Art History

Evening lectures

On the history and theory of artistic material. From overcoming material to material semantics

20 September 2021 | 18.00 - 20.00 | Zoom

Prof. Dr. Monika Wagner (University of Hamburg) opens the International Summer School Handling, Staging and Appropriation of Material of the Research Group with the public evening lecture:

On the history and theory of artistic material. From overcoming material to material semantics

Zoom Link

(Meeting ID: 652 7689 6762, identification code: 248057)

Evening Lecture "Reference Materials for Marble Surfaces"

Hans Körner (University of Düsseldorf)


6.00 p.m., TU Berlin, Architecture Building, Room A053

The lecture will take place within the framework of the superficies conference. 

The strained question of material justice in modernity has obscured the fact that, at least in pre-modern times, the correct ('just') artistic handling of materials consisted not least in the ability to transcend the given material towards another material. In fact, material imitation / material illusion is a phenomenon whose origin is better left unquestioned, as is the case with comparable general cultural techniques. The phenomenon of material illusion decisively determines the aesthetic field of tension in which materials and their materialities interact in the history of art. Reference materials operate in this field of tension. In this respect, they are not unaffected by the practice and aesthetic acceptance or non-acceptance of the simulation of materiality on the surface. But when reference materials are mentioned in the planned lecture, it is not in order to replace the familiar term of material imitation / lateral illusion with a new term. Reference materials do not push themselves in front of the denying source material as imitated ones. Marble - this lecture is limited to marble and its reference materials wax and plaster - insofar as it refers to a reference material, does not deny itself as a material. Reference materials are those that make visible possibilities that are inherent in marble, insofar as the artist's art leads the material towards these possibilities. Reference materials can also be those that intervene in talking and writing about sculptures, but also vividly in the discussion about the status of a material in the art context, e.g. about the relation of form and materialisation.

Leon Battista Albertis "De re aedificatoria"

Leon Battista Alberti's de re aedificatoria: What practice is in the theory?

Lecture by Veronica Biermann (Halle)

Alberti writes in his Architectural Treatise that Vitruvius wrote neither Greek nor Latin, i.e. incomprehensibly, in his ten books on the art of building. For him, this was as if Vitruvius had written nothing. Alberti's sarcastic criticism of the ancient model is famous and directed at his excessive use of technical terminology. But not only that: his criticism focuses on latinitas and thus on a basic rhetorical virtue. The precision of language forms the basis of the orator's ability and possibility to express himself; it provides his experiential knowledge with the decisive tool. But how does Alberti use this tool? What does he do with it? What other tools and knowledge are added? What kind of experiential knowledge shapes his orator and in what way?

Treatise? And what does all this have to do with architecture as a practice? The lecture raises many questions - and can only provide a few answers. These, however, should help to make Alberti's practice recognisable in theory.


Veronica Biermann currently teaches as a visiting professor of design and architectural history at the Burg Giebichenstein Academy of Art in Halle. She has published a monograph on Alberti's treatise De re aedificatoria, Ornamentum. Studies on the treatise de re aedificatoria by Leon Battista

Alberti" (Studies in Art History, vol. 111), Hildesheim / Zurich / New York 1997 several essays.

Wednesday, 07.02.2018 | 6 pm | Lecture Hall A 053



Lecture on the occasion of the birthday of Magdalena Bushart

Evening lecture by Daniela Bohde (Institute for Art History, Stuttgart)

on the occasion of the 60th birthday of Professor Dr Magdalena Bushart

Magdalena's Place or: Discrepancies in Word and Image in the Crucifixion Iconography

Monday ▪ 13 November 2017 ▪ 6 pm

Institute for Art History and Historical Urban Studies

Straße des 17. Juni 150/152 ▪ Lecture hall A 053



Giotto rediscovered: the frescoes of the Black Madonna Chapel in the Basilica of Saint Anthony in Padua

Giacomo Guazzini (Scuola Normale Superiore Pisa)

18.00 Uhr, TU Berlin, Architekturgebäude, Raum A053

Giacomo Guazzini examines a fresco in the Marian tabernacle of the Chapel of the Madonna Mora in the Basilica of Sant'Antonio, Padua. 
Detailed study reveals that notwithstanding its problematic condition, the painting can be dated to the very beginning of the 1300s, with an extraordinary refinement of execution directly attributable to Giotto. 
This study considers the crucial importance of the location in which the fresco was executed: the Chapel of the Madonna Mora in fact corresponds to the earlier Franciscan church of Santa Maria Mater Domini, where the body of Saint Anthony was jealously housed and venerated between 1231 and 1263. The structure was embedded within the Basilica's enormous expansion of the mid-1200s, though (almost like a second Porziuncola) it retained its powerful value as a memoria of the saint. 

Organisation: Andreas Huth

The South Dutch Alabaster Sculpture of the 16th Century in Berlin

At the invitation of the Kunstgeschichtliche Gesellschaft zu Berlin, Prof. Aleksandra Lipinska will talk about

"The South Dutch Alabaster Sculpture in Berlin. Origin - Circle of Donors - Context".

The lecture took place on Thursday, 12 February 2015, at 6:30 pm in the Gobelin Hall of the Bode Museum.