Past Papers

See below for full abstracts.

Papers 2012

19 Nov: Anglea Hesson – Dangerous Ornament: The Feminine Form in Art Nouveau Abstract.

15 Oct: Hugh Hudson – Solidarity, Betrayal, and Opportunism: Deluxe Manuscript Production for Two High-Status Couples in Renaissance Florence Abstract.

16 July: Adelina Modesti – A newly discovered late work by Artemisia Gentileschi: Susanna and the Elders (1652) Abstract.

18 June: Matthew Martin – Catholic Collecting and Patronage in Eighteenth-century England: The Lords Clifford of Chudleigh Abstract.

16 April: Mark Shepheard – Pompeo Batoni and his Roman Sitters: Portraits of the Sforza Cesarini Abstract.

Papers 2011

5 September: Callum Reid – Annibale Carracci’s Holy Family at the National Gallery of Victoria Abstract.

23 May: Robert W. Gaston – Exploring a Postmodern Bronzino Abstract.

2 May: David R. Marshall – Eugene von Guérard and Daylesford: His paintings for W.E. Stanbridge. Abstract.

28 March: Carl Villis - Giambattista Tiepolo, Francesco Algarotti and The Finding of Moses in the National Gallery of Victoria. Abstract.

28 February: Katrina Grant – ‘Verdi prati, selve almene’: Theatres in the Italian Baroque Garden. Abstract.

Papers 2010

18 October: Ryan Johnston - ‘Pop Art and Surrealism: Eduardo Paolozzi in the 1950s’ abstract.

13 September: Vincent Alessi – ”It’s a kind of Bible’: A thematic and stylistic analysis of van Gogh’s collection of English black-and-white illustrations’ abstract.

30th August 2010: Richard Woodfield – ‘Why study art historiography?’ abstract.

9th August 2010: Caitlin Breare – ‘Saints and Singers: The crisis of Oratorian style during their patronage of Borromini’ abstract.

5 April 2010: Caterina Sciacca – ‘Wonder-Lust’: The Reception of the Belvedere Sculpture Courtyard. abstract.

8 March 2010: Eugene Barilo von Reisberg – ”Garters and Petticoats’: Winterhalter’s 1843 portraits of Victoria and Albert. abstract.

Papers 2009

14 December: Stephen Mead – Bohemianism in colonial Melbourne: a study of four artists’ clubs abstract.

26th October: Mark Shepheard - Musician portraits of the Italian Renaissance: Negotiating the changing status of the musician in sixteenth-century Italy. abstract.

28 August: Piers Baker-Bates – Beyond Rome: Sebastiano del Piombo as a painter of diplomatic gifts abstract.

7 August: Dr Matthew Potter (University of Leicester) – (Re)collecting ‘home’: acquisitions and imperial identities in Australian art galleries.

13 July: Glenys Adams – A Re-examination of Guercino’s Altarpiece for the Donati Chapel in the private rooms of S. Filippo Neri at S. Maria in Vallicella, Rome. abstract.

15 June: Bruce McComish – Portraits of Andrea Doria, Sixteenth-Century Genoese Admiral and Statesman. abstract.

18 May: Tim Ould – The Triumphal Carriage of Neptune in Jacopo Zucchi’s Palazzo Ruspoli Galleria. abstract.

20 April: Susan Russell – Salvator Rosa and Herman van Swanevelt. abstract.

23 March: John Weretka – Architectural Currents in Early Eighteenth-Century Rome. abstract.

Papers 2008

17 November: Peter Mitchelson – Carlo Maratti’s Jael & Sisera abstract.

20 October: Hugh Hudson – A Review of the Van Gough Museum’s Summary Report on the Head of a Man in the National Gallery of Victoria abstract.

22 September: Katti Williams – Sublime ruins: William Lucas’ abandoned Australian War Memorial for Villers-Bretonneux, France. abstract.

18 August: Diana Hiller – ‘Un repas frugal’ or una festa? Male refectories, food and Last Supper frescoes in Quattrocento Florence. abstract.

29 July: Carl Villis – The Restoration of the NGV’s Profile Portrait of a Lady. abstract.

23 June: Katrina Grant – The Enchantress in the Garden. abstract.

Mark Shepheard – Painting Musicians in Settecento Italy. abstract.

