Tag Archives: engraving

CFP: International conference: ‘Multiplied and Modified. Reception of the Printed Image in the Fifteenth and Sixteenth Centuries,’ University of Warsaw and the National Museum in Warsaw, June 28 – 29, 2018

banderolesCall for Papers: International conference: Multiplied and Modified. Reception of the Printed Image in the Fifteenth and Sixteenth Centuries, University of Warsaw and the National Museum in Warsaw, June 28 – 29, 2018
Deadline:  15 January 2018

Keynote speakers:
Jean Michel Massing (University of Cambridge)
Suzanne Karr Schmidt (The Newberry, Chicago)

The production of printed image consists of a multiplication of a particular design, whereas the consumption and reception of single impressions often involve various modifications. Multiple, but virtually identical woodcuts or engravings reproduce and thus disseminate the original composition, while at the same time they have lives of their own. They have been placed in various contexts, coloured, trimmed, framed, pasted into books and onto other objects. The place of prints in both visual and material culture of the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries is a continuously growing field in recent scholarship. However, these studies usually focus on the most prominent centres of production situated in Italy, the Low Countries, France and the Empire. The principal aim of the conference Multiplied and Modified. Reception of the Printed Image in the Fifteenth and Sixteenth Centuries is to contribute to the research on the beginning and early development of the graphic arts from the perspective of the beholder, while broadening geographically the field of inquiry, i.e. by shifting the emphasis to the regions of Central Europe, the British Isles, the Iberian Peninsula, Dalmatia, as well as considering the reception of the European prints on other continents.
Possible topics include but are not limited to:
– Practices of consumption of printed images (owners and beholders, reasons for their interest in printed images; collecting and connoisseurship; printed images in public spaces and in households)
– Printed images in the early modern iconography and contemporary written sources
– Print market, copyright and censorship; printed images in confessional disputes
– Reproductive function of printed images and modifications, adaptations and transformations of original designs, matrices and single impressions
– Printmaking and bookmaking  (role of illustrations in printed books as compared with handwritten illuminated codices; illustrated books and broadsheets, written commentaries to woodcuts and engravings)
We invite proposals from scholars of all disciplines working on the history of print culture.

Papers should be twenty minutes in length and will be followed by a ten-minute Q&A session.
Please e-mail an abstract of no more than 300 words to Magdalena Herman (multipliedandmodified@uw.edu.pl) by January 15, 2018.

Along with your abstract please include your name, institution, paper title and a brief biography of no more than 200 words. Successful applicants will be notified by February 19, 2018. Please indicate whether you would be interested in further developing your paper for a publication.

Reference / Quellennachweis:
CFP: Multiplied and Modified (Warsaw, 28-29 Jun 18). In: ArtHist.net, Oct 31, 2017. <https://arthist.net/archive/16627>.

British Museum Handling Session: Master W and Key and late-gothic architectural prints 

an00059980_001_lThanks to the assistance of Lloyd De Beer and Naomi Speakman, both in progress with individual collaborative PhDs at the British Museum, the Courtauld has organised several handling sessions for postgraduate students over the past few years – you can read a report from an earlier session here.
The March session was kindly hosted by the British Museum’s Prints and Drawings department, and focused on Master W and Key (active c. 1465–1490), an anonymous Netherlandish engraver named after the shape of his monogram. Most of the eighty-two extant works by this artist are ornament prints, but he is also known for his engravings of ships, the first known representations of this kind.
Both aspects of the Master’s production were discussed during the handling session, when we had the opportunity to analyze several prints by the artist, including:
While the ships may be connected with the ducal fleet of Charles the Bold of Burgundy, scholars have generally interpreted the architectural prints as patterns to be used by craftsmen in the workshop. Nevertheless, discussion during the session raised many questions on the cost, circulation and market of such early prints. Although a modern perspective may see the printed image as a cheap, mass-produced medium, these early architectural  examples are very complex, and often required the painstaking engraving of more than one plate, printed on multiple sheets. Would such time-consuming creations really have offered a more convenient alternative to the exchange of drawings among workshops? What other reasons may have contributed to the spread of such designs?
Although this remained an open question, consideration of prints such as Alart du Hameel’s Design for a Gothic baldachin  revealed that early architectural prints could be intentionally used to advertise their maker’s expertise in design and geometry: this print features a prominent signature, a mason’s mark, and an abbreviated ground-plan which seems to imply superior technical expertise. The same consummate skill is show in Wenzel von Olmütz’s Elevation of a Gothic Pinnacle with a Hexagonal Ground Plan, although in contrast to du Hameel, Olmütz did not sign his creation, and positioned plan and elevation one above the other, as typical of other Gothic drawings and of the Gothic design process in general.
Other treats of the handling session included Emperor Heraclius entering Jerusalem with the upright True Cross, designed by Alart du Hameel but signed ‘Bosche,’ presumably in an attempt to partake of the painter’s fame; Master ES’ figured alphabet; Albrecht Dürer’s large coloured drawing of a Gothic table fountain.
Objects for the session were selected by Dr Ursula Weekes, Dr Tom Nickson and Costanza Beltrami. We also put together a short list of suggested reading on the theme of late-Gothic architectural prints and alphabets:
Kik, Oliver, ‘From Lodge to Studio: Transmissions of Architectural Knowledge in the Southern Low Countries, 1480–1530.’ In The Notion of the Painter-Architect in Italy and the Southern Low Countries, edited by Piet Lombaerde (Turnhout, 2014)
Waters, Michael, ‘A Renaissance without Order: Ornament, Single-sheet Engravings and the Mutability of Architectural Prints,’ Journal of the Society of Architectural Historians 71, no. 4 (December 2002), pp. 488-523
Kavaler, Matt, ‘Gossart as Architect,’ and the entries on The Virgin and Child with Musical Angels (p. 126) and The Malvagna Diptych (p. 136) in Maryan W. Ainsworth (ed.), Man, Myth and Sensual Pleasures: Jean Gossart’s Renaissance: The Complete Works (New Haven and London, 2010)
Boekeler, Erika, ‘Building Meaning: The First Architectural Alphabet’. In Push Me, Pull You: Art and Devotional Interaction in Late Medieval & Early Modern Europe, eds S. Blick & L. Gelfand; E.J. (Brill, 2011), pp. 149-195.

