01 September 2008: Successful International Conference at the National Gallery
Over the weekend of 16-17 November the AHRC-funded research project The Moral Nature of the Image in the Renaissance, originally led by the late Professor Thomas Puttfarken and taken over by Professor Jules Lubbock, reached its culmination with a highly successful two-day international conference held at the National Gallery, London, which was organised by Dr Kate Dunton and Dr Donna Roberts from Essex’s Department of Art History and Theory. Drawing on the themes of the research undertaken in the Department over the last three years, the conference took as its starting point the moral purpose of the image. Based on their latest investigations into areas such as sight, memory and imagination, spiritual ways of looking and violent and erotic images, a host of leading scholars in the field including David Freedberg, Mary Carruthers, David Summers, Barbara Stafford, Gervase Rosser and Timothy Verdon reassessed both the positive and negative implications of looking at art for the Renaissance viewer. The conference attracted almost 130 delegates from both within and outside the academic community, reflecting a growing interest in alternative readings of the Renaissance and in broader issues of viewing and responding to images ‘correctly’ from the late medieval into the early modern period.