Journée d’étude : Catalysts of knowledge. Early modern cultures of collecting.

Cornelis de Baellieur, Intérieur d'une galerie de tableaux et d'objets d'art, 1637, huile sur bois, 93 x 123 cm, Paris, musée du Louvre.
Cornelis de Baellieur, Intérieur d’une galerie de tableaux et d’objets d’art, 1637, huile sur bois, 93 x 123 cm, Paris, musée du Louvre.

Type : journée d’étude.
Date : mardi 15 décembre 2015.
Lieu : université de Gand, Belgique.

This one-day workshop on early modern cultures of collecting aims to bring together approaches from the domains of art history, the history of science, and material culture studies. Of particular interest are the processes through which collected objects became sources of artisanal, artistic, or scientific knowledge and innovation. Users and beholders of collections were invited to observe, investigate, depict, and question individual objects and their interrelationships, and as such, collections could become ‘catalysts of knowledge’.

Workshop is free of charge, but places are limited, so please register online at :

Programme :

Session 1: Collecting in the Southern Netherlands
Session chair: Koenraad Jonckheere

Marlise Rijks
The epistemology of collecting. Artists’ and artisans’ collections in
seventeenth-century Antwerp.

Nadia Baadj
Early Modern Cabinets as Catalysts of Knowledge.

Jan Muylle
The Furniture of Count Anthony of Arenberg (Brussels, 1617).


Session 2: Noble and bourgeois collectors
Session chair: Christine Göttler

Nuno Senos
Science and Empire in the collection of the Duke of Bragança.

Renata Ago
Bourgeois collectors and their supporters (Rome, XVII century).

Coffee / Tea

Session 3: The global world
Session chair: Sven Dupré

Claudia Swan
Rariteyten and other specimens: VOC goods, liefhebbers, and Dutch
collections 1600-1650.

Christine Göttler
A Javanese Dagger in a constcamer painting by Frans Francken the
Younger: Collecting Idols and Weapons in the Seventeenth-Century

Concluding remarks.
Wijnand Mijnhardt

Colloque : Fancy‒Fantaisie‒Capriccio : Diversions and Distractions in the Eighteenth Century.



Type : colloque.
Date : 03 et 04 décembre 2015.
Lieu : musée Paul-Dupuy, Toulouse.
Sous la direction de : Muriel Adrien, Melissa Percival et Axel Hémery.

Associated with the imagination and not reason, fancy (fantaisie) in the eighteenth century was a sort of whimsical distraction from the everyday. For Voltaire it was ‘a singular desire, a passing whim’ (‘un désir singulier, un goût passager’), while for Samuel Johnson it was ‘something that pleases or entertains without real use or value’. Together with its near-synonym caprice (capriccio), fancy was part of a rich semantic network, connecting wit, pleasure, erotic desire, spontaneity, improvisation, surprise, deviation from norms, the trivial and inconsequential. Unpredictable and quirky, it offered many outlets for artistic creativity.

These study days will explore the expressive freedom of fancy (fantaisie, capriccio) in European culture during the eighteenth century—in figure and landscape painting, architecture, and garden design, philosophy and fiction, theatre and music.


Programme :

Jeudi 3 décembre :

14h : Welcome and introduction.

14h15 Chair: Melissa Percival.
• Keynote Speaker — Martin Postle, Modelling for the Fancy Picture : Fact, Fiction, and Fantasy.
Frédéric Ogée, Fancying Nature : The Posterity of Joseph Addison’s’ Pleasures’ in English Enlightenment Culture.

15h30 : Tea and coffee.

16h : Chair: Xavier Cervantes.
John Chu, ‘The Many Peopled Wall’ : Fancy Pictures and Annual Exhibitions in Eighteenth-Century London.
Isabelle Baudino, Picturing the Past : The Fancy Picture and the Historical Imagination in Britain.
Hélène Ibata, British Capricci : From the Picturesque to the Sublime.

18h30 : Viewing of the exhibition Fantasy Figures at the Musée des Augustins.

20h30 : Dinner.

Vendredi 4 décembre :

9h15 : Chair : Muriel Adrien.
• Keynote Speaker — Guillaume Faroult.
Emmanuel Faure-Carricabururu, Figures de fantaisie de Jean-Baptiste Santerre et limites des cadres génériques d’interprétation.

10h30 : Tea and coffee.

11h Chair: Frédéric Ogée.
Christophe Guillouet, La production gravée parisienne au cœur de L’invention d’un genre ? Les «fantaisies» de Poilly et Courtin (1710–1728).
Bénédicte Miyamoto, ‘As Whimsical and Chimearical as their Forms Are’ : Ornamental and Fanciful Motives in English Drawing Books.
Pierre-Henri Biger, De la fantaisie des éventails aux éventails de fantaisie.

12h30 : Lunch.

14h : Chair: Isabelle Baudino.
Vanessa Alayrac, ‘A Butterfly Supporting an Elephant’: Chinoiserie in Eighteenth-Century England, or ‘the Luxuriance of Fancy.
Xavier Cervantes, Réminiscences vénitiennes et hybridité culturelle dans les vues et capricci anglais de Canaletto.
Adrián Fernández Almoguera, Du cabinet privé à la villa suburbaine : caprices et fantaisies artistiques dans la capitale des Lumières espagnoles.

15h30 : Tea and coffee.

16h : Chair : Hélène Dachez.
Laurent Châtel, Fancy a Garden? The Hortulean Pleasures of Imagination and Virtuality.
Nathalie Vincent-Arnaud, Cappricioso, Or a New ‘Grammar in Motion’ in Music and Ballet.
Alice Labourg, ‘Fancy Paints with Hues Unreal’ : Pictorial Fantasy and Literary Creation in Ann Radcliffe’s Gothic Novel.

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