27 May: Julie Rowe – Reconstructing Mediaeval Rome: The Church of S. Giovanni Calibita.

29 April: John Weretka – The Guitar, the Musette and Meaning in the Paintings of Watteau.

Papers 2007

19 November: Anna Drummond – A Magnificent, Mysterious Matrimony: Giovanni Angelo Del Maino’s Marriage of the Virgin at the Poldi Pezzoli, Milan

29 October: Anne McComish – An Introduction to Micromosaics

10 September: John Weretka -Art and Ecstasy: A New Look at Bernini’s St Teresa

27 August: Charles Green & Lyndell Brown – Both Sides of the Wire, Part 2: Towards an Iconography of Contemporary Conflict.

6 August: Donald Preziosi & Clare Farago – Seeing Through Art History

18 June: John Bigelow – Plato’s Demiurge in Raphael’s Stanza della Segnatura.

23 April: Mark Shepheard – ‘Gelding the Lily’. Italian Castrati and Their Portraits.

26 March: Victoria Hobday – Still-Life, Still Death. Frederick Ruysch and His Curious Tableaux.

Papers 2006

13 November: Ruth Pullin – “Von Guerard’s Volcanoes. Lake Gnotuk and the Mosenberg Maar.”

9 October: John Weretka – “Homer, the lirone player: the enigma of Pierfrancesco Mola’s 1663 ‘Homer with lira da gamba’.”

11 September: Katrina Grant – “Gardens and the Theateresque: William Kent and Filippo Juvarra.”

7 August: Piers Baker-Bates – “Sebastiano del Piombo: Cultural Exchange between Italy & Spain.”

5 June: David R. Marshall – “Baroque Chinoiserie: Discoveries in the Early Eighteenth-Century Interior.”

8 May: Katti Williams – “Arch of Triumph and Void of Mourning: Symbolic Space in WW1 Memorials.”

10 April: Mark Shepheard – “‘One man & his ’cello’ or ‘Will the real Boccherini please stand up’: tying some loose ends at the NGV.”

13 March: Zoe Willis – “The Finding of Moses at the National Gallery of Victoria.”

Papers 2005

Lisa Beaven: “Barter in the Art Market: The Exchange of Paintings for Medals between Rome and Madrid.”

Timothy Ould: “Problems of attribution of Paintings attributed to Jacopo Zucchi on the Art Market.”

Nina Makarova: “Titian’s Paintings of the Madonna and Child with St Catherine in a Landscape.”

Domingo Cordoba: “Andalusian Stereotypes: Visualisation by Spanish Avant-garde Artists around 1900.”

Dirk den Hartog: “Sinuous Rhythms and Serpentine Lines: Milton’s Eden, The Baroque, and the English Garden.”

Lisa Mansfield: “The Nose of Valois: Royal Portraiture in the French Renaissance.”

James McOmish: “The Hypnerotomachia Poliphili and the Erotics of Architecture.”

Papers 2004

Lisa Beaven: “In the Footsteps of an Angel. Giovanni Pietro Bellori, thec Inquisition and the Isssue of False Relics in 17th century Rome.”

Monica Lausch: “Julius von Schlosser and Portraiture.”

Joan Barclay-Lloyd: “Carlo Rainaldi’s Lazzaretti.”

David R. Marshall: “Canaletto in Rome and Farnborough Hall.”

Robert W. Gaston: “The Artist as Political Philosopher: Bronzino’s Allegoria della felicitá.”

Tim Ould: “Jacopo Zucchi and Counter-Reformation Style.”

Domingo Cordoba: “Vendedores Abulantes: Poverty and Misery in 17th century Seville.”

Katrina Grant: “A ‘Theatre for Pastimes”: Performance and Theatre in the Baroque Garden.”

Papers 2003

Susan Russell: “E con haver le casse piene delle sue gran’opere”: Giovanni Baglione’s biography of Pirro Ligorio.”

Alison Inglis: “The Heather and the Wattle. Scottish Art in Nineteenth-century Australia.”

Anthony White: “Abstract Art and Fascism in Como.”

Alison Inglis: “The Heather and the Wattle. Scottish art in Ninetennth-Century Australia.”

Clare O’Donoghue: “Beautiful and Good, the Sappho of our Time’ Images of Gaspara Stampa, Courtesan Poet.”

Katrina Grant: “Filippo Juvarra: Eighteenth-century Architect of the Theatrical.”

Papers 2002

Tim Ould: “’It truly seemed that such a site called for a fitting subject’: Jacopo Zucchi as Artist-Iconographer.”

David Marshall: “’Savage Rosa’: Venetian and Roman Landscapes at Woolmers, Tasmania.”

Susan Russell: “’Jai oublie a vous dire que je cognois bien Stella’: Poussin, Harpocrate and Friendship.”

