Quatre appels à communication pour la RSA 2015 (Berlin, 26-28 mars 2015)

RSA4 sessions at RSA Conference (Berlin, 26-28 Mar 15)

RSA, Berlin, March 26 – 28, 2015
Deadline: Jun 6, 2014

4 sessions at RSA Conference

61st Annual Meeting of the Renaissance Society of America (RSA)

[1] Irregular Classicism
[2] Correcting the Antique
[3] Performing piety
[4] Fireworks in European Renaissance Capitals and Courts

[1] Irregular Classicism

Seventeenth-century artistic theory, as concentrated primarily around the Académie de peinture et de sculpture in France, inherited many precepts of the Renaissance system of representation. In French art-practice, however, this notion of systematicity contributed to a fluctuating visual regime, which rhetorically adhered to its rational percepts but in practice shifted values and dominants within the system. This session seeks to question the fundamentals of the established categories of art theory in the French âge classique by examining artistic practice as susceptible to influences from outside, disobedient, and often falling out of the system.

Suggested sessions topics include but are not limited to:
– the rationality of creating and breaking the rules
– royal patronage as a foil for innovation
– the dialectics of historia and decorum, disegno and colore, matière (subject-matter) and artistic invention (penseé)
verisimilitude and ornament
– religious passions and the ambiguity of their message
– hierarchies and shifts in the system of genres
– the non-absolutist  representation in the era of Absolutism

Submissions should include paper title; abstract (150-word maximum);
keywords; and a one-page curriculum vitae (300-word maximum) sent to

[2] Correcting the Antique

In De re aedificatoria IX.10, Alberti urges the aspiring architect to study thoroughly all existing buildings according to the following instructions: “should [the architect] find anything anywhere of which he approves, he should adopt and copy it; yet anything that he considers can be greatly refined, he should use his artistry and imagination to put right; and anything that is otherwise not too bad, he should strive to the best of his ability to improve.”

Ancient buildings received the primary attention of Renaissance architects; they were measured, drawn, but also reinterpreted. Among the most well-known examples are Giuliano da Sangallo’s plan of Santa Costanza and Francesco di Giorgio’s interior of the Pantheon. What do these reinterpretations signify with regard to the Renaissance view and appropriation of antiquity? Were Renaissance architects correcting the defaults of the otherwise “good” architecture of the ancients? Were
Renaissance architects viewing antiquity through the lens of contemporaneous practice and in what way can Renaissance architectural theory elucidate this process? We welcome case studies, monographic studies and temporal/geographic approaches.

Please send your paper title, abstract (150-word maximum), and curriculum vitae (including affiliation and contact information) to Angeliki Pollali, Deree-The American College of Greece, apollali@acg.edu and Berthold Hub, University of Vienna,

Speakers must be members of the Renaissance Society of America at the time of the conference.

Please consult the RSA website for further information: http//www.rsa.org

[3] Performing piety. Scenes from the restoration of the Catholic landscape in the Habsburg Netherlands (1600-1620)

In the second half of the sixteenth century Protestantism was surging throughout Europe. A struggle over sites, structures and artefacts followed, ensued by a vigorous policy to restore Catholicism. When Isabella was appointed sovereign of the Netherlands in 1598, she encountered territories completely exhausted by years of civil war, famine and plague. All over the country, the religious infrastructure was severely damaged and the people were disillusioned with regard to governmental rule. These newly minted rulers were committed to the restoration of the Catholic landscape.

This session aims to address the performances of piety that the regime of the archdukes Albert and Isabella (1598-1621) exhibited during the restoration of the Catholic landscape in the Habsburg Netherlands. As an important and independent actor with a specific program, the archducal regime is known to have made generous contributions to the (re)establishment of Catholicism. The contributions did not only concern the physical landscape – through their patronage of the
restoration and refurbishing of Catholic buildings or art projects praising the Church – but also the devotional landscape – establishment of new religious orders, their performance at important feasts, (Catholic) ceremonies or pilgrimages, etc.

We invite papers that consider these archducal interventions in the Catholic restoration in the Southern Netherlands. Paper topics include, but are not limited to:
– Case studies of arts or architecture praising the Church achieved through financial assistance of the archdukes
– Performance of the archdukes in religious ceremonies
– Encouragement of particular devotions such as the Eucharist by the
– (Theoretical aspects of) the policy of donations of the archdukes
– Links between Catholic restoration and Habsburg rule

Please submit an abstract (< 150 words) with title, keywords, and a short CV (< 300 words) by June 9th to Dagmar Germonprez
Deadline: 9 (!) June, 2014

[4] Fireworks in European Renaissance Capitals and Courts

Fireworks are the most lavish expressions of ephemeral festival culture and thus artworks with the shortest duration. Generally combined with music and artillery, parades on land or floats on the water, they offer
playful ways to symbolize military and political power. The long tradition of fireworks started in Greece with the ignis graecus and
reached its first zenith in the early modern period. The medieval invention of black powder opened radically new pyrotechnic
possibilities and led – paradoxically enough – to a hilarious sublimation of the martial origin of this ephemeral art form. Its
quality and originality depended, of course, on the pyrotechnic capabilities of the responsible architects and military engineers: the more innovative they were, the more impressive the design of the fireworks could be. Fireworks had great potential for political self-representation in public places, for secular and ecclesiastic rulers. Thus, in almost all capitals and courts of 16th- and 17th-century Europe, the gunfire and canon roar of fireworks marked the most solemn moments of festive
events, such as coronations and weddings, accessions to power, and the conclusion of peace treaties. Often, fireworks were performed near rivers and natural or artificial lakes, in order to intensify them with
the mirror effect of the water. A particularly brilliant pyrotechnic display was staged on the occasion of the Easter procession in 1589 in Piazza Navona in Rome. As documented by Antonio Tempesta, fireworks and artificial light illuminated the flooded Piazza with a carrack in the middle flanked by two galleys, a playful imitation of ancient naval
battles. A rich literature on pyrotechnics (Bacon, Descartes, Newton) reflects this particular ephemeral art form. Artificial fires – in French aptly called feux d’artifice – could be so awe-inspiring that they were
characterized as a “third nature” or ascribed divine status. Theodor W. Adorno defined the firework as the most perfect medium of art („die perfekteste Form der Kunst, da sich das Bild im Moment seiner höchsten
Vollendung dem Betrachter wieder entzieht“).Our session will investigate early modern fireworks in European Renaissance capitals and courts. Papers should focus on the various elements which makes the firework a kind of Gesamtkunstwerk: the
merging of diverse forms of arts: (ephemeral) architecture, light and color, music and artillery, water parades and ‘floats.’ Suggested topics might also deal with two-dimensional media (paintings, drawings, and graphics) as well as automata and music.

Please send a 150-word proposal with paper title, keywords, and one-page CV (300-word maximum) by June 6 to
nicole.hegener@culture.hu-berlin.de ; submissions may be in English or German.

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