CFP: Devotion and identity: iconography of foreign communities in Early Modern Italy

Devotion and identity: iconography of foreign communities in Early Modern Italy

Sixteenth Century Society and Conference, Bruges, 18-20 August 2016

Processes and efforts of maintaining or constructing the cultural identity of communities considered as foreign in Early Modern Italian cities (both Italian and non-Italian minorities) frequently resulted in prominent artistic commissions conceived as expressions of individual or collective devotion, which also ensured the visibility of the “foresti” and “stranieri” within their adopted urban environments. With Venice as the most eminent example, the multicultural host societies generally sustained these immigrant communities by providing the social framework which permitted the preservation of group identity through the establishment of colleges, confraternities or scuole. Conceived within the project “Visualizing Nationhood: the Schiavoni/Illyrian Confraternities and Colleges in Italy and the Artistic Exchange with South East Europe (15th – 18th century)”, University of Zagreb, the panel seeks to bring together case studies which explore issues of maintaining or constructing the cultural identity of immigrant communities in urban centres of Early Modern Italy, interactions and artistic exchanges between different foreign communities and possible influences of immigrant minorities on the artistic production in major Italian centres.

Topics may include but are not limited to:

  • artistic commissions by members of foreign communities
  • imported objects of devotion (relics, icons or other particularly venerated works of art)
  • construction of identity through works of art dedicated to particular saints venerated by foreign communities
  • visual narratives and their textual and/or archival sources
  • choice of artist as an expression of identity
  • artistic exchanges between host societies and foreign communities
  • local reception and perception of works of art commissioned by foreign communities
  • works of art imported from the foreign communities’ places of origin

Please submit a 250-word abstract and a one-page CV to Tanja Trska (ttrska@ffzg.hr) by 5 February 2016.

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