Enfilade

Conference Papers | Académies d’art et mondes sociaux, 1740–1805

Posted in conferences (summary) by Editor on June 16, 2019

Conference papers from the study day on ‘Académies d’art et mondes sociaux, 1740–1805’, held last November in Rouen, are now available from the ACA-RES website. Also please note that the research programme’s next conference will be held in Paris 26–28 March 2020. Proposals for papers related to ‘Art Academies and Their Networks in the Age of Enlightenment’ are being accepted until 6 September 2019.

Journées d’étude III: Académies d’art et mondes sociaux, 1740–1805
Hôtel des Sociétés Savantes, Rouen, 29–30 November 2018

Jean-Jacques Lequeu, Études de l’œil (detail), 1798.

Nouer des liens entre arts, belles-lettres et sciences: entre interaction et distanciation
En partenariat Université Toulouse – Jean Jaurès ; Centre allemand d’histoire de l’art, Paris ; Les musées de Rouen

Les troisièmes journées d’étude du programme ACA-RES se sont tenues les 29 et 30 novembre 2018 à Rouen, en voici le compte rendu synthétique et les différents articles auxquels il renvoie :

• Anne Perrin Khelissa and Émilie Roffidal, « Nouer des liens entre arts, belles-lettres et sciences : entre interaction et distanciation », Les papiers d’ACA-RES, Actes des journées d’étude, 29–30 novembre 2018, Rouen, Hôtel des Sociétés Savantes, mis en ligne juin 2019 (PDF à télécharger : perrin khelissa-roffidal-2019)

1. Architecture, peinture, sculpture, des sœurs jumelles ?

• Émilie d’Orgeix, « L’ingénieur, les écoles du génie et les arts », à venir
• Dominique Massounie, « La place de l’architecture et de l’École des arts de Jacques-François Blondel dans l’histoire des académies artistiques provinciales du XVIIIe siècle », mis en ligne juin 2019 (PDF à télécharger : massounie-2019)
• Théodore Guuinic, « L’École des arts, ponts et chaussées de Montpellier sous la Révolution, 1787–1796 : un enseignement conjoint des sciences et des arts », mis en ligne juin 2019 (PDF à télécharger : guuinic-2019)

2. L’art est-il utile à l’économie ?

• Aude Gobet, « Jean-Baptiste Descamps, les négociants et les manufactures à Rouen au XVIIIe siècle, 1741–1791 », mis en ligne juin 2019 (PDF à télécharger : gobet-2019)
• Moïra Dato, « État des lieux sur la question des rapports entre l’école de dessin et la Grande Fabrique à Lyon : les dessinateurs et marchands fabricants en étoffes d’or, d’argent et de soie », mis en ligne juin 2019 (PDF à télécharger : dato-2019)
• Céline Paul, « La Société d’agriculture, des arts et des sciences de la Haute-Vienne et la mise en place progressive d’un enseignement du dessin », à venir

3. Arts et lettres, quelles rencontres possibles ?

• Émilie Roffidal, « Marseille, contacts et relations inter-académiques : les liens entre l’Académie des sciences et belles-lettres et l’Académie de peinture et de sculpture », mis en ligne juin 2019 (PDF à télécharger : roffidal-2019)
• Véronique Krings, « Anne-Marie d’Aignan, marquis d’Orbessan, un curieux toulousain, entre arts, littérature et antiquarisme », mis en ligne juin 2019 (PDF à télécharger : krings-2019)
• Julie Lablanche, « Échos de la vie artistique et des progrès techniques dans les éloges, discours et mémoires de l’académie de Besançon », mis en ligne juin 2019 (PDF à télécharger : lablanche-2019)

4. Quelles sciences pour les arts ?

• Nelly Vi-Tong, « Entre les sciences et les arts : les ambitions pédagogiques de l’Académie des sciences, arts et belles-lettres de Dijon », mis en ligne juin 2019 (PDF à télécharger : vi-tong-2019)
• Flore César, « Des arts dans une ville de sciences, des sciences dans une école d’art : la Société des beaux-arts de Montpellier, 1777–1784 », mis en ligne juin 2019 (PDF à télécharger : cesar-2019)
• Jérôme Lamy, « Sciences, arts et belles-lettres, les académies entre ‘travail aux frontières’ et ‘objets frontières’ à l’époque moderne », mis en ligne juin 2019 (PDF à télécharger : lamy-2019)

Exhibition | Madame de Maintenon

Posted in books, catalogues, conferences (summary), exhibitions by Editor on April 28, 2019

Now on view at Versailles:

Madame de Maintenon: In the Corridors of Power
Château de Versailles, 16 April — 21 July 2019

Curated by Alexandre Maral and Mathieu da Vinha

The first exhibition entirely devoted to the Marquise of Maintenon, on the tercentenary of her death on 15 April 1719, recounts the extraordinary life of Françoise d’Aubigné (1635–1719). She was born in a prison yet went on to become the Sun King’s wife in 1683.

The different stages of her life are shown in around 60 works from the collections of Versailles and other museums, including paintings, drawings, engravings, books, sculptures, medals, and so on. The visit passes through the four adjoining rooms of the apartment she lived in from 1682 until 1715, on the first floor of the Palace’s central section.

