Author Archives: mariaalessiarossi

5th International annual conference “Actual Problems of Art Theory and History” 2014

Winter_Palace_facade_large-620x312The Departments of Russian Art and West-European Art of the Faculty of History of St. Petersburg State University, the Department of Art Theory and History of the Faculty of History of Lomonosov Moscow State University and The State Hermitage Museum invite you to participate in the 5th International annual conference “Actual Problems of Art Theory and History”. The conference is to be held on October 28 – November 1, 2014 at the Faculty of History of St. Petersburg State University and The State Hermitage Museum.

The topical problems of art history and theory of art are to be discussed at the conference. The general theme of the conference 2014 is “Images of Classical Antiquity. Ancient Art and its Heritage in the World Culture”. Special attention of the plenary and the sessions will be paid to the phenomenon of art and culture of Classical antiquity, transformation of its legacy in the development of European art system and values, and its significance for the formation of entire European culture and various national cultures.

Working languages of the conference: Russian and English.

Applicants are welcome to suggest papers on all the themes on art from early Middle Ages up to modernity provided they are concerned with the above mentioned problems. It is proposed to hold a plenary session and thematic sessions. Posters are to be admitted to the corresponding sessions. The applications and abstracts of papers should be sent before the 30th of June, 2014 to the following e-mails: (with the subject line “For the conference”).

The application should include the following information:
– Full name
– Date, country and place of birth
– Title of the paper
– University / Place of work, its address and postal code
– Position
– Supervising professor
– Home address and postal code, telephone, fax, e-mail

Please, indicate whether whether you need the University’s assistance in issuing the Russian visa. The applications of students, postgraduate students and young specialists without an academic degree should be accompanied by the recommendation of one`s supervisor sent from the personal e-mail of the latter or a scanned version of the recommendation signed by the supervisor.

The Committee will organize the sightseeing tours to Pavlovsk and Tsarskoye Selo. Also it is possible to arrange seminars in Novgorod and Pskov (1–2 days, at the wish of the participants of the conference). The accommodation of the participants during the conference will be free of charge.

The abstracts of papers should be presented in electronic form, as a Microsoft Word document in Russian or English with 1,5 space, text size 12, Times New Roman Cyr, field size 25 mm. The character limit is 2,000.The name of the file should coincide with the name of the applicant.
The participants will be selected by the Organizing Committee according to the following criteria:
– relevance and the innovative character of the presented research
– quality of the abstracts
– possibility to group the papers into several sessions by their subjects
The materials not selected for participation in the conference are not reviewed and not sent back. The applicants will be noticed upon the selection results by the 10th of September 2014.

The abstracts of papers will be published in 2014. The most prominent papers will be included in the volume of the conference to be issued in 2015.

For the provisional programme and proposed sessions please see programme-of-the-conference-actual-problems-of-art-theory-and-history-2014

Call for Papers: Beguiling Structures Architecture in European Painting 1300-1550

Screen Shot 2014-05-04 at 21.33.43Beguiling Structures
Architecture in European Painting 1300-1550
19th September 2014, National Gallery, London

“Is it not true that painting is the mistress of all the arts or their principal ornament? If I am not mistaken, the architect took from the painter architraves, capitals, bases, columns and pediments, and all the other fine features of buildings. The stonemason, the sculptor and all the workshops and crafts of artificers are guided by the rule and art of the painter. So I would venture to assert that whatever beauty there is in things has been derived from painting.”

Leon Battista Alberti – De Pictura, Book II, Chapter XXVI.

So runs Leon Battista Alberti’s famous claim for architectsindebtedness to the creativity of painters. His words draw attention to the close relationship between illusionistic representations of architecture and its actual three-dimensional forms. Indeed, the prominence given to architecture within painting before and after Alberti’s lifetime has long been noted, though its presence is easily overlooked and its precise meaning often elusive. This conference for graduate students and early-career scholars will explore this relationship in all its multifaceted complexity. Conceived to complement The National Gallery’s exhibition Building the Picture: Architecture in Italian Renaissance Painting, this event will look afresh at architecture’s place within European painting and reassess established interpretations. Why were buildings included in pictorial representations? What is their purpose and what do they do for the picture? The answers to these and other questions may well uncover a far more complex interchange between painting and architecture than Alberti’s straightforward assertion would suggest.

