Before the first purpose-designed exhibition spaces and painting exhibitions emerged, showing art was mainly related to the habit of dressing up spaces for political commemorations, religious festivals, and marketing strategies. Palaces, cloisters, façades, squares, and shops became temporary and privileged venues for art display, where sociability was performed, and the idea of exhibition developed.
What were those places and events? What aesthetic, cultural, social and political discourses intersected with the early idea of exhibition space? How did displaying art shape a new vocabulary within these events, and conversely, how have these occasions conditioned exhibiting practices?
This book traces the origins of the exhibition space by studying its visual and written imagery in the early modern period. It reconsiders events and habits that contributed to shaping the imagery of the exhibition space, and to defining exhibition-making practices, exploring micro-histories and long-term changes.