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Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

The Academia Leonardi Vinci: Visualizing dialectic in Renaissance Milan, 1480–1499
by Pederson, Jill, Ph.D., The Johns Hopkins University, 2008, 428; 3288613
Abstract (Summary)

This dissertation investigates a specific group of humanists, artists, and musicians, who formed an informal academy in late Quattrocento Milan. Textual and material sources have helped to variously characterize this academy, which has been known generally as the Academia Leonardi Vinci. Since the beginning of the twentieth century, however, the existence of this group has been vigorously denied by many scholars. In this study, I present a new account of the academy derived largely from information contained in an unpublished Renaissance manuscript, the Isola beata (c. 1513). This text provides details of the academy's membership that will illuminate this particular Milanese circle and help to contextualize it in relation to other contemporary Italian Renaissance academies.

I argue that the wide range of intellectual and cultural interests of the members of the Academia Leonardi Vinci helped to shape a distinct visual idiom in late Quattrocento Milan. At this time, the princely court of Duke Ludovico Sforza (1452-1508) dominated this city. The academy was loosely associated with this court, and it counted amongst its members some of the most prominent artists then working in Milan, such as Leonardo da Vinci (1452-1519) and Donato Bramante (c.1444-1514). Through the examination of these artists' work, as well as that of some of their prominent followers, I am able to interpret the artistic vocabulary that distinguished Milan during this period. In Chapter One, I outline the critical fortune of the Academia Leonardi Vinci. In the ensuing chapters I connect the interests of this group to a closely related corpus of paintings and engravings. Chapter Two investigates Bramante's commission for the Uomini d'arme in the Milanese palace of the court poet Gaspare Visconti (c.1461-1499). In Chapter Three I take up a discussion of the series of six plates, based on designs by Leonardo and executed by an anonymous engraver, all bearing the monogram of the Academia Leonardi Vinci. Finally, in Chapter Four my consideration of Giovanni Antonio Boltraffio's Portrait of Girolamo Casio functions as a case study for the wider genre of male portraiture in Lombardy around 1500. Through an analysis of these works, I explore the culture of dialectic that characterized not only the Milanese academy, but also the art produced in association with its varied participants.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Campbell, Stephen, Dempsey, Charles
School: The Johns Hopkins University
School Location: United States -- Maryland
Source: DAI-A 68/11, Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: Art history
Keywords: Academia Leonardi Vinci, Boltraffio, Giovanni Antonio, Bramante, Donato, Dialectic, Italy, Leonardo da Vinci, Ludovico Sforza, Duke of Milan, Milan, Renaissance, Visconti, Gaspare, Visualizing
Publication Number: 3288613
ISBN: 978-0-549-31331-1
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