Enfilade

Exhibition | Angelika Kauffmann: Unknown Treasures

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

On view last year in Wörlitz at Louise of Brandenburg-Schwedt’s Grey House, the exhibition is now split between two Austrian venues:

Angelika Kauffmann: Unknown Treasures from Vorarlberg Private Collections
Haus der Fürstin, Wörlitz, 8 July — 21 October 2018
Vorarlberg Museum, Bregenz, 15 June — 6 October 2019 [second venue, part 1]
Angelika Kauffmann Museum, Schwarzenberg, 16 June — 3 November 2019 [second venue, part 2]

Curated by Bettina Baumgärtel

Angelika Kauffmann, Portrait of Louise Herzogin von Anhalt-Dessau, 1796, oil on canvas (Kulturstiftung Dessau-Wörlitz).

Ist erstmals eine umfangreiche Ausstellung zur schweizerisch-österreichischen Malerin Angelika Kauffmann (1741–1807) im Haus der Fürstin in Wörlitz zu sehen. Die Präsentation zahlreicher Kunstwerke wie Ölgemälde, Zeichnungen, Druckgraphiken, Skulpturen und schriftlicher Dokumente verdeutlicht die Vielfalt ihres künstlerischen Wirkens und Lebens. Die Ausstellung ist Ergebnis der Kooperation zwischen zwei österreichischen Privatsammlungen aus Vorarlberg, dem UNESCO-Welterbe Gartenreich Dessau-Wörlitz in Sachsen-Anhalt, dem Bregenzer vorarlberg museum, dem Angelika Kauffmann Museum in Schwarzenberg im Bregenzerwald und dem Angelika Kauffmann Research Project (AKRP).

1741 im schweizerischen Chur geboren, wurde Angelika Kauffmann in Italien und in Vorarlberg im Bregenzerwald ausgebildet. Bereits in jungen Jahren knüpfte sie europaweit Kontakte bis in die höchsten Kreise und unterhielt zuerst ein erfolgreiches Atelier in London, später in Rom, wo sie ebenso einen vielbesuchten Salon führte.

Das Herausragende der Schau ist die besondere Beziehung der Künstlerin zum Gartenreich Dessau-Wörlitz und die Seelenverwandtschaft mit Fürstin Louise von Anhalt-Dessau (1750–1811). Diese begegnete der Malerin erstmals während ihrer Reise nach England mit Leopold III. Friedrich Franz von Anhalt-Dessau (1740–1817) im Jahr 1775. Im Schloss Luisium kam ihre Verehrung für Angelika Kauffmann durch die Präsentation zahlreicher Graphiken und eines bedeutenden Gemäldes bestens zum Ausdruck. Während die Kulturstiftung heute noch über das von Angelika Kauffmann gemalte Porträt der Fürstin verfügt, wurde das Bild Amor und Psyche vor rund 100 Jahren verkauft. Für die Dauer der Ausstellung kehrt dieses Gemälde aus dem Kunsthaus Zürich in das Gartenreich zurück.

Eine Auswahl von hochkarätigen Leihgaben aus öffentlichen und weiteren privaten Sammlungen vertiefen die Auseinandersetzung mit Angelika Kauffmann. Nach der “Erstausgabe” der Ausstellung im Gartenreich wird sie 2019 bei den PartnerInnen des vorarlberg museums in Bregenz und des Angelika Kauffmann Museums in Schwarzenberg zu sehen sein. Kuratiert wird die Ausstellung von der international renommierten Kunsthistorikerin Dr. Bettina Baumgärtel. Sie ist Leiterin des Angelika Kauffmann Research Project (AKRP) sowie der Gemäldesammlung im Museum Kunstpalast Düsseldorf.

Gleichzeitig und gleichsam als Kontrapunkt zur Angelika-Kauffmann-Ausstellung wird vor dem Haus der Fürstin im Wörlitzer Kirchhof die von dem zeitgenössischen österreichischen Künstler Peter Baldinger gestaltete Garten-Installation Amor sucht Psyche präsentiert, die sich auf eines der Hauptwerke der Ausstellung bezieht. Ein weiterer Teil der Intervention des Künstlers ist im Park Luisium zu sehen.

Bettina Baumgärtel, Angelika Kauffmann: Unbekannte Schätze aus Vorarlberger Privatsammlungen (Munich: Hirmer Verlag, 2018), 304 pages, ISBN: 978-3777430843, 40€.

