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The Burlington Magazine is seeking submissions of articles presenting new research on any aspect or period of the arts of Asia. Articles, which should be no longer than 5,000 words, should be submitted to There is no deadline.

Articles published in the magazine are peer reviewed. For a full set of submission guidelines, please see our website: submit-an-article.

Potential contributors are encouraged to discuss their proposal with the Editor in advance of submission:


Conference: Girton College, University of Cambridge, 27-28 June 2020

Historians have long recognised the importance of architecture within the exercising of political power. Yet the interaction between power and place, between human actor and physical location, is a difficult one to quantify. This conference brings together political, social, cultural, and architectural historians to explore this relationship. Architecture could be mobilised to exhibit and to legitimise political power, but it could also have a profound influence on decision-makers at crucial moments of governance. Architecture has played a fundamental role in performances of statecraft. Accounting for this architectural agency, without resulting to crude spatial determinism, is one of the great methodological challenges that this conference will discuss. As architectural historians have established, the meaning of buildings vary from user to user. Often these reflected hierarchies operating within the building: experiences of the Foreign Office, for instance, differed from a Permanent Under-Secretary to a newly arrived clerk. It is this question of the subjective nature of architectural experience that we are particularly interested in exploring.

Taking broad definitions of political power and the state, we will not only consider the architecture of palaces, parliaments, and administration, but also of commercial, financial, legal, and religious sources of political authority. This conference is interested in the physical seats of power from the private residences of statesmen and women, to legislatures, embassies, and banking houses. Importantly, this conference considers how the architecture of political power evolved over time, reflecting changes in structures of government. In the late eighteenth-century, the majority of states were absolute monarchies or governed by elite oligarchs, but by the mid twentieth-century the rise of popular representation entailed very different types of architecture. Where once palaces like Versailles and Blenheim embodied the authority of ruling elites, parliaments and administrative offices soon reflected accountable styles of government.

We welcome papers on any geographical case study from the mid eighteenth-century until the twentieth. We are particularly interested in proposals that consider the role of gender, race, and class as well as questions of architectural science and technology. We are also interested in the role of architecture in the operation of imperial, economic, and religious political power. Please submit abstracts of 250 words to by 21 October 2019

After more than forty years, CIHA’s International Art History Congress (Comité International d’Histoire de l’Art) returns to Florence, from September 1st to September 6th, 2019. “MOTION: Transformation” is the first part of the 35th CIHA International Congress, which for the first time will be held in two different countries within a two-year period. The second part of the Congress, entitled “MOTION: Migrations”, will take place in São Paulo, Brazil in September 2020. The MOTION congress intends to launch an extraordinary trans-cultural debate on one of the most important issues in global culture: the Movement, based on two of its most important aspects, Transformation and Migration.

The first part of the congress, organised by CIHA Italia in collaboration with the Kunsthistorisches Institut in Florenz-Max-Planck-Institut, will take place in Firenze Fiera (Florence’s fair district) in the halls of Villa Vittoria able to accomodate almost one thousand expected participants and in some of the city’s most prestigious historical buildings including Palazzo Vecchio. This event will be held thanks to the contribution of Fondazione Cassa di Risparmio di Firenze, with the support of the Los Angeles Getty Foundation and the Kunsthistorisches Institut in Florenz-Max-Planck-Institut. 

The extensive program of the study sessions will include about one hundred and twenty speeches by experts from all over the world. There will be events open to the public as well as visits to major and minor museums and collections throughout Florence. All itineraries will be linked to the congress. From a transcultural, interdisciplinary and innovative perspective, the congress to be held in Firenze starts with a reflection addressed to the role of the artist intended as “he who acts and does” because endowed with the divine ability to shape the material and to create new forms, as well as to the nature of the art object in turn endowed with “soul”. The nine sessions of the congress During the nine study sessions we will discuss: the figure of the artist as a divine and mystically inspired figure, the effects of time on artwork and the relationship of the latter with the environment, the power of images in relation to religions, the role played by the arts in the processes of social transformation, also with reference to technological development and finally the “Journey” through which the constant circulation of people, ideas and objects is favoured.

The speakers will be experts from leading universities and institutes worldwide, including École des Hautes Études en Sciences Sociales (Paris), the Courtauld Institute (London), Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin, Columbia University (New York), Jawaharlal Nehru University (New Delhi), Universidade Federal of São Paulo (Brasil), Scuola Normale Superiore (Pisa), University of Hong Kong.

Session 1: Art as a vision This session will focus on the relationships between art and divine inspiration from a comparative and cross-cultural perspective. Moreover, it will examine a few artists and mystics able to create mental images that can communicate with the real ones, it will also investigate the relationship between observable reality, spirituality, vision and creativity and it will highlight the complex ties that exist between seeing with the eyes, imagining and remembering.

Session 2: Art and materials over time The key topic of this session will be the importance of materials in art, not only in relation to the ones selected by the artists when creating, but also in respect to the ways in which materials change over time. The materials the artist chooses may influence the perishability of the artwork itself since they are not made of inert but living matter.

Session 3: Art and nature This session will address the theme of multi-faced relationships between art and nature, these concepts have been referred to in a separate manner from the early modern age. Prior to this period, in fact, there was no clear separation between the two, as both Nature and Art were of divine origin. The numerous speeches will focus on the crucial moments of this distinction process.

Session 4: Art and religions This session will focus on the power of images in the different religions from a historical-artistic and anthropological perspective. Why do we love images? What makes us trust them? We will discuss the following topics in the most trans-cultural perspective possible: soul-bearing objects, idols, avatars, visions and violence against religious images.

Session 5: Art between drawing and writing This session will offer a reflection on affinities and divergences between drawing and writing. How do lines produce shapes? Straight or curved, broken or continuous, the lines are tangible proof of the process by which artworks are created and texts are written. Moving between figure and language, they are simultaneously a trace of a creative path and a means of communication.

Session 6: Architecture, iconicity, and the process of production In a contemporary culture there is a growing tendency to transform even the great architectural masterpieces into pure images, even icons. This growing visibility is generating substantial changes in the way one looks at architecture as a physical and multi-dimensional experience. From this point onward, this session will suggest an approach to the architectural icon that is aimed at the study of creative and productive processes.

Session 7: Art, power and the public The work of artists and architects has always been used by individuals or groups belonging to the most varied political and religious contexts in order to acquire and maintain power. This session will focus on specific crisis and changes where artworks have helped transform obsolete systems, traditional schemes and power relations between different social groups, while putting the society in the position to have to face new ideas or even utopias.

Session 8: Art, critics and audience Art history teaches us how the artist’s performance is influenced by its critics. This session will examine the role of artists, critics and the audience from the post-war period to today by observing the theme of the prospect of “disappearance” (of limits, of contents, of memory), furthermore, by discussing death, censorship and new technologies.

Session 9: The “Voyage” Conceived as a connecting section between the two parts of the congress that will take place in Firenze and São Paulo, Brazil, this session will include experts who will exchange ideas on the theme of the “Voyage”. We will address the artistic and cultural exchanges between Brazil and Italy. The voyage, in fact, can be viewed from different perspectives; from the migration of people to the circulation of objects and documents. Furthermore: the journey of the artist, the educated man, the scientific explorer, the pilgrim, as well as journeys determined by colonial, military and diplomatic intentions, or linked to pirate raids and phenomena of banditry.

For more information on the nine sessions program, please refer to the following link: For more information about registration:

Noema Press and Communications Office: Irene Guzman | +39 349 1250956

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