Several new and useful links

12/8/08— Internet websites — Internet’s phenomenal development reveals new sites every day. The following are some of particular interest which will be included in our Links pages. Most have been posted recently, others much earlier.

Hall of Mirrors

The Chateau de Versailles and the RMN who had already posted an excellent site devoted to outdoor sculpted décor has just made available online an iconographic catalogue of the Galerie des Glaces by the curator Nicolas Milovanovic. This remarkable site (alas only in French) is designed for both specialists as well as the general public. Its basic principle is rather simple : the overall view of the Gallery [1] allows for a study of the iconography of the various scenes. Each one can be enlarged and is accompanied by an iconographic explanation. The user can then zoom in on each figure, which is described and accompanied by a succinct bibliography referring back notably to Ripa’s Iconologia in its different editions. An index by categories (Allegories, Symbols, Gestures, Historical figures, Mythological figures), a complete bibliography and the integral text of the various historical descriptions of the Gallery round out the whole.

Dictionary of pastellists

We had reviewed in French the excellent Dictionary of Pastellists before 1800 by Neil Jeffares. The same author has published an online edition of his work. The dictionary entries appear in PDF format and can be accessed both through the artist index and a search engine. The dictionary’s many annexes are also present here.

There is one caveat : for the moment, no images are available for various reasons, particularly the prickly issue of reproduction rights. It is really designed more as an accompaniment to the paper edition. There is a thus a chance that sometime in the future the pastels which are not illustrated in the dictionary may appear online. Nonetheless, the site remains very useful for those who do not own the work enabling them to carry out initial research.

Paris under construction

We had already pointed out here the very interesting blog Paris 1900 in which the author (an art historian) publishes regularly in French veritable articles devoted to Art Nouveau buildings in Paris as well as in the provinces and abroad. This same author has posted another blog (we hesitate to give it this name although published in that format) listing the building permits issued in Paris between 1876 and 1914 and giving notably the names of the persons commissioning them along with the architects. This labor-intensive work will obviously be very useful for Parisian architecture historians but also for anyone curious enough to wonder who designed a particular building. A user guide and a description of the methodology applied are also included here.

The Bridgeman Art Library

Much as in the case of the photo base for the RMN or the Scala archives, the one for the Bridgeman Art Library is meant to sell images. Unlike in the case of the RMN, these are of reduced size and are marked to ensure they are not reproduced, the wealth of material nevertheless can enable one to find a work (particularly in private collections) which is unavailable elsewhere.

Bases for museum collections

More and more museums are making their collections available online, at times providing art historians with unpublished material for which access was still highly difficult just a few years ago. Adding to the bases which already figure in our links page, we are now happy to include the following (others will of course be appearing regularly) :

Amsterdam, Historisch Museum

Amsterdam, Rijksmuseum

Washington, National Gallery of Art

Vienna, Albertina

Vienna, Kunsthistorisches Museum

We would like to conclude this news item by underscoring once again one of Internet’s drawbacks : some sites disappear from one day to the next, leaving no trace. In the United States, Internet Archives (a private endeavor), collects on a regular basis and saves all, or almost all, these sites, allowing researchers to find them once again. Unfortunately, Art History Today, a blog posted by the British art historian David Packwood and which we had pointed out last year seems to have vanished into thin air and cannot be found even on Internet Archives…

Version française

Didier Rykner, mardi 12 août 2008


[1] Sections are also devoted to the Salon de la Paix and the Salon de la Guerre.

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