Visual Arts and Communication of Power

Activities in 2018


On June 13 – 14, the international scientific conference The Power of Media. Patronage, representation and propaganda in the Early Modern Period (1450-1800) between the Mediterranean and Central Europe was held at the Split City Museum in Split. It was organized as the final result of the VACOP project. Among 23 foreign and local researchers, the members of the project also contributed to the subject (programme and book of abstracts).

In his lecture, Joško Belamarić, PhD, spoke about Proculijan's panegyric to the City of Split and its founder Diocletian pointing out their particular importance for the understanding of the mediaeval architecture of Split (Prokulijan’s Panegyric to the City of Split and its Founder Diocletian). Višnja Bralić, PhD, interpreted the processes of articulating visual representation of power used by representatives of the Venetian government which participated in the (co)creation of local memory and identity of several Istrian towns (Dogi, podestati e santi prottetori. Venetian Political Representation in Constructing the Memory and Identity of Istrian Communities in the 15th and 16th Centuries). The leader of the project, Milan Pelc, PhD, presented some examples of panegyrical emblems which can be connected to the Jesuit order and Croatian cultural area and interpreted them as instruments of representation of the ruling house of Habsburg in the 17th century. (Panegyrical Emblems and Habsburg Emperors – Some Examples Connected to 17th Century Croatia). In his lecture, Daniel Premerl, PhD, spoke about the patronage between the cardinal Giulio Cesae Sacchetti and the prelate Ivan Tomko Mrnavić, which resulted in two successful projects carried out in Rome in the first half of the 15th century (The Sacchetti Family and Ivan Tomko Mrnavić: A Case of Patronage, Representation and Propaganda in 1620s Rome).

Ivana Prijatelj Pavičić presented the connection between the St Jerome chapel in the St Simeon Church in Zadar and the Venetian military confraternity, interpreting it as an example of the political public-private partnership. (A Contribution to the Understanding of the Military Confraternity called Scuola dei Albanesi, Croati a Cavallo i Oltramarini in St Simeon Church in Zadar). Mirjana Repanić-Braun, PhD, spoke about printed and physical visual reminders made in 1728 on the special occasion of the Charles VI itinerary through Styria, Carinthia, Carniola and the Littoral lands. (Erbhuldigung to Holy Roman Emperor Charles VI in 1728. Printed Records and Visual Reminders). Doctoral student Petra Batelja presented the genealogy of the Oršić family as a mechanism of self-presentation in the service of claiming their old rights and noble privileges (The Power of Genealogy – The Case of the Oršić Family from the 18th Century).

On the third day of the conference (June 15), conference participants went to Trogir and visited Trogir City Museum, St. Lawrence Cathedral, and city loggia under the expert guidance of Joško Belamarić.


Public Lecture “Incunabula and the Beginning of Printing”

inkunabula mOn April 23, 2018, in the City Library in Dubrovnik, Milan Pelc, PhD held a public lecture entitled “Incunabula and the Beginning of Printing”, organised within the programme of the Croatian Book Night cultural manifestation. The incunabula present authentic witnesses to the exciting period of fundamental changes in the methods of production and usage of the book medium. The lecture addressed the characteristics of said changes and their most relevant exponents and protagonists, as well as offered an overview of the participation of Croatian cultural environment in the transformation of the European book culture at the end of the 15th century.


Exhibition “Book Art in Croatia”

ljubljanski misal m Milan Pelc participated in the opening ceremony of the exhibition “Book Art in Croatia” (Knjižna umetnost na Hrvaškem) held at the National and University Library (NUK) in Ljubljana on the 6th of March 2018. The exhibition, which was also curated by Milan Pelc, is open from the 6th to 19th of March 2018. On twenty panels, the exhibition presents sixty books from a long and rich history of Croatian book art, from Evangeliarium Spalatense dated from the 6th to 8th century up to contemporary art books, such as print and poetry portfolios. At the heart of the exhibition is Bartol Krbavac’s Glagolitic manuscript dated at the beginning of the 15th century, which is stored in Ljubljana (NUK). Several facsimile editions of old and rare books are also on display.


Milan Pelc held public lecture at Gutenberg's monument unveiling in Split

Milan Pelc participated in the unveiling ceremony of the monument dedicated to Johannes Gutenberg, the inventor of the printing press, organized by Split Croatian and German Society (Kroatisch-Deutsche Gesellschaft Split). The ceremony was held on 3 February 2018 at the University Library in Split, commemorating the 550th death anniversary of Gutenberg. The monument was made by the academic sculptor Tomislav Šalov. On the occasion, Milan Pelc held a lecture entitled On Gutenberg's significance for mankind. He pointed out the important aspects of Gutenberg's invention of the movable-type printing press and his contribution to the development of media and society. In spite of all possible misuses and manipulation, the mechanisation of media in the Early Modern Period opened the way for critical valuation of intellectual work, the spread of education, the strengthening of Enlightenment, and gradual democratisation of society.


Public lecture held by Daniel Premerl in Dubrovnik

At the invitation of Dubrovnik Diocese, Daniel Premerl gave a public lecture entitled New insights into the furnishing of St Blaise’s Church throughout the 18th century on 25th January 2018 in Dubrovnik.

In his lecture, Premerl presented the chronology of Dubrovnik St Blaise’s Church furnishing from 1715, after the church was finished, to the end of the 18th century, giving prominence to the luxurious decorative organ casing, main altar and silver statue of Dubrovnik's patron, Saint Blaise, from the 15th century. Recent researches, the results of which were presented, have confirmed the high value of the church’s furnishing in the context of baroque art on the Mediterranean coast.