TheMarbleIndexThe Marble Index: Roubiliac and Sculptural Portraiture in Eighteenth-Century Britain
2015, New Haven and London: Yale University Press
Malcolm Baker, author

Providing the first thorough study of sculptural portraiture in 18th-century Britain, this important book challenges both the idea that portrait necessarily implies painting and the assumption that Enlightenment thought is manifest chiefly in French art.  By considering the bust and the statue as genres, Malcolm Baker, a leading sculpture scholar, addresses the question of how these seemingly traditional images developed into ambitious forms of representation within a culture in which many core concepts of modernity were being formed.  The leading sculptor at this time in Britain was Louis Francois Roubiliac (1702–1762), and his portraits of major figures of the day, including Alexander Pope, Isaac Newton, and George Frederic Handel, are examined here in detail.  Remarkable for their technical virtuosity and visual power, these images show how sculpture was increasingly being made for close and attentive viewing.  The Marble Index eloquently establishes that the heightened aesthetic ambition of the sculptural portrait was intimately linked with the way in which it could engage viewers familiar with Enlightenment notions of perception and selfhood.

FameandFriendshipFame and Friendship: Pope, Roubiliac and the Portrait Bust in Eighteenth-Century Britain
2014, London: Paul Holberton Publishing
Malcolm Baker, author

No literary figure of the 18th-century was more esteemed than the poet Alexander Pope, and his sculpted portraits exemplify the celebration of literary fame at a period when authorship was being newly conceived and the portrait bust was enjoying new popularity. Accompanying an exhibition at Waddesdon Manor (The Rothschild Collection), this publication explores the convergence between authorship, portraiture, and the sculpted image in particular, by bringing together a wide range of works that foreground Pope’s celebrity status.

Pope took great pains over how he was represented and carefully fashioned his public persona through images, published letters and the printed editions of his works. Examined alongside some of the most celebrated painted portraits of the poet, will be a selection of the printed texts which Pope planned with meticulous care. The core of the publication will consist of eight different versions of the same portrait bust by the leading sculptor of the period, Louis François Roubiliac. Read More →

Renaissance Love

Renaissance Love: Eros, Passion, and Friendship in Italian Art Around 1500
2014, Deutscher Kunstverlag
Jeanette Kohl, co-edited

Love is not blind. On the contrary, love is highly visual and the visual arts above all others have the capacity to enflame its passion – an idea that goes back to Leonardo da Vinci. This volume, ‘Renaissance Love: Eros, Passion, and Friendship in Italian art around 1500’, presents the view of internationally renowned specialists in a collection of studies devoted to the intermeshing of art, love, and attraction. The essays not only provide valuable insights into contemporary research on the subject, but also afford new and surprising perspectives on Italian Renaissance art; in their scholarly approach to the topic they are a long-overdue contribution to the interdisciplinary discourse on love in Italian culture around 1500.

Featured authors: Hans Aurenhammer, Stephen J. Campbell, Elisa de Halleux, Giancarlo Fiorenza, Jeanette Kohl, Marianne Koos, Alessandro Nova, Christopher J. Nygren, Jill Pederson, Ulrich Pfisterer and Adrian W.B. Randolph.

ConfessionsConfessions* of a Male Chauvinist Pig
2013, (ed.) Ex. cat. Riverside: California Museum of Photography
Susan Laxton, editor

Confessions* of a Male Chauvinist Pig, a collection of essays written in conjunction with the exhibition of the same name at the California Museum of Photography, reconsiders Garry Winograd’s book project Women Are Beautiful (1975). Women Are Beautiful is a set of 85 photographs culled from the hundreds Winogrand shot of women in public places between 1964 and 1973. Initially bearing the controversial subtitle “Observations of a Male Chauvinist Pig,” Winogrand’s book struggled to find a publisher and then withered in the light of feminist critique once it appeared. Confessions* aims to reorganize the photographs into a critical exhibition that places the project in the context of the turbulent 1960s, at the nexus of gender relations buffeted by the conflicting terms of the sexual revolution and the women’s movement, particularly in light of the consumption of women in media images.

cover_issue_1323_de_DEEn Face. Seven Essays on the Human Face
2012, Marburg
Jeanette Kohl, co-edited

This thematic issue of the German art history journal kritische berichte gathers analytical approaches to the ‘phenomenon face’ from different disciplines: neurophysiology, philosophy of the body, cultural history, surgery, medieval history, and the history of art. In their contributions, the authors examine the face as medium and material, as mise-en-scene and matter, as mirror and membrane, producer and recipient – as a cultural construction and a human determinant. The essays are spurred by their author’s profound involvement with the questions: WHAT IS A FACE? What did and what does it mean, culturally, socially, psychologically, physiologically, aesthetically, historically? What might it look like in the future? What are our assumptions about what a face represents, what it means to lose one’s face, or live with someone else’s face. Often enough, we think of faces as identities. But, what does a face tell about ‘us’ – individually, culturally, and as a species? Perception and imagination, the belief in images and image making, they all overlap in the face. The book’s trans-disciplinary approach is a first step toward a cultural history of the face. It includes essays by Jean-Claude Schmitt, Bernard Andrieu, Sigrid Weigel, Georges Didi-Huberman, Claudia Schmoelders, Jonathan Cole, and an interview with the facial surgeon Rainer Schmelzeisen.

NicodemusTessinNicodemus Tessin the Elder. Architecture in Sweden in the Age of Greatness
2009, Brepols Publishers
Kristoffer Neville, author

Nicodemus Tessin the Elder was an architect, gentleman, and founder of the artistic dynasty that was immensely influential at the Swedish court in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. He was architect to the crown, to the nobility, and to the city of Stockholm, and he supplied buildings for a wide range of functions, from palaces to banks, courthouses, and fortifications. His unusually extensive travels in the Netherlands, Italy, France and Germany provided him with a comprehensive picture of contemporary European architecture, which he drew on as he synthesized a new group of buildings that would attract international attention as models for princely architecture. His productivity required a new approach to architecture, and he was part of the first generation of architects in northern Europe to develop the architectural studio, distinguishing the design process from the business of building, and in the process recreating himself as the modern architect.