Skip to ContentSkip to Navigation
OnderzoekOnderzoek Faculteit der LetterenOnderzoeksinstitutenThe Groningen Research Institute for the Study of Culture (ICOG)ResearchResearch centresResearch Centre for Arts in Society

Colloquium Objects of Art + Architecture: Carmen Di Meo: "Painted with Constellations of Minute Dots of 'Light Colour'" | Lotte van ter Toolen, "Tombs, Memory, Reputation: Artists' Memorials in 15th and 16th-century Rome"

When:Th 04-10-2018 17:00 - 19:00
Where:Oude Boteringestraat 34, Room 002

Carmen di Meo, «Painted with Constellations of Minute Dots of ‘Light Colour’»: A Critical Survey on the History of Pointilliste-like Technique in Netherlandish Illumination and Painting – 15th and 16th centuries


Dr. Di Meo's research topic is based on the results achieved by her through a research conducted on particular technical trends in Early Italian – mainly Florentine – Painting, presented at the RSA annual meeting in Chicago (2017).
Her study develops in turn from her doctoral thesis devoted to Roger E. Fry’s Theory of Art. In her dissertation, Carmen Di Meo explains how his own early aesthetics helped Roger Fry look at pictures both from Early Modern and Modernist period with a new ability to capture similarities in artists in their handling of media and aesthetic values, «in the direction of colour plasticity», as it had been the case between Italian Primitives’ and Post-Impressionist’s pointilliste manner.
Starting from Fry’s article on Alessio Baldovinetti, published in 1911, she has brought together many and many sources in the artistic literature and historiography in order to write an introductory history of the ‘early pointillisme’ or, rather, of its effects and the commentary on it. She also faced issues regarding the vocabulary used to address the phenomenon by critical literature. Up to date, Dr. Di Meo was able to trace and date pointillist technique and its diversions, from its appearance in Early Illuminated manuscripts to Michelangelo’s circle. Her study has been recently submitted for publication.
During the research colloquium 2018, Dr. Di Meo will discuss in depth whom illustrious authors, both from 20th and from 16th and 17th centuries, in the theory of art made special reference to the technique under examination, in order to present and to focus on a selection of exemplary artistic object from the corpus that she is been collecting, connecting Early Modern Central-Italian Art to Illumination and Painting made in Flanders during 15th and 16th centuries.

Carmen Di Meo is a scholar in History and Theory of Art based in Rome. She took her MA Degree with full honors at the University of Rome “La Sapienza” in 2013, discussing a thesis on the connection between Walter Benjamin and the Warburg-Kreis, under the supervision of Claudia Cieri Via, Full Professor in Iconography and Iconology, and Giuseppe di Giacomo, Full Professor in History of Aesthetics and Philosophy. During the same year, she was appointed as a PhD candidate in the Department of Art History and Performing Arts, University of Rome “La Sapienza”, where she developed a research project based on British Culture and Aesthetics; her final dissertation titles Defining Aesthetic Emotion: New Ideas on Roger E. Fry’s Theory of Art (2017). Dr. Di Meo will be attending the Department of Art History and Architecture, University of Groningen, as a Visiting Research Fellow during the 1st semester 2018/2019.


Lotte van ter Toolen, Tombs, memory, reputation: artists' memorials in 15th- and 16th-century Rome

In my contribution I would like to discuss my research project, which investigates how in fifteenth- and sixteenth-century Rome artists’ reputations were not merely reflected, but also shaped by their material memorialization in tomb monuments.
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 significant 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.
Additionally, 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, thereby enhancing our thinking about the relationship between history, memory, and representation.

Lotte van ter Toolen studied Art History at the University of Groningen, specializing in the Italian Renaissance, and obtained her Research Master's degree in 2014. She recently started as a PhD candidate at the University of Groningen, having obtained this position within the NWO PhDs in the Humanities Program 2018. Her research focuses on artists' tomb monuments in 15th- and 16-century Rome.