Friday, 1 June 2012

M/M Quarterly Issue No. 2: June 2012


Manner of Man Magazine
Quarterly Issue No. 2: June 2012

Table of Contents

M/M The Brand: Manner of Man


Image l'intérieur de l'Opéra de Rennes (France) provided to Manner of Man Magazine by Loïc Amauger Lascombe for exclusive use and may not be reproduced without written authorisation. All rights reserved.

M/M The Great Betrayal

by Gregory Lauder-Frost and is only available in print edition.
 

M/M Design and Plan in the Country House

Image provided by Yale University Press. All rights reserved.

Design and Plan in the Country House
From Castle Donjons to Palladian Boxes
by Andor Gomme and Alison Maguire

Manner of Man Editorial Commentary


Published by Yale University Press in 2008 for the Paul Mellon Centre for Studies in British Art,  this volume Design and Plan in the Country House provides a significant level of scholarly insight into the planning and execution of what is best known as the English Country House. This is an essential library volume for architects, scholars, and those holding a great interest in the historical aspects of residential planning and in particular British domestric architecture on a grand scale. The book contains 352 pages with 200 black and white and 80 color illustrations and is highly recommended.

The way a man thinks about his day-to-day living and the needs of his household reveals a great deal about his ambitions, his idea of himself, and his role in the community. And his house or castle offers many clues to his habits as well as those of the members of his household. This intriguing book explores the evolution of country house plans throughout Britain and Ireland, from medieval times to the eighteenth century. With photographs and detailed architectural plans of each house under discussion, the book presents a whole range of new insights into how these homes were designed and what their varied designs tell us about the lives of their residents.

Starting with fortified medieval tower houses, the book traces patterns that developed and sometimes repeated in country house design over the centuries. It discusses who slept in the bedchambers, where food was prepared, how rooms were arranged for official and private activities, what towers signified, and more. Groundbreaking in its depth, the volume offers a rare tour of country houses for scholar and general reader alike.

Andor Gomme is Emeritus Professor of English Literature and Architectural History, Keele University, and former chairman of the Architectural History Society of Great Britain. Alison Maguire is an independent architectural historian.

M/M Interview with Jeremy Musson

Image of Jeremy Musson by Simon McBride is provided to Manner of Man Magazine for use. All rights reserved.

Interview with English author, editor and presenter, specialising in British country houses and architecture, Jeremy Musson conducted by Nicola Linza and Cristoffer Neljesjo in Cambridge, England during February 2012.


What was the impetus for your interest in Classical architecture and the history of grand country houses?

My interest in classical architecture really took hold when I spent a spring term at the Anglo-Italian Insitute in Rome in 1984, aged 18; we heard lectures in a building designed by Piranesi on the Aventine, had private tours of the Vatican and the Capitoline Museum, and splendid al fresco picnics in places such as the Villa Adriana and the Bomarzo Gardens. After completing a law degree, I went on to study renaissance history and art history at the Warburg Institute, and after that became increasingly interested in architecture. I worked for the Victorian Society, advising on threatened buildings and then took a curatorial job at the National Trust, looking after a number of interesting properties, including Ickworth House in Suffolk, designed for the greatest Grand Tourist of them all, the 4th Earl of Bristol. From there, I went to Country Life magazine, a really wonderful job writing about country houses, great and small, and after 12 years on the staff I went freelance, and am still a regular contributor.

Do you have a particular favourite UK property? Moreover, why?

I am always falling in love with different country houses which come into my orbit for some different research project or other, but if pressed I would admit to a deep admiration for Castle Howard in Yorkshire, a really composite work of art and a much loved family home.

If you could purchase one item for your private house today (and cost is no object) what would it be?

It would have to be an exquisite Regency dining table and chairs, but it really would have to come with a Paris-trained chef, and a cheerful, smart person to serve all our meals - if money really was no object!

Where do you see historic properties in say 100 years’ time?

That is a very interesting and complex question. Firstly, I would say that they will be even more prized and valued than they are today, especially those in well preserved parklands, but they will also have to be treated with even greater restraint and sensitivity than they are today, and new technologies developed to share the experience of their beauty and atmosphere in different and interesting ways.

If you were in a different career, what would it be?

Well, I started out with the intention of becoming a lawyer, but if I could choose "in an ideal world", I would probably have to say a painter, who worked half the year in a series of studios in Italian cities, and half the year in Chelsea.

You are going to live in another era, Victorian or Edwardian?

I am really fascinated by both periods, but I, if I could belong to the top brass of the era, I would be an Edwardian, because hospitality and comfort were brought to a real pitch of perfection in the early 1900s.

You are going to have your portrait painting by any artist of your choice (either living or deceased) who is it? And where does the finished portrait hang?

My ideal portrait would have to by James MacNeill Whistler, a superlative artist, and he would make the portrait a work of art that would be of interest (Harmony in Black and White) long after I am forgotten. I imagine it would end up in the Tate Gallery, surrounded by the British art of the late 19th and early 20th century art that I greatly admire. While at home, it would probably hang between a 1920s portrait of my grandmother as a young girl, in a simple salmon pink dress, with her bobbed hair held to the side in a slide, and a portrait of an plulp, bewigged 18th-century bishop who was a direct ancestor of my mother. He was a famous historian and Bishop of London at the time of Sir Robert Walpole (he was known as "Walpole's Pope").

The above interview with Jeremy Musson 2012 © Manner of Man Magazine. All rights reserved. Reproduction is strictly prohibited without written permission from the publisher.

M/M Isolation


We're born alone, we live alone, we die alone. Only through our love and friendship can we create the illusion for the moment that we're not alone. - Orson Welles



All images provided to Manner of Man Magazine by Eduard Dressler and cannot be reproduced without authorisation. All rights reserved.

M/M Manet in Black at Museum of Fine Arts, Boston

Image Edouard Manet (French, 1832–1883) 23.1325 The Races PDP 1865–72 Crayon lithograph on chine collé. Gift of W. G. Russell Allen. Property of MFA Boston. All rights reserved.

Manet in Black
February 18October 28, 2012
Mary Stamas Gallery

This exhibition will celebrate Édouard Manet’s achievements as a graphic artist. Known as the painter of modern life and father of Impressionism, he was also a gifted printmaker and draftsman, among the most daring and impressive of the 19th century. A selection of some 50 prints and drawings from the MFA’s collection, including important recent acquisitions, will form the core of the exhibition. The majority of works will be by Manet, along with complementary prints and drawings by related artists, including Rembrandt and Degas. Appreciation of Manet’s strikingly modern use of black will unify the exhibition, as it spans a variety of subjects, techniques, and styles from throughout his career. The exhibition draws upon the MFA’s strong Manet collection, recently enhanced by the acquisition of an impression of one of his most successful early etchings, La Toilette (1861), as well as the promised gift of two etchings. The exhibition will also showcase Manet’s rarely viewed lithographs, considered to be among the finest in the history of the medium. Etchings of historical and modern subjects will also be accompanied by delicate and compelling illustrations for the poetry of Charles Cros and Stephane Mallarmé.

