Dear, chères et chers Nouveaux Modernes,
Our last meeting of the fall term will take place next Friday, December 8, at 4pm in our usual room, R-4240 at UQAM. Nous espérons que vous trouverez le temps malgré l’intense fin-de-session, car la séance promet d’être très intéressante !
Dr. Una Roman D’Elia, who is Professor of Art History at Queen’s University, will speak about The Blushing, Bleeding Sculpture of the Italian Renaissance.
Here’s her abstract:
From the beginnings of the Renaissance until the end of the fifteenth century, classicizing sculpture in Italy was painted and glazed in red, blue, yellow, green, white, black, purple, and a variety of flesh tones. Jacopo della Quercia, Donatello, Brunelleschi, Ghiberti, Verrocchio, and others made sculptures that blush and bleed. Artists and intellectuals knew that ancient sculpture had been polychromed and imitated the vivid naturalism of classical antiquity. Even fifteenth-century sculptures that appear to be pure white marble today originally had dark or sky blue eyes and blonde or brown hair. These often life-size, naturalistic sculptures made of stone, wood, stucco, terracotta, wax, fabric, and other media were treated as if they were alive. People spoke to, adored, dressed, fondled, kissed, and sometimes attacked sculptures, some of which have hinges so that they can be moved into different positions, and were sculpted naked or in underclothes, so that actual clothing could be added. Documentary sources, devotional literature, and letters reveal the widely accepted social lives of these images. Jokes and fictional lewd stories also hint at the ways in which Renaissance men and women may have been tempted to misbehave with these startlingly fleshy sculptures. Starting around 1500, Michelangelo and those following him stopped painting their marble sculptures, but artists both in Florence and in other parts of Italy (including Lombardy and Sicily) continued to enliven their sculptures with color.
La session d’hiver est en cours d’organisation, mais notez déjà sur vos agendas le vendredi 26 janvier, où nous nous retrouverons hors-les-murs pour une présentation de Carla Benzan autour d’un livre rare, ancien et magnifique conservé à McGill!
Venez nombreuses et nombreux !