Call for Session at the 64th Annual Meeting of the Renaissance Society of America, New Orleans

As early as 1557 Ludovico Dolce foresaw the end of the great Venetian painting tradition that he believed had reached the apex of innovation and quality with the achievements of Titian. At the conclusion of Dolce’s Dialogo della Pittura Aretino gives voice to this worry: “E di presente io temo, che la Pittura non torni a smarrirsi un’altra volta: percioche de’ giovani non si vede risorgere alcuno, che dia speranza di dover pervenire a qualche honesta eccelllenza…” Dolce’s proclamation of the end of what later became known as the golden period of Venetian Renaissance painting was also expressed by a number of writers after him, cementing the idea that subsequent to the deaths of Titian (1576), Veronese (1588) and Tintoretto (1594), Venetian painting fell into sharp decline.

The panel seeks to break with the rhetorical trope of the death or Crisis of the Venetian Renaissance Tradition (Rosand) by focusing on the group of seven artists active in the first half of the Seicento described by the art critic Marco Boschini in his Breve Instruzione of the 1674 edition of Le ricche minere:
“Da questi gran Maestri dell’Arte sono poi derivati infiniti Pittori di moltissima stima, ed in particolare ce ne sono al numero di sette, che hanno osservate le pedate di tre, cioè di Tiziano, del Tintoretto e di Paolo Veronese, e per questa cagione tengono molta simpatia fra di loro. Il Primo è Giacomo Palma il Giovine (così chiamato a distinzione del Vecchio); il secondo Leonardo Corona da Murano; il terzo Andrea Vicentino; il quarto Santo Peranda; il quinto Antonio Aliense; il sesto Pietro Malombra; il settimo Girolamo Pilotto. Molte volte, chi non è pratico del loro operare non è così pronto a farne di essi la distinzione.”
Almost completely neglected by art history, Boschini coined the term Sette Maniere for these painters, grouping these individuals together due to the fact that their works were very difficult to distinguish from one another.

The panel will consider counter-arguments to the accepted judgment of the abrupt end of the Venetian painting legacy at the end of the Cinquecento, and seeks to instead promote the idea of a continuity in the Venetian tradition in the Seicento. By focusing on the understudied, yet prolific group of artists of the Sette Maniere, we wish to shed new light on the artistic contributions they made to Venetian painting in the seventeenth century. This panel will also pose questions relating to the domination of the production of paintings in Venice by these artists in the Seicento, as well as considering artistic quality as the basis for art historical study. To put it bluntly, despite their ubiquity in Venice, have Palma il Giovane and his contemporaries been underrated, or are they simply not very good artists?

Papers can address topics such as:

  • The life and works of each of the Sette Maniere artists: Palma il Giovane, Leonardo Corona, Andrea Vicentino, Sante Peranda, Antonio Vassilacchi (l’Aliense), Pietro Malombra and Girolamo Pilotto
  • The Sette Maniere artists as collectors 
  • The Sette Maniere artists and the workshop
  • The Sette Maniere artists within the landscape of the Seconda Accademia Veneziana (founded 1593)
  • The Sette Maniere artists and the stylistic legacies of Tintoretto, Veronese and Titian
  • Counter-arguments to the art historical trope of the crisis in the Venetian tradition 
  • New archival documents on any of the seven artists

Please send an abstract (max. 150 words) and a short CV (max. 300 words) in a single PDF to and by May 25, 2017.

As per RSA guidelines, proposals must include the following: paper title (15-word maximum), abstract (150-word maximum), keywords, and a very brief curriculum vitae (300-word maximum). See