Welcome Henrike C. Lange, Assistant Professor of Renaissance Art and Architecture
The Departments of History of Art and Italian Studies are very happy to announce the latest addition to our faculty: Assistant Professor Henrike Christiane Lange, appointed in the field of Renaissance/Early Modern Visual Culture in the Mediterranean World. Henrike earned her Magister Artium at the University of Hamburg, Germany, and received her doctorate at Yale University. In spring 2015 she filed her dissertation entitled “Relief Effects: Giotto’s Triumph.” Following the example of Michael Baxandall, Henrike Lange bravely addresses the major changes at the beginning of the Italian Renaissance. She detects a meaningful formal shift that has major implications for questions of matter and illusion, for the framing and staging of the scenes, and for the interaction with the beholder. All of these transformations converge in the specific visual effects of relief.
Lange sees the relief at the center of Renaissance artistic practice and visual thinking about history, power, and meaning. Her dissertation addresses the most famous frescoes in Western art, Giotto’s Arena Chapel in Padua, as it plays with the imitation of actual relief sculpture. Probing the ancient Roman roots of Giotto’s project, Henrike Lange relates the chapel’s design formally to the context of specific ancient monuments in Rome and spiritually to the heritage of Augustinian theology, contemporary mysticism, and the context of the First Jubilee of 1300. Her discussion of nineteenth and twentieth-century historiography raises the theoretical and contemporary stakes of Giotto’s work.
Lange’s broad vision of historical cultures, of the past’s visions of former pasts, and of the past’s impact upon our present, is marked by an awareness of cultural mobility. Coming from a background of teaching and museum experience in Europe and at Yale’s University Art Gallery and the Yale Center for British Art, the premise of her work is that nothing can be studied, or taught, in isolation. Her new, multi-discipline survey at Berkeley delivers a vision of the Italian Renaissance in a Mediterranean and global context for art and literature history.
We are delighted that she is joining us at Berkeley. She will carry forward the Department’s extraordinary legacy in Renaissance and Early Modern Culture. We look very much forward to working with her!