Monographic Exhibitions and the History of Art 9781138712485, 9781315200156

This edited collection traces the impact of monographic exhibitions on the discipline of art history from the first exam

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Monographic Exhibitions and the History of Art
 9781138712485, 9781315200156

Table of contents :
Cover
Title
Copyright
Contents
List of illustrations and illustration credits
Preface
Introductory: monographic exhibitions and the history of art
PART I Living artists’ retrospectives
1 Nathaniel Hone’s 1775 exhibition: the first single-artist retrospective
2 The Degas and Cassatt 1915 exhibition in support of women’s suffrage
3 Braque, Gris, Léger: Cubism in Switzerland in 1933
4 Bacon at Grand Palais: echoes and influences
PART II Posthumous retrospectives
5 The first posthumous retrospective in France: the Paul Delaroche exhibition, a new perception of the artist’s work
6 Max Jordan’s first monographic exhibitions at the Royal National Gallery in Berlin – rewriting the canon of art history and creating the artist as a national role model at the beginning of the German empire
7 The Courbet retrospective of 1882. Harbinger of the artist’s first major monography and catalogue raisonné
8 The critical reception of Marcello Tommasi’s oeuvre and the Tommasi family’s artistic legacy
PART III Old Master monographic exhibitions from before World War II
9 The Holbein exhibition of 1871 – an iconic turning point for art history
10 ‘This is the answer to those who tell us that Reynolds was a snob’: the Grosvenor Gallery exhibition of works by Joshua Reynolds (1883–1884)
11 The master and Siena: the 1912 Duccio exhibition
12 The twelve days of Bartolomeo della Gatta (Arezzo, 1–12 October 1930). A regional exhibition of an Old Master during Fascism
13 Titian’s 1935 exhibition in Venice
PART IV Old Master monographic exhibitions after World War II
14 Poussin in perspective: the Louvre retrospective 1960 above and beyond
15 Rembrandt and the polemical monographic exhibition: ‘Rembrandt. The Master and His Workshop’ in Berlin, Amsterdam, and London in 1991–92
16 Exploring Michelangelo through exhibitions. Closer to the master, closer to the scholar, closer to the public
PART V Monographic exhibitions and the twenty-first century
17 ‘Canaletti’ and the others. Recent monographic exhibitions of Venetian veduta painters: art history and the market
18 El Greco and the dynamics of retrospection in monographic exhibitions for the anniversary of his death in 2014
19 Past institution’s future: monographic exhibitions and Tate Modern’s make-up
20 The rise of the monographic exhibition: the political economy of contemporary art
Afterword: learning from the artist’s monograph: anarchy, quality, and the ultimate noumenon
Epilogue: some curatorial thoughts on the monographic exhibition
Archival sources
Bibliography
Biographical notes on the contributors
Index

Citation preview

Monographic Exhibitions and the History of Art

This edited collection traces the impact of monographic exhibitions on the discipline of art history from the first examples in the late eighteenth century through the present. Roughly falling into three genres (retrospectives of living artists, retrospectives of recently deceased artists, and monographic exhibitions of Old Masters), specialists examine examples of each genre within their social, cultural, political, and economic contexts. Exhibitions covered include Nathaniel Hone’s 1775 exhibition, the Holbein Exhibition of 1871, the Courbet retrospective of 1882, Titian’s 1935 exhibition in Venice, Poussin’s Louvre retrospective of 1960, and El Greco’s anniversary exhibitions of 2014. Maia Wellington Gahtan is Program Director, M.A. Museum Studies and Professor of Art History and Museology at the Istituto Lorenzo de’ Medici in Florence. Donatella Pegazzano is Associate Professor of Museology and History of Collecting at the Università degli Studi di Firenze, Dipartimento di Storia, Archeologia, Geografia, Arte e Spettacolo (SAGAS).

Studies in Art Historiography Series Editor: Richard Woodfield University of Birmingham

The aim of this series is to support and promote the study of the history and practice of art historical writing focusing on its institutional and conceptual foundations, from the past to the present day in all areas and all periods. Besides addressing the major innovators of the past it also encourages re-thinking ways in which the subject may be written in the future. It ignores the disciplinary boundaries imposed by the Anglophone expression ‘art history’ and allows and encourages the full range of enquiry that encompasses the visual arts in its broadest sense as well as topics falling within archaeology, anthropology, ethnography and other specialist disciplines and approaches. For a full list of titles in this series, please visit www.routledge.com/Studies-in-ArtHistoriography/book-series/ASHSER2250 Painting and Narrative in France, from Poussin to Gauguin Edited by Peter Cooke and Nina Lübbren Pictures-within-Pictures in Nineteenth-Century Britain Catherine Roach The Academy of San Carlos and Mexican Art History Politics, History, and Art in Nineteenth-Century Mexico Ray Hernandez-Duran Sculptural Materiality in the Age of Conceptualism International Experiments in Italy Marin R. Sullivan Comparativism in Art History Edited by Jaś Elsner Constructing the Viennese Modern Body Art, Hysteria and the Puppet Nathan J. Timpano Messerschmidt’s Character Heads Maddening Sculpture and the Writing of Art History Michael Yonan Monographic Exhibitions and the History of Art Edited by Maia Wellington Gahtan and Donatella Pegazzano

Monographic Exhibitions and the History of Art

Edited by Maia Wellington Gahtan and Donatella Pegazzano

First published 2018 by Routledge 711 Third Avenue, New York, NY 10017 and by Routledge 2 Park Square, Milton Park, Abingdon, Oxon OX14 4RN Routledge is an imprint of the Taylor & Francis Group, an informa business © 2018 Taylor & Francis The right of the editor to be identified as the author of the editorial material, and of the authors for their individual chapters, has been asserted in accordance with sections 77 and 78 of the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988. All rights reserved. No part of this book may be reprinted or reproduced or utilised in any form or by any electronic, mechanical, or other means, now known or hereafter invented, including photocopying and recording, or in any information storage or retrieval system, without permission in writing from the publishers. Trademark notice: Product or corporate names may be trademarks or registered trademarks, and are used only for identification and explanation without intent to infringe. Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data A catalog record for this book has been requested ISBN: 978-1-138-71248-5 (hbk) ISBN: 978-1-315-20015-6 (ebk) Typeset in Sabon by Apex CoVantage, LLC

Cover Image: Paolo Portoghesi, Installation of a room in the exhibition, Mostra critica delle opere michelangiolesche, 1964, Rome, Palazzo delle Esposizioni (Fondazione Bruno Zevi)

Contents

List of illustrations and illustration credits Preface Introductory: monographic exhibitions and the history of art

viii xiv 1

M A I A W E L L IN GTO N GA H TA N AN D DO N ATELLA PEGAZ Z ANO

PART I

Living artists’ retrospectives 1 Nathaniel Hone’s 1775 exhibition: the first single-artist retrospective

11 13

K O N S TA N TI NO S J. STE FAN IS

2 The Degas and Cassatt 1915 exhibition in support of women’s suffrage

26

R U TH E . I S K IN

3 Braque, Gris, Léger: Cubism in Switzerland in 1933

38

K ATE K A N G A SL AH TI

4 Bacon at Grand Palais: echoes and influences

54

M O N I K A K E SKA

PART II

Posthumous retrospectives 5 The first posthumous retrospective in France: the Paul Delaroche exhibition, a new perception of the artist’s work

67

69

M A R I E - C L A I R E RO DRIGUE Z

6 Max Jordan’s first monographic exhibitions at the Royal National Gallery in Berlin – rewriting the canon of art history and creating the artist as a national role model at the beginning of the German empire S A S K I A P Ü TZ

83

vi

Contents

7 The Courbet retrospective of 1882. Harbinger of the artist’s first major monography and catalogue raisonné

103

P E TR A TE N- DO E SSCH ATE CH U

8 The critical reception of Marcello Tommasi’s oeuvre and the Tommasi family’s artistic legacy

114

E L I S A G R A DI

PART III

Old Master monographic exhibitions from before World War II 9 The Holbein exhibition of 1871 – an iconic turning point for art history

127 129

L E N A B A D ER

10 ‘This is the answer to those who tell us that Reynolds was a snob’: the Grosvenor Gallery exhibition of works by Joshua Reynolds (1883–1884)

143

C A M I L L A MURGIA

11 The master and Siena: the 1912 Duccio exhibition

153

E L I S A C A MP O RE AL E

12 The twelve days of Bartolomeo della Gatta (Arezzo, 1–12 October 1930). A regional exhibition of an Old Master during Fascism

170

L U C A P E Z Z UTO

13 Titian’s 1935 exhibition in Venice

181

G I U L I A N A TO MASE L L A

PART IV

Old Master monographic exhibitions after World War II

195

14 Poussin in perspective: the Louvre retrospective 1960 above and beyond

197

H E N RY K E AZO R

15 Rembrandt and the polemical monographic exhibition: ‘Rembrandt. The Master and His Workshop’ in Berlin, Amsterdam, and London in 1991–92

213

C ATH E R I NE SCAL L E N

16 Exploring Michelangelo through exhibitions. Closer to the master, closer to the scholar, closer to the public S I LV I A C AT ITTI

224

Contents

vii

PART V

Monographic exhibitions and the twenty-first century

241

17 ‘Canaletti’ and the others. Recent monographic exhibitions of Venetian veduta painters: art history and the market

243

H E I N E R K R EL L IG

18 El Greco and the dynamics of retrospection in monographic exhibitions for the anniversary of his death in 2014

258

L I V I A S TO E NE SCU

19 Past institution’s future: monographic exhibitions and Tate Modern’s make-up

269

E V I B A N I O TO P O UL O U

20 The rise of the monographic exhibition: the political economy of contemporary art

282

R O N I T M I L AN O

Afterword: learning from the artist’s monograph: anarchy, quality, and the ultimate noumenon

292

G A B R I E L E G U E RCIO

Epilogue: some curatorial thoughts on the monographic exhibition

302

J O A N E ATH SP ICE R

Archival sources Bibliography Biographical notes on the contributors Index

309 311 339 345

Illustrations and illustration credits

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1.2 1.3 1.4

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Advertisement of Hone’s Exhibition. The Public Advertiser, Monday, 8 May 1775, p. [1]. From Gale. 17th and 18th Century Burney Collection Newspapers. (© Gale, a part of Cengage Learning, Inc. Reproduced by permission. www.cengage.com/permissions) Nathaniel Hone I Irish, 1718–1784, The Conjuror, 1775, Oil on canvas, 1450 × 1730 mm (© National Gallery of Ireland, NGI.1790) Nathaniel Hone I Irish, 1718–1784, Sketch for ‘The Conjuror’, 1775, Oil paint on wood, 575 × 819 mm (© Tate, London 2016) Nathaniel Hone I Irish, 1718–1784, The Exhibition of Pictures, by Nathaniel Hone, R.A., Mostly the Works of his Leisure, and Many of Them in his Own Possession ([London]: [n. pub], 1775, Tate Library (V Hone); (photo: the author) Installation of works by Degas in the Main Gallery, Old and Modern Painters exhibition, the Knoedler Gallery, 6–24 April 1915. (Courtesy the Getty Research Institute, Los Angeles (2012 M.54) Installation of works by Cassatt in the Main Gallery, Old and Modern Painters exhibition, the Knoedler Gallery, 6–24 April 1915 (Courtesy of the Getty Research Institute, Los Angeles, California (2012 M.54)) Mary Cassatt, Louisisne Havemeyer, 1896. Pastel on wove paper, 29 × 24 in. (73.7 × 61 cm). (Shelburne Museum, Shelburne, Vermont, Gift of J. Watson Webb, Jr., 1973 (27.3.1–1) . Open source file: https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Cassatthavemeyer.jpg) Installation of Works by Cassatt in the Main Gallery, The Old and Modern Painters exhibition, April 6–24, 1915. (Courtesy of the Getty Research Institute, Los Angeles, California (2012 M.54) Fernand Léger and Christian Zervos in the artist’s studio, 1933. Photograph by Georges Allié. Staged for, but not published in, the special issue of Cahiers d’Art that appeared in conjunction with Léger’s retrospective at the Kunsthaus in Zurich, 30 April–25 May 1933 (Paris: courtesy of Éditions Cahiers d’Art) ‘Soirée der Kunst’, Zürcher Illustrierte, 28 June 1932, p. 870 (Zentralbibliothek Zürich) Cover, Cahiers d’Art, no. 1–2, 1933. Issue devoted to Georges Braque on the occasion of his retrospective exhibition at the Kunsthalle in Basel, 9 April–14 May 1933 (Paris: courtesy of Éditions Cahiers d’Art)

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The first page of Christian Zervos’ text, ‘Léger, est-il cubiste?’ in Cahiers d’art, no. 3–4, 1933 (unpaginated); the same article appeared in the joint catalogue Juan Gris, du 2 au 26 avril; Fernand Léger, du 30 avril au 25 mai: Kunsthaus Zurich (Paris: courtesy of Éditions Cahiers d’Art) Francis Bacon with Joan Miró, André Masson and Jacques Duhamel at the opening of the Grand Palais retrospective 26 of October 1971. Photograph by André Morain Dublin City Gallery, The Hugh Lane (Photo © André Morain. Source clipping © The Estate of Francis Bacon. All rights reserved/DACS 2017) Francis Bacon, Paris, Galeries nationales du Grand Palais. Photograph by André Morain. Dublin City Gallery, The Hugh Lane (Photo © André Morain. Artwork and source clipping © The Estate of Francis Bacon. All rights reserved/DACS 2017) Francis Bacon at the opening of the retrospective at Grand Palais, 26 of October 1971. (Photograph by André Morain. Dublin City Gallery, The Hugh Lane (Photo © André Morain. Source clipping © The Estate of Francis Bacon. All rights reserved/DACS 2017) Title page of Delaroche’s exhibition catalogue, 1857, 21 × 12 cm, private collection (© Pamella Guerdat) Paul Delaroche, The Assassination of the Duc de Guise, 1834, 57 × 98 cm, Chantilly, Musée Condé, inv. PE 450 (© RMN-Grand Palais (domaine de Chantilly)/Harry Bréjat) Paul Delaroche, The Young Martyr, 1855, 171 × 148 cm, Paris, Musée du Louvre, inv. R.F. 1038 (© RMN-Grand Palais [Musée du Louvre]/René-Gabriel Ojéda) Robert Jefferson Bingham, ‘La Vierge chez les saintes femmes’, tableau de Paul Delaroche, 1858, albumen silver print from glass negative, pasted on cardboard, Kodak-Pathé collection, Paris, Musée d’Orsay, gift of the Kodak-Pathé Foundation, inv. PHO 1983 165 159 2 (© Musée d’Orsay, Dist. RMN-Grand Palais/Patrice Schmidt) Front page of the catalogue of the Heinrich Franz-Dreberexhibition, Max Jordan, Erste Ausstellung in der Königlichen National-Galerie zu Berlin. Werke des Landschaftsmalers Heinrich Franz-Dreber, MaiJuni 1876, [Berlin]: Ernst Siegfried Mittler und Sohn, 1876 (Staatliche Museen zu Berlin, Kunstbibliothek) Plan of the 3rd floor of the National Gallery in Berlin, Max Jordan, Erste Ausstellung in der Königlichen National-Galerie zu Berlin. Werke des Landschaftsmalers Heinrich Franz-Dreber, Mai-Juni 1876, [Berlin]: Mittler und Sohn, 1876, appendant (Staatliche Museen zu Berlin, Kunstbibliothek) Double-page 10/11 of the catalogue of the Heinrich Franz-Dreberexhibition, Max Jordan, Erste Ausstellung in der Königlichen National-Galerie zu Berlin. Werke des Landschaftsmalers Heinrich Franz-Dreber, Mai-Juni 1876, [Berlin]: Ernst Siegfried Mittler und Sohn, 1876 (Staatliche Museen zu Berlin, Kunstbibliothek)

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Illustrations and illustration credits Title page of Gustav Freytag, Bilder aus der deutschen Vergangenheit, Gustav Freytag, Bilder aus der deutschen Vergangenheit, 5th revised edn. Leipzig: Hirzel, 1867, 2. Vol. (© Bayerische Staatsbibliothek, München) Eugène Chéron, General view of Courbet’s retrospective exhibition of 1882, Photograph. From: Eugène Chéron, Album de l’exposition des oeuvres de Gustave Courbet à l’École des Beaux-Arts (Paris, 1882) (Photo INHA, Paris) Eugène Chéron, Wall installation view (with The Stonebreakers) of Courbet’s retrospective exhibition of 1882, photograph (Eugène Chéron, Album de l’exposition des oeuvres de Gustave Courbet à l’École des Beaux-Arts (Paris, 1882) (Photo INHA, Paris) Marcello Tommasi, Self Portrait, 1988, Florence, Galleria degli Uffizi (Credits: Francesco Lastrucci, 2013) Marcello Tommasi’s studio in Via della Pergola in Florence, corridor, courtyard and loggia (Credits: Lucio Trizzino, 2014) Marcello Tommasi’s studio in Via della Pergola in Florence, main exhibition room with works by Marcello Tommasi, Riccardo and Giovanni Tommasi Ferroni (Credits: Lucio Trizzino, 2014) Marcello Tommasi’s studio in Via della Pergola in Florence, loggia (Credits: Lucio Trizzino, 2014) Alfred Richard Diethe, Visitors at the Holbein exhibition, 1871, Kupferstich-Kabinett, Staatliche Kunstsammlungen Dresden (Staatliche Kunstsammlungen Dresden, photograph: Herbert Boswank) Detail from the catalogue of the Holbein Exhibition, from Katalog der Ausstellung von Gemäldenälterer Meisterim K. Kunstausstellungs gebäude gegenüber der Glyptothek in München 1869, ed. by Adolph Bayersdorfer and Franz vonReber (München: Akad. Buchdr. von F. Straub, 1869, p. 7, 16, 17 (Montage: Lena Bader) Adolph Menzel, Holbein exhibition, plebiscit table, Dresden, 1871, 14 × 16,6 cm, pencil drawing, Berlin, Kupferstichkabinett, Inv. SZ MenzelSkb. 36,1871/75, S. 59–60 (© bpk/Staatliche Museenzu Berlin, Kupferstichkabinett) Original reproductions of the Holbein Madonna, 1635–1954 (Montage: Lena Bader) Reconstruction of different frames and installations for the Darmstadt Madonna dating from 1904 to 1954, Tudor Wilkinson, reconstruction of a winged altar, Paris 1932, 47 × 58 cm, photomontage, Staatsarchiv Basel, Hauptsammlung, BILD 39,5; ill. from Wilhelm Lübke, Outlines of the History of Art, ed. by. Russell Sturgis, vol. 2 (New York: Dodd, Mead & Co, 1904), plate after p. 312; ill. from Heinrich A. Schmid, ‘Holbeins Darmstaedter Madonna’, in idem, Gesammelte Kunsthistorische Schriften. Zum 70. Geburtstag des Verfassers herausgegeben von Schülern und Freunden (Leipzig: Heitz, 1933), p. 227–250, plate 14; ill. from Hans Reinhardt, ‘Die Madonna des Bürgermeisters Meyer von Hans Holbein d. J., Nachforschungen zur Entstehungs geschichte und Aufstellung des Gemäldes’, Zeitschrift für schweizerische Archäologie und Kunstgeschichte, 15/4 (1954/1955), pp. 244–254, plate 83 (Montage: Lena Bader)

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Duccio di Buoninsegna, Maestà (front), 1308–11, tempera on panel, 220 cm × 433 cm, Siena, Museo dell’Opera del Duomo inv. OA/4538 (by concession of the Fondazione Monte dei Paschi di Siena) Duccio di Buoninsegna, Maestà (back), 1308–11, tempera on panel, 370 cm × 450 cm, Siena, Museo dell’Opera del Duomo inv. OA/4501–4514 (by concession of the Fondazione Monte dei Paschi di Siena) Piazza Jacopo della Quercia with the entrance door of the Museo dell’Opera del Duomo, venue of the 1912 Duccio exhibition, Siena (by concession of the Fondazione Monte dei Paschi di Siena) The Room of Alfieri during the 1912 Duccio Exhibition, Siena, Museo dell’Opera del Duomo (Pompeo Sansaini’s photograph by concession of the Archivio della Fondazione Briganti) The Room of Tapestries during the 1912 Duccio Exhibition, Siena, Museo dell’Opera del Duomo (Pompeo Sansaini’s photograph by concession of the Archivio della Fondazione Briganti) Programme of the celebrations for the 1912 Duccio exhibition, Siena, ACS, Postunitario X.B, cat. I, busta 30 (1913) (by concession of the Archivio storico del Comune di Siena) Invoice of the firm ‘Giovacchino Corsi & Figli’ for restorations of paintings part of the 1912 Duccio Exhibition, Siena, ACS, Postunitario X.B, cat. I, busta 30 (1913) (by concession of the Archiviostorico del Comune di Siena) Duccio di Buoninsegna, Temptation of Christ on the highest point of the temple, tempera on panel, 48 cm × 50 cm, Siena, Museo dell’Opera del Duomo inv. OA/4524 (Pompeo Sansaini’s photograph by concession of the Archivio della Fondazione Briganti) Original poster advertising the ‘Settimana Aretina’ (Arezzo, 1–12 October, 1930) (Archive of the author) The King opens the Titian’s Exhibition in Ca’ Pesaro Palace. Frame of the ‘Giornale Luce’ B0669, 5 January 1935 (Il re inaugura la mostra di Tiziano a Ca’ Pesaro) The King opens the Titian’s Exhibition in Ca’ Pesaro Palace. Frame of the ‘Giornale Luce’ B0669, 5 January 1935 (Il re inaugura la mostra di Tiziano a Ca’ Pesaro) Titian, Christ shown to the People (Ecce Homo), c. 1570–1576, oil on canvas, Saint Louis Art Museum (Courtesy of the Saint Louis Art Museum) Galerie Mazarine, Paris, Bibliothèque Nationale, (Agence Meurisse/ Agence de btv: 1b90562059 (gallica.bnf.fr/Bibliothèque Nationale de France) Entrance to the Poussin Exhibition in 1960, Paris, Louvre (Arts Graphiques de la Cité [Agraci]) (Réunion des Musées Nationaux, Nicolas Poussin 1594–1665 (Paris: Réunion des Musées Nationaux 1994, p. 12) Room in the Poussin Exhibition in 1960, Paris, Louvre (Arts Graphiques de la Cité [Agraci]) (Réunion des Musées Nationaux, Nicolas Poussin 1594–1665 (Paris: Réunion des Musées Nationaux 1994, p. 13)

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Illustrations and illustration credits

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The Tribune of the David between 1884 and 1900, Florence, Galleria dell’Accademia (Archivio Fotografico Fratelli Alinari, photo Brogi, inv. 8421) Paolo Portoghesi, Installation of a room in the exhibition, Mostra critica delle opere michelangiolesche, 1964, Rome, Palazzo delle Esposizioni (Fondazione Bruno Zevi) Guicciardini & Magni Architetti, Installation of the exhibition, Venus and Love. Michelangelo’s New Ideal of Beauty, 2002, Florence, Galleria dell’Accademia (Guicciardini & Magni Architetti) Metaphor designers, Installation of the exhibition, Michelangelo Drawings. Closer to the Master, 2006, London, British Museum (© Trustees of the British Museum) Leonardo Stanta, Installation of the exhibition, Michelangelo architetto a San Lorenzo. Quattro problem aperti, 2007, Florence, Casa Buonarroti (Mauro Mussolin) Cover of the catalogue of the retrospective exhibition at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, 1989–90 (from the library of the author) Canaletto, Venice, the Ducal Palace, seen from the Bacino di San Marco with the return of the Bucintoro after the Doge’s ritual wedding with the sea, canvas, 182 × 259 cm, dated 1727–29, Moscow, Pushkin Museum, Inv.: 2678 (Open Source File: Canaletto – Bucentaur’s return to the pier by the Palazzo Ducale – Google Art Project.jpg) Anonymous photographer, The skyline of New York City, with the arrival of S.S. Flandre, probably 1952 (historic photo) Auction catalogue of 1856, advertising eleven paintings by ‘Canaletti’ (from the library of the author) Exhibitions held on Venetian view painters since 1989–90 (© the author) View of Toledo Exhibition, El Griego de Toledo, pintor de lo visible y lo invisible, 21 March 2014, Fundación El Greco 2014 (Photo: David Blázquez) View of Toledo Exhibition, El Griego de Toledo, pintor de lo visible y lo invisible, 21 March 2014, Fundación El Greco 2014 (Photo: David Blázquez) View of El Greco’s Visual Poetics exhibition at the Tokyo Metropolitan Art Museum, 2013, curator Natsuko Ohashi (Photo: Ichiro Otani) View of El Greco’s Visual Poetics exhibition at the Tokyo Metropolitan Art Museum, 2013, curator Natsuko Ohashi (Photo: Ichiro Otani) The Unilever Series: Louise Bourgeois: I Do, I Undo, I Redo, May– December 2000, Turbine Hall, Tate Modern, 2000, © The Easton Foundation/VAGA, New York/DACS, London 2017, (© Tate, London 2017)

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Installation view of the Max Beckmann exhibition, Tate Modern, London, 2003 © DACS 2017, (© Tate, London 2017) Raphael Sanzio and assistants, Madonna of the Candelabra, c. 1513–1514, oil on panel, 64–65.8 cm in diam (Walters Art Museum, Baltimore)

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Preface

The idea for this book developed from a graduate course and conference held in Florence at Istituto Lorenzo de’ Medici, department of Museum Studies, and the University of Florence, SAGAS department in March and April 2016. We are appreciative of all of the students, specialist lecturers and conference participants whose lively exchanges of ideas encouraged us to bring this volume together, as well as the musical ensemble Ensemble Harmonicus Concentus, whose concert demonstrating the recovery of Vivaldi’s music through monographic concert series was both apt and enjoyable. We would especially like to thank Fabrizio Guarducci, President of the Istituto Lorenzo de’ Medici, and Carla Guarducci, General Director of the Istituto Lorenzo de’ Medici, for their generous support of the MA in Museum Studies Program and its academic initiatives, Vanessa and John Peters and Richard Lewis of Marist College, with which our Museum Studies program is partnered, along with the Fondazione Palazzo Strozzi and the University of Florence, SAGAS department. From within Lorenzo de’ Medici, special thanks must be accorded to Kate Bolton-Porciatti, Myra Stals, and Lauren Piccolo for their crucial organizational help with the conference and brainstorming afterwards and to one of our graduate assistants, Jennifer Bauder, who helped organize the materials for this book. At the University of Florence, we would like to express gratitude to the director of the SAGAS department, Stefano Zamponi, to Andrea De Marchi, professor of the SAGAS Department, for introducing the conference, and to Dario Abbate for the help in the practical organization.

Introductory Monographic exhibitions and the history of art Maia Wellington Gahtan and Donatella Pegazzano

The goal of this study is to analyse the relationship between institutions that keep and display art and the discipline of art history. The theme of the history of exhibitions – pioneered by Francis Haskell in his fundamental book The Ephemeral Museum – has yet to be examined in depth in and in relation to art historical literature, though the last several decades have witnessed a number of important individual studies.1 We have chosen to concentrate here on monographic and retrospective exhibitions, because with their single-artist focus they permit, more than any other type of exhibition, a sustained comparison of approaches to individual artists’ work through art historical scholarship, including biographical essays, exhibition events, and increasingly scientific exhibition catalogues (and catalogue raisonnés). Within this history we witness the development of connoisseurship, the changing attitudes and definitions of originals and copies, the evolution of the scholarly catalogue, the influence of geography and nationalism, the impact of the art market, and particular facets of the intricate web of relationships that has always existed between artists, critics, and sponsors. Through this examination of multiple exhibitions stretching from the eighteenth through the twenty-first centuries, it is possible to recognise the fundamental contributions that monographic exhibitions exerted and still exert on our discipline. From the very earliest times, temporary exhibitions have sustained the discipline of art history. The first known art historical texts – Hellenistic texts that served as source material for Pliny the Elder (23–79 ce) – were written about the same time (third century bce) that the collecting and the temporary display of objects for religious and political purposes became popular, in large part because these exhibition venues provided opportunities for the physical comparison of objects which became the basis for art historical narratives.2 The most notable example of such an exhibition is the dining pavilion described in Athenaeus’ Deipnosophistae (V.196a–203b). Erected for Ptolemy II Philadelphus in Alexandria (ruled 285–239 bce), it featured paintings from the then-famous Sikyon school hung on luxurious fabrics framed by large-scale statuary on either side (more than a hundred) and other elaborate objects which we would class as decorative arts today but which were then assiduously collected, appreciated, and compared.3 Roughly contemporaneous to the Ptolemaic pavilion around 275 bce, there was a turning point in Rome’s own temporary exhibitions – both triumphs and later stationary displays of spoils in theatres and fora – which became ever more spectacular by offering many more objects of war booty and much more attention to artful display, including the production of visual narrative paintings and tableaux vivants.4 It

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appears that these triumphal exhibitions inspired Rome’s aediles (superintendents of buildings, public festivals, and solemnities) to organise temporary loan exhibitions using objects in private collections rather than spoils of war. Cicero documents one such loan from 99 bce in which the aedile Gaius Claudius Pulcher borrowed a marble Cupid by Praxitelles from the wealthy collector Heius of Messina (Ver. II.4.6) for an exhibition in the Roman Forum, which presumably contained numerous other works of art.5 The atrophy of Roman religion and the general decline of public space overall meant that Christianity’s inheritance of Roman ceremonial culture was limited in terms of the range of objects and the venues for display. Nevertheless, processions of liturgical objects and relics formed an important part of Christian ritual, and some medieval monarchs such as Louis IX (1214–1270 ce), who brought the Crown of Thorns from Constantinople to Paris and erected St. Chapelle to house it, elevated such events into grand spectacles.6 In the Early Modern and Modern periods, display opportunities in both religious and secular contexts, promoting the comparison of objects and eventually art historical analysis, only increased, and eventually by the nineteenth century became a primary motivation for holding exhibitions. The idea of comparing works over historical time in a kind of virtual or imaginary museum, inherited from Pliny the Elder and other ancient writers, was expanded to include comparisons between ancients and moderns. An early example of comparisons of works of art that exhibitions made possible may be found in Isabella d’Este’s display of two marble sleeping Cupids – one ancient, which had been unearthed in Rome, and another modern, by Michelangelo, who had carved it and originally sold it as ancient.7 On view in Isabella’s ‘grotto’, where most of her collections were housed, this kind of focus show invited not only general debates about artistic style quality but also specific attention to the great sculptor, even though Isabella’s grotto display is still quite far from being a monographic exhibition. During the first half of the seventeenth century, but probably already by the end of the previous century thanks to the vibrancy of the artistic and cultural environment and to the growing development of collecting and the art market, Rome became the city in which the first art exhibitions of the Modern age took place. The most noteworthy were those in the courtyard of the Church of St. Bartholomew of the Bergamaschi and those set up at the Pantheon by the artists of the ‘Virtuosi’ congregation.8 The purpose of these exhibitions was not only to honour a religious holiday, usually the anniversary of the patron saint of the churches or associations that organised the exhibitions, but also to promote the artists involved. These exhibitions provided an opportunity for artists to show their work, often compared with older works lent for the occasion by collectors. At the same time, these Roman exhibits demonstrated the growing tendency to produce works of art in the absence of specific commissions and how the art world sought the opinion and consensus of broader audiences. Although these were not normally monographic exhibitions, sometimes the works of certain artistic personalities, such as Salvator Rosa or Diego Velázquez, emerged during these events – stealing the show so to speak – because of their fame and because of the quantity of their paintings on view. If the artists were the ones to create the first public art exhibitions in the Modern age, it was the noble families in Rome who successfully used the temporary events to showcase the wealth and importance of their art collections and therefore also to

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emphasise their social prestige. This was the case, for example, with the exhibitions organised in the cloister of the Church of San Giovanni Decollato, one of the most important having taken place in 1662, sponsored by the Sacchetti family, in which the works of Pietro da Cortona had great prominence.9 The best known of Roman exhibitions were those of San Salvatore in Lauro, which, at least since 1675, were organised under the aegis of Cardinal Decio Azzolino and in which, among other things, the most important paintings of the collection of Cristina of Sweden were exhibited (1686, 1687).10 After Rome, Florence also stands out for the organization of early art exhibitions. At the Santissima Annunziata Church on the occasion of St. Luke’s Day, the Accademia del Disegno began to set up paintings and sculptures starting at least from 1674.11 Patronised by members of the Grand Ducal family, these events took place in the Great Cloister of the Church, and they represented for more than a century the artistic taste of the Court and that of the noblest families, as well as being a testament to the wealth of Florentine collections before the economic decadence that would eventually lead to the dispersion of many of them. The Florentine exhibitions distinguished themselves for the variety of painting schools, but the persistence with which the names of some painters, Andrea del Sarto, for example, or Carlo Dolci, appear, bears witness to the great and continuous fortune enjoyed by these artists in the Florentine context. By the seventeenth century, contemporary artists also enjoyed a wide variety of exhibition opportunities elsewhere across the European continent, including the Scuola di S. Rocco in Venice, the Corpus Christi celebrations at Place Dauphine, and Mayday exhibitions at Notre-Dame in Paris,12 and of course the art academy exhibitions. These latter, and particularly the famous Salons of Paris as they developed through the eighteenth century, increased the exposure of artists to amateur and professional critics, consonant with the expanding role of public intellectuals – the most famous being Denis Diderot – and the broader public diffusion of information about exhibitions in popular publications such as the Mercure di France.13 The eighteenth century brought even more exhibition venues both attached to the government (e.g. Louvre under Napoléon) and under private ownership (e.g. the British Institution), and it was in these that some of the earliest monographic exhibitions were held. These first monographic exhibitions belong to a period before academic art history – to the eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries – and were actually retrospectives, meaning that the artist was either alive or had not been dead for very long so that his works were still considered works of contemporary art. Francis Haskell discusses the 1783 exhibition on Joseph Vernet at the private Salon de la Correspondance, Paris, which was orchestrated by Pahin de la Blancherie while the artist was still alive, although Vernet curiously did not attend.14 Pahin’s intent was to use the oeuvre of Vernet to demonstrate the singularity of the French artistic tradition, a goal that he had promoted the year before through an exhibition about the Hallé and Restout families of artists featuring mostly recently deceased masters, and one which he would press again later in the year in an exhibition of the French School from Jean Cousin through the French Classic period inaugurated by Nicolas Poussin to artists of his own time.15 The earliest known monographic exhibition from 1775, discussed in Chapter 1 by Konstantinos J. Stefanis, however, was not in France but rather in a London gallery, and its purpose was very different: this solo exhibition was staged

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by the artist himself in an attempt to ruffle the establishment critics by pitting their assessment of his oeuvre against popular opinion. Marking the very beginning of our genre, these exhibitions illustrate the diverse conceptual origins of the monographic exhibition and demonstrate that the initial emphasis was less on scholarly discovery and more on persuading or soliciting the opinion of the general public – about a national style in Pahin de la Blancherie’s Vernet exhibition or about an individual in the case of Hone. With the Joshua Reynolds (1723–1792) exhibition at the British Institution of 1813, held more than twenty years after the artist’s death and analysed here by Camilla Murgia in Chapter 10 in conjunction with a later exhibition of the same artist (1883) in the Grosvenor Gallery, the monographic exhibition took a new turn, as by then Reynolds had already become an Old Master in England, perhaps the only one the British had at the time. The distinction is important because by 1813, Reynolds’s works were no longer easily available for viewing; they existed behind the locked doors of institutions and wealthy private homes. The exhibition provided many critics and artists with an unparalleled opportunity to assess his proficiency in different genres and witness the development of his art over time, an occasion that was consciously registered in the press.16 It is important to consider that in the age before widespread photography of art, the impact of a monographic exhibition on the scholarly and popular understanding of an artist was far greater. The Reynolds retrospective further served to stimulate the shaping of monographs and monographic exhibitions of other artists in the UK and on the continent such as the posthumous retrospectives of Paul Delaroche (Paris, 1856), discussed here in Chapter 5 by Marie-Claire Rodriguez, and Viktor Hartman (Imperial Academy of Sciences, Moscow, 1874), this latter being most famous because it inspired the great piano suite, Pictures at an Exhibition by Modest Musorgskij.17 Also feeding the creation of monographic exhibitions is the long tradition of commemorating the deaths and, by the nineteenth century, also the centenaries of artists. The former finds its archetypal example in the extravagant obsequies in Florence for Michelangelo (1475–1564) in 1564 organised largely by Giorgio Vasari (1511–1574). Michelangelo’s obsequy involved temporary structures created for the occasion which provided a venue for young members of the newly founded Accademia del Disegno to show their works in homage of the master.18 Although not a monographic exhibition of Michelangelo’s works, this special exhibition in his honour had monographic intent in that it demonstrated to an awestruck public the deep impact of Michelangelo’s art and persona on the contemporary art scene, a result in harmony with Giorgio Vasari’s assorted references to Michelangelo in his written biographies of the artists whom he influenced.19 In contrast, the fourth centenary of Michelangelo’s birth in 1875 included quite a few exhibitions of Michelangelo’s work – mostly in plaster and photographic reproduction. By this time the view had been advanced in art historical scholarship that the most appropriate way to show homage to an artist was to know his works intimately, and indeed the Michelangelo exhibitions fit within a broader context of monographic exhibitions meant to do just that – to celebrate but also define the oeuvre of great Old Masters. Both Michelangelo events were highly commemorative but also highly patriotic as were the majority of the monographic exhibitions of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries that used famous artists of the past to raise the status of emerging nation states – such as, for example, the Holbein exhibition held in Dresden, 1871, examined in Chapter 9 by Lena Bader. Similarly, as described in Chapter 6 by Saskia Pütz,

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beginning in the same decade, Max Jordan, director of the German National Gallery, used monographic exhibitions to promote contemporary artists as national role models. Later, monographic exhibitions would support the Italian Fascist regime, such as that of Bartolomeo della Gatta in Arezzo, 1930, discussed by Luca Pezzuto in Chapter 12, and the Mostra Giottesca of 1937, to which Alessio Monciatti has dedicated a volume.20 A rather close parallel to these nationalistic monographic exhibitions were the concert series’ dedicated to single composers, often with the aim of recovering their music within the national consciousness, the prime example of the Fascist period being the efforts of Ezra Pound and later Alfredo Casella at the Accademia Musicale Chigiana in 1939 to revive the music of the Baroque composer Antonio Vivaldi by hosting concerts dedicated uniquely to his oeuvre.21 The nationalistic purposes of such exhibitions (and concerts), however, often did not mitigate their scholarly value. In fact, the great novelty of the Holbein exhibition was its role as a manifesto for precise connoisseurship, as it proposed to finally distinguish Holbein’s version of the Madonna of Jakob Meyer from a very good copy, also then believed to be an original. As Bader shows, the exhibition accomplished this but, in so doing, also altered the way in which copies were understood and appreciated by art historians, a change that had dramatic effects on scholarship in the following century. Even exhibitions of commemorative natures exerted powerful influence on art historical scholarship which, not surprisingly, emerged in the same decades that such exhibitions became popular. The typology of exhibition that perhaps enjoyed the most prominence in this transitional period (1850–1915) witnessing the development of both the artistic monograph and a truly scholarly art history was the monographic exhibition. Even in later decades, as Henry Keazor demonstrates in Chapter 14 concerning the Poussin retrospective of 1960, monographic exhibitions served to resurrect artists from the dustbins of museum storage and put them in scholarly and public circulation so that different academic positions on their art could be debated. In the case of Poussin, the main question raised was whether he was more of an intellectual painter or a supreme craftsman with the brush. Beginning in the late nineteenth century and flowering in the first half of the twentieth century, curators began to approach their subjects with the express purpose of visually chronicling the development of an artist during his career and providing a venue for connoisseurship. The nascent discipline of art history owes much to the developing scholarly rigour with which such monographic and retrospective exhibitions were increasingly equipped22 – for example the Courbet exhibition of 1882 discussed by Petra ten-Doesschate Chu in Chapter 7 was a monumental effort on the part of the organisers to select the authentic works by the artist and chronicle them, ultimately producing the first monograph and catalogue raisonné of the artist, though this took some time to accomplish (until 1977), since the exhibition merely set the course, leaving much remaining work to finish afterwards. The Duccio exhibition in Siena, 1912, examined in Chapter 11 by Elisa Camporeale, also a patriotic enterprise but for the city of Siena rather than Italy as a whole, allowed scholars to recognise what kinds of study were still needed in order to establish the oeuvre of the master in this first monographic exhibition on an Italian primitive. The Titian exhibition in Venice in 1935, on the other hand, analysed by Giuliana Tomasella in Chapter 13, brought Titian’s late works into dialogue with more contemporary trends such as Impressionism, and the watershed Picasso retrospective, Picasso, Fifty Years of his Art at MoMA in 1946, inserted the living artist into a deeply art historical discourse

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for the first time. These latter two exhibitions – one of an Old Master and one of a contemporary painter – stressed the experimental capacities of both, reminding audiences that artists do not have static personalities but rather change approaches and styles throughout their careers, a kind of art historical point that monographic exhibitions are particularly well suited to examine. Similarly, exhibitions of Michelangelo’s work, as discussed by Silvia Cattiti in Chapter 16, tend to home in on one period or aspect of the master who perpetually reinvented himself as both artist and architect, ushering in many of the major stylistic changes of the sixteenth century. For living artists, the retrospective exhibitions of the twentieth century meant visibility but they also connected them to a scholarly and critical apparatus previously established for Old Masters to which they then entered into dialogue – a major theme of both Chapters 3 and 4 on exhibitions on the Cubist artists, Braque, Gris and Léger in Switzerland of the 1930s by Kate Kangaslahti and on the 1971 Bacon retrospective at the Grand Palais by Monika Keska, respectively. In particular, Bacon was propelled onto the international map of great contemporary artists through the very large size of the exhibition (more than a hundred works) and the critical essay in the catalogue by the well-known poet and critic Michel Leiris, who was also Bacon’s personal friend. A curious turn on this process is described by Ruth E. Iskin in Chapter 2 about the Degas–Cassatt exhibitions of 1915 in New York and then later in 2014 in Washington, DC, the first of which along with other two-artist exhibitions invited a new mode of art historical analysis that perforated the Vasarian progressive biographical model with a greater emphasis on relationships between artists, and in the case of the 1915, the first pairing of a male and a female artist, which joined the exhibition to discourses of female equality. Elisa Gradi’s study of Marcello Tommasi’s legacy in Chapter 8 as presented in the 2014 exhibition soon after his death also demonstrates how an exhibition can illustrate the relationships among three generations of artists of the same family, thus expanding upon the idea of artistic dialogue within the monographic genre. Comparing monographic exhibitions and their by-products such as exhibition catalogues and reviews affords us a singular opportunity to analyse what each epoch saw when it viewed the works of a given artist. The Duccio perceived in the 1912 exhibition was not the same Duccio viewed in the 2003 exhibition, even though many of the works were the same and both were held in Siena. In fact, the concept of the ‘Period Eye’, as Michael Baxandall would call it,23 applied to the perception of individual artists promises to be a fruitful avenue not only of study but also of monographic exhibitions themselves such as The Botticelli Renaissance (Gemäldegalerie, Berlin and Victoria and Albert Museum, London, 2015–16). This dramatic exhibition began with twentieth-century artists’ often ironic interpretations of Botticelli’s masterpieces, followed by Pre-Raphaelite’s borrowings of predominantly stylistic characteristics, to close with followers’ and workshop panels that derive from the master’s originals (along with some originals). While not an Old Master monographic exhibition in the classic sense, this Botticelli exhibition demonstrates a new order of what can be done when art historical scholarship and monographic exhibitions are studied and – in this case – exhibited together. The close association between art history and monographic exhibitions in recent times finds a singular reflection in Chapter 15 by Catherine Scallen about Rembrandt. Unlike many of the monographic exhibitions discussed in earlier chapters, ‘Rembrandt, the Master and His Workshop’ developed out of an established and ongoing catalogue raisonné

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project as a means to showcase the group’s view of the relationship between Rembrandt, his students, and his workshop – a view which severely limited the artist’s oeuvre – in an attempt to shape his legacy for the public according to the group’s particular conclusions. The resulting spate of polemics surrounding both the exhibition and the corpus project in this case spurred an anti-monographic focus in both subsequent exhibitions and art historical studies, trends that are still felt in Rembrandt scholarship today. The chapters of this book are organised according to four broad rubrics plus an afterword and epilogue. Although there are many themes that might have provided for interesting groupings relating to connoisseurship or the scholarly or nationalistic ideas represented by the exhibition or even the commercial interests and how these merge with scholarly art history in the contexts of some exhibitions (e.g. Heiner Krellig’s essay in Chapter 17 on the ‘Canaletti’, Evi Baniotopoulou’s examination of monographic exhibitions at the Tate Modern in Chapter 19 or Ronit Milano’s analysis of monographic exhibition branding in Chapter 20), we have decided to divide our subject according to the temporal relationship between the exhibition and the artist on display. Since the first monographic exhibitions were of living artists, we begin with a section entitled ‘Living Artists’ Retrospectives’, followed by a section on ‘Posthumous Retrospectives’, and then two sections on Old Master exhibitions, before and after World War II. We have divided the Old Masters exhibitions into two parts because of the strong nationalistic undercurrents present in the period during and soon after the emergence of European nation states. The final section addresses all three types of exhibitions in the twenty-first century and amplifies several perspectives only touched upon in the chapters treating the earlier centuries. These include the economic role played by monographic exhibitions in contemporary art institutions as noted in Chapters 19 and 20 but also the global perspective examined by Livia Stoenescu in four monographic exhibitions celebrating El Greco’s 400th anniversary in Chapter 18. These substantive sections are concluded by an afterword by Gabriele Guercio, who draws parallels between the development of the monographic exhibition and the development of the artistic monograph, the subject of his recent book Art as Existence,24 (and also a major theme of Chapter 7 on Courbet, noted earlier), and an epilogue on the monographic exhibition in major museums today written from the perspective of a veteran curator, Joaneath Spicer. Ultimately, we hope that our book, which is predominantly based on new research and which represents only a small selection of key studies on the history of monographic exhibitions, will encourage further investigation in this rich and minimally studied terrain as well as stimulate dialogue between those who study Old Masters and those who study contemporary art.

Notes 1 Studies about the history of exhibitions which have proven to be fundamental to our research include Bruce Altshuler’s Biennials and Beyond, which discusses a selection of the most influential exhibitions of contemporary art; Reesa Greenberg, Bruce W. Ferguson, and Sandy Nairne’s edited volume, Thinking About Exhibitions (London and New York: Routledge, 1996) about exhibition practice at the end of the twentieth century; Andrew Graciano’s edited volume, Exhibition Outside the Academy, Salon and Biennal, 1775–1999: Alternative Venues for Display (Aldershot: Ashgate Publishing, 2015), which contains several essays on monographic exhibitions as well as studies of a number of privately funded

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Maia W. Gahtan and Donatella Pegazzano exhibition venues; Francis Haskell’s study, The Ephemeral Museum (New Haven: Yale University Press, 2000), which offers a narrative history of Old Master exhibitions from religious displays of the Early Modern period to the blockbusters of the twentieth century; Enrico Castelnuovo and Alessio Monciatti’s edited book Medioevo/Medioevi: Un secolo di esposizione di arte medievale (Pisa: Edizione della Normale, 2008), which contextualises exhibitions of medieval art politically, culturally, and art historically; Stacey J. Pierson’s Private Collecting, Exhibitions, and the Shaping of Art History in London (Abingdon: Routledge, 2017) on the exhibitions of the Burlington Fine Arts Club; Georg Friedrich Koch’s old but still useful book Die Kunstaustellung. Ihre Geschichte von den Anfaengen bis zum Ausgang des 18 Jahrhunderts (Berlin: Walter de Gruyter & Co., 1967) predominantly about exhibitions organised by art academies; and Kenneth W. Luckhurst’s even older The Story of Exhibitions (London: Studio Publications, 1951). In addition to these books and the ones cited in the notes of this introduction, the editors also recommend two excellent studies of individual exhibitions: Giovanni Agosti, Mantegna 1961 Mantova (Mantua: Arcari Editore, 2006) and Alessio Monciatti, Alle origini dell’arte nostra. La Mostra giottesca del 1937 a Firenze (Milan: Il Saggiatore, 2010) and the publication that surely will result from the recent conference, Esposizioni. Convegno internazionale 27–28 gennaio 2017 held in Parma at the Archivio-Museo CSAC, Abby of Valserena and organised by Francesca Castellani, Francesca Gallo, Vanja Strukelj, Francesca Zanella and Stefania Zuliani. See Jeremy Tanner, The Invention of Art History in Ancient Greece (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2006) and also Maia Wellington Gahtan and Donatella Pegazzano, ‘Museum Archetypes and Collecting: An Overview of the Public, Private, and Virtual Collections of the Ancient World’, in Museum Archetypes and Collecting in the Ancient World, ed. by Maia Wellington Gahtan and Donatella Pegazzano (Leiden: Brill, 2015), pp. 1–19. For an examination of comparativism in contemporary art history, see Jaś Elsner, ed., Comparativism in Art History (London: Routledge, 2017). See most recently, Elena Calandra, The Ephemeral and the Eternal: The Pavilion of Ptolemy Philadelphos in the Court of Alexandria, trans. by Scott A. Burgess (Athens: Scuola Archeologica Italiana di Atene, 2011). On Roman triumphs as exhibition spectacle, see Ida Östenberg, Staging the World: Spoils, Captives, and Representations in the Roman Triumphal Procession (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2009), Sheila Dillon and Katherine E. Welch, Representations of War in Ancient Rome (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2006) and, more generally, Mary Beard, The Roman Triumph (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 2009). Ancient literature provides us with very few references to temporary exhibitions staged by aediles. Some other examples are mentioned elsewhere by Cicero in the Verrine Orations (II.4.126; II.2.59), and by Livy (IX.40.16). The procession is described by Gauthier Cornut, ‘Historia susceptionis corone spinee Jesu Christi’, in Historiae francorum scriptores, ed. by André Duchesne (Paris: S. Cramoisy and G. Cramoisy, 1649), pp. 407–411. The bibliography on Louis IX and St. Chapelle is voluminous, but those interested in the exhibition function might begin with Meredith Cohen, ‘An Indulgence for the Visitor: The Public at the Sainte-Chapelle of Paris’, Speculum, 83 (2008), 840–883. Contemporary Fra Sabba da Castiglione describes the comparison; see A. Luzio, ‘Lettere inedite di Fra Sabba da Castiglione’, Archivio Storico Lombarda, 13 (1886), 91–112 and, more generally, Barbara Furlotti and Guido Rebecchini, ‘Isabella d’Este and the Culture of the Studiolo’, trans. by A. Lawrence Jenkins, The Art of Mantua: Power and Patronage in the Renaissance (Los Angeles: The J. Paul Getty Museum, 2008), and Stephen Campbell, Cabinet of Eros: Renaissance Mythological Painting and the Studiolo of Isabella d’Este (New Haven and London: Yale University Press, 2004). Francis Haskell, ‘Art Exhibition in XVII Century Rome’, Studi Secenteschi, 1 (1960), 107– 121; Francis Haskell, Patrons and Painters: A Study in the Relations Between Italian Art and Society in the Age of Baroque (New Haven: Yale University Press, 1966); Stefano Marson, Allestire e mostrare dipinti in Italia e in Francia tra XVI e XVIII secolo (Roma: Edizioni Nuova Cultura, 2012). Haskell, Patrons and Painters, pp. 203–209.

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10 Francis Haskell, The Ephemeral Museum (New Haven: Yale University Press, 2000), pp. 9–12; Giulia De Marchi and Giuseppe Ghezzi, Mostre di Quadri in San Salvatore in Lauro (1682–1725): Stime di Collezioni Romane (Rome: Società Romana di Storia Patria alla Biblioteca Vallicelliana, 1987). 11 Fabia Borroni Salvadori, ‘Le esposizioni d’arte a Firenze dal 1674 al 1767’, Mitteilungen des Kunsthistorischen Institutes in Florenz, 18 (1974), 1–166. 12 See Robert Berger, Public Access to Art in Paris: A Documentary History From the Middle Ages to 1800 (University Park: Penn State University Press, 1999). 13 See Thomas Crow, Painters and Public Life in Eighteenth Century Paris (New Haven: Yale University Press, 1985). 14 Haskell, The Ephemeral Museum, pp. 18–19. 15 Ibid. 16 Primary sources collected by Elizabeth Gilmore Holt in her edited volume, The Triumph of Art for the Public 1785–1848: The Emerging Role of Exhibitions and Critics (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1984), further attest to the rising importance of the figure of the art critic. 17 On this work and its relationship to the exhibition, see the recent essay by Michael Russ, ‘Returning to the Exhibition: Musorgskij’s Pictures Reconsidered,’ which forms part of the acts of the international conference, ‘Music in Museums’ (Istituto Lorenzo de’ Medici, Florence, Italy 2013) published in Music in Art. International Journal for Music Inconography, 39 (2014), 215–236. 18 See Rudolph Wittkower, The Divine Michelangelo. The Florentine Academy’s Homage on His Death in 1564 (London: Phaedon, 1964). 19 Giorgio Vasari, Le vite de’ più eccellenti pittori, scultori, architettori nelle redazioni del 1550 e 1568, ed. by Rosanna Bettarini, with Paola Barocchi, 9 vols. (Florence: G. C. Sansoni, 1966), for example the biographies of Pontormo and Torregiano. 20 Alessio Monciatti, Alle origini dell’arte nostra. La Mostra giottesca del 1937 a Firenze (Milan: Il Saggiatore, 2010). 21 See Catherine Paul, ‘Ezra Pound, Alfredo Casella, and the Fascist Cultural Nationalism of the Vivaldi Revival’, Quaderni di Palazzo Serra, 15 (2008), 91–112. 22 On this general topic, see also Stacey J. Pierson, Private Collecting, Exhibitions, and the Shaping of Art History in London: The Burlington Fine Arts Club (London: Routledge, 2017). 23 Michael Baxandall, Painting and Experience in Fifteenth Century Italy (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1972), Chapter 2: ‘The Period Eye’, pp. 29–108. 24 Gabriele Guercio, Art as Existence: The Artist’s Monograph and Its Project (Cambridge: MIT Press, 2009).

Part I

Living artists’ retrospectives

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Nathaniel Hone’s 1775 exhibition The first single-artist retrospective1 Konstantinos J. Stefanis

We live in an age in which exhibitions are deemed worthy of their own retrospectives. ‘Turner Prize: A Retrospective 1984–2006’ was staged at Tate Britain in 2007–2008, whereas ‘50 Years Documenta 1955–2005’ was presented at the Friderecianum in Kassel in 2005. But how did retrospectives, as a distinct type of exhibition format, emerge in the art world? In this chapter I will present the case of Nathaniel Hone’s 1775 private exhibition, which I argue is the first fully recorded single-artist retrospective ever staged by a living artist to showcase his work. To date, Hone’s retrospective has been treated casually in art historical literature. It is not usually described as a retrospective, although it quite clearly was. Only Le Harivel in his small monograph on the artist mentions that ‘Hone’s defiant retrospective exhibition in 1775, which confronted the British art establishment, is now seen as a key event in the development of the status of artists’,2 while Anne Crookshank and the late Knight of Glin also identify it as a retrospective.3 Otherwise, it is mentioned incidentally in relation to the exhibitions of more notable artists (such as John Singleton Copley and Joseph Wright of Derby) and merely described as a one-man exhibition4 or a private exhibition.5 Some scholars, nevertheless, have recognised Hone’s exhibition as being probably the first private exhibition by an artist who charged admission.6 Its retrospective nature, however, has yet to be examined and thus provides the core argument of this chapter. The history of the retrospective has so far received scant attention by art historians.7 The term rétrospective originates from the Latin verb retrospicere (to look back) and connotes a view or a contemplation of the past.8 Additionally, it implies a comprehensive survey or review of past events. As such, a retrospective exhibition brings together works from an extended period of time in order to represent the expanse of an artist’s career. Accordingly, a retrospective may be distinguished from a onewo/man show by the fact that, while the former presents material belonging to an extended time frame, the latter more often showcases a discrete body of recent work. Despite the fact that in art historical literature the two terms are often used interchangeably, in this chapter I deliberately use the term ‘retrospective’ for its historical connotation and its gender-neutral character. It was during the second half of the nineteenth century that the retrospective exhibition became particularly noticeable in France and when the term exposition rétrospective entered the French language.9 Hence, it is not uncommon to associate the initiation of these special exhibitions with France at that time. Patricia Mainardi has argued that the retrospective was introduced on the occasion of the Exposition Universelle of 1855 when the government of the Second Empire organised individual

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displays for four leading artists of France: Jean-Auguste-Dominique Ingres, Horace Vernet, Eugène Delacroix and Alexandre-Gabriel Decamps.10 Robert Jensen, who has devoted a whole chapter to the subject of the retrospective, has provided a valuable account of the practice both as an official, state implementation to recognise artistic excellence which confers honours on exemplary artists and as a marketing tactic utilised by art dealers.11 Nevertheless, Jensen’s account is also concerned only with the second half of the nineteenth century in France. Additionally, Martha Ward has remarked that ‘the monographic or retrospective show, [was] in place by mid-century and quite common by 1900’.12 The emergence, however, of the retrospective – although it was not yet named as such – may be found in the eighteenth century. A number of studies have identified a 1783 exhibition in Paris as the first retrospective devoted to the work of a living artist.13 That exhibition, which presented a number of works by Claude-Joseph Vernet, was organised by an entrepreneur named Mammès-Claude Pahin de La Blancherie. His Vernet exhibition belonged to a group of three thematic displays intended to honour the French school of painting. Francis Haskell discussed these three shows in his penultimate and rewarding book, The Ephemeral Museum (2000), as early examples of another type of exhibition practice: the Old Master exhibition. Hone’s exhibition, however, is the first known retrospective organised by the artist himself. As the first of its kind, it certainly could have implanted the seed of the artist’s autonomy and given way to the blossoming of private exhibitions in England in the 1780s, and globally since. The rise of the retrospective happened with contemporary artists vying for attention, recognition and patronage. Exhibitions were not only the platform from which artists presented their work to the public but also an arena in which they competed with one another. They were not only instrumental in promoting the reputation of an artist but also helped to raise his or her social and professional status.14 With Nathaniel Hone’s retrospective we witness the efforts of a living artist to present his productions independently, in the best possible manner, and a desire to gain autonomy from group associations and their restrictions. Hone’s exhibition happened in tandem with a significant proliferation of private exhibitions in England such as one-wo/man shows and one-picture shows. Living artists were trying to establish individual reputations and they found themselves battling for attention and patronage from collectors (and the state) who revered Old Masters and preferred them as a secure choice and as an investment. Hence, to be successful, contemporary artists had to stand out not only among their peers but also against esteemed masters. As with any other private exhibition the retrospective epitomised authorship and enabled artists to showcase their individuality. At the same time, though, it offered the opportunity for living artists to show their history, their course of development and achievement in their respective field and the chance to encapsulate and expose their oeuvre. It is worth bearing in mind that England had neither Old Masters nor an established British School of art at the time to compete with the rest of Europe; hence the interest in contemporary production. By assembling works that were produced over a long period of time, the retrospective enabled artists to delineate their career and advertise it. James Olney has argued that ‘a man’s lifework is his fullest autobiography’.15 Admittedly, when an artist assembles and presents his/her work in a retrospective exhibition, the venture resembles an autobiography. The writing of the self, the narration of one’s own history in the form

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of a story, which had become recognised as a genre by the end of the eighteenth century, shares many similar traits to a public exhibition that presents the lifework of an artist as a magnum opus. But let us look more closely at Hone’s venture in order to perceive why and how he staged his 1775 retrospective in London.

The exhibition The following advertisement (Figure 1.1) appeared informing the London public, in the spring of 1775, that Nathaniel Hone R.A. was staging an exhibition of his works. Hone’s announcement was surely different from what the public had come to expect. Nathaniel Hone, the Royal Academician, had rented a room to exhibit ‘the Conjurer’ along with several other examples of his work. He charged one shilling for admittance and distributed gratis a catalogue with his ‘apology’. In addition, his show ran concurrently with the Royal Academy exhibition in which, as a member, he was supposed to have been taking part. The Conjuror (Figure 1.2),16 which was the highlight of the exhibition, is a large oil painting that Hone had sent to the Royal Academy, together with six other works, to be exhibited at the seventh annual exhibition of that body. For reasons to which I shall refer in what follows, the painting was rejected by the Academy committee, prompting the artist to stage his own exhibition. Nevertheless, as the advertisement made clear, Hone did not show only The Conjuror but also sixty-five other works spanning nearly the whole of his career. This appears to be the first fully recorded retrospective exhibition devoted to the work of a single artist. Additionally, it is the first one mounted by the very person whose work was on display. Hone was a founding member of the Royal Academy of Arts and showed examples of his work in all exhibitions of that institution until his death in 1784.17 His career as an artist started as a successful miniature painter, but he soon moved on to the more fashionable and profitable portraits in oil on a large scale. Upon switching to oil,

Figure 1.1 Advertisement of Hone’s Exhibition. The Public Advertiser, Monday, 8 May 1775, p. [1]. From Gale. 17th and 18th Century Burney Collection Newspapers. Source: © Gale, a part of Cengage Learning, Inc. Reproduced by permission. www.cengage.com/permissions

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Figure 1.2 Nathaniel Hone I Irish, 1718–1784, The Conjuror, 1775, Oil on canvas, 1450 × 1730 mm Source: © National Gallery of Ireland, NGI.1790

however, he found it difficult to compete with established portraitists, such as Joshua Reynolds, with whom there appears to have been some rivalry. After Hone had submitted The Conjuror and the additional works at the Royal Academy, and while the paintings were actually hanging in the exhibition room, he was informed that fellow Academician Angelica Kauffman had expressed an objection to The Conjuror being included in the exhibition. Kauffman, it seems, claimed that she recognised herself among a group of nude figures at the top left-hand corner of the painting and, consequently, demanded the ‘offending’ picture be withdrawn, or else she would not exhibit her works in the same exhibition.18 Indeed, Hone had painted a group of naked figures – most of which were holding brushes and palettes so as to imply their status as painters – dancing in front of Saint Paul’s Cathedral. The group of artists is probably a reference to the failed scheme – proposed by Reynolds in 1773 – to decorate St. Paul’s Cathedral with contemporary paintings. The scheme, however, never came to fruition, and Hone is probably reminding the public of an embarrassing moment in Reynolds’s career.

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As we are told in Hone’s catalogue, the artist tried to appease Kauffman by sending her a letter in which he explained that it was never his intention to represent her in the picture and offered to make alterations to the painting (in fact, in the final picture, he eliminated the nude figures altogether and in their place introduced four people drinking at a table). Kauffman, however, remained unconvinced, and Hone reprints in the retrospective catalogue the following letter from F.M. Newton, Secretary of the Royal Academy: SIR, I am directed to acquaint you, that a ballot having been taken by the Council, whether your picture called the Conjuror should be admitted in the Exhibition, it was determined in the negative. You are therefore desired to send for the picture as soon as it may be convenient. I am, Sir, Your most obedient, And most humble servant, F.M. Newton, R.A. Secretary Exhibition Room, Pall Mall. Tuesday evening, 9 o’clock. Nathaniel Hone, Esq.19 Hone included anecdotal material in his catalogue in order to make his case and assert his point for holding the exhibition. It is important to acknowledge, however, that the catalogue presents a one-sided view of the events and leaves much to be desired in terms of clarity and what really went on with his exhibition, as well as the motivations behind the singular show. Nevertheless, Hone quickly prepared a primary document which featured the history of the incident since he considered it a pressing matter – his reputation was at stake! Hone was accused of presenting an indecent painting to the public; he had to come up with a defence strategy. The exhibition and the catalogue were his answer. They were his self-documenting acts to restore his honour. As has been mentioned, Hone did alter The Conjuror and replaced the offending group of the dancing naked figures with four people drinking at a table. The Sketch for ‘The Conjuror’ (Figure 1.3), however, which belongs to the Tate collection, features the nudes in the top left corner and hence reveals the original appearance of the painting. Judging from the small, sketchy figures it seems unlikely that someone could identify any of them in particular and, as Butlin points out, ‘it is difficult to accept Angelica’s objections as a real justification for the exclusion of the picture from the Royal Academy’.20 The real reason, undoubtedly, behind the exclusion was that The Conjuror essentially accused Reynolds of plagiarism, and Kauffman, who had a close friendship with Reynolds, probably acted on his behalf to protect him from embarrassment. The picture depicts a man holding a magic wand in his right hand with which, we are to understand, he performs the trick of producing paintings by copying the Old Masters. Leaning on his lap, a young girl admires another print that the Conjuror holds in his left hand. The prints reference Reynolds’s paintings and depict scenes the artist had borrowed from Old Masters. The likeness of the Conjuror is that of George White – a well-known model in the 1770s who was featured in several of Reynolds’s paintings, among which were Captain of the Banditti and Count Ugolino (exhibited at the Royal

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Figure 1.3 Nathaniel Hone I Irish, 1718–1784, Sketch for ‘The Conjuror’, 1775, Oil paint on wood, 575 × 819 mm Source: © Tate, London 2016

Academy in 1772 and 1773, respectively). It would not have been very difficult, then, for the contemporary spectator to make the connection with the president of the Royal Academy and work out the hidden meaning of Hone’s painting. In fact, a reviewer for The London Evening-Post referred explicitly to the charge of plagiarism.21 It has been suggested that Hone’s painted attack was prompted by Reynolds’s Discourse VI (10 December 1774), which had been on the subject of imitation in art.22 In that discourse, Reynolds recommends to prize-winning students to study the work of geniuses, strive for a suitable conversation with it and in the end not be afraid to make use of predecessors’ achievements in their personal work. Reynolds’s own words, but more crucially his deeds, must have given Hone the impetus for a decisive attack on the president of the Royal Academy. Driven by his personal antipathy for Reynolds, Hone embarked on an undeniably blatant critique of the pre-eminent artist of the time. Moreover, as Fintan Cullen has speculated, Hone’s Irish origin could have sparked a ‘flame of anger’ emanating from national rivalries or from the friction between periphery and centre, which is certainly a strong possible motive behind Hone’s The Conjuror.23 Hone rented a room at 70 St. Martin’s Lane, opposite Old Slaughter’s Coffee House, to exhibit his works.24 The entrance fee to the exhibition was one shilling – as was

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customary in most ticketed exhibitions of the time – and visitors received gratis the accompanying catalogue (Figure 1.4). The eight-page catalogue included a preface and a list of the sixty-six works on display. The preface is solely concerned with the narration of the events that led to the exclusion of The Conjuror and stated that Hone was advised by ‘some very respectable friends’ to provide a statement in order to ‘clear his character from the malicious aspersions attempted to be fixed upon him, as well as excuse him from the presumption of making an exhibition singly of his own works’.25 Hone, therefore, directly addressed the public – both with the retrospective exhibition of his work and in the accompanying catalogue – and sought their judgement

Figure 1.4 Nathaniel Hone I Irish, 1718–1784, The Exhibition of Pictures, by Nathaniel Hone, R.A., Mostly the Works of his Leisure, and Many of Them in his Own Possession Source: ([London]: [n. pub], 1775, Tate Library (V Hone); (photo: the author)

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on the exclusion of his painting from the annual exhibition of the Royal Academy. Hone’s venture is indicative of the rise of the social status of the painter – as a result of the emergence and popularity of public exhibitions in England – which now allowed them to step forward as individuals and to address the public directly. The preface, therefore, justified Hone’s reason for holding an exhibition of his own work, but why did he think it had to be a retrospective? As the preface states, when the letter from the Secretary of the Royal Academy reached Hone announcing the council’s decision to exclude The Conjuror from the seventh exhibition, He [Hone] was now reduced to a dilemma, to acquiesce supinely under the heavy reproach of having offered a picture unfit for the public eye, and suffer the affront of his labours being rejected, and his character traduced. What in such case could he do? but by appealing to the public, to whose candor and judgement he submits himself and his art, being sure that, at that tribunal the mist will be dispelled, truth will be prevalent, and that his labours, which have for many years given satisfaction and pleasure to his employers, will not now be disapproved of on a more general inspection by the indulgent public.26 The ‘indulgent public’, hence, was given the opportunity of a ‘general inspection’, which indicates the reason for Hone’s predilection for a retrospective. A ‘general inspection’ implies a comprehensive viewing and consequently provides one of the earliest descriptions of the retrospective format.27 Although Hone could have exhibited only The Conjuror, which was the cause of the scandal, he seems to have thought that a significant portion of his artistic output – an overview of his artistic career and not just a single painting – would better enable the public to judge both his intentions regarding The Conjuror and his character (and career) as a whole. In essence, Hone was asking the public to ascertain whether he had submitted an indecent painting or if he had caused Angelica Kauffman an offence, since these were the accusations, despite the picture’s underlying attack on the president of the Royal Academy. A comprehensive outline of his artistic career, he must have felt, had more chances to save his reputation and defend the painting in question. Hone’s retrospective included sixty-six works in total that spanned his entire career and exhibited the different mediums in which he worked.28 Included were enamel miniatures, oil portraits, drawings, landscapes, subject pictures and some unfinished works. The catalogue was roughly arranged chronologically, giving us a linear evolution of Hone’s career, and also likely reflecting the order in which the works were exhibited in the room. First to be listed are miniature portraits in enamel, the medium in which Hone originally made a name for himself but afterwards abandoned for the more respectable and profitable oil painting. For this reason, he was quick to point out that: ‘not one of the foregoing enamels have been painted within these fifteen years, as Mr. Hone gave up his leisure hours from that time to painting in oil’.29 He, therefore, assigned miniature work to the beginning of his career and was eager to point out that he now paints in oil. Moreover, Hone was also eager to convince viewers that painting was a leisurely, gentlemanly activity and not a laborious process. The point is also stressed in the title page of his catalogue: the pictures in the exhibition were designated as ‘mostly the works of his leisure’ and ‘many of them in his own possession’. By designating the majority of the exhibits as ‘works of his leisure’ Hone appears to be making a distinction between works that were commissioned by

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patrons and those for which he was free to choose the subject himself when he was unoccupied by professional obligations.30 The earliest work on display was painted as far back as twenty-seven years before and was contrasted with recent works, some of which were still left unfinished. Audiences in the eighteenth century were seldom used to seeing older works by contemporary artists or to comparing works of the same artist from different periods. Thus, Hone’s exhibition was innovative in allowing the visitor to make visual comparisons between early, youthful work and contemporary examples. While such scrutiny could potentially prove to be unfair to the artist, who usually wished to show only the best examples of his work, Hone’s show created an important precedent to which retrospectives of the future would adhere. Interestingly, in his arrangement of the works in the catalogue, Hone classified a large part of them chronologically according to their initial exhibition date rather than date of completion. Thus, he indirectly outlined his exhibition history, although a selective one, from his first public exhibition in England in 1760 to the present. This evidences the importance of public exhibitions in England and, of course, Hone’s involvement in them as a pioneer of that development.

Considering the impact of Hone’s exhibition In early historiography Hone’s retrospective exhibition was overshadowed by the scandalous painting of The Conjuror, which exemplified his rivalry with Sir Joshua Reynolds. Joseph Nollekens corroborates the fact that Hone was constantly trying to defame the president of the Royal Academy.31 Smith, in an anecdote that describes a visit Hone paid one day to Nollekens, narrates the scandalous incident with The Conjuror since ‘few people now living’ (p. 133) know the particulars. When he asked Horace Hone (Nathaniel Hone’s son) to furnish him with information on the story he was presented with a copy of the exhibition’s catalogue which is ‘now considered the greatest rarity in the Academic Annals’ (p. 137). Smith, therefore, provides a complete transcript of the catalogue including a full list of the pictures exhibited. The anecdote of Hone’s visit to Nollekens and the dispute with the Academy are reproduced in Allan Cunningham’s book The Lives of the Most Eminent British Painters, Sculptors, and Architects.32 Although Cunningham does not include Hone in his list of eminent British artists – but rather mentions him in Nollekens’s biography – he might have considered him one of the most notorious British artists as a result of the controversy that was caused by the infamous Conjuror. Unlike Smith, who recognises the singularity of Hone’s venture and reprints the catalogue, Cunningham appears primarily interested in the scandal that was caused by the painting. Edward Edwards, on the other hand, had written earlier (and published in 1808) a biographical account of the artist wherein he maintained that Hone’s ‘first idea’ for the 1775 exhibition ‘owed its origin to pique’ because his painting Two Gentleman in Masquerade (1770) had been censored by the Royal Academy.33 The painting depicted the antiquarian Francis Grose and the lawyer and songwriter Theodosius Forrest as Capuchin friars feasting at a table. The ‘indecorous’ (Edwards, p. 100) detail that upset the council of the Royal Academy was Forrest stirring a bowl of punch with a crucifix. Hone, therefore, was persuaded to replace it with a ladle in order to be allowed to exhibit it. Two years later, however, Hone engraved and

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published a mezzotint of it depicting the original version, and in that condition he showed the painting in his 1775 exhibition. Edwards, in addition, acknowledged Hone’s envy towards Sir Joshua Reynolds and considered that as the principal motive for his satirical painting. A few extracts from Hone’s exhibition catalogue are included in his account of the artist to illustrate his point that the catalogue ‘was written in so loose and careless a style, that some of the paragraphs are ludicrous, and others obscure’. Edwards blames Hone for inattention in not describing some exhibits ‘as pictures or portraits’ (p. 102). In all these cases that documented the incident it is evident that Hone’s satire was viewed as an inappropriate and ‘illiberal attack’ on Reynolds’s reputation.34 It is also clear that, except for Smith, all the other writers are mainly interested in the uproar that was caused rather than Hone’s exhibition per se. By the beginning of the nineteenth century the British public had been accustomed to private exhibitions by artists, and they were no longer considered a novelty. The fact that Hone’s exhibition was a full scale review of his career – a retrospective in other words – remained unnoticed. In the title-page of his catalogue Hone included a Latin quotation from The Fables of Phaedrus which read, Nisi utile est quod facimus, frustra est Gloria (Unless what we do is useful, our glory is vain). Hone was conscious that his staging of an exhibition solely of his own works would be considered as a vain and outright self-promoting endeavour. As the quotation from Phaedrus shows, however, he believed that his venture of staging a private, retrospective exhibition would prove useful to other artists and to the British art world. Although the precise impact of such an exhibition is difficult to assess, it could be reasonably argued to have aided the course of significant changes in the British art world of the time. Principally, it appears to have enforced the idea of the artist’s autonomy. The emergence of private exhibitions and especially those dedicated to a single, popular work, what Oskar Bätschmann appropriately has called ‘exhibition pieces’,35 was among the significant changes that occurred in the period in question. That development originated with highly popular works such as Benjamin West’s Death of General Wolfe (1770), which caused a sensation in 1771 at the Royal Academy. The fusion of tragic subject matter, history painting with modern-day relevance and multi-portraiture proved a captivating combination. Hence, artists seemed to realise increasingly after 1775 that they need not be constrained by councils, institutions or patrons in their artistic choices or in the advancement of their careers.36 John Singleton Copley advanced West’s formula and with The Death of the Earl of Chatham (1781) created a fusion of two genres by which real events were enriched with portraiture to create a painting in the grand manner. Copley presented privately the painting to the public, at the Great Room in Spring Gardens, with phenomenal success. Other artists, following his example, increasingly resorted to private exhibitions to promote their work. Among others, in the last quarter of the eighteenth century, Robert Edge Pine had a private exhibition in 1782, Thomas Gainsborough ceased exhibiting at the Royal Academy and instead organised exhibitions at Schomberg House, where he lived, and Joseph Wright of Derby, in an action reminiscent of Hone’s retrospective, decided to show twenty-five pictures in a private exhibition in 1785. Although Hone’s exhibition was certainly not as successful as subsequent onepicture shows, it occurred just before the flowering of private exhibitions in England

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and could reasonably have played its part in implanting the seed of autonomy from artists’ associations. Compared with popular one-picture shows by artists like Copley, Hone’s retrospective exhibition could appear as a misfire, an exhibition that attracted limited interest. Perhaps it was the novelty of the retrospective format and the accumulation of new and old works that was considered unusual at the time, or simply Hone’s works were not as popular as those captivating exhibition pieces of other artists. As an artist whose reputation has not fared well, Hone’s exhibition has, until recently, been overlooked by the exhibitions of more notable artists. I hope now, however, the usefulness and significance of Hone’s enterprise – as well as its impact – can be appreciated as he himself wished.

Notes 1 This essay was first published in Visual Culture in Britain, vol. 14, no. 2, July 2013, pp. 131–153 and is available at the journal’s website: www.tandfonline.com. The two peer reviewers from Visual Culture in Britain and Andrew Graciano provided valuable suggestions, which significantly improved the essay. Following its first publication it was included in Andrew Graciano, ed., Exhibiting Outside the Academy, Salon and Biennial, 1775–1999: Alternative Venues for Display (Burlington: Ashgate, 2015). It is presented now in condensed form, with some variations from the original essay and incorporating constructive comments by Maia Wellington Gahtan and Donatella Pegazzano, for which I am thankful. 2 Adrian Le Harivel, Nathaniel Hone the Elder 1718–1784 (Dublin: Town House, 1992), p. 34. 3 Anne Crookshank and the Knight of Glin, The Painters of Ireland (London: Barrie and Jenkins, 1978), p. 88. 4 See Richard D. Altick, The Shows of London (Cambridge and London: The Belknap Press of Harvard University Press, 1978), p. 104; Kenneth W. Luckhurst, The Story of Exhibitions (London: Studio Publications, 1951), p. 53; and National Gallery of Ireland, Irish Paintings in the National Gallery of Ireland, vol. I (Dublin: National Gallery of Ireland, 2001), p. 228. 5 Oskar Bätschmann, The Artist in the Modern World: The Conflict Between Market and SelfExpression (New Haven, CT: Yale University Press, 1997), p. 31; Maximiliane Drechsler, Zwischen Kunst und Kommerz. Zur Geschichte des Austellungswesens zwischen 1775 und 1905 (Munich and Berlin: Deutscherkunstverlag, 1996), pp. 17–22; and John Newman, ‘Reynolds and Hone: “The Conjuror” Unmasked’, in Reynolds, exhib. cat., ed. by Nicholas Penny (London: Royal Academy of Arts, 1986), pp. 344–354. 6 See Luckhurst, The Story of Exhibitions, p. 53; and Jon Whiteley, ‘Exhibitions of Contemporary Painting in London and Paris 1760–1860’, in Saloni, Gallerie, Musei e loro influenza sullo sviluppo dell’arte dei secoli XIX e XX, ed. by Francis Haskell, Atti del XXIV congresso internazionale di storia dell’arte, Bologna, 1979, vol. 7 (Bologna: Clueb, 1981), pp. 69–87. 7 For a discussion on the emergence and early development of the retrospective format, see Constantine Stefanis, ‘Artists in Retrospect: The Rise and Rise of the Retrospective Exhibition’ (unpublished PhD thesis, Birkbeck College, 2011). 8 According to my research, so far, the earliest evidence I’ve managed to find on the use of the adjective rétrospective in relation to an art exhibition was on the occasion of the 1867 Exposition Universelle in Paris and had the connotation of a historical overview. An exhibition organised by the Union Centrale des Beaux-Arts appliqués à l’Industrie, as a prelude to the 1867 Exposition Universelle, bore the title Exposition Rétrospective. Tableaux anciens empruntes aux galeries particulières (Paris: Impr. de Claye 1866) and brought together many paintings, mostly of Old Masters, from fifty-six private collections. An earlier exhibition by the same association was staged in 1865, again as a prelude to the Exposition Universelle, and featured industrial objects from three overarching periods: Antiquity, Middle Ages and Renaissance. For the latter exhibition, see the catalogue: Union Centrale des

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Konstantinos J. Stefanis Beaux-Arts appliqués à l’Industrie, Exposition de 1865: Palais de l’Industrie, Musée Rétrospectif: Catalogue (Paris: Librairie Centrale, 1865). See the entry ‘rétrospectif, -ive’ in Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique (France), Trésor de la Langue Française (TLFi). [Accessed 12 December 2016]; Émile Littré described the word as a ‘neologism’ in his dictionary, whose second edition was completed in 1877; see the entry ‘rétrospectif, -ive’ in Émile Littré, Dictionnaire de la langue française (Paris: Hachette, 1863–1877). Patricia Mainardi, Art and Politics of the Second Empire: The Universal Expositions of 1855 and 1867 (New Haven, CT: Yale University Press, 1987). Robert Jensen, Marketing Modernism in Fin-de-Siècle Europe (Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 1994), Chapter 4, ‘The Retrospective’, pp. 107–137. Martha Ward, ‘What’s Important About the History of Modern Art Exhibitions?’, in Thinking About Exhibitions, ed. by Reesa Greenberg, Bruce W. Ferguson, and Sandy Nairne (London: Routledge, 1996), pp. 451–464, p. 458. See Francis Haskell, The Ephemeral Museum: Old Master Paintings and the Rise of the Art Exhibition (New Haven and London: Yale University Press, 2000), pp. 14–22; Robert W. Berger, Public Access to Art in Paris: A Documentary History From the Middle Ages to 1800 (University Park, PA: Pennsylvania State University Press, 1999), p. 233; and Richard Wrigley, The Origins of French Art Criticism: From the Ancien Régime to the Restoration (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1993), p. 25. For the burgeoning sphere of exhibition culture in England, see Altick, The Shows of London; David H. Solkin, Art on the Line: The Royal Academy Exhibitions at Somerset House, 1780–1836 (New Haven, CT and London: Published for the Paul Mellon Centre for Studies in British Art and the Courtauld Institute Gallery by Yale University Press, 2001); and Rosie Dias, ‘“A World of Pictures”: Pall Mall and the Topography of Display, 1780–99’, in Georgian Geographies: Essays on Space, Place and Landscape in the Eighteenth Century, ed. by Miles Ogborn and Charles W.J. Withers (Manchester and New York: Manchester University Press, 2004), pp. 92–113. James Olney, Metaphors of Self: The Meaning of Autobiography (Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 1972), p. 3. The painting was offered for sale at Christie, Manson & Woods, Catalogue of Pictures by Old Masters, the property of major Eric A. Knight, [. . .] Which Will Be Sold by Auction [. . .] On Friday, December 1, 1944 ([London]: Christie, Manson & Woods, [1944]), Lot 39. It was then the subject of an article by Alan Noel Latimer Munby, ‘Nathaniel Hone’s ‘“Conjuror”’, Connoisseur, 120, no. No 506 (December. 1947), 82–84. In 1966 it entered the collection of the National Gallery of Ireland, see National Gallery of Ireland, Irish Paintings in the National Gallery of Ireland, vol. I, pp. 226–231. In 1967 Tate Gallery purchased a sketch of the original painting. For a detailed discussion of the painting and the sketch see, Martin Butlin, ‘An Eighteenth-century Art Scandal: Nathaniel Hone’s “The Conjuror”’, Connoisseur, 174, No. 699, (May 1970), 1–9; and Newman, ‘Reynolds and Hone: “The Conjuror” Unmasked’. Algernon Graves does not mention that Hone exhibited in the 1776 exhibition of the Royal Academy. See Algernon Graves, The Royal Academy of Arts: A Complete Dictionary of Contributors and their Works From Its foundation in 1769 to 1904, 8 vols. (London, 1906; reprinted [London]: S. R. Publishers and Kingsmead Reprints, 1970), IV, p. 143. See the letter of Angelica Kauffman to the Royal Academy (RAA/SEC/1/7) dated ‘Tuesday noon’ [18 April 1775]. I wish to thank Archivist Mark Pomeroy for his help with material from the Royal Academy Archive. Nathaniel Hone, The Exhibition of Pictures, by Nathaniel Hone, R.A., Mostly the Works of His Leisure, and Many of Them in His Own Possession (London: [n. pub.], 1775), p. 2. Two copies of that letter are to be found at the Royal Academy Archive (AND/2/156 & AND/2/187). Butlin, ‘An Eighteenth-century Art Scandal’, p. 5. See ‘Account of the Principal Pictures, Busts, &c. Now Exhibiting at the Royal Academy, Pall-mall, With Impartial Observations’, The London Evening-Post, 9–11 May 1775, p. 8. There has also been the suggestion that the girl on the Conjuror’s lap might represent Angelica Kauffman, illustrating thus the rumours that were widespread at the time of an

Nathaniel Hone’s 1775 exhibition

22 23 24

25 26 27

28 29 30 31 32 33

34 35 36

25

intimate relationship between Reynolds and Kauffman; see Butlin, ‘An Eighteenth-century Art Scandal’; and Newman, ‘Reynolds and Hone’. See the letter by ‘A Lover of Wit’, The Public Advertiser, 15 May 1775, p. 2 and the reply from ‘A Lover of Decency’, The Public Advertiser, 20 May 1775, p. 2. Fintan Cullen, Visual Politics: The Representation of Ireland 1750–1930 (Cork: Cork University Press, 1997), p. 24. See JohnThomas Smith, Nollekens and His Times: Comprehending a Life of That Celebrated Sculptor; and Memoirs of Contemporary Artists From the Time of Roubiliac, Hogarth and Reynolds to That of Fuseli, Flaxman and Blake, 2nd ed., 2 vols. (London: Henry Colburn, 1829), I, p. 136. Hone, The Exhibition of Pictures [. . .], p. 1. Ibid., p. 2. It is worth noting that, several years later, John Galt described a retrospective exhibition using the term ‘general exhibition’; see John Galt, The Life, Studies, and Works of Benjamin West, Esq., President of the Royal Academy of London, 2 vols. (London: Printed for T. Cadell and W. Davies, 1820), II, p. 204. Sixty-six were the entries in Hone’s list, which included three frames with miniature enamels. If we count the individual enameled pictures as separate works, the total number of works exhibited was 102. Hone, The Exhibition of Pictures, p. 3, italics in original. I am grateful to Petra ten-Doesschate Chu for pointing out to me the intended meaning of Hone’s use of the word ‘leisure’. See JohnThomas Smith, Nollekens and His Times [. . .], I, pp. 131–144. Allan Cunningham, The Lives of the Most Eminent British Painters, Sculptors, and Architects, 6 vols. (London: J. Murray, 1829–1833), III, pp. 150–152. Edward Edwards, Anecdotes of Painters Who Have Resided or Been Born in England [. . .] (London: Printed by Luke Hansard & Sons, for Leigh and Sotheby, W. J. and J. Richardson, R. Faulder, T. Payne, and J. White, 1808; facsimile reprint London: Cornmarket Press, 1970), p. 100. Anthony Pasquin [pseud. of John Williams], Memoirs of the Royal Academicians, Being an Attempt to Improve National Taste (London: Published by H.D. Symonds, P. McQueen, and T. Bellamy, 1796), p. 68. Bätschmann, The Artist in the Modern World, p. 29. Such autonomy seems to me to be analogous to the freedom of painters themselves to commission or produce engravings of their paintings in order to promote their work.

2

The Degas and Cassatt 1915 exhibition in support of women’s suffrage Ruth E. Iskin

Whereas the monographic exhibition has played a preeminent role in galleries and museums since the nineteenth century, the two-artist exhibition, initially developed by art dealers in the early twentieth century, migrated to museums only later on.1 Most two-artist exhibitions from the early twentieth century to today team up male masters; to name just two examples – Picasso and Braque at the 291 Gallery in New York in late 1914 and the 2003 blockbuster Matisse and Picasso exhibition at MoMA, Tate, and the Centre Pompidou. This chapter focuses on a rare case of a two-artist exhibit of a male and female artist – the 1915 exhibition at the M. Knoedler & Co. Gallery in New York that featured Edgar Degas and Mary Cassatt, organised by Louisine Havemeyer in support of women’s suffrage. While women got the vote four years after the 1915 Degas and Cassatt exhibit, it took a full century before another large-scale exhibition of Degas and Cassatt would materialise (at the National Gallery of Art, Washington, DC, 2014).2 Thus this chapter inquires, what were the unique circumstances and interests that enabled the 1915 exhibition? It throws light on the political, personal, and artistic commitments that coalesced in shaping this exhibit, investigating its goals, installation, and curatorial strategies. While, as Rebecca A. Rabinow stated, Havemeyer’s aims were to show great art and garner moral and financial support for women’s suffrage,3 I argue that Havemeyer also pursued two more specific goals: an equal representation of Degas and Cassatt, thus embodying a feminist message of gender equality in the exhibition that supported women’s suffrage, and demonstrating the continuity between the Old Masters and modern painters. Titled The Loan Exhibition of Masterpieces by Old and Modern Painters, the exhibit at the Knoedler Gallery in New York, 6–24 April 1915, featured the art of Cassatt and Degas in the large central space of the gallery along with paintings by Old Masters, shown in two smaller adjacent spaces (among them Holbein, Rembrandt, Rubens, Vermeer, Bronzino, Van Dyck, and de Hooch).4 This remarkably ambitious, museumscale exhibition was initiated, conceptualised, organised, and publicised by Louisine Havemeyer, the preeminent collector of French avant-garde art of the nineteenth century, and a long-time close friend of Mary Cassatt.5 The American Havemeyer, who was also a leading campaigner for women’s suffrage, dedicated all proceeds to the cause (a one-dollar entry fee for the exhibition and a five-dollar fee for the opening day that included a lecture by Mrs. Havemeyer on the exhibition). Havemeyer herself lent many of the works, while Paul Durand-Ruel, the legendary gallery owner who represented the Impressionists, Cassatt, and several other collectors lent works, all anonymously.6 Although the exhibition was housed in a commercial gallery, it did not appear to include works for sale.7

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Referring to the scope and uniqueness of this endeavour, Mrs. Havemeyer noted in a lecture she gave on the opening day that the exhibition so ‘fully and completely revealed to the American public’ the work of Cassatt and Degas, and noted, ‘I doubt if such a collection as you now see here could be made even in France, where they have always lived and worked.’8 The exhibition displayed a total of at least seventy-six works according to my findings (rather than sixty-eight).9 This included, in addition to eighteen Old Master paintings, a total of at least fifty-six works by Degas and Cassatt, of which twenty-seven were by Degas and twentynine by Cassatt; a photographic portrait of Cassatt, and a drawn portrait of Degas by Constantin Guys.10 These are revised numbers, based on my viewing installation photographs that recently have come to light, which show an additional eight works by Cassatt displayed in the exhibition (beyond the eighteen listed in the catalogue and the additional three identified by Rabinow).11 Thus, although earlier on it had appeared that Degas’s representation was significantly greater, it turns out that this was not the case (in my count Cassatt’s works numbered two more than Degas’). The fact that Cassatt and Degas actually exhibited about the same number of works is consistent with what is argued in what follows – that the exhibition presented Degas and Cassatt as equals and that this was an important part of its feminist message. Identifying the eight additional works by Cassatt also changes our understanding of the range of Cassatt works in the show in terms of the styles and periods represented.12 Whereas previously scholars concluded that all of Cassatt’s works in the show were created after 1900 (with the exception of one painting from 1883),13 it is now clear that Cassatt showed at least several more works dated prior to 1900, including the pastel The Long Glove, 1889; three paintings from the 1890s: The Bath, 1892, Summertime, 1894, Breakfast in Bed, 1897; and one large pastel Portrait of Mrs. H. O. Havemeyer, 1896 (discussed in what follows).14 It should be noted that initially Mrs. Havemeyer had intended to present a monographic exhibition of Degas rather than one featuring Degas and Cassatt.15 Mentored by Cassatt, she had collected Degas over several decades, assembling the largest collection of his art in the world. When she wrote to Cassatt on the idea of a Degas exhibition for the benefit of women’s suffrage, Cassatt, always supportive of Degas, approved: ‘it will be a great thing to have the Degas exhibition,’16 and noted that it would be ‘“piquant” considering Degas [sic] opinions.’17 This comment was based on Cassatt’s ample experience with Degas’s conventional gender biases, such as when, impressed by her painting Young Women Picking Fruit, 1892, he degraded her (and by implication any woman artist) with a backhanded compliment: ‘No woman has the right to draw like that.’18 Mrs. Havemeyer developed the idea of the two-artist exhibit of Degas and Cassatt while staying in the painter’s villa in Grasse in southern France during spring of 1914.19 Initially Cassatt was reluctant to participate in such an exhibition, mostly because she believed that not enough of her works could be made available (the war presented difficulties for French collectors, and anti-suffrage sentiments were sure to limit the number of willing American collectors).20 Nonetheless, Havemeyer succeeded in convincing her,21 and Cassatt stated that if such an exhibition was to materialise, ‘I wish it to be for the cause of women Suffrage.’22 Once persuaded, Cassatt became actively supportive of the exhibition, making efforts to convince reluctant collectors to lend works to the exhibition.

