Images of Adam and Engagements with Antiquity in Romanesque and Gothic Sculpture
MetadataShow full item record
CitationMarx, Nadia Lares. 2016. Images of Adam and Engagements with Antiquity in Romanesque and Gothic Sculpture. Doctoral dissertation, Harvard University, Graduate School of Arts & Sciences.
AbstractIn the abundant literature on the afterlife of classical forms in the Middle Ages, medieval “classicism” has generally been understood as a series of stylistic borrowings and iconographic quotations, occurring as either isolated instances of individual genius or as the result of a momentary cultural flourishing—a “renascence” to use Erwin Panofsky’s term. This dissertation reconfigures this discourse on antiquity and the Middle Ages. It frames medieval classicism as a set of expressive possibilities that encode and transmit culturally contingent meaning, arguing that classical models were invoked selectively by artists, in concert with a range of other representational modes, in order to communicate complex messages to an audience sensitive to differences in style. Presented as a series of case studies, it examines three sculptural representations of Adam and the Creation narrative from the Romanesque and Gothic periods in Italy and France, considering them as key sites for medieval engagement with the art of antiquity. The evocation of antiquity, effected through material and formal assimilations of sculpted objects to ancient artifacts, functioned as a rhetorical device in Romanesque and Gothic sculpture, constructing frameworks of meaning around a given object. This dissertation examines the particular character and purpose of such evocations in images of Adam from the cathedral churches of Modena, Paris and Auxerre, offering new interpretations of three important monuments in the history of medieval sculpture, engaging with landmark studies in medieval classicism, and reconsidering attitudes towards the public display of nudity in the centuries preceding the Renaissance, the period when, it is generally accepted, it became a part of common artistic parlance.
Citable link to this pagehttp://nrs.harvard.edu/urn-3:HUL.InstRepos:33493288
- FAS Theses and Dissertations