The scenography returns the walls to their original colours at the time. They are richly draped in alternating silk panels as described in the Furniture Store-House inventories from 1708: red damask, crimson damask, and red taffeta for the second antechamber; green and gold damask for the bedroom; and crimson and gold flower damask for the Chambers. This installation was made possible thanks to the restoration of these wall hangings by Tassinari et Chatel, the nation’s oldest silk manufacturer, founded in Lyon by Louis XIV.

The exhibition is curated by Alexandre Maral (Head Curator for Heritage and Director of the Centre de recherche du château de Versailles) and Mathieu da Vinha (Scientific Director of the Centre de recherche du château de Versailles), with scenography by Jérôme Dumoux.

Alexandre Maral and Mathieu da Vinha, Madame de Maintenon: Dans les allées du pouvoir (Paris: Hazan, 2019), 192 pages, ISBN: 978-2754110723, 35€.

The exhibition brochure (in French and English) is available as PDF file here

◊  ◊  ◊  ◊  ◊

Symposium | Madame de Maintenon, 1719–2019
Château de Versailles, 21–23 March 2019

This international symposium offered a fresh look at this multifaceted historical figure, reviewing the biographical aspects of the Marquise, as well as her correspondence and the literary and iconographic legend surrounding her.

Details along with audio recordings are available here.

Conference | HECAA Sessions at UAAC, 2018

Posted in conferences (summary) by Editor on November 10, 2018

Thanks to Christina Smylitopoulos for again chairing this year’s HECAA sessions at UAAC. Next year’s conference is scheduled for Québec City. Full program details for 2018, including abstracts and speaker information, is available here.

Universities Art Association of Canada / l’association d’art des universités du Canada
University of Waterloo, Ontario, 25–27 October 2018

F R I D A Y ,  2 6  O C T O B E R  2 0 1 8

HECAA Open Session, Part 1, 2:00–3:30
Chair | Christina Smylitopoulos (University of Guelph)
1  Sarah Carter (McGill University), Physiognomies of Genius: Competition and Friendship in Aphorisms on Man
2  Andrea Korda (University of Alberta), The Eclipse of Visual Education? Object Lessons from Pestalozzi to Mayo
3  Loren Lerner (Concordia University in Montreal), The Infant, the Mother, and the Breast in the Paintings of Marguerite Gérard

HECAA Open Session, Part 2, 4:00–5:30
Chair | Christina Smylitopoulos (University of Guelph)
1  Caroline Murphy (MIT), Sensation and Sacred History: The Museo Sacro in Eighteenth-Century Rome
2  Alena Robin (Western University), Transatlantic Perspectives of a Passion Series by Mexican Painter José de Ibarra
3  Justina Spencer (Carleton University), Sartorial Alterity and the Cartographic Impulse: Costume Illustrations in French Travel Memoirs of the Ottoman Empire

OpEd | HECAA at 25 Conference Recap

Posted in conferences (summary), opinion pages by Editor on November 6, 2018

Back home from the HECAA at 25 Conference in Dallas, I feel my mind still whirling from what was perhaps the best conference I’ve ever attended. As strange as it may sound, a previous contender for me had been CSECS 2001 in Saskatoon, which included an extraordinary panel on ‘Post-Mortem Investigations: Then and Now’, organized around Samuel Johnson’s autopsy, a session that included not only Anita Guerrini, Helen Deutsch, and John Bender but also medical doctors and a dissected corpse(!), all with an eye toward anatomical similarities and differences across the eighteenth and twenty-first centuries. The HECAA at 25 Conference brought the past and present into conversation in no less compelling ways, even with no cadaver. Indeed, I’m left with a clear distillation of something like pure vitality.

Having edited Enfilade since 2009, I’m aware of how irregular it is for me to chime in with anything more than a few words introducing a posting. From the start, I was keen to build a platform for the sharing of news related to the long eighteenth century with a very light editorial voice. In 2009 blogs were often derided as self-indulgent means for sharing breakfast and shampoo preferences, and I was set on staying out of the way. If it was clear to me that there were lots of exciting things happening in the field of eighteenth-century art, architecture, and visual studies, it was equally true that we as scholars were doing a particularly bad job of telling others (even ourselves) about those exciting things. Building out that communication piece seemed like a useful service to HECAA.

Rather stupidly, I hadn’t grasped that the nature of the web would very quickly transform a communication mechanism built for a small organization into one with a world-wide audience. And yet, if HECAA members constitute only a small minority of Enfilade readers, the connection between the platform and the organization remains important. And that’s why I feel compelled to report back about the conference. The views shared here are entirely my own as I am in no way speaking for the organization. And crucial, I think, for everyone reading—even if you aren’t a HECAA member—the successes of the conference readily pertain to other academic events.

