Sanctified Presence: Sculpture and Sainthood in Early Modern Italy
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CitationCurrie, Morgan. 2015. Sanctified Presence: Sculpture and Sainthood in Early Modern Italy. Doctoral dissertation, Harvard University, Graduate School of Arts & Sciences.
AbstractThis dissertation examines the memorialization of dramatic action in seventeenth-century sculpture, and its implications for the representation of sanctity. Illusions of transformation and animation enhanced the human tendency to respond to three-dimensional images in interpersonal terms, vivifying the commemorative connotations that predominate in contemporary writing on the medium. The first chapter introduces the concept of seeming actuality, a juxtaposition of the affective appeal of real presence and the ideality of the classical statua that appeared in the work of Stefano Maderno, and was enlivened by Gianlorenzo Bernini into paradoxes of permanent instantaneity. This new mystical sculpture was mimetic, not because it depicted events narrated elsewhere, but imitated mutable, time-bound, spiritual activity with arresting immediacy in the here and now. No other form of image could so fully evoke the mingling of human immanence and divine transcendence that was the fundamental basis of sanctity. Chapters Two through Four closely analyze the sculptural construction hagiographic identities for Ludovica Albertoni, Alessandro Sauli, and John of the Cross, and their interplay with political, social, and religious factors. The discovery of connections between marble and wooden statuary further broadens our understanding of the expressive range of the medium. The homology between saintly and sculptural exemplarity reveals a far more dynamic, interactive, and rhetorical conception of the medium than is portrayed in early modern theoretical writings.
Citable link to this pagehttp://nrs.harvard.edu/urn-3:HUL.InstRepos:14226067
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