Wednesday, May 23, 2018

Rococo and/or Enlightenment (Eighteenth Century)

James Basire
Monument to Samuel Johnson in St Paul's Cathedral
National Galleries of Scotland

from The Vanity of Human Wishes

When first the college rolls receive  his name,
The young enthusiast quits his ease for fame;
Through all his veins the fever of renown
Spreads from the strong contagion of the gown;
O'er Bodley's dome his future labours spread,
And Bacon's mansion trembles o'er his head.
Are these thy views? proceed, illustrious youth,
And virtue guard thee to the throne of Truth!
Yet should thy soul indulge the gen'rous heat,
Till captive Science yields her last retreat;
Should Reason guide thee with her brightest ray,
And pour on misty Doubt resistless day;
Should no false Kindness lure to loose delight,
Nor Praise relax, nor Difficulty fright;
Should tempting Novelty thy cell refrain,
And Sloth effuse her opiate fumes in vain;
Should Beauty blunt on fops her fatal dart,
Nor claim the triumph of a letter'd heart;
Should no disease thy torpid veins invade,
Nor Melancholy's phantoms haunt thy shade;
Yet hope not life from grief or danger free,
Nor think the doom of man revers'd for thee:
Deign on the passing world to turn thine eyes,
And pause awhile from letters, to be wise;
These mark what ills the scholar's life assail,
Toil, envy, want, the patron, and the jail.
See nations slowly wise, and meanly just,
To buried merit raise the tardy bust.

– Samuel Johnson (1749)

Jan Frans van Bloemen
Italian Garden with staircase
before 1749
Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam

Daniel Marot
Staircase, Het Loo Palace
ca. 1700
Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum

Antonio Zucchi
Gallery in a classical building with staircase
ca. 1783
Fitzwilliam Museum, Cambridge

Antonio Zucchi
Exterior staircase of classical building
before 1795
Fitzwilliam Museum, Cambridge

Jean-Antoine Watteau
Study of head and hands with guitar
before 1721
Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam

Giovanni Battista Piranesi after Guercino
Old Man Asleep
National Galleries of Scotland

circle of Luigi Valadier
Bust of Laughing Faun
(reduced copy of marble Albani Faun)
ca. 1775-80
Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam

from I, Maximus of Gloucester, to You

the underpart is, though stemmed, uncertain
is, as sex is, as moneys are, facts!
facts, to be dealt with, as the sea is, the demand
that they be played by, that they only can be, that they must
be played by, said he, coldly, the

By ear, he sd.
But that which matters, that which insists, that which will last,
that! o my people, where shall you find it, how, where, where shall you listen
when all is become billboards, when, all, even silence, is spray-gunned?

when even our bird, my roofs,
cannot be heard

when even you, when sound itself is neoned in?

when, on the hill, over the water
where she who used to sing,
when the water glowed,
black, gold, the tide
outward, at evening

when bells came like boats
over the oil-slicks, milkweed

And a man slumped,
against pink shingles

o sea city)

– Charles Olson (1953)

attributed to John Michael Rysbrack
Hercules  Reposing
before 1770
Fitzwilliam Museum, Cambridge

Sir Stuart Threipland
ca. 1740
National Galleries of Scotland

Giambattista Tiepolo
Eagle with Wings Spread
before 1770
drawing on blue paper
Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York

Allan Ramsay
Study of Crown
(for portrait of George III)
ca. 1761
drawing on blue paper
National Galleries of Scotland

Pieter Anthony Wakkerdak after Jan Asselijn
Classical Ruins in a Grotto
ca. 1740-44
Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam

Anonymous printmaker
Ground-plan of Rome
Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam