Project Conferences

Conference Registration now open

The Intermedial Eighteenth Century: Textual and Visual Arts, 1660-1832

14-18th September 2020, Online Conference


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Keynote lecture: Prof. Malcolm Baker (University of California Riverside)

The Poet’s Head: The Agency of the Authorial Portrait in the Eighteenth Century


In conversation: Dr. Lucy Peltz (National Portrait Gallery) and Dr. David F. Taylor (University of Oxford)

Interdisciplinary Research across the Textual and Visual Arts


This AHRC-funded conference explores intersections between literary and visual culture of the long eighteenth-century. Recent scholarship has started to point to the distinctively ‘intermedial’ nature of Art, Architecture and Design at the turn of the eighteenth century, as “objects and environments… brought a variety of materials into intimate contact, or fused them together entirely” (Mark Hallett, 2016). This conference now seeks to consider how the intermedial nature of the visual Arts incorporated a notable engagement with the textual realm, and to look afresh at works, practitioners and spaces (often aligned with a single discipline) by exploring their multi-media associations. To achieve this, the conference explores the ways in which different spaces, practices and individuals within the textual and visual Arts came to influence one another, creating dialogues and exchanges crucial to the works that emerged.

The conference is free of charge and will be available online between Monday 14th and Friday 18th September, with live interactions on the 16th and 17th September. Delegates are asked to register their attendance in advance and will be sent a password to unlock site content. Please register via the conference website.

The conference is organised by Dr. Claudine van Hensbergen as part of her AHRC Leadership Award for the project Learning through the Art Gallery: Art, Literature and Disciplinarity (2019-2021), with technical assistance from Adam Curry. The AHRC project is run in partnership with The Laing Art Gallery, Newcastle-upon-Tyne, and The Shipley Art Gallery, Gateshead. The conference is run in conjunction with the Eighteenth-Century Literature & Visual Culture Research Network.


Images (from left): Detail, Proscenium arch and stage of a theatre, 1700-1750 © Trustees of the British Museum; Extract from The Poet’s Gallery (1792),; Louis Francois Roubiliac, ‘Alexander Pope’ (1741), bust previously owned by David Garrick, © Shipley Art Gallery, Gateshead; Extract, Jonathan Richardson Sr, ‘An Essay on the Theory of Painting’ (1715),; Detail, Sir William Beechey, ‘Sarah Siddons with the Emblems of Tragedy’ (1793), © NPG.



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