Summer Seminar Participants

We are very pleased to announce the names of the 16 Chinese scholars who will take part in our first Summer Seminar, “The Unity of the Arts in Renaissance Italy,” described below. The response to our call for applications was overwhelming: in less than two months, over 450 different scholars visited our webpage, from over 40 Chinese cities. The 16 participants come from 16 different institutions in 13 different cities in Greater China, where they teach or study the Italian Renaissance. All will also take part in a conference, to be held on 24-25 October 2013, at the Harvard Center Shanghai, entitled, “The Italian Renaissance in China: New Research by Chinese Scholars.” For this event, we will also post a Call for Papers from other Chinese scholars.


Qi CHEN (participant and liaison)
Institute for Advanced Studies in Humanities and Social Sciences, Beihang University, Beijing

Liang GUO
Department of Art History, College of Fine Arts, ShangHai University

Ping HE
History Department, Sichuan University

Yih-Fen HUA
History Department, National Taiwan University

Zhongjie HUANG
Fine Art Institute, Fujian Normal University

May-Shine LIN
History Department, National Chengchi University

School of History, Wuhan University

Yiyang SHAO
Central Academy of Fine Arts, Beijing

Jianping SHEN
Institute of Aesthetics and Critical Theories, Zhejiang University

School of Architecture and Urban Planning, Shandong Jianzhu University

Yung-yuan YANG
Department of Fine Art, National Taiwan Normal University

Zhenguo YANG
Luxun Academy of Fine Arts, Shenyang

Institute of Packaging and Design and Art, Hunan University of Technology

Shuxi YIN
Hefei University of Technology

College of Media Arts and Design, Zhejiang University of Media and Communications

China Academy of Art, Hangzhou, Zhejiang Province


Director's Guests

Department of Art History in the College of Fine Arts, University of Shanghai

Museum of Art and Archaeology at Zhejiang University, Hangzhou

We are also pleased that for the first time ever, scholars from Greater China have joined the I Tatti community this year. Not one Chinese colleague, but three! This international community, the summer seminar, and the forthcoming conference are all part of our efforts to support and promote Italian Renaissance studies in China and other areas that have been under-represented at I Tatti, and to establish valuable contacts with colleagues around the world.

The new I Tatti Summer seminar, on “The Unity of the Arts in Renaissance Italy,” will be offered between 29 June and 20 July 2013. Our point of departure is a view expressed in the introduction to Giorgio Vasari’s Lives of the Artists (1550): disegno, a term which includes both design and drawing, unites and underlies all the arts. The main components of the seminar include classroom discussions, guest lectures, and site visits, offered in English by former I Tatti fellows who were trained in Europe and the US. Each week, the participants will meet at I Tatti for two days to discuss readings and conduct research in the library, and three days in Florence visiting sites and monuments.

The main theme of the seminar, the unity of the arts, draws on two traditional strengths of Chinese scholars: a sound training in draftsmanship, and an ability to interpret and appreciate various forms of graphic expression. A secondary theme is a consideration of the continuity of tradition in Renaissance art. Given that this also plays a fundamental role in the analysis of Asian art, seminar participants will be able to share examples from their own tradition during discussions about Renaissance art. Both themes will allow participants to collaborate actively, by making contributions based on their own areas of research.

Across Greater China, a large and fast-growing number of professors offer courses on foreign, i.e. non-Chinese art and architecture. Due to both historical and political reasons, there has been little opportunity for these scholars to exchange ideas with each other or to have contact with colleagues in the West. With few exceptions, Chinese professors who include Renaissance art and architecture in their lectures have not had the opportunity to study this subject for extended periods in the West. The seminar thus aims to offer these scholars the rare or unique opportunity to a) study Renaissance works firsthand, b) learn more about the Renaissance, and exchange ideas about art history, architectural history, didactic approaches, and methodology, with scholars trained in the US and Europe; and c) study the rich variety of research materials available at I Tatti.

Upon completion of the Summer Seminar, we expect that Chinese art historians and architectural historians will have a greater awareness of the importance of the unity of the arts in the Renaissance. We expect that in the future, these researchers and professors will explore how some artists, such as Michelangelo, were active in a range of media, and how certain themes found in, say, painting inform architecture from the same period.  For scholars from the West and China, the comparison between different approaches, e.g. the analysis of early sources or contextual studies, should enrich scholarship in fields of both Asian and Western art history. Over time, these dialogues, together with forums, websites, related projects, and conferences will make an important contribution to the advancement of art history as an international discipline.

Participants will receive funding for transportation, room, and board, thanks to generous a grant from the Getty Foundation through is “Connecting Art Histories” initiative.