Students and scholars working in the visual arts of the late-Mediaeval and Renaissance periods are therefore warmly invited to submit proposals for twenty-minute papers. Interdisciplinary approaches to these subjects and discoveries of current research are particularly welcome. Potential topics for consideration may include:

-The use of architecture to demonstrate perspectival devices and to structure pictorial composition.
-The adoption of elaboration, ornamentation and the ‘fantastic’ in depicted architecture.
-The use of architectural forms to visualise historical time and specific topographies within narratives.
-The theoretical discourse of perspective and its terminology within contemporaneous accounts.
-The creation of dialogues between the architecture of the painting and that of its original location.
-The use and significance of architectural frames both within paintings and surrounding them.

Whilst papers on these themes are encouraged, submissions for proposals on topics across the broader spectrum of artistic media, chronological periods and geographical locations are also welcome. Proposed papers’ titles and abstracts of 250 words, and any additional enquiries, should be forwarded to by Monday 16TH June 2014. This conference, organised by Alasdair Flint, James Jago and Livia Lupi, forms part of the Galleries & Museums Research Partnerships Programme between The National Gallery, London and the Department of History of Art, The University of York.


Byzantine Studies Symposium, Knowing Bodies, Passionate Souls: Sense Perceptions in Byzantium

Smell 3“Knowing Bodies, Passionate Souls: Sense Perceptions in Byzantium”
Byzantine Studies Symposium | April 25-27, 2014
Symposiarchs: Susan Ashbrook Harvey, Brown University and Margaret Mullett, Dumbarton Oaks.
Byzantine culture was notably attuned to a cosmos of multiple domains:  material, immaterial; bodily, intellectual, physical, spiritual; human, divine. Despite a prevailing discourse to the contrary, the Byzantine world found its bridges between domains most often in sensory modes of awareness. These different domains were concretely perceptible; further, they were encountered daily amidst the mundane no less than the exalted. Icons, incense, music, sacred architecture, ritual activity; saints, imperial families, persons at prayer; hymnography, ascetical or mystical literature:  in all of its cultural expressions, the Byzantines excelled in highlighting the intersections between human and divine realms through sensory engagement (whether positive or negative).

Byzantinists have been slow to look at the operations of the senses in Byzantium, especially those of seeing, its relation to the other senses, and phenomenological approaches in general.  More recently work on smell and hearing has followed, and yet the areas of taste and touch—the most universal and the most necessary of the senses—are still largely uncharted. Nor has much been done to explore how Byzantines viewed the senses, or how they envisaged the sensory interactions with their world. A map of the connections between of sense-perceptions and other processes (of perception, memory, visualization) in the Byzantine brain has still to be sketched out. How did the Byzantines describe, narrate or represent the senses at work? It is hoped to further studies of the operations of individual senses in Byzantium in the context of all the senses, and their place in what the Byzantines thought about perception and cognition. Recent work on dreaming, on memory and on the emotions has made advances possible, and collaborative experiments between Byzantinists and neurological scientists open further approaches. The happy coincidence of a Dumbarton Oaks Garden and Landscape symposium on ‘Senses in the landscape: non-visual experiences’ and of a forthcoming exhibition at the Walters Art Museum on the five senses enable some cross-cultural comparisons to be made involving gardens in Islamic Spain, Hebrew hymnography, Syriac wine-poetry, Mediterranean ordure, and Romanesque and Gothic precious objects—that were not just looked at but also touched, smelled, heard. Architects, musicologists, art historians, archaeologists, philologists, all can contribute approaches to the revelation of the Byzantine sensorium.

Postdoctoral Fellowship in Medieval Hebrew and Medieval Arabic Literature

250px-Logo_MSH_LorraineThe Maison des Science de l’Homme Lorraine is offering 6 month post-doctoral contracts in Medieval Hebrew and Medieval Arabic Literature at €2400 per month.

Deadline for Application: June 2014
Start of Contract: 1 September 2014
All nationalities are welcome to apply.

For more information visit the website.

