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The landscape at its margins

Aux limites du paysage

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Published on Tuesday, February 14, 2023

Abstract

The recognition of landscape is prepared or accompanied by artistic and scientific initiatives that define landscape differently from the brief definition given by the Dictionary of the French Academy in 1762. Indeed, for the latter, the landscape is an "Extent of country that one sees from a single aspect". However, “extent” cannot sum up landscape painting and this call for papers wishes to investigate the notion of landscape in the 17th and 18th centuries in a different way.

Announcement

Date and place

Event date: 16th of June 2023

Place: Galerie Colbert, 2 rue Vivienne, 75002 Paris, Salle Vasari

Argument

Ranked hierarchically after history painting, portraiture and genre scenes by André Félibien in the preface to the Conférences de l'Académie, landscape painting nevertheless remains an art form appreciated by collectors and amateurs. Discussed in treatises, such as those by Roger de Piles, Jean-Baptiste Du Bos or Charles Batteux, landscape painting played an increasing role in art criticism in the 18th century. In his Salon of 1767, Diderot describes at length the total experience he had, looking at Vernet's landscape paintings.

This recognition of landscape is prepared or accompanied by artistic and scientific initiatives that define landscape differently from the brief definition given by the Dictionary of the French Academy in 1762. Indeed, for the latter, the landscape is an "Extent of country that one sees from a single aspect". However, “extent” cannot sum up landscape painting and this call for papers wishes to investigate the notion of landscape in the 17th and 18th centuries in a different way.

During this period, the apprehension of the landscape changed significantly: the idealized landscape of the years 1600-1650, became more naturalistic thanks to Flemish painters’ contribution. The urban development and the increase of the population during the 18th century increased interest in the landscape. Philosophers and poets sang of the benefits of a welcoming nature that allowed rest from the tumult and miasma of the city, while physiocrats put agriculture at the center of the economy. Artists were busy illustrating the works of poets such as James Thomson, Jean-François de Saint Lambert and François de Rosset, as well as physiocratic principles, as in Jean-Baptiste Oudry's The Farm (1751), which depicts a vast landscape civilized by the hand of man. These artistic proposals accompanied other approaches that this symposium wishes to explore.

The aim is to approach the landscape through the way artists have been able to render its geography, its topography or its geology. The 18th century saw the development of numerous publications accompanied by engravings that allowed the viewer to become familiar with countries near and far. Among these publications, Le Voyage pittoresque de Naples et de Sicile by the Abbé de Saint Non, the Tableaux topographiques, pittoresques, physiques, historiques, moraux, politiques, littéraires de la Suisse by Jean-Benjamin de La Borde and Béat Zurlauben, or the Voyage en Sibérie by Jean Chappe d'Auteroche can be mentioned. Likewise, topographical views are multiplied: battlefield paintings in the 17th century, veduta in the 18th century describing the Forum Magnum or sublimating astonishing natural phenomena, such as the eruption of Vesuvius painted by Le chevalier Volaire. The geology plates of the Encyclopédie, as well as the engravings on the sedimentary layers of different mountain chains are another way of approaching the landscape. Scientists, painters and engravers collaborate in this effort to understand the landscape that surrounds them in its aspects both visible and invisible.

In parallel to this scientific approach, an artistic approach developed with a decorative aim. Well-known are the decorations created by François Boucher for the pastorals and comic operas of his friend Charles Favart. Architects responded to Rousseau's call for nature by bringing the landscape into the mansions, through architectural elements; for example, Charles-Nicolas Ledoux's trees in the company room of the Hôtel d'Uzès. They reconstituted caves, paintings, but also wallpapers that took the form of panoramas at the end of the 18th century with the manufactures of Jacquemart and Bénard, Zuber, and Dufour. The landscape was also present in interior decoration through marquetry of precious stones which was appreciated as much for its decorative aspect as for its capacity to evoke the universality of nature by reducing the mineral world to a miniature landscape. The cabinets of curiosities dissected the landscape into its most specific elements. Rocks, shells or herbariums were part of the amateurs’ collections such as Joseph Bonnier de la Mosson, Quentin de Lorangère. François Boucher devoted a significant part of his income to his collection of shells, madrépores and minerals, as shown in his Catalogue after his death written by Pierre Rémy in 1771.

