New Research on Local Renaissance
The Kunsthistorisches Institut in Florenz – Max-Planck-Institut
Application Deadline: October 30, 2015
Over a very long period the idea that Florence and Rome represent the canon of Renaissance art and architecture has led to a deep misunderstanding of the specific artistic cultures found in other contexts, which have often been relegated to the margins of scholarship as backward-looking peripheries. It is now well known that different local all’antica styles developed across Italy, such as those in Venice and Milan, and more attention has been devoted to the multiple ‘antiquities’ which informed also the artistic and literary cultures of Florence and Rome. The ERC-HistAntArtSI project has been working for four years on rediscovering the specific character of antiquarian culture and artistic patronage in the Kingdom of Naples between the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries and on redefining the concept of Southern Renaissance. This concept, once used in local historiography to indicate a phenomenon of uniformity and backwardness, is gradually being reshaped and revised, reinforcing the idea of another Renaissance, one which belongs more coherently to the regional histories presently being uncovered throughout Italy and the rest of Europe.
Furthermore, recent research has demonstrated how a new fascination with the classical past was a widespread phenomenon in early modern Europe. While work has been done on the reception of antiquity in France, Germany and the Netherlands, there are other contexts that still remain at the margins of Renaissance historiography and need to be investigated.
As a result of collaboration between the ERC/HistAntArtSi project and the Kunsthistorisches Institut in Florenz, three research scholarships are being offered to investigate the reception of the classical past in selected areas and regions of Europe. We seek for proposals that, taking an interdisciplinary and comparative approach, look at single regions or areas which for historical or cultural reasons were connected to southern Italy, such as Spain, Dalmatia, Greece or Flanders. It is possible that other areas in northern or eastern Europe will also be considered. A particular requirement will be that the candidates investigate not only single examples of local Renaissances but also the possible connections, networks and dialogues which existed among different contexts.
Scholars are encouraged to present proposals which explore local concepts of the antique in the form of archaeological excavations, works of art, architecture, antiquarian literature, and history, and which address the problem both of how the contemporary “identity” of cities and regions was formed by a local notion of the “antique” as well as how local antiquities were used to construct a sense of identity for civic institutions or individuals. We welcome cases which question the idea of a “single antiquity”, considering instead how the idea of antiquity varied widely, including not only Roman, but also Greek and pre-classical indigenous antiquities, as well as monuments and objects from the more recent medieval past. Proposals may consider aspects of the local reception of antiquity, such as the notion of competing ‘antiquities’, the character and priorities of local conceptions of the antique, the merge and clash of imported modes of classical revival with local idioms or relationships between concepts of antiquity in various regions.
Potential candidates will be scholars who are already working on a European area at a doctoral or postdoctoral level. In line with the approach and methodology of the HistAntArtSI research project, the selected group of scholars would work together sharing an interdisciplinary and comparative approach and maintaining constant contact with the research team hosted at the University of Naples Federico II.
In addition to their individual and specific research skills, each candidate should be able to demonstrate her/his capacity to cooperate as part of a research group. Candidates should also have a good knowledge of spoken and written Italian and English.
Scholarships: January 2016 – March 2016
Fellows will be expected to live in Florence and to work at the Kunsthistorisches Institut in Florenz.
Each scholar will work individually on her/his research topic, but will be expected to engage closely and continuously in seminars and discussions with the other two selected scholars and with the ERC HistAntArtSI research group. The group of scholars will be expected to organize a workshop in which they will present the results of their work at the Kunsthistorisches Institut in Florenz and to submit a proposal for a panel to be held in the following RSA (2017).
Each scholar will receive circa 2000 € monthly. There are no additional funds for travel to Florence.
Applicants must submit a thousand-word length project proposal, together with a curriculum vitae and a cover letter. The names of two established scholars ready to support the application must be listed at the end of the cover letter.
Deadline for the Application: 30 October 2015