Theses - History of Art


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    Fashion, Art and the Early Modern Court, Frans Pourbus the Younger (1569 - 1622)
    Malusà, Alessandro Nicola
    Working at the turn of the seventeenth century, the painter Frans Pourbus the Younger (1569-1622) portrayed several members of Europe’s courtly societies. His crisp and intricate portraits responded to the demand for highly symbolic and representational images that intertwined politics, social economics, and notions of status and beauty. Originating from a family of Netherlandish artists his eye was particularly attuned to the representation of his sitters’ dress. This thesis argues that Pourbus the Younger’s professional trajectory, beginning in the mercantile hub of Antwerp and traversing employment at the courts of Brussels, Mantua, and Paris, traces the role of the portraitist in mediating the social capital of his clients by capturing their manner of dress in a highly detailed way that evoked veracity. The research focuses on works from his employment at the courts of Mantua and Paris. Working for Vincenzo I Gonzaga, Duke of Mantua, Pourbus traveled extensively to foreign courts to execute portraits that fostered inter-dynastic alliances involving the Gonzaga. Thus, by portraying foreign princes, Pourbus performed the role of artistic ambassador; his diplomatic representation both reflected Vincenzo Gonzaga’s shrewd artistic patronage and lofty political ambitions. Pourbus’ portraits of the Gonzaga family captured their sumptuous sartorial practices and mirrored their extravagant expenditure on attire. The Gonzagas’ consumption of princely wares and art was recorded in the rich correspondence exchanged between Mantua and its broad network of ambassadors, agents and representatives, of which Pourbus himself was part. Pourbus’ permanent move to the royal court in Paris coincided with Marie de’ Medici’s coronation as queen in 1610. His depiction of the last crowned queen of France comprises a visual hyperbole of Marie de’ Medici’s monarchic aspirations expressed through the agency of her coronation robes. A rediscovered and unedited manuscript held in the French national archives records the expenditures of the French court for the year 1610 and uncovers the lavish sums allocated to the dressing of all members of Marie de’ Medici’s coronation retinue. Paired with Pourbus’ portraits of the French royal family, the manuscript testifies to his depiction of dress and poses questions on the symbolic and material significance of portraiture; noteworthy when considering portraiture’s negligible material cost in relation to the splendid expense for dress. By situating this analysis of his work in a dense archival and historical context this study reveals the documentary value of portraiture as sound historical evidence of early modern court culture and societal self-fashioning practices. This thesis intervenes in the study of dress within stately portraiture and expands our understanding of the value of investigating material culture as a tool for broader interdisciplinary historical research.
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    Choir Screens and Digital Technologies: Reconstructing Church Interiors and Mendicant Altarpieces in Medieval Pisa
    Giles, Lucas
    This thesis reconstructs the interior spaces of mendicant churches from medieval Pisa, particularly utilising digital technologies to study destroyed choir screens. Known as *tramezzo* screens, they played a fundamental role in the formation of sacred space, serving to articulate various liturgical areas whilst containing significant works of devotional art. *Tramezzo* studies has become an important area of research in the field of Italian medieval art and architecture. However, minimal evidence for these structures survives above ground. Over the course of the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries, they were systematically removed from Italian churches, leaving little trace of their prior existence. Today, only a handful of surviving examples remain in situ. New reconstructions are proposed for three choir screens from Santa Caterina, San Francesco and Santa Maria del Carmine in Pisa. In combination with traditional archival research, emerging digital technologies are integral to the research methodology, particularly ground-penetrating radar, LiDAR scanning and 3D modelling techniques. The research is sub-divided into four principal parts. In Part I, a review of the *tramezzo* studies field is outlined. It is proposed that research has reached a ceiling in terms of documentary discoveries, with new technologies - specifically non-invasive archaeology - required to overcome the limitations in surviving physical evidence. Part II examines the Dominican church of Santa Caterina, providing a digital reconstruction of the church’s destroyed *pulpitum*, including its disposition of altars, artworks, and shrines circumnavigating the screen. This includes panel paintings by Lippo Memmi and Deodato Orlandi and a sepulchral monument comprising the tombs of Archbishop Simone Saltarelli and Fra Giordano. Part III focuses on San Francesco, presenting a hypothetical proposal for the screen including a pair of gabled panels by Giotto and Cimabue above the *tramezzo*. Finally, Part IV analyses the interior of Santa Maria del Carmine, outlining a hypothetical location for the destroyed *tramezzo*. A new 3D visualisation of Masaccio’s Pisa Polyptych is presented, an altarpiece which was described by Vasari on the screen. Two alternative hypotheses are presented for how the chapel may have appeared on the *tramezzo* based on the patron Giuliano degli Scarsi’s detailed but ambiguous records of the project.