New Book | Karikatur in der Goethezeit

Posted in books by Editor on August 8, 2019

From Schnell & Steiner:

Waltraud Maierhofer, Karikatur in der Goethezeit: Die Bildergeschichte ‘Leben Strunks des Emporkömmlings’ von Johann Heinrich Ramberg (Regensburg: Schnell & Steiner, 2019), 48 pages, ISBN: 978-3795433925, €7.

Der Hannoveraner Hofmaler Johann Heinrich Ramberg (1763–1840) schuf in den Jahren 1822–1825 mit Das Leben Strunks des Emporkömmlings eine Geschichte in 25 satirischen Bildern. Auf 21 der Blätter hat er jeweils kurze Erklärungen geschrieben und—mit einigen Änderungen in der Reihenfolge—in ein Heft übertragen. Es handelt sich nicht um Illustrationen zu einem vorhandenen Text, sondern um eigene, satirische Bilderfindungen, die der Text nur kurz erklärt und pointiert. Die Bildgeschichte wird hier erstmals in ihrer Gesamtheit reproduziert. Die Bilder zeigen den Aufstieg des armen Bauernjungen Strunk, der mit Hilfe der Finessen seines jüdischen Freundes Moses Israel zu Reichtum kommt und einen exzessiven Lebensstil übernimmt: Er bringt es zum Grafen, ändert seinen Namen zum nobleren „Strahlenstrunk“ und geht „noblen Passionen“ wie der Sauferei unter Männern, Kartenspiel, Jagd, Tierhetze, Tanz- und Reitvergnügen nach. Auch wenn dieser Lebensstil zunehmend Spuren an Strunk hinterlässt, macht er doch weiterhin Geschäfte mit den Schwächen seiner Zeitgenossen und tritt zuletzt sogar als Prediger auf. Ramberg nimmt die Lebensweise der Parvenues aufs Korn, wobei nicht klar ist, ob der Erfolg der beiden der Bauernschläue, körperlichen Kraft und Potenz sowie dem rücksichtslosen Vorgehen Strunks zu verdanken ist oder ob Israel als Ideenlieferant der Hauptgrund ihres Aufstiegs ist. Zwar folgt Ramberg den Stereotypen des jüdischen Aussehens, religiöse Bräuche und Glaubensunterschiede werden aber nicht thematisiert. Die satirischen Bilder laden zum Betrachten und Entdecken ein.

Waltraud Maierhofer lehrt im German Department der University of Iowa. Ihr Forschungsschwerpunkt liegt auf deutscher Literatur besonders des 18. und 19. Jahrhunderts (Novelle, historische Novelle, Autobiografie und Biografie, weibliche Autoren) sowie den Wechselbeziehungen zwischen Literatur und Kunst, Kulturgeschichte und Korrespondenz.

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Editor’s Note –Maierhofer also recently published an edition of Ramberg’s Reynard the Fox: Waltraud Maierhofer, ed., Reineke Fuchs von Johann Heinrich Ramberg und Dietrich Wilhelm Soltau (Weimar: VDG, 2016), 174 pages, ISBN: 978-3897398542, 20€. In regard more broadly to problematic depictions of Jewish figures—including within the work of Ramberg, as noted by Maierhofer—see also Frank Felsenstein’s essay “‘If You Tickle Us, Do We Not Laugh?’: Stereotypes of Jews in English Graphic Humor of the Georgian Era,” in No Laughing Matter: Visual Humor in Ideas of Race, Nationality, and Ethnicity, edited by Angela Rosenthal, David Bindman, and Adrian W. B. Randolph (Hanover, NH: Dartmouth College Press, 2015), 328 pages, ISBN: 978-1611688214, $45 [and distributed by The University of Chicago Press]; it’s a work that I should have noted here at Enfilade several years ago. CH

Exhibition | George IV: Art & Spectacle

Posted in books, catalogues, exhibitions by Editor on August 7, 2019

Press release for the exhibition, opening this fall:

George IV: Art & Spectacle
The Queen’s Gallery, Buckingham Palace, London, 15 November 2019 — 4 May 2020

Sir Thomas Lawrence, Coronation Portrait of George IV, 1821, oil on canvas, 295 × 205 cm (Royal Collection Trust, RCIN 405918).

George IV (1762–1830) was the collector and commissioner of many of the finest works of art in the Royal Collection. He turned Buckingham House into a Palace, radically remodelled Windsor Castle inside and out, and built the Royal Pavilion at Brighton, an oriental-style pleasure palace by the sea. In London, his architectural vision extended to the laying out of Regent Street and Regent’s Park.

