Gernsheim Study Days: Exploring Rome through Drawing in the 16th Century

Gernsheim Study Days

  • Public event without registration
  • Beginn: 06.03.2024
  • Ende: 08.03.2024
  • Vortragende(r): Conference
  • Ort: Villino Stroganoff, Via Gregoriana 22, RM 00187 Rome. In person and online
  • Kontakt:
Gernsheim Study Days: Exploring Rome through Drawing in the 16th Century
In 1532, the painter Maarten van Heemskerck (1498–1574) set out on a journey from Haarlem to Rome. A collection of 94 sheets with about 160 drawings in the Berlin Kupferstichkabinett provides a visual testimony to his five-year stay – it is one of the most extensive by an artist traveling to Rome in the 16th century.

It is primarily thanks to his topographical views and vedute that the Rome of the 1530s became visually tangible in a comprehensive way for the first time. With single views of mostly ancient monuments, square vistas, and broad panoramas, his drawings have shaped our perception of the city, even though they often show reality in a filtered way.

The Berlin collection of drawings will be presented in its entirety for the first time in an exhibition of the Kupferstichkabinett in cooperation with the Bibliotheca Hertziana – Max Planck Institute for Art History from April 26 to August 4, 2024.

The 2024 Gernsheim Study Days take the exhibition as an opportunity to inquire into the practices of topographical drawing in Cinquecento Rome, both during and after Van Heemskerck’s time. Rome was no longer only a pilgrimage destination: it was also a center of attraction and creativity for artists from near and far. At the same time, the city and its buildings themselves became the subject of artistic exploration, especially in the medium of drawing. What was observed was documented and specified in words and pictures: ancient buildings were surveyed and drawn, and the topography described and depicted in guidebooks, treatises, and maps. Printed series attest to the growing interest of a broader clientele.

The conference aims to methodically analyze the draughtsmen’s view of Rome and to better understand the mediality and function of their works. This will be done on the basis of case studies of individual persons; monuments or types of representation; as well as by means of comparative observations and syn- or diachronic analysis of concrete phenomena. The temporal framework is the 16th century; the topographical framework is the city of Rome and its surroundings.

Keynote Speaker: Ilja M. Veldman

Speakers: Alessandro Brodini, Cammy Brothers, Giulia Ceriani Sebregondi, Susanna de Beer, Greta Faraone, Ryan Gregg, Michele Guida Conte, Agnes Kusler, Marianna Mancini, Elizabeth Merrill, Daantje Meuwissen, Martin Raspe, Barbara Sielhorst, Karin Sprang

Concept and organization: Tatjana Bartsch, Tanja Michalsky, Johannes Röll

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Caption: Maarten van Heemskerck, View of the Forum Romanum (Detail), 1535, Pen and brown ink, wash. Kupferstichkabinett Berlin, Inv. 6696r, Photo: Volker H. Schneider



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