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This one-day workshop provides participants with opportunities to explore their own ‘perspectives’ on pictorial space in Late Medieval and Early Renaissance art through presentation and discussion.

Event details of Pictorial Space in the Late Middle Ages and Early Renaissance
Date 26 April 2019
Time 09:15 -17:15
University Library

According to Erwin Panofsky, linear perspective transformed “psychophysiological space into mathematical space”. To him, it meant a Durchsehung, or “looking through”. The purpose of this workshop is to reconsider the traditional conception of pictorial space in Western art from the Late Middle Ages to the Early Renaissance, in the fourteenth, fifteenth and early sixteenth centuries. How might we bring a more material and social significance to such an abstract consideration as perspective?

Pictorial space was a pivotal area of art historical research from the early to mid-twentieth century. After Panofsky’s „Die Perspektive als ‘symbolische Form'" was published in 1927 by the Vorträge der Bibliothek Warburg, a number of art historians, from Otto Pächt to John White, made pictorial space the main focus of their study. They sought to determine the means by which artists on both sides of the Alps represented the third dimension on a two-dimensional surface. As such, pictorial space became an alternate avenue of art historical interpretation at a time of iconographic and connoisseurial dominance. Today pictorial space, as practised by these eminent twentieth-century scholars, can appear somewhat outmoded, divorced from more material and social questions. We hope to examine the rich legacy of this school of thought and re-integrate it with twenty-first-century scholarly concerns.

Deadline for Submissions: Friday 22nd February 2019 (Closed)


University Library, Belle van Zuylenzaal

University Library

Singel 425
1012 WP Amsterdam