Discovering Dalmatia: A week of research, scholarly exchange and friendly conversation

The week of 18-23 May 2015 saw a series of interesting events dedicated to research and scholarship, which were hosted by the Institute of Art History – Centre Cvito Fisković in Split in association with the Ethnographic Museum in Split and the University of Split’s Faculty of Civil Engineering, Architecture and Geodesy. The events, taking place in the heart of Diocletian’s palace, in the beautiful building of the Ethnographic Museum, were organised as part of the research project Dalmatia – a destination of the European Grand Tour in the 18th and the 19th century of the Institute of Art History, under the aegis of the Croatian Science Foundation. Additional support was kindly provided by the Ministry of Science, Education and Sports, the City of Split, the Faculty of Civil Engineering, Architecture and Geodesy of the University of Split, the Split-Dalmatia County Tourist Board and the Tourist Board of Split.

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Discovering Dalmatia. Dalmatia in 18th and 19th century travelogues, pictures and photographs, international conference

The concluding part of week-long programme “Discovering Dalmatia” of the Institute of Art History – Centre Cvito Fisković in Split, consists of an international conference entitled Discovering Dalmatia. Dalmatia in 18th and 19th century travelogues, pictures and photographs, in which these topics will be analysed and evaluated in terms of literary theory and the theory and history of art and architecture.

The conference will take place in Ethnographic Museum in Split (Severova 1) from May 21 to May 23.

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Zadar: Space, time, architecture. Four new views, a colloquium

Discovering Dalmatia is a week-long programme (18th-23rd May 2015) of the Institute of Art History – Centre Cvito Fisković in Split. It is devoted to cultural and historical aspects of the Croatian littoral that, with their many-layered links with the overall Mediterranean and European world, gradually began to be discovered during the 18th and 19th centuries, when many travel writers and visual artists on their Grand Tours started regularly to visit the eastern coast of the Adriatic.

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A study trip to Rome: Retracing the steps of 18th- and 19th-century Grand Tourists

“Now, at last, I have arrived in the First City of the world! … All the dreams of my youth have come to life … In other places one has to search for the important points of interest; here they crowd in on one in profusion.”

These impressions of Rome were noted down by Johann Wolfgang von Goethe in 1786. His “Italian Journey” (published in 1816-1817) abounds in inspired reflections of the city’s architectural and artistic treasures. Throughout the 18th and 19th centuries, Rome excited similar interest of countless travelers from across Europe, many of whom left invaluable visual and written records of their journeys. However, it is not difficult to imagine such thoughts as Goethe’s being written down by a contemporary traveler to Rome. To this day, the seat of Europe’s ancient Classical heritage has continued to invoke widespread awe and delight.  A desire to see firsthand the finest specimens of art and architecture documented by 18th- and 19th-century Grand Tourists has led the members of the research team Ana Šverko, Ivica Čović, Irena Kraševac, and Iva Raič Stojanović to undertake a tour of their own and visit the Eternal City.

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(Un)Mapping Diocletian’s Palace, a student workshop

As a part of this project, from May 18 to May 23 a student workshop will be held on a topic entitled:

 (Un)Mapping Diocletian’s Palace. Research methods in the understanding of the experience and meaning of place.

During the 18th and 19th century, European architects, writers and painters, during the Grand Tour, a practice aimed at making the direct acquaintance of other cultures, which represented the foundation of classical education and the formation of artistic stances and expressions, left verbal and pictorial records of their visits to Diocletian’s Palace in Split. Diocletian’s Palace was a must-see of the Grand Tour on the eastern shores of the Adriatic.

Through an analysis of the drawings and texts, the key points that the travel writers of the time selected to define Diocletian’s Palace and of which they left a lasting record in their art works have been defined. They did not record just the physical condition of the monuments, but also the life within the palace, and rendered their personal impressions and feelings during their sojourns in this very specific space.

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