Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Tradition and Renewal in the Thirteenth-Century Franciscan Architecture of Tuscany
by Gustafson, Erik D., Ph.D., New York University, 2012, 637; 3546414
Abstract (Summary)

This dissertation project focuses on the thirteenth-century Franciscan architecture of Tuscany. While much attention has been paid the work of artists such as Giotto and his followers in these churches, surprisingly little scholarship has been directed to the buildings themselves. Treating the churches as intentional participants within the historical visual culture of Tuscany, significant formal and functional similarities to traditional monastic reform architecture can be identified. To fully understand this contextual visual culture, an architectural corpus had to be created of the Vallombrosan and Camaldolese Orders, groups whose importance has been recognized by religious historians but largely ignored by architectural historians. The socio-religious models established by these monastic reform Orders provided many precedents for the more extreme innovations championed by the Franciscans. By adopting and adapting the architectural forms of these forebearers, the Franciscans could legitimate themselves within orthodox tradition while also announcing their novel identity by adjusting and renewing those traditions. Franciscan identity was expressed above all in how their churches were used by the laity, the primary constituency of the friars. By providing access for both men and women to personal and congregational spaces of devotion, the Franciscans differentiated themselves from their more conservative contemporaries such as the Dominicans.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Trachtenberg, Marvin
School: New York University
Department: Institute of Fine Arts
School Location: United States -- New York
Source: DAI-A 74/04(E), Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: Religious history, Art history, Medieval history, Architecture
Keywords: Architecture, Camaldolese, Communication and the arts, Franciscan, Italy, Phenomenology, Popular devotion, Tuscany, Vallombrosans, Women's studies
Publication Number: 3546414
ISBN: 9781267799739
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