Intermedia Negotiations. Figurations of Knowledge between Painting and Sculpture from the 14th Century to the Early Renaissance in Italy

Subproject by Klaus Krüger und Iris Helffenstein

In the first phase, medium and material have been key aspects in investigating knowledge transfer in allegorical wall painting of the Trecento – but what happens when the work of art develops decidedly haptic qualities, when its material becomes thematic or when the artwork itself gains a three-dimensional presence? To pursue these questions, the second phase is focussed on the tangible dimension of materiality. Accordingly, the project enquires into the role that the specific aesthetic qualities of painting and sculptural works play for processes of knowledge transfer where the used, feigned or evoked material is insistently present. Case studies include the imitation of the raw material or of genre-specific properties in wall and panel painting, sculptural works such as narrative reliefs that engage with paintings of the same subject and intermedia works that combine architectural and sculptural elements with wall painting.

While painting and sculpture are frequently discussed separately or considered in terms of genre hierarchies, the project focuses on forms of collaboration and interaction, on convergences and contrasts. The time frame of the study is a deliberately early one, since the processes in question are particularly rich and diverse during the 14th and early 15th century, that is in the period just before the normative definition and theorization of the genres of art during the Quattrocento.