Déborah Blocker

Associate Professor Fellow
Déborah Blocker Image

Déborah Blocker’s current book project forms part of her broader work to shed critical light on the understandings of art that currently prevail in the West by historicizing the processes through which they rose to prominence in early modern Europe (1550-1850).  Provisionally entitled “The Freedom to Enjoy: Art, Knowledge and Politics amid the Alterati of Florence (1569-ca. 1625),” Blocker’s book traces the development of an aesthetics of leisurely enjoyment within one of the major Florentine academies of the late 16th century, the Accademia degli Alterati. In this book, Blocker examines how the social and political circumstances of the Alterati prompted them to develop novel understandings of the nature and social function of artistic practices, as well as innovative conceptions of how art is to be enjoyed. The book also asks how, from being marginal and subversive, these hedonistic understandings of art progressively became acceptable and even widespread.