The First Art Newspaper on the Net Established in 1996 United States Saturday, November 29, 2014


RISD museum opens an exhibition of beautiful and rarely seen prints and books
Giuseppe Vasi, printmaker, After Giuseppe Palazzi, draftsman, After Paolo Posi, architect, Seconda macchina, 1762: A Casino of Delight in the Sumptuous Ottoman Style, 1762. Collection of Vincent J. Buonanno. Museum of Art Rhode Island School of Design, Providence, RI.
PROVIDENCE, RI.- The Museum of Art Rhode Island School of Design announces an exhibition of beautiful and rarely seen prints and books that provide a glimpse into the extravagant and awe-inspiring festivals of early modern Europe. The Festive City, drawn from the collections of the RISD Museum, the John Hay Library at Brown University, and collector Vincent J. Buonanno, opens on Friday, December 21, 2012 and is on view through Sunday, July 14, 2013.

In early modern Europe (ca. 1500-ca. 1800), the papal court, sovereign powers, civic governments, and high aristocracy sponsored elaborate festivals for special occasions such as saint’s days, coronations, and royal marriages. With their magnificent presentations of ephemeral architecture and explosions of fireworks, festivals entertained and amazed their audiences. Printmakers desired the same reaction from their festival books and prints, which publicized these major events for an international audience. In this new exhibition, the RISD Museum brings together about 60 of these intricately illustrated prints and books, among our only traces of these staggeringly expensive but fleeting events.

“The exhibition began as a discussion about early modern festival prints between one of our curators, Emily Peters, and Vincent Buonanno—a native of Providence whose collection of prints recording the Chinea! festival in 18th-century Rome is one of the most complete in the world,” says Museum Director John W. Smith. “Emily’s research on the topic and shared interests with Vincent and Evelyn Lincoln at Brown evolved into a rich collaboration.”

Peters, the Museum’s Associate Curator for Prints, Drawings, and Photographs, and Lincoln, Associate Professor of History of Art and Architecture and Italian Studies at Brown University, worked with students in a Brown seminar last spring and summer to develop the exhibition themes and select works. The resulting exhibition includes not only the Chinea prints and other single leaf prints, but also numerous books with stunning, foldout plates from Brown University’s John Hay Library, which holds the remarkable Anne S. K. Brown Military collection of illustrated books.

In the books and prints, we see that festivals—well-funded by the ruling classes employed artists, designers, and other specialists in cities such as Paris, Antwerp, and Rome. Temporary triumphal arches, classicizing theaters, and elaborate building illuminations characterized the most lavish festivals, and religious or state processions through city streets on dedicated routes represented almost every sector of society.

“The public enactment of systems of belief was important during this period, as was public celebration,” says Peters. She explains that festivals were a means of building community while also persuading their audience of the ingenuity or largesse of the sponsor.

The efforts of printmakers to represent the size and scale of the festivals—by printing on multiple copperplates and pasting together several sheets of paper to create enormous, foldout images—is matched by their ingenious solutions to the technical problems of depicting nighttime fireworks displays and vast crowds over expansive cityscapes. On view are deluxe, hand-painted editions, probably intended for the library of an aristocrat, as well as single-leaf prints made quickly to document important political events.

Sustained by the centralized power of absolutist regimes, festival culture reached its zenith in the 18th century, when fireworks emerged as the most spectacular means of celebration and theater—providing pleasurable but fearful viewing experiences described by audiences as wondrous and magnificent. Many of the prints in the exhibition feature ephemeral temples or pleasure palaces constructed specifically as launch pads for fireworks. Most, such as those made for the Chinea festival in Rome, burned to the ground as hundreds of fireworks blasted from their wood and canvas frames. The prints record the fleeting inventions of the many artists who contributed to the design, construction, and decoration of these set pieces for several months preceding the event.

As fireworks blasted fire, fumes, and noise throughout the city’s public spaces, musicians played music composed specially for the occasion. “Festivals engaged all of the senses and placed emphasis on communal pleasure, but also invited bouts of mayhem,” says Peters. Organizers provided free food and drink to the public on special festival days, often involving the populace in ritualized games to obtain it. Some festivals, such as carnival, included bullfights or other “blood sports,” creating opportunities to view and participate in both choreographed and unchoreographed violence. Printmakers captured both the celebratory and more disorderly aspects of festivals in prints that document, but also dramatize, these real events.

