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Conference: Holy children/liminal bodies. The status and materiality of infancy in early modern visual culture



30.11.2017 um 12:00 bis
01.12.2017 um 13:30




Zentralinstitut für Kunstgeschichte, Vortragsraum 242, II. OG, Katharina-von-Bora-Straße 10, 80333 / Institut für Kunstgeschichte, LMU München, Zentnerstr. 31 Room 007

Termin übernehmen

2nd international conference of the project SACRIMA, The Normativity of Sacred Images in Early Modern Europe, funded by the European Research Council.






SACRIMA_Holy Children


Whether as chubby cherubs, playful toddlers or suffering infants, children have pervaded our visual cultures since antiquity. Instilled with intrinsic emotional connotations and a distinctive aesthetic ambiguity, images of children possess diachronic, transcultural and anthropological relevance. However, Christianity’s attachment to a divine child has catalysed the reception and visual dissemination of images of children in various forms (little angels, Infants Jesus and St John the Baptist, the Holy Innocents, child saints, etc.). While social historians have explored the changes in status and perception of childhood during the early modern period, an extensive exploration of the visual relevance of this theme in sacred imagery has yet has yet to emerge from art historical studies. This workshop explores the visualization and materiality of infancy in early modern sacred art in different medias and from a cross-cultural perspective.


For the PDF click here


Thursday 30 November
Zentralinstitut für Kunstgeschichte, Katharina-von-Bora-Straße 10

Room 242


12.00: Welcome


12.30-13.00: Chiara Franceschini and Cloe Cavero (LMU München): Introduction


 13.00-15.00: Liminal children:


Jasenka Gudelj (University of Zagreb), The baptismal fonts held by putti: transmigration of the infantile forms between the Adriatic and the Alps


Rachel E. Boyd (Columbia University), Reflections of Charity: Andrea della Robbia’s Innocenti Infants


Giuseppe Bonaccorso (Università di Camerino), The tectonic simulation in the use of putti, angels, cherubs and seraphs in Francesco Borromini’s architecture


15.00-15.30: Coffee break


15.30-17.30: Child Saints in Contact Zones:


Cloe Cavero (LMU München), Agony and Softness: The Crucified Holy Child of La Guardia


Vuk Dautovic (University of Belgrade), The Cult of the Holy Child from the Old Sarajevo Church


Thomas Lentes (Universität Münster), Circumcision, and Child’s Empowerment


18.00-20.00: Visit Bayerisches Nationalmuseum (Thursdays closes at 20:00)



Friday 1 December
Institut für Kunstgeschichte, LMU München, Zentnerstr. 31

Room 007


09.00-11.00: Emotions:


Andrea Pearson (American University, Washington), Moralized Eroticism and the Depicted Christ Child in the Early Modern Netherlands


Daniela Wagner (Universität Tübingen), Senses and Silence in Representations of the infant John the Baptist and the Christ Child


Francesca Alberti (Université François-Rabelais, Tours), Ridente Redentore


11.00-11:30: Coffee break


11.30-13.30: Holy/Unholy:


Fabien Lacouture (Université Paris 1 Panthéon-Sorbonne), From Statues to Paintings: A Study of the Christ Child Standing in Early Modern Italian Art


Pascale Charron (Université de Tours/CESR), Figurer un saint enfant vers 1500: le cas de la statue du saint Cyr de l’église de Jarzé (Maineet- Loire, France)


Jeanette Kohl (University of California), Bust Portraits of (Holy) Children in Italian Quattrocento


13.30: Closing lunch: discussion and planning of conference output




SACRIMA project

Prof. Dr. Chiara Franceschini –



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Zentralinstitut für Kunstgeschichte