CfP: Madonne. Reframing, Coronation and Re-Installation of Marian Images in Early Modern Spaces (Munich, 7-8 Dec 18)

Deadline: July 1, 2018

III International Conference supported by SACRIMA – The Normativity of Sacred Images in Early Modern Europe

Early modern efforts to reinvigorate the diverse plethora of Marian sculptures and paintings reflect the enduring position of the Virgin in both Catholic and Protestant forms of worship. Artists transformed and re-created Lucan icons through referential and innovative acts of reframing. Simultaneously, the coronation of images of the Virgin and Child within Catholic cult sites emblematizes the growing trend for ‘normative’ presentations of the Virgin Mary. This conference seeks to explore the ways in which these alterations affected devotional interactions and the cult of images in the early modern era.

We propose to individuate and map relevant cases of reproduction, restoration and/or reframing of Marian images (including Byzantine or medieval icons, Trecento and Quattrocento imagery, and contemporary designs) in major and minor artistic and cultic centers across early modern Europe. Taking our cue from recent studies of miraculous imagery, we intend to expand the conversation of sacred images of circa 1450-1650. Proposals dealing with new material of little-known, replaced or lost compositional programs, as well as innovative interpretations of well-known Madonne, are particularly welcome. By examining cult imagery of the Virgin Mary in what Hans Belting defined as the age of art, this conference explores the local re-appropriations and afterlife of sacred representations throughout the early modern period.

Topics covered might include:

•    Replications, translations, restorations, and re-installations of icons in both secular and sacred spaces, and the creation of new local identities of the Virgin
•    Widespread or local adornment of Mary: crowns, textiles, jewels, ephemera, etc.
•    Concealing and revealing images: architectural and visual projects promoting physical interaction and/or controlling the viewer’s religious experience
•    Spatial dialogue between Marian images, relics, art objects, and interiors
•    Prints as mediators for ideas and projects, as disseminators of Marian ‘types’
•    Mechanical systems (apparati, machinery) and visual artifice in sacred space
•    Material and scale: Mary from macro to micro contexts (medals, votive tablets)

Proposals of maximum 500 words and a brief CV must be sent by 1 July 2018 to

Abstracts in English, German, Italian, French and Spanish are accepted. The main language of the workshop will be English. Papers will be considered for publication in a collective volume (projected paper draft submission due date: March 31, 2019). Speakers will be notified by 16 July 2018. Travel costs (totally or partially, if from outside Europe) and accommodation in Munich will be covered.