Tag Archive for 18th Century Art

News | NGV winter exhibition ‘Masterpieces from The Hermitage: The Legacy of Catherine the Great’

Alexander Roslin
Swedish 1718–1793
Portrait of Catherine II 1776–77
oil on canvas
271.0 x 189.5 cm
The State Hermitage Museum, St Petersburg
Acquired, 1918 (Inv. № ГЭ-1316)

The NGV has announced this year’s Melbourne Winter Masterpiece exhibition will be ‘Masterpieces from the Hermitage: The Legacy of Catherine the Great’. From one great empire to another – last year we took in the Royal Collection of the Hapsburg’s of Spain in ‘Italian Masterieces from the Prado‘, this winter we look to Russia and the  collection of Catherine the Great. The Hermitage holds one of the most important collections of European Art and one of the largest collections of art anywhere in the world. This exhibition will highlight the collection as it was drawn together by Catherine the Great. She founded the Hermitage in 1764, but she had begun to collect pictures from the moment she ascended to the…

Exhibition and Talks | Opening weekend of A Golden of China: Qianlong Emperor 1736-1795 | NGV International

Giuseppe CASTIGLIONE
Italian 1688–1766, worked in China 1714–66
Qianlong Emperor in ceremonial armour on horseback 清人画弘历戎装骑马像轴Qing dynasty, Qianlong period 1739
coloured inks on silk
322.5 x 232.0 cm
The Palace Museum,

The exhibition A Golden of China: Qianlong Emperor 1736-1795 opens today at the NGV International. The exhibition draws on the collections of the Beijing’s Palace Museum in the Forbidden City to tell the story of the great eighteenth-century Qianlong Emperor who ruled China for almost sixty years. He was the fourth emperor of the Qing dynasty and the longest living emperor in Chinese history. The Qianlong Emperor’s long 60-year reign (1736–1795) was a particularly fascinating time in China’s history. Under his rule, China was the wealthiest and most populous nation in the world. Qianlong’s ability to preserve and foster his Manchu warrior-huntsman traditions whilst adopting the Confucian principles of political and cultural leadership, resulted in the successful governing of 150 million Chinese people. It was his ability to adopt Chinese ways,…

Lecture | The Rococo Erotics of Disguise and Innocence: Revisiting the issue of viewing pleasure in the ancien régime | Patricia Simons

"Jupiter in the Guise of Diana, and the Nymph Callisto" by François Boucher (1759). Courtesy of Wikimedia Commons.

The erotic pleasure of rococo art is usually considered frivolous and feminine, but what if the seeming superficiality and insincerity did have emotive impact? By considering images of playful babes and mythological nymphs, this lecture demonstrates that the masquerade of insignificance enabled the true mask, the nonchalant disguise of innocence, which nevertheless luxuriated in sensuality. Patricia Simons’ scholarly interests include the art of Renaissance Europe (primarily Italy, France and the Netherlands) with a special focus on the representation of gender and sexuality and interdisciplinary research on materiality, visuality and material culture. Her work, published in anthologies and peer-review journals like Art History, Renaissance Quarterly, and Renaissance Studies, has investigated such issues as portraiture as a mode of fictive representation, medical discourse in relation…

Reminder | ‘Ideas and Enlightenment’ David Nichol Smith Seminar in Eighteenth-Century Studies | 10-12 December, Sydney

François Boucher, French, 1748, Oil on canvas, 116 x 133 in. 71.PA.37

Online registration closes soon for the David Nichol Smith Seminar in Eighteenth-Century Studies XV. 10-12 December 2014 | The University of Sydney | Sydney, Australia The Sydney Intellectual History Network and ‘Putting Periodisation to Use’ Research Group at the University of Sydney invite you to the Fifteenth David Nichol Smith Seminar (DNS), with the theme ‘Ideas and Enlightenment’. Inaugurated and supported by the National Library of Australia, the DNS conference is the leading forum for eighteenth-century studies in Australasia. It brings together scholars from across the region and internationally who work on the long eighteenth century in a range of disciplines, including history, literature, art and architectural history, philosophy, the history of science, musicology, anthropology, archaeology and studies of material…

Sydney Event | Jennifer Ferng on Jean-Jacques Lequeu’s Maison gothique (1777-1814)

Jean-Jacques Lequeu, Section perpendiculaire d'un souterrain de la maison gothique

Sensuality and the Subterranean: Jean-Jacques Lequeu’s Maison gothique (1777-1814) during the late Enlightenment Dr Jennifer Ferng, Lecturer Faculty of Architecture, Design and Planning As one of the French utopian designers of the late Enlightenment, Lequeu is regarded by many architectural historians as having an enigmatic inventory of unbuilt work. He envisioned Grecian-Egyptian temples, Masonic grottoes, and neoclassical tombs and civic monuments. Enhanced by his training as a draughtsman, his studies of human anatomy verged on the edge of explicit prurience. This lecture surveys some of his fanciful imagery in relation to the intellectual discourses surrounding the subterranean, focusing on how myth and occult knowledge came to define his ideas of architecture and the body.Dr Jennifer Ferng is Lecturer in Architecture at the…

