Attributed to Robert Jacob Gordon, Upper (Northern) Half of Gordon’s ‘Great Map of Southern Africa, ca. 1786; ink, pencil, and watercolor on paper, 91.5 × 203 cm (Amsterdam: Rijksmuseum, RP-T-1914-17-3-A). More information and a high resolution image is available here»
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Press release (14 February 2017) from the Rijksmuseum:
Today the Rijksmuseum launches www.robertjacobgordon.nl through which all of Robert Jacob Gordon’s drawings, diaries and letters are made accessible to all for the first time. The 18th-century Dutch explorer documented South Africa’s inhabitants, flora, and fauna in more than 450 detailed drawings. He meticulously noted down in his diaries and letters everything he experienced during his expeditions. The drawings, which include unique 8-metre-long panoramas, form part of the collection at the Rijksmuseum. The diaries and letters are kept in the Brendhurst Library in Johannesburg. On the occasion of the exhibition Good Hope: South Africa and the Netherlands from 1600, all of Gordon’s diaries and drawings are reunited for the first time and thus present a comprehensive view of 18th-century South Africa.
Zoom in on 18th-Century South Africa
Through robertjacobgordon.nl, visitors are given a complete portrait of what Gordon encountered, and where. The site enables visitors to zoom in on the 18th-century map Gordon created alongside contemporary South Africa via Google Maps. The comparison revealed the uncanny accuracy of Gordon’s measurements. His diaries and letters are also made available digitally for the first time via the website. Gordon’s travel notes, discovered in 1960, are kept in the Brandhurst Library in Johannesburg. Through the website, these documents are made accessible for the first time. The original texts have been transcribed and translated into English for the occasion, with special functions linking Gordon’s texts to his drawings.
Robert Jacob Gordon
The 18th-century Dutch scientist Robert Jacob Gordon (1743–1795) travelled through the interior of South Africa during the second half of the 18th century. As a zoologist, cartographer, geographer, linguist, meteorologist, and anthropologist, he recorded his discoveries in an ‘Atlas’—a treasure trove of 450 drawings along with spectacular panoramas, multiple metres in length, that show precisely how Gordon portrayed the land, its inhabitants and the flora and fauna. To record all of this in words and in pictures, he made four extensive expeditions deep into the interior of South Africa, where he was frequently the mediator between the local people and the colonists, resolving conflicts arisen from arson, murders, and cattle thefts. As a representative of the European Enlightenment, Gordon poured his knowledge and expertise into the creation of ‘Great Map’, his compendium which remained unfinished due to his suicide in 1795 post the British invasion. A large number of Gordon’s drawings and metres-long, meticulously drawn panoramas can be seen in Rijksmuseum’s exhibition Good Hope: South Africa and the Netherlands from 1600 (17 February to 21 May 2017).
robertjacobgordon.nl is made possible by Cees en Ingeborg van der Burg and is created by the Rijksmuseum in association with Fabrique and Q42. The web address is obtained thanks to the Doesburgs’ Historical Society HetHuisDoesburg.
From the Terra Foundation:
Terra Foundation for American Art Academic Workshop and Symposium Grants
Fall 2017 Awards
Letters of inquiry due by 15 March 2017
The Terra Foundation for American Art actively supports projects that encourage international scholarship on American art topics, as well as scholarly projects with focused theses that further research of American art in an international context. Academic program funding is available for in-person exchanges such as workshops, symposia, and colloquia that advance scholarship in the field of American art (circa 1500–1980) that take place
• In Chicago or outside the United States, or
• In the United States and examine American art within an international context and include a significant number of international participants.
Additionally, the foundation welcomes applications for international research groups. Such groups should involve 2 to 4 faculty members from two or more academic institutions, at least one of which must be located outside the United States. Groups should pursue specific research questions that will advance scholarship and meet in person two or more times.
Visual arts that are eligible for Terra Foundation Academic Workshop and Symposium Grants include all visual art categories except architecture, performance art, and commercial film/animation. We favor programs that place objects and practices in an art historical perspective.
Note: The foundation funds museum-organized educational programs related to exhibitions through its Exhibition Grants; therefore only organizers from universities and research institutes may apply for exhibition-related programs through the Academic Program area.
Within a given year, the foundation seeks to support a range of topics. Please note that grants in this area are typically capped at $25,000 with exceptions only made for unusual circumstances.
While the Terra Foundation for American Art welcomes recurring requests, organizations that have submitted multiple applications should note that the foundation also attempts to fund programs at a variety of organizations. Due to the competitive nature of this program area, not every request can be funded, regardless of prior support.