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    Reanimating the Renaissance: Aesthetes and Art History, 1873-1914
    Dytor, Frankie; Dytor, Frankie [0000-0001-5005-4910]
    This thesis examines responses to the Italian Renaissance by aesthetes in the late nineteenth and early twentieth century. It argues that aesthetes ‘reanimated’ the renaissance across diverse genres and media by negotiating the boundaries between art and life. Moving away from a discourse-centred approach, the thesis concentrates on the experience of historical work, often as it took place outside of textual accounts. In doing so, it proposes a new story of renaissance reception centred around surprising claims for its enlivenment, revealing the unstable borders between amateur and expert, scholar and enthusiast in the period. Looking at a range of sources including performance, fashion, and fiction, the thesis suggests that a reconsideration of these imaginative and embodied historiographies sheds new light on the making of art history at the end of the nineteenth century. By centring the work of ‘non-experts’ such as Vernon Lee, Natalie Barney, and Isadora Duncan, women are shown to have had an active role in the recovery of the renaissance. Considering the role of historical desire, the thesis underscores the significance of the Italian renaissance for queer and trans subjectivity in the life and work of figures including Michael Field, Olive Custance, Alexander Sacharoff, and J. A. Symonds. At the same time, the thesis shows how the desire for, and fear of, an animated renaissance was situated within contemporary concerns over heredity, degeneration, and atavism.
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    A New Narrative of Historical Styles in Nineteenth-Century Britain
    Huits, Elisabeth
    For most of the twentieth century, historicism – understood here as the conscious use of forms and styles from the past – was seen as an outdated, reactionary, and backward mode of design. Closely associated with the architecture and decorative arts of the nineteenth century, it has led to an understanding of historicist objects as being about empty retrospection and a lack of invention, evidence of a temporary lapse in artistic progress before the advent of modernism at the end of the century. This dissertation challenges these notions by examining how the use of historical styles and forms was perceived and understood in the nineteenth century itself, incorporating both debates on architecture and on the design of decorative arts. As the nineteenth century marked an explosive growth in printed matter of all sorts, the (illustrated) press played an increasingly important role as the public arena in which debates surrounding style played out. This dissertation therefore utilizes this broad archive to explore the use of historical style through three aspects: the language used around the revival and adaptation of historical styles; specific narratives of identity that surrounded historicizing objects; and the underlying logic of appropriation that underlay the use of historical forms. The first chapter sets out the wider debate surrounding the use of style in British design and manufacturing, focusing on four main stakeholders: government-sponsored reformers and educators, in particular those involved in the Great Exhibition of 1851 and the South Kensington project; the art press, as embodied by *The Art-Journal*; manufacturers and artisans; and finally, the ‘silent majority’ of the consuming public. Subsequent chapters present a kaleidoscopic view of the treatment of various historical styles in the nineteenth century. The second chapter, on the ‘Alhambresque’, contrasts the theories and artistic practice of Owen Jones (1809-1874) to the reception of his architectural schemes by (near) contemporary audiences, to examine what it means for a modern building to be understood through the framework of a historical referent. The third chapter, on ‘Archaeological Styles’, considers the question of adaptation of historical ornament through the lens of jewellery, examining the range of language used to describe the appropriation of historical forms and the transhistorical relationships between the nineteenth-century object and its historical model this implies. The fourth and final chapter, on ‘Modern Gothic’, considers the tension between historical ornament and modern circumstances, examining to what extent the use of modern manufacturing techniques and materials, and adaptation to modern uses impacted perceptions of objects made in medieval styles, focusing particularly on those exhibited in the international exhibitions between 1851 and 1871. Together, these chapters present a new understanding of the use of historical styles as operating within a manifold debate that looks both forward to the future and back towards the past, and is deeply concerned with its purpose for the present.
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    Fragments and Assemblages: The Display of Ancient Sculpture in the Vatican’s Museo Chiaramonti
    Vos, Koenraad
    In 1805 Pope Pius VII directed the sculptor Antonio Canova to begin organising the Museo Chiaramonti in a wing of the Vatican’s Belvedere Courtyard. The result was a new museum display of ancient sculpture, the first that included fragments on a wide scale, while at the same time restorations continued to play an important role. It is this duality between fragments and assemblages that is the central theme of this thesis. Founded in a time of anxiety about the loss of Rome’s artistic heritage and more general concerns about the negative effect of the institution of the museum on art, the Chiaramonti confronts both of these problems. In the Chiaramonti fragments enter the museum to an unprecedented extent, while at the same time there is an awareness that museums fragment the objects they display. This interest in fragmentation builds on developments of the preceding decades, when ruins and fragments were objects of great intrigue. The Chiaramonti engages with the display of ruins and fragments in the work of Piranesi and with the artificial ruins of eighteenth-century Rome, not only through the centrality of the visibly fragmented form to its display, but also because it conceived of the function of these fragments among similar lines. In the Chiaramonti fragments inspire the imagination and serve as sources of knowledge, be it artistic or historical. At the same time the Chiaramonti brings those fragments together, both in assemblage-objects such as restored statues and in its display techniques, which assemble fragments into shelves and stack them on top each other. Seen through the lens of the history of restoration and alongside contemporary design practices, these assemblages are another way of creating objects that are true to antiquity. Looking at the image of ancient art that the Chiaramonti creates in parallel with the creation and use of images in Enlightenment natural history highlights how intervention was central to the production and dissemination of truth. Within an eighteenth-century framework interventions such as restoration were thus necessary to arrive at truth and beauty. In light of the growing concerns about the practice of restoration that emerged around 1800, the Chiaramonti experimented with new ways to enact this intervention. Its assemblages continue the framework of earlier restorations, while experimenting with forms that include the visibly fragmentary, thus acknowledging the fragmentation that happens when objects enter the museum.
