Enfilade

Exhibition | Louis Chéron (1655–1725)

Posted in books, catalogues, exhibitions by Editor on April 27, 2022

The exhibition closed last month, but the catalogue is still available:

Louis Chéron: L’ambition du dessin parfait
Musée des Beaux-Arts, Caen, 4 December 2021 — 6 March 2022

Curated by François Marandet

Le musée des Beaux-Arts propose la première rétrospective consacrée à Louis Chéron, au travers d’une soixantaine d’œuvres issues de collections françaises et anglaises, couvrant une large période, de 1678 jusqu’aux années 1720.

Né à Paris en 1655, Louis Chéron quitte la France pour l’Angleterre en 1683. C’est à Londres qu’il vivra pendant trente ans, occupant là une place centrale au sein de la scène artistique. Les études académiques, les dessins d’invention, les projets d’illustration, les programmes pour de grands décors peints et les rares tableaux de chevalet conservés permettent de découvrir un artiste prolifique et précurseur. Contemporain de Louis Laguerre et de James Thornhill, à cheval sur deux siècles et deux nations, Cheron, souvent considéré comme un « suiveur de Charles Le Brun », reflète l’esprit classique français. Il annonce également, par ses dessins d’invention et sa peinture de chevalet proprement fantastiques, l’art de la génération suivante. En 1720, il crée sa propre école d’art à Londres, dont l’originalité est l’introduction de femmes nues comme modèles. Un peintre aussi célèbre que William Hogarth y suivra des cours.

The press packet is available as a PDF file here»

François Marandet, with prefaces by Emmanuelle Delapierre and Robin Simon, Louis Chéron (1655–1725): L’ambition du dessin parfait (Ballan-Miré: Illustria Librairie des Musées, 2022), 288 pages, ISBN: ‎978-2354040956, 30€.

The Burlington Magazine, April 2022

Posted in books, catalogues, exhibitions, journal articles, obituaries, reviews by Editor on April 18, 2022

The eighteenth century in the April issue of The Burlington . . .

The Burlington Magazine 164 (April 2022)

A R T I C L E S

• Lucy Davis and Natalia Muñoz-Rojas, “The Provenance of Het Steen and The Rainbow Landscape by Rubens,” pp. 333–41. New documentary evidence elucidates the hitherto uncertain history of these two celebrated landscapes painted by Peter Paul Rubens ca. 1636. Having remained with this family after his death, they were purchased by the Marquess of Caracena, Governor of the Spanish Netherlands, and taken to Madrid. By 1706 they were in Genoa, in the collections of successively Bartolomeo Saluzzo (1652–1705) and Costantino Balbi (d. 1740). This article assimilates a number of archival discoveries that shed light not only on the provenance of these two paintings but also on two important Genoese collections.

• Lucia Bonazzi, “Richard Vickris Pryor in the Art Market of Napoleonic Europe,” pp. 342–49. The son of a Quaker family of brewers and wine merchants, Richard Vickris Pryor (1780–1807) spent his brief adult life in pursuit of paintings. A characteristic example of the sort of entrepreneur who sought to exploit the release of works of art onto the market in the wake of Napoleon’s campaigns, he scored his greatest success with the purchase of the Lechi collection in Brescia in 1802.

• Margaret Oppenheimer, “From Paris to New York: French Paintings from the Collection of Eliza Jumel,” pp. 350–61. Eliza Jumel (1775–1865), born in poverty, was one of New York’s richest women at her death in 1865. While in Paris in 1815–17 she formed the largest collection of European paintings yet assembled by an American, the largest part of them French. Sold in 1821, the collection has been all but forgotten, but it has proved possible to trace a number of the works she owned.

