Events Archive

Location: Villino Stroganoff, Via Gregoriana 22, 00187 Rom

Proxy Wooings and Weddings. From Shakespeare to Rubens

Henriette Hertz Lecture
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. [more]

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. [more]

Fumetti underground tra ricerca e festival mainstream

Questo Workshop pone a tema diverse tendenze storiche e contemporanee del fumetto underground, riunendo prospettive di ricerca accademica, attività creativa e divulgazione attraverso eventi culturali di portata nazionale e internazionale. Contenitore elastico, il fumetto underground indica sia una categoria estetica adatta ad esprimere diverse istanze autoriali (genere e tradizione di riferimento sul piano narrativo e visuale, esplorazione di determinati contenuti, stilistica), che una serie di pratiche di produzione e distribuzione alternative alla stampa istituzionale che esercitano una sostanziale influenza sul mondo del fumetto mainstream. [more]

Seeing like Dante: Similis and the Reader's Eye

In this illustrated lecture, Bill Sherman will introduce his recent work on reading—and readers’ responses—as a visual rather than verbal phenomenon. Between the 13th and 17th centuries, in fact, there are all kinds of overlooked traces of visual responses to texts, from isolated doodles to fully fledged illustrative schemes. But we have never really known what to do with them, or even what to call them. [more]
Brancusi’s work Maiastra will be the starting point of a reflection on the perception and reception of artworks inspired by folk tales and national mythologies in early 20th Century Balkans. [more]

The Voices, Sounds, and Images of Europe

Interdisciplinary Conference
Organised within the framework of the European Pavilion in Rome and dedicated to the many voices, languages and images that make up Europe, this afternoon at Bibliotheca Hertziana is divided into three programmes that combine presentations, listening sessions and exchanges with the guests and amongst the audience. [more]
The Technical Study of Bernini’s Bronzes is a collaborative multi-disciplinary project that has begun a comprehensive technical study of all of Bernini’s complete oeuvre in bronze. In the past year, the travelling team has studied bronzes in North American and Australian museums and will continue technical studies in Europe in 2023-2026. [more]
Inspired by Nietzsche’s remark that "madness in individuals is somewhat rare, but in groups, parties, nations, and epochs it is the rule", the book studies the representation of mental disorders across the media, ancient and modern. [more]

Research Seminar Series: "Shifting Images and Ideas of Europe’s East: An Art Historical Approach from the Margins"

1. Research Seminar: “Integration through Exhibition. On Large-scale Art Shows in Cold-War Divided Europe”
Speaking of Europe often presupposes the existence of a stable unity of people with a common history, culture and identity. Yet it is not only the current political crisis that reveals major imbalances within the continent, where the gap between ‘West’ and ‘East’ looms particularly large. This series of research seminars offers the opportunity to read Europe's East from a historical perspective, in its relationship to other European regions, some of them (self-)declared as the center, as well as to the neighboring continent of Asia. [more]
The research seminar is dedicated to public monuments and the way they reflect and construct historical narratives. Its focus lies on the case study of Belarus, where contemporary artists engage with official monumental sculpture through critical interventions. [more]
In light of shifting theoretical paradigms in art history, reflecting on methods and their cultural frameworks is crucial and urgent. Contemporary efforts to evolve beyond the power relations of center and periphery and to redefine the relations between ideas, things, people, spaces and temporalities are fostered by current societal and political changes. From this arises the demand for an awareness of the intellectual genealogies and ideological implications of art historical methods. [more]

Screening & Artist Talk with Mykola Ridnyi

This film seminar presents a screening of Mykola Ridnyi’s film Temerari and its research material, followed by an artist talk and public discussion. Russia’s attack on its neighbor is driven by a nationalist ideology, yet Russian propaganda justifies the invasion as one aimed against “fascists”. Mykola Ridnyi’s film Temerari (21 min, 2021) tackles this subject. [more]

Parures et Parades: Being Signare in Senegal around 1800

The lecture will focus on material culture, that is, the objects in use and the representations of an exceptional community: the Signares, mixed-race women from Saint-Louis du Sénégal and the island of Gorée, who, through their matrimonial alliances with European merchants, formed an elite. [more]
Quali sono le qualità attribuite allo spazio, a quello della città, degli edifici, dei musei, nella lenta costituzione di una “identità nazionale” italiana durante l’Ottocento fino agli anni del fascismo? In che modo la spazialità contribuisce a forgiare l’identità? [more]
Reign or colony? Charles V’s succession to the Spanish Crown (1516) and the inclusion of Sicily into the domains of the empire visibly affected the socio-political and cultural conditions of the island. These transformations were mirrored in the artistic and architectonical production of Cinquecento and the beginning of the Seicento, and may be interpreted both as manifestations or consequences to the Hapsburg presence on the island, and as forms of expression of local communities' identities. [more]
In light of shifting theoretical paradigms in art history, reflecting on methods and their cultural frameworks is crucial and urgent. Contemporary efforts to evolve beyond the power relations of center and periphery and to redefine the relations between ideas, things, people, spaces and temporalities are fostered by current societal and political changes. From this arises the demand for an awareness of the intellectual genealogies and ideological implications of art historical methods. [more]

Ad tartaros: Art in Italy and Mongol Asia circa 1300

The thirteenth-century rise of the Mongol Empire brought objects, peoples, and technologies into new and accelerated contact. This lecture explores the impact of this contact in Italian states around 1300, at a moment of intense artistic change. [more]
The panel seeks to explore the visuality of the Russian-Ukrainian War, how its images are constructed and distributed, how they function within the social and political contexts, how they shape and transform those contexts, what antagonisms, continuities and discontinuities they create. [more]

The Fragility of Pastel

Pastel is a difficult medium for art history. Its origin is obscure, its classification complex, its status suspended between painting and drawing, between preparatory and finished work. One thing about pastel is clear, though: its extreme susceptibility to damage. [more]

The "Safe Outward Journey" of Rosalba Carriera’s Pastels and the Protection of the Three Kings

