Andrew W. Mellon Regional Fellow in the Humanities
2009—2010 Forum on Connections
Asst Professor of Art History, Villanova University
Art, Gender, and Chivalric Masculinity in Early Renaissance Italy
My project investigates the construction and representation of aristocratic masculinity and patriarchal power. Adopting a dynamic model of power as generative and proliferating, I elucidate the ways in which numerous dynasties utilized chivalric imagery to challenge and position themselves among other regimes. This project, the first book-length study of masculinity in fifteenth-century Italian art, builds on the productive and lively focus on issues of gender in Italian Renaissance art of the last two decades. I extend these valuable investigations of femininity and female agency, to explore and ultimately denaturalize representations of noble masculinity. Representations of both men and women bolstered signorial authority; accordingly, I shift attention to the interdependent, inter-relational nature of gendered constructions of patriarchal power visualized through images of noble men and women.