Odoardo Fialetti (1573-c.1638): the interrelation of Venetian art and anatomy, and his importance in England
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Bolognese artist Odoardo Fialetti (1573 – c.1638) is a fascinating figure upon which curiously little work has been done. Though he is a rarely discussed pupil of Tintoretto, Fialetti’s oeuvre is vast (some 55 known paintings and approximately 450 prints) and incredibly diverse. His work encompasses religious subjects, portraits, books on drawing and sport, maps, and illustration for treatises on city defences, literary texts, and anatomy. His work was influential for several hundred years after his death, not only in Venice and northern Italy, but also in France where his designs were used as decoration on faïence produced at Nevers, and England, where his paintings were much admired at court. Fialetti’s close association with Sir Henry Wotton, and the careful copy of his drawing book made by Alexander Browne in the mid-seventeenth century, attest to his impact on the formation of an Italianate sensibility in the appreciation of the visual arts in Early Modern England. In the realm of science, Fialetti’s influence can be deduced from his drawings of curiously animated cadavers in detailed landscapes to those of future generations of anatomists and illustrators throughout Europe. Because of the diverse associations and projects throughout his career, the study of Fialetti is inherently interdisciplinary, encompassing the history of art, history of science and history of the Venetian book trade, as well as crossing geographical boundaries in linking Venetian art and English tastes of the late renaissance and early baroque. Through examination of his extant oeuvre, as well as discussion of lost work, I aim to recognise Fialetti’s status as an artist responding to contemporary artistic debates (disegno versus colorito), a changing cultural climate and the burgeoning importance of the printed medium.
Thesis, PhD Doctor of Philosophy
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