Keynote Lecture - part of the Workshop "The Fragility of Pastel"
Rosalba Carriera (1673–1757) was known throughout Europe for her extraordinary works in pastel. She was the most celebrated woman artist in eighteenth-century Venice. Apprehensive about her paintings’ well-being, Rosalba was anxious to protect them during their perilous journeys to their patrons and secure their future survival. [more]

Transparent Visuality: the Micaceous Image in Early Modern Europe

Research Seminar
Extracted in Siberia and moved in Anglo-Russian trade, the foliaceous mineral muscovite (white mica) fed the imaginations of early modern painters, poets, and natural philosophers alike. This seminar will focus on a group of micaceous objects — portrait overlays, embroidered cabinets, scientific instruments, and a perspective treatise — that dramatize a culture of interaction between art and science, amateurs and experts, foreign travel and domesticity in the long seventeenth century. [more]
In light of shifting theoretical paradigms in art history, reflecting on methods and their cultural frameworks is crucial and urgent. Contemporary efforts to evolve beyond the power relations of center and periphery and to redefine the relations between ideas, things, people, spaces and temporalities are fostered by current societal and political changes. From this arises the demand for an awareness of the intellectual genealogies and ideological implications of art historical methods. [more]

Embodying Europe in the Early-Modern Period

Research Seminar
In the early-modern period, a vibrant debate about Europe’s political fate, its borders, and its identity emerged. While travelogues enhanced the knowledge of non-European cultures, the growing news media contributed to the discourse on Europe as well by reporting continuously on its contemporary history. [more]

Multimodal and Embodied AI for Digital Humanities

Research Seminar
Recent progress in the Computer Vision and Natural Language Processing communities have made it possible to connect Vision and Language together in a variety of different tasks which lie at the intersection of Vision, Language, and Embodied AI. Those tasks range from retrieving images or part of images given textual queries, to generating meaningful descriptions of images, answering questions and navigating agents in unseen environments via natural language instructions. [more]

Art to Numbers - Ph.D. Seminar

Ph.D. seminar
Practical implementation and theoretical analysis of visual similarity in the context of (digital) art history, with a short hands-on introduction to the ImageGraph tool and invites participants to discuss how digital methods can assist art historical research methodologies. [more]

La Cappella Sansevero a Napoli. Raimondo di Sangro e la cultura del barocco romano

Research Seminar
Raimondo di Sangro (1710-1771), settimo principe di Sansevero e committente della Cappella Sansevero a Napoli, si formò a Roma presso i gesuiti. Tale esperienza fu cruciale per la sua vicenda intellettuale, e finì per determinare il programma figurativo del suo tempio gentilizio. [more]

'The Unbreakable Wall'. Saint Sophia in Kyiv, between War and Politics

Research Seminar
The event is meant as a conversation on the cultural and political conditions affecting the study, conservation and symbolic value of a major extant monument from Kyivan Rus’: the Cathedral of Saint Sophia in Kyiv. Selected scholars will present and participate in discussions on Russophone historiography and the monument’s latest life as a museum and as a symbol of national identity, in light of recent rumors about war dangers threatening the church. [more]

Scenographies of Surveillance. The British Intelligence at Cinecittà, 1944-45

Research Seminar
What happens to a “factory of dreams” in times of war? Cinecittà, the Fascist-built Hollywood-on-the-Tiber, played a key role in the havoc of battle and occupation and post-World War II reconstruction. [more]
1960s-1970s countercultural practices have often raised a dilemma, within or against institutions? Over the past decades, many artists and cultural workers have explored an alternative, the creation of countercultural institutions. [more]

The Smell of Paint: Towards an Olfactory History of 19th-Century Painting

Research Seminar
Since the publishing of De Collica pictonum (1757) by the famous physician Tronchin, there have been numerous publications and debates about the medical dangers attributed to the smell of paint. At the turn of the century, while the manufacture of colors was gradually industrialized, this threat played an important role in the material culture by encouraging the development of many odorless paints and varnishes. [more]
Questo research seminar si incentra su alcuni fenomeni emergenti nell’ambito della Controcultura italiana tra anni Settanta e Ottanta. [more]

Film Seminar "La rivoluzione siamo noi (Arte in Italia 1967 – 1977)"

Film Seminar
Il film La rivoluzione siamo noi (Arte in Italia 1967-1977), prodotto e distribuito da Luce-Cinecittà, sarà proiettato nel Villino Stroganoff seguito da una discussione con la regista (Ilaria Freccia), l’autore (Ludovico Pratesi) e la Presidente di Cinecittà (Chiara Sbarigia). [more]

The Perfection of Nature: Animals, Humans, and Race in the Renaissance

Research Seminar
The Renaissance world – from the Mediterranean to Mexico City to the high mountains of the Andes – was marked by a lingering fascination with breeding. [more]

A Technology of Transparency

Research Seminar
Today, glass is ubiquitous, from window glass to tableware, and from eyeglasses to glass fibres, even to the extent to become almost invisible. However, this ubiquity has not always been there. [more]
The seminar will unpack the notion of 'iconographic silence' to consider historical forms of epistemological resistance and practice-based methodologies able to hijack those structures still contributing to the concealment of the Libyan Genocide. [more]

"Values Resemble a Dance, Not a Statue" – Sergei Eisenstein's Capital Project

Research Seminar
Sergei Eisenstein’s planned film adaptation of Karl Marx’s Capital stands as one of the most enigmatic projects in the history of cinema. Though never realized, it has haunted the imagination of many filmmakers, historians, and philosophers to the present day. A recent look into Eisenstein’s archive revealed the full scope of his plans: between October 1927 and September 1928, he gradually transformed his working diaries into an editing board. This "visual instruction in the dialectical method", as Eisenstein himself called his project, comprises over 500 pages of notes, drawings, press clippings, expression diagrams, plans for articles, negatives from October, theoretical reflections and extensive quotations. What can be seen and read is not a film but a series of variations on the themes of economy and capitalist exploitation. [more]
Referred to as "potentially the Pompeii of East Africa", the ambition to liken the ruined city of Kua in the Mafia archipelago in today’s Tanzania with one of the most famous ruined sites in Europe could hardly have been greater and continues to overshadow the Tanzanian archaeological site. [more]

