The Art Bulletin

The Art Bulletin publishes scholarship in all aspects of art history as practiced in the academy, museums, and other institutions. The Art Bulletin publishes peer-reviewed scholarly articles and reviews in the area of art history.

Articles from Vol. 76, No. 4, December

Art Historical Topologies
Art History from a Distance Art history as a subject has always been somewhat embarrassed by its objects. The meter and measure of historical narrative are interrupted by the obdurately artifactual. Art objects are, after all, in some ways fundamentally...
Book Reviews -- Downcast Eyes: The Denigration of Vision in Twentieth-Century French Thought by Martin Jay
MARTIN JAYDowncast Eyes: The Denigration of Vision in Twentieth-Century French ThoughtBerkeley: University of California Press, 1993, 612 pp. $47.50; $16.00 paperDoes vision have a history? If it does, are works of art the best access we have to historical...
Book Reviews -- in the Theater of Criminal Justice: The Palais De Justice in Second Empire Paris by Katherine Fischer Taylor
KATHERINE FISCHER TAYLORIn the Theater of Criminal Justice: The Palais de Justice in Second Empire ParisPrinceton: Princeton University Press, 1993. 183 pp.; 60 b/w ills. $35.00In late September 1869, tens of thousands of Parisians set out for a new...
Book Reviews -- Jan Van Kessel by Alice I. Davies
ALICE I. DAVIESJan van KesselDoornspijk: Davaco, 1992. 335 pp.; 12 color ills., 400 b/w. $250.00Does it make sense to write a monograph of 335 pages on an artist like Jan van Kessel (1641-1680), who is probably only known to specialists in the field...
Book Reviews -- Private Lives, Imperial Virtues: The Frieze of the Forum Transitorium in Rome by Eve D'Ambra
EVE D'AMBRAPrivate Lives, Imperial Virtues: The Frieze of the Forum Transitorium in RomePrinceton, N.J.: Princeton University Press, 1993. 170 pp.; 91 b/w ills. $35.00The Forum Transitorium, also called the Forum of Nerva and a few other names, is an...
Book Reviews -- the Fabrication of Louis XIV by Peter Burke / the Palace of the Sun: The Louvre of Louis XIV by Robert W. Berger
PETER BURKEThe Fabrication of Louis XIVNew Haven: Yale University Press, 1992. 256 pp.; 88 b/w ills. $35.00; $15.00 paperROBERT W. BERGERThe Palace of the Sun: The Louvre of Louis XIVUniversity Park: Pennsylvania State University Press, 1993. 252 pp.;...
Book Reviews -- the Last Descendant of Aeneas: The Hapsburgs and the Mythic Image of the Emperor by Marie Tanner
MARIE TANNERThe Last Descendant of Aeneas: The Hapsburgs and the Mythic Image of the EmperorNew Haven: Yale University Press, 1993. 333 pp.; 141 b/w ills. $45.00When Dame Frances Yates, back in the 1950s, studied the Renaissance revival of universal...
Book Review -- Watteau's Painted Conversations: Art, Literature, and Talk in Seventeenth- and Eighteenth-Century France by Mary Vidal
MARY VIDALWatteau's Painted Conversations: Art, Literature, and Talk in Seventeenth-and Eighteenth-Century FranceNew Haven: Yale University Press, 1992. 250 pp.; 47 color ills., 133 b/w. $50.00Watteau scholarship has developed in the last two decades...
Cross-Cultural Interpretations of Imagery in the Middle Ages
There can be little doubt that the encounter between medieval Western Europe and Byzantium is an issue of great complexity. In art-historical writing this engagement between East and West in the Middle Ages has conventionally been explained in terms...
Flexible Time
Does the subject--as either artist or viewer--maintain an identity independent of the objects and images it creates or encounters? No, the consensus now seems to be. Theoretical accounts of the embodiment of vision, of the visual field, and of visual...
Folengo and Romanino: The Questione Della Lingua and Its Eccentric Trends
The works of the Brescian painter Girolamo Romanino (1484/87-1560) have attracted considerable critical attention during the last decade.(1) We now know much more not only about his life but also about his network of patrons; some of his lost or previously...
From Bowman to Clubman: Herakles and Olympia
Pindar, in his sixth and tenth Olympian Odes (6.65-70; 10.24-59), relates a Peloponnesian legend that Herakles established both the sanctuary at Olympia and its famous competitive games in honor of his divine father, Zeus. So it is not surprising that...
"In This Cold Barn We Dream"
1.Toward dusk we drew near Milan and caught glimpses of the city and the blue mountain peaks beyond. But we were not caring for these things--they did not interest us in the least. We were in a fever of impatience; we were dying to see the renowned cathedral!...
New Encounters with Les Demoiselles d'Avignon: Gender, Race, and the Origins of Cubism
What was "the amazing act upon which all the art of our century is built"? What is "the most innovative painting since Giotto," the "'harbinger comet of the new century,'" the very "paradigm of all modern art," no less?(1) What is the modern art-historical...
On Telling Tales
For as long as I can remember, I have been encouraged to write stories and challenged, at every turn, to create good ones at that. Of course I didn't realize at the outset of my studies, even before I discovered the discipline of art history in college,...
On the Histories of Artifacts
The subject of the history of art should include all human making. I will argue that primary concern with making raises the possibility of any number of histories of art, each pursuable in its own terms, but all comparable to one another as alternative...
Subject/subjectivity and Agency in the Art of African Americans
The deconstruction of the "gaze" in art-historical theory over the last two decades has put into place a number of critical paradigms which have engaged the notion of agency in the creation of images. Self-representation (versus depiction) is one of...
The Image of Ganymede in France, 1730-1820: The Survival of a Homoerotic Myth
This study focuses on artistic representations of the homoerotic myth of the rape of Ganymede in France from the Enlightenment to the Napoleonic era, when there were almost as many versions as in the Italian Renaissance.(1) Citing twenty-two examples...
The Subject in the Scene of Representation
Recent art history holds that subjects--human individuals with personal, ethnic, and other identities, well-defined social roles, and at least partial consciousness of specific orientations toward the world of objects and other subjects--are constructed...
We Lost It at the Movies
Thursday, April 21, 1994, 7:00 A.M.--Alternating between coffee and newspaper, I am sloughing off night and sleep, and rising toward the day ahead. If it's Thursday--I think--it's a day of classes and meetings, of letter writing and phone calls. But...
Why Monet Gave Up Figure Painting
Why did Monet give up figure painting? Why does it matter? My essay attempts to answer these questions at some length, and with as much precision as could reasonably be expected from any effort at causal explanation which admits from the outset the problematic...