R E V I E W S

• Noémi Duperron, Review of the exhibition Le Théâtre de Troie: Antoine Coypel, d’Homère à Virgile (Musée des Beaux-Arts de Tours, 2022), pp. 394–96.
• Eric Zafran, Review of the exhibition Paintings on Stone: Science and the Sacred, 1530–1800 (Saint Louis Art Museum, 2022), pp. 396–99.
• Peter Y. K. Lam, Review of the exhibition catalogue Sarah Wong and Stacey Pierson, eds., Collectors, Curators, Connoisseurs: A Century of the Oriental Ceramic Society, 1921–2021 (Oriental Ceramic Society, 2021), pp. 402–03.
• Rowan Watson, Review of Richard Rouse and Mary Rouse, Renaissance Illuminators in Paris: Artists and Artisans, 1500–1715 (Harvey Miller, 2019), pp. 418–19.
• Richard Wrigley, Review of Iris Moon and Richard Taws, eds., Time, Media, and Visuality in Post-Revolutionary France (Bloomsbury, 2021), pp. 423–24.
• Philip Ward-Jackson Review of Bayerische Staatsgemäldesammlungen / Neue Pinakothek: Katalog der Skulpturen; Volume I: Die Sammlung Ludwigs I, Volume II: Adolf von Hildebrand (Deutscher Kunstverlag, 2021), pp. 424–25. “This is a vital link in the chain between Enlightenment celebrations of worthies and grand hommes and such later nineteenth-century sculptural pantheons as those on the Musée du Louvre, Paris, and the Albert Memorial, London . . .” (424).

O B I T U A R I E S

• Peter Cherry, Obituary for Jonathan Brown (1939–2022), pp. 427–28. As well as bringing many fresh insights to the study of the major Spanish artists from El Greco to Picasso, with a particular focus on Velázquez, Jonathan Brown made important contributions to the study of patronage and collecting and of the diffusion of the images and ideas in the wider Hispanic world. Much honoured in Spain as well as in his native America, he will also be remembered as a dedicated and assiduous teacher.

Exhibition | Boilly: Parisian Chronicles

Posted in books, catalogues, exhibitions by Editor on April 11, 2022

Louis-Léopold Boilly, Trompe-l’oeil aux cartes et pieces de monnaie, detail, ca. 1808–15
(Lille: Palais des Beaux-Arts)

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From the Cognacq-Jay:

Boilly: Parisian Chronicles
Musée Cognacq-Jay, Paris, 16 February — 26 June 2022

Curated by Annick Lemoine and Sixtine de Saint-Léger

A virtuosic and prolific artist in a class of his own, Louis-Léopold Boilly (1761–1845) was the enthusiastic chronicler of Parisian life for sixty years, spanning a period from one revolution to the dawn of the next (1789 and 1848). In addition to being a portraitist for Parisians and a painter of city scenes, Boilly was also the inventor of stunning trompe-l’œil paintings and the author of witty caricatures. This monographic exhibition explores Boilly’s productive career through a selection of 130 works, giving us a glimpse into the artist’s uniqueness, brilliance, humour, and inventiveness. It presents several previously unseen masterpieces, some of which have never been shown in France.

Born in the North of France, Boilly set out to win over the capital at the age of 24, in 1785. He would live there his whole life. Taking little interest in the grand history of Paris, he instead became fascinated by the city’s modernity, its hustle and bustle, and its many spectacles. As a true chronicler of everyday life, Boilly painted an intimate portrait of his generation. The artist developed a fondness for scrutinising the views and faces he came across in the city. He distinguished himself in the art of portraiture by capturing the faces of Parisians on the small formats that would become his trademark. The portraitist was also a keen caricaturist who looked at his fellow citizens with an amused, and perhaps even scathing, eye. His taste for provocation and technical proficiency can also be found in his stunningly illusionistic trompe-l’œil.

The exhibition also showcases the subtle tricks the artist employed to depict himself in his works. In addition to painting derisive self-portraits and using a variety of signatures, he also slid his likeness amongst the protagonists of his crowd scenes, just as Alfred Hitchcock did in his films. These stratagems establish a knowing relationship between the artist and viewer. Throughout the exhibition, visitors are taken along on a fun treasure hunt to find Boilly’s face or clues of his presence.

Organised as a follow-up to the publication of Étienne Bréton and Pascal Zuber’s catalogue raisonné of the artist’s work (Boilly: Le peintre de la société parisienne de Louis XVI à Louis-Philippe, Arthena, 2019), the exhibition is curated by Annick Lemoine and Sixtine de Saint-Lége. On display are several masterpieces never before shown in France on loan from prestigious private collections, including one of the largest, currently held by the Ramsbury Manor Foundation (United Kingdom).

Annick Lemoine, ed., with contributions by Etienne Bréton, Sixtine de Saint-Léger, Côme Fabre, Martial Guédron, Charlotte Guichard, Annick Lemoine, Susan L. Siegfried, Anne-Laure Sol, Francesca Whitlum-Cooper, and Pascal Zuber, Boilly: Chroniques Parisiennes (Paris: Musées, 2022), 160 pages, ISBN: ‎978-2759605187, €30.

