Antiquity has long offered a repository of exemplary models to look at, stories of notable figures whose lives and deeds provided examples of good or bad moral behaviour, and therefore guidance as to what emulate or avoid. This is particularly true in the late medieval to the Renaissance and early modern period, when attention was first drawn to Famous Women – rather than to Illustrious Men alone – and a flourishing visual tradition established around them, stemming from Boccaccio’s ‘De mulieribus claris’ and Christine de Pizan’s ‘Livre de la Cité des Dames’. Figures as different as Penthesilea, Cleopatra, Lucretia, and Judith, among others, came to play particularly potent roles in European art from the mid-14th to the mid-17th century; their stories featured in a vast and varied corpus of paintings, manuscript and book illustrations, sculptures, tapestries, and a number of decorative objects in domestic interiors such as marriage chests and maiolica.
This panel seeks to explore the impact that these models from antiquity had on the developing notion of female identity between the late Middle Ages and the early modern period. It also aims to investigate more extensively the related iconographic tradition which, despite several recent scholarly publications and exhibitions, remains unevenly explored.
Proposals are invited to discuss examples of the visual reception of Famous Women in European art from c. 1350 to c. 1650, and to assess the kind of contribution these figures made to the formation of female identity in the period. While the panel focuses chiefly on figures from Greco-Roman myth and history, contributions on Famous Women from the Hebrew and Christian tradition (e.g., Biblical heroines and saints and martyrs) are also welcome. Paper topics might include but are not limited to: the visual tradition connected to collections of lives of women and educational treatises (e.g., Boccaccio, Christine de Pizan, Eustache Deschamps, Jacopo Filippo Foresti); case studies of medieval and Renaissance appropriations of Famous Women; the querelle des femmes; virtues and vices exemplified by representations of Famous Women.
Please submit proposals to Claudia Daniotti (Claudia.Daniotti@warwick.ac.uk) by 2 August 2020. They should include a paper title (max. 15 words), an abstract (max. 150 words), relevant keywords, a brief CV (max. one page, including your full name, affiliation, email address, and degree completion date, past or expected), and an indication of any audio/visual requirements you may have.
Source : Medieval Art Research