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Festvortrag Wolfgang-Ratjen-Preis 2022 // Catherine Whistler: The Anonymous Drawing – Values and Identities



von 18:15 bis 20:00


Zentralinstitut für Kunstgeschichte, Vortragsraum 242, II. OG und digital

Termin übernehmen

Aus Anlass der Vergabe des Wolfgang-Ratjen-Preises 2022 an Konrad Krčal, M.A., Wien, für seine Dissertation „Das französische Thesenblatt im 17. Jahrhundert. Drei Studien zur allegorischen Gattungsgenese".


The topic of the ‘anonymous drawing’ is a fascinating one which presents challenges to the art historian and museum curator. For many people, the anonymous drawing is something rather remote from their knowledge and interests, evoking obscure sheets kept in dusty boxes in museums. But in fact, apart from the thrill of making discoveries in these same dusty boxes, the very identity of a drawing as ‘anonymous’ opens up new areas for thought and research. Why do drawings become nameless – and is there a value in anonymity? What about collaboration and authorship, that is, a deliberate anonymity chosen by the artist rather than one resulting from changing taste or academic neglect? How might the actions of collectors in different ways alter the identity or authorship of a drawing? These intriguing questions will be explored in this lecture.

Professor Catherine Whistler is Keeper (Head) of the Western Art Department of the Ashmolean Museum at the University of Oxford, with curatorial responsibility for the collections of Italian art, French art to 1800, and Spanish art.  She has published extensively on Italian 16th -18th century art, and on the history of collecting. Her detailed catalogue, Baroque and Later Paintings in the Ashmolean Museum appeared in 2016.  Her recent research has been focused on drawings, including a partnership exhibition with the Uffizi, Drawing in Venice: Titian to Canaletto (2015). Her book, Venice and Drawing 1500-1800: Theory, Practice and Collecting (2016) won a British Academy medal. With Dr Ben Thomas, she was awarded a Leverhulme research grant that led to the Oxford exhibition Raphael: The Drawings (2017) and associated publications.  Since early 2019, her research has been focussed on the Italian Drawings Project, funded by the Getty Foundation (The Paper Project), with a new catalogue of the Ashmolean’s celebrated collection in view.
[Caption: Anonymous Italian artist, Two marine deities, 1540-70, pen and brown ink and wash over black chalk on laid paper, laid down, the outlines pricked for transfer, 27.7 x 43.6 cm. Ashmolean Museum, Oxford inv. WA.OA791 (Photo: ©Ashmolean Museum)


Die Veranstaltung wird parallel via Zoom übertragen. Dem Zoom-Meeting können Sie unter folgendem Link beitreten: Meeting-ID: 856 5934 5839 | Passwort: 148258.