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Conference: Contested forms. The limits of the sacred image and the normative power of art in early modern Europe



02.11.2017 um 13:00 bis
03.11.2017 um 17:00




Zentralinstitut für Kunstgeschichte | Katharina-von-Bora-Straße 10 | 80333 München Room 242 / Institut für Kunstgeschichte, LMU | Zentnerstrasse 31 | 80798 München Room 007

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First international conference of the project SACRIMA, The Normativity of Sacred Images in Early Modern Europe, funded by the European Research Council

The SACRIMA project proposes to look afresh at the relations between art, image, cult and law, focusing in particular on the normativity of images, the limits of the sacred image and the normative power of art in Catholic Europe between 1450 and 1650.


Recent investigations of the early modern sacred image have focused on notions of censorship and iconoclasm, ‘controversy’ and the ‘reform of art’. Less attention has been devoted to the ‘normativity’ of images, a notion that we suggest to consider in a double sense: on the one hand, the norms for images elaborated by external and often competing agencies (namely, image theoreticians, the various Inquisitions, episcopal and political authorities etc.); on the other, the visual traditions and norms created, adapted or suggested by artists, during the various stages of conceptualization and finalization of their works.


This first conference will explore this twofold notion of ‘image normativity’ by looking at cases of images that trespass the limits of visual, aesthetic and/or religious standards. By bringing together papers dealing with cases of contested images from different regions, this conference aims to compare and discuss the varying and fluctuating “visual norms” deployed in Catholic Europe in the face of radical criticism of sacred images supported by the Reformation and by non-Christian religious minorities.


pdf-file for printing [click here]


Thursday, 2 November: Zentralinstitut für Kunstgeschichte | Katharina-von-Bora-Straße 10 | 80333 München

Room 242


13:00: welcome



Chiara Franceschini (LMU München), Introduction to the SACRIMA project and to the conference


14.00-16.00: Portraits

James Hall (University of Southampton), The Rise and Fall of Empathetic Enactment: the Cultural Background to a Papal Ban on Portraits of ‘Living Saints’.


Steffen Zierholz (Universität Bern), Ignatius of Loyola as Normative Image


Nina Niedermeier (LMU München / Pontificia Università Gregoriana Roma), Ritratti rubati - Portraits of Postridentine Saints as pia fraus.


16.00-16.30: Coffee break


16.30-18.30: Trials


Mattia Biffis (CASVA, Washington), Contested Portraits. The Case of Casali, and the Use of Portraits in Early Modern Lay Trials


Yonatan Glazer-Eytan (Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore), The Stuff that the Sacred is Unmade of. Wax, Image-Desecration, and Inquisitorial Evidence in Cuenca, 1563


Cloe Cavero (LMU München), Infantile Martyrs and the Visual Norms of Childhood


19.00: Apéro




Friday 3 November:

Institut für Kunstgeschichte, LMU | Zentnerstrasse 31 | 80798 München

Room 007



9.00-11.00: Bodies


Todd Olson (University of California, Berkeley), Middle Natures, Human Stone: Ribera and Fanzago at Certosa di San Martino, Naples


Josephine Neil (King’s College London), The Reception of Divine Grace in Hendrick ter Brugghen’s Crucifixion with the Virgin and St. John


Livia Stoenescu (Texas A&M University), Alonso Cano: Walking on the Edge of Miracle Images and Liminal Bodies


11.00-11.30: Coffee break


11.30-13.00: Images


Escardiel González Estévez (Universidad de Sevilla), Visual Normativity Hesitations Facing an Ambiguously Heterodox Iconography: the Seven Archangels between Italy and Spain


Rangsook Yoon (Cornell Fine Arts Museum), Enguerrand Quarton’s Coronation of the Virgin: The Contested Vision of the Trinity in Mid-Fifteenth-Century Provence


13.00-14.00: Lunch


14.00-16.00: Copies


Antonia Putzger (Bielefeld University), An Altarpiece from Augsburg Heiligkreuz, and the Norms of Sacred Art in Different Institutional Settings in the Early Seventeenth Century


Piers Baker-Bates (The Open University), Sebastiano del Piombo: The Sacred Image between Italy and Spain


Erin Giffin (LMU München), The Tradition of Change in Copies of the Santa Casa di Loreto: The Case of Venice



16.00-17.00: SACRIMA round table for the planning of future events and publication



Prof. Dr. Chiara Franceschini () and Dr. Cloe Cavero de Carondelet ()



2nd international conference of the project SACRIMAwill takes place from 10.11.-1.12.2017:
Holy children/liminal bodies. The status and materiality of infancy in early modern visual culture




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