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Recent and Upcoming Publications

Recent Publications

Carlo Cesare Malvasia’s Felsina pittrice: Lives of the Bolognese Painters, Volume 9, Life of Guido Reni, 2 volumes
Edited by Elizabeth Cropper and Lorenzo Pericolo; Critical Edition, Translation, and Essay by Lorenzo Pericolo; Historical Notes by Lorenzo Pericolo, with Elizabeth Cropper, Stefan Albl, Mattia Biffis, and Elise Ferone; Corpus of Illustrations established by Lorenzo Pericolo, with Mattia Biffis and Elise Ferone

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Celebrated by Malvasia as the creator and promoter of the new maniera moderna, Guido Reni (1575–1642) introduces the fourth age of painting: a period marked by an original and sometimes bold elaboration of the notion of artistic perfection developed by the Carracci and embodied more specifically by Ludovico’s "synthesis of styles." Art in Italy could have declined once again after the deaths of the Carracci, but thanks to Guido and Domenichino, Francesco Albani and Guercino, painting is restored to its full blossoming, and, as a result, the Carracci lesson spreads and triumphs throughout Italy.

In assessing Guido’s role in promoting this artistic vanguard, Malvasia finds himself in a theoretical impasse. On the one hand, he cannot resist his infatuation with Guido’s work. Endowed with spellbinding powers, Guido’s paintings constitute the greatest luxury of modernity insofar as they reflect an endless search for aesthetic refinement and transcendental beauty both in the representation of the human body and in the orchestration of light, color, and impasto. On the other hand, Malvasia balks at embracing Guido’s "last manner." In Malvasia’s eyes, Guido’s final production is both exceedingly sophisticated and tainted by its very sophistication: delicacy verges on feebleness, transcendence coalesces into purposeless abstraction, divine vision engenders incompleteness, and sprezzatura turns into apparent negligence. Furthermore, for Malvasia Guido is both a paragon of virtue and the self-indulgent victim of the gambling demon. With acuity, Malvasia praises Guido the money maker, the self-confident artist able to overhaul the mechanisms of the art market by exponentially increasing the value of painting. And yet, Malvasia cannot help but condemn Guido the money squanderer, the indebted painter who gambles away his reputation and jeopardizes the quality of his sublime output.

Illustrated with numerous color images, these two volumes provide a critical edition and annotated translation of Malvasia’s life of Guido. Based on a radical reassessment of the historical documentation and a profound investigation of Malvasia’s art criticism, these volumes offer the most thorough treatment to date of the artist’s work.

Learn more about the Malvasia Research Project.

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This year the Center for Advanced Study in the Visual Arts welcomed fellows from China, Georgia, Italy, Nigeria, Russia, the United Kingdom, and the United States. The topics of their research ranged from forgery and counterforgery in early modern Chinese art to the fifteenth-century Veronese painter Pisanello, from representations of Napoleon Bonaparte in French visual culture to agency in nineteenth-century Dakhóta art, and from transformation of Iberian images of the Virgin in early colonial Lima to fabric architecture of the imperial court in the late Ottoman empire. Read more

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As the French Empire collapsed between 1812 and 1815, artists throughout Europe were left uncertain and adrift. The final abdication of Emperor Napoleon, clearing the way for a restored monarchy, profoundly unsettled prevailing national, religious, and social boundaries. In Restoration, which is based on his 2015 A. W. Mellon Lectures in the Fine Arts, Thomas Crow combines a sweeping view of European art centers—Rome, Paris, London, Madrid, Brussels, and Vienna—with a close-up look at pivotal artists, including Antonio Canova, Jacques-Louis David, Théodore Géricault, Francisco Goya, Jean-Auguste-Dominique Ingres, Thomas Lawrence, and forgotten but meteoric painters François-Joseph Navez and Antoine Jean-Baptiste Thomas. Whether directly or indirectly, all were joined in a newly international network, from which changing artistic priorities and possibilities emerged out of the ruins of the old.

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This year the Center for Advanced Study in the Visual Arts welcomed fellows from France, Italy, Japan, Spain, the United Kingdom, and the United States. The topics of their research ranged from the meanings of aesthetic production of the Nahua people of Central Mexico to artistic encounters with Byzantium during the expansion of Aragon, from Venice’s architectural program under Doge Leonardo Donà to the reemergence of narrative in 1970s performance art in the United States, and from the Italian architect Pirro Ligorio to a history of photography of the Swahili coast. Read more

The Artist in Edo
Studies in the History of Art, Volume 80
Edited by Yukio Lippit, 2018

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A historic first showing outside Japan of the thirty-scroll series Colorful Realm of Living Beings (c. 1757–1766) at the National Gallery of Art was the occasion for this collection of twelve essays that reimagine the concepts of the artist and art-making as they were understood in early modern Japan. During the Edo period (1600–1868), peace and economic stability under the Tokugawa shogunate allowed both elite and popular arts and culture to flourish in Edo (Tokyo) and Kyoto. The essays consider a wide range of art forms—screen paintings, scrolls, prints, illustrated books, calligraphy, ceramics, textiles—giving extended attention to works by artists such as Ogata Kōrin, Nagasawa Rosetsu, Hon’ami Kōetsu, Tawaraya Sōtatsu, Katsushika Hokusai, and others, including Itō Jakuchū, creator of the spectacular depiction of nature in Colorful Realm. Published by the National Gallery of Art and distributed by Yale University Press.

