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Hampshire Archives and Local Studies
With the development of connoisseurship in eighteenth-century England came new scrutiny of the female body. This article examines the contemporary intersection between aesthetic appreciation and the act of viewing the female form. Keywords: connoisseurship , spectatorship , art , aesthetics , beauty , sexuality , painting , performance , theatre.
Clemente Macaroni. Julia Swindells and David Francis Taylor. I open to Gentlemen a New Scene of Pleasure , a New Innocent Amusement, and an Accomplishment which they have yet scarce heard of, but no less worthy of their Attention….
My present business is then in short to persuade our Nobility, and Gentry to become Lovers of Painting and Connoisseurs. It therefore encompassed more than the activities of dating or attribution, discerning provenance, or spotting an original from a fake. With its promise of cultural and intellectual improvement, visual enjoyment, and heightened social status, connoisseurship appealed to Englishmen who had the classical education and independent financial means to engage in its practice.
Unlike most women, labourers, and artisans, such gentlemen had the wherewithal to attend university and gain knowledge of classical language and literature, religion, philosophy, and history; to embark on Continental Grand Tours; and to establish art collections. Connoisseurship both complemented and justified these endeavours, and, in turn, supported class hierarchies. In the second painting, several Dilettanti gather to inspect a collection of gemstones; the figure on the left holds a gem up to the light and, in the act of pinching it between his thumb and forefinger, makes a gesture that contemporaries would have recognized as an obscene sign for the female sex.
In both of these images, an iconography of connoisseurship is coupled with an iconography of the sexualized female body. Figure 1. The Vase Group — By permission of the Society of Dilettanti. Figure 2. The Gem Group — Francis of Wycombe and, later, the Medmenham Monks—a society of men who celebrated drinking, banqueting, and sexual debauchery. Francis Adoring the Cross c. Figure 3. Figure 4. Figure 5.
Figure 6. This article builds upon this research, particularly with regard to its discernment of an eighteenth-century connoisseurial culture; however, rather than conceive of the presence of the female body in Dilettanti society as one element within a broader ecology of taste on par, say, with fine art, fine wine, and fine food , as a manifestation of a sexually charged atmosphere, or as a vehicle through which Dilettanti sociability and politics were cultivated and articulated, it places the female physique at the heart of the connoisseurial project.
This article thus conceives of connoisseurship as a performance and contends that the female body operates 1 as an exemplary site of its enactment and 2 as a key marker for concerns in the era over the aims of artistic assessment the role of the aesthete and of artistic production the role of the artist.
It further posits that connoisseurial claims to aesthetic knowledge, when played out through the female body, were, like performances, ephemeral, and this is because representations of the female body troubled claims to aesthetic knowledge through the very fiction they promoted: that of the profound mystery and sexual otherness of women. There is no such thing as a monogamous collector. Sight is a promiscuous sense. During the eighteenth century, questions of perception took center stage in science, moral philosophy, literature, and aesthetics.
For Enlightenment thinkers, sight was a sensory faculty that could be shaped and directed to improve perception. This cultivation of visual skill, the education of the eye, was especially important at a time when the objective was not simply to see better but to view well.
According to Jonathan Richardson, the aforementioned author of Two Discourses , connoisseurship directs the pleasures of looking toward edificatory ends.
He writes,. Under the dilettantish gaze, however, fine art—the pictures, drawings, prints, and statues that Richardson speaks of—could offer opportunities for concupiscent looking. Figure 7. As emblems of nature and beauty, women were ideal aesthetic objects; that said, representations of the female form could also excite temptations to engage in a prurient form of looking. Figure 8. Audran, engraver to the late King of France; done from the originals engraved at Paris.
In twenty eight large folio plates. PlateEighteenth-Century Collections Online. The John P. Robarts Research Library, University of Toronto. Observe that part of a beautiful woman where she is perhaps the most beautiful, about the neck and breasts; the smoothness; the softness; the easy and insensible swell; the variety of the surface, which is never from the smallest space the same; the deceitful maze, through which the unsteady eye slides giddily, without knowing where to fix, or whither it is carried.
In the process of observing, aesthetic attention becomes a vehicle for amorous adoration, and the anatomization of the body for the effusive expression of material sexuality. Figure 9. In , the same year that Pope published his Epistle to Burlington , Hogarth addressed the problem of aesthetic desire in an engraving entitled Boys Peeping at Nature Fig.
Further, by depicting Artemis an early version of the Roman goddess Diana rather than Venus, Hogarth shifts the narrative from sexual desire to chastity. Around , Hogarth reworked the image Fig. FigureWilliam Hogarth, Boys Peeping at NatureWilliam Hogarth, Boys Peeping at Nature c. Hogarth, with his often variant aesthetic emphasis on dolce as a fundamental component of utile , could not escape charges that his artistic vision was clouded by masturbatory fantasy.
