Stefan Neuner:
The Boatman and the Possessed: Passages in a Double History by Vittore Carpaccio

Vittore Carpaccio's Miracle of the Relic of the True Cross (ca. 1494–96) from the Scuola Grande di S. Giovanni Evangelista is commonly known as a "veduta" of the Grand Canal with a view of the ancient, wooden Rialto Bridge, which interests researchers primarily for its potential to generate cultural-historical "data." The talk, however, turns to the narrative structure of the painting, and argues that Carpaccio actually juxtaposed two disparate events. The canvas shows not only a miracle—wrought by the santissima croce of the lay confraternity—in which the patriarch of Grado Francesco Querini heals a possessed man, but also a dangerous traffic situation on the Grand Canal in which a private boat threatens to collide with a ferry. The outstanding importance of this detail has long been confirmed in the reception history of the painting. After all, attention was not focused on the actual subject of the picture, the exorcism, but primarily on the protagonist of this second "plot": a Black boatman. The paper tries to clarify what role this figure actually plays in the istoria and what view of the Afro-Venetian minority is articulated in the painting.

Stefan Neuner is an art historian focusing on Venetian painting in the Renaissance, on the relationship of art, science and technique in the early modern period, on modern and contemporary art and on the relationship between art and new music. He earned his PhD at the University of Vienna (with a thesis on Jasper Johns and Willem de Kooning) and his habilitation at University of Basel. In 1999-2010 he was a research scholar at the University of Vienna and the University of Zurich. In 2009-2010 he was a postdoctoral research fellow at the Kunsthistorisches Institut in Florence (Max-Planck-Institut) and ERC Assistant at the ERC research program "An Iconology of the Textile in Art and Architecture" at the University of Zurich. From 2011 to 2017 he was a postdoctoral research fellow at eikones NCCR Iconic Criticism at the University of Basel and research associate at the Centro Tedesco di Studi Veneziani, Venice. Since October 2017, he has been Professor of Art History and Theory at the Universität der Künste, Berlin.

27 October 2022, 5:00pm

This event will take place in a hybrid format.

Palazzo Grifoni Budini Gattai
Via dei Servi 51
50122 Firenze, Italia

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