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CFP: Beyond Reproductive Printmaking – Prints and the Canon of European Painting, ca. 1500 – 1810 (Dresden, 18-19 Sep 17)

Conference for Ph.D. students, postgraduates and researchers at museums and universities in the Kupferstich-Kabinett (Museum of Prints, Drawings and Photographs) of the Staatliche Kunstsammlungen Dresden (Dresden State Art Collections) in colaboration with the TU Dresden Institute of Art and Music, Dresden, 18-19 September 2017.

Are paintings reproduced because they are famous, or have they become famous because they have been reproduced over and over again in the past centuries? The aim of this conference is to throw light on the status of reproductive prints in the process of the formation of (an) artistic canon(s). It aims at exploring artistic and technical aspects of the creative and innovative making process, including the printmakers’ ability to translate the original work into a new pictorial language and to the history of both reception and transmission of works of art.

The conference will cover the period running from the early 16th century to the introduction of the first lithographic press in the early 19th century. Geographically, the focus is on Europe. No restrictions are imposed concerning printing techniques – on the contrary, the characteristics of each technique as well as its ability and uses for reproducing original paintings constitute an important topic.

We invite submissions of papers drawing from current research on specific prints or series of prints as well as on new theoretical approaches and methodologically promising developments in the study of interpretative prints, also exploring their potential as a source and as a subject matter of art history.

In particular we welcome submissions in (but not limited to) the following areas:

- Yet again: The original and its graphic interpretation(s): How are collaboration and competition amongst the printmakers themselves, and between the engravers and the painters represented in the prints? To what extent did the engravers take liberties with the paintings’ details? Did printmakers even perhaps hide critical or satirical messages in their interpretations?
- Questions of style: How is the painterly style of the original expressed in the graphic medium? What is the relationship between the printmaker’s technique and the pictorial style or the genre of the original? Is there experimental ground for innovations in new printmaking techniques? What role do special printmaking techniques - e.g. outline etching, aquatint or colour(ed) print – play in the processes of translation and interpretation?
- Reception: How were differences in style and in composition between the original and its reproduction perceived by the contemporary viewer? Is it possible to identify links between prints and theoretical writings on certain paintings or painting in general? Which influence do captions have in the process of reception?
- Reproductive prints as a source for new approaches in scholarship: What potential do reproductive prints have as a source for the study of canon formation and for (art) historical network research? How can the pictorial and textual information contained in those prints be gathered, and how can this be made accessible for practical use?

An important objective of the conference is to encourage networking between academic researchers and museum professionals. Proposals by both doctoral candidates in art history and aesthetics as well as students aiming at a Ph.D. in the field of the graphic arts are welcome. We also invite applications from curators and postgraduate researchers at museums and other research institutions and we are pleased to receive papers from colleagues working in media studies, philosophy and history.

Please submit your proposal in the form of a 400-word abstract and a short CV and send it in English or German as a PDF file to: by 15 February 2017.

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