustle and bustle in his cityscapes at the time, Wilschut shows people today in the iconic settings. Hans Wilschut is also featured in the exhibition Stadsbeelden (‘Cityscapes‘) at Museum Flehite, from 9 February through 19 May 2019.

Works from International Collections in Amersfoort

The exhibition presents around 45 paintings and gouaches and approximately 30 drawings by Van Wittel from Italian, English, Spanish, German, and French collections. In addition, there are about 30 paintings and drawings by Dutch and Italian masters.

An events programme to accompany the exhibition will be organised in cooperation with the Friends of Caspar van Wittel Foundation. Bekking & Blitz will publish an exhibition catalogue in Dutch and English. This is the first time that a monograph on the artist will be available in these languages. The catalogue costs €30.

The exhibition Maestro Van Wittel: Dutch Master of the Italian Cityscape is made possible by the generous support of the Turing Foundation, the Mondriaan Fund, Fonds 21, the Municipality of Amersfoort, the Cultural Heritage Agency, and the Province of Utrecht.

The Burlington Magazine, January 2019

Posted in books, catalogues, exhibitions, journal articles, reviews by Editor on January 25, 2019

The eighteenth century in The Burlington: (with the issue focused on Westminster Abbey) . . .

The Burlington Magazine 161 (January 2019)

A R T I C L E S

• Susan Jenkins, “‘Sunbeams and Shadows’: Exhibiting the Collection at Westminster Abbey,” pp. 4–8. The Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Galleries, opened last year, display works of art and historic artefacts from the collections at Westminster Abbey, London. To introduce this special issue of the Magazine, the Abbey’s Curator, outlines the history of the building’s museum displays and explains the thinking behind the new galleries.
• Gordon Higgott, “Sir Christopher Wren’s Failed Project for a Crossing Tower and Spire at Westminster Abbey, 1713–25,” pp. 44–57. In 1713, with funds available for ‘finishing’ Westminster Abbey, the Surveyor to the Fabric, Sir Christopher Wren, began to plan the addition of a lofty crossing tower and spire. After Wren’s death in 1723 the proposal was shelved by his successor, Nicholas Hawksmoor, who recognised that it presented an insoluble structural problem.

R E V I E W S

• Lynn Jones, Review of the exhibition Armenia! (The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 2018–19), pp. 60–63.
• Eric Zafran, Review of the exhibition The Orléans Collection (New Orleans Museum of Art, 2018–19), pp. 67–69.
• Reinier Baarsen, Review of the exhibition Luigi Valadier: Splendor in Eighteenth-Century Rome (The Frick Collection, 2018–19), pp. 70–71.
• Michael Hall, Review of Karl-Georg Pfändtner, ed., ‘Gold und Bücher lieb ich sehr…’: 480 Jahre Staats- und Stadtbibliothek Augsburg (Quaternio Verlag, 2017), pp. 85–87.
• Roger White, Review of Rosemary Yallop, Cottages Ornés: The Charms of the Simple Life (Yale University Press, 2017), pp. 89–90.
• Gauvin Alexander Bailey, Review of Vittorio Magnago Lampugnani, Die Stadt von der Neuzeit bis zum 19. Jahrhundert: Urbane Entwürfe in Europa und Nordamerika (Verlag Klaus Wagenbach, 2017), pp. 92–93.

 

 

Exhibition | Anton Maria Maragliano (1664–1739)

Posted in books, catalogues, exhibitions by Editor on January 13, 2019

On view in Genoa at the Palazzo Reale:

Anton Maria Maragliano (1664–1739), Lo spettacolo della scultura in legno a Genova
Palazzo Reale di Genova, 10 November 2018 — 10 March 2019

Curated by Daniele Sanguineti

From November 10th 2018 to March 10th 2019 Teatro del Falcone in Palazzo Reale Museum hosts the first monographic exhibition dedicated to the Genoese sculptor Anton Maria Maragliano (1664–1739). Viewers can admire the artist’s masterpieces, testaments to the persuasive power of painted and gilded wood to personify the protagonists of Paradise: from the elegant Marian statues, to the graceful Crucifixes, to the great processional machines with the martyrs of the saints.

