CFP: Swiss-Italian Architects and Craftsmen in Early Modern Europe, American Association for Italian Studies 2014

Closing date for proposals: 5 December 2013

Maestri ticinesi, magistri grigioni:
Swiss-Italian Architects and Craftsmen in Early Modern Europe

Italian Art Society Sponsored Session at
American Association for Italian Studies 2014 Conference
Zurich, 23-25 May 2014

Chair: Susan Klaiber, Winterthur, Switzerland

The Italian-speaking regions of early modern Switzerland exported significant expertise in the building trades throughout Europe. These émigré architects, builders, and craftsmen such as stuccatori worked for courts, monasteries, and other patrons in present-day Germany, Austria, Italy, Poland, Czech Republic and elsewhere. While often well-studied by scholars in both Switzerland and the respective regions of migration, international awareness of such careers generally remains low, with notable exceptions such as Francesco Borromini. Taken collectively, though, Swiss-Italian architects and craftsmen played important roles as agents of cultural transfer with their itinerant careers in early modern Europe.

These figures include Domenico Fontana, Carlo Maderno, and Carlo Fontana in Rome; Enrico Zuccalli and Giovanni Antonio Viscardi in Bavaria; and Giovanni Battista Quadro in Poland. The scholarly literature on such men is as rich yet dispersed as the architectural culture they embody. Representative publications include, in Italian, the exhibition catalogue Il giovane Borromini (1999), and books by Tommaso Manfredi (2008) and Marcello Fagiolo (ed., 2008); works in German by Sabine Heym (1984), Max Pfister (1991), and Michael Kühlenthal (ed., 1997); or several publications in Polish and Italian by Mariusz Karpowicz. Many of these studies are only available regionally.

This session aims to break down these geographic and linguistic barriers and move toward a comprehensive view of the work of the “maestri ticinesi” and “magistri grigioni” with a comparative transnational approach. The session welcomes papers on any aspect of Swiss-Italian involvement in the building trades anywhere in Europe, c. 1400-1800. Preference will be given to papers highlighting ties of workers (dynasties, networks), designs, techniques, or materials to Switzerland.

Deadline for proposals: 5 December 2013

Please send a 300-word proposal and a short CV (both in English) to Susan Klaiber (sklaiber [at] bluewin [dot] ch).

Please note: Paper presenters must be members of the American Association for Italian Studies when they register for the conference. Italian Art Society membership is NOT necessary.

For information on the Italian Art Society, visit

For information on the AAIS 2014 conference, visit

Leave a comment


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s