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Release Date: October 9, 2018

Stephen J. Campbell to Discuss Titian's Critical Reception in the 22nd Annual Sydney J. Freedberg Lecture on Italian Art on November 4

Titian, Saint John the Evangelist on Patmos, c. 1553/1555, National Gallery of Art, Washington, Samuel H. Kress Collection

Titian, Saint John the Evangelist on Patmos, c. 1553/1555, National Gallery of Art, Washington, Samuel H. Kress Collection

Washington, DC—The National Gallery of Art's Center for Advanced Study in the Visual Arts (CASVA) will welcome Stephen J. Campbell, Henry and Elizabeth Wiesenfeld Professor of Art History at Johns Hopkins University, as the 22nd annual lecturer for the Sydney J. Freedberg Lecture on Italian Art.

In his lecture, entitled Against Titian, Campbell will address the conflicted reception of the Venetian painter Titian outside his home city during a crucial phase in the formation of his reputation—his achievement of celebrity as a Hapsburg court painter and his inclusion in an emerging canon of Venetian and central Italian artists. While Titian's production for Hapsburg patrons in Spain and other non-Italian destinations shows him performing as the quintessential artist of the Italian "modern manner," by the mid-16th century his work for sites in Italy pursued a different course: artistic and critical reaction suggests that it was found to be inscrutable or alienating. Campbell's lecture proposes that this reception resulted from a tacit disavowal on Titian's part of contemporary critical accounts—by Lodovico Dolce, Pietro Aretino, and Giorgio Vasari—that increasingly sought to define his work.

This program is free and open to the public. Seating is available on a first-come, first-seated basis. The East Building Auditorium of the National Gallery of Art is located at Fourth Street and Pennsylvania Avenue NW.

About Stephen J. Campbell

Stephen J. Campbell is the Henry and Elizabeth Wiesenfeld Professor of Art History at Johns Hopkins University. His recent work includes Italian Renaissance Art (2011), coauthored with Michael W. Cole, which has appeared in Japanese and Italian editions; a revised and expanded two-volume edition was published in 2017. His book The Endless Periphery: Toward a Geopolitics of Art in Lorenzo Lotto's Italy, will be published by the University of Chicago Press. Campbell is one of the organizers of the exhibition The Renaissance Nude, 1400‒1530, to open at The J. Paul Getty Museum this October and at the Royal Academy, London, in February 2019. He is also completing a book, Andrea Mantegna: Humanist Aesthetics, Faith, and the Force of Images, based on the Bettie Allison Rand Lectures in Art, which he gave at the University of North Carolina in 2017.

About The Sydney J. Freedberg Lecture on Italian Art

The Sydney J. Freedberg Lecture on Italian Art features distinguished scholars presenting original research. This annual lecture series began in 1997 and is named after the great specialist of Italian art Sydney J. Freedberg (1914–1997). Professor Freedberg earned his PhD in 1940 from Harvard University, where he taught for 29 years until he was appointed chief curator of the National Gallery of Art in 1983.


Since its inception in 1979, CASVA has promoted the study of the history, theory, and criticism of art, architecture, and urbanism through the formation of a community of scholars. A variety of private sources support the program of fellowships, and the appointments are ratified by the Gallery's Board of Trustees. Through its fellowship programs, CASVA seeks a diverse pool of applicants in the visual arts.

CASVA currently supports the Andrew W. Mellon Professor, a two-year appointment of a midcareer scholar; the Kress-Beinecke Professor, an appointment of one academic year of a distinguished scholar; the Edmond J. Safra Visiting Professor, a six-month appointment of a scholar who advances his or her own research on subjects associated with the Gallery's permanent collection; and senior fellows, visiting senior fellows, a postdoctoral fellow, and predoctoral fellows. A board of advisors, composed of seven or eight art historians appointed to rotating terms, serves as a selection committee to review all fellowship applications.

CASVA publishes Symposium Papers as part of the Gallery's series Studies in the History of Art, and Seminar Papers. Both series are available for purchase on Volumes of Studies in the History of Art published more than five years ago can be accessed and downloaded on JSTOR. An annual report, Center, published each fall, summarizes research and activities that took place during the preceding academic year. The full archive of Center is available for free download on the Gallery website.

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