Conference | Decor and Architecture in the 17th and 18th Centuries

Posted in conferences (to attend) by Editor on October 26, 2016

From H-ArtHist (25 October 2016). . .

Decor and Architecture in the 17th and 18th Centuries
University of Lausanne, 24–25 November 2016

During the early modern period, décor was considered to be one of the most fundamental elements of architecture. Thanks to décor, architecture could elevate itself beyond simple masonry and claim a superior status. Décor was thus defined as a necessary prerequisite for architecture, rather than a marginal component. However, despite its privileged status, many authors mistrusted it, fearing the harmful effect which an uncontrollable proliferation of ornament would surely have on architecture. This conference aims to question how the relations between décor and architecture were defined and implemented in Europe in the 17th and 18th centuries.

Our perception of these relations has often been informed by teleological approaches: indeed, the radical ideas conveyed by certain 20th-century texts, which define décor as an unnecessary bi-product of architecture, have acted as a distorting prism. The history of art, for its part, has often separated décor-related studies from architecture-related ones, suggesting a de facto rupture between these fields and potentially biasing our understanding of the artistic production of the Early Modern Period by reducing its scope. As various case studies have shown, the conditions to which the invention of a décor was subjected varied greatly from one building to another. The architects’ prerogatives differed according to the circumstances and constraints imposed on them: while some were largely involved in the invention of the décor, others delegated its conception to artists or workmen.

Scientific Organisers
Matthieu LETT (université de Lausanne, université Paris Ouest Nanterre La Défense)
Carl MAGNUSSON (The Courtauld Institute of Art, université de Lausanne)
Léonie MARQUAILLE (Université de Lausanne)

Scientific Committee
Marianne COJANNOT-LE BLANC (université Paris Ouest Nanterre La Défense)
Alexandre GADY (université Paris-Sorbonne)
Dave LÜTHI (université de Lausanne)
Christian MICHEL (université de Lausanne)
Werner OECHSLIN (Eidgenössische Technische Hochschule Zürich)
Antoine PICON (Harvard University)
Katie SCOTT (The Courtauld Institute of Art)

◊  ◊  ◊  ◊  ◊

T H U R S D A Y ,  2 4  N O V E M B E R  2 0 1 6

9.30  Accueil des participants

9.45  Introduction by Matthieu LETT, Carl MAGNUSSON, Léonie MARQUAILLE

10.15  1. Les artistes au service de l’architecte? (Président: Christian Michel, Université de Lausanne)
• Sébastien BONTEMPS (Bibliothèque nationale de France), Invention, fonction(s) et exécution du décor architectural: Paul-Ambroise Slodtz et l’embellissement du chœur de l’église Saint-Merry à Paris
• Hermann DEN OTTER (University of Amsterdam), Changes in the Role of the Joiner in 18th-Century Paris
• Sandra BAZIN-HENRY (Université Paris IV Sorbonne), Le langage architectural des glaces: La part de l’architecte et du miroitier dans l’invention des décors

13.00  Lunch

14.30  2. Le rôle de l’architecte (Président: Alexandre Gady, Université Paris IV Sorbonne)
• Léonie MARQUAILLE (Université de Lausanne), Jacob van Campen, architecte et peintre de la Salle d’Orange à la Huis ten Bosch
• Alexia LEBEURRE (Université Bordeaux Montaigne), « Tout est de son ressort » : l’architecte et la décoration intérieure dans la seconde moitié du XVIIIe siècle
• Matthieu LETT (Université de Lausanne), La question de la répartition de l’invention sur le chantier du nouveau palais royal de Madrid, 1735–1790
• Adrian Fernandez ALMOGUERA (Université Paris IV Sorbonne), De Versailles à Pompéi: Continuités, transformations et hybridations dans le décor architectural espagnol à la fin du XVIIIe siècle

F R I D A Y ,  2 5  N O V E M B E R   2 0 1 6

9.30  3. La question de la décoration intérieure (Président: Carl Magnusson, The Courtauld Institute, Université de Lausanne)
• Hendrik ZIEGLER (Université de Reims Champagne-Ardenne), La place de la décoration intérieure française dans les récits de voyage d’architectes allemands, 1685–1723
• Jason NGUYEN (Harvard University), Smoke and Mirrors: Architectural Decoration and the Physics of Fire, ca. 1700
• Thomas WILKE, Jacques-François Blondel and the Rules of Interior Decoration
• Paolo CORNAGLIA (Politecnico di Torino), Leonardo Marini, Giuseppe Battista Piacenza and Carlo Randoni: Neoclassical Interior Decoration at the Turin Court, 1775–1793