Exhibition | French Taste in Spain, 17th–19th Centuries

Posted in books, catalogues, exhibitions by Editor on April 5, 2022

Now on view at the Fundacion MAPFRE:

The French Taste and Its Presence in Spain, 17th–19th Centuries
El gusto francés y su presencia en España, siglos XVII–XIX
Fundación MAPFRE, Madrid, 11 February — 8 May 2022

Curated by Amaya Alzaga Ruíz with Gloria Martínez Leiva

Louis-Michel Van Loo, María Antonia Fernanda de Borbón, Infanta of Spain, detail, ca. 1737, oil on canvas, 88 × 71 cm (Museo de Bellas Artes de Asturias, Repository of the Collection of the IX Count of Villagonzalo; photo by Marcos Morilla).

Through numerous paintings, sculptures, textiles, sumptuary arts, and everyday objects, the exhibition El gusto francés y su presencia en España, siglos XVII–XIX delves into the evolution of French taste in Spain, which until now has been studied only on an ad hoc basis. A cross-cutting project that covers such an extensive historical period cannot be understood without its historical context. In this sense, the exhibition also addresses aspects that make this evolution possible, such as diplomatic relations, the history of collecting, and the construction of national identities. The nearly 110 works on display are from both public and private collections and are all pieces of national heritage. The project commences at the moment when French artworks began to arrive in Spain, as France emerged as a model of European taste, and it concludes when the opposite phenomenon occurred, when Spain became the focus of attraction for French culture, due to the image constructed around its diversity and exoticism throughout the 19th century.

17th Century | Difficult Relations: Portraits, Exchanges, and Gifts

The 1630s and 1640s, under the reign of Louis XIII, who for a time managed to stabilize the power of the crown, witnessed a golden age for French painting. Both Louis XIII and his advisor, Cardinal Richelieu, launched an extremely active artistic policy and commissions proliferated, which encouraged the art market.

Towards 1650, Spain was irrevocably losing its primacy as a world power to the France of Louis XIV, the Sun King. One of the strategies used to seal the peace was to establish alliances through marriages with the Spanish royal house. In this context, it was common for gifts of a very different nature to be exchanged between the two: horses, sumptuary arts, small pieces of furniture and above all portraits. From 1660 onwards, thanks to his marriage to Maria Teresa of Austria, daughter of Philip IV, known as the Planet King—a union that brought the Thirty Years’ War to an end— the exchange of gifts became even more frequent. The queen was portrayed on numerous occasions alone or accompanied by her son Louis, known as the Grand Dauphin of France, as can be seen in María Teresa de Austria y el Gran Delfín de Francia (Maria Theresa of Austria and the Grand Dauphin of France), ca. 1664, by cousins Charles and Henri Beaubrun.

18th Century | The Arrival of French Artists in Bourbon Spain, the Emergence of French Taste

In 1700, with the accession to the throne of Philip V, the Bourbon dynasty, of French origin, was established in Spain, and in the early years of his reign, the king wanted to bring everything he had known in Versailles and Paris to the Spanish court. He commissioned the work on the Buen Retiro, as well as the interior renovation of the Alcázar, and undertook the construction of the Granja de San Ildefonso, in Segovia. In addition, all kinds of furniture, jewelry, and clothing were imported. In 1715, the painter Michel-Ange Houasse came to the Spanish court from France, later being succeeded by Jean Ranc. In 1735, Louis-Michel Van Loo replaced Ranc, and became the King’s principal painter, as well as the director of painting at the Real Academia de Bellas Artes de San Fernando, founded in 1752. From his hand came the portrait María Antonia Fernanda de Borbón, infanta de España (María Antonia Fernanda de Borbón, Infanta of Spain), ca. 1737.

During this period, artistic transfers between France and Spain were sometimes made by way of Italy, which was home to an important French community fostered by the presence of the Académie de France in Rome, founded by Louis XIV in 1666. Spanish artists traveled to Rome more and more frequently, which gave them the opportunity to become familiar with French art without the need to travel to Paris. This was the case of Francisco Goya, who was able to become acquainted with the work of Nicolas Poussin and Pierre Subleyras during his documented stay in the Italian capital.

