The relationship between art and the Enlightenment is polemical. Enlightenment philosophical ideals centered on precepts of reason, self, society, perfection and beauty, among others. Yet, study of painting of this period demonstrates that art was not only rational and orderly, but also wildly hubristic, overambitious, and even went as far as rejecting tenets of the Enlightenment.
An understanding and appreciation of color is fundamental to art history, and yet our experience of color in the world around us is broadly subjective. Tracing the use and perception of color in past cultures can be even more elusive. However, recent research has taken diverse approaches – from investigating the manufacture of pigments to considering literary descriptions of the workings of the eye – illuminating ancient artworks with dramatic results. The Colloquium considers the power of color in both the ancient Mediterranean and early Latin America.
The 2017 Templeton Colloquium in Art History celebrated the distinguished career of Professor Lynn Roller, Chair of Art History, and Art History’s newest hire, Assistant Professor Alexandra Sofroniew, both experts of early Mediterranean visual and material cultures.
Convergent Cultures / Convergent Image examines communication through the visual arts from a global perspective. Bridging the arts of Europe, Latin America, and the Middle East, the three colloquium speakers will address the cross-cultural and cross-regional nature of visual heritage and consider how contemporary responses to visual culture and identity are centered in their historical roots.