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The startling conclusion of The Late Paintings of Velazquez is that Diego Velazquez painted two of his most famous works, The Spinners and Las Meninas, as theoretically informed manifestos of painterly brushwork. As a pair, Giles Knox argues, the two paintings form a learned retort to the prevailing critical disdain for the painterly. Knox presents a Velazquez who was much more aware of the art theory of his era than previously acknowledged, leading him to reinterpret Las Meninas and The Spinners as representing together a polemically charged celebration of the "handedness" of painting. Knox removes Velazquez from his Iberian isolation and seeks to recover his highly self-conscious attempt to carve out a place for himself within the history of European painting as a whole. The Late Paintings of Velazquez presents an artist who, like Annibale Carracci, Poussin, Rembrandt, and Vermeer was not only aware of contemporary theoretical writings on art, but also able to translate that knowledge and understanding into a distinctive and personal theory of painting. In Las Meninas and The Spinners, Velazquez propounded this theory with paint, not words. Knox's rethinking of the dynamic relationship between text and image presents a case, not of writing influencing painting, or vice versa, but of the two realms being inextricably bound together. Painterly brushwork presented a challenge to writers on art not just because it was connected too intimately with the base actions of the hand; it was also devilishly hard to describe. By reading Velazquez's painterly performance as text, Knox deciphers how Velazquez was able to craft theoretical arguments more compelling and more vivid than any written counterparts.
Focusing on four Rubens paintings created between 1610 and 1620 - Prometheus Bound, The Rape of the Daughters of Leucippus, Juno and Argus, and The Finding of Erichthonius - this book re-examines the artist's approach to classical mythology. These theoretically-informed readings provide a fuller understanding of the dynamics of Rubens's copious visual language, and can serve as methodological templates for looking at, and reading of, many other of his complex inventions. Even by the standards of erudition commonly applied to Rubens's oeuvre as a whole, these four paintings were created during a period characterized by a particularly intense engagement on his part with questions of artistic originality and ideal style. Furthermore, the learned themes of these images clearly point to a rarefied audience that could appreciate the intertextual qualities of ancient myths. Like the artist himself, these ideal beholders cultivated a mode of viewing steeped in classical and renaissance theories of literary and rhetorical composition. Thus through these close readings, the author illuminates the manner in which the rhetorical and poetic conventions of the period, as well as the growing appreciation for the various allegorical layers of fables, lead to a better understanding of Rubens's pictorial archaeology of classical myths.
Winterthur Museum is world renowned for its decorative arts collections and its exceptional educational programs. Adapted from the training materials developed at the museum, the revised and enhanced Early American Decorative Arts, 1620-1860: A Handbook for Interpreters is an indispensable guide for anyone involved with interpretation of decorative arts collections. Early American Decorative Arts, 1620-1860 elucidates the principles of public interpretation, explains how to analyze objects, and defines the concept of style. Eighteen chapters provide comprehensive descriptions of decorative arts including furniture, ceramics, textiles, paintings and prints, metalwork, glass, and other objects. Many museums and historic sites display such collections to thousands of visitors annually. Guides, interpreters, educators, and collection managers will find this book a helpful summary and a guide to further research. This enhanced edition includes now includes a CD featuring beautiful color images of the more than 170 black-and-white photographs in the book, bringing the Winterthur collections to life on your computer and in your classroom. Published in cooperation with Winterthur Museum, Garden & Library.
Johannes Vermeer (1632-1675) has been one of the most widely admired European painters since his so-called rediscovery in the second half of the nineteenth century. Until quite recently, the Romantic roots of writing on the 'Sphinx of Delft' have encouraged the image of him as an isolated genius; the artist's private life and religion, his supposed use of a camera obscura, and the fact that his teacher has not been identified have all contributed to an air of mystery. As this new monograph demonstrates, Vermeer's life is actually well documented and his work may be more appropriately understood by placing the painter in the context of the Delft school as a whole and of Delft society. The fact that one local patron acquired about twenty pictures by the artist (only thirty-six are known today) must have been significant for Vermeer's subtleties of meaning and refinements of technique and style. In the end, however, the most historical approach to Vermeer still leaves us with a master whose rare sensibility and extraordinary powers of observation may be described but not explained.