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Havemeyer and Cassatt shared a strong belief in the importance of suffrage and the commitment to the French avant-garde. She and her husband, Harry O. Havemeyer, started collecting Courbet, Manet, and the Impressionists when these painters were still relatively controversial. But by 1915, these artists were well accepted, whereas younger ones, such as Picasso and Braque (who had a two-artist exhibit in Steiglitz’s 291 gallery in New York a few months before the Degas and Cassatt exhibition), were the new French avant-garde. New York critics were quick to note this. Royal Cortissoz, the New York Herald Tribune critic, discussed this in his article, titled ‘M. Degas and Miss Cassatt, Types Once Revolutionary Which Now Seem Almost Classical.’23 The World stated that ‘opinion has long since settled’ on the Old Masters, while on Degas and Cassatt ‘it probably has passed the formative state . . . for in the recent years of their comparative inactivity, others have crowded the scene with extremes of view and style to which Miss Cassatt and M. Degas would hardly subscribe.’24 If Degas and Cassatt were no longer perceived as revolutionary in 1915, suffrage clearly was. Some anti-suffrage collectors not only refused to lend their works even anonymously but also elected not to pass the gallery threshold although they would have liked to see the show. Joseph Durand-Ruel (son of Paul Durand-Ruel) told Cassatt, who in turn reported to Havemeyer, ‘it was the cause which kept many people away, “society” it seems is so against suffrage. Many regretted to him that they missed seeing a fine exhibition but their principles forbade their going.’25 Mrs. Havemeyer was well aware of the ‘deep bitter animosity’ against women’s suffrage among the upper classes in New York,26 having encountered it in 1912 when organizing a ‘Loan Exhibition of El Greco and Goya’ at the Knoedler Gallery for the benefit of women’s suffrage.27 At that time, ‘some of the best known and important collectors not only refused to attend the exhibition, but threatened to withdraw their patronage from the dealer who had kindly loaned me his gallery.’28 It was testimony to Mrs. Havemeyer’s commitment, courage, and determination that she, herself a prominent member of New York ‘society,’ persisted in organizing a second exhibition to benefit women’s suffrage. Moreover, marshalling her contacts in the New York media, she highlighted the purpose of the Degas–Cassatt exhibit to support the cause of suffrage. Although Havemeyer had loaned some of her paintings to various exhibitions, she pointed out, ‘the only times I ever allowed my pictures to be exhibited collectively was for the suffrage cause.’29 Calling Cassatt an ‘ardent suffragist,’ Mrs. Havemeyer testified that her friend always stimulated her ‘to renewed efforts for the cause.’30 Mrs. Havemeyer, who was sixty years old in 1915, was rightly perceived at the time as a prominent suffrage leader. The exhibition was one of many events in 1915 in which she participated as an activist suffragist, campaigning to win the November elections in which the eastern states, New York, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and Massachusetts, would ratify or reject women’s suffrage (they rejected it). Her intensive political work on behalf of women’s suffrage in the years following the exhibition included being arrested in Washington, DC, in 1919 for taking part in a peaceful demonstration in front of the White House (she was master of ceremonies);31 subsequently she was among the twenty-six women of the National Woman’s Party who after serving jail sentences spoke about their horrendous experiences on a nationwide tour dubbed by the media ‘The Prison Special.’ Being a dedicated collector, Havemeyer continued to acquire art throughout the years of her political work for suffrage, regularly consulting with Cassatt.32 In addition to understanding the exhibition as motivated by her commitment to suffrage, it

The Degas and Cassatt 1915 exhibition

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must also be seen within her long activity as a highly accomplished collector who had gained substantial experience over many years in choosing and displaying art. Havemeyer started to collect French avant-garde artists before most American (and other) collectors. In 1877, twenty-two years old, she bought her first Degas with Cassatt’s insistence.33 Thus began her tutelage under Cassatt several years before she married in 1883. Cassatt’s collaboration continued with the Havemeyer couple, and thanks to the great resources of Mr. Harry O. Havemeyer, who made his fortune in sugar refineries, the collecting activities assumed a new scale after 1889. Mrs. Havemeyer continued to acquire major art works with Cassatt’s ongoing involvement after the death of her husband in 1907. She described Cassatt as ‘my inspiration and my guide’ and ‘the fairy godmother’ of the collection.34 In her memoir she wrote in some detail about working closely with the artist, travelling together in Europe to find paintings by Old Masters, corresponding regularly, Cassatt’s looking out for important sales in Paris and contacting experts.35 I propose that Havemeyer made two strategic decisions about the exhibition: placing Degas and Cassatt on an equal footing and representing them (and more generally ‘the moderns’) as equal to the Old Masters. The latter must be understood in the context of her long-term collecting and dialogues with Cassatt on the relationship between the Old Masters and the moderns. The guiding principle of the Havemeyer collection was to acquire Old Masters while keeping the primary focus on the moderns.36 Both her collection and the exhibition implied that the moderns occupied a legitimate place in an art canon that extended over centuries. She also agreed with Cassatt that ‘to be a great painter you must be classic as well as modern.’37 For Havemeyer and Cassatt, the moderns did not perform a radical break with the art that preceded them but rather were rooted in tradition as well as in modernity. This belief counteracted the attacks levied against the Impressionists when many still believed that they were destroying the great tradition of art. Although the history of art later on valued Courbet, Manet, and the Impressionists for their rupture with tradition, at an earlier phase of the reception of Impressionism, Cassatt and Mrs. Havemeyer strategically championed the moderns as a continuation of Old Masters. The exhibition highlighted Degas and Cassatt, whose works were much more numerous than the Old Masters and were featured in the large, central gallery. By including Old Masters in the exhibition, Cassatt and Havemeyer espoused their belief that the moderns were as great as the Old Masters. Cassatt saw Courbet as the modern master who came closest to Rembrandt38 and urged Havemeyer to include Courbet in the exhibition, saying it would be a chance to show Courbets next to Rembrandts.39 She also suggested to display Vermeer and Degas side-by-side, certain that it would show Degas’s great merit.40 Havemeyer elected not to do a mixed display of Old Masters and moderns but to highlight Cassatt and Degas as sharing a modern artistic statement, displaying the Old Masters in separate gallery spaces. Yet in her lecture (delivered on 6 April, later published) Havemeyer urged visitors to view the Old Masters and the moderns in comparison to each other and specifically mentioned Cassatt’s intention: ‘this exhibition will give you an opportunity such as may not occur again in a long time, and as far as I know has never been offered before – that of comparing the old with the new, of seeing the masters of the Flemish school beside those of the French modern school.’41 An important goal of Mrs. Havemeyer and Cassatt was to embody a feminist message in the exhibition. To team up Cassatt with Degas for the exhibition made an

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affirmative statement on the aspiration for gender equality that was at the root of the struggle for women’s suffrage. When Cassatt congratulated Havemeyer on the success of the exhibit after it closed, she stated, ‘[T]he time has finally come to show that women can do something,’42 suggesting that she saw her own participation in the exhibition as just such a message. Although Degas and Cassatt had exhibited together in several group exhibitions of the Impressionists (1879, 1880, 1881, 1886), 1915 was the first time they were featured together outside of that context, and each with numerous works. Even though Degas’ reputation was far greater than Cassatt’s, Mrs. Havemeyer clearly decided to make a feminist statement befitting the exhibition in support of suffrage by presenting both artists as unequivocally equal. Cassatt herself acknowledged the disparity, noting, ‘I am surprised at the coolness I show in thinking of exhibiting with Degas alone.’43 Although their artistic status was different, there were matters in which Degas and Cassatt were equal. Mrs. Havemeyer stressed that in her memoirs and in her lecture at the Knoedler Gallery. She clarified that contrary to conventional assumptions, it was ‘not true’ that Cassatt was Degas’s pupil.44 Cassatt herself had believed the exhibition would show that she was by no means a follower of Degas in the sense of copying him.45 Moreover, Havemeyer was determined to dispute a related prevailing assumption. As I have discussed elsewhere, the claim that it was only Cassatt who benefited from Degas’s advice but not vice versa has so often been repeated that it may be surprising to discover that it was false.46 Mrs. Havemeyer made clear that during their long years of friendship Degas and Cassatt benefitted from ‘mutual criticism.’47 Furthermore, she stated authoritatively, based on knowing both artists well: ‘She [Cassatt] could do without him [Degas], while he needed her honest criticism and her generous admiration.’48 The message of an equal status of Degas and Cassatt was also embodied in the installation of the exhibition. The works of each artist were exhibited on different walls in the same gallery, allowing spectators to experience each artist within the context of his/her art first and only secondarily in comparison to each other (Figure 2.1). Some of Cassatt’s works were installed in a way that allowed for a comparison of the same theme amongst them, particularly on the mother-and-child theme. Yet the display also juxtaposed works on different themes. (Figure 2.2). For example, in one of the two photographs that have come to light recently, we see Cassatt’s painting, Summertime, 1894 – an idyllic Impressionist nature scene depicting a boat on the water on a sunny day with mother and daughter sharing a leisurely time – hung next to a portrait of Mrs. Havemeyer, 1896. Despite their long years of friendship Cassatt elected not to represent an intimate viewpoint of a ‘private’ Louisine. Rather, she made a formal portrait that emphasised Havemeyer’s power (Figure 2.3). Sitting erect, the pensive forty-one-year-old Mrs. Havemeyer is depicted without a trace of smile and no attempt to ingratiate herself. Her voluminous fashionable evening dress with puffed sleeves lends her a grand presence. She fills the space of the picture, leaving no room for a domestic interior to contain her. Holding a closed fan, which looks more like a baton, in a decisive manner, she firmly presses it against the fabric of her dress. The gesture expresses her determination and agency. Her hands holding the fan are devoid of the kind of elegant femininity so common in the representation of young feminine hands holding fans in countless Impressionist paintings (Cassatt’s included). The portrait evokes an authoritative presence befitting a major, confident collector. It opposes gender conventions of

Figure 2.1 Installation of works by Degas in the Main Gallery, Old and Modern Painters exhibition, the Knoedler Gallery, 6–24 April 1915 Source: Courtesy the Getty Research Institute, Los Angeles (2012 M.54)

Figure 2.2 Installation of works by Cassatt in the Main Gallery, Old and Modern Painters exhibition, the Knoedler Gallery, 6–24 April 1915 Source: Courtesy of the Getty Research Institute, Los Angeles, California (2012 M.54)

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Figure 2.3 Mary Cassatt, Louisisne Havemeyer, 1896. Pastel on wove paper, 29 × 24 in. (73.7 × 61 cm) Source: Shelburne Museum, Shelburne, Vermont, Gift of J. Watson Webb, Jr., 1973 (27.3.1–1) . Open source file: https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Cassatthavemeyer.jpg

portraits of upper-class bourgeois women as fashionable society ladies, making this a rare case of depicting a woman as a powerful persona.49 On the other side of this formal portrait hung a painting depicting a casual moment in an everyday scene, Breakfast in Bed, 1897. A young mother with a pensive expression still lying in bed is propped against a pillow, her arms around her toddler who is sitting next to her, his/her hand holding some food, while a breakfast tray rests by the bed. The other installation photograph, unknown till recently, shows five works by Cassatt (Figure 2.4). It includes The Long Glove, 1889 (Breeskin 157) hung next to Woman in a Black Hat and Raspberry Pink Costume, c. 1905 (Breeskin, 463); next is

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Figure 2.4 Installation of Works by Cassatt in the Main Gallery, The Old and Modern Painters exhibition, April 6–24, 1915. Source: Courtesy of the Getty Research Institute, Los Angeles, California (2012 M.54)

a portrayal of two female figures (not included in the Breeskin Catalogue Raisonné); next to them is Children Playing with Dog, 1908 (Breeskin 502), and next to that is The Bath, 1892 (Breeskin 205). An installation photograph of a long wall with Cassatt’s works in the main gallery features in the centre a portrait of the American Mrs. Riddle, Lady at a Tea Table, 1883.50 This is a regal image of a distinguished older American lady sitting erect and visibly alert while presiding over her table, a striking deep blue tea set in front of her. The painting represents her elevated upper-class bourgeois status as a master of her domestic/social scene. Although an ‘old lady’ as some critics approvingly noted,51 her age, explicitly rendered, supported by her erect pose and class stature, augments rather than reduces her authority. The painting had been in storage till Cassatt discovered it when she was searching for works for the suffrage exhibit, at Havemeyer’s urging.52 It had been kept out of sight because the daughters of the sitter disliked it, causing Cassatt to doubt its artistic worth.53 By the time it was shown in the suffrage exhibit, the artist was fully confident of its artistic merit, because when it had been exhibited earlier on in the year at her show at Durand-Ruel in Paris, both the Luxembourg Museum and Petit Palais in Paris vied for it, and somewhat later, so did the Metropolitan Museum in New York, where it ended up. On the other side of Mrs. Riddle’s portrait was a painting of a mother with a child, Young Mother Sewing,

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1900. My point is that despite the prevalent focus on women and children, the installation showed a range in Cassatt’s oeuvre. It included informal everyday scenes of mothers with toddlers, babies, older daughters, many of them at home, some outdoor scenes, along with both formal and less formal portraits. Moreover, although the exhibition did not include Cassatt’s work from the 1870s and only two works from the 1880s, there was a wide stylistic range from the earliest painting of 1883 through works from the 1890s, early 1900s, and all the way to 1915.54 In contrast to Cassatt’s work, which mostly depicted upper-class bourgeois women, many of Degas’s works in the exhibit depicted working-class women – dancers rehearsing, milliners decorating hats, laundresses ironing, a café concert singer performing a song, and women bathing or drying themselves. Griselda Pollock has emphasised a clear gender and class difference in the exhibit, stating that Degas represented ‘sexualised spaces of masculinity,’ and Cassatt, ‘intimate spaces of femininity.’55 Although there are distinct differences in the subject matter of the two artists, such a statement of gendered binary opposites overlooks a wider spectrum within the work of the two artists. Domestic space may be represented in different ways, connoting its diverse roles, including not only private or familial contexts but also social ones, as well as class status. Moreover, some of Cassatt’s representations subvert stereotypical ideas on intimacy or ‘femininity.’ For example, Cassatt’s portraits of Mrs. Riddle and of Mrs. Havemeyer (discussed earlier) represent formality, power, and distinction. Although most of Cassatt’s works in the exhibit represent bourgeois women, at least one of them was a pastel of a ‘peasant with her ’kerchief on her head and her child in her lap,’ to which Havemeyer called attention in her lecture as ‘the most appealing as well as the most masterly work.’56 While some of Degas’s art sexualises workingclass women, that was not always the case. For example, as I have argued elsewhere, although much of the art historical literature has assumed that Degas’s milliners were unregistered prostitutes, his representation of the milliners in general, as well as the milliners in the suffrage exhibit, does not visualise a discourse of desire.57 Furthermore, beyond dancers, bathers, milliners, a laundress, and a performer, the exhibition also included several Degas works on other themes, for example, on the topic of racehorses. Another painting in the show, Sulking, represents a bourgeois man seated at his office desk while an elegantly attired woman is leaning over the desk towards the spectator at whom she is directing her gaze; yet another work in the exhibition is a chaste portrayal of his cousin, probably Mathilde Mousson. For these reasons, the differences between Cassatt and Degas were more complex and nuanced than a binary generalization might suggest. The most important message of this exhibition, given that it was for the benefit of suffrage, was gender equality through the equal representation of Cassatt and Degas. By and large the context of suffrage informed progressive views in the press, while some ingrained gender stereotypes persisted. For example, the comments discussed earlier (published in the New York Herald Tribune and the World), presented Cassatt and Degas equally when stating that both were now perceived as almost classic rather than as controversial. The New York Times article titled ‘Exhibition for Suffrage Cause’ highlighted the national difference but was gender neutral, describing the choice to team up these artists as ‘two modern painters of the highest degree of distinction, one French and one American, Edgar Degas and Mary Cassatt.’58 Yet the disparity in the status of the two artists appeared in some statements. For example, ‘The paintings of Mary Cassatt have a range of less wide and less monumental style,

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but they are well worthy of their present, companionship with the art of the great French master.’ Implied was the claim that Cassatt had to prove her art worthy of being exhibited alongside the ‘great’ master. There was also a clear discrepancy in the way Degas and Cassatt were referred to in some of the reviews: for example, the New York Times, April 4, 1915, referred to Degas’s ‘deep genius’ and described him as ‘perhaps the greatest living painter.’59 Although no one exhibition can, by itself, change an ingrained mindset, exhibitions can play a role in gradual change, especially when, as in this case, they are organised as part of a wide, determined, political campaign. Thus despite a great appreciation of both artists in the exhibition, gender stereotypes persisted. These two contrasting tendencies were testimony to a flux of both change and resistance: on the one hand, the new horizon of possibilities of gender equality, on the other, the traditional patriarchal views that assigned a radically disparate value to women and men in the art field as elsewhere. *** A two-artist exhibition can augment the respective status of each of its participants in the canon and does not necessarily present a dialogic model that counteracts the much-critiqued status of the single master within a linear chronological narrative of progress. Yet it has the potential of presenting an artistic dialogue as an alternative to the simplistic idea of influence, allowing for a more nuanced and rich set of possibilities, including affinities, mutual inspirations, dialogue, competition, and rivalry. The 2014 exhibition Degas/Cassatt at the National Gallery of Art, Washington, DC, is an example of this direction.60 Both the 1915 and the 2014 exhibitions of Degas and Cassatt presented an exhibition that embodies a message of gender equality, yet such exhibitions are still a rare exception to the two-male-masters norm. From a methodological perspective, this chapter has aimed to integrate exhibition studies with art history, proposing that neither can be independent of the other, and in turn to integrate both with gender studies. Finally, this kind of study can point to an aspect only rarely foregrounded in art history, namely how art and artists are perpetually constructed and valorised in exhibitions during their lifetimes and in later historical moments.61

Notes 1 My thanks to: CASVA, Center for Advanced Study of the Visual Arts, for the Paul Mellon and Ailsa Mellon Bruce fellowship that enabled my research for this article and the larger project of which it is part; the Getty Research Center, especially Lois White, for making available documents and photographs from the Knoedler Gallery archive; Maia Wellington Gahtan, Donatella Pegazzano, Paula Birnbaum, and Ayelet Carmi, for insightful comments. 2 Nancy Mowll Mathews curated a small exhibition, entitled Mary Cassatt and Edgar Degas, at the San Jose Museum of Art in 1981. 3 Rebecca A. Rabinow, ‘The Suffrage Exhibition of 1915’, in Splendid Legacy, the Havemeyer Collection, ed. by Alice Cooney Frelinghuysen, Gary Tinterow, Susan Alison Stein, Gretchen Wold, and Julia Meech (New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 1993), pp. 89–95 (p. 91). For information on Cassatt and Mrs. Havemeyer, and the latter’s work for women’s suffrage, see Frances Weitzenhoffer, The Havemeyers: Impressionism Comes to America (New York: Harry N. Abrams, 1986). For comments on the exhibition in the context of monographic studies on Cassatt, see Mathews, Mary Cassatt, A Life (New York:

36

4 5

6 7 8

9 10

11 12

13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30

Ruth E. Iskin Villard Books, 1994). pp. 302–307; Griselda Pollock, Mary Cassatt, Painter of Modern Women (London: Thames and Hudson, 1998), pp. 207–213. The Knoedler catalogue includes a full list of the works by old masers with a description of each work. Knoedler, M. & Co., Loan Exhibition of Masterpieces by Old and Modern Painters, Catalogue (New York: Knoedler, M. & Co., 1915), pp. 1–19. As the correspondence of the Knoedler Gallery with Mrs. Havemeyer shows, the gallery handled insurance, transport, printing, photography, and coordination with the press on such matters as dates of publicizing the exhibition and reproducing illustrations. The gallery checked with Mrs. Havemeyer at every point, for example, sending her proofs of printed matter and reproductions for her review, etc. For list of collectors, see Rabinow, ‘Suffrage Exhibition’, 91. Originally Havemeyer had planned an exhibition at the Durand-Ruel gallery, New York, but decided on the Knoedler Gallery once the exhibit expanded to include Old Masters. Wietzenhoffer, Havemeyers, p. 222. The lecture was published; see Mrs. H. O. Havemeyer’s Remarks on Edgar Degas and Mary Cassatt (New York: M. Knoedler & Co., 1915), n.p. [2]. Cassatt’s visibility while the Knoedler show was on view was augmented by her show at Durand-Ruel gallery in New York, Water Colors and Dry Points by Mary Cassatt. Rabinow’s study had accounted for a total of sixty-eight works in the show. ‘Suffrage Exhibition’, p. 95. Based on viewing two previously unpublished installation photographs of the 1915 exhibition, I identified eight more works by Cassatt which were not listed in the Knoedler catalogue or in Rabinow’s updated list (see what follows). Rabinow had found that the exhibition included several works beyond those listed in the catalogue: four by Degas, three by Cassatt, a photographic portrait of Cassatt, and a portrait of Degas by Guys. Rabinow, ‘Suffrage Exhibition’, p. 95. The slim Knoedler catalogue for the exhibit includes only a total of fifty-nine works (eighteen by Old Masters, eighteen by Cassatt, twenty-three by Degas). Seven out of the eight Cassatt additional works displayed in the exhibition (beyond those previously identified by Rabinow) appear in Adelyn Dohme Breeskin, Mary Cassatt, A Catalogue Raisonné of the Oils, Pastels, Watercolors, and Drawings (Washington: The Smithsonian Institution Press, 1970), catalogue numbers: 157, 205, 240, 255, 275, 463, 502. See for example, Mathews, Cassatt, A Life, pp. 306–307. Breeskin numbers: 157, 205, 240, 255, 275. Wietzenhoffer, Havemeyers, 219. Letter, Cassatt to Louisine Havemeyer (hereafter LH), 15 February 1914, cited ibid. Ibid. Letter, Cassatt to Homer Saint-Gaudens, 28 December 1922, Nancy Mowll Mathews, ed., Cassatt and Her Circle, Selected Letters (New York: Abbeville Press, 1984), (Hereafter, Letters), p. 335. Wietzenhoffer, Havemeyers, p. 219. Ibid. Ibid., pp. 219–220. Letter, Cassatt to LH, 30 May 1914, Rabinow, ‘The Suffrage’, 89. Royal Cortissoz, ‘M. Degas and Miss Cassatt, Types Once Revolutionary Which Now Seem Almost Classical’, New York Herald Tribune, 4 April 1915. ‘News of the World’, World, 4 April 1915. Letter, Cassatt to LH, 5 July 1915, Mathews, ed., Letters, 324. Louisine Havemeyer, ‘The Suffrage Torch, Memoires of a Militant’, Scribner’s Magazine, 71 (May 1922), 528–539 (p. 529). Weitzenhoffer, Havemeyers, p. 206. Havemeyer, ‘Suffrage Torch’, p. 529. Ibid. Louisine Havemeyer, Sixteen to Sixty: Memoirs of an Art Collector, ed. by Susan Stein (New York: Ursus Press, 1993), p. 279.

The Degas and Cassatt 1915 exhibition

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31 Havemeyer was sentenced to five days in District Jail along with other suffragists, Doris Stevens, Jailed for Freedom (New York: Boni and Liveright, 1920), p. 316. 32 For Havemeyer’s collecting activities during these years, see Weizenhoffer, Havemeyers, pp. 215–233. 33 Havemeyer, Memoirs, pp. 249–250, discussed in Ruth E. Iskin, ‘The Collecting Practices of Degas and Cassatt: Gender and the Construction of Value in Art History’, in Perspectives on Degas, ed. by Kathryn Brown (London: Routledge, 2016), pp. 205–230 (pp. 223–224). 34 Havemeyer, Mrs. H. O. Havemeyer’s Remarks, p. 1. 35 Havemeyer, Memoirs. On Cassatt’s collecting practices as compared to Degas’s, see Iskin, ‘Collecting Practices.’ 36 On the Havemeyer collection, see Frelinghuysen et al., Splendid Legacy. 37 Havemeyer, Memoirs, p. 178. 38 Letter, Cassatt to LH, Havemeyer, Memoirs, pp. 287, 294. The Havemeyer collection included thirty Courbets, ibid., p. 203. 39 Letter, Cassatt to LH, 1 February 1915, Mathews, ed., Letters, p. 320. 40 Letter, Cassatt to LH, Weitzenhoffer, Havemeyers, p. 222. 41 Havemeyer, Mrs. H. O. Havemeyer’s Remarks. 42 Letter, Cassatt to LH, 29 April 1914, Rabinow, ‘Suffrage’, p. 92. 43 Cassatt to LH, 12 March 1915, Mathews, ed., Letters, p. 322. 44 Havemeyer, Memoirs, p. 275. 45 Letter, Cassatt to LH, 12 March 1915, Mathews, ed., Letters, p. 322. 46 Iskin, ‘Collecting Practices’, pp. 209–210. 47 Havemeyer, Memoirs, p. 275. 48 Havemeyer, Remarks, p. 1; Havemeyer, Memoirs, p. 275. 49 Pablo Picasso’s portrait of Gertrude Stein is a well-known rare exception. 50 See illustration in Weizenhoffer, Havemeyers, p. 225. 51 ‘Loan Exhibition in Aid of Suffrage’, The Sun, 6 April 1915. 52 Wietzenhoffer, Havemeyers, p. 219. 53 Ibid., p. 220. 54 This revises earlier statements by scholars, for example Mathews, that all of Cassatt’s works in the exhibit were from after 1900. Mathews, Cassatt, A Life, p. 306. 55 Pollock, Cassatt, pp. 211–212. 56 Havemeyer, ‘Remarks’, p. 6. 57 See chapter on Degas’s millinery works, Ruth E. Iskin, Modern Women and Parisian Consumer Culture in Impressionist Painting (London: Cambridge University Press, 2007), pp. 60–113. 58 ‘Exhibition for Suffrage Cause’, New York Times, 4 April 1915. 59 Ibid. 60 May 11–October 5, 2014. A more extensive analysis of this show is outside the scope of this article. 61 This topic is discussed in essays by numerous authors in Ruth E. Iskin, ed., Re-envisioning the Contemporary Art Canon: Perspectives in a Global World (London: Routledge, 2017).

3

Braque, Gris, Léger Cubism in Switzerland in 1933 Kate Kangaslahti

[Wilhelm] Wartmann must go and see [Maja] Hoffmann[-Stehlin] in Basel to suggest that, instead of doing a LÉGER-GRIS catalogue, they have me prepare a BRAQUELÉGER-GRIS catalogue with the general title Great Contemporary Exhibitions in Switzerland . . . . . . Mme Hoffmann seemed very interested in the rapprochement of the two museums and would have wanted to do the joint volume, but then the everlasting [Carl] Einstein came along to have her produce a catalogue to flaunt his prose. It is he who is to present Braque to the Swiss public!!! But, if you and [Emil] Friedrich spoke to Mme Hoffmann, who seems very well deposed towards the review, and if M. Wartmann went to see her next Friday, you could convince her to do, in addition to her own, a combined catalogue that will be a true landmark and, I think, a credit to you all. Christian Zervos to Sigfried Giedion, undated letter (c.1933)

When the first major retrospective of Juan Gris’ work opened at the Kunsthaus in Zurich in April 1933, the Swiss journal Das Werk prefaced its review by observing that ‘anyone able to travel regularly between Bern, Basel and Zurich in recent years has been afforded an overview of contemporary art unimaginable elsewhere. Now, that direction in French painting, developed without interruption over a quartercentury but not fully described either by the instant catch cry of “Cubism” or the buzzwords “non-objective art,” is being presented with astonishing rigour.’1 The posthumous tribute to Gris at the Kunsthaus, Das Werk reminded readers, coincided with Georges Braque’s first major retrospective at the Kunsthalle in Basel and preceded an exhibition devoted to Fernand Léger set to open in Zurich in May. All three monographic shows succeeded Pablo Picasso’s first museum retrospective at the Kunsthaus the previous autumn. Yet the self-congratulatory note the reviewer struck belied the complicated genesis of four exhibitions that had not initially been devised as a series. The presentation of Picasso’s work in 1932, originally conceived as a group show, was to have included Braque and Léger. At the last minute, Wilhelm Wartmann, director of the Kunsthaus, decided to dedicate the display to the Spaniard alone, placating the others with the promise of their own shows the following year. Léger, while disappointed, accepted his consolation prize. Braque, fuming at his unceremonious exclusion, capitalised on the rivalry between two neighbouring cities and their respective institutions. He chose to exhibit instead at the Basel Kunsthalle, leaving arrangements to his friend Carl Einstein, much to the consternation of Christian Zervos, editor of the Parisian review Cahiers d’Art. Zervos’ indignant letter to his collaborator, the Swiss architectural historian Sigfried Giedion, vividly points to the way one exhibition

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became four through painstaking negotiations among key individuals, whose professional and personal interests spun a tangled web between France and Switzerland.2 Such large, temporary exhibitions today serve as ‘the medium of contemporary art,’ what Bruce Ferguson identifies as ‘its main agency of communication – the body and voice from which an authoritative character emerges.’3 During the first half of the twentieth century, however, shows devoted to the work of a single living artist were rarely staged in official public settings; monographic surveys were typically the preserve of revered Old Masters or illustrious, recently deceased painters. To revisit events in Zurich and Basel in 1932 and 1933 is then to contemplate the institutionalisation of a model – or medium – that has itself become canonical and, in so doing, to look at the network of interests on which that model still depends. ‘No exhibition is pure’, as Ferguson argues. ‘Rather, it is the result of mixed desires and values . . . which run from the academic to the economic and from the semiotic to the institutional and from the professional to the amateur.’4 This chapter accordingly traces the different parties who converged or, as Zervos’ letter makes plain, collided in the realisation of these shows: the artists, who welcomed the public recognition a retrospective bestowed; the Parisian dealers, who hoped to buoy a stagnant market and find buyers for their oversupplies; the international collectors, such as Maja HoffmanStehlin and Emil Friedrich, who lent works and were invested in the success of artists they admired; the museum curators, Wartmann in Zurich and Wilhelm Barth in Basel, who harboured international ambitions for their institutions; and the art critics, Carl Einstein and Christian Zervos (Figure 3.1), who left their own interpretive marks upon the different displays and the stories they told.

Figure 3.1 Fernand Léger and Christian Zervos in the artist’s studio, 1933. Photograph by Georges Allié. Staged for, but not published in, the special issue of Cahiers d’Art that appeared in conjunction with Léger’s retrospective at the Kunsthaus in Zurich, 30 April–25 May 1933 Source: (Paris: courtesy of Éditions Cahiers d’Art).

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My second objective is to examine what art-historical claims these monographic exhibitions staked, individually and collectively, and particularly to consider the parts Gris and Léger assumed in relation to the movement’s pioneering duo. What, to reprise Ferguson’s terms, was the authoritative character that emerged from the body and voice of these exhibitions, from the various displays of work and the considerable literature they spawned, especially that produced by Einstein and Zervos? In the years leading up to the exhibitions the two critics had played a conspicuous role in the way the artists’ work was promoted, comprehended and, especially in the case of Zervos, seen. While Cahiers d’Art ostensibly presented a broad view of contemporary art, the profusely illustrated review reflected Zervos’ own partiality for Cubism and its ‘plastic’ direction in painting. Between 1926, when the review first appeared, and 1933, Picasso, Braque, Gris and Léger appeared more frequently than any other artist (except Matisse), and Zervos reproduced hundreds of images of their paintings.5 1926 was also the year that Einstein published his first fully developed account of Cubist representation in Die Kunst des 20. Jahrhunderts, revised and reissued in 1928 and 1931. A succinct version of his ideas appeared in French as ‘Notes on Cubism’ in Documents in 1929, the journal he edited alongside Georges Bataille; over the course of its short lifespan, Einstein devoted considerable attention to explicating the work of these same four artists. While Zervos and Einstein differed in the analytical processes they applied to Cubist painting, each underscored the artist’s radical transformation of the object according to his own ‘inner experience.’6 For both critics Cubism remained, after two decades of development, a current and radical trend, even as their writing eschewed the polemical vigour of old in favour of what Christopher Green calls ‘a blithe line in eulogy.’ Their criticism, impressing the belief that ‘all Picasso, Braque, Gris and Léger [stood] for [had] come to stay,’ sowed the seeds of Cubism’s historicisation, a process that began in earnest when the artists consecrated their place in the history of twentieth-century art within the hallowed space of the museum.7 The stature that Picasso, Braque, Gris and Léger enjoyed from 1925 onwards, and that precipitated their shows in Zurich and Basel, fuelled and was fuelled by the evermore-lucrative prices their works attracted internationally. A number of wealthy Swiss collectors, who later lent paintings to the Kunsthaus and the Kunsthalle, were central to this growing critical and commercial success. Josef Oskar Müller came across his first Cubist paintings in 1910 at the residence of Leo and Gertrude Stein, going on to acquire several works while living in Paris between 1922 and 1942. Bernese collector Hermann Rupf was one of Daniel-Henry Kahnweiler’s first clients when the German dealer opened his gallery in Paris in 1907.8 Basel banker Raoul la Roche moved to Paris in 1911 and, under the guidance of dealer Léonce Rosenberg, assembled 164 works by Picasso, Braque, Léger and Gris, housed in a villa designed for their display by Le Corbusier.9 Still more impressive was the collection of Gottlieb Friedrich Reber, who, by 1929, had amassed more than 200 paintings, sculptures and works on paper by the movement’s four key painters, incorporating all significant phases of their development over twenty years.10 When Réber commissioned Léger to paint a suite of murals for his dining rooms in 1930, the painter and patron were joined in Lausanne by their mutual friend, Carl Einstein. In the 1928 edition of Die Kunst des 20. Jahrhundert, Einstein dedicated the section on Cubism to Reber ‘in herzlicher Freundschaft’ and reproduced two dozen works belonging to the German-born

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industrialist. Beyond the collections they assiduously formed, figures like Reber, who collaborated with Einstein on Documents as a member of the journal’s comité de rédaction, sought avenues to promote the artists they admired.11 Emmanuel Hoffman and Emil Friedrich, for example, advanced the cause of contemporary art in Switzerland by taking up positions within the artists’ societies that administered the Kunsthalle and the Kunsthaus: Hoffman, heir to the pharmaceutical giant HoffmannLa Roche, became president of the Basler Kunstverein in 1931; Friedrich, a financier and close friend and neighbour of Sigfried Giedion, likewise sat on the commission of the Zürcher Kunstgesellschaft.12 It was Friedrich who, in a letter to his compatriot Carl Montag in November 1931, first floated the possibility of staging ‘a major exhibition of works by Picasso, Braque and Léger in Switzerland, initially in Zurich and Basel.’13 Since moving to Paris at the turn of the century, the well-connected Montag had been acting as a Kunstvermittler – an art facilitator – between contemporary French artists and their dealers and Swiss collectors.14 Earlier that autumn, Friedrich and his wife Clara had enjoyed, courtesy of Montag, a privileged glimpse of the extensive holdings that the Parisian dealer Paul Rosenberg maintained behind closed doors at his Right Bank gallery. Friedrich now sought Montag’s assistance in bringing a selection of what he had seen privately before the eyes of the Swiss public, confident that local attitudes to modern art had come a long way and that such an event would prove a success. Montag mobilised quickly to solicit the participation of Rosenberg, his fellow dealer Georges Wildenstein and the Swiss collector Reber.15 Tentatively scheduled for the months of May and June, 1932, the Kunsthaus postponed the exhibition until the autumn once it became clear that a consortium of dealers – Rosenberg, Wildenstein and the Bernheim brothers – were planning a Parisian retrospective of Picasso’s work in the summer at the Galeries Georges Petit to celebrate the artist’s fiftieth birthday and mark the first volume of a catalogue raisonné of his work compiled by Christian Zervos.16 Far from seeing an earlier French show as detrimental, those involved in planning the group exhibition at the Kunsthaus welcomed the news. Director Wilhelm Wartmann saw the practicality in being able to take his final selection of Picasso’s work from the paintings already assembled at the Galeries Georges Petit. Additionally, the Zürcher Kunstgesellschaft was optimistic that a well-publicised retrospective in Paris would strengthen anticipation surrounding its own show, for which, according to its president, Dr Adolf Jöhr, hopes were high: ‘We conceive of the exhibition as an important event, the influence of which will stretch beyond Zurich and its regions, to include the whole of Switzerland and interested circles in neighbouring countries.’17 To this end, the illustrated magazine Zürcher Illustrierte covered the lavish opening night of Picasso’s show in Paris in June, including photographs of the artists who were then still expected and expecting to join him in Zurich in the autumn, alongside their patrons: G. F. Reber; Georges Braque, shown next to wealthy American collector Chester Dale; and Léger, pictured between the wife of Carl Einstein and Maja Hoffmann-Stehlin (Figure 3.2).18 Throughout the late spring and summer of 1932, Wartmann and Montag, determined to create an event ‘such as had never been before in Europe,’ were working with dealers, mining their respective inventories to fix the scope of the exhibit and draft the necessary requests to collectors.19 Fernand Léger wondered at the authority Léonce Rosenberg thus commanded in determining the picture to be presented at the

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Figure 3.2 ‘Soirée der Kunst’, Zürcher Illustrierte, 28 June 1932, p. 870 Source: Zentralbibliothek Zürich

Kunsthaus. His dealer notably defended his role in Bourdieu-like terms, asserting his role as a ‘symbolic banker’ who ‘consecrates the [work] he has discovered’:20 You seem surprised that the Zurich museum addressed a dealer for the choice of paintings by you, Braque, and Picasso, to exhibit in its rooms. While the artist only knows his painting, dealers of class know painting . . . for museums, dealers constitute competence and experience . . . all significant values have been discovered and defended by clairvoyant and courageous dealers.21 When Rosenberg wrote, the plan was still to show 100 works by Picasso, and fifty important paintings each by Braque and Léger, with an emphasis upon their pre-war practice. ‘I would like, and Wartmann agrees,’ Sigfried Giedion explained to Zervos, ‘to show everything that happened in the early years of Cubism.’ Zervos fixed his hopes

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on preparing a special issue of Cahiers d’Art to double as the exhibition’s catalogue, overcoming Wartmann’s initial resistance with help from Friedrich and Giedion. In line with intentions for the display, Giedion foresaw ‘a preparatory history of cubism, with essays or interviews by Braque, Picasso and Léger, and other personalities . . . on the origins of cubism,’ and extracts of contemporary criticism published in response to the movement’s development.22 Preparations continued apace until the end of July. ‘According to what Braque told me, and he saw Wartmann yesterday, the exhibition will come together in the way we had hoped,’ Zervos assured Giedion. ‘It will show the start of cubism and the heroic eras of each of the three painters exhibited.’23 But instead, for reasons not wholly clear, when in Paris to supervise the transfer of loans, Wartmann abandoned all plans for a group show to focus on Picasso alone, securing the lion’s share of the display at the Galerie Georges Petit for Zurich and completely transforming Giedion and Friedrich’s original concept. Once meant to show the (more or less collective) origins of Cubism, when the retrospective finally opened in September, it presented instead, as has been well documented, a survey of Picasso’s singular and prolific career.24 Braque and Léger, who had set aside selections of their work, were, as Wartmann admitted, ‘at first very displeased,’ but he reassured the Kunstgesellschaft that ‘it was subsequently possible to pacify them and win them over for later special exhibitions.’25 Braque’s works were to appear in the Kunsthaus in November, directly after Picasso’s, and Léger’s were scheduled to follow at the beginning of 1933. Wartmann, however, underestimated Braque’s displeasure. The artist had already agreed, at the suggestion of Emmanuel Hoffman, to move his show to the Kunsthalle, a coup intended partly to assuage the professional disappointment of its curator, Wilhelm Barth, who had viewed Zurich’s project for the group show and Picasso’s subsequent retrospective with a jealous eye.26 Hoffman met an untimely death in a car accident in October 1932, but his widow, Maja Hoffman-Stehlin, forged ahead with plans alongside Barth and Carl Einstein, ‘to whom Braque delegated more or less the entire composition of the exhibition.’27 It was Einstein who selected the works, contacted potential lenders, arranged for the transport and insurance of loans when necessary, and, as Zervos bitterly complained to Giedion, it was Einstein who prepared the catalogue. Using every resource to present the work of his friend comprehensively, Einstein proved so ‘relentless in rounding up Braque paintings from their Swiss owners’ that the collector Josef Müller resolved to ‘send nothing whatsoever from [his] own collection’ to Basel, ‘not even small or insignificant works,’ although he had sent several works by Picasso to Zurich and would go on to lend others by Léger and Gris.28 It was only a small setback, however, and Einstein proudly wrote to Hoffmann-Stehlin shortly before the exhibition opened on April 9: ‘Now that the catalogue is finalised, I see to my delighted surprise we will exhibit [183] of Braque’s works. As we left aside American collections, this is effectively the maximum. Braque and I are convinced that such an exhibition is unlikely ever to be repeated.’29 Einstein had assembled an encyclopaedic selection of Braque’s work, representing every facet of his development, from early Fauvist landscapes and the apex of analytical Cubism in Man with a Guitar, 1912, through to paintings completed shortly before the exhibition opened. No records of the hanging that Braque and Einstein together devised appear to have survived, although Uwe Fleckner notes that a letter Einstein wrote requesting photographs of specific walls suggests a thematic display.30 In the catalogue, by comparison, Einstein organised works by date, but he subverted the logic

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of this chronological record, and the visual genesis the reproductions illustrated, in his essay, which, far from merely (or even) introducing readers to the different stages of Braque’s career, interpreted his oeuvre from a highly conceptual and subjective perspective. Reprising the same critical threads he had spun in earlier readings of Braque’s work, the author dwelt loftily upon the painter’s mastery of technique, his relationship to the French tradition and the paradox of his ‘non-classicistic yet classical approach to Cubism.’31 In Die Kunst des 20. Jahrhunderts and texts published in Documents, Braque’s desire for technical perfection and a pure pictorial form that veiled all emotion had stood in unspoken opposition to the sheer volatility of Picasso;32 now Einstein explicitly addressed the terms of difference between the two artists. Unwittingly or otherwise, he exploited the substance of criticism directed at Picasso in the course of his show in Zurich – the mercurial changes of style, the violence of his forms, their confusion on the canvas – to distinguish the work of his one-time collaborator. ‘[Braque] differs from Picasso,’ Einstein wrote, ‘in that he does not conjure up solutions in sudden leaps, but slowly and patiently broadens and raises his aims. Refining his craftsmanship and densifying the formal fabric in one . . . removed from any and all violence. Braque obtains order in pure abundance.’33 Critical accounts of the show adopted a similar narrative, suggesting that if the artist dispensed with the appearance of reality, it was due to continuous refinement, his ‘distilled, optical taste,’ ‘[and] the result of long traditions’. ‘Braque never dances like the imp Picasso, laughing at everything,’ explained Titus Burckhardt in Das Werk. ‘Rebellion is alien to him. He is a direct descendant of the restrained, typically French culture of colour.’34 Determined still to profit from the painter’s exhibition in Basel, Christian Zervos compiled a double number of Cahiers d’Art devoted to an anthology of Braque’s work and early criticism of his painting (Figure 3.3). While Zervos foreswore any reproach of Picasso, his conception of ‘the great role Braque played in the Cubist movement’ echoed the terms of Einstein’s reading. ‘While Picasso led art to its total liberation, Braque drove it to find la grande tradition.’35 Despite misgivings about Einstein’s fanciful prose, Zervos published a German text by the writer entitled ‘Braque the poet,’ which drew in part on two complex lectures Einstein also gave at the Kunsthalle presenting the artist’s most recent work. ‘Braque’s latest pictures are tinged with the invisible and occult and entirely new objects are cast into reality,’ Einstein here wrote. ‘Real, given things are now subversively countered, for it is no longer a matter of lazy preservation, rather the metamorphosis of existence.’36 Whether or not Einstein’s esotericism played well to the erudite tastes of Zervos’ readership, Wilhelm Barth rightly worried that the author was making few allowances for the Basel public.37 Burckhardt noted wryly that once Einstein’s listeners recovered from his rarefied prognosticating they ventured without confidence to glance hesitantly at Braque’s paintings.38 Hermann Kienzle, director of Basel’s Gewerbemuseum, more explicitly disparaged the critic’s disservice to his own cause. ‘Precisely due to the lecture, friends of Braque’s art have seen fit to distance themselves energetically from Einstein. Even in what [he] wrote about Braque, his speculative and contradictory pensiveness serves not to clarify but only to confuse. We prefer to focus on Braque’s work itself.’39 Braque’s defection to Basel disappointed Fernand Léger, because, as he explained to Wartmann in Zurich, he was expecting to be part of two successive shows. I want to envisage a scheme including another artist. Nothing less will do, and I am suggesting the name of Juan Gris to you . . . His oeuvre evolved parallel to

Figure 3.3 Cover, Cahiers d’Art, no. 1–2, 1933. Issue devoted to Georges Braque on the occasion of his retrospective exhibition at the Kunsthalle in Basel, 9 April–14 May 1933 Source: Paris: courtesy of Éditions Cahiers d’Art

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Kate Kangaslahti mine, we led the same struggles and there is the chance then to pay tribute to a great name now gone. I have spoken to [Carl] Montag and Karl Einstein, and they are of the same opinion.40

The memorial to Juan Gris opened on 2 April, presenting 147 paintings and works on paper, stretching over a fifteen-year period, from the artist’s 1911 cubist portrait of the French critic Maurice Raynal to the final still-lifes from 1925 and 1926, when, as Wartmann wrote in the catalogue, ‘already struck by the illness that was to cut his life short,’ Gris filled his work with ‘a muted intensity that touched upon tragic grandeur.’41 In the same pages, Zervos more explicitly situated the painter’s contribution: Juan Gris played ‘the role of a brilliant second’ to ‘the two great masters of Cubism’; his painting, however, ‘[did] not lack distinction, and despite the incontestable influence of Picasso and Braque, it [had] its own physiognomy,’ recognised by its lucidity, austerity and ‘muted intensity.’42 Gris himself had notably contributed to this image of his work in a lecture given at the Sorbonne in May 1924 entitled ‘The possibilities of painting,’ reproduced in the exhibition catalogue, in which he explained his ‘painter’s mathematics’ according to the importance of structural clarity: ‘the only possible pictorial technique is a sort of flat and coloured architecture.’43 The artist was now applauded for the clear and calm rather than unstable way he built his images and the dramatic complexity he achieved by simple means, although, as at least one critic acknowledged, ‘an early death spared the quiet and persistently creative painter the trouble of seeking new avenues in his work, while Picasso, in always staying current and forging new paths, attracts strong criticism for his audacity.’44 Viewed through the lens of his premature demise, Gris’ painting assumed a gravitas that was often denied to his compatriot, a perspective that has continued to influence the artist’s historiography.45 When Fernand Léger’s retrospective opened on 30 April, four days after Gris’ show closed, the exhibition again began with some of the artist’s earliest compositions, such as Les Fumeurs of 1911–1912, but of 150 works on show only fifteen paintings dated from before 1918. By privileging the artist’s post-war production, the display took on a uniform appearance, according to the Neuer Zürcher Zeitung. ‘Had the individual periods been represented by fewer images, the whole would have probably been more concentrated, more impressive.’ The newspaper nevertheless praised the artist’s personal touch and his sense of colour and rhythmic structure. ‘Léger’s art has something very life-affirming about it, something cheerful, buoyant, particularly in its colour and complexion. The paintings are of a beautiful clarity and simplicity.’46 For visitors of means who agreed with this assessment, fully half of the works were for sale, and a separate price list was distributed specifying that the Zürcher Kunstgesellschaft was acting as an agent. In comparison, only twenty-one of Gris’ paintings were listed as ‘verkäuflich’, although the year before some 102 of 230 works at Picasso’s retrospective had been available, and Wartmann had acquired the artist’s 1915 Guitar on a Pedestal for the Kunsthaus. Conversely, the Kunsthalle in Basel had not advertised any of Georges Braque’s pieces to buyers due to the ever-scrupulous Einstein, who declined even to identify the individual lenders of works so as ‘to avoid petty jealousies and other human foibles.’47 Léger’s sale proved no more successful than Picasso’s, but Wartmann added L’Escalier to the museum’s holdings, while Emil and Clara Friedrich bought a Still-Life from 1927 and Hermann Rupf took home a white-chalk drawing from 1932.48 Even these few acquisitions testify to the way the exhibitions

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left traces not only in contemporary art criticism and future historical discourse but ‘in the active interests of collectors . . . and arts bureaucrats.’49 Christian Zervos compiled Gris and Léger’s joint catalogue, inserting Wartmann’s introductory text and a full list of works from both shows within a much larger ‘lavishly illustrated volume’ that proved a ‘stimulating companion to the exhibitions.’50 He incorporated a wide range of contributions in French, English and German, including criticism from the early days of Cubism – the ‘preparatory history’ Giedion had envisaged – as well as contemporary pieces written expressly for the occasion.51 Once again he published an article in German written by Einstein, a variation on a text that had appeared in French in Documents in 1930 as ‘Léger: œuvres récentes.’52 Einstein tacitly distinguished Léger’s ‘tectonic painting’ from both the ‘hallucinatory’ images of Picasso and the refined intelligence of Braque: Léger used Cubism above all to strengthen the power of his objects, to increase their factual density . . . A man of distinct optimism, undialectical . . . He shortens the mental processes and illuminates his images with sparkling objectivity. An architect . . . a man of the collective . . . His influence on the milieu of the modern masses is considerable.53 In introducing the anthology Zervos pursued the same points of difference but went further to pose the question: ‘Is Léger a Cubist?’ (Figure 3.4). He argued the artist’s early career developed parallel to rather than in concert with those of Picasso, Braque and Gris, and if at times their efforts had coincided, now they diverged.54 During his retrospective at the Kunsthaus, Léger screened his influential 1924 experimental film Ballet méchanique and outlined his vision for the future of modern painting in a lecture entitled ‘The Wall, the Architect and the Painter.’55 The Neuer Zürcher Zeitung subsequently remarked the artist’s decorative talents and ‘significant gift for applied art’ in fields as varied as theatre and ballet production, costume design and film. ‘One should give him walls to paint, stained-glass windows, mosaics, tapestries, etc., to make.’56 From this perspective, the show demonstrated the wider scope of Léger’s recent work, ‘bringing out,’ as Zervos had predicted, ‘the differences which separate[d] the artist from the cubists per se’ while solidifying his international standing.57 In his reflections ‘On Art Exhibitions,’ Georg Simmel wrote in 1896 that: the challenges of modern culture are being addressed less by powerful singular personalities than by the cooperation of the many, with collective projects in place of original individual ones stamping the creative character of our time . . . collaboratively . . . generating unique, stylistically distinct modes of representation.58 By way of conclusion I cite Simmel’s observations in order to frame the dichotomy underpinning the retrospectives in Zurich and Basel, which, as Wartmann wrote in his introductory text to the Gris and Léger catalogue, began life as a three-way group show.59 On the one hand, the unusual choice to stage four monographic surveys served to focus the public’s attention on what Simmel had suggested was oft lamented as ‘lacking’: ‘[the] great solitary deeds of the individual.’ Presented in majestic isolation, Picasso, Braque, Gris and Léger were crowned as ‘sharply developed sovereign personalities able to shape the world from their innermost powers.’60 On the other hand, there was an undeniable order to events, a sequence that Wartmann implied

Figure 3.4 The first page of Christian Zervos’ text, ‘Léger, est-il cubiste?’ in Cahiers d’art, no. 3–4, 1933 (unpaginated); the same article appeared in the joint catalogue Juan Gris, du 2 au 26 avril; Fernand Léger, du 30 avril au 25 mai: Kunsthaus Zurich Source: Paris: courtesy of Éditions Cahiers d’Art

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was the result not of accident but of design. By showing the artists individually yet in quick succession or, in the case of Braque and Gris, simultaneously, it was natural to evaluate the one against the other and to consider what Simmel had once supposed might be hard to establish: ‘what they contribute to the formation of particular traits and what they add to, as distinct from take from, a group to which they belong.’61 Seen collectively, as Das Werk confirmed, the exhibitions ‘systematically presented’ all that fell – or was understood to fall – under the rubric of Cubism, ensuring that ‘the apparent uniqueness of Picasso was counterbalanced’ by Braque, Gris and Léger.62 The shows, in other words, served to ordain the very proposition Christian Zervos had questioned – that ‘the Cubist school generally comprises Picasso, Braque, Gris and Léger’ – and to confirm the classic configuration of the ‘school.’63 Cubism, created by Picasso and Braque (in that order), was rounded out by the individual, original contributions of Gris and Léger; together the artists comprised what, after the Second World War, Douglas Cooper conceptualised as the four ‘true’ or ‘essential’ Cubists.64 The mercurial genius of Picasso, the classical French discipline of Braque, the austere grandeur of Gris, the popular, forceful ebullience of Léger: these individual yet relative characterisations, first sketched by sympathetic critics like Zervos and Einstein in the mid-1920s and instated on the walls of the Kunsthaus and Kunsthalle in 1933, continue to have historical purchase today.

Notes 1 E[duard]. Br[riner], ‘Zürcher Kunstchronik: Juan Gris im Kunsthaus’, Das Werk, 20, no. 5 (1933), 33–34. ‘Wer in der Lage ist, regelmässig zwischen Bern, Basel und Zürich hin und her zu reisen, der konnte in den letzen Jahren Ueberblick über europäische Gegenwartskunst erhalten, wie er sonst nirgends denkbar ist. Nun wird auch die seit einem Vierteljahrhundert konsequent entwickelte Richtung der französischen Malerei, die weder mit dem raschen Schlagwort ‘Kubismus’, noch mit dem Modewort ‘Ungegenständliche Kunst’ völlig zu umschreiben ist, mit erstaunlicher Systematik vorgeführt.’ 2 Christian Zervos to Sigfried Giedion, undated, circa January 1933. Sigfried Giedion papers, Institut für Geschichte und Theorie der Architektur archive, ETH, Zurich (hereafter cited as GTA archive), 43-K-1933:1/3. ‘M. Wartmann doit . . . voir Mme Hoffman à Bale et lui proposer au lieu de faire un catalogue LÉGER-GRIS de me faire faire un catalogue BRAQUELÉGER-GRIS avec le titre général les GRANDES EXPOSITIONS CONTEMPORAINES EN SUISSE. . . . Mme Hoffman s’est montrée très intéressée du rapprochement des deux Musées et aurait voulu faire ce catalogue commun mais l’éternel Einstein est arrivé à lui faire faire un catalogue pour étaler sa prose. C’est lui qui fait la présentation de Braque au public suisse!!! Mais, si M. Friedrich et vous vous en parliez à Mme Hoffmann, qui a l’air très bien disposée envers la revue et si M. Wartman y allait vendredi prochain, vous pourriez la convaincre de faire en plus de son catalogue celui de l’ensemble qui sera un vrai monument et je crois un honneur pour vous tous.’ 3 Bruce Ferguson, ‘Exhibition Rhetorics’, in Thinking About Exhibitions, ed. by Reesa Greenberg, Bruce Ferguson, and Sandy Nairne (London and New York: Routledge, 1996), pp. 175–190 (p. 176). 4 Ibid., p. 181. 5 For a full listing of the articles on Picasso, Braque, Gris, and Léger that appeared in Cahiers d’Art see Dora Vallier, ed., Index général de la revue Cahiers d’Art (Paris: Éditions Cahiers d’Art, 1981). 6 Carl Einstein, ‘Notes sur le cubisme’, Documents, 1 (1929), 146–155 (p. 147). 7 Christopher Green, Cubism and Its Enemies: Modern Movements and Reaction in French Art, 1916–1928 (New Haven and London: Yale University Press, 1987), p. 106 8 See Malcolm Gee, ‘Die Sammlung Rupf in ihrer Zeit’, in Rupf Collection, ed. by Susanne Friedli (Berne: Benteli, 2005), pp. 149-156.

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9 See Ein Haus für den Kubismus: Die Sammlung Raoul La Roche, exhib. cat., Basel Kunstmuseum, ed. by Katharina Schmidt and Hartwig Fischer (Ostfildern-Ruit: Hatje Cantz Verlag, 1998). 10 See Dorothy Kosinski, ‘G. F. Reber: Collector of Cubism’, The Burlington Magazine, 133 (1991), 519–531; and Peter Kropmanns and Uwe Fleckner, ‘Von kontinentaler Bedeutung: Gottlieb Friedrich Reber und Seine Sammlungen’, in Die Moderne und ihre Sammler: Französische Kunst in deutschem Privatbesitz vom Kaiserreich zur Weimerer Republik, ed. by Andrea Pophanken and Felix Billeter (Berlin: Akademie Verlag, 2001), pp. 347–408. 11 See the chapter titled ‘Ein Weltbild wird gesammelt: Carl Einstein berät Gottlieb Friedrich Reber’, in Uwe Fleckner, Carl Einstein und sein Jahrhundert: Fragment einer intellektuellen Biographie (Berlin: Akademie Verlag, 2007), pp. 309–330. 12 Brigit Blass and Rudolf Koella, Eine Pioniersammlung moderner Kunst. Das Legat Clara und Emil Friedrich-Jezler im Kunstmuseum Winterhur (Zürich: Bankgeschäft Rüd, Blass & Cie, 1985). 13 Emil Friedrich to Carl Montag, 23 November 1931. Schweizerisches Institut für Kunstwissenschaft, Zurich (hereafter SIKDOK), NM, IV: Dossier 12. Friedrich asked ‘ob es nicht möglich wäre, in der Schweiz, vorab in Zürich und Basel, eine große Ausstellung von Werken von Picasso, Braque und Léger zu veranstalten. Ich persönlich glaube, dass hier in den letzen Jahren hinsichtlich der Einstellung zur modernen Kunst große Fortschritte gemacht worden sind und dass der künstlerische Erfolg von vornherein als restlos gesichert betrachtet werden darf.’ 14 See Eva-Maria Preiswerk-Lösel, Carl Montag: Maler und Kunstvermittler (1880–1956) (Baden: Stiftung Langmatt, 1992). 15 Christian Geelhaar has carefully reconstructed evolving plans for Picasso’s first museum retrospective, through correspondence and other available material in the archive of the Zürcher Kunstgesellschaft in Picasso. Wegbereiter und Förderer seines Aufstiegs 1899– 1939 (Zurich: Palladion, 1993), especially pp. 179–202. 16 Christian Zervos, Pablo Picasso, Vol. 1, Oeuvres de 1895 à 1906 (Paris: Éditions Cahiers d’Art, 1932). For a general account of the Parisian exhibition, see Simonetta Fraquelli, ‘Picassos Retrospektive in den Galeries Georges Petit, Paris 1932: Eine Antwort auf Matisse’, in Picasso: Die erste Museumsausstellung 1932, exhib. cat., Kunsthaus Zürich, ed. by Tobia Bezzola (Munich and Berlin: Prestel Verlag, 2010), pp. 77–91; and Michael Fitzgerald, Making Modernism: Picasso and the Creation of the Market for Twentieth-Century Art (Berkeley and Los Angeles: University of California Press, 1996), especially pp. 190–215. 17 Adolf Jöhr and Wilhelm Wartmann to Carl Montag, 20 February 1932. SIKDOK, NM, IV: Dossier 12. ‘Wir denken uns die Ausstellung als einer jener Veranstaltungen, die in ihrer Bedeutung und Auswirkung über Zürich und seine Umgebung hinaus für die ganze Schweiz und die interessierten Kreise der Nachbarländer Geltung erlangt haben . . .’ 18 Gotthard Schuh, ‘Soirée der Kunst’, Zürcher Illustrierte, 28 June 1932, p. 870. 19 Meeting of the exhibition commission, 4 March 1932. Archive of the Zürcher Kunstgesellschaft, minutes of the exhibition commission VII, 11 April 1929 to 9 August 1932. ‘wie sie in Europa noch nicht da war.’ 20 Pierre Bourdieu, The Field of Cultural Production (Oxford: Polity Press, 1993), pp. 76–77. 21 Léonce Rosenberg to Fernand Léger, 10 June 1932. Private Archive. Reproduced in Une correspondance d’affaires: Fernand Léger-Léonce Rosenberg, 1917–1937, ed. by Christian Derouet (Paris: Centre Georges Pompidou, 1997), pp. 249–250. ‘Vous paraissez étonné que le musée de Zurich se soit adressé à un marchand pour le choix des tableaux de vous, Braque et Picasso à exposer dans ses salles. Alors que l’artiste ne connait que sa peinture, les marchands de ‘classe’ connaissent la peinture . . . les marchands constituent pour les musées la compétence et l’expérience . . . toutes les valeurs représentatives ont été découvertes et défendues par des marchands clairvoyants et courageux.’ 22 Sigfried Giedion to Christian Zervos, 26 July 1932. GTA archive, 43-K-1932-07-26(G):3 (original emphasis). ‘Je voudrais et Mr. Wartmann est d’accord, qu’on montre tout ce qui est arrivé dans les premières années du cubisme . . . Je voudrais bien que nous réalisions dans le numéro spécial l’idée d’une histoire préparatoire du cubism avec des essais ou des interviews de Braque, Picasso et Léger, mais aussi d’autres personnalités . . . sur l’origine du cubisme.’

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23 Christian Zervos to Sigfried Giedion, 29 July 1932. GTA archive, 43-K-1932–07–29. ‘D’après ce que vient de me dire Braque, qui a vu hier M. Wartmann l’exposition sera faite dans le sens que nous désirions, elle montrera les débuts du cubisme et l’époque héroïque de chacun des trois peintres exposants.’ 24 Tobia Bezzola extensively researched the original exhibition in order to re-stage the show in part at the Kunsthaus in 2010. Original photographs of the 1932 display are reproduced in the catalogue, Bezzola, Die erste Museumsausstellung, pp. 21–25. See also Geelhaar, Wegbereiter und Förderer, pp. 194–200. For more on the local reception of Picasso’s retrospective, see too Marcus Cassutt, ‘Picasso, Zurich, 1932’, Du: die Zeitschrift der Kultur, 58 (September 1998), 76–80. 25 Meeting of the exhibition commission, 16 November 1932. Archive of the Zürcher Kunstgesellschaft, minutes of the exhibition commission VIII, 15 November to 22 November 1932. ‘[Sie waren] zuerst sehr unangenehm berührt, konnten aber in der Folge beruhigt und für spärtere Sonderausstellungen gewonnen werden.’ 26 While Friedrich’s first thoughts had been to show works in both cities, Barth provoked a certain amount of ill will in Zurich by broaching Carl Montag directly to bring the show or an equivalent to Basel. Wartmann further resented his counterpart’s reluctance to share any of the expense. Geelhaar, Wegbereiter und Förderer, pp. 182–186. 27 Maja Hoffmann-Stehlin to Wilhelm Barth, 16 December 1932. Archive of the Basler Kunstverein. ‘Auf meinen Brief an Braque erhalte ich soeben folgende Antwort von Eistein, dem, wie es mir scheint, Braque so ziemlich ganz das Zusammenstellen der Ausstellung übertragen hat.’ Lutz Windhöfel has looked at the Braque exhibition as an answer to Zurich’s Picasso retrospective, in ‘Braque und Picasso: erste Schritte ihrer Rezeption in der Schweiz’, Basler Magazin, politisch-kulturelle Weekend-Beilage der Basler Zeitung, 10 February 1990, pp. 6–7. I am grateful to him for having kindly shared with me his documentation of the event. 28 Josef Müller to Wilhelm Barth, 22 March 1933. Archive of the Basler Kunstverein. ‘Herr Einstein war unerbittlich beim Zusammentrommeln von Braque-Bildern aus Schweizer Besitz, und so muss ich Sie bitten, schonend ein Auge zuzudrücken, wenn ‘Rubis und Stübis’ aus meiner Sammlung bei ihnen aufrückt, auch sehr kleine und unscheinbare Bilder. Es is nicht meine Schuld.’ 29 Carl Einstein to Maja Hoffmann-Stehlin, 25 March 1933. Archive of the Basler Kunstverein. ‘Beim endgültigen Abschluss des Kataloges stelle ich freudig überrascht fest, dass wir [183] Bilder von Braque zeigen werden. Da wir die amerikanischen Sammlungen beiseite liessen, ist dies tatsächlich ein Maximum. Braque und ich sind überzeugt, dass eine solche Ausstellung kaum noch einmal zu machen ist.’ 30 Carl Einstein to Carl Egger, undated, Archive of the Basler Kunstverein. See Uwe Fleckner, ‘The Joy of Hallucination: On Carl Einstein and the Art of Georges Braque’, in Georges Braque and the Cubist Still-Life, 1928–1945, ed. by Karen K. Butler (Munich and New York: Prestel, 2010), pp. 52–73 (p. 68). 31 Carl Einstein, Georges Braque (Basel: Basel Kunsthalle, 1933), p. 5. ‘Er verstand in unklassizistischer, doch klassischer Haltung den Kubismus.’ 32 Carl Einstein, ‘Tableaux récents de Georges Braque’, Documents, 1 (1929), 289–296 (p. 296). 33 Einstein, Georges Braque, p. 5. ‘[Braque] scheidet sich von Picasso dadurch, daß er nicht im Sprung Lösungen erzaubert, sondern in langsamer Geduld sein Ziel weitet und steigert. Verfeinerung des Handwerks und dichtere Fülle des Formgewebes verwirklichen sich ihm in einem . . . man ist aller Gewaltsamkeit fern. Braque gewinnt Ordnung in reiner Füller.’ 34 Titus Burckhardt, ‘Ausstellung Georges Braque in Basel’, Das Werk, 20, no. 5 (1933), 30. ‘Nie tanzt Braque wie der Kobold Picasso lachend über alles hinweg. Rebellion ist ihm fremd. Er ist ein direkter Nachkomme der massvollen, typisch französischen Farbenkultur . . . Diese Kunst . . . ist kein Anfang, eher ein Resultat langer Traditionen, – destillierter, optischer Geschmack.’ 35 Christian Zervos, ‘Georges Braque’, Cahiers d’Art, 8 (1933), 1–2, 1–7 (p. 7) ‘D’où le grand rôle joué par Braque dans le mouvement cubiste. Pendant que Picasso conduisait l’art à sa libération totale, Braque lui faisait retrouver la grande tradition.’ 36 Carl Einstein, ‘Braque der dichter’, Cahiers d’Art, 8 (1933), 1–2, 80–82 (p. 80). ‘Die spaeten Bilder Braque faerben aus dem noch Unsichtbaren und Okkulten auf und gaenzlich

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37 38 39

40

41

42

43 44

45 46 47 48 49 50 51

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Kate Kangaslahti neue Objekte werden dem Wirklichen eingestossen. Nun stehen gegeben Realen subversiv entgegen, denn es geht nicht mehr um träges Bewahren, sondern um Metamorphose des Daseins.’ Wilhelm Barth to Maja Hoffman-Stehlin, 20 December 1932, Archive of the Basler Kunstverein. Burckhardt, ‘Ausstellung Georges Braque in Basel’. Hermann Kienzle, ‘Ausstellung Georges Braque in der Kunsthalle’, Basler Nachrichten, 4 May 1933, p. 4. ‘Freunde von Braques Kunst haben sich gerade durch den Vortrag veranlasst gesehen, sich von Einstein energisch zu distanzieren. Auch das, was Einstein über Braque geschrieben hat, wirkt mit seinem spekulativen und widerspruchsvollen Tiefsinn nicht klärend, sondern verwirrend. Wir halten uns lieber an Braques Werke.’ Fernand Léger to Wilhelm Wartmann, letter dated 19 January 1933. Archives of Zürcher Kunstgesellschaft. ‘Je veux bien envisager un dispositif comprenant un autre artiste. Pas plus et je me permettrai de vous suggérer le nom de Juan Gris . . . Son œuvre s’est développée parallèlement à la mienne, nous avons mené les mêmes luttes et il y a une occasion ‘d’hommage’ envers un grand nom disparu. Messieurs Montag et Karl Einstein à qui j’ai causé de ce projet sont de mon avis.’ See Wartmann’s preface to the joint Gris and Léger catalogue, Juan Gris, du 2 au 26 avril; Fernand Léger, du 30 avril au 25 mai: Kunsthaus Zurich (Paris: Éditions Cahiers d’Art, 1933), pp. 1–3 (p. 2). ‘Und vom Beginn des letzen Jahrfünftes an, um 1920, da ihn die Krankheit bereits streifte, füllt er sein Werk noch dichter und ausschließlicher in einer gedämpften Heftigkeit, die an tragische Größe rührt.’ Christian Zervos, ‘Juan Gris’, Cahiers d’art, 8 (1933), 5–6, np [pp. 177–179]. ‘Aux côtes des deux grands maîtres du cubisme . . . Jean Gris joue le rôle du brilliant second . . . Toutefois la peinture de Juan Gris ne manque pas de distinction et, malgré l’influence incontestable de Picasso et de Braque, elle a sa physionomie personnelle.’ Juan Gris, ‘Une confèrence de Juan Gris [1924]’, Cahiers d’art, 8 (1933), 5–6, np [p. 194]. ‘Je dirai même que la seule technique picturale possible est une sorte d’architecture plate et colorée.’ Br[riner]., ‘Zürcher Kunstchronik’, p. 34. ‘Der frühe Tod hat dem still und beharrlich schaffenden Maler die Mühe erspart, weiterhin neue Wege zu suchen, während bei Picasso gerade die Verwegenheit, immer aktuell zu bleiben und neue Pfade zu schlagen, heftige Kritik erfahren hat.’ See Christopher Green, ‘The Making of Juan Gris’, in Juan Gris, ed. by Christopher Green and Christian Derouet (New Haven and London: Yale University Press, 1993), pp. 13–26. H. Gr., ‘Fernand Léger im Kunsthaus’, Neue Zürcher Zeitung, 14 May 1933, p. 6. Carl Einstein to Maja Hoffmann-Stehlin, 18 March 1933. Cited in Fleckner, ‘The Joy of Hallucination’, p. 67. Blass and Koella, Eine Pioniersammlung moderner Kunst, p. 58. Ferguson, ‘Exhibition Rhetorics’, pp. 179–180. Burckhardt, ‘Ausstellung Georges Braque in Basel’. He recycled the same texts and reproductions to produce two special issues of Cahiers d’Art but reversed the order of events and the number devoted to Léger appeared first. Cahiers d’art, 8 (1933), no. 3–4 was devoted to Léger; Cahiers d’art, 8 (1933), no. 5–6 included the texts on Gris. Carl Einstein, ‘Léger: œuvres récentes’, Documents, 2 (1930), 191–195. Carl Einstein, Cahiers d’art, 8 (1933), no. 3–4, np (p. 145). ‘Léger nutzte den Kubismus vor allem, um die Kraft der Objects zu verstaerken, ihre sachliche Dichtheit zu steigern . . . ein Mann von eindeutigem Optimismus erfuellt, undialektisch . . . Er verkuerzt die seelischen Prozesse und erhellt seine Bilder zu funkelnder Deutlichkeit. Ein Architekt . . . ein Mann fuer das Kollektive . . . Sein Einfluss auf das Milieu der modernen Masse ist erheblich.’ Christian Zervos, ‘Léger, est-il cubiste?’, Cahiers d’art, 8 (1933), no. 3–4, n.p. (p. 85). It was announced in the Neue Zürcher Zeitung on 3 May 1933 that ‘at the Kunsthaus the French painter Fernand Léger will discuss the relationship between architecture and painting.’ At the invitation of Sigfried Giedion and Le Corbusier, Léger expanded this speech as ‘Discourse to Architects’ at the fourth International Congress of Modern Architecture (CIAM) in Athens in August, published the same year as Fernand Léger, ‘Discours aux

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63 64

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architectes’, Technika chronika – Les annales techniques, 44–46 (1933), pp. 1160–1161. ‘The wall, the architect, the painter’ later appeared in Fernand Léger, Functions of Painting (New York: Viking Press, 1973), pp. 91–99. Burckhardt, ‘Ausstellung Georges Braque in Basel’. Zervos, ‘Léger, est-il cubiste?’, p. 85. ‘Il est donc particulièrement intéressant de faire ressortir ici les différences qui séparent Léger des cubistes proprement dits.’ Georg Simmel, ‘On Art Exhibitions [1890]’, Theory, Culture & Society, 32 (2015), 87–92 (pp. 91–92). Wartmann, preface to Juan Gris-Fernand Léger, p. 1. Simmel, ‘On Art Exhibitions’, p. 88. Ibid. (my emphasis). Br[iner]., ‘Zürcher Kunstchronik’, xxxiv. ‘Die scheinbare Einmaligkeit Picassos (Zürcher Ausstellung 1932) wird kontrapunktiert durch Georges Braque (Basler Ausstellung) und das in zwei grosse Ausstellungen des Zürcher Kunsthauses zerlegte Oeuvre von Juan Gris (April) und Fernand Léger (Mai).’ Zervos, ‘Léger, est-il cubiste?’, p. 85. ‘Dans l’école cubiste on comprend généralement Braque, Picasso, Gris et Léger.’ See Douglas Cooper, The Cubist Epoch (London: Phaidon Press, 1970) and Douglas Cooper and Gary Tinterow, The Essential Cubism: Braque, Picasso and Their Friends, 1907– 1920 (London: Tate Publishing, 1983).

4

Bacon at Grand Palais Echoes and influences Monika Keska

On 26 October 1971, the President of the Republic, Georges Pompidou, inaugurated the retrospective of Francis Bacon’s paintings at the prestigious Grand Palais (Figure 4.1).1 It was his third monographic exhibition in France but the first organised in a public art institution and not in a commercial gallery. Bacon was only the second living artist to exhibit at the Grand Palais since Picasso’s monumental retrospective in 1966.2 He was also the first British painter since Turner to be honoured with a monographic exhibition of this scale in the French capital. The event was shadowed by the tragic death of Bacon’s lover, George Dyer, shortly before the exhibition’s opening;

Figure 4.1 Francis Bacon with Joan Miró, André Masson and Jacques Duhamel at the opening of the Grand Palais retrospective 26 of October 1971 Source: Photograph by André Morain Dublin City Gallery, The Hugh Lane (Photo © André Morain. Source clipping © The Estate of Francis Bacon. All rights reserved/DACS 2017)

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the incident shaped Bacon’s life and painting from then on. On the other hand, the success of the exhibition confirmed Bacon’s status in France and internationally as the greatest living artist. The Grand Palais exhibition was not Bacon’s first retrospective. However it was the most extensive up to that date, with 108 paintings, among them eleven triptychs produced between 1944 and 1971. Among the most recent works there were paintings created with the Parisian exhibition in mind, including two second versions of his earlier works (Figure 4.2). Bacon had his first retrospective exhibition at ICA in London in 1955, where he presented only thirteen works, including some of the early paintings from the 1930s. In 1962, when Bacon was at the peak of his career, he was granted his first retrospective at the Tate Gallery in London. It was curated by John Rothenstein, who later co-authored Bacon’s catalogue raisonné.3 The exhibition included ninety-one works painted between 1930 and 1962, which accounted for almost half of Bacon’s surviving works by that time.4 In 1964 Bacon celebrated his first retrospective outside Europe, at Solomon Guggenheim Museum in New York, with sixty-four works. A year later he had another retrospective at Kunstverein in Hamburg, where he exhibited sixtyone paintings. These retrospectives all contributed to Bacon’s recognition as one of the most important living artists. However, none of them received the international acclaim or had the cultural repercussions of the 1971 exhibition.

Figure 4.2 Francis Bacon, Paris, Galeries nationales du Grand Palais Photograph by André Morain. Dublin City Gallery, The Hugh Lane (Photo © André Morain. Artwork and source clipping © The Estate of Francis Bacon. All rights reserved/DACS 2017)

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In March 1969 Blaise Gautier, the director and co-founder of the recently created Centre National d’Art Contemporain, now known as Centre Georges Pompidou, contacted Francis Bacon in relation to a possible exhibition in Paris. Gautier had reached him a year before regarding the acquisition of the triptych Three figures in a Room (1964) for the C.N.A.C. Bacon was delighted by the idea of having a painting in a French public collection and even volunteered to negotiate with the Marlborough Gallery to secure a better price for them.5 This time Gautier offered him a possibility to hold a retrospective of his work at Grand Palais in Paris. Later that month Bacon wrote to Michel Leiris, I was quite honoured to receive a letter from Monsieur Gautier who offered me a retrospective exhibition in 1970 at the Grand Palais or the Musée d’Art Moderne. I would prefer the Grand Palais because of the size of my paintings. In any event, I am delighted to have been granted this exhibition.6 The preparations for the show, in collaboration with Marlborough Gallery, lasted two years. It was curated by Blaise Gautier and Maurice Eschapasse from the Centre National d’Art Contemporain. According to a letter addressed to the Italian industrial magnate Gianni Agnelli, exhibited recently at Grimaldi Forum in Monaco,7 Bacon thought that the Grand Palais exhibition would be his definitive retrospective, and possibly his last (Figure 4.3).8 Because the early works of Francis Bacon had already been presented to international audiences in the previous retrospectives, the organizers decided to exclude the 1930s paintings. The focus of the Parisian retrospective was placed on Bacon’s recent works; nearly half of the pictures displayed were created five years prior to the exhibition. Many canvases were completed just months before the opening, and many of these paintings had never been exhibited before. The retrospective raised high expectations on both sides of the Channel, and previews of the exhibition were published in Le Monde, by Michael Peppiatt, and in the autumn issue of Horizon, authored by John Russell, an art critic who had recently completed a monograph on Bacon. ‘One would find it difficult to make a list of what Britain has given to the world since 1945 and not put the work of Francis Bacon somewhere near the top’, wrote John Russell, who also considered his paintings as an accurate portrayal of the history of Europe in the twentieth century.9 The article was followed by a selection of new works that where going to be exhibited for the first time, including Second Version of the Bullfight I (1969), Two Men Working in a Field (1971), modelled on one of the Raphael cartoons from Victoria & Albert Museum, and the triptych Studies of the Human Body (1970). Among the new works there were at least twenty paintings of George Dyer, Bacon’s lover and model. Those included triptychs, such as Three Studies of a Male Back (1970), reproduced on the front cover of the exhibition catalogue, and several portraits. In 1971 Bacon revised some of his most celebrated works and painted their revised versions for the exhibition. Such was the case of Study of Red Pope 1962 – Second version (1971). Bacon decided to paint a new version because the owner of the original Red Pope initially refused to loan it to the exhibition. Eventually both paintings went on display. Another revisited canvas was one of his most renowned works, Painting (1946), now in the collections of MoMa in New York. Also in this case, the original

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Figure 4.3 Francis Bacon at the opening of the retrospective at Grand Palais, 26 of October 1971 Source: Photograph by André Morain. Dublin City Gallery, The Hugh Lane (Photo © André Morain. Source clipping © The Estate of Francis Bacon. All rights reserved/DACS 2017)

Painting was shown at Grand Palais. It was one of the first works Bacon ever exhibited in France, and it was included in the Exposition International d’Art Moderne, organised by UNESCO and celebrated at Musée National d’Art Moderne in 1946. After 1946 Bacon had had several one-man shows and participated in group exhibitions in Paris. His first monographic exhibition in France took place in 1957 at Galerie Rive Droit, where he showed for the first time paintings inspired by the works

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of Vincent van Gogh. It was not only his first solo exhibition in France but also the only one celebrated outside London up to that date, with the exception of the 1953 show at Durlacher Bros in New York. Later in 1957 Bacon exhibited again in Paris at Galerie Raymond Creuse, participating in the group exhibition ‘Peinture Britanique Contemporain’. In the following years he took part in group shows in Paris, at Musée d’Arts Décoratifs in 1959, Galerie Mathias Fels and Salon du Mai in 1962. In 1966 he was granted another one-man exhibition, at Galerie Maeght in Paris. The event gained critical applause, and the gallery published a special issue of the magazine Derrière le Miroir dedicated to the painter.10 His new friend, Michel Leiris, who later authored a number of essays and catalogue entries for Bacon, wrote the introductory text. In 1966 Bacon’s popularity was confirmed by the result of the poll conducted every five years among art historians and critics by the magazine Connassaince des Arts in order to name the ten most important artists of the moment.11 In 196612 Bacon was voted fourth after Joan Miró, Jean Dubuffet, and Max Ernst. In 1971, only months before his retrospective opened in Paris, Bacon was placed on the top of the list,13 followed by Dubuffet, Alexander Calder, and Jasper Johns. It is significant that the most important retrospective of his paintings was celebrated in Paris and not in London, where he spent most of his life. Bacon always considered Paris to be the most beautiful city, and for him it continued to be the artistic capital of the world. It was there, in 1927, that he decided to become an artist after visiting an exhibition of Picasso’s drawings at Galerie Paul Rosenberg.14 Since then, Bacon had visited the French capital regularly and spent extended periods of time there. In 1974, with the help of Michael Peppiatt, Bacon acquired a small apartment at 14 Rue Birague with the intention of using it as a studio, but he eventually gave it up in the 1980s. Bacon cherished the city, the language, and the French culture. The material found in his studio and his personal library reveals his fascination with everything French: art history, cuisine, photography, film, music, and literature. After Bacon’s death the studio was transferred to the Hugh Lane Gallery in Dublin, where it was reconstructed. His book collection was catalogued in 2012 as part of the governmentfunded project Bacon’s Books: Francis Bacon’s Library and its Role in his Art, carried out by Trinity College Dublin and Hugh Lane Gallery.15 Bacon’s personal library and the contents of his workplace offer a fascinating insight into his intellectual and visual sources that included numerous albums and monographs on French artists, such as Ingres, Degas, Monet, Seurat, or Duchamp; many of these books were marked with paint, notes, and torn pages, indicating intensive use. His library contained Racine’s versioning of Greek tragedies, poetry, essays, and novels of modern classic such as Marcel Proust, André Gide, Baudelaire, and contemporary authors like Genet, Sartre, de Beauvoir, and Bataille. Bacon spoke and read French fluently, and he was interviewed in this language on numerous occasions. However, he did not express himself as freely in writing. During his numerous visits to Paris Bacon was introduced by Sonia Orwell and Isabel Rawsthorne to French writers, artists, and art dealers including Marguerite Duras and the poets Jacques Dupin and Alain Jouffroy. Without a doubt, Bacon’s closest friend in Paris and the most important intellectual influence on his work was the anthropologist, poet, and art critic Michel Leiris. Their friendship lasted till Leiris’s death in 1990. Bacon first met Leiris in 1965 in London, when the writer accompanied Alberto Giacometti to the opening of his exhibition at Tate Gallery.16 Soon after their first meeting they started exchanging letters, now preserved in the collections of

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Bibliothèque Jacques-Doucet. Bacon wrote almost exclusively in French despite his linguistic limitations. Their friendship was based on mutual inspiration and admiration. Bacon praised Leiris’ writings on his art, particularly the monographs published in the 1980s: Francis Bacon: Face and Profile (1983) and Bacon – Hors-la-loi (1989); he considered that Leiris was one of the few people who truly reflected the ideas he pursued in painting. Proof of Bacon’s esteem for Leiris, apart from the numerous portraits painted of his friend, is a very short text he produced for the magazine, L’ire des vents. Bacon rarely wrote anything other than letters or brief notes; however, he was delighted when in 1978 Yves Peyré invited him to contribute to the special issue of L´Ire des vents17 dedicated to Michel Leiris. The magazine was eventually published in 1981, and later that year Bacon wrote to Leiris, I have reread L’Ire des Vents, dedicated to you, and I find that Yves Peyré has done a very beautiful homage to you, and I know that I am very privileged because the greatest writer of our times has written texts about me.18 Leiris admired Bacon’s intellectual rectitude, contrasted by the apparent chaos of his paintings and the actual chaos of his London studio. Leiris was well aware of the uniqueness of Bacon’s art and separated it from the principal art trends of the twentieth century, while his contemporaries often linked him to surrealism, cubism, or expressionism. He described Bacon’s works as an example of realism, a term he discussed with the painter in their correspondence. For Leiris Bacon created inner realities, centred on the depiction of the human figure, without falling into the anecdotal or illustrational. Leiris regularly presented Bacon with his books and essays, which often influenced the painter’s work. One of these books was a short essay on bullfighting, Miroir de la Tauromachie (1937). Bacon was presented the book in early 1966,19 and he received a second copy in 1969.20 Leiris analysed the corrida as a metaphor of animal instincts and the obscure primordial side of the human psyche. Bacon shared his interest in bullfighting; he witnessed corridas during his visits to Spain and Southern France and collected books and images related to this subject. Although Bacon was probably interested in bullfights before he met Leiris, he did not depict them until 1967; hence the possibility that his readings of the essay triggered this imagery in Bacon’s works. It is also very plausible that this short book also influenced the motif of mirror, which appears in Bacon’s art at the same time as the references to corrida. Both motives can be related to passages from Miroir de la Tauromachie: When analyzed from the point of view of its relations to erotic activity in particular, the bullfight is likely to prove to be one of those revelatory phenomena that enlighten us about certain obscure parts of ourselves, inasmuch as they function by a kind of sympathy or resemblance, their emotional power lies in their being mirrors that hold, already objectified and as if prefigured, the very image of our emotion.21 Many of these paintings reveal a similar composition consisting of circular spaces, inspired by a bullfighting ring, and vertical mirrors that extend the realm of the painting, reflecting actions and figures located outside the canvas. The 1967 portrait of

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Isabel Rawsthorne Standing in a Street in Soho was probably the first work in which those two elements concurred. The London street is depicted as a bullfighting ring. A large, concave mirror reflects a wounded bull, and Isabel is the matador, standing alone in the centre of the arena. Two years later Bacon painted two versions of Study for a Bullfight, two very similar compositions representing two figures, human and animal, merged together in a swirling movement in the centre of the arena. In the first version of the painting the large concave mirror on the right side of the canvas reflects an audience observing the fight. The crowd holds a red pennant crowned with a parteiadler, a Nazi symbol consisting of an eagle sitting on top of a swastika. The painting, clearly influenced by Leiris’s writings, was selected to announce the exhibition at Grand Palais and was reproduced on the posters displayed along Champs-Élysees and all over the centre of the city. Considering the intellectual impact of Michel Leiris on Bacon’s work, it is not surprising that he was invited to write for the catalogue. In the introductory essay, entitled Francis Bacon aujourd’hui, Leiris discussed Bacon’s position within the tradition of British painting and the history of art comparing his vigorous and subtle figures to the works of masters admired by Bacon, such as Constable and Rembrandt. He examined the intellectual sources of Bacon’s painting and the impact of his readings of Aeschylus, James Joyce, and the poetry of T.S. Eliot.22 Many of these observations prelude the tone of numerous further writings on Bacon’s works based on the analysis of the painter’s visual and textual sources. The French intellectual elites and numerous artists, including David Hockney, who at that time had a studio in Paris, Joan Miró, and Salvador Dalí, attended the inauguration. The famously scandalous surrealist arrived at the end of the opening making loud remarks about the artworks, which did not receive much attention.23 The exhibition was welcomed with positive critical response in France and abroad, especially in the British media, where it was applauded with rather enthusiastic headlines such as Magnificent Mr Bacon24 or The Savage God.25 In the numerous interviews Bacon gave to French and international press he often insisted on the impact of French artists on his own painting, particularly Monet and Ingres. In one interview published in L’Express he discussed the works of Léger, whose exhibition opened at the same venue, nearly at the same time as Bacon’s. He found their artistic confrontation interesting as an opportunity to juxtapose two entirely different approaches to figurative painting. For Bacon Léger represented an art created for people, while in his opinion an artist should only paint for himself.26 The exhibition helped to strengthen Bacon’s links with French culture and made a significant impact on literature, film, music, and plastic arts in France. When the retrospective opened Bernardo Bertolucci was filming The Last Tango in Paris. He visited the exhibition in company of Marlon Brando and the cinematographer Vittorio Storaro and was so taken by the works displayed at Grand Palais that he decided to imitate Bacon’s distortions and the luminosity of his paintings that reminded him of the contrasts between grey winter skies and the warm light of Parisian shop windows. The opening credits were set up against two reproductions of portraits of Lucian Freud and Isabel Rawsthorne, and the film started with a close-up of Brando’s fleshy face, screaming in despair. Claude Simon, a Nobel Prize winner and one of the greatest exponents of nouvelle roman, was so moved by the 1971 retrospective that, almost immediately, he started working on a novel inspired by the paintings displayed in Grand Palais. His novel

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27

Triptyque (1973) is structured in three sections, each inspired by the works of a different artist: Dubuffet, Delvaux, and Bacon. In the final part of the novel the author alludes to at least three paintings he saw at Grand Palais: Lying Figure (1969), Three Studies for a Crucifixion (1962), and Triptych: Studies from the Human Body (1970). The impact of the exhibition kept resonating even decades later. In 1996 Pierre Charras published his novel Francis Bacon: Le ring de la douleur, fruit of the author’s visit to the Grande Palais retrospective. The events surrounding George Dyer’s death in Paris were the central subject of John Maybury’s biopic Love Is the Devil (1995) and of the ballet L’Anatomie de la Sensation, presented in 2011 at Opéra de la Bastille.28 The Grand Palais show also had an enormous impact on Bacon’s personal life. The event was shadowed by the tragic death of Bacon’s lover, George Dyer, in the Hôtel des Saint-Pères, just days before the vernissage. This incident shaped Bacon’s painting from then on; the references to his lover and his violent death were present in his work till the end of his life. A result of this tragic event was the creation of three Black triptychs: In Memory of George Dyer (1971), Triptych August 1972, and Triptych May–June 1973. Despite Bacon’s dismissal of storytelling in painting, the series is probably the closest he ever came to narration in his art. Bacon narrated Dyer’s death in the hotel bathroom, sitting on a lavatory and inclined over a sink, set against black panels. The figure of Bacon’s lover is surrounded by threatening shadows of winged creatures, representing either mourners or the Furies, inspired by his readings of Greek tragedies. During the following years after the Grand Palais retrospective, Bacon’s position in France as the greatest living artist was cemented, and he achieved almost a celebrity status. The retrospective triggered a series of successful exhibitions in France, such as Francis Bacon (1976) at Musée Cantini in Marseille, organised by Gaëtan Picon, followed by the 1977 exhibition of recent paintings at the Galerie Claude Bernard, so popular that the police had to cordon off the area.29 Only in the first twenty-four hours, the exhibition received 8,000 visitors. In 1980s Bacon had two more commercial shows in Paris, at Galerie Maeght (1984) and Galerie Lelong (1987), which also was extremely popular. The small exhibition of only fourteen paintings gained him a front-page story in Le Monde and attracted huge crowds and television crews that blocked Boulevard Haussmann with traffic. Outside France, in the 1970s, Bacon’s growing reputation gave rise to a series of solo exhibitions in Europe and the Americas, in the United States, Mexico, and Venezuela,30 followed by the retrospectives in Russia and Japan in the 1980s. One of these exhibitions, directly inspired by the Parisian retrospective, was ‘1968–74 Recent Paintings’, held at Metropolitan Museum of Art in 1975. Bacon was, again, the first contemporary British artist to have a monographic exhibition there.31 In the preface to the catalogue, the curator of the exhibition, Henry Geldzahler, explained the origins of the show: The exhibition and its catalogue are dedicated to the memory of Theodore Rousseau32 (1912–1973) whose enthusiasm for Francis Bacon’s exhibition at Grand Palais in 1971 was enormous. Theodore Rousseau’s enthusiasm and that of our director, Thomas Hoving, was communicated to many, and it initiated the plans for the Metropolitan Museum’s exhibition of recent work by the artist33 Geldzahler, in collaboration with the Marlborough Gallery, selected thirty-six recent paintings34 dating from 1968 to 1974. The curator decided to focus on a period in

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Bacon’s career when his style was fully formed and exclude the early works, as they had already been introduced to the New York audiences in 1963. The curatorial concept is reminiscent in many ways of the Grand Palais exhibition, with the focus placed on Bacon’s latest production. As in the Parisian exhibition many works were shown for the first time, and several were produced for this particular show. In this exhibition nearly all the paintings produced between 1968 and 1971 were previously shown in Grand Palais, such as both versions of Bullfight nºI (1969) and Three Studies of the Male Back (1970) or Portrait of George Dyer in a Mirror (1968). Among the new paintings there were numerous, somehow melancholic, self-portraits, representing the painter’s distorted face, often with his eyes closed or looking down, placed against dark backgrounds. As in the Grand Palais, the protagonist of many of the works was Bacon’s deceased lover. The paintings that attracted the most attention of the critics were the two Black Triptychs: August (1972) and Triptych May–June (1973), depicting Dyer’s death in Paris in a narrative way. Located on the final gallery, the triptychs offered a climactic ending to the exhibition. Following the successful shows in Paris and New York, Bacon’s growing popularity and international recognition resulted in a proliferation of monographs and scholarly publications on his work and their rapid translation to other languages. Before 1971, apart from the exhibition catalogues and the Catalogue raisonné, there were only two short monographs authored by John Rothenstein35 and John Russell.36 When the Grand Palais retrospective opened, Russell’s second book on Bacon was still in print.37 In 1975 the first edition of David Sylvester’s interviews with Bacon saw light, almost immediately translated to French by Michel Leiris and Michael Peppiatt, and later to many other languages. That same year Lorenza Trucchi published her monograph Francis Bacon in Italian, which was quickly translated to English. In the second half of the 1970s appear the first doctoral theses dedicated to Bacon’s art. At that moment scholarly publications on his work were very scarce; therefore they had to rely principally on interviews and primary sources. The first thesis was David Boxer’s dissertation entitled The Early Works of Francis Bacon, presented at John Hopkins University in Baltimore in 1975. Boxer, an artist and now a retired director of the National Gallery of Jamaica in Kingston, interviewed Bacon in London on several occasions. He was invited to his studio at 7 Reece Mews in South Kensington and even presented with some of the source material that littered its floors. More significantly, Bacon allowed him to keep one of the discarded canvases in order to use it for an art project. Boxer employed the slashed canvas to create a collage entitled Homage to Bacon and Eisenstein. Bacon even honoured him with a private tour of the 1975 exhibition in New York.38 A year later Hugh Davies, now the director of Museum of Contemporary Art in San Diego, presented his thesis at Princeton University. His supervisor Sam Hunter had written on Bacon back in the 1950s and visited the painter’s studio, where he took photographs of Bacon’s source material. He instructed Davies to conduct first-hand interviews with the painter in London. Just like Boxer, Davies was granted access to the studio and conducted six formal interviews with the painter.39 His thesis was later published by Garland Press in 1978.40 During Bacon’s lifetime, two of the most influential studies on his works were produced in France. In 1981 the French philosopher Giles Deleuze published Francis Bacon: La Logique de la Sensation, in which he discussed Bacon’s paintings as representing sensations, not figures or narratives. Between 1974 and 1989 Michel Leiris

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41

authored several essays on his works, the most important being Francis Bacon: Full Face and Profile. He analysed Bacon’s work in connection with his textual references and his literary sources, from Aeschylus and Shakespeare to Nietzsche. Leiris equated Bacon’s non-narrative depiction of the human form to Beckett, a writer deeply admired by the painter, and he could not have received a higher praise. Like Samuel Beckett whose apparently non-mysterious sentences are reminiscent of the discreet emanations from a smouldering peat fire, Francis Bacon – without rhetorical inflation or mythological paraphrase and in ways capable of providing total enjoyment through the accuracy and vigour of the formulation, whereas by rights we should be overcome by the harsh truthfulness of what is being thus tacitly suggested – expresses the human condition as it truly and peculiarly is today. In the 1980s Bacon exhibited all around the world. In 1983 he was offered his first exhibition in Asia, Francis Bacon: Paintings 1945–1982,42 curated by Kenji Adachi at National Museum of Modern Art in Tokyo, as on previous occasions, in collaboration with Bacon’s gallery, the Marlborough.43 In the preface to the catalogue Adachi expressed hope that the exhibition would not only contribute to the understanding of Bacon’s art but would also influence contemporary Japanese artists. In 1988 Bacon had another important retrospective, this time in Moscow. He was again the first living artist to exhibit at Tretyakov and the first British artist to exhibit in the Soviet Union since the 1975 monographic show on William Turner. The exhibition was set up with the help of Marlborough Gallery, British Council, and James Birch, a gallery owner from London, who also promoted Gilbert and George in Russia and China. Bacon’s handwritten letters to the Japanese and Russian audiences were published in the prefaces of the respective catalogues, but the painter did not travel to the openings of these exhibitions. He had two more retrospective exhibitions during his lifetime, at Tate Gallery in 198544 and at Galerie Beyeler in Basel in 1987. After Bacon’s death in 1992 numerous retrospectives flourished all around the world, celebrated in some of the most important museums and galleries, such as Prado, Hermitage, Metropolitan Museum of Art, and Tate Gallery. Many of them were focused on his relationship with Old and Modern Masters who inspired his work: Caravaggio, Van Gogh, or Soutine. However, none of these exhibitions had a similar impact on culture and on the understanding of Bacon’s work as the 1971 retrospective. The success of the Grand Palais exhibition not only confirmed Bacon’s international position as the greatest living artist but also helped to put British art back in the focus of international audiences and art historians. In the moment when figurative painting was not in fashion and was often dismissed by the critics, the Grand Palais exhibition proved that the rendering of the human figure was not exhausted.

Notes 1 The exhibition closed on 10 January and travelled to Städtische Kunsthalle in Düsseldorf. 2 ‘Pablo Picasso: Exposition Rétrospective’, 18 November 1966–12 February 1967, Grand Palais. 3 Ronald Alley and John Rothenstein, Francis Bacon: Catalogue Raisonné (London: Thames & Hudson, 1964). 4 This retrospective later travelled to Kunsthalle Mannheim, Galleria Civica d’Arte Moderna in Turin, Kunsthaus Zürich, and finally to Stedelijk Museum in Amsterdam.

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5 Ms 43084/1.2/3, 13/05/1968 Bibliothèque Jacques Doucet. The painting was purchased and exhibited in September–October 1969 as part of the acquisition exhibition at the Centre national d’Art Contemporain in Paris. 6 ‘j’étais très honoré de recevoir une lettre de Monsieur Gautier qui m’a proposé une exposition rétrospective en 1970 en Grand Palais ou a Musée d’Art Moderne- je preferais le Grand Palais a comme des dimmensions de mes tableaux, ‘ en tout ces je sais ravi qu’on m’a offert cette exposition’. Letter dated 3/3/1969, Bibliothèque Jacques Doucet, Ms 40386 1.2/3. 7 Francis Bacon, Monaco and French Culture, exhibition organized by Bacon MB Art Foundation, Monaco. 8 Farah Nayeri, ‘How France and Monaco Inspired Francis Bacon’, New York Times, 17 August 2016, p. C5. 9 John Russell, ‘Francis Bacon: A Retrospective and a Preview’, Horizon (Autumn 1971), pp. 78–87. 10 Dèrriere le Miroir, no. 162 (1966). 11 Picasso was excluded from the poll. 12 ‘Index des Peintres 1966’, Connnaissance des Arts, nº 172 (June 1966). 13 ‘Index C. d. A. Francis Bacon en tête des artistes importantes’, Connaissance des Arts, nº 232 (1971). 14 ‘100 dessins par Picasso chez Paul Rosenberg’, Galerie Paul Rosenberg, Paris, June–July 1927. 15 The full catalogue of Bacon’s books can be accessed from the following websites. www.hughlane.ie/baconsbooks. www.tcd.ie/History_of_Art/research/centres/triarc/bacon.php. 16 ‘Alberto Giacometti: Sculpture, Paintings, Drawings 1913–65’, Tate Gallery, 17 July–30 August 1965. 17 ‘Mieux que personne Michel Leiris nous a montré que la grandeur humaine est intimement liée à la futilité. Pour moi son ouvre est non seulement un document qui contribue à enrichir notre connaissance de l’homme, mais aussi un témoignage personnel que me touche profondément. Le désespoir côtoie ces moment d’éclaircie dont la chaine compliquée se déroule tout le long de cette tragique et merveilleuse corde raide tendue de la naissance à la mort’. Francis Bacon, ‘Mieux que personne. . .’, L’Ire des Vents: Autour de Michel Leiris, 3–4 (Spring, 1981), p. 139. 18 ‘j’ai relu- L’Ire des Vent- dédié a vous et je trouve que Yves Peyré á fait un très beaux hommage autour de vous et je sais que je suis très privilégié que du de plus grand écrivain de notre époque á écrit des textes sûr moi’. Paris, Bibliothèque Jacques Doucet, Ms43105, Septembre 16, 1981. 19 Paris, Bibliothèque Jacques Doucet, Ms43080, 25 January 1966. 20 Paris, Bibliothèque Jacques Doucet, Ms40387, 10 July 1969. 21 Michel Leiris, ‘Miroir de la Tauromachie’, October, 63 (Winter 1993), trans. by Ann Smock. 22 Michel Leiris, ‘Francis Bacon aujourd’hui’, in Michel Leiris, Francis Bacon. Galeries Nationales du Grand Palais (Paris: Centre National d’Art Contemporain, 1971), pp. 3–16. 23 Michael Peppiatt, Francis Bacon in Your Blood (London and New York: Bloomsbury, 2015). 24 Nigel Gosling, ‘Magnificent Mr. Bacon’, The Observer, 31 October 1971. 25 Pierre Schneider, ‘The Savage God’, The Observer, 10 October 1971. 26 ‘Est-il méchant?’, L’Express, 15 November 1971. Hervé Vanel, Francis Bacon: Entretiens (Paris: Arts & Ésthetique, 1996), p. 46. 27 Claude Simon, Triptyque (Paris: Éditions de Minuit, 1973). 28 ‘Anatomie de la Sensation’, created for Paris Opera Balet, with choreography by Wayne McGregor and music by Mark-Anthony Turnage. 29 Hervé Guibert, The Man in a Red Hat (London: Quartet Books, 1993), p. 34. 30 ‘Francis Bacon’, Museo de Bellas Artes (Caracas, Venezuela, 1973). ‘Francis Bacon’, Museo de Arte Moderno (Mexico City, Mexico, 1977–1978). 31 Norman W. Canedy, ‘Francis Bacon at the Metropolitan Museum’, The Burlington Magazine, 117, no. 867 (1975), 425–428.

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32 Theodore Rousseau (1912–73) was the vice-director and curator of European art in Metropolitan Museum of Art. 33 Henry Geldzahler, Francis Bacon: Recent Paintings 1968–1974 (New York: Metropolitan Museum of Art, 1975), p. 3. 34 In the exhibition catalogue there are thirty-six paintings listed, however Lying Figure 1969 was not on display. 35 Sir John Rothenstein, Francis Bacon – The Masters nº 71 (London: Knowledge Publications, 1966). 36 John Russell, Francis Bacon (London: Methuen, 1964). 37 John Russell, Francis Bacon (London: Thames & Hudson, 1971). 38 V. García Osuna, ‘David Boxer. Por amor a Jamaica’, Tendencias de Mercado de Arte, April 2011. 39 The original transcript of the interviews was published in Martin Harrison, Francis Bacon: New Studies: Centenary Essays (London: Steidl, 2009). 40 Hugh Davies, Francis Bacon: The Early and Middle Years 1928–58 (New York and London: Garland Press, 1978). 41 Michel Leiris, Francis Bacon ou la verité criante (Paris: Seuil, 1974). Michel Leiris, Francis Bacon le hors-la Loi (Paris: Éditions Fourbis, 1989), originally published in Critique, 1981. 42 Originally, the exhibition was planned to take place at several museums in Australia and later travel to Japan, see Kenji Adachi, Francis Bacon 1945–1982 (Tokyo: Tokyo Shimbun, 1983). 43 This exhibition later travelled to the Kyoto National Museum of Modern Art and the Aichi Prefectural Art Gallery, Nagoya. 44 The Tate Gallery retrospective travelled in 1986 to Staatsgalerie in Stuttgart and the Nationalgalerie in Berlin.

Part II

Posthumous retrospectives

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The first posthumous retrospective in France The Paul Delaroche exhibition, a new perception of the artist’s work Marie-Claire Rodriguez

On 21 April 1857, an exhibition opened at the École impériale et spéciale des BeauxArts in Paris the like of which had never been seen before in France. It was dedicated to the work of a single artist, Paul Delaroche, who had died a few months earlier, on 4 November 1856 (Figure 5.1). Until then, the exhibition world in Paris had consisted mainly of the official annual or biennial Salon and a few privately initiated collective events such as those organised at the Bazar Bonne-Nouvelle by the Association des artistes peintres, sculpteurs, architectes, graveurs et dessinateurs, a mutual aid society founded in December 1844 by Baron Taylor.1 Normally, the Salon allowed each artist to present only a limited number of new works, but the official exhibition of 1855, which formed part of the World Fair, had been an exception. Artists had been given the opportunity to submit to the jury an unlimited number of works, including ones previously exhibited.2 Jean-Auguste-Dominique Ingres, Alexandre-Gabriel Decamps, Eugène Delacroix, Théodore Gudin, Horace Vernet and Henri Lehmann had each had the privilege of presenting a sizable number of works, providing a retrospective overview of their careers. Meanwhile, Gustave Courbet had proposed a retrospective of his work in his ‘pavillon du réalisme’. Precedents for monographic retrospectives were rare: in 1783, Pahin de la Blancherie had held an exhibition of paintings by Joseph Vernet in his Salon de la Correspondance, and in 1822, Horace Vernet had organised his own exhibition of forty-five paintings in his studio.3 But in 1857, no posthumous retrospective had yet taken place on French soil, although the genre had developed abroad, notably in England and the United States. Despite new opportunities for exhibitions afforded by the development of art galleries from the 1870s, retrospective monographic exhibitions were rarely sought by artists, but the genre did see significant success in France as a post-mortem tribute. By focussing here on this first posthumous retrospective, dedicated to Paul Delaroche, we intend firstly to describe the circumstances of its appearance while highlighting the role of those involved. Secondly, we will examine the means of its realisation and composition, through the selection of works and their display. Finally, our attention will be directed to its critical reception. By presenting a new approach to the works of Delaroche, the exhibition gave rise to an exceptional re-evaluation of his oeuvre. On 20 November 1856, the print publisher and art dealer Adolphe Goupil, much affected by the death of Paul Delaroche, wrote to the engraver Paolo Mercuri, ‘It’s a public loss and for many people an irreparable misfortune. For me, it’s a constant void’.4 Further on, he announces the imminent opening of a ‘general exhibition of all the works of this great artist’ (‘exposition générale de toutes les œuvres de ce grand

Figure 5.1 Title page of Delaroche’s exhibition catalogue, 1857, 21 × 12 cm, private collection Source: © Pamella Guerdat

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artiste’). Goupil, who over the course of nearly thirty years had developed a close professional and personal relationship with the painter, was, unsurprisingly, the instigator of this retrospective. By publishing engravings of the master’s work, Goupil had contributed both to the creation of his oeuvre and to its renown, enabling Delaroche ‘to be a new kind of artist, working always with a view to reproducibility’, and ‘to become the best-known artist in Europe, indeed the whole Western world’.5 Engraving was of particular importance to Delaroche, who saw in it ‘the sole means of guaranteeing his fame against the disappearance of his works’ and as a way ‘to raise a monument to his memory in his lifetime’.6 So in organising the posthumous retrospective of Delaroche’s work, Goupil was in a way responding to the painter’s concern for his posterity and continuing the memorial project begun during his lifetime. Goupil was undoubtedly aware of foreign precedents regarding posthumous retrospectives. His desire to establish his business on an international scale – an ambition evident since the firm’s creation in 1829 – had prompted him to send emissaries to monitor the artistic world of large cities such as London and New York with a view to setting up branches there. He must therefore have noted the existence in the English-speaking world of a practice of holding commemorative exhibitions that was encountering great success. The British Institution had notably organised in London, in 1842, a posthumous retrospective dedicated to the painter Sir David Wilkie, and similar exhibitions, organised by the American Art Union, had been held in New York, devoted to Henry Inman in 1846 and Thomas Cole in 1848.7 On the strength of these successful precedents, Goupil could be confident in the success of his venture, especially as the exhibition planned for 1857 responded to a desire that had been expressed by the public two years earlier on the occasion of the World Fair. The absence of Delaroche, whose last participation at the Salon was in 1837, had been universally lamented. Visitors were hoping to see there his most famous paintings, mainly preserved in private collections, but also to discover work he had produced over the previous eighteen years. Despite his withdrawal from public life, probably due to the vehemence of certain criticisms of his works, he had remained an eminently popular painter whose work was continuing to be circulated in the form of prints.8 His death was widely felt, and numerous obituaries praised the painter. In this particularly favourable context, the organisation of a retrospective of Delaroche’s work was not a risky gamble; on the contrary, its success was guaranteed. His profession and his long association with Delaroche gave Goupil both the contacts and the knowledge necessary to successfully accomplish this exhibition project. However, the opening of the retrospective was thanks to the unprecedented collaboration of leading figures from different fields brought together by the death of the artist. The co-organiser of the exhibition was Adolphe d’Eichthal, the executor of the painter’s will and the legal guardian of his two children. In this capacity, he was able to authorise the presentation of works that they had inherited and that were destined to be sold. Actively involved in the organisation of the exhibition, Adolphe d’Eichthal also had a financial role. A figure in the banking world, he was an indispensable partner to businessmen and shrewd collectors the Pereire brothers and, according to Antoine Etex, financed, with Emile Pereire, the building that housed the exhibition within the École des Beaux-Arts.9 Emile Pereire, who likewise belonged to Delaroche’s inner circle – he had notably entrusted him with the assembling of his collection of modern paintings10 – would also have been, according to Gustave Vapereau, the guarantor for all the master’s works.11 With the presence of these two rich bankers

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alongside the art dealer in the organising committee for the exhibition, the crucial issue of financing was resolved. Finally, the exhibition was made possible thanks to the cooperation of the École des Beaux-Arts, where grief at the painter’s death had been deeply felt. Elected as a member of the Institute on 3 November 1832, Delaroche was appointed professor in the prestigious institution a year later. Between 1836 and 1841, he had undertaken the famous decoration of its hemicycle, whose damage by fire in December 1855 caused great distress. Despite the government’s proposal to make the Palais de l’Industrie available for the exhibition, Goupil and d’Eichthal wanted it to take place at the École des Beaux-Arts, close to the artist’s major achievement. The commission appointed within the institution to examine the feasibility of the project showed immediate interest in the idea of ‘bearing witness to the esteem in which it h[e]ld the illustrious colleague whose loss it mourn[ed]’.12 Among its members was Horace Vernet, the father-in-law of the deceased, who was also named president of the commission formed by Goupil. The professional relationship that Vernet had with the publisher certainly facilitated discussions with the École des Beaux-Arts. After much debate on the disruption the exhibition could cause to the school, the proposal put forward by Felix Duban, the school’s architect, for a temporary building on vacant land north of the Palais, between the right wing and the garden of the Hôtel de Chimay, was approved.13 It was at this location that the exhibition, housed in an iron building, welcomed visitors from 21 April to 5 June 1857. The exceptional collaboration that arose from the relationships Paul Delaroche had had with his art dealer and publisher Adolphe Goupil and the École des Beaux-Arts had enabled the realisation of his posthumous retrospective at the institution and had opened the door in France to a new form of exhibition and to a new way to commemorate artists. The exhibition at the École des Beaux-Arts included sixty-nine paintings plus sixty drawings and watercolours by the master. In 1855, Delaroche had made a list of his works, which was completed after his death by his students. This valuable list – which included, where possible, the location of the works – may have provided the foundation for the exhibition.14 In any event, Goupil was certainly better placed than anyone to know the whole of Delaroche’s work. On 7 February 1857, he gave Horace Vernet a summary – albeit incomplete – of the proposed selection, listing the paintings and drawings that had already been acquired as well as those he was hoping to obtain.15 Unlike the Association des artistes, which had also had the idea of an exhibition devoted to the master but limited to his work after 1837, Goupil intended to present a retrospective covering the whole of his career.16 Thus works presented at the Salon, such as Joan of Arc in Prison17 (1824 Salon), The Execution of Lady Jane Grey18 (1834 Salon) and The Assassination of the Duc de Guise (1835 Salon; Figure 5.2), were mixed with paintings created after 1837, which, for the most part, had been reproduced by Maison Goupil but had remained unseen by the Parisian public. Goupil could count on the presence of, for example, The Childhood of Pico della Mirandola,19Moses on the Nile20 and The Last Farewell of the Girondins21 and was still hoping to have Napoleon at Fontainebleau,22The Virgin in the Desert (or Virgin and Child)23 and Pilgrims in Rome.24 The last two of these paintings were finally unable to be exhibited, but engravings of them were shown in the retrospective. In his letter to Mercuri (see note 4), Goupil had expressed his desire to present all the engravings of Delaroche’s works, but in the end their presence was very scarce, probably to avoid any suspicion of commercialism.

