Title: Message
Dear friends and colleagues,
I tried to send my abstract as an attachment to the list, but it did not go through.  I am including it as the text of this message.  I completed my degree at Rutgers University with Prof. Sarah Blake McHam, and Prof. John van Sickle was one of my readers.  Any comments are welcomed!


The Illustration of Virgil’s Bucolics and its Influence in Italian Renaissance Art


Dissertation Director:

Sarah Blake McHam



The Illustration of Virgil’s Bucolics and its Influence in Italian Renaissance Art demonstrates that a specific Virgilian iconography developed in the Late Classical period and the Middle Ages for Virgil’s Bucolics.  This iconography continued in manuscript and printed book illumination in the Renaissance, and played a major role in the development of pastoral subjects in independent paintings.  While scholars of pastoral themes in art have often cited Virgil as a literary influence, the role of the illustration of Virgil’s bucolic poetry as a visual resource has not been examined.  I first examine Virgil’s literary role in the Italian Renaissance, starting with his biography and his status in the Middle Ages, to then turn to his influence as literary model on Trecento Italian writers, followed by a survey of his place in the studia humanitatis and Renaissance education.  The body of my dissertation is an examination of a representative selection of major illustrated Virgilian texts (approximately sixty manuscripts and printed books), dating from the Late Classical period, through the Middle Ages and into the Renaissance, to follow trends and developments in the iconography of specific Virgilian themes.  I then address the rise of pastoral motifs in Venetian drawings, prints and paintings in the late Quattrocento and the early Cinquecento to demonstrate close visual ties between traditional motifs for the illustration of Virgil and new pastoral themes in the visual arts.  My dissertation analyses in detail Virgil’s impact on visual culture in the Renaissance, and I demonstrate a new source for the rise of pastoral themes in Renaissance poetry and monumental painting.

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