Marble. Connections and Refractions

Few materials have been such a constant and dominant factor in the history of the arts as the material of marble. Considering marble both as a “raw” material and as a medium that, through its materiality, gains meaning, this workshop will explore new perspectives in the field. [more]

Machine Vision(s) : a Seventeen-Century Catoptric Device Reconsidered/Reconfigured

Research Seminar
In early modern Europe, it was not uncommon that mirrored devices were used to provide intense visual experiences. These practices were actually part of a scientific culture in which aesthetics played a fundamental role. Catoptric devices offered a wide range of optical illusions such as luxuriant gardens with topiaries and fountains, but also flying bodies, transformed faces and fire-spewing dragons or even alleys with splendid houses and palaces. [more]
Architecture’s fascination with the machinic dates to its very origins. The enquiry into the capacities of autonomous generation and the rendering of complex and often unpredictable aesthetic, tectonic, and spatial outcomes is engrained at the core of the architectural and urban disciplines. And nowadays, algorithmic prowess promises to revolution the generation of form. But to what aim? [more]

Pareidolia. Vie, piazze e monumenti di Roma

Open House with Artists & Round Table on the Occasion of the Exhibition Opening
Architect Sebastian Felix Ernst (Villa Massimo Fellow 2019-2020) and media artist Christian Losert develop Pareidolia, a research-based exhibition that critically engages with the legacy of renaissance proportions in architecture. [more]

"English Visitors" a Napoli e l'immaginario romantico britannico

Research Seminar
In che modo l’immaginazione poetica dei romantici ha rappresentato la realtà napoletana? Come la letteratura ha dato vita ad immagini testuali e visive della metropoli partenopea in un periodo cruciale per il passaggio verso la modernità quello tra Settecento e Ottocento? [more]

Sculpting Slippery Identities: Figured Ivories from Sierra Leone

Research Seminar
As trade relationships developed between sub-Saharan Africa and Europe in the 16th and 17th centuries, goods and people moved—some with consent, others seized or coerced—between continents in increasing numbers. In the contact zone of Sierra Leone, representations of the human body were spaces where the realities of cultural encounter could be creatively registered, digested, resisted, or distorted. [more]

İSTANBUL SURLARI – The Land Walls of Istanbul

The Land Walls of Constantinople, built by emperor Theodosius II at the beginning of the fifth century, are – with the Aurelian Walls of Rome – the largest preserved city walls of antiquity. For centuries they protected the capital of the Byzantine, and then the Ottoman Empire, from external attacks. [more]

Acts of Creation between Artistic Practice and Theological Discourse, 12th ‒ 14th Centuries

Research Seminar
In this talk, I explore essential differences between medieval and modern ideas about acts of creation, obscuring our retrospective view upon the medieval artist, his or her work, and his or her self-understanding. I analyze forms of artistic self-representation in illuminations of Genesis and of the creation of the cosmos according to writings by antique and medieval natural philosophers. [more]

San Paolo fuori le mura and Roman Historicism in the 1830s

Research Seminar
The 19th-century reconstruction of San Paolo fuori le mura is often taken as proof that contemporary Roman culture was backwards-looking and unmodern. A closer look, however, suggests that this easy caricature needs revising. [more]

"E cosi di questa ponderatione si farà un libro particolare": Poetics of Balance in the Italian Renaissance

Research Seminar
Leonardo da Vinci never wrote the book of ponderazione, but his evocation reminds us of how important the question of balance and weight in Italian Renaissance art has been: a physical paradigm intermingled with the better-known geometrical one. [more]

Mobile Materials. Currents, Circulations, Metabolisms


Geografie della migrazione VI: Fuocoammare (Gianfranco Rosi, 2016)

Ciclo di Film Seminar
Geografie della migrazione. Luoghi dell’immaginario e spazio sociale nel cinema italiano [more]
In a time in which politics are under the siege of strong Schmittean dichotomies, the boundaries between "us" and "them" – the "national community" and the "enemy" –, are once more emphasized through the radicalisation of political "lexical arsenals". The Italian and German cases are particularly clear examples of the triumph of this "populist Zeitgeist". [more]

Visualizing Language

What happens when language is not the means of communication but the topic of discussion? How can language be visualized so that we can talk about it? The Latin alphabet can be used of course as well as Greek, Hebrew, Arabic and Oriental characters. [more]
The violent transformation of landscapes with its related political and environmental conflicts is characterized by a historical oblivion that has been contested by art interventions that bring up and experiment with the motives and media of fluidities. [more]
Der Workshop findet im Rahmen des Editionsprojekts Heinrich Wölfflin – Gesammelte Werke statt und betrifft die Bände Die Kunst Albrecht Dürers (1905) und Italien und das deutsche Formgefühl (1931). [more]
Geografie della migrazione. Luoghi dell’immaginario e spazio sociale nel cinema italiano [more]

Heinrich Wölfflin in the Hispanic World

Spring Term Opening Lecture
The lecture explores the reception of Kunstwissenschaft in Spain and Latin America and, more specifically, the fundamental impact of Heinrich Wölfflin's "Principles of Art History", published in 1915. This is to show how terms and methods of our discipline have been adopted, appropriated and transformed for constructing political, national and ethnic identities and to reflect on the issues of a global art history. [more]
Les Plages d’Agnès (2008) is Angès Varda's first genuinely autobiographical film. This talk will be focusing on Varda's means of reshaping canonic modes of self-representation such as autobiography, self-portrait or autofiction. [more]

Picturing Seeds of Poppy: Microscopes, Specimens and Visualization in 17th Century England

Research Seminar
As microscopes were perfected during the 17th century, many overlooked natural objects were suddenly seen with a new eye. One of these was the poppy seed. Between 1663 and 1682, three images of poppy seeds were published as the result of the microscopic observations of Henry Power, Robert Hooke and Nehemiah Grew. [more]
Geografie della migrazione. Luoghi dell’immaginario e spazio sociale nel cinema italiano [more]

Epistemic Imagery and their Functions: the Case of Diagrams

Research Seminar
An 'epistemic image' may be defined as an image that was crafted so as to help us understand something. But how is it possible that an image teaches us something that words cannot teach us? This lecture will start with the issue of the category of the epistemic image, and notably the question of the interaction of text and image when these are produced together, as happens in philosophical or scientific texts. The diagram – one of the most basic and visually least appealing 'epistemic images' – will serve as our case study. [more]

