Antiquity through medieval eyes : the appropriation of antique art in the Trecento
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This thesis discusses the appropriation of antique art in Italy during the fourteenth century. In order to do that, it considers the surviving antiquities in late medieval Italian cities and examines their reception and perception by contemporary authors and artists. Following the introductory chapter, which sets out the aims of the thesis and provides a brief historical background of the period, this study is divided in two parts. Part I examines the awareness of ancient art in the Trecento by looking at late-medieval Italian texts. After an introduction of the relevant texts and a presentation of the biographical background of their authors, the chapters explore the reliability of the writers, their references to antique art and their particular interests towards antique art. They also examine the textual evidence on attitudes towards antiquity, contrasting the different approaches of intellectual and popular audiences, and discuss a number of surviving antique works that were placed in public places and were charged with ideological intent, meaning and power. Part II approaches the subject of the appropriation of antique art in the Trecento from a different angle and deals with the reaction of artists toward ancient art. It discusses the emergence of a new iconography that reflects themes arising from encounters with classical literary texts, explores instances of antique sculpture portrayed in fourteenth-century paintings, and examines the antique sources of various Trecento motifs and compositions. The Appendix is a detailed list of antique works of art that were visible in Trecento Italy, along with a discussion of their history and the relevant primary and secondary bibliography.
Thesis, PhD Doctor of Philosophy
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Embargo Date: 2020-07-09
Embargo Reason: Thesis restricted in accordance with University regulations. Electronic copy restricted until 9th July 2020, pending formal approval
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