Appel à communication : « Witchcraft and Demonology in the Art of Early Modern Europe », RSA 2021, Dublin, date limite le 10 août 2020

Session du Congrès de la Renaissance Society of America – Dublin, 2021

The visual language of witchcraft, developing in conjunction with the witch hunts in early modern Europe, has been considerably studied in the past three decades. As scholars have often noted, these images speak simultaneously to the artistic and the demonological. These works of art not only were inspired by or responded to cultural and legal notions but also served to shape understandings of both magical and artistic practices and practitioners. Not unlike the heterogeneity of witchcraft beliefs themselves, the images were varied and aimed for diverse purposes, from didactic and moral functions to entertainment and pure expressions of artistic fantasia.

This panel invites papers that investigate how artists tackled ideas relating to witchcraft and demonology ca. 1400–1700, and what meanings viewers might have gleaned from these images. We aim to bring together scholars to discuss the role and signification of these images in order to delve into the range of the rhetorical power, artistic experimentation, and complex iconographies of this captivating subject matter.

Possible topics include, but are certainly not limited to:

  • The role of artworks of witchcraft in artists’ careers
  • Visual language of witchcraft and its transmission throughout Europe
  • Representations of unspecified or literary witches (mythology, the Bible, epic poems, etc.)
  • Witchcraft imagery and demonology
  • The devilish, the monstrous, and the fantastic
  • Patronage and collecting of witchcraft artworks
  • Social, historical, cultural, artistic, and intellectual contexts of an image of witchcraft

Proposals must include: paper title (15-word max), abstract (150-word max), full name, current affiliation, and contact details, C.V. (up to 5 pages).

Please submit proposals to Hannah Segrave and Guy Tal by August 10.


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