CFP: Recasting Reproduction (1500-1800) (London, 18 Nov 17)

The contested concept of “reproduction” stands at a critical nexus of
the conceptualisation of Early Modern artistic thought. The early
modern period has been characterised by the development of novel and
efficient reproduction technologies, as well as the emergence of global
empires, growing interconnectedness through trade, warfare and
conquest, and the rise of new markets and cultures of collecting. This
ethos of innovation and cultural exchange was, however, contextualised
against myriad contemporary ideologies still rooted in the values and
legends of narratives of the past. Reproduction stood at the centre of
this dichotomy. Set against the context of changing cultural tastes and
the increasingly overlapping public and private spheres,
‘reproductions’ were involved within changing viewing practices,
artistic pedagogy, acts of homage and collecting.

The idea of reproduction connotes a number of tensions: between
authenticity and counterfeit; consumption and production; innovation
and imitation; the establishment of archetype and the creation of
replica; the conceptual value of the original and the worth of the
reproduction as a novel work of art; the display of contextualised
knowledge and the de-contextualisation of the prototype. At the same
time, production is shaped historically through practices and
discourses, and has figured as a key site for analysis in the work of,
for example, Walter Benjamin, Richard Wolin, Richard Etlin, Ian Knizek
and Yvonne Sheratt. Participants are invited to explore reproduction
‘beyond Benjamin’, investigating both the technical and philosophical
implications of reproducing a work of art and seeking, where possible,
a local anchoring for the physical and conceptual processes involved.

We welcome proposals for papers that investigate the theme of
reproduction from the early modern period (c.1500-1800), including
painting, print making, sculpture, decorative arts, architecture,
graphic arts and the intersections between them. Papers can explore
artistic exchanges across geopolitical, cultural and disciplinary
divides and contributions from other disciplines, such as the history
of science and conservation, are welcome. Topics for discussion may
include, but are not limited to:

The conceptualisation and processes of reproduction and reproduction
technologies before and at the advent of ‘the mechanical’;
Reproduction in artistic traditions beyond ‘the West’;
The slippage between innovation and imitation;
Part-reproduction and the changing, manipulation and developments of
certain motifs;
Problematizing the aura of ‘authenticity’ and the ‘value’ of the
original, copies and collecting;
Fakes and the de-contextualisation of a work through its reproduction;
Reproduction within non-object based study e.g. architecture;
Theoretical alternatives and the vocabulary used to describe the
process and results of reproduction in contemporary texts.
Please send proposals of no more than 300 words along with a 150 word
biography by 6th July 2017 to and

Organised by Kyle Leyden, Natasha Morris and Angela Benza (The
Courtauld Institute of Art)

Reference / Quellennachweis:
CFP: Recasting Reproduction (1500–1800) (London, 18 Nov 17). In:
H-ArtHist, Jun 6, 2017. <>.


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