The blossoming of French culture and taste in Spain reached its pinnacle during the reign of Charles IV, grandson of Philip V. Born in Portici during the reign of his father Charles III in Naples and Sicily, Charles Anthony of Bourbon (1748–1819) arrived in Spain as a teenager. He was first named Prince of Asturias and then crowned King of Spain and the Indies in 1788. In 1808 he was dethroned, exiled first in France and then in Rome, until his death in Naples. His interest in the sumptuary arts, furniture, painting, and sculpture became apparent at an early age and the best example of this is the Platinum Cabinet in the Casa del Labrador in Aranjuez, which was made entirely by French artists. On the occasion of his marriage to Maria Luisa Teresa of Parma in 1765, Louis XV gave the couple a table service from the porcelain company Manufactura Real de Porcelana de Sèvres, and his cousin Louis XVI, presented them with two paintings by Claude Joseph Vernet.

19th Century | The Romantic Vision of Spain

With the Napoleonic invasion that led to the War of Independence (1808–1814), Spain became the new destination to be explored by the French who, together with other foreign travelers and intellectuals, created what is known today as the ‘romantic image of Spain’. Some of those who contributed to this creation were the writer Victor Hugo and the painter Eugène Delacroix. We can see more specific examples in the exhibition, in the figures of Antonio de Orleans, Duke of Montpensier and Galliera, and Eugenia de Montijo.

The Duke of Montepensier married the sister of Queen Isabella II, the Infanta Luisa Fernanda. After the revolution of 1848 the couple left France, settling in Seville in 1849. Their stay led to a boom in culture and popular events in the city, to the point that Seville came to be nicknamed the ‘Small Court’. Eugenia de Montijo, the daughter of the Duke of Peñaranda, was born in Granada, but spent most of her life in France. Wife of Louis Napoleon Bonaparte, thanks to her education and refinement, she was one of those responsible for exporting the ‘Empire style’ to the Spanish court.

At the end of the 18th century, France and Spain became official allies and a change began to take place with respect to the foreign view of the latter. Spain, which was at peace, proved to be the perfect alternative for more inquisitive spirits, since it was home to magnificent remains from the Roman and Arab civilizations. In this context, Alexandre de Laborde (1773–1842), an officer, scholar and traveler, taking advantage of his diplomatic posting in Madrid, in 1800 penned the story of his travels, in the Voyage pittoresque et historique de l’Espagne. In 1808, he finally published a shorter version, entitled Itinéraire descriptif de l’Espagne, which led a considerable number of artists to Spain, including François Ligier.

In 1826, in Paris, Baron Isidore Justin Taylor began the publication of a Voyage pittoresque en Espagne, en Portugal et sur la Côte d’Afrique, de Tanger à Tétouan. In Paris, where he held the post of Royal Commissioner of French Theater, Taylor promoted the production of Hernani, Victor Hugo’s 1830 play set in the Spanish Golden Age, further catalyzing the Romantic enthusiasm for the Peninsula. At the same time, his involvement in governmental mechanisms allowed him to present himself as the connoisseur par excellence of Spain: in 1835, he was commissioned to assemble a collection of Spanish paintings for the Louvre Museum, a campaign personally financed by King Louis-Philippe, who was eager to acquire a Galérie espagnole, taking advantage of the imminent confiscations of Mendizábal. The two French artists most involved in illustrating the Baron’s work were Adrien Dauzats and Pharamond Blanchard, who also helped to locate the paintings destined for Louis Philippe’s Spanish gallery.

Although the perception of ‘Spanishness’ in France varied throughout the 19th century, after the 1848 Revolution, it became increasingly frequent to associate Spanish culture with the image of an archaic and free people, in contrast with the rigid rules of bourgeois society. Starting in 1850, several artists, among them Gustave Doré, Jean-Baptiste Achille Zo, and Édouard Manet, began to exhibit paintings in French salons featuring gypsies, beggars, vagabonds and working class ‘majos’. Made after their respective trips to Spain, in most cases they tried to exalt the Spanish Golden Age with the figures of Velázquez and Ribera at the forefront.

Amaya Alzaga Ruíz, ed., El Gusto francés y su presencia en España, siglos XVII–XIX (Madrid: Fundación MAPFRE, 2022), 331 pages, ISBN 978-8498447972, 50€.

The Burlington Magazine, February 2022

Posted in books, catalogues, exhibitions, journal articles, obituaries, reviews by Editor on March 31, 2022

The eighteenth century in February’s issue of The Burlington . . .

The Burlington Magazine 164 (February 2022) — Northern European Art

Nathaniel Dance Holland, Portrait of Christian VII, King of Denmark, 1768, oil on canvas, 77 × 63 cm (Royal Collection Trust).

