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NWO PhD Project in Historical Studies Awarded

26 June 2018

Funding for a project in Historical Studies was awarded in the latest round of NWO PhDs in the Humanities.

Tombs, memory, reputation: Artists' memorials in fifteenth- and sixteenth-century Rome
Candidate: ms. C.J. (Charlotte) van der Toolen, MA
Supervisor: prof.dr. B.A.M. (Bart) Ramakers
Summary:

This project is a contribution to the field of cultural memory studies, particularly of memory sites, that is, of spaces and objects that were consciously created or used to construct, frame, or manage individual or collective identities and reputations. It aims to investigate how in fifteenth- and sixteenth-century Rome artists' reputations were not merely reflected, but also shaped by their memorialization. For the sake of comprehensiveness, not only tombs of well-known artists will be included, but also those of less- and un-known artists - both local and foreign -, as well as tombs that are no longer extant.

Tomb monuments manage memory. Their inscriptions and decorations provide a selective summary of the deeds, virtues, and qualities that make the deceased worthy of recall. Artists' memorials do not only construct their reputation as individuals, but also of the visual arts as a profession, and of artists as a social group. During the investigated period, the reputation of the visual arts underwent a notable change, as artists increasingly came to be valued as creative individuals rather than as mere craftsmen. By studying artists' tomb monuments we not only improve our comprehension of the various ways in which artists were commemorated and esteemed, but also increase our understanding of their rising social status.

In addition, the tombs shed light on the patrons who commissioned them for their own self-fashioning. Thus, this project will investigate not only how artists were presented through their tombs, but also by whom, with what intention and to what effect.

Last modified:26 June 2018 11.17 a.m.

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