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Ladies-in-Waiting in Waiting: Picturing Adolescence in Dmitry Levitsky's Smolny Portraits, 1772–76

  1. Top of page
  2. Ladies-in-Waiting in Waiting: Picturing Adolescence in Dmitry Levitsky's Smolny Portraits, 1772–76
  3. The Motionless Look of a Painting: Jules Bastien-Lepage, Les Foins, and the End of Realism
  4. Second Only to the Original: Rhetoric and Practice in the Photographic Reproduction of Art in Early Twentieth-Century China
  5. Hands on the Table: Ernst Ludwig Kirchner and the Expressionist Still Life
  6. ‘With an almost pathetic fatality doing what is right’: Late Sickert and his Critics
  7. The Branding of the Museum
  8. Reviews

Rosalind P. Blakesley

From 1772–76, the Russian artist Dmitry Levitsky produced seven portraits of girls at the Smolny Institute, Russia's first state-sponsored boarding school for girls which Catherine the Great had founded in 1764. Drawing on a range of texts, from state edicts and educational treatises to conduct guidance and personal correspondence, this essay argues that these portraits offer one of the most sustained visual explorations of teenage girls in eighteenth-century Europe, and contributed to the very formation of a Russian consciousness of female adolescence. In conversation with Western European practice but also drawing on Ukrainian precedent, the painter brought together a number of discourses in a complex cultural arena, and refreshed a much broader genre of female portraiture in Britain and France which had yet to attend so carefully to the complexities of the adolescent stage of life.

Rosalind Polly Blakesley is Reader in Russian and European Art and a Fellow of Pembroke College at the University of Cambridge, and Co-Director of the Cambridge Courtauld Russian Art Centre. Her publications include Russian Genre Painting in the Nineteenth Century (under her maiden name of Gray, Clarendon Press, 2000); The Arts and Crafts Movement (Phaidon Press, 2006); and Russian Art and the West (co-editor, Northern Illinois University Press, 2007).

The Motionless Look of a Painting: Jules Bastien-Lepage, Les Foins, and the End of Realism

  1. Top of page
  2. Ladies-in-Waiting in Waiting: Picturing Adolescence in Dmitry Levitsky's Smolny Portraits, 1772–76
  3. The Motionless Look of a Painting: Jules Bastien-Lepage, Les Foins, and the End of Realism
  4. Second Only to the Original: Rhetoric and Practice in the Photographic Reproduction of Art in Early Twentieth-Century China
  5. Hands on the Table: Ernst Ludwig Kirchner and the Expressionist Still Life
  6. ‘With an almost pathetic fatality doing what is right’: Late Sickert and his Critics
  7. The Branding of the Museum
  8. Reviews

Marnin Young

Although a popular success when Jules Bastien-Lepage first showed it at the Paris Salon of 1878, Les Foins (Haymaking) immediately prompted a critical skirmish over the legacy and meaning of realism. At the centre of the debate was the painter's troubling representation of an immobile, exhausted haymaker, ‘absorbed by some vague thought’, as one critic put it. Underlying the critical division, this essay argues, was the painting's problematic attempt to make an enduring and temporally extended picture – a picture consistent with the mid-century realism of Gustave Courbet and Jean-François Millet – out of the historically shifting dynamics of rural wage labour in early Third Republic France. In doing so, Bastien-Lepage brought one line of realist painting to a close and in turn opened a new tradition of artistic naturalism.

Marnin Young is assistant professor of art history at Stern College for Women, Yeshiva University. His previous publications have appeared in Afterimage, The Art Bulletin, Nineteenth-Century Art Worldwide, nonsite.org, and the RIHA Journal. The current essay constitutes a key section of a book-length project on realism, politics, and time.

Second Only to the Original: Rhetoric and Practice in the Photographic Reproduction of Art in Early Twentieth-Century China

  1. Top of page
  2. Ladies-in-Waiting in Waiting: Picturing Adolescence in Dmitry Levitsky's Smolny Portraits, 1772–76
  3. The Motionless Look of a Painting: Jules Bastien-Lepage, Les Foins, and the End of Realism
  4. Second Only to the Original: Rhetoric and Practice in the Photographic Reproduction of Art in Early Twentieth-Century China
  5. Hands on the Table: Ernst Ludwig Kirchner and the Expressionist Still Life
  6. ‘With an almost pathetic fatality doing what is right’: Late Sickert and his Critics
  7. The Branding of the Museum
  8. Reviews

Yu-jen Liu

This essay explores the capacity of photographic art reproduction to mediate and construct our perception of art. It focuses on the publishing practices of the art periodical Shenzhou guoguangji (1908–12), the first of its kind in China to employ photomechanical processes to propagate ‘art’ as the ‘national essence’. The essay argues that the art reproductions published in this periodical were themselves also a specific material expression of cultural identity. Yet, while the interplay between modern technologies and traditional concepts and practices of copying made possible the replication of cultural authenticity, the unique material characteristics of these photomechanical art reproductions had the ironic effect of changing artistic hierarchies in China in a very tangible way.