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    'Facile Princeps': The Country Houses of David Bryce (1803–1876)
    Wade, Ralph St Clair
    This thesis offers the first doctoral study of Scotland’s leading Victorian architect, David Bryce, R.S.A. (1803–1876). Its scope is Bryce’s extensive country house practice. Despite being praised by obituarists as the head of the Scottish profession, Bryce has yet to be the subject of a full-length book, or of an indexed journal article. Accordingly, this thesis represents the most extensive work on Bryce since the publication of a well-produced exhibition catalogue in 1976. The work is monographic insofar as Bryce’s artistic character must be established largely from scratch, without the support of an extensive secondary literature. Its achievements fall into two categories: points of historical record which, in turn, support the critical narrative of the thesis. The historical achievements are biographical, attributional – but principally archival. Bryce’s unpublished manuscripts are presented, for the first time, as a systematic corpus. This has been enabled by the discovery of a collection of Bryce drawings in the British Architectural Library, hitherto misattributed to William Burn. This discovery forms part of an extensive programme of archival and material fieldwork which, in turn, has enabled twenty-one new or revised attributions to David Bryce. These are presented systematically in the Gazetteer, and have in two cases informed the revision of the Buildings of Scotland (Lothian). These evidential achievements buttress the critical contribution of the thesis. This is tripartite in structure. The first section treats the early years, and newly argues that Bryce was an early revivalist of Elizabethan and Jacobean architecture. The second section treats the mature practice. This argues that Bryce was not only the leading re-interpreter of the Scottish baronial, but that he did so according to a strictly taxonomical method. This formulaic method is tempered by Bryce’s particular concern for the landscape, a hitherto unappreciated part of his practice. The third section, on planning and interiors, develops the same thematic point: of a paradigm creatively adapted to a given context. Bryce’s formulaic planning, for instance, has its roots in the English regency but nonetheless, cleverly accommodated the requirements of a high-Victorian composition. Bryce’s interiors, finally, bring the narrative of the thesis full circle; his decorative work builds, with growing facility, on the newly established manuscript corpus in Chapter 1.
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    City of Stone: The Materiality of St Petersburg in Print, c. 1703-1830
    Roy, Emily
    As print culture flourished in St Petersburg in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, an image emerged of the young capital as an elegant, modern city, dressed in stone. Though there has been much scholarship on this imagery, it has focused on the depiction and organisation of urban space or has taken the printed views as evidence of St Petersburg’s changing architecture. My thesis redresses the privileging of space by focusing on the materiality of the city through a study of the imagery of stone. The celebration of stone can be seen throughout the period, from the transportation and erection of enormous monoliths to the gradual cladding of the river embankments in granite, and the recurring motif of the stonemason at work. The thesis takes as its primary material an extraordinary collection held at the Ashmolean Museum, Oxford. The Talbot Collection includes over a thousand prints and illustrated books collected by Gwenoch David Talbot (1883-1974) over a forty-year period and bequeathed to the museum on his death. It is probably the most important collection of such material outside of Russia and provides a uniquely rich resource to study the changing image of St Petersburg. The thesis has a tripartite structure. Part I centres on the close association between the imagery of St Petersburg and that of its founder, Peter the Great, and outlines a specific symbolic vocabulary around stone. Part II focuses on technology, exploring images of the extraction, transportation, and working of stone. Part III looks at stone as an index of the imperial capital’s place in history and geography and addresses the complicated relationship of the city to the classical tradition alongside narratives of mineral wealth. It considers the place of ruins, fashionable in Russia as in Western Europe, in contrast to ideas of permanence and memory attached to stone, particularly in the erection of monuments. The thesis argues that stone, in opposition to water, underpins the Petersburg myth. Imbued with symbolism, stone was central to state narratives about the might of the city, but also generated anxiety about its unnaturalness and vulnerability.
