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All Things Great and Small: Miniatures and Monstrosities in the Eighteenth-Century World; ASECS 2023 CFP

All Things Great and Small: Miniatures and Monstrosities in the Eighteenth-Century World, Daniella Berman, Institute of Fine Arts, New York University,; Blythe C. Sobol, Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art and Institute of Fine Arts, NYU,

From netsuke to Antonio Canova’s colossal nude statue of Napoleon as Mars, the visual culture of the long eighteenth century offers a multitude of examples through which to interrogate questions of scale and size. The period saw a rise in the prevalence of portrait miniatures, the expansion in size of pastel portraits facilitated by technical innovations, the advent of large-scale religious paintings in viceregal Mexico, the proliferation of reverse-painted Chinese snuff bottles, the growth in the number and variety of pieces in European porcelain services, and important shifts from large-scale history subjects to more intimate, so-called decorative ones in canvas painting and back again. This era provides a particularly fruitful opportunity to consider the impact of the miniature and the monumental on works of art, artists, and viewers alike.
We seek papers that consider questions of size and scale, either by focusing on examples of extremes, by exploring the limitations or changing possibilities of certain media through technical innovations, or by considering the ways in which concerns of size and scale were discussed and theorized between artists, patrons and critics. What representational conundrums did artists encounter in these extremes of scale – in terms of production, display, and reception – and how were these negotiated? How did size and scale play a role in the rapidly changing hierarchies of the period, both art historical and political? And how were these tiny and grandiose wonders understood and consumed by an increasingly attuned public? Global approaches to this wide-ranging subject are especially welcome.

The current deadline for submission is October 3, 2022. Submissions should be made via ASECS's online form:

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