Seminar | The Interiors of Jean de Jullienne’s Paintings Collection

Posted in lectures (to attend) by Editor on June 15, 2017

From the seminar flyer:

Seminars in the History of Collecting
Laura Langelüddecke | Lieux de Collection: The Interiors of Jean de Jullienne’s Paintings Collection
The Wallace Collection, London, 26 June 2017

This seminar focuses on entrepreneur, amateur, and collector Jean de Jullienne (1686–1766), whose comprehensive activities are paradigmatic of the heyday of private collecting during the Régence period. Chiefly known for his substantial collection of Dutch, Flemish, and French paintings, Jullienne also spent lavishly on furniture and sculpture, as well as porcelain, lacquer objects, and other exotic curiosities. Director of the Manufacture royale des Gobelins, the leading producer of tapisseries and other luxurious furnishings, his private hôtel adjacent to the manufactory was at the heart of a dynamic artistic milieu that defined the style of contemporary fashionable interiors.

While recent research on Jullienne and fellow collectors of his time has focused on the identification of individual paintings and the social and professional networks involved in the formation of these cabinets, little attention has been given to the interiors which housed these works. Understanding the collection as an intrinsic part of the domestic realm, this seminar will investigate the creation and modification of domestic spaces to accommodate works of art in early eighteenth-century Paris. Taking into account archival evidence as well as contemporary writings on architecture and interior design, the paper will explore the principles according to which an interior intended for the display of paintings was conceived and how the juxtaposition of different colours, textures, and material qualities was used to impact the sensory effect of the presentation.

The Wallace Collection Lecture Theatre, Monday, 26 June, 5:30pm (free).

Laura Langeluddecke is a PhD candidate at the University of Bonn and Assistant Curator at The Wallace Collection.

Lecture | John Chu on Philip Mercier

Posted in lectures (to attend) by Editor on May 16, 2017

From the Paul Mellon Centre:

John Chu, ‘Newly Invented Original Paintings’:
Philip Mercier and the Origins of the British Fancy Picture
Paul Mellon Centre for Studies in British Art, London, 13 June 2017

Philip Mercier, Portrait of Margaret (Peg) Woffington, oil on canvas (London: The Garrick Club).

The Huguenot painter Philip Mercier (1689–1760) was at the vanguard of one of the most intriguing of eighteenth-century British art forms: the fancy picture. Playful in tone and fluttering in execution, Mercier’s fancies typically depict a non-too-serious world of modern men, women and children living a life of fashion, pleasure and the senses. Though manifestly trivial in theme and decorative by design, these are often nonetheless rather imposing works of art, presenting their life-scale characters close to the viewer so as to evoke a palpable sense of presence. Mercier’s role in adapting Continental prototypes of this kind of picture for the diversifying and growing British art market has long been recognised. This talk offers an enhanced version of this origin story, setting the imagery of this first wave of fancies in the context of extraordinary expansion in the British consumption of fine and modish goods of all kinds. It also takes a close look at how, as a maker of novel luxuries, Mercier both profited by and fell victim to the very world of fleeting fashions that he took as his primary subject, exposing the tribulations that lurked beneath the surface of the British fancy picture during its light-hearted beginnings.

John Chu is Assistant Curator of Pictures and Sculpture for the National Trust and has taught at the Courtauld Institute of Art and the University of Reading. He has published on the art of Thomas Gainsborough, Joshua Reynolds, and French artists working in eighteenth-century Britain, as well as on various dimensions of the National Trust’s picture collections. He read English literature at the University of Cambridge before pursuing postgraduate studies in the history of art at the Courtauld. Having specialised in eighteenth-century British and French art during his masters’ degree, he gained his doctorate in 2015 for ‘The Fortunes of Fancy Painting in Eighteenth-Century England’. He is currently writing a book on the same subject with a Postdoctoral Fellowship from the Paul Mellon Centre for Studies in British Art.

The Fellows Lunch Series is a series of free lunchtime research talks given by recipients of Paul Mellon Centre Fellowships. All are welcome but please book a ticket in advance. Tuesday, 13 June 2017, 12:30–2:00pm.


