TitleHistory, preservation and reconstruction in Siena
NameScappini, Chiara (author), Sidlauskas, Susan (chair), Marder, Tod (internal member), McHam, Sarah Blake (internal member), Puglisi, Catherine (internal member), Jenkens, Lawrence (outside member), Rutgers University, Graduate School - New Brunswick,
Fonte Gaia (Siena, Italy),
Sculpture--Conservation and restoration--Italy--Siena,
Jacopo, della Quercia, 1372?-1436--Criticism and interpretation
DescriptionThis dissertation concerns the Fonte Gaia, the most significant civic monument in Siena, located in the Piazza del Campo facing the town hall, the Palazzo Pubblico. The complex of reliefs and statues that decorated the fountain is considered one of the major expressions of Italian Quattrocento sculpture. Yet the fountain in its current iteration is not the original, eloquent masterpiece completed in 1419 by hometown sculptor Jacopo della Quercia (c. 1374-1438); rather, it is a nineteenth-century reconstruction commissioned from Tito Sarrocchi (1824-1900) by a committee of leading Sienese citizens. This study begins with a new assessment of the Fonte Gaia in the Renaissance and follows its history into the nineteenth century. I show how an earlier Trecento fountain on the site influenced the form and decoration of Quercia’s later fountain, and I address the lacunae in the scholarship of the Fonte Gaia that would account for its afterlife. I elucidate Quercia’s complex iconographic program through my analysis of the drawing attributed to his hand and the relationships between his program for the Fonte Gaia and Taddeo di Bartolo’s fresco program in the Antechapel of the Palazzo Pubblico of 1414. I demonstrate the importance of Sarrocchi’s nineteenth-century plaster casts, often overlooked by scholars, in the effort to decipher Quercia’s original sculptures, and I show how the modern restoration (1989-2010) of the fountain by the Opificio delle Pietre Dure can help us to further understand the nature of his stone material, the previously unsuspected presence of polychromy, and the nature of his Renaissance design. Through an examination of pertinent documents, I explain how the nineteenth-century project to restore the fountain, stimulated by the Risorgimento, was a reflection of the social and political history of Siena and of modern Italy. Visual evidence indicates that Sarrocchi’s revival sculpture, currently in situ, cannot be considered a copy of Quercia’s Fonte Gaia, but rather a variant of it. My dissertation demonstrates how Sarrocchi’s fountain --heavily influenced by the Italian art movement Purism and the prevailing restoration theories that circulated in Siena at the time -- reflects the reception of Renaissance art in the nineteenth century.
NoteIncludes bibliographical references
Noteby Chiara Scappini
CollectionGraduate School - New Brunswick Electronic Theses and Dissertations
Organization NameRutgers, The State University of New Jersey
RightsThe author owns the copyright to this work.