Three things stand out for me: coherence of the program, communicative opportunities thoughtfully embedded into the schedule, and connections with extraordinary works of art and artifacts added not simply as incidental after-thoughts. First, the very simple decision to include no concurrent sessions meant that participants had a shared experience over the course of the three or four days. It meant that sessions unfolded as part of an ongoing conversation. It meant that the usual conference chaos resulting from choices (where am I trying to go? What did you just hear? You should have been in that session!) was entirely abrogated. Revelatory plenary addresses by Melissa Hyde and Daniela Bleichmar weren’t exceptional events that brought everyone together but extended versions of the kinds of talks others gave (amazing talks actually), with all of us engaged together. Second, time for good conversations, in a variety of settings, was carefully planned. Along with the usual coffee and lunch breaks, there were lively receptions, a boisterous evening of food and drink (with the restaurant all to ourselves and dinner served family style), and as an experiment of sorts, structured break-out sessions with preassigned groups. The efficacy of the group discussions presumably varied, but the activity stands out for me as hugely successful. Some of the most interesting ideas I heard discussed all weekend came out there (thanks goes not only to my group’s facilitators Amber Ludwig and Susanna Caviglia but also Aaron Wile for asking an opening question that couldn’t have been more effective). Third, time for looking at art was built into the schedule, with opportunities for exploring the strong holdings of the Meadows Museum, the Dallas Museum of Art, and the Kimbell Art Museum. How many art historical conferences have I attended where actual art was absent from the schedule? Too many.

All three qualities are widely applicable, and organizers should consider them. But there’s another crucial point to all of this, and it’s central to why I’m writing: the conference worked because HECAA is an amazing community of scholars. The final session on Saturday was aimed at thinking about the future of the field of eighteenth-century art studies. It was thought-provoking and (interestingly) the point at which some of the most significant points of difference emerged. To that conversation, I would like to add a modest addendum. For any discussion of what the ‘field’ might best do in the next five, ten, or twenty-five years is necessarily premised on there being a community to do that work. And here, I’m careful not to conflate HECAA with the whole study of eighteenth-century art and architecture (readers of Enfilade prove the point). But it’s no small matter to build a vibrant academic society characterized by goodwill, intellectual hospitality, and the nurturing of scholars along all stages of a career.

That should be celebrated, even as it also bestows responsibilities, obligations to both the present and the future. Organized by Amy Freund—brilliant and indefatigable—the conference underscores the impact an individual can have for a community (with thanks to all who served on the organizing committee). Taking a long view, HECAA has benefited tremendously from founding members who have remained committed to the organization for decades. The impact of Mary Sheriff was profound. I also can’t help mentioning Michael Yonan, who deserves the lion’s share of credit for what the organization has become; he was an enormously effective president at a time when things could have taken a rather different turn. Other officers—treasurers Jennifer Germann and Christina Lindeman and our current president Amelia Rauser—have been adept and sagacious. J18, an online journal affiliated with HECAA, launched by Noémie Etienne, Meredith Martin, and Hannah Williams offers another example of a few people making a huge contribution.

My point is that scholarship—whether conducted by the university professor, the museum curator, or the independent scholar—is a communal activity. My plea as we think forward to the future of HECAA is how to further cultivate that conviviality. I want to say very clearly that HECAA’s health didn’t just happen; examples of numerous academic organizations, big and small, in decline reinforce the point. As conversations happen around delineating future goals and projects, I would here note just one priority that resonates for me (admittedly one among several): widening the membership base with an egalitarian eye toward inclusion. The future of higher education will depend not only on tenured-track positions but ever growing numbers of affiliated faculty and adjuncts. I deeply want HECAA to be an intellectual home for independent scholars, for instructors at community colleges, a welcome place not only for curators at large museums but also directors of small house museums and members of the heritage community, for scholars who will have limited travel budgets for conferences. The goal is perfectly aligned with the core values of the organization. Conversations, for example, about how or why everyday museum visitors may feel comfortable or uncomfortable, at home or alienated by eighteenth-century exhibitions go directly to questions of higher education and the museum landscape broadly conceived. I want the field to matter not only for students at a prestigious liberal arts college or an R1 university, and part of that project means building out a wider community of scholars and museum professionals. Addressing how the eighteenth century matters today requires us to attend to questions of audience, constituency, and sociability.

The HECAA at 25 Conference manifestly demonstrated the organization’s capacity to be a profoundly supportive, stimulating community. Thanks to all of you who have helped forge that community. Thanks to all of you who were there in Dallas for such an extraordinary conference.

Craig Hanson

Study Day Results | Fonder les institutions artistiques

Posted in conferences (summary) by Editor on May 6, 2017

PDF files for each presentation are available at the ACA-RES website:

Fonder les institutions artistiques : l’individu, la communauté et leurs réseaux en question
Centre Allemand d’Histoire de l’Art, Paris, 8–9 December 2016

Les premières journées d’étude du programme ACA-RES (Les académies d’art et leurs réseaux dans la France préindustrielle) se sont tenues les 8–9 décembre 2016 au Centre allemand d’histoire de l’art Paris, autour du thème : Fonder les institutions artistiques : l’individu, la communauté et leurs réseaux en question.

L’objectif  de la rencontre était d’interroger la genèse des institutions académiques  au XVIIIe siècle, en  mettant l’accent sur l’articulation entre actions individuelles et logiques collectives; initiatives personnelles et cadres structurels; histoire locale, régionale, et mouvement d’entraînement à l’échelle française. Il s’agissait de revenir aux sources du phénomène de fondation d’écoles de dessin et d’académies d’art, qui pointe à partir des années 1740 à Rouen et à Toulouse et s’étend ensuite sur tout le territoire du royaume.