New Book | Collecting the World: Hans Sloane

Posted in books, lectures (to attend) by Editor on May 12, 2017

From the Royal College of Physicians:

James Delbourgo, The Life and Curiosity of Hans Sloane
Royal College of Physicians, London, 7 June 2017

This lecture by Professor James Delbourgo explores the astonishing story of Sir Hans Sloane, a young Irish doctor who became one of the greatest physicians, collectors, and figures of the eighteenth century. Wednesday, 7 June 2017, 18:00–20:00. Please note that places for this free event are extremely limited and advance booking is essential. For additional details, please see the Royal College of Physicians website.

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From Harvard UP:

James Delbourgo, Collecting the World: Hans Sloane and the Origins of the British Museum (Cambridge: Belknap Press, 2017), 544 pages, ISBN 978  06747  37334, $35 / £28 / €32.

In 1759 the British Museum opened its doors to the general public—the first free national museum in the world. James Delbourgo’s biography of Hans Sloane recounts the story behind its creation, told through the life of a figure with an insatiable ambition to pit universal knowledge against superstition and the means to realize his dream.

Born in northern Ireland in 1660, Sloane amassed a fortune as a London society physician, becoming a member of the Whig establishment and president of the Royal Society and Royal College of Physicians. His wealth and contacts enabled him to assemble an encyclopedic collection of specimens and objects—the most famous cabinet of curiosities of its time. For Sloane, however, collecting a world of objects meant collecting a world of people, including slaves. His marriage to the heir of sugar plantations in Jamaica gave Sloane access to the experiences of planters and the folkways of their human property. With few curbs on his passion for collecting, he established a network of agents to supply artifacts from China, India, North America, the Caribbean, and beyond. Wampum beads, rare manuscripts, a shoe made from human skin—nothing was off limits to Sloane’s imagination. This splendidly illustrated volume offers a new perspective on the entanglements of global scientific discovery with imperialism in the eighteenth century. The first biography of Sloane based on the full range of his writings and collections, Collecting the World tells the rich and complex story of one of the Enlightenment’s most controversial luminaries.

James Delbourgo is Associate Professor of History at Rutgers University.

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List of Illustrations
List of Maps

Introduction: The Original Sloane Ranger

I. Empire of Curiosities
1  Transplantation
2  Island of Curiosities
3  Keeping the Species from Being Lost

II. Assembling The World
4  Becoming Hans Sloane
5  The World Comes to Bloomsbury
6  Putting the World in Order
7  Creating the Public’s Museum

Conclusion: The Man Who Collected the World






Exhibition | Showstoppers: Silver Centrepieces

Posted in exhibitions, lectures (to attend) by Editor on May 10, 2017

Thomas Pitts, Epergne, London, 1759
(Leeds Museums and Galleries)

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Opening this weekend at Temple Newsam:

Showstoppers: Silver Centrepieces
Temple Newsam House, Leeds, West Yorkshire, 13 May — 16 October 2017

Curated by Rachel Conroy

Silver is a seductive, glamorous material and the centrepiece is one of its most wondrous uses. Showstoppers takes two iconic eighteenth-century centrepieces from Temple Newsam’s renowned historic silver collection and presents them alongside contemporary masterpieces by artists Junko Mori and Miriam Hanid. The exhibition showcases the continuation and reinvention of traditional silversmithing techniques and celebrates women in silver, as makers and owners.

S A T U R D A Y ,  1 0  J U N E  2 0 1 7

Silversmithing Demonstration
An exciting opportunity to see artist silversmith Miriam Hanid demonstrating chasing and engraving in the Great Hall. 11.00–12.00 and 12.30–1.30. Free with general admission.

Surtouts, Epergnes and Grands Platts Menages: Silver and Ceramic Centrepieces
Join James Lomax for a survey of the wondrous array of silver and ceramic centrepieces produced in England during the eighteenth century. 2.00–3.00. Free with general admission, but booking required.

