Anthony Cutler, Evan Pugh University Professor in Art History and Penn State
"Godsbody: The Roman Crucifix from its Beginnings to the Cinquecento"
The ninth annual IAS/Kress Italian Lecture series took place on 27 June 27, 2018 at the University of Rome (La Sapienza) and co-sponsored by the Dipartimento di Storia dell’Arte e Spettacolo. Anthony Cutler (Penn State University) was the featured speaker.
In the spirit of our mission to promote the study of Italian art from its earliest history to the present, Anthony Cutler treated us to a century-spanning exploration of the sculpted crucifix in Rome and its environs. While the core of Professor Cutler’s lecture focused on the formal evolution of Christ’s body, he touched effortlessly on points of salient intersection between these powerful liturgical objects and the historiographic legacy of key scholars, including Adolfo Venturi –namesake of the room in which Sapienza hosted the talk. So too, Culter brought the distinctive materiality of these bodies to the forefront, enlightening us on the physical properties of walrus ivory, the technological challenges faced by sculptors, and the still murky economic value of these evidently precious things. The afternoon was capped off by a lovely reception catered by a little tavola calda just off campus.