Publication News: Commentari d’arte 52-53

2776925Commentari d’arte, rivista di critica e storia dell’arte

Anno XVIII, n. 52-53 – maggio-dicembre 2012

Carlo Loiacovo, “Commentari d’Arte”: una rivista aperta ai giovani
p. 4

Giacomo Guazzini, Il coro delle monache di San Pier Maggiore a Pistoia: funzione e percezione di un inedito ciclo decorativo di primo Trecento
p. 5

Anna Sgarrella, Per un riesame del corpus di magister Andriolus tajapiera
p. 22

Silvia De Luca, La Madonna della Misericordia della Pieve di Canoscio: una possibile fonte figurativa per Piero della Francesca
p. 37

Giancarlo Gentilini, Ercole e il centauro ed altre Fatiche: una proposta per Giovanni Bandini scultore in argento
p. 50

Lorenzo Principi, La Madonna delle Grazie di Grottaferrata: una proposta per la gioventù di Giovanni di Biasuccio da Fontavignone
p. 60

Francesco Traversi, Un Crocifisso dei Sangallo a Santa Croce sull’Arno
p. 75

Miles Chappell, Postilla per una copia
p. 82

Alessandro Nesi, Sull’Elemosina del Beato Tommaso da Villanova della Propositura di Scarperia (Firenze): da Cavalori a Coccapani?
p. 86

Andrea Cambi, Torello Macchia (1864-1948): un architetto eclettico
p. 94

Adriano Marinazzo, Ipotesi su un disegno michelangiolesco del foglio XIII, 175 v, dell’Archivio Buonarroti
p. 108

Lanfranco Ravelli, Contributo per Nicola van Houbraken (Messina 1660 –
Livorno 1723)
p. 111

Caterina Zappia, Le Alpi frontiera della bohème
p. 113

Publication News: Giotto and the Flood of Florence in 1333

128119Giotto and the Flood of Florence in 1333 : A Study in Catastrophism, Guild Organisation, and Art Technology by Erling S. Skaug

Giotto di Bondone was the key figure in the transition from medieval to modern in European painting. It is well known that he, on 12 April 1334, was appointed architect of the cathedral of Florence, and that he made a design for the campanile. But it has never been explained why he was offered that task, and at that particular point of time. Was it just an honorary position for the aging artist, shortly before his death? Or was his actual commission to organise the rebuilding of vital parts of the city after the disastrous flood of 4 November 1333 – the worst catastrophe of its kind until the one in 1966? By this angle of approach, based upon the textual evidence of the nomination, it becomes possible to put together several pieces of a puzzle that makes up an entirely new picture of a moment in the history of Florencee. Elements as different as Giotto’s stay at the French court in Naples, the introduction of punched decoration in Florentine painting, the dating of some of his problematic altarpieces, the Florentine painters’ place int he city’s gild structure as shown by their formal titles, and a perhaps surprising glimpse into Giotto’s workshop in its late period can all be shown to be causally connected.

Call for Papers: Gothic Ivories: Content and Context

bb00697b31861884c8d36c4b8c81575e8e759139Gothic Ivories: Content and Contextwhich will take place on Saturday 5 July at The Courtauld Institute of Art, and Sunday 6 July 2014 at The British Museum.

Proposals are invited for papers to be presented at this two-day conference in July 2014, jointly organised by the British Museum and the Courtauld Gothic Ivories Project.
The papers will be presented in themed sessions, with contributions lasting 20 minutes.

Launched on the web in December 2010, the Gothic Ivories Project has played an important part in putting Gothic ivory carving in the limelight and over 3,800 objects are now available online, from hundreds of museums around the world. Following the landmark conference ‘Gothic Ivories: Old Questions, New Directions’ organised by the Victoria & Albert Museum and The Courtauld in 2012, this second conference aims to showcase and celebrate new research in this field.

Papers are invited on a wide range of topics arising from the study of Gothic ivory carving and related to the themes of content and context. If the former is inextricably linked to the latter, especially at the time of creation, their relationship evolves, as the meaning and uses of the objects change over time. Content can be understood as the iconography chosen for a particular sculpture or group of sculptures, and its meaning, and this will apply to medieval as well as later neo-Gothic pieces. Context can refer to the original context, i.e. makers and commissioners, questions of origin and style, relationships with artworks in other media, but also to the later context and history of these objects to the present day (history of collecting, casts and reproductions, museology, for instance), questions of use and reuse over time.

The conference also welcomes papers on artworks carved out of related materials, such as horn, walrus ivory, or bone (for instance, horn saddles, chess pieces or Embriachi work).

Proposals should take the form of a short text (max. 200 words), outlining the paper’s title, the main themes, and the object(s) on which the study will concentrate. Some indication of where the research sits within the historiography would also be of use.

Please send proposals for 20-minute papers of no more than 200 words to Naomi Speakman at and Dr Catherine Yvard at no later than Monday 18 March 2014.

For further information visit the website.