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Before the Reclining Nude

 before the reclining nude long

Date: Tuesday 18 June
Time: 6:00pm
Venue: The University of Queensland Art Museum
Keynote: Professor Adrian Randolph

The reclining nude is a staple of the wester art tradition; becoming an epitome of that thing we call art, a recurring challenge to artists, a site of gender polemics, and a commentary on the aims and goals of art itself. In this lecture, Adrian Randolph takes some of these things into account, but focuses in on a set of paintings representing reclining and/or sleeping figures on the lids of the large chests produced to celebrate patrician marriages in central Italy during the fifteenth century. They are curious and deserve attention on their own merits, but in this lecture, Randolph draws them into dialogue with the history of emotions. What does it mean to be confronted with what apparently is all surface--the skin--in the context of a chest that is to be opened and closed? Exploring the emotive interplay between interior and exterior, hiding and revelation, Randolph explores not only what came chronologically before the canonical Venetian nudes of Titian and Giorgione, but also what it might have meant for spectators to stand before the reclining nude in fifteenth-century Italy.

Adrian Randolph, whose research and teaching focus on the Italian medieval and Renaissance art, is the Leon E Willaims Professor of Art History and Associate Dean of the Faculty for the Arts and Humanities at Dartmouth College. From 2007-2011 he served as Director of the Leslie Centre for the Humanities. He received his B.A. from Princeton University in 1987, a M.A. from the Courtauld Institute of Art in 1989, University of London, and a Ph.D. from Harvard University in 1995. He is the author of Engaging Symbols: Gender, Politics, and Public Art in Fifteenth-Century Florence (Yale University Press, 2002) and a forthcoming book on gender and the experience of art in fifteenth-century Italy, Touching Objects.  A new project, "Renaissance Hybridity," explores representations of bodies that defy categorisation as human, animal or plant. His articles and essays have appeared in many collections and scholarly journals, including Art Bulletin, Art History, Word & Image, knitische berichte, FrauenKunstWissenschaft, and Perspectives. With Mark J Williams, he co-edits the book series Interfaces: Studies in Visual Culture, which focuses on the theoretical implications of new media on the study of visual culture.

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This event is free and open to the public. As space is limited, please RSVP to: artmuseum@uq.edu.au or call (07) 3365 3046