"A Tale of Two Practices. Literary Studies between Hermeneutics and Quantification"

Research Seminar
Franco Moretti, pioneer of Distant Reading and "great iconoclast of literary criticism" (John Sutherland, Guardian), will present ongoing research regarding the nature of the relationship between hermeneutic and computational approaches to literary studies. [more]
Geografie della migrazione. Luoghi dell'immaginario e spazio sociale nel cinema italiano [more]

Baroque Rome between Old and New Worlds: Rethinking Relationships between Knowledge, Art and "Industria"

Research Seminar
Between the 16th and 17th centuries, in a turning-towards-Baroque Rome, the relationship between natural knowledge, artistic production, and handcraft was shaped as a resource to cope with the Papal claim to universality. [more]
Representing the Cerro Rico of Potosí, "gleaming with veins of gold and silver," Rubens's Arch of the Mint was one of the visually most striking structures of the Blijde Inkomst of 1635. [more]
This seminar casts light on the discussions and practices of, in, and around the materiality and aesthetics of stone sculpture, which were carried out in Nicola Pisano’s workshop in the 1260s and 1270s. [more]
Since the central Middle Ages, the Mediterranean area and Europe have seen a steady increase of highly specialized objects produced in large quantities, involving a variety of materials, techniques, ornaments, images, and functions, the very first of which was to be sold. [more]

Menacing Laughter and other Bodily Contortion

Research Seminar
The conference will be an occasion to present my methodological approach of the visual culture of laughter during the Early Modern period, by focusing on the category of comic paintings that I did not analyze in La Peinture facétieuse (2016). [more]
From the mid-seventeenth century, lunar maps or selenographies, became a new visual genre in the European print culture. They were used to promote technology and astronomical practices, to illustrate natural philosophical discourses, and as elaborate gifts for patrons. [more]
Geografie della migrazione. Luoghi dell’immaginario e spazio sociale nel cinema italiano [more]

"Roman Senators with Sheriffs' Faces." Some Remarks on Anachronism

Research Seminar
According to historian Lucien Lefebvre in the field of history, anachronism is "the worst of all sins." It mixes up different periods where serious historical thinkers should place historical documents in their correct chronological context. But (how) is it possible to avoid overlaps of present and past? And is it desirable at all to forget one’s own interests and perspectives? [more]
Il Museo d'Arte Contemporanea dell'Università di San Paolo del Brasile (MAC USP) possiede la più significativa collezione d'arte italiana del primo '900 fuori Italia, che però rimaneva sconosciuta, sia dalla storiografia dell'arte brasiliana, che dell'italiana. [more]

"Here's looking at you, kid." Pride and mockery in Bernini's Four Rivers Fountain

Research Seminar
Although Bernini's self-esteem and wit are well documented, they are rarely pointed out in academic studies of his works. One of his major artistic achievements, the Fountain of the Four Rivers in Piazza Navona (1648–1651), is generally seen as a flamboyant homage to Pope Innocent X Pamphili and his papacy. [more]
La conferenza sarà articolata sulla sovrapposizione disciplinare della Storia, del Restauro e di quella relativa all'aspetto del calcolo strutturale. [more]
Renaissance artists made extensive use of architecture in their work. By creating striking compositions and highlighting structural and ornamental features, they demonstrated their architectural knowledge and originality. In spite of this, two-dimensional buildings have often been interpreted in purely spatial terms, or as lesser counterparts of built structures - an approach that prevents us from recognising the communicative potential of architectural settings. [more]
The lecture will explore several aspects of the concept of Energy in medieval Christianity. [more]
Manifestations of prehistoric visual art are preserved across the globe. Prehistoric sites have been part of the imaginary of cultural communities on all continents. This heritage generates an awareness of a shared humanity and our creative faculties. Understanding and safeguarding rock art requires the collaborative effort of cultural communities, archaeologists, conservation specialists, ethnographers, anthropologists, linguists, art historians and artists. [more]
In the period between Galileo and Newton, astronomical handbooks and works searched constantly for data and proofs to understand and establish the correct world-system. The struggle was essentially between the heliocentric and geo-heliocentric cosmological models. [more]

Mater et Caput Ecclesiae Neapolitanae. Alfonso Gesualdo e la cattedrale di Napoli (1596-1603)

Reihe "Neue Forschungen zu Neapel/Nuove ricerche napoletane"
Il perduto ciclo decorativo che il cardinale Alfonso Gesualdo (1540-1603) commissionò a Giovanni Balducci (1560-post 1631) per ridisegnare la tribuna della cattedrale di Napoli non coincise solamente con l’impresa più ambiziosa a cui, in tutto il Viceregno, si era dato corso per celebrare come si conveniva il giubileo indetto da Clemente VIII per il 1600; né, tantomeno, rappresentò semplicemente uno dei testi figurativi più innovativi che potessero ammirarsi a sud di Roma subito dopo l’inizio del XVII secolo. [more]
Partendo dal film a episodi "L'amore in città" del 1953 la conferenza tratta della (de)costruzione cinematografica dello spazio sociale della città. [more]
Recent scholarship has increasingly emphasised Titian's ability to allure the viewer into his paintings through the tactile effects of sensuous colouring. In contrast, little attention has been paid to other strategies pursued by the Venetian artist to connect with the spectator, for instance by using pictorial devices that test the possibilities of painting to simulate a three-dimensional space on a bi-dimensional surface. [more]
Beginning in the early 20th century, colour illustrations of artworks found their way into popular books. While this practice gradually expanded, many art historians rejected colour reproductions until the end of the 1960s. [more]
Als eines der traditionsreichsten und umfänglichsten Spezialmuseen für Kunst auf Papier besitzt das Dresdner Kupferstich-Kabinett eine weitgefächerte Sammlung italienischer Zeichnungen der Hoch- und Spätrenaissance. Diese bedeutende Bestandsgruppe von rund 500 Einzelblättern und 600 Darstellungen in gebundenen Werken wird gegenwärtig wissenschaftlich katalogisiert. [more]