Angela Ndalianis: “The Neo-Baroque, Bel Composto and ‘The Amazing Adventures of Spiderman’.”

Ruth Pullin: “Eugen von Guerard in Rome in 1830.”

Jenny Spinks: “Education and Play at Versailles: Redecorating Marie-Adelaide of Savoy’s Menagerie.”

Alison Inglis: “Art in a Cold Climate The Mosaic Revival in Victorian Britain.”

Lisa Beaven: “Plague, Pestilence and Death in the Roman Campagna: The Sanitised Vision of Claude Lorrain.”

Full Abstracts

Angela Hesson – Dangerous Ornament: The Feminine Form in Art Nouveau

The decorative arts of the fin-de-siècle were populated by a feminized pantheon of transient, metamorphic figures and forms delicately suspended in moments of transformation. From pin trays to paper knives to poster advertisements, Art Nouveau refashioned the most controversial subjects of Decadence and Aestheticism within the most accessible and domesticated media. While the changing role of women in the literature and so-called fine art of the period has been subject to continued scholarly investigation, the decorative arts have been excluded from the majority of critical accounts, alluded to perfunctorily as reference points for nineteenth-century misogyny or female objectification. This paper will argue, by contrast, that Art Nouveau’s celebration of the limitlessly transforming feminine form may be productively read within the context of early feminism, the renewal of interest in such figures as the Androgyne and Femme Fatale, and the emergence of the New Woman. It seems anomalous that these icons of dissonance, much of whose appeal lay in their detachment from the mundane realms of the practical and the everyday, should have been designed and produced not for the avant-garde space of the gallery, but for the comparative conventionality of the bourgeois home. This paper will explore the manner in which the fin-de-siècle obsession with feminine transformation manifested across the broad spectrum of decorative arts, effectively and insidiously subverting established links between femininity, domesticity and ornament.

Hugh Hudson – Solidarity, Betrayal, and Opportunism: Deluxe Manuscript Production for Two High-Status Couples in Renaissance Florence

This paper will discuss two deluxe Florentine Renaissance manuscripts in Melbourne collections, the manuscript containing the Scriptores historiae Augustae in the State Library of Victoria, and the Strozzi-Acciaioli Hours in the National Gallery of Victoria, interpreting their heraldry, emblems, inscriptions, and texts, as well as archival evidence, to describe the circumstances surrounding their commissions. It has been possible in the case of the former manuscript to identify more reliable evidence for the original owners, Lorenzo de’ Medici and Clarice Orsini, than in previous studies. In the latter case it has been possible to identify the more likely original owners as Benedetto Strozzi and Caterina Acciaioli, than those suggested to date. The approach taken is also broader than in previous studies, in particular looking at the significance these manuscripts might have had for the families—as well as individuals—that owned them. This wider focus reveals themes of family solidarity, betrayal, and opportunism in the circumstances that led to the manuscripts’ commissions. The broader approach also has the benefit of creating a little more scope for addressing the significance of women in the social context surrounding the commissioning and use of secular and religious deluxe manuscripts in Renaissance Florence.

Adelina Modesti – A newly discovered late work by Artemisia Gentileschi: Susanna and the Elders (1652)

In 1652 Artemisia Gentileschi painted Susanna and the Elders, considered her last documented work, and believed lost. The painting has recently reappeared in the Pinacoteca Nazionale di Bologna with an attribution to the Baroque Bolognese artist Elisabetta Sirani, but identified as a work of Artemisia Gentileschi by the present speaker. This paper will explore the circumstances of the rediscovery, placing the work within the context of Gentileschi’s oeuvre, tracing its provenance and proposing a possible patron, based on recently discovered documents and on literary accounts from the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries.

Matthew Martin - Catholic Collecting and Patronage in Eighteenth-century England: The Lords Clifford of Chudleigh

The years following the Glorious Revolution of 1688 have been seen as a period of decline into provincialism for England’s Catholic Gentry and Aristocracy. A close examination of the activities of some of the leading recusant families of the eighteenth century as patrons and collectors suggests quite the opposite. Denied a role in the political life of the country, many Catholic families sought to accrue status through engaging in building, gardening and commissioning and collecting art. In this they emulated their Protestant peers, but Catholic families pursued these activities in a fashion which also expressed a uniquely English Catholic identity. This paper will examine the patronage and collecting of the Lords Clifford of Chudleigh as a case study in this phenomenon.

