September 15, 2010

Lectures by Richard Buxton and Bram Kempers

September 17, 20:00 hrs, Museumcafe, Oude Turfmarkt 129

The Ambiguity of Metamorphosis - Richard Buxton, University of Bristol
Metamorphosis is apparently at its most striking when visualised. But literature too can convey metamorphosis, sometimes in ways unavailable, or not available in the same way, in a visual medium. In particular, literary representations of astonishing change can often be ambiguous and open-ended. Specifically, literary texts sometimes hint at the possibility of a metamorphosis, but leave thoroughly vague whether or not, or how, such a transformation has taken place. Texts ranging from Homer and Ovid to Kafka throw light on these questions.

Richard Buxton (1948) studied at King’s College, Cambridge, and subsequently at the École Pratique des Hautes Études, Paris. Since 1973, he has taught at the University of Bristol, where he has been Professor of Greek Language and Literature since 2005. His main intellectual interests are in ancient Greek literature, especially tragedy, and in Greek mythology. As well as writing numerous articles in various languages, he is the author of several books, including ImaginaryGreece: The Contexts of Mythology (Cambridge, 1994; translated into four languages); The Complete World of Greek Mythology (London, 2004; translated into nine languages), and Forms of Astonishment: Greek Myths of Metamorphosis (Oxford, 2009). Since 2006, he has been President of the Foundation for the Lexicon Iconographicum Mythologiae Classicae. Richard Buxton has participated in many radio broadcasts about the ancient Greek world and has lectured in numerous countries. He is a firm believer in bringing an informed awareness of ancient Greece, and particularly its mythology, to the widest possible public.

Metamorphosis After The Fact: Changing Images and Changing Meanings - Bram Kempers, University of Amsterdam
One of the problematic features in Kempers’ research into works of Renaissance art is the continuous transformation of the interpretations of their meanings. Some of the sculptures by Michelangelo or paintings by Raphael soon acquired new interpretations after they were made. Some of these interpretations influenced reproductions in various graphic arts, so that such metamorphosis had self-perpetuating tendencies – which in some cases still affect research that is being carried out today. In this lecture, these processes of transformation will be highlighted and deconstructed in the light of his current research.

Bram Kempers (1953) studied sociology at the University of Amsterdam, conducted research for the Ministry of Culture, and lectured at the University of Groningen, before becoming Professor of Sociology of Art at the University of Amsterdam. His PhD thesis, Painting, Power and Patronage (1987), was published in Dutch, English, German and French. Kempers has written articles on a very broad range of topics, including the art market, past and present cultural policy, as well as various aspects of art in the Italian Middle Ages and Renaissance. Recently, his research has focused on the artistic life surrounding the Renaissance popes and more contemporary topics, such as art sponsorship, the art market, advertising and graphic design.