Viewing on the Move - The Roving Eye of Early Modern Travelers

  • Date: Jun 19, 2018
  • Time: 13:00
  • Speaker: Niall Atkinson
  • Location: Villino Stroganoff, Via Gregoriana 22, 00187 Rom
  • Host: Bibliotheca Hertziana - Max-Planck-Institut für Kunstgeschichte
  • Contact: paulinyi@biblhertz.it
Viewing on the Move - The Roving Eye of Early Modern Travelers
As complex systems with multiple institutional, civic, and religious topographies, early modern cities presented the foreigner with a beguiling series of mysteries. What tools, therefore, were available for gaining some kind of understanding of a foreign society that would allow travelers to connect their experience to home?
This research seminar explores the ways in which Italian travelers in the Renaissance built mental maps of cities by moving around and through them, using architectural description as a mode of penetrating the barriers that separated cultures. Such descriptions, based on habits of mobile viewing necessary for comprehending the dynamic nature of urban environments, deployed a common cross-cultural vocabulary (counting and measuring walls and streets) through which understanding the design of cities could lead to insights into the social identities of their inhabitants. Research Seminar organized by Danielle Abdon Guimaraes Niall Atkinson is Associate Professor of Architectural History in the Department of Art History at the University of Chicago. He is the author of The Noisy Renaissance: Sound, Architecture, and Florentine Urban Life (Penn State University Press, 2016), an excavation of the historical meaning of sound and construction of urban space in Renaissance Florence. His research focuses the experience of space and the reception of architecture in early modern Europe.
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