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Between allegory and natural philosophy: rethinking Grotesques during the Renaissance

Posted By Damiano Acciarino, Wednesday, April 12, 2017
Updated: Wednesday, April 12, 2017

 The purpose of this structured session is to discuss various aspects of the conception and perception of grotesque paintings completed during the Renaissance, with a particular focus on the Counter-Reformation period. After the decrees on images approved by the Council of Trent (1563) and the publication of Gabriele Paleotti’s Discorso on sacred and profane images, the opponents and defenders of this artistic genre felt a clear and general need to confer upon it a new semantic approach. The effects of this dynamic, which manifested itself as a conflict between two different cultural ideologies rather than simply a divergence of aesthetic perspectives, were two-fold. On the one hand, it influenced the theoretical debates on grotesques, creating an extensive body of literature that attempted to explain their essence, with particular focus on their relationship with or distortion of nature. On the other hand, it also paved the way for the emergence and growth of innovative multifarious patterns which served as alternatives to the more conventional figurations.

 

Contributions in this general context on the subject of Renaissance grotesque paintings are welcomed, especially those which clearly demonstrate how these decorations were resemanticized in the erudite and artistic environments of the second half of the sixteenth century, not only in Italy but also the rest of Europe and other continents, where centrifugal re-interpretations could blossom freely and far from traditional representations.

 

Please submit your paper proposal by no later than 10 May 2017 to Damiano Acciarino (damiano.acciarino@unive.it). Each proposal must include the following details:

  •   Name, university, email address
  •   Paper title
  •   Abstract (250-word maximum) 
  •   Keywords
  •   A very brief curriculum vitae (150-word maximum)

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