Colloque: « The intelligent hand, 1500-1800 », Kenneth Clark Lecture Theatre, The Courtauld Institute of Art, Londres, le 8 novembre 2014, 10.00-17.45
« The intelligent hand, 1500-1800 »
Saturday, 8 November 2014
10.00 – 17.45 (with registration from 09.30)
Kenneth Clark Lecture Theatre, The Courtauld Institute of Art
The hand – the “instrument of instruments” – has fascinated artists, scientists and philosophers from Aristotle onwards. Its remarkable dexterity, anatomical complexity, and the ability to manipulate were seen as defining features distinguishing humanity from animality, as well as indicators of the superiority of the former.
Taking as its starting point the sixteenth-century humanist Dominicus Lampsonius’ claim that ‘the Netherlander / Has intelligence in his hand’, this one-day Symposium will investigate the hand both as the means and the subject of representation in Early Modern art and visual culture.
Participants are invited to explore the hand as the locus where the relations between manual labour and ingenium, workshop and academy, the ‘low’ and the ‘high’ are defined and negotiated in the production of artistic value and new knowledge. Traditionally held to be subordinate to the creative drive of the mind, the artist’s hand may also be considered as an autonomous agent, manifesting itself on the surface of artworks through individual style, the manipulation of media or as an iconographic motif.
This one-day symposium will address the hand both as the means and the subject of representation in Early Modern art and visual culture. Traditionally held to be subordinate to the creative drive of the mind, the artist’s hand may also be considered as an autonomous agent, manifesting itself through individual style, the manipulation of media or as an iconographic motif. How did artists conceive the relation between intellectual and manual labour? How was the human hand represented in different contexts, from scientific treatises to portraits and drawing manuals? Papers will investigate the role of drawing in artistic training, as well as the representation of gesturing in complex pictorial compositions. A workshop with Linda Karshan, an artist whose practice revolves around the exploration of the process of drawing, will allow the participants to move beyond the early modern period and examine the status of the hand in contemporary artistic practice.
09.30 – 10.00 Registration
10.00 – 10.15 Austėja Mackelaitė and Camilla Pietrabissa (The Courtauld Institute of Art): Introduction
10.15 – 11.30 Session I
–Yannis Hadjinicolaou (Freie Universität Berlin / Humboldt- Universität zu Berlin): Thinking Hand, Painting Process and the Rembrandt Tradition
–Carlton Hughes (University of South Carolina-Upstate): Michelangelo’s Concetto
–Anna Sgobbi (Ludwigs-Maximilians-Universität, Munich): The Self-Portrait of Giovanni Paolo Lomazzo (1538-1598): The Gymnosophist Artist and his Way of Painting
11.30 – 12.00 Tea / Coffee Break (provided)
12.00 – 13.15 Session II
–Nicolas Misery (Université Lumière Lyon 2 / Laboratoire de Recherche Historique en Rhône Alpes (LARHRA)): Parmigianino’s Prometheus Animating Man (ca. 1526 -1530): Gesturing the Poetics of Artistic Creation in the Italian Sixteenth Century
–Claudia Steinhardt-Hirsch (Zentralinstitut für Kunstgeschichte, Munich): The Speaking Hand: The Act of Drawing in Early Modern Italy
–Tamar Mayer (University of Chicago): Drawing Hands: Trace, Pressure and Reversal in Jacques-Louis David’s Preparatory Practices
13.15 – 14.00 Lunch (not provided, except for speakers and chairs)
14.00 – 14.45 Linda Karshan (The Courtauld Institute of Art): ‘I am after the most perfect line’. Two workshops with the artist at the Prints and Drawings Study Room.
14.45 – 16.00 Session III
–Temenuzhka Dimova (Université de Strasbourg): Comput digitis: the Arithmetic of Fingers in the Seventeenth- and Eighteenth- Century French Painting
-Parmigianino, Self-Portrait in a Convex Mirror, c. 1524. Oil on wood, diameter 24,4 cm. Kunsthistorisches Museum, Vienna
-Parmigianino, Prometheus animating Man, c. 1524-1527. Pen and brown ink, over faint preliminary indications in black chalk, 5 3/8 by 6 1/16 inches, The Pierpont Morgan Library, New York.