Yu-jen Liu is assistant research fellow at the National Palace Museum, Taipei. Educated in Chinese art history at the National Taiwan University, she recently completed her DPhil thesis in history of art at the University of Oxford, entitled ‘Publishing Chinese Art: Issues of Cultural Reproduction in China, 1905–1918’.

Hands on the Table: Ernst Ludwig Kirchner and the Expressionist Still Life

  1. Top of page
  2. Ladies-in-Waiting in Waiting: Picturing Adolescence in Dmitry Levitsky's Smolny Portraits, 1772–76
  3. The Motionless Look of a Painting: Jules Bastien-Lepage, Les Foins, and the End of Realism
  4. Second Only to the Original: Rhetoric and Practice in the Photographic Reproduction of Art in Early Twentieth-Century China
  5. Hands on the Table: Ernst Ludwig Kirchner and the Expressionist Still Life
  6. ‘With an almost pathetic fatality doing what is right’: Late Sickert and his Critics
  7. The Branding of the Museum
  8. Reviews

William Sherwin Simmons

A unique approach to still life painting, an animation of the inanimate, developed in the works of German expressionist artists during the period between 1910 and 1914. This essay considers how this approach relates to issues raised by Georg Simmel and Alois Riegl about social experience and art within the modern world. The works of Ernst Ludwig Kirchner, it is argued, can be seen to exemplify this approach, but also to differ from it in the way their design and use of textiles, incorporation of cubist concerns about space, and references to bohemian sociability involve the artist's lived experience of the studio.

William Sherwin Simmons is Professor Emeritus at the University of Oregon. He has published extensively on art and advertising, German expressionism, and Berlin dada. The role of religious imagery in early twentieth-century German art is the focus of his current research.

‘With an almost pathetic fatality doing what is right’: Late Sickert and his Critics

  1. Top of page
  2. Ladies-in-Waiting in Waiting: Picturing Adolescence in Dmitry Levitsky's Smolny Portraits, 1772–76
  3. The Motionless Look of a Painting: Jules Bastien-Lepage, Les Foins, and the End of Realism
  4. Second Only to the Original: Rhetoric and Practice in the Photographic Reproduction of Art in Early Twentieth-Century China
  5. Hands on the Table: Ernst Ludwig Kirchner and the Expressionist Still Life
  6. ‘With an almost pathetic fatality doing what is right’: Late Sickert and his Critics
  7. The Branding of the Museum
  8. Reviews

Sam Rose

This essay explores the dialogue between Walter Richard Sickert and his formalist interpreters, in particular Roger Fry, as an important way in to Sickert's later work and its reception. With a close examination of intentionality and its rhetorical practice in the theories of Fry and Clive Bell, it can be seen that these critics constructed a version of Sickert that led them to describe his expressed opinions as mere by-products of flippancy and eccentricity, and instead discover his ‘real’ intentions to be in line with their general theory of art. Reread in the context of Sickert's passed-over writings, his actions and artworks of the 1920s form a more coherent picture than previously established, and can in part be seen as a deliberate counter to Fry's ideas. By the 1940s, however, writers once again took the formalist reading as key to the artist's work, with analysis unwittingly guided by prior assumptions about Sickert's oeuvre and its place in the history of modern painting. The case thus casts light on the way that formalist readings were and still are able to be sustained in spite of strong opposition and against contrary claims of artistic intent.

Sam Rose is a Research Fellow at Peterhouse, University of Cambridge. He is currently working on two projects: a book on formalism, aestheticism, and art writing in early to mid-twentieth-century England; and a study of art writing and Western modernism since 1900.