Curatorial Concepts

Charles Baudelaire described black as the color of the nineteenth century; it was a fundamental color of modern attire and modern art, of men’s suits and of sketches executed quickly in the street. Manet was a master in the use of black, asserting his bold and subtle imprint on a range of subjects, from exotic Spanish dancers to the horses and spectators at a thrilling Paris racetrack. He was also a dandy, a sophisticated and fashionable connoisseur of urban life dressed in a chic black coat, whose experimentations with the latest artistic and cultural currents produced extraordinary—yet seemingly effortless—results. Manet’s participation in the Etching Revival, his interest in Japanese art, his challenge to the legacy of the Old Masters, his response to controversial political events, his appreciation of the pleasures and problems of modern Paris, and his sensitive collaborations with poets are themes explored in the exhibition that will deepen understanding of Manet and, in many cases, challenge assumptions about this much admired artist.

M/M Interview with Robert Adam

Image of Robert Adam provided by ADAM Architecture and may not be reproduced without prior authorisation. All rights reserved.

Interview with architect Robert Adam of ADAM Architecture was conducted by Nicola Linza and Cristoffer Neljesjö in Winchester, Hampshire during March 2012.

Interview with Robert Adam

What does architecture mean to you?

A way of life and an opportunity to improve the world in which we live.  At the same time, it is important not to be too arrogant or imagine that architecture is more important than it is.  Architecture (and in this I include urban design) are not primary activities.  Architects don’t generally commission buildings, they take instructions from people who want to occupy or generate income from buildings.  Consequently, architecture will follow – inevitably - social, political and economic change and will - also inevitably - reflect them. Architecture is also an art.  It is also possible to relate art to social, political and economic change (for example, the primacy of modernist art can be traced to state patronage) but architecture is more intimately linked to social trends, finance and the market and government control than the studio arts.

For all that, architects do have a responsibility to society at large.  I take this very seriously.  That responsibility is to serve the public - that is to give the public what they want in the best way possible. 

When you started practice as an architect was traditional architecture your main  focus?

My architectural training began in 1967.  By this time, all traditional training had been completely banished from all schools of architecture, not only was it not on any teaching agenda it was simply never discussed, it was as if it never existed.  Then – and indeed still to this day – to attempt to design anything traditional was simply to invite failure and the end of an architectural training. 

I was at that time living in London in a flat with ‘normal’ people not involved in any way with design, let alone the type of design I was being told was the ‘only’ way.  They thought what I was doing was mad and really quite unpleasant.  This led me to question what I was being taught. 
Ironically, I was being presented with modernist architecture as radical and avant garde (ahead of its time and so perpetually seeking something different) and this position could be supported precisely by reference to the negative attitude of ‘normal’ people but, as this supposed radical design was normal and established in my isolated teaching environment, any attempt to do what ‘normal’ people liked was radical in that environment.  This irony remains.  45 years later, modernism is even more the establishment within the design professions and is directly based on historic thinking and forms from the 1920s.  The only way it can maintain its avant garde credentials is to strive to be ‘ahead of its time’ and so, almost inevitably, be disliked by a generally visually conservative public - and yet the profession crave public acceptance.

In the later years of my course I actively questioned modernist orthodoxy, my tutor refused to tutor me but I persisted.  In the end, in my final year a sustained effort was made to fail me solely on design grounds (I made sure I was technically fireproof).  One external examiner insisted that they pass me and then encouraged me to enter for a Rome Scholarship (which I won).  I also won the Bannister Fletcher prize for my dissertation.

In your career, the sustainability and ecological movement have come to the fore, how has this affected your work?

Sustainability is exactly one of the social, political and economic forces that affect architecture and urban design.  It has now moved from a crusading movement to a regulatory obligation.  It is bound to affect my work and did so from quite an early stage in this movement.  I was engaged by a private client to design an experimental house that employed passive solar gain to its maximum but used the traditional design vocabulary in 1992.  This was the year of the Rio ‘Earth Summit’ which brought the sustainable agenda to the fore. 

Architects generally, were very keen to take on the sustainability agenda at its early stages.  The poor outcome of post-war modernism and the turn to post-modernism in the 19080s had undermined all the moral pretensions whereby architects believed they were saving the world by changing design, consequently the profession were hungry to take on another moral stance and saving the planet came along at just the right time.  The modernist establishment, as believers in the redemptive power of technology, saw their current high-tech philosophy as a perfect fit for making buildings sustainable.   

At first, traditional architects, foolishly defining themselves as the opposite of anything modernist, stood back from this.  In time, it became apparent that, in fact, sustainability was more about lifestyle and longevity than expensive and complicated technical products and then traditional architects woke up the fact that they were on the moral high ground.  We were in the forefront of that movement as we had never been averse to new technology.

Is there a past architectural period which you see as an ideal?

I think it is foolish to identify any past period as an aspiration.  The past is the past, each period is an inseparable mix of social life and design.  If the late Georgian period is an ideal it has to be seen in relation to endemic typhus, elite politics and public executions.  Each period is modern in its own time but his does not mean that, in being modern, we have to reject all the things that come from the past.  Each period of history is not a complete transformation. Generally, more stays the same than changes; it is just that we notice the changes.  We are still the creatures that evolved in the Pleistocene era, human relations are the same, we may have mobile phones to communicate but inter-personal communication is still a core human desire, we may have social media but we still cannot know personally more than about 150 people.  Society also defines itself by its past; it does so through our traditions.  But traditions are not history: history is always what it was; tradition evolves retaining its identity with its past.  This is what I try to do with traditional design: evolve the best things from the past; keep the things that people use to maintain their identity; and make something modern in the true sense of modern – something right for what people want today.

Do you incorporate new technology in your new classical and traditional designs?

At one level, except in very extreme restoration or archaeological reconstruction, all architects will use new technology.  There is, however, a common misunderstanding about new technology which has been adopted by modernism, which was in part a style that devoted itself to adopting new technologies as a matter of principle (this was a technical version of being avant garde). New technology has no life of its own; it is a servant to human aspiration and endeavour.  New technology does what you want to do better and more economically.  There is no inevitability about using technology because it is new; nuclear weapons were new, it did not mean it was right to use them.  Innovation is not necessarily good; computer viruses are innovative, it does not make them good.
New buildings use new technology that delivers a product that people want in the best way available.  If people like the quality of stone, it should be used.  Few people would choose to omit instantaneous circuit breakers in their electrical equipment just because they are a recent technological development.

Your work seems to bridge modernity and tradition, how do you see the relationship between them?

Much of this has been answered above but modernity is often misunderstood.  Being modern, in one sense, is inevitable.  I live in the 21st century, I build for twenty-first century people and I build using twenty-first century industry, this means that, unavoidably, what I am doing is part of the nature and character of the 21st century.  Anyone in the future looking back on today would see that my work and work like it is part of the mix that makes up this period.  Making a fetish out the things that are new such that they are used regardless of whether they are wanted, appropriate or efficient in order to be modern it not modernity, it is modernism – quite a different thing.  
It is possible to be deliberately not modern and reject those things that are recent on principle, but I do not fall into that category at all. Indeed I think would just be a foolish eccentricity, rather like refusing penicillin because it is from the late 20th century and dying of an infection.   I like and am excited by new things and new inventions but that does not mean that I think their use should be in any way obligatory.
Tradition is a part of all modern conditions.  Language is a tradition, cuisine is a tradition, clothing is a tradition, social behaviour is a tradition and so on.  It is my mission to bridge modernity and tradition.