14.30  4. Les programmes d’embellissement: une nécessaire adaptation du décor à l’architecture? (Présidente: Marie Theres Stauffer, Université de Genève)
• Emmanuelle BORDURE (Université Paris IV Sorbonne), Architecture religieuse et décor sculpté dans le dernier quart du XVIIIe siècle: étude comparative de quatre cas d’églises paroissiales en Ile-de-France
• Léonore LOSSERAND et Alexandra MICHAUD (Université Paris IV Sorbonne), Les embellissements du chœur de Saint-Germain-l’Auxerrois: entre architecture et sculpture, 1755–1762
• Tomas MACSOTAY (Universitat Pompeu Fabra), The Rise and Fall of the Décor Economy in Ecclesiastical Interiors in Murcia, Valencia, and the Balearic Islands

17.15  Concluding remarks from Christian MICHEL (Université de Lausanne)

Call for Papers | Romantic Art in the Context of Philosophy and Science

Posted in Calls for Papers by Editor on October 26, 2016

From H-ArtHist:

Romantic Art in the Context of Natural Philosophy and Natural Science
Die Kunst der Romantik im Kontext von Naturphilosophie und Naturwissenschaft
Goethe Museum, Frankfurt am Main, 14–16 September 2017

Proposals due by 3 December 2016

“All art should become science and all science art,” declared Friedrich Schlegel in one of his many aphoristic fragments. As Schlegel envisioned, strengthened ties among art, philosophy, and natural science characterized the Romantic epoch. Literary salons in European artistic and intellectual centers, such as Dresden, facilitated the exchange of ideas and nurtured collaborations among intellectuals and artists that transgressed disciplinary boundaries.

In recent years, there has been substantial scholarly interest in how Romantic literature engaged with the scientific activities of its day. For example, the writings of Johann Wolfgang Goethe, Novalis, Jane Austen, William Blake, E. T. A. Hoffmann, Heinrich von Kleist, and Mary Shelley have all been linked to developments and concepts in the natural sciences. This attention to science and literature around 1800 is just beginning to prompt re-evaluations of related projects in the visual arts. In the 1990s, studies by Rebecca Bedell, Werner Busch, Charlotte Klonk, James Hamilton, Timothy Mitchell, and John Thornes brought the practice of Romantic landscape painting in proximity to natural science. These scholars proposed that new theories in optics, geology, botany, and meteorology to varying degrees inflected depictions of primordial mountain ranges, glaciers, vegetation, skies, and cyclical facets of nature by artists such as Carl Blechen, Caspar David Friedrich, Carl Gustav Carus, Joseph Anton Koch, Johan Christian Dahl, John Constable, J. M. W. Turner, and John Martin. However, in the German context especially, links between science and the visual arts remain contested. Caspar David Friedrich is an especially polarizing figure. With a few notable exceptions, most scholars continue to focus on the aesthetic, political, and, above all, religious dimensions of his practice, and locate his work outside of larger, European-wide trends in the visual arts.

This conference—a cooperation between the German Society for the Study of the Nineteenth Century and the Freies Deutsches Hochstift, where the German Museum of the Romantics will be established—considers anew the intersection between the visual arts  (including, but not limited to landscape painting) and the natural sciences, as well as nature philosophy in the Romantic context across Europe. Papers are especially encouraged that explore how the nature philosophy of Friedrich Wilhelm Joseph Schelling or his contemporaries, such as Carl Gustav Carus, Gotthilf Heinrich Schubert, Lorenz Oken, Johann Wilhelm Ritter, and Frederik Christian Sibbern, influenced artists, informed their practices, and shaped art theory in the early nineteenth century. Please send abstracts (ca. 300 words) for 30-minute presentations, along with a curriculum vitae, to the conference chairs by December 3, 2016. Travel expenses and accommodations will be covered.

Gregor Wedekind
Johannes Gutenberg-Universität Mainz
Institut für Kunstgeschichte und Musikwissenschaft
Jakob-Welder-Weg 12
55128 Mainz


Nina Amstutz
Assistant Professor
History of Art and Architecture
Lawrence Hall 212
5229 University of Oregon
Eugene, OR 97403-5229 USA