Exhibition Tour
Join exhibition curator, Rachel Conroy, for a tour of the exhibition. 3.00–3.45. Free with general admission, but booking required.

O T H E R  E V E N T S

Artist Talk: Miriam Hanid
9 June, 2.00–3.00
Miriam will explain how she started her silversmithing journey and how her capabilities have now developed into creating large commissions for a range of collectors and private clients. Followed by a tour of the exhibition. £7 (including admission), booking required.

Silver and Yachts: The Glamorous Possessions of Women at Temple Newsam
5 July, 2.00–3.00
Curator Rachel Conroy will tell the stories behind some of the most luxurious objects in the collection that were owned by or connected to women. Free with general admission, but booking required.

Shining Silver Commissions from the Sheffield Assay Office Collection: The Work of Junko Mori
16 September, 2.00–3.00
Emma Paragreen (Sheffield Assay Office) will give a brief introduction to the history and work of the Sheffield Assay Office and then focus on two examples of work commissioned by Sheffield Assay Office from Junko Mori. Free with general admission, but booking required.

An Eye for Design: Rosalinde Gilbert, Fashion Designer and Collector
14 October, 2.00–3.00
In this talk, Hanne Faurby (V&A) will introduce Rosalinde Gilbert, a fashion designer working in wartime London. Charlotte Johnson (V&A) will then discuss the Gilbert Collection, formed by Rosalinde and her husband Arthur, examining how Rosalinde’s background in design may have informed their collecting practices. Free with general admission, but booking required.




Seminar | Collecting Ancien Régime France from Boston

Posted in lectures (to attend) by Editor on May 10, 2017

François Boucher, Halt at the Spring, 1765, oil on canvas, 82 × 114 inches
(Boston: MFA, 71.2)

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Seminars in the History of Collecting
David Pullins | Collecting Ancien Régime France from Boston between 1789 and 1848
The Wallace Collection, London, 22 May 2017

This seminar addresses the opportunities provided by revolutions in France for Boston collectors James Swan and Edward Preble Deacon—Swan in 1789 and Deacon in the 1840s—to gather French royal furnishings and paintings of the highest calibre. Swan (1754–1831) served as the official United States agent to the French revolutionary government between 1794 and 1796. He supplied grain, ammunition and sundry goods for which he was willing to receive, in lieu of cash, confiscated royal furniture, textiles and metalwork. At the end of the 1840s, at a time of political unrest in France, Deacon (1813–1851) acquired for his Boston home François Boucher’s monumental Halt at the Spring (1765) and Return from the Market (1767) and exceptional panelling designed by Claude-Nicolas Ledoux for the hotel Montmorency (c. 1770), which had been demolished in 1848.

The Swan and Deacon collections come remarkably early in the history of collecting ancien régime material culture in the Americas and provided the foundation of the European holdings of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston. In this seminar, I propose to look in particular at how exemplary works from ancien régime France were installed in expressly built Boston interiors and how these collections were perceived in early America through an examination of journals and the popular press. Embodying a level of craftsmanship to which early American industrialists could only aspire, they also held a peculiar political status as plunder from a royalist faction—albeit one that had, within living memory, helped the United States secure its independence from the British monarchy.

The Wallace Collection Lecture Theatre, Monday, 22 May, 5:30pm.

Dr David Pullins (History, Theory Criticism, Department of Architecture, Massachusetts Institute of Technology and The Frick Collection).



Conference | Women Artists and Patrons at the Late Medici Court

Posted in lectures (to attend) by Editor on April 15, 2017

From H-ArtHist:

A Legacy of Ladies: Women Artists and Patrons at the Late Medici Court
The Medici Archive, Palazzo Alberti, 21 April 2017

Organized by Sheila Barker, Amy Fredrickson, and Julie James

The 2017 Jane Fortune Conference examines the deep imprint that women left on the artistic ferment of Baroque Florence, beginning under the regency of Archduchess Maria Maddalena of Austria and continuing through the last years of Electress Palatine. To do so, it will explore the cultural agency of both female patrons at the Medici court and the women artists who flourished there, from the mid seventeenth century to the early eighteenth century.

