The British Institute of Florence has been located in the heart of Florence’s historical city centre since 1917. The Institute has two city centre sites, incorporating a language school and the stunning Harold Acton Library on the banks of the Arno, where Art History courses take place.See more details >
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Wednesday 26th October 2011, 14.15-17.15,
Bowland Lecture Theatre, Berrick Saul Building, University of York.
Art History in the Pub - Dr Hannah Williams (Oxford) on The Violent Suicide of François Lemoyne: An 18th-Century Art History Mystery
As part of the AAH's commitment to bringing the best in cutting-edge art-historical research to a wider community, we are pleased to be able to announce a hopefully-regular "Art History in the Pub" series of talks, lectures and events.
Our talks present a selection of the wide vareity of topics, periods, methods and apporaches common in art historical study, and are aimed at a generalist audience.
AHitP is held at:
40-42 Chalk Farm Road
Greater London NW1 8BG
Free to attend.
Monday 26th September 2011, 7.30pm - Dr Hannah Williams (Oxford) on The Violent Suicide of François Lemoyne: An 18th-Century Art History Mystery
Paris, 4 June 1737: the celebrated artist François Lemoyne commits suicide. It started as an ordinary day. Lemoyne had been to his studio to give a lesson to his students and taken a meal with his cousin. But then events took a macabre turn. Lemoyne retired to his bedroom, carefully locked the door, took up his sword, and proceeded to inflict upon his body multiple fatal stab wounds, before dropping to the floor and dying in a pool of blood.
Lemoyne’s death shocked and horrified his family and colleagues, and it has since presented something of a mystery for art historians. Why should this incredibly successful artist – first painter to Louis XV – have wanted to kill himself only months after completing what is now considered his magnum opus: the ceiling of the Apotheosis of Hercules at the Château de Versailles? Was it over money? Professional jealousy? A madness induced by lack of recognition? Could it have been murder? Or if it really was suicide, then how did Lemoyne complete his gruesome task?
With most of the clues now lost deep in the past, some art-historical sleuthing is necessary in order to retrieve the traces. In this paper, I attempt to solve these perplexing mysteries through a forensic and art-historical analysis of the object responsible: Lemoyne’s sword. Using police reports, autopsies, and witness statements, I piece together the final hours of Lemoyne’s life and offer a material reconstruction of the now lost fatal weapon, exploring what Lemoyne’s sword looked like, what he did with it, and what it meant to him. Drawn from a larger study investigating what artists’ personal possessions reveal about their everyday lives, this case explores the limits and possibilities of object-biography, and presents an exercise in recovering the material history of an object when that object no longer materially exists.
Can art history solve the crime? Come along and find out!
Biography: Hannah Williams is a Junior Research Fellow in Art History at St John’s College, Oxford. A specialist in 17th- and 18th-century French art, Hannah completed her PhD at the Courtauld Institute of Art in 2010 and previously held a doctoral fellowship at the Centre Allemand d’Histoire de l’Art in Paris. She is currently writing a book on artists’ portraits and self-portraits entitled Face-to-Face with the Académie Royale: An Ethnography in Portraiture, which combines art-historical and anthropological approaches to investigate the culture of an early modern community of artists. Hannah is also researching a post-doctoral project – Painters and Parish Life – which traces the local social networks of artists in 18th-century Paris through a study of parish churches and religious art. With Katie Scott, she is writing a book on Artists’ Things, which offers an alternative guide to the material culture of 18th-century French artists through close studies of their personal possessions.
Directions & Details
The Monarch, Camden 40-42 Chalk Farm Road Camden NW1 8BG, http://www.monarchbar.com/events/
Telephone: 020 74822054
From Chalk Farm tube: Turn left out of the station and cross Chalk Farm Road at the lights. The pub is about five minutes walk down the road on the left.
From Camden Town: Take the Camden High Street exit and turn right. Head up the street past Camden Lock and under the rail bridge and proceed up Chalk Farm Road. The pub is a couple minutes walk from the bridge on the right.
By tube: Chalk Farm station (450m) – zone 2 / Camden Town station (530m) – zone 2
By train: Kentish Town West station (460m) / Camden Road station (550m)
By bus: 24 (24hrs), 27 (24hrs), 31, 168, N5, N28, N31 – click here for a local bus map.See more details >
Call for Papers - Southern Horrors :The Dark Side of the Mediterranean World Seen from Northern Europe and America (1453-1939)
Université de Nice-Sophia Antipolis, 27-28 April 2012See more details >
11th International Conference on Urban History, Prague 2012, (Main Strand 38): 'Cultural Workers in the Urban Economy 1850-1939.'See more details >
The AAH are proud to be able to offer 20% off of the entire selection of books published by Ashgate Press.See more details >
The Prince’s Drawing School, Kensington Palace Studios
4 October – 22 November 2011
Call for Sessions - Nordik 2012 (The 10th NORDIK Conference for Art History in the Nordic Countries)
24-27th October 2012
Stockholm University, Sweden
3rd International Conference on Heritage and Sustainable Development
June 19-22, 2012, Porto, Portugal