From 1811, George ruled as Regent, due to the decline in the mental health of his father, George III. By the time he came to the throne in 1820, aged 57, he was intensely disliked by a nation tired of his extravagant lifestyle. Today he is perhaps best known as the rotund, gout-ridden, drunken buffoon lampooned by the satirists of the day for his acrimonious marriage to Princess Caroline of Brunswick and his many mistresses.

Set against the backdrop of the French Revolution and Napoleonic Wars, and a period of unprecedented global exploration, George IV: Art & Spectacle considers the Monarch’s public image, taste for the theatrical and exotic, admiration of French style and all-consuming passion for collecting. It will present George as a man of extreme contrasts: on the one hand, a recklessly profligate showman, and on the other, a connoisseur with intellectual interests whose endless acquisitions made him one of the most important figures in the formation of the Royal Collection.

As Prince of Wales, George lived at Carlton House on London’s Pall Mall. Within ten years of taking possession of his residence, he had run up debts of around £400,000 (around £31 million today). He bought the best works available by the 17th-century Dutch and Flemish painters whose reputations had been established in French aristocratic circles. The walls of Carlton House were hung with luminous works by Aelbert Cuyp, the lively interiors of Adriaen van Ostade, intimate domestic scenes by Jan Steen, and David Teniers’s depictions of village life, which appealed to George’s taste for narrative subject matter. In 1811, George purchased Rembrandt’s The Shipbuilder and his Wife, 1633, for 5,000 guineas, the most expensive painting he ever acquired.

Upheavals on the Continent following the French Revolution flooded the market with works of art that had belonged to the French aristocracy. With the help of agents and friends, George acquired the finest examples of 18th-century French decorative arts, including bronzes and furniture mounted with pietra dura panels by André-Charles Boulle. He had a particular passion for Sèvres porcelain. His most important acquisition of works by the French factory was the Louis XVI service, 1783–92, the most costly service ever created by Sèvres and so extensive that it was delivered to George in batches over 23 years.

George IV’s coronation at Westminster Abbey was the greatest theatrical production of his life and came at a cost of £240,000. He personally oversaw the designs for his elaborate coronation robes and the Diamond Diadem, made for the occasion by the goldsmiths Rundell, Bridge & Rundell. At the coronation banquet in Westminster Hall, the great Shield of Achilles, 1821, designed by John Flaxman, was among many pieces of spectacular dining and buffet silver-gilt on display from the Grand Service.

The King was among the leading patrons of British artists of the day, favouring the work of Sir Thomas Lawrence, Sir Joshua Reynolds and Richard Cosway. In 1784, he commissioned Sir Thomas Gainsborough to paint his three eldest sisters, the Princesses Charlotte, Augusta and Elizabeth, and after the artist’s death purchased Gainsborough’s only surviving mythological painting, Diana and Actaeon, c.1785–88. George’s favourite pastimes were equestrian, as captured in George IV, when Prince of Wales, 1791, an elegant portrait by George Stubbs. The everyday subject matter of the painter David Wilkie appealed to the King as modern-day versions of the 17th-century Dutch genre paintings he so admired. In a vibrant sketch, Wilkie recorded the King’s arrival at the Palace of Holyroodhouse in 1822, the first visit to Scotland by a reigning monarch since Charles I.

George IV positioned himself at the forefront of the European political stage, in direct competition with Napoleon Bonaparte. Following the French Emperor’s abdication in April 1814, George invited several of the allied leaders and commanders to London, and commissioned Britain’s pre-eminent portraitist, Sir Thomas Lawrence, to paint them. After Napoleon’s final defeat at Waterloo, Lawrence travelled to the Congress of Peace at Aix-la-Chapelle, then to Vienna and Rome to complete the series. The paintings were later installed in the purpose-built Waterloo Chamber at Windsor Castle. In George’s mind he was one of this cast of heroes, as responsible for the victory over Napoleon as the Duke of Wellington.

As Prince Regent or Monarch, George never travelled beyond Europe, but amassed a large collection of artefacts from the wider world. Between 1800 and 1830, he assembled the most important group of Asian porcelain in Britain. To harmonise with the gilded interiors of his residences, these pieces were augmented by elaborate gilt-bronze mounts—converting a simple jar into an incense burner, candelabrum, or even a clock. His taste for the oriental found its greatest expression in the Royal Pavilion at Brighton, designed by John Nash in 1815–33.