The above interview with architect Robert Adam 2012 © Manner of Man Magazine. All rights reserved. Reproduction is strictly prohibited without written permission from the publisher.

M/M ANDREW WYLD: CONNOISSEUR DEALER EARLY BRITISH DRAWINGS, WATERCOLOURS & PAINTINGS FROM THE GOLDEN AGE AT CHRISTIE’S LONDON IN JULY

Images above are copyright W/S Fine Art. All images shown provided to Manner of Man Magazine by Christie's London. All rights reserved.

ANDREW WYLD: CONNOISSEUR DEALER

EARLY BRITISH DRAWINGS, WATERCOLOURS & PAINTINGS FROM THE GOLDEN AGE AT CHRISTIE’S LONDON IN JULY

Superb examples of British art from the Mayfair Gallery of one of the finest dealers in the field

Christie’s is proud to announce the sale of Andrew Wyld: Connoisseur Dealer, the collection and stock of W/S Fine Art and Andrew Wyld (1949 - 2011). This fine single-owner collection celebrates the Golden Age of British Watercolours and will be offered in two parts. Part one will take place in King Street on 10 July 2012 and Part two will take place in South Kensington on 18 July. Highlights will be on view during Master Paintings & Drawings Week from 29 June - 6 July 2012. The sale comprises around 400 lots and is expected to realise between £1.5 million and £2 million.

Wyld, one of the finest dealers in his field, was renowned for his discerning eye and this sale is a roll call of the greatest artists of the Golden Age: John Constable, David Cox, John Robert Cozens, Peter de Wint, Thomas Gainsborough, and J.M.W Turner among others. The sale will offer vibrant and immediate topographical views of many regions in the British Isles from London and its environs, to East Anglia, Yorkshire and Northumberland to Scotland and Wales. It also encompasses superb views of France, Germany, and Italy as well as Egypt, Greece and Turkey. Estimates range between £500 and £250,000 with no reserve on lots estimated below £1,000.


Comment: Harriet Drummond, Director, International Head British Drawings & Watercolours: 

“Andrew Wyld was the finest dealer in the field of British Drawings and Watercolours and it is a great honour to be presenting this exceptional collection at auction. This group of superb works by the greatest artists of the Golden Age is a tribute to Wyld’s meticulous and focused approach, which set him apart as a connoisseur of the genre.”
 

 















The Golden Age encompasses the great age of landscape watercolour painting in Britain from 1750 to 1850. Until the second half of the 18th century, watercolour painting was linked to topographical surveys. The collection of Andrew Wyld includes examples of works by John Robert Cozens (1752-1799) and Thomas Gainsborough, R.A. (1727 – 1788), two artists who in contrasting ways helped to liberate landscape painting. Both artists preferred idealised landscapes, with Gainsborough executing drawings of landscapes composed in his studio using coal, sand, moss, twigs and even broccoli, imaginatively rearranging the natural world. One highlight of the sale is a watercolour landscape by Cozens, Rome from the Villa Mellini (estimate: £100,000 –150,000), illustrated above. Cozens travelled to Italy with his patron, the collector, writer and builder of Fonthill Abbey, William Beckford. His distinctive style of painting, with its deliberate limited palette and mood, and his choice of subjects mark him out as a precursor of the Romantic movement in British art.


 














An extraordinarily rich drawing by Gainsborough is a further highlight of the sale. Travellers passing through a Village (estimate: £60,000 – 80,000), illustrated above, was completed at a time when Gainsborough was using combinations of inks and watercolour, as well as chalks and varnishes. Measuring just over eight by twelve inches it is one of a number of drawings of this size executed at the time. The central group of figures in this work echo the group in his famous oil painting The Harvest Wagon of the mid-1760s.


 

















A number of works by John Constable, R.A. (1776-1837) will also be on offer. Although he is known best for his landscape paintings of Dedham Vale, Constable was also a very sensitive and able portraitist. A Girl Reading (estimate: £20,000 – 30,000), illustrated above, is one of a number of pencil drawings made by Constable in or around 1806. The subjects are taken from his close circle of friends. In 1806 he visited the Cobbold, Hobson and Gubbins families; he also painted portraits of members of the Harden and Lloyd families. The majority of these intimate studies are of women and children. In several cases the sitters are shown curled up with a book, or playing with a baby, seemingly unconscious of the fact that they are being observed.














 
Andrew Wyld was famous for his passion for the work of David Cox Senior, O.W.S. (1783-1859) and this sale contains a wonderful group of his watercolours, chalk, pencil, and ink drawings. In his last twenty years Cox achieved a freedom of expression that some see as a direct forerunner of impressionism. In 1826 Cox embarked on a tour to Belgium in the company of his brother-in-law Mr Gardener and his son David, a trip he subsequently extended into Holland. While travelling Cox made studies of the waterways; On the Scheldt, Holland, 1826, (estimate: £5,000 – 8,000), shows sailing vessels drifting in the wide mouth of the river on a calm summer’s day, illustrated left. The ship at the centre of the composition flies the national flag of the Netherlands. Further works by Cox in the sale include Dudley Castle from the Birmingham Road which is expected to realise between £2,500 and £3,500. Wyld was also very well associated with the work of Peter De Wint (1784-1849) and there are several fine examples of works by the artist on offer including A Westmorland Mill (estimate: £12,000-18,000, illustrated below), Matlock, Derbyshire (estimate: £5,000-8,000) and Bolsover Castle, (estimate: £6,000-10,000).

























Another notable group in this auction is a number of works by George Romney (1734-1802) including an oil portrait A Mother and Child Reading (possibly Mrs Cumberland and her son) (£100,000-150,000), illustrated above. A charming pencil portrait of The Revd William Atkinson (1724-1764) wearing a broad-brimmed Hat is expected to realise £5,000-8,000; portraits on paper by Romney are very rare and the present work is thought to have been completed during the artist’s stay in Kendal between 1757 and 1762. During his time in Kendal Romney’s sitters seem to have been mainly middle-class professional men and clergymen. Further works by Romney include a striking drawing, Macbeth Confronts Banquo’s Ghost which is estimated to realise between £10,000 and £15,000.



 













For the collector of watercolours, the crowning glory of any collection is a work by J.M.W. Turner, R.A. (1775-1851). In Turner, the British watercolour school found its master and its perennial inspiration; most of the painters who lived in his time or afterward were to some degree influenced by his skill and imagination. Storm at Sea, (estimate:£150,000-250,000), illustrated above, appears to be the first idea for Turner’s major oil painting Staffa, Fingal’s Cave which was exhibited at the Royal Academy in 1832.



 


















Part two of the sale will take place in a dedicated section of the Interiors sale in Christie’s South Kensington on 18 July 2012. With estimates starting at £500 and no reserve on lots below £1,000, Part two will offer the opportunity to acquire works hand-picked by a consummate connoisseur of British drawings and watercolours at a wide range of different price points.

