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The Sixty-Fourth A. W. Mellon Lectures in the Fine Arts: Restoration as Event and Idea: Art in Europe, 1814‒1820, Part 4: The Religion of Ancient Art from London to Paris to Rome, 1815–1819: Canova and Lawrence Replenish Papal Splendor

Thomas Crow, Rosalie Solow Professor of Modern Art, Institute of Fine Arts, New York University. In this six-part lecture series entitled Restoration as Event and Idea: Art in Europe, 1814‒1820, Art historian Thomas Crow will consider the period following the fall of Napoleon. During this time, artists throughout Europe were left uncertain and adrift, with old certainties and boundaries dissolved. How did they then set new courses for themselves? Professor Crow's lectures answer that question by offering both the wide view of art centers across the continent—Rome, Paris, London, Madrid, Brussels—and a close-up focus on individual actors— Francisco Goya (1746‒1828), Jacques-Louis David (1748‒1825), Antonio Canova (1757‒1822), Sir Thomas Lawrence (1769‒1830), Jean-Auguste-Dominique Ingres (1780‒1867), and Théodore Géricault (1791‒1824). Whether directly or indirectly, these artists were linked in a new international network with changed artistic priorities and new creative possibilities emerging from the wreckage of the old. In this fourth lecture, entitled “The Religion of Ancient Art from London to Paris to Rome, 1815–1819: Canova and Lawrence Replenish Papal Splendor,” originally delivered at the National Gallery of Art on April 12, 2015, Professor Crow shows how Rome, where both Italian and English artists served as agents in the repatriation of ancient art, became an international nexus in post-Napoleonic European culture. The difficulties of this endeavor, captured by Lawrence in his portrait of the reigning pope, came to symbolize the larger conflicts underlying dynastic restoration across Europe. 

Released: April 14, 2015