Only in recent years has attention been given to the complex web of female social patterns at the late Medici court. Vittoria della Rovere has been acknowledged as a key patron, yet her successors and their own patronage patterns have yet to be fully explored. The physical spaces used by noble women and their female households throughout Europe are essential to this study. Here, both heraldry and the displays of art collections helped to demarcate these spaces. Thanks to their talents, some low-born women were given a degree of access to female courts. Exacting standards of moral conduct were expected of them, mitigating against their social station. Juxtaposing women painters with the irreproachable embroiders and lacemakers and the potentially licentious singers and actresses opens a discussion about the social and behavioral aspects of female creativity in early modern Florence.


10:00  Introductory Remarks

10:15   Keynote Address
• Adelina Modesti, Women Artists at the Medici Court of Grand Duchess Vittoria della Rovere (1622–1694): Painters, Pastellists, Lacemakers, and Embroiderers

11:15  Morning Session
• Ilaria Hoppe, Uno spazio di potere femminile: Villa del Poggio Imperiale, residenza di Maria Maddalena d’Austria
• Silvia Benassai, ‘Io ho grande ardire, e non temo niente’: Violante Beatrice di Baviera, mecenate nella Toscana degli ultimi Medici
• Laura Windisch, Between Power and Privacy: Anna Maria Luisa de’ Medici’s Patronage at Villa La Quiete
• Laura Cirri, Le Granduchesse di Toscana: la loro rappresentazione attraverso l’araldica

1:00  Lunch

14:45  Afternoon Session
• Lisa Goldenberg Stoppato, Agnese Dolci: New Attributions
• Sheila Barker, Suor Teresa Vitelli’s Natural History Paintings: Women Artists and the Scientific Culture of the Early Enlightenment
• Julie James, A Nun Artist at the Medici Court: The Religious Pastel Works of Suor Teresa Vitelli
• Amy Fredrickson, Giovanna Fratellini: Motives, Patronage, and Success within the Medici Court System
• Poiret Masse, Violante Siries Cerroti at the Medici Court, ca. 1724–37
• Francesca Fantappiè, Donne in carriera: attrici, cantanti, musiciste alla corte medicea

Moderators: Alessio Assonitis, Elisa Acanfora, Susanna Cecilia Berger, and Catherine Turrill Lupi

Smithsonian American Art Museum Fellows Lectures, 2017

Posted in lectures (to attend) by Editor on April 14, 2017

I’ve noted details for the session most relevant to the eighteenth century; the full schedule is available via the posting at H-ArtHist. –CH

Smithsonian American Art Museum Fellows Lectures
Smithsonian American Art Museum, Washington, D.C., 3–5 May 2017

The Smithsonian American Art Museum cordially invites you to attend three afternoons of lectures delivered by its research fellows. The talks will be held in the museum’s McEvoy Auditorium, located at 8th and G Streets NW, Washington, D.C. This event is open to the public, and no reservations are required. The talks will be available through a simultaneous webcast, available here. A wine reception will conclude the series on Friday evening. For further information, please e-mail SAAMFellowships@si.edu.

Wednesday, 3 May 2017, 2:00–3:40
Moderator: William H. Truettner (Curator Emeritus, Smithsonian American Art Museum)
• Emily Thames (Joe and Wanda Corn Predoctoral Fellow, Florida State University), Rendering Reform, Rendering Empire: José Campeche as Draftsman in Late Eighteenth-Century San Juan, Puerto Rico
• Jennifer Chuong (Predoctoral Fellow, Harvard University), Bedeviling the Stamp Act: Materiality and Protest in Revolutionary America [as Chuong notes below in the comments: “due to some late-breaking research finds, I will actually be talking about a different Revolutionary-era printer: that is, Benjamin Franklin, and his interest in paper marbling.”]
• Patricia Johnston (Terra Foundation Senior Fellow in American Art, College of the Holy Cross), The China Trade and the Classical Tradition in Federal America

Symposium | Bouchardon and His Contemporaries

Posted in lectures (to attend) by Editor on March 19, 2017


Left: Gilles Demarteau after Edme Bouchardon, Model Posing for ‘The Genius of Summer’, ca. 1740s–50s (Los Angeles: Getty Research Institute, 2015.PR.58). Right: Edme Bouchardon, The Genius of Summer, 1745 (Paris: Grenelle Fountain).