By dealing with the landscape at its margins, the symposium aims to give an account of the different ways in which 17th and 18th centuries’ men have expanded their vision of the landscape. Ultimately, the symposium question the “idea of nature” that Jean Erhard magisterially reconstructed. Did it explode under the impact of scientific modernity? Or, as Robert Lenoble thinks, has it been sublimated by it?

Submission guidelines

Abstracts: In French or Enhlish (500 words) accompanied by a title and a brief CV.

Dead line: 31st of March 2023

e-mail address: asso.grham@gmail.com

This symposium is organized by GRHAM

Selective bibliography

  • BECK-SAIELLO, Émilie, « La vue topographique en France au XVIIIe siècle : éclat et mésestime d’un genre », Itinéraires, 2015, (https://journals.openedition.org/itineraires/2819, consulté le 6 décembre 2022)
  • BINOIS, Grégoire, « La cartographie militaire au XVIIIe siècle, une cartographie historique ? », Hypothèses, 2016/1, n° 19, p. 41-51.
  • BROC, Numa, « Voyages et géographie au XVIIIe siècle », Revue d’histoire des sciences, 1969, p. 137-154.
  • COUSINIE, Paysage du paysage. Nicolas Poussin, Claude Le Lorrain, Sébastien Bourdon, Dijon, Presses du réel, 2022.
  • EHRARD, Jean, L’idée de nature en France dans la première moitié du XVIIIe siècle, Paris, Albin Michel, 1994.
  • FOLLET, Jean-Philippe, La marqueterie de Pierres Dures, Paris, Eyrolles, 2012.
  • LENOBLE, Robert, Histoire de l’idée de nature, Paris, Albin Michel, 1969.
  • LOIRE, Stéphane (dir.), Nature et idéal: le paysage à Rome 1600-1650, cat. ex., Paris, Grand Palais (9 mars-6 juin 2001), Paris, RMN, 2011.
  • MAILLET, Arnaud, « L’arbre comme ornement, charpente et tuteur dans les théories artistiques ‘XVIIIe-XIXe siècles), Jackie PIGEAUD (dir.), L’Arbre ou la raison des arbres. XVIIes Entretiens de La Garenne Lemot, Rennes, Presses universitaires de Rennes, 2013, p. 45-83.
  • MÉROT, Alain, Du paysage en peinture dans l'Occident moderne, Paris, Gallimard, 2009.
  • MOUQUIN, Sophie, « Pour Dieu et pour le Roi : l’élaboration d’une symbolique du marbre sous l’Ancien Régime », Marbres jaspés de Saint-Rémy et de la région de Rochefort, Namur, Musée des Arts anciens du Namurois, 2012, p. 205-231.
  • NAU, Clélia, L'Art et les puissances du végétal, Paris, Hazan, 2022.
  • RANCIERE, Jacques, Le temps du paysage, Paris, La fabrique, 2020.
  • SCHNAPPER, Antoine, Le géant, la licorne et la tulipe. Les cabinets de curiosités en France au XVIIe siècle, Paris, Flammarion, 2012.
  • VELUT, Christine, « L’industrie dans la ville : les fabriques de papiers peints du faubourg Saint-Antoine (1750-1820) », Revue d’Histoire Moderne & Contemporaine, n° 49-1, 2002/1, p. 115-137.
  • VERDIER, Nicolas, « Quelques réflexions sur la matérialité des atlas (XVIIe-XVIIIe siècle) », Jean-Marc BESSE, Forme du savoir, forme du pouvoir. Les atlas géographiques à l'époque moderne et contemporaine, Rome, Ecole française de Rome, 2022, p. 301-320.

Places

  • Salle Vasari - Galerie Colbert, 2 rue Vivienne
    Paris, France (75002)

Event attendance modalities

Hybrid event (on site and online)


Date(s)

  • Friday, March 31, 2023

Keywords

  • cabinet de curiosité, bataille, décor, théâtre, éruption, géographie, géologie, marqueterie, papier peint, topographie, voyage

Contact(s)

  • Florence Fesneau
    courriel : florence [dot] fesneau1 [at] gmail [dot] com

Reference Urls

Information source

  • Florence Fesneau
    courriel : florence [dot] fesneau1 [at] gmail [dot] com

License

CC0-1.0 This announcement is licensed under the terms of Creative Commons CC0 1.0 Universal.

To cite this announcement

« The landscape at its margins », Call for papers, Calenda, Published on Tuesday, February 14, 2023, https://doi.org/10.58079/1ah3

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