Tag Archive for Early Modern Art

Review | Masterpieces from the Hermitage: The Legacy of Catherine the Great at the NGV | Katrina Grant

Anthony van DYCK (Flemish 1599–1641), Portrait of Philadelphia and Elizabeth Wharton, 1640, oil on canvas, 162.0 х 130.0 cm, The State Hermitage Museum, St Petersburg (Inv. no. ГЭ-533), Acquired from the collection of Sir Robert Walpole, Houghton Hall, 1779

Masterpieces from the Hermitage: The Legacy of Catherine the Great at the National Gallery of Victoria International until the 8th November 2015. We enter the exhibition face-to-face with Catherine the Great in a portrait by Swedish artist Alexander Roslin. The Empress was not altogether impressed by the portrait, declaring that Roslin had made her look like ‘a Swedish cook, coarse and simple.’ Despite Catherine’s reservations, the portrait (which shows the Empress in ‘Slavonic’ dress, fastened with a diamond buckle and pointing toward a bust of Peter the Great) proved to be a successful representation and was copied numerous times. The painting is flanked by two busts of the philosophes Voltaire and Diderot by the little-known French sculptor Marie-Anne Collot. On some…

Lecture Series to accompany An Illumination – The Rothschild Prayer Book & other works from the Kerry Stokes Collection c.1280–1685


A lecture series to accompany the current exhibition of art from the Kerry Stokes collection on at the Ian Potter Museum of Art. See the website to register for individual lectures. All lectures are free to attend. Tuesday 8 September 2020 | 6:30 PM – 7:30 PM Kate Challis | Down the Rabbit Hole: An intimate look at Rothschild Prayer Book within a new era of art production and society The Rothschild Prayer Book has been called “exceptional”, “exquisite”, “legendary” and “one of the most important manuscripts to be offered at auction”. This lecture reveals the reasons for these accolades by providing an intimate look at the miniatures and borders. Central to appreciating the Rothschild Prayer Book is an understanding of its historical…

Lecture | Herzschmerz – Love And Pain: Representing the Heart in Early Modern Art | Dagmar Eichberger

Heart Emblem, from A Collection of Emblemes, George Wither, 1635

This paper investigates the contexts in which the image of a heart-shaped object could be used in order to evoke a range of different meanings. Human love and magic, divine love and faith, the passion of Christ and the sorrows of the Virgin Mary are some of the most prominent associations invoked by the heart in the early modern period and beyond. The heart can also be used in a more allegorical context to signify wrath and envy. Thus the heart is often employed as a symbol for compassion (or lack of compassion), a tradition that continued well into the modern period as Wilhelm Hauff’s novel Cold Heart and other literary texts convey. Dagmar Eichberger is part of an EU-funded research project, Artifex, at the University of Trier and is Professor in the Department of…

Melbourne Portrait Group Seminar | Callum Reid, ‘Semper rectus, semper idem: The Uffizi Self Portrait Collection’

Francesco Marchissi, ‘Sala dei Pittori’ (detail), c. 1760. Vienna, Nationalbibliothek

The Uffizi collection of artists’ self-portraits, the majority of which is today secreted away in the Vasari Corridor, is the product of several important events in the history of collecting by the Grand Ducal families in Florence. This paper will discuss the various approaches to the acquisition and display of self-portraits across the Medici and Lorraine Grand-Duchies, their changing locations and their significance to the evolution of the broader gallery. First collected throughout the seventeent century and brought to the Uffizi around the turn of the eighteenth century, in many respects the early programs for their arrangement were an important antecedent to the overall organization of objects in the gallery and in other European collections. Continuing into the eighteenth century,…

