Workshop : « Proto-national identities of the immigrant communities in the early modern period » (Dubrovnik, 13-17 mai 2018)

International Research Workshop : « Proto-national identities of the immigrant communities in the early modern period » (Dubrovnik, 13-17 mai 2018)

Lieu : Dubrovnik, Centre for Advanced Academic Studies (CAAS)


University of Zagreb, Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences, Art History Dpt

HRZZ Research project -Visualizing Nationhood: the Schiavoni/Illyrian Confraternities and Colleges in Italy and the Artistic Exchange with South East Europe (15th – 18th c.)

HISTARA, École Pratique des Hautes Études, PSL – Research University Paris

Università di Macerata



The workshop aims at bringing together specialists and doctoral students from various academic backgrounds, focusing on art historical methodology in researching visual phenomena related to the expression of proto-national identities of the immigrant communities in the Early Modern period. The specific thematic focus of Dubrovnik workshop is the formation of proto-national networks of so-called Schiavoni/Illyrians between Italy and Eastern Adriatic coast and their impact on the transmigration of artists and architectural and artistic objects and designs, taken as a paradigmatic case study for a number of important research problems of art history as a global discipline.

The formation of structured groups within immigrant communities in Early Modern Italy, such as confraternities and colleges, has long been recognised as one of the main vehicles of integration into the host society, while also functioning as centres of the formulation of proto-national identities, inevitably based on their ”Otherness”. In order to function on both practical and symbolic level, these institutions created buildings and artworks, which reveal rivalries and alliances between different national groups and the host society hierarchy, especially in multi-layered urban contexts and artistic centres such as Rome, Bologna or Venice. Emerging from the experience of historical and contemporary exiles and their relevance for current debates on identity and history, related art-historical discourses also include analysis of collective patronage specific iconography and choice of artists, bordering with migration studies, confraternity studies, musicology and history of language and literature.

Additionally, these ”national” hubs abroad can also be seen as a loose network which enables mobility and encounters of artists and patrons as well as the circulation of knowledge, artworks and projects between Italian artistic centres and the lands of immigrants’ origin, intersecting with diplomatic networks and the Republic of letters. Moreover, these were also Early Modern channels for international help in cases of natural disasters, such as earthquakes or fires, or similar events that necessarily changed the visual and architectural culture of a place. Therefore, the study of the network in question enriches the understanding of agents and vehicles of transmigration of forms and visual norms outside (or parallel to) the post-colonial discourse, enabling a better understanding of processes of creation, diffusion and consumption of the visual language.

The specific case of Dubrovnik, a semi-independent maritime Republic through the Early Modern period, and, more broadly, historical confraternities and colleges of immigrants and students arriving to Italy from the area broadly coinciding with present-day Croatia, Slovenia, Bosnia and Hercegovina and Montenegro, represent a telling example of a proto-national network and its visible impact on both urban and single single-artwork scale, also in cases of great natural disasters, like the great earthquake of 1667. It is therefore particularly useful for PhD students and recent graduates working on related topics while also providing new and fruitful insight on the artistic heritage of a UNESCO site.

In addition to lectures by experts in Roman, Venetian and Bolognese artistic heritage, the workshop includes fieldwork (work on the monuments, in the State Archives and the Research Library collection of rare books), and reading seminars (articles, published and unpublished sources available through an online reader). The work shall focus both on existing monuments as well as on those documented in the archival sources. The participants will present small supervised individual assignments related to the general topic of the workshop.



Prof Jasenka Gudelj, PhD, University of Zagreb, Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences, Art History Dpt []

Prof Sabine Frommel, PhD, EPHE Paris

Prof. Bernard Aikema, PhD, University of Verona

Susanne Kubersky-Piredda, PhD, Senior scholar, Max-Planck Institute for Art History – Bibliotheca Hertziana in Rome

Prof. Giuseppe Capriotti, PhD, University of Macerata

Prof. Danko Šourek, PhD, University of Zagreb, Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences, Art History Dpt

Daniel Premerl, PhD, senior research associate, Institute of Art History, Zagreb

Tanja Trška, PhD, University of Zagreb, Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences, Art History Dpt

Anita Ruso, PhD, University of Zagreb, Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences, HRZZ project VizNat


MORNING SESSION 9:00 – 13:00 AFTERNOON SESSION 14:00 – 19:00
Sun May 13


Mon May 14 Introduction + assignments



Susanne Kubersky (Bibliotheca Hartziana): National churches in Rome in comparative perspective



Jasenka Gudelj (University of Zagreb): St. Jerome of Croats in Rome and the artistic exchange with the East Adriatic






Lunch break



Cathedral – Gudelj (architecture),

Trška (paintings), Premerl (altars, treasury)



Fieldwork: general tour of Dubrovnik Ruso (Rectors’palace, city walls, Large fountain)

16:15 -18:30


Tue May 15 Bernard Aikema (Università di Verona): National Scuole in Venice



Tanja Trška (University of Zagreb): Scuola di San Giorgio e Trifone in Venice






Anita Ruso (University of Zagreb): Ragusan Networks and the Artistic Exchange






Lunch break

Fieldwork: church of St. Blaise – Ruso (architecture), Premerl (artworks)




Assignments: working groups


Wed May 16 Giuseppe Capriotti (Università di Macerata): Art of the Immigrant communities in the Marche region



Sabine Frommel (Ecole Pratique des Hautes Etudes, Paris): Foreign Colleges in Bologna



Danko Šourek (University of Zagreb) & Daniel Premerl (Institut of Art History): Illyrian-Hungarian college in Bologna






Lunch break


State Archives – Trška (drawings)



Jesuit church & college in Dubrovnik

Šourek (architecture of the church and college, fresco paintings), Trška (altar paintings), Gudelj (Jesuit stairs)



Assignments: working groups





Thurs May 17 Assignments presentation

9:15 -12:30

Final discussion and concluding remarks




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