Call for Papers


From Paolo Giovio to Johannes Latomus. Intermediality and intertextuality in the Elogia virorum literis illustrium


General information:

As part of our FWF-project “The verse epitaphs in Paolo Giovios Elogia virorum literis illustrium. Poetic topic and the context of the book”, we are planning a corresponding trilingual (English, Italian, German) conference (in person with hybrid option) to be held in Vienna on March 23 and 24, 2023, including the subsequent publication of conference proceedings. For those who choose to attend in person we will be able to provide accomodation. We cordially invite you to submit a provisional title for a contribution in English, Italian or German. In order to avoid topical overlaps, we would ask that you to submit your title by July 10, 2022.


Topical introduction:

In his villa on Lake Como, the Italian humanist Paolo Giovio (1483-1552), pioneer of modern museum work and museum education, collected portraits of famous literary figures, rulers and artists. Below the heads were Latin parchments with obituaries composed by Giovio himself, frequently concluded with fictitious tomb inscriptions composed by others in verse. Giovio published these texts in the Elogies of Famous Literary Figures (1546) and Elogies of Famous Military Figures (1551). The verses, which have been so far neglected in research, reach the highest level of literary complexity among Giovio’s early modern literary figures, simply because reference is often cleverly made to prominent texts from ancient Roman literature and to the work of those featured in the portraits, i.e. what appears to be biographical information, motives, language, style or verse construction. The outstanding success of the verse epitaphs of writers is evident in that within the second edition of Giovio’s Elogies of Famous Literary Figures (1557) – and the other 16th century prints – there are numerous other examples from the Flemish philologist Johannes Latomus (1523-1578). Our conference intends to focus on the ways in which the character of the literary figures is co-constructed by interlacing intermedial (portrait, prose biography, poems originally added by Giovio, poems later added by Latomus) and intertextual (ancient, medieval and contemporary literature as well as relative localization in the book) cues creating a collective aesthetic effect.

Possible topics to be addressed specifically may include:

- Giovio’s collection in the context of the upsurge of collecting and portrait books in the early Renaissance.
- The relationship between picture and text as well as between texts of different genres, esp. in character portrayal.
- The epigram as a means of characterising scholars and authors.
- Realism or tendentiousness of the character portrayals.
- Ways of portraying the character in a negative or positive way.
- Detailed analyses of how biography and poems work together to portray the character of a specific literary figure or different groups of literary figures (e.g. certain professions or nationalities).
- Detailed analyses of individual literary figures, authors, poems or groups of poems.

Please also consider the 1577 print edition here:


A non exhaustive list of relevant literature:

Agosti, B., Paolo Giovio: Uno storico lombardo nella cultura artistica del Cinquecento, Firenze 2008.

Baltas, M.: Kollegen, Konkurrenten, Briten und Griechen. Gruppierungen in Paolo Giovios Elogia virorum literis illustrium, in preparation.

Baltas, M.: Litterae et bellica virtus. Eine vergleichende Betrachtung von Paolo Giovios Elogia bezüglich Aufbau und Personal, in preparation.

Baltas, M.: Death, dying and other transitions in Paolo Giovio’s Elogia virorum literis illustrium, in: V. Brandis, J. L. de Jong & R. Seidel (edd.): Funerary Inscriptions in Early Modern Europe, Leiden/Boston, in preparation.

Cannata, N., Giorgio Vasari, Paolo Giovio, Portrait Collections and the Rhetorics of Images, in: M. Wellington Gahtan (ed.): Giorgio Vasari and the Birth of the Museum, Farnham/Surrey 2014, 67-79.

Caruso, C., Paolo Giovio, Ritratti degli uomini illustri, Palermo 1999.

Casini, T., Ritratti parlanti. Collezionismo e biografie illustrate nei secoli xvi e xviii, Firenze 2004.

Gouwens, K. (ed./trans.), Paolo Giovio, Portraits of Famous Men — Elogia veris clarorum virorum imaginibus apposita, under review.

Klinger, L. S., The Portrait Collection of Paolo Giovio, Diss. Princeton 1991.

