Dr. Jana Graul
Photo: Enrico Fontolan
Jana Graul is an art historian, specialized in Early Modern European Art with a focus on Italy, art theory, on the ethics of the artist and the arts and on artistic self-representation and construction of identity.
She studied in Florence, Siena and Jena, where she earned her M.A. with a thesis on Daniele da Volterra’s Orsini Chapel in Trinità dei Monti in Rome. From 2006 to 2009 and 2014 to 2015 she was research assistant in the Department of Prof. Alessandro Nova at the KHI in Florence. There she worked among others on the project Vasaris Welten, a German commented edition of Vasaris Lifes (published by Wagenbach). From 2009 to 2013 she was doctoral scholarship holder at the KHI and the Gerda-Henkel-Stiftung. Jana received other grants and fellowships from DAAD, the EU, Istituto Nazionale di Studi sul Rinascimento in Florence and Deutsches Studienzentrum in Venice and collaborated with museums such as Gabinetto Disegni e Stampe degli Uffizi and Galleria Palatina (Florence), Musée du Louvre (Paris), Scuderie del Quirinale (Rome) and Graphische Sammlung ETH (Zürich).
From November 2019 to May 2020 she was postdoctoral collaborator in the research group BildEvidenz, Freie Universität Berlin. In March 2020 Jana obtained her doctorate at the Goethe-Universität Frankfurt, with a research on envy as ‘professional vice’ of early modern artists in Europe, entitled: „Invidia als Künstlerlaster. Neid in Kunst und Kunstliteratur der Frühen Neuzeit“, awarded with the Publication Prize of the Bibliotheca Hertziana, the Promotionspreis of the Benvenuto Cellini-Society Frankfurt/Main and the Hans-Janssen-Preis of the Akademie der Wissenschaften Göttingen. From June to August 2020 Jana was Visiting Fellow at the Bibliotheca Hertziana in Rome, where she prepared the publication of her book on artists envy (which will appear in spring 2021 at Hirmer, Munich).
Currently Jana is working on the topics such as art and curative power and artistic envy and violence; she also participates at the DFG project Leonardo da Vinci. Das Buch von der Malerei.
- Invidia als Künstlerlaster. Neid in Kunst und Kunstliteratur der Frühen Neuzeit, München 2021 (= Römische Studien der Bibliotheca Hertziana) – in preparation (published in spring/summer 2021).
- „Particolare vizio de’ Professori di Queste Nostre Arti: On the Concept on Envy in Vasaris’s Vite”, in: I Tatti Studies in the Renaissance 18,1 (2015), pp. 1-36.
- „Il Ligozzi dei cani mordaci: l’Invidia e la serie dei vizi capitali”, in: Jacopo Ligozzi ‘pittore universalissimo’ (exhibition catalogue), ed. by Alessandro Cecchi and Marzia Faietti, Florenz 2014, pp. 185-197.
- „Pittori non con tutto il cuore. Artitsi-musicisti nelle Vite di Vasari“, in: Il dolce potere delle corde. Orfeo, Apollo, Arione e David fra Quattrocento e Cinquecento (exhibition catalogue), ed. by Susanne Pollack , Florenz 2012, pp. 79-81.
- „‚Tanto lontano da ogni virtù’. Zu Konkurrenz, Neid und falscher Freundschaft in Vasaris Vita des Andrea del Castagno und Domenico Veneziano“, in: kunsttexte.de 1 (2012), 40 pages.
- Einleitungs- und Kommentartexte zu: „Das Leben des Filippo Lippi“, „Das Leben des Pesello und Pesellino“ and „Das Leben des Andrea del Castagno und Domenico Veneziano“, in: Giorgio Vasari. Das Leben des Filippo Lippi, des Pesello und Pesellino, des Andrea del Castagno und Domenico Veneziano und des Fra Angelico, ed. by Jana Graul (together with Heiko Damm), Berlin 2011, pp. 9-13, 38-40, 44-51, 105-191.
- „An der Schwelle zur Malerei. Farbige Träger in der Florentiner Zeichenpraxis bis 1500“, in: Marburger Jahrbuch für Kunstwissenschaft 37 (2010), pp. 73-119.
- „’fece per suo capriccio, e quasi per sua defensione’. I due bassorilievi in stucco di Daniele da Volterra per la Cappella Orsini”, in: Prospettiva 134-135 (2009 (2010)), pp. 141-156.
- „Il principio e la porta del colorire’. Zur Rolle farbiger Fonds in der Florentiner Zeichnung des 14. und 15. Jahrhunderts“, in: Le tecniche del disegno rinascimentale. Dai materiali allo stile, Mitteilungen des Kunsthistorischen Instituts in Florenz 52,2-3 (2008 (2010)), pp. 6-22.
Research project: The ‘power’ of virtuous art: concepts of force in early modern allegorical images of envy among artists
The project examines a series of allegorical artworks from the 15th to the 17th century that lay on ideas of image magic and address the artist’s ‘occupational vice’ of envy. I argue that these images postulate to be, because of their virtus and ars, able not only to ward off the looks of evil and jealous viewers and the disasters and diseases they cause, but also to 'fascinate' them, so that they are overwhelmed and incapacitated, at best freezing in admiration.
Research results: The 'punch' of virtuous art: concepts of power in early modern allegories of artist’s envy
Following on from my study on invidia as an artist's vice in the early modern period, which focuses, among other things, on the special role of envy in the construction of artistic identity and the powerful field of reference of creativity, morality and art, the research project on the 'striking power' of virtuous art is dedicated to the relationship between artist's envy, virtus and violence, and art and healing power.
I used the months in the research group on the one hand to deal with figurations of artist's illness and the ideas inherent in them about the creative potential of artistic illness as well as about a healing power of art. Partial results were presented at the conference Kunst und Gebrechen at the University of Salzburg in November 2020 and will be published later this year in the associated conference volume (series of publications of the programme area Figurationen des Übergangs).
On the other hand, I have examined a number of works that work with magical notions, some of which postulate that the images, due to their virtus and ars, are capable not only of warding off the gaze of envious viewers and the mischief and illnesses they trigger, but also, for their part, of 'fascinating' their counterparts so that they are overwhelmed and incapacitated, in the best case, to freeze in admiration. From here, I turn my attention to a group of allegorical images that visualize artist-virtus, the artistic claim to victory as well as preservation from the 'professional vice' of envy in the form of violent virtue personifications. A longer essay is planned for publication in 2022.