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Historiography of Italian Caricature

Posted By Sandra Cheng, Friday, May 13, 2016
Updated: Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Studies of early modern caricature are uneven and abound in paradoxes. Its subversive aims and visual conventions, as well as its kinship with modern art have challenged the most inquisitive minds of twentieth-century art history. As measured by the small number of dedicated publications and academic curricula, however, caricatura has been steadily marginalised by mainstream art history. Given the predominance of textual sources referring to caricatura over the extant visual record, its historiography constitutes a particularly neglected field. This session compares the shifting definitions, terminologies, evaluations, as well as the approaches to studying Italian caricature from the seventeenth century onwards. We welcome papers which address the ways of theorising the new medium by the earliest Seicento authors; its highly contested status in eighteenth century aesthetics and connoisseurship in Europe; its virtual erasure in the nineteenth-century histories of caricature; and its “rediscovery” in the early decades of the twentieth century by Italian and German art historians.

This session will be sponsored by the Association for Textual Scholarship in Art History.

Please submit your paper proposal by 27 May to Sandra Cheng, CityTech CUNY ( and Kasia Murawska-Muthesius, Birkbeck College University of London (, subject line: Caricature Panel.

Proposals must include the following:

Tags:  caricatura  caricature  drawings  early modern  historiography  Italian 

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