Parution : Chiara Franceschini (dir.), « Sacred Images and Normativity: Contested Forms in Early Modern Art », Turnhout, Brepols, 2020
Early modern objects, images and artworks were often nodes of discussion and contestation. If images were sometimes contested by external and often competing agencies (religious and secular authorities, image theoreticians, various Inquisitions, etc.), artists and objects were just as likely to impose their own rules and standards through the continuation and/or contestation of established visual traditions, styles, iconographies, materialities, reproductions, and reframings. While issues such as censorship and iconoclasm have already received much attention from scholars, the actual role and capacity of the image as agent—either in actual legal processes or, more generally, in the creation of new visual standards—has yet to be adequately thematised. At present, no comprehensive study collects the many diverse instances of the multi-layered normative power of images, objects, and art. This volume aims to provide a first exploration of image normativity by means of a series of case studies, which will focus in a variety of ways on the intersections between the limits of the sacred image and the power of art, especially but not exclusively in Europe, between 1450 and 1650. Each essay will approach the question of normativity in sacred images from different perspectives. Dealing with a number of types of images and materials, authors discuss the status of images and objects in trials, contested portraits, objects and iconographies, the limits to representations of suffering, the tensions between theology and art, and the significance of copies and adaptations that establish as well as contest visual norms from Europe and beyond.
Chiara Franceschini is Professor of Early Modern Art History at the LMU and leads the ERC project and team SACRIMA, The Normativity of Sacred Images in Early Modern Europe. Her work is situated at the crossroads of the history of art, early modern history and visual culture. She has published Storia del Limbo (Feltrinelli, 2017), where she explores the debates surrounding salvation without baptism and images of limbo from Mantegna to Michelangelo, and she is currently preparing a new monograph on conflicts surrounding religious images in early modern Europe.