Dematerialization in Religious Art

Online e in presenza

Fondazione Bruno Kessler - Polo delle Scienze Umane e sociali
Aula piccola

Online e in presenza

Fondazione Bruno Kessler - Polo delle Scienze Umane e sociali
Aula piccola

FBK-ISR International Seminar 2023

In 1901, the occultists and theosophists Annie Besant and Charles Leadbeater wrote: “As knowledge increases, the attitude of science towards the things of the invisible world is undergoing considerable modification.” At the end of the 19th century, scientific discoveries opened the gaze to invisible and immaterial aspects of reality; for example, when the English engineer W. C. Röntgen discovered x-rays in 1895, he unlocked the door of a world that had remained inaccessible until then. On the one hand, scientific discoveries influenced new religious movements and spiritualities rising in that epoch, which perceived that their concepts of multiple levels of reality could finally be scientifically explained. On the other hand, many artists were interested and involved, at different levels, in those new spiritual and religious movements, in particular Theosophical currents. The overlapping of spiritualities, art and science results in a particular cultural atmosphere, which gave rise to a “dematerialization” trend in art.

Scientific coordination:
Massimo Leone, Director FBK-ISR


Cycle of seminars: “(Dis)Embodiment in Religion and Ethics”


The presentation will be in-person in the FBK Aula Piccola while seats last and online

Registration by January 30, 2023 at 8:00 a.m. is required in order to arrange the connection



Affresco di Schweitzer


  • Samanta VIZIALE - Speaker
    University of Turin and University of Copenhagen
    Samanta Viziale is a PhD student in Semiotics and Media at the University of Turin and the University of Copenhagen. In 2016, she graduated in Painting at the Academy of Fine Arts in Cuneo; two years later, she graduated in Cultural Anthropology and Ethnology at the University of Turin with a thesis on the relationship between visual arts and sacredness. In 2020 she deepened the study of the relationship between art, anthropology, and ontology at the Centro em Rede de Investigação em Antropologia e Ontologia of Lisbon. Her main research areas are anthropology of art and religions, cultural and visual semiotics, and esotericism. Recent publications include: “Oltre i Simboli: Prospettiva Teosofica sul Simbolismo nell'Arte e nella Vita” (2022), an article published in Wunderkammer, the journal of the Brera Academy of Fine Art.


Registration to this event is mandatory.

Registration closed on 29/01/2023.



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