CFP: 2 Sessions at RSA (Philadelphia, 2-4 Apr 20)

Renaissance Society of America Annual Conference, Philadelphia, April 2 - 04, 2020
Deadline: Jul 26, 2019

[1] Ovid’s Metamorphosis and Foundation Myths of the Arts in the Renaissance
[2] Models of Sanctity and Governmental Hierarchy at the Roman Curia


[1] Ovid’s Metamorphosis and Foundation Myths of the Arts in the Renaissance

From: Giuseppe Capriotti
Date: 13 July 19

Many recent studies have shown that Ovid’s Metamorphoses and, in particular, its Renaissance illustrated vulgarizations were one of the main reference sources for artists and men of letters, who dealt with Greek mythology between the 15th and the 17th centuries. The reason for this fortune is partially due to Ovid’s peculiar way of telling the myth, that has often been defined as ekphrastic and particularly capable of evoking images. In addition, the popularity of Ovidian myths is connected to the circulation of the printed editions of the Metamorphoses, translated into the main European languages, becoming thus accessible to a great audience, interested in the mythological content of the poem. In the Renaissance some Ovidian myths were specifically used, as theoretician tales, to reflect on the foundation of the Arts. Leon Battista Alberti, for instance, in his De Pictura, transformed Narcissus in the inventor of painting, whereas the myth of Orpheus was reactivated by Claudio Monteverdi to originate a new music.
The aim of this call is to collect papers that analyse how the Ovidian tales were also employed by artists, men of letters, musicians, theoreticians to directly or indirectly reflect on the Arts and their origins. We would also verify the importance and the role that Renaissance vulgarizations and rewritings of the Metamorphoses had in this specific use and reinterpretation of Ovidian myths. The starting point of the analysis can be a myth connected with the Arts directly, like Narcissus (fallen in love with an image created by himself), Orpheus (inventor of powerful music), Pan (inventor of a new music instrument), Pygmalion (able to vivify a statue created by himself), Prometheus (as an imitator of God in creating human beings with mud), Arachne, Procne and the Minyades (creators of superb tapestries), Dedalus (mythical architect), Volcanos (able to forge powerful and artistic weapons), by comparison also to other non-Ovidian myths or other mythemes connected with the arts.
Paper topics might include, but are not limited to:

- Foundation myths of the Arts in visual arts and literature
- Use of myths in the artistic theoretician speculation
- Ovid, his translators and ekphrastic practices
- Artistic objects in works of art (metapictures) representing Ovidian myths
- Metamorphosis as artistic creation / Artistic creation by metamorphosis

Please send a half page CV and an abstract of no more than 150 words to: Giuseppe Capriotti (University of Macerata), Claudia Cieri Via (La Sapienza Uniersità di Roma) and Andrea Torre (Scuola Normale Superiore di Pisa) by July 26, 2020


[2] Models of Sanctity and Governmental Hierarchy at the Roman Curia

From: Arnold Witte
Date: 13 July 19

The Catholic Reformation is often studied most characteristically through its saints, who reflected a new ideal for the Catholic Church as a whole. And yet, emergent models of sanctity elsewhere often seem to have had little impact on life within the Roman curia. There is a paradox between the new Catholic ideal and the Roman court’s ongoing realities: members of the Curia obtained the status of saint – but was it thanks to, or despite, their hierarchical position? Curial life, the cardinal’s administrative duties, and his organizational responsibilities would all seem to have constrained or reshaped the new model of holiness. Moreover, though curial life provided opportunities for displaying conspicuous piety, that piety also needed to be reconciled with a parallel imperative to display magnificence.

This Call for Papers is open to research on popes, cardinals, and other prelates resident in Rome, and active in the papal administration, during the period 1500-1750 and invites submissions which consider the following:

- How individual Cardinals and other prelates projected an image of personal piety in relation to their ecclesiastical, administrative functions, by means of images, texts and other media
- Hagiographic vitae of popes or cardinals from the period, including about motivations for their composition or publication and/or changes to their quality over time
- General models of conduct, piety, or the vita contemplativa produced for or at the Roman curia, either visual or textual
- Commentaries on the spiritual condition of the Roman curia and its members, either from Rome or outside
- Canonisation processes of curial figures, successful or unsuccessful, or the specific involvement of cardinals in the canonisation processes of others, and its iconographical aspects
- The veneration of relics and the visual culture of popes, cardinals, and other curial prelates, inside Rome or beyond

Please send a half-page curriculum vitae, a title (15 words max) and an abstract of the proposed presentation (150 words max) to Arnold Witte (, by August 5, 2019. In addition, please set out any A/V requirements that you might have.
All presenters must become members of the Renaissance Society of America, be committed to attending the conference in Philadelphia, and make their own travel arrangements.
For more information about the RSA, please see the conference website: or

CFP: 2 Sessions at RSA (Philadelphia, 2-4 Apr 20). In:, Jul 15, 2019 (accessed Jul 2, 2020), <>.

Contributor: ArtHist Redaktion

Contribution published: Jul 15, 2019

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