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    The Representation of Battles and War in Late Quattrocento and Cinquecento Venice
    Scheidt, Luise
    This PhD examines the representation and perception of battle and war in late fifteenth and sixteenth century Venice, exploring the relationship between the historical situation and the artistic representation of the military culture in a variety of visual representations. Tracing different functions and uses of the depiction of battle themes throughout the various contexts and commissions, this dissertation examines how different individuals and agents utilised the representations of Venetian warfare and battles in different ways to benefit their own ambitions and agencies. The scope for this thesis is reflected by crucial changes in the Republic’s political history. The first part focuses on the last quarter of the quattrocento which manifests the beginning of Venice’s military decline, going hand in hand with the Ottomans’ conquest of the eastern Mediterranean as well as instability in Venice’s position within the states of Europe. It is especially in the commissions by individual Venetian patricians and communities that we find scenes of key battles against the Ottomans, such as the tomb monument for Doge Pietro Mocenigo and the Scuola degli Albanesi. The second part examines the aftermath of the wars against the League of Cambrai (1509-1516), representing the most vulnerable situation in Venice’s history. The commissions for the Palazzo Ducale, such as Titian’s Battle ofSpoleto, adhere to traditional narratives in order to maintain Venice’s position among the states of Europe, while the tomb for Doge Leonardo Loredan includes a direct allegory of these wars in unprecedented ways, commissioned decades after his death. The final part of this thesis focuses on the representations of battles in the new decorative cycle for the Great Council chamber in the Palazzo Ducale, commissioned after 1577. Through a detailed analysis of the surviving manuscript of the iconographical scheme for the council chamber, the study outlines how the overarching programme adheres to the military successes of the Republic’s past in the face of the decline after Lepanto. The PhD dissertation draws on primary evidence such as original artwork (paintings, sculptures, preparatory drawings and prints), personal wills and testaments, confraternities’ founding mariegole, contemporary editions of Venetian history, personal diaries and guidebooks, and surviving iconographical programmes to conduct a comparative art historical analysis that anchors the case-studies more firmly in the historical situation in Venice.
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    Visualising, Perceiving, and Interpreting Smell in Seventeenth-Century Dutch Art
    Marx, Elizabeth
    This thesis explores the ways in which artworks described invisible scents, how the depicted scents were perceived, and what interpretations and meanings they held. As research into representations of the olfactory is a relatively novel approach in the History of Art, this thesis proposes a methodology for identifying and interpreting visual allusions to smell. It draws together some of the most compelling cases of manifestations of smell in the art of the Dutch Republic by artists including Rembrandt van Rijn, Jan Steen, and Hendrik Goltzius. Over four studies, smell is visualised through a range of olfactory allusions, among them tobacco smoke, incense, pomanders, flowers, fruit, flies, smoking fires, chimneys, smelling salts, beached whales, and cadavers. The thesis uncovers the ways in which depicted scents were once perceived, where studies of Early Modern viewing dynamics suggest that artworks were understood to provoke olfactory experiences. The artists’ perception of depicted scents is also considered, where painted ephemeral fumes can be read as a rhetorical device to express the aspiration to depict the olfactory. Experiments and collaborations with perfumers to reconstruct a selection of scents depicted in key artworks also offer some insight into historic sensory experience. The thesis discusses how olfactory imagery was once interpreted. Artworks express the associations that individuals had with the olfactory, including writers, such as Constantijn Huygens, and physicians, such as Frederik Ruysch, as well as broader groups of consumers within the Dutch Republic. The extensive body of artworks that draw on the olfactory to develop the interpretation or narrative are traced across time and context to reveal the meanings they once held, and their changing significance. By exploring the olfactory in the art of the Dutch Republic, new olfactory iconographies are uncovered, historical multisensory modes of viewing are revived, and entire interpretations, which have faded over the centuries, are restored.
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    Cantering Amidst Art, Science, And Aesthetics: Early Modern Equestrian Visual Culture
    Didouan, Amandine
    Whether touring the Louvre, London’s National Gallery, or the Rijksmuseum, one cannot help but notice one ubiquitous non-human subject standing out amongst the others. For centuries, the horse (with or without rider) has been depicted in sculpture, portraits, drawings, and engravings, achieving a notable stance from the fifteenth century onwards. While this iconographic popularity has spurred art historians to focus on specific equestrian works of art, there is a lacuna of scholarship delving into equestrianism and the equine subject’s extended influence on visual culture produced in Europe during the early modern period. In equestrian portraits of the European nobility, the apparent grace and control of the rider (and horse) have occluded the culture that inspired the poses and postures of the subjects. These depictions might be dismissed as a flattering fantasy of an elite in effortless control, or mere illusions of power with little basis in corporeality. In the context of early modern equitational theory, however, these iconographic choices reflected not only an achievable aspiration but an elite ideal. At the end of the sixteenth century, the rapid growth of an emerging equestrian style (termed manège) involved a complex negotiation of social roles that partook of publishing, visual strategies for disseminating and understanding information, and the rise of formalized physical instruction. The primary aim of my thesis is to offer an innovative re-reading of well-known early modern equestrian portraits through the lens of this understudied manège culture. On the easel, the posture and expressions of grace and nonchalance had their roots in the phenomenal spread and influence of this evolving equestrian style. Manège had an influential role in the epoch’s vibrant fields of court culture, conduct and behaviour, as well as on the proliferation of a pan-European knowledge exchange. Subjects in early modern equestrian portraits were not simply ‘any horse’ ridden ‘any which way’; their manner of depiction (human and equine) was a reflection of rigorous physical training in a highly codified and theoretically outlined activity.
