Call for Papers & Applications

For the third consecutive year, the Institut national d'histoire de l'art, the Villa Finaly and the Kunsthistorisches Institut in Florenz will award two postdoctoral grants to researchers requiring access to Florentine institutions. These grants are intended for researchers in art history, French or foreign, who wish to carry out research in Florentine archives or libraries. Applicants must hold a doctoral degree or be conservateurs du patrimoine. The grant amounts to € 3,000. Awardees are housed at Villa Finaly for a period to be determined (participation costs are € 25 per day for maintenance, in addition to the city tax of € 3 per night and per person within the limit of 7 consecutive nights). The Villa can only receive scholarship holders between January 7 and March 31 or between November 1 and December 15.

Selection committee

The selection committee consists of a representative of the INHA, a representative of the Villa Finaly, a member from the Universités de Paris (the Villa Finaly is the property of the Universités de Paris), a representative of the Kunsthistorisches Institut in Florenz and of an external scholar chosen jointly and by mutual agreement. The committee meets once a year to choose the awardees for the following year.

Application documents

Applications for the 2021 selection must be submitted online on the INHA platform (here) no later than April 5, 2020 before midnight (CET). Only applications submitted online on the INHA platform will be considered.

The file (in French or in English) must include:

1. A letter of application addressed to the director general of the INHA and to the director of the Villa Finaly
2. A curriculum vitae
3. A detailed work program (4 pages maximum) in French or English including:

  • A general presentation of the research;The particular subject requiring the candidate's presence in Florence;
  • The research institutions where the documentation and archives that will be visited are located;
  • Proposals for how this research might be diffused through a conference, a seminar, the establishment of a partnership with research institutions on site or elsewhere, will be particularly appreciated.

4. A recommendation letter by an established scholar in support of the application.
5. The completed information sheet.


For more information, please contact the Secrétariat of the Département des études et de la recherche of the INHA at +33 (0)1 47 03 85 81 or via e-mail:

Organisation: Dr. Stephanie Hanke, Prof. Dr. Alessandro Nova, Dr. Mandy Richter; Prof. Dr. Gerhard Wolf
Guest scholars: Prof. Dr. Matthias Schnettger, Bettina Morlang-Schardon M.A., Davide Ferri M.A., Brenna Larson M.A.

"La plus mal connue – et la plus difficile à comprendre – des villes marchandes italiennes" – this is how the French Annalescharacterised the state of research on Genoa as recently as the 1980s. Indeed, the Ligurian port city continues to be an underrated entity receiving relatively little attention in art history on an international level. Yet given the city's complexity, it deserves more in-depth study. For centuries, Genoa not only dominated the naval wars of the Mediterranean, wide sectors of long-distance trade, and European banking, but it also boasts to this day one of the largest old town districts in Italy and offers a large number of uniquely concentrated palaces, church buildings and semi-urban villas. 

The Kunsthistorisches Institut in Florenz's 2020 study course hopes to contribute to a better understanding of la Superba – as the maritime and mercantile Republic was rightly called – and its aesthetic qualities, spatial properties, and political organisation. We will focus on the long secolo d'oro dei Genovesi in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, which saw a spectacular economic and artistic boom in Genoa. Andrea Doria's alliance with Charles V opened up new trade routes for the city as well as access to the financial operations of the Spanish ruling family. At the same time, the internal situation of Genoese society, which had been characterised by family disputes and foreign domination, was stabilised by aristocratic-republican rule. The resulting oligarchic ruling class was comprised of noble families who were both competitors and bound together as a "capitalist interest group" avant la lettre. These families had newfound needs to display their wealth and status given Genoa's changed foreign and domestic policy situation. The nobility invested heavily in the construction of palaces and villas, which were often decorated with elaborate fresco cycles that glorified the historic achievements of particular noble families, from battlefield victories to the discovery of America by Columbus. Rubens already recognised the exceptional quality of the Genoese noble residences in the seventeenth century, when he presented them as engravings in his Palazzi di Genova to northern European nobility as models of modern palaces that befitted their social status. In Genoa, the unique government use of private palaces for the accommodation of official guests of the Republic – a system for which Ennio Poleggi aptly coined the ambiguous phrase reggia repubblicana – offered a special incentive for such investments by the wealthy nobility. In marked contrast to the maritime Republic of Venice – which was simultaneously Genoa's rival, model, and antitype – state and private display of splendour went hand in hand within a system of continuous balancing and reframing of claims to power within the oligarchy.

Particular attention will be devoted to this interplay of public and dynastic interests, as the study course aims to examine art patronage and the urban gestalt of Genoa based on the city's specific historical and social conditions. We will focus on architecture, furnishing and decoration of selected city palaces and villas, the Doge's Palace and the famous Bank of San Giorgio, as well as on the investments of the uomini privati in church buildings, including the family churches so characteristic of Genoa. We will look at the visual strategies of political self-representation in murals and façade paintings, portraits, and honorific statues. Early modern restructurings and transformations of the medieval townscape will be examined through the Strada Nuova and Via Balbi as well as the Piazza Banchi. By looking at individual objects within a system of competing clients we seek to understand the artistic and political alterity of the city of Genoa and the ways in which its structures reverberate into contemporary European society.


Conceived as an excursion, the study course is aimed at master's and doctoral students as well as postdocs who have recently obtained their doctoral degrees in art history or related disciplines. Participants are expected to prepare a presentation in German, Italian or English and to be actively involved in the discussions. Good passive knowledge of German and – given the state of the literature – Italian is required. The Institute bears the cost of accommodation and will reimburse half of incurred travel costs; in addition, participants will be given a daily allowance. 

The application should include your CV, university transcripts and, if applicable, a brief summary of your master's thesis or dissertation project. You can suggest topics or indicate primary areas of interest for presentations, which will be taken into account where possible. Applicants will be notified by mid-May 2020 about the selection and assignment of presentation topics.

Please send your documents by 15 May 2020 in a PDF file (2 MB max.) with the subject line "Studienkurs 2020" to the office of Prof. Dr. Alessandro Nova ( and


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