Images in the city: Presence, absence and legitimacy in Rome in the first half of the fourteenth century

Claudia Bolgia

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter (peer-reviewed)peer-review

Abstract / Description of output

This study discusses artistic production in Rome in the first half of the Trecento. It challenges the common view that the papacy’s exodus to Avignon provoked a lengthy hiatus in artistic commission and production.
It is original in that it not only presents and discusses previously unstudied or overlooked material, but also offers a new interpretation of better known artworks (such as Pietro Cavallini’s mosaics for the façade of S. Paolo fuori le mura) by making use of neglected sources (including the seventeenth-century drawings reproducing the mosaics preserved in the National Gallery of Scotland at Edinburgh). It is significant as it identifies new patterns of patronage and new types of patrons (following the departure of the popes, the traditional art patrons in Rome in the earlier period). It also identifies new dynamics in the commission, production and function/use of art leading to a new understanding of the art in the Urbe during this period as 1) giving visual form to concepts of absence, presence and legitimacy, 2) “moving out” of churches and religious buildings and occupying façades, streets, city gates, civic buildings and public areas. This in turn has an impact on our broader understanding of Trecento art (as it demonstrates that Rome had more in common with Florence and Siena – on some occasions serving as a model - than with Avignon or Naples, as previously thought). The approach is highly interdisciplinary and all arguments are rigorously based on a combination of careful visual analysis with documentary and literary sources.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationImages and Words in Exile. Avignon and Italy during the First Half of the 14th Century
Subtitle of host publication(Proceedings of the International Conference, 7-11 April 2011: Kunsthistorisches Institut, Florence, and Musée du Petit Palais, Avignon), Florence)
EditorsElisa Brilli, Laura Fenelli, Gerhardt Wolf
Place of PublicationFlorence
PublisherSISMEL Edizioni del Galluzzo
Pages381-401
Number of pages20
ISBN (Print)978-88-8450-673-3
Publication statusPublished - 30 Oct 2015

Publication series

NameMillennio Medievale
Volume107

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