Thursday, April 5, 2018 - 6:30pm to 8:00pm
Jill and John Avery Lecture in the History of Art and Keynote Lecture for the Philadelphia Graduate Symposium
Megan Holmes, Professor of History of Art, University of Michigan
"Obdurate Objects and Methodological Challenges: Interpreting Scratches on Italian Panel Paintings as Indices of Period Reception"
The art historian’s “tool kit” has both frustrating limitations and unexpected potential when applied to unconventional representational materials—in this case, the markings on Italian panel paintings resulting from intentional scratching by their late medieval and early modern viewers/users. While these interventions are typically characterized as “vandalism” or “iconoclasm,” physical and textual evidence suggests a rich reception history that reveals complex cultural understandings about the activation, efficacy, and power of visual images in Italy, circa 1250–1550.
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