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Green Worlds in Early Modern Italy

Art and the Verdant Earth

Karen Hope Goodchild April Oettinger Leopoldine Prosperetti Paul Barolsky Susan Russell Jill Pederson Sabine Peinelt-Schmidt Patrizia Tosini Rebekah Compton Paul Holberton

320 pages
Amsterdam University Press
The green mantle of the earth! This metaphor is a poetic image that borrows from the vocabulary of weaving and epitomizes the Renaissance interest in "fashioning green worlds" in art and poetry. Here it serves as a motto for a cultural poetics that made representing living nature increasingly popular across Italy in the Early Modern period. The explosion of landscape art in this era is often associated with the rise of interest in the literary pastoral, narrowly defined, but this volume expands that understanding to show Green’s broad appeal as it intrigued audiences ranging from the ecclesiastic to the medical and scientific to the humanistic and courtly. The essays gathered here explore the expanding technologies and varied cultural dimensions of verzure and verdancy in the Italian Renaissance, and thus the role of visual art in shaping the poetics and expression of greenery in the arts of the 16th-century and beyond.
Author Bio
Karen Hope Goodchild is Chapman Professor and Chair of Art History at Wofford College in Spartanburg, South Carolina. She has recently published articles on landscape theory, Giorgio Vasari, Piero di Cosimo, and Agnolo Bronzino, and her research has appeared in scholarly journals including Artibus et Historiae and Source, as well as in the Ashgate Research Companion to Giorgio Vasari (2016). Her current work intersects with landscape and art theory, artist biography, literature, and gender. April Oettinger is Professor of Art History and Visual Culture at Goucher College in Baltimore, Maryland. Her recent publications, which have appeared in scholarly journals including Artibus et Historiae, The Journal of Word and Image, and Source, treat topics including the art of 16th-century Venetian painter Lorenzo Lotto and the 1499 edition of the Hypnerotomachia Poliphili. She is the recipient of grants from the National Endowment for the Humanities and the Center for Advanced Studies in the Visual Arts, National Gallery of Art, Washington, DC. Her current book project is titled, Animating Nature. Lorenzo Lotto and the Sublime Turn in 16th-Century Venetian Landscape Art, 1500-1550. Leopoldine Prosperetti is the author of Landscape and Philosophy in the Art of Jan Brueghel (Ashgate, 2009) as well as a number of scholarly articles. In 2002-03 she was a Fellow at the Center for Advanced Study in the Visual Arts, National Gallery of Art in Washington, DC, and has since taught at Goucher College and Towson University in Maryland. In fall 2016 she took up a position as Instructional Professor in the History of Art at the School of Art at the University of Houston. She is in the final stages of a book entitled Sylvan Moments: Woodland Imagery in European Art, a collection of essays on the poetics of woodlands in European art.