Highlights from Part two include Wayside plants at Arriccia by Thomas Hartley Cromek (1809-1873) which is estimated at £500-800, illustrated above, and The Old Treasury Lisbon by James Holland (1799-1870) which is estimated at £700-1000. Demonstrating the diversity of Wyld’s collection, alongside these prolific artists of the 19th Century, Part two will also include a number of 20th Century Drawings including Study for Limestone Quarries, 1943, by Graham Sutherland O.M. (1903-1980) which is estimated between £10,000 and £15,000, and The Oast at Owley, Kent by Paul Nash (1889-1946) which is expected to fetch between £5,000 and £8,000.

Coming directly from the stock of W/S Fine Art, the majority of the watercolours and paintings have been conserved, mounted in hand-washed mounts and presented in frames ready to hang.

M/M Moments of Absolute Clarity #8

an exclusive series produced by Lalle Johnson 

Image of Lalle Johnson taken by Lalle Johnson exclusively for Manner of Man Magazine/Welldressed and cannot be reproduced without written authorisation. All rights reserved.

2012 © Manner of Man Magazine/Welldressed. All rights reserved. Reproduction is strictly prohibited without written permission from the publisher. 
.

M/M Interview with Mats Gabrielsson

Image of Mats Gabrielsson provided for exclusive use and may not be reproduced without written authorisation. All rights reserved.


This exclusive interview with Mats Gabrielsson was conducted by Nicola Linza and Cristoffer Neljesjö in Stockholm during March 2012



What inspired you to become an entrepreneur?

I probably have it in my genes, but a simple answer is money and appreciation.


How would you describe yourself?


A too nice one to be an entrepreneur.


In your view what is the most relevant factor to business success?


To be prepared.


If you could change one thing about the business climate today what would it be?


We have a very good climate for entrepreneurs. The only thing I would like to see improved is a better access to money.


Except for business what do you enjoy in life?


Everything from my family to my horses.


The above interview with Mats Gabrielsson 2012 © Manner of Man Magazine/Welldressed. All rights reserved. Reproduction is strictly prohibited without written permission from the publisher.

M/M REMBRANDT MASTERPIECE LEADS THE MOST IMPORTANT PRIVATE COLLECTION OF DUTCH OLD MASTER PAINTINGS TO COME TO THE MARKET IN RECENT YEARS THE PIETER & OLGA DREESMANN COLLECTION AT CHRISTIE’S LONDON IN JULY 2012

Image of Rembrandt Harmensz van Rijn (1606-1669)
A Bust of a Man in a Gorget and Cap
Estimate: £8 million-12 million
provided by Christie's London. All rights reserved.

Christie’s announces the sale of The Pieter & Olga Dreesmann Collection of Dutch Old Master Paintings which will be offered in the Old Master & British Paintings Evening Auction on Tuesday 3 July.
 
The Dreesmann family name is synonymous with connoisseurship, passion and generous philanthropy in the arts. Crowned by Rembrandt’s masterpiece A Bust of a Man in a Gorget and Cap (estimate: £8 million -12 million,) offered at auction for the first time in almost 40 years, the outstanding collection, formed by Pieter and Olga Dreesmann, comprises a group of 15 exceptional works by 17th Century Dutch Masters of the ‘Golden Age.’ The group constitutes the most important single-owner collection of Dutch paintings of this period to come to the market in recent years and is expected to realise in excess of £19 million.

Richard Knight, International Co-Chairman of Old Masters and 19th Century Art at Christie’s: “Led by a major Rembrandt, a Willem Van de Velde of incomparable finesse, and outstanding Still Lifes by Coorte and Van der Ast, this is a remarkably balanced collection of masterpieces that exemplifies the best aspects of Dutch Golden Age painting. It is a privilege to be entrusted with the sale of The Pieter & Olga Dreesmann Collection having represented the family in 2002 with a landmark auction for the late Dr. Anton C.R. Dreesmann. The sustained level of quality throughout and the provenance of the works are exceptional, with many having featured in key public exhibitions over recent years.
 
A collection formed with an eye for quality, rarity and importance, these works perfectly meet the expectations of discerning collectors today. Pieter and Olga Dreesmann see their collecting as a continuum. They are presently re-focusing their interests and, having decided to part with these works, they are now creating irresistible opportunities for collectors to acquire the finest of the 17th Century Dutch School. The Dreesmanns’ enthusiasm, combined with their discerning eye when acquiring these works, will be an inspiration.

Pieter and Olga Dreesmann are active art collectors with interests that span from Antiquity to the 21st Century. They are supporters of fundamental art research as founders of the Dr. Anton C.R. Dreesmann Fund, a dedicated research unit on Dutch 17th Century painting techniques at The Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam. They also support philanthropic causes linked to the care of children with genetic disorders and Special Needs. A portion of the proceeds of this sale will go to the above-mentioned charitable causes.”


Recognising the strength and international nature of the Old Master market and the wide-reaching appeal of works of this outstanding quality, the Collection, led by the Rembrandt, will tour the world in advance of the sale, travelling from Doha, Moscow and New York to Hong Kong and Amsterdam before the auction in London.

Rembrandt Harmensz van Rijn (1606-1669) is recognised to be one of the greatest and most influential artists in European history. This remarkable panel by the artist, A Bust of a Man in a Gorget and Cap, dated to 1626/27, captivates the viewer with an intensity that far exceeds its neat dimensions; it measures 15⅝ x 11⅝ inches (39.8 x 29.4cm) (estimate: £8 million -12 million). The work presents a masterful treatment of light to create drama, achieved in part by Rembrandt’s use of chiaroscuro, pointing to the influence of Caravaggio, to whom he is clearly indebted in terms of style in this work. Beautifully preserved and richly painted, the artist employs a subtle range of rich colours; the sharp light falling on the steel of the gorget imbues the subject with a startling reality and presence. This work was exhibited in the Rembrandt/Caravaggio exhibition staged by The Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam, in 2006.

Christie’s has an unrivalled track record with Rembrandt, having sold the two most valuable works to have been offered at auction: Man with Arms Akimbo, in 2009 (£20,201,250/$33,210,855) and Portrait of an Aeltje Uylenburgh from the Collection of Baroness Batsheva de Rothschild in 2000 (£19,803,750 /$28,675,830).

The Collection features one of the finest paintings by Willem van de Velde II, Shipping in a Calm, which measures 22 ¾ x 18 inches (50.8 x 45.5cm) (estimate: £2.5 million – 3.5 million.)

In superb condition and offered at auction for the first time in over 15 years, this poetic work beautifully captures the movement and reflections of both light and clouds on calm water. Exemplifying Van de Velde’s technical excellence, the work has a particularly distinguished provenance having formerly been in the collection of the Rothschilds and latterly that of Enrico Fattorini. It is a masterpiece of its kind. Christie’s recently set the auction record for the artist when Dutch Men-o’-War and other Shipping in a Calm realised £5.9 million, in December 2011.

The Collection comprises three very important works of intense quality by Adriaen Coorte (active 1683-1707): Asparagus and Red Currants on a Plinth (estimate £1.4 million - 2 million;)  Gooseberries and Strawberries on a Plinth (estimate: £1.2 million - 1.8 million) and Peaches and Apricots on a Plinth (estimate: £800,000 - 1.2 million). Remarkably, these paintings have remained together since they were executed more than three hundred years ago. This is the first time they will have appeared at auction. All three works were exhibited in Ode to Coorte at The Mauritshuis, The Hague, in 2008.

