25 June 2018
Raum A 111
Architekturgebäude der TU
Straße des 17. Juni 150/152, 10623 Berlin
Abstract: This lecture will aim to show how digital technologies can enhance our knowledge of the spatial environment of the Pont Notre-Dame in Paris. At one point in its history, the inhabited bridge housed a number of picture dealers which was unmatched elsewhere in Europe. This micro-historical inquiry will be based on a data application that enables a historic visualization of the location and evolution of the proportion of shops actually devoted to the trade of pictures on the bridge. However, it will also deal more specifically with Watteau’s 1720 painting, “L’enseigne de Gersaint”, using 3D digital imaging technologies. This picture was painted for Gersaint, the most innovative dealer on the Pont Notre-Dame in Paris in the first half of the eighteenth century.
To what extent does it reflect the famous dealer’s exhibition and sales space? How, given its considerable great size, could it be used as a genuine shop sign? What visual impact did it have in its day? These questions have never been properly answered using traditional art history methods. Indeed, virtual reconstruction of the Pont Notre-Dame and Gersaint’s shop make it possible to explore the painting’s original setting in a new way. It enables a fuller understanding of the work’s dramatic impact and greater comprehension of its visionary and provocative aspects at both artistic and political levels.
Sophie Raux (PhD. University of Lille 1993) is Professor of History of Early Modern Art at the Université Lumière Lyon 2 (France). Her research and publications focus primarily on the history of early modern French, Flemish and Dutch art, and the history of art markets and collecting. She is particularly interested in the circulation, consumption and promotion of images and art objects in the Low Countries (16th-18th centuries), the social and cultural construction of art value during the Ancien Régime, as well as the field of digital art history. She was co-founder and co-chair (2012-2016) of the “Sciences et Cultures du Visuel” programme at the Imaginarium (Tourcoing), and she is currently chair of the research team “Art, Images, Sociétés” within the Laboratoire de Recherche Historique Rhône-Alpe (UMR CNRS). Together with Youri Carbonnier and Christophe Renaud, she is preparing a book publication on the history of the Pont Notre-Dame, which will be published by the Presses Universitaires du Septentrion in 2018.