"Visualizing Science in Media Revolutions"

Launch of Max Planck Research Group
The programme foresees a discussion of the current state of visual studies in the history of knowledge and the role the new research group based at the Bibliotheca Hertziana can play in advancing it. [more]
Geografie della migrazione. Luoghi dell’immaginario e spazio sociale nel cinema italiano [more]
The reassertion of space as the gravitational centre of cultural enquiry and the consequent recognition of the constructed nature of spatial imaginaries, has contributed to the intensification of a real "cartographic turn" in the human and social sciences. [more]
Thinkers such as Gaston Bachelard, Henri Lefebvre, and Joanne Hollows, among others, reflect on the personal and social meanings of the home. Demonstrating the relevance of domestic cultures to both lived experience and academic discourse, they argue that the home— and the interactions with and within it— contributes to shape our identity. [more]

Europabilder außerhalb Europas

Anknüpfend an die Thesen zweier von der kunsthistorischen Forschung bislang weitgehend ignorierter Texte – Europerien auf China-Porzellan von Bruno Kisch und The Savage Hits Back von Julius Lips, beide 1937 erschienen – fokussiert der Workshop auf Außenperspektiven, die ein als veränderlich, vor allem aber als relational verstandenes Europa notwendig erzeugt. [more]
April 1966: For his first solo museum exhibition and American solo debut, Italian artist Michelangelo Pistoletto exhibited his collaged, highly polished, steel quadri specchianti (mirror paintings) at the Walker Art Center. [more]

Reimagining the Family Album: Carla Lonzi's Autoritratto (1969)

Research Seminar
When Carla Lonzi published Autoritratto (Self-Portrait) in 1969, it marked the self-imposed end of a career that had spanned a little over ten years. As is well known, the book collects much of Lonzi's art-critical output of this period, collating dozens of recorded interviews with a roll call of artists. [more]

Renaissance Architectural Prints and the Cultural Techniques of Copying

Research Seminar
The advent of printing has long been derided as enabling individuals with little capacity for invention to design buildings by means of copying. For some theorists, this seemingly unimaginative replication of mechanically reproduced images heralded the rise of a banal formalism. [more]
Lo scopo principale dell'intervento sarà presentare una serie di produzioni iconografiche relative alla rappresentazione del mondo naturale, eseguite da diversi gruppi di tlaquiloque (scribi/artisti indigeni) attivi nella Nuova Spagna fra gli anni Cinquanta e Ottanta del Cinquecento. [more]
This lecture is based on the ongoing research and exhibition project on 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 and a feminist activist working collaboratively within the framework of the women's liberation movement. [more]

Arctic Ink

Research Seminar
When a mysterious cache of sixteenth-century Netherlandish engravings was discovered in the Arctic circle in the nineteenth century, many questions arose. [more]
"Unsre leibliche Organisation ist die Form, unter der wir alles Körperliche auffassen": Mit dieser Formel charakterisierte Heinrich Wölfflin in seiner Dissertation die organische Analogie, die seiner Herangehensweise an das Studium architektonischer Stile zu Grunde liegt. Eine Analogie, die eine ganz neue Aktualität gewonnen hat angesichts des sich gegenwärtig vollziehenden Paradigmenwechsels in der Forschung zum Verhältnis von Körper und Kognition. [more]
The workshop aims to analyze and discuss various categories of texts related or linkable to sacred, ritual and liturgical spaces in the Middle Ages, with a geographical focus on Southern Italy. [more]
The firmly institutionalized model of historical interpretation "ancient – medieval – modern" is a child of the so-called secularization paradigm and the classic case of a Eurocentric corset. The current work on new, post-Eurocentric concepts of Latin-European history is a paradigm shift that shakes historical scholarship in its foundations. [more]

Inventing the Picture History of Photography

Histories of Photography have been written almost as long as photographic pictures exist: Daguerre's manual from 1839 and the first chapter of Talbot's The Pencil of Nature, penned in 1844, are the earliest examples of such an interest in media history. These narratives are shaped according to ongoing improvements of apparatuses and techniques that have been developed by (male) inventors. [more]

"Guttuso, 'Guernica', Gramsci"

Research Seminar
From 1940, the year he joined the underground Communist Party, until 1943, the year of Mussolini's fall, the Communist artist Renato Guttuso carried a postcard reproduction of Picasso's Guernica in his wallet, describing it as 'the ideal membership card of the ideal party'. [more]

"A Time of Synthesis": Roman Art at Midcentury

Research Seminar
Italian art during the middle of the twentieth century existed at a tumultuous crossroads of geopolitics and Modernist aesthetics. From within this volatile circumstance emerged a constant searching for artistic languages with which to explore Italy's presents and recent pasts. [more]
The development of a modern photographic culture and visual literacy in Italy was driven by the creation of illustrated periodicals and propelled by a dynamic group of editors and writers working for the magazine factory of Angelo Rizzoli in Milan. A close look at the Rizzoli illustrated weeklies published between 1927 and 1938, at the height of Italian Fascism, demonstrates a culture of entertainment and consumerism that was as inventive as that of European periodicals. [more]

The Past as a Source for New Identities

Research Seminar
History of Architecture is often used as an approbation of the roots of a country or nation. Greece and Rome were the cradle for all Europe and Historicist approaches in the architectural production were typical in the 19th and also 20th century. [more]
How, in the context of postwar Rome, can we better understand changing exhibition practices through paying closer attention to architecture – what Daniel Buren refers to as "the inevitable background, support and frame of any work?" Or, put another way, how did postwar Rome's built environment serve as a base connective tissue for evolving exhibitionary engagement? [more]

Gentile Bellini and the "Great Turk"

Research Seminar
Documents inform about the wish of Mehmet II, the Conqueror of Constantinople, to be portrayed by a Western painter. Some Italian artists (including Costanzo di Moysis da Ferrara) came to Istanbul in the 1460s and 1470s, but everything would seem to indicate that the sultan did not obtain what he wanted. [more]
Visit to the workshop and to the archive of the Istituto Centrale per la Grafica. Located in the very building of the Fontana di Trevi, the Istituto Centrale per la Grafica is a museum dedicated to the collection of graphic art from the early modern period until today. [more]