Exhibition Review | Atua: sacred gods from Polynesia | David Hansen

Marquesas Islands, French Polynesia Stone figure 19th century, Musée du quai Branly, Paris © 2013. Musée du quai Branly photograph: Hughes Dubois/Scala, Florence

  This is a ‘pre-print’ version of a review to be published by the University of Hawai’i Press in The Contemporary Pacific (vol. 17 no.1) in early 2015. Atua: sacred gods from Polynesia is on at the National Gallery of Australia, Canberra from 23 May – 3 August 2014 As you pass between the split-text panels at the entrance to Atua: sacred gods from Polynesia, your first encounter is with two semi-abstract totemic figures from a ritual sanctuary or marae, carved by contemporary Cook Island artist Eruera Nia. Embedded in a low, square, grey plinth, these silver-weathered woodenarabesques or parentheses are at once descriptive and abstract, hieratic and dynamic, leaping up into vision and consciousness in a manner comparable to that of…

Exhibition Review | Italian Masterpieces from Spain’s Royal Court | Katrina Grant

Andrea di Lione Italian 1610–1685 Elephants in a circus (Gli Elefanti in un circo) c.1640 oil on canvas 229.0 x 231.0 cm Museo Nacional del Prado, Madrid (P00091) Spanish Royal Collection

Italian Masterpieces from Spain’s Royal Court, Museo del Prado Reviewed by Katrina Grant The exhibition runs until until 31st August 2014 at the NGV International, St Kilda Rd. This exhibition tells two stories. The first is the story of Italian art from Raphael to Tiepolo and the second is the story of Spanish engagement with Italian art over this period. The exhibition highlights the close artistic relationship between Italy and Spain in the Early Modern period. It includes paintings that were directly commissioned by the Spanish Royal family from such artists as Titian, as well as works collected a century or more after they were painted, such as the Holy Family by Raphael. There are also works by artists who…

Exhibition Review | Genius and Ambition. The Royal Academy of Arts, London, 1768–1918 | David R. Marshall

John Frederick Lewis, The Door of a Cafe in Cairo, 1865, Royal Academy of Arts, London

Genius and Ambition. The Royal Academy of Arts, London, 1768–1918 David R. Marshall   At the Bendigo Art Gallery 2 March–9 June 2014. (Closes 9 June; an exhibition of antique sculpture from the British Museum follows on 2 August.) The regional galleries have some interesting exhibitions on at the moment. At the Ballarat Art Gallery is Auld Lang Syne while at Bendigo, with only a few days to run, is Genius and Ambition, which consists largely of works from the Royal Academy, London and is an exhibition generated by Bendigo and the only Australian venue. Following the success of its fashion shows, especially Grace Kelly, the Bendigo Gallery has stimulated an arts-led tourism industry serving day-trippers from Melbourne who come…

Workshops | Enlightenment Cosmopolitanisms and Sensibilities and Cosmopolitan Moments: Instances of Exchange in the Long Eighteenth Century Emerging Scholar Workshop | Sydney

Anicet Charles Gabriel Lemonnier, French, 1812, Salon de Madame Geoffrin, Oil on canvas, 51 x 77.2 in. MM 59.3.1

Two workshops on ideas of cosmopolitanism June 11-12 in Sydney. Enlightenment Cosmopolitanisms and Sensibilities The character of practiced cosmopolitanism during the Enlightenment often appears to amount to little more than an extension of early modern courtly internationalism infused with a new language of ideas. Further investigation reveals the desire on the part of Enlightenment cosmopolites to open borders in the name of economic, political, intellectual and artistic progress. This workshop explores cosmopolitanism in practice during the long eighteenth century in Europe and, through circulation, beyond its borders. It seeks out lived experiences of cosmopolitanism in the evidence of visual, social and textual expressions, and then asks how to interrogate this evidence. What were the opportunities through which border crossings became…

Public Lectures | Melissa Hyde and Richard Taws | Sydney Intellectual History Network

François Boucher A young lady holding a pug dog (presumed portrait of Madame Boucher) mid 1740. Art Gallery of NSW.

