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Title: The portrait of Hippocrates in the studiolo of Federico da Montefeltro in Urbino
Author: Lapraik, Sonja
ISNI:       0000 0004 7233 9409
Awarding Body: University of Newcastle upon Tyne
Current Institution: University of Newcastle upon Tyne
Date of Award: 2015
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My thesis examines the Hippocrates portrait of the Uomini Illustri frieze in Federico da Montefeltro’s Urbino studiolo, considering the work as a reflection of contemporary intellectual interpretations of the ancient physician. One of a series of portraits of historical exemplars in which secular figures are paired according to shared intellectual disciplines, Hippocrates appears alongside the physician and astrologer Pietro d'Abano, ostensibly representing medicine. There is a clear correspondence between the figures in the frieze and the number of Latin texts by these authors in Federico’s library, although not for Hippocrates or Pietro. For the latter only one minor work was present and for Hippocrates only the pseudo-Hippocratic Letters and Astrologia Ypocratis. These wzorks are at the heart of our understanding of the portraits, with the paucity of texts by these figures suggesting they were represented visually for reasons beyond their role as celebrated figures in their particular discipline. Both pseudo-Hippocratic works fit closely into court interests. Letter 17 bears striking parallels both to the studiolo imagery and important aspects of the cultural and intellectual life of the court. Moreover, astrology played a prominent role and intellectual networks demonstrate that Urbino courtiers were involved in external debates on astrological matters. The presence of the Astrologia Ypocratis and the Pietro d’Abano portrait appear to reflect such activity, with Pietro selected not solely as a representative of the astrological interests at court, but also his capacity as a figure who, in this intellectual environment, was considered to represent Hippocrates’ legacy. My thesis thus aims to establish the importance of the Letters and the Astrologia Ypocratis as sources for the depiction of Hippocrates and his pairing with Pietro d Abano. In addition, I endeavour to establish their wider significance in the context of an interpretation of Hippocrates beyond his role as the ‘Father of Medicine.’
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available