Colloquia on the Historiography of Early Modern Art

This series of lectures and seminars jointly organized by Villa I Tatti – The Harvard University Center for Italian Renaissance Studies and the research group Rinascimento conteso of the Kunsthistorisches Institut in Florenz aims to reassess the Renaissance as a historiographic paradigm. Against the background of the traditional research interests that guided the founding of both institutions, the project's goal is to put such a paradigm to the test, debating its impact and status in the discipline by bringing together a polyphony of critical voices from the international scholarly community.

The events will focus on key texts that successfully and meaningfully engaged with the defining issues of the Renaissance from both a formal and a more broadly cultural point of view. Returning to those canonical texts of the art historical discipline that, from the late nineteenth into the twentieth century, contributed to crystallize and define the concept in academic circles, each event will respond to the evolving history of the field and to the various critical turns that it has undergone in more recent times.

The aim of the series is to determine whether such a category—often replete with elitist and Eurocentric connotations—can still be useful as an interpretive tool to see and read the past, one that can not only advance knowledge specific to studies of the premodern West, but also offer more far-reaching methodological lessons.


Bruno Zevi
March 01-02, 2018
Speakers: Roberto Dulio (Politecnico di Milano); Caspar Pearson (University of Essex)
Respondents: Francesco Dal Co (IUAV); Andrew Leach (University of Sidney)

Time does not heal all Wounds: The Place of George Kubler's The Shape of Time within his Oeuvre, and its Colonial Discontents
November 06-07, 2017
Speaker: Thomas B.F. Cummins (Harvard University)
Respondents: Cécile Fromont (university of Chicago); Carlo Severi (École des Hautes Études en Sciences Sociales)

Dislodging the Renaissance: On Henri Focillon's Life of Forms
June 08-09, 2017
Speaker: Nicola Suthor (Yale University)
Respondents: Tristan Weddigen (Biblioteca Hertziana – Max-Planck-Institut für Kunstgeschichte); Henri Zerner (Harvard University)

Gombrich on the Pleasures and Perils of Circular Thinking
March 20-21, 2017
Speaker: Christopher Wood (New York University)
Respondents: Victor Stoichiță (Université de Fribourg); Jacqueline Lichtenstein (Université Paris-Sorbonne)


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