Mark Shepheard – Pompeo Batoni and his Roman Sitters: Portraits of the Sforza Cesarini

This paper examines Pompeo Batoni’s two portraits of members of the Sforza Cesarini family: the portrait of Duke Gaetano II in Melbourne and that of a woman traditionally identified as Gaetano’s wife, which hangs today in Birmingham. It readdresses the question of the identity of the sitter in the Birmingham portrait, and explores the social function of portraiture within the Sforza Cesarini’s extensive art collection and the likely place of Batoni’s two portraits within that collection.The paper concludes with a discussion of Batoni’s portraits of Roman sitters and questions the oft-repeated view that the paucity of such portraits was the result of the low esteem in which portraiture was traditionally said to be held in eighteenth-century Italy. This paper is the result of research carried out at the British School at Rome with the support of the Melbourne-Rome Scholarship and in collaboration with Sabrina Norlander-Eliasson, assistant director of the Swedish Institute in Rome.

Callum Reid – Annibale Carracci’s Holy Family at the National Gallery of Victoria

This paper examines the little- studied Holy Family by Annibale Carracci (1560-1609), which hangs in the National Gallery of Victoria, and discusses its style, iconography and position within the artist’s oeuvre. The subject of the ‘Holy Family’ was repeated several times during the artist’s transition from a Bolognese to a Roman style, and it provides a means of studying this development closely through a comparison between each painting: the constancy of theme and figures serves to highlight the critical changes in style. This paper presents the Melbourne Holy Family within the context of these smaller devotional works, considering both the social and personal transitions that they represent. It also brings to light new documents concerning the painting’s provenance and artistic reception.

Robert W. Gaston – Exploring a Postmodern Bronzino

This lecture was delivered on December 10, 2010 at the British Institute, Florence, as the keynote address for the conference Agnolo Bronzino – Medici Court Artist in Context, a convegno that, in the words of its proposer, Prof. Andrea Gáldy, “sought to place the major exhibition of Bronzino’s work organised by the Fondazione Palazzo Strozzi into a broader artistic, historical, and economic context. Unlike a catalogue, the conference sessions will be organised thematically rather than focused exclusively on specific works by the artist, and will encourage specialists in other fields (such as tapestries or theatre) to bring new perspectives to bear on the artist and his world. We thus propose to anchor Bronzino in time, space, and the stylistic developmentof sixteenth century Italian art, without losing sight of trends in social and political history or patronage in Florence and Europe. The speakers included Janet Cox-Rearick, Bruce Edelstein, Robert La France, Betty Talvacchia, Mary Westerman, and Andrea Gáldy. The proceedings, edited by Andrea Gáldy, will be published by Cambridge Scholars Press.

The lecture was in certain respects a response to the exhibition catalogue – Bronzino:Artist and Poet at the Court of the Medici; and to the related catalogue from the Metropolitan Museum’s exhibition: The Drawings of Bronzino. It can also be read as a meditation on some current methodologies applied to the historical study of Bronzino’s works, raising the issue of whether these are profitably illuminated by, or conversely, deformed by postmodernist approaches.

David R. Marshall – Eugene Von Guérard and Daylesford: His Paintings for W.E. Stanbridge
This paper, which arises from research for the catalogue for Ruth Pullin’s Eugene Von Guérard exhibition, currently on display at the NGV, examines Von Guérard’s views of the Daylesford district and their preparatory studies. It explores the interaction between Von Guérard’s training as a topographical artist in Italy and Germany and the picturesque mindset of the colonial public to whom his paintings were addressed. It also looks at the role of W.E. Stanbridge of Wombat Park as patron.

Carl Villis - Giambattista Tiepolo, Francesco Algarotti and The Finding of Moses in the National Gallery of Victoria

Between 1958 and 2008, the NGV’s large eighteenth-century Venetian canvas The Finding of Moses carried an attribution to Sebastiano Ricci. In 2009 this was changed to Giambattista Tiepolo after an extended technical examination and a major conservation treatment. This talk will trace the long history of the ‘new’ Tiepolo attribution, and will introduce the theory that the work is another product of the fruitful collaboration between Tiepolo and his friend and patron, Count Francesco Algarotti.

Katrina Grant – Verdi Prati, Selve Almene: Theatres in the Italian Baroque Garden
The links between theatre and the garden have long been recognised. The theatre as a feature of garden design can be traced back to the fifteenth century and its peak period of popularity was the seventeenth century. It remained a common feature of gardens well into the eighteenth century, and even saw a revival in the early twentieth century. In modern scholarship these theatres are often explained simply as a symptom of the Baroque period’s obsessive ‘theatricality’. However, a closer look reveals that the theatre in the Baroque garden was, rather, a manifestation of a specific ideological approach to the space of the garden and its accompanying art forms.