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Figure 5.2 Paul Delaroche, The Assassination of the Duc de Guise, 1834, 57 × 98 cm, Chantilly, Musée Condé, inv. PE 450 Source: © RMN-Grand Palais (domaine de Chantilly)/Harry Bréjat

There were only fourteen prints: four new prints and ten previously released ones, the latter representing only paintings absent from the exhibition – with the exception of two that arrived during the exhibition. Absences that were particularly regrettable to the organisers were moreover explained in the preface to the catalogue: The Children of Edward25 had been lent by the Emperor to the Edinburgh exhibition; Charles I Insulted by the Soldiers of Cromwell26 had been placed under seal after the death of Lord Ellesmere; The Virgin in the Desert and A Child Learning to Read,27 which belonged to Lord Hertford, had been promised to an exhibition in England.28 The arrival of Cromwell and Charles I,29 from the Musée de Nîmes, was eagerly anticipated. However, despite the persistent efforts of Charles Jalabert, student of the late artist and member of the exhibition committee, the work could not be loaned, and the sign that bore the name of Cromwell in gold letters remained displayed where the painting was to have hung.30 The catalogue also included an appendix listing the works that were not exhibited. All these measures reflected the organisers’ desire that the exhibition be comprehensive, presenting the full wealth of the artist’s work by recalling his success at the Salon and unveiling his later paintings. The exhibition, like its catalogue, adopted a chronological approach, assimilating the work with the temporality of the artist’s life following a biographical model. It was divided into three rooms corresponding to three periods of the artist’s career. The first room showed his debut at the Salon in the 1820s. His first steps in public life, already marked by accolades, were followed by great triumphs at the official exhibition: the second room assembled paintings from the 1830s, the decade during which he reached the peak of his career. Facing The Execution of Lady Jane Grey, the work

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that had met with the greatest success, was Lord Strafford on his Way to Execution31 – one of three paintings that constituted his last submission to the Salon, in 1837 – thus bringing to a close a period of the artist’s life marked by his public appearances. The last room covered the years following his withdrawal from the Salon – nearly twenty years of output – assembling largely unknown works. The arrangement of works in the various spaces thus related Delaroche’s artistic life in terms of popularity, giving a central place to its most famous paintings. But the story told in the first two rooms was also that of the development of a genre, the historical genre, while the last room bore witness to the construction of a new language that culminated, at the end of Delaroche’s life, in explorations in religious painting. This story was carefully read, observed and commented on by critics and provided a chance to rethink the painter’s oeuvre, which until then had been defined essentially by his popular success at the Salon and by the hemicycle of the École des Beaux-Arts, which ended the visit to the exhibition. In fact, Paul Delaroche’s posthumous retrospective offered a completely new interpretation of his work and the unprecedented opportunity to analyse an artist’s career in its entirety through a direct encounter with all his works. At the Salons, it had been possible to view his work only in piecemeal fashion, often before it disappeared into prestigious private collections, and, as we have already stressed, a whole section of his work remained unknown. The exhibition met with wide public and critical acclaim. Théophile Gautier clearly expressed his enthusiasm in L’Artiste: Personally I enjoyed this solemn exhibition. In it, the work of the painter who had recently died was exhibited frankly, from the beginning to the end, from his first halting essays up until his last word, and this at a kind of limbo stage before becoming a permanent part of posterity.32 The exhibition, ‘of the most vital and genuine interest’ (‘du plus vif et du plus réel intérêt’) for Paul Mantz, recreated the personality of the painter and enabled one to ‘study year by year, and almost day by day, the development of this talent’.33 Described as ‘strange and interesting’ (‘curieuse et intéressante’) by Etienne-Jean Delécluze, it gave ‘a complete picture of the whole of his work, of the progressive changes that his talent experienced.’34 Similarly, Alexandre Tardieu highlighted the appeal of this collation, which allowed one ‘to follow through its transformations this persevering mind, which, until the last, applied itself and improved’.35 Development, transformation, but also progress: these were the key words of the analysis resulting from the retrospective of the painter. The notion of progress was particularly important in relation to the work of the late artist because critics were in agreement that Delaroche was not a born painter but rather a man of will and spirit whose life had been entirely devoted to work. This aspect had evidently already been stressed in previous writings about the artist and notably at the time of his death, where critics had summed up his life and work, incorporating as far as possible the few later works glimpsed in Goupil’s window. But the time was not then ripe for appraisal, critical scrutiny often wavering at such proximity to death. In addition, monographic articles had until then been based only on memories and reproductions. The posthumous retrospective called for a comparative analysis based on real observation of the works in the context of the artist’s career,

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thus highlighting in an unprecedented way the issue of progress. Gautier discussed the major paintings of the master, from the ‘blind stumblings’ (‘aveugles tâtonnements’) shown in the first room to the ‘enormous progress’ (‘énormes progrès’) of his last paintings, noting a development already with The State Barge of Cardinal Richelieu on the Rhone36 and Cardinal Mazarin’s Last Sickness37 and an even greater one between Death of Elizabeth, Queen of England38 and Jane Grey.39 Charles Blanc proposed a more detailed analysis, carefully observing changes in the painter’s style. For this art historian, a progression was noticeable even in the first room: ‘even just considering the paintings in the first room, we see him change and grow with every step’.40 But both of them, like many critics, observed the most significant transformation in the last room. In March 1857, Henri Delaborde had delivered in la Revue des deux mondes a thorough study of the work of his teacher and close friend and had hinted at the importance of the forthcoming re-evaluation: ‘if Mr Delaroche’s friends manage to organise an exhibition where one can follow the complete story and uninterrupted progress of this talented artist, there is no doubt that the endeavour will have, in some respects, the character of a revelation’.41 The discovery of the religious paintings of the last years was for Charles Blanc startling: Here, the painter is suddenly transformed; he enters another sphere. So far, we have seen him seek success in the most dramatic episodes of history, producing emotion by a simple mental ploy [. . .]. Now, Delaroche arrives at the emotion no longer via intellectual effort but via the heart.42 Even Théophile Gautier, who had been deeply hostile to the artist in his Salons, recognised the value of his final paintings: A striking thing, which emerges significantly from the exhibition, is the artist’s steady progress throughout his career. The merit of his pictures could be assessed in terms of their dates. Anyone who wanted the best need only take the latest. [. . .] At a stage where decadence has long set in for many, Paul Delaroche continued, and went on continuing, to better himself.43 For Gautier, the ‘talented worker’ (‘ouvrier de talent’) and ‘fairly clever arranger’ (‘arrangeur assez adroit’) – as he had described Delaroche some twenty years earlier44 – was, by the time of his death, on the way to becoming a great painter. For Charles Blanc, the exhibition revealed that Delaroche ‘was truly an artist’ (‘était vraiment un artiste’).45 And for the writer Barbey d’Aurevilly, the artist, whose last paintings showed not just ‘simple progress’(‘simple progrès’) but a ‘real transformation’ (‘transformation réelle’), had reached the stature of a genius.46 The article Barbey d’Aurevilly published in the newspaper Le Pays was exclusively devoted to his later achievements. For him, the painter’s ‘definitive and ultimate transfiguration’ (‘définitive et suprême transformation’) occurred with The Young Martyr (Figure 5.3), a work of ‘complete perfection’ (‘perfection complète’), and with the scenes of the Passion – The Virgin With the Holy Women (also entitled Good Friday; Figure 5.4),47 The Return from Golgotha48 and The Virgin Contemplating the Crown of Thorns49 – which expressed ‘the most inspired pathos’ (‘du pathétique le

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Figure 5.3 Paul Delaroche, The Young Martyr, 1855, 171 × 148 cm, Paris, Musée du Louvre, inv. R.F. 1038 Source: © RMN-Grand Palais (Musée du Louvre)/René-Gabriel Ojéda

plus inspiré’).50 Gautier had already noticed The Young Martyr in Goupil’s gallery and been so struck by it that he devoted an article to the painting in L’Artiste, in February 1857: [. . .] although it bears the signature of Paul Delaroche, it is truly the work of a great unknown painter who in no way resembles the author of Cromwell, Jane Grey, the Beaux-Arts hemicycle or even The Assassination of the Duc de Guise.51

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Figure 5.4 Robert Jefferson Bingham, ‘La Vierge chez les saintes femmes’, tableau de Paul Delaroche, 1858, albumen silver print from glass negative, pasted on cardboard, Kodak-Pathé collection, Paris, Musée d’Orsay, gift of the Kodak-Pathé Foundation, inv. PHO 1983 165 159 2 Source: © Musée d’Orsay, Dist. RMN-Grand Palais/Patrice Schmidt

Nevertheless, in the eyes of many critics, including Gautier and Blanc, The Assassination of the Duc de Guise remained, in the light of the artist’s whole output, one of his masterpieces – even though a more recent painting, The Girondins, whose excellence was recognised by both critics, had stolen its place, in Alexander Tardieu’s view, as his masterpiece in the historic genre.52 But the ultimate religious paintings were certainly the ones on which the critics focused their praise, and The Young Martyr, which attracted unanimous acclaim, joined the ranks of the artist’s masterpieces. Only Paul Mantz, who had expressed in L’Artiste his dislike of Delaroche some months before the artist’s death, did not linger over the painting of the young saint, preferring, albeit still with some reservations, the scenes of the Passion.53 Although Mantz did not perceive any radical change in the late works and employed terms such as ‘change’ (‘modification’) and ‘transformation’ (‘transformation’) without ever speaking of progress, he seemed more taken with the drawings, ‘which, although they undoubtedly display no remarkable power, are delicate and charming’.54 He noted particularly that the artist’s drawings sometimes contained a certain boldness but observed with regret the disappearance of this boldness in the final work: Incidentally, the study of Delaroche’s drawings reveals a not inconsequential fact: he undoubtedly had a very astute, subtle and open intellect; he sometimes had excellent ideas, but he didn’t dare carry them out. In the drawing Beatrice Cenci on her Way to Execution,55 the composition is boldly conceived, and [. . .] the setting is picturesque. But then look at the painting and see how Delaroche, frightened at his own audacity, has restricted and diminished his subject!56 For the critic, the initial sketch for Mazarin57 led to the same conclusion: none of the ‘charming and spiritual’ (‘charmante et spirituelle’) study was found in the painting

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from the Pourtalès-Gorgier gallery. Similarly, Alphonse de Calonne, for whom Delaroche’s sketches demonstrated ‘laborious and skilful preparation rather than natural and fertile inspiration’, nevertheless discerned in some of them ‘some ardour in the composition’.58 In particular, he cited by way of example the first study for the painting The Conquerors of the Bastille Before the Hotel de Ville, 14 July 1789.59 But the latter was absent from the exhibition, like the sketch of Mazarin; only the drawing and painting of Beatrice Cenci offered the chance to make a tangible comparison between a first draft and the final realization. ‘Some drawings given to his friends, compositions supplied from his sketch books, show an aspect of the master’s talent unknown to the public’, announced the introduction to the catalogue.60 This attempt to reveal a hidden side of his work was nevertheless somewhat feeble and limited. More than two thirds of the drawings were finished, independent works, mainly portraits. The few, carefully selected studies and initial sketches were mostly in preparation for works that were absent from the exhibition and, along with engravings, contributed towards the representation of these missing works. The same was true of the rare painted studies and sketches. The limited place given to preparatory works certainly responded to a fear expressed within the École des Beaux-Arts of jeopardising the painter’s reputation by revealing lowerquality works. In the letter to Horace Vernet of 7 February 1857 that accompanied the list of works, Goupil had tried to reassure him: ‘You will see that we mean to display only interesting pieces and not, as has been insinuated, sketches and drawings unworthy of the master’.61 This meticulous selection sufficed nevertheless to arouse interest in these works. Although the chronological presentation was repeated only occasionally in subsequent retrospectives, the studies and sketches, which revealed the creative process, would occupy a growing place from the 1860s onwards, becoming sometimes almost a leitmotif of posthumous exhibitions. The legacy of this first French initiative was, in fact, substantial. Expectations were high amongst critics, who had understood the value of such an exhibition, which established a new way of seeing and gave them the chance to comprehensively appraise the artist’s work in its entirety while he was taking his first steps into posterity. ‘The idea is a good one, [. . .] we hope that it will find imitators and that these posthumous exhibitions will become customary’, enthused Mantz.62 His wishes were fulfilled: two years after the Delaroche exhibition, a new posthumous retrospective was devoted to Ary Scheffer, initiated by the Association des artistes. The mutual society into which the proceeds of the previous exhibition had been paid – benefits amounting to the considerable sum of 26,090 French francs of which 21,601 entered the association’s fund after various expenses had been deducted – saw this successful new type of exhibition as a honey pot for its relief fund. The Association subsequently organised numerous retrospectives, but for this, its first such initiative, it preferred to delegate organisation entirely to the art dealer Francis Petit. The exhibition opened on 10 May 1859 in galleries built in the gardens of the Marquis of Hertford’s private mansion at 26 boulevard des Italiens. An exhibition devoted to Delacroix was held in the same location in 1864, this time initiated by Louis Martinet – who had taken over management of the site – and his Société nationale des Beaux-Arts. The following year, a retrospective devoted to Hippolyte Flandrin instigated by the Association des artistes, with the support of the artist’s family and friends, took over the École des Beaux-Arts again, on this occasion a gallery in the school’s new Palais, on the quai Malaquais. The occupation looked promisingly secure: exhibitions devoted to Hippolyte Bellangé and Ingres

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followed in 1867. Having become the leading venue for posthumous retrospectives, the institution hosted, over the next decade, no fewer than thirteen such events, by then a feature of Parisian artistic life. But what remained after they closed? The exhibition catalogue, as well as articles published on the occasion. The catalogue, although at that time more like a booklet, nevertheless provided a valuable basis for the establishment of the catalogue raisonné of the artist. In the publication accompanying the Delaroche exhibition, the presentation of the works included a wealth of information: dimensions; medium; size of the figure; date, and possibly place, of creation; date exhibited at the Salon; signature; name of the engraver, if applicable; name of owner and, in the case of historical paintings, explanation of the subject. The catalogue raisonné of the works of Delaroche soon made an appearance: it was edited by Goupil in March 1858, illustrated with photographs by Robert J. Bingham (Figure 5.4).63 This publication, ground-breaking for a contemporary artist, was closely related to his posthumous exhibition. As for the remarkable reviews that the exhibition had generated, their impact was rather short lived. Firstly, Delaroche was a neglected artist for a long time: after a tribute at the Musée Ernest Hébert in Paris in 1984, the next major retrospective devoted to him, held in Nantes and Montpellier, did not take place until 1999.64 Secondly, Delaroche’s last paintings, which according to Barbey d’Aurevilly, needed to remain ‘the lightning that will not disappear’ – ‘Through their fixed beam we will see the artist’s other works and judge them inferior, whatever their merit, in the splendour of this lightning’, he had asserted boldly65 – are not the ones art history has remembered. Conversely, in the words of the art historian Stephen Bann in 1997, ‘this last phase in Delaroche’s career still seems virtually unknown and undervalued’.66 Twenty years on, despite the spotlight focussed on the artist’s work by the retrospective of 1999–2000, the situation seems to have changed little; for many, Delaroche remains essentially the painter of Jane Grey, The Children of Edward, The Assassination of the Duc de Guise and the Beaux-Arts hemicycle rather than the author of The Young Martyr, notwithstanding the appeal it had had for critics in 1857. Translated from French by Anne McDowall

Notes 1 There were also exhibitions held in artists’ studios, often displaying a single recent painting, as well as brief exhibitions that preceded auctions. 2 The regulations of the Salons of 1852 and 1853 limited submissions to three works per genre that had not previously been exhibited. 3 For the Joseph Vernet exhibition, see Francis Haskell, The Ephemeral Museum: Old Master Paintings and the Rise of the Art Exhibition (New Haven and London: Yale University Press, 2000), pp. 18–19. 4 Letter preserved in the National Archives of Romania in Bucharest, and quoted in Annick Bergeon, ‘Le temps ciselé. Correspondances autour d’une œuvre gravée: éditeurs, artistes, critiques (1829–1859)’, in Hélène Lafont-Couturier, Annick Bergeon, Pierre-Lin Renié and Sabine du Vignau, Etat des lieux, 1 (Bordeaux: Musée Goupil, 1994), pp. 37–88 (pp. 74–75). ‘C’est un deuil public et pour bien du monde un malheur irréparable. Pour moi c’est un vide de tous les instants. . .’ 5 Stephen Bann, Parallel Lines: Printmakers, Painters and Photographers in Nineteenth-Century France (New Haven and London: Yale University Press, 2001), p. 39. 6 Procès de MM. Delaroche, Mme Veuve Vernet, Mme Marjolin-Scheffer contre MM. Goupil et Cie, éditeurs (Paris: Tribunal civil de la Seine, 1878), II, p. 51, quoted in Bann, Parallel Lines, p. 40.

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7 The British Institution pioneered retrospectives of a deceased artist by organising an exhibition in 1813 dedicated to Sir Joshua Reynolds, almost twenty years after his demise (see Haskell, The Ephemeral Museum, pp. 50–58). In contrast, the exhibitions devoted to Wilkie, Inman and Cole, like Delaroche’s, took place a short time after the artist’s death. 8 Delaroche held a particularly prominent place in Maison Goupil’s catalogues for several decades; the painter’s popularity, measured by these catalogues, declined only from the 1880s onwards. See Pierre-Lin Renié, ‘Delaroche par Goupil: portrait du peintre en artiste populaire’, in Paul Delaroche, un peintre dans l’histoire, ed. by Claude Allemand-Cosneau and Isabelle Julia (Paris: RMN, Nantes: Musée des Beaux-arts, Montpellier: Musée Fabre, 1999), pp. 173–199. 9 Antoine Etex, Ary Scheffer. Etude sur sa vie et ses ouvrages. Exposition de ses œuvres au Boulevard des Italiens, n° 26 (Paris: A. Lévy fils, 1859), p. 3. 10 Pauline Prevost-Marcilhacy, ‘La collection de tableaux modernes des frères Pereire’, in Etudes transversales. Mélanges en l’honneur de Pierre Vaisse, ed. by Leila El-Wakil, Stéphanie Pallini, and Lada Umstätter-Mamedova (Lyon: Presses universitaires de Lyon, 2005), pp. 139–157 (pp. 148–150). 11 Gustave Vapereau, Dictionnaire universel des contemporains, 2 vols (Paris: Librairie de L. Hachette et Cie, 1858), II, p. 1362. 12 Commission of 4 February 1857, Pierrefitte-sur-Seine, National Archives of France (NAF), AJ/52*/15. ‘. . . donner un témoignage de l’estime qu’elle porte à l’illustre collègue dont elle déplore la perte . . .’ For more details on the debates within the École des Beaux-Arts, see Stéphanie Cantarutti, ‘Les expositions rétrospectives et monographiques d’artistes organisées à l’École des Beaux-Arts de Paris au XIXe siècle’ (unpublished master’s thesis, École du Louvre, 2006), pp. 61-71. 13 Letter from Félix Duban to Adolphe Jaÿ, President of the École des Beaux-Arts, Paris, 28 February 1857, NAF, AJ/52/838. 14 École impériale et spéciale des Beaux-Arts. Funérailles de M. Delaroche (Paris: Typ. de Firmin Didot frères, fils et Cie, [1856]), pp. 5–8. 15 Letter from Adolphe Goupil to Horace Vernet, Paris, 7 February 1857, NAF, AJ/52/838. 16 Minutes of the 611th committee meeting of the Association des artistes, 14 November 1856, Paris, Fondation Taylor archives. 17 1824, oil on canvas, 277 × 217.5 cm, Rouen, Musée des Beaux-Arts. (Unless otherwise indicated, all works mentioned are oil on canvas). 18 1833, 246 × 297 cm, London, The National Gallery. 19 1842, 116 × 76 cm, Nantes, Musée d’arts. 20 1853, 147 × 100 cm, location unknown. 21 1856, 58 × 98,5 cm, Paris, Musée Carnavalet, on loan to the Conciergerie. 22 1845, 180,5 × 137,5 cm, Leipzig, Museum der bildenden Künste. It was, however, the version of the John Naylor collection, now preserved in the Musée de l’Armée in Paris, that was exhibited. 23 1844, 147,7 × 87,5 cm, London, The Wallace Collection. 24 1842, 164 × 205 cm, Poznan, Museum Narodowe, Raczynski Foundation. 25 1831, 1831 Salon, 181 × 215 cm, Paris, Musée du Louvre. 26 1836, 1837 Salon, 284 × 392 cm, private collection. 27 1848, oil on mahogany panel, 13,7 cm diameter, London, The Wallace Collection. 28 Exposition des œuvres de Paul Delaroche. Explication des tableaux, dessins, aquarelles et gravures exposés au Palais des Beaux-Arts, le 21 avril 1857 (Paris: Charles de Mourgues frères, 1857), pp. XIV–XV. 29 1831, 1831 Salon, 228,5 × 295,5 cm, Fonds national d’art contemporain, on long-term loan to the Musée des Beaux-Arts, Nîmes. 30 Emile Reinaud, Charles Jalabert, l’homme, l’artiste, d’après sa correspondance (Paris: Librairie Hachette et Cie, 1903), pp. 101–102. 31 1836, oil on canvas, 265 × 314 cm, private collection. 32 Théophile Gautier, ‘Exposition des œuvres de Paul Delaroche au Palais des Beaux-Arts’, L’Artiste, 3 May 1857, pp. 77–80 (p. 77). Translation by Cecil Gould in Delaroche and Gautier: Gautier’s Views on the Execution of Lady Jane Grey and on Other Compositions by Delaroche (London: National Gallery, 1975). ‘Nous aimons cette exhibition solennelle

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où l’artiste mort, avant d’entrer définitivement dans la postérité, expose loyalement et franchement ses toiles, depuis la première jusqu’à la dernière, depuis son premier bégaiement dans l’art jusqu’à son mot suprême.’ Paul Mantz, ‘L’œuvre de Paul Delaroche’, Revue Française, May 1857, pp. 65–77 (p. 66, 67). ‘. . . on peut donc étudier année par année, et presque jour par jour, le développement de ce talent . . .’ Etienne-Jean Delécluze, ‘Exposition des œuvres de Paul Delaroche’, Journal des débats, 24 April 1857, unp. ‘. . . une idée complète de l’ensemble de ses travaux, des modifications progressives qu’a éprouvées son talent . . .’ Alexandre Tardieu, ‘Exposition des œuvres de Paul Delaroche à l’École des Beaux-Arts’, Le Constitutionnel, 2 May 1857, unp. ‘. . . elle permet de suivre dans ses transformations l’esprit persévérant qui, jusqu’au dernier jour, s’est appliqué, a progressé . . .’ 1829, 1831 Salon, 57,2 × 97,3 cm, London, The Wallace Collection. 1830, 1831 Salon, 56,4 × 97,5 cm, London, The Wallace Collection. 1828, 1827–1828 Salon, 422 × 343 cm, Paris, Musée du Louvre. Gautier, ‘Exposition . . .’, pp. 78–79. Charles Blanc, Le Trésor de la curiosité tiré des catalogues de vente. . ., 2 vols (Paris: Ve Jules Renouard, 1857–1858), 2 (1858), p. 561 (‘Paul Delaroche’, pp. 558–577). ‘. . . à ne considérer même que les peintures exposées dans la première salle, on le voit à chaque pas se transformer, grandir.’ Henri Delaborde, ‘Peintres et sculpteurs modernes de la France. Paul Delaroche’, Revue des deux mondes, 1 March 1857, pp. 5–32 (p. 26). ‘. . . si les amis de M. Delaroche réussissent à organiser une exposition où l’on pourra suivre l’histoire complète et les progrès non interrompus de ce talent, nul doute que l’épreuve n’ait à quelques égards le caractère d’une révélation.’ Blanc, pp. 572–573. ‘Ici, le peintre se transforme tout à coup, il entre dans une autre sphère. Jusqu’à présent, nous l’avons vu chercher le succès dans les épisodes les plus dramatiques de l’histoire, produire l’émotion par un simple calcul de l’esprit [. . .]. Maintenant, Delaroche arrive à l’émotion, non plus par un effort de l’intelligence, mais par le cœur.’ Gautier, ‘L’exposition . . .’, p. 78. ‘Une chose frappante, et que fait ressortir de la façon la plus significative l’exposition du palais des Beaux-Arts, c’est le progrès non interrompu de l’artiste à mesure qu’il avance dans son œuvre: le mérite de ses tableaux pourrait se classer par dates, et qui voudrait prendre le meilleur, n’aurait qu’à emporter le dernier. [. . .] A l’heure où pour beaucoup la décadence a commencé depuis longtemps, Paul Delaroche s’élevait, s’élevait toujours.’ Théophile Gautier, ‘Salon de 1834’, La France industrielle, April 1834, pp. 17–22 (p. 18). Blanc, p. 561. Jules Barbey d’Aurevilly, ‘Paul Delaroche, de ses derniers tableaux et de la pensée dans les arts’, in L’Amour de l’art, ed. by Jean-François Delaunay (Paris: Nouvelles Editions Séguier, 1993), pp. 86–97 (pp. 86–87; first publ. in Le Pays, 21 May 1857, unp.). 1856, 26 × 51 cm, private collection. 1856, 27 × 53 cm, Beauvais, Musée départemental de l’Oise. 1856, 26 × 51 cm, location unknown. Barbey d’Aurevilly, pp. 92–93. Théophile Gautier, ‘Une Martyre. Dernier tableau de Paul Delaroche’, L’Artiste, 15 February 1857, pp. 145–146 (p. 145). ‘. . . quoiqu’il porte la signature de Paul Delaroche, il est véritablement l’œuvre d’un grand peintre inconnu qui ne ressemble en aucune façon à l’auteur du Cromwell, de la Jane Grey, de l’Hémicycle des beaux-arts et même de l’Assassinat du duc de Guise.’ Tardieu, unp. Paul Mantz, ‘Paul Delaroche’, L’Artiste, 25 May 1856, pp. 183–186, 1 June 1856, pp. 199– 202; Mantz, ‘L’œuvre . . .’, p. 75. Mantz, ‘L’œuvre . . .’, p. 75. ‘L’exposition de l’école des Beaux-Arts montre de lui des dessins qui, sans doute, ne sont pas d’une force magistrale, mais qui sont délicats et charmants.’ 1851, charcoal drawing enhanced with white, 25 × 16 cm, location unknown; 1855, oil on canvas, 137 × 171 cm, location unknown. Mantz, ‘L’œuvre . . .’, p. 76. ‘L’étude des dessins de Delaroche révèle d’ailleurs un fait qui a sa gravité ; c’était, à n’en pas douter, une intelligence très-déliée, très-fine, très-ouverte :

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Marie-Claire Rodriguez il avait des idées excellentes parfois, mais il n’osait pas les exécuter. Dans le dessin de La Cenci marchant au supplice, la composition est hardiment conçue, et [. . .] l’arrangement est des plus pittoresques. Regardez ensuite le tableau, et voyez combien Delaroche, effrayé de sa propre audace, a restreint et amoindri son sujet !’ 1830, pen and ink, enhanced with watercolour, on paper pasted on canvas, 14 × 23 cm, Nantes, Musée d’arts. Alphonse de Calonne, ‘Paul Delaroche et son œuvre’, Revue contemporaine et Athenæum français, 15 May 1857, pp. 495–520 (p. 509). ‘. . . ses esquisses témoignent d’une préparation laborieuse et savante plutôt que d’une inspiration naturelle et féconde. Quelques-unes cependant affectent une certaine fougue de composition . . .’ 1830, watercolour, 29 × 30 cm, location unknown. The painting (400 × 435 cm) is preserved in the Petit Palais, Musée des Beaux-Arts de la Ville de Paris. Exposition des œuvres de Paul Delaroche . . ., p. XV. ‘Quelques dessins donnés à ses amis, des compositions détachées de ses livres de croquis, montreront le talent du maître sous un aspect inconnu du public.’ See note 15. ‘Vous verrez que nous entendons n’y mettre que des objets intéressants et nullement, comme on a pu l’insinuer, des croquis et dessins indignes du maître.’ Mantz, ‘L’œuvre . . .’, p. 66. ‘L’idée est heureuse, [. . .] nous espérons qu’elle trouvera des imitateurs et que ces exhibitions posthumes entreront dans nos habitudes.’ Henri Delaborde and Jules Goddé, Œuvre de Paul Delaroche reproduit en photographie par Bingham, accompagné d’une notice sur la vie et les ouvrages de Paul Delaroche par Henri Delaborde et du catalogue raisonné de l’œuvre par Jules Goddé (Paris: Goupil et Cie, 1858). See Laure Boyer, ‘Robert J. Bingham, photographe du monde de l’art sous le Second Empire’, Études photographiques, 12 (November 2002), [Accessed 31 March 2017]. Claude Allemand-Cosneau and Isabelle Julia, eds., Paul Delaroche, un peintre dans l’histoire (Paris: RMN, Nantes: Musée des Beaux-arts, Montpellier: Musée Fabre, 1999). Barbey d’Aurevilly, p. 87. ‘Voilà l’éclair qui ne passera pas ! C’est à sa lueur fixée qu’on regardera les autres œuvres du peintre et qu’on les jugera inférieures, malgré leur mérite, dans la splendeur de cet éclair.’ Stephen Bann, Paul Delaroche: History Painted (London: Reaktion Books, 1997), pp. 22–23.

6

Max Jordan’s first monographic exhibitions at the Royal National Gallery in Berlin – rewriting the canon of art history and creating the artist as a national role model at the beginning of the German empire Saskia Pütz

Less than eight weeks after the official and splendiferous inauguration of the newly founded German National Gallery1 in Berlin that had taken place on the king’s birthday on 22 March 1876, the first monographic exhibition had already opened there. In the accompanying catalogue it was announced to be ‘The first of the series of periodical exhibitions on the upper floor of the Royal National Gallery, which aim to showcase works of excellent German artists in a systematically survey or connected series of pictures, and make them more accessible to the public’.2 Responsible for this exceptional setup of special exhibitions was Max Jordan, the first director of the National Gallery, who had two years before already become the designated chief in 1874. Jordan led the German National Gallery, at that time the most important museum for contemporary art in Germany, for more than twenty years. But his work has been ignored in art historical discourse. Taking account of the vast literature on the Berlin National Gallery, its history and exhibitions, it seems that the two decades of Jordan’s governance disappear without any traces left. If he is mentioned at all, he is considered to be an administrative officer. It is therefore necessary to take a closer look at this series of exhibitions on artists he had organised during his curatorship at the National Gallery which are hardly known today. The remaining catalogues of these exhibitions together with unpublished letters and exhibition reviews in journals and newspapers permit us to draw a more detailed and distinguished portrait of Jordan’s scholarly and educational ambitions.3 Shortly after the opening of the National Gallery, Jordan officially requested permission to organise a series of special exhibitions on a periodical basis. He intended to show the artworks on the third floor of the Gallery which had not yet been claimed by the collection itself. In an unpublished letter to the royal minister of state Dr. Falk dating 10 April 1876, Jordan reveals his objectives motivating this project: For the maintenance of the public interest in patriotic art, and for the instruction and enjoyment of the intellectual circles of the capital, which are concerned with art matters, it seems to me desirable that from time to time systematically arranged exhibitions will be hosted by the Royal National Gallery, which either make the artistic work of a single master or related cyclic works accessible to observation and study.4

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The director of the gallery further explained in this request that he would take the expenses of the projected exhibitions, which he planned to arrange in an irregular sequence according to the material being available and offered, in his own account. Without giving detailed numbers, Jordan pre-estimated the involving costs for stentering frames and picture rails on the low side and intended to cover them by a small entrance fee of fifty Pfennig, including a printed catalogue of the exhibited items to be given to the visitors. Obviously the special exhibitions had been of such paramount importance for Jordan that he had not wanted to take the risk to imperil his enterprise by discussing its funding. It is noteworthy and very important that Jordan points out patriotic, educational and scholarly reasons for establishing his project. In order to maintain ‘the public interest in patriotic art’ and to render the artworks ‘accessible to observation and study’ he therefore states more precisely that he wants to direct his attention besides the oil paintings to the presentation of ‘drawings, sketches, studies, and the like’.5 This expansion of objects on display comprising all stages of the creative process was a completely new approach to exhibit an artist’s œuvre. Jordan is very much at pains to strengthen this particular setting to distance his project from the exhibitions organised by the Verein Berliner Künstler (Association of Berlin Artists) and not to appear to be a competition. On the contrary, he distinguishes his planned shows as ‘an opportunity for an in-depth orientation on art fields that are considered to be closed areas and have to be displayed as completely as possible which is so far missed in Berlin’.6 Jordan’s request was granted and promptly realised so that very first exhibition already opened on 18 May 1876. It was dedicated to Heinrich Franz-Dreber (1822– 1875), who belonged to the so-called Deutsch-Römer, a German artist living and working most of his life in Italy and who had died there the year before. Unfortunately photographs showing the original setting of the exhibition or floor plans including detailed room layouts have not remained. But a catalogue went along with the exhibition, as announced by Jordan in his letter (see Figure 6.1). This accompanying catalogue stands in the tradition of the very popular small exhibition guides consisting mainly of the list of the artworks on display in order of the exhibition rooms. The entries are very brief and mention title or short description of the subject, technique and material, provenance and sometimes the year of origin. As an introductory essay Jordan added a short biographical summary of Franz-Dreber’s life as an artist, comprising only four pages. In addition to the common account of his life, Jordan briefly but precisely characterises Franz-Dreber’s stylistic development, for example, when he states that some pen drawings in the exhibition show FranzDreber’s ‘accuracy of observation and chastity of his redition’7 or that the artist later focuses ‘on the recording of the inner life of nature and its specifically picturesque expression. Avers to the violence of stylization, in a perfect knowledge of the individual and of the finest touch of the organic in nature, he increasingly developed a lyrical conception.’8 Despite its small size counting only sixteen pages altogether, the catalogue lists all exhibited objects in order of their appearance grouped by rooms, making it possible to reconstruct the layout of this special exhibition. Referring to the catalogue, there had been forty oil paintings, 634 drawings and drafts (mainly pencil), twenty-three sketches in oil and eight watercolours altogether on display.9 This vast quantity of

Figure 6.1 Front page of the catalogue of the Heinrich Franz-Dreberexhibition, Max Jordan, Erste Ausstellung in der Königlichen National-Galerie zu Berlin. Werke des Landschaftsmalers Heinrich Franz-Dreber, Mai-Juni 1876, [Berlin]: Ernst Siegfried Mittler und Sohn, 1876 Source: Staatliche Museen zu Berlin, Kunstbibliothek

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artworks demonstrates that Jordan tried to gather a lot of different works of FranzDreber together from various work phases to give a broad and almost complete overview of his œuvre to show ‘almost uninterruptedly the course of development of the rare man from early youth to early death in characteristic products’.10 The works were shown in eight rooms on the third floor of the National Gallery. The architectural peculiarity of the National Gallery in its original building consisted in two main halls at the second floor, the so called ‘Cornelius-Halls’: two conjoined and two-storeyed rooms in the centre of the Gallery showing large-scale cartoons and other works of Peter von Cornelius on permanent exhibition.11 These two major rooms also took up the space in the floor above, leaving only small rooms and cabinets so that the exhibition circulated around this missing centre in the third level . Thus the catalogue starts with the corridor on the left-hand side and ends with its counterpart on the right-hand side (rooms nos. 4 to 12 in the plan in Figure 6.2). The exhibition began with early drawings picturing different views of Franz-Dreber’s journey to Italy, where he spent almost the entire remainder of his life. Drawings dating to his last year closed the exhibition. The principles of organization seem to be merely chronological, but only in its rather rough outline. Jordan assembled most

Figure 6.2 Plan of the 3rd floor of the National Gallery in Berlin, Max Jordan, Erste Ausstellung in der Königlichen National-Galerie zu Berlin. Werke des Landschaftsmalers Heinrich Franz-Dreber, Mai-Juni 1876, [Berlin]: Mittler und Sohn, 1876, appendant Source: Staatliche Museen zu Berlin, Kunstbibliothek

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of Franz-Dreber’s oil paintings into the two main halls (rooms nos. 5 and 11 in the floor plan), and he cleverly used the small side cabinets to focus on just one major painting per room surrounded by preparatory drawings and oil sketches. Four of the five cabinets in the apsis each showed a painting from the season’s series depicting mythological scenery in the Roman countryside (rooms nos. 6, 7, 9 and 10 in the floor plan). Every painting of a season was flanked by various corresponding compositional drawings and studies of landscapes and figures.12 Thus the visitor could easily compare and appreciate the different stages of the working process and appreciate connoisseurship (see Figure 6.3). Jordan thematically assembled the different stages of the artistic working process including drafts, detailed studies, elaborated drawings as well as compositional studies and sketches in oil and watercolours and arranged them close to the final paintings. Sometimes the subjects of the drawings and paintings were just merely corresponding, like landscape studies of certain regions in Italy, but sometimes they were even identified in the catalogue as precursory works to a specific painting. So for example in the catalogue the numbers 26a and b, corresponding to seven sheets with pencil drawings, were directly related to the painting number 26 depicting the abduction of Hylas. The following oil sketches number 27 and 28 were also described as belonging to this painting, and number 29, an oil sketch depicting the related topic of the abduction of Ganymede, was characterised to be a side piece to number 27 (see Figure 6.3). All of these pictures were shown in the first main hall (room no. 5 in the floor plan). The exhibition in the National Gallery received rave reviews in various journals and newspapers. The critiques were without exception very positive and pointed out the benefits and advantages of Jordan’s new approach, as for example the art report in the Berliner Fremdenblatt of 18 May 1876, which recognised first the ‘wide field of artistic creation’ that was opened up to the visitor’s gaze and then described the gradual process of recognition by the close examination of the objects in show: At first the drawings and sketches show only the basic principles of the developing ideas; one recognises in the numerous studies both the diligence and the extraordinary productive power of the artist; from the sketches the work can already be conceived and finally be seen in its perfection. Such an approach is both instructive and interesting. Seeing the finished work of art, the difficulties which the artist had to overcome were too often and too easily underestimated before the structure emerged as a single whole. Here we see all the troubles, or, if you will, the combinations which are becoming more and more centralised, here we follow the stream from the source to its mouth. Its course leads us in various turns through jagged mountains and through friendly valleys, through meadows and lush gardens gradually towards the goal. There, we feel the sight sharpened, and can enjoy the magnificent natural drama which now presents itself to us quite differently than if it had suddenly appeared before our eyes. At the same time, we have become acquainted with the internal organization.13 The critic emphasised the novelty of the setup and its good comprehensibility because ‘all the work is grouped in such a way that the conductive thread can be followed without difficulty’.14 The French Journal de Berlin also stressed the fact that a lot of works were made accessible which had been closed to the public by particular sales.15

Figure 6.3 Double-page 10/11 of the catalogue of the Heinrich Franz-Dreberexhibition, Max Jordan, Erste Ausstellung in der Königlichen National-Galerie zu Berlin. Werke des Landschaftsmalers Heinrich Franz-Dreber, Mai-Juni 1876, [Berlin]: Ernst Siegfried Mittler und Sohn, 1876 Source: Staatliche Museen zu Berlin, Kunstbibliothek

Figure 6.3a (Continued)

Figure 6.3b (Continued)

Figure 6.3c (Continued)

Figure 6.3d (Continued)

Figure 6.3e (Continued)

Figure 6.3f (Continued)

Figure 6.3g (Continued)

Figure 6.3h (Continued)

Figure 6.3i (Continued)

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Confirmed by the success of the exhibition, the announced series were continued and the second exhibition already had taken place in the same year, also dealing with German artists. It was a group exhibition showing works of Alfred Rethel (1816 Aachen–1859 Düsseldorf), Joseph von Fuehrich (1800 Kratzau/Bohemia–1876 Vienna), Friedrich Overbeck (1789 Lübeck–1869 Rome) and Friedrich Gunkel (1819 Kassel–1876 Rome). All of these can be characterised as belonging to the German ‘Nazarenes’, a group of young artists who assembled in Rome in the first decades of the nineteenth century aiming at a complete renewal of the academic art system in Germany. In the first half of the nineteenth century they were seen as the new upheaval of German art but since the middle of the century their reputation had declined.16 The following spring, Jordan put on exhibition again a group of German artists: Rudolf Henneberg (1825 Braunschweig–1876 ibid.), Wilhelm Schirmer (1802 Berlin–1866 Nyon) and Hugo Harrer (1836 Eberswalde/Brandenburg–1876 Rome), all the three not very well known until today. And in the next winter exhibition, in January 1878, once again Jordan showed a monographic exhibition, this time dealing with Julius Schnorr von Carolsfeld, who had died six years before (1894 Leipzig–1872 Dresden). The next show was again a group exhibition, this time on the 75th anniversary of Ludwig Richter (1803 Dresden–1884 ibid.), and the already-deceased Theodor Mintrop (1814 Essen–1870 Düsseldorf), the brothers August (1810 Berlin–1845 Rome) and Julius Elsasser (1814 Berlin–1859 Rome) as well as Heinrich Funk (1807 Herford–1877 Stuttgart). And then in 1879 the National Gallery had a retrospective of the landscape painter and professor at the drawing school at Weimar Friedrich Preller (1804 Eisenach–1878 Weimar), who had passed away the preceding year. All these retrospectives followed the setup established by the very first exhibition of the work of Franz-Dreber, and they are all considered to be monographic exhibitions. Even the group exhibitions treated the single artist in a monographic way: the artists were displayed separately from each other, with individual entries in the catalogues. The purpose of the exhibitions was to show them as artistic contemporaries but not directly to compare their works. As in the very first publication Jordan added biographical essays on every artist at the beginning of the catalogues. The length of these essays varies from only one or two pages for a minor single artist within a group exhibition, like Heinrich Funk, up to twelve pages, for example, in the case of Julius Schnorr von Carolsfeld. Analogous to the first catalogue, these essays complement the exhibition by offering a broad overview of the whole œuvre of each artist and considering all different stages during their life-spans and all different genres and media in which they had worked. All of these surveys were very extensive regarding the quantity of works on display, containing lots of graphic works, sketches and cartons as well as prints. The catalogue of the retrospective of Julius Schnorr von Carolsfeld, for example, lists 524 numbers of artworks in the exhibition. Even in the case of Ludwig Richter, who was part of a group exhibition, 284 works had been on display. As in the Franz-Dreber exhibition, later exhibitions also arranged works in groups which combined the oil paintings and the corresponding preparatory drawings. Jordan neither concentrated exclusively on the masterpieces, the well-known oil paintings of each artist, nor did he choose the most representative works according to the academic hierarchy. Instead he tried to give a broad overview on all the fields the artists had worked in, also including minor genres, prints and sketches. His interest was, as he continuously repeated in the catalogues, to chronicle the development of

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the artist and his style and make it obvious to the visitor – the terms in German Jordan always refers to is the ‘Stil’ and ‘Entwicklungsgang’: As these drawings do partially treat the same subject, they do not only reflect the artist’s manner of perception and artistic conception in his main period, but as they are often shown in different stages of completion, they also reveal the gradual development of the individual images, so that they give an impression of the genesis of his style.17 It is striking that Jordan made wide use of modern media to make the works on display accessible for the public. In cooperation with the highly renowned Photographische Gesellschaft, a Berlin-based publisher concentrating on photographical reprints of fine art, he undertook several editions of works of the artists in his exhibitions which had been on sale in different sets of copies:18 in luxuriously equipped folders or books, as well as in more low-priced formats and even as single sheets. The photographs were intended to serve as material for scholarly appreciation and reflection to be pursued on one’s own, thus serving the museum as a centre of didactic education and cultural enrichment,19 but they could also be bought already framed as wall decorations.20 Regarding the series of monographic or special exhibitions in the National Gallery Jordan commissioned at first the photographic reproduction of unknown drawings from Alfred Rethel, who was part of the second exhibition in 1876. Each edition of Rethel’s graphical legacy consisted of a canvas-covered wooden box with a total of eighty-two photographs together with a portrait of Rethel for the considerable sum of 280 marks. For the next project, again a group exhibition, Jordan had Wilhelm Schirmer’s series of biblical landscapes published as a photographical deluxe portfolio edition with commentaries by Jordan himself. In the case of Julius Schnorr von Carolsfeld, Jordan was able to gather nearly two-thirds of the original drawings for his famous illustrations of the Bible. In the exhibition they were displayed together with collotype prints of the final xylographies, which had already been published and were to be the most popular illustrated Bible at that time. In addition to the exhibited objects, Jordan edited the so-called Landschaftsbuch of Schnorr. This is a very unique and rather intimate collection of various landscape drawings Schnorr had made during his stay in Italy from 1818 until 1827. The delicate washed drawings were admired by artists and collectors despite the fact or rather because Schnorr was considered to be a historical painter and showed the Landschaftsbuch only to close friends. So for the first time, these drawings had been published in the form of collotypes in 1878. The series of special exhibitions Jordan had set up might be summarised as follows: •

Jordan provided artworks of all sorts of media, oil paintings as well as drawings, sketches and prints and rendered unknown works from private collections or legacies accessible to the public and completed them with biographical information and reproductions. He put different versions of drawings of the same subject on display to provide an opportunity for the observer to compare the works and study them thoroughly, and instead of giving elaborated statements on the developments and styles of the artists in the catalogues or suggestive descriptions of their paintings, Jordan rather spreads out a lot of material to the visitor’s disposal. So the visitors were able to study the artists first-hand and

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Saskia Pütz form an opinion by themselves and had an opportunity to train their eyes. The audience Jordan addressed can be identified as being composed of scholars, artists, connoisseurs and collectors. The majority of the exhibitions Jordan set up were commemorative retrospectives on recently deceased German artists, in either single or group exhibitions, but always treated in a monographic way; these artists belonged more or less to the same generation, which leads to the third point: In presenting so many well-known as well as hardly-known German artists from the same generation, Jordan’s special exhibitions create a survey on German art history, concentrating on what might be pointed out as Nazarene artists. In emphasizing lower genres, especially landscape and genre painting as well as drawings and prints, Jordan contrasts the official art policy of the Prussian government commissioning large-size battle scenes on patriotic subjects. Thus he enables the public to approach the work of the exhibited artists more differentiated or even to discover artists formerly unknown.

Considering the situation Jordan inherited at the National Gallery, his monographic program was not a given by any means. He had to deal with two rather opposing factors: on one hand he was requested to show the development of contemporary art. The banker Joachim Heinrich Wagener had donated his private collection of 262 paintings to the Prussian King under the proviso to make it the basis of a future National Gallery for contemporary art – but not solely German art.21 Wagener wished his collection ‘to grow into a national gallery, which represents the actual [or more recent] painting in its further development’.22 On the other hand, the representative needs and hegemonic ambitions of the new born Prussian empire had made the museums, especially the National Gallery, a place to glorify its power and bring about a sense of identity to the new nation.23 The National Gallery was interpreted not only as a collection of predominantly Prussian art but also as a hall of fame of the Hohenzollern understanding of history and as a symbol of their recently attained power.24 William I, the German Emperor, and his art commission had made the National Gallery a temple of German art, and they were worshipping Peter von Cornelius, a German painter seen to be the head of the monumental mural art movement in Germany.25 Being short of funds Jordan was forced into an enduring balancing act between political, national and artistic interests.26 And even when the financing of new acquisitions was provided, as for example in the case of the frescoes of the Casa Bartholdi, Jordan had to organise the purchase very cleverly and carefully to avoid the interrogation and negative decisions of the art commission.27 To really acknowledge Jordan’s achievement, it is essential to envision the leading political background of this time, namely the years before and after the founding of the Empire. So far it has been ignored completely that Max Jordan had a strong connection to the national-liberal minded circle of friends around Gustav Freytag which was associated with the city of Leipzig.28 This was an illustrious group of important scientists, publishers and art collectors as well as art critics centred on the German author Freytag, who is best known for his controversial novel Debit and Credit (Soll und Haben) published in 1855. Most relevant for this circle of intellectuals is the periodical Die Grenzboten, with which most of Freytag’s peers were involved in some way. Among them is Anton Springer, the first German scholar to hold a chair in art history, as well as Herman Riegel, the director of the Municipal Museum in Leipzig and later director of the Herzog Anton Ullrich Museum in Braunschweig. Other important

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members of this circle were the archaeologist and biographer Otto Jahn, the collector Eduard Cichorius, the publishers Georg and Otto Wigand as well as the connoisseur and art historian Joseph Archer Crowe. The closeness and importance of this Leipzigbound network becomes evident for example when Archer Crowe published his first essays on Raphael, treating newly found sources on the life of the artist; in 1863 he published them in an issue of the Grenzboten.29 When his History of Painting in Italy, written together with the Italian critic Giovanni Battista Cavalcaselle, was published in Germany between 1869 until 1876 the translation was done by Max Jordan. Jordan himself was very much at the core of all these activities because he had taken over the publication of the Grenzboten together with Freytag in 1861 after the former co-editor Julian Schmidt had departed to Berlin. Until 1871 Jordan remained in this position, after which he would succeed Hermann Riegel as director of the Museum in Leipzig, before he then became the director of the National Gallery in Berlin. Besides such personal contacts and collaborations, it is necessary to consider that the Grenzboten was one of the most influential German periodicals which, under the editorship of Gustav Freytag from 1848 until 1871, had become the organ of the National Liberal Party and was thus heavily involved in the movement of national unification. The magazine was also of vital importance, because Freytag and Julian Schmidt had developed the theory of realism through articles in it published since 1848. This journal was dominating the literary discourse in Germany in the 1850s and 1860s. Freytag’s remarkable political and literary position as well as his conception of the Grenzboten have already been widely investigated.30 Most important to the thesis postulated here is that resulting from the failed revolution of 1848, Freytag and his circle considered national historiography to be the core of a new upswing. They saw the need for a reform or complete reshaping of the historical science for a better or wider public and political influence and were very much interested in the politicization of science and in particular the humanities and historical sciences. Freytag combined this new orientation with the claim to a realistic manner of presentation, which was first reflected in a number of historical works of national levels.31 In a number of articles and reviews in the Grenzboten this new orientation was widely declared. Realism in literature as well as scientific writing was considered as a replacement of an aestheticised style and at the same time turning away from the artificiality of the French, which for a long time had been the ideal, the role model to be followed. Freytag himself gave a successful example of what he thought this new historical writing might look like. From 1859 until 1867 he published the four volumes of Bilder aus der deutschen Vergangenheit, a work on popular lines, illustrating the history and manners of Germany,32 and in 1872, he began to publish a work with a similar patriotic purpose, Die Ahnen, a series of historical romances in which he unfolds the history of a German family from the earliest times to the middle of the nineteenth century. In summary, Freytag’s approach or style of realistic history writing can roughly be characterised first by the subject: the historical and contemporary life and society of the German middle class; second by the literary style: the view on history from the perspective of everyday life, which is described in a simple manner; and third the authentication of the text by the enrichment with source documents, mainly autobiographical narrations and letters or biographical material written by contemporaries. Already the table of contents of the Bilder indicates all the historical documents used within the text, like autobiographical writings, letters and reports (marked with spaced letters; see Figure 6.4). Another history of the nineteenth century emerges

Figure 6.4 Title page of Gustav Freytag, Bilder aus der deutschen Vergangenheit, Gustav Freytag, Bilder aus der deutschen Vergangenheit, 5th revised edn. Leipzig: Hirzel, 1867, 2. Vol. Source: © Bayerische Staatsbibliothek, München

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of this circle. It is Anton Springer’s Geschichte der bildenden Künste im neunzehnten Jahrhundert, first published in 1858, which is a manifesto for a scholarly art history as well as for the principles of Realism.33 It is crucial to notice the key importance Freytag gives to source documents and to acknowledge his concept of adding whole documents or long original passages within the text itself. This not only had an effect on art historical writing, but more importantly, the Grenzboten circle also initiated the production of such documents. In 1867, for example, the collector and connoisseur Eduard Cichorius asked Schnorr for autobiographical records. Schnorr never wrote an autobiography himself, but Jordan as well as Herman Riegel would gather material about the artist. First Jordan would publish a biography of Schnorr in the Zeitschrift für Bildende Kunst,34 which turned out to be an early version of the essay he wrote for the catalogue of the National Gallery in Berlin. Then ten years later, in 1877, Riegel also published a biographical article on Schnorr, including a lot of letters and notes from the artist.35 This was shortly before Jordan opened the exhibition on Schnorr in January 1878. Most likely due to the Grenzboten network Jordan got in touch with Eduard Cichorius, who was one of the most important collectors of contemporary German drawings of the nineteenth century, especially the works of Julius Schnorr von Carolsfeld, and he was the owner of the Landschaftsbuch. Among other projects, like the edition of letters of the engraver Julius Thaeter and a biography on the Austrian painter Joseph Anton Koch, the origins to the popular autobiography of Ludwig Richter Lebenserinnerungen eines deutschen Malers can also be traced back to the Grenzboten circle: the art historian Anton Springer, the archaeologist Otto Jahn, the collector Eduard Cichorius and the publisher Georg Wigand are directly involved in it.36 As mentioned, Jordan organised the exhibition for the seventy-fifth anniversary of the artist. As a result of all these efforts, it can be summarised that all the art historians, critics, curators and connoisseurs of the Grenzboten circle worked on a shift of meaning in the reception of the German artists of the first half of the nineteenth century. They tried to write a history of German art of the nineteenth century under the principles of Realism. The individual artists were inscribed in this narration of the young German art, arising at the first decade of the nineteenth century, breaking with the rules of the academy and escaping, mostly to Italy, to find their own style, their inner artistic nature. This is a biographical scheme which is repeated in the individual biographies and memoirs as well as in the narration of the art history of the whole nation. In this way the story of the single artist becomes at the same time the story of the whole nation. He becomes an exemplary role model. In relation to these manifold activities of the Grenzboten network, Jordan’s series of special exhibitions at the National Gallery seem like a showcase for their favoured artists. Furthermore, Jordan’s innovative setup aiming at a scholarly approach to the artists’ work was associated with the realistic program established by the Grenzboten. This realistic impact affects Jordan’s choice of selected objects on display broadening the horizon beyond academic and representational subjects towards minor genres, especially landscape, and presenting the whole range of artistic practice including drawings, sketches, prints and so forth covering the whole lifespan of the artist. Moreover it influences the way of presenting them, showing an abundance of preparatory works and studies as well as authenticating them with autobiographical or at least biographical documents in the accompanying catalogues, thus providing the public

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with study material to form their own opinion. In conclusion, Jordan attempts to constitute another narration of art history besides the official Prussian representational heroic tale, which can be characterised as historical-critical, middle-class art history.

Notes 1 Today the Alte Nationalgalerie in Berlin, Staatliche Museen preußischer Kulturbesitz. 2 ‘Die erste der periodischen Ausstellungen im oberen Geschoss der Königlichen NationalGalerie, welche Werke hervorragender deutscher Künstler in systematischer Ueberschau oder zusammenhängende Bilder-Cyklen vorführen und der eingehenderen Betrachtung zugänglich machen wollen . . . “‘Max Jordan, Erste Ausstellung in der Königlichen National-Galerie zu Berlin. Werke des Landschaftsmalers Heinrich Franz-Dreber (Berlin: Ernst Siegfried Mittler und Sohn, Mai–Juni 1876), p. 3. (All translations made by the author) 3 Jordan’s correspondence concerning the exhibitions is kept in the Central Archive of the Staatliche Museen zu Berlin, reference number I/NG 601. 4 ‘Zur Pflege des öffentlichen Interesses an der vaterländischen Kunst und zu Belehrung und Genuß der den Kunstangelegenheiten näher stehenden Kreise der Hauptstadt erscheint es mir wünschenswerth, daß in der Kgl. Nat. Gal. von Zeit zu Zeit systematisch geordnete Ausstellungen veranstaltet werden, welche entweder das künstlerische Schaffen eines einzelnen Meisters oder zusammenhängende cyklische Werke der Betrachtung und dem Studium zugänglich machen.’ Max Joardan, I/NG no. 277/76 (fol. 3v) Berlin, 10 April 1876.[299] 5 ‘. . . Handzeichnungen, Skizzen, Studien und dgl.’ Ibid. 6 ‘. . . als eine bisher in Berlin vermißte Gelegenheit zu eingehender Orientierung auf abgeschlossener und möglichst vollständig zu Anschauung zu bringenden Kunstgebieten.’ Max Jordan, I/NG no. 277/76 (fol. 3v) Berlin, 10 April 1876. 7 ‘. . . die eindringliche Schärfe der Beobachtung und die Keuschheit der Wiedergabe . . .’, Jordan, Franz-Dreber, p. 4. 8 ‘. . . auf die Erfassung des inneren Lebens der Natur und seinen specifisch malerischen Ausdruck. Aller Gewaltsamkeit der Stilisirung abhold bildete er bei vollkommener Kenntniss des Einzelnen und feinster Fühlung des Organischen in der Natur mehr und mehr die lyrische Auffassung aus.’ Ibid. 9 The exact number of drawings might vary due to the lack of precise indications in some few catalogue numbers, which do not differentiate between single sheets with several drawings or compositions on them or individual drawings. 10 ‘. . . welches den Entwicklungsgang des seltenen Mannes von der frühen Jungendzeit bis zum Tode fast lückenlos in charakteristischen Produkten vor Augen führt . . .’, Jordan, Franz-Dreber, p. 6. 11 They were divided by a glass ceiling at medium height in 1936 and are now covered with a concrete floor. 12 Due to the short catalogue entries it can often only be assumed that the drawings have a preparatory function for the oil painting they are related to. 13 ‘Ein weites Feld künstlerischen Schaffens erschließt sich durch diese Sammlung dem Blicke des Besuchers. Zuerst sieht man in den Zeichnungen und Entwürfen nur die Grundzüge der sich entwicklenden Ideen, man erkennt in den zahlreichen Studien sowohl den Fleiß, wie die außerordentliche Produktionskraft des Künstlers, man ahnt in den Skizzen bereits das Werk und erblickt dieses selbst endlich in seiner Vollendung. Eine solche Betrachtung ist eben so lehrreich wie interessant. Nur zu oft und zu leicht unterschätzt man beim Anblick eines abgeschlossenen Kunstwerks die Schwierigkeiten, welche der Künstler zu überwinden hatte, bevor das Gebilde als einheitliches Ganze entstand. Hier sehen wir all’ die Mühen, oder wenn man will, die Kombinationen, die sich immermehr centralisiren, hier folgen wir dem Strome vom Quell bis zu seiner Mündung. Sein Lauf führt uns in mannigfachen Windungen durch zerklüftete Berge und durch freundliche Thäler, durch Wiesen und lauschige Gärten allmählig dem Ziele entgegen. Dort angelangt, fühlen wir den Blick geschärft und vermögen das sich uns nun darbietende großartige Naturschauspiel ganz anders zu genießen, als wenn dasselbe plötzlich vor unser Auge getreten wäre. Wir haben mit der Entstehung zugleich die innere Organisation kennen gelernt.’ Kunstbericht von Th. Str., Berliner Fremdenblatt, no. 116 from 18 May 1876.

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14 ‘Alle diese Arbeiten sind so gruppirt, daß man den leitenden Faden ohne Mühe verfolgen kann.’ Ibid. 15 Journal de Berlin, 21 May 1876. 16 Christian Scholl, Kerstin Schwedes, and Reinhard Spiekermann, Revisionen der Romantik. Zur Rezeption der “neudeutschen Malerei” 1817–1906 (Berlin: Akademie Verlag, 2012). 17 ‘Dies Blätter spiegeln nicht nur die Auffassung- und Behandlungsweise der Haupt-Perioden des Meisters bei derselben künstlerischen Unternehmung wieder, sondern lassen, da sie häufig in mehreren Stadien der Vollendung vorliegen, auch das allmälige Reifen der einzelnen Darstellungen erkennen, so dass sie ein unmittelbares Bild der Genesis seines Stiles abgeben.’ Max Jordan, Ausstellung von Werken Julius Schnorr’s von Carolsfeld, geb. 1794, gest. 1872, Ausstellung Januar – Februar 1878, Kgl. National-Galerie Berlin (Berlin: Ernst Siegfried Mittler und Sohn, 1878), pp. XI–XII. 18 The Photographische Gesellschaft had a great reputation for their gallery works of various European art collections. Already since 1866 they had published contemporary art, too, editing an annual catalogue showing the major works of the exhibition of the academy of fine arts in Berlin, cf. Dorothea Peters, ‘“. . . die Theilnahme für Kunst im Publikum zu steigern . . .”, fotografische Kunstreproduktionen nach Werken der Nationalgalerie in der Ära Jordan (1874–1896)’, Jahrbuch Preußischer Kulturbesitz, 37 (2000), 207–250, pp. 216–217. 19 Christopher B. With, The Prussian Landeskunstkommission 1862–1911: A Study in State Subvention of the Arts (Berlin: Mann, 1986), p. 37. 20 Already in 1875, before the opening of the National Gallery, Jordan concluded a contract with the Photographische Gesellschaft to make authorised reproductions of an exemplary list of artworks of the collection which began to appear successive in 1876. According to Dorothea Peters this is considered to be the first gallery work on contemporary art, cf. Peters, ‘. . . die Theilnahme für Kunst im Publikum zu steigern . . .’, pp. 223–228. But Jordan was not restricted to photography, he also commissioned etchings from pictures and sculptures of the collection (mainly focussing on details) being edited in 1880 as Stammbuch der Nationalgalerie. He was also very much engaged in the development of oleographs and planned a gallery work in heliogravure in 1888, Cf. Peters, ‘. . . die Theilnahme für Kunst im Publikum zu steigern . . .’, p. 238. 21 Wagener’s private collection had a main focus on German art of his time, but he also opened it for cross-border European art movements, cf. Gustav Friedrich Waagen, Des Herrn Direktors Dr. Waagen Bilder-Taufe und Aufstellung der Gemälde im kgl. Museum zu Berlin (Leipzig: Brüggemann’sche Verlags-Exp., 1832), Eberhard Roters, ‘Die Nationalgalerie und ihre Stifter. Mäzenatentum und staatliche Förderung in Dialog und Widerspruch’, in Mäzenatentum in Berlin. Bürgersinn und kulturelle Kompetenz unter sich verändernden Bedingungen, ed. by Günther Braun and Waltraud Braun (Berlin, New York: de Gruyter, 1993), pp. 73–98, Claude Keisch, Die Sammlung Wagener. Aus der Vorgeschichte der Nationalgalerie (Berlin: Staatliche Museen zu Berlin, 1976), Udo Kittelmann, Birgit Verwiebe, and Angelika Wesenberg, eds., Die Sammlung des Bankiers Wagener. Die Gründung der Nationalgalerie (Leipzig: Seemann, 2011), and Birgit Verwiebe and Angelika Wesenberg, eds., Die Gründung der Nationalgalerie in Berlin. Der Stifter Wagener und seine Bilder (Köln, Weimar and Wien: Böhlau, 2013). 22 Verwiebe and Wesenberg, eds., Die Gründung der Nationalgalerie in Berlin. 23 With, pp. 48–49, 53–55. 24 Jörn Grabowski, Leitbilder einer Nation. Zur Geschichte der Berliner Nationalgalerie, for the Zentralarchiv – Staatliche Museen ed. by Petra Winter (Köln, Weimar and Wien: Böhlau, 2015), p. 22. 25 Thus although the new museum did not open until 1876, the inscription on the architrave shows 1871 in golden letters. The year was actually referring to the founding of the German Empire and the imperial proclamation. The dedication ‘for the German art’ also means a restriction that had never been intended by Wagener, the donor, nor Jordan, the director. This dedication was programmatically executed at the outside of the museum, where the names of 28 German artists of the nineteenth century were inscribed between the columns. 26 Cf. Grabowski, Leitbilder einer Nation, 2015, Jörn Grabowski, ‘Die politische und kunstpolitische Konzeption der Nationalgalerie: behandelt anhand der Erwerbungen historischer Darstellungen in der Zeit von 1861 bis 1896 und deren Präsentation in Berlin und Potsdam’ (unpublished doctoral thesis, Humboldt University of Berlin, 1990).

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27 Ludwig Pallat, Richard Schöne. Generaldirektor der Königlichen Museen zu Berlin: ein Beitrag zur Geschichte der preußischen Kunstverwaltung 1872–1905, Nach der hinterlassenen Hs. des Verf. hrsg. von Paul Ortwin Rave (Berlin: de Gruyter, 1959), p. 95. 28 Cf. Gustav Freytag, Erinnerungen aus meinem Leben (Leipzig: S. Hirzel, 1887), pp. 229– 231, 234–236 and 270–274. See also the ‘Kitzing’ in Leipzig, Friedrich Schulze, ‘Der Kitzing – ein politischer Kreis um 1860’, Schriften des Vereins für die Geschichte Leipzigs, 13, no. 1 (1921), 16–28. 29 Die Grenzboten, Jg. 22, 1863. 30 See for example Alysse A. Lonner, Mediating the Past: Gustav Freytag, Progress, and German Historical Identity, 1848–1871 (Oxford and New York: Peter Lang, 2005). 31 For example the Geschichte des neunzehnten Jahrhunderts by Georg Gottfried Gervinus published in 1853 as well as his extensive Geschichte des neunzehnten Jahrhunderts seit den Wiener Verträgen published from 1855 until 1866. Another well-known compendium is the Naturgeschichte des Volkes als Grundlage einer deutschen Socialpolitik written by the cultural anthropologist Wilhelm Heinrich Riehl edited from 1851 until 1869. 32 Gustav Freytag, Bilder aus der deutschen Vergangenheit, 4 vols. (Leipzig: S. Hirzel, 1859–1867). 33 Anton Springer, Geschichte der bildenden Künste im neunzehnten Jahrhundert (Leipzig: Brockhaus, 1858), pp. VIII–XI. His confession to Realism is moderated in his second survey Die Kunst des 19. Jahrhunderts edited in 1881, but also this later publication has still to be understood in the context of the Grenzboten.On Springer’s connection to the Grenzboten, see Johannes Rössler, Poetik der Kunstgeschichte: Anton Springer, Carl Justi und die ästhetische Konzeption der deutschen Kunstwissenschaft (Berlin: Akademie-Verl., 2009). 34 Max Jordan, ‘Aus Julius Schnorr’s Lehr- und Wanderjahren’, Zeitschrift für bildende Kunst, 2 (1867), 285–298. 35 On the occasion of the anniversary of Joseph Anton Koch’s birthday in 1869 a celebration took place in Leipzig, to which Jordan provided the keynote speech and reflected on the unexecuted Koch Biography of Cichorius. 36 Saskia Pütz, Künstlerautobiographie. Die Konstruktion von Künstlerschaft am Beispiel Ludwig Richters (Berlin: Gebr. Mann, 2011).

7

The Courbet retrospective of 1882. Harbinger of the artist’s first major monography and catalogue raisonné Petra ten-Doesschate Chu

Introduction In May 1882, less than five years after the death in Switzerland of Gustave Courbet, the art critic Jules Castagnary (1830–1888) organized a large retrospective of the artist’s work in Paris,1 the first monographic exhibition after the one Courbet had organized himself at the occasion of the Paris Universal Exhibition of 1867.2 Held at the École des Beaux-Arts, the exhibition featured 130 paintings and fifteen drawings (Figure 7.1). Included among them were five paintings recently acquired by the French state or the City of Paris, as well as a seascape borrowed from the Musée du Luxembourg, France’s museum of contemporary art.3 But the vast majority of the paintings were lent by Courbet’s heirs; by dealers, such as Paul Détrimont, Paul Durand Ruel, Etienne-François Haro, Henri Hecht, Jules Paton, and Georges Petit; and by private collectors, including many of Courbet’s former friends, such as Castagnary himself, Etienne Baudry, Théodore Duret, Edouard Ordinaire, and Edouard Pasteur.4 The timing of the exhibition at the École des Beaux-Arts, five years after Courbet’s death, was opportune. The artist was just beginning to be rehabilitated after his disastrous participation in the Commune and his instigative role in the destruction of the Vendôme Column. Even though he might not have actively participated in its destruction, in 1875, after a protracted court case, he was condemned to pay the full expense of the reconstruction of the column. After an equally protracted appeal, the verdict was confirmed two years later, in May 1877. Courbet was sentenced to pay a little more than 323,000 francs in yearly instalments of 10,000, beginning 1 January 1878.5 By then, the artist had been in self-imposed exile in Switzerland for four years, to forego imprisonment as well as to safeguard at least some of his financial assets. His heavy drinking had brought on delirium tremens as well as an alcoholic liver disease that manifested itself, among other symptoms, in a massive edema. He died, age fifty-eight, two days before the first instalment of his payment would have been due, on 29 December 1877.6 By the time of Courbet’s death, the Column had long been rebuilt – its reconstruction was decreed on 30 May 1873, and by late December 1875, both the Column and the Place Vendôme on which it stood looked as respectable as ever before.7 As for France’s political situation, a little more than a year after Courbet’s death, on 30 January 1879, President Patrice de MacMahon (1808–1893) had resigned. Like his predecessor Adolphe Thiers (1797–1877), he had embodied the oxymoron of a monarchist president of a republic; his conservativism and that of his government of moral order had certainly contributed to the court’s inflexible position vis-à-vis

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Figure 7.1 Eugène Chéron, General view of Courbet’s retrospective exhibition of 1882 Photograph Source: From: Eugène Chéron, Album de l’exposition des oeuvres de Gustave Courbet à l’École des BeauxArts (Paris, 1882) (Photo INHA, Paris)

Courbet. MacMahon was replaced by Jules Grévy (1807–1891), the first republican president of the Third French Republic. One of the earliest acts of Grévy’s government (3 March 1872) was to grant partial amnesty to participants in the Commune. Five months later, the Republic abandoned its claims to compensation from those who, like Courbet, had been condemned to pay fines or damages. And in July 1880, full amnesty was extended to all Communards.8 Thus, less than three years after his death, Courbet was posthumously pardoned for his role in the Commune, and his heirs had been cleared of all financial responsibility for re-erecting the Column, which for two years already had been restored to its full pre-Commune glory. Indeed, by 1880, the time seemed ripe for the rehabilitation of Courbet, which quickly became something of a minor industry. In her article entitled ‘The De-Politicization of Gustave Courbet: Transformation and Rehabilitation under the Third Republic,’ Linda Nochlin shows how this rehabilitation followed three paths: one was to disengage Courbet from politics, specifically his extremist participation in the Commune and his role in the destruction of the Vendôme Column; the second was to focus on his landscape paintings and to attach him firmly to the realm of nature rather than to the socio-political content of some of his early figure paintings; and the third was to insert Courbet’s oeuvre into the great tradition of French art, a ploy that, according to Nochlin was extremely effective as it was ‘at once aesthetic and nationalistic, elevating and neutralizing.’9

The exhibition The 1882 exhibition in the École des Beaux-Arts was an integral part of the Courbet rehabilitation effort of the 1880s. Its organizer, Jules Castagnary, had been a friend of Courbet since the early 1860s. Born in Saintes in 1830, he had studied law in Paris

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but had become interested in journalism and the arts. He achieved a reputation as an art critic following his review of the 1857 Paris Salon in the journal Le Présent, and in the next two decades he annually reviewed the Salons in the Le Monde illustré, Le Siècle, and Le Nain jaune. A staunch republican, like Courbet, Castagnary did not, however, join the Commune but remained a loyal friend of the artist to the end. In 1879, benefiting from his long-time association with the Republican opposition under the Second Empire, he was elected to the newly created Conseil Supérieur des BeauxArts (1875–1940), a powerful committee that advised the government on matters related to the arts. It is in that role that Castagnary saw an opportunity to organize an exhibition of Courbet’s work in the prestigious École des Beaux-Arts, the premier art school in Paris, of which in 1887 he would become the director.10 In organizing the Courbet exhibition in May 1882, Castagnary, no doubt, was encouraged by the success of an auction of part of Courbet’s estate at the Hôtel Drouot, held six months earlier, in December 1881.11 The sale brought to light twenty-three works by Courbet, most of which had not been seen in public for years. Some had been hidden in different locations by Courbet’s family and friends; others had been confiscated at the onset of his trial by various government agencies – the Administration des domaines, the Préfecture of Paris, and the Préfecture of his native Doubs department. The confiscated works had been returned to Courbet’s family after Grévy’s government had cleared Courbet’s heirs from the responsibility of paying for the re-erection of the Vendome Column. The Drouot auction drew a huge and enthusiastic crowd. Paul Eudel, that untiring chronicler of Paris’s famous auction house, wrote in his book, L’Hôtel Drouot en 1881, that in all his years of attending sales, ‘there has never been such a crowd for a sale. Though the public is turbulent and impressionable, it is clearly intended as a peaceful demonstration in favor of Courbet.’12 Courbet’s official rehabilitation as an artist was made manifest at the auction through the acquisition by the French state and the city of Paris of five major works, four of which are today in the Musée d’Orsay, while the fifth is in the Musée du Petit Palais. Not included in the sale was Courbet’s famous Burial at Ornans. Courbet’s sister Juliette Courbet, who was his sole heir, in a magnanimous and politically astute gesture, had donated the painting to the French State right before the auction.13 The exhibition at the École des Beaux-Arts comprised all of the works acquired by the state, but not the Burial at Ornans, which for bureaucratic reasons could not leave the Louvre. In addition, it included numerous loans from Juliette Courbet, from dealers, and from private collectors. The exhibition was accompanied by an eightynine-page catalogue with a preface and an introductory essay by Castagnary, as well as carefully researched entries for each work. It was also documented in an album of twenty-three photographs, taken by Eugène Chéron.14 These show that the exhibition for the most part was hung in groupings that combined figure paintings with landscapes, portraits, and still lifes. The catalog, by contrast, was organized by genres, distinguishing between figure paintings (‘tableaux’), portraits, landscapes, marines, still lifes, and drawings. Though all works were carefully dated, no attempt was made to put them in chronological order within those categories. Chéron’s photographs suggest that the hanging of the exhibition was carefully planned so as to mitigate the impact of Courbet’s more controversial paintings, such as The Stonebreakers (formerly Dresden, Gemäldegalerie; probably destroyed), the Portrait of P.J. Proudhon (Paris, Musée du Petit Palais), the Young Ladies on the Bank

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Figure 7.2 Eugène Chéron, Wall installation view (with The Stonebreakers) of Courbet’s retrospective exhibition of 1882, photograph Source: Eugène Chéron, Album de l’exposition des oeuvres de Gustave Courbet à l’École des Beaux-Arts (Paris, 1882) (Photo INHA, Paris)

of the Seine River (Paris, Musée du Petit Palais), or The Awakening (formerly Berlin, Gerstenberg collection; probably destroyed). Each one of these controversial works was surrounded by a grouping of smaller-size portraits, still lifes, landscape paintings, and/or hunting scenes, as if to remind the visitor that the same artist who painted this or that controversial work had also excelled in those inoffensive genres. On either side of The Stonebreakers, for example (see Figure 7.2), were hung two mid-size hunting pictures at the top, and two small sleeping nudes and two small hunting scenes at the bottom. This strategic hanging detracted attention from a painting that had been among the works which, as Castagnary reminded readers of the catalogue, had been extremely controversial and widely criticized for their political message when first exhibited.15

The exhibition catalogue and the first Courbet monographs The exhibition catalogue had a short preface by Castagnary, in which he talked about the organizational logistics of the exhibition, as well as a twenty-two-page introductory essay. Castagnary started the essay by stating categorically that the time for a biography of Courbet had not yet come: ‘The life of the artist! Allow me to not even allude to it. Though feelings have calmed down, it does not seem that the time is ripe for a truthful and impartial biography. In any case, this here is not the venue to attempt it.’16 He went on to suggest, however, that if it was too early to talk about the story of Courbet’s life, one could at least talk about the works. ‘Besides the man, there are the works, which also have their history.’17 With those words, Castagnary embarked on an essay in which he wrote about Courbet’s paintings and their reception. He began by discussing the early figure paintings and the public reaction to them. How can we,’ he wrote, ‘after all these years, look again at the Stonebreakers, how can we evoke the memory of The Burial at Ornans, without remembering the storm that painting set off when it was first exhibited, and the wave of insults

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that it caused its courageous author? And remembering that storm and those insults, how can we not ask for reasons, and try to understand by what erroneous thinking or what prejudices an art so morally right and so powerful, and in addition so democratic and so French, has been able to raise such anger and become something of a public scandal?18 Castagnary went on to explain that the initial scandal caused by Courbet’s work had been due to the reactionary politics of the early 1850s, the same politics, he wrote, that had squashed the ideals of the 1848 revolution. Though Courbet, according to Castagnary, continued through the first half of the 1850s to paint controversial paintings, he ultimately could not take the criticism any longer and began to focus on landscapes, flowers, and nudes. He became successful because he had a natural affinity for nature, ‘an exquisite sensibility and an incomparable technical power.’19 He was, what Castagnary called ‘une réceptivité,’ a receptivity, by which he meant that Courbet had the capacity of fully taking in and comprehending the world around him and to subsequently represent it in his paintings.20 There is little doubt that Castagnary’s intense involvement with the retrospective exhibition of 1882 was a major impetus for his project of writing a monograph on the artist. This monograph, which was intended as an ‘artist and his work’ sort of biography, remained unfinished when he died in 1888. Parts of it were published by the critic’s widow in 1911, more than twenty years after his death, in a series of three instalments in the Gazette des Beaux-Arts.21 Castagnary had known Courbet since the early 1860s and was among the few long-time friends of the artist who had not either died (like Max Buchon and Pierre-Joseph Proudhon) or lost touch with him (like Champfleury and Alfred Bruyas). The organization of the exhibition brought him into renewed contact not only with Courbet’s works but also with Courbet’s sister Juliette, who was the artist’s sole heir by virtue of a last will and testament that was found among Courbet’s papers after his death.22 Juliette, who must have met Castagnary as early as 1864, when he visited Courbet in Ornans, placed at his disposal the numerous letters Courbet had sent to his family throughout his life, from his early days at the Collège de Besançon to his final years in Swiss exile. In the fragments of the biography published in the Gazette, Castagnary liberally quotes from them as well as from the letters he himself had received from the artist. Though Castagnary’s book on Courbet was never completed, his extensive drafts and notes may have been used by Georges Riat (1860–1905), who in the early years of the twentieth century wrote the first definitive monograph of Courbet, a work that still stands today as a crucial source of information on the artist’s life and work.23 What is certain is that, like Castagnary, Riat contacted Juliette Courbet when he embarked on his biography to consult the ‘souvenirs et papiers’ that she had carefully preserved and that contained a wealth of material related to the artist’s life.24 Ironically, Riat, too, died before he could finish his biography of Courbet, but by the time of his premature death at age thirty-six, his book was so near completion that it was published not long afterwards, in 1906. Why did it take almost thirty years after Courbet’s death before the first major monograph of Courbet saw the light? It is difficult for us to understand today the length of the shadow that Courbet’s participation in the Commune threw over the story of his life. Even if his work was quickly re-appreciated and, in fact, was never really unappreciated, the story of his life was something else. Oliver Larkin tells us

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that as late as 1921, when Léonce Bénédite, Curator of the Luxembourg Museum, was invited, as a representative of the French State, to attend the unveiling of a Courbet commemorative tablet in the artist’s native village of Ornans, he declined the invitation in the last minute because he had ‘received counter instructions,’ presumably from the highest level of the French government.25 And there was more to it. For much of the nineteenth century, Courbet was considered a great natural talent as a painter but not a particularly sophisticated and interesting person. The idea of writing a biography of a man who was considered by many boorish and naïf was seen not merely as futile but as a disservice to his art.26 Riat seems to have been unburdened by the longstanding prejudices against Courbet. He was born in 1869, just years before Courbet was exiled to Switzerland for his participation in the demolition of the Vendôme Column.27 He had no personal memories of the Commune and of Courbet’s role in it. His interest in Courbet was primarily as a fellow countryman, for like Courbet, he came from the Doubs department in the Franche Comté region of France. Riat was also a first-rate scholar, who considered the biography as much a research project as a labour of love. Unlike Castagnary, who was always on the defence of Courbet, Riat was able to take a distance and concentrate on the facts. Or, in the words of his fellow art historian Paul Vitry, who wrote a preface for Riat’s biography, Mixed up as we know that he was in the events of 1871, [. . .] Courbet has [. . .] not known the glory of a definitive consecration, despite faithful friendships like those of Castagnary, despite the acquisition of a number of his works by the Louvre. But today he has entered into history and the book that we present here will help us to judge him historically in full knowledge of the facts.28 The 1882 exhibition catalogue and the catalogue raisonné While the 1882 retrospective exhibition of Courbet’s work was an important impetus to the writing of the first monograph of Courbet, it also inspired the long and discontinuous effort of establishing a catalogue raisonné of the artist’s work, an effort that, in the end, would take nearly a century. When Castagnary put together the Courbet retrospective in 1882, one of his goals was to establish a rigidly documented core body of uncontested works by Courbet. Indeed, in the preface to the list of works in the catalogue, he wrote, In the redaction of this catalogue, we have aimed at absolute exactitude. We have noted, for each painting, the inscribed information [signature and date] it contains, and in transcribing it we have also given its location [. . .]. We have mentioned the Salons and the private exhibitions organized by the artist in which each work has hung: this provides them with something of an official civic record [état civil], which a painting acquires over time. It becomes part of its fame and stays with it during its lifespan.29 Though Castagnary does not mention the word ‘authenticity’ in his introductory remarks, it is clear that his explicit emphasis on the scholarly exactitude of his catalogue – the importance of dates and signatures and of what he called their état civil – their provenance and exhibition record – was his way of assuring readers that all the

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works in the exhibition were documented works by the artist. It was important to stress this in the early 1880s as, at the time, Courbet forgeries were numerous and ubiquitous, and everyone knew it. For this, Courbet himself was partly to blame.30 After his exile to Switzerland, in anticipation of expenses he might have to pay for the reconstruction of the Vendôme Column, he had embarked on the wholesale production of new works, mostly landscapes. Many of these repeated or were slight variations on landscape paintings he had done in the 1860s – scenes from his native Franche Comté region or marines he had done in Normandy. To maximize his productivity, he had engaged the help of several landscape painters, including the French artists Marcel Ordinaire and Ernest-Paul Brigot, the Polish André Slomszynski, or ‘Slom,’ and the Swiss Chérubino Pata. The extent to which these artists contributed to the paintings produced in Switzerland is not exactly clear, but their involvement may have been substantial. Two dealers, Paul Pia, an exiled French engineer who had opened a gallery in Geneva, and Gustave Pétrequin-Dard, a painter and part-time art dealer in Lausanne, sold the works to Swiss collectors and tourists. The Swiss market was limited, however, and Courbet was eager to sell his work in other European countries and in America. To do so, Courbet needed to get his works to France, where he had contacts who could help with the sale of his works both in France and abroad. But given the artist’s legal situation, it was impossible to send signed paintings across the French border legally, as they were sure to be seized by the government. To smuggle them out of the country, Courbet and his assistants came up with various schemes. One was the covering up of Courbet’s signature with a piece of cigarette paper that was subsequently covered with paint. After works thus signed had crossed the border, the paper was removed and the area around the signature touched up. Another was for Courbet to ship unsigned works to France and have his assistant Pata add his initials or a full signature later, or else providing him with signed certificates that he could glue on the back of the paintings once they had arrived in France. These practices not only created confusion, they also provided a virtual license for fraud, which blossomed the more readily as Courbet had few friends in France looking out for his welfare. Castagnary was among the exceptions. As early as 1873, he sent a letter to Courbet warning him that many faux Courbets were being sold in Paris.31 He blamed Courbet’s assistants for this, but it is more likely that crooked dealers affixed the master’s signature to canvases by the artist’s followers. In a letter to Castagnary of March 1874, Courbet claims that the dealer Alexandre Bernheim was ‘filling Paris with counterfeits of his paintings.’32 Meanwhile, professional forgers were also busy producing Courbet landscapes and still lifes, for which there appears to have been an insatiable market. In 16 June 1874, an article in La République française claimed that a ‘factory’ of Courbet counterfeits had been established in Geneva.’33 It is clear that in this climate of uncertainty as to the authenticity of Courbet’s works, it was imperative for Castagnary to organize an exhibition of works with a solid provenance and, indeed, it appears that most of the works in the exhibition had been acquired directly by their owners from Courbet. In the following eighty years or so, most authors followed his example. Both Castagnary, in his unfinished biography, and Riat focused on the works that Courbet had exhibited during his lifetime. A more inclusive approach was taken by Alexandre Estignard, who in his 1896 Courbet. Sa vie, ses oeuvres was the first to attach to his summary biography of Courbet a checklist of the artist’s works. Unlike Castagnary, Estignard lists the dated works in chronological order, while undated works are listed by genre. He gives the

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whereabouts of each work but not, in general, the exhibitions at which they have been shown. Like Castagnary, Estignard, in the preface to his catalogue, talks about the difficulty of putting it together: To this detailed study of Courbet, we must add a catalogue of his works, so that one can know him better. But how to put together a complete catalogue? If one includes his sketches, the rapid studies done from nature, Courbet has produced almost 900 works. The paintings exhibited at the Salons, those that enjoyed a certain notoriety, are easy to find but many works unknown to the public are part of private collections; many have been dispersed all over, in England, in Austria, in Russia, in all of Europe and especially in America.34 Estignard, ultimately, came up with a list of about 400 paintings and a handful of sculptures. For the next half century or more, few authors had the courage to attack the problem of creating a complete catalogue of Courbet’s oeuvre. Théodore Duret, to his 1918 monograph of Courbet, attached a list of paintings by Courbet in museums, but it is short and not exhaustive.35 In the end, it was not until the late 1950s that a local Franche-Comté artist and distant relative of Courbet, Robert Fernier, embarked on the project of a definitive catalogue raisonné of Courbet’s work. Initially Fernier cooperated with the art historian Gaston Delestre:36 the latter compiled a documentation, while Fernier travelled around to look at Courbet paintings in museums. The project moved slowly, however, as Fernier took several painting trips to Africa, and the relationship with Delestre deteriorated. Eventually, Delestre died before the project was completed, and in the end Fernier published the catalogue raisonné under his own name only.37 Fernier’s catalogue was his way of paying homage to Courbet. Courbet was his hero, and much of his later life was devoted to the commemoration of the artist.38 If Castagnary, focused on ‘purifying’ Courbet’s oeuvre, had been extremely disciplined, even restrictive, in preparing the catalogue for his monographic exhibition in the École des Beaux-Arts, Fernier, interested in a celebration of the artist’s work, was inclusive in his catalogue raisonné. Though in his preface he thanks Castagnary ‘in particular’ for laying the groundwork for the catalogue raisonné,39 and though he started out in Castagnary’s spirit of exactitude, in his rush to get the catalogue out in time for the centenary of the artist’s death, and for that matter his own (Fernier died in 1977, exactly 100 years after Courbet), he cut some corners and ultimately produced a book that lacked some of the rigor that Castagnary knew was important when dealing with the oeuvre of Courbet. This in no way diminishes Fernier’s accomplishment. To this day, the Fernier catalogue is the ‘go-to’ work for scholars of Courbet’s oeuvre.40

Conclusion When Jules Castagnary organized the first monographic exhibition of Courbet after the artist’s death in 1882, he realized it was a precarious undertaking. For many in Paris, the memory of Courbet’s participation in the generally unpopular Commune was still fresh, and Castagnary realized he had to focus on the art and underplay the man. But focusing on Courbet’s art had its own problems, as there was a general awareness of the dilution of the artist’s oeuvre by the large-scale studio manufacture Courbet had directed himself, as well as by the production in different parts of

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Europe of outright forgeries of Courbet’s work. Both circumstances, in addition to his untimely death, contributed to Castagnary’s failure to produce his planned monograph of Courbet. More generally, they constitute an explanation for the unusually long time it took for the first major Courbet monograph as well as the catalogue raisonné of the artist’s work to appear.

Notes 1 Exposition des oeuvres de Gustave Courbet à l’École des Beaux-Arts (Paris, 1882). ). See https://archive.org/details/expositiondesuvr00ecol_0. 2 Exposition des oeuvres de M.G. Courbet: Rond-Point du Pont de l’Alma (Champs-Elysées). A catalogue of the exhibition was published by Lebigre-Duquesne frères in Paris (1867). See http://gallica.bnf.fr/ark:/12148/bpt6k65726372. 3 In December 1881, the French state had bought, at the posthumous auction of Courbet’s work, Battle of the Stags, The Wounded Man, and The Man With the Leather Belt, now all in the Musée d’Orsay, as well as The Mort of the Stag, which was deposited at the Musée des Beaux-Arts et d’Archéologie in Besançon. The City of Paris had acquired Siesta at Haymaking Time, now in the Musée du Petit Palais. Not included in the exhibition was The Burial at Ornans, which Juliette Courbet had donated to the Louvre just before the December auction. According to Castagnary, some ‘rules’ prevented the painting from being lent by the Louvre. The painting from the Musée du Luxembourg that was in the exhibition was Stormy Sea (The Wave), now also in the Musée d’Orsay. See Exposition des oeuvres . . . à l’École des Beaux-Arts, pp. 3–5. 4 Ibid., passim. 5 On Courbet’s involvement in the Commune, see Laurence des Cars, ed., Courbet et la Commune, exhib. cat. (Paris: Musée d’Orsay, 2000). On Courbet and the Vendôme Column, see Jane Mayo Roos, Early Impressionism and the French State, 1866–1874 (Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press, 1996), ch. 9. 6 On Courbet’s exile in Switzerland, see Pierre Chessex, ed., Courbet et la Suisse, exhib. cat. (La Tour-de-Peilz: Château, 1982) and Laurence Madeline, ed., Gustave Courbet: Les Années suisses, exhib. cat. (Geneva: Musées d’art et d’histoire, 2014–15). 7 No complete history of the Vendôme Column exists, but the work is discussed in countless books and articles. See, among many others, Marie-Louis Biver, Le Paris de Napoléon (Paris: Plon, 1963), pp. 162–175 (‘La Colonne de la Place Vendôme’). 8 Jules Théodore Cazot and Jean Antoine Constans, Projet de loi portant amnistie pour tous les crimes et délits se rattachant aux insurrections de 1870 et 1871, ainsi que pour tous les crimes et délits politiques commis jusqu’au 19 juin 1880 . . . présenté au nom de M. Jules Grévy, . . . (Paris: Quantin, 1880). 9 Linda Nochlin, ‘The De-politicization of Gustave Courbet: Transformation and Rehabilitation Under the Third Republic’, October, 22 (1982), 65–78. 10 No biography of Castagnary exists. This information is gleaned from various sources, most importantlyBalteau, Jules, Michel Prévost, Jean-Charles Roman d’Amat, Jean-Pierre Lobies, Roger Limozin-Lamothe, Henri Tribout de Morembert, Jean Pierre Lobies, Yves Chinon, eds., Dictionnaire de biographie française (Paris: Letouzey et Ané, 1933–2016). 11 Catalogue de trente-trois tableaux et études par Gustave Courbet et dépendant de sa succession, Auction catalogue (Paris: Hôtel Drouot, 9 December 1881). 12 ‘. . . il n’y a eu pareille affluence pour une vente. Public houleux et impressionable, c’est évidemment une manifestation pacifique que l’on veut faire en faveur de Courbet.’ Paul Eudel, L’Hôtel Drouot en 1881 (Paris: Charpentier, 1882), p. 384. 13 Paul Eudel (ibid., p. 371) commented on Juliette Courbet’s gesture: ‘C’est venger, avec une noblesse de caractère qui rappelle les plus beaux traits de l’histoire romaine, la mémoire de son frère.’ 14 Eugène Chéron, Album de l’exposition des oeuvres de Gustave Courbet à l’École des Beaux-Arts (Paris, 1882). All photographs are reproduced at .

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15 Exposition des oeuvres, p. 6. 16 ‘L’existence de l’artiste! On me permettra de ne pas y faire allusion. Malgré l’apaisement des esprits, le moment ne semble pas venue d’une véridique et impartiale biographie. Dans tous les cas, ce n’est pas ici le lieu de l’essayer.’ Exposition des oeuvres, p. 6. 17 ‘Mais, à côté de l’homme, il y a les oeuvres qui ont aussi leur histoire.’ Ibid. 18 ‘Comment revoir, après tant d’années, les Casseurs de pierres, comment évoquer le souvenir de l’Enterrement d’Ornans, sans se rappeler l’orage que cette peinture a soulevé à son apparition, et le débordement d’injures qu’elle a values à son courageux initiateur? Comment, se rappelant cet orage et ces injures, ne pas en demander la raison, ne pas chercher par suite de quelle erreur ou de quel parti pris un art si juste et si puissant, qui s’annoncait par surcroît comme si démocratique et si français, a pu susciter de telles colères et devenir une sorte de scandale public?’ Ibid. 19 ‘. . . une sensibilité exquise et un métier incomparable.’ Ibid., p. 24. 20 Ibid., p. 25. 21 Jules Castagnary, ‘Fragments d’un livre sur Courbet’, Gazette des Beaux-Arts 53, pér. 4, 5 (January 1911), 4–20; pér. 4, 6 (December 1911), 488–497; and pér. 4, 7 (January 1912), 19–30. 22 On Courbet’s will, see, among others, Gerstle Mack, Gustave Courbet (New York: Knopf, 1951), pp. 362–364. 23 To be sure, a number of short biographies of Courbet had appeared in the meantime. Most of them were sketchy and anecdotal, like Henri-Amédée Lelorgne, Count d’ Ideville, Gustave Courbet: Notes et documents sur sa vie et son œuvre (Paris: Librarie Parisienne, 1878) and Camille Lemonnier, Camille. G. Courbet et son œuvre (Paris: A. Lemerre, 1868 [?]). (According to its cover, the latter book was published in 1868, but the date must be a misprint: the publishing date was more likely 1878.) The only one that was more serous was the biography by Alexandre Estignard. Courbet. sa vie, ses oeuvres (Besançon: DelagrangeLouys, 1896) but at 130 pages, it was rather brief. 24 See Georges Riat, Gustave Courbet peintre (Paris: Floury, 1906), VI (preface by Paul Vitry). According to Jean-Jacques Fernier, Juliette ‘sanitized’ the material to which she gave Riat access. See Jean-Jacques Fernier, Jean-Luc Mayaud, and Patrick Le Nouëne, Courbet et Ornans (Paris: Herscher, 1989), p. 33. The papers of Riat, which came from Jules Castagnary, Juliette Courbet, as well as the archivist Bernard Prost, are today in the Bibliothèque Nationale de France in Paris. See Papiers de Courbet. Documents sur Gustave Courbet réunis par Et. Moreau-Nelaton et Georges Riat, venus de Castagnary, Bernard Prost et la famille Courbet, call number FRBNF40369074. 25 Oliver Larkin, ‘Courbet and His Contemporaries, 1848–1867’, Science & Society, 3, no. 1 (1939), 42. 26 Courbet’s presumed boorishness was highlighted in numerous caricatures that show him in peasant dress and wooden shoes. See Charles Léger, Courbet selon les caricatures et les images (Paris: Rosenberg, 1920), passim. 27 For a biography of Riat, see Riat, Gustave Courbet, I–VI 28 ‘Mêlé comme l’on sait, aux événements de 1871, . . . [Courbet] n’a pas connu [. . .] la gloire des consécrations définitives, malgré des amitiés fidèles de Castagnary, malgré l’acquisition de nombre de ses tableaux par le Musée du Louvre. Il est cependant entré aujourd’hui dans l’histoire, et le livre que nous présentons ici pourra server à le juger historiquement en plaine connaissance de cause. 29 ‘Nous nous sommes placés, pour la rédaction de ce catalogue, au point de vue de la plus stricte exactitude. Nous avons relevé sur chaque tableau les désignations qu’il contient, et nous les avons reproduites en indiquant leur place. [. . .] Nous avons mentionné les Salons et les expositions particulières de l’auteur par où l’oeuvre a pu passer; c’est là une sorte d’état civil que le temps constitute à chaque tableau, qui fait partie de sa renommée et l’accompagne dans sa carrière.’ Exposition des oeuvres, 147. 30 Much of the information in this and the following paragraph is reprised from Petra tenDoesschate Chu, ‘Courbet, or Not Courbet, That Is the Question.’ IFAR Journal, 7, no. 1 (2004), 18–26. 31 Riat, Gustave Courbet, p. 344.

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32 ‘M. Bernheim, autre voleur, qui remplit Paris de contrafaçons de mes tableaux . . .’ Petra ten-Doesschate Chu, ed., Correpondance de Courbet (Paris: Flammarion, 1996), p. 462 33 Ibid., p. 469. 34 ‘A cette étude détaillé sur Courbet, nous devons pour le mieux faire connaître, donner le catalogue de ses oeuvres. Mais ce catalogue, comment le constituter complet? Si l’on compte ses esquisses, ses études rapides peintes sur nature, Courbet a produit près de neuf cent tableaux. Les peintures exposées aux Salons, celles qui eurent une notoriété, sont faciles à retrouver, mais beaucoup de toiles ignorés du public font partie de collections privies; il y en a qui ont été dispersés a tous les vents, en Angleterre, en Autriche, en Russie, dans toute l’Europe et surtout en Amérique.’ Ibid., pp. 147–148. 35 Théodore Duret, Courbet (Paris: Bernheim-jeune et Cie, 1918). 36 At the time when they founded it in 1938, Fernier was president and Delestre secretary general of the Société des amis de Gustave Courbet. 37 The two-volume catalogue, La Vie et l’oeuvre de Gustave Courbet was published under the auspices of the Fondation Wildenstein. The first volume appeared in 1977, the year of Robert Fernier’s death, the second in 1978. 38 Fernier was not only the co-founder of the Société des amis de Gustave Courbet but also one of the moving forces behind the creation of a Courbet museum in the house in Ornans where Courbet was born (1971). His painting Hommage à Gustave Courbet of c. 1954, today in the Musée Courbet in Ornans, was inspired by Courbet’s The Meeting (Montpellier: Musée Fabre). 39 ‘Des amis connus et inconnus [. . .] m’ont aidé dans ma tâche; sans eux mon entreprise courait à un nouvel échec, puisque la mort avait fauché ceux qui s’étaient déjà attachés a server la mémoire de Courbet, en particulier Castagnary, Riat, Charles Léger et en dernier lieu Gaston Delestre.’ Fernier, La Vie et l’oeuvre, V 40 An attempt by Sarah Faunce in the first decade of the twenty-first century to create a new catalogue raisonné of Courbet’s work has unfortunately not come to fruition, and neither has a contemporaneous attempt by architect Jean-Jacques Fernier, the son of Robert, to create a supplement to his father’s catalogue.

