Art and Ideas on the Move, 1400-1600, the Annual Renaissance Postgraduate Symposium

‘[H]e who changes his country or place of habitation seems to change his nature, talents, character, and personal habits, insomuch that sometimes he seems to be not the same man but another, and all dazed and stupefied’  

Giorgio Vasari on Rosso Fiorentino, trans. Gaston du C. Vere (1909)

In tracing the patterns of movement of people in and through different geographic regions – whether as merchants, pilgrims, scholars, soldiers, vagrants or the like – the highly mobile nature of many communities from the medieval to the early modern period has come to the fore in recent scholarship with particular clarity. As part of this scholarly trend, art historians have increasingly adopted the term ‘mobility’ as a byword for the study of the cultural effects of not only the migration of people (most notably artists and patrons) but also the concomitant flow between different geographic locales of images, objects, artefacts, materials, techniques and ideas.

This symposium seeks to explore how modern perceptions of artistic practice and visual experience in the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries have been, and continue to be, remapped according to this new academic topos of movement, restlessness and itinerancy. In particular, this symposium intends to address the following questions: what sits behind the label of ‘mobility’? Does the study of migration and movement simply reformulate age-old art-historical concerns or does it offer a new and profitable avenue for exploring the interplay between notions of artistic exchange, stylistic development and, above all, regional or cultural identity? Is it possible to explore the nature of artistic encounter within (or indeed without) Europe in these terms or is this question rooted in, and bound by, the very notions of cultural coherence and geographic fixity that the study of mobility challenges?


10.30 – 11.00           Registration

11.00 – 11.15           Welcome and opening remarks

Session 1: At the crossroads – chaired by Emily Markham

11.15 – 11.35           Genevieve Verdigel (The Warburg Institute, London): The Magnetism of the Montagna workshop : Reconsidering the dialogues between engravers active in the Veneto circa 1500

11.35 – 11.55           Giulio Dalvit (The Courtauld Institute, London): The Presence of Northern European Artists in Siena in the Fifteenth Century

11.55 – 12.10           Discussion

12.10 – 12.20           Short break                                  

Session 2: Travelling objects and styles – chaired by Peter Crack

12.20 – 12.40           Elizabeth Nicholson (The Courtauld Institute, London): The Movement of the Este Bacchanals: from Court City to Global Significance

12.40 – 13.00           Marcello Calogero (Scuola Normale Superiore, Pisa): Travelling drawings: rethinking Raphael in Bologna

13.00 – 13.15           Discussion

13.15 – 14.15           Break for lunch (lunch provided for speakers only in Seminar Room 1)

Session 3: Activating spaces – chaired by Saida Bondini

14.15 – 14.35           Erin Giffin (Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität, Munich): Seeking devotion: relocations of the Santa Casa di Loreto

14.35 – 14.55           Laura Maria Somenzi (Emory University, Atlanta): Painting’s Moving Effects in the Teodelinda Chapel in Monza

14.55 – 15.10           Discussion

15.10 – 15.40           Tea/coffee break (Seminar Rooms 1 & 2)

Session 4: Moving ideas – chaired by Anna Merlini

15.40 – 16.00           Adriana Concin (The Courtauld Institute of Art, London): Travelling Landscapes and the Construction of Identity between Florence and Vienna in the second half of the sixteenth-century

16.00 – 16.20           Angela Benza (Université de Genève, Geneva): “When duety shall move very castles of stone”: Mobility and pictorial performance in Hilliard’s Cumberland’s miniature (c. 1590)

16.20 – 16.45           Carolin Alff (Universität Heidelberg, Heidelberg): Printing “the Other”: the Mobility of Printers and Printing Molds in Germany (1493-1580)

16.45 – 17.15           Discussion and closing remarks

17.15 – 18.15          Reception

11:00am, 25 May 2018

The Courtauld Institute of Art, Somerset House, Strand, London