Apr 16

15-16 April 2015: Seminar of the research team – Paris

This seminar comes at a decisive moment for the project, while the research collaboration with the Trier Center for Digital Humanities (University of Trier, Germany), set up to develop the digital tool, is being finalized. This important step forward for the project makes it possible to consider the reading grid elaborated during the first phase of research and to ensure that the final version corresponds to both our scientific goals and technical requirements. All items are thoroughly reviewed and clarified to make sure that all documents are harmonized as much as possible at the time of data capture, scheduled for autumn 2015. This step is particularly important as part of the team will leave the project at the end of the month of September, leaving it to the rest of the team to integrate their data into the input tool.

Within this context, Ms. Claudine Moulin, professor of historical linguistics at the University of Trier, and Director of the Trier Center for Digital Humanities, joins the team for a collaborative working session. This session helps to decide on pending issues. The first point that is addressed is the apparent complexity of the system of lexical fields (synonyms and antonyms), conceptual fields (categorization of terms by means of specific concepts) and fields of application (a term which, according to its employment, applies specifically to one or several concepts) as it was constructed during the last seminar in November. These three groups will make it possible to create cross-references between different terms in the database. After weeks of tests on different texts, only the lexical and conceptual fields are retained. Lexical fields will enable clusters of terms according to their meaning, while the conceptual fields will report clusters of terms around fundamental concepts. The list of these conceptual fields – which will be defined from the text’s quotation to give the most accurate picture possible of the various senses of each concept – is divided into ten major categories: “materiality of the work” (drawing, colours, print technique, painting technique, tools), the “conception of the painting” (design/drawing, colour, lighting, composition), “the story and the figure” (grouping, body, fabric and folds, proportion, expression of passions, action and posture), “manner, style, taste” (school, execution and hand), “painting, picture, image” (definition of painting, paragon), “subject and genre” (subject and choice, ornament, history painting, portrait, genre painting, landscape painting, still life painting, noctural scene), “the artist” (qualities, apprenticeship, rules and basic principles), “the amateur, the connoisseur and the curious” (knowledge, judgment, perception and view, copy and original), “pictorial effect “(perspective, trompe-l’oeil, touch, properties of the colours, properties of the design, properties of the lighting, harmony, whole-together, property), and “aesthetical concepts” (beauty, grace and perfection, marvellous and sublime, grandeur and nobility, genius, antique, nature imitation and truth, suitability and decorum).

A second point in the meeting is the study of translations of the various texts in the corpus, which represents a very important task for the project team. It is still necessary to highlight transfers or changes of terms and meanings, without generating too much work for the team, considering the project’s strict deadline. It is therefore decided to first target the translations of terms, without reviewing the research of extracts and quotation transcription. Each translation will nevertheless be the subject of a separate general presentation of the book and of its contextualization and editions.

Finally, after the first two years of the project, we will now focus on the academic output. The international symposium held within the context of the project is beginning to take shape: the fields of study are introduced by the project investigator and validated by the whole team and by the scientific committee. The schedule for the publication of the call for papers and of selections is also fixed. In parallel, the researchers are preparing several articles and synthesis on topics that emerged in the course of their research, and which should be published in early 2016.