Presentation Details

The Second International Conference on New Directions in the Humanities

Renaissance and Baroque Academies of Painting as Prototype Professions

Prof. David Sciulli.

The sociology of professions has been controversial since its inception in the 1930s, and it remains controversial today. We propose that by considering a pivotal, unambiguous case of occupational change on the Continent, we disrupt and redirect the eight decades-long trajectory of the sociology of professions. We do so by bringing the humanities centrally into the sociology of professions for the first time. Our historical case is the rise of visual academies first in Florence in 1563 (Accademia del Disegno) and Rome in 1593 (Accademia di San Luca), and then most decisively in Paris in 1648 (Academie Royale de Peinture et de Sculpture). We propose that the narrative painters who became accademici in Italy and academiciens in Paris were the first practitioners in any field of activity to link advanced liberal (that is, theoretical) instruction to the delivery of occupational services that included a manual component.


Prof. David Sciulli  (United States)
Professor of Sociology
Department of Sociology
Texas A&M University

Professor Sciulli is the author of Corporate Power in Civil Society (NYU Press 2001), Corporations v. the Court (Lynne Reinner 1999) and Theory of Societal Constitutionalism (Cambridge 1992).

  • Academies of Painting
  • Professions
Person as Subject
  • Colbert, Jean-Baptiste LeBrun, Charles

(30 min. Conference Paper, English)