Early Modern Art History sessions at 2013 AAANZ Conference

Subscribers to the EVCS may be interested in following sessions at the forthcoming AAANZ Conference, to be held in Melbourne from the 7th to the 9th of December. The sessions below are particularly relevant to anyone working on early modern European art history. For the full call-for-papers and details on submitting a proposal see http://aaanz.info/aaanz-home/conferences/2013-conference/inter-discipline-2013-call-for-papers/ Art, science and German travellers: inter-disciplinary and transnational exchanges in nineteenth-century Australia and New Zealand Dr Kathleen Davidson  | University of Sydney | k.davidson@ozemail.com.au Dr Ruth Pullin |Fellow, State Library of Victoria 2013 | ruth.pullin@gmail.com German-speaking émigrés and visitors were a significant presence in Australian and New Zealand arts and sciences throughout the nineteenth century. From the embrace of Romanticism to their favorable reception of…

Symposium | Iconoclasm | University of Melbourne, September 6th


ICONOCLASM – A Symposium Symposium to be chaired by Dr Gerard Vaughan, Gerry Higgins Professorial Fellow Conveners: Dr F Harley-McGowan, Gerry Higgins Lecturer in Medieval Art History  Dr Justin Clemens, Senior Lecturer, English School of Culture and Communication, The University of Melbourne The history of images is inseparable from the history of the hostility towards images. In its most extreme expressions, this hostility can become an injunction to the breaking of all images: iconoclasm. Sometimes certain images or kinds of image have been banned from being made, circulated, or exhibited; sometimes all images are held to be available for destruction; sometimes images themselves incorporate various kinds of auto-hostility; sometimes images are made only to be broken; sometimes images that should be…

Art History Seminar Series at Melbourne University | Semester 1 Program

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Art History Seminars at the School of Culture and Communication, Melbourne University Semester 1, 2013 Wednesdays 1-2 pm Venue: ‘The Linkway‘, John Medley Building, 4th Floor All Welcome 6 March | Robert Gunn, George Chaloupka Fellow, Museums & Art Galleries of NT | The Jawoyn rock art project 13 March | Susan Russell | Former Assistant Director, British School at Rome | Herman van Swanevelt, Gaspard Dughet and Bad Weather 27 March | Kathleen Kiernan | University of Melbourne | Refashioning Dutch Art into the English Landscape: The Commercialisation of Landscape Prints in Eighteenth-Century London 17 April | Michael Varcoe-Cocks| Conservator, National Gallery of Victoria | Japonisme wilt: The history, analysis and treatment of John Peter Russell’s Almond tree in blossom  c1887 8 May | Hasan Niyazi & Felicity Harley-McGowan…

Exhibition Review | The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse, Death and Disaster. Reviewed by Katrina Grant

Fig. 2 Albrecht Dürer, The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse,  from The Apocalypse, published 1498, woodcut. National Gallery of Victoria.

The ‘Four Horsemen’ exhibition at the National Gallery of Victoria draws together a rich, varied and evocative selection of images of death: the horseman crushing rich and poor alike beneath the hooves of his skeletal horse; the shadowy figure stalking the young and the beautiful; the horrors of war; the terrors of the final Apocalypse.

Seminar | Prof Ann Shteir ‘Figuring and Refiguring Flora, Goddess of Flowers in Early Modern Culture

Detail of Flore from Botticelli's 'Primavera', c1482, via wikimedia commons

Figuring and Refiguring Flora, Goddess of Flowers, in Early Modern Culture Professor Ann Shteir, York University In Roman mythology and popular culture, the goddess Flora rules over the flowering of plants, and as such is to be appeased, lest buds not set and grain not grow. A figure of reproductive power, nurturant and material, and also an eroticized and pleasure-seeking figure, she has carried conflictual beliefs about the female sexed and gendered body across centuries. With reference to Ovid’s account of Flora in his calendar poem Fasti, this talk will consider early modern figurings and refigurings of Flora in Botticelli’s Primavera, a 17th-century horticultural manual, and a few 18th-century British botanical publications. Date: Thursday 1 November, at 6:15pm Venue: Old Arts, North…