I imagine some Enfilade readers will find Early Modern Typography useful (it includes the eighteenth century); it’s also interesting to see a blog used as an index for a Flickr collection of images. As posted several days ago on the SHARP listserv (with permission from Paul Dijstelberge for resposting). –CH
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On the first day of the year I want to present a new website: earlymoderntypography.com. I have been adding images to a Flickr collection for 7 years, but the access became more and more difficult, due to the sheer amount of images. Early Modern Typography functions as an index to the Flickr website of 70,000 images of type, historiated initials, images, pages, bindings, and so on. The Flickr collection functions as a repository containing the ‘rough’ material for a book I am writing on the 16th-century European decorated initials (to be finished in 2017, with a separate website with advanced search possibilities).
The Flickr site contains material of 800+ printers and is growing on a daily basis. In time I hope to use ICONCLASS and advanced image search to create an instrument for the history of the book in the broadest sense. In 2017 I hope to digitize the archives of the late Paul Valkema Blouw that contains all 16th-century Dutch printers from 1540 to 1600 and to start on the Dutch late 17th and 18th centuries. Dutch books can be rather boring so I will add initials and images from other European printers too, mainly from the 16th and 18th centuries.
There is another page that might be of interest: illustrations from early modern books. I am working on Ovid’s Metamorphoses and on our great collections of topography and medicine at the Allard Pierson / Special Collections at the University of Amsterdam. Ovid is part of a project to write a thesis on the Dutch editions of the Metamorphoses.
I hope 2017 will be a good year. Like Candide I will spend it with cultivating my garden, but not without looking out for our civilization in general.
University of Amsterdam / Allard Pierson – Special Collections
HBA Publication Grant
Each year HBA awards a grant to offset publication costs for a book manuscript or peer-reviewed journal article in the field of British art or visual culture that has been accepted for publication. To be eligible for the $600 award, applicants must be current members of HBA who can demonstrate that the HBA subvention will replace their out of pocket costs. Applications are not accepted from institutions. To apply, send a 500-word project description, publication information (correspondence from press or journal confirming commitment to publish and projected publication date), budget, and CV to Kimberly Rhodes, HBA Prize Committee Chair, firstname.lastname@example.org by 15 January 2017.
Continent Allegories in the Baroque Age: A Research Database
By Marion Romberg, of the Austrian Research Project Erdteilallegorien im
Barockzeitalter in the University of Vienna’s Department of History
During the late Renaissance—around 1570—humanists developed a new ‘shorthand’ way of representing the world at a single glance: personifications of the four continents Europe, Asia, Africa and America. While the continent allegory as an iconic type had already been invented in antiquity, humanists and their artists adapted the concept by creating the four- continent scheme and standardized the attributes characterizing the continents. During the next 230 years until ca. 1800, this iconic scheme became a huge success story. All known media were employed to bring the four continent allegories into the public and into people’s homes. Within this prolonged history of personifications of the continents, the peak was reached in the Late Baroque, and especially the 18th century. As a pictorial language they were interwoven with texts, dogmas, narratives and stereotypes. Thus the project team find himself asking: What did continent allegories actually mean to people living in the Baroque age?
Notably—though not exclusively—this question is the topic of a research project on continent allegories carried out between 2012 and 2016. The project team approached the subject in a new and systematic fashion. First, a clearly defined geographic area consisting of the greater part of Southern Holy Roman Empire from Freiburg in the Breisgau to the eastern frontier of Lower Austria including Vienna was chosen; the northern limit of the study area is constituted by the Main River, the southern one by South Tyrol. Secondly, the project studied continent allegories in immovable media like fresco, stucco and sculptures within abbeys, palaces, parks and gardens, townhouses and—most importantly—in churches. The systematic survey conducted by the project team identified 407 instances of continent allegories in the south of the Holy Roman Empire. To facilitate the systematic and detailed analysis of all identified instances of continent allegories, a database was developed and is now open access: continentallegories.univie.ac.at. This database allows the use of the collection of sources for various research interests: iconography and iconology, reception of aesthetics, cultural history, social history, history of identity, history of science, etc.
Further results of this research project can be found in the in English published anthology The Language of Continent Allegories in Baroque Central Europe (Stuttgart, 2016) and in the doctoral thesis by Marion Romberg “Die Welt im Dienst der Konfession. Erdteilallegorien in Dorfkirchen auf dem Gebiet des Fürstbistums Augsburg im 18. Jahrhundert“ (Stuttgart, 2017).
Project Team, 2012–16
Prof. Dr. Wolfgang Schmale, University of Vienna, www.wolfgangschmale.eu
Dr. Marion Romberg, University of Vienna, www.marionromberg.eu
Dr. Josef Köstlbauer, University of Bremen, email@example.com
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Wolfgang Schmale, Marion Romberg, and Josef Kostlbauer, eds., The Language of Continent Allegories in Baroque Central Europe (Stuttgart, Franz Steiner Verlag, 2016), 240 pages, ISBN 978 3515 114578, 52€ / $78.