The Branding of the Museum

  1. Top of page
  2. Ladies-in-Waiting in Waiting: Picturing Adolescence in Dmitry Levitsky's Smolny Portraits, 1772–76
  3. The Motionless Look of a Painting: Jules Bastien-Lepage, Les Foins, and the End of Realism
  4. Second Only to the Original: Rhetoric and Practice in the Photographic Reproduction of Art in Early Twentieth-Century China
  5. Hands on the Table: Ernst Ludwig Kirchner and the Expressionist Still Life
  6. ‘With an almost pathetic fatality doing what is right’: Late Sickert and his Critics
  7. The Branding of the Museum
  8. Reviews

Julian Stallabrass

This essay explores the branding of the museum and is accompanied by photographs that form a parallel visual argument to that in the text. The brand is a consistent and affirmative identity that affects all museum operations, including its relationships with visitors, staff, contractors, sponsors and donors. Tate Modern is taken as the central example, as a model of successful and professional branding. It is argued that the consistent and affirmative character of the brand is in tension with both the character of much of the avant-garde and contemporary art that Tate Modern displays, and with its educative role in elucidating the contradictory, complex and often negatory qualities of that art. Branding successfully attracts visitors but it also creates a commercial museum environment which is not clearly separable from other commercial operations, and is subject to cynicism, disillusion and contamination.

Julian Stallabrass is a writer, photographer, curator and lecturer. He is Professor in Art History at the Courtauld Institute of Art, and is the author of Art Incorporated (Oxford University Press, 2004). He is the editor of Documentary (MIT/Whitechapel Documents of Contemporary Art, 2013) and Memory of Fire: Images of War and the War of Images (Photoworks, 2013).

Reviews

  1. Top of page
  2. Ladies-in-Waiting in Waiting: Picturing Adolescence in Dmitry Levitsky's Smolny Portraits, 1772–76
  3. The Motionless Look of a Painting: Jules Bastien-Lepage, Les Foins, and the End of Realism
  4. Second Only to the Original: Rhetoric and Practice in the Photographic Reproduction of Art in Early Twentieth-Century China
  5. Hands on the Table: Ernst Ludwig Kirchner and the Expressionist Still Life
  6. ‘With an almost pathetic fatality doing what is right’: Late Sickert and his Critics
  7. The Branding of the Museum
  8. Reviews

Water Worlds: Examining Mobility, Power and Civilization in the Islamic World

Zainab Cheema is a Comparative Literature graduate student at the University of Texas at Austin. She researches Mediterranean Studies, specifically intersections between pre-modern Arabic literature and Iberian literature. She is interested in visual studies, cultural studies, and feminist methodologies. She holds an MA from the University of California, Irvine.

Fragonard's Reverse Whodunnit and Other Tales of Relocation

Melissa Percival is Senior Lecturer in French and Art History at the University of Exeter. She is the author of Fragonard and the Fantasy Figure: Painting the Imagination (Ashgate, 2012) and has published widely on theories of facial expression and other topics connected with eighteenth-century France. She is currently preparing an exhibition of European fantasy figures with the Musée des Augustins, Toulouse.

Victorian Shock Value

Ayla Lepine's research focuses on the Gothic Revival in Britain and America in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. Her publications have explored music and architecture in Victorian Cambridge, and Anglican textiles in the 1870s. She has held postdoctoral fellowships at Yale University and the Courtauld Institute of Art, and is a lecturer at the University of Nottingham.

Documents of American Art

David Peters Corbett is Professor of Art History and American Studies at the University of East Anglia. He has written widely on British and American painting between the mid-nineteenth and mid-twentieth centuries. Recent publications include: An American Experiment: George Bellows and the Ashcan Painters (National Gallery, 2011); and A Companion to British Art, 1600 to the Present (Wiley-Blackwell, 2013).

Sladey Ladies and Femmes Modernes

Brian Foss is Professor of Art History and Director of the School for Studies in Art and Culture at Carleton University, Ottawa. He is the author of War Paint: Art, War, State and Identity in Britain, 1939–1945 (Yale University Press, 2007), co-editor of The Visual Arts in Canada: The Twentieth Century (Oxford University Press, 2010), and an author and curator of numerous publications and exhibitions on nineteenth- and twentieth-century Canadian art.

Pop Art and Subjectivity: Diversification of Narrative Frameworks and Expansion of the Field's Scope

Elisa Schaar is Leverhulme Early Career Fellow at the Ruskin School of Fine Art. She is currently completing a book manuscript on forerunners of appropriation art, c. 1964–74. Her writing has appeared in Art History, American Art, Artforum and The Art Book.

Touched Photographs

Jane Blocker is Professor of Art History at the University of Minnesota. She is the author of: Seeing Witness: Visuality and the Ethics of Testimony (Minnesota University Press, 2009); What the Body Cost: Desire, History, and Performance (Minnesota University Press, 2004); and Where is Ana Mendieta? Identity, Performativity, and Exile (Duke University Press, 1999).