For decades, art historical studies of Deccani art were few and far between. Only in recent years has scholarly interest grown, resulting in major advances in our knowledge of the region's cultural achievements. The 2015 exhibition Sultans of Deccan India, 1500-1700: Opulence and Fantasy at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York was a stimulus for further research. To honour this exhibition and the scholarship it embodied, The Aesthetics Project arranged a symposium Nauras: The Many Arts of the Deccan in January 2015 and co-sponsored an exhibition of the National Museum's Deccani artefacts. The proposed volume brings together contributions from the symposium, the exhibition and beyond, to give a sense of emergent research in the arts of the Deccani sultanates. An important feature of the essays is the emphasis on synaesthesia: where a history of art encompasses experiences that are beautiful not just to the eye, but to the ear and the nose. The book will give readers new information about cultural manifestations and insights into new interdisciplinarities within the field of art history.
Black Milk is the first in-depth analysis of the visual archives
that effloresced around slavery in Brazil and North America in the
eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. In its latter stages the book
also explores the ways in which the museum cultures of North
America and Brazil have constructed slavery over the last hundred
years. These institutional legacies emerge as startlingly different
from each other at almost every level.
The fruits of knowledge--such as books, data, and ideas--tend to
generate far more attention than the ways in which knowledge is
produced and acquired. Correcting this imbalance, "Making Knowledge
in Early Modern Europe" brings together a wide-ranging yet tightly
integrated series of essays that explore how knowledge was obtained
and demonstrated in Europe during an intellectually explosive four
centuries, when standard methods of inquiry took shape across
several fields of intellectual pursuit.
With lips slightly parted and eyes fixed on a point in the distance, a breathtaking marble portrait of Costanza Piccolomini appears alive. Carved by Gianlorenzo Bernini in 1636-37 for his own pleasure, the portrait of Costanza is one of his most captivating works, but until now little has been known about its subject. For centuries Costanza was identified only as Bernini's mistress, who later incited his rage by betraying him for his brother. Author Sarah McPhee corrects and expands this story in her remarkable biography of a sculpture and its subject. Bernini's Beloved sets the bust and Costanza's own life-her childhood and noble name, her marriage, affair, fall from grace, and recovery-against the backdrop of Baroque Rome. Beautifully illustrated and written, this fascinating story expands our understanding of the woman whose intelligence and passion served as inspiration for Bernini's celebrated sculpture, and who courageously forged a life for herself in the decades following its creation.
Durer and Beyond presents a selection of 100 works from the Metropolitan Museum's outstanding collection of German, Swiss, Austrian, and Bohemian drawings. Featured are numerous drawings by Albrecht Durer, including his celebrated study sheet with a self-portrait. In addition to drawings by major artists such as Martin Schongauer, Albrecht Altdorfer, Urs Graf, Hans Holbein the Younger, Friedrich Sustris, and Wenceslaus Hollar, the selection also highlights work by lesser known but equally superb draftsmen from the 14th to the end of the 17th century. Richly illustrated and fully documented with artist biographies, comparative illustrations, and enlightening commentary on the variety, quality, and purpose of the featured drawings, this book makes a significant scholarly contribution to a field that has not been widely explored.
During the 18th and 19th centuries, artists and travellers were lured to Rome, the home of civilized values and artistic beauty. But the history of visiting Rome had a pathological side - not only crisis and disorientation but repulsion at its filth and stink. Crucially Rome's air was considered to contain a chronic source of disease. This book argues that bad air (mal'aria) is a neglected aspect of thinking about the city's history and as a destination for artists, visitors, and Romans both ancient and modern. These problems interfered with exploring Rome, its art and architecture, and representing its landscape. Atmospheric contamination made plein air painting and investigating antique ruins challenging activities. Roman Fever invites and original and alternative perspective on the city and its countryside, revisiting the history of Rome in terms of ideas about climate and the role of the environment. Beautifully illustrated with unfamiliar images, it focuses on the interplay between enthusiasm and inspiration, and debilitation and mortality, all an integral part of discovering and engaging with the Eternal City's landscape.
During the seventeenth century, the Netherlands-a small country with just two million inhabitants and virtually no natural resources-enjoyed a "Golden Age" of economic success, world power, and tremendous artistic output. In this book Michael North examines the Dutch Golden Age, when Dutch society boasted Europe's greatest number of cities and highest literacy rate, unusually large numbers of publicly and privately owned art works, religious tolerance, and a highly structured and wide-ranging social network. He explores the reasons for the country's success in trade and industry as it emerged from the Eighty Years' War against Spain, and the ways that art played a role in the innovative climate of the times. North looks at the practical aspects of this Golden Age-the banking system, demographic changes, and what made such industries as textiles and shipbuilding so successful. In this period commercialization not only had far-reaching effects on the economic life of the Netherlands, it also affected art, as market forces proved more powerful than patronage for the first time in Europe. With fascinating information about many artists, including Vermeer, Frans Hals, and Pieter de Hooch, North considers painting as a profession, the exhibitions and sales of art works (including the Dutch lottery system), auctions, and the prices that were paid for art. He compares the prices of different artistic genres and studies patterns of picture ownership. Through a close analysis of the private collection of Rembrandt's money lender, Harman Becker, North reveals the function served by works of art in Dutch households. This rich, in-depth view of the Dutch Golden Age will intrigue all readers with an interest in social, economic, or art history.
