Journée d’étude : “Shaped by Nature, Forged by Art. Image, Object, Knowledge, and Commerce in Early Modern Europe”


François Boucher, La Forêt, 1740, huile sur toile, 131 x 163 cm, Paris, Musée du Louvre.

Type : Journée d’étude
Date : 21 mai 2016
Lieu : Northwestern University, 1881 Sheridan Road, Evanston, IL
Sous la direction de : Claudia Swan

The often complex, always productive, and sometimes vexed relationship between nature and art is a central theme of early modern European culture and of artistic production in particular. Where, in a visual culture devoted to naturalism, does art begin and nature end? If mimicking nature is the most noble of artistic aims, what is the relationship between the generative powers of art and the fecundity of nature? Long the ape of nature, art vied with nature in the early modern era to the point of outstripping it—or at least trying.

The twinned tropes of the artistry of nature and the naturalism of art populate artistic discourse and practice throughout the early modern era. This event, a two-day workshop sponsored by Myers Funds and the Department of Art History at Northwestern University, will bring together some of the most prominent early modern art historians working on this and related topics (see preliminary list of participants and titles), from Europe and North America. Most but not all of the papers will address topics in northern European early modern art theory and practice. Commentators will be invited to represent adjacent fields (history of science; medieval art history; Italian art history). The structuring questions range from those mentioned at the outset of this prospectus to: How did objects or practices that conjoined art and nature foster knowledge—natural historical knowledge, for example, or ethnographic knowledge? How did the early modern market support or otherwise respond to such works? What is the relationship between image and object, seen from the perspective of the twinned powers of art and nature? This workshop, “Shaped by Nature. Forged by Art” will enable this outstanding panel of visiting scholars to respond to these and further questions, in conversation with Northwestern faculty, graduate students, and undergraduate students, and is designed to foster conversation at the highest level of one of the most central topics in early modern art history.

Programme :

9.00-9.30 Welcome and Introduction by Claudia Swan (Northwestern University)

9.30-11.00 AM Session I

Robert Felfe (Universität Hamburg) : Art and Craft in Nature’s Workshop. Consequences of a Widespread Topos

Jessica Keating (Carleton College) : The Mutual Dependence of Nature and Art: Nikolaus Pfaff’s Rhinoceros
Horn Goblet

11.30 AM-1.00 PM Session II

Marisa Bass (Washington University in St. Louis) : Insect Artifice: The Origins of Entomology in the Early Modern Netherlands

Marisa Mandabach (Harvard University) : Mythologizing Matter : Images of Spontaneous Generation in Rubens

2.00-3.30 PM Session III

José Ramon Marcaida (University of Cambridge) : Pictorial Wit and Still Life Painting in Early Seventeenth-century Spain

Stephanie Dickey (Queen’s University) : Glycera’s Garlands: Painting, Flowers, and the Rivalry of Art and Nature

4.00-5.00 PM Comments and Final Discussion with Peter Parshall, commentator

5.00 PM Reception

Inscription :

L’entrée à la journée est libre sur inscription à avant le 15 mai 2016.

Citer ce billet
Hadrien Volle (2016, 8 mai). Journée d’étude : “Shaped by Nature, Forged by Art. Image, Object, Knowledge, and Commerce in Early Modern Europe” Groupe de Recherche en Histoire de l'Art Moderne. Consulté le 27 mai 2024, à l’adresse

Hadrien Volle

Doctorant contractuel en Histoire de l'art moderne (Université Paris 1-Panthéon Sorbonne).

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