The iconography of the four continents dates back to 16th and early 17th centuries, at a time when Europe’s vision of the world was changed dramatically by discovery and conquest of the New World. Its peak of dissemination was reached in the 18th century. The late Baroque claims a special role for two reasons: first is the large number of reproductions and applications during this period, and the second is the multifaceted significance these allegories enjoyed. They could be inserted into religious and liturgical settings as well as into political language or that of the history of civilization and mankind. ‘Language’ in this sense means that the continent allegories were less the object of an art historical interpretation than being considered a formative part of religious, liturgical, political, historical, and other discourses. As pictorial language they were interwoven with text, dogmas, narratives, and stereotypes. Thus the authors of this volume inquire what the allegories of the four continents actually meant to people living in the Baroque age.
Cover image: Continent Allegories by Johann Baptist Enderle in the parish church St. Martin in Schwabmühlhausen (Germany) of 1759 (detail).
In collaboration with UNC Libraries and ITS Research Computing, The William Blake Archive launched on 12 December 2016 a complete and transformative redesign of its website. This new site, www.blakearchive.org, retains all of the features of the previous site, which had become so indispensable to Blake scholars, and offers vast improvements, making it easier than ever for educators and scholars to access and study Blake’s inimitable works.
The Blake Archive, one of the preeminent digital humanities sites in the world, is a hypermedia archive of Blake’s poetry and art that is sponsored by the Library of Congress and supported by the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and the University of Rochester. Past support came from the Getty Grant Program, the Paul Mellon Centre for Studies in British Art, and the National Endowment for the Humanities. The Archive integrates, for the first time, all of Blake’s visual and literary work. It comprises almost 7000 high-resolution digital images of Blake’s illuminated books, paintings, drawings, manuscripts, and engravings drawn from over 45 of the world’s great research libraries and museums.
William Hogarth, The Christening, ca. 1728.
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Press release (16 November 2016) from Gov.UK’s Department for Culture, Media & Sport:
Culture Minister Matt Hancock has placed a temporary export bar on a satirical painting by William Hogarth to provide an opportunity to keep it in the country. The Christening by William Hogarth is at risk of being exported from the UK unless a buyer can be found to match the asking price of £1,223,100.
William Hogarth is considered to be one of the most important figures in eighteenth-century British art and culture. He was known for his satirical artwork, and The Christening was his first painted comical scene. It shows a christening taking place in a wealthy but disorderly home. From the little girl about to knock over the christening bowl, to the dog about to rip apart the hat on the ground, the painting is a satirical scene of contemporary life in the eighteenth century. The painting marks Hogarth’s beginning as a satirical artist and demonstrates his development into comical artwork.
Culture Minister Matt Hancock said: “Hogarth is known as one of our greatest ever satirists, and this is a significant early example of his work. The painting provides a valuable insight into eighteenth-century life. Satire is an important part of our cultural heritage, and as a fan of Hogarth’s work I hope it can remain in the UK for the public to enjoy.”
The decision to defer the export licence follows a recommendation by the Reviewing Committee on the Export of Works of Art and Objects of Cultural Interest (RCEWA), administered by The Arts Council. The RCEWA made its recommendation on the grounds of its outstanding significance for the study of William Hogarth, as well as for the study of the cultural, literary, and historical life of the eighteenth century.
RCEWA member Lowell Libson said: “Hogarth’s importance in imbuing art and artists with a sense of a national character at a time when England was consolidating its international position as the dominant economic and political power cannot be underestimated. This important painting demonstrates Hogarth’s concern with the effects that this new affluence had on all sectors of society. Hogarth himself noted that “my picture was my stage,” and The Christening, a small, beautifully executed painting, is a deceptively charming and significant early precursor of the great cycles of modern moral paintings and their related engravings. Its retention in this country would considerably add to the story we can tell of a painter who helped define our national identity.”
The decision on the export licence application for the painting will be deferred until February 15, 2017. This may be extended until May 15, 2017, if a serious intention to raise funds to purchase it is made at the recommended price of £1,223,100. Offers from public bodies for less than the recommended price through the private treaty sale arrangements, where appropriate, may also be considered by Matt Hancock. Such purchases frequently offer substantial financial benefit to a public institution wishing to acquire the item.
From the newsletter of the Society of Antiquaries of London, Salon 375 (15 November 2016). . .
Jacob Simon FSA, Research Fellow at the National Portrait Gallery, notes that 2016 is the tenth anniversary of the launch of the Gallery’s online resource British Artists’ Suppliers, 1650–1950, in partnership with Cathy Proudlove. Three other resources have since been added: British Picture Framemakers, 1600–1950 (2007), British Picture Restorers, 1600–1950 (2009), and British Bronze Sculpture Founders and Plaster Figure Makers, 1800–1980 (2011). These four online resources are selectively updated twice a year and have doubled in size since launch. Further reviews and additions are planned, including to the features on picture framing; the Gallery’s exhibition, The Art of the Picture Frame, celebrated its 20th anniversary on 8 November. Karen Hearn FSA writes to commend these remarkable online resources and “the exceptional amount of research, work, and coordination that their originator, Jacob Simon, has put into making so much invaluable information available to a wide audience.”
