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Look Inside Art and Piety in the Female Religious Communities of Renaissance Italy

Art and Piety in the Female Religious Communities of Renaissance Italy
Iconography, Space and the Religious Woman's Perspective

Out of Print

  • Date Published: September 2003
  • availability: Unavailable - out of print June 2012
  • format: Hardback
  • isbn: 9780521811880

Out of Print

Unavailable - out of print June 2012
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About the Authors
  • Anabel Thomas challenges the accepted assumptions about art works in religious establishments populated by women. They claim that these works did not have gender-specific qualities; and that religious women played no role in commissioning such imagery or in influencing its design and purpose. Through case studies, she establishes that in fact artistic imagery did figure prominently in conventual communities and she also identifies its various institutional roles. Based on archival findings that are published here for the first time, Thomas' groundbreaking study contributes to a growing literature that reexamines the role and influence of gender on religious imagery in the early modern period.

    • Original archival research showing significance of art in female religious communities
    • Challenges conventual wisdom that art had little or no place in such institutions
    • Focuses on women's perspectives and its influence on the nature of art and its institutional role
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    Reviews & endorsements

    "...she presents a fascinating discussion of the interrelations between art, space, ritual, and female religious in Renaissance Italy, demonstrating the key role of visual images in conventual environments and women's active engagement with them." Renaissance Quarterly

    "It is doubtful that anyone knows more about the art, architecture, devotional practices, economics, social realities, and complexities of life in and around Renaissance convents in Tuscany and Umbria than Anabel Thomas. She has scoured archives, devoured the considerable and growing bibliography on individual convents and monuments, and most importantly, entered conventual spaces that have been sorely neglected and at times even off-limits to previous art historians. In doing so, she has uncovered a familiar but novel universe: a genuine women's world that was not always sealed off from secular society as neatly as reformers and preachers would have liked, but which few historians and antiquarians had the privilege of entering." Sixteenth Century Journal Gary M. Radke, Syracuse University

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    Product details

    • Date Published: September 2003
    • format: Hardback
    • isbn: 9780521811880
    • length: 430 pages
    • dimensions: 285 x 225 x 32 mm
    • weight: 1.65kg
    • contains: 93 b/w illus. 12 colour illus.
    • availability: Unavailable - out of print June 2012
  • Table of Contents

    Part I. The Social Function of the Institution:
    1. Partial and impartial evidence
    2. Female religious communities characterized
    3. Issues of gender: an Augustinian view
    Part II. The Spatial Dimension:
    4. The architectural development of the conventual complex
    5. Plans - distinctions drawn in space
    6. Inventories and conventual chronicles - art recorded in space
    7. Visual distinctions and the demarcation of space
    Part III. Art and Space:
    8. Distinctive imagery in the private and public sphere
    9. Franciscan tertiaries (i)
    10. Franciscan tertiaries (ii)
    11. Tracking change in conventual imagery: images relocated and altered
    12. Re-assessment of conventual imagery: role of suppression documents
    Part IV:
    13. The politics of display
    14. A Dominican angle: San Domenico del Maglio in Florence
    15. Varying degrees of emphasis on titular saints
    16. The nature of gaze
    17. Hierarchies within the establishment: San Niccolò in Prato
    18. The resonance of time and experience: varying patterns of behaviour
    19. Communication
    Part V. Perspectives on Conventual Patronage:
    20. Commissioning bodies: insiders, outsiders and less familiar asides
    21. Frameworks of association.

  • Author

    Anabel Thomas

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