conference, symposium

International Conference: Iconography of Death

time: 20.05.2010. - 21.05.2010.
place: Rijeka, Croatia
Department of Art history and Center for Iconographic Studies of the Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences, University of Rijeka, organize the Fourth International Conference of Iconographic Studies in Croatia devoted to ‘Iconography of Death’.

Death is a comprehensive and extremely important subject in the history of mankind with the long tradition of pictorial representation as well as the concurrence in other artistic media through diverse iconographic schemes related to the wider sociological and cultural context.

It can be considered a process of successive stages and changes, the most remarkable of which dates to the late Middle Ages, when the concept of death as a collective and familiar ritual, that gives rhythm to the existence, was shifted to the domain of individual and subjective moment of revealing the true essence of oneself. This alteration was caused by the shift in the community, increasing individualism, and the weakening of traditional community ties, illnesses (the Black Death) and growing anxiety about death, expressed through recurring images of morbidity.

The macabre iconography of this era has been variously interpreted: as signs of man's failure and the victory of death, but also as a renewed and different appreciation of earthly life. Relations among historical conditions, everyday life, scenes of dying, wars, theological and moral knowledge, literary models and pictorial representations are the themes of this year conference. The subjects for discussion will be:
representation(s) of death in art and literature  – major themes and miscellaneous depictions
ritual and representation of death
theology and conceptions  of death
death and the afterlife in the Middle Ages
literary sources and legends
regional characteristics/specifics in the images of death

One of the objectives is to inform scholars, students and other interested in the field, of the recent research results in the studies in iconography. The conference papers will deal with methodological approaches within iconography and iconology - new methods, new concepts and scholarship stressed the need of interdisciplinary approach in research which resulted in somewhat altered interpretation of the meaning of images.  


(D.H., 18.05.2010)