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 II (long session)

New York Hilton, Concourse A, Concourse Level
Saturday, February 12, 2011, 2:30-5:00pm

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.


David Boffa, Rutgers University
"Images within Images: Self-Referentiality and Authorship in the Later Middle Ages"
Lorraine Karafel, Parsons, The New School for Design
"Papal Majesty and Political Propaganda: Image and Meaning in Raphael’s Grotesques of Leo X"
Sally J. Cornelison, University of Kansas
"Competing Identities: Sanctity, Patronage, and Portraiture in Giambologna’s St. Antoninus Chapel"
Meryl Bailey, University of California, Berkeley
"'The Stimulus of Vain Ambition': Individual Self-Promotion and Corporate Patronage in Early Modern Venice"
Frances Gage, Buffalo State College, State University of New York
"Lanfranco and the Rhetoric of Self-Promotion in Early Seicento Italy"
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