Jacques de Caso

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Jacques de Caso is a French-born American historian who specializes in the literature and history of pre-modern art in Europe,[1] principally late eighteenth- and nineteenth-century French and German neo-classicism and Romanticism.


Educated in part by his post-surrealist associations after World War II (he was among the intimates of Hans Bellmer), he studied humanities at Free University of Berlin and then studied art history at the Sorbonne and at Yale, which awarded him a Ph.D. in 1962. He has held the Henri Focillon Fellowship in France and in the United States has received a John Simon Guggenheim Fellowship in 1972.

Teaching career[edit]

He taught these subjects both in the United States at the University of Chicago Graduate School (1962–1965) and as invited professor at Harvard (1975-1976 academic year), and in Europe the Collège de France, Paris, (1981–1982).


De Caso is best known for his fundamental contributions to the history of European sculpture from the end of the 18th century to the beginning of the 20th. His work has also involved French neo-classical painting (Jacques-Louis David in particular) and thought and theory concerning art in France around 1800.

He is an authority on the works of David (d'Angers) [2] whose unpublished writings he is editing for publication. Together with Patricia Sanders he conducted a re-appraisal of the Rodin collection at the California Palace of the Legion of Honor (San Francisco) and with Sanders produced a newly translated and annotated edition of Rodin's book Art.

He was instrumental in the re-discovery of James Pradier and discovered the drawings and writings of the previously little-known sculptor Théophile Bra. With Sylvain Bellenger, he is organizing for the Musée Historial de la Vendée and other museums in Europe and America the first museum show dedicated to Félicie de Fauveau, the woman sculptor Stendhal discovered and praised.

With Petra ten-Doesschate-Chu, he served as editor of the Princeton (University Press) Series in 19th Century Art, Culture & Society.

The exhibit "Metamorphoses in Nineteenth Century Sculpture" he organized with Jane Wasserman,[3] pioneered the recognition and study of serial sculpture—industrial production of sculptural works in various scales, materials, etc.-- and all it implied in terms of art, society and economics.

He assisted Baron Philippe de Rothschild and Baroness de Rothschild during the early stages of their acquisition and study of art objects prior to Baron Philippe’s creation of the private Wine Art Museum (musée privé du vin dans l’art), 1962, at Château Mouton-Rothschild, Pauillac, France.

De Caso has regularly indulged his interests in other fields as well. These range from translating the writing of Tatjana Gsovsky on ballet in post-World War II Germany to collaborating with James Norwood Pratt on The Wine Bibber's Bible, the first book-length appraisal of California's wines [4]

Notes and references[edit]

  1. ^ "Meeting with Prof. Jacques de Caso". Retrieved 2010-06-15. 
  2. ^ David d'Angers: sculptural communication in the age of romanticism, Princeton University Press, ISBN 0-691-04078-8, ISBN 978-0-691-04078-3
  3. ^ Metamorphoses in Nineteenth-Century Sculpture, (with J. Wasserman et alia), Fogg Art Museum, Harvard University, 1975
  4. ^ de Caso, Jacques; James Norwood Pratt, Jacques De Caso (1971). The wine bibber's bible. 101 Productions. ISBN 0-89286-182-7.