Art in Outer Space (1969)

In 1969, man set foot on the Moon – time to reflect on the role of art in the most mediatized event of modern times. The lecture, which opens the Spring Term of the Bibliotheca Hertziana’s academic program, addresses the question of the meaning of art in outer space and discusses works from Andy Warhol to Damien Hirst that have actually left the Earth. [more]
Un discreto numero di amuleti e reliquari prodotti tra VIII-IX s. considerati affini su basi stilistiche e tecniche, ma contesi tra Costantinopoli e Roma, offre l'occasione di riflettere su diverse questioni. Toccare il Dio Incarnato. Amuleti e preghiera 'tattile' durante l’Iconoclasmo bizantino tra Bisanzio e Roma Conferenza serale di Francesca Dell'Acqua [more]

Representing New Worlds

Research Seminar
These research seminars will explore different 'versions' of the New World as constructed by seventeenth-century Europeans. The morning seminar (in Italian) by Fernando Ciaramitaro will begin at 11:00 am, and after a short break, Mariana Françozo will present (in English) starting at 2:00 pm. [more]

Exhibiting (and) History

Conceived within the framework of the research initiative "Rome Contemporary", this workshop will be aimed at developing novel perspectives on the relationship between exhibition practice and history from 1960 to the present. [more]
Christof Thoenes ci ha lasciato il 21 ottobre 2018 poche settimane prima del suo 90 compleanno. La Bibliotheca Hertziana organizza il 5 dicembre una conferenza di commemorazione in suo onore. Christof Thoenes, nato il 4 dicembre 1928 a Dresda, ha iniziato nel 1949 i studi di storia dell'arte, germanistica e filosofia alla Freie Universität di Berlino. [more]
A shared concern of Italian operaismo-minded artists of the 1960s and 1970s was to devise images that mirrored both the material culture of the period’s labor struggles and "the workers’ point of view". [more]
"Artistic Research" is a key term in contemporary art discourse and is intended to unite the fields of humanities and natural sciences. Artistic research, however, already existed in the 19th century, particularly in the field of history. This lecture explores the contribution of artists to the formation of the scientific discipline of art history in the 19th century. [more]
In the last decades, the far-reaching diffusion of electronic data processing instruments seems to have supplanted traditional methods of manual drawing and three-dimensional architectural model making. The capturing, planning and visualization of objects and buildings appears to be positively dominated by digital technologies and semi-automatic production methods, ranging from parametric and algorithmic modelling systems and digital recording tools to interactive animations and automatic 2D and 3D printing. [more]

Mechanik der Natürlichkeit

Research Seminar
"Das Natürliche", schreibt Johann Georg Sulzer 1774, "ist eine der vorzüglichsten Eigenschaften der Werke der Kunst." Was könnte damit gemeint sein? Und welche Folgen hat es für die Kunst, wenn man ihr Natürlichkeit zuspricht? [more]
Organized within the framework of the exhibition "Toward a Concrete Utopia: Architecture in Yugoslavia", 1948-1980 on view at the Museum of Modern Art in New York, this study day convened by co-curators Martino Stierli and Vladimir Kulić with curatorial assistant Anna Kats and Tristan Weddigen, director of the Biblioteca Hertziana, will not be limited to architecture but instead will look at networks of cultural production and exchange more broadly along the Adriatic coasts. [more]
What do we mean - or, better, what should we think we mean - when we use the term 'period eye'? Baxandall famously defined it as cognitive style, encompassing the visual skills and 'habits of inference and analogy' brought to the viewing experience by people of a particular time and place. [more]
In summer 2014, nearly 300 drawings held by the Kunsthalle Karlsruhe were newly attributed to Giovanni Battista Piranesi and his workshop. For decades, the drawings mounted in two albums had been attributed to the Karlsruhe architect Friedrich Weinbrenner (1766 - 1826). It had been assumed that Weinbrenner had executed them during his stay in Rome from 1792 to 1797. [more]
Whilst art history is increasingly assuming a global approach by restructuring in full its method of theorising and teaching the discipline, this research workshop proposes to reflect on the concepts of style and periods which have forged fields of study and made them relevant to modern day life. [more]
La Roma degli anni Settanta è costellata da episodi espositivi nati all'interno di spazi privati e in luoghi pubblici non designati all'arte e destinati ad ospitarla per scelte spesso non permanenti o semplicemente incidentali. Guardare a questi spazi come fossero opere aiuta a decifrare una storia alternativa, e successiva, alla mitografia che accompagna il decennio Sessanta. [more]
As if revisiting the religion's primordial decision in favor of an exoteric, rather than esoteric, identity, the Italian painters of the fourteenth century populated Christian subjects and scenes with semi-outsiders: watchers and doubters, anachronistic visitants, sponsors clerical and lay. Pressure on narrative from the outside tested the integrity of the artwork. [more]
How can art find ways to represent the undefinable "je ne sais quoi" of the bodily and moral ideal of Grace? The paper deals with two French artists as different as Jean Siméon Chardin and François Boucher who satisfied very different tastes of art in the 18th century. [more]
Un evento dell'Ambasciata della Repubblica Federale di Gemania a Roma, con la collaborazione della Bibliotheca Hertziana - Istituto Max Planck per la storia dell'arte. [more]
Martedì 25 settembre 2018 alle ore 17:00 presso Palazzo Carpegna, sede dell'Accademia Nazionale di San Luca, si terrà la cerimonia celebrativa degli 85 anni di Christoph Luitpold Frommel. Roma moderna instaurata: Christoph Luitpold Frommel e la storia dell'architettura rinascimentale. A seguire brevi allocuzioni di Bernard Aikema, Enzo Bentivoglio, Claudio Castelletti, Arnold Esch, Antonio Forcellino, Elisabeth Kieven, Golo Maurer, Pier Nicola Pagliara, Elisabetta Pastore, Georg Schelbert, Wolf Tegethoff e Vitale Zanchettin. [more]
Roughly two years after Rose of Lima was beatified (1669), the Peruvian Dominican Order, asked Juan Meléndez, the Chronicler of the Order, to write a description of the festivities with which the City of the Kings celebrated the promotion to sainthood of her most ilustrious child. Meléndez saved no rhetorical effort to stress the importance of the celebrations that took place in 1668 and 1669. [more]
Anlässlich des 70. Gründungsjubiläums der Max-Planck-Gesellschaft und des 160. Geburtstags von Max Planck öffneten Max-Planck-Institute ihre Türen - auch in Rom. Der bundesweite Max-Planck-Tag richtete sich an alle Forschungsinteressierten und überhaupt jeden neugierigen Menschen: #wonachsuchstdu forderte die Besucher*innen auf, eigene Fragen rund um die Forschungsthemen der Max-Planck-Gesellschaft zu stellen. [more]
There was a time - but is it just over? - when some images were not just looked at, but eaten. Produced to be swallowed, they were consumed by the mouth rather than the eyes. This presentation will focus on this particular way of experiencing images, by examining the consumption of the edible artefacts (body paintings, eucharist, waffles, edible sculptures, figurative cakes) over the longue durée, and by highlighting the anthropological and cultural stakes that inform this specific practice. [more]
This interdisciplinary Study Day will focus on how early modern cities responded to or attempted to anticipate social or health crises by repurposing structures, constructing temporary shelters or buildings, or adapting urban spaces in the context of emergencies. These include, but are not limited to, disease outbreaks, displacement, migrations, wars, natural disasters, famines, etc. Over the centuries, these interventions have taken various forms, such as lazzaretti, temporary military barracks, makeshift refuges, and quarantine or segregation zones, among many others. [more]
Social change after WWI led to an accelerated change in the built environment. Within a broad stylistic scope of architectural and urban design projects, the structural 'DNA' of Italian historic cities was seen as a basic planning guideline. Historic paradigms determined not only trends in conservation but guided new approaches to architecture as well as urban and landscape design. [more]
"À Naples l'on n'aime que les bagatelles et les dorures." Il parere negativo di Gianlorenzo Bernini sulla propria città natale è caratteristico per la ricezione critica di Napoli. Già Jacob Burckhardt parlava con scetticismo dell'amore per il fasto (Prunkliebe) dei partenopei. [more]
In einer frühneuzeitlichen Kultur der variierten Formeln und Zitate sticht dennoch die frappierende Ähnlichkeit zwischen bestimmten exemplarischen Frauenfiguren heraus. Lucretia und Kleopatra sind dafür ein paradigmatischer Fall. Vom frühen 16. Jahrhundert bis zum Hochbarock finden sich gerade zwischen diesen immer wieder frappierende Zwillingsbildungen, die nicht recht zu ihrer disparaten Bewertung passen wollen. [more]
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? [more]
Bei der Frage nach dem Zusammenhang von Bild und Wissen wurde dem Medium der Zeichnung und besonders der Linie im vergangenen Jahrzehnt vermehrt Aufmerksamkeit zuteil. Im Vordergrund standen dabei meist Skizzen, denen aufgrund ihrer Expressivität und Dynamik in der Linienführung ein exploratives und epistemisches Potential zugesprochen wird. [more]
The term "Mannerism" carries a fraught and contentious historiography that plays a significant role in shaping both the definition and scope of current scholarship. Formative studies by Jacob Burckhardt, Heinrich Wölfflin, Werner Weisbach, and Kurt Heinrich Busse imbued the term "Mannerism" with a pejorative connotation that effectively marginalized mid- to late-sixteenth century art. [more]