Maragliano’s ability to meet the needs of clients through beautiful images and strong emotional impacts made possible the obtaining of a monopoly that forced the sculptor to develop a structured business model. Two generations of students were welcomed in the rooms of Strada Giulia, in the heart of Genoa, where Maragliano had his workshop, giving rise to the phenomenon of divulging the master’s language which represents the most fascinating, though problematic, aspect of the approach to sculptor: and the pupils of the students pursued this popularization beyond the end of the century. The exhibition presents a dual approach: on the one hand, it displays a chronological path, with Maragliano’s cultural references, the beginnings, the artist’s workshop; on the other hand, it displays thematic sections, articulated in groups of works divided according to iconography.

The exhibition opens with a section dedicated to artistic precedents for the young Maragliano, from Giuseppe Arata and Giovanni Battista Agnesi, to Giovanni Battista Bissoni and Marco Antonio Poggio. The places that Maragliano evoked through a series of documents, engravings, and watercolors usefully tell the stages of apprenticeship and the environments that hosted the master’s workspace over the years. The magnificent San Michele Arcangelo of Celle Ligure, requested of Maragliano in 1694, and the San Sebastiano for the Disciplinanti of Rapallo, commissioned in 1700, testify to the role of models in tune with the most up-to-date figurative culture rooted in Genoa thanks to the painter Domenico Piola and the French sculptor Pierre Puget. These sculptures, capable of translating into the three-dimensionality of the artefact the engaging grace of contemporary painting and Bernini’s sculpture, reveal the new, delicate dynamism of Baroque culture.

The practice of work, from the manipulation of clay models to the collaboration with painters—especially those of Casa Piola—constitute a deepening of particular interest that make comprehensible the ideational project in the entirety of its process. The progressive juxtaposition of Crucifixes—large and small, from a chapel, from a high altar, or from a procession—shows the substantial renewal conferred by Maragliano on the iconography until obtaining a repeatable formula on the part of the students. A series of spectacular Madonnas seated on the throne and an extraordinary processional chest—the Sant’Antonio Abate contemplates the death of Saint Paul the Hermit now relevant to the brotherhood of Mele—highlight the theatrical values ​​of Maragliano’s compositions, for which the biographer Ratti, reporting the judgment of the people, wrote, “have all the air of Paradise.”

Penitential themes from Holy Week are illustrated in the enthralling section on the Passion. Alongside works of small format, including nativity statues are exhibited refined objects—sacred and profane—commissioned by noble families for their private collections. The journey ends with an allusion to the complex management of Maragliano’s heritage, thanks to the presence of some pieces made by his primary students.

The catalogue is published by Sagep and available from Artbooks.com:

Daniele Sanguineti, et al., Maragliano (1664–1739), Lo spettacolo della scultura in legno a Genova (Genova: Sagep Editori, 2018), 288 pages, ISBN: 978-8863735970, €30 / $60.

 

Exhibition | Drawings and Paintings from The Horvitz Collection

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

Jean-Honoré Fragonard, Death of Cleopatra
(The Horvitz Collection; photo by Michael Gould)

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Opening this month at FUAM, the exhibition is a variation of Storytelling: French Art from the Horvitz Collection; from the press release:

A French Affair: Drawings and Paintings from The Horvitz Collection
Fairfield University Art Museum, Fairfield, Connecticut, 25 January — 29 March 2019

Curated by Alvin Clark

The Fairfield University Art Museum is pleased to announce its upcoming exhibition, A French Affair: Drawings and Paintings from The Horvitz Collection, which will be on view from January 25 through March 29, 2019, in the museum’s Bellarmine Hall Galleries in Bellarmine Hall on the campus of Fairfield University.