Ryan Johnston – Pop Art and Surrealism: Eduardo Paolozzi in the 1950s

In 1966 the critic David Irwin published an article inStudio International titled “Pop Art and Surrealism” in which he raised the broad question of how the two movements might be related.  However in the forty five years since the publication of Irwin’s article it is instead the relationship between pop art and dada that has attracted the majority of art historical attention, and the precise legacy of surrealism in this respect remains relatively unclear and ill-attended.  With this paper I seek to begin addressing this lacuna by focusing on one of the artists Irwin identified as manifesting both surrealist and pop tendencies: Eduardo Paolozzi.

Paolozzi has been widely considered a ‘father of pop’ ever since Mario Amaya began his highly influential 1965 bookPop Art… And After with reference to Paolozzi’s practice of the early to mid-1950s.  Most subsequent histories of pop, including the recent Phaidon survey by Hal Foster and Mark Francis, have followed Amaya’s lead and opened with discussion of the work of Paolozzi along with his Independent Group colleagues Nigel Henderson, Richard Hamilton, and Alison and Peter Smithson. Yet despite this historiography Paolozzi himself never explicitly affiliated with pop, and indeed distanced himself from the movement on numerous occasions.  Instead, he characterised his practice as “an extension of radical surrealism”.  The aim of this paper is to begin clarifying what this may mean, taking a series of mechanomorphic bronze sculptures Paolozzi produced in the period 1956 to 1960 as a case study.

Vincent Alessi – ‘It’s a kind of Bible’: A thematic and stylistic analysis of van Gogh’s collection of English black-and-white illustrations’

During his life Vincent van Gogh assembled a number of important collections, including approximately 2,000 black-and-white popular illustrations. Cut from illustrated newspapers, the majority of the works in this collection were from two pioneering English publications, the Illustrated London News and The Graphic. To date, these illustrations has been widely neglected; scholars have acknowledged the influence of English illustration on Van Gogh’s work, but little has been done in analysing the actual print collection. Why did van Gogh build the collection? Why did he choose certain illustrations over others? What was its thematic and stylistic structure? This paper aims to reveal the complex thematic and stylistic structure which underpins van Gogh’s extensive collection, revealing the influence it had on the development of his unique visual language.

30th August 2010: Richard Woodfield – ‘Why study art historiography?’

Richard Woodfield, Honorary Senior Research Fellow in Art History at the University of Glasgow, will lead a seminar discussion on the subject of art historiography, particularly within the context of the Vienna School of Art History.

– Caitlin Breare – Saints and Singers: The crisis of Oratorian style during their patronage of Borromini

Despite now being renowned as a Baroque genius, architect Francesco Borromini suffered an exasperating and tumultuous career involving numerous personal conflicts and the subsequent loss of several commissions. One of these losses also happened to be his longest project, as architect of the Oratory of the Filippini, an appointment that ended after some 15 years of partnership. Founded in 1575, the Congregation of the Oratory was one of several religious groups that emerged in sixteenth-century Italy. Characterised by their eccentric yet charismatic founder, Filippo Neri, and novel in many ways, their values initially seemed well suited to the idiosyncratic architect. This paper attempts to unravel the complex mechanisms of patronage at work, focusing on the problematic development of the Oratorians during this period that led to such an unsatisfactory end to a long and initially very promising artist-patron relationship.

– Caterina Sciacca –  ‘Wonder-Lust’: The Reception of the Belvedere Sculpture Courtyard.

The Belvedere Sculpture Courtyard houses one of the most famous sculpture collections in the Western world. It has attracted the interests of scholars, artists and tourists since the Renaissance. It originally functioned as a private pleasure garden to which only a privileged few were granted access. In the eighteenth century this changed, and the courtyard became popular with a new audience: the Grand Tourists. For the Grand Tourist, the experience offered by the collection in the Belvedere Sculpture Courtyard was both educational (in that it provided access to some of the masterpieces of antiquity) and aesthetic (in that it encouraged viewers to take pleasure in the representation of the human body). This paper will discuss the sensual nature of the Belvedere Statue Courtyard during the later part of the eighteenth century and the reception of aesthetic pleasure by the Grand Tourists.

– Eugene Barilo von Reisberg – ‘Garters and Petticoats’: Winterhalter’s 1843 portraits of Victoria and Albert.

