HomeFake news. Counterfeit art and information: the manipulation of reality between artistic production and historical-critical investigation

HomeFake news. Counterfeit art and information: the manipulation of reality between artistic production and historical-critical investigation

Fake news. Counterfeit art and information: the manipulation of reality between artistic production and historical-critical investigation

«Fake news». L’arte e l’informazione contraffatta: la manipolazione della realtà tra produzione artistica e indagine storico-critica

« Fake news ». L’art et l’information : contrefaire la réalité, entre production artistique et enquête historique

VII giornata di studi dottorali del Rome Art History Network (RAHN)

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Published on Thursday, March 07, 2019


Il tema delle fake news è di grande attualità e rilevanza per i mezzi e i fini con cui queste vengono messe in circolazione: esse hanno il potere di alterare la realtà e diffondere notizie prive di fondamento. Invero, la manipolazione delle notizie e delle immagini è sempre stata presente nelle discipline umanistiche, mossa da intenti encomiastici, sociologici o politici. La giornata dottorale del 2019 vuole indagare la modalità in cui l’alterazione del messaggio è stata assunta come verità nella storia dell’arte. Si intende analizzare l’iter del processo artistico e la conseguente creazione delle fake news: così, dall’idea della committenza si passa all’elaborazione dell’artista fino ad arrivare alla ricezione del pubblico. L’oggetto artistico diventa, dunque, veicolo di una realtà alterata. Spaziando dall’antichità al contemporaneo, il convegno vuole mettere in risalto le diverse metodologie impiegate dai dottorandi per delegittimare le fake news nella storia dell’arte.



The expression ‘fake news’, created in the 21st century, is both of great relevance and resonance: fake news have the power to alter reality and spread information on a large scale.

The post-truth definition, coined in 2016 and admitted in the Oxford English Dictionary, offers a fitting description of how, by exploiting common discontent, a piece of news is perceived and accepted as true by the public, based exclusively on emotions and without a sound critical analysis.

The concept of fake news distorts the notions of truth and falsehood: it undermines users, including scholars, who are forced to investigate and sift with greater scientific acumen existing primary sources.

Over time historians of art and architecture have learnt to deal with ‘fake news' as historical and artistic assets have often been manipulated to communicate an altered truth.

Ingres’ painting François Ier reçoit les derniers soupirs de Leonardo de Vinci is a clear example of this practice. The painter depicts the King at Leonardo’s bedside - a well-crafted lie given that the painter died far from the royal court. This false historicized iconography, based on the inexact information reported by Vasari in his Lives, has now had the effect of spreading this common belief.

Ranging from antiquity to the contemporary age, the 2019 Doctoral Study Day intends to analyse the re-elaboration of historical data in the artistic process. This conference will cover the patron’s requests to the artist's work up to the reception by the public - as well as the methodology used by art and architecture historians to study such constructed and sometimes counterfeited truths.

Conference Topics

We are accepting papers that engage with these topics, possible themes include but are not limited to:

  • consciousness or non-awareness of fake news by users;
  • manipulation and intentionality of the represented subject;
  • concept of "false" from the past to the contemporary;
  • self-certification and purposes;
  • historical representation, between propaganda and preparation;
  • terminology relating to counterfeiting;
  • scientific investigation methodology.

Submission guidelines

We invite candidates to submit 15/20-minute papers that, by means of case studies or theoretical observations, point to the centre of this methodological practice. We accept proposals in English, Italian and French, papers may be delivered in the above-mentioned languages.

Proposals must be submitted in abstract form (up to 700 characters max.) together with a short CV (700 characters max.) to the following email: rahn.giornatadottorale@gmail.com

Deadline: 27th of March 2019

Previous Editions

  • Digital Humanities’ per la pratica accademica e curatoriale (23rd-24th may 2018);
  • ‘In situ / Ex situ’. L’arte di esporre l’arte: relazioni nel contesto spaziale tra arte e architettura (27th-28th april 2017);
  • Now or (n)ever’. I tempi dell’opera: temi, teorie e metodi nella storia dell’arte (28th-29th april 2016);
  • Tra assenza e presenza: opere perdute e frammentarie (19th-20th march 2015);
  • Sopravvalutata, sacrosanta, scandalosa? La figura dell’artista nella storia dell’arte oggi (3rd-4th april 2014);
  • La storia dell’arte tra scienza e dilettantismo. Metodi e percorsi (24th april 2012).

Scientific Committee

  • Camilla Ceccotti (Sapienza – Università di Roma and Sorbonne Université/RAHN)
  • Pauline Lafille (EPHE/Académie de France à Rome – Villa Médicis)
  • Ginevra Odone (Université de Lorraine and Sapienza – Università di Roma/RAHN)
  • Francesca Parrilla (University of Notre Dame Rome Global Gateway/RAHN)
  • Patrizia Celli (Académie de France à Rome – Villa Médicis)
  • Ariane Varela Braga (Zürich Universität/RAHN).

Organisation Committe

  • Pauline Lafille
  • Ginevra Odone
  • Camilla Ceccotti.


  • Palazzo Firenze - Piazza di Firenze
    Rome, Italian Republic (00186)


  • Wednesday, March 27, 2019


  • art, architecture, fake news


  • Ginerva Odone
    courriel : rahn [dot] giornatadottorale [at] gmail [dot] com

Reference Urls

Information source

  • Ginevra Odone
    courriel : rahn [dot] giornatadottorale [at] gmail [dot] com


CC0-1.0 This announcement is licensed under the terms of Creative Commons CC0 1.0 Universal.

To cite this announcement

« Fake news. Counterfeit art and information: the manipulation of reality between artistic production and historical-critical investigation », Call for papers, Calenda, Published on Thursday, March 07, 2019, https://doi.org/10.58079/127t

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