Henriette Hertz Lecture

The Bibliotheca Hertziana – Max-Planck-Institute for Art History plays host every year to a festive evening lecture in honor of its founder Henriette Hertz (1846–1913). For this occasion, an outstanding scholar is invited to share some insights drawn from his or her current research. On the same day, we commemorate our farsighted founder by laying a wreath on her grave at the Roman non-Catholic cemetery (Cimitero Acattolico).

The selection of the invited lecturer reflects the cosmopolitan openness of Henriette Hertz and her diverse interests, which in addition to art history also encompassed other cultural areas. The chosen scholar is invited to honor our multifaceted founder by presenting research that has innovated new methods or that addresses novel or neglected themes.

The process of selecting the lecturer draws upon suggestions and recommendations made by researchers at the Hertziana.


Prof. Giovanna Zapperi, Université de Tours: Towards a Media History of the Women's Liberation Movement

Zapperi’s lecture drew on the research and exhibition project devoted to the legacy of French actress, video maker, and activist Delphine Seyrig. Mostly known as one of the leading actresses of 1960s–1970s French cinema, during the 1970s Seyrig became a media activist and a feminist working collaboratively within the framework of the women’s liberation movement.


Prof. Emily Braun, Hunter College, The City University of New York: Giorgio de Chirico and the Modern Literary Imagination

A painter poet and a poet’s painter, Giorgio de Chirico arguably influenced the 20th century literary imagination more than any other modernist artist. This lecture considers why his art entranced the American poets John Ashbery, Elizabeth Bishop, Sylvia Plath, and Mark Strand


Prof. Ramie Targoff, Jehuda Reinharz Professor for Humanities, Brandeis University: Proxy Wooings and Weddings. From Shakespeare to Rubens

Why does Rubens’s painting of the wedding of Maria de’ Medici and Henri IV lack a portrait of the groom? This paper explores the history of the proxy wedding and the theoretical problems raised by such ceremonies when confronted with expectations of affective bonds between spouses.

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