A Still Life of Flowers, Shells and Insects on a Stone Ledge, by Balthasar van der Ast (1593 or 1594-1657) is a jewel in the artist’s oeuvre, depicting the charming conceit of flowers emerging from shells (estimate: £900,000-1.2 million.) It is in excellent condition and an exquisite example of the Middleburg School of Still Life paintings.

The Interior of Nieuwe Kerk, Haarlem, seen from the South West by Pieter Jansz Saenredam (1597-1665), dated 1658, is particularly notable as the artist has depicted a contemporary building designed by his friend, the architect, Jacob van Campen (1596-1657), as opposed to the medieval or gothic churches which constitute his usual subjects (estimate: £1.2 million – 1.8 million.)

The unfinished work A Portrait of a Man Receiving or Posting a Letter in an Interior attributed to Gonzales Coques (1614 or 1618-1684) provides a very rare glimpse into the technical process employed to construct paintings at this time (estimate: £70,000-100,000.) It has previously been illustrated in this context alongside another work to be offered from the Collection: The Glass of Lemonade, by Gerard ter Borch (1617-1681) (estimate: £1 million - 1.5 million), in the catalogue to accompany the Ter Borch exhibition at The National Gallery of Art, Washington, in 2004.

Other outstanding works include Hendrick Avercamp’s (1585-1634) atmospheric Winter Scene (estimate: £1 million - 1.5 million), which was included in a monographic exhibition at The Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam, and The National Gallery of Art, Washington, in 2009/2010. It is a work of enormous subtlety in which the artist cleverly invokes the chill of a late winter afternoon, with numerous figures going about their business in an icy landscape. In contrast, Salomon Jacobsz van Ruysdael’s (1600 or 1603-1670): A Wijdschip and other Small Dutch Vessels on a River depicts the changing light of a blustery summer day on the river (estimate: £600,000 - 1 million). The sale includes the following further works:

- Andries Benedetti (circa 1618 – after 1649): A Pronk Still Life with a Lute and a Sheet of Music (estimate: £80,000-120,000).
- Dirck van der Aa (1731-1809): Merry Putti, 1776 (estimate: £40,000-60,000).
- Govert Dircksz Camphuysen (1623 or 1624-1672): A Rustic Kitchen Still Life (estimate: £30,000-50,000).
- Petrus C. Staverenus (active 1634-1654): A Man in a Landscape, Raising a Beer Glass (estimate: £25,000-35,000).

 

About Christie’s
Christie’s, the world's leading art business, had global auction and private sales in 2011 that totaled £3.6 billion/$5.7 billion. Christie’s is a name and place that speaks of extraordinary art, unparalleled service and expertise, as well as international glamour. Founded in 1766 by James Christie, Christie's has since conducted the greatest and most celebrated auctions through the centuries providing a popular showcase for the unique and the beautiful. Christie’s offers over 450 auctions annually in over 80 categories, including all areas of fine and decorative arts, jewellery, photographs, collectibles, wine, and more. Prices range from $200 to over $100 million. Christie's also has a long and successful history conducting private sales for its clients in all categories, with emphasis on Post-War and Contemporary, Impressionist and Modern, Old Masters and Jewellery. Private sales totaled £502 million / $808.6m in 2011, an increase of 44% on the previous year.

Christie’s has a global presence with 53 offices in 32 countries and 10 salerooms around the world including in London, New York, Paris, Geneva, Milan, Amsterdam, Dubai, Zürich, and Hong Kong. More recently, Christie’s has led the market with expanded initiatives in emerging and new markets such as Russia, China, India and the United Arab Emirates, with successful sales and exhibitions in Beijing, Mumbai and Dubai.

*Estimates do not include buyer’s premium. Sales totals are hammer price plus buyer’s premium and do not reflect costs, financing fees or application of buyer’s or seller’s credits.

M/M THE ENGLISH COUNTRY HOUSE From the archives of Country Life

Image © THE ENGLISH COUNTRY HOUSE from the archives of Country Life by
Mary Miers, Rizzoli New York, 2009

Review by the Editors of Manner of Man Magazine

The English Country House: From the Archives of Country Life is an overall beautiful book. It is nice to see a cloth hardbound volume, with sewn laid-in articles on smaller fine paper, booklets by noted architectural writers and authors between reproduced wallpapers that appear full scale. It all makes for one handsome custom looking volume, very nice touches, especially in a day and age when so many are questioning or rejecting Asian product for the Western markets,  this is a Rizzoli printing done in China yet remains very much an English book.

While this is a great book there are two faults in our view. Unfortunately, we are seeing this occur in a number of fine volumes lately pertaining to the tone at times of language used, either on the jacket or in the content, and more often than nought, odd inclusions. The language starting with the book cover we found unnecessarily mass-market in tone with use of common climber phrases.  It was a turn-off to us as often unjustifiably haughty, and at the same time hilariously condescending. It ran just a tad much at times with aspirational phrases and overly colourful words starting on the dust jacket calling the volume “This exquisite book offers…” down on to the phrase, "The book provides an entré (spelt with one e) into the houses to which Country Life has had privileged access…” (As if the main reader does not know the meaning of exquisite; or that the purchaser and reader of this book is both ignorant of these properties and should feel honoured to view them, both cases highly unlikely.) It makes one cringe and certainly does not influence those who are going to be purchasing a book on the English country houses in the first place. That language in no way added to the fine content, in fact for us it took away from it. On the other hand, taking the above into consideration, we are compelled to mention two significant visual pauses, which we found disturbing, the first is minor, sharp yet still appropriate, the other we found abrupt and jarring.

The first Modern property known as High and Over 1929 is presented in a small photograph. The house has a strong Modern International Style to it, and well a bit odd it is shown as a valid contrast with a minor explanation for its inclusion. There an explanation at that juncture that such properties have been limited in the book as essentially strong representation of the avant-garde would, "be discordant with the general tone and appearance of the book." We could not agree more, and did not expect another. Nonetheless, they decided to include another structure, (one of very different structural volumes and architectural proportions than the previous,) in a full-scale spread, this one is called Baggy House. Presented over pages 452-459, it made us literally stop in our tracks. We found it too unexpected, and entirely discordant. While discourse is made working to explain the history and design of inclusions, in the end, it was as though the book was slapping one in the face visually. Baggy House is sandwiched in the book between rich, grand and historically important traditional architecture, houses that are representative solely of what one associates with historical English traditional design evolution and traditional distinction of what customarily one expects in such a volume focused on the country houses dating mostly up to the Edwardian era, (a sole reason we bought the book to review, and include in this issue.) We do not understand the reasoning for inclusion of Baggy House, which to us too strongly stands out in this volume, and not in a good way.

So overall, our impression is that this is indeed a beautiful and valuable resource. Frankly, overall this is a stunning publication that will fit well in a gentleman's library, filling an important niche on a significant period of English architectural history.  The publication provides excellent information and is without question filled with glorious photography from the Country Life archives, including beautiful more recent colour photography. The volume is essentially a stunning collection of older and some largely unseen images of the finest country estate properties of England, and includes collectively great scholarly insights by the respected authors involved. 

