First Annual Postgraduate Renaissance Symposium

Beyond the Frame: Portraits and Personal Experience in Renaissance Europe,
c.1400 – 1650


09.30 – 17.45, Saturday 28 April 2012
Kenneth Clark Lecture Theatre, The Courtauld Institute of Art


Saint Catherine of Bologna with three donors, Master of the Baroncelli Saint Catherine of Bologna with three donors, Master of the Baroncelli (c. 1470-1480) © The Samuel Courtauld Trust, The Courtauld Gallery, London





In Renaissance art historical scholarship, the category of the portrait has provided a key framework for thinking about and discussing representations of the individual, an emphasis that has been echoed in a range of recent exhibitions celebrating Renaissance ‘faces’.

The inaugural Renaissance postgraduate symposium invites new scholars to explore the limits of this framework. It aims to encourage students of the Renaissance, in its broadest definition, to consider the domestic, devotional and urban environments of portraits. Contributors are invited to consider how the experience of viewing, commissioning and living with portraits affects our understanding of their meaning and function, situating the images within their historical contexts rather than within the museum’s exhibition space. Likewise, we invite participants to challenge the terminology of portraiture and to consider objects and images which do not fit into the conventional category of the ‘portrait’ but which nevertheless ‘portray’ individuals.

Speakers and chairs
: Irene Brooke (independent scholar); Mary Camp (The Courtauld Institute of Art); Emma Capron (Christie’s); Maya Corry (University of Oxford); Ruthie Ezra (University of Cambridge); Albert Godycki (Ecole Pratique des Hautes Etudes, Paris); Tomasz Grusiecki (McGill University, Montreal); Jim Harris (The Courtauld Institute of Art); Nicholas Herman (Institute of Fine Art, New York University); Anna Koopstra (The Courtauld Institute of Art); Catherine Lofthouse (UCL); Elizabeth McDougall (The Courtauld Institute of Art); Scott Nethersole (The Courtauld Institute of Art); Geoff Nuttall (The Courtauld Institute of Art); Eva Papoulia (The Courtauld Institute of Art); Jeongho Park (Institute of Fine Art, New York University); John Renner (The Courtauld Institute of Art); Per Rumberg (The Courtauld Institute of Art); Jacqueline Spicer (University of Edinburgh)

Ticket/entry details: Admission free, all welcome. No booking is necessary

Organised by: Emily Gray and Harriette Peel (The Courtauld Institute of Art)


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