A R T I C L E S

• Sara Ayres, “Christian VII of Denmark’s Lost British Portraits,” pp. 155–63. In 1768–69 the young Christian VII of Denmark visited London and Paris, where several portraits of him were painted. Three were by artists born or working in Britain—Angelica Kauffmann, Edward Cunningham, known as Calze, and Matthew Peters. All are now lost, but evidence about the comissions survives in copies and prints, contemporary descriptions and documents in the Danish State Archives.

• Lars Hendrikman, “The Finding of the Infant Bacchus,” pp. 180–83.

R E V I E W S

• Camilla Pietrabissa, Review of the exhibition Venetia 1600: Births and Rebirths (Venice: Palazza Ducale, 2021–22), pp. 190–92.

• Ivan Gaskell, Review of the new galleries of Dutch and Flemish art at the MFA Boston (open from November 2021), pp. 195–98.

• Richard Stemp, Review of the exhibition Hogarth and Europe (London: Tate Britain, 2021–22), pp. 198–200.

• Maryl Gensheimer, Review of Fabio Barry, Painting in Stone: Architecture and the Poetics of Marble from Antiquity to the Enlightenment (Yale UP, 2020), pp. 216–17.

• Clare Hornsby, Review of Ortwin Dally, Maria Gazzetti, and Arnold Nesselrath, eds., Johann Joachim Winckelmann (1717–1768): Ein Europ isches Rezeptionsph nomen / Fenomeno Europeo della Ricezione (Michael Imhof Verlag, 2021), pp. 217–18.

• Robert Skwirblies, Review of Lea Kuhn, Gemalte Kunstgeschichte: Bildgenealogien in der Malerei um 1800 (Wilhelm Fink Verlag, 2020), pp. 218–19.

• Thomas Stammers, Review of Stacey Boldrick, Iconoclasm and the Museum (Routledge, 2020), p. 222.

O B I T U A R I E S

• Marjorie Trusted, “Christian Theuerkauff (1936–2021),” pp. 223–24. For many years Deputy Director of the sculpture collection at the Bode Museum, Berlin, and honorary professor at the city’s Free University, Christian Theuerkauff was a leading scholar of Baroque ivories, whose expert connosseurship and archival research definitively shaped our understanding of many of the outstanding sculptors in the medium.

 

New Book | Lover’s Eyes

Posted in books, catalogues, exhibitions by Editor on March 27, 2022

This is an updated and expanded version of the 2012 exhibition catalogue. From Giles:

Elle Shushan, ed., with additional contributions by Graham Boettcher and Stephen Lloyd, Lover’s Eyes: Eye Miniatures from the Skier Collection (London: Giles, 2022), 280 pages, ISBN: 978-1911282938, £40 / $50.

Until the early 2000s, little had been written about eye miniatures, or ‘Lover’s Eyes’, and their short-lived popularity at the end of the 18th and early 19th centuries, when hand-painted portraits of single human eyes were set in jewellery, or created to memorialize a deceased loved one. This new expanded and updated edition of the 2012 volume The Look of Love examines their role in the broader context of Georgian and early Victorian portrait miniatures; and looks in detail at the creation, and appeal, of these extraordinary objects.

Dr. and Mrs. David A. Skier’s collection of eye miniatures is one of the most complete such collections of this genre of miniature painting anywhere in existence. This volume features over 130 pieces from the Skier Collection, with 36 extraordinary newly acquired pieces, including two of the three known existing ‘lovers’ lips’, and six examples of a delightful sub-category known as ‘Flower Eyes’. There are four new illustrated essays: on forgeries and fakes of lovers’ eyes, on ‘Flower Eyes’, on the persistence of the eye image which continues the tradition of lovers’ eyes, and an essay on the eye miniatures created by Richard Cosway.

Elle Shushan is a specialist dealer, author, lecturer, and museum consultant. She is a member of the Antiques Dealers’ Association of America, the British Antique Dealers’ Association, CINOA, the Private Art Dealers Association, and the Association of Historians of American Art.

Stephen Lloyd is curator of the Derby Collection at Knowsley Hall, Merseyside. From 1993 to 2009 he was Assistant Keeper and then Senior Curator at the Scottish National Portrait Gallery, where he co-curated the exhibition The Intimate Portrait: Drawings, Miniatures, and Pastels from Ramsay to Lawrence.

Graham Corray Boettcher is the director of the Birmingham Museum of Art in Birmingham, Alabama.