Two lectures on eighteenth and nineteenth-century French art history in Sydney in June. Painted Women in the Age of Madame de Pompadour | Melissa Hyde In this lecture, Prof Melissa Hyde considers the role that cosmetics played in the court politics and social identities of women at the court of Versailles. Focusing largely on portraits of the most famous mistresses of Louis XV, Madame de Pompadour and Madame du Barry, Hyde will discuss ‘making up’ the face as a symbolic practice. The lecture also considers the historical irony and significance of Madame Du Barry’s eventual refusal of rouge. For the artist, François-Hubert Drouais and Elisabeth Vigée-Lebrun, who portrayed Pompadour, Du Barry and Marie-Antoinette after them, the problem of depicting an…

Update and Reminder | CFP for David Nichol Smith Seminar in Eighteenth-Century Studies XV

The Fountain of Love; Francois Boucher, French, 1703 - 1770; 1748; Oil on canvas

David Nichol Smith Seminar in Eighteenth-Century Studies XV 10-13 December 2014, The University of Sydney, Sydney, Australia Keynotes are now confirmed and a reminder of the June 15 abstract deadline. Keynote Speakers John Dixon Hunt (University of Pennsylvania) | Sophia Rosenfeld (University of Virginia) | Michael McKeon (Rutgers University) | Erika Naginski (Harvard University) The Sydney Intellectual History Network and ‘Putting Periodisation to Use’ Research Group at the University of Sydney invite you to the Fifteenth David Nichol Smith Seminar (DNS), with the theme ‘Ideas and Enlightenment’. Inaugurated and supported by the National Library of Australia, the DNS conference is the leading forum for eighteenth-century studies in Australasia. It brings together scholars from across the region and internationally who work on the long eighteenth century in a range of disciplines,…

Melbourne Portrait Group Seminar | Mark Shepheard on Mengs

Melbourne Portrait Group Seminar: ‘A tale of two portraits: Mengs and Don Luis de Borbón’. The National Gallery of Victoria has recently acquired a superb portrait by Anton Raphael Mengs (1728-79), one of the eighteenth century’s greatest portrait painters. The sitter is the Infante Don Luis de Borbón (1727-85), brother of the Spanish king, Carlos III. Don Luis was a major patron of the arts, employing the cellist and composer Luigi Boccherini, as well as being an early supporter of the young Goya. Meng’s portrait of the Infante was painted between 1774 and 1777, during his second period in Spain, where he was Primer Pintor (‘First Painter’) to the royal court. Employed principally to decorate the new Palacio Real in…

Symposium | Italian Masterpieces from Spain’s Royal Court, Museo del Prado

Raphael, Holy Family with Saint John or Madonna of the Rose (Sacra Famiglia con san Giovannino o Madonna della Rosa) c.1517 oil on canvas 103.0 x 84.0 cm  Museo Nacional del Prado, Madrid (P00302) Spanish Royal Collection

The National Gallery of Victoria is holding a public symposium to coincide with its upcoming exhibition Italian Masterpieces from Spain’s Royal Court, Museo del Prado. The symposium will include local and international experts on the art of the period. Each paper will delve into the main themes of the show. Date: 1:30 – 3:30pm, Friday 16th May, 2014 Venue: Clemenger BBDO Auditorium, NGV International, 180 St Kilda Road Bookings:  Ph +61 3 8662 1555, 10am-5pm daily or Cost $35 Adults / $28 Members / $30 C / $15 S (includes light refreshments, bookings essential) Website: http://www.ngv.vic.gov.au/whats-on/programs/public-programs/symposium-italian-masterpieces-from-spains-royal-court,-museo-del-prado  Program ‘The father of the Prado is Titian': Italian Renaissance painting at the Museo del Prado | Speaker Miguel Falomir Faus, Head of Italian & French Painting Department…

Exhibition Review | Rome: Piranesi’s Vision | Katrina Grant

Fig. 5 Piranesi, 'Veduta del Porto di Ripa Grande', Vedute di Roma, 1757-58.

Rome: Piranesi’s Vision Katrina Grant  State Library of Victoria, 22nd February until 22nd June 2014. Free exhibition. ‘When I first saw the remains of the ancient buildings of Rome lying as they do in cultivated fields or in gardens and wasting away under the ravages of time, or being destroyed by greedy owners who sell them as materials for modern buildings, I determined to preserve them for ever by means of my engravings’ – Giovanni Battista Piranesi Piranesi wrote this in his preface to the Antichità romane and it is just one of his many statements that declare his dedication to Rome. His views of Rome stand as a record of the past glories of Ancient Rome, each engraving carefully labelled so that…

Lecture | William Blake in the 21st century – Peter Otto | NGV International

William Blake illustration 'Dante running from Three Beasts'

Keynote Lecture: William Blake in the 21st century        This lecture introduces Blake as artist, poet, and prophet by mapping his attempts radically to transform traditional understandings of the book, from the Songs of Innocence (1789) to the Laocoön engraving (c.1815). The interactive, open-ended, multi-media forms he created are a radical response to the modern, commercial culture of Romantic-era London; yet, as I will suggest, these same forms also seem at home in the early 21st century, where they gesture towards ideals often promised but rarely realised in our now digitally connected world. Speaker Prof Peter Otto, The University of Melbourne                                                             Date: Saturday 5th April, 2pm Venue Clemenger BBDO Auditorium, Ground Level Free. More details here. There will also be two ‘Curator’s Perspective’  floor talks in the exhibition…