Many of the finest non-Western pieces in George’s collection were received as diplomatic gifts, among them a red and yellow feather cape (‘ahu’ula) from King Kamehameha II and Queen Kamamalu of the Sandwich Islands (now Hawaii), and a First Nations coat of caribou skin. His collection of arms and armour covered almost every part of the world, from a Maori club brought from Hawaii by Captain Cook’s ship Resolution, to a Persian sabre and a samurai sword.

George’s IV’s print and book collection reveals a more measured side to the Monarch in the variety of his intellectual pursuits. The books that he acquired for his Carlton House library, including a copy of Emma sent to him by Jane Austen’s publisher following the writer’s visit to the royal residence, highlight his interest in literature, geography, theology, European history, and the antique.

Despite the King’s efforts to control his image, satirical artists of the day mocked him mercilessly in widely circulated prints. The caricatures of Thomas Rowlandson, John Doyle, and Robert Seymour share the recurring themes of George’s excesses in food, fashion, and sex. Although George collected some satirical prints of himself when Prince of Wales and King, these were of the gently comic kind. At the same time, he tried to suppress the more hostile images, threatening legal action and, through his agents, bribing publishers not to criticise him or his mistresses, with little success.

Kate Heard and Kathryn Jones, George IV: Art & Spectacle, ISBN: 978-1909741607 (London: Royal Collection Trust, 2019), £30.

 

New Book | London and the Emergence of a European Art Market

Posted in books by Editor on August 6, 2019

From Getty Publications:

Susanna Avery-Quash and Christian Huemer, eds., London and the Emergence of a European Art Market, 1780–1820 (Los Angeles: Getty Research Institute, 2019), 
ISBN 978-1606065952, $60.

In the late 1700s, as the events of the French Revolution roiled France, London displaced Paris as the primary hub of international art sales. Within a few decades, a robust and sophisticated art market flourished in London. London and the Emergence of a European Art Market, 1780–1820 explores the commercial milieu of art sales and collecting at this turning point. In this collection of essays, twenty-two scholars employ methods ranging from traditional art historical and provenance studies to statistical and economic analysis; they provide overviews, case studies, and empirical reevaluations of artists, collectors, patrons, agents and dealers, institutions, sales, and practices. Drawing from pioneering digital resources—notably the Getty Provenance Index—as well as archival materials such as trade directories, correspondence, stock books and inventories, auction catalogs, and exhibition reviews, these scholars identify broad trends, reevaluate previous misunderstandings, and consider overlooked commercial contexts.

From individual case studies to econometric overviews, this volume is groundbreaking for its diverse methodological range that illuminates artistic taste and flourishing art commerce at the turn of the nineteenth century.

Susanna Avery-Quash is senior research curator in the history of collecting at the National Gallery, London, where she is in charge of the research area of buying, collecting, and display. She has led research projects, organized conferences, and published extensively on the history of collecting and the art market. Christian Huemer is director of the Belvedere Research Center, Vienna. From 2008 to 2017 he headed the Project for the Study of Collecting and Provenance at the Getty Research Institute.

C O N T E N T S

Acknowledgments
Thomas W. Gaehtgens and Nicholas Penny, Foreword

Susanna Avery-Quash and Christian Huemer, Introduction

Part I: Patterns
• Neil de Marchi, Introduction to Part One
• Peter Carpreau, English and French Auctions in a Troubled Period, 1780–1820: A Quantitative Analysis of Volume, Price, and Taste Based on the Getty Provenance Index® Databases
• Bénédicte Miyamoto, British Buying Patterns at Auction Sales, 1780–1800: Did the Influx of European Art Have an Impact on the British Public’s Preferences?
• Hans J. Van Miegroet, Hilary Cronheim, and Bénédicte Miyamoto, International Dealer Networks and Triangular Art Trade between Paris, Amsterdam, and London
• Guido Guerzoni, The Export of Works of Art from Italy to the United Kingdom, 1792–1830
• Olivier Bonfait, The Taste for Eighteenth-Century French Paintings: Internationalization and Homogenization of Demand on the London Art Market around 1800