What does official royal iconography tell us? What messages does it communicate about the sitters – and from the sitters? This paper deconstructs two official portraits of Queen Victoria and Prince Albert painted by Franz Xaver Winterhalter (1805-1873) in 1843. It outlines the complex semantic layering within this pair of British royal portraits, and explores in particular the emphasis on Prince Albert’s newly-acquired ‘Englishness’ and the notion of an iconographic ‘gender reversal’ within the context of traditional marital pendants.

2009

– Bohemianism in colonial Melbourne: a study of four artists’ clubs

What does official royal iconography tell us? What messages does it communicate about the sitters – and from the sitters? This paper deconstructs two official portraits of Queen Victoria and Prince Albert painted by Franz Xaver Winterhalter (1805-1873) in 1843. It outlines the complex semantic layering within this pair of British royal portraits, and explores in particular the emphasis on Prince Albert’s newly-acquired ‘Englishness’ and the notion of an iconographic ‘gender reversal’ within the context of traditional marital pendants.

This paper examines the development of a Bohemian culture in colonial Melbourne, focussing on four artists’ clubs: The Buonarotti Club (1883-87), Stray Leaves (1889-92), The Cannibal Club (1893-97) and The Ishmael Club (1898-1901). It investigates the role of the writer Marcus Clarke in introducing Parisian and London models of Bohemianism to Melbourne between 1865-1880.  It will be argued that these clubs played a more significant function in the shaping of professional artistic life during this period than has previously been acknowledged.

– Musician portraits of the Italian Renaissance: Negotiating the changing status of the musician in sixteenth-century Italy.

Musician portraits – that is, portraits in which the sitter is explicitly defined as a professional performer and/or composer – are extremely rare until the second half of the sixteenth century. This paper will argue that the emergence of musician portraits proper reflects the changing status of musicians in a period during which the discipline of music itself was undergoing a profound change in social and artistic status. Joanna Woods-Marsden has demonstrated the way in which Renaissance artists used self-portraiture as a means of negotiating their social status. She has also revealed that it is only in the later sixteenth century that artists begin to depict themselves with the tools of their trade, in the very act of painting. This paper will explore the extent to which the development of musician portraits maps a similar trajectory of social self-awareness. It will also discuss the methodological problems associated with the study of Renaissance musician portraits.

– Beyond Rome: Sebastiano del Piombo as a painter of diplomatic gifts

An important—though often neglected—aspect of sixteenth-century art is its role in the service of diplomacy. This paper will begin with the more famous examples, such as Michelengelo’s bronze David, executed for the French Maréchal de Gié, and the various gifts offered by the Venetian state to the Count of Lautrec, the French-appointed governor of Milan. It will then concentrate on the work of Sebastiano del Piombo, starting with the Visitation (today in the Louvre), which was commissioned by the Venetian cardinal Marco Corner for the queen of France and which was probably an official gift from the Serenissima. Another important case is that of the Ubeda Pietà, sent by Ferrante Gonzaga of Mantua to Francesco del Cobos, an influential official of Emperor Charles V. There are also paintings that were not considered official gifts as such—for instance, the Raising of Lazarus, commissioned by Cardinal Giulio de’ Medici for his Archdiocese of Narbonne in France—but that were donated as a means of smoothing personal or political relations. Finally, we shall discuss the series of portraits of Pope Clement VII produced after the sack of Rome and the way in which these functioned both as diplomatic gifts, as in the case of that offered to the Franco-Scottish Duke of Albany, and as symbols of loyalty to the Medici, as in the case of those offered to Baccio Valori and to Ottaviano de’ Medici.

(University of Leicester) – (Re)collecting ‘home’: acquisitions and imperial identities in Australian art galleries.

At the beginning of the twentieth century the worlds of art and empire appeared to be experiencing simultaneous and comparable change, achieving new levels of self-determination. In art the innovations of modernism promised a new age of autonomy; in politics the colonial system of empire was replaced by the more independent structure of Federation. How accurate is this model though: does this perspective perpetuate the ‘modernist myth’ regardless of the facts?  This paper explores an alternative reading of the sophisticated exchanges and negotiations that continued to take place between Australian art galleries and their London agents at this time and how in turn these impacted on patterns of art collecting. British painting played an important role in the activities of a nation seeking to negotiate its own version of a British identity.

– A Re-examination of Guercino’s Altarpiece for the Donati Chapel in the private rooms of S. Filippo Neri at S. Maria in Vallicella, Rome.

