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Title: Rhetoric of pictorial place : fictive architecture and persuasion in Altichiero da Zevio's Oratory of St George and Fra Angelico's Nicholas V Chapel
Author: Lupi, Livia
ISNI:       0000 0004 5992 3221
Awarding Body: University of York
Current Institution: University of York
Date of Award: 2016
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Historiography has tended to neglect architecture in painting, or to envisage it as a lesser counterpart to built architecture and as a means to create pictorial space. This study seeks to redress the lack of research on architectural settings, arguing for the agency of fictive structures and proposing rhetorical theory and place, rather than space, as heuristic tools for their interpretation. It offers four main contributions to scholarship on Italian medieval and Renaissance painting. Firstly, it illustrates how fictive architecture creates place, constructs the narrative, and engages with the viewer. Secondly, it clarifies the relationship between place and architecture in painting by identifying and qualifying two main approaches to the representation of place: portrait of place and hybrid place. Thirdly, it explores the communicative capacity of fictive buildings, demonstrating the rhetorical power of the structures in Altichiero’s Oratory in Padua and Fra Angelico’s Chapel in the Vatican, and illustrating the potential of a rhetorical approach for the interpretation of architecture in painting. Fourthly, it contributes to bridging the historiographical gap between fourteenth and fifteenth-century art. The thesis opens with an analysis of how place was understood in fourteenth and fifteenth-century Italy, revealing the complexity and metaphorical valence of the word 'luogo' and underscoring the rhetorical nature of fictive architectural places. This study posits that rhetoric pervaded late medieval and Renaissance Italian culture, arguing that Trecento Padua and Quattrocento Rome were particularly receptive environments to rhetorical culture and deploying seven rhetorical terms as interpretative instruments. These seven rhetorical terms, selected from primary sources, clarify how artists created fictive architectural places, and help to scrutinise the possible meanings and messages that painted architectural place conveys. By emphasising the central role of architecture in painting, its crucial relationship with place-making, and its powers of persuasion, the thesis demonstrates the relevance of the architectural imagination of artists for a better understanding of painting, built structures and the articulation and perception of architectural identity in this period.
Supervisor: Lillie, Amanda ; Lugli, Emanuele Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available