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Title: Founders, floods and fathers : narratives of origins and renewal in Florentine art and culture
Author: Pichler, A.
ISNI:       0000 0004 2693 6413
Awarding Body: The University of Manchester
Current Institution: University of Manchester
Date of Award: 1998
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This dissertation explores the understanding of origins in late medieval and Renaissance Florence as represented in art and in wider fields of literary and historiographic discourse. Its particular focus is a myth associating the foundation of Tuscany with Noah, which was promoted in a volume of forged texts published by Annius of Viterbo in 1498. Rather than focusing on Annius or his scholarly reception as other writers have done, the thesis attempts to set the myths that he publicised in the context of other stories about origins that circulated in Renaissance Florence. The central part of the thesis consists of three chapters each of which takes its lead from a particular science of origins: etymology, genealogy and archaeology. The topics discussed in them, however, range beyond the strict confines of these disciplines to include such themes as: the shifting narratives of the foundation of Florence; family history as recorded in Florentine ricordanze; portraits as an expression of patrilineal ideology; and the legend of the Florentine Baptistery as a former temple of Mars together with its influence on Renaissance architecture. A recurring theme in these chapters is that of the origin narrative as a myth that serves to justify present-day arrangements or identities. The final chapter develops the theme of origins to encompass ideas of historical recurrence and renewal. In a discussion that draws heavily on the writings of Machiavelli I attempt to show that Florentine cyclical conceptions of history relied on a model of returning to the origin. The chapter closes with a discussion of Renaissance artists who were either perceived as the re-embodiment of an artistic ancestor, a 'new Giotto' for example, or who actively strove to attain such a status. Finally, the conclusion attempts to draw connections between a number of the narratives discussed earlier in the thesis on the basis of a shared fantasy of autonomous male creativity
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available