2016 College Art Association Annual Conference, Washington, D.C.
IAS-Sponsored Session

Beyond Texts and Academies: Rethinking the Education of the Early Modern Italian Artist

Washington 1, Exhibition Level
Friday, February 5, 2016, 9:30am-12:00pm

Organizer and Chair: Jesse Locker, Portland State University

Historians of early modern Italian art are naturally drawn to the “doctus artifex”—that is, the paradigmatic learned artist who had at his disposal a variety of textual and visual sources that informed not only the subject-matter of his work, but also the particular form that work took. While there were of course many artists who fit this category—including Mantegna, Raphael, and Domenichino—recent research has shown that the vast majority of artists—among them, Filippo Lippo, Cavalier d’Arpino, and Artemisia Gentileschi—received next to no formal education outside the workshop. A surprising number of even well known artists were barely literate. Yet even these artists were capable of creating sophisticated and apparently erudite artworks that incorporated literary, mythological, and historical themes, and that reflected contemporary theoretical debates. This panel seeks to look beyond the text, and beyond the proverbial “humanist advisor,” to reconsider how early modern artists—especially those with little schooling—were exposed to and engaged with “high” culture of their day.


James Hutson, Lindenwood University
Li pittori parlano con l’opere: Poetry and Practice in the Academic Tradition”
Kim Butler Wingfield, American University
“Imitation and Assimilation: Raphael as Court Artist”
Sarah Blake McHam, Rutgers University
“Piero di Cosimo: A Puzzling Case of an Unlearned Artist Creating Learned Art”
Jessica Boehman, LaGuardia Community College
“Ercole Ferrata’s Studio as Rome’s Sculpture School”
Lara Yeager-Crasselt, Sterling and Francine Clark Art Institute
“Practice and Patronage in the Roman Palace: The Education of Artists under Camillo Pamphilj”
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