1st Edition

Art, Politics and Civic Religion in Central Italy, 1261–1352 Essays by Postgraduate Students at the Courtauld Institute of Art

By Beth Williamson, Joanna Cannon Copyright 2018
    328 Pages
    by Routledge

    This was first published in 2000:  Introduced by Joanna Cannon, this volume of essays by postgraduate students at the Courtauld Institute, University of London, explores some of the ways in which art was used to express, to celebrate, and to promote the political and religious aims and aspirations of those in power in the city states of central Italy in the thirteenth and fourteenth centuries. The contributions focus on four centres: Siena, Arezzo, Pisa and Orvieto, and range over a number of media: fresco, panel painting, sculpture, metalwork, and translucent enamel. Employing a variety of methods and approaches, these stimulating essays offer a fresh look at some of the key artistic projects of the period. The dates cited in the title, 1261 and 1352, refer to two well-known works, Coppo di Marcovaldo’s Madonna del Bordone and the Guidoriccio Fresco in the Palazzo Pubblico of Siena, here newly assigned to this date. By concentrating on individual cases such as these, the essays provide rewardingly sustained consideration, at the same time raising crucial issues concerning the role of art in the public life of the period. These generously-illustrated studies introduce new material and advance new arguments, and are all based on original research. Clear and lively presentation ensures that they are also accessible to students and scholars from other disciplines. Art, Politics and Civic Religion in Central Italy, 1261-1352 is the first volume in the new series Courtauld Institute Research Papers. The series makes available original recently researched material on western art history from classical antiquity to the present day.

    Contents: Introduction; Secular power and the sacred in the art of the central-Italian city-state, Joanna Cannon; The decoration of the west wall of the Sala del Mappamondo in Siena’s Palazzo Pubblico, Thomas de Wesselow; Reconstructing the programme of the tomb of Guido Tarlati, Bishop and Lord of Arezzo, Georgina Pelham; The reliquary of the Holy Corporal in the cathedral of Orvieto: patronage and politics, Giovanni Freni; San Ranieri of Pisa: a civic cult and its expression in text and image, Lily Richards; Coppo di Marcovaldo’s Madonna del Bordone: political statement or profession of faith? Gianna A. Mina; Civitas Virginis? The significance of civic dedication to the Virgin for the development of Marian imagery in Siena before 1311, Bridget Heal; Index.


    Joanna Cannon is a lecturer at the Courtauld Institute of Art and author, with André Vauchez, of Margherita of Cortona and the Lorenzetti. Sienese Art and the Cult of a Holy Woman in Medieval Tuscany, University Park 1998. Beth Williamson is a lecturer in the History of Art at the University of Bristol.

    ’...the quality of this opener is extremely high.’ Apollo '...this handsome volume has sufficient coherence and freshness to appeal to researcher and general reader alike...' Journal of Ecclesiastical History