Klinger Aleci, L., Images of Identity. Italian Portrait Collections of the Fifteenth and Sixteenth Centuries, in: N. Mann, L. Syson (edd.): The Image of the Individual. Portraits in the Renaissance, London 1998, 67-79, 204-213.

Maffei, S., „Spiranti fattezze dei volti“. Paolo Giovio e la descrizione degli uomini illustri dal Museo agli Elogia, in: G. Venturi, M. Farnetti (edd.): Ecfrasi. Modelli ed esempi fra Medioevo e Rinascimento, 2 vols., Roma 2004, 227-268.

Maffei, S., Lo spazio delle parole. Gli Elogia e il Museo di Paolo Giovio tra innovazione e tradizione, in: S. Maffei, F. Minonzio, C. Sodini (edd.): Sperimentalismo e dimensione europea della cultura di Paolo Giovio, Como 2007, 9-29.

Minonzio, F., Studi gioviani: Scienza, filosofia e letteratura nell’opera di Paolo Giovio, 2 vols., Como 2002.

Minonzio, F. (ed./trans./com.), Paolo Giovio, Elogi degli uomini illustri, Torino 2006.

Minonzio, F., Il Museo di Giovio e la galleria degli uomini illustri, in: E. Carrara, S. Ginzburg (edd.): Testi, immagini e filologia nel XVI secolo, Pisa 2007, 77-146.

Pelc, M., Illustrium imagines. Das Porträtbuch der Renaissance, Leiden/Boston/Köln 2002.

Pomian, K., Paolo Giovio, museum et la préhistoire des Offices, in: A. Natali, A. Nova, M. Rossi (Hg.): La Tribuna del Principe: storia, constesto, restauro, Firenze, Milano, 2014, 230-237.

Price Zimmermann, T.C., Paolo Giovio. The Historian and the Crisis of Sixteenth-Century Italy, Princeton 1995.

Price Zimmermann, T.C., Paolo Giovio and the Rhetoric of Individuality, in: T.F. Mayer, D.R. Woolf (edd.): The rhetorics of life-writing in early modern Europe, Forms of biography from Cassandra Fedele to Louis XIV, Ann Arbor 1995, 39-62.

Rajic, S.: Die Gedichte des Johannes Latomus in Paolo Giovios Elogia virorum literis illustrium. Eine vergleichende Betrachtung, in preparation.

Rajic, S.: Johannes Latomus‘ art of writing an epitaph: three examples, in: V. Brandis, J. L. de Jong & R. Seidel (edd.): Funerary Inscriptions in Early Modern Europe, Leiden/Boston, in preparation.

Rave, P.O., Paolo Giovio und die Bildnisvitenbücher des Humanismus, Jahrbuch der Berliner Museen 1, 1959, 119-154.

Rave, P.O., Das Museo Giovio zu Como, Miscellanea Bibliothecae Hertzianae, München 1961, 275-284.

Völkel, M., Die Wahrheit zeigt viele Gesichter. Der Historiker, Sammler und Satiriker Paolo Giovio (1486-1552) und sein Porträt Roms in der Hochrenaissance, Basel 1999.

Wulfram, H.: Das schiefe Bild Poggio Bracciolinis in Paolo Giovios Elogia virorum literis illustrium, in: P. Kuon (ed.): Die Kunst des Urteils in und über Literatur und Kunst, Heidelberg 2022, 73-95.

Wulfram, H.: Leon Battista Alberti negli Elogia virorum litteris illustrium di Paolo Giovio, in: F. Meroi, M. Paoli (edd.): L'opera e il pensiero di Leon Battista Alberti, in preparation.

Contact information:

Univ.-Prof. Dr. Hartmut Wulfram
Institut für Klassische Philologie, Mittel- und Neulatein
Universität Wien
Universitätsring 1
1010 Wien

Mag. Matthias Adrian Baltas, BA
Institut für Klassische Philologie, Mittel- und Neulatein
Universität Wien
Universitätsring 1
1010 Wien

Mag.a Snezana Rajic, BA
Institut für Klassische Philologie, Mittel- und Neulatein
Universität Wien
Universitätsring 1
1010 Wien

We ask you to address any further questions to:

Mag. Matthias Adrian Baltas, BA