Première rencontre d’une série de trois préparant la tenue d’un colloque de synthèse en 2019, les discussions font aujourd’hui l’objet d’une diffusion sur la page Hypothèses du programme de recherche, dans la rubrique Les papiers d’ACA-RES. Ces actes sont un point d’étape dans la réflexion : ils rendent compte des questionnements soulevés et offrent un matériel documentaire qui pourra être complété et réinterrogé par la suite. Au présent compte-rendu s’adjoignent donc les « Brefs historiques » des écoles de chaque ville traitée, et les articles issus des communications. Laissés volontairement in progress, ils sont une invitation à rejoindre et prolonger la discussion.

◊  ◊  ◊  ◊  ◊

Anne Perrin Khelissa et Émilie Roffidal, Fonder les institutions artistiques : l’individu, la communauté et leurs réseaux en question

Séance de travail 1 : Les hommes et leurs réseaux
• Mikaël Bougenieres, L’École de dessin de Cambrai : les hommes et leurs réseaux
• Marjorie Guillin, L’Académie royale de peinture, sculpture et architecture de Toulouse : les hommes et leurs réseaux
• Ariane James-Sarazin, Les écoles de dessin à Angers : les hommes et leurs réseaux
• Gaëtane Maës, L’École de dessin de Lille : les hommes et leurs réseaux
• Gaëtane Maës, L’Académie de peinture et de sculpture de Valenciennes : les hommes et leurs réseaux
• Elsa Trani, De la Société des beaux-arts à l’École centrale de Montpellier : les hommes et leurs réseaux
• Nelly Vi-Tong, L’École de dessin de Dijon : les hommes et leurs réseaux

Séance de travail 2 : Les statuts et règlements
• Mikaël Bougenieres, L’École de dessin de Cambrai : les statuts et règlements
• Marjorie Guillin, L’Académie royale de peinture, sculpture et architecture de Toulouse : les statuts et règlements
• Ariane James-Sarazin, Les écoles de dessin à Angers : les statuts et règlements
• Gaëtane Maës, L’École de dessin de Lille : les statuts et règlements
• Gaëtane Maës, L’Académie de peinture et de sculpture de Valenciennes : les statuts et règlements
• Elsa Trani, De la Société des beaux-arts à l’École centrale de Montpellier : les statuts et règlements
• Nelly Vi-Tong, L’École de dessin de Dijon : les statuts et règlements

Save

Save

Conference | HECAA Sessions at UAAC, 2016

Posted in conferences (summary) by Editor on December 22, 2016

This posting is three months late, but in wrapping up year-end business, I think it’s important to note that HECAA has been represented at UAAC since 2013. Again, thanks so much to Christina Smylitopoulos for organizing this year’s session (actually two panels this year as a result of lots of strong proposals)! Next year’s conference meets October 12–15. CH

Universities Art Association of Canada / l’association d’art des universités du Canada
Université du Québec, Montréal, 27–30 October 2016

HECAA Open Sessions (Historians of Eighteenth-Century Art and Architecture)
Chaired by Dr Christina Smylitopoulos, University of Guelph

David Mitchell (PhD candidate, McGill), The Colour of Death: Polychrome Anatomies in Print and Wax

While it was a convention of early modern art theory that colour was evocative of animate life, my paper focuses on eighteenth-century anatomical models in order to investigate an alternate set of implications for polychrome effect. In such works, dead flesh served as reference for investigation of the animating force of physiological mechanism. Documentation of protracted legal battles in France over technological patent for both coloured mezzotint and anatomical waxwork offers, I argue, a discourse of colour plotted in counterpoint to art theory’s promotion of the animate force of coloris. And the elaboration of this other colouristic semantics related pigmented substance, craft, and authority in shifted configuration.

Ersy Contogouris (Adjunct Professor, Université du Québec à Montréal), James Gillray’s Preparatory Drawings for Connoisseurs Examining a Collection of George Morland’s

In 1807, James Gillray published a satire on the phenomenal success of George Morland, painter of rustic genre scenes, whose early death three years earlier had led to a great increase in the demand for his works and to the circulation of countless forgeries. This paper will examine the ten preparatory drawings—a uniquely large number—that survive for his Connoisseurs Examining a Collection of George Morland’s. Their analysis enriches our understanding both of the caricature itself and of the nature of Gillray’s recurring criticism of the late eighteenth/early nineteenth-century art market, and provides us with an unprecedented view into Gilray’s creative process, revealing the many steps involved in developing an idea into a caricature, the role of writing in Gillray’s thought process, and the struggle to find the perfect title. Taken together, these drawings invite us to rethink some of the accepted notions regarding caricature.