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The critical reception of Marcello Tommasi’s oeuvre and the Tommasi family’s artistic legacy Elisa Gradi

When the ‘Ab Imis’ exhibition opened in Pietrasanta in December 2014, an opportunity arose to critically analyse the creative approaches, as well as the expressive lexicon of artists united by a common descent – that of being a ‘family’ of artists. Our main goal was that of outlining – while being respectful of the unique expressivity of each personality – a common logos and ideological common ground that tied together the experience of three generations of artists, at the turn of the late 1920s and up to the present day.1 The Tommasi Family artists (Leone and Marcello Tommasi, Riccardo, Giovanni, and Elena Tommasi Ferroni) are each different in nature, in their vocations, and in the unique stylistic vocabularies that reveal them as completely autonomous creators. Each artist followed an independent path, but at the same time each also had full awareness and a sense of belonging to a family group. It is precisely this sense of mutual connection that we wanted to analyse by placing the artists in an ideal dialogue with each other that has its origin – precisely, ab imis – in the personality of Leone Tommasi (founder of the artistic family, Marcello Tommasi and Riccardo Tommasi Ferroni’s father2), starting from his unique approach to artistic creation, as well as his special relationship with official critics and the avant-garde movements of his time. In the exhibition we made a concerted effort to protect the originality of each artist’s evolution and to emphasise how the stylistic vocabulary was wedded to the form and the figuration. The uniqueness of each creative approach (formal more than conceptual) was a common thread and basis of the aesthetic orientation of the Tommasi artists. The common ground revealed by the exhibition was mainly the refusal of an homogenisation that led, as a consequence, and at different historical periods, to a recurring conflictual relationship with critics and the official artistic milieu and which subsequent generations of Tommasi family artists, both sculptors and painters, have hardly found a way of sharing. It is therefore in the wake of Leone Tommasi’s aesthetic and ideological orientation that we would like to analyse the critical reception and the monographic exhibitions of Marcello Tommasi, Leone’s eldest son, for whom his father’s studio has symbolically represented the beginning of his creative adventure and a place where he could capture moods, emotions, and ideas that would later be translated in to images and an exclusive aesthetic orientation. The crucial years of Marcello Tommasi’s education3 saw him waver between two important cultural poles: the Florentine one, with his enrolment at the University of Florence and his attendance at the Pietro Annigoni studio – between the end of the forties and the early fifties – and the one in Pietrasanta, in the studio of his father Leone. Leone,

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in the first half of the fifties, was working on a monumental project, the Descamisado, commissioned by Juan Domingo and Eva Peron, in Buenos Aires: a grandiose sculptural project dedicated to the Peronist revolution and the people of Argentina, which unfortunately was never completed because of Peron’s fall, and resulting in the consequent destruction of the preparatory monumental figures already realised by the artist.4 Having left the studios in Rome and Milan with the intent of finding in his native Pietrasanta a conscious condition of isolation, necessary for the evolution of his own human and artistic development, Leone Tommasi passed on to his children a sculptural and pictorial culture able to combine inspiration from classic tradition and that of his own inventive universe of great richness. The importance of his habitual attendance in his paternal studio is recognised as an important source of inspiration, more so than an actual place of practice. This is also valid for Riccardo Tommasi Ferroni, who remembered how, since his childhood years, he’d visited it assiduously and declared how ‘more than an actual apprenticeship, it was more like a work schedule’5: learning how to be methodical and disciplined, taking the time to learn the difficulties involved in mastering technique, but also the determination to persevere with projects through a long series of studies, sketches, and drafts. And, not least, the persistent creation of a ‘place of memory’ where it’s up to the artist himself to punctuate the sense of ‘time’ of art: a characteristic that can still be found today in the historic studio in Via della Pergola in Florence, that has belonged to Marcello Tommasi since the early seventies. Establishing a strong connection between the figure of Leone Tommasi and his son Marcello remains, as previously pointed out, extremely important not just to define a stylistic affinity (as Marcello over the years demonstrated only a distant stylistic relationship to his father’s art) but to outline the common radical, imperative choice of figuration and of the study and the observation of the classic-inspired ‘form’ during an era of extreme post–avant-garde experimentation and the consequent special relationship between artist and the outside world. Resulting in a conflictual manner for both, and which commentators on Marcello Tommasi’s art, ever since the beginning of his artistic career, have never failed to comment on its incompatibility, verified in the scripts that accompanied his first monographic exhibitions, which were organised starting from the first half of the fifties. Marcello Tommasi himself is the first clear commentator of his own work, as well as a frank analyst of the complex relationship between artist and the critics, before his own – even illustrious – exegetes. He wrote a critical essay in 1969, four years after his father’s death, in a catalogue edited by Mario Cancogni and dedicated to Leone Tommasi, in which he accompanied, alongside an extremely effective exegesis of his father’s work, a passionate support for his choice to stay away from the official milieu, for the aristocratic detachment from prevalent styles, defining his father’s vision as ‘personal, far from any trend and heedless of easy modernisms’.6 The contribution is interesting because there are, in different passages of his essay, explanations for the choices that also gave form to his own artistic career, ideally projecting the reasons of his own choices on to those of his father. Marcello Tommasi launched in those pages a passionate defence of a precise artistic practise, which would also be his own. Commenting on his father’s portraiture, Tommasi emancipated it from Naturalism, because the natural datum is completely transfigured by the artist who, through the continuous alteration of reality, comes to abstraction, in the

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It is interesting here to note the sense of awareness of his chosen path, as well as the burden involved in choosing to distance himself from the official languages that took him, as already clearly observed in his father’s path, to a merely partial recognition of his contribution to the Italian art of the late twentieth century. As mentioned earlier, this is confirmed in Marcello Tommasi’s first critical outline traced by the poet Elpidio Jenco, in 1955, on the occasion of his first important exhibition in Milan, at the Galleria degli Artisti, where, in the incipit of the introductory essay we can read about a young artist who ‘not without risk of misunderstanding and even derision, set out on a journey not beaten in a long time, to find once again, with long, difficult and arduous studies [. . .] his own artistic morality [. . .] and a conscience deserving of the highest praise’. Highlighting the qualities of a ‘conscious and knowledgeable drawer’ who ‘knows everything he wants to achieve’. Jenco concludes how difficult it is in the days he’s writing – the fifties – to ‘persuade oneself that the reason is entirely with those who, even in the most obstinate solitude, oppose the trends of his contemporaries’.8 Overlooking the overly emphatic tone of Jenco, mainly aimed at expressing a personal controversy with regard to contemporary art, one should nevertheless not ignore the emphasis on Marcello Tommasi’s drawing skills (although excessively referable, in Jenco’s analysis, to the Annigoni school, in which Marcello Tommasi should not be included, as it’s more appropriate to mention his occasional attendance in the studio of the Milanese master rather than a real apprenticeship) and the capacity of psychological analysis, especially in the portraits of that artistic period: the poet accurately endorses the ‘calm, contemplative ability of this young artist who retraces, in the thoughtful faces of his creatures, the multifaceted soul of man, with the art and the acute diligence of a classic ancient artist’.9 Of even more interest is the critical essay that accompanies Marcello Tommasi’s second monographic exhibition in 1960, at the Michaud Art Gallery in Florence, where he exhibited drawings and engravings. It is written by Soffici in the form of a letter addressed to Marcello Tommasi, and in which the author emphasises the originality of the artist’s path in opposition to that of the ‘official art’ of the day. Soffici in fact opened the missive declaring to Tommasi how your pictorial vision of the real and your technical skills [. . .] instead of smoothing the way, would be, in our time, obstacles for you. As you well know, today everything that is noble, elaborate, great and long-lasting in literature, is called rhetoric; as well as any form that aims, in art, to wholesome beauty, to the research in style, to the scrupulous study of the truth and, in a word, to perfection, is called academia. Now your love for tradition and for well-executed art involves all those things, and one would not be surprised if a cheerful criticism, – which for many years tiene lo campo – would lay the blame on you instead of appreciating in you, so young, the efforts to keep faith in the indestructible values of the art of drawing.10

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It is therefore extremely interesting how the event of his monographic exhibition would come to be the battleground for militant criticism that wanted – through the analysis of the path of a young artist – to press the reader towards the separation of avant-garde art (at this point so exhausted, in Soffici’s mind, that even elsewhere in the essay, he noted, with genuine Tuscan irony ‘the increasingly alarming bad habits’ of other young artists is ‘encouraged even [. . .] by the sad standard, of “old beards”’11) to a more traditionally inspired canon. Indeed, contributing de facto to the exacerbation of that difference that led, as a consequence, to the misleading interpretation of anachronism and empty academicism too often attributed to the artists of figuration. Dominating the main body of text with those considerations, the critical interpretation of the artist’s work barely emerges, even if Ardengo Soffici did not neglect to notice in Marcello Tommasi the ‘passionate investigation aimed at the intimate knowledge of forms’ or the ‘revelation of the tragic and the grotesque’12 in the successful series of etchings dedicated to the literary theme of Don Quixote that Tommasi accomplished with great inventiveness and compositional freedom. Following in Soffici’s wake is Luigi Testaferrata, who, on the occasion of a subsequent exhibition at the Gallery of the Accademia delle Arti del Disegno in 1968, even discusses Marcello Tommasi standing ‘on a barricade, to continually testify that we can not give credit to a trend, and that trends don’t exist on poetry’s level’,13 and so diverting attention again to the conflictual level. Testaferrata remembered however how Marcello Tommasi had a personality that, focusing on man and his everlasting nature, is effectively talented in expressing ‘that sense of suffered life, of troubled and melancholic adherence to human things, of ever-present humanity that circulates everywhere’.14 With this, Marcello Tommasi did free himself from the academicism and the constant desperate attempt at comparing him to past creative vocabularies. Moreover, as Testaferrata summarised, Marcello Tommasi expressed himself ‘with all the physiognomy of a man of today who, even if a man of the twentieth century, cannot forget to be a man of all times’.15 It was finally Carlo Ludovico Ragghianti who was to bring back the artistic figure of Marcello Tommasi to a current path of contemporaneity, in an essay written in 1972 as an introduction to the monographic exhibition at the Faucon Gallery in Paris. It is highly topical essay, in which he traces the profile of the ‘professore di plastica’16 as an artist able to grasp the relevance of the language of figuration. Tommasi explores classical, mythological, and philosophical themes without falling in to the trap of quotation but also without excluding from his work the approach of a man of our time. The Parisian cultural climate at the time seemed ideally suited to this, less exposed than the Italian one to ideological battles between present and past, and where Marcello Tommasi succeeds in receiving important awards and just as much prestigious public commissions, culminating in the late seventies in the monumental frieze praising the theme of Freedom, the ‘Fountain of Liberty’ in Leon Blum square in Paris. It is a dimension therefore, finally freed from the chains of time allowing Marcello Tommasi to access a broader dimension, of genuine creativity, full of lyricism and passion, that does not exclude the sorrowful tones of conflict with that other contemporaneity, and not because of this removing its core sense. So much so that commentators of subsequent exhibitions, from Miguel Angel Asturias for the exhibition at the Gaudi Hall of Barcelona,17 to Jean Bouret who, in 1972, on occasion of the publication of a monograph dedicated to the work of Marcello Tommasi observed how he, poet of the movement and the torsions of the human body is ‘indisputably a man of

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our times’,18 observing how his classical subjects, from Icarus, to Prometheus, to St. George, are tragic figures that are fully, and legitimately included, in the iconography of the twentieth century. It is not by chance that such a strong admirer of modern art as Ragghianti, who proposed a history of art made not only by progressions but also by continuous returns, gave back to the artist himself the freedom to choose the expressive language that best suits his own message. Ragghianti writes, Every artist has his projective contemporaneity, that may or may not necessarily coincide with an existential one, which is random, and in turn is a construction both in the present and novelty, and that of the past or history. Tommasi has this contemporaneity, as legitimate as any other (so why then should this be considered as archaeological, and others’ art not?).19 In the sixties and seventies, critics’ attempts to reconcile classical-inspired themes and contemporary art, as well as the difficulty in cataloguing his artistic language, are no longer the basis for critical debate. They excluded not even the sculptor’s brother, the famous painter Riccardo Tommasi Ferroni, for whom Mario Praz, in 1979, wrote, now Tommasi Ferroni’s paintings have the character of centos or retractions of classic paintings that would suit being used in a history of art exam to assess the candidate’s ability to identify different artworks. But of course this would be a rather malignant way of reading it. Instead, we are here in front of an imaginary museum put together with universal samples of art [. . .] so that the painter is inspired by a deforming and ceremonial ritual, in an attempt to pass-off as actually being of the period when those figures had a religious and liturgical topical value [ . . .]; the painter’s artistic activity retains a special relationship with the tale in a world in which this is no longer the dominant method of knowledge.20 As for Marcello Tommasi, we again find the same difficulties in inserting the Tommasi artists into a specific artistic current – since the complexity of the artistic vocabulary makes even a simplistic cataloguing of Citazionismo completely unreasonable – while still trying to fully include them in contemporary discourse. Enzo Carlo also declared, Tommasi Ferroni is responsible for ‘inventing’ figures and situations, rather than ambiguous, unlikely and darkly provocative if not of open denunciation, and that therefore regularly affect the human condition and the society of our time; of utmost importance is affirming the full, absolute validity of his painting also on the other side of artistic research: that to which such an analytical technique and a prodigious magisterium, drawing virtuosity, seem to want to hide from sight. Tommasi Ferroni, in fact, while seemingly declaring his acquiescence, or his integration, to the Academy, in reality also challenges it with unprecedented intrepidity and triumphs over it. In short, his real painting wins.21 The legitimacy, in modern times, of drawing inspiration from sources of the past and it not affecting the contemporary validity of the artistic message, is what Paolo Portoghesi in 1988, on the occasion of Marcello Tommasi’s exhibition at the Castello Mediceo in Serravezza, wanted to shed light on. He invited historians to interpret the

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development of late-twentieth-century art from a point of view that ‘considers both the winning and the unsuccessful traditions’ because in the artistic field ‘every victory is a temporary victory, where each value is subject to criticism and review, and not infrequently, in history, have we witnessed complete reversals in the field of recognized values’.22 Paolo Portoghesi’s invitation moves to the strictly historical perspective, ‘not an impartial point of view, because impartiality is impossible, but at least balanced’23; and it is in following this way that Paolo Portoghesi’s reading moves, finding artistic relationships with art of the first half of the twentieth century and Marcello Tommasi’s work, but also opening his critical analysis to an affinity – if not stylistic, at least conceptual – with the new pictorial tendencies of the postmodern context. In 1988, the historian wrote, Tommasi’s work appears to us in a new light [. . .] in spite of past and present appearances. The collapse of the ideological mechanism on which the current understanding of modern art is based and its consideration as a purposeful conclusion of a historical parable, as an irreversible phenomenon, has given us the critical tools to evaluate his work as a sculptor and painter, according to the values upon which it rests with confidence, which are that of drawing, of structure and of movement.24 It is towards the end of the eighties that the final critical exegesis of the work of Marcello Tommasi became definite, as his contemporaneity is as legitimate as any other, according to Ragghianti’s train of thought. Marcello Tommasi continued his search for an eternal and perfect form until his death at the age of eighty in 2008. His artistic adventure, like that of his father Leone and his brother Riccardo, remains in late-twentieth-century Italian art history as testimony of exemplary fidelity to his own aesthetic ideals. That which really unites the history of artists in the Tommasi family is the embodiment of the ‘heretic’ artist, always opposed to the general trend, willing to risk their acquired fame every time because of their consistency against the indifference towards a section of critics who refused to recognise their cultural and artistic value, attributing it as alien to the contemporary critical debate. Following Marcello Tommasi’s death, a dual requirement has emerged for the sculptor’s heirs, primarily his daughter Ilaria and granddaughter Francesca Sacchi Tommasi: to secure, with scientific cataloguing, all the material that he left in his studio (consisting of a large number of drawings and bronze sculptures, but also paintings, graphic works, artist’s books and bronze medals, as well as documentary and photographic material, relative to Marcello Tommasi’s oeuvre between the fifties and up to 2008) and, consequently, the restoration of the rooms in Via della Pergola, on the ground floor of Palazzo Leopardi in Florence (already belonging to Benvenuto Cellini), with the purpose of opening the studio to the public. Above all, with the opening of Marcello Tommasi’s studio, the family wanted to keep alive his work but also the artist’s intellectual commitment and his personal contribution to the figurative art of the twentieth century for posterity. The study would, thus, become a documentation centre of Marcello’s artistic path, both personal and in relation to that of the other artists of the family. It would be a place not only to study the development of an artistic language but also to consult the documentary material which bears witness to sixty years of exhibitions, publications, critical receptions, and changes of style and taste, always interpreted by Marcello Tommasi with great lucidity and intellectual honesty.

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The studio, with its furniture, the works, and the documentary material, thus puts cultural and stylistic qualities of Marcello Tommasi in perspective while illustrating the unique form of the place where his works were born. Given the fragility of the graphic material (Marcello Tommasi was used to drawing mainly on sixteenth- and seventeenth-century paper), the first body of work to be the object of cataloguing was drawings which were found in the various rooms of the studio and arranged in folders, protected by non-acid paper. The drawings, about 1,500 works, were divided by subject, each work assigned an archive number, which is stored in an electronic database, containing entries with complete data regarding technique, date, subject, state of conservation, and photography of the work. The cataloguing then included lithographs, artist’s books, bronze sculptures, plaster and terracotta, paintings, and bronze medals. The operation was necessary to equip the Tommasi family with an effective tool of knowledge of Marcello Tommasi’s work and, consequently, management of the body of work left by the artist at the time of his death, in preparation of future publications and personal and collective exhibitions. In parallel to the archives of works, which began at the end of 2012, the Tommasi family proceeded with the restoration of the paintings found in the studio, as well as restoration of the gesso statues that Marcello Tommasi had arranged under the porch gallery that joins the long side of the inner courtyard. Once the archive was complete, the Tommasi heirs began restoration of the studio rooms, which consist of an entrance gallery, two large rooms, and a corridor with a large window facing the courtyard and basement. The family’s wishes were from the start, in fact, to be able to open the studio to the general public in order to continue to spread the value of Marcello Tommasi’s artistic experience, but at the same time also opening the space to new artistic explorations, thus offering experience in fieri with temporary exhibitions of contemporary artists that shared both artistically and culturally with the works of Marcello Tommasi. For this reason, the ground-floor room, the gallery, and the corridor were redesigned as new exhibition spaces, while the smaller room was again set up with drawings and paintings by Marcello Tommasi, making sure to keep the old setup as intact as possible while also enriching the space with drawings and sculptures by Leone Tommasi. A faithful reconstruction of the old setup also involved the inner courtyard, which is filled with bronze sculptures and whole-length portraits in bronze of the daughters and granddaughters of Marcello Tommasi, as well as the loggia, repopulated with gesso sculptures depicting masterpieces of Classical and Renaissance statuary. The Studio Tommasi was finally opened to the public in 2014, on January 24, with an exhibition dedicated to the three generations of Tommasi artists both in painting and in sculpture: Leone and Marcello Tommasi, Riccardo Tommasi Ferroni and his children, Giovanni and Elena Tommasi Ferroni, anticipating by around a year – and involving the same artists – the larger exhibition ‘Ab Imis’ that would be inaugurated in Pietrasanta. Following the opening of the Studio-Gallery, in April 2014, a bronze bust representing a self-portrait has been donated by the Tommasi family to the Uffizi gallery, with the collaboration of the director Antonio Natali. The choice of opening the new space with an exhibition dedicated to the Tommasi family has shown the Florentine public that, from the very beginning, the studio was conceived as a catalyst and centre of art for exhibitions, workshops, and cultural meetings, chronicling some of the most significant artistic phenomena in the Italian art scene and in the field of figurative research. This confirms the willingness to play a

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very specific function as a gallery which is to give voice to expressive portents substantiated by actual aesthetic qualities, in constant dialogue with the work of Marcello Tommasi. The Tommasi studio and gallery does not pretend to follow the fortune of the latest trends and even the solicitations, although advantageous, or of the tastes of the dominant market, but rather offers the continuity of the artistic values proposed by Marcello Tommasi: the creative story of the sculptor can now be woven in with contemporary art research. This latter has been, in fact, the goal in opening both the Studio-Gallery and the ‘Ab Imis’ exhibition in Pietrasanta: to demonstrate the possibility of a reconciliation between ancient and modern, as well as the legitimacy and consistency of a research method that leads the artist to connect different languages, distant in time, but tied to a common fil rouge: the interpretation of the contemporary cultural and artistic world.

Figure 8.1 Marcello Tommasi, Self Portrait, 1988, Florence, Galleria degli Uffizi Source: Credits: Francesco Lastrucci, 2013

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Carlo Ludovico Ragghianti’s comment accompanying the monographic exhibition by Marcello Tommasi in 1972 would appear to legitimate this stylistic choice even today by opening up new possibilities in the Postmodern period. The title of the exhibition ‘Ab Imis’ itself explains the possibility for the contemporary artist to relate his expressive choices, literally, ‘at the root’: both a cultural root, with the appreciation of classic aesthetic values, and a family root, represented by the artistic experience of Leone Tommasi, then passed to his sons Marcello and Riccardo, and then to the children Giovanni and Elena. ‘Ab Imis’ has been an opportunity to reaffirm how the Tommasi family artists (as emphasised by many critics, commenting Marcello Tommasi’s work) have had a sense of art in its absolute dimension, which collides against the ephemeral and the transient, an art which is not corrupted by contemporary academicism nor by the sterile repetition of languages of the past. It is in this sense of vocation that one must interpret Studio Tommasi’s mission, a task that not only aims to encourage the growth of an artistic culture usually excluded from official channels but that wants to stand out with exhibition initiatives of great quality, enriched by a fruitful association with a generation of artists who have been, although always at the centre of a strongly contradictory and burning critical debate, some of the most important leading figures of the Italian twentieth century.

Figure 8.2 Marcello Tommasi’s studio in Via della Pergola in Florence, corridor, courtyard and loggia Source: Credits: Lucio Trizzino, 2014

Figure 8.3 Marcello Tommasi’s studio in Via della Pergola in Florence, main exhibition room with works by Marcello Tommasi, Riccardo and Giovanni Tommasi Ferroni Source: Credits: Lucio Trizzino, 2014

Figure 8.4 Marcello Tommasi’s studio in Via della Pergola in Florence, loggia Source: Credits: Lucio Trizzino, 2014

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Notes 1 The exhibition Tommasi – Ab Imis was held in Sant’Agostino Church and the Museo dei Bozzetti venues in Pietrasanta (Lucca) in December 2014, with sculptures by Leone and Marcello Tommasi and paintings by Riccardo Tommasi Ferroni and his sons, Elena and Giovanni Tommasi Ferroni, who continue, inspired by the paternal oeuvre, an intense pictorial activity. My personal commitment, as curator of the exhibition, has been gathering together about 150 works, including sculptures in bronze, marble, and plaster, paintings, and drawings coming from private and public collections in Italy, works that were representative of the path of three generations of artists, from the early twentieth century to the present day. The works on display have been set up in the former convent complex of Sant’Agostino in an ideal dialogue, without thematic divisions or exhibition sections dedicated to a single artist. The sense of the setup was to prove that, at different times, three generations of artists of the Tommasi family have been creators of an art always far from the radical experimentation of the avant-gardes and neo-avant-gardes but with a constant ability to combine modern aesthetics with elements of classic pictorial tradition. Elisa Gradi, Tommasi. Ab Imis (Pietrasanta: Petrarte Edizioni, 2014). 2 According to Leone Tommasi’s wife, Carolina Ferroni, the youngest son, Riccardo, had to add to the family’s surname the one of the mother’s family. 3 Born in Pietrasanta in 1928, Marcello Tommasi had an initial training period in his father Leone’s studio, where, at a very young age, he had the opportunity to study the art of drawing and turning, gradually, his artistic commitment in the art of the sculpture (Marcello Tommasi, ed. by Costantino Paolicchi [Pisa: ETS Editrice, 1991], pp. 193–196). 4 Mario Cangogni and Marcello Tommasi, Leone Tommasi (Firenze: Marchi & Bertolli, 1969). 5 I Tommasi Ferroni: Riccardo, Elena, Giovanni, ed. by Maria Censi (Cento: Siaca, 2007), p. 10: ‘più che di apprendistato si può dire un’abitudine al lavoro’. 6 Cangogni and Tommasi, Leone Tommasi, p. 17: ‘personale, lontana da ogni moda ed incurante dei facili modernismi’. 7 Ibidem, p. 17: ‘naturalismo, perché il dato naturale è del tutto trasfigurato dall’artista che attraverso la continua alterazione del reale perviene all’astrazione, nell’accezione più vera della parola, che ha tutt’altro significato di quello che le vien dato dai così detti astratti di oggi che ben lungi dall’approdare a forme libere cioè indipendenti dalla realtà oggettiva, ad altro non arrivano se non ad un naturalismo portato alle conseguenze estreme: il sasso che rimane sasso, cioè dato naturale, e non altro che sasso.’. 8 Elpidio Jenco, ‘Marcello Apuano’ (Milano: Galleria degli Artisti, 1955) reprinted in Marcello Tommasi, ed. by Costantino Paolicchi, p. 4: ‘non senza rischio di incomprensione e magari d’irrisione, si mette sopra una via non battuta da tempo, per ritrovare, a forza di studi lunghi, difficili e duri [. . .] una sua morale artistica [. . .] e una coscienza meritevole di ogni riguardo’; ‘disegnatore consapevole e ferrato [. . .] che sa tutto quello che vuole raggiungere’; ‘difficile [. . .] persuadersi del tutto che la ragione è dalla parte di chi, pur nella solitudine più ostinata, si oppone alla moda dei suoi contemporanei’. 9 Ibidem, p. 5: ‘la calma capacità contemplativa di questo giovine che fissa nei volti pensosi delle sue creature la multiforme anima dell’uomo con l’arte e la diligenza acuta di un antico’. 10 Ardengo Soffici, ‘Presentation for the Monographic Exhibition (Firenze: Galleria Michaud, 1961)’, reprinted in Marcello Tommasi, ed. by Costantino Paolicchi, p. 7: ‘quanto la sua visione pittorica del reale e la sua tecnica [. . .] anziché agevolarle la strada, le sarebbero, in questi nostri tempi, state d’intoppo. Come lei ben saprà, oggi tutto ciò che sa di nobile, di elaborato, di grande e di duraturo, in letteratura, si chiama retorica; così come ogni forma che tende, in arte, alla bellezza sanamente intesa, ad una ricerca di stile, allo studio scrupoloso del vero, e insomma, alla perfezione, si chiama accademia. Ora il suo amore per la tradizione e per il lavoro ben fatto implica tutte quelle cose, e non ci sarebbe da stupirsi se una allegra critica, quale da molti anni tiene lo campo, invece di apprezzare, in lei giovane, i suoi sforzi per tenere fede agli incrollabili valori dell’arte del disegno gliene facesse un grave carico’. 11 Ibidem, p. 7: ‘l’andazzo sempre più allarmante’ di altri giovani autori ‘incoraggiati [. . .] dall’esempio triste, persino di vecchie barbe.’.

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12 Ibidem, p. 8: ‘accanita investigazione volta all’intima conoscenza’ delle forme, o ‘la rivelazione del tragico e del grottesco’. 13 Luigi Testaferrata, ‘Introduction to the monographic exhibition at the Galleria dell’Accademia delle Arti del Disegno (Firenze: Ed. dell’Accademia, 1968)’, reprinted in Marcello Tommasi, ed. by Costantino Paolicchi, p. 10: ‘su una barricata, a testimoniare continuamente che non si può dar credito a una moda, che le mode non esistono sul piano della poesia’. 14 Ibidem, p. 11: ‘quel senso di vita patita, di affannata e malinconica adesione alle cose dell’uomo, di umanità sempre presente che circola dappertutto’. 15 Ibidem, p. 13: ‘con tutta la fisionomia dell’uomo attuale che, per essere uomo del Novecento, non può dimenticare di essere l’uomo di sempre’ 16 Carlo Ludovico Ragghianti, ‘Introduction to the Monographic Exhibition at the Tivey Faucon Gallery in Paris (Firenze: ed. Mymesis, 1972)’, reprinted in Marcello Tommasi, ed. by Costantino Paolicchi, p. 17. 17 Asturias, Miguel Angel, ‘Presentation for the monographic exhibition at the Gaudi Hall in Barcelona’, in Marcello Tommasi, Costantino Paolicchi, ed., pp. 25–26. 18 Jean Bouret, M.T., ‘Les lettres francaises (Firenze: Il Mirteto:1973)’, reprinted in Ibidem, p. 27: ‘indiscutablement un homme de notre temps’. 19 Ibidem, p. 18: ‘Ogni artista ha una sua contemporaneità proiettiva, che non coincide di necessità o può non coincidere con quella esistenziale, che come tale è casuale, e si risolve in una costruzione sia del presente o coattuale, che del passato o della storia. Tommasi ha questa contemporaneità, legittima come ogni altra (e perché poi questa dovrebb’essere archeologica, ed altre no?’. 20 Mario Praz, ‘Riccardo Tommasi Ferroni (L’Accademia degli Smarriti)’, ed. by Massimo Riposati (Roma: Carte Segrete, 1979), reprinted in Philippe Daverio et alia, Riccardo Tommasi Ferroni (Roma: De Luca Editori d’Arte, 2008), p. 133: ‘ora i quadri di Tommasi Ferroni hanno il carattere di centoni o retractationes di pitture classiche che si presterebbero a un questionario d’esame di storia dell’arte per accertare l’abilità dei candidati a identificare e attribuire i reperti. Ma naturalmente questa ne sarebbe una lettura maligna. Piuttosto, siamo qui dinanzi ad un museo immaginario messo assieme con campioni dell’arte universale [. . .] così il pittore trae partito da un cerimoniale e da un rito deformanti, finge di rendere attuali i tempi in cui quelle figurazioni avevano un valore religioso e liturgico [ . . .]; l’attività artistica del pittore conserva un rapporto privilegiato con la favola in un mondo in cui questa da tempo non è più la formula dominante del sapere’. 21 Enzo Carli, ‘Riccardo Tommasi Ferroni’, as cited in Ibidem, p. 131: ‘Tommasi Ferroni è responsabile nell’inventare figure e situazioni, più che ambigue e improbabili, oscuramente provocatorie se non di aperta denuncia e che pertanto così puntualmente incidono sulla condizione dell’uomo e della società del nostro tempo; importa affermare la piena, assoluta validità della sua pittura anche sull’altro versante della ricerca artistica: quello al quale una tecnica così analitica e un magistero prodigioso, che attinge il virtuosismo, sembrano volersi sottrarre. Il Tommasi Ferroni, infatti, mentre apparentemente dichiara la sua acquiescenza, o la sua integrazione, all’Accademia, in realtà la sfida con inaudita intrepidezza e trionfa su di essa. In breve, vince la sua vera pittura’. 22 Paolo Portoghesi, ‘Critical Essay for the Exhibition at the Castello Mediceo in Serravezza (Pisa: ETS, 1988)’, reprinted in Marcello Tommasi, ed. by Costantino Paolicchi, p. 37: ‘che tenga conto sia delle tradizioni vincenti che delle tradizioni soccombenti [. . .] ogni vittoria è una vittoria provvisoria, dove ogni valore è soggetto a critica e revisione e non di rado nella storia abbiamo assistito a completi rovesciamenti nel campo dei valori riconosciuti’. 23 Ibidem, p. 37: ‘un punto di vista non imparziale, che forse l’imparzialità è impossibile, ma almeno equilibrato.’. 24 Ibidem, p. 39: ‘le opere di Tommasi ci appaiono sotto una nuova luce’ [. . .] ‘a dispetto delle apparenze, di passato e futuro. Il crollo del meccanismo ideologico su cui si basava la comprensione dell’arte moderna e la sua considerazione come conclusione finalistica di una parabola storica, come fenomeno irreversibile, ci restituisce gli strumenti critici per valutare la sua opera di scultore e di pittore, in funzione di quei valori su cui essa poggia con sicurezza, che sono i valori del disegno, della costruzione e del movimento’.

Part III

Old Master monographic exhibitions from before World War II

9

The Holbein exhibition of 1871 – an iconic turning point for art history Lena Bader

The Holbein dispute Exhibitions write art history. This is especially true for one of the earliest monographic exhibitions in history: the Holbein exhibition of 1871. Significantly enough it emerged in the context of the so-called Holbein dispute, a much talked-about academic controversy involving two versions of a painting by Hans Holbein the Younger: the famous Madonna of Jakob Meyer zum Hasen purchased for Dresden Gemäldegalerie in 1743 and a newly emerged version, which remained in private possession during the entire debate, first in Berlin and then in Darmstadt. From the outset, the two paintings were geographically separated and subject to very different conditions with regard to accessibility, viewing, publicity and conservation. The Dresden painting was the uncontested ‘foremost painting in German art’1; it was considered on a par with Raphael’s Sistine Madonna, the Madonna di San Sisto, and was celebrated as worthy of equal merit. Contemporaries typically associated the two paintings as ideal representations of the Italian and German Renaissances. The parallel was strongly reinforced from inside the Dresden Gallery via catalogues and guides. However it is the Darmstadt Madonna which is the original Holbein, and in 2011 it even made headlines as ‘Germany’s most expensive artwork’.2 The Dresden Madonna, on the other hand, is now known to be a copy by Bartholomäus Sarburgh, a portrait painter from the sixteenth century. The attribution was made in 1910, following long and agitated years of scholarly dispute.3 The controversy which eventually led to the exhibition in 1871 was fundamental for the institutionalization of art history; it rightly holds a place among the canonical topics in the discipline’s historiography: ‘the most bitter and most extended [controversy] that has ever been aroused by a work of art’,4 a ‘crisis of art history’,5 ‘a touchstone for the young art history’,6 ‘art history’s turning point’,7 the ‘founding moment of academic art history’8 and so on. One of the key figures of this narrative was Max J. Friedländer, who brought to the fore the ‘supremacy of experts with a historical point of view over artists who go by a canon of beauty which belongs to the nineteenth century’.9 This interpretation paved the way for the dramatic story of art history’s ‘victory’ or ‘triumph’, for which the Holbein exhibition is said to have been the deciding factor. Arising in the aftermath of the Napoleonic wars, the question of the two paintings was charged with national politics from the beginning. What first began as an argument among connoisseurs in the course of new emerging research on Holbein quickly became a widely followed political affair involving one of Germany’s most

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famous paintings. Burgeoning national movements and their ideological implications definitely played an important part in the sensationalisation of the dispute. Spectacular exhibitions, countless essays, public surveys and statements as well as numerous reproductions were mobilised in order to get to the bottom of the puzzle of the two originals. The explosive force and reach of the conflict is also explained by the participation of a variety of social groups. Renowned artists and academic representatives were especially active in what would become an agitated race for interpretational jurisdiction in questions of art, as artists were still mostly in charge of museums and, subsequently, catalogue entries. In order to settle the question several exhibitions were organized, culminating in a comprehensive Holbein retrospective in 1871 in Dresden, where the two paintings were for the first time shown side by side. The history of this exhibition, as it has been told until now, is a story of pure success leading to the recognition of the original and therefore solving the dispute and paving the way for ‘the birth of art history’.10 But the Holbein controversy was not solved in 1871, or rather: it could not be solved. As is evident from primary sources, especially widely unconsidered visual materials, it is precisely because of the exhibition that the Holbein dispute went on for so long and continued well into the twentieth century. As will be shown, the problem was not to determine the original; the real challenge was to recognise the beauty of the copy.

Comparing images The formerly unknown version of the Meyer-Madonna, the later so-called Darmstadt Madonna, appeared only in 1821. It is mainly thanks to the engagement of a few art historians who travelled to Darmstadt that the painting became famous within a short time. One of the major challenges of the Holbein dispute was the lack of historical sources. Only a few reliable documents had been transmitted, and the ones that had survived were not precise enough in their description to be unambiguously attributed to one of the two paintings. At an early stage it was therefore recognised that the question could not be settled without engaging with visual studies, thus helping shape art history as a ‘school of seeing’. Consequently, a multitude of reproductions were made over the years, often accompanied by an engaged critique of their visual components as well as precise descriptions, reviews and counterstatements. These images were part of an intense training in comparing images, be it originals and reproductions or reproductions themselves or written descriptions and their visual counterparts. Only once, however, were the two paintings presented in an actual side-by-side comparison (Figure 9.1).11 The first concrete plans for a Holbein exhibition date back to 1869. However, as a result of conflicting interests, the Darmstadt Madonna was first shown in Munich, being one of the highlights in an exhibition of Old Masters, alongside photographs of the Dresden Madonna.12 Following the outbreak of war, the planned Holbein exhibition had to be postponed again, finally opening in August 1871, only a few months after the German peace agreement, in the newly built Prinzen Pavilion, after the idea of a temporary building was rejected for safety reasons. The first version of the catalogue registers 440 numbers, but one entry may contain several works, especially in the case of drawings.13 Also art works were still added to the exhibition while it was on display as the daily press reports, leading shortly afterwards to a second edition of the catalogue. Judging from its entries there were

Figure 9.1 Alfred Richard Diethe, Visitors at the Holbein exhibition, 1871, KupferstichKabinett, Staatliche Kunstsammlungen Dresden Source: Staatliche Kunstsammlungen Dresden, photograph: Herbert Boswank

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503 initial exhibits: fifty-six paintings, twenty-two woodcuts, 124 drawings, four watercolour copies, ten miniatures, two painted copies, one carpet and a total of 284 photographs mainly after drawings (229) but also after paintings (fifty-two) and woodcuts (three). The loans came from forty-one cities in Germany, Switzerland, England, France, Austria, Ireland, Portugal, Hungary, and Holland. Up to sixty-one museums, galleries and royal collections participated, in part with a striking number of works as for instance in the case of the museums in Basel or Vienna. One must also not forget the high share of private collectors, who supplied up to one third of the exhibits. For Francis Haskell this was the ‘greatest display yet mounted of the works of any Old Master’ and ‘the first time that Old Masters were transported across frontiers for the purpose of being exhibited. It thus signals a dramatic moment in this story’.14 However, what is special about this exhibition is not its impressive magnitude or its public success but its art historical foundation: ‘It should be pointed out that this was perhaps the first exhibition to be prompted not by a king or a group of noble collectors, a government or an association of artists, but by art historical scholars – and for this reason alone it could not have taken place anywhere outside Germany’.15 And yet the full potential of its art historical character has not been fully grasped until now.16

Reproductions and enquiries Next to works attributed to Holbein and his family there were also reproductions and copies on display. This was by no means new to art history, but in Dresden their presentation was given institutional support. Numerous reproductions were commissioned especially for the exhibition, for instance, eighteen original photographs after paintings from Vienna, many of which could be purchased on site. As is apparent from the explanation in the catalogue, all images on display were mentioned in the publication – original paintings and drawings as well as reproductions (‘Nachbildungen’17), which included mainly photographs and a few watercolour copies. All are listed in the catalogue, in each case accompanied by technique and size indication as well as one or two bibliographic citations – only the caption varies according to the object’s status: originals are represented in big letters (and, if available, accompanied by the respective gallery number), while copies and reproductions appear in smaller letters (and, if available, the photograph’s inventory number). The Dresden Madonna and the Darmstadt Madonna are thus both announced in big letters; for the original drawings from Basel on the other side, which had to stay at the Kunstmuseum and were therefore presented by photographs, small lettering was used (with the numbering according to Braun’s catalogue; see Figure 9.2).18 The catalogue is sorted alphabetically following the city of each collection (Aachen, Annaberg, Augsburg . . .), the only exception being a special category for woodcuts at the end, containing woodcuts as well as photographs after woodcuts mainly from Basel and Berlin. In order to encourage comparisons the show also included drawings which had been wrongfully attributed to Holbein as well as copies made after original paintings.19 As a result the exhibition invited the viewer to learn something about not only the context in which each work had been created but also the history of its reception, in both texts and images. Another special feature of this truly art historical catalogue is its appendix. It contains a list of more than seventy-four publications written on the Holbein debate

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Figure 9.2 Detail from the catalogue of the Holbein Exhibition, from Katalog der Ausstellung von Gemäldenälterer Meisterim K. Kunstausstellungs gebäude gegenüber der Glyptothek in München 1869, ed. by Adolph Bayersdorfer and Franz vonReber Source: München: Akad. Buchdr. von F. Straub, 1869, p. 7, 16, 17 (Montage: Lena Bader)

and compiled by Gustav T. Fechner, a famous physicist, also known for his essays on natural philosophy and his experiments in psychology, with which he aimed for forms of popular aesthetics.20 Fechner’s most famous field study was without doubt the one which arose from the Holbein dispute. In order to analyse the majority’s taste he launched a public survey inviting visitors of the Holbein exhibition to enter ‘the verdict of their comparison’ into a guestbook.21 Although only two pictures of the exhibition are known to date, one of them, a drawing made by Adolph Menzel, shows two men at the so-called plebiscite table, browsing through the guestbook (Figure 9.3). It is the only sketch Menzel made on the occasion of his visit to the Holbein exhibition, and it is undoubtedly significant that the artist focused on Fechner’s ‘public aesthetic experiment’,22 considered by many being the first museum visitor survey ever. Fechner’s Album may not have brought the results he expected, but the exhibition was incredibly popular and widely discussed. More importantly, it had a major impact on scholarly research, especially with respect to a then-pervading confusion

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Figure 9.3 Adolph Menzel, Holbein exhibition, plebiscit table, Dresden, 1871, 14 × 16,6 cm, pencil drawing, Berlin, Kupferstichkabinett, Inv. SZ MenzelSkb. 36,1871/75, S. 59–60 Source: © bpk/Staatliche Museenzu Berlin, Kupferstichkabinett

over Holbein the Younger and Holbein the Elder: from the fifty-one paintings on view at the beginning only fourteen remained as originals at the end. The numerous reviews left no doubt as to the ground-breaking installation: they all agree that the exhibition was a chance not only to see new images but also to see old ones in a new way because of the nature of their display.23 It was due to the visual arrangement that new comparisons and relationships became possible. The mise-en-scène and its visual argumentation were recognised for their epistemological power.

The first art history conference Judging by the numerous reviews we can ascertain that the two paintings were hung side by side, the Dresden picture on the left side, the Darmstadt on the right. They were not completely fixed to the wall, as may be evident judging from the shadowing in a drawing made by Alfred Richard Diethe in 1871 showing visitors in front of the two paintings (Figure 9.1). This is confirmed by several reports: the pictures were attached to hinges so that they could be turned, not towards one another but towards a window on the left side.24 The display was said to guarantee best possible

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viewing conditions. In addition, selected images were positioned in close proximity to the two paintings for the purpose of comparison, including photographs of Holbein’s sketches from Basel (Figure 9.2) and other works by the master. However, in one respect Diethe’s drawing strongly differs from numerous reviews. Judging by the written reports the situation in front of the pictures was not as civilised as depicted here. On the contrary, almost every text describes the scene as turbulent, chaotic or at least agitated. In fact it was so crowded in front of the two paintings that special arrangements had to be made in order to enable serious studies. This led to another special feature of the exhibition: an art historical congress. The congress began two weeks after the opening and ran for three days. The meeting was organised by leading Holbein experts and staged for maximum publicity. Among the participants were well-known scholars as well as publishers, artists and art lovers from Germany and abroad – the list is long, a real who’s who of nineteenth century art connoisseurs. The congress took place inside the exhibition, in front of the two paintings. Conference members were granted entry as early as 8.00 in the morning, while the exhibition opened to the general public at 10.00, with bigger crowds around 12.00. All received reports are explicit in this respect: ‘It is not at the green table of a conference with its presidium and protocols that this interesting reunion of excellent art authorities has to be imagined, but standing before the two pictures hung in the best light’.25 The frames were opened, critics stood on chairs, magnifying glasses came into use, details were studied, comparisons were discussed, and photographs were held next to the paintings for comparison. In brief, what we have here is the essence of an art history ad oculos, or ‘Ansschauungsunterricht’ as it was called: the idea that art history can only be studied by means of images.26 The concept was crucial for the constitution of art history as an academic discipline and its emancipation from historical and philosophical approaches. The problem of missing sources for Holbein’s Madonna was therefore a pragmatic argument in perfect accordance with art history’s methodological program: research had to be pushed away from biographic or philosophical approaches and towards iconic criticism. It is therefore significant that the Holbein congress had its origins first and foremost in an exhibition: the first art history congress was born from the desire to study pictures from a close distance; the congress emerged in the context of an ‘exposition imaginaire’27 of art history. After three days of working together the participants came to a first agreement. The result was communicated to the public in a series of press releases, including a famous example published in the Zeitschrift für Kunstgeschichte.28 The manifesto lists three central findings of the congress: 1. the affirmation of authenticity for the Darmstadt picture, being the ‘undoubtedly true original picture’, 2. the reference to several later retouches which had ‘dulled’ the ‘initial condition’ and 3. the categorization of the Dresden Madonna as a ‘free copy’. These points were then explained more thoroughly by a series of essays published afterwards by the signatories of the press release – all well-known authorities and leading critics of that time, including Alfred Woltmann, Moritz Thausing, Carl von Lützow, Wilhelm Lübke, Adolph Bayersdorfer, Karl Woermann (and more names were added over time, as the press release began to circulate in different journals). It is also worth mentioning that these were all – with very few exceptions – young men between twenty-five and thirty-five years of age. Adding fuel to the fire, their communiqué was accompanied by one of Holbein’s drawings to Erasmus’ Praise of Folly: Folly stepping down from the pulpit. This press

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release is more than a simple memorandum: it is a programmatic statement made by art historians asserting not only their authority but also the image’s epistemological evidence. It aimed particularly at all those artists still in charge of museums and their catalogue entries but also at all those who insisted that art works had to be judged ‘from the inside outward’.29 The message was heard, and the answer came promptly in the form of a press release signed by even more names, mostly established artists, all around seventy to eighty years old, strictly arguing in favour of the Dresden picture.30 Their main argument is based on the interpretation of the differences between the two paintings as ‘improvements’ and corrections from the Darmstadt version to the Dresden exemplar, the latter supposedly being proportionally more equilibrated and also more beautiful in the depiction of the portraits. It was thus postulated that only Holbein himself could have painted the Dresden Madonna, as no mere copyist would have been able to surpass the master. The Darmstadt Madonna on the other hand was said to be in such bad condition and also repainted that it was not possible to judge ‘how much of an original’ it still was. This press release was equally programmatic: the artists argued as ‘thinking painters’31 and addressed their manifesto against the academic representatives and their claim of expertise.

The end? In general this is said to be the end of the Holbein dispute, with a clear winner: the art historians. It is a sensationalistic story, according to which academic experts won over artists and practitioners. In sum, as the story goes, with the triumph of the original, the way was paved from art enthusiasm to art scholarship, thus leading to ‘the birth of art history’. A polarizing pattern runs through the narrative: art historians versus artists, original versus copy, truth versus beauty. Unfortunately by doing so the most interesting aspects, the subtle differences, are obscured. And still, the two manifestos alone withstand already a strict polarization between original and copy by the mere choice of words (undoubtedly true original, initial original, dulled original etc.). It is because of this very rigid and all-too-simplistic historiography that the Holbein exhibition became a show case model for rather distorted notions of original and copy as separated and invariable visual phenomena. In such a simplistic interpretation, the image’s historicity is denied – even though it was at the heart of the debate. The Holbein dispute is indeed a story of restoration, altering, retouching, manipulating and reframing pictures. There was not one original and one copy but only complex interrelations of different versions, especially because the copy had been made before the later overpainting of the original (see Figure 9.4). But this was in no means the only reason why the definition of the Dresden painting as a copy did not lead to its depreciation as a work of art. Quite the contrary, the Dresden Madonna was not appreciated in spite of being a copy but precisely because it was a copy. This idea is best encapsulated in the recurring description of the Dresden picture as a ‘wonder of a copy’,32 articulating both fascination and confusion in light of a copy that seemed to be more original than the original itself. The high esteem for the copy was not decreased in the course of the Holbein exhibition but, au contraire, strengthened as the interrelation of the two paintings became evident. Their side-by-side presentation alongside photographs and many other paintings helped recognise the entanglement

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Figure 9.4 Original reproductions of the Holbein Madonna, 1635–1954 Source: Montage: Lena Bader

of original and copy. It was thanks to the Holbein exhibition that their ‘histoire croisée’33 became visual.

The power of images The Holbein exhibition is mainly known for a series of premieres: the first museum visitor survey, the first art history congress, the first academic press release. But the real significance came from the developing modes of arguing both with and through images. The Holbein exhibition was a boot camp for iconic criticism. Image analyses made in situ ranged from close study of pentimenti and other details to reflections on visual interrelations, phenomena of afterlife and other image cascades. It is no surprise that the desire for images would grow even more after the exhibition. As a consequence of this early iconic turn, a magnitude of impressive image experiments emerged following the show in Dresden (see Figure 9.5). Instead of aiming for the truest possible reproduction of the respective painting, these images aspired to be its truest interpretation. This is especially true in the case of the representation of the original: in order to explain (and justify?) the fascination with the copy, art historians launched a series of montages arguing that the Darmstadt Madonna should be seen from different angles or in different places or with different frames. Each and every one of these montages responded to many years of comparing the Darmstadt and Dresden pictures. Often authors would explicitly point out that the manipulations

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Figure 9.5 Reconstruction of different frames and installations for the Darmstadt Madonna dating from 1904 to 1954, Tudor Wilkinson, reconstruction of a winged altar, Paris 1932, 47 × 58 cm, photomontage, Staatsarchiv Basel, Hauptsammlung, BILD 39,5; ill. from Wilhelm Lübke, Outlines of the History of Art, ed. by. Russell Sturgis, vol. 2 (New York: Dodd, Mead & Co, 1904), plate after p. 312; ill. from Heinrich A. Schmid, ‘Holbeins Darmstaedter Madonna’, in idem, Gesammelte Kunsthistorische Schriften. Zum 70. Geburtstag des Verfassers herausgegeben von Schülern und Freunden (Leipzig: Heitz, 1933), p. 227–250, plate 14; ill. from Hans Reinhardt, ‘Die Madonna des Bürgermeisters Meyer von Hans Holbein d. J., Nachforschungen zur Entstehungs geschichte und Aufstellung des Gemäldes’, Zeitschrift für schweizerische Archäologie und Kunstgeschichte, 15/4 (1954/1955), pp. 244–254, plate 83 Source: Montage: Lena Bader

had been made in order to counteract the contrast made evident by the confrontation of the two pictures. The engagement with the copy thus remained a driving force in the experience of the original. And the work done with images was acknowledged to be of epistemological value. This is also why copyists, by means of their copying activity, could claim art-historical authority within the debate, as for instance in the case of Julius Grüder.34 These original reproductions, made by art historians, artists and editors as well as by other practitioners and often produced in collaboration, may best be

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characterised as ‘interpretations of effects’ (‘Wirkungsinterpretationen’), as Heinrich Wölfflin used to call his illustrations.35 Their own impact was impressive too, culminating among other things in a major restoration of the Darmstadt Madonna in 1887.36 The work done with reproductions lead to a transformation of the original. This is only one example of how much more complicated the shared history between original, copy and reproductions would still become in the years following the Holbein exhibition. The consequences were tremendous: it was precisely because of the Holbein exhibition and the visual experience it offered that the Holbein dispute went on for fifty more years – even more intensely than in the years before. The conflict became a dispute over art history and, more precisely over the power of images, the role of visual evidence and the question of reproduction. It was due to the exhibition that the deep connection between original and copy became clear. It is therefore no surprise that more and more experts demanded that both pictures be permanently hung side by side. Albert von Zahn, one of the main orchestrators behind the Holbein Exhibition, was explicit in this regard: only then would one be able to completely enjoy the paintings.37 A closer look at the Holbein exhibition therefore disproves the sensationalist story about the original’s triumph and the copy’s decline. On the contrary: after 1871 the situation evolved into a complex debate about the interdependency of pictures. The story of the Holbein Madonna compels scholarship to incorporate the history of reproductions. It is impossible to describe the Holbein dispute from the perspective of the original alone. Indeed, the same arguments for crediting the Dresden Madonna come up again and again in the engagement with contemporary reproductions. Ultimately, the main challenge to art history was not to identify the original work but rather to recognise the beauty of the copy itself. Herein lies the meaning of this truly art historical exhibition: it argued for a common visual history exceeding historiography’s bottlenecks. Involving a complex montage of originals as well as copies and reproductions, arranged to facilitate visual comparisons, the show redefined not only connoisseurship but also new forms of image criticism. It became a public milestone in a series of attempts to visualise art history as both dynamic and object oriented. The exhibition was born from the desire to see images in a new light, to see how images may change depending on the viewer’s position or other images and their shared histories. In a way the use of hinges instead of picture hooks is almost symptomatic: it embodies both art history’s desire for a visual experience and the awareness of its anarchic dynamic.

Notes 1 Original: ‘Hauptbild deutscher Kunst’; Gustav T. Fechner, [Ankündigung] ‘Über die Aechtheitsfrage der Holbein’schen Madonna’, Leipziger Zeitung, Wissenschaftliche Beilage, 25 August 1871, p. 368. 2 Following its acquisition by Reinhold Würth in 2011: Rose-Maria Gropp, ‘HolbeinMadonna. Deutschlands teuerstes Kunstwerk’ Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, 14 July 2011. 3 Emil Major, ‘Der mutmassliche Verfasser des Dresdener Madonnenbildes’, Anzeiger für Schweizerische Altertumskunde NF, 12 (1910), 318–324. 4 Francis Haskell, The Ephemeral Museum: Old Master Paintings and the Rise of the Art Exhibition (New Haven: Yale University Press, 2000), p. 91.

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5 Oskar Bätschmann, ‘Der Holbein-Streit: eine Krise der Kunstgeschichte’, in “Kennerschaft”. Kolloquium zum 150sten Geburtstag von Wilhelm von Bode, ed. by Thomas W. Gaehtgens and Peter-Klaus Schuster (Berlin: Gebr. Mann, 1996), pp. 87–100; Oskar Bätschmann and Pascal Griener, Hans Holbein d. J., die Darmstädter Madonna: Original gegen Fälschung (Frankfurt aM.: Fischer, 1998). 6 Gottfried Biedermann, ‘Wissenschaft und/oder Kennerschaft’, in Kontinuität und Identität. Festschrift für Wilfried Skreiner, ed. by Peter Weibel, Christa Steinle, and Götz Pochat (Vienna, Cologne and Weimar: Böhlau, 1992), pp. 157–165 (p. 162). 7 Udo Kultermann, ‘Original oder Kopie? Der Holbein-Streit – an einer Wende der Kunstgeschichte’, Artis, 3 (1966), 23–27. 8 Andreas Beyer, ‘Am Anfang war der Streit. Hans Holbein d. J. und die kunsthistorische Tradition’, in Konzert und Konkurrenz. Die Künste und ihre Wissenschaften im 19. Jahrhundert, ed. by Christian Scholl, Sandra Richter, and Oliver Huck (Göttingen: Universitätsverlag Göttingen, 2010), pp. 201–222 (p. 201). 9 Max J. Friedländer, ‘Artistic Quality: Original and Copy’, The Burlington Magazine for Connoisseurs, 78, no. 458 (1941), 143–145, 147–148, and 151 (p. 144). 10 Regine Prange, Die Geburt der Kunstgeschichte. Philosophische Ästhetik und empirische Wissenschaft (Cologne: Deubner Verlag, 2004), p. 174ff. Similarly: Heinrich Dilly, Kunstgeschichte als Institution. Studien zur Geschichte einer Disziplin (Frankfurt aM.: Suhrkamp, 1979), p. 165ff; Udo Kultermann, Geschichte der Kunstgeschichte. Der Weg einer Wissenschaft (Munich: Ullstein Taschenbuchverlag, 1990), p. 136ff; Wolfgang Beyrodt, ‘Kunstgeschichte als Universitätsfach’, in Kunst und Kunsttheorie 1400–1900, ed. by Peter Ganz (Wiesbaden: Harrassowitz, 1991), pp. 313–333 (p. 324ff); Hubert Locher, Kunstgeschichte als historische Theorie der Kunst 1750–1950 (Munich: Wilhelm Fink Verlag, 2001), p. 47ff. 11 In this way the Holbein exhibition differs from other early monographic exhibitions in that it did not precede or launch first monographs concerning the subject as in the case of Courbet 1882, for example (cf. Chapter 7 by Petra ten-Doesschate Chu in this book) but that it emerged from the desire to go beyond the written word (and biographical approaches). The two major monographs on Holbein the Younger had already been published by Alfred Woltmann (1864/1868) and Ralph N. Wornum (1867). Cf. Lena Bader, Bild-Prozesse im 19. Jahrhundert. Der Holbein-Streit und die Ursprünge der Kunstgeschichte (München: Wilhelm Fink Verlag, 2013). 12 Katalog der Ausstellung von Gemälden älterer Meister im K. Kunstausstellungsgebäude gegenüber der Glyptothek in München 1869, ed. by Adolph Bayersdorfer and Franz von Reber (München: Akad. Buchdr. von F. Straub, 1869). See also: Karl Förster, ‘Die Ausstellung älterer Bilder’, Die Dioskuren, 14 (1869), 242, 263–264, 272–273, 279–280, 287–288, 297, 305; Wilhelm Schmidt, ‘Die Ausstellung älterer Gemälde im Kunstausstellungsgebäude zu München’, Zeitschrift für bildende Kunst. Mit dem Beiblatt Kunst-Chronik, 4 (1869), 356–360. 13 Katalog der Holbein-Ausstellung zu Dresden: 15. August bis 15. October 1871, ed. by Albert von Zahn (Dresden: Schönfeld in Comm, 1871). 14 Haskell, The Ephemeral Museum, p. 92. 15 Ibid., p. 91. 16 See on this: ‘Art History and the Art of the Present: Interactions Between Artists and Scholars’, guest section edited by Eleonora Vratskidou, Journal of Art Historiography (forthcoming 2018), and Art History for Artists: The Role of Practice in the Shaping of a Humanistic Discipline, ed. by Eleonora Vratskidou (Berlin: De Gruyter, forthcoming). 17 Katalog Holbein-Ausstellung, p. III. 18 ‘Die Beschreibungen der Originale sind mit grösserer (Bourgeois-)Schrift, die der ausgestellten Copien und Vervielfältigungen (Stiche, Photographien) mit kleinerer (Petit-) Schrift gedruckt.’ Ibid., p. IV. Attributions followed in each case the owner’s indication. 19 ‘[. . .] als Repräsentanten einer Reihe dem Meister fälschlich zugeschriebener Zeichnungen zur vergleichenden Beurtheilung ausgestellt.’ Ibid., p. 37. 20 See Adolf Elsas, ‘Zum Andenken Gustav Theodor Fechners’, Die Grenzboten, 47, no. 2 (1888), 73–80, 113–124; Wolfgang Schönpflug, ‘Methodenprobleme einer empirischen

The Holbein exhibition of 1871

21

22

23

24 25

26 27 28 29 30 31 32 33 34 35

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Ästhetik – Ein Rückblick auf Fechners Holbein-Untersuchung’, Exakte Ästhetik 1 (1965), 4–13. Gustav T. Fechner, Bericht über das auf der Dresdener Holbein-Ausstellung ausgelegte Album (Leipzig: Nobel Press, 1872), p. 3. The guest book still exists and can be studied in Leipzig: Gustav Theodor Fechner, Besucherbuch der Holbein-Ausstellung, 1871, Museum der bildenden Künste, Archiv, Karton 68. For Fechner’s own critical review, see Gustav T. Fechner, ‘Wie es der experimentalen Aesthetik seither ergangen ist’, Im neuen Reich, 8, no. 2 (1878), 41–51, 81–96. Gustav T. Fechner, Vorschule der Ästhetik, vol. 1 (Leipzig: Breitkopf & Härtel, 1876), p. VI. See also Helmut Leder, ‘Zur Psychologie der Rezeption moderner Kunst’, in Sichtweisen. Zur veränderten Wahrnehmung von Objekten in Museen, ed. by Bernhard Graf and Astrid B. Müller (Berlin: VS Verlag für Sozialwissenschaften, 2005), pp. 79–90 (p. 80); Sabine Knopf, ‘Fechners Rolle im Holbeinstreit’, in Gustav Theodor Fechner: Werk und Wirkung, ed. by Anneros Meischner-Metge (Leipzig: Leipziger Universitäts-Verlag, 2010), pp. 167–178. See for example: Carl von Lützow, ‘Ergebnisse der Dresdener Holbein-Ausstellung’, Zeitschrift für bildende Kunst. Mit dem Beiblatt Kunst-Chronik, 6 (1871), 349–355; Joseph A. Crowe, ‘Die Holbein-Ausstellung zu Dresden’, Im neuen Reich, 2 (1871), 419–427; Carl Schnaase, ‘Rückblick auf die Holbein-Ausstellung in Dresden’, Im neuen Reich, 2 (1871), 737–745; Alfred Woltmann, ‘Die Holbein-Ausstellung in Dresden I./II.’, National-Zeitung, 14 September 1871, column 8; 20 September 1871, column 9; Max Schasler, ‘Die dresdener Holbein-Ausstellung und die Madonnenfrage’, Die Dioskuren, 16/34–41/44 (1871), 271–272, 279–280, 287–288, 295–296, 302–304, 311–314, 320–321, 329–330, 352–353; Albert von Zahn, ‘Die Ergebnisse der Holbein-Ausstellung zu Dresden’, Jahrbücher für Kunstwissenschaft, 5 (1873), 147–168, 193–220. See Ludwig Pietsch, ‘Die Holbein-Ausstellung zu Dresden’, Vossische Zeitung, Beilage 216/217/220 (08 September/09 September/13 September 1871). Jakob Felsing, Der literarische Streit über die beiden Bilder in Dresden und Darmstadt genannt Madonna des Bürgermeisters Meyer (Leipzig: H. Vogel, 1872), p. 18. See also: Bruno Meyer, ‘Holbein-Ausstellung in Dresden. I. Der Holbein Congreß. II. Hie Dresden! – Hie Darmstadt! III. Resultate’, Allgemeine Zeitung (Augsburg) (09 September/15 September/03 December 1871), 4443–4444, 4554–4556, 5977–5979. See for example: August Schmarsow, Die Kunstgeschichte an unsern Hochschulen (Berlin: G. Reimer, 1891); Anton H. Springer, Die Arundel-Gesellschaft zur Förderung höherer Kunstkenntnisse (Bonn: n. pub. 1860). Anke te Heesen, ‘Exposition Imaginaire. Über die Stellwand bei Aby Warburg’, Fotogeschichte 29, no. 112 (2009), 55–64. Adoph Bayersdorfer and others, ‘Erklärung’, Zeitschrift für bildende Kunst. Mit dem Beiblatt Kunst-Chronik, 6 (1871), 355. Eduard Engerth, Zur Frage der Aechtheit der Holbein’schen Madonna in Dresden. Ein Vortrag gehalten im Wiener Künstlerhause (Wien: C. Gerolds Sohn, 1871), p. 7f. Ludwig Theodor Choulant and twenty-four other experts, ‘Zur Holbeinfrage’, Dresdner Anzeiger, 276 (3 October 1871). Carl Lampe, Holbeins Madonna in Darmstadt und Dresden (Leipzig: F.C.W. Vogel, 1871), p. 10. Eduard His 1871, quoted after Fechner, Bericht, p. 22. Michael Werner and Bénédicte Zimmermann, ‘Beyond Comparison: Histoire Croisée and the Challenge of Reflexivity’, History and Theory: Studies in the Philosophy of History, 45, no. 1 (2006), 30–50. Cf. Bader, Bild-Prozesse, pp. 241–357. Heinrich Wölfflin, Kunstgeschichtliche Grundbegriffe. Das Problem der Stilentwicklung in der neueren Kunst (München: Hugo Brockmann, 1920 [1915]), p. 74, 244. See the English translation: Heinrich Wölfflin, Principles of Art History: The Problem of the Development of Style in Later Art (Mineola: Dover Publications, 2012), p. 68. See for example Ludwig Hofmann-Zeitz, ‘Das wiedererstandene Darmstädter Madonnenbild’, Zeitschrift für bildende Kunst. Mit dem Beiblatt Kunst-Chronik, 23 (1888),

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302–307; Georg Hirth, ‘Ein künstlerisches Ereigniß’, Münchner neueste Nachrichten, 21 September 1887. 37 ‘Darf man auch, so lange das Bild in der bisherigen überaus liberalen Weise den Darmstadt besuchenden Kunstfreunden zugänglich bleibt, sich immerhin damit trösten, dass das Meisterwerk Holbeins sich auf deutschem Boden und in sorgsamer Verwahrung befindet, so würde doch erst bei der dauernden Nebeneinanderstellung mit dem Dresdener Exemplar der ganze Genuss des Werkes an einer Stelle überhaupt zu gewinnen sein.’ Zahn, ‘Ergebnisse’, p. 161. Marcus Andreas Hurttig recently curated a spectacular exhibition devoted to Albert von Zahn and his career between the worlds of art history and art making: Albert von Zahn. Grenzgäner zwischen Kunst und Wissenschaft, ed. by Marcus Andreas Hurttig and Hans-Werner Schmidt (Leipzig: Museum der bildenden Künste Leipzig, 2016).

10 ‘This is the answer to those who tell us that Reynolds was a snob’ The Grosvenor Gallery exhibition of works by Joshua Reynolds (1883–1884) Camilla Murgia On 15 March 1884, the London correspondent of the Argus, an Australian newspaper, acknowledged the winter exhibition of the Grosvenor Gallery in London, dedicated to Sir Joshua Reynolds, claiming that its owner and founder, Sir Coutts Lindsay (1824–1913), provided the public with ‘more than an artistic feast’.1 The correspondent indeed described a successful exhibition which had been opened since January. The exhibition of works by Reynolds was part of the annual program of the Gallery consisting of a series of two shows. The summer show was dedicated exclusively to contemporary art, while in the winter, from January to March, another show focussed on a variety of subjects, including Old Masters and watercolours.2 Exhibiting the works of Joshua Reynolds was a particularly challenging task. Reynolds was not only among the founders and the first president of the Royal Academy, a reference artist for British art, but he also represented an anti-model for many Victorian artists such as Pre-Raphaelites who questioned his contribution to national art. An institution such as the Grosvenor Gallery, considered by many as an avant-garde venue for contemporary art, hardly matched, at first sight, the artistic values of the British master whose work embedded a conservative view of art for a number of Victorians. The exhibition of 1883–1884 aimed at a retrospective insight of the painter’s oeuvre in order to show his greatness. Coutts Lindsay went beyond the idea of providing the public with a large overview of Reynolds’ talent. The exhibition contributed to reshape Reynolds’ reputation and to reconsider his work, staging the paramount role that the academician played in the construction of national art. My chapter aims notably at discussing this monographic show in the light of its contribution to the contrasted perception of Reynolds’ work. My purpose is to investigate the reasons surrounding this show and its impact on the master’s critical fortune and the debate on national art. In a first instance, I will discuss the exhibition and its organisation, focussing on its display and on the genesis of the gallery itself. In the second part of my chapter I will put the event into context by discussing Reynolds’ monographic exhibitions and particularly the 1813 show which took place at the British Institution. The third part of my chapter will finally examine the shift of perception and the process of deconstruction and reconstruction of Reynolds’ image during the Victorian era.

The Grosvenor Gallery and the winter exhibition of 1883/1884 The Grosvenor Gallery was founded in 1877 by Sir Coutts Lindsay. An amateur artist and watercolourist, Coutts Lindsay travelled through Italy in his youth and visited some of the country’s most important works of art and cities.3 He briefly served as a

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soldier and left the military regime to dedicate himself to painting. The travel to Paris in the early 1850s and the training in Ary Scheffer’s studio remarkably contributed to his artistic education.4 After a couple of years travelling across Europe, Lindsay enlisted again in the army and returned to London, in 1856, subsequent to the end of the Crimean War. From this moment onwards, Coutts Lindsay entered the Victorian art world, working occasionally as a designer and exhibiting at the Royal Academy for the first time in 1862.5 During the 1860s he regularly exhibited his works and started to question the progress of the British school with regard to exhibition venues such as the Royal Academy.6 Coutts Lindsay did not hesitate to criticise the supposedly narrow-minded policy of this institution. He advocated the need for art galleries open to all artists independently of their professional affiliation.7 The refusal of his works at the Royal Academy exhibition of 1872 possibly contributed to Lindsay’s idea to create an exhibition venue himself. In a first instance, Lindsay looked for an existing location to establish his new art gallery. Unable to find a convenient building to develop his project, he embarked on the construction of a building suitable for his purpose. The land he bought, in New Bond Street, close to Bloomfield Place, provided him with a central location. To avoid any quarrels or potential loss of the land, he also bought the leases of a few houses located in New Bond Street.8 Architect William Thomas Sams, apparently hardly known before the Grosvenor building, was in charge of the project, and builders G.H. and A. Bywater started the construction work in June 1876.9 Coutts Lindsay was able to gain the support of some of the protagonists of the London art world and even managed, for instance, to have the approval of the Duke of Westminster. The facade and the main entrance of the building referred to Italianate models, the columns of the marble doorway of the entrance being taken from the church of Santa Lucia in Venice, a building which was attributed to Andrea Palladio.10 The interior too was decorated according to Italianate references, such as green Genoese marble columns in the vestibule.11 The exhibition space was arranged into two levels. On the ground floor, a library and a long gallery, used for private events such as receptions, parties and balls, coexisted with two smaller galleries devoted to the exhibition of sculptures and watercolours. On the first floor were located the two most important rooms of the building: the East and West galleries, richly decorated with a deep-red silk. The skylight remarkably contributed to a comfortable visit and a sense of luxury, which increased after 1883 with the installation of electric lighting.12 The building was opened to the public for the first time on 1 May 1877. Lindsay invited contemporary artists to exhibit their works. Pre-Raphaelites such as Edward Burne-Jones (1833–1898), amateur artists such as Coutts Lindsay’s wife Blanche (1845–1912) or works by contemporaries such as James McNeill Whistler (1834–1903) shaped the success of this first show. They furthermore initiated a series of exhibitions based on an invitation policy which made of the Grosvenor Gallery an artistic reference to national art. The event was a success, and contemporaries such as Oscar Wilde highlighted its striking role for British art.13 The functioning of the Grosvenor Gallery recalls the policy of gentlemen’s clubs founded in London in the 1860s. For instance, the Burlington Fine Arts Club opened in 1866 and aimed at exhibiting the works of art of its members.14 Coutts Lindsay’s enterprise differentiated, however, from this kind of venue because it focussed on a wide range of artists.

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After the opening of the Gallery, Coutts Lindsay relied on the supervision of Charles Hallé (1819–1895), who was appointed director in 1877. Joseph Comyns Carr (1849–1916) joined him as co-director of the Gallery a year later, in 1878.15 In the 1880s Coutts Lindsay had to cope with a series of financial difficulties and criticisms, which led him to rethink the whole building. On the one hand, the Grosvenor was practically a business-based activity and, as such, developed in order to make a visit to the exhibition as comfortable and as profitable as possible. For instance, a restaurant and a tearoom were installed and meant to provide visitors with more than an artistic experience. On the other hand, the institution rapidly became a fashionable venue fur upper-class citizens, although its opening every day of the week, including Sundays, well shows Coutts Lindsay’s aspiration to an enterprise available to all citizens. While discussing the attention paid to the elite audience of the Gallery, Thomas Beyer and John Page pointed out that the Grosvenor constituted an ‘umbrella business’.16 The combination of famous masters and less-known artists and the exhibitions of living and deceased painters and sculptors arranged alternatively unceasingly attempted to show both the diversity and the richness of British art. Lindsay’s commercial policy was strongly criticised by Hallé and Carr, who disapproved of the series of social events for which the gallery was regularly rented in the evenings.17 Criticism came also from art writers such as John Ruskin, who denounced Lindsay’s appropriation of the gallery to exhibit his own works.18 These recriminations coexisted with the success that the Gallery knew in the early and mid-1880s and which started to decline in 1887 with Hallé and Carr’s resignations, leading to the closure of the Gallery after the summer exhibition of 1890.19 In 1883, the year of Reynolds’ exhibition, the Grosvenor Gallery knew one of its most successful periods. When the exhibition opened, on 31 December, critics were unanimous in claiming that the show was impressive. The display consisted of 231 objects, most of which (107) were hung in the West Gallery, left to right, and in the East Gallery. Almost all of the works were paintings, only twenty items being drawings, books and albums belonging to Reynolds. As the exhibition catalogue indicated, the show was open every day from 10.00 a.m. to 6.00 p.m., the admission amounted to one shilling, and, as for the other monographic shows previously organised at the gallery, season tickets were available for five shillings, while single tickets cost 1 shilling.20 Lindsay was known for his interest in contemporary art but, with an exhibition dedicated to a deceased – and much controverted – artist such as Reynolds, he clearly intended to manifest his support to national art and to the British school of painting. The feeling of stateliness and majesty of the event was enhanced by the display which Lindsay developed together with the Gallery directors Comyns Carr and Hallé. Exhibited works were hung leaving enough space between them and not frame to frame and floor to ceiling as it was the case for other displays such as the Royal Academy exhibitions.21 The columns inserted on the walls as decorative elements helped to define the hanging surface and to provide visitors with the possibility to concentrate on one item at the time instead of struggling with an overcrowded exhibition space. Starting from the entrance of the West Gallery, it was evident that Lindsay wanted to impress. The first paintings of the show were among the most famous self-portraits that the master produced and were followed by two among his most celebrated paintings, the portraits of Admiral Lord Anson the Circumnavigator and the famous Mrs Abingdon in the character of ‘Miss Prue’.

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The exhibition of 1883–1884 was the biggest monographic show of Reynolds’ works ever organised. Contemporaries highlighted the scale of the event, increased by another exhibition dedicated to the painter and taking place at the Royal Academy. In one of the several reviews celebrating the show, art critic Edwin W. Goodwin discussed the memorable character of the Grosvenor display, insisting on the fact that the exhibition did justice to Reynolds’ talent.22 The master was indeed much praised for the introspective character of his works, especially with regard to portraits, constituting the majority of his paintings, and also of the works displayed. Goodwin directly referred to one of the observations of James Northcote (1746–1831), pupil and biographer of Reynolds, stating that ‘Sir Joshua’s portraits look like reflections in a mirror, while Titian’s look like living men and women’.23 The painter’s skills in respecting the sitters’ character despite their idealisation were evidently not the only reason for the master’s success. Reynolds was among the founders of the Royal Academy and became its first president in 1768. Such an institutional role evidently provided him with a high artistic status, to which the publication of a theoretical text, the Discourses on Art, issued from the lectures he gave at the Academy, largely contributed.24 The Discourses were meant to support Reynolds’ aesthetic doctrine and to help students in their artistic training. Soon after their publication in the 1790s, however, a debate arose on the aesthetic values they expressed and on how they related to the painted work of Reynolds.25 More importantly, the foundation of the Royal Academy corresponded to a pivotal moment for British art, because it provided an institutional, official and theoretical network and frame offering ground to develop a notion of national art. At the beginning of the nineteenth century, this debate particularly developed thanks to the number of shows proposing artworks by Old Masters and contemporary artists.26 Reynolds played a prominent role in this debate, given his paramount position in the London artistic scene. The large scale of the 1883–1884 retrospective led contemporaries to understand the exhibition as an opportunity to go back to the foundations of British art and to acknowledge the interest in a common, national art which had to function as a base for contemporary art and avant-garde productions.

Artistic rivalries and the 1813 exhibition In his review of the 1883/1884 London exhibitions, Goodwin also mentioned another show, which took place at the same time, organised by the Royal Academy, focussing on British masters, displaying works by artists such as Thomas Gainsborough and including twenty-five paintings by Reynolds. According to Goodwin, these two shows offered a great insight into Reynolds’ oeuvre, particularly because the last monographic exhibition dedicated to the master dated back to 1813.27 About twenty years after the master’s death, which occurred in 1792, the British Institution, a newly founded establishment displaying artworks for sale, launched a series of Old Masters shows.28 The first deceased artist to be exhibited was indeed Joshua Reynolds, and the show of 1813 represented what was by many defined as the first loan exhibition of Old Masters ever organised in the United Kingdom.29 Both the British Institution and the Grosvenor Gallery stood as alternatives to the more famous Royal Academy, embodying an institutional reference to national art. The rivalry between these establishments and the Royal Academy was well known, the latter representing a somehow rigid and conventional approach to art, rejecting avant-garde artists

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such as Pre-Raphaelites. Shortly after his death, Reynolds was rapidly associated with this cultured approach. The Victorian era largely contributed to the construction of this negative perception, to which the 1883/1884 Grosvenor exhibition attempted to react, questioning and finally rejecting this critical understanding and re-establishing Reynolds as a reference to British art.30 The Grosvenor Gallery tirelessly attempted to provide the public with a compendium of visual arts but also, as Thomas Bayer and John Page pointed out, subsequent to the failure of the Royal Academy as representative of British art.31 The institution appeared to be unsupportive of any innovative trends in contemporary art. PreRaphaelites were among the artists whose works were regularly rejected at the Royal Academy and found in the Grosvenor Gallery a valid platform for staging and promoting their productions. Coutts Lindsay furthermore based his exhibitions’ selection on invitation, although he refused to show artworks which had been rejected by the Royal Academy to avoid the creation of a useless ‘Salon des réfusés’.32 Within this perspective, the 1813 show provided Lindsay with a how-to guide to develop his own celebrating event on Reynolds. The show, considered the first monographic exhibition of Reynolds’ works, took place at the British Institution, located in the Pall Mall. This event was crucial to the perception of Reynolds’ work. Furthermore, it marked a shift in the activities of a commercial art gallery such as the British Institution: the passage from the encouragement of national, contemporary art to an exhibition of Old Masters. Perceived as a national painter, Reynolds embodied both contemporary art and a reference to Old Masters because of his death in 1792. He therefore represented an ideal candidate to start this new trend. Contrary to other establishments which proposed exhibitions for sale only, replacing the artworks once they were sold and taking a percentage commission on the sale of each work, the British Institution developed a different program. On the one hand, the exhibitions of contemporary art aimed at encouraging the new artistic generation, allowing contact with collectors, for instance. On the other hand, these temporary exhibitions alternated with a regular display of Old Masters which was meant to provide students, artists and amateurs with artworks to study and to copy. The study of Old Masters was particularly considered in the light of artists’ training and of reference institutions such as the Royal Academy. This combination dominated also the institution’s subscription conditions, according to which an annual ticket gave access to both exhibitions and gallery.33 The 1813 show put forward Reynolds’ artistic heritage and staged his reputation as reference for national art. The relationship between living and deceased masters which the British Institution regularly advocated was on this occasion only a corollary of the real scope of the show. In the preface of the exhibition catalogue, Richard Payne Knight insisted on the fact that the show did not relate to the comparison between contemporaries and Old Masters but that, to the contrary, its objective was ‘to call attention generally to British, in preference to foreign Art’.34 The impact of the 1813 show on British art was dramatic. Not only this institution proposed an alternative to the Royal Academy, but, even more importantly, it promoted a new kind of show which would be very successful through the nineteenth century and which Kostantinos Stefanis defined as a ‘commemorative retrospective’.35 This new show was essentially devoted to celebrate an artist within a didactic perspective. The works exhibited should indeed demonstrate the master’s talent and skills and provide visitors with a visual reference, allowing the construction of their own knowledge.

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The display of the British Institution, which has been reconstructed through a research project led by Janine Barchas, was accurately arranged according to this commemorative perspective.36 Enough hanging space was left between the works, and this helped, as Francis Haskell pointed out, to confer to the visit a feeling of harmony.37 Furthermore, the 1813 display relied on a reference-based visual system, in which the most celebrated artworks, such as the portrait of Sarah Siddons, were hung on the first wall beside the more solemn portrait of King George III and functioned as a reminder of Reynolds’ talent and as a preamble to what visitors would be able to see.38 The Grosvenor exhibition also adopted this strategy by staging, on the entrance wall, some of the most well-known among Reynolds’ self-portraits as well as the celebrated portrait of Mrs Abingdon in the character of ‘Mrs Prue’. But it also had to deal with another major issue related to the painter’s criticism, well demonstrated by the fact that between the two shows of 1813 and 1883/1884 there was no retrospective show of Reynolds’ work. The only consistent exhibition of Reynolds’ paintings between these dates was the Exhibition of National Portraits, which took place at the South Kensington Museum in 1867. This show proposed a comprehensive view of British art, with particular regard to portrait and proposed 866 items, 155 of which were by Reynolds.39 The Grosvenor show represented indeed a pretext to cope with such criticism, Goodwin notably insisting on the importance of this exhibition for Reynolds’ perception, stating, in his review that indeed, ‘This is the answer to those who tell us that Reynolds was a snob’.40 Such a critical perception of Reynolds’ works had to be ascribed to one of the master’s most famous rivals and contemporaries, William Blake (1757–1827). Blake felt almost threatened by the rise of interest in Old Masters that the art market experienced following the 1790s. The combination of British contemporaries, and deceased artists such as Reynolds went through some vehement debates from the first decades of the nineteenth century, leading to a questioning of the supremacy and fondness for Old Masters. Blake exhibited at the Royal Academy on several occasions. However, his intention of staging a solo show was rejected at both the Academy and the British Institution, apparently because the proposed items were watercolours and not paintings.41 As a result, the artist decided to organise a retrospective of his painted work in 1809. The show was installed in his brother’s house and included sixteen works only.42 Nevertheless, the exhibition catalogue which was published on that occasion attempted to elevate the show to an institutional level. Blake took this opportunity to promote his career as a painter and to gather some subscriptions for his coming projects. His overall objective remaining essentially commercial, Blake certainly noticed the commemorative character of the Reynolds exhibition which took place just a few years after. Moreover, the 1813 show aimed at the constitution of a visual corpus of artworks by the British master which was meant to stand at the same level as those of European painters. Not only was Reynolds considered as the founder of the British school of painting, but he was also granted an artistic value which had to be as important as the one of his fellow painters across Europe. Within this perspective, the alternation of contemporary and old or deceased masters that the British Institution promoted aimed at proposing a universal compendium of artistic productions and enabling visitors to compare schools and masters from different periods.

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Perception shifts While the 1813 show represented a platform to celebrate Reynolds’ work and to construct the perception of his success, the following decades were largely responsible for debating and blaming such a reputation. The efforts which had been made through the British Institution’s exhibition of 1813 seemed almost to disappear in the early Victorian Age. The eulogies of Reynolds’ first biographers such as James Northcote and Edmund Malone (1741–1812) were apparently not sufficient to grant the master a solid reputation throughout the nineteenth century. Particularly, the first half and the mid-nineteenth century knew the publication of a series of biographical accounts on Reynolds aiming at criticising the master. Even the Discourses on Art, much appreciated on the occasion of its publication in the late eighteenth century, gave ground to develop a critical approach to Reynolds’ oeuvre, essentially denouncing a lack of coherence between the master’s painted work and his theoretical doctrine.43 During the Victorian era, the perception of Reynolds’ work developed through essays, articles and biographies and progressively deconstructed the positive perception which had been carefully constructed by the master’s early biographers. Reynolds increasingly and progressively provided an artistic anti-model, much opposed to one of his main rivals, William Blake. Considerably appreciated by Pre-Raphaelites, Blake’s works and perception represent the basis of Reynolds’ criticism, also standing as an artistic model and differentiating from a rigid, conventional approach to art. It is through Blake that Pre-Raphaelites comprehended Reynolds’ oeuvre. A notebook by Blake composed around 1808, known as the Rossetti manuscript because Pre-Raphaelite artist Dante Gabriel Rossetti acquired it in 1847, epitomises the origins of this famous rivalry, as it contained a series of critical annotations on Reynolds’ theoretical doctrine. The impact of this text was such that Rossetti’s brother claimed its pivotal role as a catalyst for the Pre-Raphaelite movement.44 Blake also owned a copy of the Discourses on Art edited by Edmund Malone and annotated it with critical comments aiming essentially at demolishing Malone’s explanations and moreover Reynolds’ aesthetic theories. These comments, which Rossetti well knew, originated the perception of Reynolds as an artistic anti-model. Later, texts such as The Life of William Blake by Alexander Gilchrist (1863) relied on Blake’s theories and defined them through the rivalry and criticism towards Reynolds. Victorians were however not unanimous in their denunciation of the former president of the Royal Academy. The ferocious condemnations of the academician’s work started to decrease with the publication of a biographical text by Charles Leslie and Thomas Taylor.45 Leslie was a member of the Royal Academy and undertook the compilation of Reynolds’ biographical account as a reaction to the master’s criticism. After his death in 1859, journalist Thomas Taylor continued to work on the manuscript, which was finally published in 1865. A second volume followed in 1873. The work represented a defence of Reynolds’ artistic legacy. Coutts Lindsay well understood the extent of the publication and took the opportunity to make it part of the 1883/1884 winter show at the Grosvenor Gallery. Indeed, the catalogue published on the occasion of the show was largely based on Leslie and Taylor’s biographical study, as specified in the text itself. Coutts Lindsay intended to highlight Reynolds’ artistic and theoretical merits in order to promote his crucial role to both British and national

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art. Catalogue entries were accompanied by a shorter notice, compiled by art critic Frederic George Stephens (1827–1907), who was one of the members of the PreRaphaelite movement and a much appreciated writer. Items’ descriptions regularly referred to the 1813 exhibition at the British Institution and to the 1867 exhibition of national portraits. These references contributed therefore to make of the Grosvenor show an almost logical development of the previous shows. Contemporaries such as Henry B. Wheatley acknowledged the comprehensive character of the exhibition, insisting on its artistic and historic significance and also avoiding any potential criticism such as the exaggeration of the number of works on view: ‘for study there is not a picture too much’.46 The Grosvenor show of 1883–1884 represented a turning point in the perception of the works of Joshua Reynolds. The retrospective importantly contributed to reconsider Reynolds’ oeuvre as a reference for national British art and to take a distance from a controverted view such as the one developed by Blake and the PreRaphaelites. From the end of the nineteenth century, critics reattributed to Reynolds a pivotal role, that of father of British art. It was clear, from the opening of the show, that this event would have dealt with a debated reputation, and this is possibly the most avant-gardiste aspect of Coutts Lindsay’s enterprise. In January 1884, the newspaper The Architect insisted on this innovative and somehow risky challenge, claiming that ‘The popularity of the art of Reynolds has never been put to crucial test as it now runs in the Winter Exhibition of the Grosvenor Gallery’.47 The display, the number of artworks and the exhibition catalogue all framed a response to previous criticism but also shaped, at the same time, a new artistic reference which sounds almost inexorable in contemporary views: ‘Everything conduces to this popularity of Reynolds’.48

Notes 1 Anonymous, ‘The Winter Exhibition at the Grosvenor Gallery. First Notice’, The Argus, 15 March 1884, p. 4. 2 Allen Staley, ‘“Art Is Upon the Town!” The Grosvenor Gallery Winter Exhibitions’, in The Grosvenor Gallery: A Palace of Art in Victorian England, ed. by Susan P. Casteras and Colleen Denney (New Haven: Yale Center for British Art, Yale University Press, 1996), pp. 59–74 (p. 59). 3 Christopher Newall, The Grosvenor Gallery Exhibitions: Change and Continuity in the Victorian Art World (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1995), p. 6. 4 Ibid., p. 7. 5 Ibid., p. 8. 6 Coutts Lindsay compiled an account on the progress of the British school of painting, insisting on the potential of the new generation of artists. Newall, The Grosvenor Gallery Exhibitions, p. 8. 7 Newall, The Grosvenor Gallery Exhibitions, p. 9. 8 Survey of London, ed. by Francis H.W. Sheppard, 50 vols. (London: London County Council, 1900–2013), Volume 40, the Grosvenor Estate in Mayfair, Part 2 (The Buildings) xiv (1980), pp. 57–63. British History Online. Web. [Accessed 19 December 2016]. 9 Survey of London. 10 Survey of London, Newall, The Grosvenor Gallery Exhibitions, p. 10. 11 Newall, The Grosvenor Gallery Exhibitions, p. 11. 12 Ibid., p. 12. 13 Oscar Wilde reviewed the first exhibitions of the Grosvenor Gallery, this activity allowing him to deal and familiarise himself with art criticism. On these reviews, see Anne-Florence

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Gillard-Estrada, ‘Oscar Wilde Aesthetics in He Making: The Reviews of the Grosvenor Gallery Exhibitions of 1877 and 1879’, Etudes Anglaises, 69, no. 1 (2016), 36–48. On the Burlington Club, see Stacey J. Pierson, Private Collecting, Exhibitions and the Shaping of Art History in London: The Burlington Fine Arts Club (London: Routledge, 2017). Newall, The Grosvenor Gallery Exhibitions, p. 31. Thomas M. Bayer and John R. Page, The Development of the Art Market in England (London: Pickering & Chatto, 2011), pp. 193–195. Newall, The Grosvenor Gallery Exhibitions, p. 36. Ibid., p. 31. Ibid., p. 37. Catalogue of the Works of Sir Joshua Reynolds, P.R.A., MDCCCLXXXIII-IV, Exhibited at the Grosvenor Gallery, Historical Notes by Frederic George Stephens (London: Chiswick Press, 1884), p. 6. Newall, The Grosvenor Gallery Exhibitions, p. 5. Edwin W. Goodwin, ‘The Winter Exhibitions’, MacMillan’s Magazine, XLIV (February 1884), 259–267 (p. 259). Ibid., p. 260. Sir Joshua Reynolds, Discourses on Art, ed. by Robert R. Wark (New Haven: Yale University Press, 1997 [1797]). On the Discourses, see Frederic Whiley Hiles, The Literary Career of Sir Joshua Reynolds (London: Archon Books, 1967), pp. 69–89 and pp. 129–145; John L. Mahoney, ‘Reynolds’ ‘Discourses on Art’: The Delicate Balance of Neoclassical Aesthetics’, British Journal of Aesthetics, 38 (Spring 1978), 126–136. Holger Hoock, ‘Old Masters and the English School: The Royal Academy of Art and the Notion of a National Gallery at the Turn of the Nineteenth Century’, Journal the History of Collections, 16, no. 1 (2004), 1–18; ‘“Struggling Against a Vulgar Prejudice’: Patriotism and the Collecting of British Art at the Turn of the Nineteenth Century’, Journal of British Studies, 49, no. 3 (2010), 566–591. Goodwin, ‘The Winter Exhibitions’, p. 260. On the British Institution, see Francis Haskell, ‘The First Exhibitions of the British Institution’, in The Ephemeral Museum: Old Masters Paintings and the Rise of Art Exhibition (New Haven and London: Yale University Press, 2000), pp. 46–63; Thomas Smith, Recollections of the British Institution (London: Simpkin & Marshall, 1860); Peter Fullerton, ‘Patronage and Pedagogy: The British Institution in Early Nineteenth Century’, Art History, V, no. 1 (1982), 59–72. Goodwin, ‘The Winter Exhibitions’, p. 259; Paul Barlow and Colin Trodd, Governing Cultures: Art Institutions in Victorian London (London: Ashgate, 2000), p. 47. On the perception of Reynolds during the Victorian era, see Camilla Murgia, ‘From Academy to “Sloshua”: Joshua Reynolds’ Perception in the Victorian Era’, Studies in Visual Arts and Communication, 2 (2015). [Accessed 2 December 2016]. Bayer and Page, The Development of the Art Market in England, p. 196. Newall, The Grosvenor Gallery Exhibitions, p. 13. A number of exhibition spaces developed since the early nineteenth century in London, representing an entertainment and commercial offer. See Andrew Hemingway, ‘Art Exhibitions a Leisure-Class Rituals in Early Nineteenth-Century London’, in Towards a Modern Art World, ed. by Brian Allen (New Haven: Yale Center for British Art: Yale University Press, 1995), pp. 95–108; Richard Altick, The Shows of London (Cambridge, MA: Belknap Press, 1978). Richard Payne Knight, Catalogue of the Pictures by the Late Sir Joshua Reynolds Exhibited by the Permission of the Proprietors in Honour of the Memory of that Distinguished Artists, and for the Improvement of British Art (London: W. Bulmer, 1813), p. 9. Konstantinos Stefanis, ‘Reasoned Exhibitions: Blake in 1809 and Reynolds in 1813’, Tate Papers, 14 (Autumn 2010). [Accessed 2 December 2016]. See also Chapter 1 of this volume by the same author.

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36 Janine Barchas, ‘Digitally Reconstructing the Reynolds Retrospective Attended by Jane Austen in 1813: A Report on E-Work-in-Progress’, ABO: Interactive Journal for Women in the Arts, 1640–1830, 2, no. 1 (March 2012), Article 13. [Accessed 2 December 2016]. 37 Haskell, ‘The First Exhibitions of the British Institution’, p. 54, quoted by Barchas, ‘Digitally Reconstructing the Reynolds Retrospective’. 38 For an exhaustive reconstitution of the 1813 show’s hanging, see the website created by Janine Barchas, What Jane Saw. [Accessed 6 January 2017]. 39 Goodwin, ‘The Winter Exhibitions’, p. 259. 40 Ibid., p. 260. 41 Stefanis, ‘Reasoned Exhibitions’. 42 On this show, see Philippa Simpson, ‘Lost in the Crowd: Blake and London in 1809’, Tate Papers, 14 (Autumn 2010). [Accessed 4 December 2016]. 43 Murgia, ‘From Academy to “Sloshua”’. On Malone’s edition of Reynolds, see: Karen Junod, ‘“A Picture of the Mind: Biography, portraiture, and Edmond Malone’s Account” of Sir Joshua Reynolds (1797)’, The British Art Journal, 12, no. 3 (2011), pp. 91–95. 44 Dante Gabriel Rossetti: His Family Letters With a Memoir, ed. by William Michael Rossetti, 2 vols. (London: Ellis and Elvey, 1895), pp. 1, 109. 45 Charles Leslie and Thomas Taylor, Life and Times of Sir Joshua Reynolds, 2 vols. (London: John Murray, 1865). 46 Henry B. Wheatley, ‘Decorative Art in London’, The Decorator and Furnisher, 3, no. 6 (1884), p. 206. 47 ‘Sir Joshua Reynolds at the Grosvenor Gallery’, The Architect, 5 January 1884, p. 6. 48 Ibid.

11 The master and Siena The 1912 Duccio exhibition Elisa Camporeale

In 1911, exactly 600 years after Duccio’s Maestà was transported in a famous civic procession from the painter’s workshop to the Cathedral, the thesis of Curt Weigelt on Duccio di Buoninsegna supervised by August Schmarsow was published in Leipzig. Weigelt’s book took into account new documentary evidence published in 1898 by Alessandro Lisini and Scipione Borghesi with Luciano Banchi and presented, for the first time, a detailed catalogue of the works of Duccio.1 In 1912, an exhibition dedicated to Duccio di Buoninsegna and his school was organised in Siena. From the first of September to the first of December 1912, the exhibition celebrated, with a one-year delay, the sixth centenary of the Maestà, installed on the main altar of the Cathedral on 9 June 1311,2 and in several ways it continued on the research path opened by the German scholar.

The event The main purposes of the exhibition were to make the works of Duccio better known, displaying less-known panels next to his famous masterpiece, and to present the production of Duccio’s close and distant followers. The exhibition also aimed to highlight the priority, the independence and the high artistic quality of such results compared to the Roman and, even more important, to the Florentine School of Painting. The latter is considered led by Giotto, who started painting a few years after Duccio. Given the centenary and the impossibility to obtain the loan of the Madonna Rucellai from the Florentine church of Santa Maria Novella, it is not surprising that the star of the exhibition was Duccio’s Maestà (Figure 11.1 and Figure 11.2). After shining on the main altar and then on lateral altars of the Cathedral, this was the first time that the Maestà was exhibited in a temporary show. It was one of the few Sienese masterpieces not part of the Mostra dell’antica arte senese, the imposing exhibition on ancient Sienese art held in Siena in 19043 that consecrated the art of Siena and launched the town as a must-see in Tuscany.4 The relocation of the imposing artwork in the gallery near the Cathedral in 1878, and subsequently the monographic exhibition, sanctioned the proud tribute of the city to the father of the Sienese School of Painting and the crucial role played by Duccio in the Central Italian art scenario. The venue was the gallery of the Opera del Duomo (Figure 11.3), where Duccio’s masterpiece was habitually on display, as it was too large to be moved.5 The Municipality took the initiative, and the bank Monte dei Paschi di Siena made the event possible through an 8,300 lire sponsorship, following a written request by the Mayor of Siena Mario Bianchi Bandinelli. The Province of Siena contributed (almost

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Figure 11.1 Duccio di Buoninsegna, Maestà (front), 1308–11, tempera on panel, 220 cm × 433 cm, Siena, Museo dell’Opera del Duomo inv. OA/4538 Source: by concession of the Fondazione Monte dei Paschi di Siena

Figure 11.2 Duccio di Buoninsegna, Maestà (back), 1308–11, tempera on panel, 370 cm × 450 cm, Siena, Museo dell’Opera del Duomo inv. OA/4501–4514 Source: by concession of the Fondazione Monte dei Paschi di Siena

symbolically) with 250 lire and agreed to lend all the duccesque paintings of the Istituto di belle arti of Siena. Alessandro Lisini, the director of the State Archive of Siena and former mayor, was supposed to serve as president of the exhibition committee but resigned, as he was in the meantime nominated director of the State Archive of Venice.

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Figure 11.3 Piazza Jacopo della Quercia with the entrance door of the Museo dell’Opera del Duomo, venue of the 1912 Duccio exhibition, Siena. Source: by concession of the Fondazione Monte dei Paschi di Siena

He was therefore replaced by professor Pietro Rossi, who, along with Canon Vittorio Lusini and curator Giacomo De Nicola, developed and realised the exhibition’s project in thirteen meetings of the Executive Committee. Besides Rossi as president, the Executive Committee was formed by the already-mentioned Lusini as vice president and the art historian De Nicola, as well as professor Fabio Bargagli Petrucci, the city councillor for public education Tito Callaini, engineer Guido Casuccini Bonci, professor Fulvio Corsini, Count Emanuele D’Elci Pannocchieschi, Marchis Rodolfo Forteguerri Bichi Ruspoli, professor Alessandro Franchi, Canon Giovan Battista Mannucci, professor Vittorio Mariani, Giovanni Molteni and Andrea Vegni as secretary. Approximately seventy pictures, not counting the Maestà panels, were aligned on the walls of three rooms: the vestibule, Duccio’s Room and Duccio’s followers’ Room corresponding, respectively, to the Room of the Virgin with Big Eyes (or of the Vow), to the Room of the Conversation or of Alfieri (Figure 11.4) and to the Hall of Tapestries (Figure 11.5) on the second floor of the Cathedral museum. Facing the paintings were chairs for the perusal of visitors. The colour scheme chosen was elegant and sober, with fabric purchased in Florence: the entrance door was screened with a brown cloth, the walls of the main two rooms were covered with grey fabric as well as all the counters, all the big windows had grey or white curtains, and on the floor, strips of red carpets marked the path below the paintings. The opening ceremony took place in the Sala del Mappamondo in the Municipal Palazzo Pubblico, at ten thirty on the first of September.6 Besides local authorities and aristocracy, in the guest list one finds mostly bishops and religious men who lent paintings to the exhibition. Among the few laymen invited there were Charles Loeser,

Figure 11.4 The Room of Alfieri during the 1912 Duccio Exhibition, Siena, Museo dell’Opera del Duomo. Source: Pompeo Sansaini’s photograph by concession of the Archivio della Fondazione Briganti

Figure 11.5 The Room of Tapestries during the 1912 Duccio Exhibition, Siena, Museo dell’Opera del Duomo. Source: Pompeo Sansaini’s photograph by concession of the Archivio della Fondazione Briganti

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Frederick Mason Perkins, Carlo Angeli, Adolfo Venturi and the directors of the main Florentine museums and newspapers. The opening fell in the delicate time of the negotiations prior to the Treaty of Lausanne, which ended the Italo-Turkish war with Italy annexing the provinces of Tripoli and Cyrenaica, and therefore ministers from Rome were unable to attend. The exhibition was later visited by high priests and various political figures such as the minister of Foreign Affairs Antonino Paternò-Castello sixth Marchis of San Giuliano, Queen Maud of Norway and the general director of Antiquities and Fine Arts Corrado Ricci, whose name appears in the Honorary Committee of the exhibition and could not be part of the Executive Committee nor give a speech during the opening ceremony due to a death in the family,7 the scientist Guglielmo Marconi and his wife Beatrice (in town for the opening of the new post and telegraph palace), the undersecretary to the Ministry of Posts and Telegraphs Augusto Battaglieri8 and Pietro Lanza, Prince of Scalea, undersecretary for Foreign Affairs.9 The amount deriving from the ticket sale was 1,244 lire (price for a ticket 1 lira), and the number of paying visitors during the fourteen weeks of opening was not high. It ranged from 20 to 144 per week and the pick was reached during the last week of October 1912.10 The exhibition closed with a profit of 1,711 lire. As agreed upon in a meeting before the opening of the exhibition, part of the profit was allotted by the Municipality of Siena for the acquisition of 150 copies of the second version of the catalogue of the exhibition, published in a total of 300 copies in 1913. The remaining covered the costs of the electrical system of the first floor of the Palazzo Pubblico. Besides payments for insurance, car rental, train and carriage expenses for the transport of the artworks or transfers of the curator and photographer, in the accounting register are recorded payments to several professionals to prepare the rooms: photographers, smiths, carpenters, glass makers, stone masons, florists. The roman photographer Pompeo Sansaini was paid 600 lire for the campaign, consisting in thirty-six negatives (in three copies each), nine enlargements and 223 prints. Forty silver gelatin dry plates of Sansaini’s photos were found in 2004 and are currently part of the photo archive of the Fondazione Briganti at Siena. The firm Anderson was paid 20 lire for two enlargements, which were mailed to De Nicola, while the firm Franz Hanfstaengel, based in London, Munich and New York, was also paid for photographs. The San Bernardino typography printed 3,000 advertising signs of the exhibition,11 and Carlo Nava printed 1,000 programmes of the celebrations (Figure 11.6), the carpenters Emanuele Barbetti provided the travelling boxes for several paintings, and the architect Egisto Bellini12 provided the design for the labels for both photographs and paintings (then printed by Lazzeri). For the paintings that were shown a total of 447.30 lire was paid to the Anglo Italian agency for insurance, and Carlo Lamioni, the museum guard, was the person responsible for most transports of the artwork. Besides the photographic campaign, another important initiative taken by the committee was to have the paintings on loan that were not in good condition restored at the end of the exhibition. The gilding firm of Giovacchino Corsi & Figli invoiced the exhibition Committee (Figure 11.7) for cleaning several pictures, among them the consolidation of the support and the regilding of the background of the Madonna from Fogliano, the one from San Rocco a Pilli and for taking off the frame and regilding of a panel of Duccio’s predella, most probably the Temptation (Figure 11.8), while the painter Tommaso Baldini was paid 230 lire for restoring several (unspecified) pictures. Last, the two big windows of the Saloncino or Room of Alfieri were enlarged

Figure 11.6 Programme of the celebrations for the 1912 Duccio exhibition, Siena, ACS, Postunitario X.B, cat. I, busta 30 (1913). Source: by concession of the Archivio storico del Comune di Siena

Figure 11.7 Invoice of the firm ‘Giovacchino Corsi & Figli’ for restorations of paintings part of the 1912 Duccio Exhibition, Siena, ACS, Postunitario X.B, cat. I, busta 30 (1913). Source: by concession of the Archiviostorico del Comune di Siena

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Figure 11.8 Duccio di Buoninsegna, Temptation of Christ on the highest point of the temple, tempera on panel, 48 cm × 50 cm, Siena, Museo dell’Opera del Duomo inv. OA/4524 Source: Pompeo Sansaini’s photograph by concession of the Archivio della Fondazione Briganti

by opening two lunettes on top.13 This alteration was realised to provide more light in one of the rooms and is still visible today (Figure 11.3).

The content The great majority of the pieces shown in 1912 came from churches, and only a minority belonged to private collectors, perhaps because a good number of the Sienese paintings still in private hands had been sold after the 1904 exhibitions of Siena and London.14 The panels were grouped by stylistic affinities. Manuscripts and paintings prior to Duccio’s activity were displayed in the vestibule, among them the Virgin and Child by Guido da Siena, then still generally considered dated 1221, even if connoisseurs such as De Nicola were aware of the later repaintings. The second room, or Alfieri Room,

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where the Maestà was usually displayed, was devoted to the works of Duccio and of his closest followers such as Segna and Ugolino, whose paintings were hanging respectively to the left and right of the door which opens towards the Hall of Tapestries, while more paintings of the school were in the third room. Facing the two sides of Duccio’s Maestà were reconstructions of its front and back predella and pinnacles, made possible through the insertion of life-size photographs of the missing panels; on the same side a direct derivation from Duccio’s Maestà was hanging: the Majesty of Badia a Isola. Proposals related to the reconstruction of the original design of the altarpiece were implemented by the curator of the exhibition. Among the novelties published by the Weigelt in 1909, the recently discovered panel representing the Temptation of Christ on the highest point of the temple was presented as belonging to the predella of the back (Figure 11.8).15 Paintings almost unknown were also presented in this exhibition, as the Madonna of Montepulciano16 or that of the Compagnia of Santa Maria della Grotta17 and of Asciano.18 The attributions were updated according to the recent research of the curator, De Nicola, for the artistic personality of the Master of Città di Castello, for instance. Under the wooden Crucifix by Niccolò di Segna dated 1345 was the photograph (part of the campaign made for the exhibition) of the Crucifixion of the church of Santa Colomba near Siena, a mural assigned to the same painter, as material for thought and discussion. Even the labelling of the photographs on show was updated according to the most recent studies, such as Salmi’s proposal of giving the Crucifix of Santa Fiora e Lucilla at Arezzo to the painter Segna di Bonaventura.19 Among the few panels on show still belonging to private individuals, there were two pictures by Ugolino di Nerio: the triptych with Virgin and Child with Saint Peter and Saint Paul of the Pannilini family and once in the church of San Pietro in Villore at San Giovanni d’Asso, and the Tadini Boninsegni Madonna. Both these works were subsequently acquired by the art dealer Alessandro Contini Bonacossi and are part of his bequest to the Uffizi Gallery.20 Loeser was also among the lenders, and his Virgin and Child (then restored by Luigi Cavenaghi) was sold in 1981 and ascribed to Segna.21 The Ministry of Public Education, Luigi Credaro, granted transfer permission for the exhibition solely to the works of art located in Siena and surroundings. Therefore, only pictures from the area of Siena were selected to frame and commemorate Duccio’s Maestà in 1912. This explains the absence of the Rucellai Madonna from Santa Maria Novella, whose attribution was then much debated, as Vasari considered it a masterpiece by Cimabue,22 and the absence of the panel signed by Segna from Castiglion Fiorentino or of the polyptich of Meo da Siena from the picture gallery of Perugia. Besides limitations due to the Ministry, private individuals also sometimes refused the loan of a painting. The loan of the duccesque Madonna of Crevole was refused by the parson, for instance. Such work was rightly considered by De Nicola as having been painted by the same hand as the Rucellai Madonna.

Catalogues, reviews and related studies The first edition of the catalogue, written by De Nicola, is a non-illustrated booklet which was on sale for 50 cents of a lira, printed by Lazzeri in 500 copies.23 It contains an introductory essay, short entries on each painting with technical information and

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details on the state of preservation and on attribution as well as a list of all the photographs on show. The other version of the catalogue, enriched by some fifty black-and-white plates, came out in 1913 after the closing of the exhibition as the eighth volume of the periodical Rassegna d’arte senese.24 It was published in 300 copies, eighty-one of which were sent to scholars and authorities. It contains the text of the inaugural address delivered by the historian Rossi,25 who a few years earlier gave the closing speech of the 1904 exhibition of ancient Sienese art. It contains two essays of the Russian byzantinist Wladimir De Grüneisen:26 one on the Byzantine influences and the autonomous inspiration of the Christological cycle of the Maestà and the other on the portraits of two supplicants visible in the exhibition, that of Monna Muccia at the feet of the Virgin and Child of Lucignano and that of the unknown male supplicant in the San Casciano panel.27 This scholar and collector, who lived long years in Italy, was already known for having studied the frescoes of Santa Maria Antiqua in Rome and for an interest in portraiture. The 1913 catalogue also contains a long essay by Canon Lusini with biographical notes, observations on Duccio and a catalogue of his paintings and drawings of a reconstruction of the Maestà, followed by a chronicle of the exhibition. Lastly, it contained short entries on the artworks, listed in the order of display. A small percentage of the photographs exhibited were published as part of the plates of the second version of the catalogue. Among them are the large-format photographs currently in the Archive of the Opera del Duomo of the stained-glass window of the apse of the Cathedral and the Biccherna of 1483 at the State Archive of Siena.28 Equal attention was reserved by the curators of the two catalogues to real artworks exhibited and to those only illustrated by photographs. An immediate reception of the novelties emerged in recent studies concerning the works exhibited in photograph can be registered in the second version of the catalogue. For instance, the Virgin and Child from the church of San Francesco in Lucca given to Duccio in an article by its very owner, Roberto Schiff,29 who was also member of the Honorary Committee of the exhibition. The name of Segna made for the Majesty of Massa Marittima by De Nicola was also acknowledged. Besides proposing the name of Segna, while removing the altarpiece from the wall, the curator discovered the painted back and presented the photographs in the exhibition for the first time.30 An open issue concerned the date and authorship of the stained-glass window of the apse of the Cathedral of Siena, which in the second version of the catalogue was ascribed to Andrea di Mino in the years 1364–1369 and for which only De Nicola saw the style of Duccio, an ascription today widely accepted.31 The exhibition of ancient Sienese art of 1904 greatly incentivised studies on the art and history of Siena, including city guides. The state of research for Sienese art since then has been already analysed.32 To the blooming of research on the arts of Siena at the beginning of the century, for the following years a general work can be added, a sort of handbook on Tuscan Primitives written in 1912 by Basile Khvoshinsky and Mario Salmi along with the biography of Duccio by Giorgio Vasari, edited by Arturo Jahn Rusconi in 191333 and Luigi Dami’s guide of the city and its art of 1915.34 With the exception of the studies on the relationships between the Byzantine and the Sienese schools of painting, all of the other paths of research opened by the 1912 exhibition kept drawing the attention of scholars for a long time to come, particularly the life and works of Duccio and of his followers, in other words all that was painted in Siena from 1275 to 1350. ‘Duccio di Buoninsegna e la sua scuola’ spawned

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a number of scholarly essays and reviews. It was presented in Kunstchronik, and De Nicola reviewed it in Burlington Magazine,36 while Mason Perkins did the same in Rassegna d’arte.37 Part of the direct consequences of this exhibition are the contributions of Lusini on the activity of Duccio,38 of De Nicola in Arte inedita a Siena e nel suo territorio39 and on the painters Ugolino and Simone at San Casciano.40 The opening to a relatively new medium of photography as a studying tool, the quality of the connected studies and the rather limited number of visitors show that the 1912 exhibition was conceived, presented and implemented in a highly scholarly way and mainly within a community of art lovers and experts. 1912 was probably too early for a systematic study of the School of Duccio, a trail of research which is indicated in the title itself of the exhibition. It was not until the end of the 1914–1918 war that general studies on painting of the time of Duccio were published, the Essays in the Study of Sienese Painting by Bernard Berenson of 1918, reviewed by De Nicola the following year, and the Toskanische Maler im XIII. Jahrhundert by Osvald Sirén of 1922. Ninety years after 1912, an exhibition entitled Duccio. Alle origini della pittura senese41 further celebrated the founder of the School of Siena. In 2003, the times and the scholarly tools were ready to examine the whole production of the master, his formation in the orbit of Cimabue and his legacy. The followers were classified in first, second and third generations, and attention was drawn to hitherto neglected aspects of Sienese painting such as duccesque mural paintings.

