Proposals are solicited for the following panel on early modern Italy at the 2017 SECAC annual conference in Columbus, OH, Oct. 25–28, 2017:
Rock Hard: The Materiality of Stone in Pre-Electric Italy
This panel aims to promote discussion and exploration of the materiality of works of art involving stone produced in the Italian peninsula in the centuries before the development of electrically-powered tools. The panel organizers welcome research addressing works of art and architecture in which the use of stone, whether marble, porphyry, precious gems, or more local stones such as tufa or sandstone, contribute materially to the meaning of the works, whether in relation to the difficulty of working the material, contemporary understandings of the stones themselves, in their final appearance, or any other aspect of interpretation.
Topics could include but are not limited to:
pietre dure and commesso works (whether part of larger architectural settings, portraits, or as decorations in furniture)
paintings on stone
stones in works of art obtained from exotic sources, including but not limited to spolia, souvenirs of pilgrimage, or excessively distant sources
the movement of marbles and other stones across the Roman Empire and their associations in later periods