posted by Christopher Howard — Dec 12, 2012
The December 2012 issue of The Art Bulletin, the leading publication of international art-historical scholarship, presents the fourth installment of a feature series that will continue through at least 2013. In Regarding Art and Art History, Rebecca Zorach reflects on politics and teaching. The subject of this issue’s Notes from the Field is detail, with twelve texts by artists, scholars, professors, conservators, and archaeologists: Susan Hiller, Spike Bucklow, Johannes Endres, Carlo Ginzburg, Joan Kee, Spyros Papapetros, Adrian Rifkin, Joanna Roche, Nina Rowe, Alain Schnapp, Blake Stimson, and Robert Williams. The Interview presents the German art historian Horst Bredekamp in conversation with the American scholar Christopher Wood. An installation view of Hiller’s Witness (2002), as seen as Tate London, appears on the cover.
The opening three long-form essays address the art of Italy. The first, by J. Keith Doherty, offers a new interpretation of the Judgment of Paris myth as it is depicted in Roman wall paintings. Robert Glass’s contribution, “Filarete’s Hilaritas: Claiming Authorship and Status on the Doors of St. Peter’s,” is a close reading of the Italian Renaissance sculptor’s bronze relief on the doors of St. Peter’s Basilica in the Vatican. David M. Stone’s article, “Signature Killer: Caravaggio and the Poetics of Blood,” considers the artist’s signature in his Beheading of Saint John the Baptist from 1608. Luisa Elena Alcalá’s “‘A Call to Action’: Visual Persuasion in a Spanish American Painting” analyzes a Central American painting from the mid-1680s sent to Madrid from Mexico as a tactic to lobby for continued royal support. Finally, Philip Cottrell explores the unpublished papers of the nineteenth-century English connoisseur George Scharf, who organized the celebrated exhibition Art Treasures of the United Kingdom in Manchester in 1857.
The Reviews section leads off with David J. Roxburgh’s take on the new galleries for the Art of the Arab Lands, Turkey, Iran, Central Asia, and Later South Asia at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York. Next, Elizabeth Hill Boone considers Carolyn Dean’s A Culture of Stone: Inka Perspectives on Rock, and Jesús Escobar looks at Gauvin Alexander Bailey’s The Andean Hybrid Baroque: Convergent Cultures in the Churches of Colonial Peru. Nicola Suthor’s book Bravura: Virtuosität und Mutwilligkeit in der Malerei der Frühen Neuzeit is appraised by Andreas Beyer, and Molly Emma Aitken’s study The Intelligence of Tradition in Rajput Court Painting, is evaluated by Pika Ghosh. The section concludes with Michael Leja’s assessment of the Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art in Bentonville, Arkansas.
CAA sends The Art Bulletin to all institutional members and to those individuals who choose to receive the journal as a benefit of their membership. The next issue of the quarterly publication, to appear in March 2013, will feature essays on the strategic use of microarchitecture in Christian ivory carvings of the thirteenth century, perspectival “distortions” in Paul Cézanne’s paintings and the political implications of his repudiation of perspective, and appellations of photography that circulated in China between 1840 and 1911, which trace the emergence of a new understanding of visual truth in Chinese art.