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In February, I noted the symposium; here’s the schedule:

Bouchardon and His Contemporaries
The Getty Center, Los Angeles, 2 April 2017

Organized in conjunction with the exhibition Bouchardon: Royal Artist of the Enlightenment (J. Paul Getty Museum, 10 January — 2 April 2017), this symposium explores the relationships that Bouchardon (1698–1762), an extraordinarily talented sculptor and draftsman, had with his contemporaries (artists, patrons, and connoisseurs). It also investigates the diffusion and reception of his oeuvre. Bouchardon’s career as a sculptor appears exceptional in several respects when compared to that of other artists active during the eighteenth century in France, England, or Italy. Atypically, most of his work (whether drawn, printed, modeled, cast, or carved) related to three-dimensional objects in a wide range of scales, from small gems to monumental sculpture, such as the Grenelle Fountain.

The human body was a constant subject of interest to Bouchardon. He explored its inner structure by conceiving and publishing a treatise on artistic anatomy, and he devised a very personal and elaborate aesthetic of the body that subtly blended his passion for antiquity and his commitment to the truthful depiction of nature. His experiments in the graphic arts and his interest in human expression also led him to make grotesque depictions of the human figure in the genre of caricature. Bouchardon’s masterpieces, especially those staged in public spaces, such as the Grenelle Fountain and the Equestrian Monument to Louis XV, had a critical impact on the artist’s contemporaries. In this regard, the reception and portrayal of these artworks through drawings and prints made by Gabriel de Saint-Aubin during the two decades that followed Bouchardon’s death are particularly enlightening.


10:00  Welcome by Thomas Gaehtgens (The Getty Research Institute)
10:05  Introductions: Anne-Lise Desmas (The J. Paul Getty Museum) and Édouard Kopp (Harvard Art Museums)

10:10  Morning Session
Moderator: Guilhem Scherf (Musée du Louvre)
• Malcolm Baker (University of California, Riverside), Some Ways of Carving out a Sculptural Career: Bouchardon, Roubiliac, Pigalle
• Anne-Lise Desmas, Bouchardon and Early Modern Sculptors in Rome
• Kristel Smentek (Massachusetts Institute of Technology), Bouchardon, P.-J. Mariette, and the ‘Pure Taste’ of the Antique
• Katie Scott (The Courtauld Institute of Art), Modelling Water: Bouchardon and the Fountain at the rue de Grenelle

12:30  Lunch

2:30  Afternoon Session
Moderator: Juliette Trey (Musée du Louvre)
• Monique Kornell (University of California, Los Angeles), Bouchardon’s Unusual Anatomy Book for Artists: L’anatomie nécessaire pour l’usage du dessein [1741] in Context
• Ewa Lajer-Burcharth (Harvard University), Bouchardon’s Body
• Édouard Kopp, Bouchardon, Caricature, and the Grotesque
• Perrin Stein (The Metropolitan Museum of Art), Activating Public Space: Bouchardon through the Eyes of Saint-Aubin

Research Seminar | Sigrid de Jong on British and French Architecture

Posted in lectures (to attend) by Editor on March 15, 2017

From the Paul Mellon Centre:

Sigrid de Jong, Dialogues across the Channel: British and French
Architects on Architectural Experience, 1750–1815

Paul Mellon Centre, London, 22 March 2017


Thomas Sandby, Receipt for a Set of Six London Views (Design for a Bridge), ca. 1758, pen and black ink and gray wash, incised for transfer on medium, moderately textured, cream laid paper mounted on thick, moderately textured, cream laid paper (Yale Center for British Art, B1977.10.5).

