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Interdisciplinary and Other CFPs for RSA 2018 New Orleans
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Painted Faces, Tainted Morals: Renaissance Cosmetics and Makeup

Posted By Tijana Zakula, Monday, May 1, 2017

The pain and dangers of beauty have been known for a long time and have been inextricably intertwined with art. Not only in terms of emulating the ideal, but also in terms of the know-how: diverse pigments and materials used for painting oftentimes served as beautifying aides. Not infrequently these substances were highly toxic and would lead to severe disfigurements and one’s untimely demise.

The social implications of using cosmetics and make up were no less damaging either. Improving on one’s outer appearance was nothing short of scandalous. One’s attempt to come closer to the unattainable ideal was considered immoral, and inextricably intertwined with vanity – the mother of all sins.

This multidisciplinary session seeks contributions that consider the use and abuse of cosmetics and makeup from the point of view of art history, sociology, chemistry, medicine and history and philosophy of science.

Please send proposals to Tijana Zakula ( and Gert Jan Vroege ( no later than 4 June.

Include in your proposal:

·        name and affiliation

·        paper title (max. 15 words)

·        abstract (max. 150 words)

·        a brief CV (max. 300 words).


Tags:  Art History  beauty  Early Modernity  etiquette 

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