Highly Recommended.

THE ENGLISH COUNTRY HOUSE
From the archives of Country Life
By Mary Miers

With contributions by Jeremy Musson, Tim Richardson, Tim Knox, Marcus Binney, John Martin Robinson, and Geoffrey Tyack

THE ENGLISH COUNTRY HOUSE takes a look at the architecture and interiors of sixty-two stunning houses in a range of architectural styles spanning seven centuries—from the medieval Stokesay Castle to the newly built, Lutyens-inspired Corfe Farm—brought to life through the world-renowned photography library of Country Life. More than four hundred color and black and white illustrations provide an insight into the architecture, decoration, gardens, and landscape settings of these houses, which are set into their architectural and historical context by the accompanying text and extended captions.

The book provides an entre into the houses to which Country Life has had privileged access over the years, many of which are still private homes, often occupied by descendants of the families that built them. Punctuating the book at intervals in the form of booklets on rich, uncoated paper are six essays by leading British architectural historians that set the English country house into its social context and chart the changing tastes in decorating and collecting, the development of ancillary buildings, gardens and landscapes, and finally, its influence in the United States.

About the Author and Contributors: Mary Miers is architectural writer, arts and books editor for Country Life. Her previous career was in architectural conservation, and she established and ran Scotland's Buildings at Risk Register in the 1990s. Her books include The Western Seaboard: An Illustrated Architectural Guide and American Houses: The Architecture of Fairfax & Sammons. Her home is in the Highlands of Scotland. Marcus Binney is an architectural journalist well-known for his work in the British conservation movement. Tim Knox is director of Sir John Soane’s Museum in London. Jeremy Musson is a former architectural editor of Country Life. Tim Richardson is a former garden’s editor of Country Life. John Martin Robinson is the author of several books on British architecture. Geoffrey Tyack is the director of the Stanford University Centre in Oxford.

M/M Interview with Roger Scruton


This exclusive interview with esteemed writer, philosopher and public commentator Roger Scruton was conducted by Nicola Linza and Cristoffer Neljesjö in London during May 2012 and is only available in print edition.

M/M Full-length Study Examines All Works by The Great Flemish Painter Pieter Bruegel


Image provided to Manner of Man Magazine by Abbeville Press. All rights reserved. 

This fascinating full-length study examines all works by the great Flemish painter Pieter Bruegel within the wider setting of art during his lifetime. 

Manner of Man Magazine Editorial Recommendation

For our readers, many of whom are also serious book collectors often seeking out fine monographs in the arts, it is our great pleasure to recommend without reservation Larry Silver's exceptional volume on the great Pieter Bruegel published and distributed by Abbeville Press, New York. 

In our view, Abbeville Press is without question producing the finest works in print in the United States, if not the world. The quality of the book in terms of design and colour reproduction of the masterworks is extraordinary, and the binding construction is unsurpassed for its sheer weight and quality attention to detail. 

The Pieter Bruegel volume is resoundingly our editorial choice and recommendation for this issue due to depth of scholarship and the grand scale and beauty to which the volume is produced. It is surely be a wise addition to your fine library collection.


The recent rediscovery in Spain of Pieter Bruegel the Elder’s lost painting, The Wine of Saint Martin’s Day, has created even more interest in this much-loved artist, who was one of the Netherlands’ two great masters of satire and fantasy, along with Hieronymus Bosch. Although these two artists never met each other—Bruegel was born around 1525, a decade after Bosch’s death—numerous features link them; indeed, Bruegel painted several demon-infested hellscapes directly inspired by the older master, and he was known in Antwerp as a “second Bosch.” But Bruegel is most famous for his peasant scenes, often humorous and packed with anecdote, and for his landscapes, which poignantly evoke Nature’s changing seasons. His legacy to Netherlandish art was the enduring popularity of both these genres, as well as the artistic dynasty he founded, beginning with his painter sons Pieter the Younger and Jan Brueghel.

Critics have often remarked how Bruegel’s art, so keenly observed and richly detailed, seems to preserve a world in miniature. In this new monograph, Larry Silver, an eminent historian of Northern Renaissance art, serves as our guide to that world. He leads us expertly through Bruegel’s complex and fascinating iconography, allowing us to see his paintings and drawings from the same perspective as his sixteenth-century countrymen. Silver situates Bruegel within the visual culture of his time—exploring, for example, his relationship with the print publisher Hieronymus Cock—and within the broader context of Netherlandish history. All of Bruegel’s surviving paintings are reproduced here, with many full-page details, as well as all of his prints and representative works by his contemporaries and followers.

This volume on Bruegel complements Silver’s widely praised monograph on Hieronymus Bosch, which was published by Abbeville Press in 2006. These two books are the most authoritative and best-illustrated studies of their respective subjects, and together they present us with a panorama of Netherlandish art’s emergence into the distinctive form of the Northern Renaissance.


Larry Silver, who received his Ph.D. from Harvard University, is Farquhar Professor of Art History at the University of Pennsylvania. Besides Pieter Bruegel and Hieronymus Bosch, his other books include Art in History, Rembrandt’s Faith, and Peasant Scenes and Landscapes.

M/M Nineteenth- and Twentieth-Century Paintings in the Robert Lehman Collection

Image provided by Princeton University Press. All rights reserved.

Robert Lehman, one of the foremost art collectors of his generation, embraced both traditional and modern masters. This volume catalogues 130 nineteenth- and twentieth-century paintings that are now part of the Robert Lehman Collection at the Metropolitan Museum. The majority of the works are by artists based in France, but there are also examples from the United States, Latin America, and India, reflecting Lehman's global interests.

The catalogue opens with outstanding paintings by Ingres, Theodore Rousseau, and Corot among other early nineteenth-century artists. They are joined by an exemplary selection of Impressionist and Post-Impressionist canvases by Degas, Renoir, Sisley, Pissarro, Seurat, Signac, Van Gogh, Cézanne, and Gauguin. Twentieth-century masters include Bonnard, Matisse, Rouault, Dalí, and Balthus. Newly researched modern works are represented by Vicente do Rego Monteiro, Kees van Dongen, Dietz Edzard, and D.G. Kulkarni (DIZI).

From Robert Lehman's studied and conventional taste for nineteenth-century French academic practitioners to his intuitive eye for emerging young artists of his own time, all are documented and discussed here. Some three hundred comparative illustrations supplement the catalogue entries, as do extensively researched provenance information, exhibition histories, and references. The volume also includes a bibliography and indexes.

Richard R. Brettell is the Margaret McDermott Distinguished Chair of Arts and Humanities at the University of Texas at Dallas. Paul Hayes Tucker is the Paul Hayes Tucker Distinguished Professor of Art at the University of Massachusetts, Boston. Natalie H. Lee is an independent art historian.

