Folds, Flesh, and Fruit - The Touch of Grace in Paintings of Chardin and Boucher

Research Seminar

  • Date: Oct 9, 2018
  • Time: 13:00
  • Speaker: Julia Gelshorn
  • Location: Villino Stroganoff, Via Gregoriana 22, 00187 Rom
  • Host: Bibliotheca Hertziana - Max-Planck-Institut für Kunstgeschichte
  • Contact: paulinyi@biblhertz.it
Folds, Flesh, and Fruit - The Touch of Grace in Paintings of Chardin and Boucher
How can art find ways to represent the undefinable "je ne sais quoi" of the bodily and moral ideal of Grace? The paper deals with two French artists as different as Jean Siméon Chardin and François Boucher who satisfied very different tastes of art in the 18th century.
Although Boucher was called "painter of the graces", the art critique Denis Diderot condemned his paintings as "untrue" and designated instead Chardin as the "painter of truth". Apart from these differences, their common interest in the materiality of represented objects can be compared on the background of sensualist and materialist theory. While in Boucher's painting, Grace seems to be embodied in the erotic corporeality of tactile forms, Chardin develops a conception of Grace deriving from the 'simple' and 'true' expression of things and our 'natural' contact to them. Both painters thus locate the social form of grace not only in movements of represented bodies, but also in the tactile materiality of folds and the sensual surfaces of flesh and fruit, offering a touching experience which surpasses visual beauty.

Für die Teilnahme bitten wir Sie sich unter: event@biblhertz.it mit Ihrem Namen anzumelden.

Julia Gelshorn is Professor for the History of Modern and Contemporary Art at the University of Fribourg (CH). Her fields of study are modern and contemporary art and French 18th century art and culture. Research interests include processes of appropriation and repetition; concepts of artists' subjectivity and production; as well as relations of art and politics.
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