Catherine Girard (Visiting Assistant Professor, Williams College), Mirrored Surfaces: Painting and Reflexivity in French Royal Interiors

The addition of mirrors alongside paintings was a major transformation of eighteenth-century interiors that enhanced the reflexivity of richly decorated spaces. French aristocratic hunters were at the heart of this intensified dialogue between interiors and interiority, as large mirrors and genre paintings showing figures that looked and behaved like them adorned the increasingly specialized rooms that were conceived and built for their after-hunt parties in royal residences. This paper explores the reflexive quality of such spaces created in France during the Rococo moment. While the meals taken outdoors by royal hunters reenacted a concomitant architectural quest for intimacy, the pictures painted for hunting dining rooms allowed the same participants to extend the corporeal sensations imprinted by the pursuit and kill to the in situ experience of paintings. The role of illusion in representation was thus expanded to entire rooms, telescoping the outdoors into newly articulated, intimate, and proto-immersive interiors.

Ryan Whyte (Assistant Professor, OCAD University), En sens contraire: Paradoxes of Reversal in French Reproductive Prints of the Ancien Régime

In French printmaking in the Ancien Régime, the reversal of the image inherent in the printmaking process was so rarely remarked on that modern scholarship has responded with corresponding silence on the subject. This paper addresses those lacunae by examining exceptional cases where the printmaker corrected reversed images in reproduction because the reversal rendered some aspect of the composition strange, usually right-handed subjects made left-handed. Such correction occurred within multiple and contradictory artistic and social contexts, including period notions of handedness, at a time when progressive educational discourse, bound up in neoclassical conceptions of virtue and social reform rejected traditional prejudices against left-handedness and promoted the teaching of ambidexterity. Yet the perception of the inherent reversibility of the composition, in which the ‘corrected’ representation of handedness was the exception that proved the rule, was reinforced both by printmaking processes and by the predominance of dematerialized, literary conceptions of composition.

Stéphane Roy (Associate Professor, Carleton University), Révolution et marché de l’art : transformations et continuité

« Quand la guillotine fonctionne […] il est rare que l’art s’épanouisse ». Ainsi s’exprimait l’auteur anonyme de la notice « Beaux-arts » de l’Histoire et dictionnaire de la Révolution française (1987), faisant écho à une longue tradition historiographique selon laquelle la production artistique de la période révolutionnaire a marqué une rupture complète avec les modèles académique et philanthropique d’Ancien Régime. Les historiens ont montré, depuis, que la situation des arts était plus complexe et que la période révolutionnaire avait produit un corpus d’œuvres appréciable. Mais qu’en est-il du marché de l’art ancien au cours de cette même période? Les fluctuations du politique ont-elles eu une influence sur les goûts? Un nouveau public a-t-il pris le relais des collectionneurs d’Ancien Régime? Peut-on parler d’une transformation radicale ou d’une continuité des goûts? Un examen des catalogues de vente mettra au jour une culture visuelle peu connue de cette période charnière.

Cette étude s’inscrit dans le cadre d’une enquête sur l’évolution des goûts en France à la fin du 18e siècle, saisie plus particulièrement à travers l’inventaire et l’analyse des ventes publiques d’œuvres d’art pendant la période révolutionnaire.

Alena Robin (Associate Professor, The University of Western Ontario), Carmelite Preaching in Guadalajara

Signed and dated in 1747 by Antonio Enríquez, a painter active in the second half of the eighteenth century in Nueva Galicia (now Mexico), a huge painting recently appeared in the collection of the Museo Regional de Guadalajara. The painting was registered in the 1931 inventory without a photograph, as was the rest of the collection, and it was most likely forgotten until now. The painting is currently kept in a corner of the storage room of the museum, sectioned in two, and rolled up. The purpose of this presentation is to uncover the complex composition of this painting in relation to the settling of the male Carmelite order in Guadalajara. Issues of the reality of painting in the so-called periphery will be addressed through the figure of Antonio Enríquez. Questions of patronage will also be raised as an inscription on the canvas points towards the benefactor of the painting.

Isabelle Masse (PhD Candidate, McGill University), Entre pastel et photographie : les portraits de Gerrit Schipper au Bas-Canada, 1808–10

Le pastelliste néerlandais Gerrit Schipper (1775 – c.1825) débarque à Philadelphie en 1802, à l’endroit et au moment où l’inventeur John Isaac Hawkins (1772–1855) brevète un nouveau modèle de physionotrace, un appareil reproduisant mécaniquement les visages de profil. Shipper qui travaille avec une semblable « machine à dessiner » se déplace de ville en ville annonçant dans les journaux locaux que sa « nouvelle méthode pour peindre au pastel » produit des « ressemblances exactes ». Le physionotrace suscite en effet des prétentions de vérité qui le font souvent considérer dans la littérature comme étant protophotographique. Ainsi, les rigoureuses effigies en miniature réalisées par l’artiste se situent à la frontière de deux médiums, le pastel et la photographie. À l’aide d’un corpus créé au Bas-Canada entre 1808 et 1810, cette communication fait valoir que la double médialité des portraits est révélatrice des profondes transformations que subit le médium du pastel à l’aube du XIXe siècle.

