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36ème Congrès du CIHA - Lyon 2024

Parrainé par le Ministère de la Culture,
le Ministère de l'Enseignement supérieur et de la Recherche,
le Ministère de l'Europe et des Affaires étrangères

Images in the Making before Modernity

Peter Bokody 1, Jan Blanc 2
1University Of Plymouth - Plymouth (United Kingdom), 2Université De Genève - Genève (Switzerland)

Sujet en anglais / Topic in english

André Chastel in a seminal lecture (1964) on Pictures-within-Pictures suggested that all art can contain a reference to the structure or ‘scenario of its making.’ Artistic self-reflexivity became a hallmark of modern art, and Victor I. Stoichita extended this coda to early modern painting in his groundbreaking monograph, the Self-Aware Image (1993). Recent studies explored the relevance of these notions in a variety of cultural contexts ranging from Chinese, European and Islamic art. Against this backdrop, the aim of this session is to focus on the depictions of image-making in a global context before modernity, that is, before the emergence of the institutionalized artworld. The phenomenon resonates with art histories produced outside Europe and we seek submissions dealing with diverse traditions within and beyond established centers.

The creation of the image marks a liminal moment where matter is gradually turned into representational content. It highlights the materiality of the image and at the same time the transformative role of the artist. Furthermore, to indicate the different steps in this process, additional pictorial strategies have to be found besides the conflict between raw materials and the completed work. Sketches, underdrawings or models belong to this halfway house of images situated between unprocessed matter and the virtual world of representation. They appear, just to name a few, in screens, textiles, manuscripts, stained-glass windows, reliefs, and in panel and mural painting. The handbooks for painters often described the making images and included detailed instructions for the various preparatory phases. Furthermore, this problem is linked to the origin of sacred images, the prestige of patrons and the shifting status of artisans and artists.