Evonne Levy

Evonne Levy

University of Toronto

In Residence

May 2019

Research Project

The Intermedial Condition of Early Modern Art

My project seeks to understand the particular intermedial condition of early modern art – of media understood as constituted relationally – as largely (thought not exclusively) organized around the rise of paper media: drawing and print. Paper compelled a whole series of reflections on a newly configured media landscape, a perfect example of Friedrich Kittler’s idea that media do not necessarily replace each other but are assigned new places in the system of media. Consider from the perspective of intermediality (a media perspective), two central theoretical premises around which the history of early modern art has been written: disegno and the paragone.  The paragonemay constitute the first theory of media, in the direction of medium specificity. Sixteenth century theories of disegno may be understood as anti-media, offering the prospect of the arts organized by ideas over their medial and material specificity.  Although there is no theory of intermediality in the early modern period, many works of art by thoughtful artists of the age, are articulate on this subject. From Mantegna, Bellini, Van Eyck, Dürer, Michelangleo and Raphael, to Rembrandt and Rubens, there is a wealth of intermedial thinking, cutting a path between techne and metatechne. Drawing on the theorization of intermediality in media studies, my project seeks to bring a vocabulary of intermedial types into art history and to assess the effects of new media (drawing, print, painting on canvas) on a variety of early modern artistic media.

Research Interest

  • Germanophone historiography of art and politics
  • Early Art Modern and Architecture
  • Jesuit Art and Architecture
  • Colonial Latin American Art and Architecture
  • GianLorenzo Bernini – work and biographical legacy


Baroque and the Political Language of Formalism (1845-1945): Burckhardt, Wölfflin, Gurlitt, Brinckmann, Sedlmayr. Basel: Schwabe, 2015. http://shop.schwabe.ch/buecher/buchdetails/baroque-and-the-political-language-of-formalism-1845-1945-burckhardt-woelfflin-gurlitt-brinckmann-sedlmayr-5675/

Heinrich Wölfflin, The Principles of Art History: The Problem of the Development of Style in Early Modern Art. Trans. Jonathan Blower. Ed. Evonne Levy and Tristan Weddigen. Los Angeles: Getty Research Institute, 2015.

Propaganda and the Jesuit Baroque. Berkeley: University of California Press, 2004. http://www.ucpress.edu/book.php?isbn=9780520233577

Co-edited with Carolina Mangone. Material Bernini. London: Routledge, 2016. https://www.routledge.com/Material-Bernini/Levy-Mangone/p/book/9781472459220

Co-edited with Kenneth Mills. Lexikon of the Hispanic Baroque. Transatlantic Exchange and Transformation. Austin: University of Texas Press, 2014.  https://utpress.utexas.edu/index.php/books/levlex

Co-edited with Maarten Delbeke and Steven F. Ostrow. Bernini’s Biographies: Critical Essays. University Park, PA: Pennsylvania State University Press, 2007. http://www.psupress.org/books/titles/978-0-271-02901-6.html


Evonne Levy

Center for Advanced Studies BildEvidenz

Arnimallee 10
14195 Berlin