Produced by some of the most prominent artists of the Renaissance, Baroque, Rococo, and Neoclassical epochs, the 80 works on view comprise two separate exhibitions—Imaging Text: Drawings for French Book Illustration and Seventeenth and Eighteenth-Century French Paintings. All come from The Horvitz Collection, one of the world’s finest and most distinguished holdings of French art.

History, mythology, poetry, portraiture, and everyday life provided a vast storehouse of subject matter for French artists from the 16th through the mid-19th centuries. A French Affair features paintings and drawings in all these genres by celebrated artists such as Charles Le Brun, Nicolas de Largillière, Jean-Honoré Fragonard, Jean-Baptiste Oudry, and Anne-Louis Girodet de Roucy Trioson. The impressive selection of 70 drawings, some exhibited with related prints, focuses on a particular category—designs for book illustration—thereby highlighting not only the creative inventiveness of the artists who formulated lavish visual imagery from the written word, but also the rich literary traditions of France and the vibrant book publishing industry they spawned.

“It is a privilege for the Fairfield University Art Museum to present this captivating array of paintings and drawings by some of the leading protagonists of French art of the ancien régime and post-Revolutionary period, lent by the renowned Horvitz Collection,” said Linda Wolk-Simon, Frank and Clara Meditz Director and Chief Curator.

Particularly rich is the drawings exhibition component of this two-part presentation, Imaging Text, which highlights for visitors the importance of book illustration and the robust publishing trade in France as a catalyst for artistic invention. The new prominence of illustrations in printed books, and the heightened demand for draftsmen to produce such images, offered many artists entree into elite artistic, literary, and social circles beginning in the late 17th century. The choice selection of paintings from the same moment, with their bravura handling of light and color and masterful depictions of human form and inanimate objects, speaks to the rigorous artistic training and traditions, promoted by the French Academy and the Salon (the official annual art exhibition), in which all artists of the period—painters, sculptors, draftsmen, printmakers—were schooled.

Renowned for its breadth and quality, The Horvitz Collection has been the focus of many national and international exhibitions and scholarly publications, and it now contains nearly 2,000 drawings, paintings, and sculptures. The exhibition is curated by Alvin L. Clark, Jr., Curator, The Horvitz Collection and the J.E. Horvitz Research Curator, Emeritus, Department of Drawings, Division of European and American Art, Harvard Art Museums/Fogg. An illustrated catalogue of the drawings is available.

Alvin Clark and Elizabeth M. Rudy, Imaging Text: French Drawings for Book Illustration from The Horvitz Collection (Boston: The Horvitz Collection, 2018), 76 pages, ISBN: 978-0991262533, $10.

S E L E C T E D  P R O G R A M M I N G

Thursday, January 24, 5:00pm
Collecting French Art: A Conversation with Jeffrey Horvitz and Alvin Clark

Saturday, February 2, 12:00pm
Sarah Cantor (Kress Interpretative Fellow), Gallery Talk: Drawing for Books in 18th-Century France

Thursday, February 7, 11:00am
Michelle DiMarzo (Curator of Education and Academic Engagement), Art in Focus: Pierre-Paul Prud’hon, Sylvia and the Satyr, 1800

Tuesday, February 12, 6:00pm
Performance: ekphrasis vii — Fairfield University MFA students will read original pieces inspired by the works on view in A French Affair: Paintings and Drawings from The Horvitz Collection

Thursday, February 21, 5:00pm
Sarah Cantor (Kress Interpretative Fellow), Gallery Talk: Drawings to Prints

Wednesday, March 6, 5:00pm
Elizabeth Rudy (Carl A. Weyerhaeuser Associate Curator of Prints, Harvard Art Museums), Lecture: 18th-Century French Drawings — part of the Edwin L. Weisl, Jr. Lectureships in Art History, funded by the Robert Lehman Foundation

 