Guercino was well-known for his large-scale altarpiece paintings and yet he undertook a commission for a small altarpiece in a private chapel located behind the very public painting by Guido Reni of S. Filippo Neri in S. Maria in Vallicella, the main church of the Oratorians in Rome. His acceptance of the commission seems to reinforce the traditional view that Guercino ‘played second fiddle’ in Rome to Guido. This paper re-addresses the issue by examining the painting within the context of the Donati Chapel. It is argued that Guercino agreed to the commission to gain favour with the Oratorians, who had established a significant presence in Bologna, where Guercino based himself after Guido’s death. It is also argued that Guercino’s altarpiece is modelled on an unpublished painting by Guido.

– Portraits of Andrea Doria, Sixteenth-Century Genoese Admiral and Statesman.

There are at least eight surviving portraits of Andrea Doria, the great sixteenth-century Genoese admiral and statesman, a remarkable number from a period when any single surviving portrait of a statesman is unusual. Several use the theme of Neptune and a range of classical imagery easy to interpret within portraits of the greatest admiral of his age. However, no really satisfying explanation has been made of the formal portrait Andrea Doria with a Cat. This paper draws on research in the great statesman to provide a more convincing interpretation.

– The Triumphal Carriage of Neptune in Jacopo Zucchi’s Palazzo Ruspoli Galleria.

Jacopo Zucchi’s Gallery in the Palazzo Ruspoli in Rome (ca. 1586) draws on ancient and contemporary sources. Works of literature, painting, sculpture, coins and printed images were all drawn on for this major fresco decoration. Zucchi justified his choice of the Roman gods as the subject for his fresco cycle, writing ‘It truly seemed that such a site demanded a suitable subject.’ This paper will examine the triumphal carriage of Neptune in Zucchi’s cycle, and will attempt to explain why it differs from the most famous depictions of the Roman god from his time.

– Salvator Rosa and Herman van Swanevelt.

The influence of Claude Lorrain and Claude’s coeval, the Dutch ‘Italianate’ painter, Herman van Swanevelt (c. 1603-55), on Salvator Rosa’s landscape paintings has often been observed, yet because of Claude’s greater exposure in the literature of art history, Swanevelt’s role in Rosa’s development has not been so extensively considered. When Rosa (1615-73) arrived in Rome in the 1630s, however, Swanevelt was as well established as Claude. With consistent patronage from Rome’s noble families, he enjoyed a similarly elevated status as a landscape specialist. At the end of the decade, one of Rosa’s major commissions for the Este family also involved Swanevelt, and it is from around this time that Rosa’s landscapes show divergences from the style and subjects of his early Neapolitan views and genre subjects. Rosa’s landscapes became increasingly idiosyncratic, and the late works in particular reveal a heightened drama and expressiveness in which it is possible to see elements similar to those in Swanevelt’s prints and paintings produced during the 1630s, works that would have been known to Rosa before he left for Florence in 1640. This paper will examine Swanevelt’s role in the development of Salvator Rosa’s landscape paintings through an analysis of subject matter, compositional formulae and pictorial motifs.

– Architectural Currents in Early Eighteenth-Century Rome.

In architecture, as in the visual arts more generally, the early eighteenth century remains terra incognita. Roman architecture of this period remains chronically understudied, a legacy of the position of the city as the epicentre of the High Baroque style of Borromini and Bernini. Drawing on recent research, this paper will chart what happened to Roman church façade architecture in the period between 1690 and 1750, examining the principal trends, personalities and operational principles, and questioning the usefulness of the customary division of architects into ‘Borrominismi’ and ‘Berninismi’.

– Carlo Maratti’s Jael & Sisera

This presentation examines the development of Carlo Maratti’s Jael & Sisera, one of the mosaic decorations for the Presentation Chapel in St Peter’s. Maratti’s work was immediately popular, and a painted copy was commissioned by the Marchese Niccolò Maria Pallavicini even before Maratti’s studio had produced an engraved copy to sell to the wider public. Scholars have traditionally associated the engraving with the painting for Pallavicini, despite significant differences between the two. However, the recent appearance of a related painting in a private collection now provides grounds for suggesting that the engraving is in fact derived from Maratti’s original bozzetto for St Peter’s instead. An examination of related prints, as well as the newly discovered painting, demonstrates that the engraving can no longer be seen as solely derived from the commission for Pallavicini. Consideration must also be given to its possible derivation from Maratti’s bozzetto. Since the latter is lost, the engraving therefore provides valuable evidence as to Maratti’s original design.