C O N T E N T S

Collectors’ Preface
Acknowledgements

The Artist’s Eye by Elle Shushan
Eye Miniatures by Richard Cosway by Stephen Lloyd
Symbol & Sentiment: Lover’s Eyes and the Language of Gemstones by Graham Boettcher
Floriography by Elle Shushan
Fake of Fashion by Elle Shushan
Love Never Dies by Graham Boettcher

Catalogue of the Exhibition by Graham Boettcher, Nan Skier, and Elle Shushan, with the assistance of Laura Wallace and Maggie Keenan

Index
Author biographies

Exhibition | Flora Yukhnovich: Thirst Trap

Posted in catalogues, exhibitions, today in light of the 18th century by Editor on March 16, 2022

Flora Yukhnovich, I’ll Have What She’s Having, 2020, oil on linen, 170 × 220 cm. Estimated to sell for £60,000–£80,000, the painting sold for £2,253,500 (Sotheby’s London, 14 October 2021).

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After only a handful of solo exhibitions, beginning in 2017, the British artist Flora Yukhnovich (b. Norwich 1990) has recently emerged as a leading contemporary painter, receiving coverage in both visual arts media and the popular press. The New York Times recently included her in a piece about speculators hoping to to ‘flip’ art at auction (in October, her painting I’ll Have What She’s Having sold at Sotheby’s for $3.1million).

I note Yukhnovich here at Enfilade because of her engagement with eighteenth-century painting, an engagement she attributes to Mary Sheriff. In a 2020 interivew with Immediations, published by The Courtauld, Yukhnovich references both Fragonard: Art and Eroticism (University of Chicago Press, 1990) and Enchanted Islands: Picturing the Allure of Conquest in Eighteenth-Century France (University of Chicago Press, 2018).

As Yukhnovich describes her artistic development during the interview:
“I then began looking at decorative design. At first it was about the very flatness of it, which I really enjoyed. Then it became about the ways in which paint itself can do things, like create drop shadows, or the different ways in which paint can be used to construct space. It became apparent to me that I was gravitating toward these things because they were related to femininity in a way, but they also all happened to be derived from a Rococo aesthetic. When I found [Sheriff’s] book on Fragonard, I realised that a lot of the Rococo seemed to tap into all these different elements that I had been looking at. The aesthetic of the Rococo feels very familiar to me, and there are lots of things that I, as a woman and also as a girl growing up, interacted with which seem to have a Rococo sensibility to them. I do not feel like that about many other art historical movements. That is why I landed on it. It was about a lot of different interests coming together.”

CH

Flora Yukhnovich, Siren Song, 2022.

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From the press release for the the exhibition now on view in London at Victoria Miro:

Flora Yukhnovich: Thirst Trap
Victoria Miro, London, 1–26 March 2022

Flora Yukhnovich is acclaimed for paintings that, fluctuating between abstraction and figuration, transcend painterly traditions to fuse high art with popular culture and intellect with intuition. While in the past she has adopted the language of Rococo, dynamically reimagining aspects of works by eighteenth-century artists such as Tiepolo, Boucher, Lancret, and Watteau, new paintings draw upon various depictions of the Roman goddess Venus in mythology, art history, and contemporary culture. Rather than focus on individual points of reference, each work synthesises a multitude of influences that convey the shifting representations and significations of Venus herself. Here the Venus who embodies idealised female form and is goddess of love, maternal care, sexual reproduction, and erotic desire, meets the Venus of violent origin and hybrid gender—promiscuous and vengeful.

In Greco-Roman mythology, Venus emerges fully formed when Cronus throws Uranus’s dismembered testicles into the sea; she is carried to land from the boiling spume in a shell. The artist says, “I was immediately drawn to the idea of her body being made of water… this fluidity of form feels like a very painterly concept to me, a bit like creating seemingly solid figures out of wet paint. There is a tendency for water and the sea to be spoken about as female—fluid and soft but also capricious and destructive. I like the potential for strength or force in that association and it’s something I try and bring to these paintings.”

Travelling back and forth through art, mythology and philosophy, and echoing Venus’s storied representations through time, Yukhnovich’s references are revealed to be equally as fluid. One influence is Rubens’s The Feast of Venus, 1636–37, in the collection of the Kunsthistorisches Museum, Vienna, which depicts the festivities of Veneralia—the ancient Roman festival celebrated on 1 April to honour Venus Verticordia, an epithet that alludes to the goddess’s ability to change hearts from lustful to chaste. Venus as an embodiment of propriety contrasts with her promiscuity in another source painting, Boucher’s Mars and Venus Surprised by Vulcan, c.1754, in the Wallace Collection, which captures the moment when Vulcan, on hearing of his wife’s infidelity with Mars, ensnares the adulterous couple in a golden net, inviting other gods to enjoy their humiliation.

