Music and the Figurative Arts in the Baroque Era

Barcelona, 10.-12.05.2023

Deadline: 05.02.2023

organized by
Centro Studi Opera Omnia Luigi Boccherini
Societat Catalana de Musicologia

The Centro Studi Opera Omnia Luigi Boccherini and the Societat Catalana de Musicologia are pleased to invite submissions of proposals for the symposium «Music and the Figurative Arts in the Baroque Era», to be held from 10 to 12 May 2023 at the Institut d’Estudis Catalans in Barcelona.

The figurative arts are the visual representation of ideas, beliefs, thoughts, and desires of a given society in a definite time. Depictions of music have traditionally been used by artists and patrons as key images to convey their concept of reality to viewers, but these images actually refer to symbols and allegories based on particular artistic mixtures that combine reality, imagination, and fantasy. The Baroque Era is no exception in Western art. During the 17th and 18thcenturies, the figurative arts achieved a complex and intense activity that covered a wide variety of topics, such as the idea of power  — both the earthly power, which exhibits its pomp in courtly feasts and performances, and the spiritual power, which exalts the influence of the Church (particularly the Catholic Church) in the Baroque society through imaginative depictions of Heaven, with angelic choirs and angel musicians playing their instruments as if they were real courtly players. No less significant are the subjects that reflect on life and death (vanitas, still-life, the ages of man, etc.), unavoidable in a period in which famine, pandemic diseases and religious wars made clear how ephemeral life was. In addition there are also many topics referring to daily life (domestic music, the music lesson, musicians’ portraits), usually full of metaphors and innuendos, as well as mythological subjects offering new interpretations for many musical topics from Antiquity.

The present conference proposes to explore this multifaceted relationship between music and the figurative arts in the Baroque Era.

The programme committee encourages submissions within the following areas, although other topics are also welcome:

  • Music, power, and propaganda: feasts and courtly contexts
  • Music in Heaven: spirituality and ideal music
  • Music and stage: scenography and theatrical art
  • Music in depictions of life and/or death
  • Domestic music: metaphors, allegories, and depictions of daily life
  • Love and music: from chaste love to the brothel
  • New glimpses of ancient mythology
  • Musicians’ portraits
  • Music, rhetoric, and Baroque art
  • Baroque style in music vs. baroque style in the figurative arts

Scholarly Committee:

  • Jordi Ballester (Societat Catalana de Musicologia /UAB)
  • Xavier Daufí (Societat Catalana de Musicologia /UAB)
  • Roberto Illiano (Centro Studi Opera Omnia Luigi Boccherini)
  • Fulvia Morabito (Centro Studi Opera Omnia Luigi Boccherini)
  • Emilio Ros-Fábregas (Societat Catalana de Musicologia/IMF-CSIC)
  • Massimiliano Sala (Centro Studi Opera Omnia Luigi Boccherini)

Organizing Committee:

  • Josep Maria Almacellas (Societat Catalana de Musicologia)
  • Jordi Ballester (Societat Catalana de Musicologia)
  • Imma Cuscó (Societat Catalana de Musicologia)
  • Roberto Illiano (Centro Studi Opera Omnia Luigi Boccherini)
  • Fulvia Morabito (Centro Studi Opera Omnia Luigi Boccherini)

Keynote Speakers:

  • Jordi Ballester (Societat Catalana de Musicologia/UAB)
  • Florence Gétreau (Centre national de la Recherche Scientifique, Paris)

The official languages of the conference are English, French, Italian and Spanish. Papers selected at the conference will be published in a miscellaneous volume.

Papers are limited to twenty minutes in length, allowing time for questions and discussion. Please submit an abstract of no more than 500 words and one page of biography.

All proposals should be submitted by email no later than ***Sunday 5 February 2023*** to <>. With your proposal please include your name, contact details (postal address, e-mail and telephone number) and (if applicable) your affiliation.

The committee will make its final decision on the abstracts by the end of February 2023 and contributors will be informed immediately thereafter. Further information about the programme and registration will be announced after that date.

For any additional information, please contact:

Dr. Massimiliano Sala