The Tramezzo of Santa Chiara in Naples. New Technologies for an Old Question

Reihe "Neue Forschungen zu Neapel/Nuove ricerche napoletane"
The choir screens of medieval churches were systematically dismantled in the 16th century, a process that obliterated the internal divisions within churches as well as their altars, pulpits, painted and sculptural decoration, and sepulchral monuments. [more]
Shared Spaces? Mobility, Cohabitation and Cultural Exchange in Early Modern Venice This paper draws on my larger research project on spaces of arrival for migrants and travellers to early modern Venice. It argues particularly that the city's many lodging houses offer a valuable key to understanding the nature and impact of mobility in an early modern metropolis. [more]
In name, a guidebook assures the reader of clarification and direction, but the term only seems to neatly define what to expect from these volumes. Instead, the claim to make sense of the unknown is complicated by shifting narrative strategies, choices of language, and the inclusion of illustrations. Recent interest in issues of orientation and subjectivity has shed new light on guidebooks; in addition, a profusion of new printed and digital editions of these works have reinvigorated a discussion of guidebooks as a form of knowledge produced at the intersection of description and dispersal. [more]
La memoria del regime fascista non è mai scomparsa dall'orizzonte delle arti contemporanee. Temi e figure del Ventennio costellano l'opera di artiste e artisti con modalità, frequenza e intensità diverse. Il seminario focalizza l'attenzione sull'opera di Giosetta Fioroni (1932) e Fabio Mauri (1926-2009), entrambi - con un breve scarto di anni - cresciuti negli anni del fascismo e attivi nel dopoguerra. [more]
We owe the Italian Renaissance picture more than the ideal human figure. Experiments in figuration, whether they involve contour or sfumato, cannot exist without ground, here understood in three senses of the word: first, the preparation of a given support (such as a gesso ground on panel); second, the plane on which figures stand; and third, the field in and against which figuration occurs. [more]
The discoveries of Columbus focused attention on the newly discovered but barely known regions on the far side of the earth, a new zone of convergence where East and West met and crossed over into one another. It was now possible to think beyond the "inhabited world" known since Antiquity and to consider the earth in global terms, which is to say as a geometric object viewable from more than one side. [more]
The Italia illustrata (written in the 1450s and published 1474) is a historical and geographical description of Italy in a topographical order. Biondo's narrative is based on a number of empirical sources, some are known, some are unknown and open for speculations. [more]

