Conferences & Lectures

Location: Rome

The scholarly interest in the art of the early nineteenth century has in recent years manifested itself not only in a wealth of academic publications, but also in a series of high-profile exhibitions. One focus has been on landscape painting during the Romantic period – its technical developments as well as its role as catalyst for ideas about nature and nation. The polemics following the 2013 Louvre exhibition De l’Allemagne showed that the interpretation of nineteenth-century art is not without consequence for the current discussion of modern European history. For Scandinavian and German artists, the views of southern Italy, and Rome in particular, had the appeal of the at once well-known and the foreign, a unique landscape where sublime vistas and enchanting local colour seemed to invite painters to contrast historical prominence with present insignificance. Country villages and the streets and squares of the cityscape were inhabited by the popolo, whose distinct otherness made it the ideal subject for genre painting. The uninterrupted presence in Rome of a colony of artists from the North, long personified by the towering figure of the sculptor Bertel Thorvaldsen, provided a sense of continuity and belonging. But at home patriotic arguments were raised against prolonged stays in Italy: Nordic painters should concentrate on Nordic subjects and landscapes. For this conference, organized jointly by the Swedish Institute and the Danish Academy in Rome, we invite papers on various aspects of the work of Nordic painters working in Rome and the Kingdom of Naples from the Restoration to the Risorgimento. In particular, we welcome original papers on various aspects of the work of Nordic painters working in Rome and the Kingdom of Naples from the Restoration to the Risorgimento. In particular, we welcome original contributions addressing artists’ formation, technique and networks; patronage, collecting and the art market; gender aspects; the relationship between art, Romanticism and national ideologies; landscape and genre as cultural constructions; notions of the Classical vs the Romantic and of nature and identity; notions of public and private nature; theory and practice of genre painting; political and religious sympathies and conflicts within the artistic community and the general role of the political history of the period; history painting between north and south; art and science; reception and historiography. Conference committee: Tiziano Antognozzi, Liliana Barroero, Giovanna Capitelli, Kristian Göransson, Martin Olin, Marianne Pade, and Adelaide Zocchi.

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