Classical Style

The Classical in the Contemporary: On the Transformations of a Style

Author: Tatiana Senkevitch, The Paris Institute for Critical Thinking


My interest in the category of style emerges at the intersections of several historical planes and is interdisciplinary in its orientation. I propose to consider the emergence of classical styles in ballet and their convergence into a critical category of dance studies in relation to the historical evaluation of classical art in Western cultures as pertinent to Greek and Roman sculpture and taken as exemplary and ideal, and in relation to a particular line in the development of theatrical dance established in the Baroque courts of Europe. The survival of the classical style in dance history and its adaptation to the protocols of modernism is of particular importance to my project that traces the mutation of the classical to the “neoclassical,” as in the work of modern choreographers such as George Balanchine, Bronislava Nijinska, and Serge Lifar, and classical contemporary, as, for example, in the works of Angelin Prejocaj or Alexey Ratmansky.


Tatiana Senkevitch (Paris Institute for Critical Thinking, France) is a historian of art and dance; received her Ph. D. in the University of Michigan (USA); taught in USC (Los Angeles), Cornell (Ithaca), University of Toronto (Canada); held research fellowships at the Getty Research Institute (Los Angeles), Sorbonne I (Paris), and CNRS Jean Pepin (Paris), worked as an academic consultant for The Canada Art Ballet Project, Toronto, Canada. Published on various issues of Baroque art and theater, visual aesthetics, and dance.

How many Annunciations are there? The impact of European prints on Baroque azulejos (1675-1750)

Author: Rosário Salema de Carvalho, University of Lisbon


This presentation aims to reveal the impact of the circulation of European prints on Portugal’s azulejo production during the Baroque period (1675-1750), based on two multiscale approaches: 1) the analysis of a specific subject – the Annunciation – from a “distant reading” perspective, in order to understand the circulation of images and its impact on the definition of a style (Baroque) in the history of Portuguese tile decorations; and 2) the creation of images whose iconography is not visually defined, in the context of the work and style of a specific painter, Gabriel del Barco (1648-c. 1701), who endowed his sources of inspiration with new meanings (resemantization).The importance of prints as sources of inspiration for Portuguese tile coverings is a popular research topic. However, it is usually approached in a partial manner, which does not allow for the clarification of several issues regarding the coverings’ form, style, cultural “influence”, circulation routes, etc. On the other hand, despite recent breakthroughs in the fields of Artificial Intelligence and Computer Vision, the existing technology is not yet able to provide actual assistance in this task. The identification is still carried out “by hand”, that is, by going through the metadata of the many thousands of indexed images available online. Even so, these online resources have significantly transformed the research environment, which has become very different from the one in which we started our work, about ten years ago.


Rosário Salema de Carvalho is a researcher at ARTIS – Institute of Art History, at the School of Arts and Humanities of the University of Lisbon. She coordinates the research group Az – Azulejo Research Network and supervises projects concerning the study, inventory and cataloguing of tile decorations, among which the group’s anchor project, Az Infinitum – Azulejos Referencing and Indexation System. She holds a PhD in History/Art History (2012) from the University of Lisbon and a Master’s Degree in Art, Heritage and Restoration (2007) from the same university, with both theses focused on 18th century tile decorations. She has conducted research in the domain of cultural heritage, and particularly in the field of Portuguese azulejo decorations, and has published several books and articles in national and international journals. Her current research interests include Baroque tile frames and related decorative systems, iconography, the cataloguing of tile patterns and the development of inventory and cataloguing tools in the context of Digital Art History.


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