Paul Holmquist (Independent Scholar; Carleton University, Contract Instructor), ‘Elle fond les Villes’: The Physiognomy of Reconnaissance in Claude-Nicolas Ledoux’s Ideal City of Chaux

This presentation examines the conception of reconnaissance in eighteenth-century France as a central principle of Claude-Nicolas Ledoux’s theory of architectural expression. Connoting ‘gratitude’ as well as ‘recognition’, reconnaissance is asserted by Ledoux as part of the moral effect of his architecture parlante with respect to nature as a providential order, and society as embodying the common good. I argue that the significance of reconnaissance for Ledoux can best be understood in light of Rousseau’s conception of gratitude as the love for what in turn loves and preserves one’s self, and the origin of conscience. Through an analysis of key projects of Ledoux’s ideal city of Chaux I will show how the evocation of reconnaissance in the spectator underlies Ledoux’s ambition to inculcate civic and personal virtue, and entails an essential reciprocity with the expressivity of architecture that challenges any reduction of his character theory to one of mere affect or signification.

New Book | The Royal Garden: Identity, Power and Pleasure

Posted in books, conferences (summary) by Editor on June 3, 2016

From the Ax:son Johnson Foundation:

Kurt Almqvist and Susanna Hakelius Popova, eds., The Royal Garden: Identity, Power and Pleasure (Stockholm: Axel and Margaret Ax:son Johnson Foundation, 2016), 193 pages, 250SEK.

The Royal Garden_cover.inddThroughout history, royals have strongly influenced the form and content of gardens and parks. Our strong connection to these cultivated places is not only due to our fascination with nature itself, but reveals our relationship to royal houses, monarchy and the nation. Through the conservation of these places we do not only see and view nature, but our own cultural heritage.

In this book, eight garden experts from five countries provide important examples of how kings and regents—through their extraordinary creations—have shaped history, communicated with the world, and mirrored themselves in their respective eras. The essays stem from a seminar, The Royal Garden, arranged by The Axel and Margaret Ax:son Johnson Foundation for Public Benefit and held at Drottningholm Palace near Stockholm in 2015.

The conference included these presentations:

• John Dixon Hunt — The Royal Garden as an Historic Concept
• Göran Alm — The Paradise: A Swedish Royal Garden Recreation
• Magnus Olausson — Travels, Tournaments, and Freemasonry: National and International
• Åsa Ahrland — The Royal Park: From Regal Pursuit to Public Recreation
• Renske Ek — The Royal Baroque Garden at Het Loo as a Work of Art
• Patricia Bouchenot-Déchin — Louis XVI, André Le Nôtre, and the Royal Garden of Versailles
• Todd Longstaffe-Gowan — Sweet Prospects and Stately Avenues: The Role and Importance of the Lime Tree Avenues at Hampton Court
• Peter Wirtz — Case Study Domaine de Wideville: Revamping a Louis XIII Garden
• George Plumptre — Overview of, and Differences in, Ten Interesting Royal European Gardens

Journée d’étude | Mode, luxe et metiers a Paris au 18e siecle

Posted in conferences (summary) by Editor on January 28, 2015

From H-ArtHist:

Mode, luxe et metiers a Paris au 18e siecle
Hôtel Soubise, Paris, 3 February 2015

Cette journée d’étude organisée par l’association ART & LUXE à l’hôtel Soubise, 60 rue des Francs Bourgeois à Paris, mardi 3 février 2015, de 14h à 17h, aura pour thème les métiers de la mode et du luxe à Paris au 18e siècle.

À cette occasion seront réunis des spécialistes de l’estampe de mode, de l’histoire des métiers et du style: Pascale Cugy, Clare Haru Crowston, Christian Baulez et Georgina Letourmy-Bordier. Pascale Cugy, auteur d’une thèse récente sur l’estampe de mode, mettra en images les métiers de la mode et du luxe sous l’Ancien Régime. La présence exceptionnelle de Clare Haru Crowston, professeur d’histoire de l’Europe moderne, résidant aux Etats-Unis et travaillant sur l’apprentissage en France sous l’Ancien Régime, permettra une rencontre unique au sujet de ses récentes recherches sur les marchandes de modes à Paris au 18e siècle. Cette journée sera aussi l’opportunité offerte par Christian Baulez, conservateur général honoraire du Patrimoine, de présenter le mobilier récemment acquis par le musée des archives nationales pour l’hôtel de Rohan à Paris. Georgina Letourmy-Bordier, expert en éventails, assistée de Sylvain Le Guen, éventailliste, aborderont ensemble ce métier bien particulier, sur lequel peu de travaux sont encore accessibles, et feront une démonstration en objets.

◊  ◊  ◊  ◊  ◊

P R O G R A M M E

14:00  Corinne Thépaut-Cabasset (Paris): Accueil

14:30  Pascale Cugy (Université Rennes-2): Costumes grotesques: Mettre en images les métiers de la mode et du luxe en France sous l’Ancien Régime

15:00  Clare Haru Crowston (University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign): Les marchandes de modes, un métier célèbre mais encore peu connu

15:30  Christian Baulez (Château de Versailles): Mathieu Debauve, menuisier en sièges des Voyer d’Argenson

16:00  Georgina Letourmy-Bordier (Paris): Entre atelier et boutique, les éventaillistes parisiens au XVIIIe siècle

16:30  Sylvain Le Guen (Paris): Fabriquer l’éventail aujourd’hui

17:00  Discussion

La session sera suivie d’une visite des salons du premier étage où sont exposés les sièges réalisés par Mathieu Debauve sur les dessins de Charles de Wailly, acquis en 2012 pour le musée des Archives nationales de France.