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    The Heraldic Imagination in German-speaking Lands, c.1480-c.1560
    Rothwell Hughes, Frances
    This thesis brings to light the extraordinary artistic transformation of heraldic imagery in German-speaking lands from circa 1480 to circa 1560, tracing how artists and designers engaged with heraldry as a category of image capable of inciting visual and intellectual pleasure. Coats of arms are often viewed as a distinctly medieval and utilitarian category of image, at odds with the cultural changes associated with the ‘Renaissance’. However, renowned artists and thinkers of this period dedicated much attention to heraldry as artistic subject matter, bringing it into dialogue with newly emergent genres, cultural concerns and social networks. The first chapter brings together a disparate corpus of material and textual sources, ranging from heraldic parody to heraldic defamation, in order to probe changing critical attitudes towards coats of arms across the period under study. Causal factors behind the expansion of heraldic criticism are also examined, including the impact of print, the rise of humanist satire, the early Reformation and shifts in societal structures. The second chapter homes in on the relationship between artistic identity and coats of arms. Renowned artists like Albrecht Dürer, Niklaus Manuel, Sebald Beham and Virgil Solis thematised their vocation as creators and authors through heraldic imagery, especially in the depiction of non-attributed, fictional coats of arms aimed at a burgeoning connoisseurial audience. The third chapter turns to consider the interpretation of heraldic images by humanist scholars within the intellectual circles of the universities of Vienna, Ingolstadt and the imperial court. The heraldic graphic computational instruments designed by the cosmographer Peter Apian are my central visual case studies. The second half of the chapter assesses the epistemic appeal of heraldry for this scholarly milieu by examining the discourses surrounding coats of arms in poetic, cosmographic, philological and genealogical texts. Overall, the thesis shows that heraldry was a prevailing catalyst for the artistic imagination(s) of the German Renaissance.
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    Gender Ambiguity in Early Modern English and French Art, 1530-1630
    Blow, Alice
    In early modern England and France, diverse literature, from pamphlets to poetry, links gender ambiguity to its ability to evade categorisation, blur boundaries or deceive. While previously gender ambiguity in art has often been dismissed as the product of historical distance, or discussed primarily in terms of sexuality, these literary and social contexts suggest that ambiguity was central to how contemporaries considered this subject. Drawing on recent literature on ambiguity in art, this thesis explores the potential of ambiguity as a period-appropriate context for studying early modern images of androgynous figures, cross-dressing, and gender transformation. By exploring, rather than resolving, their ambiguity, this thesis aims to shed new light on objects whose challenging effects have often led them to be oversimplified or set aside. The first chapter places Francesco Primaticcio’s complex and ambiguous frescoes of Hercules Cross-dressing, c.1535, in the context of fascination with ambiguous images and their potential to spark learned discussions, feeding the socially competitive court of François I. The next two chapters use French renaissance and English Ovidian poetry to explore how two understudied depictions of androgynous sitters in the Triple Profile Portrait in Milwaukee Art Museum, c.1570, and The Cobbe Portrait of Henry Wriothesley, c.1590-1593, paralleled contemporary poetry that admired gender-ambiguous figures for their pleasurable capacity to confound expectations. The final chapter addresses how Jacobean prints and pamphlets targeted masculine women as a cipher for a range of social and political ambiguities produced by the legacy of Elizabeth I. These four case studies examine the possibilities of using cultures of enigmatology, and attitudes towards ambiguity, as a platform for understanding a variety of meanings that images of gender ambiguity could possess for early moderns.
