Call for papers: Cardinal Alessandro Albani: Collecting, Dealing, and Diplomacy in Grand Tour Europe
Cardinal Alessandro Albani: Collecting, Dealing, and Diplomacy in Grand Tour Europe / Collezionismo, diplomazia ed il mercato nell’Europa del Grand Tour
British School at Rome / Centro di Studi sulla Cultura e l’Immagine di Roma, 11–13 December 2019
Organised by Clare Hornsby and Mario Bevilacqua
Proposals due by 1 April 2019
This conference aims to bring together an international range of art historians alongside scholars of related humanistic disciplines to open a new chapter on the multifaceted life and career of Cardinal Alessandro Albani (1692–1779), ‘The Father of the Grand Tour’. Albani operated in many different spheres of Roman society in a variety of roles: antiquarian, collector, art dealer, political agent, spy. It is time to make a reassessment of his life and of his activities.
There is a close connection between Britain and the study of Cardinal Albani, reflecting the central role that the British played in the art market in Rome, as entrepreneurs and purchasers. This subject—which casts valuable light on the political and diplomatic networks in mid-eighteenth-century Europe—needs to be revisited, particularly in the light of the many books, conferences, and exhibitions on collecting and the art market that have appeared in the last 25 years. It is appropriate that this conference should have as one of its venues the British School at Rome [BSR], which has, over this period, hosted many scholarly events connected with the Grand Tour.
For many years European scholars have examined aspects of the life of Cardinal Alessandro Albani, particularly in respect of his magnificent collections of ancient sculpture—of central importance in artistic and museological culture in Rome—as well as in the family archives and European correspondence. His relationship with major figures in eighteenth-century European art such as Winckelmann and Piranesi remains a fruitful area of study.
The second venue of the conference—the Centro di Studi sulla Cultura e l’Immagine di Roma [CSCIR—is an institution renowned for its commitment to a deeper understanding and reflection on Roman historical and artistic life. By this British and Italian collaboration we hope not only to build new networks of scholarship but to focus international attention on the Albani collections at a key moment.
The role of Alessandro Albani is key in eighteenth-century Rome, both as a patron of the arts and in the wider political life of the European courts. This conference is designed to be multi-disciplinary and international, reflecting the life and career of Albani himself. Proposals for talks might address the following themes:
Albani in the Grand Tour
The Roman art market
Albani and Vatican diplomacy
His correspondents and social networks
The Stuart court in Rome
Philipp von Stosch, Horace Mann, and spying
Albani the archaeologist
The drawings collection of Cassiano dal Pozzo and their sale to King George III
Winckelmann and Albani
Albani as taste-maker
The collections — sculpture, drawings, and the libraries
Albani and Piranesi
The Albani archives
The languages of the conference are English and Italian, and the event will be open to the public. We invite doctoral students, postdoctoral researchers, established scholars, and members of the foreign academies in Rome to submit proposals for papers which will fall into two groups:
(1) 15-minute presentations on one event, object, or discrete theme
(2) 30-minute presentations on collections or connected themes
Please send an abstract of either 500 words (for a 15-minute talk) or 1000 words (for a 30-minute talk) with a 200-word CV to firstname.lastname@example.org by 1 April 2019.
We plan to publish a volume of essays based on this conference.
Mario Bevilacqua (Università degli Studi di Firenze, CSCIR), Amanda Claridge (Royal Holloway University of London, Cassiano del Pozzo project), Clare Hornsby (Research Fellow, BSR), Ian Jenkins (Dept. of Greek and Roman Antiquities, British Museum), Harriet O’Neill (Assistant Director, BSR), Susanna Pasquali (La Sapienza Roma), Jonny Yarker (Libson and Yarker Ltd., London)