the printed image within a culture of print: prints, publishing and the early modern arts in europe, 1450-1700


Saturday, 9 April 2011

10.00 - 18.05, Research Forum South Room (tbc), (with registration from 09.30)

engravers working in their studio
Abraham Bosse, Graveurs en taille douce au burin et à l’eau forte, etching, 1643, London, British Museum.  © The Trustees of the British Museum

Speaker(s): Marisa Bass (Harvard University), Susanna Berger (Cambridge University), Christophe Brouard (Université Paris I - Panthéon Sorbonne), Stephanie S. Dickey (Queen’s University, Kingston), Robert L. Fucci (Columbia University), Fanny Lambert (Institut national d'histoire de l'art, Paris), Todd P. Olson (University of California, Berkeley), Helen Pierce (Aberdeen University), Gary Rivett (Sheffield University), Anita V. Sganzerla (The Courtauld Institute of Art), Femke Speelberg (Dutch Postgraduate School for Art History), Paris Amanda Spies-Gans (Independent scholar), Joris Van Grieken (Royal Library of Belgium), Matthias Wivel (Cambridge University)

Ticket/entry details: £15 (£10 Courtauld staff/students and concessions) 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 ‘Early Modern Printed Image’ conference. For credit card bookings call 020 7848 2785/2909. For further information, send an email to

Organised by: Sheila McTighe, Emily Gray and Anita Sganzerla (The Courtauld Institute of Art)

From the fifteenth through the seventeenth century, the advent of print utterly changed the production of images. A repertoire of images of all kinds, from the crudest woodcut to the most virtuosic engraving, from broadsides of wonders and prodigies to pictures reproducing famous paintings and sculptures, was put into the hands of both image-makers and consumers of images. New possibilities for allusion and intertextuality came into being thanks to this bridge between the image and its publics. And the publication of printed images, a commercial venture, widened the spectrum of those who bought images, producing new kinds of viewers and readers.

This one-day conference focuses on the relations between print culture and the visual arts as a whole, looking not only at the artist’s print as produced by the peintre-graveur, but at the relations between the entire spectrum of print and what we think of now as ‘fine art’.

Since the 1990s when the studies of Roger Chartier inspired work across many historical disciplines, much has been claimed for the impact of printed media on social, intellectual and cultural life in early modernity. The study of popular culture, the history of mentalités, book history and reception studies across a diverse range of periods and cultures have all profited from opening up the area known loosely as print culture. Art historical studies, however, have not often referred to this body of research. Bringing together some of the disciplines that study print culture to focus on the image and the printed text opens up new questions of concern to historians and literary historians as well as to students of the art print.

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