This far-ranging book presents the most recent research on small-scale bronze production of the Renaissance. The contributors to the volume--an international group of curators, art historians, and conservators--analyze the production and collecting of small bronze sculptures from the fifteenth through the early seventeenth century in both Italy and the North. They offer new assessments and attributions of these fascinating works of art, the result of an intense collaboration between artists and collectors. The book sheds light on the origins of the "household" bronze in Florence around the middle of the fifteenth century and on the groundbreaking developments in North Italy that followed. It reexamines the contribution of Donatello and his immediate followers in the first stages of bronze production as well as proposing a number of new attributions. Among the book's other topics are casting procedures, including a proposal for a method used by Donatello; the spread of technological and artistic advances from Italy into the Northern countries; the work and workshop practices of sculptors of North Italy; and the assembling of personalized collections of small bronzes by German, English, and American connoisseurs from the eighteenth century to our own.
Poet, painter, engraver, and mystic, William Blake (1757-1827) is unequalled for the imaginary force and visionary power of his works. This fascinating book collects all the known documentary records relating to Blake's long and productive life. Distinguished Blake expert, G. E. Bentley, Jr., editor of the first edition of Blake Records and Blake Records Supplement, brings together new and updated material on Blake's life, career, family, friends, and patrons. The result of decades of research, this book is comprehensive, accessible, and highly enlightening.
When Thomas Gainsborough (1727-1788) arrived in the spa town of Bath, England, at the age of thirty-one, he was an artist of modest reputation. When he left sixteen years later, he was recognized as one of Europe's foremost painters. In this exceptional book, Susan Sloman examines for the first time how this transformation took place. She offers an entirely new view of Gainsborough's development during his middle years as well as abundant new information about Bath and its role, for a few decades in the eighteenth century, as a cultural center of Europe. Drawing on freshly discovered documents and a variety of little-known contemporary published sources, Sloman illuminates artistic activity in Bath and Gainsborough's part in it. She reveals how Gainsborough's prominence as an artist and Bath's as a cultural hub were intimately connected during a period in which the artist and his town flourished together.
Philadelphia developed the most active scientific community in early America, fostering an influential group of naturalist-artists, including William Bartram, Charles Willson Peale, Alexander Wilson, and John James Audubon, whose work has been addressed by many monographic studies. However, as the groundbreaking essays in "Knowing Nature" demonstrate, the examination of nature stimulated not only forms of artistic production traditionally associated with scientific practice of the day, but processes of making not ordinarily linked to science. The often surprisingly intimate connections between and among these creative activities and the objects they engendered are explored through the essays in this book, challenging the hierarchy that is generally assumed to have been at play in the study of nature, from the natural sciences through the fine and decorative arts, and, ultimately, popular and material culture. Indeed, the many ways in which the means of knowing nature were reversed--in which artistic and artisanal culture informed scientific interpretations of the natural world--forms a central theme of this pioneering publication.
Even when Modernism dimmed interest in the work of classical architects, Palladio's opus never ceased to attract attention. This book sets Pallado in his contemporary context, discusses the theory of the orders, proportions, space composition, facade design, and presents this material in a way accessible to practicing architects and students, so that the ideas can be applied in their architectural work."
This book presents a complete survey of one of the key moments in the history of the Spanish court portrait, a period spanning the years 1650 to 1680. In 1650 Velazquez was in Rome, where he depicted members of the papal court with a new freedom of approach, while the following year saw his keenly awaited return to Spain, where he returned to the conventions of the court portrait. From that point onwards and until his death in 1660, Velazquez devoted most of his efforts to satisfying a growing demand for portraits of the Spanish royal family. These images were used for both family and diplomatic purposes, given that Philip IV's children with his last wife, Mariana of Austria, were essential elements in the strategic creation of political alliances across Europe. These last ten years of Velazquez's career constitute a period with a marked and distinctive personality. His sitters were now primarily women and children rather than men, a difference that was accompanied by changes in the density of the pigment, the pictorial handwriting and the colour range, which became wider and richer. In terms of artistic achievement and social advancement, this decade marks the peak of Velazquez's career, with Las Meninas as his great masterpiece.
