2011 College Art Association Annual Conference, New York
IAS-Sponsored Session

Claiming Authorship: Artists, Patrons, and Strategies of Self-promotion in Medieval and Early Modern Italy I (long session)

Nassau Suite, 2nd Floor, Hilton New York
Friday, February 11, 2011, 9:30am-12:00pm

Organizers and Chairs: Babette Bohn, Texas Christian University/Villa I Tatti, and Sheryl E. Reiss, University of Southern California

Abstract for the joint sessions:
In medieval and early modern Italy, both artists and patrons employed diverse strategies to distinguish art works, to promulgate their fame, and to assert the uniqueness of their contributions. For artists, these strategies included varied signature practices, distinctive monograms, and copyright privilege on prints. Painters, sculptors, and architects strove to position themselves as exceptional talents by means of iconographic specializations, innovative techniques, price manipulation, literary self-promotion, editorial practices, and the gifting of art to important patrons.  Similarly, patrons proclaimed their responsibility for art and architecture with inscriptions, coats-of-arms, imprese, portraits, and the depiction of onomastic saints. Such “signing” proclaimed patronal involvement in the production of the works they commissioned. Patrons also promoted themselves and their families by emulation of and association with other patrons, and by supporting famous artists. The strategies of artists and patrons were often mutually reinforcing, but were sometimes competitive and even antagonistic. These two sessions explore strategies for self-promotion employed by artists and patrons in Italy from the fourteenth through seventeenth centuries.


Areli Marina, University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign
"Queen Theodolinda’s Inheritance: The Visconti as Princes at San Giovanni in Monza"
Robert Glass, Princeton University
"Filarete at the Papal Court: Claiming Authorship and Status on the Doors of St. Peter’s in the Vatican"
Paul H. D. Kaplan, Purchase College, SUNY
"George of Freecastle: Giorgio da Castelfranco’s Self-Promotion as a Martial Painter"
Katherine Isard, Columbia University
"The Editor as Author in the Early Modern Architectural Book"
Mayu Fujikawa, Bucknell University
"Lively Images of Exotic Foreigners: Pope Paul V’s Promotion of His Global Missionary Success at the Palazzo Quirinale, Rome"
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