Art and Presence

Saturday 20 November 2010

The Courtauld Institute of Art

Portrait of Baldassare Castiglione 1630
Portrait of Baldassare Castiglione (after Raffaello Sanzio).1630. Oil on panel, height: 90.2 cm; width: 67.5 cm. Acquisition: Princes Gate; bequest; 1978; P.1978.PG.373. © The Samuel Courtauld Trust, The Courtauld Gallery, London

Speaker(s): Jocelyn Anderson (The Courtauld Institute of Art), Frederique Baumgartner (Harvard University), Felicity Bodenstein (Université Paris IV Sorbonne), Jane Eade (University of Sussex), Andreas Gehlert (independent scholar), Allison Goudie (independent scholar), Gyöngyvér Horváth (UEA, Norwich/ MOME Budapest), Wendy Ikemoto (The Courtauld Institute of Art), Macarena Moralejo Ortega (Universidad de Valladolid y Academia de Espana en Roma), Alejandra Osorio (Wellesley College), Aris Sarafianos (University of Ioannina), Sjoukje van der Meulen (University of Illinois at Chicago)

Ticket/entry details: £15 (£10 students) Please send a cheque made payable to ‘Courtauld Institute of Art’ to: Research Forum Events Co-ordinator, Research Forum, The Courtauld Institute of Art , Somerset House, Strand, London WC2R 0RN, clearly stating that you wish to book for the ‘Art and Presence’ symposium. For credit card bookings call 020 7848 2785. For further information, send an email to

Organised by: Deborah Babbage and Rodrigo Canete (The Courtauld Institute of Art)

Art and Presence is the second symposium of The Courtauld’s Early Modern department. The symposium will provide an occasion for established and emerging scholars to present and discuss their research together.

Historically and culturally specific, the ‘work of art’ is contingent on a series of social relationships and mediations that seem to emerge when considering the relationship between representation and presence. This one-day symposium explores the relationship between viewers and art makers from the perspective of how they conceived of the work as an informational ‘vehicle’ and/ or as a place of presence. Drawing on theories from such fields as art history, anthropology, phenomenology, literary studies, cultural studies, philosophy and sociology, papers will examine the way works of art ‘functioned’ from the point of view of a phenomenology of producing and viewing images, asking what is presence? What makes an object present? And how is it perceived?

Papers will explore the theme of presence in diverse forms of visual and material culture relating to the early modern period (c.1580-1850) including painting, sculpture, architecture, decorative arts, print media, graphic arts, and the intersections between them.

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