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
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.