Artibus et Historiae no. 74 (XXXVII)

2016, ISSN 0391-9064

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ANNE VARICK LAUDER - Introduction (pp. 9–11)

This volume of essays dedicated to Paul Joannides, Emeritus Professor of Art History, comes three years after his retirement from the History of Art Department, University of Cambridge, where he taught from 1973. The initiative arose from a group of former doctoral students who wished to express their appreciation and admiration and to recognize with this modest gesture, his invaluable contribution to the field of Art History and to their formation as art historians. When friends, colleagues and students from diverse disciplines and affiliations – universities, museums, art galleries and the private sector – were asked to contribute essays in his honour, the response was overwhelming. This volume, which has been produced unbeknown to Professor Joannides, expresses the high esteem in which he is held.

Raised in North London and educated at Haberdashers’ Aske’s School in Hertfordshire, Professor Joannides completed his undergraduate degree in English and Fine Arts at Trinity College, Cambridge in 1968. He earned his PhD at Trinity in 1974 with his thesis, English Literary Subject-matter in French Painting 1800–1863, supervised by Lee Johnson, renowned expert on Delacroix, who remained his mentor and close friend. In Cambridge he worked as University Assistant Lecturer (1973–1978), University Lecturer (1978–2002), Reader in the History of Art (2002–2004) and finally Professor of the History of Art (2004–2013) with Emeritus status in 2014. He taught a range of courses on Italian Renaissance Art in addition to French Neo-Classicism, Romanticism, Realism and Impressionism and lectured widely on these topics at universities, international conferences and symposia. Professor Joannides is above all a connoisseur of paintings and drawings and an acknowledged expert on the work of such artists as Masaccio, Raphael, Michelangelo, Titian, and Sebastiano del Piombo as well as a specialist on others including Fra Angelico, Botticelli and Leonardo da Vinci. His scholarly opinion continues to be sought by museums and the art trade alike.

Extremely prolific, Professor Joannides’ formidable list of publications – books, essays, exhibition catalogues, articles and reviews – is vast and wide-ranging. He has written extensively on Italian Renaissance Art. His major publications include The Drawings of Raphael (1983), Masaccio and Masolino (1993), Titian to 1518 (2001) and inventory catalogues of drawings by and after Michelangelo in the Louvre, Paris (2003) and the Ashmolean Museum, Oxford (2007). Professor Joannides has also written on French painting of the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries (Renoir: Life and Works, 2000) as well as on film and contemporary British art. He has also authored and contributed to, numerous exhibition catalogues. Scholarly yet accessible, his wonderful literary style, his light and witty pen, go hand in hand with his ability to hone in on the essence of his chosen subjects. A complete list of Professor Joannides’ published work is appended to the end of this volume.

We would be remiss not to mention the professional and personal qualities of Professor Joannides admired by so many. Those of us fortunate to have studied under his guidance or spent time with him have benefitted immeasurably from his keen eye, wide-ranging knowledge and generosity. He continues to share his talents with many in his retirement. Professor Joannides’ visual acuity, penchant for detail and gift for concise and vivid descriptions may be related, in part, to his keen interest in film. As an undergraduate, he was an active member of the Cambridge Film Society, serving as editor of its Programme in 1966–1967. He published articles in Sight and Sound (1970–1971) and The Cambridge Quarterly (1984), the latter on the work of Francis Ford Coppola. In fact, his first publications were about film and he remains to this day extremely knowledgeable on the subject with a special interest in film noir.

Professor Joannides’ interest in Italian Renaissance Art, specifically drawings, was likely kindled by Michael Jaffé, who taught at the History of Art Department in Cambridge and was later Director of the Fitzwilliam Museum. Professor Jaffé, an expert on Northern and Renaissance drawings, was instrumental in making the Fitzwilliam Museum collections central to teaching in the History of Art Department. During one of many visits to the Fitzwilliam Print Room, Professor Joannides was accused of studying drawings so intensely that according to the curator, he managed to ‘bore holes in them with his eyes.’ Indeed, in order to absorb fully the style of an artist’s draughtsmanship Professor Joannides would advise students to study drawings so intently that ‘your eyes become saturated.’ Leaving no stone unturned he also advocated a thorough study of all schools, including drawings attributed to other artists as well as rejected and anonymous drawings. All were potential sources for wrongly classed or undetected drawings. He equally revered the study of copies, which might reveal lost original compositions by an artist.

A frequent visitor to museums as well as private collections, salerooms and galleries, the London art trade has always been of great interest to Professor Joannides. He also encourages others to engage in it as well, inviting colleagues and friends to preview auctions in his company in his quest to detect interesting and newly discovered works of art. His late-lamented wife, Marianne Joannides, art historian and consultant in Old Master Drawings at Phillips, later Bonhams, in London, shared with him a passion for drawings and a curiosity for the unattributed. Indeed, Professor Joannides’ approach has left an indelible mark on his many students, colleagues and friends. Several of the papers in this volume reflect his influence.

Some of Professor Joannides’ other qualities include exacting standards, high principles and unwavering loyalty. Holding his own work to the highest standard he encourages others to do the same. Always questioning and not taking anything for granted, he would remind students to check and double-check (‘even worse than making your own mistakes is repeating those of others’) while treating his doctoral students as equals, often quoting their views. Indeed, he is fastidious about citing the observations of others, even non-art historian friends at exhibitions. Though candid in his opinions, his pastoral side was experienced by many. If one had any difficulty, be it a looming deadline or administrative conundrum, Professor Joannides would willingly avail himself to help a friend. Indeed, his candour, loyalty and capacity for friendship are among his much-cherished qualities.

This volume is the result of a collective effort of many. Several friends and colleagues who did not contribute essays were nevertheless instrumental in bringing it to fruition. We give our warm thanks to Victoria Avery, Giuliana Barone, Mary Beckinsale, Sir Timothy Clifford, Alec Cobbe, Dominique Cordellier, Carlo Corsato, Jill Dunkerton, Miguel Falomir, Emma Jones, Sylvia Ferino-Pagden, Thomas Heneage, Philip Lindley, Ana González Mozo, Martin Kemp, Thierry Morel, Rebecca Norris, Sir Nicholas Penny, Carol Plazzotta, Cristiana Romalli, Letizia Treves, Jon Whiteley, Linda Whiteley and Jonny Yarker. Our apologies in advance for any unintentional omissions.

Artibus et Historiae has always supported Professor Joannides’ work, particularly in recent years, by publishing four beautifully produced articles. We wish to extend our deepest gratitude to Professor Józef Grabski, Editor-in-chief, for publishing this volume of essays, and to Dr. Joanna Wolańska, Secretary of the Editorial Board, for its successful realisation. Special thanks are due to Nigel Pilkington and Morlin Ellis for their invaluable support and excellent advice.

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