Part II: Collections
• Malcolm Baker, Introduction to Part Two
• Camilla Murgia, From Private to National: Exhibiting Fine Arts in London around 1800
• David Alexander, The Evolution of the Print Market and Its Impact on the Art Market, 1780–1820
• Wendy Wassyng Roworth, Angelica Kauffman: The Acquisition and Dispersal of an Artist’s Collection, 1782–1825
• Susanna Avery-Quash and Nicholas Penny, The Dispersal of the Orléans Collection and the British Art Market
• Sarah Bakkali, The Trumbull Sale of 1797: Players in the Paris–London Art Market during the French Revolution
• Rebecca Lyons, Selling the Collection of Welbore Ellis Agar in 1806

Part III: Agents
• Filip Vermeylen, Introduction to Part Three
• Julia Armstrong-Totten, From Jack-of-all-Trades to Professional: The Development of the Early Modern Picture Dealer in Eighteenth-Century London
• Francis Russell, James Christie: Auctioneer and More
• Carole Blumenfeld, Pierre-Joseph Lafontaine and His Exploitation of European Art Market Imbalances in Paris and London, 1795–1815
• Maria Celeste Cola, Thomas Hope and Gioacchino Marini: “Roman Agent of English Gentlemen”
• Ana María Fernández García, Commercial Agents of Spanish Painting in the United Kingdom, 1780–1820

Selected Bibliography
Biographical Notes on the Contributors
Illustration Credits
Index

Call for Articles | Fall 2020 Issue of J18: 1720

Posted in Calls for Papers by Editor on August 5, 2019

From J18:

Journal18, Issue #10 (Fall 2020) — 1720

Proposals due by 21 September 2019; finished articles due by 1 April 2020

The year 1720 witnessed the world’s first international financial disaster, precipitated by the South Sea and Mississippi Bubbles. On the occasion of its upcoming tercentenary—and mindful of its relevance to our own contemporary experiences of financial collapse and instability—Journal18 is soliciting articles that reevaluate the importance and long-term cultural impact of 1720 as a watershed year. Though the 1720 economic crisis has long been recognized as gateway to the boom-and-bust cycles of the modern world, the field of art history has thus far contributed relatively little to our understanding of its significance. This issue takes part in the work of redressing this imbalance.

Throughout the eighteenth century, cultural as well as financial life remained permeated by the memory of the Mississippi and South Sea Bubbles: disasters that resulted when the bankrupted governments of France and England, respectively, sought to reverse their financial fortunes by trading their debt for equity in overseas trading corporations. While many artworks reflect the slave labor-based pursuit of tobacco, sugar, gold and other commodities that sustained the speculative frenzy, others more broadly register the enduring impact of a crash course in new financial products. Rather than simply representing the rise of a capitalist economy whose ascendancy may arguably be traced to 1720, how did eighteenth-century artworks variously frame, internalize, resist and embody the bubbles? More broadly, as Susan Buck-Morss has written, it was during the eighteenth-century Enlightenment that the category of ‘the economy’ was not only invented and naturalized but also given representation. In the long aftermath of 1720, what roles did art, architecture and material culture play in this process? From Dutch caricatures of the bubbles that continued to circulate decades after the crisis to French Revolutionary trompe l’oeil prints of discredited banknotes, period artworks attest to the long shadow of financial catastrophe.

We invite proposals for articles that explore artistic engagements with the bubbles and with eighteenth-century bubble economies more generally. Of particular interest are explorations of the colonial ambitions behind the 1720 enterprises. We also welcome proposals that examine other visual and material engagements with 1720 as a seminal year in the formation of an increasingly global political economy.

Issue Editors
Nina Dubin, University of Illinois at Chicago
Meredith Martin, NYU and Institute of Fine Arts, New York

Proposals for Issue #10 1720 are now being accepted. Deadline: September 21, 2019. To submit a proposal, send an abstract (250 words) and brief biography to editor@journal18.org and dubin@uic.edu. Articles should not exceed 6000 words (including footnotes) and will be due on April 1, 2020. For further details, see Information for Authors.

Exhibition and Book | Mudlarking

Posted in books, exhibitions, lectures (to attend) by Editor on August 4, 2019

As noted in Salon, the newsletter of the Society of Antiquaries of London, issue 432 (30 July 2019) . . .

Foragers of the Foreshore
Bargehouse on Bankside, London, 25–29 September 2019

Curated by Florence Evans

Mudlarking is gaining new attention. It is an old profession, a term applied especially to people who once lurked on the banks of the Thames in London searching for things they could sell, washed up on the tide or rising from the mud and sewage . . . The poor became less visible and scavengers faded away, but more recently detectorists and collectors have returned to the river, for the thrill and fascination of discovery and contact with people from the past.