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The Center for Advanced Study in the Visual Arts presents the video and audio podcast series Reflections on the Collection: The Edmond J. Safra Visiting Professors at the National Gallery of Art. In this series, Edmond J. Safra Visiting Professors share their unique insights on works of art, selected by each professor, from the National Gallery of Art collection. The presentations that follow are a special opportunity to take a closer look at important works inside gallery spaces with these distinguished professors. Read more

The Cubism Seminars
Seminar Papers, Volume 3
Edited by Harry Cooper, 2017

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The complex facets of cubism remain relevant subjects in art history today, a century after Pablo Picasso and Georges Braque developed the revolutionary style. This collection of essays by international experts presents new lines of inquiry, including novel readings of individual objects or groups of works through close visual, material, and archival analysis; detailed studies of how cubism related to intellectual and political movements of the early 20th century; and accounts of crucial moments in the reception of cubism by curators, artists, and critics. Generous illustrations of paintings, drawings, and sculptures, some familiar but others virtually unknown, support this wide range of approaches to the pioneering works of Picasso, Braque, Fernand Léger, Juan Gris, and others. Published by the National Gallery of Art and distributed by Yale University Press.

Carlo Cesare Malvasia’s Felsina pittrice: Lives of the Bolognese Painters, volume 2, part 2, Life of Marcantonio Raimondi and Critical Catalogue of Prints by or after Bolognese Masters, 2 volumes
Edited by Elizabeth Cropper and Lorenzo Pericolo; Critical Edition by Lorenzo Pericolo; Introduction, Translation, and Notes by Naoko Takahatake with the Critical Edition of Roger de Piles's Annotations to Malvasia's Festina Pittrice by Carlo Alberto Girotto; Illustration Volume with the Support of Mattia Biffis, 2017

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Malvasia’s life of Marcantonio Raimondi includes Malvasia’s critical catalog of prints by or after Bolognese artists, from Giulio Bonasone to Giovan Battista Pasqualini. A great connoisseur and avid collector of prints, Malvasia recognizes the intelligence and novelty inherent in Giorgio Vasari’s life of Marcantonio with its list of prints produced by the Bolognese engraver. In republishing Vasari’s life, Malvasia not only adds valuable new information, but also completes Vasari’s list by cataloguing all the prints unnoticed by his Florentine predecessor. Aware of the interest of amateurs and collectors in identifying old and new prints, establishing their states, and building up an exhaustive collection, Malvasia undertakes the groundbreaking task of describing, one by one or in coherent series, the whole corpus of prints executed by or after Bolognese masters as far as he could determine. He describes the subjects of these works accurately, transcribes their inscriptions, specifies their techniques (whether engraving, etching, or woodcut), and supplies their measurements in Bolognese once. In listing the works of Bonasone, the Carracci, Giovan Luigi Valesio, Guido Reni, and Simone Cantarini, among others, Malvasia comments on their technical and aesthetic qualities, resorting to a refined and complex terminology that reveals his profound knowledge of printmaking.

In her introductory essay, Naoko Takahatake explains the historical significance of Malvasia’s innovative production of the first extensive print catalog, shedding new light on the unique context of Bolognese printmaking in the 16th and 17th centuries. In her notes, Takahatake identifies over 800 prints mentioned by Malvasia, almost all of which are reproduced in color in a separate volume, compiled with the support of Mattia Biffis. Underscoring the importance of Malvasia’s catalogue for amateurs and collectors, Carlo Alberto Girotto offers a critical edition of the annotations made by the French art theorist Roger de Piles to his own copy of the Felsina pittrice (now in the library of the Institut national d’histoire de l’art, Paris). At the end of the translation and notes, Lorenzo Pericolo publishes the sections of Malvasia’s Scritti originali (Ms. B16, Biblioteca Comunale dell’Archiginnasio, Bologna) relating to Bonasone.'

Learn more about the Malvasia Research Project.

Chinese Painting and Its Audiences
Bollingen Series XXXV: 61
Craig Clunas, 2017

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What is Chinese painting? When did it begin? And what are the different associations of this term in China and the West? In Chinese Painting and Its Audiences, which is based on the 2012 A. W. Mellon Lectures in the Fine Arts, leading art historian Craig Clunas draws from a wealth of artistic masterpieces and lesser-known pictures, some of them discussed here in English for the first time, to show how Chinese painting has been understood by a range of audiences over five centuries, from the Ming Dynasty to today. Richly illustrated, Chinese Painting and Its Audiences demonstrates that viewers in China and beyond have irrevocably shaped this great artistic tradition.