Dans la limite des places disponibles et sur inscription à :
Association ART & LUXE
38 boulevard Henri IV 75004 Paris
art-luxe@live.fr

 

Conference Report | ‘The Educated Eye?’ Connoisseurship Now

Posted in conferences (summary) by Editor on May 14, 2014

Writing for Apollo Magazine’s blog, Katy Barrett provides a recap of the one-day conference on connoisseurship held at The Paul Mellon Centre earlier this month (still available as a recorded webinar). From The Muse Room:

Katy Barrett, ” ‘The Educated Eye? Connoisseurship Now’ at the Paul Mellon Centrer,” The Muse Room: The Apollo Blog (6 May 2014).

he Connoisseur, (1830), unknown artist. Yale Center for British Art, gift of Max and Barbara Wilk

The Connoisseur, 1830, unknown artist (Yale Center for British Art, gift of Max and Barbara Wilk)

What do we mean by ‘connoisseurship’ these days? The term has had negative connotations since at least the 17th century—as long, essentially, as academics, collectors and dealers have prided themselves on possessing this quality. Yet, it also denotes a fêted attribute that any self-respecting art lover would wish to have.

A lively and thought-provoking conference and webinar at The Paul Mellon Centre on Friday 2 May, The Educated Eye: Connoisseurship Now considered this thorny question. Speakers with varied and eclectic backgrounds brought perspectives from the realms of art museums, print collections, art funding, academia, dealerships, auction houses, and conservation. . . .

I was particularly struck by a comment by Stephen Deuchar about academic connoisseurship hiding under the mantle of material culture these days. . . .

Both from our speakers and their subject, personality emerged for me as key to the day. The mantle of authority both as a ‘connoisseur’ and as a commentator on such a person’s validity rests in the marriage of knowledge and persuasive communication, in the mixing of the subjective and the objective, not so different really from an appealing gallery educator or exhibition text. Repeatedly, discussion came back to the need for collaboration to keep these elements in balance. . . .

The full report is available here»

Conference Recap | MAHS 2014, St. Louis

Posted in conferences (summary) by Editor on April 28, 2014

While I’m afraid it’s a bit late, I nonetheless want to draw attention to the excellent slate of papers presented in conjunction with a panel I chaired earlier this month at the 41st annual meeting of the Midwest Art History Society (MAHS), hosted by the Saint Louis Art Museum. If your ears perked up at yesterday’s posting on The Wallace’s small exhibition, Reproducing the 18th Century: Copying French Furniture, I would especially draw your attention to Tobias Locker’s paper; it nicely brought the eighteenth century to St. Louis, indeed to the doorstep of the museum, which is located in Forest Park, the site of the 1904 exhibition. My warm thanks to all four speakers for their fine work. I’ve also included the abstract for Judy Mann’s presentation on an exciting acquisition for SLAM, Joseph Claus’s Bust of Caracalla (a press release is available here). -Craig Hanson

◊  ◊  ◊  ◊  ◊

MAHS Annual Meeting, Eighteenth-Century European Art
Saint Louis Art Museum, 3–5 April 2014

“Cornelis de Bruyn (1652–1726): Artist, Traveler, and Writer,” Rebecca Brienen, Vennerberg Professor of Art and Professor of Art History, Oklahoma State University

This paper addresses the fascinating career of Cornelis de Bruyn (1652–1726), an artist, traveler, and writer from The Hague who spent nearly thirty years outside of the Dutch Republic, living and working in places as far flung as Rome, Constantinople, and Batavia in the Dutch East Indies. During his lifetime, De Bruyn was in contact with other Dutch and European artists, many of them leading painters of the day. In addition, major political figures, including Dutch Stadholder and English king William III, Tsar Peter I of Russia, and Nicolaes Witsen (Dutch East India Company Director and burgomaster of Amsterdam) were patrons and supporters of de Bruyn. The existing literature on de Bruyn has focused specifically on his published travel accounts, but not on his career as an artist in Europe and abroad, areas that this paper will address.

“Capturing Genius: Collecting Salvator Rosa’s Etchings in Eighteenth-Century England,” Nicole N. Conti, Ph.D. Candidate, University of Minnesota

British artists, antiquarians, and aristocrats in the eighteenth century transformed Baroque artist Salvator Rosa (1615–1673) into an archetypal figure embodying the spirit of the Grand Tour. Rosa’s persona pervaded many aspects of intellectual life in England: tourists experienced Rome through his eyes, staying in his former home and comparing their journeys to his landscapes; collectors bought his paintings and etchings; artists emulated Rosa’s style in their works, and created original works that featured Rosa; and composers, novelists, poets, and playwrights wrote works of fiction casting Rosa as a revolutionary. This paper looks at the role collecting Rosa’s prints had in this eighteenth-century revival of Rosa and his cult of genius. It specifically examines albums compiled by eighteenth-century aristocrats of Rosa’s Figurine—a set of 64 small etchings that contains between 1 and 5 figures such as ragged soldiers, knights, Roman sentinels, and seductresses. While each composition contains a unique image, the prints share many visual rhymes: the same figures reappear in different combinations; some figures point off the page; others display dramatic gestural reactions; some compositions mirror each other; some images appear to represent the same group from a different vantage point; etc. This iconography allowed the prints to play off one another in an unlimited number of ways, encouraging the collector to interact with the images and to create personal narratives between the figures. Through the act of recombining these images, the album-maker asserted his own interpretive agency over the images and assigned a new meaning to Rosa and his oeuvre that reflected the needs of the collector.

