Online Conference | Reimagining the Court Portrait, 1500–1800

Posted in conferences (to attend), online learning by Editor on May 4, 2021

From CRASSH at Cambridge:

Dressing a Picture: Reimagining the Court Portrait, 1500–1800
Online, CRASSH, University of Cambridge, 6–7 May 2021

Organized by Ana Howie and Alessandro Nicola Malusà

Juan Pantoja de la Cruz, Portrait of Doña Ana de Velasco y Girón, Duchess of Braganza, 1603 (Alicia Koplowitz Collection).

As Ulinka Rublack asserts in Dressing Up, her seminal book on dress in early modern Europe, society was extremely dress-literate and nowhere more so than in the courtly environments that generated and fuelled fashion. Within these sartorially-minded elite communities, one was constantly on display. Capturing dressed sitters in paint for prosperity, portraiture was a unique vehicle for the inherent dialectic in clothing between subject and observer, and presentation and perception. As such, this conference will examine three themes surrounding early modern portraiture: the artist, the depicted material culture and the setting for its iconographic display, that is the court. We aim to examine these connections via the prism of the period’s intricate social stratification and complex gender power dynamics. To provide sufficient breadth, the conference will present papers dealing with material between 1500 and 1800.

Considering the interdisciplinary nature of our project—spanning history, dress studies, art theory, gender history, court studies and architectural history—we believe that our conference will generate exciting contributions from leading international scholars. This conference will meaningfully contribute to the wider scholarly debate on the significance of early modern portraiture as pivotal sources for numerous branches of historical research and not just art history. Our conference will both firmly enable this discussion and bring attention to this burgeoning field of interdisciplinary historical studies. Registration is available here»

Keynote Speakers
• Erin Griffey (University of Auckland)
• Karen Hearn (UCL)
• Katarzyna Kosior (Northumbria University)
• Mei Mei Rado (LACMA)
• Catherine Stearn (Kentucky University)
• Cordula van Wyhe (York University)

T H U R S D A Y ,  6  M A Y  2 0 2 1

All times are BST.

13.00  Welcome and Opening Remarks

13.20  Panel 1: Materialising Courtly Bodies
Chair: Holly Fletcher (University of Sussex)
• Panel Keynote — Karen Hearn (UCL), ‘Richly apparelled, and her belly laid out …’: Signalling (or not Signalling) Pregnancy in 16th- and Early 17th-Century Court Portraits
• Ana Howie (University of Cambridge), ‘White Ruff and Red Cuffs, on a Black Dress. The Negro Dressed in Yellow’: Materialising Bodies in van Dyck’s Portrait of Elena Grimaldi-Cattaneo
• Lisa Nunn (East Anglia), ‘A Hundred Times Fitter for a Barn than a Palace’: A Gendered Analysis of the Protectorate Portraits of Elizabeth Cromwell and Her Daughters

14.50  Break

15.00  Panel 2: Negotiating Gender in Early Modern Portraiture
Chair: Sophie Pitman (Aalto University)
• Panel Keynote — Catherine Stearn (Kentucky University), Countess or Queen, Countess and Queen: How Dress and Portraiture Illuminate the Role of Elizabeth I’s Privy Chamber Women
• Vanessa de Cruz Medina (Independent Scholar, former Prado Museum & Villa I Tatti Fellow), Ladies-in-Waiting and Portrait Galleries: Identity, Family, and Power at Early Modern Habsburg Courts
• Alice Blow (University of Cambridge), Gender Ambiguity in The Cobbe Portrait of Henry Wriothesley, Third Earl of Southampton, c.1590–93

16.30 Break

16.40  Panel 3: The Court Portrait: Global Considerations
Chair: Giorgio Riello (European University Institute)
• Panel Keynote — Mei Mei Rado (LACMA), Qing Imperial Portraits and Europe
• Jessica Hower (Southwestern University), Drawing an Empire: Elizabeth I, The Armada Portrait, and the Creation of a British Atlantic World
• Marina Hopkins (Warburg Institute), The Portrait of María Luisa de Toledo with Her Indigenous Companion
• Alejandro M. Sanz Guillén (Universidad de Zaragoza), Shoguns and Emperors: Representations of the Japanese Court in Europe during the 18th Century

F R I D A Y ,  7  M A Y  2 0 2 1

13.10  Panel 4: The Court: A Stage for Princely Society
Chair: Caroline van Eck
• Panel Keynote — Katarzyna Kosior (Northumbria University), Defining the Royal Court in Poland-Lithuania: Some Textual Evidence From Jan III Sobieski’s Lifetime (1629–1696)
• Martina Vyskupova (Slovak National Museum), Portrait Representation of Maria Theresa as a Queen of Hungary Seated on a Horse in the Context of Period Female Equestrian Portraits in the 18th Century
• Pedro Manuel Tavares (Centro de História de Arte — CHAIA), D. Joana de Áustria, Embodiment of Political/Religious Propaganda of the Habsburg Women, Beyond the Validos Power
• Anna Lisa Nicholson (University of Cambridge), The Transfiguration of Hortense Mancini: How the Vagabond Duchess Became the Patron Saint of Brides

15.20  Break

15.30  Panel 5: The Artist Behind the Portrait
Chair: Alexander Marr (University of Cambridge)
• Panel Keynote — Cordula van Wyhe (York University), Fashioning Displaced Identities: Anthony van Dyck as Portraitist of the French Exiles
• Sarah Emily Farkas (University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill), Sibylle of Cleves: Cranach, Convention, and Clothing Identity in Lutheran Saxony
• Alessandro Nicola Malusà (University of Cambridge), The Sitter as Artist: Depicting Mourning Dress and Negotiating Authority in the Regencies of Christine of France and Marie Jeanne Baptiste of Savoy-Nemours

17.00  Break

17.30  Featured Keynote Address
Chair: Ulinka Rublack (University of Cambridge)
• Erin Griffey (The University of Auckland), ‘Beauties Silken Livery’: Dressing the Face at the Early Modern Court

18.30  Final Remarks and Thanks

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