Richard Boyle’s Spanish Colonial Art book donation

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Donation label designed by the Faculty of Art & Architecture Library, Cambridge (based on original from Richard Boyle)

Richard Boyle, an enthusiast of Spanish Colonial art history, recently donated 88 Spanish colonial art books to the University Library in honor of his wife Marlene de Block. This is a significant donation, as there were very few volumes on colonial Latin American art and are mostly North American publications. Until now, the University Library and the Centre of Latin American studies collections mainly focused on nineteenth and twentieth-century Latin America.

This exceptional donation includes Spanish publications from Ecuador, Bolivia, Peru, Mexico, Brazil and other Latin American countries, unavailable in most European national libraries. This is a unique opportunity for the development of colonial Latin American art studies in the United Kingdom. Continue reading

“Per Dora Maar tan rebufona”

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Portrait of Ambroise Vollard by Pierre-Auguste Renoir (from Wikipedia)

In 1936 the notable art dealer, collector and publisher Ambroise Vollard commissioned engravings from Picasso to accompany his intended publication of an anthology of extracts from the Histoire naturelle of the 18th century naturalist Georges-Louis Leclerc, comte de Buffon.  However, with the exception of a sequence of 11 etchings with a print run of 47 copies, nothing was published before Vollard’s accidental death in a motor car accident in July 1939.  It was left to Vollard’s fellow art dealer Martin Fabiani to publish in 1942 Picasso’s complete set of 31 etched plates with sugar aquatint and drypoint, which he did in a limited edition of 226 copies, entitled Picasso : eaux-fortes originales pour des textes de Buffon. 

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Goya’s legacy as seen through Glendinning’s eyes

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Tesoros del Museo de Bellas Artes de Bilbao, Pintura: 1400-1939 (CCA.65.118)

Over 400 new titles from the library of Professor Nigel Glendinning have been added to Cambridge University Library’s collections since they were donated in 2013.

Works on the Spanish Old Master Francisco de Goya (1746-1828) and, to a lesser extent, his predecessor Diego Velázquez (1599-1660) feature prominently in this collection.  Exhibition catalogues on European art and monographic works on 20th century art and architecture in Britain are also present. Some examples include: Ten years of British architecture, ’45-’55: an Arts Council exhibition (CCC.65.156); Modern British prints: 1914-1960 (CCC.65.105); The captured imagination: drawings by Joan Miró from the Fundació Joan Miró (CCA.65.23).

A significant number of books discuss art in the Zaragoza province (Aragón, Spain) where Francisco de Goya was born —Academicismo y enseñanza de las Bellas Artes en Zaragoza durante el siglo XVIII  (CCC.65.78); Colecciones y coleccionistas aragoneses en los siglos XVII, XVIII y XIX (CCC.65.100).

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The Serov exhibition catalogue : the January 2016 Slavonic item of the month

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Popular demand for the Valentin Serov exhibition at the State Tret’iakov Gallery in Moscow saw its original closing date extended to 24 January.   When visitor numbers even in its re-scheduled final week were so high that 4-hour queues formed outside in sub-zero temperatures,  the gallery extended the opening again, to this Sunday, the 31st.

Visitor sentiment peaked on 22 January, when a door was broken in to gain entrance.  Runet (the unofficial name for the Russian-language internet) promptly filled up with related humour, with the contrast of such high demand at the close of the exhibition’s run with the low visitor numbers seen when it first opened in the autumn a particular target for humour.  A spin on one of Serov’s most famous portraits, ‘Girl with peaches’, for example, had the girl now lifting her hand to her head and wearily saying “that feeling when you’ve been sitting here with peaches since October, and they break the doors down in January” (here).

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Lukas Cranach the Younger 500

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Portrait-medallion of M. Luther by L. Cranach d.J. on title page of P. Melanchthon’s biography of Luther (F*.12.44(F))

500 years ago, on October 4, 1515, the Renaissance artist Lukas Cranach the Younger was born. To mark this anniversary a number of major exhibitions are being put on in Germany. The main exhibition is being held in Wittenberg, the town associated with Luther and the Reformation and where Luther famously nailed his 95 theses to the church door. Wittenberg was also the location of Cranach’s workshop which he took over from his father, Lukas Cranach the Elder. Both father and son were closely linked with the Reformation as they created portraits of the main protagonists of the Reformation and painted altar pieces with images that served the cause of the Reformation.

The exhibition in Wittenberg is unique as it is the first one to be solely devoted to the work of Lukas Cranach the Younger. Until now scholars have considered his work mainly in the context of the work of his father. The exhibition and related publications aim to consider Cranach the Younger as an artist in his own right. The exhibition has been designated as “State Exhibition Saxony-Anhalt”, thus giving it further significance.

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