Such divergent attributes are enfolded with allusions in contemporary culture, from Federico Fellini’s La Dolce Vita to Doja Cat, which demonstrate the enduring potency of Venus as symbol and spirit. In Yukhnovich’s paintings these references are never revealed explicitly. Rather, they are conveyed compositionally or chromatically: variation is a driving force, her virtuosic mark-making—ranging from delicate flourishes to dramatic and muscular brushstrokes—heightens a sense of rhythmic sensuality. Bubbles—by definition one substance contained by another—are a recurring motif in these works; effervescent, capricious, unstable, or transformative, they denote changing states that mirror Venus’s turbulent arrival in mythology and her ever-shifting presence in culture thereafter. Paint, in Yukhnovich’s hands, becomes the perfect vehicle to conjure the multiplicity of a subject which, characterised by flux and transformation, is as elusive as it is seductive.

Born in 1990, Flora Yukhnovich completed her MA at the City & Guilds of London Art School in 2017. She had her first solo exhibition at Brocket, London, in December 2017 and has recently exhibited at Parafin, London, GASK, the Gallery of the Central Bohemian Region, Czech Republic, the Jerwood Gallery Hastings, and at Blenheim Walk Gallery, Leeds Arts University, UK. Previous solo exhibitions with Victoria Miro include The Venice Paintings and Barcarole, both held in 2020. Collections include Government Art Collection and The David Roberts Art Foundation. In 2018 she completed The Great Women Artists Residency at Palazzo Monti, Brescia. Work by the artist will feature in the survey exhibition Impressionism: A World View; Yukhnovich’s painting will be exhibited in galleries dedicated to ‘Contemporary Neo-Impressionists’, on view at The Nassau County Museum of Art, NY, from 19 March to 10 July 2022. In 2023 Yukhnovich will be the first artist to take part in a new series of solo exhibitions responding to the collections of The Ashmolean, Oxford, titled Ashmolean NOW.

Print Quarterly, March 2022

Posted in books, catalogues, exhibitions, journal articles, reviews by Editor on March 12, 2022

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

Print Quarterly 39.1 (March 2022) . .

Charles Elie, T[alma] donnant une leçon de grâce et de dignité impériale (T[alma] giving a lesson in grace and imperial dignity), 1814, hand-coloured etching, 244 x 142 mm (London: British Museum).

A R T I C L E S

Antony Griffiths, “The Publication of Caricatures in Paris in 1814 and 1815, Part I: The Established Printsellers, Genty and Martinet,” pp. 31ff.

Two articles by Antony Griffiths on ‘The Publication of Caricatures in Paris in 1814 and 1815’—Part 1 in the March 2022 issue and Part 2 forthcoming—discuss the publication of caricatures in Paris during two years in which there were four regimes in power, and two occupations by foreign armies—a period which led to an unprecedented outpouring of social and political satire. Many works of great quality were produced, but most have only a title and do not reveal the names of the producers. The articles discuss how publishers and artists dealt with the political upheavals and identify some of the many participants who entered the field in these years. Part 1 deals with the caricatures published by members of the established print trade in Paris, and in particular Aaron Martinet and the newcomer Genty, who has previously been misidentified.

R E V I E W S

• Mark McDonald, Review of Juan Agustín Ceán Bermúdez, El Churriguerismo: discurso inédito (Alicante: Biblioteca Virtual Miguel de Cervantes, 2019), p. 79.

• Diana Greenwald, Review of Madeleine Viljoen, Nina Dubin and Meredith Martin, Meltdown! Picturing the World’s First Bubble Economy (Turnhout: Harvey Miller, 2020), p. 80.

• Ann V. Gunn, Review of John Bonehill, Anne Dulau Beveridge, and Nigel Leask, eds., Old Ways New Roads: Travels in Scotland 1720–1832 (Edinburgh: Birlinn, 2021), p. 81.

• Marcia Reed, Review of Troy Bickham, Eating the Empire: Food and Society in Eighteenth-Century Britain (London: Reaktion, 2020), p. 84.

