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Page from a “catalogue raisonné” of shells and other curiosities of nature, published in 1736 by M. Gersaint, a Parisian art dealer. Connoisseurs were encouraged to see these curious objects for themselves at Gersaint’s gallery on the Pont Nôtre-Dame. Images courtesy of the Wildenstein Plattner Institute, Inc.

What is a Catalogue Raisonné and Why is it Useful?

Catalogue Raisonné Defined A “catalogue raisonné” is a compendium of an artist’s complete works or a defined subset of works, sometimes with additional information or commentary included in the publication. Some publications list each work with a title and a basic description of its physical properties, such as medium and dimensions. Other publications contain provenance, […]

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The Henry Certigny Papers: a peek into the work and life of an art expert

I began working on the Henry Certigny Papers in April 2019 to prepare the collection for digitization. These archives, which document the life and work of the Belgian poet, writer, and art historian best known for his research on French artist Henri “Le Douanier” Rousseau, consisted of eighty archival boxes of stacked papers with almost

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WPI Oral Histories

The WPI Oral Histories provide unprecedented firsthand accounts from art historians, archivists, gallerists, and others with close connections to WPI’s research projects. Issued in installments throughout 2021, each oral history will complement the WPI’s unique material. The WPI’s Oral History Series accompanies its forthcoming Catalogue Raisonné Projects. Some explore the artist’s life and work, and most cover scholarly

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The Things of Friendship

Still lifes are often considered a minor genre or a plain subject of study; in fact, the genre is not as static and silent as we think. In the nineteenth century, the genre revealed the intimate bonds that united several Impressionist painters. As discreet witnesses to the daily life of these artists, still lifes can

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Théodore Duret in Japan

Almost 150 years ago, Théodore Duret (1838-1927), a defender of the Impressionists, went on a world tour with Henry Cernuschi.1 It was on this fateful tour, from 1871 to 1872, that Duret encountered the arts of Japan. Of the first stops in London and the United States, Duret left no written record of his travels.

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