Appel à communication : “A Fresh Look at Fresco in Venice”, Dublin, RSA 2021, date limite le 10 août 2020
Since the sixteenth century the place of Venetian painting within the history and theory of art has been inextricably linked with the use of oil paint on canvas. Yet the city was once renowned for its frescoes too. Noting that the palaces along the Grand Canal were all painted, the French envoy Philippe de Commynes, visiting in 1495, deemed it the “most beautiful street in the entire world.” Francisco de Hollanda (1548) described the entire city as one enormous “good painting.” Even Lodovico Dolce, whose treatise L’Aretino (1557) promoted the idea of a distinctly Venetian mode of painting exemplified by Titian, predicated largely upon the looser handling and chromatic range of oil paint (colorito), praised Venice’s frescoed facades over those clad in more luxurious, and durable, polychrome marble.
It was known that the city’s humid and saline climate was ill suited to the medium—a fact more than attested to by the scant remains of the city’s early modern frescoes. Modern scholarship treats fresco largely as an aside in the history of Venice’s art. Still, Venetian patrons continued to commission works in fresco for exteriors as well as interiors throughout the early modern era—even into the nineteenth century. Nearly every major painter in sixteenth-century Venice, from Giorgione to Tintoretto, painted in fresco at some point in his career.
What was the “place,” then, of fresco within Venetian art? This session aims to examine where fresco fits within the city’s artistic economy, within the technical and critical processes of its artists, and within the critical reception and historiography of its art.
This session welcomes papers focused on the medium of fresco in Venice and the Veneto from c.1400 to c.1800. Potential topics might include, but are not limited to: conservation or technical studies on surviving frescoes; documentary or iconographic studies of specific works; patronage of frescoes; comparative studies of works in fresco and oil; broader studies that broach underlying critical or historiographic issues regarding this medium in Venice.
Please send title of paper, abstract (150 words max), and brief CV (1 page max) as a single document to firstname.lastname@example.org by August 10th, 2020.
*Please note that all speakers must become members of RSA in order to present their papers in the conference.