Art of the Modern Age in a Global Context
The research focus of the department lies on the global ramifications of Italian art from the early modern period to modernism, in the expansion of the Bibliotheca Hertziana's research activities toward modern and contemporary art, in questions of materiality and mediality, in the intellectual history of the discipline of art history and in digital art history.
The research initiative Rome Contemporary launched by Department Weddigen suggests re-evaluating the important contribution of the Roman art scene to the history of the twentieth and twenty-first century.
The early modern materiality and mediality section is devoted to the study of the bodily dimension of works of art (their materiality) and the role it plays in the way these objects communicate (their mediality).
The focus on Italy in a global context aims to recast our understanding of Italian early modern art and its fortune by focusing on artistic developments occurring outside of the Italian peninsula and its urban centers.
Present day art historical research needs always to be aware of its own historicity. Based on the ongoing project examining the global reception of Heinrich Wölfflin's Kunstgeschichtliche Grundbegriffe
(Principles of Art History) and the publication of his Complete Works
, both of great importance for the study of Italian art, the history of art history should be conceived in a transnational perspective as a migration of the ideas, texts and also of the authors themselves.
Dealing with questions that arise from the development in the digital humanities plays an important role in the research focus of the Department Weddigen.
Giovan Pietro Bellori's The Lives of the Modern Painters, Sculptors, and Architects
published in 1672 is one of the most important and influential source texts of the 17th century. The unbroken research interest proves the undisputed significance of Bellori's writings long appreciated both for its literary complexity and as a source for methodological and art-historiographical research as much as for its documentary qualities.
Art theory in the years around 1900 explored the foundations of aesthetic production and reception.