The Matter of Ephemeral Art: Craft, spectacle, and power in early modern Europe

Sophie Pitman, Pamela Smith, Tianna Uchacz, Tillmann Taape, Colin Debuiche

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)

Abstract

Through a close reading and reconstruction of technical recipes for ephemeral artworks in a manuscript compiled in Toulouse ca. 1580 (BnF MS Fr. 640), we question whether ephemeral art should be treated as a distinct category of art. The illusion and artifice underpinning ephemeral spectacles shared the aims and, frequently, the materials and techniques of art more generally. Our analysis of the manuscript also calls attention to other aspects of art making that reframe consideration of the ephemeral, such as intermediary processes, durability, the theatrical and transformative potential of materials, and the imitation and preservation of lifelikeness.
Original languageEnglish
Article number0034433819004962
Pages (from-to)78-131
Number of pages54
JournalRENAISSANCE QUARTERLY
Volume73
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2020
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed

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