  • ItemOpen Access
    Reassembling the Sacred: The Murano Master and the Illuminated Choir Books of Camaldolese House of San Mattia di Murano
    (2021-10-22) Azzarello, Stephanie
    This dissertation presents a partial reconstruction of a now-dismembered series of lavishly illuminated and large-scale choir books made for the Camaldolese monastery of San Mattia di Murano ca. 1400–ca. 1445. These manuscripts are attributed to Cristoforo Cortese and the so-called ‘Master of the Murano Gradual,’ and now exist as two intact volumes and thirty-eight excised historiated initials found in public and private collections all over the globe. This thesis mines the dense, visual religious elements of these understudied images in order to investigate the use of monastic corporate iconography by the monks at San Mattia. In this thesis, I argue that the brothers at San Mattia commissioned these manuscripts, not only as necessary liturgical tools, but also as a means of expressing complex ideas about self-identity within both Benedictine monasticism and Christianity, more broadly. This thesis also examines and compares the iconographic programme and stylistic features of the San Mattia volumes with choir books belonging to its nearby sister house San Michele in Isola, and with the lavish series owned by a third Camaldolese monastery: Santa Maria degli Angeli in Florence, whose manuscripts were a model for both the sets commissioned for the houses in the Venetian lagoon. The results of this analysis show that the monks at San Mattia appear to have wanted their choir books’ visual scheme to reflect spiritual values and ideas with specific significance for their own house and which deviate from the iconographic model of the Florentine series. This study also investigates the San Mattia visual corpus within the framework of select examples of monumental painting, particularly frescos and altarpieces, as a means of probing the influences of other media on the work of the Murano Master. Ultimately, this study not only offers the first-ever reconstruction of the San Mattia choir books, but it also provides new insights into their significance in terms of the Camaldolese use of monastic corporate iconography within the context of early Quattrocento Venice.
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    Francisco de Zurbarán and his Workshop's Painting Production for the Americas: Trade, Collections and Reception
    Herraez Vossbrink, Akemi
    Paintings by the Spanish seventeenth-century artist Francisco de Zurbarán (1598-1664) have been documented to have reached Latin America between 1636 and 1649. Zurbarán was mostly active in Seville, the main Spanish port to the Americas during his lifetime, which was a considerable advantage as he had direct contact with the merchants and shipments destined overseas. By the time he started exporting his oeuvre to Latin America in the mid-1630s, he already had an established reputation in Seville, as painter of the religious orders, and had collaborated on a royal commission in Madrid. This made him the most well-known Spanish Golden Age artist to export a notable corpus of works to Latin America. It was not an individual endeavour as this success overseas would not have been possible without his workshop and agents. Upon reaching Latin America, these paintings were incorporated into secular and religious collections. Local artists would then produce their own interpretations adapting them to their local idiom and intended location. Some of the subjects exported by Zurbarán and his workshop had a special relevance in their new colonial context and were less in demand in Europe. All these factors will be addressed in this thesis, tracing the paintings from their production in Seville to their destination in Latin America. Despite the existence of multiple monographs, exhibitions and articles on Zurbarán’s Spanish production, his transatlantic exports have received less attention and it is only in the past decades that there have been more studies on these. However, there has not been a corpus incorporating archival documents related to Zurbarán and his workshop’s American activity as well as their extant paintings and colonial reinterpretations in Latin America. This survey incorporates new archival discoveries, technical research and unpublished paintings. Most of the scholarship on Zurbarán’s Latin American production has focused on the reception of his extant paintings and shipment documents throughout the seventeenth century. This study will expand this period from the seventeenth to the nineteenth century considering how Zurbarán’s works were collected, perceived and reinterpreted overseas. This broad time span enables a more nuanced reading of how Zurbarán’s reception varied over time in different parts of the viceroyalties including present-day Peru, Bolivia, Colombia, Mexico and Guatemala, where there are extant paintings by the painter and his workshop. There will be a greater emphasis on South America, especially in Lima, which holds the largest corpus of paintings and documents related to the artist in Latin America.
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    Accommodating the Picturesque: The Country Houses of James Wyatt, John Nash and John Soane, 1793–1815
    Tropp, Rebecca
    Premised on the underlying principles and aims of the Picturesque in architecture—among them, the grounding of a house within its surrounding landscape, a greater eclecticism of style and embrace of asymmetry, an emphasis on views and view-points, a concern with issues of framing and movement and a re-examination of the relationship between the natural and built environment—this dissertation examines some of the physical, three-dimensional repercussions of those ideas on the design and execution of British country houses at the turn of the nineteenth century. It departs from previous scholarly approaches in its focus on specific architectural responses and solutions that mediated the relationship—boundaries, transitions and interactions—between house and garden, and how those solutions contributed to addressing issues such as grounding, framing, access and movement. Looking closely at the work of three leading architects of the period—James Wyatt (1746–1813), John Nash (1752–1835) and John Soane (1753–1837)—it examines how each harnessed the specific qualities and challenges of a building site in light of those concurrent theoretical and aesthetic concerns. Relying primarily on detailed examination of surviving architectural drawings, related archival materials and extant houses, the analysis is divided into three main areas: the presence (or absence) of level changes or stepped floors within the principal floor of the house and between the house and garden; the increasingly permeable boundary between interior and exterior, including the use of full-length windows and French doors, loggias and verandas and, above all, glass conservatories; and a more specific focus on the attached conservatory—its origins, popularity, forms and roles—as a fully integrated social-botanical space directly accessible from other polite rooms and central to the life of the household.
