The Institute of Art History of the Czech Academy of Sciences, the Department of Art History of the Faculty of Arts, Masaryk University in Brno and the Studio of Wall Painting Restoration of the Faculty of Restoration, University of Pardubice, are preparing an international scientific Conference devoted to the problems of art theory and practice in the field of wall and ceiling painting of the 17th and 18th centuries in Europe. The Conference is organized within the frame of the 2022 Annual Meeting of the Research Group for Baroque Ceiling Painting in Central Europe (BCPCE), with the support of the Czech Academy of Sciences, program Strategy AV21: Cultural Heritage as Part of European and Global Discourse.
Enclosed you will find the flyer of the symposium Himmlische Botschaften in bürgerlichen Welten – Barocke Deckenmalerei in Bürgerhäusern as planned for May 14th and 15th, 2020 in Augsburg. Unfortunately, the Corona epidemic limits social and, consequently, also scholarly contacts in the whole of Europe and forces us to cancel and postpone the meeting for the time being, which we deeply regret. It would be irresponsible to decide otherwise.
The program documents how intensely all the speakers intended to deal with the topic of the symposium. As a rule, this indicates indisputably the relevance of any scholarly research and of the innovative results to be expected from the different contributions, as well as the possibility of mutual fruitful inspiration.
In consideration of all this, we decided to postpone the symposium for approximately one year (May 2021). The exact date will be communicated only after the end of the epidemic.
His Artibus: An author, Her/His Environment and Artwork. Possibilities of Artists’ Biographies in the Present Day (CFP)
May 6 – 7, 2020
Masaryk University, Department of Art History
Brno, Arna Nováka 1, Czech Republic
One of the founders of the art historical discipline, Carl Friedrich von Rumohr, stated that a piece of artwork needs to be critically explained outside of itself and not according to the intention of its author. His statement stands at the beginning of an important tradition of a scientific approach to art history. In a similar sense, the thoughts of Michael Baxandall have been resonating until the present day. He reflected upon model situations of “patterns of intention” in relation to artwork, commissioning and an author and her/his environment. The philosophical and historical contributions of Michel Foucault and Roger Chartier, as well as methodological initiative of Pierre Bourdieu and Niklas Luhmann from the sociological perspective, enter the art historical debate about artworks and their authors collaterally in this tradition.
Peace and Prosperity – both conditions for political stability and economic prosperity always determined the lifestyle of the upper middle classes and are reflected visually in the ceiling frescoes of the 18 th. century. A speedily executed and therefore affordable medium, ceiling painting was apt for representations of complex subject matters supported by its vast surfaces.
The free imperial city of Augsburg provided ideal conditions. The trade in textiles or silver products flourished as well as banking. In Augsburg, the centre of publishing houses and printing, a rich supply of iconographic and compositional possibilities was available. The bi-confessionally ruled academy attracted many fresco painters from the surrounding territories. Therefore, Augsburg seems to be the ideal place for an interdisciplinary symposium on ceiling paintings in bourgeois houses within a European context.
Deckenmalerei als Medium höfischer Selbstdarstellung um 1700
Das Corpus der barocken Wand- und Deckenmalerei betrachtet Wand- und Deckenmalerei als ein Medium. Im höfischen Kontext dienen beide den Landesherren ebenso wie beispielsweise Architektur oder Raumausstattung zur Selbstdarstellung gegenüber Standesgenossen.
Um 1700 ist in der Selbstdarstellung europäischer Höfe vor allem nördlich der Alpen ein formaler und inhaltlicher Wandel festzustellen. Im Bereich der Deckenmalerei etwa fällt auf, dass die Decke nun oft nicht mehr in einzelne Felder unterteilt, sondern in ihrer Gesamtheit mit einem Gemälde versehen wird. Das einzelne große Gemälde wird raumbeherrschend. Eine freie Monumentalität, große Maßstäbe und ein neuer Illusionismus werden wichtig. Die Kunst der Augentäuschung als hohe Kunstfertigkeit der barocken Deckenmalerei setzt sich durch. Das Deckenbild erlangt Autonomie und als Medium folgt sie oft einer eigenen Logik. Wand und Decke können nun auch einheitlich gestaltet werden. Der Wandel ist kein rein formaler, sondern auch ein inhaltlicher: Verherrlichungen und Personifikationen etwa erfolgen im nördlichen Europa nun auf eine zuvor nicht praktizierte Art und sind oft nicht mehr allgemein dynastisch ausgerichtet, sondern auf bestimmte Personen hin orientiert.
Baroque Parish Churches and Their Decoration: A New Field of Research
The Research Group for Baroque Ceiling Painting in Central Europe (BCPCE), the Institute for History of Art and Musicology of the Austrian Academy of Sciences, the Institute of Art History of the Czech Academy of Sciences, the Region of Hradec Králové, and the Omnium Association will jointly host a symposium on the painterly decoration of parish churches of Catholic and Lutheran denominations in Vienna from the 23rd to the 25th of October, 2017. The event thus tackles a topic that has been treated rather negatively in the history of art history up until now, compared to the extensive research into the decorative programs of monasteries or pilgrimage churches. In this case, the analysis of the wall and ceiling painting – the core business of the BCPCE – only makes sense in the context of a broad historical contextualization. The general historical and churchhistorical framework must be discussed as well as theological and liturgical aspects of these churches. The period covered in this conference (1500–1800) was bracketed by confessionalism in the sixteenth century, and by the Josephine reforms in the late eighteenth century; the conference focuses on the geographic space with Central Europe largely governed by the Hapsburgs, as well as with Central Germany – that is, the essential parts of the old Holy Roman Empire.
Researching religious confraternities is a great challenge not only in the fields of general and church history but also in art history, as the activities of confraternities reflect strongly in fine arts. Confraternities connected European religious, cultural and artistic space in a way similar to monastic orders. Therefore, only a comprehensive understanding of their activities and role in fine arts can yield complex findings and new evaluation of these themes in a wider context.