M/M Byzantium and Islam: Age of Transition

Image of Roundel with a Byzantine Emperor, Probably Heraclius Egypt, possibly Panopolis (Akhmim), 8th century Tapestry weave in red, pale brown, and blue wools and undyed linen on plain-weave ground of undyed linen 28.7 × 26.6 cm (11-1/4 × 10-1/2 in.) Victoria and Albert Museum, London (T.794-1919) Image: © V&A Images / Victoria and Albert Museum, London supplied by Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York. All rights reserved.

Landmark Metropolitan Museum Exhibition Considers Two Centuries that Shaped the Medieval World
March 14-July 8, 2012
Exhibition Location: Iris and B. Gerald Cantor Exhibition Hall

At the start of the seventh century, the eastern Mediterranean—from Syria through Egypt and across North Africa—was central to the spiritual and political heart of the Byzantine Empire, ruled from Constantinople (modern Istanbul). Yet, by the end of the same century, the region had become a vital part of the emerging Islamic world, as it expanded westward from Mecca and Medina. Opening March 14 at The Metropolitan Museum of Art, Byzantium and Islam: Age of Transition represents the first major museum exhibition to focus on this pivotal era in the history of the eastern Mediterranean. Through some 300 exceptional works of art, the groundbreaking presentation will reveal the artistic and cultural adaptations and innovations that resulted during the initial centuries of contact between these two worlds. The works are drawn primarily from the collections of the Metropolitan Museum, the Benaki Museum, Athens, and the collections under the Department of Antiquities of Jordan. Many of these as well as stellar loans from other institutions in North America, Europe, and the Middle East have never been shown before in the United States.

Major support for the exhibition and catalogue has been provided by Mary and Michael Jaharis, The Stavros Niarchos Foundation, and The Hagop Kevorkian Fund.

Additional support has been provided by the National Endowment for the Arts.

The exhibition is supported by an indemnity from the Federal Council on the Arts and the Humanities.

Thomas P. Campbell, Director of the Metropolitan Museum commented: “Byzantium and Islam will contribute immeasurably to the intellectual legacy that was established by the Met’s previous three widely acclaimed exhibitions on the Byzantine Empire. By bringing to general attention a complex historical period that is neither well-known nor well-understood, this exhibition will provide an important opportunity for our audiences. These centuries in the development of Byzantine Orthodoxy, Eastern Christianity, Judaism, and Islam had a profound impact on traditions that exist today. As this exhibition will show, there was a great deal of interaction among Christian, Jewish, and Muslim communities, whether as neighbors or as partners in trade. We are grateful to our colleagues in museums worldwide for their collaboration on this important project, and are deeply honored by the loan of many significant works from museums and institutions that seldom lend.”

Exhibition organizer Helen C. Evans, the Mary and Michael Jaharis Curator of Byzantine Art, continued: “Exceptional art was produced in the seventh century in the eastern Mediterranean when it was part of the Byzantine state; art of the same high quality continued to be made there in subsequent centuries under Islamic rule. Byzantium and Islam will begin with the arts of the region under Byzantine rule, then demonstrate their influence on the traditions that evolve under the new political and religious dominance of Islam, including new Muslim traditions that emerged from the process. The dialogue between established Byzantine and evolving Islamic styles and culture, as a central theme of the exhibition, will be demonstrated through works of art connected with authority, religion, and trade.”

The exhibition brings together works of art from museums in more than a dozen countries, including Denmark, France, Germany, Greece, Israel, Italy, Jordan, the Republic of Georgia, the United Kingdom, and Vatican City among others. From the United States, lenders include: Brooklyn Museum, Dumbarton Oaks Research Library and Collection, Los Angeles County Museum of Art, and Yale University Art Gallery.

Historical Background
In the seventh century, major trade routes along the Silk Road connected Europe and Asia. The Byzantine Empire’s territories around the Mediterranean were linked by land to China in the north; and by water—through the Red Sea past Jordan—to India in the south. Although Orthodox Christianity was the official religion of the Byzantine state, many other religions remained active in its southern provinces, including various Christian and Jewish communities. Great pilgrimage centers, such as Qal’at Sem’an in present-day Syria south through Jerusalem to Alexandria and the Holy Monastery of Saint Catherine on the Sinai Peninsula in Egypt attracted the faithful from as far away as Yemen in the east and Scandinavia in the west.

At the same time, the newly established Islamic faith emerged from Mecca and Medina along the Red Sea trade route and reached westward to the Mediterranean coast. As a result, political and religious authority was transferred from the long-established Christian Byzantine Empire to the newly established Umayyad—and later—Abbasid and other Muslim dynasties. Their rulers—in a search for a compelling visual identity—expanded on the traditions of the region in the decoration of their palaces and religious sites, including Qasr al-Mshatta and the Great Mosque of Damascus. New pilgrimage routes developed to Muslim holy sites, including Jerusalem and Mecca, and new patrons dominated the traditional trade routes.

Exhibition Overview
Byzantium and Islam
will be organized around three themes: the secular and religious character of the Byzantine state’s southern provinces in the first half of the seventh century; the continuity of commerce in the region even as the political base was transformed; and the emerging arts of the new Muslim rulers of the region.

The exhibition begins with a monumental 17-by-20-foot floor mosaic that illustrates the urban character of the region and contains motifs that will be seen throughout the galleries: cityscapes, inscriptions, trees, and vine scrolls. Excavated by the Yale-British School Archaeological Expedition in 1928–29 at Gerasa/Jerash in present-day Jordan, the mosaic has recently undergone conservation and will be on display for the first time in decades.

Secular works on view in this section include elaborately woven, monumental wall hangings, a richly illustrated scientific manuscript, and exquisitely decorated silver dishes with biblical figures depicted naturalistically in Byzantine court dress. Made during the reign of the renowned Byzantine emperor Heraclius/Herakleios (r. 610–641), the magnificent silver plates celebrate the slaying of Goliath by the biblical king David, possibly a reference to Heraclius’ decisive victory in 629 over the Sasanians, the Persian empire that briefly occupied Byzantium’s southern Mediterranean provinces.

A diversity of Christian communities existed in the empire’s southern provinces during this period. The Orthodox, Egyptian Coptic, and Syrian Churches are among those that are most active today. Leaves from rare purple vellum gospels written in gold and silver represent the authority of the Orthodox Church in Constantinople. A hoard of 15 elaborately decorated silver and silver gilt liturgical objects, known as the Attarouthi Treasure after the town named in their inscriptions, is indicative of the wealth of Greek-speaking Christians in Byzantine Syria.

Egypt’s role in the earliest Christian period is shown in the exquisite, delicately carved seventh-century ivories from the so-called “Grado chair” depicting significant moments from the life of St. Mark, the Evangelist, as the first bishop of Alexandria. The surviving ivories will be brought together from collections in Europe and America.

Stone carvings and wooden icons from the Coptic Monastery at Bawit in Egypt will be shown with other works of the Coptic Church. Manuscripts, icons, and liturgical silver will represent the continuing relevance of the Coptic Church throughout the exhibition’s timeframe. A film will show images of the newly uncovered, vibrant frescoes at the Red Monastery at Sohag, which reveal extensive connections to the larger Christian world.
The exceptional illuminations of the Rabbula Gospels will show the importance of the Syriac church, whose successful missionary efforts reached from Armenia to Ethiopia.

