Uniform TitleSubject to Diana: picturing desire in French Renaissance courtly aesthetics
NameZalamea, Patricia (author), Puglisi, Catherine (chair), McHam, Sarah (internal member), Sidlauskas, Susan (internal member), Cornilliat, Francois (outside member), Rutgers University, Graduate School - New Brunswick,
Diana (Roman deity)--Art
DescriptionMy dissertation examines the visual representations of Diana, the chaste goddess of the hunt, in sixteenth-century French court imagery as a major example of how the intertwining of classical myth and allegory played a central role in shaping a new aesthetic and cultural identity at the French Renaissance court. Beginning with the reign of Francis I [r.1515-47], but in particular during the reign of his son and successor Henri II [r.1547-59], images of Diana pervaded the French Renaissance court, and were produced in a variety of media. Whereas earlier studies have emphasized Diana as a role model exemplifying chastity and ideal courtly behavior, my study reassesses Diana's significance for the French court in terms of intrinsically artistic concerns, such as patron identity, transference of motifs, shared imagery, and the emergence of a new style that defined French Renaissance art.
At once a forbidden image and an object of desire, Diana embodies a series of questions about the representation of ideal beauty, and the tensions between chastity, desire, and the depiction of nudity. This dissertation considers two major aspects that place the Diana iconography within a new context, while pointing to a set of underlying themes: namely, the symbolic association of Diana with the figure of the French king, a tradition that harks back to late-medieval manuscripts and royal hunting practices, and the connection between Diana and questions about artistic and intellectual production that emerged along with the new French aesthetics of the sixteenth century. Part I examines the allegorical hermeneutics of late-medieval manuscript traditions and their continuity into the Renaissance, in their association between chastity, hunting, knowledge, and the representation of nudity. Part II traces the development of sixteenth-century print culture and the recasting of mythological themes in sensual terms, by mapping the conflation between Diana and the Nymph of Fontainebleau. Based on a close reading of a painting by François Clouet, Part III probes the issues of representation underlying the numerous depictions of Diana and her nymphs while bathing, where nudity is simultaneously eroticized and moralized, thus returning to some of the interpretive problems discussed in Part I.
NoteIncludes bibliographical references (p. 287-311).
CollectionGraduate School - New Brunswick Electronic Theses and Dissertations
Organization NameRutgers, The State University of New Jersey
RightsThe author owns the copyright to this work.