Frans Hals (c.1582/3-1666) was a revolutionary in the field of portraiture and used his colour and paint brush to express ultimate freedom by breaking convention. Famed for his unique painting style and method of capturing light and atmosphere, he went on to influence many emerging artists.
Phaidon's classic illustrated monograph on Rembrandt, updated with an elegantly crafted design for today's burgeoning art aficionados. Reviving a much beloved group of artist monographs from the Phaidon archive, the new Phaidon Classics bring to life the fine craftsmanship and design of Phaidon books of the 1930s, 40s and 50s. Updated with a contemporary "classic" design, full color images and new introductions by leading specialists on the work of each artist, these elegantly crafted volumes revive the fine bookmaking of the first half of the twentieth century, making Phaidon Classics instant collectors' items. Rembrandt (1606-1669) was arguably the finest painter of the northern Baroque period, and his intimate self-portraits and vast historical canvases such as The Nightwatch open up the world of the seventeenth-century Netherlands. The luxurious large-format book highlights Rembrandt's unique lighting techniques and rich palette.
In a critical reassessment of chinoiserie, a style both praised and derided for its triviality, prettiness and ornamental excesses, Stacey Sloboda argues that chinoiserie was no mute participant in eighteenth-century global consumer culture, but was instead a critical commentator on that culture. Analysing ceramics, wallpaper, furniture, garden architecture and other significant examples of British and Chinese design, this book takes an object-focused approach to studying the cultural phenomenon of the 'Chinese taste' in eighteenth-century Britain. It is essential reading for anyone interested in the critical history of design and the decorative arts in the period, and students and scholars of art history, material culture, eighteenth-century studies and British history will find a novel approach to studying the decorative arts and a forceful argument for their critical capacities. -- .
In this book, Caroline van Eck examines how rhetoric and the arts interacted in early modern Europe. She argues that rhetoric, though originally developed for persuasive speech, has always used the visual as an important means of persuasion, and hence offers a number of strategies and concepts for visual persuasion as well. The book is divided into three major sections - theory, invention, and design. Van Eck analyzes how rhetoric informed artistic practice, theory, and perception in early modern Europe. This is the first full-length study to look at the issue of visual persuasion in both architecture and the visual arts, and to investigate what roles rhetoric played in visual persuasion, both from the perspective of artists and that of viewers.
This interdisciplinary anthology explores the representation of everyday life across several disciplines in a century known for its interest in individual experience of the mundane as well as the heroic. Comprised of essays by established and emerging scholars of literature, art, and music history, the volume explores not merely the range of performances under the banner of the everyday, but also the meanings inherent in these attempts to create art out of the experience of the "real." In this collection, the authors attempt to provide a wide-ranging picture of the many ways in which the notion of "the everyday" is a valuable conceptual frame through which the eighteenth century may be apprehended, as this critical term allows for issues of gender, race, and class to come into focus. Alden Cavanaugh is Associate Professor of Art History at Indiana State University.
Giambattista Tiepolo (1696-1770) was the greatest Italian painter
of the eighteenth century, best known for his monumental frescoes
and epic altarpieces. The scale of these paintings is immense, even
overpowering. Yet some of Tiepolo's finest work can be found in the
small oil sketches that he often made in preparation for these
The Wallace collection commemorates the 400th anniversary of Van Dyck's birth with this publication and an exhibition devoted to the artist's achievements. This book includes in-depth studies of select paintings, including portraits of Philippe le Roy, his teenage bride Marie de Raet and Isabelle Waerbecke, wife of painter Paul de Vos as well as his lyrical work, The Shepherd Paris. A multitude of illustrations as well as examinations of iconography, technique, dating and studio practices produce an insightful and informative read.
'A Rake's Progress' (1734-5) and 'An Election' (1755) are the most famous of William Hogarth's series of 39 modern moral subjects. The two series were purchased in the early nineteenth century by the architect Sir John Soane' who regarded them as amongst his greatest treasures. In this book Christina Scull sets the paintings in the context of Hogarth's life and times and of his other moral series 'A Harlot's Progress' and 'Marriage A-la-mode' and gives a detailed account of their narrative and contents. The eight paintings of 'A Rake's Progress' and the four paintings of 'An Election' are all illustrated in colour together with many of the engravings - authorised as well as pirate editions - based on them. Since this volume was first published in 1991, the celebrity status of the Soane Hogarths has continued to grow. In 1997 'A Rake's Progress' featured in a special exhibition at Sir John Soane's Museum together with the precursors and successors of Hogarth's great social satire. The crowds flocked to the Gallery and the catalogue sold out within weeks. In 2001 'General Election year in Britain' 'An Election' was given its own show which proved a soothing tonic for a nation weary of politicians and their antics.
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