Modern mudlarkers need a three-year permit, issued by the Port of London Authority (PLA) for £80, and must report all their finds to the Portable Antiquities Scheme’s Finds Liaison Officer at the Museum of London. . . .

Lara Maiklem is more communicative about mudlarking than many practitioners. She has tens of thousands of followers on social media, where she posts striking photos of her finds (often to be left where they are)—Instagram is made for determined mudlarkers—and has written a book, Mudlarking: Lost and Found on the River Thames. Though not be released until 22 August, on Amazon it is already at no 1 in ‘Urban & rural planning’ and no 7 in ‘Social science human geography’. It will be Radio 4 Book of the Week from 12 August. And now there is to be an exhibition.

For five days, writes Karen Hearn FSA, Foragers of the Foreshore will be at the Bargehouse on Bankside (25–29 September), part of a Totally Thames festival. Curated by Florence Evans, says the blurb, this will be “the most expansive exhibition on Mudlarking that has ever taken place.” It will feature new art, photographic portraits of mudlarkers taken by Hannah Smiles, and “a chance to meet Mudlarker in Residence Nicola White.” Museum of London Archaeology’s Thames Discovery Programme, Thames21, and Unruly Heritage will explain inter-tidal archaeology. Maiklem is among event speakers.

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From Bloomsbury:

Lara Maiklem, Mudlarking: Lost and Found on the River Thames (London: Bloomsbury Publishing, 2019), 320 pages, ISBN: 978-1408889213, £19.

For thousands of years human beings have been losing their possessions and dumping their rubbish in the River Thames, making it the longest and most varied archaeological site in the world. For those in the know, the muddy stretches provide a tangible link with the past, a connection to the natural world, and an oasis of calm in a chaotic city.

Lara Maiklem left the countryside for London in her twenties. At first enticed by the city, she soon found herself cut adrift, yearning for the solace she had known growing up among nature. Down on the banks of the River Thames, she discovered mudlarking: the act of scavenging in the mud for items discarded by past generations of Londoners. For the next fifteen years her days would be dedicated to and dictated by the tides, in pursuit of the objects that the river unearthed: from Neolithic flints to Roman hair pins, medieval shoe buckles to Tudor buttons, Georgian clay pipes to discarded war medals. Moving from the river’s tidal origins in the west of the city to the point where it reaches the sea in the east, Mudlarking is the story of the Thames and its people as seen through these objects. A fascinating search for peace through solitude and history, it brings the voices of long-forgotten Londoners to life.

Lara Maiklem moved from her family’s farm to London in the 1990s and has been mudlarking along the River Thames for fifteen years. She now lives with her family on the Kent coast within easy reach of the river, which she visits as regularly as the tides permit. This is her first book.

 

Exhibition | Triumph & Tragedy: Catherine, the Romanovs, and Fabergé

Posted in exhibitions by Editor on August 3, 2019

Attributed to Giacomo Quarenghi (Italy 1744–1817), designer, Pair of ‘Hercules’ armchairs, ca. 1795, Russia, gilt wood, and silk upholstery.

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From the press release, via Art Daily, for the exhibition:

Triumph & Tragedy: Catherine, the Romanovs, and Fabergé
The David Roche Collection, Adelaide, 12 July — 21 December 2019

A new exhibition, Triumph & Tragedy: Catherine, the Romanovs, and Fabergé, showcases 150 pieces of some of Russia’s most opulent pieces of decorative art from the 18th and 19th centuries, many of which have never been seen before.

David Roche was enchanted by the Russia, its people and its art. He spent the last two decades of his life—with the assistance of Martyn Cook—assembling a collection of nearly 100 pieces of the best Russian art. This collection remains the most significant collection of its type in Australia said Robert Reason, Museum Director of The David Roche Foundation House Museum.

For the first time, Roche’s items are on display together alongside some of the finest Russian pieces from other Australian collections, private and public. The exhibition covers the period from Catherine the Great through to the fall of the Romanov dynasty in 1917, and the tragic end of the Imperial family. Roche was particularly captivated with Catherine the Great—famed for her expansion of the Russian Empire, her attempts to Westernise Russia, and her enthusiastic collecting of art.