Photographs on show Eighty-six photographic reproductions were exhibited as a complement to the paintings, as demonstrated by the two images we have of the exhibition’s display (Figure 11.4 and Figure 11.5). Such images were of paintings or details of paintings located abroad or out of Siena. They were mounted on cardboard by the firm Enrico Torrini and distributed around the rooms. For the most part the images were presented on a counter underneath the paintings facing a row of chairs so as to allow and invite the visitors to sit comfortably and take the time to compare different works, either displayed on the walls or photographed for the occasion. I identified thirtyeight of these photographic prints mounted on cardboard in the Archive of the Opera del Duomo at Siena.42 Labels with art nouveau lettering designed by architect Bellini for the exhibition are still attached to them. A small part of the over eighty photographs in the 1912 exhibition were placed at life-size scale, next to the panels of the reconstruction of the predella on the back of the Maestà, to visually represent the missing panels, sold abroad (eight of fifty-nine stories had emigrated in foreign collections) as the four panels in the collection of Robert Benson and those in the National Gallery of London. The vast number of photographs in the exhibition offered the possibility to the average public as well as to the scholars to see and study important pictures not on show. Among the photographs, several depicted works that were abroad and had been previously exhibited in London, at the Burlington Fine Arts Club in 1904,43 as the tryptic with the Crucifixion by Duccio of the Royal Collections. Since Count Stroganoff died in 1910, the Stroganoff Madonna by Duccio could not be lent to the 1912 show, and it was only illustrated by an albumen print of a Burton photograph,44 taken and published in 1904. The stories of photographs, exhibitions and studies of an artwork are often intertwined. Thanks to the Burton image and another early-twentieth-century

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black-and-white photograph, the Stroganoff Madonna, shown to the public in an exhibition for the first time in 1904 and for the last time in the twentieth century in 1935, was included in the studies for many years to come.45 For the first time in its history, in 2004 the small Stroganoff masterpiece passed from a private to a public collection, as it was purchased from the Stoclet collection by the Metropolitan Museum, where it is on display. I already remarked how in the catalogues equal attention was dedicated to panels and to photos of paintings on display, and equal care was devoted for labelling and updating the attributions of the photos on show. The proximity of artworks to photographic prints individually presented showed a rather advanced scientific approach. It went beyond the usual presentation of photographs in albums adopted in exhibitions until then. For the first time in the 1912 exhibition photographs were considered dignified and accurate enough to be displayed and catalogued instead of the real painting. In the Duccio exhibition not only the value of photographs as visual documentation was recognised but also their function as a critical tool that allows for stylistic analysis and comparisons.

Final remarks The approach of the 1912 exhibition was innovative in many regards. For the Italian scenario, ‘Duccio di Buoninsegna e la sua scuola’ represents a rather early example of a monographic exhibition, probably the first dedicated to a Primitive painter. For monographic exhibitions, the path opener in Europe was the Hans Holbein exhibition held in Dresden in 1871 discussed here in Chapter 9,46 while for Italy, a somewhat similar role was played by the exhibitions that Florence devoted to Michelangelo in 1875 discussed in Chapter 10, which focused mainly on his drawings, plasters and sculptures.47 Francis Haskell analysed the sequence of monographic exhibitions and remarked that between the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, these provided a prestigious showcase for the cultural glories of various nations. He also noted that exhibitions of Primitives, beyond representing a certain culture, could make a statement regarding the antiquity and precocity of a school of painting. The British scholar underlined the extreme rarity of Primitive painters who had been prolific and famous enough to become the object of a monographic exhibition, and that the grand exhibitions of the early twentieth century were usually dedicated to a whole school of painting or to a group of schools.48 This was the case of the exhibitions of ancient art held in Bruges and Barcelona in 1902, in Düsseldorf, Paris and Siena in 1904, in Chieti and Macerata in 1905 and in Perugia in 1907. The Duccio di Buoninsegna exhibition of 1912 can be considered an evolution of this thrilling series of events, being a tribute paid by the native town to a single artistic personality and to his impact on the generations of painters who followed. In his pioneering studies on the history of exhibitions, Haskell saw in nationalism the triggering factor for the organization of the grand Old Masters exhibitions around Europe. While I do not aim to invalidate this general statement, I need to point out how deeply nationalism and patriotism interacted with municipalism in the case of Italy. As municipal and regional histories were much longer and more deeply felt by the people than the history of united Italy, the double identification that resulted was that of belonging to a glorious country made by numerous towns, each of which is

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culturally unique. Coherently with this shared feeling among Italians, the image of the country conceived for the National Exhibition that in 1911, one year before Duccio’s exhibition in Siena, celebrated the fiftieth anniversary of the Kingdom of Italy in Piazza d’Armi in Rome was exactly of a country made of regions and of regions made of towns and smaller centres.49 The variety of histories, heritage, art and craftsmanship of each centre and province of Italy was to be celebrated, and the pride of the nation developed and grew, not in spite of cultural differences but, quite conversely, in the name of such differences. This mixed national and municipal spirit is reflected by a series of cultural enterprises taken on a local level: for instance, projects of retrospective exhibitions,50 conceived as a contribution to the life of the nation, and having the nation itself as the main – but not the only – referent. The applied arts and several different regional or city’s schools of painting were studied and illustrated thanks to the exhibitions held in different Italian towns in the beginning of the twentieth century. Such schools were the pride of the towns that originated them, but also merged with – and shone in the mirror of – the young nation of Italy. Thanks to the exhibition of ancient Sienese art of 1904, probably the largest retrospective event ever organised in Italy, the art of Siena became more widely known, and the city was launched as a not-to-be-missed destination in the new scenario of cultural tourism. Only a few years had passed since this ground-breaking event when, in 1912, the Tuscan city was able to redefine its image, proposing a new exhibition format, still retrospective. With ‘Duccio di Buoninsegna e la sua scuola’, Siena opened a new exhibiting season in Italy, that of scholarly monographic exhibitions dedicated to Primitive painters, a season destined to a great future.

Notes 1 See Curt H. Weigelt, Duccio di Buoninsegna. Studien zur Geschichte der frühsienesischen Tafelmalerei, 2 vols., Kunstgeschichte Monographien, 15 (Leipzig: Hiersemann, 1911). 2 In the official reports, the one-year delay in the opening of the 600th anniversary exhibition was justified by the fact that Duccio kept working on the upper part of the Maestà for several months after the installation on the Cathedral’s main altar; see Vittorio Lusini, Cronaca della mostra, ‘Duccio di Buoninsegna e la sua scuola’, Rassegna d’arte senese, 9 (1912 [1913]), 99–104 (p. 99). For a short commentary on this exhibition, see Enzo Carli, ‘L’arte di Siena allo specchio delle sue mostre’, in Arte senese e arte pisana, ed. by Enzo Carli (Turin: Allemandi, 1996), pp. 384–392 (p. 386). 3 On this ground-breaking show, see Eleonora M. Stella, ‘Cronache da Siena: la Mostra d’antica arte senese del 1904’, in Mercato, patrimonio e opinione pubblica. Sulla circolazione internazionale delle opere d’arte, 1870–1914, ed. by Flaminia Gennari Santori and Laura Iamurri (= Ricerche di Storia dell’Arte, 73 (2001), pp. 13–20; Elisa Camporeale, ‘La mostra del 1904 dell’antica arte senese a distanza di un secolo’, Atti e memorie dell’Accademia toscana di Scienze e Lettere La Colombaria, 69 (2004), 45–126; Giuseppe Cantelli, Lucia S. Pacchierotti, and Beatrice Pulcinelli, eds., Il segreto della civiltà. La mostra dell’antica arte senese del 1904 cento anni dopo, exhib. cat., Siena, 2005–06 (Siena: Protagon, 2005); Elisa Camporeale, ‘1904, annus mirabilis per l’antica arte senese’, in Medioevo/Medioevi. Un secolo di esposizioni d’arte medievale, ed. by Enrico Castelnuovo and Alessio Monciatti (Pisa: Edizioni della Normale, 2008), pp. 109–139. 4 On the perception of Siena prior to 1904 and on the difficulties of travel to reach it, see Camporeale, ‘La mostra’, 52–55. 5 The Room of Alfieri was emptied of all pictures except the Maestà to make room for the exhibition; see the Rector’s letters dated 24 May 1911 and 11 March 1912 in Siena, Archivio storico Comune di Siena (hereafter ACS), Postunitario X.B, cat. I, busta 30 (1913).

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The folder corresponding to this call number contains the documents, correspondence, minutes of meetings, invoices and financial accounts from which the data reported in this and in the following paragraphs have been extracted, unless otherwise stated. For articles on the opening of the exhibition on local papers, see Attilio Mori, ‘Il VI° centenario di Duccio di Buoninsegna’, Il Libero Cittadino, 7 September 1912, pp. 1–2, ‘Onoranze a Duccio’, La Vedetta senese, 2–3 September 1912, pp. 1–2, ‘Le onoranze a Duccio. Il discorso inaugurale’, La Vedetta Senese, 3–4 September 1912, pp. 1–2. Ricci visited the exhibition privately on 8 September. A banquet at the Hotel Continental was held in his honour attended, among other authorities, by Giovanni Poggi; see ‘Il comm. Ricci a Siena’, La Vedetta Senese, 9–10 September 1912, p. 1. Marconi visited the exhibition on 14 September, see ‘Guglielmo Marconi a Siena’, La Vedetta Senese, 14–15 September 1912, p. 2. It was later visited by Battaglieri; see ‘Il nuovo palazzo postelegrafico. L’arrivo dell’on. Battaglieri’, La Vedetta Senese, 21–22 September 1912, pp. 1–2. See ‘S.E. il principe di Scalea a Siena’, La Vedetta Senese, 30 September – 1 October 1912, p. 2; besides being a politician, Scalea was an expert in ancient Sicilian jewellery. For a registration of the entries coming from the sale of tickets in each of the fourteen weeks of the exhibition, see Siena, Archivio dell’Opera metropolitana di Siena (hereafter AOMS), 108 (3029), [1] 1912, inserto 6, In memoria di Duccio “Mostra Ducciana”. This is the other archival source for bills and financial details concerning this exhibition. See respectably AOMS 108 (3029), [1] 1912, inserto 9, categoria 14, Mostra Ducciana and AOMS 108 (3029), [1] 1912, inserto 6, In memoria di Duccio “Mostra Ducciana”. On the activity of Bellini, since 1911 employed for architectural drawings by the Superintendancy of Siena, see Felicia Rotundo and Rosario Pagliaro, Egisto Bellini (1877–1955). Disegni di architettura e di ornato (Pisa: Edizioni ETS, 2007), Silvia Colucci, ‘Egisto Bellini (Siena 1877 – Siena 1955)’, in Architettura nelle terre di Siena. La prima metà del Novecento, exhib. cat., Siena, 2010, ed. by Luca Quattrocchi (Cinisello Balsamo: Silvana, 2010), pp. 190–192. See AOMS 108 (3029), [1] 1912, inserto 18, Spese per conto del Comitato per le onoranze a Duccio di Buoninsegna. On the Sienese paintings sold after being exhibited in the 1904 ancient Sienese art shows of Siena and London, see Camporeale, ‘La mostra’, 93–96, Camporeale, ‘1904 annus mirabilis’, 132–139. For this essay, prior to the completion of Weigelt’s thesis, see Curt H. Weigelt, ‘Contributo alla ricostruzione della “Maestà” di Duccio di Buoninsegna, che si trova nel Museo della Metropolitana di Siena’, Bullettino senese di storia patria, 16 (1909), 191–214. The Mourning Virgin, left terminal of a large-sized Crucifix, came from the Conservatorio of San Girolamo in Montepulciano. It is today part of the Pinacoteca Nazionale in Siena and considered a mature work of Ugolino di Nerio; see Pietro Torriti, La Pinacoteca Nazionale di Siena. I dipinti dal XII al XV secolo (Siena: Monte dei Paschi di Siena, 1977), p. 64, James H. Stubblebine, Duccio di Buoninsegna and His School: I Text (Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 1979), pp. 161–62, fig. 390. Today in the Museo Diocesano in Siena, this panel is considered to be by Duccio’s workshop; see Alessandro Bagnoli, ‘Bottega di Duccio. 37. Madonna col Bambino’, in Duccio. Alle origini della pittura senese, exhib. cat., Siena, 2003–04, ed. by Alessandro Bagnoli, Roberto Bartalini, Luciano Bellosi, and Michel Laclotte (Cinisello Balsamo: Silvana, 2003), pp. 258–261. Given today to Segna di Bonaventura; see Luciano Cateni, ‘Segna di Bonaventura. 47. Madonna col Bambino’, in Duccio. Alle origini della pittura senese, exhib. cat., Siena, 2003–04, ed. by Alessandro Bagnoli, Roberto Bartalini, Luciano Bellosi, and Michel Laclotte (Cinisello Balsamo: Silvana, 2003), pp. 318–319. See Mario Salmi, ‘Il Crocefisso di Segna di Bonaventura ad Arezzo’, L’Arte, 15 (1912), 33–35. Contini started purchasing art professionally after 1918. Both these panels were notified by the Italian State in 1940; see Sandro Pazzi, La donazione dimenticata. L’incredibile vicenda della Collezione Contini Bonacossi (Milan: ElectaStorie, 2016), pp. 82, 222, 224. Apparently the Primitives were a specialty of the dealer’s wife Vittoria; see Vittoria Contini Bonacossi, Diario americano 1926–1929 (Prato: Gli Ori, 2007), p. 207.

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21 This panel was part of the lots of the New York Sotheby’s sale of June 11, 1981; for this data and for the Sansaini photograph of it, see Russo, p. 65. No mention of this painting neither of the opening of the 1912 exhibition can be found in the surviving journals of Loeser covering the years 1909–13, 1922, 1923; see Florence, Biblioteca Berenson, Loeser, Charles: A Notebook and Diaries, BER. 17. 22 The authority of Vasari played a major role in keeping the attribution towards Cimabue for the Rucellai Madonna among experts and in the public opinion; this issue was also linked to the supposed priority of the Florentine School of Painting on the Sienese. For an article on the state-of-the-research in the early twentieth century, see Alessandro Chiappelli, ‘Duccio e Cimabue dinanzi alla odierna critica inglese’, Nuova Antologia di lettere, scienze e arti, 4th ser., 113 (1904), 216–226. A natural-size Cimabue is represented as the author of the Rucellai Madonna in the monumental canvas by Frederic Leighton of 1854–1855 part of the British Royal Collections; the painter is leading the procession taking the panel to Santa Maria Novella through the centre of Florence; see Leonée Ormond, ‘8. Cimabue’s Celebrated Madonna Is Carried in Procession’, in Frederic, Lord Leighton Eminent Victorian Artist, exhib. cat., London, 1996, ed. by Stephen Jones (New York: Abrams; London: Royal Academy of Arts, 1996), pp. 106–107. 23 See Mostra di opere di Duccio di Buoninsegna e della sua scuola. Catalogo Settembre 1912, exhib. cat., Siena, 1912 (Siena: Tip. e Lit. sordomuti e Lazzeri, 1912). 24 See ‘Duccio di Buoninsegna e la sua scuola’, exhib. cat., Siena, 1912, Rassegna d’arte senese, 9, (1912 [1913]). 25 This speech commemorates, with an abundance of historical data, the genius of Duccio, his authentic Sienese spirit, mentioning also the coeval literary production from Jacopone da Todi to Jacopo da Varagine; see Pietro Rossi, ‘Duccio di Buoninsegna (Discorso inaugurale della Mostra)’, in ‘Duccio di Buoninsegna e della sua scuola’, Rassegna d’arte senese, 9 (1912 [1913]), 3–14. 26 Of German origins, this byzantinist was educated in Saint Petersburg and lived in Italy from 1903 until the mid-twenties. A great rival of Joseph Wilpert, while living in Rome De Grüneisen was the representative of the Imperial Archaeological Institute with a pension granted by Tzar Nicholas II. He died in Paris where he spent his last years. For his essays in the 1912 catalogue and on his life and scientific production, see Giovanni Gasbarri, Riscoprire Bisanzio. Lo studio dell’arte bizantina a Roma e in Italia tra Ottocento e Novecento (Rome: Viella, 2015), pp. 155–156, 215–230. For the catalogue of his collection of (supposedly) Etruscan and medieval antiquities, see Wladimir de Grüneisen, Collection de Grüneisen: catalogue raisonné (Paris: Schemit, 1930). 27 The painting from Lucignano is today ascribed to Francesco di Segna, the painting from San Casciano to Ugolino di Nerio; for the use of depicting the commissioners as small-scale kneeling supplicants with references to these pictures, see Victor M. Schmidt, Painted Piety: Panel Paintings for Personal Devotion in Tuscany, 1250–1400 (Florence: Centro Di, 2005), pp. 107–140 (pp. 112, 183). 28 This Gabella cover depicts very accurately the interior of the Cathedral in 1483 (1482 according to the Sienese dating ab incarnatione Domini); see Valerio Ascani, ‘Siena, Archivio di Stato, 41, Gabella. Offerta delle chiavi della città alla Vergine’, in Le Biccherne di Siena. Arte e Finanza all’alba dell’economia moderna, exhib. cat., Rome, 2002, ed. by Alessandro Tomei (Rome: Retablo, 2002), pp. 218–219. 29 See Roberto Schiff, ‘Rinvenimento di due opere di Duccio di Boninsegna ricordate dal Vasari’, L’Arte, 15 (1912), 366–370. 30 This work presented several losses and only a photograph of it was exhibited in 1912. The restoration that followed the discovery was assigned to the Florentine painter Tommaso Baldini was supervised by De Nicola himself shortly before being nominated director of the Bargello Museum of Florence. For the relationship between the Majesty of Massa Marittima with Duccio’s Maestà at Siena, see Giacomo De Nicola, ‘Una copia di Segna di Tura della Maestà di Duccio’, L’Arte, 15 (1912), 21–32. 31 The connoisseur attributed it to a follower of Duccio and the judgement was linked to the date of the erection of the back wall of the Cathedral of Siena, 1320, after the death of the master; see Giacomo De Nicola, ‘Di alcune opere d’arte del duomo di Siena’, Rassegna d’arte senese, 7 (1911), 31–38. Carli has later proposed a possible transport of the glass

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38 39 40

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42 43

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window to the back wall from the original location several decades after its execution, possibly in 1365; for a stylistic analysis and a review of the existing documents, with a suggested date of execution between 1289 and 1290 or, at the latest, May 1293, see, respectively, Luciano Bellosi, ‘Un’opera di importanza ineguagliabile per la storia dell’arte italiana’, in Oculus cordis. La vetrata di Duccio: stile, iconografia, indagini tecniche, restauro, proceedings of the symposium (Siena, 2005), ed. by Marilena Caciorgna, Roberto Guerrini, and Mario Lorenzoni (Ospedaletto: Pacini, 2007), pp. 17–27; Andrea Giorgi and Stefano Moscadelli, ‘Fonti documentarie e storia dell’arte: la vetrata duccesca nel Duomo di Siena’, in Caciorgna, Guerrini, and Lorenzoni, eds. Oculus, pp. 29–77. For a list of references on the art of Siena of these years, see Curzio Mazzi, ‘Pubblicazioni recenti d’argomento senese. Arte senese’, Bullettino senese di storia patria, 17 (1910), 105–109. For a review, see Camporeale, ‘La mostra’, 84–91 and Camporeale, ‘1904 annus mirabilis’, 122–131. See Basile Khvoshinsky and Mario Salmi, I pittori toscani dal XIII al XVI secolo. 1. Primitivi (Rome: Loescher, 1912) and Giorgio Vasari, Vita di Duccio di Boninsegna con una Introduzione, Note e Bibliografia di A. Iahn Rusconi (Florence: R. Bemporad & Figlio, 1913). This is the first comprehensive presentation of the art of Siena written by an Italian author in the twentieth century, the previous similar book was written by Langton Douglas in 1902; see Luigi Dami, Siena e le sue opere d’arte (Firenze: Lumachi, 1915). Douglas, curator of the 1904 Burlington Club show on ancient Sienese art, in 1925 wrote the preface of Edward Hutton’s The Sienese School in the National Gallery. For this brief reference, see ‘Siena’, Kunstchronik, n.s., 23, 20 September 1912, 614–615. See Giacomo De Nicola, ‘Duccio di Buoninsegna and His School in the Mostra di Duccio at Siena’, The Burlington Magazine, 22 (1912–13), 138–147. See Frederick M. Perkins, ‘Appunti sulla mostra ducciana a Siena’, Rassegna d’arte, 13, no. 1 (1913), 5–9 and Frederick M. Perkins, ‘Appunti sulla mostra ducciana a Siena (continuazione e fine)’, Rassegna d’arte, 13, no. 2 (1913), 35–40. In closing, Perkins wished that the funds spent to celebrate Duccio through an ephemeral event as a temporary exhibition of pictures, would have rather been devoted to move and reorganize the permanent collection of the picture gallery of Siena. Lusini’s essay contains also documents from the Hermitage of Lecceto; see Vittorio Lusini, ‘Per lo studio della vita e delle opere di Duccio di Buoninsegna’, in ‘Duccio di Buoninsegna e la sua scuola’, Rassegna d’arte senese, 9 (1912 [1913]), 19–32. See Giacomo De Nicola, ‘Arte inedita in Siena e nel suo territorio. Pittura’, Vita d’Arte, 10 (1912), 1–16. In this essay the connoisseur illustrates a few of the novelties presented in the exhibition as the attributions of three panels from San Casciano to Ugolino and of a newly discovered Crucifix to Simone Martini; see Giacomo De Nicola, ‘Ugolino e Simone a San Casciano Val di Pesa’, L’Arte, 19 (1916), 13–20. See Bagnoli, Roberto Bartalini, Luciano Bellosi, and Michel Laclotte eds., Duccio. The preparatory phases of the 2003 event, which opened the newly restored spaces of the Hospital of Santa Maria della Scala and led to the rediscovery of the murals in the crypt of the Cathedral of Siena, were photographed and celebrated in Maurizio Bettini and Mauro Civai, Siena mostra Duccio mostra Siena (Prato: Gli Ori, 2004). The archival cataloguing of this lot of photographic prints is currently in process (six of them are in large format). I would like to thank Marta Fabbrini for her cooperation in finding this material. On this exhibition, see Elisa Camporeale, ‘Exhibition of Pictures of the School of Siena and Examples of the Minor Arts of that City’, in Il segreto della civiltà. La mostra dell’antica arte senese del 1904 cento anni dopo, exhib. cat., Siena, 2005–06, ed. by Giuseppe Cantelli, Lucia S. Pacchierotti, and Beatrice Pulcinelli (Siena: Protagon, 2005), pp. 224–237, Elisa Camporeale, ‘L’esposizione di arte senese del 1904 al Burlington Fine Arts Club di Londra’, in Cantelli, and others, ed. Il segreto, pp. 484–517, Camporeale, ‘1904 annus mirabilis’, 114–121. The photographic print mounted on cardboard is part of the already mentioned series at the Opera del Duomo Archive.

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45 The Burton photograph was published by Perkins in the periodical Rassegna d’arte in his review of the 1904 exhibition that made this small masterpiece known to the public. The first color photograph of this panel is linked to another exhibition on Duccio, although not on loan, it was taken to illustrate the catalogue of the exhibition held in Siena in 2003. On the story of the Stroganoff Collection, with references to this panel and its photographs, see Keith Christiansen, ‘Duccio and the Origins of Western Painting’, The Metropolitan Museum of Art Bulletin, 66, no. 1 (Summer 2008), 6–55, Varduì Kalpakcian, ‘Appendix: Duccio’s Madonna and Child and the Collection of Count Grigorij Sergeevich Stroganoff’, in Christiansen, ‘Duccio’, 56–60, Varduì Kalpakcian, ‘Il destino della collezione romana del Conte Grigorij S. Stroganoff (1829–1910) dopo la scomparsa del collezionista’, Rivista d’arte, 5th ser., 2 (2012), 447–473 (pp. 456, 467). 46 On the Holbein exhibition of 1871 and the dispute concerning the authenticity of the two versions of the Madonna der Bürgermeister Meyer there exhibited, see Udo Kultermann, Geschichte der Kunstgeschichte. Der Weg einer Wissenschaft (Vienna: Econ, 1966), pp. 251–262 (pp. 255–259), Francis Haskell, The Ephemeral Museum: Old Master Paintings and the Rise of the Art Exhibition (New Haven, CT: Yale University Press, 2000), pp. 89–93. 47 An exhibition at Casa Buonarroti evoked the 1875 celebrations; see Stefano Corsi, Cronache di un centenario, in Corsi, Stefano, ed., Michelangelo nell’Ottocento. Il centenario del 1875, exhib. cat., Florence, 1994 (Milan: Charta, 1994), pp. 13–30. For the subsequent monographic exhibitions held in Italy, I recall here only the 1891 Guercino exhibition in Bologna, the 1896 Tiepolo exhibition in Venice, the 1897 Raphael exhibition in Urbino, the 1898 Moretto exhibition in Brescia, while for the 1894 monographic exhibition on Correggio held in Parma, the first idea dates back to 1870; see Vanja Strukelj, ‘All’ombra dei “maestri”: monumenti e esposizioni tra identità nazionale e identità locale’, Annali di critica d’arte, 9 (2013), 489–505 (pp. 493–494). 48 See Haskell, The Ephemeral Museum, p. 104. 49 See Mariantonietta Picone Petrusa, ‘1911 Roma. Esposizione internazionale (28 marzo–31 dicembre)’, in Le grandi esposizioni in Italia 1861–1911. La competizione culturale con l’Europa e la ricerca dello stile nazionale, ed by Mariontonietta Picone Petrusa, Maria R. Pessolano, and Assunta Bianco (Naples: Liguori Editore, 1988), pp. 122–127; Ilaria Porciani, ‘Identità locale – identità nazionale: la costruzione di una doppia appartenenza’, in Centralismo e federalismo tra Otto e Novecento, ed. by Oliver Janz, Pierangelo Schiera, and Hannes Siegrist (Bologna: Il Mulino, 1997), pp. 141–182 (pp. 171–181), Solange Rossi, ‘From the Ephemeral City to the ‘Italy Regions Park’: Rome and the Regional Exhibition of Expo 1911’, Città e storia, 8, no. 1 (2013), 53–105. 50 On exhibitions of medieval art organised in Italy between the nineteenth and the twentieth century, see Cecilia Prete, ed., ‘Per una ricognizione delle mostre d’arte antica in Italia tra Otto e Novecento’, Notizie da Palazzo Albani, 36–37 (2007–08), 147–202.

12 The twelve days of Bartolomeo della Gatta (Arezzo, 1–12 October 1930). A regional exhibition of an Old Master during Fascism Luca Pezzuto Mario Salmi and Bartolomeo della Gatta: municipal identity and Fascism The sole monographic exhibition dedicated to the fifteenth-century Italian artist Bartolomeo della Gatta1 was staged in 1930 in the renovated rooms of Palazzo Pretorio in Arezzo. It was an event that should be framed in its historical context, that is at the peak of popularity of the fascist regime. The curator was Mario Salmi, a native of Arezzo, regarded as a man of power, yet one who could not be clearly described as a militant fascist. It should be noted, for example, that after the issuing of the Race Laws, he frequently welcomed his pupil, Mariella Levi D’Ancona, to study in his home at his own risk after she was denied access to the university and because of her Jewish ancestry.2 In fact, despite having been actively involved in fascist cultural initiatives and having operated in full agreement with the local political figures, Salmi became very close to Lionello Venturi, one of the few art historians who signed the anti-fascist intellectuals’ manifesto. Together, they founded Commentari in 1950, a journal still holding an eminent position in Italian art history.3 The exhibition dedicated to the Camaldonian monk and painter, however, was not solely Salmi’s idea. It was rather the vivid expression of municipal culture and identity promoted by the fascist regime – one that found its voice in the so-called Settimana Aretina (Figure 12.1), an initiative launched in the Tuscan city in early October on the occasion of the foundation of the Cattedra Petrarchesca, an event promoted by the new Podestà. It was for this reason that the exhibition had to be set up in haste – in just three and a half months – and good use was made of new scholarly discoveries on the artist, especially on a local level. The operation was carried out by the Association Brigata Aretina Amici dei Monumenti, supported by the Petrarchan Academy of Literary Sciences and Arts. It resulted in a propagandistic cultural intervention that fit well the ideology driving the new image of the fascist Arezzo, intimately connected to the reconstruction (or rather, the reinvention) of the ancient ‘splendours’ of the fifteenth century.4 A quick glance at the members of the organising committee may be worthwhile: the president and author of the catalogue was the already-mentioned Salmi, at that time a thirty-nine year-old university professor in Florence destined for a much more accomplished academic and institutional career after World War II. He was to become vice president of the Superior Council for the Arts, professor emeritus at Sapienza University, chairman of the Petrarchan Academy, founder of both the Centre of Early

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Figure 12.1 Original poster advertising the ‘Settimana Aretina’ (Arezzo, 1–12 October, 1930) Source: Archive of the author

Medieval Studies in Spoleto and the Italian Institute of the Renaissance, and a member of the Lincei Academy. Another member of the committee was Alessandro Del Vita, an art critic and local intellectual very close to the regime, who was at the time superintendent of the Casa Vasari Museum, honorary inspector of the province’s monuments, and also main sponsor of the Giovinezza periodical. A respected scholar of Giorgio Vasari, Del Vita was kept on the margins of the cultural life of Arezzo following the Second World War, not only for his adherence to Fascism – a leaning that could be attributed to more than one of his colleagues – but also likely due to a number of misunderstandings with Salmi himself.5 The last member of the committee was Ascanio Aretini, a doctor, politician, fond of national history, co-founder of the Brigata Aretina dei Monumenti for which he served as secretary until his death,

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and another fervent supporter of the regime.6 Behind the organisation of both the ‘Settimana Petrarchesca’ and the exhibition on Bartolomeo della Gatta, however, lay another politically influential figure: count Pier Ludovico Occhini, historic founder and president of the Brigata, who, in 1930, was also the president of the Petrarch Academy, and, above all, had recently been appointed Podestà of Arezzo (clearly, the conflict of interest did not represent an insurmountable problem . . .). A lot could be said about Occhini: he was senator of the Kingdom of Italy, an aristocrat, an intellectual formerly on the side of the nationalists who climbed the fascist ranks, an aspiring writer and journalist initially in touch both with La Voce and with some of the protagonists of the Italian Decadent Movement, such as Gabriele D’Annunzio.7 Going through Aretini’s report on the exhibition, which was published in the proceedings of the Petrarchan Academy (23 September 1930), yields precious information if one detaches oneself from the embellished rhetoric of the Party: The exhibition is the result of the brilliant idea of our great official Pier Ludovico Occhini, the distinguished President of both associations in Arezzo. But this is not all: the Podestà, who supervises everything with meticulousness, with a fervour that he instills in others, deems this first exhibition worthy of the Aretine traditions [. . . ]. He is our President and has given everything he could for the sake of the exhibition: from his personal suggestions and financial support, to the exquisite location where the paintings will be rallied.8 The event was thus part of Occhini’s vision, as he was the main sponsor of the new stereotypically medieval look given to Arezzo through architectural renovations carried out in the third decade of the twentieth century, when, for example, at least five towers were rebuilt and topped with crenellations, while the same number of churches was renovated to match their supposed original style. Also in 1930 and again with Occhini’s impetus, the Saracen Joust was ‘revived’ (or better, reinvented), as were the Calcio Storico in Florence and the Battle of the Bridge in Pisa, to keep us within the Tuscan borders.9 Other cultural initiatives that took place in the context of the Settimana Aretina included the display of applied arts in the Pieve, the display of industrial objects curated by the Fascist Trade Union, several guided tours of the sanctuary of La Verna and the town of Cortona, and, most importantly, the inauguration ceremony of the Cattedra Petrarchesca, followed by several lectures on the subject, with the participation of intellectuals of the likes of Giovanni Papini. What has just been said paints a rather clear picture of the political and cultural climate of that historic moment, as well as of the mindset which guided the staging of the exhibition on Della Gatta: in the catalogue’s introductory essay, Salmi described the artist as follows: ‘he has to be considered from Arezzo, and therefore, it was Arezzo’s duty to celebrate him by rallying in Palazzo Pretorio, which is gaining back its austere look, his finest works’.10 The manisfestation was also honoured by a number of rigged reviews, among which there was an exemplary piece by Alfredo Bennati that appeared in the journal Ospitalità Italiana. A brief passage is quoted here to give a flavour of favourable media reception: The number of events announced in Arezzo [. . .] culminates with a splendid art exhibition suggested by the excellent writer Count and Grand Official Pier Lodovico Occhini [. . .]. The exhibition of the works attributed to Bartollomeo

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della Gatta and his apprentices will be of the upmost interest [. . .]. As a matter of fact, deep charm and a distinguished personality can be recognised in his mostly unknown pictorial art, which lets transpire both the renewing art of Piero della Francesca, the distinctive vigour of Signorelli, as well as the grace and sweetness attributed to the Umbrian artists.11 Equally telling is that the most notable art journals of the time, from Emporium and Dedalo, to Nuova Antologia and L’Arte, which usually weighed in on such matters, stayed silent for the occasion, and that even the Bullettin of the Ministry made no reference to the event. From a scholarly perspective, it is fair to assert that the Arezzo exhibition added no new information to what was already known about the artist: leaving any propagandistic logic aside, its intrinsic worth was rather to display a ‘figurative corollary’12 of the monograph published by Ubaldo Pasqui in 1926.13 The catalogue curated by Salmi, in fact, represents a simple compendium of the previous writings, and the very short duration of the event itself (just twelve days) made it an occasion of local celebration in support of municipal ceremonies – first and foremost, the Cattedra Petrarchesca – rather than a concrete opportunity to educate on a national scale. It should be noted and emphasised, however, that this was the first and only exhibition dedicated entirely to the painter until present. Organised quickly, with all of the artist’s known works gathered in two rooms and those of his school in a third one, it remains a remarkable operation considering both the time and the fact that it was set up solely by local forces. The important contribution that Salmi made to the study of Bartolomeo della Gatta was not related to this occasion; it came far later in time and consisted of tracing the Florentine artist’s activity, along his path to Urbino, at the court of Federico de Montefeltro. He was, in fact, the first to acknowledge Bartolomeo as one of the foremost miniaturists in that Marche town, in 1952, attributing to him the opening of a choral book of the Urbino Cathedral and, in 1973, the miniatures of a precious manuscript of Petrarch’s Trionfi, today kept in the Biblioteca Nacional of Madrid, but originally produced in the workshops of Montefeltro.14 This laid the modern basis for the rediscovery of Della Gatta as a miniaturist, about whose activity, except for the notes contained in Vasari’s life, no tangible evidence was known; this development was the result of the experience and the abilities of a great scholarly mind. However, this story is not the focus of this chapter but rather an indirect outcome stemming from the process of increasing the value of Arezzo prompted by the exhibition. It’s therefore useful to retrace the most relevant features of the 1930 event to reveal its scholarly contribution and, above all, Bartolomeo’s legacy at a time when Arezzo was mostly associated with Piero della Francesca.

The exhibition (and the catalogue) The exhibition was cutting edge because it was one of the first Italian monographic events focused on an Old Master to include a catalogue with a rich illustrative apparatus. It is not possible to fully examine here the main initiatives organised in Italy between the end of the nineteenth century and the beginning of the twentieth century,15 but one should bear in mind that after the Italian unification there were few retrospectives, and these were all dedicated to prestigious artists, for example Donatello

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(Florence 1887), Correggio (Parma 1894), Tiepolo (Venezia 1896), Raffaello (Urbino 1897) and Bernini (Rome 1899), and such events were often connected to the celebration of centennials or to the inauguration of memorials.16 Within the twentieth century – apart from the exhibitions of drawings organised in Florence by Pasquale Nerino Ferri,17 director of the “Uffizi Prints and Drawings Department” – three antecedents deserve mention: the 1912 Duccio di Buoninsegna exhibition in Siena,18 the 1927 Luca Cambiaso exhibition in Genoa,19 and the 1928 retrospective dedicated to Giovanni di Pietro, known as Lo Spagna, in Spoleto.20 While Elisa Camporeale’s contribution in Chapter 12 of this book elaborates the relevance and impact of the Sienese exhibition, a quick look at the other two is important, as they are chronologically close to the focus of this study. The Genoa event was a major exposition planned over the course of two years: it celebrated, in fact, the fourth centennial of the birth of the great fifteenth-century artist as well as the inauguration of a statue in his honour; it lasted three months and received prestigious loans from Bologna, Milan, Modena, Rome, and Turin, as well as a review from Emporium;21 its catalogue, however, is comprised of only twenty-four pages with eight illustrations.22 The 1928 Umbrian exhibition was dedicated to a ‘minor’ artist, Lo Spagna, and therefore is far closer to the object of our study. Also similar is the fact that the organisation was delegated to the local Brigata di Amici dei Monumenti. Even this manifestation, however, had very little in common with the one in Arezzo: it also lasted three months, counted valuable loans such as that of Nativity from Berlin, and received a detailed review by Emporium.23 Still the related catalogue did not feature any image and was much smaller than the one on Bartolomeo della Gatta.24 The volume curated by Salmi, in fact, constitutes a unicum at that time in Italy, especially for such a peripheral area and for an artist who was then perceived as being minor: it comprised a total of sixty-three pages, an introductory essay, explanatory notes on every single work, and eighteen black-and-white illustrations, mainly full page. Given the limited printing of Pasqui’s monograph,25 and given the prestige of the curator within the academy, such an initiative represented the most relevant feature of the exhibition: efforts were made to promote on a national scale a painter whose greatest misfortune, according to the research expounded, was to have his works kept in the places for which they had been originally produced rather than in famous Italian or international museums. Taking one step back, after the first scholarly contribution of Giovan Battista Cavalcaselle, Joseph Crowe, Pietro Toesca, and Adolfo Venturi26 at the turn of the twentieth-century, research on Della Gatta was resumed as an explicit response to repeated documentary findings by the Arezzo savants. This was against Gaetano Milanesi’s misleading claims, in an 1878 commentary to Vasari’s Lives of the Artists, which stated that a monk miniaturist, painter and architect called Bartolommeo della Gatta never existed outside the mind of Vasari, and therefore any artist that goes by such name must be erased from the Italian Art History.27 The most organic attempt to answer such speculations came in 1926 in the alreadymentioned volume by Pasqui, distributed in just two hundred copies, where the artist’s chronological data was specified and all the known records were collected. It was

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a praiseworthy study, conducted however by a savant, not by an art historian, which lead Giulia Sinibaldi to review it as follows: the data (published by Pasqui) adds up to the records found by Mancini and De Vita: if his life is now well documented, the same cannot be said about his art, which, despite being of great value, still remains not sufficiently studied.28 The quality of Bartolomeo’s works was also evident to Roberto Longhi, who in 1927 mentioned the painter in one of his most memorable essays on Piero della Francesca, highlighting with lively prose that Della Gatta arrived from Florence thin and slim as an ascetic, it was in Arezzo that the artist, very knowledgeable of the works by Piero della Francesca, achieved a grade of excellence that would impress the finest citizens.29 Salmi planned an exhibition based mainly on Pasqui’s book and managed to bring twenty-three works of art to Palazzo Pretorio, thanks to his well-documented connections with powerful men, such as Superintendent Giovanni Poggi. The lending institutions for the occasion were the diocese and the art gallery in Arezzo, the one in Castiglion Fiorentino, the Galleria Palatina, the Horne Museum, Sir Arthur Acton’s private collection, and the civic Museum of Pisa. Three different versions of the same subject were displayed in the first room (two of which came from the art gallery of Arezzo and one from the Horne collection): Saint Roch, protector against the plague. The Horne Museum also lent the painting depicting The Crowning with Thorns, while the Arezzo church of San Pier Piccolo and the civic Museum of Pisa provided respectively the Beato Iacopo da Faenza and a Saint Sebastian, once located in the local convent of San Domenico. The second room included the well-known Saint Francis Receiving the Stigmata, the Virgin and Child with Saints, and Saint Michael the Archangel, all from Castiglion Fiorentino. In addition, it featured the majestic Assumption of Mary of Cortona, the beautiful San Girolamo from the Galleria Palatina, and a Story of Saint Roch from Sir Acton’s collection. In the last room, besides the Virgin and Child with Saints Fabiano and Sebastian – an outcome of the collaboration between Bartolomeo and his apprentice Domenico Pecori – there were eight paintings that could be ascribed to his workshop.30 Finally, a series of photographs shown for educational purposes was placed in the corridor that connected the rooms – a typical practice – so as to create, at least visually, a comprehensive exhibition, one that gathers together all of the existing works by Bartolomeo, and that will provide a unique chance to study a master whose very existence had once been denied.31 The reproductions included the parietal frescos of the Sistine Chapel to which the artist had contributed, the San Girolamo, at the time kept in the sacristy of the Arezzo Cathedral, the lunette of San Bernardo’s church, the images of some lost paintings (stolen from Castiglion Fiorentino), and two drawings tentatively attributed to Della Gatta.32 Due to the fact that the exhibition only lasted less than two weeks, not so many people would have been able to see it apart from the inhabitants of Arezzo, and no photographic documentation of the setup is known. The reviews and the comments

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of both the event organisers and its few visitors, however, describe the experience as something vaguely ephemeral, with paintings hanging from plain tie-rods in front of white walls illuminated by large ‘gothic-like’ biforas of a palace that was still in the midst of renovation. The photographic reproductions displayed in the corridor were probably accompanied by simple labels noting the subject and the location. It would be interesting to know more about the content of the labels that may have gone with the paintings, but since no tangible evidence survives, something similar to the published catalogue should be presumed: that is, indications limited to the authorship. From the point of view of the connoisseurship, more could be added: there were few attempts to attribute new works to the artist, many of which were eventually rejected. The most notable attempt consisted of trying to ascribe to Bartolomeo the Horne’s Redeemer, which, before the 1930 exhibition, was generally considered to come from the workshop of Piero della Francesca and later deemed to be, by some, a original by Signorelli. Today, however, a more cautious attribution to the Sienese Pietro di Francesco Orioli is proposed.33 Quite remarkable was the choice to include the Saint Sebastian of Pisa in order to discredit a possible connection with Della Gatta (a theory which was starting to circulate at that time) through a comparison with exhibited paintings, proposing instead a safer attribution to a late-fifteenth-century Tuscan painter, which is still today widely accepted.34 With the same purpose, Salmi requested the exquisite portrait of Saint Jerome by Verrocchio, which many at the time considered to be a piece by Antonio del Pollaiolo.35 The arrival of such an impressive painting in Arezzo was consequential to its tentative attribution by Pietro Toesca to Bartolomeo,36 and also in this case, the curator was responsible for the opportunity to re-examine the matter in the presence of the paintings. In the catalogue, the Verrochiesque item is interpreted in a ‘more naturalistic and three-dimensional sense, that is more Florentine in taste, which raises questions’ as to whether it could actually be ascribed to Bartolomeo.37 As for the other works, the previous attributions were maintained, even though further attention needs to be devoted to the Assumption of Cortona, as both Cavalcaselle and Crowe had already referred to it as Della Gatta’s creation, but it was not accepted by all as such; Longhi, for example, initially thought it could have been a work by the young Perugino, though he would later change his mind.38 The painting, however, was put on display by Salmi as an original, accompanied by praise for its restoration that had been carried out before the exhibition and is still recorded by the document seeking permissions and the expense account. The conservation intervention consisted in the reframing of the painting and a relatively superficial cleaning. Salmi himself proved not to be very meticulous, since in the catalogue he failed to point out both that the two saints were completely repainted (and juxtaposed upon completely different figures) and that the choir of angels at the top included a brand new row of characters. Longhi, however, noticed these details, with accuracy (and malice) twenty years later, in the midst of a raging debate between the two scholars, who fired intense reviews at each other; but this is a matter we have no intention to treat at the moment.39

Conclusions and reflections The profile of Bartolomeo della Gatta which emerges from the 1930 exhibition and catalogue is that of an artist whose analysis is mostly limited to his Arezzo experience,

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a critical reading not too far from the portrait of the painter that Giorgio Vasari presented in his Vite. The interpretation provided by this great sixteenth-century historian, however, was itself part of a broader and more articulated picture: despite being well aware of Bartolomeo’s Florentine origins, Vasari did not make use of this information to comment on his training, as he did in the analogous case of Pietro Perugino, for example. It was an arbitrary if not conscious choice aimed at elevating Arezzo as an ideal place for the patronage of the arts (in this sense, mentioning Florence may have contradicted the planned design of the Vite), a critical position also taken by Vasari in various other ‘Aretine’ biographies.40 It is interesting that the ‘Arezzo-centric’ reading given by Vasari was adopted again by the local savants of the early twentieth century. Being absolutely congenial to the identity and propagandistic purposes of any fascist municipality, it was straightforwardly replicated, and even strengthened, both in the catalogue and in the planning of the 1930 exhibition. The result was a far-fetched and anachronistic personality of a painter – caught between post-Risorgimento and fascist rhetoric – whose activity was ‘romantically’ inspired by his homeland, a genius loci loved by his people and apprentices, a role model for the young, and so on.41 Compared to the idea that we now have of Bartolomeo della Gatta, what was inevitably missed on that occasion was his being involved in the most vibrant artistic circumstances of the second half of the fifteenth century; and the same sense of incompleteness and provincialism must have been shared by Alberto Martini when, in 1960, he wrote, Who was Bartolomeo della Gatta then, if not a minor provincial painter in the shade of the great Signorelli, a weak creature and collaborator of his? Even after an exhibit in his honor by Salmi [. . .] what is known about his enigmatic and disturbed career, of his incredible and creative performance, activated by a constant desire for experiment and adventure? Unfortunately, very little.42 Today, however, we know about his first Verrochiesque training in Florence. We know (and we owe it precisely to Salmi’s later research) of his presence among the artists at the court of Federico da Montefeltro in Urbino and of his activity as a miniaturist in the Vatican. Moreover, several other works were added to his catalogue, and important contributions followed, that defined his personality and style. I will briefly reference here only the writings of the earlier-mentioned Martini, as well as the remarkable openings by Luciano Bellosi and, most importantly, the weighty monographic volume by Cecilia Martelli, which constitutes the most thorough treatment of the subject. Thus, the role that Bartolomeo della Gatta played in central Italy, his ties with Florence and Rome, the mutual relationship with Signorelli, and the circumstances that led to the so called ‘pittura di luce’ become clearer.43 All these were recognisable features of the style and formal qualities of his work but had to wait for much riper time to be fully interpreted. It has been mentioned how the catalogue was, in fact, the true innovation. Regardless of the breadth of the event – that resembled more a local happening than an exhibition of national proportions – a glance at the volume curated by Salmi, today, will impart a completely different impression; it will appear at once as the end and the starting point of the studies on Aretine art.44 Or maybe it should be more rightfully defined as a point of passage, surely, the most documented and best advertised among

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many others: with its many large reproductions, the catalogue had a great impact on the studies, especially because it put in a wider perspective paintings that were not well known to the public. Despite it all, I deem it quite appropriate to point out that, in a context in which a second monographic exhibition remains to be organised, and in which the initiatives recently proposed, such as the display of Saint Francis Receiving the Stigmata at the 2015 Milan Expo,45 are academically sterile (if not controversial), events of the likes of the exhibition in Arezzo and as such should be reconsidered with an objective eye and historical detachment. This reflection is not meant to be infused with ‘fascist nostalgia’ but rather to serve as a critique of current times. One should not forget that, except for very few paintings, all those exhibited at Pretorio Palace in 1930 have withstood the scrutiny of critics until the present day. Such a detail, in my opinion, cannot be overlooked.

Notes My gratitude to Alessandra Baroni, Carlotta Brovadan, Lauretta Carbone, Lia Costiner, Maia Wellington Gahtan, Cecilia Martelli, Donatella Pegazzano, Giuseppe Polise, Claudio Saviotti. 1 Mario Salmi, Mostra delle opere di Bartolomeo della Gatta e della sua scuola (Arezzo: Enrico Zelli, 1930). 2 See Ugo Procacci, ‘Ricordo di Mario Salmi’, Accademia Etrusca di Cortona, 19 (1982), 383–387; Roberto Salvini, ‘Ricordo di Mario Salmi’, Settimane di Studio del Centro Italiano di Studi sull’Alto Medioevo, 29 (1983), 47–61; Mario Salmi storico dell’arte e umanista (Spoleto: Centro studi per l’Alto Medioevo, 1991); Studi di storia dell’arte sul Medioevo e il Rinascimento nel centenario della nascita di Mario Salmi, ed. by M.G. Ciardi Duprè Dal Poggetto (Firenze: Ed. Polistampa, 1992). 3 See Adele Condorelli, ‘Mario Salmi e “Commentari”’, in Mario Salmi storico dell’arte e umanista, pp. 41–43. 4 See Diana M. Lasansky, The Renaissance Perfected: Architecture, Spectacle, and Tourism in Fascist Italy (University Park, PA: The Pennsylvania State University, 2004). 5 Lisetta Fornasari, ‘Intellettuali e fascismo: la discussa figura di Alessandro Del Vita’, in Protagonisti del Novecento Aretino, ed. by L. Berti (Firenze: Olschki, 2004), pp. 311–324. 6 Corrado Lazzeri, ‘Il dottor Ascanio Aretini’, Atti e memorie della Accademia Petrarca di lettere arti e scienze, 2 (1933), 397–401. 7 See Giovanni Galli, Arezzo e la sua provincia nel regime fascista. 1926–1943 (Firenze: CET, 1992); Giovanni Galli, ‘Organizzazione culturale e potere podestarile: Pier Ludovico Occhini’, in Protagonisti del Novecento Aretino, ed. by L. Berti (Firenze: Olschki, 2004). 8 ‘L’esposizione è frutto di una geniale idea del nostro grande ufficiale Pier Ludovico Occhini, illustre presidente dell’uno e dell’altro nucleo aretino. Ma non basta: a tutto soprintende, con mente vigile, con un fervore che egli sa trasfondere negli altri, il Podestà di Arezzo che vuol degna delle tradizioni aretine questa prima rassegna [. . .] e il Podestà è il nostro presidente che tutto ha dato per la buona riuscita della mostra: dal consiglio e dall’opera personale all’autorità sua, ai mezzi, alla sede superba ove i dipinti saranno adunati’ (During Fascism, in fact, paintings were not exhibited, but rather rallied . . .). Ascanio Aretini, ‘La Mostra aretina di Bartolomeo Della Gatta’, Atti e memorie della Accademia Petrarca di lettere arti e scienze, 9 (1930), 280–289. 9 See Luca Berti, ‘Una galleria di fatti e personaggi aretini nelle lance d’oro della Giostra del Saracino’, Bollettino d’informazione Brigata Aretina degli Amici dei Monumenti, 30 (1994), 35–40; Roberto Parnetti, E vidi correr giostra: Arezzo e la Giostra del Saracino (Cerbara – Perugia: Gruppo Genesi, 2006). 10 ‘Egli va un poco considerato aretino: e spettava ad Arezzo di celebrarlo adunando nel suo palazzo Pretorio, che va riprendendo l’austero aspetto di un tempo, il meglio della sua operosità’ (Salmi, Mostra delle opere, p. 10). 11 ‘La serie di manifestazioni indette dall’ente turistico di Arezzo [. . .] ha per fondo una signorile manifestazione d’arte suggerita da uno squisito scrittore, il conte grand ufficiale Pier

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Lodovico Occhini, [. . .] la mostra di opere di Fra Bartollomeo della Gatta e dei suoi discepoli riuscirà interessantissima [. . .] e infatti si ritrova nella pittorica opera sua fin oggi sconosciuta a molti, un vivo fascino, una personalità distintissima, che sa far trasparire l’arte rinnovatrice di Pier della Francesca, o la vigoria del tratto di intonazione tutta signorelliana, o la grazia e la dolcezza degli umbri, pure mette in primo piano un’ abilità particolarissima, che lo individualizza fra tutti’ (Alfredo Bennati, ‘Fra Bartolommeo Della Gatta e la mostra delle sue opere’, in Ospitalità Italiana. Rassegna di propaganda, organo della federazione nazionale fascista alberghi e turismo, 8–9 (Roma: S.N, 1930), pp. 25–29). Nicoletta Baldini, La bottega di Bartolomeo della Gatta: Domenico Pecori e l’arte in terra d’Arezzo tra Quattro e Cinquecento (Firenze: Olschki, 2004), p. 26. Ubaldo Pasqui, Di Bartolomeo della Gatta, monaco camaldolese miniatore, pittore e architetto (Arezzo: Soci, 1926). See Mario Salmi, ‘Due miniature urbinati’, Commentari, 3 (1952), 256–260; Mario Salmi, ‘I Trionfi del Petrarca nel Rinascimento’, Atti e Memorie della Accademia Petrarca di lettere, arti e scienze, 41 (1973–1975), 165–171. See the project: Cecilia del Prete, Le mostre d’arte antica in Italia 1861–1945. [Accessed 28 December 2016]. An interesting case apart was the exibhition on the painter Niccolò Alunno (Foligno 1872): see Aurora Roscini Vitali, ‘Le feste inaugurali del monumento a Nicolò Alunno (1872): celebrare, documentare, esporre’, Bollettino della Deputazione di storia patria per l’Umbria, 112 (2015), 153–199. Andrea del Sarto e Pontormo (1910), Federico Barocci (1912), Ludovico Cigoli (1913). Mostra di opere di Duccio di Buoninsegna e della sua scuola (Siena: Lazzeri, 1912). Mostra centenaria di Luca Cambiaso organizzata dalla Compagnia (Genova: Stabilimento Grafico Ed., 1927). Catalogo della mostra delle opere di Giovanni di Pietro detto ‘Lo Spagna’ nel 4° centenario della morte (Spoleto: Arti Grafiche Panetto e Petrelli, 1928). ‘Cronache genovesi. La mostra Cambiaso – il riordinamento della Galleria di Palazzo Bianco – il restauro di S. Agostino – La vecchia Genova – Mostra di Dini Perolo’, Emporium, 67 (1928), 107–110. See note 19. Carlo Bandini, ‘Centenari di artisti: Giovanni Spagna’, Emporium, 68 (1928), 71–85. See note 20. Pasqui, Di Bartolomeo della Gatta. See Joseph A. Crowe and Giovan Battista Cavalcaselle, A New History of Painting in Italy From the Second to the Sixteenth Century, III vols. (London: Murray, 1866), p. 42; Pietro Toesca, ‘Ricordi di un viaggio in Italia’, L’Arte, 6 (1903), 225–250; Adolfo Venturi, Storia dell’arte italiana, La pittura del Quattrocento, parte II, vol. VII (Milano: Hoepli, 1913), p. 38, pp. 435–436. ‘Nel secolo decimoquinto un religioso miniatore, pittore ed architetto, chiamato Don Bartolommeo della Gatta non sia mai esistito fuorché nella fantasia del Vasari, e che perciò un artefice di questo nome debba essere cancellato dalla storia dell’arte italiana’ [Giorgio Vasari, Le vite de’ più eccellenti pittori scultori ed architettori, ed. by G. Milanesi, 9 vols. (Firenze, 1878–1885), p. 3, pp. 230–231]. ‘Le notizie (pubblicate dal Pasqui) si aggiungono a quelle trovate da lui stesso, dal Mancini e dal De Vita: se la vita può dirsi ora ben studiata, l’arte sua non lo è ancora abbastanza, nonostante il suo singolare valore’ (Giulia Sinibaldi, ‘Recensione a: Ubaldo Pasqui, Di Bartolomeo della Gatta monaco camaldolese miniatore pittore e architetto, Arezzo 1926’, L’Arte, 30 (1927), pp. 43–45). ‘Giunto di Firenze magro e sottile come uno stilita, raggiunge in quella sua segregazione provinciale nel contado di Arezzo, e per via della dimestichezza con Piero adulto, eccellenze che avrebbero fatto trasecolare i più scaltri cittadini’ [Roberto Longhi, Piero della Francesca (Roma: Valori Plastici, 1927), p. 111]. Salmi, Mostra delle opere, pp. 15–32. ‘Una mostra completa, che raccolga cioè tutto quanto rimane dell’opera di fra’ Bartolomeo e che offrirà un’occasione unica per lo studio di questo maestro un tempo negato come personalità esistente’ (Aretini, La Mostra aretina).

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32 Drawings today respectively attributed to Luca Signorelli and Antonio Pollaiolo. 33 See Cecilia Martelli, Bartolomeo della Gatta: pittore e miniature tra Arezzo, Roma e Urbino, (Firenze: Centro Di, 2013), p. 345. 34 Salmi, Mostra delle opere, pp. 19–20. 35 See Martelli, Bartolomeo della Gatta, p. 343. 36 Toesca, Ricordi di un viaggio, pp. 243–245. 37 Salmi, Mostra delle opere, pp. 25–26. 38 See Martelli, Bartolomeo della Gatta, pp. 309–310 with previous bibliography. 39 See Roberto Longhi, ‘La mostra di Arezzo’, Paragone Arte, 2 (1951), 15, 50–63; Mario Salmi, ‘Postille alla mostra di Arezzo’, Commentari, 2 (1951), 93–97, 169–195. 40 Giovanni Previtali was the first that used the definition ‘Campanilismo aretino’ to explain this process: see Giorgio Vasari, Le Vite de’ più eccellenti pittori scultori e architettori, ed. by Paola Della Pergola, Luigi Grassi e Giovanni Previtali, 9 vols. (Milano: Edizioni per il Club del Libro, 1962), II, pp. 9–10. See also Monia Cantini, ‘La vita di Bartolomeo della Gatta’, in Arezzo e Vasari, ed. by Antonino Caleca (Foligno: Cartei & Bianchi, 2007), pp. 51–58; Martelli, Bartolomeo della Gatta, pp. 17–21. 41 Salmi, Mostra delle opere, pp. 5–12. 42 Alberto Martini, ‘The Early Work of Bartolomeo della Gatta’, The Art Bulletin, 42 (1960), p. 133. 43 See Martini, The Early Work; Martelli, Bartolomeo della Gatta; and the post-mortem edition: Luciano Bellosi, Bartolomeo della Gatta, un genio misconosciuto, ed. by Giovanni Agosti (Milano: Officina Libraria, 2011). 44 Baldini, La bottega di Bartolomeo, pp. 25–26; Martelli, Bartolomeo della Gatta, p. 22. 45 See Piero Rossi, ‘Il Bartolomeo della Gatta all’Expo di Milano’, Corriere di Arezzo (5 February 2015). [Accessed 20 December 2016].

13 Titian’s 1935 exhibition in Venice Giuliana Tomasella

In Europe, 1935 was a year of particular significance in terms of exhibitions: numerous artistic sections were set up at the Universal Expo of Brussels, and an important exposition of Impressionism was also organised; in Amsterdam, an exposition on Rembrandt was opened in June, while in Paris, the grand exhibition De Cimabue à Tiepolo was held, accompanied by a section, at Jeu de Paume, devoted to nineteenthand twentieth-century Italian art, which was of understandably little interest in comparison to the one dedicated to the Great Masters. In Italy, Parma hosted Correggio’s paintings; in Rimini, the Pittura riminese del Trecento (organised by the art historian Cesare Brandi); and in Bologna, the Mostra del Settecento Bolognese. As we can see, Titian’s exhibition in Venice – the focus of this chapter – took place in a particularly lively context. Without entering into an analysis of the grand Italian exhibition held in Paris, whose aim was essentially celebratory,1 it is necessary to mention certain ‘external’ circumstances that deeply influenced Italian cultural strategy at the time. In January 1935, an agreement between Italy and France was signed; Mussolini, still allied with France and Great Britain (although not for long) against Hitler’s expansionist design, forged an alliance that implied tacit French consent to the Italian occupation of Ethiopia. Mussolini’s skilled diplomatic policy was intended to establish an empire; in return, Italy ensured its opposition to the Anschluss. A shrewd promoter of himself and his reputation, the ‘Duce’ was supported by the international press at the time, which praised his moderation and defence of peace in contrast to Hitler’s fanaticism and aggression. Roosevelt himself turned to him for the defence of Austria’s independence. Recent facts appeared to confirm this sentiment: the meeting between Mussolini and Hitler in Venice on 14 June 1934 had been quite cold, and after the July Putsch and the death of the Austrian Prime Minister Dollfuss, a good friend of Mussolini, relations with Germany became quite tense. The Putsch was described by the Italian press (promptly directed by ‘veline’) as the work of fanatics controlled by Berlin. During that period, there was good reason to believe that Italy would not be pulled into the German orbit, and Mussolini sought to take advantage of his role in international politics to carry out his designs for Africa. The Exhibition of Italian art in Paris sat within this delicate balance, representing a perfect example of how cultural policy could be put to use in the service of Mussolini’s Realpolitik. The exhibition had a profound propagandistic impact, sending a message to Europe that was both reassuring and unsettling: on one hand, the great number of masterpieces that found their way to the artistic capital of modern Europe was a testament to the strength of a great tradition. Rome was the origin of this tradition, shared by the French and the opposite

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of ‘Teutonic barbarism’. On the other hand, it implicitly underlined the superiority of Italians over other peoples and Italy’s consequent right to dominate. This was the case with Ethiopia, which was believed to be in need of cultural and political guidance. The large number of art exhibitions in Italy during the same period confirms these political implications. It also conveys the idea of an active and resourceful country that is proud and aware of its tradition while remaining open to the relations and interchanges of the modern world. The role of Venice in this context is crucial: as we see in countless articles on the 1935 Titian exhibition, the glorification of the painter is also a glorification of Venice, as Titian is closely linked with the city. Venice – where the most important international contemporary art exhibition of modern (and fascist) Italy is held – takes all opportunities to glorify the splendour of its tradition, and the organization of a series of the expositions of Great Masters suggests the continuity between the past and the present. The Titian exhibition was held on an odd-numbered year, in order not to coincide with the Biennale.2 The Mostra del Settecento (‘Exposition of the Eighteenth Century’) was organised in 1929, and the exhibitions of Tintoretto and Veronese were opened respectively in 1937 and 1939 for the same reason, with the aim of extending the celebration of Venice. As we can see, there was a special, particularly modern attention paid toward keeping the spotlight on one of the world’s most famous cities and continually to organise important expositions with widespread appeal (Figure 13.1).

Figure 13.1 The King opens the Titian’s Exhibition in Ca’ Pesaro Palace. Frame of the ‘Giornale Luce’ B0669, 5 January 1935 Source: Il re inaugura la mostra di Tiziano a Ca’ Pesaro

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At that time, Mario Alverà was the mayor of Venice; Nino Barbantini – who had held the role as Venice’s Director of Fine Arts since 1930 – was the curator of the Titian exhibition. Barbantini is usually mentioned as the director of the Ca’ Pesaro Museum and a supporter of young artists. Other aspects of his background, however, have often gone unnoticed, such as his key role in organizing important exhibitions during the twenties and the thirties and his commitment to the creation of Venetian museums including the Museo del Settecento (Museum of the Eighteenth Century) at Ca’ Rezzonico and the Museo d’arte orientale (Museum of Oriental Art) at Ca’ Pesaro. The exhibition’s scientific committee was composed by the superintendent of fine arts Gino Fogolari, the painter and collector Italico Brass, the director of Museo Correr Giulio Lorenzetti, who was also the author of a famous guide to Venice and a teacher at the Art Institute of Venice, and Vittorio Moschini, who had been given directorship of the Gallerie dell’Accademia by Fogolari in 1933. All organisers of the exposition come from Veneto. If we look at the various individuals involved, they give us a clear picture of the state of art history in Venice during those years. An investigation of the bibliography on Titian counts relatively few Italian scholars. The majority of the critical acclaim falls to foreign scholars: along with the monograph by Cavalcaselle-Crowe in 18773 and Berenson’s contribution in Venetian Painters of the Renaissance, the works of Georg Gronau and Louis Hourticq are also worth mentioning. Their research into Titian’s youth and into the complex question of his relationship with Giorgione4 is particularly relevant. In addition, we find Wilhelm Suida, whose work was released in Italian in 1933; Theodor Hetzer (1935) and Hans Tietze (1936); Adolfo Venturi also dedicated a significant section to Titian in the volume on the sixteenth century in Storia dell’arte italiana, published in 1928. The important monographs, therefore, are all written by foreigners. As we shall see, however, Italian scholars offer important new insights into Titian and his work. The exhibition, in fact, was intended to be a response to this need for investigation and for the broadening of perspectives. The exhibition itself was extremely ambitious. It hosted 101 paintings and eighteen drawings alongside a significant number of prints. A rich catalogue was published for the occasion. It included photographs of all the paintings and a number of the drawings and etchings. Seven editions were published and, apart from the introduction by Barbantini, the catalogue was written entirely by Gino Fogolari, who had garnered long years of experience since his arrival as the inspector of the Gallerie di Venezia in 1905. The fact that the exhibition took place at the same time as De Cimabue à Tiepolo in Paris led to certain friction between the two committees, given that Paris would request a number of Titian’s paintings for their own use. The Petit Palais would display Giovane donna alla toilette (1514) from the Louvre, Flora (1515) from the Uffizi, Ritratto dell’uomo dagli occhi glauchi (1535) from Palazzo Pitti, and the Venere di Urbino (1538) and Ritratto di Nicolas Perrenot de Granvelle (1548) from the Museum of Besançon. The Concerto campestre from the Louvre would also be added, although it was still attributed to Giorgione (with certain important exceptions, such as Hourticq and even Longhi). It is important to note that four of the paintings would be sent to Venice upon the closure of the Paris exhibition (except for the painting from the Museum of Besançon), as well as Lord Duveen’s Venere col suonatore, which initially had been unavailable.5 This act served as recognition of the scientific importance of the Venetian exhibition for its age.

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Exhibition setup The design of the Titian exhibition and that of the exhibition at Petit Palais do bear resemblance, a design which to modern eyes would seem quite random and crowded. It is also indicative of the age that, despite its extraordinary critical acclaim both nationally and internationally in journals and magazines – as demonstrated by a substantial press review folder I was able to consult at the library of Museo Correr – the paintings are the only elements that are reproduced, but the exhibition’s displays are not. In order to examine those, I had to draw from the short ‘film-Luce’ that documents the inauguration of the exhibition.6 The exhibition was held within the recently restored Ca’ Pesaro (Figure 13.2) and spanned two floors, seven rooms on the first floor and nine rooms on the second. In terms of the arrangement of the works, Nino Barbantini tells us in the catalogue’s introduction, I have not followed the chronology of these works in terms of their placement. The challenging conditions created by the dimensions and layouts of the various rooms, the arrangement and inconsistency of the side lighting, the special quality of Titian’s paintings where, in order to create a suitable backdrop, each would require its own special tone, in the face of these conditions we have striven for one thing only: that every painting could be viewed as best as possible.7

Figure 13.2 The King opens the Titian’s Exhibition in Ca’ Pesaro Palace. Frame of the ‘Giornale Luce’ B0669, 5 January 1935 Source: Il re inaugura la mostra di Tiziano a Ca’ Pesaro

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In leafing through the various newspapers and journals some interesting news can be found regarding the exhibition’s setup. For example, the refinement of colour was highly appreciated, although this aspect is lost to us. Orazio Berardinelli writes, The large panes opened by the interplay of the architecture on the walls of the great hall on the main floor have been covered by rich, purple velvet. In the adjacent rooms, the velvet is draped down over the vaulted arches, while light filtered through fine sheets of tulle reflect off their wavy surfaces, emanating calm, warm light throughout. The hue of the tapestry is transformative according to the tonal features of the painting that it accommodates. Just as with the Italian exhibition of the 18th century and for the Ferrarese exhibition of the 15th century, Barbantini has meticulously studied the chromatic relationships between the paintings and their backgrounds, in order to place each work in the most favourable conditions for it to be enjoyed in all its glory. Even the ceilings, where the frescoes require no special attention, have been matched with pale-coloured veils to contribute to the overall tone of the ambience. Halftones dominate the velvet colours, greys in their various hues, soft and warm beiges, and certain bottle-greens that the pale, low light caresses and tones down just the slightest.8 Again, in another article of the Rome ‘Messaggero’, we find the following: Behind soft, velvet tapestries, the enjoining doors of the side rooms begin to disappear, so every space may access the central hall. This allows for complete use of the sideilluminated walls, while the wall that receives direct light, which is least-favourable to viewing the various canvases, serves as a backdrop for the paintings displayed on easels, so as to receive the best illumination by means of calculated inclination.9

The scientific project As always happens when one speaks of exhibitions, there are multiple levels of fruition that curators must take into account in order to avoid upsetting either the exigent specialists or the public at large, which desires to learn about and appreciate the artist being celebrated. In his introduction to the catalogue, Barbantini proves very attentive to the common visitor and linguistically sanctions the almost sacred role of exhibitions that become the destinations of modern pilgrimages. Barbantini, in fact, states that he has given up on ‘the attractive but dangerous adventure of discovery in order not to disturb the sanctity and peace of that which, to use a word that finally returns to its place, constitutes a proper ritual’.10 Notwithstanding its popular intent, which is broadly conveyed through press releases, the exhibition also boasts serious motives of a scientific nature. Although certain art historians (such as Anthony Blunt11) downplay this aspect, noting that all of the works displayed are known, it cannot be considered an ‘easy’ exhibition for non-experts. For example, Guido Lodovico Luzzatto, in Convivium, observes that the exhibition reveals ‘the absence of even a fundamental unity, of tendency, so as to leave the public dismayed because they do not know where to look for the true interpretive key of Titian’.12 So the exhibition does not provide a Titian that is easily deciphered but rather an experimenter, constantly dissatisfied with his achievements, an artist capable of evolving, of contradicting himself, of making mistakes and changing course. This image itself clashed with the aesthetics of Benedetto Croce and his cult of artistic personality

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that tended to imagine personality as conclusively defined and subject to clear comprehension within a summarizing formula. This view can be shown, for example, in the attempt by one of the most ‘Crocean’ Italian art historians, Lionello Venturi, when he wrote in his monograph on Giorgione in 1913, with the stated ambition to recognise a ‘defined personality with precise contours’13 that was unequivocally determined. Clearly, an exhibition of this importance was an invaluable opportunity for scholars to study and reflect upon, as well as to analyse and debate. The comment made by a young Pallucchini here is emblematic: Thank goodness for exhibitions, if only for this one thing: that they allow us to continuously interpret the world created by an artist in time and space. A literary critic gazes upon the unfolding of a poem, but in order for an art critic to see a work he has to move, to look from afar and to look through time, that is through spiritual conditions that have transformed. It is clear that a painting is self-sufficient, it is a universe in itself; but placing a number of paintings together means to take possession of the creator of those worlds, to penetrate deep into his intimate development, to grasp certain testimony of both the variety and the unity of his figurative language.14 Beyond this enthusiasm and general considerations, however, I would focus on what I believe is the most relevant aspect of this exhibition. In terms of both specialised studies as well as public reception, it represented a complete rediscovery of the style of the later Titian; the first thing that catches your attention when you look at the catalogue is the notable number of late works, leading up to his very latest years (Figure 13.3).15

Figure 13.3 Titian, Christ shown to the People (Ecce Homo), c. 1570–1576, oil on canvas, Saint Louis Art Museum Source: Courtesy of the Saint Louis Art Museum

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Pallucchini strongly emphasises this feature, and his analysis is of particular interest. He would play a central role thereafter in studies on the artist; from the volume on sixteenth-century Titian from 1944 to the series of important university courses he would hold in the early 1950s, when he taught in Bologna, which would then lead to his 1969 monograph: There is no doubt that what is of highest interest in this exhibition is its vision of Titian’s later style, which is so clearly documented by the works displayed, although they are a bit too spread out in the rooms of Ca’ Pesaro. Moreover, there is a much more intimate and spontaneous bond between our sensitivity and this phase of Titian’s artwork. It is true that one can glimpse a bias toward the modern visual in these choices, but we believe it legitimate. In this adherence to modern tastes that, following Fromentin, was achieved in time thanks to a glorious band of painters, of which Manet and Cézanne take part, we find the universal recognition of Titian’s genius. More than in previous ones, Titian’s later works achieved the most eternal laws of chromatic inspiration. His style, if compared throughout the various phases of its development, seems inevitably to lead to mature tastes, precisely in order to express a more intimate and personal voice in contrast to the less glorious affirmations of Jacopo Bassano, del Veronese, or of Tintoretto. The fantastic and absolute conquest of the real appears in instances of passionate vitality in the language of his younger works, but once he overcame his academic lull, his artistry flows in free and immediate expression in his last creations. In these works, the figurative language of Titian becomes as lyrical as possible; and the richer, more complex and polyphonic it becomes, the more immediate and complete is its sentiment. The bond between poetic phantasy and language is perfect, and this characterises these wonderful creations.16 As we can see, at the centre of this reflection lies the theme of the elderly master’s modernity, interpreted in the light of nineteenth-century French art. In essence, what Pallucchini is saying is that Titian’s late style could only be completely understood through the renewed sensitivity that came with the lessons learned from Impressionism. Pallucchini’s claim is not exactly new; if, in fact, Cavalcaselle-Crowe’s monograph can be considered one of the lowest points in terms of consideration of Titian’s later works, which were seen as complex and involved, at the end of the century in The Venetian Painters Berenson wrote, ‘In fact, the old Titian was, in his way of painting, remarkably like some of the best French masters of to-day. This makes him only the more attractive’.17 The connection between the elder Titian and Impressionism was probably set forth here for the first time. We know how important this American critic has been for new generations of Italian art historians, from Lionello Venturi to Roberto Longhi, who from their early years would apply this new interpretative category to Venetian art history.18 This is similar to what occurred with the discovery of Caravaggio and to the rediscovery of late Titian which seems to find its legacy in modern Impressionism. In the review of the young Pallucchini, it appears that – thanks to the exhibition – Berenson, Longhi, and Venturi’s intuition, becomes one of the cornerstones of the reinterpretation of late Titian. The exposition itself reignites a critical discourse that sheds light on a number of serious limitations to Titian scholarship. It shows that Titian’s modern bibliography, with the exception of Adolfo Venturi’s and Roberto Longhi’s, has remained vague and

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indistinct when it comes to style. This accusation is rather serious and is particularly severe with regard to the ‘expansionist’ monograph by Suida, published in Italian in the Valori Plastici editions in 1933. Pallucchini states that Suida’s monograph ‘limits itself to the historicist problem’,19 avoiding any real analysis of Titian’s artistic language. In fact, the question of artistic language was dealt with by Longhi in two foundational essays, Giunte a Tiziano in 1925 and Cartella tizianesca in 1927. In these essays, along with various paintings that he newly attributed to Titian and the numerous questions that were raised, Longhi focuses specifically on certain later works, grappling with the complex linguistic problem posed by later Titian. The interpretative key here was not Titian as a forerunner of the Baroque, which was posited in various circles, such as Suida’s monograph20 (to name one example), but rather the entirely original and internal resolution of Titian’s poetics of impasse constituted by his encounter with Mannerism. Beginning from the early 1550s (with the Annunciazione of Naples, for example, with the proposed date circa 1557): The torment of a form that is comprehended quite unwillingly, almost as if to give some satisfaction to the classicists of central Italy [. . .] subsides almost naturally into the unprecedented and elusive osmosis of his hazy tones, ever more ‘ideal’, and into his chromatic, alchemised mixture. Indeed, Titian’s chromatic idealism is rarely lifted higher than in the Annunciazione. Here the slow smoke of incense burns throughout, it conceals and reveals, softening and rendering noble the hidden paganism. Clearly, as the scene is originally of a courtly nature, the form is solemn. But the transfiguration of this style is in its attenuation by slow chromatic combustion that cleanses the surface and the plastic and makes them seep with Orphean perfumes.21 Again, in a striking summary (that would be well suited to the climate of the exhibition): The common observer wonders where the people on the canvases of the elder Titian live; why surrounded by such smoke and haze? From this simple question, he sets off to weigh whether it be necessary to immerse himself in this rustling swarm in order to finally catch sight of the new visual worlds of the old Titian. In these worlds an unexpected disquiet falls from the unruly sky, sets off random bursts among the humours of the lands, and feels as an amalgamation of hells and paradises equally lost. The god Terminus shuns all things; places, figures are dulled, torrents are hot [sic] and intermingle with doves, like unobtainable gold coinage, all intermingled. Rings of air laden with dark turmoil disenchant the figures that appear as if pulled by eddies, in vague expanses then quickly withered like prey enveloped in [the web of spidered air – is this an exact translation? It doesn’t make much sense in English but it may be right anyway]. Here Titian again finds his form, but how much intellect has he needed to reabsorb of his own vision in order to allow for this new romanticism! Just like old Renoir, in his late, divine arthritic amusements in Cagnes.22 In Cartella tizianesca he uses the term ‘magical impressionism’ and comes back to the comparison with Renoir: Man thus sets out to be no more than a larva, a shadow, or scum, nowhere to be found, disguising himself under the veils and hot bursts that become ever more

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acrid and groaning, within the pure painting that, like late Renoir, seems both to fight with and strive for itself.23 This dialogue between the ancient and the modern would be at the centre of Pallucchini’s long-pondered re-reading of the late phase of the artist. In his 1969 monograph, he would identify Titian’s latest years as constructive moments projected toward the future, which he would define with Longhi’s term of ‘magical impressionism’.24 Far from representing a regression or a decline, his final style would resolve the Mannerist crisis thanks to ‘a discovery of new horizons, bringing down the myth of a classical vision that the renaissance world had moved toward, heralding a new age that would bring us to the conception of the modern man, of his solitude and the drama of his existence’.25 This vision of extraordinary breath from an European perspective was realised by a distinctive expressive code in which the communication of every message of the spirit ceased to be qualified in rational form, that is as ‘plastic-perspective’, and instead became expression of pure colour, with which man could better acknowledge himself, express his anguish and his joy, ushering in a civilization that from Rubens to Velázquez would remain until our days.26

Reception by a wider audience Coming back to our exhibition: the works in Titian’s later phase were not only considered by specialists but were also celebrated in more popular articles. Comparisons with nineteenth-century France returned time and again, taking on certain nationalistic colourings in their assertions for the Venetian (and therefore Italian) roots of Impressionism. A long article by Michele Biancale appearing in ‘Popolo di Roma’, for example, culminates with the following statement: ‘It is our own Titian who comes through entirely in the works of the masters of the great Impressionism of the highest style’.27 In one of the more popular journals, the Illustrazione Italiana, Piero Torriano writes, The older he becomes, the more freedom he acquires. The boldness of his brush is freed from all burdens, bringing about but more colour and light, where the shapes move with an arcane perplexity in contours. The colour is lain out in patches and flecks with delicate touches, already showing sign of separation, in the way that Impressionists would follow three hundred years in the future.28 The curator of the exposition himself would emphasise the modernity found in Titian’s later work. In an article in Nuova Antologia that stressed Titian’s connection with Courbet, Manet, Renoir, and Monet, Barbantini states that the exposition ‘also proves that modern painting began with him. Titian is closer to the romantics of the nineteenth century than he is with those of the fifteenth century’. He interprets this ultimate phase in an Impressionist and anti-drawing manner, demonstrating that he prefers Titian’s early years: ‘the teachings of the painter have reached a sublime state. Moreover, in place of the hedonism of the early years, a wave of sadness and tragedy has taken its place that adds to its humanity and exalts its poetry’.29

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The late Titian, thanks to the new artistic language that he created which puts the colour at the centre of attention to the detriment of the line, becomes the forbearer of pure, modern painting: The emancipation of painting from the illegitimate ingredient of linear drawing that contrasts with its nature and with its functions, the identification of colour as the only means destined for painting, the awareness of all its possibilities as a tool of representation and a source of emotion and compassion, these all contribute a grandness and a truth to the works of the late Titian that, until that moment, Art had not known.30 This and countless other testimonies that point to the extraordinary critical acclaim show us how the exhibition led to reflections and new acquisitions on the part of art historians, and that these were made available on a wide scale to a large audience, thus promoting a new, widespread interpretation of the artist. In a certain way, this interpretation was conveyed through the great passion held by art historians concerning French Impressionism, which in those precise years became a movement that would be a symbol for modernity, subsuming the significance of Classic art.

Notes 1 On the exhibition “De Cimabue à Tiepolo” see Giuliana Tomasella, ‘Venezia-ParigiVenezia. La Mostra d’Arte italiana a Parigi e le presenze francesi alla Biennale di Venezia (1920–1938)’, in Il futuro alle spalle. Italia-Francia, l’arte tra le due guerre, ed. by Federica Pirani (Rome: De Luca, 1998), 83–95 and Annadea Salvatore, Exposition de l’Art Italien de Cimabue à Tiepolo. Paris – Petit Palais – 1935, Tesi di dottorato, ciclo XXVI, Scuola dottorale interateneo in Storia delle Arti, Università di Venezia Ca’ Foscari, IUAV, Università di Verona, tutore prof. Laura Corti, co-tutore prof. Giovanna De Lorenzi. 2 It should be recalled that in the same year the Venice Biennale organised an exhibition commemorating its fortiethth anniversary, mostly devoted to art from the Triveneto: see Laura Moure Cecchini, ‘The “Mostra del Quarantennio” and the Canon of Modern Art at the Venice Biennale in the Interwar Period’, Il Capitale Culturale: Studies on the Value of Cultural Heritage, 14 (2016), 223–252. 3 Giovanni Battista Cavalcaselle and Joseph Archer Crowe, Tiziano, la sua vita, i suoi tempi, con alcune notizie della sua famiglia, 2 vols. (Florence: Le Monnier, 1877–1878). 4 Louis Hourticq, La jeunesse de Titien (Paris: Hachette, 1919). 5 As the record states at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, where the work is held, attributed to Titian and his workshop, dated between 1565 and 1570: ‘The Metropolitan’s painting was acquired by Sir Thomas Coke, Earl of Leicester, for Holkham Hall, where it is recorded until its sale in 1931 to the firm of Duveen; it was purchased by the Metropolitan in 1936’. . 6 ‘Italia Venezia. Il re inaugura la mostra di Tiziano,’ (the King opens the Titian Exhibition in C’ Pesaro Palace) Giornale Luce B0669 del 01 05 1935 https://youtu.be/B7N4lSxgM-A or (this is the web address of Archivio Luce; see also the version on YouTube). 7 Nino Barbantini, ‘Introduction’, in Mostra di Tiziano. Catalogo delle opere, ed. by Gino Fogolari, 6th ed. (Venezia: Officine Grafiche Carlo Ferrari, 1935), p. 13: ‘Nel collocamento delle opere non ne ho seguita la cronologia. Nelle condizioni non facili create dalla dimensione e dalla forma delle varie sale, dalla disposizione della luce laterale e poco costante, dalla qualità della pittura Tizianesca così sensibile che per darle un fondo adatto si dovrebbe creare una tonalità speciale per ogni quadro, si è cercato solo questo: che ogni quadro si vedesse, per quanto era possibile, bene’.

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8 Orazio Berardinelli, ‘I capolavori di Tiziano’, Il Messaggero, 24 April 1935: ‘I grandi riquadri aperti dai giochi dell’architettura sulle pareti del grande salone del piano nobile sono stati coperti di un ricco velluto purpureo, mentre nelle sale adiacenti i velluti scendono a drappeggio dal giro di volta e ricevono sulle loro ondulate superfici una luce che filtra da lievi schermi di tulle e si diffonde dovunque calda e pacata. La tinta della tappezzeria muta secondo il carattere tonale della pittura che è destinata ad accogliere. Come già per la Mostra del 700 italiano, e come per quella Ferrarese del ’400, il Barbantini ha studiato con somma attenzione il rapporto cromatico tra il quadro e lo sfondo, così da porre ogni opera nelle condizioni più propizie per essere goduta in tutta la somma dei suoi pregi. Anche i soffitti, dove l’affresco non chiedeva speciali attenzioni, sono stati accordati con scialbe velature all’assieme tonale dell’ambiente. Tra i colori dei velluti predominano le mezze tinte, i grigi nella varie gradazioni, i beige morbidi e caldi, e certi verdi bottiglia che la pallida luce radente carezza e sfuma levissimamente’. 9 ‘La Mostra del Tiziano a Venezia. L’imponente raccolta dei capolavori’, Il Messaggero, 25 April 1935: ‘Dietro morbide tappezzerie di velluto, stanno per sparire le porte di comunicazione tra le varie salette laterali così che ogni vano avrà l’accesso dal salone centrale e ciò permetterà l’intero sfruttamento delle pareti illuminate di fianco, mentre il muro che riceve la luce di fronte, poco propizia al godimento delle varie tele, servirà di sfondo ai quadri esposti su cavalletti, in modo da ricevere la più opportuna illuminazione per mezzo di accorte inclinazioni’. ‘La Mostra del Tiziano a Ca’ Pesaro’, Artecrazia, 4 (1935), it states that more than two kilometres of velvet of different hues were ordered. During restoration works on the palace, Tiepolo’s ceiling with the triumph of Zephyr and Flora was removed and transported to Ca’ Rezzonico, while the ceilings of Pittoni, Brusaferro, and Crosato were restored, and the ninteenth-century ceilings were covered with neutral tones. 10 Barbantini, ‘Introduction’, p. 11. 11 See Anthony Blunt, ‘Titian in Venice’, The Spectator, 26 July 1935, p. 15. 12 Guido Lodovico Luzzatto, ‘La mostra di Tiziano’, Convivium, 7 July 1935, pp. 551–568, p. 551: ‘l’assenza di una unità anche fondamentale, di tendenza, tale che lascia dapprima sgomenti, perché non si sa da che parte cercare la chiave per l’interpretazione verace della personalità italiana’. 13 Lionello Venturi, Giorgione e il giorgionismo (Milan: Hoepli, 1913), p. 1. Italics are mine. 14 Rodolfo Pallucchini, ‘La mostra di Tiziano’, Ateneo Veneto, 119, 3 September 1935; republished in Il dibattito artistico sulle riviste venete fra le due guerre 1919–1944, ed. by Giuliana Tomasella (Treviso: Canova, 2005), pp. 187–195, p. 187: ‘Benedette le mostre, non foss’altro che per questo: ché permettono di leggere con continuità di tempo e di spazio il mondo creato da un artista. Il critico letterario ha sott’occhi lo svolgersi d’un poema, ma quello d’arte ha da spostarsi, vedere a distanza di tempo e di luogo, cioè a condizioni spirituali mutate, le opere d’arte. Un quadro, è ovvio, basta a se stesso, è un cosmo completo; ma metterne assieme parecchi significa prendere un completo possesso del creatore di quei mondi, penetrarne l’intimo sviluppo, avere una sicura testimonianza della varietà e dell’unità allo stesso tempo del suo linguaggio figurativo’. 15 For example: Ritratto di Jacopo Strada (1567–68), Vienna, Kunsthistorisches Museum; La Maddalena (1565), S. Petersburg, Ermitage; Ecce Homo (1570–75), Saint Louis, Art Museum; S. Sebastiano (1575), S. Petersburg, Ermitage; Compianto sul Cristo morto (1576), Venice, Gallerie dell’Accademia. 16 Pallucchini, ‘La Mostra di Tiziano’, pp. 194–195: ‘Non v’è dubbio che l’interesse più alto della Mostra sia offerto dalla visione dello stile tardo di Tiziano, tanto bene documentato dalle opere raccolte, anche se un po’ troppo dislocate per le sale di Ca’ Pesaro. Soprattutto v’è un accordo tanto più intimo e spontaneo della nostra sensibilità con quella fase dell’arte tizianesca. Si scorgerà in questa predilezione una tendenziosa visuale moderna; d’accordo, ma legittima a parer nostro; perché, in tale immediata adesione del gusto moderno che, dopo Fromentin, s’è venuto concretando per via soprattutto del glorioso manipolo di pittori, alla cui testa stanno Manet e Cézanne, v’è il riconoscimento dell’universalità del genio di Tiziano. In quelle opere, più che nelle precedenti, egli ha realizzato le leggi più eterne dell’ispirazione cromatica. Il suo stile, confrontato nelle varie fasi di svolgimento, sembra fatalmente sboccare nel gusto della maturità, proprio

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per esprimere la voce più intima e personale di fronte alle affermazioni non meno gloriose di Jacopo Bassano, del Veronese e del Tintoretto. La conquista fantastica ed assoluta del reale ha istanti di calda vitalità nel linguaggio delle opere giovanili, ma, superata la stasi accademica, fluisce in un’espressione libera ed immediata nelle ultime creazioni. In queste appunto il linguaggio figurativo di Tiziano diviene lirico il più possibile; e quanto più è diventato complesso ricco e polifonico, tanto più esprime di getto il suo sentimento. L’adesione tra fantasma poetico e linguaggio v’è perfetta; il che contrassegna le grandi creazioni’. Bernard Berenson, The Venetian Painters of the Renaissance, 2nd ed. (New York and London: G.P. Putnam’s Sons, 1895), p. 47. This statement is found in the opening of the book: ‘Among the Italian schools of painting the Venetian has, for the majority of art-loving people, the strongest and most enduring attraction. In the course of the present brief account of the life of that school, we shall perhaps discover some of the causes of our peculiar delight and interest in the Venetian painters, as we come to realise what tendencies of the human spirit their art embodied, and of what great consequence their example has been to the whole of European painting for the last three centuries’. In his monograph on Giorgione from 1913 – which Longhi in fact highly esteemed – Venturi reasserts the innovative position that he occupied, of which the revolutionary Caravaggio would later follow, build upon, and enhance. According to Venturi, on a formal level the ‘subordination of colour to tone’ was the keystone of Giorgione’s revolution, which he first introduced into Western art, thus paving the way for modern painting: ‘In the thousands of aspects that it assumed, in the multitude of perfections that it achieved, the subordination of color to tone devised by Giorgione has remained the foundation of modern painting and has lasted without interruption throughout Europe’ (Lionello Venturi, Giorgione e il giorgionismo (Milan: Hoepli, 1913), p. 122: ‘Nei mille aspetti che poi assunse, nei molti perfezionamenti che raggiunse, la subordinazione del colore al tono ideata da Giorgione è rimasta il fondamento della pittura moderna, ha avuto una continuazione ininterrotta in tutta l’Europa’). And Longhi also makes the same statements in his contemporary lessons at the Liceo Tasso and Liceo Visconti in Rome: ‘Painting from the seventeenth century onwards is found outside of Italy, and it is based on the foundations established by the art that occurred within Italy. Caravaggio and the Venetians were, in fact, the cornerstones of all European art up to now [. . .] Caravaggio is the essential foundation on which the tradition is set of the new plasticity obtained in pictorial material and with the aid of light; and this is the tradition in France from the best work of Le Nain through Chardin – until Courbet. And it is still that Venice that is transmitted through Rubens and in the English of the seventeenth century that provides what is inherently good in French landscape artists from the 1830s and the romantics like Delacroix. But it is even more important to understand that after these attempts by the great founders of French art from 1850 to 1900 that they still felt the need to return to the beginning, to Caravaggio, the Venetians’ (Roberto Longhi, Breve ma veridica storia della pittura italiana [1913–1914] (Florence: Sansoni, 1980), p. 179: ‘Ma la Pittura dal Seicento in poi è fuori d’Italia, e sulle basi poste dall’arte avvenuta in Italia. Caravaggio e i Veneziani sono stati infatti i capisaldi di tutta la pittura europea fino a noi [. . .] Caravaggio è la fondazione essenziale su cui si imposta la tradizione di nuova plasticità ottenuta in materia pittorica e coll’ausilio della luce; ed è tradizione che in Francia dà i migliori dai Le Nain traverso Chardin – fino a Courbet. È ancora Venezia che travasata in Rubens e negli inglesi del Settecento dà quel tanto che di germinalmente buono v’è nei paesisti francesi del ’30 (1830) e nei romantici come Delacroix. Ma è anche più importante sapere che dopo questi tentativi i fondatori della grande arte francese dal 1850 al 1900 sentono ancora la necessità di rifarsi da capo: a Caravaggio e ai Veneziani’). Pallucchini, ‘La Mostra di Tiziano’, 195. See the review of Suida’s monography by Anna Maria Brizio, ‘Bibliografia dell’arte italiana’, L’ Arte, new ser., 6, no. 4 (1935), 331–332, which is very critical toward Suida’s expansionistic tendencies, both in terms of Titian’s early years, where he attributes a number of Giorgione’s works to Titian, as well as for other later works of dubious quality that Suida attributes to Titian. In reference to Marsia scorticato (1570–1576 ca.) in the Kromêríz Archbishop’s Palace, Suida writes: ‘The horrible execution is represented with the greatest meticulousness. Old Midas is lost in thought and a young man nearby looks toward the observer with fear, or rather shock. But what dominates the scene is the sound of the lyre of Apollo. He does not

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watch the horrors and the torments, but rather raises his head and gaze in full enthusiasm. The savagery that returns alone in frequent repetition of this theme often found in the baroque is also inherent in this pictorally grandiose work’ [Wilhelm Suida, Tiziano (Rome: Edizioni di ‘Valori Plastici’, 1933), pp. 119–120]. Roberto Longhi, ‘Giunte a Tiziano’, L’Arte, 28 (1925), republished in Roberto Longhi, Saggi e Ricerche (1925–1928), 2 vols. (Florence: Sansoni, 1967), I, pp. 12–13: ‘Il tormento di una forma appresa alquanto contro voglia, quasi per dare una soddisfazione ai classicisti dell’Italia centrale [. . .] si placa quasi per soluzione naturale nell’osmosi inaudita, inafferrabile, sempre più ‘ideale’ dei suoi toni suffumati, della sua alchimiata cromica miscea. E, invero, l’idealismo cromatico di Tiziano raramente si solleva più in alto che in questa Annunciazione. Qui fumate lente bruciano d’incensi per tutta la scena, e la velano e la svelano, attutendone e nobilitandone la absconsa paganità. Poiché, di certo, la scena è originalmente aulica, la forma togata. Ma la trasfigurazione di questa forma è in quel suo allievarsi per via della lenta combustione cromatica che purifica la scorza e la plastica e la fa trasudare di profumi orfici’. Longhi, ‘Giunte a Tiziano’, 13: ‘Domandisi l’osservatore volgare dove vivano queste persone delle tele del vecchio Tiziano; perché in tanto fumo, in tanta caligine? Da quella richiesta volgare si diparta allora il saggiatore per pesare se non occorra immergersi proprio in questo mormorante brulicame per intravedervi, alla fine, i nuovi mondi visuali del vecchio Tiziano. In essi una sopraggiunta inquietezza scende dai cieli dirotti a fatica, accende vampe imprecise fra gli umori delle terre, e sa di amalgama d’inferni e di paradisi egualmente perduti. Il dio Termine fuggì dalle cose; luoghi, figure si ottundono, calde le pioggie [sic] e che posson mescersi a colombe, come ad auree monete di zecca introvabile, frammistevi. Cercini d’aria carica di screzî oscuri smagano le figure che appaiono come per risucchi ora in vaghi ampliamenti ora in presti avvizziri come prede involte nella tela dell’aria ragnata. Qui Tiziano ha trovato anche la sua forma, ma quanto intelletto ha dovuto riassorbire nella propria visione, per permettersi questo nuovo romanticismo! Proprio come il vecchio Renoir, nei suoi tardi divini svaghi artritici di Cagnes’. Roberto Longhi, ‘Cartella tizianesca’, Vita Artistica, 2 (1927) republished in Longhi, Saggi e Ricerche, 243: ‘L’umano si avvia insomma a non esser che larva, cencio, o feccia, pressoché irreperibile, travisandosi sotto i velami e le vampe, sempre più acri e gementi, della pittura pura che, come nel tardo Renoir, par che lotti e s’impegni con se medesima’. Rodolfo Pallucchini, Tiziano, 2 vols. (Florence: Sansoni, 1969), I, 151. Pallucchini, Tiziano: I, XIII: the number is XIII: ‘una scoperta di nuovi orizzonti, facendo crollare il mito di una visione classica, al quale il mondo rinascimentale si era avvicinato, e inaugurando un’altra epoca, quella che porterà alla concezione dell’uomo moderno, della sua solitudine e del dramma della sua esistenza’. Pallucchini, Tiziano, p. 202: ‘La comunicazione di ogni messaggio dello spirito cessa di qualificarsi in forma razionale, e quindi plastico-prospettica, per divenire espressione di puro colore, per mezzo del quale l’uomo può meglio confessare se stesso, esprimerci la sua angoscia e la sua gioia, inaugurando una civiltà che dal Rubens e dal Velázquez sarà valida fino ai giorni nostri’. Michele Biancale, ‘La grande Esposizione dei Capolavori di Tiziano’, Il Popolo di Roma, 24 April 1935. Piero Torriano, ‘La Mostra di Tiziano a Venezia’, L’Illustrazione Italiana, 62, no. 16 (1935), 596–597: 597: ‘Quanto più egli avanza negli anni, tanto più acquista libertà. L’arditezza del suo pennello si libera d’ogni peso, facendosi solo più colore e luce, dove le forme si muovono con arcana perplessità di contorni. Il colore, disteso a macchie e con tocchi leggeri, accenna già a dividersi, alla maniera che seguiranno gli impressionisti trecento anni di poi’. Nino Barbantini, ‘La Mostra di Tiziano’, Nuova Antologia, 7th ser., 70, no. 1514 (16 May 1935), 201–207: 206: [la mostra] ‘prova anche che ebbe inizio da lui la pittura moderna. Tiziano è più vicino ai romantici del secolo XIX che ai quattrocentisti’; ‘Il magistero del pittore ha raggiunto un grado sublime, e, per di più, all’edonismo degli anni primi, è subentrata un’onda di tristezza o di tragicità che ne accresce l’umanità e ne esalta la poesia’. Barbantini, ‘La Mostra di Tiziano’, 207: ‘L’emancipazione della pittura dall’ingrediente illegittimo del disegno lineare contrastante con la sua natura e con le sue funzioni,

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l’identificazione del colore come mezzo unico destinato alla pittura, la coscienza di tutte le sue possibilità come strumento di rappresentazione e come fonte di commozione; conferiscono alle immagini della vecchiaia di Tiziano una grandezza e una verità che fino a quel momento l’arte non aveva conosciuto’. I would like to express my deepest gratitude to Scott A. Stuart for helping me in the translation of this chapter.