• Nigel Tattersfield, Review of Graham Williams, Thomas Bewick Engraver & the Performance of Woodblocks (Kent: Florin Press, 2021), p. 86.

• Janis A. Tomlinson, Review of Mark McDonald et al., Goya’s Graphic Imagination (New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 2021), p. 102.

Exhibition | A Shared Passion for Drawing

Posted in books, catalogues, exhibitions by Editor on March 11, 2022

From:

Le partage d’une passion pour le dessin
Palais des Beaux-Arts, Paris, 22 March — 30 April 2022

Jean-Baptiste Greuze, Head of a Frightened Child, red chalk on beige paper (Beaux-Arts de Paris, acquired in 2013).

L’exposition dévoile un ensemble de 90 dessins, entrés dans les collections de l’École grâce à la générosité de l’association « Le Cabinet des amateurs de dessins des Beaux-Arts de Paris ». Le parcours, organisé à l’occasion des 15 ans de l’association, est présenté par écoles (italienne, nordique et française) à travers les siècles. Des œuvres d’Eugène Delacroix, Jean-Honoré Fragonard, Jean-Baptiste Greuze, Gerrit Van Honthorst, Giuseppe Penone ou encore Simone Peterzano sont ainsi à découvrir.

Les Beaux-Arts de Paris conservent la plus belle collection de dessins de France, après celle du musée du Louvre. Cette collection continue aujourd’hui encore de s’enrichir grâce à une politique d’acquisitions conçue à des fins pédagogiques ; ainsi que par des dons de professeurs, de jeunes artistes, et de l’association « Le Cabinet des amateurs de dessins des Beaux-Arts de Paris ».

Le partage d’une passion pour le dessin (ENSBA, 2017), 282 pages, ISBN: 978-2840565093, 39€.

Exhibition | Antoine Coypel and the Theater of Troy

Posted in books, catalogues, exhibitions by Editor on March 7, 2022

Now on view at the Musée des Beaux-Arts de Tours:

Le Théâtre de Troie: Antoine Coypel, d’Homère à Virgile
Musée des Beaux-Arts de Tours, 22 January — 17 April 2022

L’exposition, présentée au musée des Beaux-Arts de Tours, en partenariat avec la Bibliothèque nationale de France, est une invitation à redécouvrir Antoine Coypel (1661–1722), peintre du roi Louis XIV et du régent Philippe d’Orléans. Aucune exposition monographique concernant Coypel n’a vu le jour jusqu’à présent, mais la connaissance de l’artiste a été récemment enrichie grâce à l’apparition sur le marché de l’art d’oeuvres inédites, à la redécouverte de tableaux que l’on croyait perdus et à la restauration de décors monumentaux, tel le plafond de l’hôtel d’Argenson, sur le point d’être révélé au public aux Archives Nationales. Sans prétendre à l’exhaustivité, l’exposition est une invitation à redécouvrir la personnalité attachante et la carrière prolifique d’Antoine Coypel, ainsi que les grands textes de l’Antiquité, d’Homère et de Virgile, ayant nourri son inspiration.

Autour de La Colère d’Achille et des Adieux d’Hector et Andromaque de Tours, une cinquantaine d’oeuvres des XVIIIᵉ et XIXᵉ siècles (tableaux, estampes, dessins, sculptures, objets d’art et planches gravées) sont réunies, grâce au prêt exceptionnel de la Bibliothèque nationale de France, du château de Versailles, des musées du Louvre, de Rennes, d’Angers, d’Arles, du Mobilier national et de l’École des Beaux-Arts de Paris.

Point d’orgue de l’exposition, la galerie d’Énée du Palais-Royal, chef-d’oeuvre d’Antoine Coypel aujourd’hui disparu, renaît au travers d’estampes spectaculaires de la Bibliothèque nationale de France. Les recherches approfondies menées pour reconstituer ce grand décor ont également permis de concevoir une maquette numérique de la galerie, en partenariat avec le musée Fabre de Montpellier, qui offre pour la première fois une proposition de reconstitution virtuelle en 3D très aboutie.

Une riche programmation culturelle (cycle de conférences, visites, spectacles de danse, musique, théâtre, cycle de péplums à la cinémathèque de Tours, cours d’histoire de l’art tout public, etc.) accompagnera toute la durée de cette exposition.

Le théâtre de Troie: Antoine Coypel, d’Homère à Virgile (Paris: Lienart éditions, 2022), 192 pages, ISBN: ‎978-2359063547, 23€.

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