Appel à communication : Quatre nouvelles sessions au Congrès de la RSA (Philadelphie, 2-4 avril 2020)

Congrès annuel de la Renaissance Society of America,
Philadelphie  2-4 avril 2020
Date de soumission des propositions : 26 juillet – 5 août 2019


1. Artists and their Collections, 1300-1700
2. Vasari’s Metamorphoses
3. Michelangelo Buonarroti
4. The longue durée of serial images in early-modern print culture


1. Artists and their Collections, 1300-1700

Recent publications and exhibitions [Painters’ Paintings, The National Gallery, London; Magnificent Obsessions, The Sainsbury Centre for Visual Arts, Norwich / The Barbican Centre, London] have explored artists’ motivations for forming collections, demonstrating that assembling works of art is inextricably linked to producing them. Less concerned with the use of objects as markers of social status, artists collected, displayed, and used objects with more attention to the creative process than their wealthy or noble contemporaries. In some cases, artists even pioneered the collecting of particular works of art.

A concentration on famous artists’ and architects’ collecting habits is noticeable, perhaps even unavoidable. Dependence on the chance survival of archival documents, such as inventories or letters, further limits the scope of inquiry. Recent case studies on Lorenzo Ghiberti, Andrea Bregno, Filippino Lippi, Gerard David, Pieter Paul Rubens, Rembrandt van Rijn, Thomas Lawrence or Angelika Kaufmann have made strong cases for a closer study of the ways in which collections can inform works of art.

This panel invites contributions for papers that present new case studies or provide novel approaches to the study of the ways in which owned objects inspired works of art. Applicants are encouraged to consider source material in all media, including workshop utensils, uninhibited by geographical boundaries. Papers drawing from unpublished archival material, presenting lesser-known artists, or considering a cross-cultural perspective are particularly welcome.
Please send your application before 5 August 2019 to panel organizers Alessio Assonitis ( and Alexander Röstel (

– Paper title and abstract (max. 300 words)
– CV (max. 200 words), including your academic status and affiliation.

2. Vasari’s Metamorphoses: Re-Thinking the Relationship between the first two Editions of
Le Vite

Giorgio Vasari’s Le vite de più eccellenti architetti, pittori et scultori italiani two editions are often read as two versions of the same story, that of the “invention” of Italian Renaissance to use Patricia Rubin’s terms. The fact that the second version of the text published in 1568 was substantially more detailed and long, turned it into the reference edition for subsequent historiography. To this undeniable success of the 1568 Giuntina contributed what was repeatedly labeled as the cumulative process Vasari adopted, adding layers of information to the solid basis he created in the Torrentiniana edition of 1550.

This reading of the relationship between the two first editions is certainly not erroneous, as it is based on the scores of new biographies as well as the new materials within existing biographies, that were added to the 1568 edition. Yet, the cumulative process is by no means the only angle under which the Torrentiniana-Giuntina rapports should be defined and examined. We can also think of the process of elaborating the second edition based upon the first edition, as a transformation with metamorphosic qualities. The solid yet limited version Vasari initially published turned into a new body of work that while containing the original characteristics had put in many aspects a new form. The form and content of the 1568 edition evolved together with its author the underwent a metamorphosis from a modest painter to a history writer and a prominent court artist.

It will be thus useful to re-examine the relationship between Vasari’s two landmark editions of Le Vite as a transformative process the allowed the author not only to add and correct his first edition, but also to give new form to his ideas on art and culture. Where are these metamorphoses most detectable, in style and in content? Can we identify biographies that are radically transformed and to which means? Where does the metamorphosis of Vasari himself is to be seen most in the Vite? These are only few of the issues we would like to examine while addressing the question of “Vasari’s metamorphoses ».

Interested participants should send proposals, of no more than 150
 words, keywords, and a single page CV, no longer than 300 words, to Antonella Fenech (CNRS Centre André Chastel( and Sefy Hendler (Tel Aviv University)

Deadline 26 July 2019 the latest.

3. Michelangelo Buonarroti: Intersections in Art and Historiography

Michelangelo Buonarroti is the Italian Renaissance universal man par excellence: he worked as a painter, sculptor, and architect. Whether we subscribe or not to the historiographical construct of the universal artist, Michelangelo did engage with all three of Vasari’s arti. However, while Michelangelo remains one of the most extensively studied artists of the Italian Renaissance, intersections in his art have comparatively received less attention. Relative scholarship has focused primarily on specific projects, which inherently combine different media, such as the New Sacristy in San Lorenzo. This session proposes to examine in greater depth intersections in Michelangelo’s art across media, including drawing. Papers that include painted and/or drawn architecture, as opposed to only built architecture, are particularly welcome. The session also aims to explore intersections regarding methodological approaches of the different arti. In what ways does the discussion of Michelangelo’s architecture differ from that of painting and/or sculpture? Does the separation of different media simply reflect our modern specializations in history of painting, sculpture, and architecture? To what extend does the analysis of different media differ and/or converge and in what ways?

Please submit the following information to Angeliki Pollali, Associate Professor, Deree-The American College of Greece (, by August 3, 2019:
– Name and affiliation
– Paper Title (max. 15 words)
– Abstract (max. 150 words)
– CV (max. 2 pages)

NOTE: Presenters must (per RSA rules) be within two years of completing their PhD (and present on their dissertation) or have a completed PhD. Speakers must be or become RSA members by November 1st to speak at the conference.

4. The longue durée of serial images in early-modern print cultur

Historians have examined copying through the lens of copyright, piracy, and plagiarism. But those terms do not apply well to printed images because copying was part and parcel of artistic training; it could also stimulate creativity via, for example, technical or iconographic innovations. Engraved or etched images were constantly re-used. In practice, a publisher’s heirs may recycle and alter the copper-plates from the shop; artists may freely reproduce or transfer an impression onto a new plate, changing it as they pleased; or only sections may be copied. Original names (authors or sellers) disappeared and new signatures, if any, were inserted. When a composition was repeated with modifications over decades or centuries, a series emerged. Engravings and etchings of conclaves, funerals, or solemn entries are a case in point.
This session examines seriality, or the practice of recycling, reinterpreting, and modifying an image over a long period of time. What are the best terms to use to discuss this process? What changes in a serial iteration of prints over time? How did viewers approach familiar-looking pictures? Who produced, sold, or bought them?
We welcome papers that tackle the meanings of iconographic reproduction in the longue durée, including questions of appropriation (a term that remains to be defined), rhythm (temporal aspects), manipulation, and geography (making / distribution).

Please send an abstract (ca. 150 words) and a brief CV to: by August 1, 2019.


Appel à communication : congrès de la « Renaissance Society of America » (Philadelphie, 2–4 avril 2020)

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