The drawing depicts the sun rising behind two mountains foregrounded by a hill and a small cottage, its door open and surrounded by foliage, where the sun is evocative of a head, the mountains breasts, the hill a belly and navel, the cottage entryway a vulva, and the brush surrounding it, pubic hair—a bawdy landscape contrived out of viewing a nude woman in linear perspective, a kind of looking associated with a particular kind of sexual act.
From the Original Design in the Possession of Sam. Later eighteenth- to early nineteenth-century paintings and drawings portray the gaze of the connoisseur in much the same way. The background reveals part of a dome, underneath which is a frieze, depicting Venus reclining on a cart drawn by nymphs and satyrs.
At the center-right of the image is a statue positioned in a niche of the Callipygian Venus, exposing her posterior. In the foreground, male spectators delight in viewing women who, in the process of being toppled down the stairs, have become like the statue: barelegged and bare bottomed. Richard Cosway, Group of ConnoisseursThomas Rowlandson, Exhibition Stare Case c. Women such as Emma Hamilton — and Rose Parisot c.
Their performances, which involved rendering themselves into living art objects, mark one of the ways in which women responded in the eighteenth century to connoisseurial practices—here, as a means of self-promotion. Emma Hamilton Fig. As the mistress and later wife of Sir William Hamilton, a Scottish diplomat and antiquarian, and the mistress of Admiral Horatio Nelson, she moved in high circles and became famous for her mimoplastic art.
After viewing her in , Johann Wolfgang von Goethe reported that—. He sees what thousands of artists would have liked to express realized before him in movements and surprising transformations—standing, kneeling, sitting, reclining, serious, sad, playful, ecstatic, contrite, alluring, threatening, anxious, one pose follows another without a break. In her, he [Sir William Hamilton] has found all the antiquities….
This much is certain: as a performance it is like nothing you ever saw before in your life. Another performer who evoked classical forms was Rose Parisot Fig. A similar etching by Robert Newton ; Fig. The Venus de Medicis. The Consular Artist. Isaac Cruikshank, A Peep at the Parisot! Robert Newton, Mademoiselle ParisotBut they are doing even more than this. Many representations of connoisseurial viewing in the period—poetic and pictorial—address not just questions of decency but questions of authority in the act of beholding.
Nancy Armstrong has argued that the eighteenth century witnessed the emergence of a power relationship that gendered the spectator as male and the spectacle as female. In featuring personages such as William Hamilton, William Pitt, and the Bishop of Durham, they engage a sexual politics, contending that such beauties effeminize these men and distract them from more important matters.
Rather than cultivate virtue, connoisseurship has the potential to diminish masculine power, particularly in the civic world. I also want to suggest, however, that eighteenth-century representations of connoisseurial viewing ultimately locate culpability less in the figure of the woman than in the act of looking itself. This is more than a display of fetishistic predation, pornographic bawdiness, a critique of poor taste, or a warning about the seductive potential of art.
Connoisseurs, quizzing glasses in hand, may attempt to examine, study, and analyze what is often hidden or secret, but such representations, rather than grant them knowledge and intellectual power, confound full access. Those doing the looking are often older men with questionable potency and virility; they do not obtain the classical beauty depicted but rather desperately ogle her in a way that underscores a fantasy of female anatomical and aesthetic otherness—a fantasy that relies upon a distancing of the male viewer in relation to the female object.
If women in portraits of connoisseurship satirical and non-satirical are stand-ins for beauty, and their genitals for the mysterious origins of that beauty, then beauty for the connoisseur, albeit fascinating, remains elusive and unknowable. It is often used of a pretended critick. If visual power typically resides in the beholder, the mystery that inheres in these objects prevents their subordination. A yearning unfulfilled speaks not only to what it means to maintain desire but also to what it means to pursue beauty.
Aesthetic appreciation entails delimited access. It is, indeed, so little subject to the examinations of reason, … To trace all the sources of that various pleasure which we ascribe to the agency of beauty, or to disentangle all the perceptions involved in its idea, would, perhaps require a very great part of the life of Aristotle or Plato.
A little thought will show this to be impossible…. The great chain of causes, which links one to another, even to the throne of God himself, can never be unravelled by any industry of ours. Beauty, methinks, seems a requisite qualification in an actress. We banish anatomy from the parlour of the polite gentleman. Scrutiny of the female form as an emblem of beauty occurred in artistic circles and in theatrical circles. We have seen the latter in the case of Rose Parisot, a ballerina, but the fact was that eighteenth-century spectators paid special attention to the bodies of all female performers.
