"Vandalism": The Intentional Damage and Modification of Visual Art in Renaissance Italy


Thursday, October 5, 2017 - 6:00pm


Dr. Megan Holmes
Professor of Art History
University of Michigan
(Introduced by Dr. Daniel Zolli)


112 Borland Building

The intentional destruction of iconic monuments and cultural heritage sites has been much in the news of late. This lecture offers a timely exploration of an earlier, Italian Renaissance example, where paintings in churches and in domestic spaces were routinely intentionally scratched and gouged by their users.  An argument will be made for the need to historicize and contextualize the so-called "vandalism" of visual art.  Particular emphasis will be given to situating this kind of dynamic, performative response within the Renaissance period, within a history of visual art, and within a broader political perspective.