History of Art (Bryn Mawr)

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Now showing 1 - 5 of 21
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    "When All the Graves Were Full": Anthropological Confrontations at The Triumph of Death of Pisa
    (2020) Kline, Rachel; Culbertson, Jacob; Giammei, Alessandro, 1988-
    This thesis will aim to consider the social processes and sociocultural environment central to viewing imagery of dead and dying bodies in Late Medieval Italy. Specifically, I will investigate The Triumph of Death (Il Trionfo della Morte) fresco by Buonamico Buffalmacco (ca. 1330's) at the Camposanto in Pisa and the broader religious complex to consider how the artwork and architecture were utilized to mediate the experience of fourteenth century Pisans. I will argue that the fresco contains apotropaic qualities which seek to fend off the threat of death from plague, yet also force the viewer into a memento mori rooted in Dominican theology. The scholarship and methodology of anthropologist Alfred Gell will be central to my discussion surrounding the sociocultural implications of art production and I will focus on the power of art as a social agent working as an intermediary in the social world of the fourteenth century. In addition, the anthropological theory of new materialism, specifically the scholarship of Amiria Henare, will aid in demystifying Late Medieval spectatorship not simply as a different way of seeing things but as the construction and inhabitation of a separate world. These theoretical lenses will both build upon and challenge Michael Baxandall's theory of the period eye which states that there is a linkage between the lived world of the viewer and the representational imagery of contemporaneous art. In situating The Triumph of Death anthropologically, I will aim to resurrect the social world of the viewer central to the Trecento experience of this work of art.
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    Imagining Africa: Négritude and Primitivism in Corps perdu
    (2020) Kerper, Alyssa; Anyinefa, Koffi, 1959-; McKee, C. C.
    My thesis explores the way Pablo Picasso and Aimé Césaire claim Africa as a source of inspiration in their jointly-published book Corps perdu , an illustrated volume of poetry released in Paris in 1950. I look at the way Négritude, Césaire's guiding philosophy, and primitivism, an art movement popularized by Picasso, rely on a vision of Africa as both the romanticized home of "primitive," pre-colonized culture and as the site of horrific violence and exploitation. Using both text and image as evidence, I argue that the book mobilizes this conception of Africa in order to amplify the black voice in twentieth-century European culture
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    Little Woolen Things: Provenance and Typological Analysis of Surviving Nälbound Footwear from Late Antique Egypt
    (2020) Stern, Alexandra; Bradbury, Jennie
    Studies of surviving materials from late antique Egypt have identified nälbound footwear as a unique category of textile remains. Previous work on the topic, however, has focused predominantly on technique and construction, and less on an analysis of the surviving body of materials as a whole. This paper serves to collate known information about the original archaeological context of these materials, wherever possible, and proposes a typological framework by length upon which future research might be constructed. In the creation of this framework, individual properties, including polychromatic stripes, single-toe construction, and low wear patterns are seen to be correlated with small socks likely meant for children.