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La Donna e La Maniera Devota:Lavinia Fontana, Sacred Imagery and the Natural Sciences in Sixteenth-Century Bologna

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La Donna e La Maniera Devota:Lavinia Fontana, Sacred Imagery and the Natural Sciences in Sixteenth-Century Bologna

Misiuk, Marlene (2018) La Donna e La Maniera Devota:Lavinia Fontana, Sacred Imagery and the Natural Sciences in Sixteenth-Century Bologna. Masters thesis, Concordia University.

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Abstract

Women’s contribution to the program of Counter-Reformation Christian art has often been overshadowed in scholarship by extensive research into genres typically associated with women in the period such as portraiture, landscape and still life. This thesis newly addresses the sacred artwork of the painter Lavinia Fontana (1552–1614) within the unique context of sixteenth-century Bologna, where the colourful social and intellectual network inspired, endorsed, and influenced her practice. Reassessing Fontana’s sacred images through a contextual framework, I focus on two prominent Bolognese figures: the archbishop Gabriel Paleotti (1522-1597), and the natural historian Ulisse Aldrovandi (1522-1605). Fontana’s sacred paintings follow Paleotti’s post-tridentine art theory by means of her rigorous attention to rendering Scripture clearly and accurately. She may have also enhanced the contemplative possibilities of her images by utilizing her knowledge of natural history. In some cases, paintings by Fontana may call attention to particular flora and fauna species to introduce meaningful symbolism. Upon addressing natural history in Bologna in further detail, it becomes apparent that the Bolognese were highly interested in “New World” knowledge, which undoubtedly had an impact on Italian perception, as well as European Christian art. Scripture, science, and natural history converge in this thesis to shed light on Fontana’s often overlooked religious art practice and what it could have meant to her beholders.

Divisions:Concordia University > Faculty of Fine Arts > Art History
Item Type:Thesis (Masters)
Authors:Misiuk, Marlene
Institution:Concordia University
Degree Name:M.A.
Program:Art History
Date:July 2018
Thesis Supervisor(s):Stowell, Steven
ID Code:984192
Deposited By: MARLENE MISIUK
Deposited On:16 Nov 2018 15:04
Last Modified:16 Nov 2018 15:04
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