Cutting-Edge Research
in Kyoto University


Longing for Curiosity, Novelty, and Preciousness Paintings on Special Supports in Sixteenth-Century Europe.

Albrecht Durer, The Man of Sorrows,
ca. 1496, Staatliche Kunsthalle,
Karlsruhe (photo: Dr. Kayo Hirakawa)

The standard form of painting in European art, that is, oil painting on wood panels or canvas, was established in the late sixteenth century. Some artists, however, went against the stream and ambitiously used stone, metal, or silk as painting supports. The aim of my study is to clarify how paintings on special supports were invented and widely spread in sixteenth-century Europe. During my research stay at Trier University, I focused especially on the pioneering experiments with painting supports by the German Renaissance painter Albrecht Durer. Trier, a border city between Germany and Luxembourg, was an ideal location for field research in Northern Europe. Moreover, I became acquainted with many talented researchers in the Social History of the Artist Research Center at Trier University. The professional network I developed there was the most valuable outcome of my stay.

Kayo Hirakawa, PhD
Associate Professor,
Graduate School of Letters