Roche first travelled to Russia in 1994 and was overwhelmed by the opulent art and palaces of St Petersburg said Robert Reason. This subsequently turned to a passion for collecting Russian art, and in almost 20 years he amassed a singularly unique collection in Australia.

This is one of the most significant exhibitions the Foundation has staged. People will have the opportunity to view not just imperial portraits, exquisite porcelain and objects that once furnished the palaces of Catherine the Great, the Romanovs and Russia’s elite but see the work of Fabergé from the finest private collections in Australia. Official portraits of Catherine the Great and Emperor Nicholas I reside alongside the personal hand seal of Emperor Alexander I and porcelain especially commissioned for the Hermitage and Pavlovsk Palace. Highlights from the exhibition include precious objects in malachite, glass and gilt-bronze from the Romanov period which highlights the internationalism of 19th century Russia. The final decades of the Russian Empire are remembered for the work of Fabergé.

Robert Reason said Roche’s Fabergé parasol handle from the collection of Queen Anne of Romania, the Fabergé miniature eggs, and precious vases and plates from the Imperial Porcelain Factory are some of the most magnificent works in this exhibition. One of the works in the exhibition is a masterpiece that Roche considered himself privileged to own: a magnificent ormolu mounted glass vase on pedestal with delicately cut edges trimmed by frosted neoclassical garlands and a base said to imitate flowing water.

 

Television | Helen Mirren to Play Catherine the Great

Posted in films by Editor on August 3, 2019

Coming this fall, from HBO:

Oscar-winner Helen Mirren will lead miniseries Catherine the Great as the tumultuous monarch and politician who ruled the Russian empire and transformed its place in the world in the 18th century. The four-part historical drama [directed by Philip Martin] will follow the end of Catherine’s reign and her affair with Russian military leader Grigory Potemkin [played by Jason Clarke] that helped shape the future of Russian politics. Mirren, who won an Academy Award for embodying Queen Elizabeth in The Queen, offered her remarks on the project: “She rewrote the rules of governance by a woman, and succeeded to the extent of having the word ‘Great’ attached to her name.”

Catherine the Great is the latest project in the partnership between HBO and Sky (the network behind The Young Pope) and will begin filming later this year. It is produced by Origin Pictures and New Pictures and will be made available on HBO in the US and distributed to Canada through Bell Media. It will also be available air on Sky Atlantic, NOW TV in the UK and Ireland, and on Sky Atlantic in Italy, Germany, Austria and Spain.

Winterthur Acquires Paintings by Krimmel and Bourgoin

Posted in museums by Editor on August 2, 2019

François-Jules Bourgoin, Family Group in a New York Interior, ca. 1807, oil on canvas, 30 × 42 inches
(Winterthur Museum, Garden and Library)

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From the press release (22 July 2019) . . .

Winterthur Museum, Garden and Library is pleased to announce its acquisition of two important paintings with significant stories to tell: Self-Portrait of John Lewis Krimmel with Susannah Krimmel and her Children (ca. 1810–11) by John Lewis Krimmel and Family Group in a New York Interior (ca. 1807) by François-Jules Bourgoin. Together the paintings shed light on the impact of the revolution era in the Atlantic World on American art and material culture.

German-American John Lewis Krimmel (1786–1821) is often referred to as the first genre painter in America. Born Johann Ludwig Krimmel in 1786, in the family of an established baker of fine pastries of Ebingen in Württemberg, Krimmel immigrated to Philadelphia in the aftermath of Napoleon’s invasion of German territories. Following his older brother George to Philadelphia in 1809, Krimmel was to become George’s assistant in business. About a year after his arrival, however, Krimmel decided to pursue a career as an artist. Self-trained, he died 11 years later at the age of 30 in a drowning accident, soon after being elected president of the Association for American Artists and while preparing his most prestigious commission, The Landing of William Penn at Newcastle in October 1682.

John Lewis Krimmel, Self-Portrait of John Lewis Krimmel with Susannah Krimmel and her Children, ca. 1810–11, oil on canvas, 14 × 12 inches (Winterthur Museum, Garden and Library).

