CALL FOR PAPERS International Conference Landscape drawing in the making: materiality – practice – experience, 1500–1800

International Conference
Landscape drawing in the making: materiality – practice – experience, 1500–1800
Fondazione Giorgio Cini, Venezia, 14–15 March, 2024
Organizers: Dr Camilla Pietrabissa (Venezia), Dr Elisa Spataro (Roma)


Traditionally, landscape drawing has been relegated to amateur pastime or preparatory exercise, particularly in relation to painting. Recent studies have begun to address questions of artistic practice or materiality and explore landscape drawings as independent works of art or as the illustration of the experience of nature. Artists from Leonardo to Dürer and Rembrandt, Cozens and Fragonard created important landscape drawings and prints which have fascinated viewers for centuries. For these artists, who drew themselves immersed in natural settings, landscape was a significant self-reflexive practice.

The possibility of carrying out a comprehensive examination about specific practices of landscape drawing and etching, as well as about their function in the context of artistic processes, has opened up new venues for understanding these works beyond their visual and textual references. Contemporary research about techniques and materials during the Renaissance and Early Modern period can offer new perspectives on landscape as a physical environment or as an object of invention and experimentation. ‘Landscape drawing in the making’ will explore these objects’ material and aesthetic complexity beyond their interpretation within the boundaries of iconography and genre, and across broad geographies and chronologies (1500 to 1800). From the techniques used to observe and record nature and urban spaces, to the assembling of albums, and the innovation in reproductive techniques, this conference aims to demonstrate how recent research is continuing to shape the history of landscape images and to challenge received historiographic narratives.

Some issues to consider include, but are not limited to the following:
–    The notion of drawing on the spot or ‘after nature’ in relation to artistic practice and experience;
–    Landscape drawing materials: support, mark-making tools, other utensils;
–    Practices of binding and collecting single sheets into groups and practices of disassembling sketchbooks;
–    Composition and perspective schemes for landscape images;
–    The use of optical instruments and other technical devices.

Please send an abstract of max 300 words for a 20-minute paper and a CV (in English or Italian) by 30 July 2023 to
Accepted speakers will be notified by 8 September 2023. Accommodation, including lunch on both days, will be fully covered for all speakers. In case you need travel funding please indicate where you intend to travel from.
We are planning the publication of the conference proceedings.
Scientific committee:
Giovanni Careri, Università IUAV di Venezia
Patrizia Cavazzini, British School at Rome
Valter Curzi, Sapienza Università di Roma
Giovanni Maria Fara, Università Ca’ Foscari
Martina Frank, Università Ca’ Foscari
Ketty Gottardo, The Courtauld Gallery
Francesco Grisolia, Università degli Studi di Roma Tor Vergata