Display | Instruction and Delight: Children’s Games

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

Wallis’s Elegant and Instructive Game exhibiting the Wonders of Art in Each Quarter of the World, ca. 1820
(New Haven: Yale Center for British Art)

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Opening this month at YCBA:

Instruction and Delight: Children’s Games from the Ellen and Arthur Liman Collection
Yale Center for British Art, New Haven, 17 January — 23 May 2019

Curated by Elisabeth Fairman with Laura Callery

By the beginning of the eighteenth century in Britain, parents and teachers had begun to embrace wholeheartedly a suggestion from the philosopher John Locke (1632–1704) that “Learning might be made a Play and Recreation to Children.” The material culture of this period, and the subsequent generation, reveals a significant shift in thinking, as adults found fresh value in childhood and in play for its own sake. British publishers leapt at the chance to design books and games for both instruction and delight. This small display celebrates the recent gift of eighteenth- and nineteenth-century children’s games and books to the Center by Ellen and Arthur Liman, Yale JD 1957.

Instruction and Delight: Children’s Games from the Ellen and Arthur Liman Collection has been curated by Elisabeth Fairman, Chief Curator of Rare Books and Manuscripts at the Center, with the assistance of Laura Callery, Senior Curatorial Assistant.

A catalogue appeared in 2017 from Pointed Leaf Press:, with additional information (and images) from this HyperAllergic piece by Claire Voon).

Ellen Liman, Georgian and Victorian Board Games: The Liman Collection (New York: Pointed Leaf Press, 2017), 182 pages, ISBN: 978-1938461439, $65.

Exhibition | Winckelmann and the Vatican Museums

Posted in books, catalogues, exhibitions by Editor on January 4, 2019

Now on view at the Vatican:

Winckelmann: Masterpieces throughout the Vatican Museums
Winckelmann: Capolavori diffusi nei Musei Vaticani
Vatican Museums, 9 November 2018 — 9 March 2019

Curated by Guido Comini and Claudia Valeri

A ‘journey within the journey’ along the entire Vatican Museums tour itinerary, this ‘dispersed’ exhibition celebrates the great German scholar Johann Joachim Winckelmann, father of modern archaeology and precursor of today’s art historians. Preceded by and announced in May at the study day on the Montalto Collection in Villa Negroni, Winckelmann: Masterpieces throughout the Vatican Museums symbolically brings to a conclusion the many initiatives organized to honour the renowned archaeologist in the dual anniversary year of 2018—300 years since his birth and 250 since his tragic death in Trieste.

In the years of his ‘dazzling’ stay in Rome (1755–1768), the Vatican Museums as we know them did not yet exist, but Winckelmann already visited the Vatican Belvedere and returned repeatedly to admire the statues conserved there. Indeed, it was due to his favourable judgement that many antiquities that he studied during his visits to the monuments and collections of the Eternal City were then purchased by the pontiffs. The exhibition, curated by Guido Cornini and Claudia Valeri, is intended to highlight precisely this role of the Vatican collections as a cornerstone for the studies, theories, and writings of the renowned German archaeologist. All sectors of the museums have been involved in this impressive and original exhibition project that offers the visitor a thematic itinerary with pauses for in-depth analysis of 50 selected works—on the basis of the role Winckelmann attributed to them in the construction of his aesthetic thought.

Room XVII of the Pinacoteca is dedicated to the presentation of the figure and his age. The screening of a film and the display of some of his most important writings help explain the atmosphere and cultural climate of Rome around the mid-eighteenth century. Winckelmann arrived in 1755 for a brief stay and instead spent the rest of his life in Italy; enchanted by the grandiose beauty of the antiquities, he devoted all his attention and prodigious talent to them.

Guido Comini and Claudia Valeri, Winckelmann: Masterpieces throughout the Vatican Museums (Vatican City: Edizioni Musei Vaticani, 2018), 232 pages, ISBN: 978-8882714307, $58. Also available in Italian.