Early Modern Intermediality II

Research Seminar
The aim of the seminar is to evaluate the usefulness of various concepts of intermediality derived from a modern literature on the subject in constituting a history of early modern media. To this end we are bringing together senior scholars of early modern art who have already been working on these themes, though not in these terms, alongside younger scholars whose research focuses on intermedial questions. [more]
This seminar will explore Raphael's use of materials and techniques in drawing and in doing so will present new discoveries. Over the past thirty years, approaches to the study of works on paper have gradually moved beyond univocal questions of connoisseurship. Recent research has demonstrated the effectiveness of looking at drawings as archaeological objects, whose materiality and stratigraphy can speak of their history. [more]
L'identità marittima dei potentati basso-tirrenici - il Principato di Salerno, i ducati di Napoli, Amalfi e Gaeta - fu favorita dal progressivo affrancamento dai sistemi sovraregionali (il Regno longobardo, l’Impero bizantino), nella seconda metà dell'VIII secolo. Tale proiezione verso il mare corrispondeva a nuove urgenze di circuitazione navale, rese ancora più pressanti dalla comparsa dei Musulmani d'Africa nelle acque del Mar Tirreno. [more]
The ideas regarding "barbarians" and "barbarity", produced since Classical Antiquity and until Early Modern times, have been studied in several and many times contrasting ways. The general consensus tends to stress the fact that the construction of an other simultaneously implies the conformation of the identity of the individual and the collective creating those distinctions. [more]

Blues napoletano: la sfida di una città postcoloniale

Reihe "Neue Forschungen zu Neapel/Nuove ricerche napoletane"
La città di Napoli vista come un archivio vivente e specifico, coinvolto storicamente e culturalmente in una serie di reti mediterranee, un archivio che ci pone domande su come capire e recepire lo spazio-tempo della modernità odierna. [more]

Caravaggio e i letterati

Interdisziplinäre Studientagung
Convegno interdisciplinare organizzato da Sybille Ebert-Schifferer e Laura Teza in collaborazione con l'Università di Perugia [more]


This conference explores the phenomenon of performative iconicity in medieval art, an aspect of iconic presence manifested through chant and never recognized as image heretofore in scholarship. This non-representational icon is revealed in the synergy between the temporality of the liturgical ritual and the acoustics of reverberation. [more]
This conference will explore some of the different metaphorical, conceptual and cultural meanings associated with the Italian expression 'the mental woodworm' (il tarlo della mente). The woodworm as an image for a nagging thought (rovello, in Italian) is not common in English. [more]

Time is Out of Joint

Field Seminar
Se la mostra si definisce come un insieme di relazioni spaziotemporali essa può diventare un mezzo particolarmente efficace per comprovare o invalidare concezioni correnti di temporalità. Secondo quali modalità questo legame con il tempo, congenito al formato espositivo, può essere messo in pratica nel riallestimento di collezioni museali? [more]
As part of the art historical research initiative Rome Contemporary, the Bibliotheca Hertziana - Max Planck Institute for Art History is pleased to announce an evening of encounters between artists, scholars, and critics dedicated to the theme of embodied language in selected women's art practices, ranging from present to postwar Italy. [more]
Die Geschichte des Bauhauses und seine internationale Rezeption gelten als bestens untersucht. Erstaunlich ist vor diesem Hintergrund, dass die Perspektive italienischer Architekten und Architekturhistoriker auf die legendäre Schule bisher so gut wie keinerlei Aufmerksamkeit erfahren hat. Bedeutet dies, dass das Bauhaus in Italien keine Rolle gespielt hat? Wohl kaum. [more]
This talk will focus on Titian's Sacred and Profane Love in the Borghese Gallery in Rome. Scholars have struggled with making sense of the two female figures that occupy the unusual horizontal composition of this enigmatic painting. [more]

Undermining the Logic of War: Reflections on Paintings and Film of the Paraguayan War

Research Seminar
The War of the Triple Alliance (also known as The Paraguayan War, 1864-1870), was undoubtedly one of the most tragic events in the history of Latin America. In it, the Brazilian Empire joined its forces with Argentina and Uruguay against Paraguay. [more]
Die Tagung untersucht die systematische Verknüpfung zweier unterschiedlicher konventioneller Darstellungsformen: der Kopplung einer Landkarte mit einer Folge zumeist illusionistischer Ansichten, die sich auf denselben geographischen Raum beziehen. Während die Karte den Raum als Kontinuum konzipiert, fragmentieren die Ansichten ihn, lenken die Aufmerksamkeit der Betrachter*in auf einzelne Aspekte und lassen diese in räumliche und inhaltliche Bezüge zueinander treten. [more]
L'Archivio Centrale dello Stato conserva un fondo di circa 140.000 licenze di esportazione di opere d'arte da Roma, lungo un arco di tempo compreso fra il 1888 e il 1908. [more]
Secondo la definizione data da Marc Augé, il Museo dell'Altro e dell'Altrove è un 'super luogo'. Dal 2012 infatti in esso convergono e dialogano esigenze abitative, sperimentazioni artistiche ed esposizioni d’arte contemporanea. [more]
Quali sono le sfide e le direttive di crescita della principale collezione d'arte europea in una città come San Paolo del Brasile, la più estesa megalopoli del Sudamerica? Luciano Migliaccio, professore presso l'Universidade de São Paulo e curatore associato del Museu de Arte de São Paulo (MASP), presenterà la storia del museo e il recente riallestimento che ha riportato in vita l'estetica voluta dalla progettista Lina Bo Bardi nel 1968, in cui i dipinti da Raffaello a Renoir sembrano fluttuare nel vuoto in un unico ampio spazio senza soluzione di continuità. [more]
This talk presents recent attempts to 'operationalise' Warburg's concept of Pathosformel - that is to say, to transform it into an algorithm. This process implies not only a conversion into computer language, but also an explicit reading of the concept itself, whose unforgiving nature forces us to consider each component of the concept in detail. [more]
L'Accademia degli Insensati di Perugia, nota per la connessione dei suoi poeti con le prime opere di Caravaggio, elaborò nell'ultimo quarto del Cinquecento un libro di imprese costituito da quarantaquattro bifolii cuciti insieme, contenenti l'impresa generale dell'Accademia e quelle degli affiliati della sua prima stagione. Il manoscritto rappresenta un unicum nel panorama contemporaneo in quanto gli Insensati optarono per il mezzo grafico e non per quello incisorio, come avveniva solitamente. [more]
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