Workshop: Precious Stones in Art and Nature

450px-Spanish_jewellery-Gold_and_emerald_pendant_at_VAM-01Precious Stones in Art and Nature from the Renaissance to the Enlightenment
Workshop at the Kunsthistorisches Institut in Florenz – Max-Planck-Institut, February 12 2014

Max Planck Research Group “Art and Knowledge in Pre-Modern Europe”
Max Planck Institute for the History of Science, Berlin

Organized by Hannah Baader and Sean Nelson

Precious stones were a source of constant fascination for artists and
natural philosophers in pre-modern Europe. Diamonds, rubies, pearls and
other gems were both visually striking and rich in symbolism. They
served as subjects for painters, as raw materials for jewelers and
sculptors, as components in scientific instruments, and as stimuli for
reflection on the nature of light, colour, and the structure of matter.
Gems were hybrid objects par excellence, blurring the lines between
science and art, and between theory and practice. The talks in this
workshop, given by Sven Dupré and his research group, illustrate this
hybridity with examples drawn from England, France, Italy, and the
Netherlands. The subject matter addressed ranges from the fifteenth to
the eighteenth century, from astronomy to electricity, and from baroque
miniature painting to rococo furniture.


Hannah Baader, Welcome and Introduction

Sven Dupré, Introduction-MPIWG Research Group “Art and Knowledge in Pre-Modern

Moderation: Hannah Baader

14:20 – 14:55
Marjolijn Bol, Gems in the Water of Eden: Traveling the Rivers of Paradise in Early
Netherlandish Painting and Natural Philosophy

14:55 – 15:30
Karin Leonhard, Painted Gems: Portrait Miniature Painting and Baroque Colour Theory

15:30 – 15:50 Coffee Break

Moderation: Sean Nelson

15:50 – 16:25
Sven Dupré, Galileo’s Glass: Light in the Heavens, Precious Stones on Earth

16:25 – 17:00
Michael Bycroft, The Physics of Furniture: Science and the Rococo in the Gemmological
Research of Charles Dufay

17:00 Discussion


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