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Art History CFPs for RSA 2018 New Orleans
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The Problem of Style in Fifteenth-Century Italian Art

Posted By David J. Drogin, Tuesday, May 9, 2017

This session examines artists and artworks that challenge conventional norms or narratives of style in fifteenth-century Italian art. Since the period itself, the quattrocento has been understood as a moment of stylistic revolution, in which new formal ideals replaced old. With the benefit of hindsight, art historians from Vasari onward have emphasized the innovations they saw as laying the foundations of academic art. Revolutions, however, are messy, and stylistic development in the fifteenth century was not as straightforward or unidimensional as such teleological narratives suggest.


We invite proposals for papers that explore the complexities of formal practices in quattrocento Italy and help define alternative narratives of style. Issues to be addressed might include:


  • rethinking the Renaissance vs. Gothic binary

  • rethinking the significance of textbook innovations, such as empirical naturalism, scientific perspective, or antiquity as formal model

  • rethinking the relationship between humanist conceptions of literary style and the visual arts

  • patronage and style; style and self-fashioning

  • style in regional traditions or in centers vs. peripheries

  • style in relation to medium and technique, subject matter, or site


Please email proposals to both Robert Glass ( and David Drogin ( by Friday, May 26.


As per RSA guidelines, proposals should include the following: paper title (15-word maximum), abstract (150-word maximum), keywords, and a very brief curriculum vitae (300-word maximum).

Tags:  architecture  art  art history  artistic practice  early Renaissance  fifteenth century  Italian  Italy  painting  quattrocento  sculpture  style 

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