Judy Mann: Understanding the Support: Inherent and Visual Meaning in 16th-century Paintings on Stone
Over the past fifteen years, the topic of stone as a painting support in Early Modern Europe has garnered increasing scholarly interest. Its early history has been well rehearsed, beginning with Sebastiano del Piombo in the 1520s. Also, some erroneous assumptions have now become part of the practiced narrative. My paper expands and (I hope) corrects the discussion about the motivations and meanings behind the utilization of stone supports, emphasizing how the mere presence of stone changed the experience of an altarpiece or a devotional panel. Furthermore, this paper will offer some suggestions regarding the role played by the visual properties of individual types of stone.
Rebecca Zorach: Kant’s Tattoo: Nature’s Intentions, Colonial Hauntings, Modern Aesthetics
In Immanuel Kant's Critique of Judgment, the German philosopher epeatedly conjures the scene of a lonely wanderer in a deserted landscape encountering what might be an artifact, or might be a product of nature. Elsewhere he makes reference to many examples drawn from European encounters with global cultures and foreign fauna, as well as the classical and nonclassical European past. In this paper, I consider what Kant’s allusions can tell us about the way he draws boundaries between the human and non-human and between art and nature, and how we might read his legacy in modern art criticism in this light.