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ARTIFEX Report Summary

Project ID: 269150
Funded under: FP7-IDEAS-ERC
Country: Germany

Final Report Summary - ARTIFEX (Redefining Boundaries: Artistic training by the guilds in Central Europe up to the dissolution of the Holy Roman Empire)

For the art-historical „artifex“-project „Redefining Boundaries: Artistic training by the guilds in Central Europe up to the dissolution of the Holy Roman Empire” (2012 to 2016) by Prof. Dr. Dr. Andreas Tacke (University of Trier, Germany) 15 European countries had been selected as research areas, these are those regions representing the former German-speaking territory of the Holy Roman Empire till about 1800.
With a focus on those painters who were members in guilds and crafts we explored the apprenticeship and education of the visual artist. To achieve this, a change of perspective regarding the research traditions in the science of art was indispensable: it was not the intellectual-historical approach we pursued but the one of the social history of the artist, the so-called „Künstlersozialgeschichte“. Till about 1800, the artist of the Holy Roman Empire was a member of the guild of craftsmen artisans. By recording the respective regulations, a type of source material which received little to no attention so far was made accessible for research in the initial step. The edition of the sources concerning the rules of the artist’s apprenticeship and education consist of five volumes. In a second step, the training of the artist in central Europe was analyzed in comparative studies, using individual research and conferences. For this purpose the questioning was extended – now including the training at art academies till about 1800 respectively the transformation process from the training in the guilds to the training in the academies. Several individual projects also addressed the group of court artists and in particular their relationship to the town artist.
For this purpose, the artifex-project used a wide range of formats: 36 lectures with speakers from 9 countries were held at the University of Trier; 9 Workshops / Round-Tables with 108 speakers and section leaders from different countries took place in Germany and Belgium; 12 international conferences were hosted in Germany and France with 265 speakers and section leaders from different countries. Furthermore two visiting scholars from the USA and Japan worked in cooperation with us for six months at the University of Trier. Outside the project, a total of 97 lectures was given by artifex employees, thus bringing up the project’s findings for discussion on a national and international panel.
The results of the project will be presented in no less than 9 books (two of them a multivolume work with two and five volumes) in German, English and French language.
During the period of October 2013 to June 2016 the project-homepage was visited no less than 290.000 times.
Moreover, numerous cooperation offers during the project but also after its completion give proof of the fact that the project’s goal – to induce a paradigm shift – has been achieved. The social history of the artist, the „Künstlersozialgeschichte”, is to be accepted as a method within the canon of the history of art.
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