KHI 2021+ Lecture Series

Nicola Suthor: One Line Only: Drawing Performances of Agostino Carracci

Agostino Carracci, Studies of ears and profile heads, pen and brown ink, 15.1 x 10.8 cm, Stockholm, The Nationalmuseum.

Over the centuries, several illustrious European artists have performed the feat of drawing a figure from one continuous line. The practice seems to originate from a famous antique legend that has been repeated again and again in early modern art literature without ever gaining substance; instead, the legend caused a whirlpool of reactions and projections that created ex post a focal point of attention and confusion about the form and high significance of the line as medium of artistic expression. In my talk I want to unfold the twists and turns of a single line's movement on two sheets attributed to Agostino Carracci (1557–1602) and intertwine them with discursive strands of the legendary account in order to read the drawings as pedagogical exercises that define and teach the art of disegno.

Nicola Suthor is Professor in the History of Art at Yale University with a special focus on European art and art theory 1500–1800. Her research aims to understand how thinking about art comes to grips with thinking in art. Her present research project "Meta/Physics of Drawing: Trains of Thought and the Artist's Line" deals with the entanglement of ideologies and practices of drawing in early modern Europe.
She has published on the painterly styles of Titian (Augenlust bei Tizian: Zur Konzeption sensueller Malerei in der Frühen Neuzeit, Munich 2004) and Rembrandt (Rembrandt's Roughness, Princeton, 2018), and on the concept of painterly virtuosity (Bravura: Virtuosity and Ambition in Early Modern European Painting, Princeton, 2020).

This talk is part of the KHI 2021+ Lecture Series, organized by the doctoral and postdoctoral fellows, in collaboration with scientific staff and senior scholars of the Institute. It is envisioned as a forum to reflect on the futures of Art History through conversations with innovative voices in the discipline, working in different areas but sharing methodological concerns.

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11 February 2021, 3:00pm

KHI 2021+ Lecture Series
The event takes place online.

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