From Late Medieval to Early Modern Love Boxes

Research Seminar

  • Public event without registration
  • Datum: 06.06.2023
  • Uhrzeit: 14:00 - 16:00
  • Vortragende: Amy Knight Powell
  • Ort: Villino Stroganoff, Via Gregoriana 22, 00187 Rome and online
  • Kontakt:
From Late Medieval to Early Modern Love Boxes
They “used to have, in their rooms, great wooden chests in the form of sarcophagi. . . and there were none that did not have the said chests painted. . .”

“It was not only the chests that were painted in such a manner, but also the day beds, the wainscoting, the moldings that went around, and other similar ornaments for rooms.” Chests within domestic chambers that were like scaled up versions of those painted chests, a world of painted containers within containers--Vasari describes medieval practices of painting furniture and architecture as they persisted into the fifteenth century. From his mid-sixteenth-century perspective, modern painting was in the process of displacing these “ancient usages,” but before it did, I will suggest, these chests, along with leather caskets, ivory mirror cases, metal cists, and other boxes, would shape the painting to come, particularly the easel painting.

Amy Knight Powell is Associate Professor of Art History at the University of Southern California and Invited Resident at the American Academy in Rome in Spring 2023. Her work focuses on late medieval and early modern, northern European art. She is author of Depositions: Scenes from the Late Medieval Church and the Modern Museum (Zone Books/Princeton University Press, 2012) and is working on Picture Box: A Small History of the Easel Painting (Zone Books), from which she will present a chapter at the Hertziana.

For online participation please follow this link:

Scientific Organization: Wenyi Qian

Human heart in a case. Pitt Rivers Museum, University of Oxford: 1884.57.18

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