Part IV

Old Master monographic exhibitions after World War II

14 Poussin in perspective The Louvre retrospective 1960 above and beyond* Henry Keazor

In his review of the exhibition ‘Poussin, Works on Paper: Drawings From the Collection of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II’, held at the Metropolitan Museum of Art New York in Spring 1996 in the context of the celebrations, organised in honour of the quincentenary of Poussin’s birthday, the American pianist, author, critic and columnist Michael Kimmelman wrote on 23 February 1996 in the New York Times, The greatest French artist of the 17th century, Nicolas Poussin [. . .] has been the springboard for the greatest French artists from David to Matisse: because his work, in its lucidity, intelligence and measured sensuality, exemplifies what makes French art French. Actually, Poussin couldn’t abide the crabbed French art world of his day and spent almost his whole life in Rome, enthralled by its ethos. Still, his achievement redefined French art, by elevating it from provinciality.1 This is nowadays the more or less generally accepted view on Poussin, but the French Master has not always been perceived and hailed like this. ‘Always historicize!’, the American literary critic Fredric Jameson urges us to never accept anything as given and obvious but to instead trace historical developments of even seemingly certain facts2 – and if we do so and consider Poussin in a historical perspective, we realise that although Poussin might be revered and hailed today in countries such as France, Britain and the United States as ‘the greatest French artist of the seventeenth century,’ he nevertheless was once despised even in his native country as ‘boring’, ‘old fashioned’, ‘square’ and ‘pedantic’.3 He might not have been as forgotten as his contemporaries Caravaggio or Vermeer, who were only rediscovered in the nineteenth (Vermeer) respectively in the early twentieth century (Caravaggio),4 but it is perhaps most telling that it was not in France but in England (where the admiration for Poussin continued through the eighteenth to the twentieth centuries) and, perhaps most surprisingly: then in Germany that he received his earliest monographic publications: first, in 1820 the British writer Maria Graham (born Dundas), after having visited Italy in 1819 and here especially Rome, where Poussin had lived and worked most of his life, published her book Memoirs of the Life of Nicholas Poussin (translated in 1821 into French).5 Whereas Graham’s book, conforming to its title, focused more on the artist’s life than on his work, the English art merchant John Smith with his catalogue of Poussin’s oeuvre, published in 1837 as part 8 of his series Catalogue Raisonné of the Works of the most eminent Dutch, Flemish and French Painters, concentrated instead on the painter’s production.6 This was followed almost eighty years later by a Ph.D. dissertation, submitted by the American art historian Elizabeth

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H. Denio in 1898 at Heidelberg University in Germany under the title Nicolas Poussin Leben und Werke that was published first in German and then in an English version the year after.7 Their endeavours in some ways paved ground for the three monographs that were then prepared and published, in 1914 simultaneously but separately by the French writer and historian Émile Magne and the two German art historians Otto Grautoff and Walter Friedlaender. Whereas Magne with his book Nicolas Poussin. Premier peintre du roi was keen on mainly finding and contextualising formerly ‘unpublished documents’ concerning the life and the work of the artist,8 the goals of his German colleagues were different. In Grautoff’s case, the coeval political situation, marked by the outbreak of World War I in 1914, has to be considered: Grautoff, a former classmate of German author Thomas Mann, was driven by the wish to reconcile the French and the German and was apparently therefore especially keen to communicate French art to his German fellow citizens.9 His two-volume monograph Nicolas Poussin: Sein Werk und sein Leben was partly based on Grautoff’s Ph.D. thesis Nicolas Poussins Jugendjahre (Nicolas Poussin’s early years), followed by the art historian Artur Weese and submitted in 1913 at the University of Bern in Switzerland,10 and it was apparently planned to be published as a book, comprising a biography of Poussin as well as an extensive catalogue raisonné of his oeuvre,11 simultaneously in German, English and French, although in the end only the German version was realised.12 Although different in conception and approach – Grautoff’s monograph has 770 pages, Friedlaender’s counts only 275 pages – the latter’s book Nicolas Poussin. Die Entwicklung seiner Kunst shares some similarities with Grautoff’s publication: both, for example, already considered Poussin’s contribution to the development of French art up to Paul Cézanne and even recognised him as a fulcrum for modern French art (a position that was then eighty-four years later taken up by Michael Kimmelman, quoted at the beginning of this chapter).13 Cézanne in fact had taken Poussin as a starting point for his own art by aiming at ‘re-doing him over again after nature’ (‘refaire le Poussin sur nature’),14 and he was followed in his involvement with the French Master by artists such as Francis Bacon and Pablo Picasso, who likewise discovered Poussin’s paintings as inspirations for their own work.15 As a French article, published in 1947 at the occasion of a small exhibition dedicated to Poussin in the National Gallery London, puts it, But [. . .] the good academicians did not look further than the end of their nose when they admired the limpidity of his pictorial vision, they did not understand the subtlety of his analysis of volumes. It needed the Impressionist Cézanne who was aiming at bringing order and firmness into his art which was lacking [. . .] in order to get inspired by Poussin whom he admired too and all the pupils from this school have also drawn their inspirations from this great Master. [. . .] By an extraordinary paradox, this great classic has a preponderant influence on the ultra-modern artists . . ..16 When the article was published, already one attempt had been made to organise a first monographic exhibition on Poussin, and another one was imminent. On 26 May 1934 (that is twenty years after the publication of his Poussin monograph) Grautoff launched a first initiative by writing to Henry Verne, then ‘Directeur des musées nationaux’, expressing his ongoing ruminations concerning a possible

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Poussin-exhibition. Since Grautoff apologises because he is afraid to annoy Verne with ‘yet another letter’,17 it seems as if this would have not been his first attempt, and the writer in fact with his lines reacts to an apparent obstacle he has come across when talking to the painter, art critic and then-director of the ‘Musée de Reims’, Paul Jamot, in the latter’s quality not only as one of the then-most prominent French Poussin scholars, but also as one of the organisers of a recently opened exhibition on lesser known artists of the seventeenth century, entitled ‘Les peintres de la réalité en France au XVIIe siècle’.18 In order to do such an exhibition, one would need to convince also the German museums, particularly the one in Dresden, to also lend their Poussin masterpieces such as for example the Empire of Flora, whose loan apparently had been denied when requested earlier. Grautoff therefore suggests that Verne, as director of the French national museums, should offer the Germans a kind of artistic exchange in which the French would send Matthias Grünewald’s famous altarpiece in Colmar to Berlin (since it had never been in show in Germany) in order to then get the German Poussin paintings in exchange. However, as Jamot in a handwritten note on Grautoff’s letter pointed out to Verne, the Grünewald altarpiece does not belong to the French government, but to the museum of Colmar and hence the negotiation of a loan of the artwork to Germany would exceed the legal competency of the ‘Musées Nationaux’. Moreover, as Verne explains to Grautoff in his negative response letter, the museum as well as the city of Colmar would have so far always refused ‘jealously’ any attempt to let the altarpiece leave the museum, since it is a major attraction for the tourists, coming to Colmar and meaning ‘big profits for the local commerce and finances’ for the city.19 As we will later see, getting the Dresden Flora for the exhibition in 1960 still posed a challenge, which was only overcome with the help of a similar artistic exchange as already envisioned by Grautoff even though it then did not involve the Colmar-altarpiece but instead paintings by French Masters of the nineteenth century.20 And despite the fact that in the end Grautoff’s suggestion was rejected, there was a monographic Poussin exhibition fifteen years later, although not, as envisioned by Grautoff, on an international but rather on a national level. Thus, in 1949 a monographic exhibition on Poussin opened in the Bibliothèque Nationale in Paris, which was the, so to speak, ‘zero grade’ of a bigger project that Jamot’s niece, Thérèse Bertin-Mourot, had tried to launch already in November 1947. Referring to the ‘unsuspected riches’ of France, England, Switzerland and, of course, the ‘occupied East Germany’ (she certainly was also, like Grautoff before her, thinking of the Dresden Flora as an important element of the exhibition), she suggested the organisation of an international Poussin exhibition to the General Director for the Arts and Letters (that is: the French Culture Secretary), who passed the request to Georges Salles, who was the director of the French National Museums at the time.21 Salles, when conferring with the chief curator of paintings at the Louvre, René Huyghe, got the assessment that the project would be of an ‘immense interest’ but that its realization in 1947 would be ‘too premature’: first the museums would need to completely reinstall themselves after the war, and then the international exchanges could resume normally. He therefore suggested that such a monographic Poussin exhibition should be realised at the ‘right moment’.22 Bertin-Mourot was not only the niece of Jamot and thus possessed of a network of important and influential contacts, but she was also one of the founding members of the ‘Société Poussin’, an association of scholars that was founded in 1947 as a response to a desire voiced by Grautoff, who, already in 1932, had suggested an international

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Figure 14.1 Galerie Mazarine, Paris, Bibliothèque Nationale, (Agence Meurisse/Agence de btv: 1b90562059 Source: gallica.bnf.fr/Bibliothèque Nationale de France

system of correspondents which, concerning Poussin’s oeuvre, could ‘signal to the Parisian centre all the paintings or drawings – true or false – which appear in the countries where they live’.23 Moreover, Bertin-Mourot was also the director and the editor of the society’s Bulletin, and hence she did not give in but instead realised a national exhibition on Nicolas Poussin, perceived as a hopeful, ‘modest preface to an exhibition of the entirety of the work of Nicolas Poussin which a near future’ might bring.24 The show nevertheless assembled an impressive selection of fifteen paintings, thirty-eight drawings and three tapestries after Poussin paintings from the Louvre collection, six drawings from the Bibliothèque de l’École des Beaux-Arts, thirty-nine engravings as well as several manuscripts (such as letters by Poussin) and seventeenth-century publications on the artist, furnished by the Bibliothèque Nationale, where, in the Galerie Mazarine (Figure 14.1), the exhibits were presented between July and September 1949.25 The second national monographic Poussin exhibition took place ten years later, in 1959, in the United States, as the fruit of two museums in Toledo, Ohio, and Minneapolis, which each had just recently acquired a painting by or then supposed to be by Poussin.26 The show featured a selection of just seventeen paintings from American collections27 by Poussin (or then attributed to Poussin),28 which were first (January to February) shown at the Toledo Museum of Art and then (February until March) at the Minneapolis Institute of Arts.

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Although not mentioned in the exhibition catalogue (not even by the protagonists of both shows, Walter Friedlaender and Anthony Blunt), the organization of the ‘big’ international Poussin exhibition in 1960 was then of course already very advanced, despite a series of delays and changes of plans concerning the opening date. In a letter from 10 November 1955, Germain Bazin in his function as ‘Conservateur en chef du Département des Peintures et Dessins’ writes to Georges Salles, then ‘Directeur des Musées de France’, and gives him information related to an intended response letter to Jacques Chastellain, the Mayor of Rouen, who apparently had sent a request concerning an exhibition on Poussin.29 Given that Rouen is the capital of the ‘Département Eure’ of which Poussin’s native village Les Andelys is a part, it seems as if the first initiative for such a major exhibition would have actually come from the city of Rouen, where one was apparently keen on organizing on short terms such a retrospective on the artistic achievements of one of the great sons of its department.30 However, as Bazin explains in his letter, such an endeavour, ‘worthy of him [Poussin], asks for a very long time of preparation’. According to him (and despite the monographs published earlier), Poussin so far had been badly studied, and one would need the collaboration with the Anglo-Saxon institutions and colleagues (namely with the main expert on the artist, Anthony Blunt, who Bazin would have already asked for an adequately extended preparation time that would guarantee ‘a serious preparation’ of the exhibition).31 Moreover, paintings in British public as well as private collections would have to be researched and accessed, the artworks in French possessions would have to be examined and restored, which all ultimately would also need the necessary funding, to be procured first. Bazin’s letter, which in its first paragraph interestingly does not mention the Louvre but the ‘Orangerie’ as the designated venue, concludes with a schedule according to which the exhibition should have opened at the beginning of 1957.32 A year later, in a similar letter also addressed to Salles from 9 November 1956 (and again furnishing arguments for a reply to Chastellain), the ‘Conservateur du Département des Peintures’ Charles Sterling has to extend the deadline again, this time because, ‘given the general’ and ‘current situation’, Bazin would have the impression that neither the Soviet nor the American or Canadian museums would be ready to separate from their artworks (a reference maybe to then reigning international tensions because of the various insurrections in the Eastern bloc such as in Posen in June 1956 and in Hungary in October 1956). Sterling, who now envisions ‘two big rooms in the Louvre’33 as the venue for the exhibition, therefore suggests to shift its opening to May 1958. Meanwhile, Bazin’s ideas about a thorough theoretical as well as practical preparation for the exhibition in terms of historical Poussin studies and of an examination of paintings bore fruit in the form of the ‘Colloque Nicolas Poussin’, organised by the French art historian André Chastel and held from 19 to 21 September 1958 in Paris at the ‘Institut d’Art et d’Archéologie’ of the Sorbonne University. Thus, apart from sessions in which papers were presented by a number of scholars who were later also contributing to the exhibition and its catalogue, the ‘Colloque’ also comprised a series of visits at sites such as the Château de Mornay (where the young Poussin was thought to have left wall paintings), the Hôtel de Sully (where barely known works attributed to Poussin were shown) and the deposits of the Louvre were organised (where twentynine paintings were held ready for a close examination by the scholars).34 One of the main participants of the ‘Colloque’ was the aforementioned Anthony Blunt, then already the undisputed leading expert on Poussin from the fifties up to

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the late seventies.35 He had been invited for the same year of the ‘Colloque’ to give the ‘A.W. Mellon Lectures in the Fine Arts’ at the National Gallery of Art in Washington. The six lectures he there gave on Poussin formed the nucleus of his book Nicolas Poussin that was published ten years later as a follow-up to the published ‘critical catalogue’ of Poussin’s paintings, issued in 1966.36 One of the reasons for this late publication was Blunt’s involvement with the exhibition from 1960 – not only because the preparation for the exhibition was time consuming in itself but also because Blunt wanted to benefit from the insights and results of the exhibition for his book.37 That these kept him busy even long after the end of the exhibition can be seen by the fact that, although he submitted the manuscript for the book in December 1961, he continued to make changes to the text.38 If one compares Blunt’s writings on Poussin, one can clearly see that the view he developed there on the painter as an ‘intellectual’ and ‘philosophical’ artist had a strong impact on the exhibition. Already in his catalogue contribution to the American Poussin exhibition from 1959, Blunt had stressed his view on Poussin that it was ‘[h]is intellectual approach and his assertion of the importance of reason rather than imagination in the creation of a work of art’.39 It is therefore telling that the catalogue to the Louvre exhibition opened with a motto, taken from Jamot, in which the ideal of an artist is envisioned who endowed with his most beautiful gifts, useful for his art, [. . .] at the same time a wise being, capable of the highest and most manly thoughts, the day he will find a perfect plastic form for one of these general verities [. . .] will have made a work that merits a place of honor in a little elite and which the respect and the admiration of good judges are proper.40 Moreover, the exhibition itself also focused mainly on works which helped to illustrate Blunt’s vision of Poussin as he had voiced it a year before on the occasion of the American Poussin exhibition, when he used the chosen works in order to show the development of Poussin from an ‘intellectual control which becomes increasingly marked in Poussin’s art in the late 1630’s’ over figures ‘in the classical phase of the 1640’s’, which seem to be ‘in a complete philosophical detachment from the world’ up to his late works ‘that contain something sublime which only comes with the wisdom and aloofness of age’.41 This strong bias towards a view of Poussin as an intellectual and a ‘philosophical painter’ was certainly inspired by Friedlaender’s book from 1914 with its suggestion that Poussin had been ‘one of the most conscious theoreticians’,42 precisely a ‘peintrephilosophe’,43 an idea strongly taken up by Blunt in his own book from 1967.44 Not by chance, Friedlaender was appointed as ‘honorary member’ of the organizational committee of the 1960 exhibition.45 This approach, however, triggered the wrath of Blunt’s rival and opponent, Denis Mahon, who not only published his ‘Poussiniana. Afterthoughts Arising from the Exhibition’ in 1962 but also and especially his ‘Plea for Poussin as a Painter’ in 1965,46 in which he criticised the intellectualised view shed on Poussin in the Louvre exhibition in the wake of Blunt’s conception of the artist and instead pleaded for a view of Poussin as a practical painter. The placement of the article, a Festschrift for no-one else than for Walter Friedlaender, the ancestor of Blunt’s view of Poussin as a ‘peintre philosophe’, as well as the date of

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Mahon’s second article, 1965, hereby certainly were strategically chosen: the year marked the 300th anniversary of Poussin’s death. It – indirectly – could remind people of the obvious rush behind the decision to have a Poussin exhibition already in 1960 (respectively even earlier, since, as we have seen, it had been originally planned even for 1957, ‘at the approach of the three-hundredth anniversary of Poussin’s death’, as letters, written by the organisers in preparation of the exhibition, specify).47 The decision to have the exhibition nevertheless five years earlier cannot be only explained by Blunt’s desire to profit for his book from the exhibition, since he was invited to the Mellon Lectures only in 1957, when the preparation for the huge conference in Paris, intended to function as a build-up for the exhibition, was already on its way. It therefore seems as if a combination of various and individual initiatives such as the earlier one by Bertin-Mourot or the later one by Chastellain would have joined forces with the art historical rediscovery of Poussin by Blunt as well as with a general tendency in the later fifties to exhibit Old Masters. Tellingly, the invitation letter, drafted up for loan requests and committee invitations by Germain Bazin and Charles Sterling apparently in 1958/59,48 begins with the lines, Already for decades now the exhibitions dedicated to artists of the past have become countless. Their interest not always justifies them. The museums, too, have to only venture on those where the contribution to the taste of our time and the necessity to put things straight are evident. It is surprising to find that the work of one of the greatest Masters of early painting, Nicolas Poussin, has never been the object of an entire exhibition. No reunion of masterpieces dispersed throughout the entire world is more justified than that of this painter whose art is the fundament of all the forms of modern classicism from David to Cézanne and the Cubists and whose last complete monograph from 1914 is insufficient despite the essential contributions which the more restricted monographs of Professor Walter Friedlaender and of the late Paul Jamot added to it.49 The exhibition, eventually shown at the Louvre in the ‘Salles Denon’, ‘Mollien’ and ‘Daru’ from 9 May to 29 August 196050 (Figures 14.2 and 14.3) was a huge success in various respects: first, the preparatory conference had already fostered a series of very important insights and discoveries, not only in terms of scholarly content but also because through it new specialists emerged. Jacques Thuillier is a case in point: his giant and magnificent ‘Corpus Pussinianum’ paved the way for the thorough study of Poussin’s documentary background, for the period of his lifetime, and afterwards, in terms of his later reception and a fortuna critica, which – most tellingly – ended in 1700 when Poussin’s star began to sink.51 The exhibition itself was also a triumph. It attracted so many visitors52 that the exhibition in Paris had to be prolonged, because, as it was stated in the letters sent to the participating museums and collections in order to ask for an extension of their loan, 7,000 visitors per week came to see the exhibition.53 This is also why, at one point of the exhibition, the organisers gave up on what was originally at the heart of its occurrence: as it has become clear from the replies written to the mayor of Rouen, it seems as if a strong part of the initiative to have a Poussin exhibition in the first place was due to the engagement of the city of Rouen. Therefore, the exhibition originally was supposed to move, apparently in a reduced form, from Paris to Rouen

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in August 1960 in order to end there, but given the strong request, the organisers decided to leave the exhibition in Paris up to 29 August 1960.54 The show thus obviously functioned as a rediscovery of an up-to-then-neglected artist and, in line with its intellectual and documentary bias, it raised questions about the dating and the attribution of the paintings especially from Poussin’s early period up to the late 1630s. It is said that Blunt himself was unsure about the chronology of Poussin’s early development and that he had hoped that seeing all the pictures together at the exhibition and discussing them would provide an opportunity for him and others to rethink the chronology55 – in fact, there are even tales that such discussions resulted in an actual, occasional re-hanging of particular paintings during the exhibition.56 Given the many visitors who also bought a catalogue, the book was published in a second, updated and corrected edition,57 but the corrections that can be found there concern rather misspelled names, missing references and – first of all – missing exhibits whose loan had fallen through in the very last moment.58 In conclusion, if one looks back at the dynamics and motivations that eventually spurred the organization of the Poussin exhibition of 1960, it becomes evident that a series of interlocking driving forces was crucial here: the already firmly established practice of dedicating exhibitions to artists of the past, the rediscovery of the art of the seventeenth century with the exhibition ‘Les peintres de la réalité’ in 1934, which worked in a paradoxical way in favour of a future Poussin exhibition, since although the painter was conceived here as somebody who had eclipsed other artists, the attention generally paid to the art of his era nevertheless also fostered the desire to devote a monographic exhibition to the French Master. Here, it was also individuals such as Grautoff and Bertin-Mourot who, with their insistence and encouragement for a Poussin exhibition, ultimately paved a way for its realization, hereby sided and supported by simultaneous ongoing art-historical research which on the one hand offered the needed foundation for such an exhibition while on the other hand it emphasised the urgent necessity of such an exhibition for further endeavours such as the critical catalogue of Blunt from 1966 to which the Louvre show also led. It is tempting to compare the Louvre exhibition from 1960 with the shows, organised in celebration of Poussin’s four-hundredth birthday in 1994, or, recently at the occasion of the quarter centenary of the painter’s death in 2015. One thus can note certain differences. Whereas the Louvre-exhibition in 1960 dodged commemorative dates, the recent exhibitions have taken them as their justification. This also shows that the Louvre exhibition in 1960 made Poussin the ‘established’ artist who is now thought to deserve such commemorative exhibitions. Perhaps because of the intensified art historical research, prompted by the 1960 exhibition, later exhibitions had no apparent need for similar special scientific preparations to those which took place in advance of the 1960 event: in 1960, a preparatory conference was organised in advance of the exhibition, whereas the conferences held in Paris, London and Rome in 1994, 1995 and 2015 accompanied the shows as part of the supporting program. This obviously also had to do with the changed purposes and conceptions of the exhibitions: whereas the Louvre exhibition in 1960 was still exploratory and research-driven in its character, the idea behind the 1994 exhibition was more to present ‘masterpieces’ from a meanwhile firmly established artist. In the case of the 1994 exhibition, it appears almost as an irony of history that this event was rivalled by an exhibition,

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Figure 14.2 Entrance to the Poussin Exhibition in 1960, Paris, Louvre (Arts Graphiques de la Cité [Agraci]) Source: Réunion des Musées Nationaux, Nicolas Poussin 1594–1665 (Paris: Réunion des Musées Nationaux 1994, p. 12)

running at the same time at the Grand Palais and aiming at the re-discovery of another long-time-neglected artist, Gustave Caillebotte. His retrospective was the unexpected success the Poussin exhibition in the Louvre had been in 1960 – an artist who was retrieved from obsolescence. And if one looks at the covers of magazines dealing with the exhibitions, it becomes evident how much Poussin was then hailed in solemn but also somewhat antiquated terms as a ‘rich’ ‘Master’, whereas Caillebotte instead got

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Figure 14.3 Room in the Poussin Exhibition in 1960, Paris, Louvre (Arts Graphiques de la Cité [Agraci]) Source: Réunion des Musées Nationaux, Nicolas Poussin 1594–1665 (Paris: Réunion des Musées Nationaux 1994, p. 13)

the thrilling adjectives, once, in 1960, applied to Poussin himself, since the Impressionist was celebrated as a up to then ‘misjudged’ ‘mystery’ and a ‘revelation’.59

Notes * I would like to thank Pierre Rosenberg and Sophie Moquin (École du Louvre) as well as Pascal Riviale (Archives nationales, Paris) and the staff at the Archives nationales for their help and support. 1 Michael Kimmelman, ‘When Poussin Drew for Himself’, Art Review, 23 February 1996

[Accessed 22 January 2017]. 2 Fredric R. Jameson, The Political Unconscious: Narrative as a Socially Symbolic Act (London: Methuen, 1981), p. 9. 3 See for example the judgements quoted in the catalogues from the exhibitions from 1960 as well as from 1994: Musée du Louvre, Exposition Nicolas Poussin (Paris: Édition des Musées Nationaux, 1960), p. 17: ‘. . . en un temps où les Français, épris de l’Impressionnisme, alors encore dans toute sa fraîcheur, ne voyaient plus guère en cet artiste qu’un peintre ennuyeux . . .’ (my translation from the French: ‘. . . in a time when the French, taken by Impressionism, which was then in all its freshness, did rather see nothing else in this artist [Poussin] than a boring painter . . .’). Réunion des Musées Nationaux, Nicolas Poussin 1594–1665 (Paris: Réunion des Musées Nationaux, 1994), p. 14: ‘L’artiste passait pour ennuyeux,

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académique [. . .] poussiéreux et pédant . . .’ (my translation from the French: ‘The artist [Poussin] was passed off as boring, academic [. . .], square et pedantic . . .’). One can here encounter the often-voiced but entirely unfunded prejudice against Impressionism that it would have been due to this artistic movement that Baroque art in general and Poussin in particular would have been forgotten. See for example also the short contribution by Anthony Blunt to the Rouen-catalogue: Musée des Beaux-Arts de Rouen: Nicolas Poussin et son temps. Le Classicisme français et italien contemporain de Poussin (Paris: Editions des Musées Nationaux, 1961), p. VII: ‘Sous David, Poussin connut un renouveau de gloire [. . .] Puis vint l’indifférence de l’époque du Réalisme et de l’Impressionnisme . . .’ (my translation from the French): ‘Under David, Poussin knew a renewal of his fame [. . .]. But then came the indifference of the era of Realism and of Impressionism . . .’). In fact, Baroque art was rediscovered in the same period when Impressionism began to rise, and an early praise of the new movement such as Théodore Duret’s Les peintres impressionistes actually finishes with a postscript in which the painterly qualities of Baroque masters such as Velázquez, Rubens and Poussin are even directly equaled to those of the Impressionists – see Théodore Duret, Les peintres impressionists. Claude Monet-Sisley-C. Pissarro-Renoir-Berthe Morisot (Paris: Librairie Parisienne: H. Heyman & J. Perois, 1878), p. 33. For Vermeer, see Etienne Joseph Théophile Thoré (alias Thoré-Bürger), ‘Van der Meer de Delft’, in Gazette des Beaux-Arts, 1 October 1866, pp. 297–330, 1 November 1886, pp. 458–470 and 1 December 1886, pp. 542–575, a series of articles, heralding the rediscovery of the painter. For Caravaggio, see, even before Roberto Longhi’s tesi di laurea on Caravaggio at the university of Turin in 1911, the article by Wolfgang Kalab, ‘Caravaggio’, in Jahrbuch der Kunsthistorischen Sammlungen des Allerhöchsten Kaiserhauses, 26 (1906/1907), pp. 272–292. Maria Graham (later: Lady Maria Callcott), Memoirs of the Life of Nicholas Poussin (London: Longman, Hurst, Rees, Orme, and Brown, 1820) and: Mémoires sur la vie de Nicolas Poussin (Paris: Pierre Dufart, 1821). See John Smith, A Catalogue Raisonné of the Works of the Most Eminent Dutch, Flemish, and French Painters, vol. 8 (London: Longman, Hurst, Rees, Orme, and Brown, 1837). The volume comes with a fifty-four-page-long biography of Poussin and records 342 paintings attributed to him. On Smith, see Charles Sebag-Montefiore and Julia I. Armstrong-Totten, A Dynasty of Dealers: John Smith and Successors, 1801–1924. A Study of the Art Market in Nineteenth-Century London (London: The Roxburghe Club, 2013). See Denio’s Latin dissertation certificate from the 1 October 1898: Heidelberg, Universitätsarchiv, Promotionskartei der Philosophischen Fakultät: UAH-H-IV-102/130 and Denio’s books: Nicolas Poussin (Leipzig: Karl W. Hiersemann, 1898) and Nicolas Poussin: His Life and Work (London: Sampson Low, Martson & Company, 1899). On Denio and the reasons for her study and particularly her graduation in Heidelberg, see Sandra L. Singer, Adventures Abroad: North American Women at German-Speaking Universities, 1868– 1915 (Westport, CT: Praeger Publishers, 2003), pp. 163–165. See Émile Magne, Nicolas Poussin. Premier peintre du roi. 1594–1665. Documents inédits (Brussels: G. van Oest & Cie, 1914), republished in 1928 (Paris: Éditions Émile-Paul Frères) again in a much more reduced and modest version as well as in a smaller format. On him and his relationship to Mann, see the introduction by Peter de Mendelssohn, ed., Thomas Mann. Briefe an Otto Grautoff 1894–1901 und Ida Boy-Ed 1903–1928 (Frankfurt am Main: Fischer, 1975), here especially pp. VIII–XIV. As de Mendelssohn emphasises, Grautoff, among other, translated French writer Romain Rolland’s novel in ten volumes Jean Christophe, published between 1904 and 1912, together with his wife Erna between 1914 and 1920 into German. Moreover, Grautoff founded in 1925 a ‘German-French Society’ in Berlin. Published also as: Otto Grautoff, Nicolas Poussins Jugendjahre (Munich: Georg Müller, 1914). This in Poussin scholarship rarely quoted dissertation is however for example referenced in Catharine M. Cox, The Early Mental Traits of Three Hundred Geniuses (Palo Alto, CA: Stanford University Press, 1926), p. 234. For Grautoff’s doctorate, see the list, published by the Basel University under [Accessed 22 January 2017].

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11 Otto Grautoff, Nicolas Poussin: Sein Werk und sein Leben, 2 vols. (Munich and Leipzig: Georg Müller, 1914). Other than Smith with his 342 entries, Grautoff only counts 160 works by Poussin. 12 See the letter by Romain Rolland to Louis Gillet from 19 September 1912, published in Mme Louis Gillet and Mme Romain Rolland, eds., Correspondance entre Louis Gillet et Romain Rolland. Choix de lettres (Paris: Éditions Albin Michel, 1949), pp. 253–254. 13 See Walter Friedlaender, Nicolas Poussin. Die Entwicklung seiner Kunst (Munich: R. Piper & Co. 1914), p. 106 and Grautoff, Nicolas Poussin, p. 11. 14 Ambroise Vollard, Paul Cézanne (Paris: Galerie A. Vollard, 1914), p. 78. 15 See Henry Keazor, Nicolas Poussin (Cologne: Taschen, 2007), pp. 7–8. 16 My translation from the French. See Anon., ‘Une exposition de Nicolas Poussin’, Arts et Créations, 26 July 1947: ‘Mais [. . .] ces bons académistes n‘y voyaient pas plus loin que le bout de leur nez, s’ils admiraient la limpidité de sa vision picturale, ils n’avaient pas compris la subtilité de son analyse des volumes. Il a fallu Cézanne l’impressionniste cherchant à apporter dans son art l’ordre et la fermeté qui manquaient [. . .] pour s’inspirer de Poussin qu’il admirait lui aussi et tous les disciples de cette école ont également puisé des inspirations dans le grand maître [. . .]. Par un paradoxe extraordinaire, ce grand classique a une influence prépondérante sur les ultramodernes. . . .’ 17 My translation from the French: Paris, Archives Nationales (AN), Cote 20150042/4, X19, Musées Nationaux No. 3914: ‘Excusez-moi de vous importuner encore par une lettre . . ..’ 18 Jamot had published a series of articles on Poussin between 1911 and 1925 that were collected after his death in 1939 in a volume, edited by his niece – see Thérèse Bertin-Mourot, ed., Paul Jamot: Connaissance de Poussin (Paris: Librairie Floury, 1948). For Jamot’s life, see Mario Roques, ‘Éloge funèbre de M. Paul Jamot, membre libre de l’Académie’, Comptes rendus des séances de l’Académie des Inscriptions et Belles-Lettres, 83ᵉ année, no. 6 (1939), 625–636. For the exhibition ‘Les peintres de la réalité en France au XVIIe siècle’ which rediscovered artists such as for example Georges de la Tour, the Frères Le Nain or Valentin de Boulogne and Simon Vouet, felt to have been eclipsed by Poussin and Claude Lorrain, see the exhibition catalogue by Pierre Georgel Orangerie, 1934: Les “peintres de la réalité” (Paris: Réunion des Musées Nationaux, 2006). Julien Cain, then Administrateur Général de la Bibliothèque National, writes in a preface to the third number of the Bulletin de la Société Poussin in May 1950, p. 2 that the exhibition at the Orangerie did also ‘project vivid lights’ on Poussin who had been ‘for too long misunderstood, disfigured, reduced to a summary academism’ (my translations from the French): ‘Cet art a été trop longtemps méconnu, défiguré, réduit à un académisme sommaire. Des expositions comme celle des Peintres de la Réalité ont projeté sur lui de vives lueurs.’ 19 My translation from the French. Letter from 1 June 1934: AN Cote 20150042/4, X19, Musées Nationaux No. 5573: ‘. . . qui se sont toujours jalousement refusés à lui laisser quitter l’ancien couvent des Unterlinden . . .’. 20 As a letter by German Bazin, then ‘Conservateur en chef du Département des Peintures et Dessins’, to Anthony Blunt from 13 November 1958 shows, the organisers of the Poussin exhibition in 1960 saw it as a challenge to get the painting from Dresden, since there were no official diplomatic relationships between Eastern Germany and France; Blunt therefore, in a letter from 3 November 1958, had suggested ‘using a third nation as intermediaries, as is frequently done in in diplomatic and economic matters’ – see the correspondence filed under AN Cote 20150160/24: ‘Poussin Paris Colloque 1958/Projet d’expo’. It was maybe due to these uncertainties that the attempt to get the Flora was started surprisingly late: only on 21 January 1960, that is: less than five months before the opening, the director of the ‘Musées de France’ Edmond Sidet in a letter to Max Seydewitz, then director general of the Staatliche Gemäldesammlungen Dresden applied the loan of the painting for the first time (to give a comparison: Poussin’s self-portrait from the East-Berlin had been requested already on 14 November 1958). Moreover, Sidet’s letter shows an interesting strategy inasmuch as he first asks for three Poussin paintings, the Flora among them, then offers in exchange the loan of around twenty paintings of French artists from the nineteenth century from the Louvre as a ready-made exhibition with the possible title ‘Le Romantisme and le Réalisme en France de Géricault à Courbet’ and ultimately deduces from the thus established imbalance of three paintings from Dresden versus twenty paintings from Paris

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the request for another three Poussin paintings from Dresden. It seems, however, as if this exchange (which had been first discussed in a correspondence that began on 14 August 1959 with a letter from Sidet to the minister of cultural affairs, André Malraux) was only suggested in order to enhance the pressure on Dresden which, as hoped for, in the end conceded: in a letter from 31 March 1960, Seydewitz agrees to the loan, but just to that of the Flora. See for this the correspondence filed under AN Cote 20150160/25: ‘Allemagne: République Populaire’. Letter from 27 November 1947: AN Cote 20150042/4, X19, Direction des Musées Nationaux 20.705 (my translations from the French): ‘. . . notre province et l’Angleterre, sans compter la Suisse, ont des richesses insoupçonnées – et l’Allemagne occupée de l’Ouest. . . .’ Letter by Huyghe to Salles from 5 December 1946: AN Cote 20150042/4, X19 (my translations from the French): ‘. . . que cette manifestation serait d’un immense intérêt, mais [. . .] je crois qu’il serait prématuré de l’envisager [. . . ]. En résumé, ce projet me paraît excellent à condition de le réaliser au moment opportun.’ See the quote, taken from an article by Grautoff from 1932, in the foreword by BertinMourot on the frontispiece of the first edition of the Bulletin which appeared in June 1947 (my translation from the French): ‘. . . signaler au centre parisien tous les tableaux ou dessins de Poussin – vrais ou faux – qui apparaitraient dans les pays où ils résideraient.’ See Cain, 1950, p. 2 (my translation from the French): ‘. . . une préface modeste, à l’exposition de l’ensemble de l’œuvre de Nicolas Poussin qu’ un avenir prochain [ . . .] nous apportera.’ See the catalogue Bibliothèque Nationale: Nicolas Poussin. Peintures, Dessins et Gravures (Paris: Bibliothèque Nationale, 1949). For the context of such exhibitions, see Amandine Pluchet, ‘Les expositions organisées à la Bibliothèque nationale sous l’administration de Julien Cain, 1930–1964’, Revue de la BNF, 1, no. 49 (2015), 50–59, also online under

[Accessed 22 January 2017]. The Minneapolis Institute of Arts bought with the Death of Germanicus one of Poussin’s earliest documented works – see the exhibition catalogue Nicolas Poussin. 1594–1665. A Loan Exhibition Organized by the Minneapolis Institute of Arts in Collaboration With the Toledo Museum of Art (Minneapolis: The Minneapolis Society of Fine Arts, 1959), p. 24. Although Walter Friedlaender in his contribution to the catalogue of the American exhibition congratulated the Toledo Museum of Art upon its acquisition of the painting Mars and Venus (see ibid., p. 12), the work is today not considered as a work by Poussin any more. See for this for example Jacques Thuillier, Nicolas Poussin (Paris: Flammarion, 1994), p. 274, No. R100. In the catalogue’s foreword – Nicolas Poussin. 1594–1665, 1959, (s.p.: p. 3) – written by representatives of the Minneapolis Institute of Arts (Richard S. Davis, Director, and Sam Davis, Curator) and the Toledo Museum of Art (Blake-More Godwin, Director, and Otto Wittmann, Jr., Associate Director), the authors lament the fact that although ‘there are now some thirty-five paintings of varying degrees of significance by the artist in America and Canada’ and it was hoped ‘to include from twenty to twenty-five of the outstanding examples’, nevertheless due to ‘reasons of fragile condition’ or proscriptions from travelling ‘under the terms of their gift’, only seventeen Poussin paintings could be assembled for the occasion. Among the works today doubted as originals by Poussin are the paintings Moses Sweetening the Waters of Marah (Baltimore Museum of Art – see Nicolas Poussin, 1594–1665, 1959, p. 24) and the Selene and Endymion (Detroit Institute of Arts – see Nicolas Poussin, 1594–1665, 1959, p. 26) – see for example Doris Wild, Nicolas Poussin: Leben – Werk – Exkurse, 2 vols. (Zurich: Orell Füssli, 1980), vol. 2, p. 203, No. M 1 and p. 295, No. R 57. In the foreword to the catalogue from the 1960 exhibition, Germain Bazin, then ‘Conservateur en Chef des Peintures au Musée du Louvre’, writes in fact concerning Hubert Guillet that ‘since 1955, M. Guillet, Conservateur du Musée de Rouen [ . . .] had envisioned the idea of rendering homage to Poussin in the natal province of the Master . . .’ (my translation from the French). See: Exposition Nicolas Poussin, 1960, p. 14: ‘Dès 1955, M. Guillet, Conservateur du Musée de Rouen . . . ‘avait envisagé de rendre un hommage à Poussin dans la province natale du maître . . .’).

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30 See also the undated letter, drafted up by German Bazin and Charles Sterling, in 1958/59 (?) as a model to be used for loan requests and committee invitations, in which it is clearly stated that ‘the Direction des Musées Nationaux français and the Musée des Beaux-Arts de Rouen which represents the native region of the great Norman [Poussin – H.K.] have decided to organise a reunion of his works’ (my translation from the French): ‘. . . la Direction des Musées Nationaux français et le Musée des Beaux Arts de Rouen, qui représente la région natale du grand Normand, ont décidé d’organiser une réunion capitale de ses oeuvres [sic]’: AN Cote 20150160/24: ‘Poussin Colloque Paris 1958/Projet d’expo’. The letter seems to be from around 1958/59, since it shows similarities to both a letter written to the Musée Royal des Beaux-Arts in Bruxelles on 12 January 1959 as well as one written by the then-directeur des Musées de France Edmond Sidet, on 8 September 1959 to Walter Friedlaender with the invitation to become ‘Membre d’Honneur’ of the exhibition committee: see AN Cote 20150160/24: ‘Comité d’organisation’. 31 My translations from the French. Letter by Bazin to Salles from 10 November 1955: AN Cote 20150160/24: ‘Organisation 1) Financière 2) Diverses’, ‘Diverses’, Direction des Musées de France No. 15578: ‘. . . une manifestation digne de lui demande de très longs délais de préparation. [. . .] Antony [sic] Blunt [. . .] ne veut le faire véritablement que si on lui donne les délais suffisantes pour une préparation sérieuse. . . .’ 32 This was possibly because also the above mentioned, inspiring exhibition ‘Les peintres de la réalité en France au XVIIe siècle’ (see note 18 above) had been presented there in 1934. However, in 1959 and 1963 a collection by Jean Walter and Paul Guillaume consisting of 146 paintings, from Impressionism to Modern Art, along with pieces of African art, came into possession of the Musée de l’Orangerie, and in order to exhibit the artworks between 1960 and 1965, an extensive conversion of the building was necessary, which of course made it impossible to further host the Poussin exhibition. See Michel Hoog, Catalogue de la collection Jean Walter et Paul Guillaume (Paris: Ministère de la Culture, de la Communication, des Grands Travaux et du Bicentenaire, 1984). 33 Letter from Sterling to Salles from 9 November 1956 (my translation from the French): ‘. . . deux vastes salles du Musée du Louvre.[ . . .] Mais étant donné la situation actuelle [. . .] dans la situation actuelle.’: AN Cote 20150160/24: ‘Organisation 1) Financière 2) Diverses’, ‘Diverses’, Réunion des Musées Nationaux No. 2789. In a letter from the 13 November 1958 to Anthony Blunt, Germain Bazin writes of the ‘Salle David’ as the planned venue for the Poussin exhibition, hereby replying to Blunt’s concerns, as voiced in a letter to Bazin from the 3 November 1958 in which he expresses his doubts that the rooms in the Orangerie would ‘provide room for all we ought to get’, and he emphasises his plea for the Louvre as the venue by concluding with the rhetorical question: ‘If this is really to be a proper tribute to one of France’s greatest painters, should it not have as fine a setting as the Delacroix exhibition of 1930?’ See the correspondence, filed under: AN Cote 20150160/24: ‘Poussin Colloque Paris 1958/Projet d’expo’. 34 See the original program filed under: AN Cote 20150160/24: ‘Poussin Colloque Paris 1958/ Projet d’expo’: ’1958: Colloque Poussin Paris’. 35 Blunt was from 1945 up to 1972 ‘Surveyor of the King’s Pictures’ resp. (after 1952) ‘Surveyor of the Queen’s Pictures’, a highly esteemed position for which he was knighted as a ‘KCVO’ (that is: as ‘Knight Commander of the Royal Victorian Order’) in 1956; 1947 he became professor of the history of art at the University of London and director of the Courtauld Institute of Art at the University of London. In 1964 Blunt had to confess to the British government that he had been working as a Russian spy from 1934 on, but it was agreed that the public should be not be informed. Only in 1979, he was publicly exposed and was, among other, stripped of his knighthood. See for this Miranda Carter, Anthony Blunt: His Lives (London: Macmillan, 2001). 36 See Anthony Blunt, The Paintings of Nicolas Poussin: A Critical Catalogue (London: Phaidon Press LTD, 1966) and Anthony Blunt, Nicolas Poussin (The A.W. Mellon Lectures in the Fine Arts, 1958), Bollingen Series XXXV, 7 (New York: Pantheon Books, 1967). 37 See for this also Carter, Anthony Blunt, p. 433. 38 See for this Carter, Anthony Blunt, p. 433 and Blunt 1967, p. ix, according to whom other reasons were technical challenges; moreover, he had to take care of the production of the ‘critical catalogue’ that appeared in 1966.

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39 Nicolas Poussin, 1594–1665, 1959, p. 5. 40 My translation from the French. Exposition Nicolas Poussin, 1960, p. 13: ‘. . . un peintre doué par ailleurs des plus beaux dons utiles à son art, [. . .] en même temps un sage capable de hautes et viriles pensées, le jour où il aura trouvé une forme plastique parfait pour une de ces vérités générales [. . .] il aura fait une œuvre qui méritera une place d’honneur dans une élite peu nombreuse, à laquelle sont dus le respect et l’admiration des bons juges.’ 41 Nicolas Poussin, 1594–1665, 1959, pp. 8 and 9. 42 My translation from the German. Friedlaender, Nicolas Poussin, 1914, S. 4: ‘. . . jener bewußteste Theoretiker unter ihnen . . .’. 43 Friedlaender, Nicolas Poussin, 1914, S. 43. 44 See already the chapter titles, referring to philosophical and theoretical issues in Blunt 1967, p. xiii such as ‘Poussin and Stoicism’, ‘Poussin’s Ideas on Painting’, ‘The Last Synthesis [. . .]’. 45 See note 30. 46 Denis Mahon, ‘Poussiniana. Afterthoughts Arising From the Exhibition’, in Gazette des Beaux-Arts II, July/August (1962), pp. 1–138 and ibid., ‘A Plea for Poussin as a Painter’, in Walter Friedlaender zum neunzigsten Geburtstag. Eine Festgabe seiner europäischen Schüler, Freunde und Verehrer, ed. by Georg Kauffmann and Willibald Sauerländer (Berlin: De Gruyter, 1965), pp. 113–142. 47 See for example the letter written by Sidet from 8 September 1959 to Walter Friedlaender (see note 30) or the general letter draft, used for loan requests (my translation from the French): ‘. . . aux approches du troisième centenaire de la mort de Poussin. . . .’ See here also the following two notes. 48 See note 30. 49 My translation from the French: ‘Depuis une dizaine d’années les expositions consacrées aux artistes du passé ne se comptent plus. Leur intérêt ne les justifie pas toujours. Aussi les grands musées se doivent-ils de n’entreprendre que celles dont l’apport pour le goût de notre temps et le besoin d’une mise au point historique seraient évidents. Il est surprenant de constater que l’oeuvre [sic] d’un des plus grands maîtres de la peinture ancienne, Nicolas Poussin, n’a jamais été l’objet d’une exposition d’ensemble. Nulle réunion des chefs-d’oeuvres [sic] dispersés dans le monde entier n’est plus justifiés que celle du peintre dont l’art est à la base de toutes les formes du classicisme moderne depuis David jusqu’à Cézanne et les Cubistes et dont la dernière monographie complète, qui date de 1914, reste insuffisante malgré les apports essentiels qu’ajoutèrent à cette étude les monographies plus restreintes du professeur Walter Friedlaender et du regretté Paul Jamot.’ 50 As it is difficult to find exact information (the catalogue does not mention any opening or ending date), one sometimes finds wrong dates indicated, such as for example 29 April to July 1960 (so the catalogue entry in the files of the Archives Nationales concerning the exhibition in 1960: ‘Poussin; musée du Louvre, salles Denon, Mollien, Daru; 29 avril-juillet 1960’) or the 11 May 1960 as the opening date – see for the Archives Nationales: Hélène Brossier, Archives des musées nationaux Expositions, Salons, Expositions universelles (séries X-Expositions, X-Salons et XU), Première édition électronique (Archives nationales: Pierrefitte-sur-Seine 2015), p. 35, online under [Accessed 22 January 2017] and (for the 11 May 1960) Pierre Rosenberg, ‘L’ année Poussin’, in Nicolas Poussin, 1594–1665 (1994), pp. 12–27 (p. 12), who apparently refers to the first date on which the exhibition was open to the wider public. The fact that these dates are so hard to establish is an echo of the fact that the Louvre up to the very last moment apparently was unsure when to open the exhibition exactly. One thus finds varying dates among the documents, ranging in fact from the end of April to the beginning of May 1960. However, a letter by the ‘Directeur des Musées de France’ to the ‘Directeur Général des Arts et des letters’ from the 2 May 1960 allows television teams to film the official opening of the Poussin Exhibition on 9 May 1960, 11 o’clock a.m. – see AN Cote 20150160/24: ‘Communiqués à la presse (et télévision)’, Réunion des Musées Nationaux 1676. For the closing date, see the main text. 51 See Jacques Thuillier, ‘Pour un “Corpus Pussinianum”’, in Nicolas Poussin. Colloque international Paris 19–21 Septembre 1958, ed. by André Chastel, 2 vols. (Paris: Éditions du

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Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique, 1960), II, pp. 49–238, reprinted in Thuillier, 1994, pp. 143–217. A calculation from 30 September 1960 counts 90.000 visitors for the entire time, that is: from 11 May 1960 to 29 August 1960 – see AN Cote 20150160/24: ‘Organisation 1) Financière 2) Diverses’, under ‘Financière’ and ‘Entrées’. Rosenberg 1994, p. 12 compares these numbers to those of later exhibitions on artists such as Chardin (1979), Watteau (1983/84), Fragonard (1987/88) or Gauguin (1989) and thus judges the amount of visitors of the Poussin exhibition as ‘bien modeste’, but in 1960 such a number seems to have been impressive, given that the organisers used it as an argument to extend the exhibition time in Paris – see the following note. See letter draft for a requested extended loan, labelled as ‘Modèle I’ and filed under AN Cote 20150160/24: ‘Prolongation Poussin’. See the letter draft referred to in the earlier note. Instead of being the second ‘halt’ of the Paris exhibition, Rouen one year later with ‘Poussin et son temps’ got its own Poussin exhibition, which, however, as the title already indicates did not focus on Poussin exclusively and featured, among the works of other Seicento artists from France and Italy, nineteen works by Poussin, two questioned attributions, two paintings tentatively attributed to him, fifteen paintings from his circle and five paintings ‘after Poussin’. See the catalogue Nicolas Poussin et son temps, 1961. Carter, Anthony Blunt, p. 432. So Pierre Rosenberg in an interview done with him in Paris on 24 March 2016. According to a document from 11 October 1960, filed under AN Cote 20150160/24: ‘Organisation 1) Financière 2) Diverses’, ‘Diverses’, the first print run of the catalogue was 3,500 copies; 515 were given away for free, the rest was sold. The second print run was 4,880 copies; 321 were given away for free, whereas 2,905 were sold, so that 1,654 were left over. See for example three drawings from the Musée Bonnat in Bayonne, which are still listed in the first edition of the catalogue (Exposition Nicolas Poussin, 1960, p. 151, Nos. 139 and 140, p. 161, No. 170) but which, given that the Musée Bayonne by principle never lends out its works, had to be cancelled from the second edition (see Exposition Nicolas Poussin, 1960 where on p. 151 and p. 160 the entry numbers jump from No. 138 to No. 141 respectively from No. 169 to No. 171). Although the organisers must have known about the policy of the Musée Bayonne, they were apparently optimistic to nevertheless get the drawings and therefore included them into the catalogue. As the example of the Flora from Dresden shows (see note 20), some loans were apparently organised on a short-term basis. See the headlines and titles on magazines such as the one devoted to the Poussin exhibition (‘Nicolas Poussin. The Riches of a Great Master’) versus those dedicated to Caillebotte (‘The Mystery Caillebotte’, ‘The Caillebotte Revelation’, ‘Caillebotte. The Modernity of a Misjudged Painter’). See (for Poussin): Le petit journal des grandes expositions: Nicolas Poussin – la richesse d’un grand maître, No. 263, October 1994–January 1995 and (for Caillebotte): Le petit journal des grandes expositions: Gustave Caillebotte – la modernité d’ un peintre méconnu, No. 260, September 1994–January 1995; Daniel Charles, Le mystère Caillebotte (Paris: Glénat, 1994) and Beaux-Arts: La révélation Caillebotte, No. 126, September (1994). For the use expressions such as for example ‘révélation’ in the context of the reception of the exhibition from 1960, see Rosenberg 1994, p. 14. The parallel presentation of the two exhibitions and especially their reception in the press in some way apparently confirmed the wrong misconception about the ‘rivalling’ relationship between the Impressionists and Baroque Art – see for this here note 3.

15 Rembrandt and the polemical monographic exhibition ‘Rembrandt. The Master and His Workshop’ in Berlin, Amsterdam, and London in 1991–92 Catherine Scallen ‘Rembrandt. The Master and His Workshop’, displayed at the Altes Museum in Berlin, the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam, and the National Gallery of London in 1991 and 1992, was the most consequential and controversial Rembrandt exhibition of the twentieth century.1 Organised in three parts according to media (drawings, paintings, and prints), the paintings section had an unusually close connection to an ongoing catalogue raisonné of Rembrandt’s paintings by the Rembrandt Research Project (RRP). The choice of pictures on display, when accompanied by the paintings volume of the exhibition catalogue, was seen as an outlet for the theories espoused by the RRP, delivered in a fashion meant to be accessible by the general public.2 While only one of the three paintings’ curators was actually a member of the RRP, and not all of the ideas of the RRP were accepted by all three organisers, the exhibition nonetheless served as a visual demonstration of the RRP’s rigid separation of Rembrandt as a painter from his workshop assistants, while the catalogue entries and essays provided forums for arguing positions on Rembrandt as a teacher and workshop master. Two members of the RRP also contributed essays to the catalogue that further helped to disseminate the project’s ideas.3 Twenty-five years after ‘Rembrandt. The Master and His Workshop’ was mounted is a timely moment to see how the scholarship of Rembrandt paintings has developed since then, at least in part in response to this exhibition. After a survey of the reception of the first three volumes of the Rembrandt corpus that appeared before the exhibition went on view, contemporary exhibition reviews and later publications and exhibitions about Rembrandt written since 1992 will be discussed to trace the exhibition’s reception and influence on scholarship. I will also consider how this reception may have affected the RRP itself as seen in the final three volumes of the Corpus, which were radically different from the first three volumes. The original formation of the RRP was launched in 1968 when six eminent Dutch art historians – Josua Bruyn, Jan Emmens, Bob Haak, Simon Levie, Jan van Gelder, Pieter van Thiel – began the quest to determine which paintings attributed to Rembrandt were authentic, according to stringent qualifications. They shared a belief that working as a group would prove more reliable than the connoisseurship of individual scholars that had dominated Rembrandt studies. Jan Emmens died in 1971, soon after the group’s establishment, and the ill health of Jan van Gelder, the oldest member of the group, reduced his role in the group to that of advisor well before his death in 1980. Because of these changes in composition, Ernst van de Wetering, who was

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trained as both an art historian and a painter and was a generation younger than most of the members, was promoted from being a student assistant to a full member of the team in 1970. The original goal was to inspect as many of the paintings attributed to Rembrandt in the 1935 catalogue raisonné by Abraham Bredius as was possible. The RRP members thus travelled in pairs that changed regularly. Bredius’s catalogue was itself already under revision by Horst Gerson and republished in 1969, and soon the RRP’s goal was changed to focus on those paintings Gerson had deemed authentic.4 Periodically the entire group would meet and the teams would present their findings, based on close visual scrutiny of the paintings, sometimes augmented by study of X-radiographs and occasionally by other kinds of technical examination. Votes would be taken and the paintings organised in three categories A: fully authentic, B: indeterminate status, and C: inauthentic, including pictures they viewed as wholly workshop production, pictures by followers, and so on. Then Bruyn and Van de Wetering wrote the catalogue entries and various members contributed thematic essays.5 The first volume, written with apparent assurance and optimism about their results to date, appeared in 1982; two more came out in 1985 and 1989, tracing Rembrandt’s career chronologically up to and including the Night Watch of 1642.6 The enterprise was a comprehensive and evolving project, as some ideas held at the beginning about the nature of the many ‘non-Rembrandts’ they examined changed over time. For instance, the assumption made at the outset that many of these paintings were later imitations from the eighteenth or nineteenth century proved untrue, as detailed examination, especially through the use of dendrochronology (the dating of wooden panels through study of the tree rings) and, occasionally, pigment analysis suggested that they were instead largely products of the seventeenth century and likely came from Rembrandt’s own workshop.7 At the time of the exhibition the RRP had published only on the first seventeen years of Rembrandt’s career. Yet its findings had already proven controversial, particularly those from volumes two and three, with many paintings long accepted as Rembrandts (including some in major public collections) now declared to be inauthentic. One of the earliest equivocal responses to the methods and conclusions of the RRP was a 1983 editorial in the Burlington Magazine. One sometimes feels that the authors are inexorably led by their own logic to decisions which do not necessarily accord with the way an artist in fact behaves. As they themselves admit in a discussion of a group of several studies of heads, ‘Rembrandt must initially have reacted in a number of different ways to the difficulties this subject-matter brought with it, especially in a large format’. That an artist, especially in his early years, may not have followed a completely logical path is in Rembrandt’s case not entirely a matter for speculation, since we possess a number of signed and dated etchings, which display considerable diversity in style and purpose, and suggest that a similar variation may have been present in his painting.8 In establishing a logical evolution the authors in several cases became sufficiently convinced of the correctness of their very precise chronology to override evidence of a historical or factual nature. Egbert Haverkamp-Begemann discussed the work of the RRP in an influential state-of-the-field survey of scholarship on Northern Baroque art

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from 1987. While he was sympathetic to their goals and admired much of the work from the first two volumes, he had a signal reservation. The method of the team is correct. Their grouping of works by characteristics, their ‘taxonomy’, cannot be faulted. The question remains, however, whether in all cases such groups are works of assistants and imitators or rather variations by Rembrandt himself. One cannot avoid the impression that at times the standards applied by the authors in the case of an attribution to Rembrandt are more rigorous than in the case of a pupil or an assistant, and that in the case of Rembrandt the urge to purify prevails, in that of a pupil or imitator the wish to reconstruct. Furthermore, the complexities and subtleties of reasoning put into question the finiteness of the verdict as a whole. In the second volume, concerned with three years of Rembrandt’s activity as a painter, the authors accept eighty-two paintings, reject thirty-nine, but pronounce a ‘non liquet’ in only one instance.9 While still reluctant to weigh in on many specific cases, Haverkamp-Begemann did state his disagreement about the RRP’s de-attribution of specific works, including two he knew well in New York City, the Portrait of a Man and Portrait of a Woman (C 68 and C 69) in the Metropolitan Museum (the so-called “Van Beresteyn Portraits”) do have so much in common with portraits painted by Rembrandt (also according to the team), for instance the Portrait of a Young Woman Seated in the Academy in Vienna (A 55), that the verdict “not by Rembrandt” seems difficult to accept, if not unacceptable.10 The Van Beresteyn portraits were flash points for many scholars, including the English scholar Christopher White and, most emphatically, for the curator in charge of these paintings at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, Walter Liedtke.11 Liedtke’s witty and pointed debate of the reasons cited for the RRP’s de-attribution of this portrait pair as well as other portraits attributed to Rembrandt in his first years in Amsterdam (1631–1634) offered a detailed rebuttal of their methods and conclusions when published in Apollo in 1989. In this same year Mansfield Kirby Talley, Jr., published what remains one of the most trenchant and probing critiques of the RRP’s connoisseurship practices in The International Journal of Museum Management and Curatorship.12 It appears that the rest of the scholarly world was not convinced that connoisseurship by committee was any more successful than that of individual practitioners. Given the attention that the practices and results of the RRP had already attained, the exhibition of 1991–92 presumably offered to scholars and the public an unparalleled visual opportunity to test two major and contested premises of the RRP: that one could distinguish Rembrandt originals from workshop production and that such workshop pieces could be soundly attributed to specific assistants or pupils known to have worked with Rembrandt in the various phases of his career. One traditional category had almost entirely been eliminated from the Rembrandt authentic oeuvre by the RRP: works by Rembrandt and his workshop, that is, made collaboratively. Instead, for the RRP two separate artistic practices existed side by side, Rembrandt working on his fully autograph originals and the members of his shop carrying out

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paintings made in his style but without his active participation. The exhibition title and organization reflected that separation: ‘Rembrandt. The Master and His Workshop’. A third premise concerned the workshop section of the exhibition but was perhaps less evident to the general public: that it was possible to show how attributions were made through visual demonstrations of comparative examples. ‘Rembrandt. The Master and His Workshop’, held in three cities with their own superlative collections of Rembrandt’s paintings, attracted substantial audiences in all three venues, and considerable critical attention. How did it fare, however, in the demonstration of its theses and of Rembrandt’s painted oeuvre? Reviews of the exhibition acknowledged how very different an exhibition it was from previous monographic exhibitions in 1956 and 1969, Rembrandt commemorative years.13 That the issue of attribution and how connoisseurship was practiced was now in the forefront of Rembrandt painting scholarship in 1991–92 was seen as self-evident, as was the role of the RRP in the exhibition.14 As Simon Schama wrote in the Times Literary Supplement in 1992, ‘The Master and His Workshop is in fact less an invitation to celebrate Rembrandt, than to pay attention to the Rembrandt Research Project; indeed, to accept that its way of approaching the artist has attained the status of something like an authorised scientific methodology’.15 (Schama was one of many that disagreed with such a conclusion.) That many dazzling paintings were on display, indisputably the work of the master, was also clear. But could the results of the RRP really be evaluated based on the work of the exhibition? One might think so: the section on Rembrandt (the first thirty-five of fifty-one catalogue entries) was written by Pieter van Thiel, Rijksmuseum curator and member of the RRP, covering the years up to 1642. The catalogue stated explicitly that these entries were based on those in the Corpus volumes.16 For Rembrandt’s earliest years in Leiden, exhibition numbers one through eight, the approach worked very well. But especially in the second section, paintings from the 1630s (numbers nine to thirty-one), the presentation of Rembrandt’s career was not fully representative of what Rembrandt actually painted in those years. This was aggravated by the unfortunate fact that the two dazzling full-length portraits, then in the Rothschild collection, were withdrawn from the exhibition later on, leaving only five portraits of twenty-one paintings on view from this period of Rembrandt’s career. Yet from the end of 1631 to 1634, Rembrandt painted approximately fifty commissioned portraits, while only three of the five portraits exhibited could be considered commissioned ones. Issues with obtaining loans and other practical matters affected the final selection of paintings, but the selection also reflected a decision to avoid the more problematic commissioned portraits, including the few that the RRP could accept as having been in part collaborative efforts by Rembrandt and his workshop – such as the ‘Van Beresteyn’ portraits in New York. It was a purified view of Rembrandt – but also a misleading one. In the next section, the 1640s, portraiture was overemphasised, with four of seven paintings on view, while for the 1650s and 1660s, five of thirteen pictures, it was again underrepresented in favour of history paintings and genre subjects. The one exception was self-portraits, with two from the 1660s included. The fact that two of Rembrandt’s three group portraits were included also misrepresented his oeuvre as a whole. In summary, in the section of the exhibition devoted to authentic, that is, wholly autograph paintings, a skewed view of Rembrandt as primarily a history painter, perhaps one even working independently instead of on commission, was offered. Was this just about a choice of works that were indisputably authentic,

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and indeed typically of high quality, or about the curators’ greater interest in the artist’s history paintings? The workshop section of the exhibition received the most critical attention at the time. The objections to this part of the show pertained to premises of the exhibition mentioned earlier and the choice of paintings used to demonstrate them. Did the workshop section really let the public know how sound attribution decisions were made, when attributions were shown that were so tenuous? Christopher White concluded, ‘as an idea it must have looked better on paper than it does on the wall’.17 Paintings that had been attributed to Rembrandt in the past were given new attributions and shown alongside other works either signed or documented by the artists in question. In at least one problematic case, the Art Institute of Chicago’s Woman at Open Half Door was attributed to Samuel van Hoogstraten based on only one signed painting, a self-portrait in Liechtenstein, while also comparing the Chicago picture to another attributed painting, formerly given to Nicolaes Maes, a depiction of a young man at a half door in the Hermitage in St. Petersburg.18 This contradicted long-standing practice in connoisseurship: only using signed or documented paintings as comparative material when making an attribution. As Simon Schama commented, ‘this is a classic case of an argument that might seem compelling based on photographs and the art historical memory, but which collapses at the first glance at the painting’.19 Walter Liedtke, in his review of the exhibition published in Apollo, noted pithily that ‘one of the three responsible curators spoke of de-mystifying the process by which de-attributions are made, while another described this section as a bad idea. The third was in charge. As with the RRP the committee process formed firm conclusions from conflicting evidence’.20 What about the RRP’s ideas about how the workshop functioned? Despite the inclusion in the exhibition catalogue of an essay by Josua Bruyn detailing the RRP’s understanding of how Rembrandt’s workshop functioned, the public did not gain insight from the works on display into the procedures of the workshop, which, the RRP maintained, would have been consonant with contemporary practice in emphasizing the suppression of artistic individuality for everyone except for Rembrandt.21 Further, it also seemed like a missed opportunity, for as Walter Liedtke stated, ‘the focus on questions of deattribution distracts one from an appreciation of Rembrandt and his pupils and from all that has been learned about them since the exhibitions of 1969’.22 The public, and scholars, saw these pupils neither at their best nor at their most like Rembrandt. In the end, it is not at all clear that the workshop section of the exhibition and its methodology truly did represent the views or methodology of the RRP. It certainly did not represent the approach of Ernst van de Wetering, who has stated his disagreement with Bruyn’s impetus to re-attribute paintings from Rembrandt to other painters in the workshop. ‘I, on the other hand, felt that it was far too early to create pigeonholes to accommodate each non-Rembrandt produced in the workshop – should that ever become a possibility’.23 Nevertheless, the impact of this exhibition on Rembrandt and Rembrandt school scholarship – and even on museum scholarship more generally – was considerable. Innovations in the exhibition’s catalogue proved to be successful and were often imitated. The ideas presented in two essays by Ernst van de Wetering, on ‘Rembrandt’s Technique in the Service of Illusionism’ and ‘The Invisible Rembrandt, the Results of Technical and Scientific Research’, were supported with extensive reproductions

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of X-rays, micrographs of painting details, and photographs of paint cross-section samples.24 While these had been used to a limited degree in other publications and considerably in the National Gallery London’s exhibition catalogue Art in the Making. Rembrandt of 1988 (itself in part a response to some of the RRP’s decisions about the authenticity of paintings in that museum), the impact outside of Rembrandt scholarship was further kindled by the 1991–92 catalogue.25 Soon such materially based illustrations became standard in many monographic studies. Significantly, Van de Wetering’s essays in the catalogue were not just about style but presented highly detailed examination of Rembrandt’s techniques and materials to illuminate his use of style for expressive aims. Technical art history was still nascent when these essays were published, and the imprimatur of the use of such an approach in a prestigious and highly public venue as this exhibition catalogue provided an early boost to this growing trend. Van de Wetering’s own book Rembrandt the Painter at Work of 1997 was an authoritative example of the richness of this approach.26 That Van de Wetering’s essay on Rembrandt’s technique in the service of illusion opened the catalogue had perhaps an unforeseen consequence as well. He has said that finding out his essay would be first in the catalogue ‘changed my life’.27 The approbation of this essay by leading scholars (Schama called it the best contribution to the catalogue, and Liedtke praised it as well) came at a crucial moment in the project. During the work on the first three volumes, Van de Wetering had often been a minority voice in the RRP’s deliberations, dissenting from the decisions of the committee but usually kept from expressing these dissents in print.28 These disagreements on both methodology and the final evaluations of paintings had already come to a head before the exhibition, and a decision was made to reconstitute the RRP’s membership, announced in a letter to the Burlington Magazine in 1993.29 Josua Bruyn, Bob Haak, Simon Levie, and Pieter van Thiel retired, while Van de Wetering became the sole leader of the project. Although Van de Wetering assembled a core group of scholars who would work with him on each of the next three volumes, he also consulted with other scholars, conservators, and conservation scientists when preparing the catalogue entries. The Corpus under Van de Wetering departed from the chronological arrangement of volumes 1 through 3; volume 4 of the corpus was devoted to self-portraits and volume 5 to small history paintings from throughout Rembrandt’s career.30 The last volume, number 6, served as his summary statement on authenticity; it offered a catalogue of the paintings Van de Wetering now accepted as genuine, including those that had been examined yet had never received a full entry in the unfinished original project.31 In the summary volume Van de Wetering was also free to publish his dissents that had been silenced or minimised in the first three volumes; indeed, he went further, having changed his own mind about some attributions over the intervening decade, reversing the de-attributions of forty-four paintings from the first three volumes – including the Van Beresteyn portraits in New York. He was also able to detail his own understanding of the nature of Rembrandt’s workshop practices, especially in the 1630s, a view that was quite different from that on display in ‘Rembrandt. The Master and His Workshop’.32 Yet well before the RRP’s work was finished it had helped to stimulate scholarship on process and attribution. Other voices were heard on attribution issues, with some important exhibitions offering different opinions. The most significant of these was ‘Rembrandt/Not Rembrandt’ at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York in

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1995. As we have seen, Walter Liedtke, curator at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, was one of the earliest and most convincing opponents of a number of the RRP’s attributions and a formidable critic of the premises of ‘Rembrandt. The Master and His Workshop’. The 1995 exhibition and its catalogue’s most innovative aspect was to offer contrasting views on the authorship of a number of paintings in the New York museum that had been attributed at some point to Rembrandt. Liedtke and Hubert von Sonnenburg, then the chairman of the European Paintings Conservation Department at the museum, agreed to disagree in print in separate volumes of the catalogue. This was a ground-breaking response to the (seemingly) united front suggested by ‘Rembrandt. The Master and His Workshop’, and a more nuanced and defensible response to the thorny difficulties that Rembrandt’s workshop presented. It is notable, too, that an exhibition in Copenhagen in 2006 was entitled, ‘Rembrandt? The Master and His Workshop’ – denoting a greater openness to the issue of attributions with Rembrandt and his followers.34 It also reflected shifts in attributions themselves. Thus one painting in the exhibition from the Statens collection, de-attributed by the RRP, was reinstated as a Rembrandt by Van de Wetering and several conservators who examined the Rembrandt group paintings in the museum in the early twenty-first century.35 ‘Rembrandt. Quest of a Genius’, an exhibition conceived by Van de Wetering, was also mounted in the Rembrandt year 2006 at the Rembrandthuis in Amsterdam and at the Gemäldegalerie in Berlin.36 This exhibition offered the public a view of Rembrandt as an artist constantly changing, evolving, searching for pictorial solutions to the challenges of naturalism (particularly convincing spatial representation) and expression – the view eloquently espoused by Van de Wetering and the new RRP in volumes 4 through 6 of the Corpus. Other scholarly approaches to Rembrandt flourished now, after the dominance of publications about attribution. The return to thematic (as opposed to monographic and attributional) studies of Rembrandt had already been pioneered in Svetlana Alper’s major book Rembrandt’s Enterprise. The Studio and the Market from 1988, and two key books from 1990 Cynthia Schneider’s Rembrandt’s Landscapes and Perry Chapman’s Rembrandt’s Self Portraits. A Study in Seventeenth-Century Identity, books that also announced the arrival of American women scholars into the world of Rembrandt scholarship – never before a factor.37 In his exhibition review Schama had mentioned the apparent indifference of the RRP to historical and interpretive studies, largely evinced in the 1991–92 exhibition as well.38 Afterward the scholarly reaction to the RRP’s originally narrow approach to the artist gained strength. Important thematic studies appeared regularly after 1992, such as Eric Jan Sluijter’s Rembrandt and the Female Nude, Marieke de Winkel’s Fashion and Fancy. Dress and Meaning in Rembrandt’s Painting, Paul Crenshaw’s Rembrandt’s Bankruptcy, and Shelley Perlove and Larry’s Silver’s Rembrandt’s Faith, all providing significant insights on matters other than attribution.39 In addition to the exhibitions mentioned previously, numerous thematic Rembrandt exhibitions were mounted in Europe and the United States from the late 1990s onward: ‘Rembrandt by Himself’; ‘Rembrandt’s Women’; ‘Rembrandt Creates Rembrandt’; ‘Rembrandt’s Landscapes’; ‘Rembrandt in America’; ‘Rembrandt’s Mother’; up to the hugely popular 2015 exhibition in London and Amsterdam, ‘Rembrandt. The Late Works’.40 Would it be accurate to say that these exhibitions were explicitly a rejection of the approach of ‘Rembrandt. The Master and His Workshop’? Without having to make such a claim, it is reasonable to believe that for many curators,

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another monographic, chronological survey of Rembrandt’s entire career was simply not needed. Rather, thought needed to be devoted to other approaches and topics. Nonetheless, in these focused exhibitions some suggested correctives to Rembrandt’s oeuvre were offered, such as the change in attribution of an early Rembrandt selfportrait in The Hague, exhibited in 1991–92 as a Rembrandt and then in 1999–2000 in ‘Rembrandt By Himself’ as a workshop copy after the Nuremberg version. Such a focused approach allowed for more refined comparisons that were perhaps more fruitful then those seen in ‘Rembrandt. The Master and His Workshop’.41 In addition to thematic studies, scholarship on Rembrandt’s known workshop members also thrived. As a group these studies can be characterised as seeking a way to investigate questions raised but not answered by the exhibition and Rembrandt Corpus. While Werner Sumowski’s multi-volume publication on Rembrandt-school paintings had appeared in the mid-1980s, now entire exhibitions and monographs were devoted to individual pupils or assistants, notably Gerrit Dou, Willem Drost, Carel Fabritius, and Samuel van Hoogstraten.42 These provided significant insights and further changes to attributions, including those found in ‘Rembrandt. The Master and His Workshop’. For example, in his catalogue raisonné on Willem Drost, Jonathan Bikker rejected the attribution to Drost of the Vision of Daniel in Berlin made in ‘Rembrandt. The Master and His Workshop’.43 Eric Jan Sluijter’s illuminating Rembrandt’s Rivals, History Painting in Amsterdam 1630–1650 offered a far different approach to Rembrandt’s career and that of his assistants and pupils by emphasizing the need for contemporary artists, including Rembrandt, to consider the role of the art market in their approach to style and subject matter in ways that at times constrained their independence.44 We now better understand the crucial period for Rembrandt of 1631–34, his first years in Amsterdam, through the exhibition and catalogue Uylenburgh and Son, which presented an expanded framework for the production of the commissioned portraits in the early 1630s.45 It was precisely this issue that was effectively ignored in the 1991–92 exhibition. Finally, another important scholarly direction was at least in part stimulated by the extensive interest in Rembrandt connoisseurship – the study of how painting connoisseurship was practiced and how terms such as ‘authentic’ were understood in Rembrandt’s lifetime. Jaap Van der Veen’s essay in the fourth volume of the Rembrandt Corpus on how autograph paintings were valued in the seventeenth century and Anna Tummers’s book, The Eye of the Connoisseur. Authenticating Paintings by Rembrandt and His Contemporaries provided an alternative interpretation to use in place of our own time’s obsession with a single, ahistorical definition of authenticity as meaning,46 In this essay a number of assertions have been made about the significance of ‘Rembrandt. The Master and His Workshop’ for Rembrandt scholarship and extended areas of art history. The curators and scholars involved in exhibitions and publications referred to here typically did not cite this exhibition as a stimulus – whether a negative or a positive one. But as a member of the generation of Rembrandt scholars who came of age when this exhibition was on view, I am convinced that this exhibition, which crystallised one view of Rembrandt as ostensibly promoted by the RRP and which privileged above all issues of individual style, technique, and authorship, became a kind of symbolic fulcrum in Rembrandt studies. There was Rembrandt scholarship before ‘Rembrandt. The Master and his Workshop’, and Rembrandt scholarship afterward – and the two are very different.

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Notes 1 The exhibition was organised in Berlin by the Gemäldegalerie SMPK and held at the Altes Museum, Berlin from 12 September–10 November, 1991, Amsterdam, Rijksmuseum, 4 December 19991–1 March 1992, and London, National Gallery 26 March–24 May 1992. It was the first major international exhibition held at the Altes Museum after the reunification of Germany – and Berlin. 2 Christopher Brown, Jan Kelch, and Pieter van Thiel, Rembrandt: The Master and His Workshop: Paintings (New Haven: Yale University Press, 1991). 3 Ernst van de Wetering, ‘Rembrandt’s Method – Technique in the Service of Illusion’, in Rembrandt: The Master and His Workshop, pp. 12–39. Josua Bruyn, ‘Rembrandt’s Workshop – Function and Production’, in Rembrandt, The Master and his Workshop, pp. 68–89. Ernst van de Wetering, ‘The Invisible Rembrandt: The Results of Technical and Scientific Research’, in Rembrandt, The Master and his Workshop, pp. 90–105. 4 Abraham Bredius and Horst Gerson, The Complete Edition of the Paintings [of] Rembrandt, 3rd revised ed. (Phaidon: London, 1969). 5 For a fascinating inside look at how the RRP carried out its work, including a frank discussion of the disagreements within the original group, see Ernst van de Wetering’s essay, ‘What Is a Rembrandt – A Personal Account’, in The Corpus of Rembrandt Paintings, Vol. 6: Rembrandt’s Paintings Revisited: A Complete Survey, ed. by Ernst van de Wetering (The Hague: Springer, 2014), pp. 1–53. Van de Wetering also credits the role of the only woman associated with the group, Lideke Peese Binkhorst-Hoffscholte, who carried out important scholarly research and editorial work for the RRP. 6 Josua Bruyn, Bob Haak, Simon H. Levie, Pieter J.J. van Thiel, and Ernst van de Wetering, The Corpus of Rembrandt Paintings, Vol. 1: 1625–1631, trans. by Derry Cook-Radmore (The Hague: Martinus Nijhoff Publishers, 1982); Josua Bruyn, Bob Haak, Simon H. Levie, Pieter J.J. van Thiel, and Ernst van de Wetering. The Corpus of Rembrandt Paintings, Vol. 2: 1631–1634, trans. by D. Cook-Radmore (The Hague: Martinus Nijhoff Publishers, 1985). Josua Bruyn, Bob Haak, Simon H. Levie, Pieter J.J. van Thiel, and Ernst van de Wetering, The Corpus of Rembrandt Paintings, Vol. 3: 1635–1642, trans. by Derry CookRadmore (The Hague: Martinus Nijhoff Publishers, 1989). 7 Van de Wetering, “What Is a Rembrandt – A Personal Account’, pp. 35–36. 8 ‘Editorial: The Rembrandt Research Project’, The Burlington Magazine, 125 (1983), 660– 663 (p. 662). 9 Egbert Haverkamp-Begemann, ‘The State of Research in Northern Baroque Art’, The Art Bulletin, 69 (1987), 510–519 (p. 516). 10 Ibid., p. 516. 11 For Christopher White’s defense of the portraits, see White, ‘Review of A Corpus of Rembrandt Paintings, Vol. II (1631–34)’, Burlington Magazine, 129 (1987), 809–810 (p. 810). For Liedtke, see ‘Reconstructing Rembrandt: Portraits From the Early Years in Amsterdam (1631–34)’, Apollo, 129 (1989), 323–331, 371–372 (pp. 326–328 on the ‘Van Berestyn’ portraits). 12 Mansfield Kirby Talley, Jr., ‘Connoisseurship and the Methodology of the Rembrandt Research Project’, The International Journal of Museum Management and Curatorship, 8 (1989), 175–214. 13 See, for instance Walter Liedtke, ‘Letter From Berlin. Rembrandt at the Altes Museum’, Apollo, 134 (1991), 356–358 (p. 356); Rudiger Klessman, ‘Rembrandt. Der Meister und seine Werkstatt. Gemälde. Berlin, SMPK Altes Museum, 12.9.-10.11.1991; Amsterdam, Rijksmuseum, 4.12.1991–1.3.1992 und London, National Gallery, 26.3.-24.5.1992. – Rembrandt en Lievens in Leiden, Een jong en edel Schildersduo’, Kunstchronik, 45 (1992), 441–456 (pp. 441–442). 14 As Christopher White stated, ‘Whether This Was the Original Intention or Not, Both the Catalogue and the Selection of Paintings Serve to Explain the Deliberations of the Rembrandt Research Project’, in ‘Rembrandt. Amsterdam and London’, The Burlington Magazine, 134 (1992), 264–268 (p. 265). It is worth noting, however, that of the three curators responsible for the paintings selected in the exhibition, Christopher Brown, Jan Kelch, and Pieter van Thiel, only one was a member of the RRP (Van Thiel), and Brown had been

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openly critical of some of its conclusions, especially about the Rembrandt paintings in the National Gallery, London, for which he served as curator. Simon Schama, ‘The Master’s Hand?’, Times Literary Supplement, 20 March 1992, pp. 16–18 (p. 16). Christian Lenz considered the exhibition to be an interim progress report on the work of the RRP; ‘Der Meister und seine Werkstatt: zur Rembrandt-Austellung in Berlin’, Neue Zürcher Zeitung, 25 August 1991, pp. 65–66 (p. 65). An unsigned review, ‘What? Not Rembrandt?’, in The Economist stated ‘The exhibition confronts the public with the practical results of one of the most controversial scholarly investigations ever carried out on an artist’s work’, The Economist, 7 December 1991, p. 141. Brown, Kelch, and van Thiel, Rembrandt: The Master and His Workshop: Paintings, p. 124. White, ‘Rembrandt. Amsterdam and London’, p. 266. Brown, Kelch, and van Thiel, Rembrandt: The Master and His Workshop: Paintings, cat. nos. 72–74. Schama, ‘The Master’s Hand?’, p. 17. Schama disagreed with the attribution, defending it as worthy of Rembrandt. Liedtke, ‘Rembrandt at the Altes Museum’, p. 356. Josua Bruyn, ‘Rembrandt’s Workshop – Function and Production’, in Brown, Kelch, and Van Thiel, Rembrandt: The Master and His Workshop, pp. 68–89. Liedtke, ‘Rembrandt and the Rembrandt Style’, Apollo, 135 (1992), 140–145 (p. 142). van de Wetering, ‘What Is a Rembrandt – A Personal Account’, p. 36. Ernst van de Wetering, ‘Rembrandt’s Method – Technique in the Service of Illusionism’, and ‘The Invisible Rembrandt: The Results of Technical and Scientific Research’, in Brown, Kelch, and van Thiel, Rembrandt: The Master and His Workshop, pp. 22–39 and 90–105. David Bomford, Christopher Brown, and Ashok Roy, Art in the Making: Rembrandt (London: National Gallery Publications, 1988). Ernst van de Wetering, Rembrandt: The Painter at Work (Amsterdam: Amsterdam University Press, 1997). Personal communication from Ernst van de Wetering to the author, 23 March 2016. van de Wetering, ‘What Is a Rembrandt – A Personal Account’, pp. 37–38. Josua Bruyn, Bob Haak, Simon H. Levie, Pieter J.J. van Thiel, ‘Letter: The Rembrandt Research Project’, Burlington Magazine, 135 (1993), 279. Ernst van de Wetering, ed., The Corpus of Rembrandt Paintings, Vol. 4: The Self-Portraits (The Hague: Springer, 2005). Ernst van de Wetering, ed., The Corpus of Rembrandt Paintings, Vol. 5: The Small-scale History Paintings (The Hague: Springer, 2010). See note 5. Christopher White offered a judicious comparison of van de Wetering’s ‘more nuanced approach’ (p. 72) in the final volume of the Corpus to that found in the first three volumes in ‘Editorial: The Rembrandt Research Project and Its Denouement’, Burlington Magazine, 157 (2015), 71–73. The exhibition ran in New York at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, 10 October 1995–7 January 1996. Hubertus von Sonnenburg and Walter A. Liedtke, Rembrandt/Not Rembrandt in the Metropolitan Museum of Art: Aspects of Connoisseurship (New York: Metropolitan Museum of Art, 1995). The exhibition was held at the Statens Museum for Kunst, Copenhagen from 4 February–14 May 2006. Lene Bøgh Rønbergh, Eva de la Fuente Pedersen, and Ernst van de Wetering, Rembrandt? The Master and His Workshop, cat. no. 4 (Copenhagen: Statens Museum for Kunst, 2006). The exhibition ‘Rembrandt, ein Genie auf der Suche’ was held in Amsterdam at the Rembrandt House Museum 1 April–2 July 2, 2006 and in Berlin at the Gemäldegalerie, Staatliche Museen 4 August–5 November 2006. Svetlana Alpers, Rembrandt’s Enterprise: The Studio and the Market (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1988); Cynthia P. Schneider, Rembrandt’s Landscapes (New Haven: Yale University Press, 1990); H. Perry Chapman, Rembrandt’s Self-Portraits: A Study in Seventeenth-Century Identity (Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 1990). Schama, ‘The Master’s Hand?’, p. 73, where he also singled out Perry Chapman’s and Svetlana Alpers’s books for resisting the sole focus on connoisseurship and attribution – and noted the hostile reception these new approaches earned.

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39 Eric Jan Sluijter, Rembrandt and the Female Nude (Amsterdam: Amsterdam University Press, 2006). Marieke de Winkel, Fashion and Fancy: Dress and Meaning in Rembrandt’s Painting (Amsterdam: Amsterdam University Press, 2006). Paul Crenshaw, Rembrandt’s Bankruptcy: The Artist, His Patrons, and the Art Market in Seventeenth-century Netherlands (New York: Cambridge University Press, 2006). Shelley Perlove and Larry Silver, Rembrandt’s Faith: Church and Temple in the Dutch Golden Age (University Park, PA: Pennsylvania State University Press, 2009). This is by no means an exhaustive list of publications that included Rembrandt’s paintings. My book on the history of Rembrandt painting connoisseurship from 1870 to 1935 was very much a response to the debates in the 1980s about the RRRP’s connoisseurship, when I began to question how some scholars become the accepted authorities, while others are overlooked or dismissed. See Catherine B. Scallen, Rembrandt, Reputation, and the Practice of Connoisseurship (Amsterdam: Amsterdam University Press, 2004). 40 I only include here exhibitions that featured Rembrandt’s paintings; the list is not definitive but illustrative, and focuses on exhibitions in Europe and the United States. ‘Rembrandt by Himself’, London, National Gallery, 9 June–5 September 1999, The Hague, Royal Cabinet of Paintings Mauritshuis, 25 September 1999–9 January 2000; ‘Rembrandt’s Women’, Edinburgh, National Gallery of Scotland, Edinburgh 8 June–2 September 2001, London, Royal Academy of Arts, 22 September–16 December 2001; ‘Rembrandt Creates Rembrandt’, Boston, Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum, 21 September 2001–7 January 2002; ‘Rembrandt’s Landscapes’, Kassel, Staatliche Museen Gemäldegalerie Alte Meister, 23 June–17 September 2006, Leiden, Stedelijk Museum de Lakenhal, 6 October 2006–1 January 2007; ‘Rembrandt’s Mother’, Leiden, Stedelijk Museum de Lakenhal, 16 December 2006–19 March 2007; ‘Rembrandt in America’, Raleigh, North Carolina Museum of Art, 30 October 2011–22 January 2012, Cleveland, Cleveland Museum of Art, 19 February–28 May 2012, Minneapolis, Minneapolis Institute of Arts, 24 June–16 September 2012; ‘Rembrandt, the Late Works’ London, National Gallery, 15 October 2014–18 January 2015, Amsterdam, Rijksmuseum, 12 February–17 May 2015. 41 Brown, Kelch, and Van Thiel, Rembrandt. The Master and His Workshop, cat. no. 4, and Christopher White and Quentin Buvelot, eds., Rembrandt by Himself, cat. no. 14b (London: National Gallery and The Hague: Royal Cabinet of Paintings Mauritshuis, 1999). 42 Werner Sumowski, ed., Gemälde der Rembrandt-Schuler, 6 vols. (Landau-Pfalz: Edition PVA, 1983); Ronni Baer, Gerrit Dou, 1613–1675: Master Painter in the Age of Rembrandt (Washington, DC: National Gallery of Art, 2000); Jonathan Bikker, Willem Drost (1633–1659): A Rembrandt Pupil in Amsterdam and Venice (New Haven: Yale University Press, 2005); Frederik Duparc, Carel Fabritius 1622–1654 (The Hague: Royal Cabinet of Paintings Mauritshuis; Schwerin: Staatliches Museum; Zwolle: Waanders, 2004); Celeste Brusati, Artifice and Illusion: The Art and Writing of Samuel van Hoogstraten (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1995). 43 Brown, Kelch, and Van Thiel, Rembrandt: The Master and His Workshop, cat. no. 82 and Bikker, Willem Drost, cat. no. R3. 44 Eric Jan Sluijter, Rembrandt’s Rivals: History Painting in Amsterdam (1630–1650) (Philadelphia: John Benjamins Publishing Company, 2015). 45 ‘Uylenburgh & Son: Art and Commerce from Rembrandt to De Lairesse, 1625–1675’, Amsterdam, Museum Het Rembrandthuis, Amsterdam, 14 September 14–10 December 2006, London, Dulwich Picture Gallery, 7 June–3 September 2007, 7 June–3 September, 2007; Friso Lammertse and Jaap van der Veen, Uylenburgh & Son: Art and Commerce From Rembrandt to De Lairesse, 1625–1675, trans. by Yvette Rosenberg, Murray Pearson, and Lynn Richards (Zwolle: Waanders Publishers; Amsterdam: Rembrandt House Museum, 2006). This book is not an exhibition catalogue per se, as it lacks catalogue entries, but rather a series of essays related to the topic of the exhibition. 46 Jaap Van der Veen, ‘By His Own Hand. The Value of Autograph Paintings in the 17th Century’, in A Corpus of Rembrandt Paintings, Vol. 4: The Self-Portraits, ed. by Ernst van de Wetering (The Hague: Springer, 2005), pp. 3–44; Anna Tummers, The Eye of the Connoisseur: Authenticating Paintings by Rembrandt and His Contemporaries (Amsterdam: Amsterdam University Press, 2011).

16 Exploring Michelangelo through exhibitions. Closer to the master, closer to the scholar, closer to the public Silvia Catitti Among the Old Masters Michelangelo Buonarroti is by far the most popular and the most studied. On the one hand, the artist’s fame has the potential of attracting a ready audience to any exhibition focusing on him.1 On the other hand, organizing a show on Michelangelo implies overcoming significant challenges for a curator. Most importantly, the vast body of literature about the artist contrasts with the extremely limited number of authentic works available for display: Michelangelo’s major works (wall frescoes, large-size marble sculptures, and architecture) cannot travel. Three recent Michelangelo exhibitions, and their related catalogues, provide case studies for exploring different ways in which institutions faced the challenge: Venus and Love. Michelangelo’s New Ideal of Beauty (Florence, Galleria dell’Accademia, 2002), Michelangelo Drawings. Closer to the Master (London, British Museum, 2006), and Michelangelo architetto a San Lorenzo. Quattro problemi aperti (Florence, Casa Buonarroti, 2007) provide various lenses through which we can analyse different types of monographic Old Master exhibitions: biographical or retrospective, touching upon the entire life/career of an artist, and thematic or dialectic, exploring one aspect of an artist’s production.2 The practical limitation on loans also had a major impact on two seminal events in the history of monographic Michelangelo shows in Italy: the fourth centennials of Michelangelo’s birth, in 1875, and death, in 1964.3

The exhibitions of 1875 The celebrations promoted in Florence by the National Committee of 1875 included six diverse exhibitions. The Casa Buonarroti made visible its complete series of 202 autograph sheets by Michelangelo, the majority of which are architectural designs.4 Drawings by the artist and his circle, in the Gabinetto Disegni e Stampe at the Uffizi, were exhibited in the Vasari Corridor.5 Documents connected to the artist were shown at the State Archive.6 In the Laurentian Library, visitors could admire both the container – Michelangelo’s architectural masterpiece in Florence – and the content – illuminations and rare codices.7 The Committee also considered the unveiling of the bronze copies from the New Sacristy and of the David at Piazzale Michelangelo as an outdoor exhibition in its own right.8 The climax of the celebrations was the ambitious show at the Accademia di Belle Arti, revolving around the original marble David that had recently arrived at the Galleria.9 Faced with the logistic limitations in obtaining autograph works, the organisers turned to reproductions made of a broad variety of both traditional and advanced

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media. The Universal Expositions held in Europe over the previous twenty years had shown the potential of industrialised products for promoting exposure to art to both the creators of the 1875 celebration – politicians, intellectuals, and artists – and its recipients – other artists and the general public. Among the Academies of Fine Arts in Europe, the one in Florence had shown particular interest in photography, acquiring the first daguerreotype in 1839. The 1875 show was one of the earliest monographic Old Master exhibitions that juxtaposed a limited number of authentic works with copies, casts, prints, and photographs. This ‘blockbuster’ exhibition had the explicit goal to present the public with the broadest possible range of Michelangelos, so as to get to know ‘Michelangelo through Michelangelo’.10 In reality, very little Michelangelo was on display. Seen with a modern perspective, the exhibition was more about the fame and reception of the artist. In a world before academic art history, exhibition catalogues, and professional ‘exhibition-makers’,11 all ‘curatorial’ decisions about what to display and how were made collegially by two local committees of artists and art professors. Each group was responsible for a branch of the visual arts in which Michelangelo had excelled: sculpture and painting.12 Purely artistic criteria determined both the plethora of new attributions – most rejected today – and the arrangement of the works in the rooms of the Accademia and adjacent Galleria.13 The unfinished parts of the Tribune that Emilio de Fabris was enlarging for the David were concealed behind draperies.14 The only catalogue-like publication made on occasion of the events of 1875 was Cesare Guasti’s small booklet about the show he curated at the State Archive.15 The Committee also promoted a series of books. The two that were still vivid in the mind of a key scholar of the 1964 celebrations, Paola Barocchi, were the correspondence of the artist, edited by Gaetano Milanesi, and a new biography by Aurelio Gotti.16 In addition, Luigi Passerini published an influential bibliography, and a booklet about the funeral of Michelangelo was reprinted.17 The enthusiasm for documents and facts, found in the preface of both Milanesi’s and Gotti’s volumes,18 was certainly inspired by the philosophical trends of Empiricism and Positivism. The impact on the public was remarkable. In a world in which people travelled less and had no access to comprehensive illustrated art books, the Florence show of 1875 helped visitors see, regrouped together, works they could not have witnessed in person. The temporary exhibition at the Accademia acted as a dress rehearsal for the birth of a one-man museum, the Galleria dell’Accademia.19 The new museum exhibited two original works next to casts, but the display differed from that of the 1875 show (Figure 16.1).20 The five exhibitions also helped the city reclaim its role in two realms, at two different scales. First, the celebrations gave Florence the opportunity to reaffirm internationally the city’s prime role as the cultural capital of the country.21 Whereas the Dante celebrations had taken place in 1865, the very year when Florence had become the capital of Italy, the 400th anniversary of Michelangelo’s birth occurred after five years since the capital of the recently united kingdom had been moved to Rome. Second, after the appearance of various mid-century biographies of the artist by foreign authors,22 the celebrations of 1875 helped the city of Michelangelo reaffirm its authority on the figure of Michelangelo, at an international level. Even though architects such as Emilio de Fabris, then president of the Florentine Accademia di Belle Arti, were involved in the Committee, and all architectural

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Figure 16.1 The Tribune of the David between 1884 and 1900, Florence, Galleria dell’Accademia Source: Archivio Fotografico Fratelli Alinari, photo Brogi, inv. 8421

drawings in the Casa Buonarroti were on display, Michelangelo architecture was underexplored in the 1875 events, where the emphasis was on sculpture.23 In the celebrations for the fourth centennial of the artist’s death, for the first time in the history of Michelangelo’s fame, architecture acquired a new status. Schools of Architecture, independent from the concept of the Beaux Arts, were created in Italy starting in the 1920s. By 1964, the figure of the professional architect had profoundly changed in background and definition.

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The exhibitions of 1964 Politicians of the mid-1960s shared with their late-nineteenth-century counterparts a Romantic approach to Michelangelo, an emphasis on the ‘struggle behind the creation’ of his works.24 The goal and method of inquiry, however, were radically different. First, it was the younger audience that the National Committee nominated in 1963 had in mind: ‘to invest in lasting projects, and to promote initiatives that may attract the attention especially of young people, towards that great artist that embodies something truly immortal in the tradition of both universal and Italian civilization’.25 Second, between 1875 and 1964, the study of and access to art were transformed in the western world: the birth of connoisseurship, the development of art history as a freestanding discipline, and the proliferation of the phenomenon of Old Master exhibitions and related catalogues.26 In 1964, the chronic shortage of autograph Michelangelo pieces available for display led the National Committee to diversify the genre and location of the initiatives.27 In terms of temporary events, the Committee promoted three single-medium ‘niche exhibitions’ and one major ‘critical exhibition’. Two shows in Florence, Mostra di disegni at the Casa Buonarroti, and Documenti e manoscritti michelangioleschi at the Laurentian Library, displayed autograph sheets.28 Lastly, a small show of engravings after Michelangelo’s works that testified his impact over the centuries travelled from Benevento to Rome.29 The most visited and the most impactful among the ‘ephemeral’ events were the Casa Buonarroti exhibition and especially the unconventional survey show at Palazzo delle Esposizioni, Rome.30 In the Florence exhibition, established Michelangelo scholar Paola Barocchi applied a systematic rigor and avoidance of interpretation that characterised the austere Florentine intellectual environment of her generation.31 She also avoided the life-andwork formula, limiting herself to the careful analysis of ‘drawings, manuscripts, and documents’, to quote the title of the exhibition catalogue.32 In Rome, a very different approach was evident in the show curated primarily by Burno Zevi, an academic and a visionary architectural critic.33 He relied on the collaboration of respected art historian Corrado Maltese for the sculpture and painting sections and on his younger co-author, the architect Paolo Portoghesi, who also designed the installation.34 They embraced the traditional Romantic view of Michelangelo as a tormented genius and adopted the life-and-work formula. Additionally, they provided a revolutionary rethinking of the artist as an architect, ‘using our sensibility as a key’.35 Zevi’s vision, implemented by Portoghesi’s innovative installation, literally allowed the show to ‘bring the Master closer to the public’.36 In Florence, the historical venues – the Casa Buonarroti, erected on land purchased by Michelangelo, and the Laurentian Library, designed and built by the artist – emphasised the sense of tradition and continuity between the present and the master. In contrast, the choice to set the Rome exhibition in a modern space designed for expositions reflected the repurposing program the curators envisioned for the artist. The two shows in Florence displayed authentic documents and drawings, which required a certain motivation and endurance from the audience. Moreover, the display must have appeared extremely conventional and understated, particularly at the Casa Buonarroti, an institution that always operated on a low budget. In the few rooms of the old building, where the recent restoration had aimed to reinstate a generically Renaissance atmosphere,37 the drawings were set in the traditional display devices made for

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Figure 16.2 Paolo Portoghesi, Installation of a room in the exhibition, Mostra critica delle opere michelangiolesche, 1964, Rome, Palazzo delle Esposizioni Source: Fondazione Bruno Zevi

the 1875 exhibition38 and still in use today: desks and picture frames in walnut wood. In contrast, the twenty-eight-room show in Rome displayed no original works by Michelangelo but was far more extravagant and immediate. Portoghesi heavily reconfigured the interiors of the venue. In some cases he created spaces that evoked the floor plan of the Michelangelo building that was the subject of the room. Like the core exhibition of 1875, the Rome show made extensive use of various media, but technology advances made this exhibition far more sensational (Figure 16.2). In addition to the nineteenthcentury casts of Michelangelo’s sculptures, life-size gesso replicas of his architectural details were made for the occasion.39 Striking and interpretative photographs of the artist’s works, taken from uncommon angles, literally put Michelangelo’s art in a new perspective. The large-size, black-and-white photographs dominated the rooms of the venue, and specifically made videos were projected.40 A new form of mass medium that we take for granted today, in 1964 projections were highly innovative for an Old Master exhibition. A piece of electronic music was even composed specifically for one room.41 Finally, the show presented the vibrant three-dimensional ‘critical models’, to use Zevi’s term, produced by his students and loosely inspired by Michelangelo’s works.42 Starting in 1960, he had begun to involve his architecture students, the new generations that the Committee had in mind.43 In addition to on-site sketching sessions and measured surveys of Michelangelo’s buildings,44 Zevi exposed his students to the direct experience of the artist’s architectural drawings in the Casa Buonarroti. Looking at the same sheets, the orthodox Florentine art historian and the visionary Roman architect also produced drastically different written outcomes, which now stand as the permanent legacy of the two exhibitions.45 In a world before many-faceted shows that address various audiences,46 the radically different formats of the catalogues reveal that the two shows aimed to reach distinct audiences: the scholars in Florence and the general public and new creative talent in Rome. Barocchi’s decision to avoid a new interpretation of Michelangelo is also reflected in the absence of an introductory catalogue essay.47 After re-examining a selection of 188 sheets in the Casa Buonarroti collection – most of which are architectural drawings – their

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technique, sequence of marks, meaning, function, chronology, and groupings, Barocchi contributed new observations about most of them.48 However, the accurate but unexciting grayscale facsimile reproductions collected at the end of the volume in the Barocchi catalogue cannot compete with the ninety-six black-and-white illustrations that – powerful and dynamic – conclude Zevi’s catalogue.49 These work as Chinese boxes: some reproduce the photographs of Michelangelo’s works, others portray the same images contextualised within the installation in their rooms. The same approach applies to the text. The volume, made accessible for a more general audience, introduces the concept behind each of the twenty-eight thematic rooms, as well as the works represented there, covering all arts that Michelangelo practiced. The detailed map of the exhibition explains the route and links the rooms. The inclusion of photographs of the installation implied that the volume could only appear after the show had already opened.50 The catalogue, however, had a more ambitious scope than to merely reveal the narrative conceived by the curators while leading the visitor through the show in 1964. Rather, it was to create a lasting testimony of the intense ‘critical’ operation on Michelangelo after the show closed. The curators’ views and goals are explicit. They aimed, on the one hand, to make Michelangelo valuable for the present (attualizzare) and, on the other, to reconcile the history of architecture with the struggles of contemporary design.51 Zevi and Portoghesi embraced two lines of inquiry: the application to architecture of the now-discredited theory of the non-finito52 and the use of recently organised documents to create a dialogue between the life and works of the artist.53 These approaches are reflected also in the bulky monograph the two cocurators published for the occasion, Michelangiolo architetto, geared towards a new generation of architects.54 The Introduction to the volume provides a key to understand the authors’ perspective about Michelangelo as an architect. They rejected vigorously the idea that Michelangelo designed buildings as a sculptor, a view presented in the recent monograph by James Ackerman.55 Even today, the rigor of Barocchi’s catalogue entries remains a model for scholars of Michelangelo drawings.56 In addition, the 1964 celebrations gave Italian architectacademics the chance to reaffirm their role in Michelangelo studies. Manfredo Tafuri later criticised Zevi’s reinterpretation as neo-expressionistic, one that made Michelangelo appear as an ‘intense iconoclast’.57 Nevertheless, the Rome exhibition and its catalogue renewed the interest of the public for Michelangelo and influenced many generations of architecture students in Italy. For years, the echo of the events of 1964 and the difficulties in borrowing Michelangelo’s works discouraged curators from embarking on the task of a new exhibition on the artist. Within the plethora of monographic shows organised over the last four decades, most exploit the name of the Old Master as an excuse to display other narratives.58 Nevertheless, a small number of noteworthy thematic exhibitions about Michelangelo, and their related catalogues, offered new perspectives or information. They also paved the path to two standard possible ways of overcoming the logistic issues with the master’s oeuvre: combined use of two most easily moveable items, original drawings and documents, or development of a theme revolving around a few stationary works.

Venus and Love, 2002 The first case study, Venus and Love: Michelangelo’s New Ideal of Beauty,59 was hosted in 2002 at the very Galleria dell’Accademia where the history of

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Michelangelo exhibitions had begun. Under different premises two art historians, Franca Falletti, then director of the museum, and Jonathan Nelson, an American academic, curated an exhibition around a work in the Accademia that was relatively unstudied: a Venus painting designed by Michelangelo in the 1530s but carried out by Pontormo.60 The show and its catalogue offered both scholars and the general public insights on a range of topics rarely addressed in exhibitions, involving authorship and collaborations among artists, the notion of ideal female beauty, and production of contemporary copies as a measure of the success of an artwork. As stated in the catalogue, the painting was virtually unnoticed by the public for three main reasons. The severe, matronal body type of Venus and the oddly muscular Cupid do not meet the aesthetic standards of modern visitors. Until 2002, the figures appeared flattened under layers of yellowed varnish.61 Pontormo’s role in transferring Michelangelo’s design from cartoon to panel and in ‘colouring’ the image diminished the relevance of this work also in the eyes of specialists of both artists.62 Four contributions, achieved on occasion of the show, projected the work in a new realm. First, the restoration revealed the quality and plasticity of the two figures.63 Technical analyses of both the original painting and a few of its early copies cast light on the underdrawing and other details. Second, an interdisciplinary team of scholars coordinated by the curators explored the link between politics, literature, and the visual arts in Florence in the 1530s. Third, the very existence of a large number of copies, borrowed for the exhibition, confirmed the immediate success the painting had enjoyed and revealed the appreciation of a new notion of ideal beauty. Lastly, the exhibition united for the first time two works designed to appear together: the Venus and a newly discovered painting, Bronzino’s Dante. Moreover, these two paintings, both made to be seen high on the wall, were displayed at the intended distance from the viewer (Figure 16.3). Temporary exhibitions, like this one, offer museums a rare opportunity to display together disassembled works that were part of an ensemble and to recreate the original viewing conditions. This counterbalances the widespread misconception that Renaissance works existed in isolation and appeared at eye level. In the Tribune of the David, the imposing but functional multi-story display cases designed by Florentine architects Guicciardini & Magni had two praiseworthy qualities. They successfully competed with the size and impact of ‘marble giant’. The cases allowed the display of large-scale paintings and cartoons about two meters high off the ground and, below them, small comparative items at eye level. Drawings, documents, etchings, small clay models, and gems helped recreate the broad impact of the core work of the exhibition. The sequence and groupings of works on display created their own narrative, blending the multi-disciplinary information from the five distinct contributions in the bilingual catalogue. Following the traditional format, the thematic essays preceded entries about the works on display. The explanatory panels, also in English and Italian, made the scholarly information accessible to all visitors. For six months, the exhibition turned the overshadowing sculpture into an anchor attractor. Thanks to the presence of the David, more than 500,000 visitors saw the once-neglected Venus. When the show ended, both the official label and the permanent placement in the museum were changed to reflect the conclusions presented in the exhibition catalogue. Now the ‘Michelangelo-Pontormo’ painting hangs on the wall of the ‘nave’ of the Tribune, close to the David.

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Figure 16.3 Guicciardini & Magni Architetti, Installation of the exhibition, Venus and Love. Michelangelo’s New Ideal of Beauty, 2002, Florence, Galleria dell’Accademia Source: Guicciardini & Magni Architetti

The aim of the catalogue was to encourage further exploration and recent scholarship testifies that the research of 2002 had tangible effects.64 Scholars began to take their distance from the misconception that Michelangelo ignored female anatomy. Specialists of both Michelangelo and Pontormo started to include the painting in their studies. Most importantly, by exploring the collaboration between two important artists and addressing the early reception of the painting, the catalogue helped to redefine

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the boundaries of authorship in the Renaissance and the question of autography in Michelangelo’s oeuvre.

