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ARTECHNE – Technique in the Arts, 1500-1950


6 June 2016
15:00 - 17:00
Utrecht, Sweelinckzaal (0.05) Drift 21

Presentation of the ARTECHNE project by Sven Dupré at Descartes – Huygens Premodern History of Science Colloquium

Speaker: Sven Dupré (Professor History of Art, Science and Technology, Utrecht University and Amsterdam University)
Date: Monday June 6, 2016
Time: 15:00–17:00 hrs, including the evaluation of these colloquia in the past Academic year and with drinks afterwards
Utrecht, Sweelinckzaal (0.05) Drift 21
Convenors: Wijnand Mijnhardt and Oscar Gelderblom

Sven Dupré – The ARTECHNE Project: Technique in the Arts

The transmission of ‘technique’ in art has been a conspicuous ‘black box’ resisting analysis. Only in the most recent years, the history of science and technology has turned to how-to instructions as given in recipes. The ARTECHNE project undertakes the experimental reconstruction of historical recipes to open the black box of the transmission of technique in the visual and decorative arts. Considering ‘technique’ as a textual, material and social practice, the project writes a long-term history of the theory and practice of the study of ‘technique’ in the visual and decorative arts between 1500 and 1950. The three central research questions here are: (1) what is technique in the visual and decorative arts, (2) how is technique transmitted and studied, and (3) who is considered expert in technique, and why? The ARTECHNE project integrates methodologies typical for the humanities and historical disciplines with laboratory work, and lays the historical foundations of the epistemologies of conservation, restoration and technical art history.