Slovenian artistic identity in european context
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Several chapters in the historical survey of art in Slovenia still remain poorly known and insufficiently researched. To fill the void, basic researches of the programme group will manly concentrate on these issues, laying special emphasis on the time between the 17th and the 20th century. The focal point will be the Baroque period when, apart from the Gothic, art in our country was most prosperous. The art of the 17th and 18th centuries has contributed a particularly important share to Slovenian artistic identity, and the Baroque, as the last of the great European all-emcompassing styles, represented one of the firmest cultural bonds which tied Slovenia to other European countries. With regard to European integration processes, researches into Baroque art are among the priority tasks of Slovenian art history, since the unity of Europe is based on the difference between individual nations.
The investigation of Slovenian artistic identity, together with the placing of Slovenian artistic patrimony into European context, will be conducted simultaneously on several (regional and genre) levels, which is suited to the character of our heritage. At the focus of the research will be the art of Ljubljana and the so-called Ljubljana Baroque (architecture, sculpture, painting), and alongside with this the Ljubljana bishops and the ecclesiastical orders that left an essential imprint on the image of Slovenian capital will be studied. New scientific findings will be presented to a wider public on the occasion of the 300th anniversary of the consecration of Ljubljana cathedral. Subjects of a detailed research will be some central personalities of Carniola, such as the sculptors surnamed Vrbnik, the architects surnamed Maček, the painter Jelovšek, the polymath Johann Weichard Valvasor and his close connectedness with the artistic heritage of the 17th century and his zeal as an art collector. On the basis of a thorough study of the monuments in Carniola, Styria and the Littoral, it will be possible, on the one hand, to establish regional variants, investigate key monuments and significant artists and, on the other, to prepare an overall survey of art from the 17th to the 20th century on the Slovenian territory. The self-evident fact that Slovenian artistic past can no longer be studied in Slovenia alone, in isolation from the art of our European neioghbours, has not been sufficiently taken into account in "practical" research, although it is crucial in the establishing and recognizing of Slovenian identity. Therefore this will be the principal methodological approach of the researches. Because the knowledge about the formal characteristics of the monuments is not sufficient, but it is also necessary to comprehend and highlight their spiritual background and culturo-historical circumstances of their origin, an important share in the research work of the programme group will be the study of archival documents and literary sources and critical publication of sources for art history.
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