New Directions in Representation of the Italian Landscape II: Landscapes, Architecture, and Antiquity

Hilton New Orleans Riverside, 3, 3rd Floor - Magazine Room
Friday March 23, 2018, 2:00-3:30 pm

Organizers: Sarah B. Cantor, University of Maryland, University College and Melissa Yuen, Cantor Arts Center at Stanford University

Chair: Melissa Yuen, Cantor Arts Center at Stanford University

Images of the Italian landscape, both real and imagined, have been the subject of many fruitful investigations, from research on broad trends and refined definitions to focused monographs on individual artists. Recent studies have shed new light on the display of landscape paintings in palaces and villas, artistic practice, professional networks, and the intersections between antiquity and natural history. In particular, research into the growing interest in empirical study and the interpretation of nature in early modern Italy has led to a greater understanding of representations of the natural world. The papers in the three panels build on these themes and present new ways to reconsider the portrayal of the landscape and landscape artists working in Italy.


Arthur J. DiFuria, Savannah College of Art and Design
"Panoramic Thinking and the Ruin in mid-Cinquecento Rome"

The developing awareness of the Roman ruin’s poetics was essential for the panoramic landscape’s emergence as a pictorial category. An accrual of erasure, the ruin occupies the gap between memory and oblivion. The focus of mid-Cinquecento literary, archaeological, cartographic, and artistic efforts to recoup Roman antiquity, the ruin embodied the Eternal City’s supra-temporality. The panorama manifested as a vital pictorial production in the same cultural moment that the ruin became a locus of inquiry. The panorama comprises a potent visual suggestion of vast temporal expanses approaching the eternal. As the framing of that which cannot be framed – everything – the panorama is, moreover, proleptic; it presumes the viewer’s penetration before it is possible. However, by definition, prolepsis broadcasts its own temporal impossibility. Like the ruin, it forestalls closure. Thus, the visualization of Rome via her ruins marks the conceptual genesis of the panorama, though scholarship to date has not acknowledged it.

Anatole Tchikine, Dumbarton Oaks Research Library and Collection
"Heterotopic cityscape: urban representations in sixteenth- and early seventeenth-century Florence"

City views captivated Renaissance artistic imagination as much as natural scenery, with urban representations becoming a characteristic element in the emerging genre of landscape painting (pitture dei paesi). While most of Italian cities were identifiable by their distinct skyline, not all of these pe in Claude Lorrain’s Paintings Since the magisterial study of I.G. Kennedy, “Claude and Architecture” (1972), relatively little attention has been paid to the roles of architecture in the pastoral landscape and seaport paintings of Claude Lorrain (1604-1682), the French landscape painter who spent his career in Rome. I investigate the roles, structural and emotional, that Claude gave to his exquisite architectural invenzioni, so highly prized by contemporaries and critics such as Filippo Baldinucci, in his landscape and harbor paintings. I focus on the dialectical tensions that he set up between architectural and landscape forms, both within pictures and between paired pendants: as in ancient pastoral, he often reversed the roles of these forms. Hybrids and intermediary forms created place, narrative, and mood. A key context for his approach was the renewed study of antiquity and topography in circles such as Cassiano Dal Pozzo’s in Rome, starting in the 1620s, when Claude arrived there.

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