Casting the Real in Petrach’s Time (New York, 4-5 May 17)

Centre for Medieval Studies, University of York, May 4 – 05, 2017

Casting the Real: Reproduction, Translation and Interpretation in
Petrach’s Time

The History of Art department of the University of York is pleased to
sponsor ‘Casting the Real: Reproduction, Translation, and
Interpretation in Petrarch’s Time’, an international workshop that
explores the ways fourteenth-century poets, intellectuals, doctors, and
artists engaged with issues of casting, embalming, and quantification.

Altichiero, ritratto di Francesco Petrarca, c. 1370-1380
Altichiero, ritratto di Francesco Petrarca, c. 1370-1380

In keeping with Dominic Olariu’s ‘La genèse de la représentation ressemblante de l’homme. Reconsidérations du portrait à partir du XIIIe siècle’ (Bern 2014), this symposium discusses contaminations between ideas of measuring, judging, and representation while considering the similarities between concepts of truth, virtue, and likeness.

The goal of the workshop is threefold.
First, it re-examines drawing as a practice that served to understand the real and construct a sense of truth.
Second, it looks at medieval doctors’ engagement with embalming, casting, and sculpting techniques.
Finally, it intends to break away with the idea of rhetoric as an arid, formalistic ritual, but rather a practice that often drew from practical experiences and changed their significance in return.

This is why ‘Casting the Real’ is framed around the figure of Petrarch, composer of funerary inscriptions, poet of inner realities, master of the art of memory, and avid commentator of scientific texts.


May 4

Dominic Olariu (Marburg)
“In libro hoc scripsi et per figuram demonstravi.” Plant illustrations for identification at the end of the Middle Ages

May 5


Joël Chandelier (Paris 8)
Complexio, Anatomia and the Judgement of the Human Body in 14th-century
Italian Medical Scholasticism

Luca Palozzi (Edinburgh)
Devising the World: Drawing and Other Cognitive Tools around Petrarch’s

Coffee Break

Laura Jacobus (Birkbeck)
Portraiture at the Carrara Courts: Realism, Representation and

Philippe Charlier (UVSQ)
Embalming at the Time of Petrarch: How? Why?

Lunch Break

Emanuele Lugli (York)
The Life-Size as a Legal Concept

Giulia Perucchi (Villa I Tatti)
Petrarch and the Sciences

Coffee Break

Roundtable Discussion


The conference is free and open to everyone. The program is available
for download from this link:

For information and to secure a place, please write to

Please notice that the event will take place at the Centre for Medieval Studies, which is closer to the train station and York’s city center than the University of York campus.

The workshop is organized by Emanuele Lugli (York) and Luca Palozzi (Edinburgh).

Published by thegrailquest

Anastasija Ropa holds a doctoral degree from Bangor University (North Wales), for a study in medieval and modern Arthurian literature. She has published a number of articles on medieval and modern Arthurian literature, focusing on its historical and artistic aspects. She is currently employed as guest lecturer at the Latvian Academy of Sport Education. Anastasija’s most recent research explores medieval equestrianism in English and French literary art and literature, and she is also engaged as part-time volunteer horse-trainer. In a nutshell: Lecturer at the Latvian Academy of Sport Education Graduate of the School of English, University of Wales, Bangor. Graduate of the University of Latvia Passionate about history, particularly the Middle Ages A horse-lover and horse-owner

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