Marion Romberg

KunstHISTORIKERIN – von der Dorfkirche zu Bildern der Kaiserinnen in der Frühen Neuzeit: Bildquellen als historische Quellen

18. Jh. Weltkongress: Erdteilallegorien – Digital Humanities – Kaiserinnen

Vom 14. bis zum 19. Juli findet der 15. Internationale Kongress zur Erforschung des 18. Jahrhunderts in Edinburgh statt. Der Kongress wird von der British Society for Eighteenth Century Studies zum Thema „Enlightenment Identities“ organisiert. Ich werde an drei Panels teilnehmen:

Panel 1: Conquering Europe: The continent allegories and their cultural popularity in the 18thcentury (Organisatorin)

During the late Renaissance, around 1570, humanists developed a new “shorthand” way for representing the world at a single glance: personifications of the four continents (Europe, Asia, Africa, and America). While the continent allegory as an iconic type had already been in use since antiquity, humanists and their artists from Italy and the Netherlands adapted the concept by creating the four-continent scheme. During the next 230 years, this iconic scheme proliferated widely. All known media were employed to bring the four continent allegories into the public and into people’s homes. Within this prolonged history of personifications of the continents, the peak was reached during the late Baroque period and especially the18thcentury. As a pictorial language they were interwoven with texts, dogmas, narratives, and stereotypes. Even so, the question of what the continent allegories actually meant to people living in the Baroque age as well as its geographical dissemination requires further consideration. Based on the insightful quantitative survey to continent allegories in Southern Germany, Austria and South Tyrol, done in a research project at the University of Vienna between 2012 and 2016, the panel’s objective is to shed light on comparable disseminations of this iconography in Italy, the Low Countries as well as Spain. The three lectures pay particularly attention to the methodological side of quantitative studies and the iconography’s use as well as its possible national characteristics. A preliminary quantitative overview is combined with historical case studies and discussions of actual places. 

Christine Moisan-Jablonski, an expert on the Polish dissemination, chairs the panel. The former project manager of the mentioned research project Marion Romberg will comment each presentation.

Chair: Christine Moisan-Jablonski (Kazimierz-Wielki-University in Bydgoszcz, Poland)

  • Commentator: Marion Romberg (Austrian Academy of Sciences, Vienna)
  • Maryanne Cline Horowitz (Occidental C. & UCLA), Continent Allegories in the Religious Space of the Low Countries 
  • Daniel Fulco (Washington County Museum of Fine Arts) – Envisioning the World at the Court of Charles III: Tiepolo’s Wealth and Benefits of the Spanish Monarchy.
  • Louise Arizzoli (University of Mississippi) – Collecting the World: James Hazen Hyde (1876-1956) and his Photographic-Archive

Panel 2: The Empress in the Public Eye. Communicating Power around 1700(Co-Organisatorin)

Public spheres, their emergence or their change in the Age of Enlightenment, as well as their relevance for the bourgeois society of the 19th century are a recurrent and controversial topic at least since Jürgen Habermas‘ study „The Structural Transformation of the Public Sphere“. In recent years, German speaking research on the early modern period has painted a differentiated picture of early modern public spheres: they were clearly socially diversified, but without being really separated from each other. The early modern information society had access to a variety of media, from the spoken word to ritual staging to various forms of prints.

All forms of media also played a role in the communication of power: they were able to draw a picture of ideal rule or to manifest constitutions in a ritual form; they could provide space for political reasoning or limit themselves to information about the lives and deaths of the ruling elite. However, for a long time hardly any attention has been paid to gender specifics––in general, research predominantly associated rule with masculinity and the role of women in the context of dynastic rule has hitherto scarcely been investigated.

This also applies to the communication of imperial rule in the Holy Roman Empire, which was the subject of several research projects for the period around 1700. On the basis of a current research project on the Empresses, the panel aims to presents results on this aspect for a specific time period: In which public spheres was the person of the Empress included in the representation of rule and thus sovereignty? Which forms of representation were chosen? How can they be compared to the communication about the emperor and imperial rule? Can conclusions be drawn from this with regard to the sexual connotation of power?

Chair: Klaas van Gelder (Ghent University, History Department)

  • Marion Romberg: The Imperial Image – Visualization Strategies of the Empresses
  • Katrin Keller: Lucerna abscondita: How does one remember an Empress? (ÖAW, INZ)
  • Ines Peper: The Conversion of Elisabeth Christine of Brunswick-Wolfenbüttel: How to communicate a Future Empress’s Change of Religion (University of Vienna, Department of History)

Panel 3: Digital Eighteenth Century: Central European Perspectives (Participant)

Chair: Thomas Wallnig (University of Vienna, Department of History)

  • Marion Romberg: Maps, Timelines, Search Features, and Indices: Digital Tools in the Continent Allegories Database
  • Jonathan Singerton: A Revolution in Ink: Mapping Benjamin Franklin’s Epistolary Network in the Habsburg Monarchy, 1776-1789 (ÖAW, INZ)
  • Claudia Resch: DIGITARIUM– Unlocking the treasure trove of 18th century newspapers for digital times (ACDH, Vienna)