RSA 2021 – Intersecting Practices: Architecture and the Visual Arts c. 1300 - c. 1700

Livia Lupi's picture
Call for Papers
July 31, 2020
Subject Fields: 
Art, Art History & Visual Studies, Architecture and Architectural History, World History / Studies, Urban Design and Planning

Renaissance Society of America Annual Meeting (Dublin 7-10 April 2021)


Intersecting Practices: Architecture and the Visual Arts c. 1300 - c. 1700


Architectural structures are often a prominent feature in narrative images. They create striking settings, or are themselves the main subject of representation, from wood inlays to sculpted reliefs, from frescoes to panel and oil paintings, from illuniations and scroll paintings to prints. They engage with the narrative, whilst also providing a narrative of their own, as they testfy to the architectural imagination of artists and communicative abilities of architectural forms. Yet, two-dimensional buildings are often discussed only as spatial devices articulating depth, and as lesser counterparts of large-scale three-dimensional structures. This approach hinders our understanding of the structural and ornamnetal ambition of many two-dimensional buildings, which can present solutions adopted only decades later in built structures. It also prevents us from fully recognising the cultural value attached to architectural forms and their rhetorical dimension.


These sessions at the 2021 meeting of the Renaissance Society of America aim to challenge traditional approaches to the representation of architecture  in order to bridge the historiographical gap between art and architectural history. Focussing on the period between c.1300 to c.1700 as a turning point for the representation of architecture, the sessions intend to shed light on the innovativeness of two-dimensional architecture across a variety of media and to further research on the intersection of artistic and architectural practice. Proposals discussing architectural representation in any medium and from any part of the world are welcome. Papers may address a variety of topics, including but not limited to: 

  • Interaction and exchange between artists and architects
  • Crafstmen working as both artists and architects
  • The roles architecture plays within a narrative image
  • The symbolism of architecture
  • The relationship between representations of architecture and built structures
  • The development of architectural project drawing in relation to painted and sculpted buildings
  • Ornamental originality and structural ingenuity in both two- and three-dimensional architecture

Please send proposals to Livia Lupi ( by 31 July 2020. They should include a title (max. 15 words), an abstract (max. 150 words) and a brief CV (max. one page).


All participants must be RSA members for the year of the conference. RSA offers a limited number of travel grants, for which the deadline is normally in December. Please see the RSA's website for further details.


Contact Info: 

Livia Lupi

History of Art Department, University of Warwick

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