More than meets the page: Printing Text and Images in Italy, 1570s-1700s

Event Date: 
04 Mar 2017

A one-day interdisciplinary conference, held at the Humanities Research Centre, University of Warwick

Key-note Speakers: Dr Marika Keblusek (Leiden University) and Dr Angela McShane (RCA/V&A)


Further details and the call for papers are available via the conference webpage.


For Italy, the ‘long seventeenth century’ was a period of considerable financial challenges. This was especially evident on the book market. Nevertheless, thanks to new techniques and formats which mutually related text and images within the same publication, innovative genres were born that were marketed towards both ends of the audience spectrum, from the learned to the illiterate, and throughout distant countries, between Italy and the rest of Europe. Moreover, various professionals and skilled workers earned their living thanks to the print market, from the production to the distribution of printed items, such as workshops of woodcutters specialized exclusively in book illustrations, and publishers representants at book fairs. The new commercial items, moreover, contributed to the spread of cultural phenomena, for instance the Grand Tour through its souvenir prints that were sometimes incorporated in atlases.


This conference aims to investigate the ways in which the consolidation of the book and print trade influenced the development of such new book genres from the late sixteenth to the early eighteenth century by focusing on the products, audiences and professionals involved. By doing so, it sets out to lay the foundations for a shared history of printed products and markets in the early modern period and promotes a multidisciplinary perspective, bridging the gaps between art history, history of the book and other disciplines such as intellectual history and communication studies.


Provisional Programme

09.45 – 10.10              Registration and Coffee (Graduate Space, 4th floor, Humanities)

10.10 – 10.20              Welcome and Introduction (H5.45, 5th floor, Humanities)                            


10.20 – 12.10              Session 1: Understanding Techniques and Genres

Chair: Dr Rosa Salzberg (University of Warwick)

Keynote lecture: Dr Angela Mc Shane (RCA/V&A, London) 

Liz Miller (V&A Museum, London) ‘Libri et Stampe in Rame’: A Bound Volume of Antonio Lafreri’s Architectural and Ornament Publications’

Dr Loretta Vandi (Scuola del libro, Urbino) ‘Handy and Cheap: Giovanni Baleni Printer and Seller of Chap-books in Late Sixteenth-century Florence and Lucca’

Dr Floriana Giallombardo (University of Palermo) ‘The Venetian Musei by Paolo Boccone (1697): the Illustrated Natural Book and the Social Production of Natural Knowledge’


12.10 – 13.10              Lunch (Graduate Space)


13.10 – 15.00              Session 2: Tracing Networks

Chair: Prof Max Engammare (Institut de l’Historie de la Réformation, University of Geneva)

Keynote lecture: Dr Marika Keblusek (Leiden University)

Ingeborg van Vugt (Scuola Normale Superiore di Pisa/Amsterdam University)   
‘Books beyond Borders.
The Circulation of Prohibited Books in the Epistolary Network of Antonio Magliabechi’

Dr Huub van der Linden (École Française de Rome/University College Roosevelt) ‘The Private Exchange of Printed Ephemera between Bologna and Rome around 1700’

Dr Nina Lamal (University of St Andrews) ‘Challenges and Opportunities: Printing and Marketing the First Italian Newspapers’


15.00 – 15.30              Tea and Coffee (Graduate Space)


15.30 – 16.45              Session 3: Evolving Markets and Audiences

Chair: Prof Ingrid de Smet (University of Warwick)

Julia Martins (The Warburg Institute) ‘Illustrating Alchemical Recipes: Books of Secrets and the Case of I Secreti della Signora Isabella Cortese in Early Modern Italy’

Dr Domenico Ciccarello (University of Palermo) ‘Baroque imagery and literary genres in Sicily. An overview across print books with illustrations’

Dr Flavia Bruni (Sapienza University/University of St Andrews) ‘Becoming Peripheral. The Decline of the Italian Book Market in the Seventeenth Century


16.45 – 17.15              Roundtable and closing remarks


17.15 – 18.00              Wine reception and buffet (Graduate Space)

We are extremely grateful for having being awarded the Small Conference Grant from the Society for Renaissance Studies.


Submission date for papers: 
02 Oct 2016
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