Basic information
Original title:
Likovna umetnost med cenzuro in propagando od srednjega veka do konca prve svetovne vojne
Researchers involved:
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1 June 2017–31 May 2020
L7-8282 (B)

This interdisciplinary applicative project focuses on less researched fields of propaganda and censorship in art from the Middle Ages to the end of World War I, i.e., a time when the territory of Slovenia was part of the Habsburg monarchy. The main research question that we pose is how propaganda and censorship influenced art in the Habsburg Empire and its reception. The question will be studied from two points of view; from the point of view of the capital (Vienna, as well as Graz in the Early Modern Period), and the Habsburg provinces (Carniola and Styria).

The scientific basis of the project presents the fact that throughout history, art and politics (as well as ideology) were closely connected through censorship and propaganda. Visual means enable an influence on the largest segment of the population and a relation to the other, which is why the task of the proposed project is to analyse the art of the Habsburg monarchy from two points of view, which are, on a Central European scale, relatively poorly researched; they represent a great desiderate especially for the Slovenian area.

The methodological basis of the proposed interdisciplinary project presents the hypothesis that thorough art historical research of any field cannot be carried out without historical context. Owing to the relatively modest historical research of censorship and propaganda in the Habsburg monarchy, this project is designed to be interdisciplinary, as a link between historiography and art history. The research of propaganda and censorship in art of the Habsburg monarchy will be focused on three periods: the Middle Ages, the Early Modern Period and the long 19th century. Since this will be the first study of this topic in the territory of Slovenia, we will focus on chosen case studies from the mentioned periods in accordance with the project group members.

Research of the Middle Ages will be focused on the Counts of Cilli, besides the Habsburgs the most important noble family that ruled over a large part of the Slovenian territory in the Middle Ages and presented an important competition to the Habsburgs, also by using art (art patronage, dynastic worshipping of saints etc.).

In the scope of researching a large field of propaganda and censorship in the Early Modern Period, two means will be highlighted, portraits (sculptural and painting) and graphics, especially political leaflets. The project group will examine the propaganda role of art in the times of the Reformation and Counter-Reformation, the Turkish sieges, the strengthening of the Emperor’s Absolutism, as well as in relation to other (religious) communities (Jews, Turks, Protestants).

In the time of the long 19th century, censorship as well as propaganda flourished. Research of the long 19th century will be focused on two aspects: propaganda in service of the awakening nations (especially an affirmation of individual nations through architecture), and World War I, which represents the end of a period, as well as the peak of censorship and propaganda during the period of war absolutism.

Since we are aware of the importance of disseminating all acquired knowledge, the project has been designed applicatorily, especially for the period of World War I, on the topic of which an exhibition will be organized (with the help of the digital humanities).

The project group consists of renowned and post-doctoral researchers from the Department of Art History of the Faculty of Arts, University of Maribor, France Stele Institute of Art History and the Milko Kos Historical Institute ZRC SAZU.

The research results will be published as original scientific studies, and will be presented to the wider public through an exhibition, lectures and conferences.

  • Internal workshop of the project group, 6 June 2018, Maribor, Faculty of Arts, University of Maribor, Lecture room FF 2.13 (participants: Franci Lazarini, Gorazd Bence, Miha Kosi, Tina Košak, Barbara Murovec, Mija Oter Gorenčič, Polona Vidmar, Barbara Vodopivec)
  • Workshop of the project group, 14 June 2019, Maribor, Faculty of Arts, University of Maribor, Lecture room FF 2.13  (participants: Franci Lazarini, Gorazd Bence, Tina Košak, Vesna Krmelj, Barbara Murovec, Mija Oter Gorenčič, Petra Svoljšak, Polona Vidmar, Barbara Vodopivec)


Funded by

The research project Visual Arts between Censorship and Propaganda from the Middle Ages to the end of World War 1 (L7-8282 B