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Notice des Principaux Tableaux recueillis dans la Lombardie

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2 p.l., viii, 118 pp. Small 8vo (153 x 100 mm.), cont. pink paste-paper boards (spine sunned), green morocco lettering-piece on spine. Paris: L'Imprimerie des Sciences et Arts, 1798. The scarce catalogue recording the paintings seized from Lombardy by the French army. This proved to be an extremely contentious exhibition in France because upon the arrival of the paintings, French experts decided to restore nearly all of them. "During this hectic period, with works of art coming and going in large numbers, a controversy of major proportions erupted over the way the [Louvre] was run and in particular over the conduct of restorations.Exacerbating already serious accusations made in the most public of forums was the heavy burden of responsibility attending foreign conquest. The systematic confiscation of art had aroused widespread indignation, especially with respect to Italy, which for centuries had been looked upon as Europe's museum and the high point of the Grand Tour. Even Frenchmen protested Bonaparte's spoliation of Italy. "Paintings were grouped under artists, who were listed alphabetically, as had become the norm. Where relevant the pictures were described 'in chronological order.' The same perhaps applied to their arrangement in the Salon, though as before visual symmetry may have compromised pedagogic concerns"-McClellan, pp. 131 & 134. This livret extensively describes 142 paintings by the great artists of Italy, such as Albani, the Carracci, Correggio, Guercino, Guido Reni, da Vinci, Cortona, Raphael, Tintoretto, Titian, etc. For each entry, the compilers provide details on the subject matter, the support materials, measurements, stylistic assessments, engravings after the work, and provenance. A few paintings were selected from the French state's collections, but the vast majority originate from Italy. Number 104 is the Mona Lisa. A fascinating record of French looting in Italy, in fine condition. With the instruction slip for the binder bound in at the beginning. Monogram stamp "A D" on half-title of Auguste Gaspard Louis Desnoyers (1779-1857), one of the great engravers of his time and premier Graveur du Roi (see Lugt Marques, 101 & 102). ? A. McClellan, Inventing the Louvre (1994), pp. 131-35. Marquet de Vasselot, Répertoire des catalogues du Musée du Louvre (1793-1926) (1927), 107.
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