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Technical Art History in the Museum

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The Altarpiece of Ciudad Rodrigo: Collaboration, Assistance and Apprenticeship

The technical study of The Altarpiece of Ciudad Rodrigo has revealed that Fernando Gallego was not the sole artist involved in the creation of this masterpiece.  Twelve of twenty-six panels that survive have been attributed to Maestro Bartolomé, a painter who is now considered equal to Gallego in terms of skill and craftsmanship.  Certain elements have also been tied to the hand of Francisco Gallego.  This symposium raises questions around the understanding of workshop practices, authorship, and collaboration between artists, and aims to define the roles of master painters and pupils in 15th-century European workshops.

The Altarpiece of Ciudad Rodrigo_Museum Symposium

Duomo of Camerino: Theories and Conclusions Symposium

Displaced from its original location by 1725, partially destroyed by an earthquake in 1799, and dispersed among several museums around the world, the Duomo of Camerino altarpiece by Carlo Crivelli and workshop has had a long and complex history. This symposium seeks to interrogate this history while grappling with physical condition of its extant pieces. It will reevaluate Federico Zeri’s largely accepted 1961 attribution of twelve small panels of saints to the altarpiece framework against technological and iconographical evidence assembled by art historians, curators, conservators, and conservation scientists. Physical and digital reconstructions of the altarpiece and its original architectural surrounding will further test claims posed by Zeri and others while incorporating insights from technical studies of Crivelli’s works.

Duomo of Camerino Altarpiece Symposium

Mastering the Naturalism of Carlo Crivelli

Museum Workshop

Working during the period of transition between the Italian Gothic era and the Renaissance, Carlo Crivelli displayed his skills in gilding backgrounds and rendering naturalistic figures, still life objects, costumes, and illusionistic architectural settings. Learn how to manipulate historic materials used in the sixteenth century to achieve a variety of gilded effects, create lifelike marble, metallic, and cloth textures, and utilize shading and cross-hatching to create the illusion of volume. This workshop is recommended for curators and art historians interested in Italian painting who would like try their hand at gilding and tempera painting.

Mastering Naturalism - Museum Workshop

Tiepolo: Triumphant Across Media Conference

Hosted at the Seattle Art Museum, this conference showcases two Kress Collection paintings that encapsulate Giovanni Battista Tiepolo’s fulfillment of a commission at the Porto family palace in Venice that might have celebrated an esteemed military legacy. The Kress Reconstruction Project’s cutaway reconstruction of The Triumph of Valor over Time oil sketch and a recent conservation treatment of the finished fresco painting of the same subject create the opportunity to evaluate findings related to these two works against the extensive body of research assembled by an international group of art historians, curators, and conservators.

Triumphant Across Media - Conference Outline

“Il Tintoretto”: Lineage and Legacy Symposium

This interdisciplinary conference explores the relationships between a family of painters, their ancestral ties to the cloth dying industry in Venice, and their individual artistic practices. The family nickname “Tintoretto” (“the little dyer”) for the Robusti family is based on Giovanni Battista Robusti, a cloth dyer and father of the Renaissance painter, Jacopo Robusti. Jacopo Tintoretto carried the family nickname to new heights with the help of his children, Domenico and Marietta, whom he employed as assistants for his many commissions. Jacopo’s preference for organic pigments has been well documented by technical analysis of his artworks. Yet to be considered are the social and familiar underpinnings of colorants used by the Robusti family and the materials and techniques employed by Domenico and Marietta. What is the nature of the Tintoretto legacy—which began with vats of dye and continued with strokes of paint—and how far did it extend? 

Lineage and Legacy Symposium

Cochineal Red: At the Intersection of Cloth and Paint

Museum Workshop

Explore the relationships between a family of painters and their ancestral ties to the cloth dying industry in Venice. Delve into the origins of the family nickname “Tintoretto” (“the little dyer”) for the Robusti family of cloth dyers and Renaissance painters by getting hands-on experience with cochineal red. This workshop is recommended for curators and art historians interested in painting and/or textiles who would like to learn how to create pigments and try their hand at oil painting and cloth dyeing.

Cochineal Red - Museum Workshop

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Technical Art History in the Museum
  • The Department of Art Conservation
  • 303 Old College
  • University of Delaware
  • Newark, DE 19716, USA
  • Phone: 302-831-3489