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    The Development of the Speculative Office in Inter-war England
    (2021-01-26) Clarke, Jonathan
    This thesis provides the first comprehensive exploration and assessment of the speculative office building in inter-war England. Both instruments of revenue and containers of office space, buildings of this type and period have been largely absent from the literature of architectural history, despite their growing importance, economically, functionally and architecturally. Similarly, neighbouring disciplines, including urban and economic history, have undervalued the significance of this specialised building type between the wars. This study offers a more complete account and understanding of how and why these often-imposing buildings were procured, designed, built and used, where this occurred and which firms and figures were most active in this urban developmental process. The focus is predominantly large English cities, especially London, a reflection of both the geographic locus of speculative offices in this era and the interests of Historic England, the Government’s statutory body and co-sponsor of this study. However, by way of context, comparison and insight, examples and experience from further afield, especially America, are drawn into the narrative. Indeed, English speculative offices of this period can be considered as competing, vertically-challenged investment skyscrapers, machines to make urban land pay (to paraphrase the skyscraper architect Cass Gilbert), and ‘business rivals, competitors for tenants, light and air, and prestige’ (to quote skyscraper historian Carol Wills). The influence, direct and from afar, of American practice on the planning, design, marketing and management of rentable office space in inter-war England was remarkable and justified a transatlantic visit to examine a little-known journal that illuminates this relatively unfathomed area. Besides archival information preserved in record offices, other, less-thumbed contemporary sources include journals serving the property market and office equipment sectors and those lesser architectural and building journals with more modest lifespans or reach. Examination of the exteriors of surviving buildings, and illustrative interior photographs and floor plans in modern estate agency literature, provide additional, or sometimes the only detailed information, on some buildings. The thesis is both anatomical and thematic in approach and structure. The introduction establishes the need for the study, and its place within the literature, published and unpublished. The first chapter, prefaced with a historical overview of pre-First World War developments, considers the increasing and geographically concentrated demand for office space in the inter-war period, and how speculative offices met this with increasing efficiency – not only through bigger, better buildings but also in terms of how they were marketed and managed. The second chapter focuses on the leading economic actors in the property development process, the developers, bringing to light the activities, portfolios and personalities of some of the principal firms and individuals behind metropolitan and provincial office blocks. Chapters three to seven are a detailed survey and analysis of the architectural design and construction of inter-war speculative offices, with a separate but interlinked treatment of their planning, construction, external and interior styling, and essential service technologies. Running through these mostly chronological accounts are questions and considerations of cost, efficiency and influence, and factors limiting or pushing built form and expression, such as the legislative environment, size and shape of building sites, and the freedoms accompanying framed construction. The thesis concludes by drawing out and summarising the key findings – including a rebuttal of the pronouncements of financial journalists and property market historians concerning withered speculative development between the wars. It then considers broader themes: the impact of the First World War and its aftermath, American influence, speculative offices and organisational change, and the increasing congruence of speculative and custom-designed offices.
  • ItemOpen Access
    The Business of Sculpture in Venice, 1525-1625
    (2017-04-29) Jones, Emma
    This thesis offers, for the first time, an in-depth study of the principal aspects of the business of sculpture in Venice from 1525 to 1625. Based on systematic examination, analysis and interpretation of myriad archival sources (unpublished and published), primary texts and key objects, it answers fundamental questions such as: how was sculpture commissioned in Renaissance and Early Modern Venice? Why were some contracts verbal, yet others written? How was quality assured? What meanings did materials have? How did sculptors’ workshops operate? The first two chapters examine the various stages of the commissioning process, from a patron’s initial motivations, to choosing a sculptor, drawing up a contract and agreeing a price. Chapter 1 examines who commissioned sculpture and why, the genres favoured, and how locations were chosen and secured. Chapter 2 analyses the documentary evidence for the format and content of contracts, the use of drawings and models, and the involvement of third parties. It also considers how patrons sought to ensure the quality of the finished work. Chapter 3, ‘Materials: Sourcing, Supply, Significance’, concentrates on the media most commonly employed: marble, stone, bronze, stucco and clay in the form of terracotta. It assesses the practicalities of sourcing, supply, cost and transportation, and then considers the aesthetic and pragmatic reasons for material choices and what these choices would have signified to the patron, sculptor and Venetian society more widely. The final chapter, ‘Workshops, Authorship, Networks, Problem-solving’, explores how sculptors’ workshops were organised and the division and delegation of labour. It discusses the concept of authorship and the nature and meaning of signatures, given that sculptural production was an inherently collaborative process. An analysis of the importance of the sculptor’s network follows, focusing on the life and career of Girolamo Campagna. The chapter concludes with a discussion of how sculptors and patrons could resolve any problems that arose during the production process. This thesis is underpinned by a catalogue of select commissions, with new transcriptions of pertinent archival sources where possible. The chosen case-studies span the century under examination and represent a diverse range of commissions (in terms of patron, sculptor, genre, material, location etc.) and documentary evidence (such as wills, contracts, account-books, letters, notarial acts, ballot records).