“Sèvres’ Teaching of Love and the Concept of Marriage in Eighteenth-Century France,” Sarah S. Jones, Ph.D. Candidate, University of Missouri–Columbia

In 1763, the royal porcelain manufactory at Sèvres, France, produced a small sculpture entitled The Teaching of Love. The mythological subject of the piece references an episode in the life of Cupid, god of love, in which he was taught to read by Mercury. Produced in unglazed biscuit porcelain, the Sèvres group displays an adolescent Cupid passing along his knowledge to three young women on the verge of marriageable age. If Mercury, the god of eloquence, taught Cupid about rhetoric, then Cupid, god of love must be relaying his knowledge of love to these girls. Cupid is often cast as an allegory for love and sentiment, an ingredient emphasized in marital relationships during the romantic Rococo era. Eighteenth-century philosophers developed the notion of love, or sentiment, as a vital part of marriage. I propose that Cupid teaching a young girl, as he was taught by Mercury, denotes that an education in the ways of love was an integral element in grooming a girl for her marital relationship in mid-eighteenth century France. Education controlled the passions of the mischievous god; love and sentiment controls immoral passions that threatened the stability of the early modern marriage. I suggest that this scene of girls under the tutelage of a charismatic Cupid relates to the shifting ideas about the concept of marriage and proper aspects of a woman’s preparations for her marital relationship in eighteenth-century France.

“Celebrating Rococo Splendor in St. Louis: Historicizing Prussian Furniture at the 1904 World’s Fair,” Tobias Locker, Lecturer, Saint Louis University, Madrid

Early World Fairs were showcases for technical innovations and achievements in the arts. Nations presented themselves with spectacular pavilions that often referenced a glorious period of their past with distinct architectonical forms or interiors, thereby endowing chauvinist narratives and economic ambitions with historical weight. At the 1904 St. Louis Fair, the German Empire pursued a concept that had proven successful at the Paris Exhibition four years earlier. In St Louis, the Imperial pavilion resembled the central building of Charlottenburg Palace, and its interiors emphasized the Frederician Rococo, embellished with a mix of original and recreated interiors intended to recall the time when Prussia became a major player in Europe.

In particular, this paper addresses the important work of the contemporary luxury furniture producer Joseph-Émmanuel Zwiener (c. 1848–after 1910). On the basis of new archival findings, various examples will illustrate how this Berlin-based cabinetmaker—‘purveyor to the court of his majesty the German King and Emperor William II’—adopted historic French and Prussian models. The paper links his production to the royal furniture the Swiss-born Johann Melchior Kambly (1718–1784) had created for Frederick of Prussia, and it will explain how the objects of these two artisans had already been used to support a nationalistic narrative at the 1900 World’s Fair in Paris. Considering that Zwiener’s outstanding Neo-Rococo furniture was seen by contemporaries as equal to the works of the famous Parisian entrepreneur François Linke, the political dimension in exhibiting his luxury objects as ‘German’ creations is explained. Thus, it will become clear how historic and historicizing furniture were instrumentalized within a nationalist cultural discourse reflecting the competition between Prussia and France at the beginning of the twentieth century.

MAHS Annual Meeting, Recent Acquisitions in Midwestern Collections
Saint Louis Art Museum, 3–5 April 2014

Joseph Claus’s Bust of Caracalla: An Eighteenth-Century Look at an Ancient Masterpiece, Judith W. Mann, Curator, European Art to 1800, Saint Louis Art Museum

Joseph-Claus-1718-1788-Bust-of-the-Emperor-Caracalla

Joseph Claus, Bust of the Emperor Caracalla (r. 198–217 AD), signed and dated 1757, white marble, height 71.5 cm
(Saint Louis Art Museum)

Joseph Claus’s Bust of Caracalla demonstrates the sculptor’s great talent at rendering likeness and his adept carving of marble, making it a masterful example of the Neo-classical style. The bust is one of six known copies after the famous ancient Caracalla that was acquired by the Farnese family in Rome during the sixteenth century. That bust remained in the ducal family’s palace until 1787, when it was shipped together with the rest of the Farnese collection to Naples, where it can still be seen at the Museo Nazionale. Very little is known about Joseph Claus; he has yet to be the focus of extended study. He was born in Cologne, and his earliest dated bust (1754) portrays Clemens August von Wittelsbach, Archibishop and Elector of Cologne and a member of one of the most powerful families of the time. Claus arrived in Rome by 1755 and remained there for most of his career. He is known for his finely-detailed classicizing portraits that are tour-de-forces of marble carving and for his copies after the antique. This paper analyzes Claus’s Bust of Caracalla in terms of what little is known about the artist and evaluates the sculpture in the context of other copies executed by Claus’s contemporaries.

The full conference programme is available here»