Self-Portrait of John Lewis Krimmel with Susannah Krimmel and her Children was likely painted early in the artist’s career in Philadelphia. Later described by Abraham Ritter Jr., a friend of the family, as a representation of Krimmel’s reunion with George’s family at their home on Eleventh and Market streets in Philadelphia, the oil-on-canvas painting, at 14 × 12 inches, is full of interesting objects of the kind found in the Winterthur collection. The eldest son sits on a fancy Windsor chair, painting with watercolors. His younger sister below looks toward the viewer, showing a watercolor in her hand, possibly a metamorphosis booklet used by German Americans for instructing children in religious and moral values. Susannah sits on a low chair with rockers, probably a nursing chair. Behind her, a fly cloth is draped over the clock on the chest of drawers. Above the clock hangs George’s portrait and two drawings. This painting of Krimmel’s family reinforces Winterthur’s strong collection of Krimmel materials, which includes two genre scenes and a series of extraordinary sketchbooks.

“It is an intimate scene,” said Stephanie Delamaire, Associate Curator of Fine Art at Winterthur. “And it shows with such delightful details how everyday objects were being used.”

The painting is the former property of the Westervelt Warner Collection of American Art. It was previously in the Schwarz Gallery, Philadelphia, and at the Duke Kahanamoku Estate, in Hawaii.

The exquisite Family Group in a New York Interior, signed and dated J. Bourgoin pt / New-York-1807, is a conversation piece, or family picture, painted in oil on canvas by the elusive François-Jules Bourgoin (1786–1821). Bourgoin was a painter, miniaturist, and engraver known to have exhibited portraits, landscapes, seascapes, history paintings, and mythological scenes. He is often confused with François-Joseph Bourgoin, a rococo painter of French royal entertainments who was active in Paris during the second half of the 18th century. A student of German painter Anton Raphael Mengs and Italian painter Franceso Guiseppe Casanova, François-Jules Bourgoin is listed in several Paris Salons (1796, 1808, 1810, 1812).

“In some ways, Bourgoin is a big question mark,” said Delamaire. Very few pieces by him are known, and little is known about his life, other than he spent a significant part of it in the Americas. Beside this New York family interior, Bourgoin also painted several scenes in Jamaica and Saint-Domingue (French Soldiers Fighting the Black Population in Santo Domingo; View of a Field on a Caribbean Island; The Kingston Racetrack, overlooking Port-Royal, Jamaica), suggesting that he might have been among those who moved to the United States as a result of the Haitian Revolution. Family Group in a New York Interior is the first of Bourgoin’s oeuvre associated with New York. It is especially interesting for the way it contextualizes many pieces of furniture as well as utilitarian and decorative objects, such as the Argand sconces above a marble mantel piece adorned with neoclassical motifs; the dressing glass on a Pembroke table for the young girl at the left of the composition; the portable writing desk on top of a drop-leaf table with an open drawer showing a wax stick, ink stand and quill ready for use; and the marble- topped server (or chest of drawers), where a Sheffield-plated tea urn and teapots have been placed. This painting’s detailed representation of material culture not only makes it an ideal object of study for Winterthur’s visitors, researchers, and students, the picture also present opportunities for further research into the life of this under-studied artist and its connection to the history of American art and the Revolutions in the Atlantic world. As for the family represented, Delamaire said, “There are lots of possibilities to explore.”

Introducing Katherine Iselin, HECAA’s Social Media Manager

Posted in Member News by Editor on August 1, 2019

I’m Katherine Iselin, the new social media manager for HECAA. I’m a PhD candidate at the University of Missouri in Art History and Archaeology, focusing on Greek and Roman art and architecture with a minor in eighteenth-century European art. My dissertation, “Historia Spintriae: The Pleasures of Collecting Ancient Erotica,” focuses on the role of Roman erotic art in the collecting culture and creation of pornography during the early modern period.

I look forward to expanding HECAA’s online profile. I see HECAA’s social media presence as a way to connect professional historians to those outside the academic world in a fun and informative manner. These platforms will also be used to highlight some of the art that is frequently omitted from the art historical canon. If you have an idea about an underrepresented topic you would like to see featured in HECAA’s social media, please get in touch with me. Most posts will spotlight select works from the long eighteenth century, but I also plan to do a #MicroMonday feature! These posts will include ‘close up’ details of an unknown work and ask followers to try and identify it.

I welcome comments from members with other new ideas for creative posts! If you are going to a conference, please contact me about potentially doing some guest posts, either by direct messaging on the platforms or email me at iselinkatherine@gmail.com. You can also use #HECAA so I can share your posts.

Please follow HECAA on these platforms:
Instagram: @HECAA_c18arthistorians
Twitter: @HECAA2
Facebook: HECAA – Historians of Eighteenth-Century Art and Architecture (or username: @HECAAonline)

Looking forward to what lies ahead!
Katie