History seminars at the IHR

Collecting & Display (100BC to AD1700)

Convenors: Dr Andrea Galdy, Susan Bracken, Adriana Turpin

Venue: Wolfson Room I, in the IHR basement, unless otherwise stated.

Time: Monday, 6.00pm

If interested persons are not receiving emails from the conveners, they should contact collecting_display@hotmail.com.

Spring Term 2015
DateSeminar details
5 January C. F. Walker 'I taccuini': Note book of Bardini's clients

Annalea Tunisei

A notebook or taccuino entitled Appunti di Londra was found on the Bardini archive in Florence and it reveals the marketing technique adopted by Bardini. His agent in this case, a certain C. F. Walker, travelled around Europe and reported carefully interesting details regarding new potential clients.  Bardini would give extremely clear instructions to his agent, asking him to determine the personality, habits, financial possibilities, behaviour and understanding of art of each of these collectors. The taccuino is divided into three sections: London, Brussels and Paris and appears to have been written around 1892. The clients were mainly bankers, wealthy professionals and captains of industry who followed the fashion for collecting. Sometimes their purchases were based on a thorough knowledge of art, and sometimes they only served the purpose of displaying their owner’s wealth.  Appunti di Londra reveals the clarity with which every client was portrayed in just a few short notes. The first section of the notebook, entitled Amatori di Londra, is dedicated to London’s private collectors. The aim of this paper is to analyse the notes written by C. F. Walker, his use of the language and the subtlety of his psychological analysis of every single collector. We will see how Bardini established a circular relationship with English collectors. In Florence he was influenced by their taste while in London he was becoming influential.

Annalea Tunisei: After the Accademia di Belle Arti di Brera, Annalea worked for sixteenth years as Art director / set designer in Milan. In 2007 she started the MA course at University of Warwick, IESA School, History and Business of Art and Collecting.  Her MA thesis title was: Why di Bardini use blue?

In July 2014 she was awarded a PhD in museology at Leeds University with the title; Stefano Bardini's Photographic Archive: A visual historical document. Her research interest began with the Florentine Art Dealer Stefano Bardini (1836-1922) and focuses on medieaval and Renaissance revival in Florence and in England, and the iconological analysis of nineteenth century photographs and interior’s displays. She is preparing a Post doc project on the relationship between Stefano Bardini and his English clients in Italy and in England.

Annalea delivered papers at  the Wallace Collection in July 2014 The art dealer and his circle, 'Stefano Bardino and Riccardo Nobili’ in November 2014  at The State Hermitage Museum St. Petersburg New research on photography with the paper 'Stefano Bardini’s museological project, his photographic record of his displays as an effective marketing tool' and I am currently preparing my next paper for the CAA conference in New York in February 2015. The art of the deal: Dealers and the Global Market from 1860 to 1940. 'Stefano Bardini and C.F. Walker'

Please note:  this session takes place in the Court Room


2 February De Bons Citoyens: John and Josephine Bowes' collecting of French revolutionary ephemera

Dr. Barbara Lasic (Buckingham)

Passionate and eclectic collectors, John and Josephine Bowes assembled one of the largest art collections of the second half of the 19th century which included Old Master Paintings, Renaissance objets d’art and eighteenth-century decorative arts. Now on display in the palatial museum that they founded in County Durham, the collection is a testament to the wide-ranging taste and philanthropic aspirations of its founders.
While John and Josephine’s passion for the material culture of the Ancien Régime has been amply discussed, their interest in French Revolutionary ephemera has so far been largely overlooked. The present seminar will examine the pro and counter-revolutionary contents of this discreet collection, its methods of acquisitions and links with the rest of the collections. It will locate John and Josephine’s practices within those of a wider network of collectors and hopes to offer a nuanced reading of John and Josephine’s critical historical engagement with 18th-century France.

Barbara was awarded her PhD on collecting French decorative arts in Britain 1789-1914 by the University of Manchester in 2006.    She then worked at the V&A, where she curated the exhibitions Albertopolis (November 2011-April 2012);  So Noble a Confection:  Producing and Consuming Chocolate 1600-1800 (October 2010 - September 2011) and Gargoyles and Shadows:  Gothic Architecture and 19th-century Photography (January - May 2010).  She has published widely on art collecting, the history of taste and museum architecture.   Barbara now teaches at the University of Buckingham.


2 March The Dukes of Gramont as patrons and collectors in the early 18th century

Dr. François Marandet

Because of their military action during the War of the League of Augsburg and that of the Spanish Succession, Antoine Charles, 4th Duke of Gramont (1641-1720), and his son Antoine, 5th Duke of Gramont (1672-1725) have mostly the received the attention of historians. Their role, however, as collectors of paintings, has been often overlooked although the 4th Duke once owned paintings as famous as Titian’s poesie: Diana and Actaeon, Diana and Callisto and The Rape of Europa. These masterpieces were then acquired by the Regent Philippe, Duke of Orléans, while other prominent paintings entered the collection of Philip V, king of Spain. This seminar aims to reconsider the 4th Duke as a collector through the discovery of his post-mortem inventory: the significant number of French contemporary paintings (by Nicolas Colombel, the brothers Bon and Louis de Boullogne, and above all by Francisque Millet, the most “poussinesque” landscape painter) seems to foreshadow taste in France during the following decades.  The other discovery is that of a set of family portraits of the 5th Duke of Gramont, his wife and their children, all made by Bon Boullogne (1649-1717), which survive in Bayonne. It appears that the Dukes of Gramont patronised Bon Boullogne and this is borne out by the correspondence of the Northern picture dealer Gillis Van der Vennen, where we learn that the sale of Luca Giordano’s series illustrating the story of Psyche, which is now in the Queen’s collection, was negotiated thanks to “M. Bollone, peintre du duc de Gramont”.

Dr. François Marandet, whose dissertation focused on the art market and collecting in France during the first half of the 18th century (Paris, Ecole Pratique de Hautes Etudes), organized in 2011 an exhibition on the painter Daniel Sarrabat at the Brou Museum, Bourg-en-Bresse.  More recently, he has curated an exhibition on the painter Bon Boullogne and his pupils at the Magnin Museum, Dijon.