Date of Submission

Spring 2016

Academic Programs and Concentrations

Art History

Project Advisor 1

Diana DePardo-Minsky

Abstract/Artist's Statement

This paper explores the relationship between clothing and the presentation of women in the cultural, political and economic milieux of the Renaissance Florence. It traces dramatic stylistic shifts in female portraiture through an analysis of three different case studies dating from circa 1465 to 1545 beginning with Antonio del Pollaiuolo’s Portrait of a Young Lady, then Leonardo da Vinci’s Portrait of Ginevra de’ Benci, and, finally, Angolo Bronzino’s Portrait of Eleonora del Toledo and Her Son Giovanni. These portraits reveal that changes in pose and dress paralleled contemporary attitudes toward the female subject. They document the socially determined career of a woman and the constraining regulations she adhered to when maiden, married or mother. Nevertheless, this progression reveal an increasing role for women in the service of the economy, the arts, and the State.

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