  • ItemOpen Access
    The Early Works of Alessandro Vittoria (c. 1540 - c. 1570)
    (1997-02-18) Avery, Victoria Jane
    The thesis is divided into eight chapters, with various approaches adopted. Chapter One is primarily historical and outlines the artistic scene in Trent during Vittoria's youth until his departure for Venice in 1543, investigating the patronage of Prince-Bishop Cles and of his successor Cristoforo Madruzzo, as well as artists whose work was to exercise a subsequent influence on Vittoria.
  • ItemOpen Access
    Questions of sculptural idiom in the later bosses from Norwich Cathedral cloister (c.1411-1430)
    (2020-10-24) Hawkins, Robert
    This thesis focusses on the sculptural vault bosses from Norwich Cathedral cloister, particularly those of the later campaigns (c.1411-1430). This substantial series of bosses has long been acknowledged to be noteworthy, but, whilst the they have been subjected to iconographical, archaeological, chemical, and anthropological analyses, the bosses have never been the subject of serious art-historical study. The later bosses are particularly distinctive in their sculptural manner: they are emphatically convex, swelling downwards and curving upwards into the nooks of space between the vault ribs, every facet crammed with complex detail. Some are wildly distortive, bending, twisting and compressing forms to form aggregate hemispheres out of a jumble of constituent elements. All enjoy the tension created when organic shapes are forced to conform to a governing, hemispherical ‘frame’. Attention has already been paid to the question of what the bosses depict, and when they were carved. But almost none has been paid to the question of how they depict it, nor how this relates to aesthetic traditions locally, nationally or internationally, nor how they were carved, nor how they were engaged with by their viewers. This thesis aims to fill these gaps. The first part of the thesis focusses on chronology, situating the later Norwich cloister bosses within a longer history of curvaceous boss sculpture. The second part is concerned with questions of facture, considering the careers and methods of the carvers who worked at Norwich before ‘zooming out’ to consider the production of comparable objects in other media. The third and final part is concerned with questions of reception and interpretation; it aims to find less anachronistic concepts with which to understand this distinctive sculptural mode, and to revise some existing art-historical assumptions around issues of perspective, mobile spectatorship and sculptural space.
  • ItemOpen Access
    Politics of the Project: Radical Art in Britain (1972-79)
    Bagcioglu Izgi, Neylan
    The 1970s saw collaboration and local, grass-roots activism become common in radical art in Britain. Concomitant with anti-racist, anti-sexist and anti-nuclear efforts, a group of Leftist artists challenged social and financial elitism, patriarchy and inequality in both the art world and British society by producing praxis-led artist projects in lieu of art objects. However, the reception and analysis of 1970s artist projects in general (and in Britain in particular) is still very limited. As a result the post-1989 period is widely cited as the dawn of artist projects in contemporary accounts. This thesis challenges such oversights by arguing that the ‘artist project’ emerged in the 1970s. It illuminates the 1970s artistic practice of project-making through a detailed historiography of projects created in Britain during that decade. The socially-driven art practice of the 1970s is contextualized by providing an historical account of the socio-political situation in Britain in the 1970s and the major social shifts that it entailed (such as the 1970 Equal Pay Act, Industrial Relations Act of 1971, the implementation of a three-day week, rising unemployment, strikes and riots). By recovering projects that have been marginalised within the art historical canon this thesis defines the character of the ‘artist project’ and demonstrates its significance within socially-orientated art practice. This definition is derived empirically through an analysis of three major artist projects as well as an examination of the Artist’s Union (1972-83) which initially brought these left-leaning artists together and thereby set the stage for the artist projects which followed. The three focal projects are: The West London Social Resource Project (1972) by Stephen Willats (which sought to expand the remit and reach of art and the social territory in which it physically operates by inviting the residents of four different neighbourhoods in West London to respond to questions about their immediate as well as wider physical and social environments); Women and Work: A Document on the Division of Labour in Industry 1973-75 [1973-75] by Margaret Harrison, Kay Fido Hunt and Mary Kelly (a collaborative in-depth study that the artists conducted at the Metal Box Co. in Bermondsey to document the past history and the present working conditions of women in the tin box industry); and The Peterlee Project (1976-77) by Stuart Brisley (who worked with local miners in an effort to empower them in building their own community in the new town of Peterlee). Characterised by a new type of artistic thinking, these projects were also informed by academic and commercial disciplines such as sociology, anthropology and communications. The thesis explores the collaborative thrust and shared radically reformist socio- political agenda operative within artist projects in Britain during the 1970s and demonstrates the way that they employed direct action to change the parameters of art, incorporating instigation, discussion and generative processes directly into its production. These projects expanded the reach and breadth of artistic practice as a means not only to challenge but also to seek to remedy the disillusionment caused by the shortcomings of the modernist agenda in art and society, including the promises of the welfare state in Britain.