CFP: The lettering of prints. Forms and functions of writing in the printed image in 16th-century Europe.


lettering of prints

Call for Papers: The lettering of prints. Forms and functions of writing in the printed
image in 16th-century Europe.
Paris, Centre André Chastel, Institut national d’histoire de l’art
(INHA), November 17 – 18, 2016
Deadline: Mar 31, 2016


Words, titles, legends, commentaries, artists’ names, privileges –
necessarily – fine speeches, addresses to the “reader”, showy
dedications. Cursive and typographic writing, large and small
typefaces, ligatures, numbers and measures. Added words, associated
with figures or set apart by a frame, words that one notices, that one
watches, that one sometimes discovers within an image… What if prints
were also a question of words, of written composition, of comparative
reading within the written and figurative space of an image?

Before the relationship between artistic creation and writing was
completely rethought by the avant-gardists, prints were long the only
visual art in which words could be freely associated with figures and
in which the parts of the text, inserted in the composition, could form
a visual, logical and semantic whole with the drawing. This capacity of
prints to accommodate within a single graphical composition a great
variety of signs, forms and written material is primarily due to the
conception of printing plates and to the technical properties of
engraving. At a time when a mimetic conception of representation which
led more often than not to the exclusion of text from the figurative
field of the image was becoming widespread in Europe – painted,
inscribed or drawn text often relegated to the margins, hidden in a
detail or set apart by a frame – prints continued to accommodate words,
to draw texts to figures, to include inscriptions in the very
composition of engraved plates. During the Renaissance, professionals
of the genre showed remarkable wit and inventiveness in the artistic
conception of writing, the articulation of graphic registers and the
complementarity of written and figurative languages which generally
make up the printed image.

From this point of view, prints occupy a very specific place in
artistic production, visual culture and practices of writing in modern
Western society. We may even see in them the possibility of bringing
together in a single medium different forms of expression and dialogue
which were always deeply connected in the Middle Ages, which is one of
the reasons behind the economic success of prints and their rapid
assimilation by European society. For all those who needed both written
resources and images, prints offered a new medium, itself a subtle
intermediary between printed text and drawing. The 16th century in
Europe was not only the golden age of the printed book: it also marked
the application of engraving techniques to all sorts of iconographies,
the introduction of printed images in numerous spheres of activity, as
well as the birth, derivative of prints, of a new social practice of

The goal of the conference is to study the place of writing, its forms
and functions in 16th-century prints, from the production of images to
their use in extremely varied socio-cultural contexts. The propositions
of presenters, whether dedicated to specific corpuses or treating the
question in a more cross-sectional manner, should be founded on
consultation of engraved or etched inscriptions which constitute the
“lettering” of prints; on technical, linguistic and iconographic
analysis of these inscriptions in relationship to the images they
accompany; on historical interpretation of the objects, processes and
artistic and cultural phenomena thus brought to light. We invite
specialists in prints to widen their scope by taking into consideration
objects and inquiries from other disciplines: literary history, history
of the book, history of science (from medicine to cartography via
antiquarian studies), religious history or political history may all
contribute to collective thinking on the place of writing in the
conception and use of printed images in the 16th century.

Proposed themes for presentations:
– The lettering and the printmaker: is there a technique of writing in
the printed images of the Renaissance?
– How and why are images designed? The conception of the title, its
function and uses in prints.
– Signatures, addresses and privileges: affirmation of the “name” (of
the artist, printmaker, publisher, printer) and its signification in
– Texts with or without frames? The conception of frontispieces,
commentaries and legends.
– Readings, functions, uses: what knowledge of the lettering
contributes to the historical comprehension of printed images.
– The address to the “reader”: appeal to the client, promotion of the
artist or author, dialogue with the spectator and reader.
– The place of commentary, its literary form and its function within
the printed image.
– The cartographic lettering: seeing and describing the world in the
Renaissance (maps, views, maps of the world).
– The poetic lettering: poems, couplets, dedications, emblems in the
16th-century printed image.
– The religious lettering: the functions of writing in 16th-century
religious images, teaching and devotional practices.
– The political lettering: images and dissemination of propaganda in
the 16th-century European print.

NB: The conference proceedings will be published (language of
publication : French and English).

Papers submission: Proposals (title and summary of roughly 1000
characters, accompanied by a brief curriculum vitae, should be
addressed before Thursday March 31, 2016 to the following addresses: