08.04.2022

What is historicism?

Architecture, History, Round table, Roma/online

H18:00
Entrance: Via Liguria 20
‘I pomeriggi series 2021/2022’

Dates
08.04.2022
Location
Roma/online
Category
Architecture, History, Round table
Information

H18:00
Entrance: Via Liguria 20
‘I pomeriggi series 2021/2022’

The event will be held in English at H18:00 in Rome and online.
Register to attend here.
Register on Zoom here.

I pomeriggi series 2021/2022
I pomeriggi 2021/2022 at Istituto Svizzero is a series dedicated to our fellows. It is an opportunity for the public to learn more about the projects they are working on during this year’s residency.

The event is curated by Jasper Van Parys (Fellow Roma Calling 2021/2022, History and Theory of Architecture).

What is historicism?

‘Historicism’ is a term with roots in philosophy. It designates the tendency to perceive all realities as historically conditioned phenomena. It concerns the inclination to think everything in historical terms and to regard historical context as the key to understanding structures of all kind. Historicism held cultural and intellectual sway especially in the nineteenth century. Historical modes of understanding seized a host of endeavours and altered the Western worldview. While the world had always seemed a few thousand years of age, the new historical sciences of archaeology, geology, and palaeontology now made the world unfathomably ancient.

The roundtable confronts Rome’s position in historicism. Has Rome been denied its fundamental place in the historiography and theory of historicism? If so, why? And how could we expand our canon? Giovanna Capitelli and Richard Wittman respectively introduce the methods of a 19th-century painter and an architect. Jasper Van Parys will thereafter mediate a discussion around an aspect of his research at Istituto Svizzero, evoking the perspective of a priest who directed the restoration of one of Rome’s basilicas.  

Access is allowed only to those who obtained the Reinforced Green Pass health certificate, which proves vaccination or recovery. It is mandatory to wear a Ffp2 face mask within the spaces.

Biographies:

Giovanna Capitelli is Associate Professor of the History of modern art at the University of Roma Tre. She specializes in the history of the seventeenth and the nineteenth century art in Europe and in the Americas, in social art history, artistic geography and in history of collections and museums. Recently she co-edited amongst other works Lettere d’artista. Corrispondenze tra Roma e l’Europa dall’età dei Lumi alla Restaurazione (2018) and Capitale e Crocevia. Il mercato dell’arte nella Roma sabauda (2020).

Jasper Van Parys studied architectural engineering at the University of Ghent, winning the Royal Dutch Archaeological Association (KNOB) award with his final dissertation. He was assistant at the University of Ghent and a resident at the Belgian Academy of Rome. He is currently a PhD student at the Institute for the History and Theory of Architecture at ETH Zurich. In Rome he studies how the city’s catacombs played a key role in the theorization of Catholic Church architecture in the modern era.
Find out more about Jasper Van Parys’ project, read his latest contribution on the blog of Istituto Svizzero on the website of the Swiss daily newspaper Le Temps.

Richard Wittman is Associate Professor in the Department of the History of Art and Architecture at the University of California in Santa Barbara. His research focuses on questions of space, information, publicity, historicism, and the public as they relate to architecture, architectural theory, and planning. He is the author of Architecture, Print Culture, and the Public Sphere in Eighteenth-Century France (Routledge, 2007), and of a cultural history of the nineteenth-century reconstruction of the early Christian basilica of San Paolo fuori le mura in Rome (forthcoming in English and Italian in 2023).