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First byvanck symposium

Style between Anthropology, Archaeology, Classics, and Art history

Friday 26 May 2017
National Museum of Antiquities
Rapenburg 28
2311 EW Leiden

Style is a fundamental concept shared by anthropology, archaeology, classics and art history. After a period of eclipse from agendas of inquiry, it has now become central again in discussions of globalization, culture transfer or design analysis. The Byvanck Chair in Leiden was endowed to foster the study of the art and archaeology of the classical world, and to mark the new tenure of Caroline van Eck as Byvanck Professor and of Marike van Aerde as Byvanck Fellow, this symposium is organized to address the concept of style, developed originally in classical rhetoric, to explore a new common ground for the four disciplines that are all concerned with the material, visual and textual culture of the Graeco-Roman world.





Keynote by Professor Jas Elsner (Oxford/Chicago: Style, Archaism and the the Sacred in the European Visual Tradition’   

In this paper, Jas Elsner will explore (both within and beyond the Greco-Roman tradition of Western image-making) a particular feature of style. It is not normal for art historians or archaeologists to turn to stylistic art history for substantial or thematic discussions of the nature of material culture in a given period; rather, style is used to determine issues of chronology, dating or production as a key andbasic reflex in the empirical identification of our objects.Yet images inevitably bring with them certain ideas about style which they both allude to and play upon. Style and stylistic difference is one of the things that the makers and viewers of images are inevitably aware of, by comparison with other images made earlier or by someone else. That awareness, both in the responses of artists and of spectators, is a key stylistic frame for the making and the appreciation of art. Here, this aspect of stylistic framing will be explored, as a deliberate device used in relation to works of art, in particular reference to theological and religious claims about the sanctity of particular objects.


Miguel John Versluys (Leiden): Style as agency. Hellenistic koine beyond semantics


Casper de Jonge (Leiden): Greek Rhetoricians in Rome on Classical Style and Sculpture


Tea Break


Marike van Aerde (Leiden): Gandhara in Context: a new approach to the Greco-Buddhist archaeological record.


Caroline van Eck (Cambridge/Leiden): The Material Turn Took Place in 1800: Style Formation and Object-Attachment in Rome


Stijn Bussels and Bram van Oostveldt (Leiden/Amsterdam): 'What Does Style Do? Neoclassicism and Reviving Antiquity'.


Pieter ter Keurs (Leiden/National Museum of Antiquities): Style and Anthropology: Struggling with the Meaning of Form


Discussion led by Pieter ter Keurs

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