The notion that buildings are foremost objects to be experienced and that the intended experience of buildings should guide their design became a key concept in the period 1750–1815. At that time, Paris and London, the main centres of cultural debates, went through major urban and architectural developments. In my research project, entitled “Experience and Design: The Emergence of Architectural Experience in Paris and London, 1750–1815,” I argue that architectural experience emerged there as a crucial new element. The project examines how the relationship between experience and design evolved: how eighteenth-century architects described their observations on buildings in their writings; which theoretical concepts they used to translate these into design theories for their lectures at the academies of architecture; and how they used them in their designs of buildings. This research seminar focuses on some of the dialogues of British and French architects across the Channel in the context of public architectural debates and on some key projects in eighteenth-century London and Paris that are exemplary for the interactions between experience and design. Wednesday, 22 March 2017, from 6:00 to 8:00pm. Registration information is available here.

Sigrid de Jong is an architectural historian at Leiden University, the Netherlands. Since 2016 she conducts a research project on “Experience and Design: The Emergence of Architectural Experience in Paris and London, 1750–1815,” funded by NWO (Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research). Her previous postdoctoral research was on primitivism and architectural theory in the NWO-VIDI project “The Quest for the Legitimacy of Architecture 1750–1850,” with Maarten Delbeke. She obtained her PhD in art and architectural history at Leiden University in 2010. Her book Rediscovering Architecture: Paestum in Eighteenth-Century Architectural Experience and Theory (based on her PhD thesis) was published by Yale University Press in 2014. Together with Caroline van Eck she is the editor of the Companion to Eighteenth-Century Architecture (series editor Harry Mallgrave, Wiley-Blackwell, to be published in 2017).





Research Lunch | Isabelle Baudino on Samuel Wale’s Book Illustrations

Posted in lectures (to attend) by Editor on March 2, 2017

From the Paul Mellon Centre:

Isabelle Baudino, Samuel Wale’s Book Illustrations:
Designing Historical Panoramas in Georgian London
Paul Mellon Centre, London, 31 March 2017


Charles Grignion, after Samuel Wale, Britannia Allegory, between 1743 and 1747, Line engraving and etching; letterpress on verso on medium, slightly textured, cream laid paper (page in book) (Yale Center for British Art, Yale Art Gallery Collection).

Despite being a founding member of the Royal Academy of Arts, Samuel Wale (1721?–1786) has remained quite an elusive figure. Most of his easel paintings have disappeared and the greater part of his decorative works has been damaged or destroyed. Although he was apprenticed as an engraver, he started his career as a painter, attending classes at St Martin’s Lane Academy, decorating the Foundling Hospital and assisting Francis Hayman. While being consistently involved in the academic movement that led to the foundation of the Royal Academy, Wale also became one of the most prolific book illustrators of the day, designing hundreds of plates that contributed to the growing popularity of pictorial histories. Over the course of his forty-year career, he established a formulaic, full-page framed historical scene offering an unprecedented visualisation of British history. Indeed, building on his first selection of historical events, and drawing inspiration from the theatre, other books or paintings, Wale established a sequence of landmarks that gave an overview of Britain’s history from its ancient origins until modern times. He thus contributed to the visual perception of historical chronology and created images of national history that were emulated, adapted and appropriated. Friday, 31 March 2017, from 12:30 to 2:00pm. Registration information is available here.

I will argue that despite their low aesthetic and commercial value, the images that composed Wale’s historical panorama proved remarkably persistent because they brought together history, nationhood and iconography, thus transforming the understanding of history and fostering a new engagement with the past and its traces in the eighteenth-century present.

Isabelle Baudino is Senior Lecturer at the ENS in Lyons and has been a Visiting Fellow at Magdalene College, Cambridge, over the past academic year. Her work focuses on eighteenth-century British art with particular interest in history painting and the Royal Academy, taken individually, but also studied together in the context of the institutionalization of the arts in eighteenth-century Britain. Her study on Samuel Wale is part of a project which is generously supported by a mid-career fellowship from the Paul Mellon Centre for Studies in British Art.