Art in Times of War and Peace: Legacies of Early Modern Loot and Repair

  • Event open to the public without registration
  • Beginn: 08.05.2024 09:00
  • Ende: 10.05.2024 18:00
  • Vortragende(r): Conference
  • Ort: Villino Stroganoff, Via Gregoriana 22, 00187 Rome
  • Kontakt:
Art in Times of War and Peace: Legacies of Early Modern Loot and Repair
Art in Times of War and Peace is an international, interdisciplinary conference that addresses the ways in which conflict and its resolution have historically moved, modified, and reclassified art objects in the long early modern period.

The conference interrogates the material, ethical, legal, political, and narrative implications of the claiming and reclaiming of objects in early modern war- and peacetime, as well as the ongoing resonance of these issues into the present.

A category of objects that exists entirely as a function of violence, the term “loot” describes a relationship of possession, if not more specifically of dispossession. This conference revisits the pre-modern origins of the discourse around cultural property with an eye to the challenges facing museums today. It investigates the long history of the restitution of objects and its repercussions for what is accessible to art history, where, and in what condition.

“Art in Times of War and Peace” is organized by Francesca Borgo (BHMPI/University of St Andrews) and Julia Vázquez (BHMPI) as part of the Lise Meitner Group Decay, Loss, and Conservation in Art History.


MAY 7 [conference participants only]

18:30: Welcome
19:00: Dinner
20:00: Walking tour of looted Roman art by Dr. Christopher Stephen Siwicki (Norwegian Institute)


10:00: Introduction by Francesca Borgo and Julia Vázquez

10:30: Panel One. Loot in Epic Literature (chaired by Guido Rebecchini, The Courtald)

Tancredi Artico (Università degli Studi di Ferrara), Pilgrimage or Raid? The Italian Epic after Tasso at a Crossroad

Jessica Goethals (University of Alabama), Literary Looting after the 1527 Sack of Rome

11:30: Coffee break

12:00: Panel Two. Loot in the Law (chaired by Mary-Ann Middelkoop, Pitt Rivers Museum/St Peters College, University of Oxford)

Sara Petrilli-Jones (BHMPI/Yale University/Scuola Normale Superiore di Pisa), Restoration, Redemption, Return: Restitution under Early Modern jus in bello

Matthew Cleary (Max Planck Institute for Comparative Public Law and International Law), Looting, Ownership, and Annotations: Readers’ Engagement with Early Editions of Hugo Grotius’s De Iure Belli ac Pacis

13:00: Lunch [participants only]

14:00: Panel Three. Movement and Its Consequences (chaired by Francesco Guidi, BHMPI)

Kelley Helmstutler Di Dio (University of Vermont), How to Steal Sculptures in Early Modern Italy

Karen Rose Mathews (University of Miami), Loss, Ruin, Fragment, and Regeneration: Recontextualizing Plunder in the Medieval and Early Modern Mediterranean

Luciano Pezzolo (Università Ca’ Foscari Venezia), The Redistributive Function of Looting in Renaissance Italy

15:30: Coffee break

16:15: Presentation of the Arte Salvata project by Stéphane Verger, director of the Museo Nazionale Romano

17:00: Opening keynote by Erin Thompson, John Jay College of Criminal Justice, CUNY
Looted and Found: Why We Look for Looted Cultural Property



10:00: SPECIAL PANEL by SNF research project The Inheritance of Looting: Exhibiting a Looted Inheritance (chaired by Francesca Borgo, BHMPI/University of St Andrews)

Beate Fricke (Universität Bern), Visualizing Gaps in the History of Cannons

Jakob Weber (Universität Bern), Transitive Loot: Armor as Multi-Layered Mediums of Identification

Sasha Rossman (Universität Bern), Things Fall Apart: On Burgundian Banners and Disintegration as a Motor for Historical Mediation (1476–Today)

11:30: Coffee break

12:00: Panel Two. Case Study: Banners (chaired by Ronah Sadan, BHMPI)

Karin Tetteris (Stockholms universitet/Armémuseum), Monuments of the Realm: Depicting Captured Military Flags in Seventeenth-Century Sweden

Sarah C. Rosenthal (BHMPI/Harvard University), Loot/Tool: Urs Graf, the Juliusbanner, and Inversions of Loot

13:00: Lunch [participants only]

14:00: SPECIAL PANEL organized and chaired by Elsje van Kessel (University of St Andrews): Loot on Water

Sara Rich (Coastal Carolina University), Flotsam, Jetsam, Lagan, and Derelict in Native Waters

Roberta Cruciata (Università degli Studi di Palermo), Stolen Art in the Mediterranean Sea in Modern Times: Understanding the Cultural Impact in Sicilian Decorative Arts Studies

Joseph Litts (Princeton University), Painting Loss, Picturing Catastrophe: Claude-Joseph Vernet’s Shipwrecks in the Eighteenth-Century North Atlantic

15:45: Coffee break

16:15: Panel Four. Case Study: Bells (chaired by Leendert van der Miesen, BHMPI)

Anke Fischer-Kattner (Universität der Bundeswehr München), Phase Transformations: Metal Objects in the Rhenish Theater of War (Late Seventeenth/Early Eighteenth Century)

Alex Rodríguez Suárez (Real Academia de España en Roma), Recycling Bells: The Case of the Ottoman Empire

MAY 10

9:30: Visit to the Museo dell’Opacitá with curator Dr. Gaia Delpino (Museo delle Civiltà) [participants only]

12:30: Visit to the Stanze di San Filippo Neri at the Chiesa di Santa Maria in Vallicella with Dr. Olimpia Ratto Vaquer [participants only]

14:00: Lunch [participants only]

15:00: Panel. Objects in/and the Art Museum (chaired by Julia Vázquez, BHMPI)

Ilona Katzew (Los Angeles County Museum of Art), The Imperative and Pitfalls of Tracing Colonial Artifacts: The Mobility of Antonio de Torres’s Elevation of the Cross

Jefferson de Albuquerque Mendes (Universidade Estadual do Rio de Janeiro), Leaving a Trail of the Sacred: Deviant Objects between Sixteenth- and Seventeenth-Century Brazil and Europe

Katarzyna Wagner (Uniwersytet Warszawski), Swedish Conquests from the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth: The Outline of the Project

16:30: Coffee break

17:00: Closing keynote by Ananda Cohen-Aponte, Cornell University, The Transmutability of Objects in the Era of Andean Insurgencies

18:00: Final discussion and closing remarks


In collaboration with:

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