Thursday Seminar "Materiality and Idolatry: Melchiore Cafà's St Rose of Lima"


Friday, November 25, 2016, 6:00pm


Gould Hall

The seminar discusses Melchiorre Cafà’s sculpture of St Rose of Lima of 1665 in the context of the iconography of the beatification and sanctification of Rose of St Mary, 1668 and 1671. One the hand, the construction and propagation of the first Latin American saint’s persona will be addressed, in particular the decoration of the chapel dedicated to her at Santa Maria sopra Minerva, Rome. On the other hand, the reception of the marble sculpture, which arrived in Lima in 1670, will be critically assessed. Seen from a transcultural perspective, Cafà’s St Rose can be understood as contributing to a political and theological discourse that aims at defining, more or less successfully, the status of the cult image in the New World by the means of a European notion of art.


Tristan Weddigen is Rudolf Wittkower Visiting Professor at the Bibliotheca Hertziana from September 2016. In 2001, he was awarded a Ph.D. from the TU Berlin with a dissertation on Raphael, for which he had received a scholarship from the Bibliotheca Hertziana from 1996 to 1998. In 2008, as an assistant at the University of Bern, he was nominated university lecturer with a study on the Dresden Gemäldegalerie in the 18th century, and became SNSF Assistant Professor at the University of Lausanne. Since 2009, he is full professor for the history of early modern art at the University of Zurich. At the Bibliotheca Hertziana, he currently works on a book dedicated to the iconology of the textile medium. Other research projects deal with Heinrich Wölfflin's works, the history of Latin American art, and digital art history.