Natalie Zemon Davis Memorial Lectures 2024

March 20, 2024

March 13, 14 and 18 saw our Natalie Zemon Davis Memorial Lecture Series for 2024. Ulinka Rublack from the University of Cambridge discussed clothing in Dürer’s paintings and correspondence, with the series culminating in a roundtable in memory of the late Natalie Zemon Davis.


The first of Prof. Rublack’s lectures was given at Vienna’s Albertina Museum, in the former palace’s state rooms. The lecture discussed Dürer’s presentation of himself in early Venetian paintings and his letters to his humanist friend back in Nuremberg. It argued that Dürer’s cloak (including the image of it in his art, descriptions in his letters and modern reconstructions) reflected his identity as a northern European artist during his early life in Venice. In early modern Europe, cloaks were an expression of social identity allowing the wearer to conceal or display according to their preference. The lecture was followed by a wine reception on the Albertina's terrace, overlooking the Burgarten and the Kunsthistorisches Museum.


The following day, Prof. Rublack moved onto Dürer’s later life and his presentation of himself as an established artist. She widened the scope of her discussion to include the clothing of his household, as well as a global perspective on the trade in luxury goods. Questions from CEU faculty and students greatly enhanced the subsequent discussion.


The final event in the series was a roundtable in memory of Natalie Zemon Davis. Gábor Klaniczay chaired the discussion, where Prof. Rublack, Lyndal Roper, Regius Chair of History at the University of Oxford, Melanie Newton from University of Toronto, and István Rév from the Open Society Archives discussed the great value Natalie brought to their careers and lives. The roundtable was attended by members of Natalie’s family, alongside CEU faculty and students, and members of the public.