A Review of the Van Gough Museum’s Summary Report on the Head of a Man in the National Gallery of Victoria

Victorians are gradually becoming accustomed to authenticity debates involving the technical analysis of celebrated works of art in the State collection. The most high profile cases have concerned paintings attributed to Jan van Eyck, Rembrandt van Rijn, and, most recently, Vincent van Gogh. The first two instances have taught us, however, not to accept uncritically unsubstantiated or partially substantiated arguments against attributions, even when they are advanced by colleagues who are among the leading authorities in their fields. The studies of the Institut Royal du Patrimoine Artistique, in the case of Van Eyck, and the Rembrandt Research Project, in the case of Rembrandt, were soon found to be in need of revision, even by their own personnel in some respects, and their findings have since been to a greater or lesser extent overturned. While discussing these precedents, this paper will primarily review the Summary Report from the Van Gogh Museum, and the associated document Head of a Man: Background Information from the National Gallery of Victoria, to establish the extent to which their arguments against the attribution of the Head of a Man to Van Gogh can be considered conclusive, or a matter of professional judgment remaining open to question. It will be argued that the case presented in these documents falls within the latter category. While these documents present valuable new information about the painting, they also contain significant omissions, inconsistencies, interpretations insufficiently substantiated to be considered persuasive in their published form, as well as a number of untenable propositions.

– Sublime ruins: William Lucas’ abandoned Australian War Memorial for Villers-Bretonneux, France.
In 1927 the Melbourne architect William Lucas was announced the winner of a high-profile competition for Australian War Memorial at Villers-Bretonneux, France. His design was, humiliatingly, rejected. Maligned in its day, Lucas’ design has long been viewed as an ill-conceived oddity, and relegated to little more than a footnote in the project’s history. This paper attempts the first in-depth study of Lucas’ design, demonstrating that its architect’s creative impulse was in fact complex and calculated. It contends that Lucas’ design was a response to the formal and symbolic qualities of ancient ruins, augmented by his attempt to generate qualities of sublimity through its architecture.

– ‘Un repas frugal’ or una festa? Male refectories, food and Last Supper frescoes in Quattrocento Florence.
Lent is a period of penance and privation in the church calendar. However, in some male religious houses in Florence the Easter period may also have involved festal elements. Documentary materials will be explored for their potential to contextualise some of the innovative iconographical features of the Last Supper images in which lamb and unseasonal fruits, and not penitential fish, were depicted on the tables. The paper will offer the view that the Last Supper refectory images in these houses may be seen as reflecting some of the dichotomous aspects of celebration and penance associated with Easter and Holy Thursday.

– The Restoration of the NGV’s Profile Portrait of a Lady.
An in-depth view into the restoration of the National Gallery of Victoria’s Profile Portrait of a Lady. The recent conservation treatment of this important example of Renaissance portraiture was a highly complex process which encountered an unusually high number of practical, ethical and aesthetic concerns. This talk will aim to make the viewer aware of the critical decision-making that must take place during a comprehensive restoration of a painting, and the importance of research in making those decisions.

The Enchantress in the Garden

Narratives of the enchantress Alcina and of her enchanted garden formed the basis of opera and other musical entertainments performed in the princely gardens of Baroque Europe. These gardens – Versailles, the Buen Retiro, the Villa Poggio Imperiale in Florence and the Villa Favorita in Vienna – formed a vital visual component of such musical works. They should not be understood simply as impressive backdrops, but rather as spaces that were temporarily transformed into three-dimensional stage sets in which the audience and performers interacted. This paper will explore the significance of the siting of these performances, and will argue that the themes present within their narratives are fundamental to our understanding of the Baroque garden and its impact on contemporaries.

– Painting Musicians in Settecento Italy.

– Reconstructing Mediaeval Rome: The Church of S. Giovanni Calibita.

– The Guitar, the Musette and Meaning in the Paintings of Watteau.
Watteau’s paintings have long been recognised as sites of contested meaning: are they sublime vacuities, illustrating nothing but the polite but empty banter of a doomed class, or are they vehicles for nuanced, often satirical, sometimes misanthropic meditations on love an (un)faithfulness? Musical instruments play an important part of the iconography of Watteau’s painting, but their significance as vessels of meaning has not been explored. What can a wider reading of the iconography of musical instruments, their theoretical literature and repertoire tell us about the intended meaning of Watteau’s work? This paper will examine the guitar and musette, the contexts in which they appeared, the music and theoretical literature published for them and poetry of the siècle d’or in order to penetrate the enigma of Watteau’s world.

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