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A two-day conference (online): 22-23 April 2021

Organized by Prof. Juliet Simpson, Coventry University/Warburg Institute
Steering Committee: Prof. dr. Gabriele Rippl (Universität Bern), Dr Stefan Bauer (University of Warwick), Dr Anna-Maria von Bonsdorff (Ateneum-Finnish National Gallery, Helsinki); Conference Assistant: Joanna Meredith (PhD candidate, Coventry University)

In 1920 Louis Gillet, the French art historian and internationalist published a rousing article defending the repatriation of stolen fragments from the Van Eycks’ Ghent Altarpiece from Germany to Belgium as ‘un drapeau’. His ensign of a Northern patrimony pitched as an emotive call for a different cultural ‘belonging’ post-1918 was part of a pattern. Jean Fouquet’s Melun diptych was vaunted as both a ‘jewel’, yet the opprobrium of France. At its most charged was the identification of Matthias Grünewald’s Isenheim Altarpiece with extreme War trauma during its 1918-19 Munich display. Yet these Northern Renaissance ‘Afterlives’ remain neglected. This symposium will explore how responses to the Northern Renaissance (in the period spanning the early 1900s-early 1930s) were mediated via objects, images and words in potently emotive contexts of reception, recreation, visual and material imaginaries and contemporary cultural memory making.