Stefano de Bosio

Stefano de Bosio

David and Julie Tobey Fellow
Patterns of Reversal: Negotiating Image Orientation in Printmaking and Drawing Practices in Early Modern Italy
2019-2020 (September-December)


Stefano de Bosio is a Lecturer in Art History at the Freie Universität Berlin, FUBiS. He holds a PhD from the University of Turin, Italy. His research focus on dynamics of cultural exchange in Europe during the early modern period and on theories and practices of image reversal, especially in printmaking. His book, Frontiere. Culture figurative ad Aosta e nell’arco alpino occidentale (1490-1540) will appear later this year with Officina Libraria. In recent years, Stefano has held fellowships at the DFK - Centre allemand d’histoire de l’art in Paris, the Freie Universität Berlin, and the IKKM - International Research Institute for Media Philosophy at the Bauhaus University in Weimar.

Project Summary

This project explores left-right reversal in drawing practices and printing techniques as a crucial site of negotiation between the technical, functional, and aesthetic issues implied in image-making and reception. It investigates reversal as an aesthetic strategy by focusing on case-studies taken from sixteenth- and seventeenth-century Italian art. A special attention will be devoted to Ludovico Cigoli’s recto-verso mirror-like compositional drawings as well as to drawing counter-proofing as a forgotten seventeenth-century collecting practice with documentary purposes. Part of a broader research project on mirror imagery, this project argues for the polysemic and fluctuating role of image reversal in the early modern period, ranging from perfect equivalence to radical alterity.