Closer to the Master, 2006 The second case study, Michelangelo Drawings. Closer to the Master (London, British Museum, 2006),65 was a biographical exhibition that explored Michelangelo through his sketches and cartoons. Renaissance drawings are not only difficult to see and appreciate in an exhibition, they offer a highly fragmented vision of an artist’s oeuvre. The curator, art historian Hugo Chapman, Keeper of the Department of Prints and Drawings, created a synergy between his institution, the Teyler Museum, Haarlem, and the Ashmolean Museum, Oxford. He collected an unprecedentedly broad corpus of ninety-five sheets – one-sixth of Michelangelo’s surviving drawings66 – many of which were once part of the same creative process. Unlike in the Casa Buonarroti exhibition of 1964, in which the sheets were left to speak alone, thus communicated only to a scholarly audience, the British Museum provided an engaging didactic apparatus that did, in fact, allow viewers to get ‘closer to the Master’. Chapman re-examined all attributed drawings, compiled highly informative captions, and displayed them under each sheet next to black-and-white comparative images. Scholarly entries in their own right, the captions provided new interpretations for the specialised audience.67 However, Chapman’s valuable observations could have had more impact on studies of Michelangelo drawings had they appeared in the publication that accompanied the show. Accessible in its language and format, the paperback volume is more of a ‘narrative book’68 than a traditional catalogue, though an appendix includes all the basic information about the displayed drawings. The Introduction presents a scholarly essay in casual attire. A handy tool to access insightful and up-to-date information about the drawings, it addresses the role of drafting and drawings in Michelangelo’s design process, their technique, the amount and circumstances for their conservation, the history of – and approach to – authorship, and the provenance of the sheets in the three institutions involved in the show. The five ‘narrative’ chapters that follow divide the artist’s career into chronological periods. This linear approach, and the tradition of British cultural institutions for education, were reflected both in the availability of audio-guides and in the guiding one-way route of the chronological exhibition. In the large neutral space used for the museum’s exhibitions, British firm Metaphor created alleys by aligning sober display cases (Figure 16.4). Their design loosely drew inspiration from a famous autograph drawing for the Laurentian Library desks (Casa Buonarroti, 94 Ar). The clarity of the concept of the exhibition, narrated in the catalogue by the single, authoritative voice of the curator, was reflected in the successful indirect lighting of the room and in the well-lit cases. These enhanced the (often faded) marks on Michelangelo’s sheets. Like Zevi’s exhibition for the 1964 centennial, the installation at the British Museum relied heavily on large-scale prints of the finished version of Michelangelo’s designs seen in the drawings. In 2006, however, the curator took advantage of forty years of advancement in technology and of the newly created multimedia lab of the museum. A dedicated zone of the exhibition made available eight touchscreens that graphically rendered the transition from various sketches on view to the finished work. The placement of these interactive devices avoided the interference with the soft-spoken drawings themselves, a problem all too often ignored by both curators and installation designers. Similarly, no interference came from the large

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Figure 16.4 Metaphor designers, Installation of the exhibition, Michelangelo Drawings. Closer to the Master, 2006, London, British Museum Source: © Trustees of the British Museum

colourful images of the Sistine Ceiling projected in a loop on a drop ceiling above the benches in the same area. The distance between the visitors and the canvas reproduced that between Michelangelo on his scaffolding and the surface of the Sistine Ceiling. This ‘pop’ detail recalls the presence of films in the 1964 Rome exhibition.69 With 160,000 visitors, 21 percent of whom had entered the British Museum for the first time, this blockbuster exhibition enjoyed record-breaking attendance.70

Michelangelo at San Lorenzo, 2007 In contrast to the comprehensive approach to and the firmly stated conclusions in the 2006 exhibition at the British Museum, the third case study, Michelangelo architetto a San Lorenzo. Quattro problemi aperti (Florence, Casa Buonarroti, 2007),71 aimed to present a series of ‘open questions’ about Michelangelo’s architecture, as the basis for further research and interpretation. In-house documents and drawings were supplemented by a few essential loans and by four computer-aided threedimensional reconstructions, produced for the occasion. These helped guide the public through particularly thorny issues. This low-budget ‘niche exhibition’ offered new technical insights on Michelangelo’s method in designing and building architecture. The show also gave a cross-section of how architectural historians work. Viewers learned that there are a variety of research methods behind the ‘finished’ findings presented in museum labels and explanatory panels. Each of the

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four curators addressed different works by Michelangelo within the complex of San Lorenzo, Florence.72 Pietro Ruschi, the main curator, was responsible for the sections about the New Sacristy and the Rare book room of the Laurentian Library. Mauro Mussolin curated the section on the Reliquary Tribune, built into the counterfaçade of the church. Silvia Catitti and Thomas Gronegger presented research they conducted independently in the section on the Vestibule and stairs of the famed Laurentian Library. While the show was rightly criticised both for the failure in connecting the four sections and for the lack of cohesion in the methods adopted by the curators, overall the catalogue was praised by specialists as a ‘valuable contribution to Michelangelo scholarship’.73 As in the Venus and Love show, the Casa Buonarroti exhibition addressed the question of Michelangelo’s authorship. The New Sacristy section provided a reconstruction of the urban context where the chapel sits, leaving room for further investigation about Michelangelo’s involvement in the early stage of the construction. The Rare book room section explored the artist’s ideas for the elevation of the inventive triangular space that he never built. The Tribune section drew the scholars’ attention towards a neglected work and helped confirm the attribution to Michelangelo through a convincing investigation of the design and building process. The Vestibule section searched for Michelangelo’s original ideas behind the early-nineteenth-century stylistic restoration of the building. In the same section, visitors could also see, in sequence, the transformation of an architectural idea from its first conception on paper to the final element in a template to be carved in stone. The wealth of architectural drawings in the museum, pertaining to Michelangelo’s Florentine architecture, demonstrated that the artist made different types of drawings for different interlocutors and used different drawing techniques and degrees of precision for each type of audience. For the same architectural element, preliminary freehand sketches – meant to be seen only by the artist – were followed by finished presentation drawings – to be discussed with his patron – and by life-size working drawings – made for the stonecutters. For all the differences in these drawings, they are all by Michelangelo’s own hand.74 The Vestibule section also presented a new interpretation of a sequence of three items in the Casa Buonarroti: a letter from pope Clement VII, a floor plan of the Vestibule, and the most famous architectural drawing by Michelangelo (92A, restored for this occasion). The form of the famous staircase, as we see it today, was instigated by an input from the pope, forwarded in the letter. Last, the section cast light on the failed attempt to assemble the staircase. Unbeknownst to most visitors, it was missing when Michelangelo abandoned the construction site. The structure of the catalogue, divided into four topics with related essays and entries, was reflected in the highly effective exhibition installation. Designer Leonardo Stanta took advantage of the fragmented layout of the ground floor of the Museum and set each of the four sections in a separate room.75 Using black glossy Plexiglas, Stanta designed a motive that, alluding to a horizontal sash, created continuity and, at the same time, framed the background colour that differentiated one section from the others (Figure 16.5). On the painted wall, the drawings were hanging in the oldfashioned walnut frames from 1875. The visitor could connect each colour to its section thanks to the large-scale floor plan of the complex of San Lorenzo that opened both the show and the catalogue. The map helped the audience that were not familiar with the placement of Michelangelo’s works locate the four themes addressed in the exhibition.

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Figure 16.5 Leonardo Stanta, Installation of the exhibition, Michelangelo architetto a San Lorenzo. Quattro problem aperti, 2007, Florence, Casa Buonarroti Source: Mauro Mussolin

Michelangelo architetto a San Lorenzo was one of the three specialised shows, promoted by the Casa Buonarroti within three years, that focused on Michelangelo’s architecture, mainly through the lens of in-house autograph architectural drawings. The 2007 exhibition opened at the museum three months after the dismantling of Michelangelo e il disegno di architettura.76 A rigorous comprehensive exploration of Michelangelo’s mediums and techniques in architectural drafting throughout his career, this show was curated by three architectural historians with a background in art history: Caroline Elam, accomplished expert in Michelangelo, Howard Burns, famed Renaissance scholar, and Guido Beltramini, director the Palladio Museum, Vicenza, the institution that co-organised the event. The more technical background of the San Lorenzo exhibition curators – all but one are architectural historians with a training as architects – shifted the emphasis of their thematic show towards issues of construction. Three years later former co-curator Mussolin organised a thematic show in Rome with Casa Buonarroti drawings, Michelangelo architetto a Roma, collecting valuable scholarship on various buildings in Rome.77 All three catalogues gave new generations of scholars the rare opportunity to reexamine the design process of many buildings associated with Michelangelo since the 1960s and to publish new research on various aspects of the topic. Two factors make it hard to publish information about architecture and to make it accessible

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to a broader public. It is a difficult topic for most people to appreciate and understand, and it generates far less interest than painting and sculpture. Moreover, being unmoveable, it perfectly represents a logistical constraint for exhibitions. Whereas in 1875 and 1964 it was legitimate and even innovative to make extensive use of casts and photographs to counterbalance the lack of original works, this is no longer acceptable. Today, the formula that seems the most successful one is that of the monographic show that focuses either on a narrow range of easily moveable items, such as drawings and documents, or around a few stationary works. Such shows provide experiences, for both scholars and the public, which permanent museum displays cannot offer. In contrast to the two other architecture shows promoted by the Casa Buonarroti, Michelangelo architetto a San Lorenzo provided far more guidance and selected juxtaposition of originals and multimedia or range of traditional media. This brings this case study closer to Venus and Love and Closer to the Master. The three monographic exhibitions in the Galleria dell’Accademia, British Museum, and Casa Buonarroti produced catalogues that made important contributions to our understanding of the artist. Taking advantage of in-house material by Michelangelo, the exhibitions also brought new scholarly research ‘closer to the public’, the primary audience of art history.78

Notes 1 The dangers of the phenomenon is highlighted in Tomaso Montanari, A Cosa Serve Michelangelo? (Turin: Einaudi, 2011). 2 Paula Marincola, ‘Introduction: Practice Makes Perfect’, in What Makes a Great Exhibition?, ed. by Paula Marincola (Philadelphia: Philadelphia Exhibitions Initiative, 2006), p. 11. For an attempt to define subgenres of monographic exhibitions, see Robert Storr, ‘Show and Tell’, in What Makes a Great Exhibition?, ed. by Marincola, p. 16. 3 Francis Haskell, The Ephemeral Museum: Old Master Paintings and the Rise of the Art Exhibition (New Haven and London: Yale University Press, 2000), p. 1, criticised the ‘moral imperative’, in the West, to celebrate centennials. 4 Stefano Corsi, ‘Cronache di un centenario’, in Michelangelo nell’Ottocento. Il centenario del 1875, exhib. cat., Florence, 1994, ed. by Stefano Corsi (Milan: Charta, 1994), p. 22. 5 Ibid., p. 29, note 52. 6 Ibid., p. 18. 7 Ibid., p. 29, note 52. The Library was to be completed a few years later; see Silvia Catitti, ‘The Laurentian Library. Patronage and Building History’, in San Lorenzo: A Florentine Church, ed. by Robert Gaston and Louis A. Waldman (Florence: Villa I Tatti, 2017), pp. 410–421. 8 Corsi, ‘Cronache’, pp. 14–15. 9 Climax of the celebrations. Marcella Anglani, ‘The Michelangelo Museum and the Evolution of the Galleria dell’Accademia From the Nineteenth to the Twentieth Century’, in The Accademia, Michelangelo, the Nineteenth Century, ed. by Franca Falletti (Leghorn: Sillabe, 1997), p. 39. 10 ‘Michelangelo con Michelangelo’, see Corsi, ‘Cronache’, p. 16, and 18. For a criticism to the extensive approach, see Storr, ‘Show and Tell’, p. 27. 11 For the term, see Ibid., p. 14. 12 Eight members were responsible for the sculpture section and seven for the painting section. Many were in the Collegio Accademico della Regia Accademia di Belle Arti di Firenze. Corsi, ‘Cronache’, p. 18 and note 23. 13 Anglani, ‘The Michelangelo Museum’, p. 39. 14 Ibid., p. 40. 15 Corsi, ‘Cronache’, p. 18.

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16 ‘The honest and decorous publications of 1875’. See Paola Barocchi and Renzo Ristori, eds., Il carteggio di Michelangelo, posthumous ed. by Giovanni Poggi, 5 vols. (Florence: Sansoni/S.P.E.S., 1965–1983), I, 1965, p. vii. Comitato Fiorentino per le Feste del IV Centenario dalla Nascita di Michelangelo [Gaetano Milanesi], ed., Le lettere di Michelangelo Buonarroti, pubblicate coi ricordi ed i contratti artistici (Florence: Le Monnier, 1875). Aurelio Gotti, Vita di Michelangelo, narrata con l’aiuto di nuovi documenti, 2 vols. (Florence: Tipografia della Gazzetta d’Italia, 1875). For an distinction between ‘biography’ and ‘monograph’, see Gabriele Guercio, Art as Existence: The Artist’s Monograph and Its Project (Cambridge, MA: MIT Press, 2006), p. 15. 17 Luigi Passerini, La bibliografia di Michelangelo Buonarroti e gli incisori delle sue opere (Florence: Tipi di M. Cellini, 1875). Gaetano Milanesi, ed., Esequie del divino Michelagnolo Buonarroti celebrate in Firenze dall’Accademia de pittori, scultori, & architettori. Nella chiesa di S. Lorenzo il di 28 giugno MDLXIIII (Florence: Tipografia della Gazzetta d’Italia, 1875). Corsi, ‘Cronache’, p. 24. 18 Anglani, ‘The Michelangelo Museum’, p. 39 and notes 54–55. 19 Modeled after the permanent monographic museum that the King of Denmark, twentyseven years earlier, dedicated to Bertel Thorvaldsen in Copenhagen. See Corsi, ‘Cronache’, p. 19. 20 Many of the Michelangelo-related items that the Committee received or commissioned for the 1875 exhibition were diverted to other locations. The casts of the Times of the Day were moved to the Istituto d’Arte, the mementos to Michelangelo enriched the Casa Buonarroti, which became almost a place of worship of Michelangelo, the Man, whereas the Galleria focused on the Artist. 21 Corsi, ‘Cronache’, p. 25. 22 Guercio, Art as Existence, pp. 112–127. Deborah Parker, ‘The Role of Letters in Biographies of Michelangelo’, Renaissance Quarterly, 58 (2005), 106, 110, underlined that the recently published body of letters (edited by Giovanni Gaye in 1839–1840 and by Gaetano Milanesi in 1875) on the one hand changed the mood of the artist’s biographies, on the other hand revealed more of the ordinary preoccupations of the man (family, financial and professional issues) than the sublime torment of the genius. 23 Corsi, ‘Cronache’, p. 16. 24 Camera dei Deputati, IV Legislatura, Commissione VIII: Istruzione e Belle Arti, 31 October 1963, p. 58. 25 Ibid., p. 59. 26 For a discussion of the change in philosophical angle the 1960s, and for the affirmation of art history, see Guercio, Art as Existence, pp. 8–9, 11; Haskell, The Ephemeral Museum, pp. 143–144. 27 The most significant among the ‘lasting projects’ was the publication of the proceedings of the series of scholarly conferences and lectures that took place in June, between Florence and Rome. Comitato nazionale per le onoranze a Michelangiolo, ed., Convegno di studi michelangioleschi, Proceedings of the Symposium, Florence and Rome, 1964 (Rome: Edizioni dell’Ateneo, 1966). 28 A separate local committee was created, the Comitato per le Celebrazioni Michelangiolesche di Firenze. 29 Comitato nazionale per le onoranze a Michelangiolo [Mario Rotili], ed., Fortuna di Michelangelo nell’incisione, exhib. cat., Benevento, 1964; Rome, 1964–65 (Benevento: Azienda Beneventana Tipografica, 1964). 30 Comitato Nazionale per le Onoranze a Michelangiolo [Bruno Zevi], ed., Mostra critica delle opere michelangiolesche. Catalogo, exhib. cat., Rome, 1964 (Rome: Istituto grafico tiberino di S. De Luca, 1964). The choice of the adjective ‘critica’ is eloquent. Zevi rejected the obsequious attitude of traditional approaches. One can imagine that, in his view, the Florentine exhibitions embodied the very line of inquiry that he was rebuffing. 31 Paola Barocchi, ed., La vita di Michelangelo nelle redazioni del 1550 e del 1568 (Milan: Ricciardi, 1962). She was also a former student of one of the fathers of art history in Italy, Roberto Longhi. For Longhi’s position about small, local Old Masters exhibitions in the post-war period, see Haskell, The Ephemeral Museum, pp. 144–145; and Anna Chiara

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35 36

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Cimoli, Musei effimeri. Allestimenti di mostre in Italia, 1949–1963 (Milan: Il Saggatore, 2007), pp. 22–25. Comitato per le Celebrazioni Michelangiolesche di Firenze [Paola Barocchi], ed., Michelangelo. Mostra di disegni, manoscritti e documenti, exhib. cat., Florence, 1964 (Florence: Olschki, 1964), p. X. The Florence Committee officially appears as the author of the publication. The ‘Preface’ helps identify Barocchi as the editor of the catalogue and curator of the shows, whereas Giorgio Chiarini was responsible for the transcriptions. Davide Turrini, ‘Michelangelo pop. Architettura e design oltre la modernità / Pop Michelangelo. Architecture and Design Beyond Modernity’, in Michelangelo e il Novecento. Un percorso tra arte, architettura e design, exhib. cat., Florence and Modena, 2014, ed. by Emanuela Ferretti, Marco Pierini, and Pietro Ruschi (Cinisello Balsamo: Silvana Editoriale, 2014), p. 104. Paolo Portoghesi, ‘Nota sull’allestimento’, in Mostra critica, pp. 9–12. For a discussion of the reception of the installation, see Elisa Francesconi, ‘Tano Festa e Michelangelo. Un episodio di fortuna visiva a Roma negli anni Sessanta’, Studi di Memofonte, 9 (2012), 96–97 and notes 22, 24. Bruno Zevi, ‘Michelangelo in prosa’, L’architettura. Cronache e Storia, 99 (1964), 650. Portoghesi’s visionary installation reflects his exposure to seminal Italian exhibition design experiences from the 1950s. For a few examples, see Cimoli, Musei effimeri. He set the casts of Michelangelo’s sculptures in sunken craters in the floor, which invited the public to look down at the works. Through the exhibition installation and catalogue, the 2005 monographic exhibition at the British Museum, instead, transported the public ‘closer to the Master’. See what follows in this essay. Pietro Ruschi, ‘Casa Buonarroti. Le vicende costruttive, gli allestimenti e i restauri / Casa Buonarroti. Stories of Construction, Exhibition and Restoration’, in Michelangelo e il Novecento. Un percorso tra arte, architettura e design, ed. by Ferretti, Pierini and Ruschi, p. 27. Corsi, ‘Cronache’, p. 22. Those borrowed from the Accademia di Belle Arti, Rome, joined those made for the 1875 Florence exhibition, which had ended up at the Istituto Statale d’Arte, Florence. Mostra critica, p. 7. The Committee wished to promote the production of ‘films that are not simply descriptive, like those that we usually encounter, but of the type that helps the youth feel the intrinsic furore of the artist’s genius’. Camera dei Deputati, IV Legislatura, Commissione VIII: Istruzione e Belle Arti”, 31 October 1963, p. 58. The Room of the Fortifications of Florence. Vittorio Gelmetti, ‘Modulazioni per Michelangelo. Nota sulla musica elettronica’, in Mostra critica, p. 81. Bruno Zevi, Zevi su Zevi. Architettura come profezia (Venice: Marsilio, 1993), p. 93. Zevi, ‘Michelangelo in prosa’, p. 651. In-depth investigation of the drawings, on occasion of my own research, reveals that the accuracy of the students’ surveys is questionable. Haskell, The Ephemeral Museum, p. 149, sees catalogues as the only durable byproduct of temporary exhibitions, ensuring ‘that there can be life after death for such exhibitions’. A successful example of a multi-layered Michelangelo exhibition that speaks to multiple audiences is Venus and Love. See what follows in this chapter. Guercio, Art as Existence, p. 7, explores why, over the course of the twentieth century, art history ‘distanced itself from the life-and-work model’. Her entries reflect the positivistic approach mastered, for example, in Johannes Wilde, Italian Drawings in the Department of Prints and Drawings in the British Museum, Michelangelo and His Studio (London: Trustees of the British Museum, 1953), where the formula adopted by the German scholar follows the well-established tradition of British catalogues. Mostra critica, plates 1–96. For Giovanni Previtali’s polemical criticism of the delay and content of the catalogue, see Francesconi, ‘Tano Festa e Michelangelo’, pp. 96–97 and note 24. To ‘historicise contemporary design-making (storicizzare il fare contemporaneo)’, Zevi, ‘Michelangelo in prosa’, p. 651. See also Turrini, ‘Michelangelo Pop’, p. 104.

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52 Works conceived to remain unfinished, leaving room for further developments. For a thorough analysis of the concept, see Paola Barocchi, ‘Finito e non-finito nella critica vasariana’, Arte Antica e Moderna, 3 (1958), 221–235. Zevi’s idea that the concept could be applied to Michelangelo’s archietcture generated debate in Italy, in the 1960s. Some authors embraced it (Paolo Portoghesi, ‘La Biblioteca Laurenziana’, in Michelangiolo architetto, ed. by Paolo Portoghesi and Bruno Zevi, cat. by Franco Barbieri and Lionello Puppi [Turin: Einaudi, 1964], p. 211) while others rejected it (Piero Sanpaolesi, ‘Il ‘Non finito’ di Michelangelo in scultura e architettura’, in Convegno di studi michelangioleschi, pp. 228–240). 53 The impact on scholarship of recent changes in ownership of Michelangelo drawings is discussed at length in Lucilla Bardeschi Ciulich and Paola Barocchi, eds., I ricordi di Michelangelo (Florence: Sansoni, 1970), p. xxiii; and Deborah Parker, ‘The Role of Letters’, 105. 54 Michelangiolo architetto, ed. by Portoghesi and Zevi. The same archaicising spelling ‘Michelangiolo’ – as in the full name of the Comitato nazionale (see notes 27, 29, and 30) – in the title of their book, reveals the adhesion to the spirit of the events of 1964 but seems to suggest a reactionary approach from the editors. 55 Bruno Zevi, ‘Attualità di Michelangiolo architetto’, in Michelangiolo architetto, ed. by Portoghesi and Zevi, pp. 15–16: ‘we felt that the task of confuting the thesis of Michelangelo as a non-architect – or as an architect only in his later years – was a priority’. James Ackerman, The Architecture of Michelangelo, 2 vols. (London: Zwemmer, 1961). 56 Until the publication of Charles de Tolnay, Corpus dei disegni di Michelangelo, 4 vols. (Novara: Istituto Geografico De Agostini, 1975–80), Barocchi’s catalogue remained for over fifteen years the reference publication on the subject. Andrea Felici in Michelangelo e il Novecento, p. 152, cat. 3. 57 Manfredo Tafuri, ‘Architettura Italiana 1944–1981’, in Storia dell’arte italiana, II. Dal Medioevo al Novecento, 7. Il Novecento, ed. by Federico Zeri (Turin: Einaudi, 1982), p. 91. 58 ‘Old Master exhibitions breed more Old Master exhibitions’. Haskell, The Ephemeral Museum, p. 143. Montanari, A cosa serve Michelangelo?, pp. VIII, and 120. 59 Franca Falletti and Jonathan K. Nelson, eds., Venere e Amore. Michelangelo e la nuova bellezza ideale / Venus and Love. Michelangelo’s New Ideal of Beauty, exhib. cat., Florence, 2002–03 (Florence: Giunti, 2002). 60 This type of thematic show recalls two earlier exhibitions, both of which focussed on one or two controversial works associated with Michelangelo: The Young Michelangelo (London: National Gallery, 1994–95), and Giovinezza di Michelangelo (Florence: Palazzo Vecchio and Casa Buonarroti, 2000). 61 Chemicals had damaged the painting when a restoration in the late nineteenth century removed the painted drapery that covered Venus’s groin. 62 Jonathan K. Nelson, ‘La “Venere e Cupido” fiorentina. Un nudo eroico femminile e la potenza dell’amore / The Florentine “Venus and Cupid”. A Heroic Female Nude and the Power of Love’, in Venere e Amore, ed. by Falletti and Nelson, pp. 27–29. 63 The simultaneous restoration, sponsored by philanthropic association Friends of Florence, of this and all Mannerist paintings hanging around the David, left the Tribune empty for a few months and ignited the process of organizing a show. 64 Not the last word on the subject. Storr, ‘Show and Tell’, p. 14. 65 Hugo Chapman, Michelangelo Drawings: Closer to the Master, exhib. cat., London, 2006 (London: British Museum Press, 2005). The first venue of the exhibition was the Teylers Museum. 66 Neil MacGregor and Marjan Scharloo, ‘Foreword’, in Chapman, Michelangelo Drawings, p. 7. 67 A precedent for this approach would be Michael Hirst’s Michelangelo Draftsman (Washington, DC: National Gallery of Art, 1988), whose catalogue that had a significant impact on the interpretation, classification, and autography of Michelangelo’s drawings. 68 The size, 28 cm, follows that of the mainstream exhibition catalogue rather than that of the portable bestselling Old Master biography and suggests that the shelf in the reader’s bookcase, where it aims to be stored, is not that of entertainment literature. The volume sold 30,000 copies while the show was open, whereas most scholarly books may be able to sell an average of 1,000 copies.

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69 Sponsored by British Petroil, Chapman’s show had a larger budget than the 1964 public exhibition. 70 www.metaphor.eu/projects/michelangelo-closer-to-the-master/. 71 Pietro Ruschi, ed., Michelangelo architetto a San Lorenzo. Quattro problemi aperti, exhib. cat., Florence, 2007 (Florence: Madragora, 2007). 72 Rightly defined as ‘a minefield of academic dispute’, see Amanda Lillie, ‘Michelangelo at San Lorenzo. Florence’, The Burlington Magazine, 149 (2007), 882. 73 Lillie, ‘Michelangelo at San Lorenzo’, 883. 74 This was the contribution of Hirst’s research, seen in his drawing exhibition in 1988. See note 67. 75 Featuring the largest number of objects, exceptionally the New Sacristy section occupied two rooms. 76 Caroline Elam, ed., Michelangelo e il disegno di architettura, exhib. cat., Vicenza, 2006; Florence, 2007 (Venice: Marsilio, 2006). 77 Mauro Mussolin, ed., Michelangelo architetto a Roma, exhib. cat., Rome, 2009–10 (Cinisello Balsamo: Silvana Editoriale, 2009). 78 Montanari, A cosa serve Michelangelo?, pp. 122–123.

Part V

Monographic exhibitions and the twenty-first century

17 ‘Canaletti’ and the others. Recent monographic exhibitions of Venetian veduta painters Art history and the market Heiner Krellig Preamble This chapter treats some aspects of the relation between art history as a scholarly discipline and two markets: the one for Old Master paintings and the one for exhibitions. This latter cannot be ignored in our time where exhibitions have become part of the cultural industry and the promotion of cultural activities is seen as a value-added item in ‘city marketing’. Exhibitions serve to sustain positive ‘image transfer’ and to increase tourist destinations (often more in the sense of regional, one-day tourism than supraregional travel) and are described in terms of value creation. In contrast to how it might appear, it is not the purpose of this chapter to criticise the activities of art historians connected with one of those markets. The art market is one of the fields that offer working possibilities for our profession, possibilities too long neglected by academic formation. Art historians and art theorists have probably always worked for the art market or have been actors in the market, sometimes with a resounding success, such as the director of the Berlin Museums Wilhelm von Bode, Denis Mahon, or – to go even further back in time – Francesco Algarotti, who did not hesitate to offer parts of his own collections to be sold to the courts of Germany. But as exhibitions regularly claim to have scholarly groundings or purposes, or at least want to popularise scholarly research, it is only legitimate to ask what insight and which view of art history they present to the public – especially when public institutions also of high reputation are involved. Therefore, this contribution simply reflects the effects of the growing entanglements between public museums and institutions, the art market and scientific research in the art world of the twenty-first century. The theme ‘Canaletti’ here is chosen only as a field in which the author is confident of having a certain competence. Similar reflections probably could be made also for recent exhibitions on Impressionists and other ‘popular’ themes. *** In 1996 the 300th anniversary of the birth of the leading exponent of eighteenthcentury Venetian figure painting, Giambattista Tiepolo, was solemnly celebrated with various exhibitions, the most important being the retrospective shown first at Ca’ Rezzonico in Venice and then at the Metropolitan Museum in New York.1 In the following year, the 300th birthday of his great contemporary, the most famous of the veduta painters of all times, Giovanni Antonio Canal, better known as Canaletto, passed over with almost no mention and no commemorative exhibition. He, who had been the most requested and highly paid main exponent of the fashionable, emerging genre of townscape painting, still seemed to have been regarded as a minor artist

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working in a minor genre and therefore not worthy of such celebrations. The up to now most comprehensive and complete retrospective show of Canaletto’s work had been held at the Metropolitan Museum in 1989–1990. It had illuminated all periods and facets of Canaletto’s work in an exemplary way and had included contributions by the main living experts on the subject.2 It was perhaps because of this exhibition that it seemed too soon to organise another retrospective. Canaletto, with no doubt, can be regarded as one of the most important painters in eighteenth-century Venice, and his influence widely surpassed his own hometown and the other places where he had worked. He was highly innovative in cultivating the new genre of the veduta in Italy, which he brought to a level of ‘finezza’ (a word that Algarotti used to describe the quality of his works) that no other painter equalled. Especially in the 1730s it became fashionable to buy his paintings among the Grand Tour travellers during their stay in the city in the lagoon, and testimonies of buyers or interested collectors who bemoaned the high prices he asked for his paintings and the long terms he let his clients wait were frequent. A good example for the prices paid for paintings in Venice can be traced from the inventories of the collections of field marshal Matthias Johann von der Schulenburg, who, during his thirty-year-long stay in the service of the Republic of Venice, gathered together one of the most important private collections of Venetian paintings in Europe. The most expensive painting by a contemporary painter he ever bought was a large view by Canaletto, now in the Sir John Soane’s Museum at London, costing more than two others of the same size by his competitor Michele Marieschi or two large Landscapes by Marco Ricci he obviously must have bought from another, former owner, and surpassing by more than twice an even larger Portrait on Horseback of himself; only for two genre paintings by Piazzetta of equal size almost ten years later did he pay similar prices.3 In his century, Canaletto had generated a crowd of followers – the sources name at least twenty painters who were active in the field that nowadays appear and disappear with varying frequency in auction catalogues in long time waves, mostly of second- and third-class quality. What, in the master’s art, had been the continuous variation on the everlasting theme of the image of his home city that he celebrated in oil paintings, drawings and prints, in the hands of the flock of his followers, already in Canaletto’s own time, had become little more than the imitation and reproduction of the ever same views proposed and reproduced in the prints after his own images. Copying, imitating and plagiarism had become a general practice, and thousands and thousands of views of Venice painted and reproduced in oil and in prints had made his city the most depicted place of the world in his age.4 No other city in the eighteenth century developed an image that stood so unequivocally and definitely for itself as Venice, with the View of the Piazzetta and the Ducal Palace as it presents itself from the city’s harbour, the Bacino di San Marco. It is only New York with its skyline in the twentieth century that developed an image that equalled the one of Venice 200 years before in its pithiness and unequivocability in the visual memory of the beholders. Travellers and agents brought its images to the residences of Europe, where they almost without exception have been catalogued in eighteenth- and still in nineteenth-century inventories under the generic topic ‘Canaletti’.5 Even the names of artists like Michele Marieschi, known to the connoisseurs from the series of prints he had produced, or Francesco Guardi only rarely appear in contemporary collection catalogues. ‘Canaletti’ appears to have become much more than the name of an artist and his family and school, but rather the generic term to describe all painters of Venetian townscape paintings. Travellers,

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before starting their Grand Tour to Italy, had seen images of Venice in the cabinets of the collectors and the albums of their prints, and at the end of the century it was possible to say, as William Beckford did, I have no terms to describe the variety of pillars, of pediments, of mouldings, and cornices, some Grecian, other Saracenic, that adorne these edifices, of which the pencil of Canaletti conveys so perfect an idea as to render all verbal description superfluous.6 Venice had become an iconic city, the first example of what is the modern tourist’s view: to know what we will see before we start our voyage. But it was only after the millennium change that a boom of monographic exhibitions dedicated to Canaletto and other Venetian townscape painters started. In the 1990s, overview exhibitions on Francesco Guardi and Luca Carlevarijs were to be seen in Venice and Padua, but only two smaller Canaletto exhibitions, concentrated on details of his career and his artistic production, had been on show. Since the year 1999/2000 the number of exhibitions, mostly claiming to be monographic, increased, and more than thirty exhibitions dedicated to one of the painters active in the field of the Venetian veduta in the eighteenth century were organised7 – many of them, but not all, by curators who are overtly, or less overtly connected with the art market. Eighteen of them were dedicated in the title to Canaletto the elder himself, ten to his nephew Bernardo Bellotto, who also adopted the surname of his uncle and teacher ‘Canaletto’. In 2008 and 2016 exhibitions have been organised that explicitly confronted works of both of them, one being dedicated in the same manner to Canaletto the elder and his later follower Francesco Guardi, the only one active in the field in Venice who reached the same artistic level as the outstanding master of the genre. Even Pietro Bellotti, another member of the wider Antonio Canal family and a younger brother of Bernardo Bellotto, was honoured with a monographic exhibition although he is a painter of third-class quality. In total, twenty-nine shows therefore were dedicated to the Canaletto family, or ‘clan’, as some like to call it. And with exhibitions at Conegliano, Orta San Giulio and Aix-en-Provence, Canaletto exhibitions finally also have arrived in the provinces and in places that have no inner connection with the work of the master. Very few of the exhibitions can be described as retrospectives in the strict sense of the word, representing all aspects of the artist’s production: first and foremost is the monumental show of works by Gaspar van Wittel, who was called Vanvitelli in Italy, where he was the first professional veduta painter, to be seen in Rome and Venice in 2003; two of the Bellotto shows, at Venice and Houston in 2001 and Vienna in 2005, the Guardi exhibition at Venice in 2012, and with large reservation the Canaletto show at Rome, where there was only one painting from the Royal Collection – which alone makes it impossible to put on display a complete overview of the painter’s production. Ten of the exhibitions took as their starting point or as their main subject a group of works that are in the collections of the institution that organized the exhibition.8 These exhibitions often were arranged in the occasion of recent restorations of works, and it is probably the best and maybe only format that still can be justified with the purpose of education and dissemination of scholarly insight into the art of the veduta. Exhibitions of this kind have also brought to the public a series of technical examinations of paintings by Canaletto. I count in this group the recent exhibition of Bellotto at Munich, because of its declared scope to put into the attention of the public his views of Munich, and

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around them was grouped – according to the organiser’s own declaration – an exhibition with retrospective ambitions.9 Others were concentrated on specific aspects, themes and phases of the career of the artist or special groups of works. One of them, the Canaletto exhibition at Barcelona, 2001, at least in its title declared to be the dissemination of more or less recent research on the art of the veduta by Canaletto; in fact, however, besides the presence of some capricci and some remarks in the catalogue entries in this regard, it seems, it was much more taken as an occasion to publish various works under the at least partly very doubtful attribution to Canaletto’s father Bernardo Canal, who, as we know, also was active in the field dominated by his son.10 Indeed, some of the exhibitions also gave space to works by other ‘minor’ view painters and therefore at least potentially could help to develop a larger and more secure basis for well-grounded future attributions of the mass of anonymous paintings that come to the market in growing amounts.11 In the same period of time since the millennium change, prices for Venetian townscapes on the market exploded. Exhibitions that had become part of the ‘cultural industry’ (in the sense of the term introduced by Max Horkheimer and Theodor W. Adorno),12 the art market and the exhibition market, closely connected, went hand in hand: at least twice one of the highest-priced Old Master paintings sold at auction was a Canaletto and a Francesco Guardi view of Venice, topped in their monetary value only by works of artists of the rank of Rubens, Titian or Holbein. In 2005 the large and very beautiful Canaletto showing the Bacino di San Marco with the return of the Bucintoro after the Doge’s ritual wedding with the sea, from the Champalimaud Collection, formerly Earl of Lovelace, Ockham Park, Surrey, was sold at Christie’s, London for the record price of £11,432,000 ($20,028,864) and thus became the third-highest-priced Old Master painting ever sold at auction.13 It remained third only to the Massacre of the Innocents by Peter Paul Rubens, which probably also because of its very prominent provenance from the Augustiner Chorherrenstift Reichersberg in Upper-Austria had reached the price of £49,506,650 ($76,730,703)14 for which it was bought by Kenneth Thomson, Second Baron Thomson of Fleet, and then generously donated to the Art Gallery of Ontario, and the Portrait of a Halberdier by Pontormo, bought by the Getty Museum in 1989 for the than-unbeaten price of $35,200,000.15 In 2011 the position of the Canaletto as third-highest- (or second-highest-) priced Old Master painting sold in auction was taken over by Francesco Guardi’s large Rialto Bridge, formerly ‘On loan to the Iveagh Bequest, Kenwood House’, that was sold at Sotheby’s, London, on 6 July 2011 for £26,697,250 ($42,865,105).16 It should be added that, at the time, besides those works sold at auction, only very few Old Master paintings known to be sold in private sales reached prices in the region superior to the named Canaletto and Guardi: •

• •

the double purchase of Titian’s Diana and Actaeon and Diana and Callisto, painted in 1556–1559 for Philip II of Spain that were acquired in 2009 and 2012 jointly for the National Gallery of Scotland, Edinburgh, and the National Gallery, London, for £50 and £45 million (equalling $70,6, rsp. $71,7 million)17 the Portrait of Alfonso d’Avalos, Marquis of Vasto, in Armor with a Page by Titian acquired by the Getty Museum in November 2003 for $70 million18 and the Darmstadt Madonna by Hans Holbein the younger of 1526, which is said to have been bought in July 2011 by Reinhold Würth from the collection of a member of the house of Hessen for a price between €50 and 60 million, what might have been something like $75 million.19

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The author, who is a declared lover of Venetian townscapes, leaves it to the reader to judge whether he thinks that paintings by Canaletto and Guardi, as beautiful as they are, equal in their artistic value those works. In any case, a similar increase in prices can be observed but much less easily documented, not least because attributions change frequently, especially in the middle and lower segments of the market for Venetian view paintings. As exhibition catalogues claim to publish research, almost twenty years after Canaletto’s forgotten anniversary, and after about fifteen years of monographic exhibitions dedicated to him and other Venetian townscape painters, it is time to question what kind of scholarly insight those shows have brought to light. Besides the very useful documentation of technical examinations completed on paintings published in the catalogues20 and closer reflections on how the composition of view paintings has been constructed – and therefore, how the view became an artwork21 – the research presented in exhibitions mainly concerns the traditional fields of attribution, dating and also provenance of groups of works and single examples of the genre and, therefore, the history of collecting view paintings. Martin Clayton, for example, argues for a new, earlier datation of the paintings that should be the models for Antonio Visentini’s etchings published in 1735 and also for a stylistically based, new inner chronology of this group of works.22 Bożena Anna Kowalczyk has for years propagated new attributions to Bellotto that mainly regard works from his short, early Venetian period and also comprise works formerly attributed to Canaletto himself. For the rest, the guiding principle seems to be that gathering together a Venetian veduta exhibition is simple and easily reproducible: it will always be possible to have some ‘good’ works by the renowned masters – some pictures had been travelling quite a lot during those years (with all the consequences this brings to the status of conservation of the works) – to which will be added some ‘new’, unpublished works that will be sanctioned by attributions which rarely are based in an argumentation that can be described as scientific in the sense of a comprehensible accountability and transparency of reasoning – a practice that includes the publication of former unknown works with new attributions not even shown in exhibition. In 2006/7, for example, in the exhibition Canaletto in England assembled by the London art dealer Charles Beddington, which was the second on the theme in less than fifteen years,23 besides the known view of The Royal Naval Hospital at Greenwich by Canaletto in the National Maritime Museum, London, was shown another view of the same place coming from a private collection, then on loan to Tate Britain. Beddington thus confirmed the older attribution of this work to Canaletto, and as the painting definitely does not fit in the stylistically clearly definable group of pictures painted during the master’s stay in England, he drew the assumption that it must have been made by the master using an etching by Jacques Rigaud, dated 1736. With its spatial construction parallel to the ground line of the picture, its scarce modellation of the surfaces of the architecture, the inelegant movements of the figures on the boat on the left and the lightless blue sky clouded in white cream, and completely lacking the clear light that is penetrating all the angles of the space that made Canaletto’s paintings so famous in the 1730s, the painting does not even fit into the period of that decade, or the early 1740s, when Canaletto was overwhelmed with commissions from British clients wanting Venetian views. Beddington, en passant, also reproduced a photo of a view of the same place that was not in exhibition that he defined being ‘the only English view by Francesco Guardi’,

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with whose high-quality paintings it has nothing in common, and not even with the many lesser views attributed to him or his circle in sales catalogues.24 Bożena Anna Kowalczyk, as mentioned before, mainly attempts to re-define the early work of Bernardo Bellotto – up to the point that we now should believe that Canaletto and his nephew and disciple went out in Venice, Bellotto drawing and the master only adding small indications of colours and other notes with the same pen on the sheet.25 In the Canaletto e Bellotto exhibition at Turin, 2008, she showed, with the attribution to Bernardo Bellotto, a view of the Entrance to the Canal Grande (from the etching of Canaletto and Visentini, or even, as she supposed, from the original, smaller painting by Canaletto) that is documented to have been acquired in Venice in 1743, but according to Kowalczyk should date from 1738, and therefore would be a very early work of the young painter, who at that time was only sixteen years old.26 It is one of the paintings described by James Harris, who made them deliver from Venice, in his Account of my Pictures as: ‘Four views of Venice – the two larger by Mareschi [ . . .] The two lesser by Antonio Bellotti, one representing the Custom House, the other the Rialto’. Today we are quite well informed about the stylistic specifics of Bellotto’s early works, that, according to contemporary opinions, were hard to distinguish from the ones of his uncle: it is always clean, smooth, almost transparent, with a tendency to a colder, more greyish-blue light that never reaches the splendour of Canaletto’s. What, in the case of the painting at Turin, in the catalogue illustration seemed to fit well in this context, in the examination of the original canvas resulted to be a clumsy work seeming to try to imitate the thicker, pastose application of the painting material which characterised Canaletto’s early works from the 1720s, without being able to arrive at the powerful brushstrokes of the older painter. In any case, the quoted document that might prove the authenticity of the painting, with the mingling of the uncle’s first name and the nephew’s second rather than confirming the authorship of young Bellotto, is much more a proof of the fact that the buyer himself did not know what he had bought – as happened to him also with the large canvas painted by Marieschi that he himself thought to be by Canaletto. It might have been a special marketing concept to put another painting on top of the flyer than on the cover of the exhibition catalogue of the Conegliano Bellotto exhibition of 2012. The catalogue cover shows a view of Pirna, perfectly representing one of later Bellotto’s strengths and also perfectly illustrating the title of the exhibition il Canaletto delle corti europee. The flyer, instead, is decorated with a Venetian motive, a view of the Campo SS. Giovanni e Paolo.27 Unfortunately it is not by Bellotto and probably not even a work of the eighteenth century but rather a nineteenth-century imitation. We know quite securely what Bellotto painted around 1740 when he still was in the studio of his uncle or about to leave it to open his own: it is enough to look at the known, never-doubted version of the same motive from the Venetian Gallerie dell’Accademia that also was in the exhibition to see that neither the general composition, the sky of grey-blue strata nor the figures who seem to be caricatures of their own invention, are by the same hand than the Accademia painting. If attributions continue to accumulate like this, we will soon have a similar situation to the one prompting the Rembrandt Research Project discussed in Chapter 15: growing oeuvres of boundless volumes! In the meantime, in a popular book that was published and translated into various European languages in the occasion of a London Canaletto exhibition curated by Charles Beddington,28 the flock of followers, successors, copiers and imitators riding on the Canaletti wave in the eighteenth century were ennobled with the title of

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‘rivals’, and even minor painters, who for a long time had been virtually unknown, became themselves the subjects of monographic exhibitions. The concept of artistic rivalry, at least in Venetian art history, derives from the example of Titian and the upcoming, concurring younger painters Tintoretto and Veronese. At least for Tintoretto, this concept may have its justification: he, in a competition for a ceiling painting for the Sala dell‘Albergo of the Scuola Grande di San Rocco at Venice in 1564, instead of a modello had delivered the complete painting of the Glory of Saint Rochus29 and thus had secured himself further commissions to decorate the representative building of the Scuola and also had established himself as the main concurrent of Titian. The cycle of decorations, indeed, became the masterpiece of all his career. Tintoretto’s aggressive means of acquiring commissions in times of neo-liberalism might fascinate some parts of the audience and, therefore, it might serve as an eyecatching title, but the term ‘rival’ does not correctly describe the role of Canaletto’s followers. He himself, in his younger years, might have been a rival of Carlevarijs, the first professional view painter at Venice, but none of his followers ever rivalled him in artistic quality or fame. Even Michele Marieschi, the younger painter who, with his print series, concurring with the one by Antonio Visentini after Canaletto, and his special painting technique that imitated oil painting in tempera to be able to deliver more quickly to an audience that had to wait too long for Canaletto’s views,30 might be defined a serious competitor on the open market of view paintings but in no way a ‘rival’ – which is sufficiently proven by the prices he received for his paintings. He simply served a somewhat lower segment of the market, and others served even lower segments in the market for the production of Venetian views that numbered tens of thousands of paintings of various qualities produced in the eighteenth century.31 To call artisans like the so-called Apollonio Domenichini or a Pietro Bellotti a ‘rival’ of Canaletto surely does not help to explain why the art of the veduta on the level of Canaletto, Giovanni Paolo Panini, Francesco Guardi or Claude-Joseph Vernet is great art. What, finally, today is totally missing from such exhibitions is a culture of scholarly discussion, as was the case half a century ago, on the occasion of the famous Mostra dei Guardi that was held at Venice in 1965 when many questions about the Guardi brothers as painters were still open to dispute – questions that have never been really resolved but only quieted. On that occasion, the contributions to the international congress that accompanied the exhibitions were published together with all the critical remarks which had been made from the audience that united all the leading experts in the field of Venetian eighteenth century painting.32

Exhibitions of Venetian view painters since 1989/1990, in chronological order 1989–90 Katharine Baetjer and Joseph Gluckstein Links, eds., Canaletto (New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art and Harry N. Abrams Inc., 1989–90) 1990 Giulio Lari, ed., I rami di Visentini per le vedute di Venezia del Canaletto (Venice: Museo Correr, 1990) 1993 Alessandro Bettagno, ed., Francesco Guardi: Vedute Capricci Feste (Venice: Fondazione Giorgio Cini, Istituto di Storia dell’Arte, Isola di San Giorgio Maggiore and Milano: Electa, 1993)

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1994 Isabella Reale and Dario Succi, eds., Luca Carlevarijs e la veduta veneziana del Settecento (Padova: Palazzo della Regione and Milano: Electa, 1994) 1993–94 Jane Farrington and Michael Liversidge, eds., Canaletto & England (Birmingham: Gas Hall Exhibition Gallery and London: Merrell Holberton Publishers, 1993–94) 1995–96 Isabella Reale, ed., Luca Carlevarijs. Le Fabriche, e Vedute di Venezia (Udine: Soprintendenza BAAAAS Friuli-Venezia Giulia and Venezia: Marsilio, 1995–96) 1998–99 David Bomford and Gabriele Finaldi, Venice Through Canaletto’s Eyes: Canaletto in the National Gallery (London: The National Gallery, York City Art Gallery, Swansea: Glynn Vivian Art Gallery and: London: National Gallery Publications Ltd., 1998–99) 1999 Dario Succi, ed., Bernardo Bellotto detto il Canaletto (Mirano: Barchessa di Villa Morosini and Venice: Marsilio, 1999) 2001 Monica da Cortà Fumei and Bożena Anna Kowalczyk, ed., Bernardo Bellotto, 1722–1780 (Venice: Museo Correr, Houston: The Museum of Fine Arts and Milan: Electa, 2001) 2001 Annalia Delneri and Dario Succi, eds., Canaletto. Una Venècia imaginària (Barcelona: Centre de Cultura Contemporània de Barcelona [CCCB] and Institut d’Edicions de la Diputació de Barcelona, 2001) 2001 Bożena Anna Kowalczyk, Chiara Ceschi and Simone Guerriero, ed., Canaletto. Prima maniera (Venice: Fondazione Giorgio Cini and Milan: Electa, 2001) 2001 Charles Beddington, Luca Carlevarijs: Views of Venice (San Diego, CA: Timken Museum of Art, 2001) 2002 Giorgio Marini, ed., Bernardo Bellotto un ritorno a Verona. L’immagine della città nel Settecento (Verona: Museo di Castelvecchio and Venezia: Marsilio, 2002) 2002–03 Lia Viviani Cursi, ed., Gaspare Vanvitelli e le origini del vedutismo (Roma: Chiostro del Bramante, Venezia: Museo Correr and Roma: Viviani Arte, 2002–03) 2004–05 Stéphane Loire, Hanna Malachowicz and Andrzej Rottermund, eds., Bernardo Bellotto. Un pittore veneziano a Varsavia (Paris: Musée du Louvre and Milano and Paris: 5 Continents, 2004–05), Engl. ed.: Bernardo Bellotto: A Venetian Painter in Warsaw 2005 Wilfried Seipel, ed., Bernardo Bellotto genannt Canaletto. Europäische Veduten (Vienna: Kunsthistorisches Museum and Milan: Skira, 2005) 2005 Bożena Anna Kowalczyk, ed., Canaletto. Il trionfo della veduta, ed. by the Senato della Repubblica, Rome: Palazzo Giustiniani and Cinisello Balsamo (Milan: Silvana Editoriale, 2005) 2006 Filippo Pedrocco and Camillo Tonini, eds., Canaletto – Brustolon. Le feste ducali. Rami e stampe dalle collezioni del Museo Correr (Venice: Ca’ Rezzonico – Museo del Settecento Veneziano and Musei Civici Veneziani and Marsilio, 2006) 2006–07 Martin Clayton, Canaletto in Venice (London: The Queen’s Gallery, Edinburgh: Palace of Holyroodhouse and London: Royal Collections Publications, 2006–07)

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2006–07 Charles Beddington, ed., Canaletto in England: A Venetian Artist Abroad, 1746–1755 (New Haven, CT: Yale Center for British Art, London: Dulwich Picture Gallery, and New Haven and London: Yale University Press, 2006–07) 2008 Bożena Anna Kowalczyk, ed., Canaletto e Bellotto. L’arte della veduta (Turin: Fondazione Palazzo Bricherasio and Cinisello Balsamo [Milan]: Silvana Editoriale, 2008) 2008 Andreas Henning, Axel Börner and Andreas Dehmer, eds., Canaletto. Ansichten vom Canal Grande in Venedig. Kabinettausstellung anlässlich der Restaurierung zweier Gemälde von Giovanni Antonio Canal, genannt Canaletto (Dresden: Staatliche Kunstsammlungen. Gemäldegalerie Alte Meister and Michael Sandstein Verlag, 2008) 2008–09 Giuseppe Pavanello and Alberto Craievich, eds., Canaletto. Venezia e i suoi splendori (Treviso, Casa dei Carraresi and Venice: Marsilio, 2008–09) 2009 Fabrizio Magnani and Rossella Fabiani, eds., Uno sguardo su Venezia. Canaletto al Miramare (Trieste, Museo Storico del Castello di Miramare and Cinisello Balsamo [Milan]: Silvana, 2009) 2010–11 Charles Beddington with a contribution by Amanda Bradley, Venice: Canaletto and His Rivals (London: The National Gallery, Washington: National Gallery of Art, and London: National Gallery Company distributed by Yale University Press, 2010–11) 2011–12 Dario Succi, ed., Bernardo Bellotto. Il Canaletto delle corti europee (Conegliano: Palazzo Sarcinelli and Venice: Marsilio, 2011–12) 2011 Lorenza Tonani, ed., Canaletto e i vedutisti. L’incanto dell’acqua (Orta San Giulio: Palazzo Penotti Ubertini and Cinisello Balsamo [Milan]: Silvana Editoriale, 2011) 2012 Annalisa Perissa Torrini, ed., Canaletto. Il quaderno veneziano. Edizione anastatica (Venice: Museo di Palazzo Grimani and Marsilio, 2012) 2012 Annalisa Scarpa, ed., Canaletto à Venise (Paris: Musée Maillol and Gallimard, 2012). 2012–13 Bożena Anna Kowalczyk, dir. scientifique, Canaletto Guardi. Les deux maîtres de Venise (Paris: Musée Jacquemart-André and Bruxelles: Culturespaces/Fonds Mercators, 2012–13) 2012–13 Alberto Craievich, ed., Francesco Guardi. 1712–1793 (Venice: Museo Correr and Milan: Skira, 2012–13) 2013–14 Charles Beddington and Domenico Crivellari, eds., Pietro Bellotti. Un altro Canaletto (Venice: Ca’ Rezzonico – Museo del Settecento Veneziano and Verona: Scripta edizioni, 2013–14) 2014–15 Andreas Schumacher, ed., Canaletto. Bernardo Bellotto malt Europa (Munich: Alte Pinakothek and Hirmer, 2014–15), engl. ed.: Canaletto: Bernardo Bellotto Paints Europe 2015 Bożena Anna Kowalczyk, dir. scientifique, Canaletto. Rome, Londres, Venise. Le triomphe de la lumière (Aix-en-Provence: Centre d’art de l’hôtel de Caumont and Brussels: Fonds Mercator, 2015) 2016 Bożena Anna Kowalczyk, ed., Bellotto e Canaletto. Lo stupore e la luce (Milan: Nell’occhietto: Gd’I Gallerie d’Italia, Piazza Scala and Cinisello Balsamo [Milan]: Silvana/Intesa Sanpaolo, 2016), engl. ed.: Bellotto and Canaletto: Wonder and Light.

Figure 17.1 Cover of the catalogue of the retrospective exhibition at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, 1989–90 Source: from the library of the author

Figure 17.2a Canaletto, Venice, the Ducal Palace, seen from the Bacino di San Marco with the return of the Bucintoro after the Doge’s ritual wedding with the sea, canvas, 182 × 259 cm, dated 1727–29, Moscow, Pushkin Museum, Inv.: 2678 Source: Open Source File: Canaletto – Bucentaur’s return to the pier by the Palazzo Ducale – Google Art Project.jpg

Figure 17.2b Anonymous photographer, The skyline of New York City, with the arrival of S.S. Flandre, probably 1952 Source: historic photo

Figure 17.3 Auction catalogue of 1856, advertising eleven paintings by ‘Canaletti’ Source: from the library of the author

Source: © the author

Figure 17.4 Exhibitions held on Venetian view painters since 1989–90

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Notes 1 Keith Christiansen, ed., Giambattista Tiepolo 1696–1996 (New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art and Milan and New York: Skira, 1996), Engl. ed.: Giambattista Tiepolo 1696–1770, exhibition presented on the 300th anniversary of the artist’s birth held at Ca’ Rezzonico - Museo del Settecento Veneziano (Venice, 1996), and the Metropolitan Museum of Art (New York, 1997). Other exhibition celebrating his 300th anniversary were: Peter O. Krückmann, ed., Der Himmel auf Erden. Tiepolo in Würzburg, 2 vols. (Bayerische Verwaltung der Staatlichen Schlösser, Gärten und Seen. Residenz Würzburg and Munich and New York: Prestel, 1996); Giuseppe Bergamini, ed., Giambattista Tiepolo. Forme e colori. La pittura del Settecento in Friuli (Milan: Electa and Comune di Udine, Civici Musei e Gallerie di Storia ed Arte, Chiesa di San Francesco, 1996); Bernard Aikema and Marguerite Tuijn, eds., Tiepolo in Holland: Works by Giambattista Tiepolo and His Circle in Dutch Collections (Rotterdam: Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen, 1996); Corinna Höper and Uwe Westfehling, eds., Tiepolo und die Zeichenkunst Venedigs im 18. Jahrhundert (Stuttgart: Staatsgalerie Stuttgart, Graphische Sammlung and Cologne: Wallraf-RichartzMuseum, Graphische Sammlung, 1996). See further on the volume: Giuseppe Maria Pilo, Tiepolo. 300 anni dalla nascita, 1696–1996, ed. by Giuseppe Ellero (Monfalcone: Edizioni della Laguna, 1996). 2 Katharine Baetjer and Joseph Gluckstein Links, eds., Canaletto (New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art and Harry N. Abrams Inc., 1989–90). 3 For a more complete reflection on the prices given in von der Schulenburg’s inventories, see Heiner Krellig, ‘Prices and Valuations of Paintings in Collection Inventories of the Venetian Field Marshall Matthias Johann von der Schulenburg (1661–1747)’, in Kunstmärkte zwischen Stadt und Hof. Prozesse der Preisbildung in der europäischen Vormoderne, ed. by Andreas Tacke, Michael Wenzel, Birgit Ulrike Münch, Markwart Herzog, and Christof Jeggle (Petersberg: Michael Imhof Verlag, 2016), pp. 222–240; some of von der Schulenburg’s inventories indicate purchase prices, as well as estimates of the supposed actual value. The mentioned paintings are: Canaletto, The Bacino di San Marco from the Riva degli Schiavoni, 1736, canvas, 125 × 204 cm, London, Sir John Soane‘s Museum (paid 360 ducats); Michele Marieschi, The Courtyard of the Ducal Palace and Ponte di Rialto, canvasses, 118.5 × 180.7 and 123 × 208 cm, Private collection and Osterley Park, The National Trust (paid together in 1736: 320 ducats); two large Landscapes by Marco Ricci, canvasses, 168.5 × 241.5 cm and 156 × 230 cm, Sammlung der Grafen von der Schulenburg-Wolfsburg (paid together: 338 ducats); Francesco Simonini and/or Giuseppe Nazzari(?), Portrait of Fieldmarshall Matthias Johann von der Schulenburg on horseback, canvas, 199 × 146 cm, 3 July 2013 bei Christie’s, London, lot 222 (paid 1738: 100 ducats); Giovanni Battista Piazzetta, Pastoral Scene, canvas, 191.8 × 143 cm, Chicago, Art Institute (paid about 1746: 330 ducats). 4 For the practice of copying, imitating and plagiarism, see recently Heiner Krellig: ‘Kopie, Imitat, Plagiat und Fälschung in der Kunst der venezianischen Vedute des 18. Jahrhunderts’, in Fälschung – Plagiat – Kopie. Künstlerische Praktiken in der Vormodern, ed. by Birgit Ulrike Münch, Andreas Tacke, Markwart Herzog, and Sylvia Heudecker (Petersberg: Michael Imhof Verlag, 2014), pp. 141–157. 5 Two speaking examples among may others are: N.° ‘58 View of the Doge’s Palace at Venice’ by ‘Canaletti’, Catalogue of the Pictures, Casts, and Busts, Belonging to the Earl of Morley, at Saltram, London, 1844, hanging in the ‘Velvet Drawing Room’, referring to a painting still at Saltram House, Plymouth, rightly attributed to a ‘Follower of Canaletto’, showing The Return of the Bucintoro to the Ducal Palace, Canvas, 27 × 42 1/2 ins, following exactly the relative print of Antonio Visentini after Canaletto; or: M. Febvre (Expert) and Me Charles Pillet, (Cre-Priseur), Catalogue de onze tableaux de Canalletti. Provenant de la collection de M. R*** dont la vente aux enchères publiques aura lieu hotel des commissaires-priseurs rue Drouot, 5 le samedi 19 Janvier 1856 (Paris: Maulde & Renou, 1856). 6 William Beckford, Italy: With Sketches of Spain and Portugal by the Author of ‘Vathek’, 2 vols. (London: Richard Bentley, 1834), vol. I, p. 101. 7 For a complete list of the exhibitions, seeabove.

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8 Giulio Lari, ed., I rami di Visentini per le vedute di Venezia del Canaletto (Venice: Museo Correr, 1990); David Bomford, and Gabriele Finaldi, Venice Through Canaletto’s Eyes Canaletto in the National Gallery (London: The National Gallery, York City Art Gallery, Swansea: Glynn Vivian Art Gallery, and London: National Gallery Publications Ltd, 1998–99). Giorgio Marini,ed., Bernardo Bellotto un ritorno a Verona L’immagine della città nel Settecento (Verona: Museo di Castelvecchio and Venice: Marsilio, 2002). Filippo Pedrocco and Camillo Tonini, eds., Canaletto – Brustolon Le feste ducali Rami e stampe dalle collezioni del Museo Correr (Venice: Ca’ Rezzonico – Museo del Settecento Veneziano, Musei Civici Veneziani and Marsilio, 2006). Martin Clayton, Canaletto in Venice (London: Royal Collections Publications, 2006–07). Fabrizio Magnani and Rossella Fabiani, eds., Uno sguardo su Venezia Canaletto al Miramare (Trieste: Museo Storico del Castello di Miramare and Cinisello Balsamo and Milan: Silvana, 2009). Andreas Henning, Axel Börner, and Andreas Dehmer, eds., Canaletto. Ansichten vom Canal Grande in Venedig. Kabinettausstellung anlässlich der Restaurierung zweier Gemälde von Giovanni Antonio Canal, genannt Canaletto (Dresden: Staatliche Kunstsammlungen Gemäldegalerie Alte Meister and Michael Sandstein Verlag, 2008). Annalisa Perissa Torrini, ed., Canaletto Il quaderno veneziano Edizione anastatica (Venice: Museo di Palazzo Grimani and Marsilio, 2012). I would add to those also: Blick auf den Canal Grande. Venedig und die Sammlung des Berliner Kaufmanns Sigismund Streit (Berlin: Gemäldegalerie. Staatliche Museen zu Berlin Preußischer Kulturbesitz [Bilder im Blickpunkt], 2002–03), that presented the whole remaining painting possessions of the last known patron of Canaletto; and two exhibitions that presented groups of Venetian views by an anonymous authors: Gertrude Borghero, ed., Mythos Venedig. Venezianische Veduten des 18. Jahrhunderts / Mito e fascino di Venezia nelle vedute del Settecento (Baden: Stiftung Langmatt Sidney und Jenny Brown and Milan: Electa, 1994); Arabella Cifani and Franco Monetti, eds., Tra Canaletto e Guardi. Dodici vedute veneziane della Pinacoteca Albertina di Torino (Turin: Fondazione Accorsi – Museo delle Arti Decorative and Turin, London, Venice, and New York: Umberto Allemandi & C., 2009). 9 Andreas Schumacher, ed., Canaletto. Bernardo Bellotto malt Europa (Munich: Alte Pinakothek and Hirmer, 2014–15), Engl. ed.: Canaletto: Bernardo Bellotto Paints Europe. 10 Annalia Delneri and Dario Succi, eds., Canaletto. Una Venècia imaginària (Barcelona: Centre de Cultura Contemporània de Barcelona [CCCB] and Institut d’Edicions de la Diputació de Barcelona, 2001); the reference for this is: André Corboz, Canaletto. Una Venezia immaginaria (Venice: Alfieri and Milano: Electa, 1985), whose author also contributed an essay to the catalogue. 11 Isabella Reale and Dario Succi, eds., Luca Carlevarijs e la veduta veneziana del Settecento (Padova: Palazzo della Regione and Milano: Electa, 1994); Giuseppe Pavanello and Alberto Craievich, eds., Canaletto. Venezia e i suoi splendori (Treviso, Casa dei Carraresi and Venice: Marsilio, 2008–09); Charles Beddington with a contribution by Amanda Bradley, Venice: Canaletto and His Rivals (London: The National Gallery, Washington: National Gallery of Art, and London: National Gallery Company distributed by Yale University Press, 2010–11); Annalisa Scarpa, ed., Canaletto à Venise (Paris: Musée Maillol and Gallimard, 2012), and, to a lesser degree many others. 12 Max Horkheimer and Theodor W. Adorno, ‘Kulturindustrie, Aufklärung als Massenbetrug’, Dialektik der Aufklärung. Philosophische Fragmente (Frankfurt a. M.: S. Fischer Verlag, 1986), pp. 128–76; and Theodor W. Adorno: Ästhetische Theorie, ed. by Gretel Adorno and Rolf Tiedemann (Frankfurt a. M: Suhrkamp Verlag, 1986), pp. 32–34. 13 Canvas, 152.1 × 137.5 cm, Christie’s, London 6–7 July 2005, lot 20. 14 Oak panel, 142 × 182 cm, Sotheby’s, London 10 July 2002, lot 6, circa 1611–1612, The Thomson Collection © Art Gallery of Ontario. 15 Halberdier (probably a soldier with name Francesco Guardi), panel transferred to canvas, 95.3 × 73 cm, 1528–1530, The J. Paul Getty Museum, Object Number: 89.PA.49, sold Christie’s, New York, 31 May 1989, lot 72, price realized: $35,200,000.

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16 Francesco Guardi: Rialto Bridge, Seen From the Riva del Carbon, canvas, 120 × 203.7 cm, Sotheby’s, London 6 July 2011, lot 73: £26,697,250 ($42,865,105); obviously it might be argued, that in 1989, when the Getty bought Pontormo’s Halberdier, currency relations were still very much different, hence the caution in my expression. 17 Canvasses, 185 cm × 202 cm and 187 cm × 204.5 cm, acquired from the collection of the Duke of Sutherland. 18 Canvas, 110 × 80 cm, 1533, the J. Paul Getty Museum, Object Number: 2003.486. 19 Panel, 146.5 cm × 102 cm. 20 Henning, Börner, Dehmer, eds., Canaletto. Ansichten vom Canal Grande in Venedig, Dresden, 2008. 21 Annalisa Perissa Torrini, ed., Canaletto. Il quaderno veneziano. Edizione anastatica (Venice: Museo di Palazzo Grimani and Marsilio, 2012); Andreas Schumacher, ed., Canaletto. Bernardo Bellotto malt Europa (Munich: Alte Pinakothek and Hirmer, 2014–15), Engl. ed.: Canaletto: Bernardo Bellotto Paints Europe. 22 Clayton, Canaletto in Venice, London, 2006–07. 23 Jane Farrington and Michael Liversidge, eds., Canaletto & England (Birmingham: Gas Hall Exhibition Gallery and London: Merrell Holberton Publishers, 1993–94); Charles Beddington, ed., Canaletto in England: A Venetian Artist Abroad, 1746–1755 (New Haven, CT: Yale Center for British Art, London: Dulwich Picture Gallery, and New Haven and London: Yale University Press, 2006–07); and, the recent, very intelligent, non-monographic exhibition: Celebrating Britain: Canaletto, Hogarth and Patriotism (Compton Verney, Bath: Holburne Museum and Kendal: Abbot Hall, 2015). 24 Charles Beddington, ed., Canaletto in England: A Venetian Artist Abroad, 1746–1755 (New Haven, CT: Yale Center for British Art, London: Dulwich Picture Gallery, and New Haven and London: Yale University Press, 2006–07), cat. 2, and esp. 54, fig. 2.2. 25 So the marvelous drawing of the North-façade of Saint Mark’s, in the Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen, inv. I 326 recto, Kowalczyk, ed., Torino, 2008, cat. 13, 80–81 (not exposed) and Schumacher, ed., München, 2014–15, cat. 8, 166–67. 26 Canvas, 65 × 86 cm, Milan, Galleria Cocoon Art; Kowalczyk, ed., Turin, 2008, cat. 2. 27 Dario Succi, ed., Bernardo Bellotto. Il Canaletto delle corti europee (Conegliano: Palazzo Sarcinelli and Venice: Marsilio, 2011–12). 28 There are editions in English, German, French, Spanish and Italian. 29 Canvas, oval, 240 × 360 cm, 1564, Venice, Scuola Grande di San Rocco, Sala dell‘Albergo; see: Frederick Ilchman, Titian, Tintoretto, Veronese. Rivals in Renaissance Venice (Boston: Museum of Fine Arts, Paris: Musée du Louvre, and Farnham: Lund Humphries, 2009–10). 30 This consideration is based on the technical examinations published by the restorers of the National Museum of Warsaw: Maria Ligęzy, Grażyna Bastek and Grzegorz Janczarski, ‘Obrazy Michele Marieschiego w zbiorach Muzeum Narodowego w Warszawie w świetle nowych badań technologicznych / Paintings by Michele Marieschi in the Collection of National Museum in Warsaw in the Light of New Technological Research’, Biuletyn Informayjny Konserwatorów Dziel Sztuki, 13 no. 3 [46] (2001), 21–38. 31 Unfortunately, there is not enough space to go into the details in this chapter, but there are many contemporary sources that document the inferiority of those painters – even Francesco Guardi included – in the eye of the period. 32 Problemi Guardeschi. Atti del convegno di studi promosso dalla Mostra dei Guardi Venezia 13–14 settembre 1965, ed. by Comune di Venezia. Assessorato alle Belle Arti (Venice: Alfieri Edizioni d’Arte, 1967); the exhibition catalogue is: Pietro Zampetti, ed., Mostra dei Guardi. Catalogo della Mostra (Venice: Palazzo Grassi and Edizioni Alfieri, 1965).

18 El Greco and the dynamics of retrospection in monographic exhibitions for the anniversary of his death in 2014 Livia Stoenescu The modern museum has determined the ways in which art historians examine the pictorial art of El Greco (Crete, 1541–Toledo, 1614). By effectively framing questions about El Greco’s life and work, the museum functioned as a catalyst for repositioning art historians’ assumptions in sync with the institution of the museum. The exhibitions dedicated in 2014 to the 400th anniversary of his death shed light on Domenikos Theotokopoulos – later Doménico Theotocopuli, as he called himself first in Italy and then in Spain – yet the theoretical speculation remained inextricably tied to the enduring role of the museum in unravelling the essence of his personality and genius. In fact, his nickname of ‘El Greco’ enshrines an identity that only the modern museum uncovered – a singularity integral to the predominant role institutions and collective mentalities played in morphing Domenikos into ‘the Greek’ – El Greco – a name intrinsically Spanish and yet largely reminiscent of an original Cretan identity. In 1947 when André Malraux (1901–1976) coined the term musée imaginaire or the ‘museum without walls,’ he established El Greco as the paradigm of a super-historical order that the museum as institution adopts to undermine and supersede the processes of order and method.1 According to Rosalind Krauss, Malraux conceived of El Greco as the force of ‘museological progress’ capable of attracting the curator’s attention because of the reorganization of value that his art may effect.2 This chapter focuses on the monographic exhibitions engendered in 2014 for the 400th anniversary of his death, which occasioned numerous conferences held in Japan, Spain, and Greece. Preceding these conferences, Toledo’s Museo y Casa del Greco set the stage for a year of international celebrations of El Greco. By acting as a springboard for commemorative expression, the Museo y Casa del Greco re-opened to the general public in 2013 after renovation. The remodelled Museo y Casa del Greco not only affirmed the significance of the artist’s home as a preferred venue for art display but also reinforced an existing perception that the studio of the artist is a source for history, legacy, and remembrance, a topic addressed in some detail in Chapter 8. As Luis Alberto Perez Velarde, principal curator of the El Greco house, argued, and as Nicos Hadjinicolaou further adduced, it was his home – currently a museum of its own – that distinguished El Greco from a Spanish art community still militant about obtaining recognition of the visual arts as artes liberales.3 Coming from Crete via Venice and Rome to Toledo, El Greco exhibited astoundingly liberal behaviour by renting the lavish Casas Principales of the Marquis de Villena in 1585–86 and then again from 1604 until his death in 1614. In documenting the house and especially

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the grandee El Greco residing there, the Spanish painter and historiographer Jusepe Martínez (1602–1682) observed: He entered this city with great credit and with such a manner, that he gave the impression that there was nothing in the world superior to his works [. . .] he was himself extravagant like his painting [. . .] he gained a lot of ducats but he would spend them because of the exaggerated ostentation of his house, to the point that he even paid musicians to make music while he ate and enjoyed all kinds of delicious things. (Discursos practicables del nobilísimo arte de la pintura, 1675; published in Madrid, 1866)4 It is no simple coincidence that the Museo y Casa del Greco preserved in situ most of the portraits of saints and apostles El Greco depicted while living there. The restorations of the Apostles series awakened discussions of his technique, the Venetian influence on his development, and most importantly, the large-format canvas El Greco began using after his relocation to Toledo in 1577. As Letitia Ruiz Gómez has argued, El Greco painted on a specific type of high-quality, large-format canvas, known in Spain as mantelillos venecianos.5 This canvas, besides being a Venetian retention adopted by other Spanish artists of the period, provides an animated texture, one lending itself to the loose, rich Venetian brushstroke El Greco would soon use to highlight gradations and impasto. According to Fernando Marías, this large-format canvas became a staple of El Greco’s pictorial art, as first revealed in the Santo Domingo el Antiguo altarpiece complex (Toledo, 1577), the altarpieces for the Hospital in Illescas (Illescas, 1588–1600), The Apparition of the Virgin to Saint Lawrence (Monforte de Lemos, 1578–81), The Burial of the Count of Orgaz (Toledo, 1586), and later in the Dońa Maria de Aragon retable (Madrid, 1591).6 El Greco originally painted a coloured ground, the tonality of which changed from the greys used in his early paintings to the orange and dark red of his last commissions. If the Casa y Museo y Casa del Greco gave El Greco’s portraits a sense of solidity and permanence, this was achieved by injecting new life into his environment and by highlighting the specific strategies of different national contexts. The curatorial stress was shifted from the masterpieces to the elaborate process of their making with a view to unravelling Greco’s productive and coordinating power in his Spanish context. The rooms at the Museo y Casa del Greco reflect the imposition of order that El Greco’s pictorial art effects. This order unfolds what Malraux argued about the modern museum, which departed from the Classical values it had inherited. To be sure, Malraux exemplified his musée imaginaire with only three El Greco paintings hung in a room in the National Gallery in Washington, DC, to oppose both oil painting as the privileged technique of representation in the West and the Italianate Classicism as the normative condition of representation. For Malraux, the role of El Greco in the modern museum is that of a catalyst for change to supplant Classicism as normative – what Rosalind Krauss identified with ‘the reorganization of value that the museum itself had begun to effect’ as curators focused on artists like El Greco, Georges de la Tour, and Piero della Francesca.7 Throughout his Spanish career, El Greco painted with enormous confidence and originality, using subject matter derived from local church iconography, ecclesiastical patrons, and the Escorial. Yet while fine-tuning his exposure to the Spanish spirit,

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El Greco steadily amplified his cosmopolitan training. The monographic exhibitions organised in 2014 have brought attention to bear on the conflation his pictorial art achieved among three distinct European cultures: of his adopted town Toledo, of his Italian years of formation in Rome and Venice, and of his native Crete. At the heart of these globalizing insights into his life and career rest earlier museum discoveries and interventions: it was not until the Benaki Museum’s panel of the Adoration of the Shepherds was identified in 1934–35, followed by the Benaki Saint Luke Painting the Virgin in 1935, and more importantly, the Modena Triptych in 1937, that a sense of his work prior to his Roman period began to emerge.8 The 2014 anniversary exhibitions built on the foundations laid by the modern museum, advancing existing perceptions and expanding a foundational knowledge once adumbrated in the curatorial contexts.9 Japan’s largest El Greco retrospective, El Greco’s Visual Poetics, held at the Tokyo Metropolitan Art Museum in early 2013, remains a benchmark in the museum’s history. The Tokyo exhibition interspersed his paintings with writings on the museum’s walls, enabling visitors to access his art through an intimate dialogue with the painter’s own theoretical ideas. El Greco’s written observations thus supplemented the major works featured, such as The Glory of Philip II (El Escorial, Spain, 1579–82), Mary Magdalene in Penitence (Museum of Fine Arts, Budapest, 1576), Saint Martin and the Beggar (National Gallery of Art, Washington, DC, 1599), and the Portrait of Fray Hortensio Félix Paravicino (Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, 1611). This variety of genre painting from El Greco’s Spanish years revealed facets of his creativity hitherto unexplored. The Tokyo Metropolitan Art Museum decidedly comingled the sense of a monographic exhibition with Francesco Pacheco’s early seventeenth-century approach to El Greco. In 1611, upon visiting El Greco’s home in Toledo, Francesco Pacheco called El Greco ‘the painter-philosopher’ when referring to his nature-oriented investigation of a multi-layered reality.10 To interpret El Greco’s painting became, after Pacheco’s commentary, a complex exercise in art historical writing that absorbs much of the Cretan’s theoretical ideas that came down from his own marginalia to Vasari’s Lives and the oral remarks that Pacheco recorded. The Tokyo Metropolitan Art Museum exploited the difficulty of this two-fold approach, shedding light on El Greco’s ideas as both the mark of the artist’s personal experiment with theology and pictorial ability to represent sacred iconography. The focal points of inquiry at the Tokyo retrospective revolved around the altarpiece as the predominant format and function in El Greco’s painting, underscoring his crafting of certain architectural principles that support the ideas of Andrea Palladio and Michelangelo while simultaneously opposing the austere classicism of Juan de Herrera11; his critical role in helping disseminate portraiture in Spain as a pictorial genre, beyond the confines of the royal court12; and his annotations of Vitruvius’s treatise on architecture (1556) and the second edition of Vasari’s Lives (1568).13 El Greco’s annotations hold a singular position among his writings, yet they were recognised only with the museum’s interventions and Clare Robertson’s monographic study of Annibale Carracci in 2008, which lumped together Annibale’s and El Greco’s criticisms of Vasari.14 While the Tokyo exhibition complemented existing positions about the painterphilosopher El Greco by rallying the museum’s resources and strengths for advancement in early modern studies, the International Symposium held in Spain in 2014 revealed a distinctive alignment with issues of globalization and cultural dissemination.

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Organised by the El Greco Foundation in Toledo and carried out at Madrid’s Museum Thyssen-Bornemisza, the International Symposium addressed the multifaceted personality of El Greco, demonstrated in his excursive trajectory from Crete to Italy and from Madrid to Toledo. In focusing on El Greco’s Cretan formation as an icon painter and the impact the Byzantine practice exerted on his mature stage, Angeliki Lymberpoulou maintained that Spain’s moderate receptivity to Byzantium – when compared to the pronounced legacy of Byzantium in the Italian Peninsula – fostered the idiosyncratic mode of El Greco, after his relocation to Toledo in 1577.15 According to Lymberpoulou, El Greco’s mature production reflects on post-Byzantine Cretan painting with both a theoretical and a practical acuity that surpasses Vasari’s reductive views about the maniera greca. As El Greco articulated in his annotations to The Lives, Vasari’s praise of Giotto as the main exponent of the maniera greca diminishes by way of incomplete and simplistic judgment – ‘cosa simple’ – the far more complex reality of Byzantine art that the Italian historiographer never grasped.16 Building on El Greco’s revised notion of the maniera greca, the exhibition at the Museum Thyssen-Bornemisza took a decisive step in re-evaluating the worn-out cliché of Vasari’s appreciation of Greek painting by pointing out El Greco’s technical difficulty in mingling the Paleologian and the whole post-Byzantine age in his style. We can clearly see that the imposition of order in the modern museum provided a steady illumination over the contents of El Greco’s pictorial art. While situating meaning at the core of museological inquiry and supplanting Classicism, we begin to find an unprecedented place for El Greco in the modern museum. With meaning becoming a function for curators, Malraux’s long-held assumptions ring true that El Greco hastens the rupture with the obsessive Classicism from the entire past of the Western tradition and ushers into being, after the mid-twentieth century, an artist of the musée imaginaire.17 The Madrid symposium pointed to both formal and structural similarities between the Paleologian style, as revealed in the funerary chapel at Istanbul’s Cora monastery, and El Greco’s Saint Peter of 1610, at the San Lorenzo monastery at the Escorial.18 Commissioned by Theodor Metochites, the mosaics and frescoes at the Cora monastery partake in the Renaissance of Byzantium, a period the Madrid symposium stressed as an unquestionable source for El Greco’s most important paintings in Toledo. His most celebrated work, the Disrobing of Christ, or El Espolio, in the sacristy of Toledo Cathedral, testifies to his familiarity with the Byzantine treatment of pictorial space in such a manner that figures and environment contradict the realism of Western art, showcasing instead an immaterial realm suitable to the representation of the sacred figures of Christ and the saints. The notion that El Greco derived his inspiration from a multicultural context and the myriad interconnections of early modern Rome was due to his mentor, the Croatian miniaturist Giulio Clovio.19 Elena De Laurentiis’s new emphasis on Giulio Clovio as the art counsellor to Cardinal Farnese has pointed to the significant role played by his collection of masterpieces, which he gathered while serving as advisor to Domenico and Marino Grimani and Alessandro Farnese. Clovio’s collection certainly represented an important fountainhead for instructing the young El Greco and retooling him into a fine disciple of Renaissance art, as his Spanish productions demonstrate. Significant scholarship had maintained Clovio’s contribution to the development of manuscript illustration in Early Modernity, yet at the Madrid symposium Elena de Laurentis underscored Clovio’s unique talent at translating Michelangelo’s monumental figures into the miniatures that populate his illuminated manuscripts.20

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It may have been Giulio Clovio’s unmatched ability to modify the scale of Michelangelo’s figures, to condense the form to its essentials, and to combine images with words that enlightened El Greco to overturn all accepted conventions of proportion and measurement in his altarpieces, from the Disrobing of Christ to the Crucifixion and portraits of saints. His singular, multicultural identity engendered stylistic changes, aesthetic affiliations, and simultaneous retrospective looks back to the post-Byzantine period. Andrew Casper has persuasively argued that the span of El Greco’s multiculturalism is commensurate with only the mestizaje phenomenon, the Latin American concept that has an intense affinity with Early Modern Spain and its Jewish, Muslim, and Christian multi-confessional environment.21 As Casper further adduced, if El Greco remained an icon painter in his adaptation of the religious iconography that ensued in the post-Tridentine decades, his multicultural identity facilitated the switch from a Byzantine style in Crete to an Italian style after 1570. Drawing held a central place in his practice, as El Greco’s annotations to Vitruvius and Vasari convey. His careful reflection on Michelangelo’s sculptural forms in his own drawing Giorno, inspired by Giuliano de Medici’s tomb, constitutes an experiment in early modern graphics and, as Kurt Zeitler and Karin Hellwig have stated, an effort to advance his painting by creatively adapting Michelangelo’s monumental forms.22 Benito Navarrete Prieto has noted that Giorno should be seen as an active influence on El Greco’s Spanish period, one manifested in the Espolio, in the pronounced similarities between the head above Christ and the figure in the Giorno.23 This observation additionally stressed the importance of preliminary sketches in the preparation of the final painting, shedding light on El Greco’s collection of no fewer than 150 drawings. By means of preliminary drawings, El Greco enhanced the gamut of dramatic gestures in his painting, expending the ramifications of Giorno and Michelangelo into his final editions of the Purification of the Temple from Madrid’s San Ginés church. The Madrid symposium probed earlier ideas circulated by the modern museum, such as the Spanish character of El Greco’s pictorial approach that had been the thesis of the 1982 exhibition El Greco of Toledo held in Madrid’s Prado Museum, the National Gallery in Washington, DC, Ohio’s Toledo Museum of Art, and Dallas’s Museum of Fine Arts.24 Notwithstanding the outcome of El Greco of Toledo, in light of the Tokyo, Madrid, and Athens anniversary exhibitions, it seems less important to stress that El Greco identified himself and his art with Toledo’s spirit than to advance the globalizing dimension of his pictorial art. If the anniversary exhibitions focused on the altarpiece as the main medium for El Greco’s pictorial art in ways that may appear far-fetched given that altarpieces do not belong to the museum, the arrangement of relations between El Greco’s altarpiece, art history, and the museum combined the functions of globalization. This was especially clear in attempts to render El Greco visible, and hence knowable, as a global artist. Only through an extensive analysis of the altarpiece frames, ornaments, and locations within the chapel’s space did El Greco come around his final works in Illescas, for instance, where the painting decoration was devised in dialogue with the church altar, nave, Italianate architecture, and Cretan subject matter. The tendency for El Greco – in his constituent parts and as a whole – to be rendered as a spectacle was integral to a globalizing society. The architectural dimension of El Greco’s painting thus becomes a staple of his creativity while at the same time clearly enunciating the principles of the modern museum as an instrument of global education. It provided the axis around which El Greco developed

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throughout his Spanish career and exerted a strong influence on the development of prints and engravings. Diego de Astor reproduced El Greco’s religious paintings and portraits of saints in engravings that helped disseminate his most important creations within and outside of Spain.25 The notion that the Cretan, Venetian, and Roman stages are integral to El Greco’s development lay at the heart of the International Conference ‘El Greco: From Crete to Venice, to Rome, to Toledo’ held at Athens’s Benaki Museum in November 2014. The opening exhibition, ‘Domenikos Theotokopoulos between Venice and Rome,’ inaugurated by Her Majesty the Queen Sofia of Spain, centred on an analysis of Byzantine patterns in El Greco’s paintings View of Mt. Sinai and the Monastery of St. Catherine with Scenes of Pilgrims and The Baptism of Christ from the Historical Museum of Crete. The Byzantine character merged in these works with an equally emphasised ability to assimilate the stylistic and coloristic effects of the Venetian school.26 At the same time, El Greco exposed his thorough familiarity with Italian Renaissance prints and engravings in View of Mt. Sinai, hosted by the Heraklion’s Historical Museum of Crete since 1991. This is El Greco’s second painting of the Sinai landscape, documenting his interest in the topography of the holy place; earlier, he illustrated the three mountain formations in the central panel on the back of the Modena Triptych, which belonged to the collections of the Dukes d’Este of Modena since the early nineteenth century. For both the Modena and Heraklion View of Mount Sinai, El Greco adapted the engraving by the Veronese Giovanni Battista Fontana that was based on a drawing by the Franciscan Bishop Bonifazio Stefani, printed in Venice by Bolognio Zaltieri and also by Luca Bertelli. Most likely, Bonifazio Stefani developed his engraving from earlier Western illustrations of Mount Sinai, as was also the case of another image of the same subject published in the traveller’s book by Christoph Fürer von Heimendorf in 1570. El Greco retained the shape and arrangement of the mountains, elaborating the sixteenth-century Western European engravings, which, as Maria ConstantoudakiKitromilides has argued, refer to the Limbourg brothers’ miniature from The Rich Hours of the Duc of Berry (1412–16), the View of Mt. Sinai with the Monastery of St. Catherine with Angels Carrying the Body of St. Catherine. In addition to Western engraving, El Greco culled from Venetian painting in his representation of the miniature figures. Titian’s and Jacopo Bassano’s ideas are immediately recognizable, yet so are the drawings and engravings of Domenico Campagnola. It seems indisputable that the Heraklion painting adheres to the logic of Western painting, extolling richer stylistic effects in the depiction of light and tonal treatment of the mountains and sky. There are, in fact, major differences between El Greco’s two renditions of Mount Sinai. The episodes of Moses with the tablets of the Law and the funerals of St. Catherine, both depicted in the Modena Triptych, no longer appear in the Heraklion painting. El Greco seems to have refined his stylistic prowess in the direction of coloristic effects and sacred symbolism as practiced by the Venetian school, thus relinquishing the literal depiction of sacred scenes exemplified by the Modena Triptych. El Greco’s Mount Sinai landscape is a compelling example of his mastery of Western engraving, yet one that simultaneously assimilated the expressive means of Venetian painting and the ever-growing idea that the landscape should function as an autonomous subject. The idea of incorporating Titian’s works in narrative scenes was itself not uncommon in the period. Yet El Greco pursued Titian’s model beyond formal similarities, within the structural substance of his biblical scenes. The Heraklion Baptism of

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Christ, which most likely was painted in Venice at the very end of El Greco’s sojourn there, is a direct response to Titian’s St. John the Baptist, which El Greco may have seen in Venice’s Church of Santa Maria Maggiore. The figure of St. John the Baptist in the Heraklion painting is an adaptation from Titian’s sculptural body of the saint, whose movement of the right arm recalls the Roman orator’s posture in the act of declamation. Through these all’antica borrowings, El Greco intensified the expression of sacred ritual and thus increased the dramatic effect of St. John the Baptist’s right arm elevated over Christ’s head. It is therefore not so surprising that El Greco’s admiration for Titian was expressed in both theoretical form, in his marginal notes to Vasari’s Lives, and in pictorial form, in a number of paintings that include the portrait of the Venetian master. If the Minnesota Purification (1570, Minneapolis Institute of Art, Minneapolis) features Titian in a sequence of Italian authorities to whom El Greco pays homage – Michelangelo, Raphael, and Giulio Clovio – the London Entombment (1572) illustrates Titian’s portrait among the participants in the funerals of Christ.27 The melding of Italianate elements in the development of El Greco’s style signalled the advancement he thought to effect in the Italian Renaissance. The exhibitions discussed in this chapter emphasised his sense of creative borrowings, unravelling El Greco’s imitative gestures that do not conceal a non-Western origin; rather, they furthered and refined his post-Byzantine identity, retooling the Eastern tradition to make it relevant for Early Modernity’s globalizing directions. The space of representation constituted by the anniversary exhibitions was shaped by the relations

Figure 18.1 View of Toledo Exhibition, El Griego de Toledo, pintor de lo visible y lo invisible, 21 March 2014, Fundación El Greco 2014 Source: Photo: David Blázquez

Figure 18.2 View of Toledo Exhibition, El Griego de Toledo, pintor de lo visible y lo invisible, 21 March 2014, Fundación El Greco 2014 Source: Photo: David Blázquez

Figure 18.3 View of El Greco’s Visual Poetics exhibition at the Tokyo Metropolitan Art Museum, 2013, curator Natsuko Ohashi Source: Photo: Ichiro Otani

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Figure 18.4 View of El Greco’s Visual Poetics exhibition at the Tokyo Metropolitan Art Museum, 2013, curator Natsuko Ohashi Source: Photo: Ichiro Otani

between El Greco and an array of disciplines: art history, history, museum studies, and anthropology. Each discipline, in its museological deployment, aimed at the representation of El Greco and his insertion in a developmental sequence for display in the modern museum. As Stephen Bann has argued, the emergence of a ‘historical frame’ for monographic exhibitions was concurrent with the development of an array of practices that aimed at the lifelike reproduction of an authenticated past and its representation as a series of stages leading to the present.28 Yet if Bann contended that the distinctive poetics of the modern historical museum are marked by the galleria progressiva and the period room,29 it is important to add that the El Greco anniversary exhibitions became fundamental benchmarks in the growing tendency toward internationalization. The significance of this was manifested in the relations André Malraux devised between the national and the universal times of the musée imaginaire, which resulted from an increase in the vertical depth of historical time. The presence of El Greco in the museum pushed historical time further and further back into the past and brought it increasingly up to date. So far as the implications for museums were concerned, the significance of the 2014 anniversary exhibitions was in allowing for globalization to be conceived and represented as a temporally ordered succession of different forms of El Greco’s career and the transitions between them.

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Notes 1 André Malraux, The Voices of Science: Man and his Art. trans. by Stuart Gilbert (Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 1978), p. 112. 2 Rosalind E. Krauss, ‘Postmodernism’s Museum Without Walls’, in Thinking About Exhibitions, ed. by Reesa Greenberg, Bruce W. Ferguson, and Sandy Nairne (London and New York: Routledge, 1996), pp. 341–348 (p. 342). 3 Luis Alberto Perez Velarde, ‘The Renovation of the Museo y Casa del Greco’, Paper given at the 2014 meeting of the Renaissance Society of America, New York City; Nicos Hadjinicolaou, ‘An Artist from Crete in Italy and Spain’, in El Greco’s Visual Poetics, exhib. cat. (Tokyo: Metropolitan Art Museum, 2013), pp. 246–250. 4 José Álvarez Lopera, El Greco. Estudio y Catálogo, vol. 1 (Madrid: Fundación de Apoyo, 2005), p. 445: “Entro en esta ciudad con gran crédito, en tal manera, que dio a entender no había cosa en el mundo más superior que sus obras. . . . . . fue de extravagante condición, como su pintura . . . ganó muchos ducados, mas los gastaba en demasiada ostentación de su casa, hasta tener músicos asalariados para cuando comía gozar de toda delicia.” 5 Leticia Ruiz Gómez, ‘El Greco’s Pictorial Styles’, in El Greco’s Visual Poetics, exhib. cat. (Tokyo: Metropolitan Art Museum, 2013), pp. 264–267. 6 Fernando Marías, El Greco: Life and Work – A New History (New York: Thames and Hudson, 2013), p. 140. 7 Rosalind E. Krauss, ‘Postmodernism’s Museum Without Walls’, in Thinking About Exhibitions, note 2, p. 342. 8 Fernando Marías, ‘The Greek, Between Invention and History’, in El Greco of Toledo. Painter of the Visible and the Invisible, ed. by Fernando Marías (Madrid: Ediciones El Viso, 2014), pp. 19–45. Andrew R. Casper, Art and the Religious Image in El Greco’s Italy (University Park, PA: The Pennsylvania State University Press, 2014), pp. 2–5, 16. 9 See the introductory chapters to both the Tokyo (2013) and Madrid (2014) El Greco anniversary exhibitions. 10 Francisco Pacheco, Arte de la Pintura, ed. by Bonaventura Bassegoda i Hugas (Madrid: Cátedra, 2009), p. 349. 11 Joaquín Bérchez, ‘Endlessly Intriguing: El Greco as Architeto of Altarpieces’, in El Greco’s Visual Poetics, exhib. cat. (Tokyo: Metropolitan Art Museum, 2013), pp. 272–275. 12 Richard Kagan, ‘El Greco’s Portraits: Some New Perspectives’, in El Greco’s Visual Poetics, exhib. cat. (Tokyo: Metropolitan Art Museum, 2013), pp. 251–253. María Cruz de Carlos Verona, ‘El Greco’s Women: Portrait of an Absence?’, in El Greco’s Visual Poetics, pp. 268–271. 13 José Riello, ‘El Greco, ‘Bizzaro’ But Not So Much, His Annotations to Vitruvius and Vasari’, in El Greco’s Visual Poetics, exhib. cat. (Tokyo: Metropolitan Art Museum, 2013), pp. 259–263. 14 Clare Robertson, The Invention of Annibale Carracci (Milan: Silvana Editoriale, 2008), pp. 191–204 on the seicento biographies. 15 Angeliki Lymberopoulou, ‘El Greco, “pintor cretense”?’, in El Greco, Simposio Internacional 2014, Fundacion El Greco 2014 (Madrid: Toledo, and Museo Thyssen-Bornemisza, 2014), pp. 21–35. 16 Ibid., p. 30. 17 Rosalind E. Krauss, ‘Postmodernism’s Museum Without Walls’, in Thinking About Exhibitions, note 2, p. 345. 18 Angeliki Lymberopoulou, ‘El Greco, ‘pintor cretense’?’, p. 31. 19 Elena De Laurentiis, ‘El Greco, Giulio Clovio y la “maniera di figure piccolo”,’ in El Greco, Simposio Internacional 2014, pp. 46–61. 20 De Laurentiis’s contribution may be said to build on the work of Bette Talvachia and Elena Calvillo, yet the outcome exceeds the precedent. See Bette Talvacchia’s ‘The World Made Flesh: Spiritual Subjects and Carnal Depictions in Renaissance Art’, in The Sensuous in the Counter-Reformation Church, ed. by Marcia B. Hall and Tracy E. Cooper (New York: Cambridge University Press, 2013); and Elena Cavillo, ‘Romanità and Grazia: Giulio Clovio’s Pauline Frontispieces for Marino Grimani’, The Art Bulletin 82, no. 2 (2000), 280–297.

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21 Andrew R. Casper, ‘(Re)consideracion del mestzaje del Greco’, in Simposio Internacional 2014, pp. 61–74. 22 Kurt Zeitler and Karin Hellwig, El Greco kommentiert den Wettstreit der Künste: Eine Zeichnung in der Sammlung München (Munich: Staalichen Sammlung München, 2006). 23 Benito Navarrete Prieto, ‘El problema de los dibujos del Greco’, in Simposio Internacional 2014, pp. 101–111. 24 The exhibition also yielded the International Symposium El Greco: Italia y España hosted in Toledo and the important monographic study El Greco of Toledo edited by Jonathan Brown. 25 María Cruz de Carlos Varona and José Manuel Matilla, ‘El Greco en Blanco y Negro: Reflexiones en Torno a Las Estampas de Diego de Astor’, in Simposio Internacional 2014, pp. 171–190. 26 The proceedings of the Athens symposium had not been published at the time of this writing. Thus, this paragraph and the following relay the content of the oral presentations and also the published Madrid essay by Maria Constantoudaki-Kitromilides, ‘El Joven Greco: La Espinosa Cuestión de sue Tapa Veneciana y el Estado Actual de la Investigación’, in Simposio Internacional 2014, pp. 4–20. 27 Andrea Donati, ‘Il Greco a Roma, 1570–1575 circa’, in El Greco in Italia: Metamorfosi di un Genio, ed. Lionello Puppi, exhib. cat. (Milan: Skira, 2015), pp. 125–133. 28 Stephen Bann, The Clothing of Clio: A Study of the Representation of History in NineteenthCentury Britain and France (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1984), p. 85. 29 Ibid.

19 Past institution’s future Monographic exhibitions and Tate Modern’s make-up Evi Baniotopoulou

Introduction In May 2000 Tate Modern opened to worldwide critical acclaim in London. The new branch of the historic institution triggered great interest and many debates. This chapter1 proposes to examine the role that monographic exhibitions played in the discussions among curators and other Tate staff prior to and up to Tate Modern’s opening and in the first years of its function. Monographic exhibitions have, especially in the last two decades, been among the subjects of a growing literature in exhibition research; however, relatively little attention has been given to the institutional fermentations behind their occurrence and proliferation. As such, a detailed examination and a careful consideration of the importance bestowed upon monographic exhibitions in the context of a newly established public art institution may prove to offer important material for the history of exhibitions and for current institutional critique. This, I believe, is particularly pertinent to early twenty-first-century public institutions that, following a turn-of-century tendency, appear to make dynamic and innovative exhibition proposals. It may also yield interesting information and conclusions about the evolution and the contemporary mutations of the genre overall. Monographic exhibitions are, therefore, not studied here in isolation and strictly within their own limits but are rather placed within an expanded context to aid their fuller comprehension. I propose a method that considers a variety of factors, including decisions made in the institution, the exhibitions’ content and messages, implications of their implementation, as well as their own eventual contribution to non-exhibitionary areas of activity. This approach utilises the discourse that develops around an exhibition and stands at the crossroads of exhibition making, institutional strategy and the political and economic conditions within which the exhibition emerges. I do not aspire to provide here a definitive account of the monographic exhibitions at Tate Modern since its opening. Rather, I aim to underline the relevance that the monographic exhibition may acquire in research that extends beyond its typology and content, especially when produced by historically important institutions mutating into twenty-first-century cultural beacons. Tate Modern is simultaneously one of the four Tate branches,2 with which it shares the responsibility of a weighty institutional history and the first modern and contemporary art museum to have been established in the twenty-first century globally. My analysis covers a decade, from the early discussions made regarding the new Tate outpost in 1994 up to and including the first years of its function. Within this framework, I will also make specific reference to early examples of selected types of monographic exhibitions at Tate Modern, as I

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believe they are indicative of the multidirectional intentions of the institution in terms of its exhibition making.

