Elizabeth Cropper: Malvasia's Anti-Vasarian History: The Bolognese Alternative

Abendvortrag / Conferenza serale

Carlo Cesare Malvasia's 'Felsina pittrice' (Bologna, 1678) is often characterized, if not caricatured, as a polemical defense of 16th and 17th century Bolognese art in opposition to Tuscan-Roman claims to supremacy. Not well understood is Malvasia's approach to the shape of history as such, in which tradition and continuity play a much greater role than the innovation and rupture celebrated by Vasari. This historical position is most clearly established in Malvasia's writings about Bolognese painters of the 14th century, including Vitale da Bologna, Simone dei Crocefissi, and Lippo di Dalmasio. My lecture will focus on this aspect of the 'Felsina pittrice' in the context of a research project at CASVA to edit and translate Malvasia's text.

Elizabeth Cropper received her Bachelor of Arts with honors from Cambridge University, England, and her Ph.D. from Bryn Mawr College. Before joining The Johns Hopkins University as professor in 1985, Cropper was Visiting Lecturer at the Department of Art History at the Franklin and Marshall College and afterwards assistant to a Full Professor at Temple University's Tyler School of Art. From 1985-87 she was Special Assistant to the Provost and from 1987-2000 Director of the Charles S. Singleton Center for Italian Studies at the Villa Spelman. Currently she is Dean of the Center for Advanced Study in the Visual Arts at National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C.

In addition to professorships at Cambridge University and CASVA, her visiting appointments include tenures as directeur d'Études Associé at the École des Hautes Études en Science Sociales, Paris (1990-1991 and 1997); as Samuel H. Kress Fellow, CASVA, National Gallery of Art in Washington D.C. (1984-1985) and as professor at the Collège de France in 1997.

Among Cropper's postdoctoral research awards are visiting scholarships and fellowships at the Harvard Center for Renaissance Studies, Villa I Tatti, in Florence; a Andrew W. Mellon professorship at CASVA, National Gallery in Washington D.C. and a visiting membership at the School of Historical Studies, Institute for Advanced Study, Princeton.

Elizabeth Cropper received numerous honors - recently she was awarded the Mongan Prize by Villa I Tatti, the Harvard Center for Renaissance Studies.

Her latest publications are Early Bolognese Painting (Turnhout 2012.), 'Heu vicit Venus': amour et désir au XVIe siècle à Florence (In: Daniel Arasse, historien de l'art, INHA, Les Éditions des cendres, 2010, p. 87-104), La fortuna critica di Agnolo Bronzino (In : Falciani / Natali (ed.): Bronzino, Firenze 2010, p. 23-33), Per una lettura dei ritratti fiorentini del Bronzino (In: Falciani / Natali (ed.): Bronzino, Firenze 2010, p. 245-255) and Dialogues in art history, from Mesopotamian to modern (New Haven [et. al.] 2009).

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