Just as reminders of these extravagant early modern festivals can be seen in contemporary rituals—royal weddings, state funerals, ceremonial diplomatic visits, and even personal celebrations—the attention once lavished on festival books and prints is echoed in our efforts to document modern events through news stories, photographs, and social media. The important works on view in The Festive City represent the pinnacle of printmaking ingenuity and collaborative artistic production in European cities, and pay tribute to the creative inventions of artists whose works were almost exclusively ephemeral.





Today's News

December 21, 2012

Mexican archaeologists find another 1,200 year-old grave at Atzompa in Oaxaca

RISD museum opens an exhibition of beautiful and rarely seen prints and books

Louvre cements spot as world's most-visited museum; website seen more than 11 million visitors

Guggenheim Museum in New York acquires sculpture by artist Mark Grotjahn

Collection of paintings recording life behind the German trenches during World War I to go on sale

MoMA presents Christian Marclay's groundbreaking video installation "The Clock"

The Playmate as fine art: Seven contemporary artists interpret Playboy's iconic centerfold

Vancouver Art Gallery announces major donation of photographs by Robert Frank and Charles Gagnon

Christie's New York announces it will offer over 400 lots during Americana Week in January 2013

Bonhams in London appoints Matthew Haley as Head of Books, Maps and Manuscripts

Anonymous benefactor buys Frank Lloyd Wright-designed 1950s home in Phoenix

$66 million Thomas Kinkade estate dispute secretly settled by wife and girlfriend of artist

Rare watch by George Daniels sets new world auction record at £1.7 million Bonhams sale

Cant' afford art? Why not barter? Art4Barter holds twelfth exhibition this weekend

Greenpeace protest at Louvre targets French airport project

Smithsonian's National Museum of the American Indian launches new website for students

America's signature for freedom series fountain pens lead Bonhams Fine Writing Instruments Sale

'Raiders of the Lost Ark' package mystery solved

Jackson glove sells for record-breaking $200K

Early Colt revolver brings $284,410 in $1.8+ million Heritage Arms & Armor event

Most Popular Last Seven Days



1.- Greece holds breath as skeleton found in Alexander the Great-era tomb at Amphipolis

2.- Spain mourns the death of art collector Cayetana Fitz-James Stuart, Duchess of Alba

3.- Meet the ancestors: Exhibition at Bordeaux gallery reveals faces of prehistoric humans

4.- Getty Foundation and partners launch free of charge online art collection catalogues

5.- Historic photos of dead Cuban revolutionary Che Guevara resurface in small Spanish town

6.- Exhibition showcases the first two 'Poesie' created by Titian following their restoration

7.- O'Keeffe painting sells for more than three times the previous world auction record for any female artist

8.- Crystal Bridges announces the departure of museum President Don Bacigalupi

9.- artnet Auctions offers a later example of Yayoi Kusama's important Infinity-Nets series

10.- 'Degenerate art' should go back to museums: German advisor Jutta Limbach



Museums, Exhibits, Artists, Milestones, Digital Art, Architecture, Photography,
Photographers, Special Photos, Special Reports, Featured Stories, Auctions, Art Fairs,
Anecdotes, Art Quiz, Education, Mythology, 3D Images, Last Week, .

 

Founder:
Ignacio Villarreal
Editor & Publisher: Jose Villarreal - Consultant: Ignacio Villarreal Jr.
Art Director: Juan José Sepúlveda Ramírez - Marketing: Carla Gutiérrez
Special Contributor: Liz Gangemi - Special Advisor: Carlos Amador
Contributing Editor: Carolina Farias

Royalville Communications, Inc
produces:

ignaciovillarreal.org theavemaria.org juncodelavega.org facundocabral-elfinal.org
Founder's Site. The most varied versions
of this beautiful prayer.
Hommage
to a Mexican poet.
Hommage
       

The First Art Newspaper on the Net. The Best Versions Of Ave Maria Song Junco de la Vega Site Ignacio Villarreal Site