Michael Mazarind Workshop, Chinoiserie Tapestry with Courtly and Hunting Scenes, made in London,
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Press release (20 October 2016) from Gov.UK’s Department for Culture, Media & Sport:
Culture Minister Matt Hancock has placed a temporary export bar on a rare tapestry by Michael Mazarind to provide an opportunity to keep it in the country. The tapestry is at risk of being exported from the UK unless a buyer can be found to match the asking price of £67,500. Inspired by Indian, Chinese, and Japanese design, it is the only surviving tapestry to feature Michael Mazarind’s workshop mark [lower right-hand corner]. Little is known of his workshop, but it is believed he was based in Portugal Street, London, between 1696 and 1702. Mazarind was relatively unknown, but is said to have connections to John Vanderbank, the Soho-based weaver. The tapestry includes small groups of oriental figures, buildings, exotic creatures, and plants. This combination of elements was described as ‘in the Indian manner’ and was one of the most popular decorative fashions of the period.
Minister of State for Digital and Culture Matt Hancock said: “This intricate design provides us with a unique opportunity to explore the tapestry workshops of 1600s London. I hope we are able to keep it in the country so we can learn more about our nation’s textile industry, and of the decorative fashions of the time.”
The decision to defer the export licence follows a recommendation by the Reviewing Committee on the Export of Works of Art and Objects of Cultural Interest (RCEWA), administered by The Arts Council. The RCEWA made its recommendation on the grounds of significance for the study of Mazarind’s work, English tapestry of the period, and London’s history.
RCEWA member Christopher Rowell said: “This beautiful blue ground tapestry, with an equally unusual border of Chinese inspiration, dates from the late 1600s and is the only one to bear the woven signature of the mysterious Michael Mazarind, who was a rival of the more well-known London tapestry weaver, John Vanderbank. This type of ‘Indian’ tapestry depicting a Chinoiserie fantasy paradise in Cathay, with courtly and hunting scenes, was devised for the court but soon became more broadly popular. Saving the tapestry for the nation will allow specialists to study it in detail and help to reconstruct Mazarind’s contribution to tapestry production in early-Georgian London.”
The decision on the export licence application for the tapestry will be deferred until 19 January 2017. This may be extended until 19 April 2017 if a serious intention to raise funds to purchase it is made at the recommended price of £67,500. Offers from public bodies for less than the recommended price through the private treaty sale arrangements, where appropriate, may also be considered by Matt Hancock. Such purchases frequently offer substantial financial benefit to a public institution wishing to acquire the item.
Jean-Baptiste Pater (1695–1736), A Company of Bathers in a Park, oil on canvas, 49 x 59 cm (Stockholm: Nationalmuseum, NM874, photograph by Cecilia Heisser).
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Press release (11 October 2016) from Sweden’s Nationalmuseum:
Nationalmuseum is making 3,000 high-resolution images of its most popular artworks available for free download on Wikimedia Commons. Zoomable images will also be added to the museum’s online database. The digitization project is a major advance in making Nationalmuseum’s collections more accessible.
While the Nationalmuseum building is under renovation, only a small part of the collections is accessible to the public. To provide more opportunity for people to enjoy its artworks, the museum embarked last year on a joint project with Wikimedia Sweden. As a result, high-resolution images of some 3,000 paintings from the collections are now available for download on Wikimedia Commons as public domain. This means they are part of our shared cultural heritage and can be freely used for any purpose. The images are also now zoomable, but not currently downloadable, in Nationalmuseum’s online database.
“We are committed to fulfilling our mission to promote art, interest in art, and art history by making images from our collections an integral part of today’s digital environment,” said Berndt Arell, director general of Nationalmuseum. “We also want to make the point that these artworks belong to and are there for all of us, regardless of how the images are used. We hope our open collection will inspire creative new uses and interpretations of the artworks.”
Nationalmuseum will continue to make its collections more accessible as digitization gathers pace and digital infrastructure improves. The longer-term goal is to create a portal offering quick and easy access to all the museum’s fine art collections and archives. Nationalmuseum joins a growing number of museums that have released images of their collections, including The Royal Armoury and Skokloster Castle with the Hallwyl Museum Foundation in Sweden, the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam, and the National Gallery of Denmark in Copenhagen. Data on the images in Wikipedia Commons, including links to the zoomable versions, is available on GitHub as raw material for coders taking part in Hack4Heritage—an event being organized by Digisam, the agency coordinating the digitization of Sweden’s cultural heritage, in partnership with the Stockholm City Archives, on 14–16 October.