Call for Papers | Visualizing Antiquity: The Apelles-Problem

Posted in Calls for Papers by Editor on March 25, 2023

From ArtHist.net, which includes the German version:

Visualizing Antiquity: On the Episteme of Early Modern Drawings and Prints — Part I: The ‘Apelles-Problem’
Bildwerdung der Antike: Zur Episteme von Zeichnungen und Druckgrafiken der Frühen Neuzeit — I: Das ‚Apelles-Problem‘
Berlin-Brandenburg Academy of Sciences and Humanities, 28–29 September 2023

Organized by Ulrich Pfisterer, Cristina Ruggero, and Timo Strauch

Proposals due by 30 April 2023

The academy project Antiquitatum Thesaurus: Antiquities in European Visual Sources from the Seventeenth and Eighteenth Centuries, hosted at the Berlin-Brandenburg Academy of Sciences and Humanities (thesaurus.bbaw.de), and the Zentralinstitut für Kunstgeschichte Munich (zikg.eu) are organizing a series of colloquia in 2023–2024 on the topic Visualizing Antiquity: On the Episteme of Drawings and Prints in the Early Modern Period. These colloquia will examine the significance of drawings and prints for ideas, research, and the circulation of knowledge about ancient artifacts, architecture, and images in Europe and neighboring areas from the late Middle Ages to the advent of photography in the mid-19th century.

Detail of a hand-colored woodcut print from Giovanni Battista Casali, De profanis et sacris veteribus ritibus (Rome 1644), p. 67 (UB Heidelberg). More information is available here»

The first colloquium inquires into a form of the ‘Apelles problem’. According to Pliny, the Greek painter knew how to depict “what lies outside the realm of painting.” For the representation of ancient artifacts, therefore, the question is asked how in drawings and prints can ‘unrepresentable’ qualities of the depicted object—such as color, material properties, proportions, three-dimensionality, and the like—nevertheless be conveyed? In terms of colorfulness, for example, colored hand drawings have an advantage over prints, but they do not have the same range. Is an attached scale key sufficient to clarify dimensions? And what possibilities do new techniques of representation open up? Or can accompanying texts, commentaries, annotations, source citations, etc. do justice to the difficulties of depicting the above-mentioned characteristics, or help to classify and interpret the artifact depicted? These are some of the central questions posed; suggestions beyond these are welcome.

We welcome proposals for 20-minute papers in English, French, German, or Italian. Presentations will ideally combine case study and larger perspective. Publication in extended form is planned. Proposals (max. 400 words) can be submitted until 30 April 2023, together with a short CV (max. 150 words) to thesaurus@bbaw.de. Travel and hotel expenses (economy-class flight or train; 2 nights’ accommodation) will be reimbursed according to the Federal Law on Travel Expenses (BRKG).

Subsequent colloquia in the series will address other aspects of the creation of images of antiquity:
• Find and Display, Fragment and Whole
• Fake News? Fantasy Antiquities
• Collectors, Artists, Scholars: Knowledge and Intention in Collection Catalogs

Conceived by Antiquitatum Thesaurus (Ulrich Pfisterer, Cristina Ruggero, Timo Strauch)

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