There never perhaps was a better stage figure seen than Mrs. Her height is above the middle size; she is not at all inclined to the embonpoint, yet sufficiently muscular, to prevent all appearances of asperity, or acute angles in the variety of action, or the display of attitude; the symmetry of her person is captivating; … most people think her more beautiful than she is.
Christ Carrying the Cross
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Delacroix is widely regarded as the leader of the Romantic movement in 19 th -century French art. His life and work embodied the movement's concern for emotion, exoticism, and the sublime, and his painting style - full of lush, agitated brushwork and pulsating with vivid color - was in direct contrast to the cool and controlled delineations of his peer and rival, Ingres. Delacroix eschewed academic conventions in his choice of subjects, favoring scenes from contemporary history rendered on a large scale in the most dramatic of fashions, with visibly energized brushwork and dynamic figural compositions. Delacroix's work also embodies Romanticism's obsession with the exotic Other, seen in his paintings inspired by a transformational trip to North Africa, but his animal pictures can also be viewed in this vein. Interestingly, many of his works were based on direct observation of nature he was a prodigious draftsman and took an interest in early photography , which he then combined with a narrative imagination, not surprising given his intimacy with many of the most famous writers of his day. Most believe, however, that he was the youngest of four children born to parents Victorie Oeben and Charles Delacroix, a foreign minister under Napoleon's regime. Delacroix's early life was filled with much loss including the death of his father when he was seven; his brother was killed in battle when he was nine; and his mother passed away in when he was just sixteen. In the foreground of Delacroix's canvas, we see a group of distraught Greek men, women, and children laying huddled some dead, some barely alive on the ground. On the left, a man expires from a stomach wound while his wife leans on his shoulder; on the right, a dead mother leans against an elderly woman as her child tries without success to suckle at her exposed breasts.
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Book printing was a collaborative effort, as we see here with different people preparing a book for the printing press. The printing press was arguably one of the most revolutionary inventions in the history of the early modern world. While the fifteenth-century German goldsmith and publisher, Johannes Gutenberg, is heralded for his creation of a mechanical printing press that allowed for the mass-production of images and texts, the technology of movable type was first pioneered much earlier in East Asia. In early eleventh-century China , the artisan Bi Sheng discovered that he could make individual Chinese characters from baked clay to create a system of movable type.
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Nativity scene backdrop amazon. This set includes Mary, Joseph, Baby Jesus, and many other notable figures from the story. This 6-page print-out provides all the characters you need to put on your own Nativity finger puppet show. The darkest sheet should still stand out against the dark blue background sheet. The Best Indoor Christmas Decor.
Creative and co bowral
This introduction to the history of art and visual culture provides a broad overview of the major developments in western art between c. It is divided into three parts, each of which explores the concept and practice of art in a distinct historical period. We begin by considering the production and consumption of art from the Crusades through to the period of the Catholic Reformation. The focus is on art in medieval and Renaissance Christendom, but this does not imply that Europe was insular during this period. The period witnessed the slow erosion of the crusader states in the Holy Land, finally relinquished in , and of the Greek Byzantine world until Constantinople fell to the Ottomans in
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In accordance with New York City mandate, proof of vaccination is required for all visitors, including children ages 5 toGenoa, well known as a seaport established in ancient times and as the birthplace of Christopher Columbus, emerged as a major artistic center toward the middle of the sixteenth century, sparked by the sea lord Andrea Doria's political leadership and ready patronage and the artist Perino del Vaga's arrival from Rome. The technically masterful, even boldly experimental, drawings and prints in this exhibition illustrate Genoa's growth by the early seventeenth century into an important regional artistic school. Some of the drawings were made as independent works of art, as for instance ones by Giovanni Benedetto Castiglione, characterized by rich painterliness and dramatic content.
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William Caxton was born in Kent between andHe was apprenticed to Robert Large, a mercer, probably when he was about fourteen or a little older. At some date between and he went to Bruges, then a thriving merchant town. Because of its predominance as a market, merchants from all over Europe gathered there and established themselves in national communities ruled by a governor. The English community was known as Merchant Adventurers and Caxton became their governor in
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In accordance with New York City mandate, proof of vaccination is required for all visitors, including children ages 5 toBotticelli Alessandro di Mariano Filipepi. Moretto da Brescia Alessandro Bonvicino. From late antiquity forward, Christianity was integral to European culture, and the life of Christ was understood as it is still as an essential embodiment of Christian teachings. In a society that laid great emphasis on religion and required religious images, artists performed an indispensable service and had to work within the structure of tradition. It is often assumed that such conditions would stifle creativity, but thoughtful observation shows that this is not so.
All Digital Collections Login. Add to bookbag Search this text: Other search options. Author: Coster, Franciscus,Title: Meditations of the whole historie of the Passion of Christ.