Monographic exhibitions and the drawing up of Tate Modern’s exhibition program In the exhibition catalogue for Tate Modern’s inaugural temporary exhibition, ‘Century City: Art and Culture in the Modern Metropolis’ (1 February–29 April 2001), the first Tate Modern Director, Lars Nittve, stated the institution’s intent regarding its exhibitionary direction. In this, monographic exhibitions were mentioned in a comprehensive and marked way. Nittve wrote, Indeed Century City, which launches Tate Modern’s exhibitions programme, can be seen as a mission statement which forecasts the richness, breadth and direction that we hope will characterise our activities in the coming years. The give and take across the demarcation lines that traditionally separate various cultural expressions will be the subject of continued exploration at Tate Modern, both in monographic and thematic exhibitions and in a growing offering of special events. Like Century City the programme will be at the same time classic and cutting edge, large scale and intimate, aesthetically appealing and intellectually challenging.3 It appears from this that Nittve bestowed equal importance on monographic and thematic exhibitions – if not greater to the former. Monographic exhibitions were, arguably, projected to play a central role in the exhibition programme at Tate Modern. Nittve also underlined that both types of exhibitions would diverge from normative practices and segregation and offer opportunities for dialogue within a context of dualities and polarities that would both respect the past of the institution and propel it into the future. It is noteworthy that monographic exhibitions figured prominently in the mission statement of a twenty-first-century landmark art institution, as they are rather associated with approaches of earlier centuries and Modernism. This becomes even more relevant if considered in conjunction with Tate Modern’s decision to challenge longestablished practices in collection display by introducing from the outset a thematic – as opposed to a chronological – presentation of its Collection artworks.4 Moreover, Nittve’s statement of intent only partly aligned with his own curatorial preferences, which had until then been strongly oriented towards thematic post-modern exhibitions, some of them with a perennial exhibition-like status. Starting from these observations, I propose an enquiry along three axes, namely the reasons for which monographic exhibitions came to assume an important role in Tate Modern’s exhibition mission statement; the relative weight they were given in the Tate exhibition activity overall; and whether certain exhibitions that ushered in a different type of monograph dovetailed with the statement’s expectations. Several discussions on exhibitions for the new institution took place before the opening of Tate Gallery of Modern Art (TGMA), as Tate Modern was provisionally called, between 1994 and 1999. In the earliest Discussion Paper5 it was made clear that the institution wished to double the number of exhibitions it produced in London and that monographic exhibitions would be given priority for the yearly three major loan exhibitions it would hold.6 This position recurred in the first dedicated meeting

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on exhibitions, with an emphasis on ‘high-impact monographic’ exhibitions, featuring work by artists including Constantin Brancusi, Henri Matisse, Marcel Duchamp and Max Beckmann, proposed alongside ‘encyclopaedic thematic’ and ‘very contemporary’ exhibitions. More formally, the main loan exhibitions in the same document were described as ‘Monographic (Historical, Contemporary, Other)’, ‘Thematic/ Stylistic Historical & Group Contemporary’ and ‘Inter-Media’.7 It thus becomes clear that the institution aimed mainly at creating a platform for the production of a variety of monographic exhibitions, on at least equal terms with the other types of exhibitions it would offer. In parallel, the importance of attracting an additional target of visitors to TGMA set to 450,000 per year was highlighted8 and subsequently often repeated and adhered to in similar documents. This target, it was thought, would be more easily achieved through the presentation of monographic exhibitions, and particularly of twentiethcentury ‘Masters’. Another factor, not unrelated to the previous ones, which influenced choices and formed proposals for exhibitions was the importance of sponsorship. In mid-1995, as it transpires from a development report,9 sponsors, corporate members and friends were expecting a ‘more mainstream twentieth century art exhibition programme’. An exhibition of a twentieth-century ‘Master’ was deemed more fitting, in that respect, than important monographic exhibitions of artists who were, however, not particularly popular.10 It was, moreover, stated clearly in the same document that a more popular programme, reaching out to the widest public possible and ‘hosting those world class exhibitions of modern art which have previously passed London by’ would be preferable.11 It is evident, therefore, that sponsorship, wider access and bringing in exhibitions that would allow London to compete on an international level were important points for the institution’s approach in general and invoked a leaning towards historic, big-name monographic exhibitions. After a break between mid-1995 and the beginning of 1997 discussions continued. Although the arrival of Iwona Blazwick as Head of Exhibitions and Lars Nittve as Tate Modern’s first Director rather signified a change of direction towards a preference for group and thematic exhibitions in the institution, it was still assumed that the new Director would embrace shows such as ‘Matisse Picasso’ or ‘Newman’ and would use them as the springboard from which to expand to essay or focused exhibitions.12 In this instance, the conjunction of externally sourced directorship and internal institutional aims pointed towards potentially interesting hybrid approaches to exhibition making but may have also formed the basis for the all-encompassing mission statement issued by Nittve, as well as the exhibitionary direction that Tate Modern took after its inaugural exhibition. A noticeable change in the discussions was that a decision for a Dubuffet exhibition to be the inaugural show was reversed and replaced with a thematic one,13 provisionally entitled ‘The Street’, from which Tate Modern’s actual opening exhibition, ‘Century City’ derived. All other major exhibitions, however, with the exception of a provisional contemporary show scheduled for autumn 2002, still revolved around the axis of the modern art movement and/or Master of twentieth-century art.14 As there were no complications relating to the possibility of ‘Dubuffet’ being the opening exhibition, it can be assumed here that the monographic exhibition type was, on this one occasion, replaced by a thematic one for reasons that more wholly served the aims of the institution at this moment. Indeed, between 1998 and 2000 a series of discussions and the final decisions made on the form and content of the inaugural

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exhibition indicated the institution’s desire to create a ‘conceptually led’ thematic exhibition.15 This would both attempt to challenge art history as it had hitherto been written and to examine cultural expressions extending beyond the collection’s remit, offering socially sensitive connotations, while also underlining distinct urban change considerations that were inextricably linked with the institution and the city of London itself. Gradually, and in the last two years preceding the opening of Tate Modern, attention was naturally concentrated on the implementation of the inaugural exhibition, with monographic exhibitions, however, having crystallised as essential for the continuation of the program afterwards.16 Alongside fermentation internal to the institution, several external factors may have influenced Tate Modern’s exhibitionary direction, and in particular its inclination towards monographic exhibitions. In its pre-1994 history, Tate had predominantly focused on the care and presentation of its collection. Exhibitions had, in the main, played a secondary role.17 Furthermore, other institutions in London had for decades been operating purely as dedicated exhibition venues.18 It also becomes clear from the archives that, precisely because of a lack of a public museum operating on these levels in London, Tate naturally also wished to gain equal importance to the Musée National d’Art Moderne (MNAM) – Centre Pompidou and the MoMA, for which important exhibitions of the two museums’ calibre were deemed essential.19An institutional visit to Paris in order to discuss the possibility of touring exhibitions20 and a final collaboration on the ‘Matisse Picasso’ and ‘Max Beckmann’ exhibitions with both these museums and the Galeries Nationales in Paris, as will be discussed in more detail in what follows, bears testimony to the efforts made towards this course. It can, therefore, be argued that Tate aimed to establish a good balance in its binary role as, on the one hand, an established cultural custodian and maker of primarily monographic exhibitions in line with the nineteenth- and twentieth-century canon, and on the other hand a contemporary cultural producer entering a healthy competition with the rest of the London exhibition venues, as well as their international counterparts. The discussions on the exhibitions that would be showcased at Tate Modern, moreover, were placed within the general economic and political rhetoric surrounding the opening of the new institution. The initial Discussion Paper21 considered the opening of TGMA to be of particular historic significance, underlining the local and international power of arts in the UK and London’s status as a global city, an aim that the local authority and the government alike were at the time working fervently towards. The importance that the institution would gain through hosting exhibitions of internationally acclaimed names who were either labelled as twentieth-century Masters or represented a more recent generation of renowned artists was, thus, indisputable. This preceded and, in hindsight, reaffirms a current tendency of institutions internationally to place emphasis on monographic exhibitions by well-known artists for political economy purposes.22 Further, the literature on both historic and contemporary exhibitions and the changing roles in curatorial thinking and attitudes had at this point in time started gaining momentum and becoming more focused and detailed. In 1996, the definitive read on exhibitions was the edited volume Thinking About Exhibitions,23 which effectively considered a number of exhibitionary issues. Thoroughly researched and presenting an impressive anthology of articles, it was only one of the first comprehensive attempts to explore exhibitions as a separate field and theorise aspects of them. Debate on – especially temporary – exhibitions was, at this stage, not very developed

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and, conversely, the value of a collection was undisputed. Perhaps, then, a certain degree of reluctance on the curators’ part to fully, or mainly, devote exhibitions to thematic explorations was due to them being thought of as too risky, while monographic exhibitions were possibly deemed overall more familiar as a type. After the opening of ‘Century City’, which took up the entire exhibitions area of Tate Modern on all levels, including the Turbine Hall, the institution staged in its various exhibition spaces a total of approximately 160 exhibitions between 2001 and 2010.24 It did, indeed, show a strong bias towards monographic exhibitions through its programming. This was evident in the proportion of monographic to group exhibitions,25 as well as in the analogy of the large scale, frequently retrospective, dedicated to well-known artists, paying exhibitions to commissioned, mid-scale and small-scale free exhibitions.26 More than half of the monographic exhibitions were dedicated to established artists, who ranged from early-twentieth-century Masters to contemporary artists. The former, however, were presented in a small number of exhibitions, almost one per year. On the contrary, contemporary established artists were represented by more than double that number. This could, I argue, in part be owing to the fact that classic, twentieth-century Masters’ exhibitions eventually proved to be the most expensive and the most difficult ones to produce,27 which may have caused a re-evaluation of priorities on the institution’s side. There were also varying degrees of importance placed on the artists that comprised the monographic exhibitions. The institution prioritised the established artists over the lesser-known or emerging ones, as the use of different spaces within the building for their exhibitions indicates. There was a variety in Tate Modern’s dedicated temporary exhibitions spaces at the time,28 including the Turbine Hall, namely the vast main entrance area of Tate Modern where the former power station turbines had been operating,29 Level 2 Gallery (later renamed Untitled Gallery) on the riverside and the Level 4 large, paying exhibition space. Twentieth-century ‘Masters’ and contemporary established artists were given exhibitions in the Level 4 galleries, while some well-known international living artists were commissioned to create work for the Turbine Hall, which ensured maximum visibility. The rest of the artists were assigned smaller and, at the time, lesserknown, free-entry spaces. Of course, this also had a positive side: especially in the case of the Level 2 Gallery space, which was created explicitly for smaller-scale monographic exhibitions, the work showcased was visible both from inside the gallery and from the river promenade, thus reaching the widest possible public. It remains a fact, however, that the overall promotion and image building for Tate Modern was concentrated on and derived from the Level 4 major exhibitions, as well as the Turbine Hall. Of course, it can be argued that this occurred in the interest of maintaining a career-related hierarchical order for the presented artists and in the framework of a non–risk-taking strategy, as would be expected from an institution of this importance. It seems, therefore, that the tendencies observed in the discussions on exhibitions prior to Tate Modern’s opening were both confirmed and continued during the first years of the institution’s function. Monographic exhibitions remained a staple of the program, although the relevant weight given to them did not necessarily tally with Tate Modern’s advertised aims in Nittve’s mission statement. A first appreciation would probably provide the conclusion that a perpetuation of the modernist ‘genius’ or post-modern ‘star’ artist was favoured in the program, for the reasons of familiarity and security outlined earlier. I suggest it is, however, also necessary to question whether the direction given to the new institution was also sought and offered in Tate

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Modern’s monographic exhibitions, alongside the new thematic exhibitions of a more challenging, often canon-defying character.

A first approach to Tate Modern’s monographic exhibitions It seems that it was Tate’s novel approaches to monographic exhibitions, as opposed to more ‘classic’ ones, that represented a greater diversity in the institution’s exhibition program. When Nittve issued his statement, one of the most impressive – and, by now, most well-known internationally – initiatives focusing on the work of a single artist at Tate Modern was already underway. The Unilever Series was a program of annual sponsored commissions, whereby artists were invited to create site-specific work inside Tate Modern’s Turbine Hall.30 The first instance to the series had been Louise Bourgeois’s exhibition ‘I Do, I Undo, I Redo’ (12 May–1 December 2000).31 Bourgeois had created three respectively named 9- to 10.5-meter-high steel ‘towers’ with a configuration of staircases, platforms and mirrors (Figure 19.1). Visitors could

Figure 19.1 The Unilever Series: Louise Bourgeois: I Do, I Undo, I Redo, May–December 2000, Turbine Hall, Tate Modern, 2000 © The Easton Foundation/VAGA, New York/DACS, London 2017 Source: © Tate, London 2017

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view the towers from below, explore their interior, climb ‘I Do’ and ‘I Redo’, sit on the platforms and interact with other visitors, as well as with the building, through the large mirrors of the installations. Lars Nittve, in fact, prefaced his Tate Modern ambitions as they later appeared in his full ‘Century City’ mission statement in the Foreword of the publication that accompanied Bourgeois’s Turbine Hall commission. He wrote, The fact that Tate Modern, the first major museum of modern art to open in the new century, has such a distinctly different space, as well as spectacular galleries of a more traditional type, is characteristic of the museum’s whole ethos. It is a classic museum of modern art, but it is also a place for new challenges, experiments, and for breaking the rules.32 The Unilever Series has brought worldwide attention to the overall work of the commissioned artist(s) throughout the years and has incited in-depth research, while enabling artists to create artworks of often-unprecedented scale that converse with the building and the constant flow of Tate Modern’s visitors. It could thus be thought of as an interesting, even if implicit, twist in the monographic genre – namely, a focused monographic exhibition that in essence opened up to a multitude of repercussions for the artists, the curators, the visitors and the institution’s possibilities and necessarily adjusted practices overall. Conversely, double- and triple-bill exhibitions, such as ‘Matisse Picasso’ (11 May– 18 Aug 2002), ‘Albers and Moholy-Nagy’ (9 March–4 June 2006) or ‘Duchamp, Man Ray, Picabia’ (21 February–26 May 2008) pushed the boundaries of the traditional template of the monographic exhibition and explored creative affinities between the artists shown. In particular, ‘Matisse Picasso’, the first of this type of exhibition to take place at Tate Modern was already laden with significance. As discussed, it had been an early desired exhibition and a candidate to become Tate Modern’s inaugural show. Moreover, it marked the first collaboration of Tate Modern with Paris and New York institutions (Les Galeries Nationales du Grand Palais and the MoMA respectively),33 a relationship that Tate Modern clearly wished to establish, as results from several instances in the preliminary discussions on exhibitions. It also ideally matched the institution’s expectations in terms of securing sponsorship thanks to the two artists involved, as both Matisse and Picasso are timelessly popular among gallerygoers.34 Indeed, ‘Matisse Picasso’ proved to be one of the most successful exhibitions in terms of attendance in the first ten years of Tate Modern’s function,35 undoubtedly aided by the relevant promotional literature.36 The exhibition proposed to shed light on the association of the two artists, highlighting aspects of their acquaintance, exchanges and artistic influence they exerted on each other through approximately thirty groupings of works. However, even though it proposed to examine a dialectical relationship at its core,37 I would argue that it was not mainly through its content that it responded to the banishment of segregation across cultural expressions intended at Tate Modern. The exhibition offered a biographical and technical account that, important as it was for art historical scholarship and the enhancement of the public’s knowledge of the work of the two artists in tandem, did little for the advancement of cultural exchange per se. I suggest that it was, in fact, through the act of challenging itself as an exhibition type by ushering in the ‘double’, combined monographic presentation that it mostly introduced opportunities

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Figure 19.2 Installation view of the Max Beckmann exhibition, Tate Modern, London, 2003 © DACS 2017 Source: © Tate, London 2017

for thinking and experimentation not only within the institution but also among the participating partners. Similarly to ‘Matisse Picasso’, novelty, experimentation and exchange could be traced in the institutional collaboration and the catalogue production for ‘Max Beckmann’ (5 February–13 May 2003; Figure 19.2), the first of the monographic exhibitions dedicated to a major, first-half-of-the-twentieth-century important artistic figure. The exhibition was based on the established retrospective/comprehensive survey with a chronological approach model and was promoted precisely as such, moreover with a fair degree of sobriety if compared to ‘Matisse Picasso’. There were three aspects of this exhibition that leaned towards Nittve’s stated ambitions for Tate Modern: first, the collaboration between the three institutions, namely Tate Modern, the Centre Georges Pompidou and the MoMA. Tate Modern returned to this early

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discussed aim of holding a Max Beckmann exhibition, and a number of visits and negotiations culminated in a joint venture with the Pompidou and the MoMA. Even though it had not been considered by Tate as an exhibition that would attract significant sponsorship,38 it was put forward, as it both catered for the absence of a Max Beckmann retrospective since the 1980s and created opportunities for exchange. The institution thus obliquely verified the importance of placing itself on an even keel with the other two institutions. Interestingly, this collaboration and evenness were extrapolated to all three host cities (Paris, London and New York) in the catalogue’s Foreword.39 Secondly, the English-language exhibition catalogue, common to Tate and the MoMA, was aligned with more contemporary concerns, such as the use of archives and written work by artists,40 while a separate French catalogue, created by agreement, took a more historicizing approach. This dual rendering may also be said to have promoted a dialectical relationship between the institutions. Although the exhibition largely remained true to the retrospective monographic template, it nevertheless introduced some degree of freedom for the genre. As such, the Pompidou made additions of works and positioned a few video stations throughout the exhibition, bestowing it with a documentary feel, while at Tate the two periods after WWI and before WWII were combined in a single room, thus deliberately breaking the presentation pattern and allowing visitors the possibility of a personalised experience of the exhibition.41 An effort for exchange between different forms and tendencies of cultural creation was visibly traced in the smaller, more ‘experimental’ series of Tate Modern’s monographic exhibitions. The ‘Untitled’ series was one such case in point. The series offered six eight-week presentations of contemporary artists whose work was not commonly shown in the UK. Moreover, a new space was specifically created on Level 2, and the shows would explore a theme or tendency in contemporary art practice. It can thus be said that the ‘Untitled’ sought to create a bridge between the monographic template and the thematic tendency that was central to Tate Modern’s programme. The first year’s (2004) theme, ‘The Public World of the Private Space’42 invoked a confrontation of the human presence with the public and private space. The first participation by the artistic duo Elmgreen and Dragset (12 May–4 July 2004), known for their interventions exploring this theme, was created specifically for the ‘Untitled’ space. This added a further layer in the interplay between monographic presentation, thematic examination and exploitation of the physical aspect of the institution itself.

Conclusions Monographic exhibitions seem, therefore, to have formed an integral part of Tate Modern’s programme and to have been among the elements that linked its past with its future. Archival research has revealed that exhibitions concentrating on the work of one artist were, from the onset of discussions, central and prioritised in the drawing up of the exhibitionary direction of the new institution. They were considered an essential part of the new programme for a number of reasons, some explicit and other implicit. These included a perceived necessity for evenness with local and international galleries and institutions, attraction of investment, support of London’s bid to secure its global city status as well as familiarity with this type of exhibition, its importance, its potential and its limitations. It was also observed

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that, even though the institution made during the second phase of the exhibitionsrelated discussions prior to its opening a conscious choice to have a thematic inaugural exhibition, its interest and insistence in monographic exhibitions did not diminish, and programming as pre-agreed continued without important changes at this stage. An overview of the first few years of exhibition activity at Tate Modern testifies to this tendency, which has been traced in archival material. Indeed, the programming of the institution was monographic heavy, if with a variety of approaches deriving from this particular type, including retrospective, focused and commissioned exhibitions. Group and thematic exhibitions also took place but played a secondary role, at least in quantitative terms. The actual implementation of the decisions made relating to the exhibitions, however, indicated some differences with the discussions and proposals made before the opening of Tate Modern. Significantly, the great importance that twentieth-century Masters had been invested with was now rather diminished, as such exhibitions were limited to approximately one a year, and established contemporary artists were given precedence instead. During this time also, different kinds of spaces were consecrated to, or created specifically for the diverse exhibition series that emerged. The continued appreciation for more established artists, as well as the expectations from their exhibitions in terms of success and public and investment attraction were very visible through the promotional literature and the space allocation in the Tate Modern building. This inclination, nonetheless, also created new opportunities for less frequently shown and emerging artists to effectively converse with the public through the specially designed Level 2 gallery and to do so in a morethan-direct relationship with the city’s fabric and population. A closer examination of the first examples of each one of the sub-types of monographic exhibitions proposed by Tate Modern showcases an alignment that they have achieved with the intents described by Nittve in his exhibition programme–related mission statement in the ‘Century City’ catalogue. Some to a greater and other to a lesser extent, monographic exhibitions inaugurating a certain exhibitionary direction have responded to the aims set by the first Tate Modern Director. Certain aspects of them were achieved by design and others in a more organic, discourse-led way, as is often the case with exhibitions. However, it has been possible to consider a variety of tendencies in this chapter, such as the novel initiative of commissions by one established artist at a time in Tate Modern’s Turbine Hall, and the opportunities this offers for a dialectic relationship with the building and the public through Louise Bourgeois’s ‘I Do, I Undo, I Redo’; the introduction of the double- and triplebill monographic exhibition, as an enriched exploration of individual artists’ works and lives through ‘Matisse Picasso’; the otherwise ‘classic’ monographic retrospective exhibition ‘Max Beckmann’, which, nevertheless allowed for more experimental approaches both in the exhibition spaces and in its catalogues; and, last but not least, a new approach towards a combination of the monographic with the thematic, the highlighting of the work of, at the time, lesser-shown artists and the relationship with the city background in the ‘Untitled’ series. This initial analysis naturally prompts more questions. It would be interesting to consider the counter side, namely the group/thematic exhibitions, probe more deeply into selected monographic exhibitions to discover other subtle nuances in their implementation that depart from the norm and open up new opportunities, as well as study the considerable changes that came about with the introduction of new

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spaces at Tate Modern, such as the Tanks and, recently, the Switch House. However, an interesting deduction emerges from this study. Tate Modern demonstrated a bias towards monographic exhibitions in the fermentation before and up to its opening, shaped by art historical, museological and financial considerations. However, at the time of implementation in the first few years of its existence, it used them both as vehicles for its establishment as an important exhibition-making institution internationally and as platforms from which to experiment and innovate in a number of more or less visible ways. This ultimately served well the ambitious direction given to its exhibitions’ programme from the beginning and to a certain extent matches the challenges presented by the thematic exhibitions. Its monographic exhibits were at the time of opening and in the few years that followed indeed, as the related mission statement both traditional and contemporary, larger and smaller scale, and of aesthetic value combined with intellectual rigour. Tate Modern’s monographic exhibitions appear to be simultaneously multifaceted and challenging, reflecting the institution’s general direction from its outset, marked by the need for a continuation of the institutional history but also exploration and ambitions. This chapter offered a first glimpse into a global art institution’s intriguing set of manifestations which, approached with attention to detail and in relation to the discourses that shape them, have the potential to reveal interesting information and to further challenge research and creation.

Notes 1 My chapter is based on unpublished research that I conducted for a PhD in 2010 (Evi Baniotopoulou, ‘Century City: Art and Culture in the Modern Metropolis. A Case-Study of Institutional Curating of Contemporary Art in an Urban Context’ [unpublished doctoral thesis, University of the Arts London, Central Saint Martins College of Art and Design]). I wish to thank all Hyman Kreitman Reading Rooms at Tate Britain staff and Tate’s Archive and Public Records staff, in particular Adrian Glew, Archivist and Chris Bastock, Assistant Curator, Gallery Records, for their cooperation on my research, then as now. 2 Tate Britain (London), Tate Liverpool, Tate St Ives. 3 Lars Nittve, ‘Foreword’, in Century City: Art and Culture in the Modern Metropolis, ed. by Iwona Blazwick (London: Tate Publishing, 2001). 4 See Nicholas Serota, Experience or Interpretation: The Dilemma of Museums of Modern Art (London: Thames and Hudson, 2000). 5 London, Tate Britain, Tate Archive, Tate Records, TG 12/1/3/1, Tate Modern Project: Concept and Discussion: Strategy (May 1994–December 1994), A Gallery for Modern Art, Discussion Paper: May 1994. 6 Alongside ‘thematic’, ‘argumentative’ and ‘period exhibitions’. Ibid. 7 London, Tate Britain, Tate Archive, Tate Records, TG 12/2/8/1, Tate Modern Project: Project Management: Programme and Activity Group (23 November 1994), Tate Gallery of Modern Art Exhibitions Policy: Preliminary paper following the Exhibitions Sub-Committee meeting on 1 November 1994. 8 London, Tate Britain, Tate Archive, Tate Records, TG 12/1/3/1, Tate Modern Project: Concept and Discussion: Strategy (May 1994–December 1994), McKinsey and Tate Gallery of Modern Art Offsite Meetings. 9 London, Tate Britain, Tate Archive, Tate Records, TG 12/2/8/1, Project Management: Programme and Activity Group, Tate Gallery Internal Memorandum, From Fay Ballard to Sandy Nairne, Alex Beard and Errol Babington, Re: Sponsorship Pricing for Draft TGMA Exhibitions Programme (21 June 1995). 10 These provisionally included ‘Fautrier’, ‘Baselitz’ and ‘Cindy Sherman’.

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11 London, Tate Britain, Tate Archive, Tate Records, TG 12/2/8/1, Project Management: Memorandum From Alex Beard to Sandy Nairne, Jeremy Lewison, Dawn Austwick (23 June 1995). 12 London, Tate Britain, Tate Archive, Tate Records, TG 12/2/8/1, Project Management: Programme and Activity Group, Director’s Office Memorandum (21 January 1997). 13 London, Tate Britain, Tate Archive, Tate Records, TG 12/12/1/3, Tate Modern Project: Bankside Operations: TGMA Programmed Exhibitions 2000–2003 (29 October 1997). 14 Ibid. 15 London, Tate Britain, Tate Archive, 64b/10/3E, TGMA Opening Exhibition 98/1 (17 March 1998). 16 For a full account, see Baniotopoulou, pp. 76–101. 17 Tate only staged 179 exhibitions, between 1912 and 1993, in its two outposts, Tate Britain and Tate Liverpool. Of these exhibitions, about half were monographic. 18 Including the Whitechapel, the Serpentine and the Hayward Galleries. 19 A Gallery for Modern Art, Discussion Paper: May 1994 20 London, Tate Britain, Tate Archive, Tate Records, TG 12/12/1/3, Tate Modern Project: Bankside Operations: Industrial Relations and Safety, Notes from Ruth Rattenbury’s Paris Visit on 4 and 5 December 1997 (9 December 1997). 21 ‘A Gallery for Modern Art’, Discussion Paper (May 1994). 22 As is also discussed in relation to selected shows by Damien Hirst, Jeff Koons and Takashi Murakami by Ronit Milano in Chapter 20 of the present volume. 23 Thinking About Exhibitions, ed. by Reesa Greenberg, Bruce W. Ferguson, and Sandy Nairne (London and New York: Routledge, 1996). 24 Counting from the beginning of 2001 to the end of 2010. [Accessed 10 December 2016]. 25 Two-thirds to one-third of the overall number of exhibitions. 26 Two-thirds to one-third of the monographic exhibitions. 27 London, Tate Britain, Tate Archive, Tate Records, TG 12/2/8/1, Tate Modern Project: Project Management: Programme and Activity Group, Public and Regional Services Memorandum, From Sandy Nairne to TGMA Steering Group (2 August 1995). 28 Allocation of spaces has since significantly changed with the addition of the Tanks, as well as the new extension of Tate Modern. 29 The Turbine Hall is 35m high, 155m long, 23m wide and offers an area of 3,200m for art showcasing. [Accessed 30 December 2016]. 30 This series of commissions, sponsored by Unilever, lasted from 12 May 2000–28 October 2012. Since 2015 it continues under the title Hyundai Commission (2015–2025). 31 Louise Bourgeois: I Do, I Undo, I Redo, ed. by Frances Morris (London: Tate Publishing, 2000). 32 Ibid., Foreword. 33 After Tate Modern, ‘Matisse Picasso’ toured to Les Galeries Nationales du Grand Palais (25 September 2002–6 January 2003) and MoMA (13 February–19 May 2003). 34 Nick Land, ‘Foreword’, in Matisse Picasso, ed. by Elizabeth Cowling and others (London: Tate Publishing, 2002). 35 ‘Matisse Picasso’ attracted 467,166 visitors, thus achieving on its own a higher number than the annual total desired turnout for Tate. It was later superseded only by ‘Damien Hirst’ (2012, 463,087 visitors) and, interestingly, by the focused monographic ‘Henri Matisse: The Cut-Outs’ (2014, 562,622 visitors). [Accessed 30 December 2016]. 36 Indicatively citing here the Press Release’s phrase ‘Matisse Picasso at Tate Modern brings together major masterpieces by the two giants of modern art’, ‘Matisse Picasso’. [Accessed 30 December 2016]. 37 The double-bill exhibition type is discussed in detail by Ruth Iskin in Chapter 2 of the present volume. 38 Beckmann was projected to secure a $150k sponsorship. Public and Regional Services Memorandum (2 August 1995).

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39 Nicholas Serota and Glenn D. Lowry, ‘Foreword’, in Max Beckmann, ed. by Sean Rainbird (London: Tate Publishing, 2003). 40 Ibid. 41 Sean Rainbird, Curator of ‘Max Beckmann’, email to the author, 2 November 2017. 42 Curated by Tate Curator Susan May.

20 The rise of the monographic exhibition The political economy of contemporary art Ronit Milano In 2012, the Qatar Museum Authority launched a program of annual contemporary art exhibitions. The first exhibition was a large retrospective of works by the Japanese superstar artist Takashi Murakami. The second exhibition, in 2013, was dedicated to the oeuvre of British celebrity artist Damien Hirst.1 The following exhibitions were similarly monographic, focusing on the works of two more Western superstars – the American artist Richard Serra in 2014 and the Belgian artist Luc Tuymans in 2015. The Qatar example, which I will return to later in this chapter, reflects a growing phenomenon in the arena of contemporary art: institutions that wish to establish their reputation, rebrand themselves, or attract a larger audience have shifted their focus from thematic group exhibitions to monographic exhibitions of work by high-profile artists. In order to expose the political economy underlying such monographic exhibitions, one must first explore the repositioning of the various players in the field by asking the following questions: What has changed in the position of the artist and, more specifically, in the division of institutional attention between emerging and established artists? What has changed in the function of contemporary art museums or of art museums more generally? How does the current role of the private collector differ from its definition in the past? Finally, and perhaps most significantly, how are these changes related to social changes and shifting patterns of cultural consumption? In what follows, I will attempt to answer these questions by tying them to the neo-liberal economic models that have come to permeate the art world and currently shape its underlying mechanisms. In his book Biennials and Beyond – Exhibitions That Made Art History: 1962– 2002, Bruce Altshuler compares the most significant exhibitions of the twentieth century’s last four decades to those of the preceding one hundred years: [T]he important exhibitions of advanced art before 1960, from the first impressionist exhibition in 1874 to the shows of the Gutai Artists Association in Japan and London’s Independent Group in the late 1950s, were organized largely by artists. In contrast, beginning roughly in the 1960s, the groundbreaking exhibitions were often put together by professional exhibition makers working in or for institutions, from those in commercial galleries to the huge biennials at the century’s end.2 Altshuler’s analysis highlights the significance of the exhibition curator during the period discussed in the book. Opening with the exhibition ‘Dylaby’ (curators: Willem

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Sandberg and Ad Peterson, Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam, 1962) and concluding with the ground-breaking Documenta 11 in Kassel (curator: Okwui Enwezor, 2002), Altshuler examines twenty-five significant exhibitions in order to define the underlying mechanisms that shaped curatorial practices during this period. Significantly, all of these exhibitions were thematic group shows, which point to the formation of two parallel trajectories: the first, which can be defined as the rise of the ‘thinking’ curator, reflected an interest in a ‘conceptual insight provided by some interpretative plan’,3 at a time when a growing number of commercial galleries, art museums, and art publications already provided basic knowledge and information about contemporary art. The second trajectory involved the transformation of the exhibition space from a site characterised by the ‘“resolved” presentation of works’4 into a discursive site where the works generate ideas through an interaction with the visitors. The growing importance of the thematic exhibition over the last four decades of the twentieth century is supported by quantitative data concerning visitor attendance at biennials and other blockbuster exhibitions, which reached a staggering attendance of 651,000 visitors at Documenta 11. Documenta 11 encapsulates the curatorial model that has since been replaced by the ascendance of the monographic exhibition. Significantly, Altshuler’s discussion ends with Enwezor’s seminal exhibition, which was the culmination of a process in which the curator functioned as a broad-minded thinker, and the exhibition constituted a discursive, inter-contextual site. Documenta 11 was a year-long series of public debates, symposiums, and informal presentations, delivered in five parts (‘platforms’) in six key cities around the world. ‘Platform 5’ was the actual exhibition in Kassel, which was informed by the burning issues discussed in the context of the four preceding platforms: the state of democracy, truth and justice, hybridization, and post-colonialism. As described on Documenta’s website: Over the course of one year, more than 80 international participants across many disciplines – philosophers, writers, artists, architects, political activists, lawyers, scholars, and other cultural practitioners – contributed to the evolving, dynamic public sphere that spelled out Documenta 11’s attempt to formulate a critical model that joins heterogeneous cultural and artistic circuits of present global context.5 Documenta 11 brought the concept of a thematic show to its climax while stripping the art exhibition of its aura of glamour and situating it as an equal player within the epistemic sphere, together with non-visual instruments of thought. The contemporary art exhibition thus became the ultimate form of avant-garde thought. In his 1939 essay ‘Avant-Garde and Kitsch’, Clement Greenberg associates the ‘avant garde’ with a higher social class and with an advanced, intellectual worldview.6 The opposite term – ‘kitsch’ – represented for Greenberg the taste of the masses, which he related to consumerism and to what he termed ‘universal literacy’. Within the framework of Greenberg’s hierarchy, an exhibition of canonised work within the institutional establishment departs from the framework of the avant garde, while the mass appeal of a blockbuster show inevitably places it in the category of ‘kitsch’. Building on Greenberg’s discussion, I would like to suggest that Documenta 11 was situated precisely on the border between avant-garde and kitsch, affiliating itself with an intellectual sphere while drawing a mass audience. At the dawn of a new

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millennium, Documenta 11 marked a significant turning point at which art was symbolically bequeathed to the people. As discursive curatorship reached its peak, it led to the development of new exhibitionary practices that shifted the emphasis back to the artists and visitors, empowering new players in the rising neoliberal economy. A central preoccupation of Documenta 11 was the relationship between contemporary art and current political, social, and economic issues. In what follows, I will explore the shift from this type of group exhibition and the intellectual appeal it embodies to the monographic show as a practice embodying a new set of cultural conditions, which centre on the creation of mass appeal and conform to the current economic conditions of the Western art world. It is important to note that critical curatorial practices continue to develop today – as discussed by Paul O’Neil and Claire Bishop.7 However, parallel to these practices, the high-profile monographic show has become entrenched as a central exhibitionary practice. Significantly, this chapter does not wish to position the monographic exhibition as necessarily oppositional to the concept of critical curatorial work or to characterise it as vacuous in terms of reflexive content. On the contrary, high-profile monographic exhibitions probe precisely the conditions that are analysed in the following discussion, as the economic and political context that created this exhibitionary type becomes its content. In its preoccupation with current conditions, the monographic exhibition can be viewed even as an extension of existing reflexive practices, which in this case focus on political mechanisms rather than on curatorial practices per se. My discussion of this type of exhibition will begin with ‘Skin Fruit’, a 2010 exhibition curated by superstar artist Jeff Koons, which constitutes a milestone in the rise of high-profile solo exhibitions partaking of the economization of culture.8 ‘Skin Fruit’ was the first in a series of exhibitions at the New Museum in New York that showcased works from prominent private collections of contemporary art. The works in this show were borrowed from the mega-collection of Dakis Joannou, a board member of the New Museum. This choice, which was viewed by many at the time as unethical, was coupled with the even more provocative choice of curator: superstar artist Jeff Koons. Koons, whose works feature prominently in Joannou’s collection, compiled a selection of more than one hundred works by what he termed ‘iconic’ artists.9 This combination of blue-chip works, private money, and celebrity culture seemed to counter the New Museum’s longstanding commitment to presenting under-recognised contemporary artists and providing an un-institutional perspective on the contemporary art field, with the aim of promoting avant-garde values. This withdrawal from discursive practices and the embrace of pop culture captured the essence of a larger art-world shift and the rise of new curatorial practices. Although it did not mark the complete extinction of the thinker-curator, who continues to operate in a circumscribed curatorial sphere (of biennials, triennials, and occasionally also thematic museum shows), it represented the shift of institutional curatorship toward a focus on the popular and the provocative. As the art critic Roberta Smith noted in her review of ‘Skin Fruit’, ‘Barely any intellectual glue holds the show together’.10 Significantly, both Koons’s and Joannou’s collection represent the neoliberal conditions under which the art world currently operates. The superstar artist and the megacollector, who became key figures in the discourse on pop art, have come to constitute the main catalysts of the contemporary art world; as such, they symbolise not only the ‘intellectual present’ but also the ‘economic present’. In this sense of embodying currentness, ‘Skin Fruit’ continues the agenda put forward by ‘Documenta 11’, which

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severed the connection between intellectual or avant-garde art and the cultural elite – returning art to the hands of the masses. Documenta 11 offered intellectual content that purported to be thematically relevant to the public at large rather than just to the social elite. ‘Skin Fruit’ continued to deconstruct Greenberg’s dichotomy by offering visual content that was legible to the masses. The New Museum essentially presented kitsch as the new avant-garde, thus complying with the new economic mechanism shaping the contemporary art world. This art-world shift towards a celebration of pop culture realised Greenberg’s fears concerning the marginalization of the elite. Yet his elegy for what he viewed as the dangerous disappearance of the elite was mitigated by later intellectual perspectives that recognised a growing complexity within the art world as well as its greater contingency with other fields. Like Greenberg, the French sociologist Pierre Bourdieu analysed the cultural field in relation to social strata. Yet for Bourdieu, writing in 1979 in an attempt to characterise the post-war period, art, and culture more generally, were instruments for constructing social distinction, rather than products reflective of social distinction.11 Analysing the production of culture under capitalism, Bourdieu highlighted the interchangeability and contingency of economic capital and intellectual capital and cast those in possession of economic capital as a new intellectual elite due to their acquisition of intellectual property by means of financial capital.12 Some more recent theorists argue for the enduring relevance of Bourdieu’s perspective, which ties together culture and business: Scott Lash and John Urry define intellectual property as the main currency of post-capitalist society, and Chris Bilton defines the artist as an entrepreneur and the businessman as an artist while pointing to the disappearance of the product in favour of a marketing rhetoric – a notion to which I will come back later.13 In 1991, Fredric Jameson returned to Bourdieu’s dialectics of culture and economy but analysed it through what he described as the anesthetization of life in the age of late capitalism.14 According to Jameson, the expansion of late capitalism brought about an ‘economization’ of culture, parallel to a ‘culturalisation’ of the economy.15 This occurred in tandem with a social shift from a construction of classes to a construction of individuals. In this sense, Bourdieu’s perception of social class is no longer entirely valid under late capitalism or the neoliberal conditions of the twenty-first century. Instead, the growing inequality in the division of capital and the growing accessibility of various cultural products through online social media enhance processes of individualization over social solidarity, further challenging Bourdieu’s concepts. Bourdieu’s argument that the role and function of culture is the creation of social distinction is thus increasingly replaced by an understanding of contemporary culture as a means of individual self-definition (rather than as a means of defining a collective social class). Extending Jameson’s theory into the twenty-first century, theorist Zygmunt Bauman acknowledges the privatization of culture and suggests viewing culture’s operation in what he terms the ‘liquid Modern world’ as parallel to a dynamic of fashion and trends.16 For Bauman, the multi-cultural reality of neoliberal society encourages separatist and antagonistic tendencies, ‘thereby making even more difficult any attempt at serious multicultural dialogue’.17 In this manner, the critical role once ascribed to art and culture has been eroded, while the consumers of culture are now a multitude of individuals rather than members of a particular social stratum. Bauman’s comparison of culture to fashion brings me back to the discussion of high-profile exhibitions. While ‘Skin Fruit’ presented the personal artistic taste of

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an individual collector, as given expression in a selection of works by fifty of the world’s most fashionable contemporary artists, the curator himself embodied the concept of fashion: in 1980, the New Museum provided Koons with his first artistic breakthrough, exhibiting a window installation of his series ‘The New’. The choice of Koons to curate ‘Skin Fruit’ was based on his status as the ‘hottest’ figure in the art world – the trademark of a popularised avant-garde. This shift is important in terms of understanding the marginalization of content and the centralization of brand names in today’s art world. In 2014, when the Whitney Museum conceived of a special farewell exhibition prior to leaving its Madison Avenue building, it did not choose to present a critical thematic exhibition or to summarise the cultural contribution of the museum throughout the years. The grandiose Jeff Koons retrospective chosen for the occasion suggested that the museum’s main aim was to assert its fashionable status and brand itself as ‘trendy’, creating a new image to accompany the move to its new building (designed by the iconic architect Renzo Piano, by the same logic). It was that same strategic logic that guided Jean-Jacques Aillagon several years earlier, when he was appointed president of the Palace of Versailles. Seeking to rebrand Versailles and to shake off its conservative image, Aillagon decided to launch a program of annual contemporary art exhibitions. Yet rather than inviting prominent curators to create critical or intellectually ground-breaking exhibitions, Aillagon chose to host superstar artists who had already been canonised. Such a strategy would logically be adopted by a museum seeking to increase its number of visitors. Yet unlike many other museums, the Palace of Versailles, a must-see destination packed with tourists, was not in need of ‘visitor figures’. Aillagon’s decision was driven not by a desire to increase revenues but rather by a desire to create a new image for Versailles, transforming its immutable historical aura and rebranding it as fashionable, up-to-date, and ‘liquid’, to use Bauman’s term. It is hardly surprising, then, that the project was inaugurated in 2008 with a high-profile retrospective of Jeff Koons.18 The Koons Versailles exhibition elicited harsh criticism for two main reasons: rightwing French activists were outraged by the sight of a contemporary American superstar ‘violating’ the sacred aura of Versailles – the shrine of French greatness – while a second debate concerned the personal relations between Aillagon and French billionaire François Pinault, who was the exhibition’s main financial supporter.19 Before becoming president of Versailles, Aillagon was the director of Palazzo Grassi in Venice, which was purchased by Pinault as a venue for exhibitions from his collection of contemporary art. Five out of the seventeen works by Koons exhibited in Versailles came from Pinault’s private art collection. In addition, a pompous text written by Pinault opened the lavish catalogue, as if to endow him with a curatorial or other major cultural role. Moreover, Elena Geuna, one of the exhibition’s two curators, is Pinault’s private art consultant and curator. Additional ethical concerns arise if we consider Pinault’s economic interests as the owner of Christie’s and the effect of such a retrospective on the value of the works. While it is important to note that private sponsorship has become an established fact in museum management, Aillagon did respond to the criticism by deciding to dedicate every other subsequent exhibition to a (famous) French artist, and he decreased the visibility of Pinault in following shows (while continuing to exhibit artists promoted and collected by Pinault). To date, nine annual exhibitions of contemporary art have been displayed in Versailles. They were all, without exception, monographic shows, whose titles were simply the names of the superstar artists they featured: Jeff Koons, Xavier Veilhan,

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Takashi Murakami, Bernar Venet, Joana Vasconcelos, Giuseppe Penone, Lee Ufan, Anish Kapoor, and Olafur Eliasson. As the discussion of Versailles and of the examples reveal, over the past few years almost every major institution dedicated to contemporary art has focused on brand-name exhibitions rather than on the creation of content. The increasing prevalence of the monographic exhibition suggests that the product or effect of the exhibition is no longer an intellectual object or subject but rather a commercial image, a trade-mark or ‘trend-mark’. Visitor numbers reveal the marketing value of such monographic exhibitions: in 2010, the year in which Jeff Koons curated ‘Skin Fruit’ and symbolically announced the institutional embrace of the celebrity artist, the most frequented exhibition of contemporary art was the MoMA retrospective ‘Marina Abramovic: The Artist Is Present’, which drew an audience of 561,471 visitors.20 Seven out of the top ten exhibitions of that year were monographic (the other three were a biennial, a triennial, and a national art festival).21 The latest figures available today, which pertain to the exhibitions of 2015, reveal that the top ten exhibitions of contemporary art were all monographic shows featuring contemporary superstars.22 These blockbuster exhibitions of popular and fashionable art celebrities capture the essence of cultural currentness in terms of their focus on popular celebrity culture, fashion, and intellectual value that is determined by economic value. Based on this conceptualization of the monographic exhibition, in the following passages I will show how it functions as a branding device used not only by museum directors but also by businessmen and political institutions.23 Two years after the Koons Versailles exhibition, Aillagon invited Japanese superstar artist Takashi Murakami to present a monographic show of his works. This time Aillagon was more careful, avoiding an American icon and the direct involvement of Pinault in the exhibition. Murakami – a fashion icon par excellence and a canonised non-Western artist – was a perfect choice for Aillagon. Murakami’s involvement in the sphere of popular culture has resulted, among other things, in the successful rebranding of Louis Vuitton through the use of his designs and in an album cover and animated video work for the hip-hop superstar Kanye West. Murakami is a symbol of currentness, of globalization, and of the economization of culture. As such, I suggest, he is also a symbol of the blurred boundaries between kitsch and the avant garde that characterise contemporary culture, as well as a symbol of the collapse of the modernist dichotomy as articulated by Greenberg. Deploying Murakami for the branding of Versailles thus situates the latter at the heart of the discourse on ‘contemporary currentness’ or, in other words, exposes the way in which Murakami symbolically embodies the economic and cultural conditions of the present. This second attempt to rebrand Versailles through a high-profile exhibition also required significant funding, yet this time Aillagon wished to avoid further criticism regarding his ties with private holders of interest. The main financial support for this exhibition came from the Qatar Museum Authority (later rebranded as Qatar Museums) chaired by Sheikha Mayassa, the sister of the Emir of Qatar. The motivation for this support was Qatar’s long-term, extensive initiative to brand the country as a cultural bridge between East and West and to promote its progressive attitude among Western political players. Qatar did (and still does) pursue this strategy through hosting international sports initiatives, local branches of leading academic institutions, and – most prominently – through an engagement with art.24 In 2010, Sheikha Mayassa promoted a plan to establish a museum dedicated to contemporary art and

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delineated a program for annual high-profile exhibitions there. A monographic exhibition of Murakami was to inaugurate the 2012 opening of Al-Riwaq, an extension of Mathaf, the national Museum for Modern Art in Doha. By financing Murakami’s lavish show in Versailles, Qatar ensured the realization of the Doha exhibition two years later, essentially ‘signing’ a branding contract for the country. Murakami’s persona, perhaps more than that of any other contemporary artist, is connected to the idea of the contemporary individual as a consumer of cultural goods. His works vacillate between the worlds of the ‘elite’ and the masses, including bluechip objects as well as three-dollar keychains sold online. Resonating with Bauman’s theory, Murakami’s art probes and reflects not only the blurred boundaries between high and low art but also the character of contemporary societies as described by Bauman – societies comprised of ‘fashionably informed’ individuals. The title of his Doha exhibition, ‘Ego’, encapsulates a perception of the individual as a social, economic, and psychological rising power in a society shaped by trends, brands, and celebrities. Analysing this same reality that Bauman describes as a ‘liquid culture’, Sheikha Mayassa understood that branding is not based on intellectual content but rather on an experience – in this case, the experience of partaking of what is fashionable and represents contemporary culture.25 A series of monographic exhibitions was thus a natural strategy for the branding of Al-Riwaq, and by extension of Qatar, as a leading cultural player. As mentioned in the introductory part of this essay, the second monographic exhibition in Al-Riwaq hosted the works a British superstar Damien Hirst. Like Koons and Murakami, Hirst’s career manoeuvres between art and business, employing and enhancing neoliberal models within the art world. Hirst, too, has become a fashion icon and was used as a branding device. In 2008, two years before Koons was invited to curate ‘Skin Fruit’, Hirst was called upon to curate an exhibition of seventeenthcentury art at the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam, parallel to the display of his famous sculpture For the Love of God at the museum.26 This invitation came immediately after Hirst broke the record sum paid for any work by a living artist, when his Lullaby Spring was sold at Sotheby’s London for £9.65 million in 2007. The record price of Lullaby Spring is a curious case in economic terms. Lullaby Spring is a part of the series Lullaby, the Seasons, from 2002. The very same year that Lullaby Spring sold in London for the equivalent of over $19 million U.S., Hirst’s Lullaby Winter, a work made of twin pill cabinets that is part of the same series, was sold by Christie’s New York for $7.4 million.27 The inflated value of Lullaby Spring calls for an investigation of the motivation for this acquisition, and of the circumstances surrounding this lot. Lullaby Spring was acquired in 2007 by the future Emir of Qatar, His Excellency Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al-Thani, who ascended the Qatari throne in 2013. Sheikh Tamim, who was educated in the United Kingdom at the time when Hirst was shaping his own brand-name,28 undoubtedly realised that such a buying price did not reflect the true market value of Hirst’s works. Rather, I suggest, this exaggeration was a calculated act aimed at positioning Hirst at the fore of the contemporary art discourse and subsequently deploying his name and art for branding the state of Qatar. Following Qatar’s purchase of Lullaby Spring, Sheikh Tamim’s sister, Sheikha Mayassa, commissioned Damien Hirst to create a monumental public sculpture involving an investment of $20 million. Sheikha Mayassa, who directs Qatar’s artrelated activities both locally and internationally, was mentioned by Forbes, Times, and The Economist magazines as one of the 100 most powerful people in the world,

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and was ranked by ArtReview as the most powerful person in the art world in 2013.29 It was during that year that Qatar Museums inaugurated Hirst’s public piece – a series of fourteen monumental bronze sculptures that chronicles the gestation of a foetus inside a uterus, from conception to birth. Titled The Miraculous Journey, this series was placed in front of the Sidra Medical Centre – a hospital for women and children in Doha. That same year, Hirst’s monographic exhibition opened at Al-Riwaq. As in the case of Murakami’s show, Hirst’s exhibition was also ‘imported’: a year earlier, Qatar Museums sponsored Hirst’s first major retrospective exhibition in a British museum, investing more than two million pounds in his 2012 show at the Tate Modern in London (as Evi Baniotopoulu argues in her chapter in this volume, the Tate Modern’s employment of the monographic exhibition as a branding device is another case in point, testifying to the economic and political conditions that enhance and anchor this exhibitionary type).30 Hirst’s Lullaby Spring, which was purchased by Sheikh Tamim in 2007, was included to date in two exhibitions: the Tate Modern’s 2012 retrospective and the exhibition ‘Relics’, which opened in Doha the following year.31Lullaby Spring was thus not purchased because of its aesthetic value or content; rather, its acquisition was part of a branding process that downplays content by transforming a superstar artist into a commodity, which can then participate in the branding of other players. In conclusion, I would like to return to the French billionaire François Pinault. A high school dropout born into a family of timber traders, Pinault is a self-made billionaire who acquired his fortune in the fashion and luxury goods trade. His family now owns brands including Gucci, Stella McCartney, Alexander McQueen, and Yves Saint Laurent. Pinault, who visited a museum for the first time at the age of forty, as he himself recalls, subsequently became an art connoisseur and began to amass a private collection of modern and contemporary art. In 1998, his acquisition of Christie’s auction house positioned him as a central force in the arena of art commerce. For many years, Pinault tried to obtain a public venue in Paris in which he could put his art collection on display. When this goal proved too complicated to realise, he decided to go international. In 2006 Pinault inaugurated Palazzo Grassi, an eighteenth-century palace restored to house his collection in Venice, home to the world’s best-known contemporary art biennale. Three years later, Pinault acquired an additional Venetian venue, Punta della Dogana, in order to exhibit temporary shows from his collection. These two venues have been branded as progressive art institutions that play an active and significant part in the contemporary art world. Palazzo Grassi and Punta della Dogana also serve to brand Pinault himself and the fashion companies he owns as cutting-edge labels whose appeal is linked to the aura of contemporary art. In April 2016, Pinault finally reached an agreement with the mayor of Paris, Anne Hidalgo, who offered him an eighteenth-century building in the vicinity of Les Halles as the site of a future François Pinault Museum. Hidalgo explicitly praised Pinault for helping to rebrand Paris and put it back on the contemporary art map: ‘It is great to have our captains of industry helping to fly our colours. With this, and the Fiac art fair, Paris is regaining its place in contemporary art’.32 This significant moment in the construction of his own brand name, which will define his future museum and determine its position within the art world, was recognised by Pinault as an opportunity for launching his latest enterprise: a new exhibition at Palazzo Grassi, which coincided with the 2017 Venice Biennale. Elena Geuna, who curated Koons’s show in Versailles, was called upon to curate this

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grandiose exhibition. Beginning in April 2017, for the first time in the history of the Pinault museums, the two Venetian venues were dedicated to a single artist – Damien Hirst.33 Once again, fashion, pop, trends, and currentness are to be epitomised in a show dedicated to a high-profile contemporary artist, highlighting the central role of the monographic exhibition in the artistic discourse of the neoliberal world.

Notes 1 For the exhibition catalogue, see Francesco Bonami, ed., Damien Hirst: Relics (Milano: Skira, 2013); for an overview of the general issues concerning art and celebrity culture, see John A. Walker, Art and Celebrity (London and Sterling, VA: Pluto Press, 2003); Isabelle Graw, High Price: Art Between the Market and Celebrity Culture (Berlin: Sternberg Press, 2009). 2 Bruce Altshuler, ed., Biennials and Beyond – Exhibitions that Made Art History: 1962– 2002 (London and New York: Phaidon, 2013), p. 11. 3 Ibid., p. 13. 4 Ibid., p. 23. 5 Platform 5_Documenta 11 [Accessed 9 November, 2016]. 6 Clement Greenberg, ‘Avant-Garde and Kitsch’, Partisan Review, 6, no. 5 (1939), 34–49. 7 Paul O’Neil characterises reflexive curating as a part of the curatorial turn in The Culture of Curating and Curating of Culture(s) (Cambridge, MA: MIT Press, 2012); Claire Bishop goes further and discusses radical curating in Radical Museology: Or, What’s ‘Contemporary’ in Museums of Contemporary Art? (London: Koenig, 2014). 8 Jeff Koons, Jarrett Gregory, and Sarah Valdez, eds., Skin Fruit: Selections From the Dakis Joannou Collection, exhib. cat. (New York: New Museum, 2010); see also: Jeff Koons and Karen Marta, eds., Skin Fruit: A View of a Collection (Greece: DESTE Foundation for Contemporary Art, 2011). 9 Roberta Smith, ‘Anti-Mainstream Museum’s Mainstream Show’, The New York Times, 4 March 2010. [Accessed 13 November 2016]. 10 Ibid. 11 Pierre Bourdieu, La distinction: critique sociale du jugement (Paris: Éd. de Minuit, 1979). For the English translation, see Distinction: A Social Critique of the Judgment of Taste (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1984). 12 Pierre Bourdieu, ‘The Intellectual Field: A World Apart (1987)’, in In Other Words, trans. by Matthew Adamson (Palo Alto: Stanford University Press, 1990), pp. 140–149. 13 Scott Lash and John Urry, Economies of Signs and Space (London: Sage, 1994), p. 137; Chris Bilton, Management and Creativity: From Creative Industries to Creative Management (Malden, MA: Wiley-Blackwell, 2007), p. 20. 14 Fredric Jameson, Postmodernism, or, The Cultural Logic of Late Capitalism (Durham: Duke University Press, 1991). 15 From the perspective of cultural studies, this idea is conveyed in: Jim Collins, ed., HighPop: Making Culture Into Popular Entertainment (Malden, MA: Blackwell, 2002). 16 Zygmunt Bauman, Culture in a Liquid Modern World, trans. by Lydia Bauman (Cambridge, UK: Polity, 2011). 17 Ibid., p 45. 18 Jean-Pierre Criqui and Edouard Papet, eds., Jeff Koons / Versailles, exhib. cat. (Paris: Éditions Xavier Barral, 2008). 19 For a short report on the collision of interests related to this exhibition, see Bernard Hasquenoph, ‘Aillagon / Pinault, même combat’, Louvre pour tous, posted on 3 November 2008. [Accessed 15 November 2016]. 20 The Art Newspaper, 223, April 2011, p. 24. .

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21 Ibid. 22 The Art Newspaper, 278, April 2016, p. 10. . 23 For an extended analysis of the high-profile exhibition as a political device, see Ronit Milano, ‘The Commodification of the Contemporary Artist and High Profile Solo Exhibitions: The Case of Takashi Murakami’, in Re-envisioning the Contemporary Art Canon: Perspectives in a Global World, ed. by Ruth E. Iskin (New York: Routledge, 2016), pp. 239–251. 24 James Panero, ‘The Widening Gulf’, The New Criterion 32 (December 2013), 39–42. 25 In respect to a brand as an experience, see Naomi Klein, No Logo: Taking Aim at the Brand Bullies (New York: Picador, 2000); for the issue of branding in the specific context of the art museum, see Julian Stallabrass, ‘The Branding of the Museum’, Art History, 37, no. 1 (February 2014), 148–165. 26 For a critical review of the exhibition in the context of celebrity culture, see Robert J. Preece, ‘Rock Star on Tour: Damien Hirst’s Skull at the Rijksmuseum’, Sculpture Magazine, March 2008, pp. 14–15. 27 On that particular sale, see ‘The Hirst ‘Record’ that Wasn’t’, Art History News, posted on 9 February 2015. [Accessed 15 October 2015]. 28 Pernilla Holmes, ‘The Branding of Damien Hirst’, Art News, 106, no. 9, October 2007. [Accessed 15 October 2015]. 29 ‘ArtReview: Power 100. Sheikha Al-Mayassa bint Hamad bin Khalifa Al-Thani’ [Accessed 16 November 2016]. 30 ‘Qatar’s Culture Queen’, The Economist, posted on 31 March 2012. [Accessed 15 October 2015]. 31 Damien Hirst, Lullaby, The Seasons, 2002 [Accessed 15 October 2015]. 32 ‘New Paris Museum to House Billionaire’s Modern Art Collection’, The Guardian, 27 April 2016. [Accessed 26 June 2016]. 33 Andrew Russeth, ‘Damien Hirst Will Show at Pinault Palaces in Venice Next Year’, ArtNews, 13 October 2016. [Accessed 16 November 2016].

Afterword Learning from the artist’s monograph: Anarchy, quality, and the ultimate noumenon Gabriele Guercio Is there a legacy of the artist’s monograph? Can the life-and-work model still be adopted and adapted? The twentieth century saw a remarkable increase in the publication of monographs and in the production of monographic exhibitions. It is not clear, however, if the monographic model as a basic scholarly approach still plays a crucial role in casting fresh light upon artists and their works or if it has ended up serving purposes quite foreign to its original mission. In its widespread application today, the model is often a stale reiteration of time-honoured methods resurrected to magnify an artist’s reputation before readers or museumgoers as well as to support the sheer commodification of his or her work. Despite its misuses and shortcomings, there is still much to learn from the monographic model – and it may even inspire new approaches to the study of artistic phenomena. To illustrate the point I will first review major trends in the evolution of the model from Vasari to the nineteenth century, highlighting the monograph’s analogical structure and its characteristic ascription of psychic properties to artworks.1 Then I will propose how Bernard Berenson’s 1895 monograph on Lorenzo Lotto embodies both climax and swan song in the history of the model. Finally I will suggest that the outlook of the artist’s monograph – by now absorbed in the mainstream modes of academic labour, publishing production, and museum publicity – is the bearer of a dangerous if compelling method that favours anarchy over art-historical protocol and the recognition of quality and uniqueness over computable data and genealogical assessment. Arguably because of these shifts of focus the monograph produces a penumbra of associations within which artworks are significantly revealed as custodians of the numinous noumena engendered by both art and life.

The analogy of life and work The monographic model received its first significant modern articulation in sixteenthcentury Italy, with The Lives of the Most Excellent Painters, Sculptors, and Architects (published in 1550 and 1568), written by Giorgio Vasari.2 The narrative of each Vasarian ‘life’ shifts between the paired axes of the biography and the works of its protagonist. This literary structure suggests a circularity encompassing the life and works, art and maker, visual and historical domains. Within this framework Vasari posits two implicit polarities: the biographical and the artistic identities of the artist. The former captures the artist’s personality and cultural and geographical contexts; the latter defines his or her work in terms of characteristic forms, themes, and style.

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The most comprehensive attempt to conflate an artist’s life and work is found perhaps in the ‘life’ of Fra Giovanni Angelico. Vasari’s narrative draws consistent parallels between the painter’s depiction of religious themes and the Christian faith that led the friar to depict strictly holy images. Describing Fra Angelico’s Coronation of the Virgin, commissioned for the convent of San Domenico in Fiesole (now at the Louvre), Vasari says that both its representation of the saints and system of colouring seem ‘to be by the hand of such a saint or angel.’3 Thus Fra Angelico’s artistic identity could not be grasped without considering the sainthood of the man. Beginning with the Vasarian archetype we encounter the view that the visual arts cannot be understood without taking into account their human foundations and thus that artworks might be objects with both independent status and anthropocentric qualities. The correspondence between artwork and maker, art and life, shows that the uniqueness of an artist as an individual flows from the uniqueness of his work and vice versa. Vasari’s narratives most often address the biographical and the artistic as parallel dimensions, viewing the former in terms of factual knowledge and the latter in terms of visual knowledge. However, a ‘life’ never completely distinguishes the biographical from the artistic. In endeavouring to narrate the artist’s life and works together, it postulates a subtle but irreducible analogy between them. Vasari described artists such as Giotto, Raphael, and Michelangelo as individuals who experienced a process of becoming that underpinned their lives and their works equally. Doing one’s work – following one’s path to its end – can be seen as the crucial parable of a ‘life.’ Just as biographical identity was circumscribed by the boundaries of the human life cycle and impelled by the artist’s urge to pursue his or her own artistic bent, so the development of artistic identity depended on time and reflected a lifelong process of becoming. It was subject to the natural laws of growth and clearly shaped by the artist’s talent.

Nineteenth-century metamorphoses Although Vasari published two of his biographical texts from the 1568 edition of The Lives in separate book form, La Vita del Gran Michelangelo and a revised version of the ‘life’ of Jacopo Sansovino,4 it was the collective history of artists devised by Vasari that had a following among both Italian and foreign writers. The idea of devoting a book to an individual artist became current only much later in Europe, certainly not before the turn of the nineteenth century, when we witness a true boom in the publishing of single books devoted to the life and works of an artist.5 As it was adopted and adapted all over Europe in an increasing number of tomes designed to legitimate the activity of contemporary artists or to reconsider the Old Masters, the Vasarian archetype shifted its focus, purpose, methods, and structure. It is most remarkable that the monograph became a genre without really achieving a stable orthodox form. Indeed it was a sui generis genre in that it lacked a firm basis or collocation in both the literature on the visual arts and the realm of publishing in general. A monograph could freely interlock, or ignore, the methods and concerns of the newly emerged discipline of art history, time-honoured techniques of connoisseurship, and procedures typical of literary biography. In the midst of this multifarious scenario some books clearly stand out for their capacity to produce suggestive metamorphoses of the life-and-work model. One of these is Ueber Hubert und Johann van Eyck (1822), by Gustav Friedrich Waagen.

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It reflects a paradigmatic break in writing about the visual arts in Germany after Johann Joachim Winckelmann’s Geschichte der Kunst des Alterthums (1764) because it adopts methods of historical analysis and thus effected a shift from aesthetic, normative ways of looking at artworks to emphasizing a critical understanding of their historical, cultural, and art-historical influences.6 Waagen had an unprecedented sense of the monograph’s role in the building of a new Kunstgeschichte: ‘Only by the accurate study of individual great masters and the close examination of short, important periods of time can a true art history gradually develop.’7 Moreover, Waagen reveals a desire, quite foreign to monographers of his time, to integrate seeing and reading into the study of the artist. Rather than look at prints and reproductions at home he undertook the travels necessary to see the original pictures. He saw visual knowledge as paramount. In fact Waagen’s work may be considered the first monograph on a Renaissance master written by a connoisseur – that is, by a writer who pursued a first-hand investigation of the artworks in the belief that the inalienable traits and inner qualities of an artist can only be ascertained by close inspection of his or her creations. Therefore Waagen could endeavour to reconstruct the chronology of the artist’s work. He devised a dynamic mode of classification that takes consistency, generation, and transformation of style as clues in the attribution of authorship. This allowed him to establish a network of connections that linked one work to another and enabled his readers to perceive the artist’s inner development over time. Ueber Hubert und Johann van Eyck focuses mainly on crediting the latter as author of most of the Ghent altarpiece and construing his works as infused with personalized visions, religious beliefs, and artistic merits that point unequivocally to his individuality. Waagen speaks of Jan’s ‘artistic character,’ implying that artworks provide valuable clues to the life and personality of the artist. The recognition of individuality and naturalism as the main traits of Jan’s works parallels the individualistic, bourgeois virtues that the author ascribes to the character of the Netherlandish people. Although unarticulated in Waagen’s text, this correspondence suggests that a monograph may not only throw fresh light upon a conjunction between an artist’s creations and a national history of art but also evaluate the art as a form of life and carrier of human identity at a particular time in history. The monographic model undergoes another important transformation with Rafael von Urbino und seine Vater Giovanni Santi (1839), by Johann David Passavant. By integrating the hybrid form of the monograph with the older tradition of the catalogue raisonné, the book brought forth the paradigm of an artist’s oeuvre. In many languages oeuvre refers to the complete works of one artist; in art and literary criticism this usage mirrors even more closely the classificatory ambition of a monograph. Passavant’s Rafael embodies exactly this understanding of the term: a nonstatic space within which all works by the same artist can be contemplated in sequence and can exist both individually and collectively. Within the Rafael account, artworks appear both as single objects and as parts relating to one another within a whole, linked thematically and stylistically, compared or contrasted, and taken as tokens of constancy, discontinuity, and changes in the artist’s career. The production of an artist had never been presented so explicitly as a multidimensional organic whole understood in terms of a continuous temporal flux. Passavant’s project demanded a charting of Raphael’s progress from within via a web of relations among the artist’s works paralleling the course of his life. The narrative of the artist’s

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life and works in the first volume offered a dynamic view of the artworks as a whole; the chronological catalogue of the pictures in the second volume demonstrated that this view could be objectified in entry after entry. As Passavant recalled in his preface, cataloguing the works was among the most fatiguing aspects of the entire endeavour. Like Waagen, he was convinced that ‘only by precise knowledge, and first-hand study of what is considered to be rightfully or unrightfully a work of Raphael, can one expect to receive favourable reports about this object,’8 so he devoted more than ten years of travel and research to the fulfilment of this task. Passavant validated the authenticity of each picture and the relative position of each entry of the catalog in three principal, often overlapping ways. The first was documentary, based on external evidence: inscriptions on the picture, documents, literary sources, the work’s location, and references to the biography of Raphael. This is a comparative procedure that allows Passavant to look at groups of works in relation to one another. The other two approaches rely on visual analyses and knowledge of the artist’s production as a whole, allowing him to notice visual elements within the larger context and discover recurring traits in Raphael’s work. An illuminating example of the logic underlying the catalogue is the entry on the Deposition (1507). Passavant agreed with prior Raphael literature that it is a crucial work in his development and thus scrupulously detailed its place in the artist’s oeuvre: The outlines are admittedly still somewhat sharp, since he had not yet arrived at properly observing the effect of the reflections and the vanishing surfaces. Also in the coloring of the garments, the use of glazing is a bit too much at times, and the golden ornaments on the clothes are still reminiscent of his previous, more naive artistic period. And yet all these imperfections vanish when one considers the power and truth of the arrangement and expression, and how moving is the dramatic representation.9 While emphasizing a sense of movement, Passavant shifted back and forth in time among the artist’s works. Just as he took Raphael’s earlier production into account in appreciating the mutations demonstrated in the Deposition, his knowledge of Raphael’s future development allowed him to grasp what the artist had not yet achieved. This dialectic between earlier and later works enabled him to assess the value of the Deposition in and of itself while exposing the picture’s place in the artist’s lifelong process of becoming. Das Leben Michelangelos (1860), by Herman Grimm, illustrates a radicalized instance of the Vasarian archetype in terms of pure biography. Here Grimm ascribes to Michelangelo art-historical values and meanings rooted in his individual experience, regarding the artist as representative not only of his own times but also of a state of being that transcends the ages – thus a source of perpetual inspiration for humankind. Modelling his views of history after the writings of Thomas Carlyle and Ralph Waldo Emerson’s ‘Representative Men,’ Grimm always sought the man behind the artwork and endeavoured to articulate a heroic vision of the artist through biography. He conceived biography not simply as a documentary reconstruction of an artist’s life and works but as a meditation on the authenticity of a life and its resonance in history. Indeed, for Grimm an examination of the author’s life was enough to make sense of the artworks. Just as artistic creation entails the intensity of an experience, so the study of the visual arts is valuable insofar as it helps people understand the meaning

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of that experience. Assuming that Michelangelo typifies the dialectics between historical totality and individual agency, Grimm attempted to turn the writing of biography into the writing of history and to uncover the biographical foundations of a historical understanding. The outcome is a narrative in which Michelangelo seems to vanish among lengthy accounts of war and politics, along with long-winded descriptions of significant figures. This modus operandi reflects Grimm’s complete identification of his hero with the Italian Renaissance: to the critics who argued that ‘Michelangelo and His Times’ would have been a better title for his monograph, Grimm retorted that Michelangelo ‘was’ the times.10 There are a few cases in which Grimm draws direct connections between Michelangelo’s works and his times, as in the interlinking of the Pietà (1498–99) with Girolamo Savonarola. After describing the friar’s impact on the contemporary scene, Grimm remarks that, although it is unknown to what extent he shared Savonarola’s feelings, Michelangelo probably was among his adherents. The text then describes the artist’s arrival in Rome in 1496 and the state of that city. Grimm wonders how the beautiful and pious Pietà could have been produced in a centre of corruption where religion and morality seemed like perfect strangers. Yet he speculates that living in this swamp of hypocrisy must have made it easy to grasp the events of the New Testament, especially Christ’s suffering and martyrdom. At the same time, Savonarola’s prophecies about his own tragic destiny and martyrdom were fulfilled in Florence. Thus Grimm suggestively projects the Pietà within the course of events and concludes: ‘In Rome where one received in great detail daily news out of Florence, they must have ceaselessly filled the thoughts of Michelangelo while he was busy with his Pietà.’11 As it transforms the Vasarian categories of the biographical and artistic identity, the nineteenth-century monograph aims to determine who the artist is as author, person, charismatic figure, and historical individual. Although the issue of what artworks are and do is rarely put aside in a monograph, the model construes artworks as produced by human beings and therefore capable of carrying bits of mind or spirit that may be revealed through biography, history, and connoisseurship. Moreover, the history of the life-and-work model yields the idea that an artwork may have a psychic reality of its own. On reflection we can see that Waagen tackles the artwork’s psychic reality in historical, art-historical, and stylistic terms; Passavant’s Rafael turns that reality into an utterly morphological domain; and Grimm investigates it for its biographical, historical, and experiential implications. Yet whatever the method employed by its writers, the monograph time and again reveals the artwork as an object endowed with the faculty to reify countless anthropocentric data, from personalized ways of seeing to thoughts, emotions, impressions, and sentiments. Clearly the life-and-work model is a form of writing inclined to regard both artists and artworks as attestations of singularities of being. Artworks in particular are taken not only as strong indicators of personhood but also as the virtual carriers of a unique, qualitative quiddity. The intuition of this differential essence sustains, more or less consciously, the methodological freedom or anarchy enjoyed by nineteenthcentury monographers. Books focused on an artist became specimens of a modus operandi that defied disciplinary dogmas. The model, albeit unwittingly, adopted what now looks like an unsystematic mode of address, not only from our perspective but also according to the criteria that at the time informed the still relatively undefined areas of biography, connoisseurship, and art-historical studies. Its polymorphic

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character – reinforced by the various formations of its practitioners – was remarkably mimetic of the highly indeterminate ideas of originality and authorship that it sought to capture and reflect.

Berenson’s Lorenzo Lotto as paradigm The monograph as sketched so far has exposed its foundational beliefs and desideratum as well as an anarchist bent and a trust in the absolute uniqueness of artworks and artists. At this point it is crucial to turn to Bernard Berenson’s Lorenzo Lotto: An Essay in Constructive Art Criticism (1895) in order to grasp the hidden project that animated the evolving monograph. The account brought to its extreme the idea that artworks have a psychic reality of their own while embodying a new, more comprehensive perspective of inquiry that both explicated and radicalized the latent potentials of the life-and-work model. When he began working on Lorenzo Lotto, Berenson was interested in methodology. In fact the monograph’s subtitle announces the book as ‘an essay in constructive art criticism,’ with the goal of extracting an ‘artistic personality’ from the artworks. Speaking of an artistic personality, Berenson advanced the unprecedented notion that the artworks themselves bear all the necessary evidence of their maker, both as an artist and as a human being. The dual threads of oeuvre and biography could be reconciled because in some sense the oeuvre explains and contains the biography itself. For Berenson, Lotto is a presence inscribed and engendered in the very artworks. This is clearly felt, for instance, when he writes about the Madonna (1518), at the Gemäldegalerie, in Dresden: All the formal elements become in the author’s temperament fused into something which is very different from the rough materials; and in this Madonna [. . .] we feel the contact [. . .] with a refined, gay personality, and feelings much like our own, in an age which we are apt to think of as one devoid of human sentiments and wholly given over to men and women of only heroic passions.12 The concepts of who an artist is and what he or she does are both suggestively redefined in this passage. Whereas the artist is cast as a temperament, a singularity of being existing within the art, the work of art emerges as an entity signifying exactly that singularity. Berenson was inspired to conceive of the idea of an artistic personality by examples from various sources.13 Arguably he intended the idea as a methodological tool suitable to approach artworks and artists regardless of the biographical or documentary dimensions, detecting their singular, personalized visions and conferring them with both formal and anthropological significance. While focusing on artistic personalities rather than individual artists, ‘constructive art criticism’ deemed these personalities capable of existing over and above the body of works linked to a historic figure: thus, paradoxically, they were tokens of authorship without ascertainable authors. Moreover, the study of artistic personalities concurred with Berenson’s belief that there is an ‘art of connoisseurship’ concerned with appreciating the quality, unique character, and value of each artwork. For Berenson the application of tests of authorship devised by scientifically minded connoisseurs like Morelli represented a ‘merely initial step’ in constructive art criticism. In the face of a possible forgery, those strictly

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formal tests were secondary to the far more important assessment of quality. In fact the consideration of quality in a picture exceeds the realm of science and pertains to the art of connoisseurship, which more aptly delves into the innermost components of an artistic personality.

A dangerous method In the preface to the first volume of The Study and Criticism of Italian Art, Berenson called for a radical transformation in art studies, at the core of which he placed the construction of the artistic personality: I, for one, have been for many years cherishing the conviction that the world’s art can be, nay, should be, studied as independently of all documents as is the world’s fauna or the world’s flora [. . . ]. Such a classification would yield material not only ample enough for the universal history of art, but precise enough, if qualitative analysis also be applied, for the perfect determination of purely artistic personalities. Then, and only then, and chiefly for mere convenience of naming, might one turn to documents [. . .] and attempt to connect with this abstract some actual personality of the past.14 Indeed, what Berenson meant to exemplify in Lorenzo Lotto is a method that he went on to refine both practically and theoretically. By 1901 he could assert that, as the qualitative supersedes the scientific analysis, the idea of the artistic personality provides the unifying thread necessary for evaluating and classifying artworks of different kinds. Thus a universal history of art based exclusively upon the reconstruction of artistic personalities had become conceivable. Such a daring stance may be seen as the natural outcome of the evolution of the nineteenth-century monograph. It interprets and actualizes its motivating ideals, answering the model’s need to view artworks and artists as singularities of being while furthering a stubborn trust in the interlocking of artistic and human domains. Berenson’s call for a complete transformation in art studies via the pursuit of qualitative analysis and the reconstruction of artistic personalities has remained unanswered. Over the last century the chief orientations in the history of art – from social history and iconology to poststructuralism – have overlooked or challenged the aspirations associated with the life-and-work model. Perhaps precisely because of its extreme outlook, Berenson’s call signals both the apotheosis and downfall of the monograph’s vision of artistic phenomena. In retrospect it may be worth asking what kind of scenario can be envisioned by reconsidering Berenson’s untimely stance, starting with his appeal to the sense of quality. Strictly speaking, quality does not imply static norms or firm criteria of judgment. It suggestively denotes the ‘specific difference,’ or what cannot be measured, translated, or reduced to a term other than itself. Accordingly quality makes itself known without referring to prior conditions. Detecting something new and specifically individual in a single artwork or within the corpus of an artist’s oeuvre entails recognizing a sense of quality, as opposed to principles epitomized by, say, references to a cultural tradition or other factors and forces external to artistic phenomena. Thus quality is a word apt to naming the psychic reality of artworks, or the artistic personality that a work may engender and embody.

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A paramount feature of the nineteenth-century monograph’s legacy is its commitment to an anarchic understanding of artworks and artists. Absolved from genealogical chains, hierarchical structures, historical causation, and art-historical frameworks, artists and works of art tend to stand for themselves. Accordingly, if considered together, they may be seen to comprise a multitude of pure singularities of being that cannot be compared or squared with anything else but rather signify the uniqueness of a life of and beyond themselves. Throughout the twentieth century academic art history could hardly endorse or tolerate such a method – if only unconsciously, it must have seemed quite dangerous. It was a modus operandi that favoured the forming of a fragmented scenario in which laws of steady progress, historical coherence, and stylistic lineage succumb to the unruly dynamics of ‘rhyzomatic’ autopoiesis.15

Recognizing the unknown factor Although the monographic model acknowledges and honours the irreducible human foundations of art making, it does not necessarily avail itself of preconceived notions about humankind. Instead its structure prohibits aprioristic assumptions regarding the width and depth of the anthropological sphere. The very pairing of life and work sees to it that both dimensions fluctuate in their analogical interplay. In fact the monograph explores human agency as a radically unknown gist or essence of which we can only catch glimpses to the extent that art manifests its lifelike properties and life in turn discloses its art-like facets. Openness to unpredictability, contingency, and novelty is key to the monograph’s perception of artworks and their makers. The latter’s existence is signalled exactly by the recognition of an unknown factor that can be neither squared nor compared with anything else.16 The sense of unknown and newness is the indicator of the unprecedented quality or specific difference that characterizes works and artists in their uniqueness. Whether pursued by means of books or exhibitions, the monographic approach ideally responds to the likelihood that artworks could be noumena and must be appreciated as such. Their uncharted and incalculable qualities make them deeply human. Clearly this unrestrained vision of artistic phenomena has not lived on during the twentieth century. By now the life-and-work model serves mostly to perpetuate stale stereotypical approaches in art studies. The result is that the compulsive attempt to gain exhaustive knowledge about artworks and artists has tended to obscure the realization that there may be significant remains – that some elements may escape the radar of a totalizing mentality that purports to convert every bit of the unknown into the known. Nonetheless, the viewpoint of the monograph could still be adopted and adapted to achieve substantial insights into artistic phenomena. Time and again, the life-andwork model conveys the message that artworks not only vindicate the status of existence itself but also operate as living entities. They may be revealed as vessels of agencies that exceed the situations of their authors and assume supratemporal anthropocentric values. Moreover, the monograph yields the awareness that, just as a number of cogitations and sentiments pertaining to life transmigrate into art, a number of forms, procedures, and styles inhering to artistic practice resonate with the artist’s biography, as well as with life in general. The monograph’s history suggests that the ongoing interchange between these parallel realms may provide the basis for a study

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that dialectically encompasses several polarities, ranging from author and work, biography and oeuvre to identity and difference, being and nonbeing. Finally there is no reason to rule out the possibility that the life-and-work model may undergo further metamorphoses in the future. It is particularly tempting to imagine that the model may develop its noumenal implications, relinquishing any mandatory connection with empirical data or rigid conceptions of subjecthood and human identity. In doing so, it could deepen its bifocal scrutiny of the realms of art and life to the point that the inner ‘life’ of an artwork not only provides its true fulcrum of analysis but also emerges in its anarchic independency as the enigmatic attestation of a quality without conditions. Seen in this light, the traditional (if not utterly conservative) modus operandi of the artist monograph may offer a means of study that remarkably does not refrain from digging into the unknown to undertake radical inquiries into the innermost recesses of artistic creation.

Notes 1 For a thorough examination of the monograph’s history and model, see Gabriele Guercio, Art as Existence: The Artist’s Monograph and Its Project (Cambridge, MA: MIT Press, 2006). 2 Giorgio Vasari, Le Vite de’ più Eccellenti Pittori, Scultori, e Architettori (originally published in 1550 and 1568), ed. Rosanna Bettarini, with notes by Paola Barocchi (Florence: Sansoni, 1966). 3 Vasari, Le Vite, vol. 3, p. 271: ‘perciò che tutti i Santi e le Sante che vi sono non solo sono vivi e con arie delicate e dolci, ma tutto il colorito di quell’opera par che sia di mano d’un santo o d’un angelo, come sono’. Vasari was probably the first to combine Fra Angelico’s piety and artistic talent. See Creighton Gilbert, ‘Fra Angelico’s Fresco Cycles in Rome: Their Number and Dates’, Zeitschrift für Kunstgeschichte, 38 (January 1975), 245−265, especially 249, note 14. 4 Whereas Sansovino’s biography was produced without the attribution of a publisher, The Life of the Great Michelangelo was issued in Florence by Giunti, the publisher of The Lives, in 1568. For its role in building a public image of Michelangelo and Vasari’s reasons for publishing it, see especially Lisa Pon, ‘Michelangelo’s Lives: Sixteenth-Century Books by Vasari, Condivi, and Others’, The Sixteenth Century Journal, 27, no. 4 (Winter 1996), 1015−1037. 5 After Vasari the genre of the collected lives of artists proliferated in Italy and abroad, interpreted by such noted writers as Carlo Ridolfi, Carlo Malvasia, Filippo Baldinucci, Karl Van Mander, Joachin von Sandrart, Giovanni Pietro Bellori, André Félibien, and Roger de Piles. Meanwhile, at least until the end of the 1700s, only a small number of books devoted to a single artist appeared (i.e., Carlo Ridolfi, Vita di Giacopo Robusti detto il Tintoretto (Venice: Appresso G. Oddoni, 1642); Filippo Baldinucci, Vita del Cavalier Giovan Lorenzo Bernino (Florence: Stamperia di V. Vangelisti, 1682); Jean François Michel, Histoire de la vie de P. P. Rubens (Brussels: AE de Bel, 1771); Johann Ferdinand Roth, Leben Albrecht Dürers, des Vaters der deutschen Künstler (Leipzig: Dyk, 1791). 6 See Gabriele Bickendorf, Der Beginn der Kunstgeschichtsschreibung unter dem Paradigma ‘Geschichte.’ Gustav Friedrich Waagen Fruhschrift ‘Ueber Hubert und Johann van Eyck’ (Worms, Germany: Wernersche Verlagsgesellschaft, 1985). For the German tradition of philosophers and art historians, from Kant to Panofsky, who rethought the visual arts in terms of critical history, see Michael Podro, The Critical Historians of Art (New Haven, CT: Yale University Press, 1982). 7 Gustav Friedrich Waagen, Ueber Hubert und Johann van Eyck (Breslau: Mar und Komp, 1822), p. iv: ‘Nur aus genauen Studien über einzele groβe Meister, aus der näheren Beleuchtung kurzer, michtiger Zeiträume, kann allmählig eine mahre Kunstgeschichte ermachfen’. 8 Johann David Passavant, Rafael von Urbino und seine Vater Giovanni Santi, vol. 1 (Leipzig: Brokhaus, 1839), p. xxviii: ‘Nur durch eine genaue Kenntniss und eigen Ansicht

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alles dessen, was mit Recht oder Unrecht als ein Werk Rafael’s gilt, durate erwartet werden befriedigende Nachrichten über diesen Gegenstanf zu erhalten’. Rafael, vol. 2, p. 73, entry 54: ‘Die Umrisse sind zwar noch etwas scharf, da er die Wirkung der Reflexe und der verschwindenden Flächen noch nicht gehörig beobachtet hatte; in der Färbung der Gewänder ist zuweilen zu durchaus stark das Lasiren angewendet, und die golene Ornamente and den Kleidern erinnern noch and die vorangehende, kindliche Kunstpoche; allein wie schwinden alle diese Unvollkommenheiten gegen die Kraft und Wahrheit der Stellungen und des Ausdrucks, und das Ergreifende der dramatischen Darstellung’. Herman Grimm, Das Leben’s Michelangelo (Hanover: Carl Rümpler, 1860−63), vol. 2, p. 4. Das Leben, p. 193: ‘In Rom, wo man die Rachrichten and Florenz täglich und in den genaueften Ginzelnheiten erfuhr, waren fie das, was unaufhörlich die Gedanten Michelangeloìs erfüllen muβte während er an feiner Pietà befchäftigt war’. Bernard Berenson, Lorenzo Lotto: An Essay in Constructive Art Criticism (London: G. P. Putnam’s Sons, 1895), p. 176. At the time, Berenson had internalized the tenets of scientific connoisseurship elaborated by Giovanni Morelli, who maintained that one may detect clues of authorship in the less consciously elaborated parts of a painting, namely in the depiction of ears, hands, hair, and so on. Equally key were the views of his mentor at Harvard, William James, from whose works Berenson drew inspiration to conceive the features of a painting as psychologically pregnant as well as to believe that the connoisseur must look beyond habits of execution to study those of attention, visualization, feeling, and even thinking. Finally, a fond reader of Walter Pater’s The Renaissance (1873), Berenson had absorbed the author’s aesthetic credo that the critic registers subjective reactions to artworks while evoking their maker’s subjectivity, even if it must be imagined. For Pater the ultimate function of art was to help people become something, to make life itself a work of art. Thus connoisseurship, psychology, and criticism variously concurred in galvanizing Berenson’s original idea of artistic personality. Bernard Berenson, The Study and Criticism of Italian Art (London: George Bell, 1908), pp. vii−viii. ‘Rhizoma’ and ‘rhizomatic’ are key concepts in Gilles Deleuze and Felix Guattari’s thinking, allowing discussion of the processes that resist the organizational structure of the root-tree system and a multiplicity of connections within a wide array of attractions and influences with no specific genesis. See Deleuze and Guattari, Rhizome (Introduction) (Paris: Les Edition de Minuit, 1976); A Thousand Plateaus: Capitalism and Schizophrenia (1980), trans. and foreword by Brian Massumi (Minneapolis and London: University of Minnesota Press, 1987). For the modern multifarious endeavours that cut loose of genealogical dependency to operate a sort of tabula rasa with regard to the past, see Peter Sloterdijk, Die schrecklichen Kinder der Neuzeit (Berlin: Suhrkamp, 2014). In the history of the nineteenth-century monograph, a suggestive example of this ‘unknown factor’ that resists rationalization can be found in Carl Justi, Diego Velázquez und sein Jahrhundert (Bonn: Max Cohen & Sohn, 1888). The book conveys the idea that – however much the artist was immersed in his artistic, social, and cultural context – the being and doing of Velázquez could be explained neither solely on the basis of history nor accommodated within a univocal plan of study. There was always a remainder, some other component that suggested the genius and singularity of Velázquez, the indivisible extra that the monograph attempted to capture. For a thorough discussion of Diego Velázquez, see Guercio, Art as Existence, pp. 134–146.

Epilogue Some curatorial thoughts on the monographic exhibition Joaneath Spicer

The range of insights offered by the preceding essays on the monographic exhibition in general and a number of pivotal exhibitions in particular is impressive. Nevertheless, they are written largely from a perspective outside the process, assessing the effect; the perspective from inside, where the decisions are made to do them or not, is not necessarily the same. Possible considerations on the ‘cause’ side of the equation may be helpful, especially in looking to the future. Since I was curating a monographic show when this volume came to my attention, I proposed to offer a few observations as epilogue. These are offered with the caveat that, given the multiplicity of mission statements, audiences/stakeholders, traditions, collections, and funding environments that characterize the museum world in North America and Europe with which this volume is concerned, these observations are finally just those of one American curator. In brief, the monographic art exhibition represents not only the opportunity for generating and propagating new knowledge (especially when gathered in an accompanying publication) – a goal with which we all agree – but above all, it, like all museum programming, should benefit the wider audiences served by the museum by engaging them in the excitement of expanding horizons and thereby enlarging and strengthening the adhesion of audiences for serious art. These two goals are perfectly compatible, but the second generally takes precedence, so the implications are far reaching, for example as to what kind of new knowledge is developed. To expand a bit: in my view, the contributions of monographic exhibitions with catalogues to the discipline of art history centre around two general categories: (1) generating and communicating new knowledge in a setting that offers greater opportunities for discussion and analysis of stylistic and technical markers (with the objects directly at hand) than a monographic study limited to print, especially as the role of the academic monograph is waning, which process is part of (2) an encompassing strategy to engage the widest possible audiences in the understanding of the value of the arts in the past and present. As the footprint of art history within many universities in North America and Europe is unfortunately suffering diminishment, the role of museums as a locus for this discourse is critical to the future course of the discipline. I would submit that since it would appear that fewer museum goers than in the past have studied the history of art in an organized fashion and the interested public cannot be expected to have a grasp of history, options for facilitating access to the art of the past include supplying the historical context or highlighting the human element through a focus on the making and the maker, sometimes nearly divorced from history. The challenge of relevancy and the increasing role within the museum/gallery world of contemporary artists who may be present to engage with visitors at their own solo shows further

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privileges the potential electricity of the human dimension and the techniques of the creative process as a vehicle for engagement, for a way into the art object regardless of culture. Additionally, the narrative arc of the monographic exhibition project can be straightforward and not so difficult to embrace by general audiences even if constituent details are subtle and complex. This can render such projects less risky than a thematic project that relies on a thesis that needs to be propounded.1 A monographic show does not really require the viewer to be ‘persuaded’ in order to be successful. As a supporting framework for assessing the role of the catalogued monographic exhibition within a continuum of installations focused on the work of one artist, I propose the exhibitions listed as ‘currently on view’ on the websites of representative museums in the U.S. and Europe on a randomly selected weekend day (14 November 2016), beginning with those at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York. Not only does the Met place far more emphasis on the temporary exhibition than does any other arts institution with a permanent collection with which I am familiar, the museum encompasses encyclopaedic collections and probably attracts as diverse a range of audiences as any art museum in the world. An astonishing thirty-four special installations of short- or medium-term duration were listed. Six were featured, of which five were monographic, focused on the achievements (in whole or part) of a single artist: Diane Arbus, Valentin de Boulogne, Kerry James Marshall, Max Beckmann, and Jean-Honoré Fragonard, all accompanied by catalogues.2 The sixth show was, however, the headliner – Jerusalem 1000–1400, Every People under Heaven – a highly ambitious, sprawling thematic project tracing for the first time the separate but intermingling of Jewish, Muslim, and Christian traditions and forms of expression within one, often contested space.3 A formidable project, it also encompasses risks (not the least, political), and it is not surprising to see it balanced by fine but lowerrisk monographic exhibitions. Of the remaining twenty-eight shows, ranging widely over the permanent collections as a whole (including areas such as Islamic armor and Nepalese sculpture that don’t lend themselves easily to a monographic approach as defined here), seven featured the work of a single artist.4 Two of the Met’s monographic exhibitions on 14 November were described as the first or largest comprehensive presentation of a significant artist’s oeuvre, one a seventeenth-century French painter, Valentin de Boulogne – Beyond Caravaggio (also shown in Paris), and the second, a living African American painter – Kerry James Marshall, Mastry (also Chicago, Los Angeles). Advancing scholarship is certainly a significant factor – indeed, I cannot think of a museum with major collections that is not committed to this goal – but my guess would be that in choosing these artists, the institutions were cognizant that each one embodies a story line both with a legitimate ‘hook’ that is potentially intriguing to wide audiences and a reasonably straightforward arc. Featuring them stirs excitement by offering the public something new. The two-part title introduces as a ‘hook’ an element of thematic definition and excitement. The targeted audience may not know Valentin de Boulogne, but they will likely know Caravaggio. Going beyond him sounds exciting, like uncharted territory; however, the title is perfectly consistent with the scholarly purpose. Several among the Met’s offerings explored in more depth one aspect of the work of a well-known artist, either interpretation or style, for example Max Beckmann in New York, with a catalogue, or Velasquez Portraits: Truth in Painting (seven paintings from the New York area, no catalogue). This type of project is normally highly cohesive both from a curatorial/authorial point of view – just focus on an intriguing

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bit – and from that of the visitor who experiences the satisfaction of having digested the whole idea . . . without fatigue. Both received very good reviews in the New York Times, that for the second particularly noting the pleasures of close looking.5 It is chastening to recognize that the engaged visitor may get nearly as much from the second as from the first, with its serious scholarly base. The appeal of the local for visitors was manifest as well in a small installation of views of New York by a virtually unknown nineteenth-century New Yorker, the amateur painter William P. Chappel. Among museums elsewhere with collections including the Early Modern period and announcing at least one temporary exhibition, my admittedly unscientific survey turned up much the same range along the continuum of exhibitions with and without catalogues but a much greater reliance on the financially more expedient approach of highlighting one or two paintings to offer the immediacy of encounter with the artist. Exhibitions representative of one artist’s work as a whole reflected multiple approaches. On 14 November 2016, the single temporary exhibition at the Musée du Louvre was Bouchardon (1698–1762) Une idée du beau/ Bouchardon (1698–1762), A Sublime Idea of Beauty (also Los Angeles), announced as the first major monograph on the renowned French sculptor Edme Bouchardon’s oeuvre and trumpeted as a way to understand the Neoclassical movement in French art through ‘the accessible avenue of a single artist.’6 In Florence, the two shows listed on major institutional websites were both monographic. One was a massive ‘blockbuster’ production at the Palazzo Strozzi introducing Florentine audiences to the work – recent and conceived for the occasion – of the internationally celebrated Chinese dissident artist Ai Weiwei – Ai Weiwei, Libero.7 As in many exhibitions of the work of living artists, the interpretive hand reaching out to the viewer is that of the artist himself, not the curator. Giovanni dal Ponte (1385–1437) – Protagonista dell’Umanesimo tardogotico was about to open at the Galleria dell’Accademia in Florence.8 The painter is little known outside of students of the early Renaissance in Florence. The website description emphasized the ‘scientific’ approach undertaken by the curators to document the artist’s career through an extensive selection of loans. This is a fine example of an institution taking advantage of its status and attendance numbers to support a valuable project and publication on a local artist that probably would not be done anywhere else. A similar principle is represented by the exhibition with catalogue then about to open at the Frick Collection in New York: the first exhibition on Pierre Gouthière: Virtuoso Gilder at the French Court.9 A small, beautiful museum with an unbeatable location as well as collection and high attendance, the Frick is admirably placed to foster scholarship and appreciation of singular objects within their collections that might elsewhere be set aside in favour of more obviously popular art forms. On the day in question, the Museo del Prado, Madrid, took a different approach, drawing attention to its lead special exhibition (with catalogue), the monographic El arte de Clara Peeters/The Art of Clara Peeters of fifteen of the Dutch artist’s exquisite still life paintings as the first show focused on a woman artist in the museum’s history.10 For the visitor, this carefully curated experience, in that sense similar to The Bothers Le Nain, Painters of 17th-Century France then at the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco, Legion of Honor,11 would be quite different from the sprawling, questlike pilgrimage route offered by the Gallerie dell’Accademia in Venice in celebration of the Cinquecentenario della morte di Giovanni Bellini (Five hundredth anniversary of the death of Giovanni Bellini), offering maps and apps (but no catalogue) to

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lead participants past works by the artist not only in the museum but in institutions throughout the Veneto.12 Exhibitions or installations on one portion or issue within a single artist’s works tended to be more focused projects than those featured by the Met and generally were not accompanied by significant publications. Matisse/Diebenkorn, highlighting Richard Diebenkorn’s debt to Henri Matisse, at the Baltimore Museum of Art was an exception on both counts.13 Of the great majority that were not accompanied by formal publications (and of which I was aware), easily the most effective at stimulating engagement and exchange was the Pinacoteca di Brera’s ‘Caravaggio: Readings and Re-readings,’ provocative pairings of paintings with the museum’s Supper at Emmaus by Caravaggio. Small shows on one aspect of the work of a contemporary artist were part of the mix at many museums, for example the National Gallery of Art in Washington, the Cleveland Museum of Art, the Art Gallery of Ontario in Toronto, and the Asian Museum of San Francisco. The purpose in San Francisco was distinct, however. Of the three exhibitions typically on view there, at least one is a solo show by an up-and-coming Asian artist: on 14 November, it was the Japanese Koki Tanaka.14 One aspect of the museum’s mission is to play a leadership role in introducing audiences including collectors to current trends in contemporary art in Asia. The National Gallery, London, featured Maino’s Adorations: Heaven on Earth, two early seventh-century masterpieces by the Spaniard Fray Juan Bautista Maino, loaned by the Prado Museum ‘on display in the UK for the first time.’15 Their real importance, however, was rather as an added complement to the concurrent, major exhibition Beyond Caravaggio, treating the extended influence of the artist across Europe. On 14 November, the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam was displaying with considerable space and publicity Lucas van Leyden’s monumental Last Judgement Altarpiece (1526–27), ‘the sixteenth-century work of genius by Lucas van Leyden’ (no publication) borrowed from Museum De Lakenhal in Leiden.16 While these remarks are limited to monographic exhibitions, on 14 November 2016, there were of course many, though far fewer, museums among those surveyed that featured primarily or only thematic exhibitions. These include the Kunsthistorisches Museum, Vienna; National Gallery of Art, Washington; Musée de Cluny, Paris; the Cleveland Museum of Art; Art Gallery of Ontario, Toronto; and the Walters Art Museum, Baltimore. Within the museum, the other side of the coin is the decision to support monographic exhibitions produced by other institutions with loans. From my perspective, the exhibition Late Raphael (2012, Museo del Prado and Musée du Louvre) was exemplary.17 Parsing out the style of great masters is an important part of assessing their place in history. Parsing out the contributions of master versus assistants, especially in the same work, can be a futile exercise, but when it is deftly done, it is very telling indeed. The entry on the Walters Madonna of the Candelabra (Figure 22.1) by Raphael and assistants goes beyond past scholarship by providing a clear proposal for resolving shared authorship, in part by reference to other paintings in the exhibition. This is generating knowledge in a context that permits immediate confirmation and discussion based on the physical presence of individual works. Shows like this are very expensive to put on and normally can only be done by the wealthiest institutions. In closing, I return to my refrain urging the recognition that museums in general assess value in terms of their perception of the range of audiences that can be engaged

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Figure 22.1 Raphael Sanzio and assistants, Madonna of the Candelabra, c. 1513–1514, oil on panel, 64–65.8 cm in diam. Source: Walters Art Museum, Baltimore

in a project and that the monographic exhibition accompanied by a scholarly catalogue must justify its place within a continuum of programming – most of it far less expensive – intended to enhance visitors’ experience. For this purpose, projects as those noted earlier normally are thought to need a distinctive ‘hook’; being the most nuanced treatment of a subject will normally not be enough. The human element as a point of access to history is one of many, but for understanding the appeal of the monographic project for museums wishing to attract a wide range of visitors, I would suggest that it is an important one. Expanding audiences and support for the arts is a serious challenge that impacts us all. It is unlikely to become easier. Finding creative ways to shape scholarship through the vehicle of the special exhibition, monographic or thematic, to serve both the larger issues that can be made accessible, indeed exciting to the wider public and the more

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nuanced ones dear to the scholar, is, in my view, important to shaping future discourse not only in the museum but within the discipline.

Notes 1 See further Joaneath Spicer, ‘The Exhibition: Lecture or Conversation’, Curator Magazine, 37, no. 3 (1994), 185–197. 2 Diane Arbus, In the Beginning (12 July to 27 December 2016; catalogue by Jeff L. Rosenheim); Valentin de Boulogne, beyond Caravaggio (7 October to 22 January; catalogue edited by Annick Lemoine and Keith Christiansen); Kerry James Marshall, Mastry (25 October 2016 to 29 January 2017; catalogue edited by Helen Molesworth [Los Angeles: Museum of Contemporary Art, 2016]); Max Beckmann in New York (19 October 2016 to 20 February 2017; catalogue by Sabine Rewald); Fragonard, Drawing Triumphant (6 October 2016 to 8 January 2017; catalogue by Perrin Stein with other contributors). 3 Jerusalem 1000–1400, Every People under Heaven (26 September 2016 to 8 January 2017; catalogue edited by Barbara Drake Boehm and Melanie Holcomb). 4 The second group (title only) consisted of: Native American Masterpieces from the Charles and Valerie Diker Collection; Masterworks: Unpacking Fashion; Celebrating the Arts of Japan, the Mary Griggs Burke Collection; Splendors of Korean Art; Benjamin Franklin: Portraits by Duplessis; Poetry and Devotion in Indian Painting: Two Decades of Collecting; Arms and Armor from the Islamic World; Humor and Fantasy – The Paul Berggruen Klee Collection; The Arts of Nepal and Tibet: Recent Gifts; Drawings and Prints, Selections from the Met Collections; Faith and Photography: Auguste Salzman in the Holy Land; Power and Piety: Islamic Talismans on the Battlefield; The Secret Life of Textiles: Animal Fibers; Velasquez Portraits: Truth in Painting; Workshop and Legacy: Stanley William Hayter, Krishna Reddy, Zarina Hashmi; Selections from the Collection of Jefferson R. Burdick; City of Memory: William Chappel’s Views of Early 19th-century New York; Renaissance Maiolica: Painted Pottery for Shelf and Table; Simple Gifts: Shaker at the Met; The Aesthetic Movement in America; Show and Tell: Stories in Chinese Painting; Collecting the Arts of Mexico; Cinnabar: The Chinese Art of Carved Lacquer, 14th to 19th Century; From the Imperial Theater: Chinese Opera Costumes of the 18th and 19th Centuries; Colors of the Universe: Chinese Hardstone Carvings; Asian Art at 100: A History in Photographs; Sol Le Witt: Wall Drawing #370; Fabergé from the Mathilda Geddings Gray Foundation. 5 New York Times, 20 October 2016 (Ken Johnson, ‘“Max Beckmann in New York”, a Belated but Full-Blown Homage to a German Modernist’) and 12 January 2017 ( Jason Farago, ‘Velazquez Infinite World in a Handfull of Portraits’). 6 Bouchardon (1698–1762) Une idée du beau (Musée du Louvre, Paris, 14 September to 5 December 2016; catalogue by Anne-Lise Desmas, Edouard Kopp, Guilhem Scherf and Juliette Trey). 7 Ai Weiwei. Libero (Palazzo Strozzi, Florence, 23 September 2016 to 22 January 2017; catalogue edited by Arturo Galansino). 8 Giovanni dal Ponte (1385–1437) – Protagonista dell’Umanesimo tardogotico (Galerie dell’Accademia, Florence, 22 November 2016 to 12 March 2017; catalogue by Angelo Tartuferi and Lorenzo Sbaraglio). 9 Pierre Gouthière: Virtuoso Gilder at the French Court (Frick Collection, New York City, 16 November 2016 to 19 February 2017; catalogue edited by Charlotte Vignon). 10 El arte de Clara Peeters / The Art of Clara Peeters (Museo del Prado, Madrid, 25 October 2016 to 19 February 2017; catalogue by Alejandro Vergara). 11 The Bothers Le Nain, Painters of 17th-Century France (Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco, Legion of Honor, 8 October 2016 to 29 January 2017 [previously Forth Worth]; catalogue edited by C.D. Dickerson). 12 Cinquecentenario della morte di Giovanni Bellini (Galerie dell’Accademia, Venice, 14 October to 26 November 2016). 13 Matisse/Diebenkorn (Baltimore Museum of Art, 23 October 2016 to 29 January 2017; catalogue edited by Katy Rothkopf and Janet Bishop.

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14 Koki Tanaka: Potters and Poets (Asian Museum of San Francisco, 4 November 2016–17 February 2017). 15 Maíno’s Adorations: Heaven on Earth (London, National Gallery, 28 September 2016–29 January 2017). 16 Lucas van Leyden’s Last Judgement Altarpiece (1526–27) (Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam, 23 August 2016–23 August 2018). 17 Late Raphael (Museo del Prado, Madrid (also Musée du Louvre, 2012; catalogue edited by Tom Henry and Paul Joannides).

Archival sources

Chapter 1 Copies of a letter from Francis Milner Newton to Nathaniel Hone, 20 April 1775 (AND/2/156 & AND/2/187), London, Royal Academy Archive. Letter from Angelica Kauffman to the Royal Academy dated ‘Tuesday noon’ [18 April 1775] (RAA/SEC/1/7), London, Royal Academy Archive.

Chapter 2 The Knoedler Gallery Archive, The Getty Research Center, Los Angeles

Chapter 5 Archives Nationales de France, AJ/52*/15, Pierrefitte-sur-Seine Archives Nationales de France, AJ/52/838, Pierrefitte-sur-Seine Fondation Taylor archives, Paris

Chapter 6 Preußischer Kulturbesitz, I/NG 601, Zentralarchiv der Staatlichen Museen zu Berlin, Berlin

Chapter 11 Loeser, Charles: A Notebook and Diaries, BER. 17, Biblioteca Berenson, Florence, 108 (3029), [1] 1912, Archivio dell’Opera Metropolitana di Siena, Siena Postunitario X.B, cat. I, busta 30 (1913), Archivio storico Comune di Siena, Siena

Chapter 14 Promotionskartei der Philosophischen Fakultät, Universitätsarchiv, Heidelberg Cote 20150042/4, X19, Archives Nationales, Paris Cote 20150160/24, Archives Nationales, Paris Cote 20150160/25, Archives Nationales, Paris

Chapter 19 ‘A Gallery for Modern Art, Discussion Paper: May 1994’, Tate Modern Project, Concept and Discussion, Strategy, Tate Records, TG 12/1/3/1, Tate Archive, Tate Britain, London

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Archival sources

‘Director’s Office Memorandum’ (21 January 1997), Tate Modern Project, Project Management, Programme and Activity Group, Tate Records, TG 12/2/8/1, Tate Archive, Tate Britain, London ‘McKinsey and Tate Gallery of Modern Art Offsite Meetings’ (May 1994 – Dec 1994), Tate Modern Project, Concept and Discussion, Strategy, Tate Records, TG 12/1/3/1, Tate Archive, Tate Britain, London ‘Memorandum From Alex Beard to Sandy Nairne, Jeremy Lewison, Dawn Austwick’ (23 June 1995), Tate Records, TG 12/2/8/1, Tate Archive, Tate Britain, London ‘Memorandum, From Sandy Nairne to TGMA Steering Group’ (2 August 1995), Tate Modern Project, Project Management, Programme and Activity Group, Tate Modern Project, Project Management, Tate Records, TG 12/2/8/1, Tate Archive, Tate Britain, London ‘Programme and Activity Group Meeting held on 4 April 1995’, Programme and Activities, Tate Modern Project, Bankside Operations, Tate Records, TG 12/12/3/3, Tate Archive, Tate Britain, London

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