Subject: CFP: Patrons, Intermediaries and Venetian Artists (Ljubljana, 24-26 Sep 20)

ICCHS, International Center for Comparative Historical Studies, Faculty of Arts, University of Ljubljana, Slovenia, September 24 - 26, 2020
Deadline: Apr 15, 2020

Call for Papers
Patrons, Intermediaries and Venetian Artists in Vienna and Imperial Domains (1650-1750)

Organized by Enrico Lucchese, Matej KlemenÄ iÄ , at ICCHS – International Center for Comparative Historical Studies, Faculty of Arts, University of Ljubljana, Slovenia.

The importance of Patrons and Painters (1963) for the study in the relations between Italian art and society in the age of the Baroque is well known. As the title of Francis Haskell’s book suggests, the protagonists of the artistic production of that period were precisely the artists and their patrons, whereas a number of intermediaries acted together with them. Moreover, these fascinating cultural figures could themselves be patrons, perhaps at a less princely but no less important level. Among the Venetians, Anton Maria Zanetti the Elder and Francesco Algarotti are two famous eighteenth-century case studies. The plurality of contemporary definitions for intermediaries (i.e. intendenti, amatori, dilettanti, etc.) reflects the complexity of a cosmopolitan world that found its representation both traditionally in the court and in contemporary forms of communication, such as music, theater, and correspondence.

Although subject of many studies, the artistic relations between Venice and the imperial court in Vienna still require systematic investigation. What was the role played by intermediaries, those better and less known, in the art commissions from Vienna to Veneto and in the arrival of artists to the imperial court, from the reign of Leopold I to that of Maria Theresa? The identification of different networks will lead to new perspectives for the studies of social and cultural implications of various activities on the art stage. To achieve this, a multi / interdisciplinary methodological approach to research of a wide range of visual and written sources is needed.

Throughout the period in question (c. 1650-1750), there are similar examples of patronage towards Venetians in other Habsburg territories and elsewhere in the Holy Roman Empire. These episodes are due both to the emulative spirit of the local nobility and to direct orders from the imperial courtiers.

The conference will take place in Ljubljana, former capital of the Duchy of Carniola. This hereditary fief of the Habsburgs was partly under the ecclesiastical jurisdiction of the Bishopric of Ljubljana and during the Baroque age, the city was therefore also a seat of a prince bishop. Still, up until mid-18th century large parts of Carniola remained under the Patriarchate of Aquileia, where series of Venitian patricians had acted as patriarchs since the fifteenth century. This complex historical political and ecclesiastical situation of Carniola highlights the present-day capital of Slovenia as the perfect site to discuss the artistic, social and cultural dynamics between the Serenissima and the Empire.

According to Haskell, patronage in Vienna in the Baroque period is part of a more complex cosmopolitanism, in which intermediaries were fundamental, albeit discreet protagonists. The conference can therefore be an opportunity to present or investigate case studies of patrons-intermediaries-artists relationships (and vice versa) that may have happened partly in the imperial fiefdoms and in the territories of the House of Habsburg, partly in other different contexts.

The conference is organized by ICCHS, the International Center for Comparative Historical Studies of the Faculty of Arts, University of Ljubljana, and will be open to the public. This call for papers is addressed to scholars in the fields of art history, early modern history, history of theater, music, literature, culture, and all other related humanities. The proceedings of the international study conference will become a primary scholarly source for an interdisciplinary and innovative approach to a comparative study of the relations between European culture and society in the Baroque.

It is planned to schedule the conference into three sessions
– Between Venice and Vienna. The network of intermediaries
– Center and periphery. Venetian art in the domains of the Empire
– Intermediaries in Vienna, intermediaries in Europe: some case studies

We expect 300-word proposals for 25-minute papers with a reference to one of the above sessions. Please send your paper proposal with up to one-page biography and the title of the preferred session to the conference organizers at by 15th April 2020. The organizers will reply to the scholars by 1st May 2020.

Reference / Quellennachweis:
CFP: Patrons, Intermediaries and Venetian Artists (Ljubljana, 24-26 Sep 20). In:, Mar 20, 2020. <>.

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