10th Annual Ards Conference: Beyond the Alps. Artistic Exchanges between the Low Countries and Italy in Medieval and Renaissance Sculpture
7 - 9 November 2023

CALL FOR PAPERS: deadline 15 June 2023

Beyond the Alps. Artistic Exchanges between the Low Countries and Italy in Medieval and Renaissance Sculpture
10th Ards Annual Conference on Current Research in Medieval and Renaissance Sculpture
Rome (IT), Academia Belgica and the Royal Netherlands Institute Rome (KNIR)
7-9 November 2023

In 2026 M Leuven will organise an exhibition on the cultural exchange between the Low Countries and Italy in the field of sculpture. The Low Countries have always been a place where painting flourished. That this region, especially in the 16th century, also had a significant school of sculptors is often forgotten. Influenced by humanist ideas and the political, economic, and religious upheavals of the time, Netherlandish sculptors abandoned the Gothic style: a new sculpture influenced by the Italian artists was born. With their oeuvres, technical mastery and creativity, the scultori fiamminghi left their mark all across Europe, from the Scandinavian countries to the Spanish court, creating their own Italianate style.

The project aims to highlight the importance of the artistic links between Italy and the Low Countries during the Renaissance, and more specifically in the field of Netherlandish sculpture in Italy. Based on a selection of emblematic works – including wooden, alabaster, marble, and bronze sculptures, as well as drawings and engravings, often produced in Italy itself, the exhibition aims to provide, for the first time, the most comprehensive overview possible of the history of 16th-century sculpture from the Low Countries and its connection with the Italian Renaissance.

In the wake of this exhibition the 10th Ards Annual Conference will focus on the interaction and interplay between these two regions in medieval and Renaissance sculpture. The conference will take place in Rome, at the Academia Belgica and the Royal Netherlands Institute Rome (KNIR), between Tuesday 7 November en Thursday 9 November 2023. The conference program will include two days of lectures (Tuesday 7 November and Wednesday 8 November) followed by a day of visits and excursions (Thursday 9 November).

A call for papers is now being launched to allow researchers working on the artistic and economic relations between Italy and the Low Countries, in the domain of medieval and Renaissance sculpture, to present their research.


How to submit your proposal?
• Write an abstract in word or pdf; max. 500 words (excl. authors name(s) and contact details).
• Include a short bio of 150 words max.
• Include a short CV.
• E-mail abstract, short bio, and short CV to info@ards.be

Practical information
• The call for papers deadline is 15 June 2023.
• In the selection of papers, priority will be given to speakers presenting new research and new contributions relevant to the specific conference theme.
• Successful applicants will receive a notification by 7 July 2023.
• The lectures, illustrated by a PowerPoint slideshow, should be no longer than 20 minutes.
• Each conference session will be followed by a Q&A with the speakers.
• Conference papers will be published in the Ards acta colloquia post print series in collaboration with Brepols Publishers.
• Your proposal (abstract, short bio, short cv) and lecture should be in English. The conference communication and the post prints publication will also be in English.
• The organizers cannot contribute towards transport and/or accommodation costs of speakers or attendees.

M Leuven
Ards – the platform for medieval sculpture
Academia Belgica, Rome
The Royal Netherlands Institute Rome (KNIR)

Image: Sol (the Sun), Johan Gregor van der Schardt, c. 1570 - c. 1581. Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam.