Dutch Postgraduate School for Art History
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Researchmaster education
OSK/NIKI Winter School (Florence): Images of art and artist. A seminar on the representation of histories, anecdotes & theories of art (15th-19th century) (DL: 9/10/11)
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November 11 till January 27, 2012
Martijn van Beek MA
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We are all familiar with the presentation of ideas on art and art history in the form of texts. But obviously, such ideas were also expressed in a non-verbal manner – in monuments or paintings, drawings or prints. In the book Representing Renaissance Art, c. 1500-1600 for instance, Catherine E. King has recently discussed prints and paintings as sources for a study of ideas about the status and the nature of art during the Renaissance. But representing art was not restricted to the Renaissance period. In fact, due the increase of the status of the visual arts, the representation of art and artist became legitimate subjects for later periods as well, in the form both of allegories and anecdotes of artists. One could even argue that the painting of art anecdotes established itself as important subgenre of history painting, enjoying its greatest bloom in period of salon painting. Scenes from the life of Phidias, Michelangelo, Titian or Dürer were produced with increasing frequency until the rise of modern art (and the phenomenon continued in film, from Caravaggio to Pollock). The principal aim of this course is to investigate the development of the (self-) representation of the visual arts, to discuss important capita selecta of this history, from the Renaissance to the end of the 19th century, and lay the groundwork for research into the Vite of Vasari and his colleagues as sources for an extensive production of images of artists, in a way comparable to, say, Homer’s heroes or the Gods of Ovid. 

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