Smuggling the Renaissance: The Illicit Export of Artworks Out of Italy, 1861-1909 explores the phenomenon of art spoliation in Italy following Unification (1861), when the international demand for Italian Renaissance artworks was at an all-time high but effective art protection legislation had not yet been passed.
Making use of rich archival material Joanna Smalcerz narrates the complex and often dramatic struggle between the lawmakers of the new Italian State, and international curators (e.g., Wilhelm Bode), collectors (e.g., Isabella Stewart Gardner) and dealers (e.g., Stefano Bardini) who continuously orchestrated illicit schemes to export abroad Italian masterpieces. At the heart of the intertwinement of the art trade, art scholarship and art protection policies the author exposes the socio-psychological dynamics of unlawful collecting.
Connoisseurship – once foundational, then controversial, and currently critically reconsidered – is fundamentally about knowledge. Focusing on the distinctive history of the connoisseurship of Netherlandish art, this volume investigates early modern connoisseurship as revealed through pictorial practice, texts, and pictures featuring art lovers. An interplay between possessing and knowing about art emerges in the collecting of Chinese porcelain in the eighteenth century. With the professionalization of art criticism in the nineteenth century, Rembrandt’s art becomes a locus of scrutiny. In the twentieth century, the introduction of scientific data complicates the art historian’s expertise, whereas the case of Mondrian shows how modernist criticism and connoisseurship are intricately interwoven. Finally, persisting tensions between connoisseurship, authorship, and the market are brought to the fore.
Table of Contents
H. Perry Chapman, Thijs Weststeijn, Connoisseurship as knowledge. An introduction
E. Melanie Gifford, Pieter Bruegel’s afterlife. A visual metaphor in seventeenth-century landscape
Jan Blanc, Mettre des mots sur l’art. Peintres et connaisseurs dans la théorie de l’art française et néerlandaise du XVIIe siècle
Alexander Marr, Ingenuity and discernment in The cabinet of Cornelis van der Geest (1628)
Tiarna Doherty, Painting connoisseurship. Liefhebbers in the studio
Angela Ho, Exotic and exclusive. The Pronk porcelain as products for the connoisseur
Antoinette Friedenthal, John Smith’s Rembrandt research project. An art dealer establishes the first catalogue raisonné of the paintings (1836)
Catherine B. Scallen, Rembrandt print connoisseurship, Sir Francis Seymour Haden, and the etching revival of the nineteenth century
Suzanne Laemers, In de voetsporen van Max Friedländer. Een pleidooi voor het kennerschap aan de hand van het Werlaltaarstuk
Marek Wieczorek, Greenberg’s connoisseurship in Mondrian’s space
Anne-Sophie V.E. Radermecker, The market reception of ‘new connoisseurship’. The impact of recent advances in art scholarship on the selling and buying of early Flemish paintings