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Claire Farago: "Seeing the Unmodern in the Modern: Leonardo and the Legibility of Religion"
February 26, 2013 @ 3:00 pm - 4:15 pm | Porter C-118
Written in an era before modern distinctions among art, science, and religion existed, Leonardo da Vinci’s treatise on painting is regarded today as a canonical text in the history of western art for its scientific approach to problems of representation. New evidence suggests that prior to publication this text was appropriated in a Catholic Reformation effort designed to promote a legible style of painting suitable for sacred subjects. Today, we do not usually think of it as ideologically freighted by the concerns of Christianity with the ontology of images. What does bringing together historical and contemporary theoretical approaches to questions of artifice–especially to the fantasy of a transparent, indexical way of imitating nature that avoids artifice–offer contemporary visual studies?
Claire Farago is Professor of Renaissance Art, Theory, and Criticism at the University of Colorado-Boulder. Her publications include Leonardo da Vinci’s Paragone: A Critical Interpretation (1992) and most recently, Art Is Not What You Think It Is (2012), co-authored with Donald Preziosi, as well as edited volumes and other collaborative projects including Reframing the Renaissance: Visual Culture in Europe and Latin America 1450 to 1650 (1995), Grasping the World: The Idea of the Museum (2004), Transforming Images: New Mexican Santos in-between Worlds (2006), and Re-Reading Leonardo: The Treatise on Painting across Europe 1550-1900 (2009). She has been a Distinguished Visiting Professor at UCLA, the Wiley Visiting Professor of Renaissance Art at the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill, MacGeorge Fellow Visiting Professor at the University of Melbourne, and the inaugural Fulbright-York Scholar at the University of York, UK. Working with an international team of scholars, currently she is preparing a modern critical edition of Leonardo da Vinci’s abridged Treatise on Painting first published in 1651.
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