Jewish works from across the empire’s southern provinces represent Judaism’s continuing importance in the region. Floor mosaics from a North African synagogue diepict a menorah, other ritual objects, and a handsome lion. Fragments of a chancel screen from Ashkelon will be reunited for the first time since they were discovered in the late 1800s. A fragment of a liturgical dish possibly from a Samaritan synagogue, a molded glass vessel made in Jerusalem, and manuscripts in Hebrew and Arabic all attest to the diversity and vitality of Jewish communities under Byzantine and Muslim rule.

A critical issue during these centuries—the proper use of images as debated among the religious communities of the region—will be raised through two manuscripts related to local supporters of icon veneration, Saint John Damascus and Abu Qurrah. Two floor mosaics with animals partially replaced by plant forms, from the floor of the church of the acropolis in Ma`in, Jordan, shows the intensity of the debate over the use of images of living creatures.

The exhibition’s second section focuses on trade, and will be introduced by Byzantine coins, the gold standard of the eastern Mediterranean, and the emerging traditions of Islamic coinage. Silks—among the most important trade goods of the era—will be represented in great variety, from sophisticated depictions of people to very detailed geometric patterns. Elaborate silk patterns with hunting scenes that were favored by the elite of the Byzantine world in the seventh century continue in popularity in the later centuries. Wall hangings depicting people in the varied dress of the era will be displayed in the exhibition with examples of vibrantly colored and richly decorated tunics that survive from graves in Egypt. Scientific testing of the tunics offers unexpected insights into the evolution of dress styles during the period.

Textiles, ivories, metalwork and objects in other media will show the continuing popularity and slow transformation of such diverse decorative elements as vine scrolls, rabbits, and calligraphic inscriptions. In one such display, a group of similar small clay lamps have Christian inscriptions in Greek, both Christian blessings in Greek and Islamic ones in Arabic, and only Islamic blessings.

The third and final section will display the arts of the new Muslim elite, both secular and religious. The emphasis will be on objects that can be identified with specifically Islamic sites, predominately palaces in modern Jordan (for example, monumental stone carvings from the palaces of Qasr al-Mshatta, Qasr al-Qastal, and works of art from Qasr al-Fudayn and Jabal al-Qal’a, the Amman citadel). The works in this section focus on Byzantine connections to early Islamic art, as well as the introduction of more eastern motifs. The rare surviving ivories from Qasr al-Humayma with their formally posed nobles and warriors—newly conserved by the Metropolitan Museum—are a highlight.

Of particular interest will be the display of the so-called Tiraz of Caliph Marwan II—the earliest dateable Islamic tiraz textile, whose fragments are usually dispersed among museums in Europe and America. Inscribed with the name of Marwan, a ruler of the first Islamic dynasty, the textile would have been an honorary gift to a favored individual. Were it not for the inscription in Arabic script, the textile could be mistaken easily for a Byzantine or Persian work. The fragments will be configured to replicate as closely as possible their correct position in the original textile, and the recent scientific study of the work will be published for the first time.

The exhibition will conclude with works related to the earliest Islamic religious presence in the region. Monumental inscriptions in this section will indicate that an interest in calligraphy—one of the hallmarks of Islamic art—dates back more than one thousand years. Several of the most important early Qur'ans will be joined by a monumental prayer mat from Tiberias, a portion of the inscription from the mosque of Ibn Tulun in Cairo, and handsomely decorated tombstones. Leaves from a stunning blue Qur'an written in gold relate to the Byzantine purple manuscript leaves seen earlier in the exhibition. Other Qur'ans are decorated with motifs similar to earlier and later Christian and Jewish texts. Throughout the exhibition, ostraca—inscriptions on potsherds—and texts written on papyri will reveal the interests and concerns of the people of the region as their world is transformed.

Catalogue and Related Programs
The exhibition will be accompanied by a comprehensive, fully illustrated catalogue suitable for the general public and scholarly use. The book’s major authors on Byzantium are Helen C. Evans, curator of the Metropolitan’s earlier exhibitions The Glory of Byzantium and Byzantium: Faith and Power, with Brandie Ratliff, Research Associate for Byzantine Art, both from the Metropolitan Museum. Specialists, including Professor Steven Fine, Yeshiva University; Elizabeth Bolman, Temple University; and Dominique Bénazeth, the Louvre, will write on their areas of religious expertise. Professor Thelma Thomas, Institute of Fine Arts, New York University, will be the lead author on commerce, joined by Gabriele Mietke and Cäcilia Fluck, the Museum für Byzantinische Kunst, Berlin, and Mina Moraitou, the Benaki Museum, Athens. And on Islam, the major authors will be Professor Barry Flood of the Institute of Fine Arts, New York University, an expert on Umayyad art; and Anna Ballian of the Benaki Islamic Museum, Athens, Greece; with Robert Schick of the American Center for Oriental Research, Amman, Jordan; and Linda Komaroff, Los Angeles County Museum for Art. The catalogue, which is published by the Metropolitan Museum and distributed by Yale University Press, will be available in the Museum’s book shops ($65, hardcover).

Education programs for scholars and the general public have been organized in conjunction with the exhibition. These include a Sunday at the Met on Sunday, March 18; a festival for all ages on Saturday, March 24; a scholarly symposium on Tuesday, March 20; a workshop for K-12 educators on Saturday, April 21; a screening and discussion of short documentary films created by teens on Friday, March 23, offering viewers a behind-the-scenes look at the making of the exhibition; as well as numerous gallery talks, a Drop-In Drawing session, a gallery workshop, documentary films, and special programs for visitors with disabilities, all of which are free with Museum admission. In addition there will be a lecture about globalization in the Middle East by Thomas Friedman on Wednesday, April 11, in the Grace Rainey Rogers Auditorium. A concert by Capella Romana on Friday, March 30, will feature music composed in and around Jerusalem from the seventh to the ninth centuries by the city's great church fathers. Related programs will also take place in cooperation with the Center for Byzantine and Modern Greek Studies, Queens College, CUNY and Yeshiva University.

The Sunday at the Met is made possible by Coexist Foundation.
The symposium is made possible by gifts in honor of Froso Beys and by Mr. and Mrs. John Bilimatsis.
Globalization in the Middle East, Then and Now with Thomas Friedman is made possible by Martha Fling.

An Audio Guide will feature discussion by Helen C. Evans, Brandie Ratliff, Steven Fine, and Thelma Thomas, and readings of inscriptions in Arabic and Greek. The fee for rental is $7, $6 for members, and $5 for children under 12.

The Audio Guide is sponsored by Bloomberg.

A special feature about the exhibition will appear on the website of the Metropolitan Museum (www.metmuseum.org).

Credits
The exhibition is organized by Helen C. Evans, the Mary and Michael Jaharis Curator of Byzantine Art, Department of Medieval Art, with Brandie Ratliff, Research Associate for Byzantine Art, both of The Metropolitan Museum of Art. The exhibition is designed by Michael Batista, Exhibition Design Manager; graphics are by Sophia Geronimus, Graphic
Design Manager, and Mortimer Lebigre, Associate Graphic Designer; and lighting is by Clint Ross Coller and Richard Lichte, Lighting Design Managers, all of the Museum’s Design Department.