Tag Archives: monastic orders

CFP: “In Search of the Desert: New Observations on the Late-Medieval Revival of the Eremitic Life,” ICMS 2019 (Deadline 15 October, 2018)

In Search of the Desert: New Observations on the Late-Medieval Revival of the Eremitic Life

54th International Congress on Medieval Studies, Kalamazoo, May 9 – 12, 2019
Deadline: Oct 15, 2018
Organizers: Denva Gallant (University of Delaware) and Amelia Hope-Jones (University of Edinburgh)

In the third and fourth centuries AD, the barren deserts of Egypt, Syria and Palestine P1000332witnessed the birth of Christian monastic life among saints who came to be known as the Desert Fathers. The heroic self-discipline and devoted ascetic endeavors of St Antony the Abbot, St Paul of Thebes and St Macarius, among others, became emblematic of an original and authentic form of the religious life. This eremitic tradition, transmitted to the west through hagiography and ascetic literature, exerted a profound influence over the formation of western monastic life in the fifth and sixth centuries, and continued to function as an ideological authority well into the late medieval period and beyond.

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CFP: The Network of Cassinese Arts, Kunsthistorisches Institut in Florenz, Florence, 16-18 Mar 2017

800px-abbey_of_saint_scholastica2c_subiacoCFP: The Network of Cassinese Arts, Kunsthistorisches Institut in Florenz, Florence, 16-18 Mar 2017
Deadline: Oct 30, 2016

Organized by Alessandro Nova and Giancarla Periti

From the late fifteenth to the mid sixteenth century, an impressive
corpus of architecture, sculpture, and painting was created to
embellish monastic sites affiliated with the Benedictine Cassinese
Congregation of Italy. A religious order of humanistically trained
monks whose mobility among the network of Cassinese monasteries was
paramount to their spiritual reformed agenda, the Cassinese fruitfully
engaged with the most eminent artists and architects of the early
modern period, supporting the production of imagery and architecture
that was often highly experimental in nature. The Cassinese
Congregation constituted a spiritual infrastructure that spread across
the northern, central and southern regions of Italy, through which not
only monks but also works and models circulated, intersected, and
interacted. The mobility and flow of artists, materials, and motifs
tied together the reformed religious communities affiliated with the
Cassinese Congregation and simultaneously connected an antique with a
modern Christian artistic corpus. This system resulted in a virtual
continuum linking works of architecture, sculpture, and painting,
including the Byzantine church of San Vitale in Ravenna, the Norman
cloister of Monreale (Palermo), and Raphael’s Sistine Madonna in
Piacenza.

Scholarship has presented the Cassinese monks principally as learned
patrons of ambitious but locally-inflected works created by credited
Renaissance masters. But such an approach has obscured the fact that
these modern instances of Cassinese Christian arts existed within a
larger cultural network and coexisted with others of differing value,
including the management of late antique buildings, the preservation of
Byzantine mosaics, and the custody of poorly made votive images in
popular shrines. Not only did these lesser-known episodes assure the
survival of late antique arts, and artifacts of limited aesthetic
appeal, but they also provided occasions for Renaissance masters active
in Cassinese communities to confront alternative forms of antiquity in
a dialogue among the arts for the reinvention of a modern Christianized
art.

The present conference proposes itself as a forum for the task of
reconnecting various artistic episodes that were once Cassinese
initiatives in Renaissance Mediterranean Italy and of re-considering
the spatial monastic settings in which the artworks were originally
placed. Investigating the network of Cassinese arts therefore offers a
fresh occasion to gain new perspectives on a rich body of antique and
Renaissance artworks and their life across time, as well as their
makers’ approaches to past models, recipients’ modalities of viewing
and the pressures put on images as agents of religious reform.

Proposals engaging with all aspects of the network of Cassinese arts
are welcome, with a preference for investigations of little-explored
Cassinese works in southern Italy or new readings of major artworks and
their modes of functioning. Comparative approaches to cycles depicting
rebus-like art forms such as grotesques and hieroglyphs are also of
great interest, as are explorations of the social life of Renaissance
artists building on the evidence that some set up workshops within the
Cassinese precincts while working for the monks. Other topics could
include the appropriation and recycling of Early Christian and
Byzantine materials in Cassinese edifices, the ecological management of
built resources (for example, the transfer of antique columns from San
Vitale in Ravenna to the abbey of Santa Maria del Monte in Cesena) that
served to symbolically link Cassinese monasteries, and considerations
on the Cassinese visual network of the sacred, spreading throughout
Mediterranean Italy by means of copies of primary objects and the
mobility of monks, artists and forms.

How to Submit: Please send your proposal (maximum 400 words) and CV in English, German and/or Italian to Dott.ssa Mandy Richter: Richter@khi.fi.it.

CFP: RSA-Session ‘Artists in Habits’ (Berlin, 26-28 March 2015)

RSA-Session ‘Artists in Habits’ 
Berlin, 26-28 March 2015
Deadline: 10 June 2014

This panel seeks papers that explore the dual identities of artists who were members of a religious order. More than fifteen years since seminal studies on the “frate-dipintore” by William Hood and Megan Holmes, on Fra Angelico and Fra Filippo Lippi respectively, we ask how scholarship on monastic-artistic occupations has evolved.

fra_angelico_annunciation

Are we closer to understanding if, and if so how, these artist’s personal piety or theological training informed their painterly approach? Did their allegiance to a specific order give rise to iconographies reflecting the spirituality of that order? Is there evidence that they were sought by patrons specifically because of their spiritual ‘purity’? Did their status allow access to religious spaces that ordinary artists could not enter? How did religious institutions make use of the talents of their artist members? And overall, is this even a valid area of enquiry?

The panel invites proposals from scholars wishing to re-address canonical monastic artists as well as those who hope to shine a light on lesser known monk/friar/nun artists.

Please send an abstract (150 words) and a CV (1 page) by June 10 to Joost Joustra (Courtauld Institute of Art, joost.joustra@courtauld.ac.uk) and Laura Llewellyn (Courtauld Institute of Art, laura.llewellyn@courtauld.ac.uk)