Institutional Scholarship

The Exceptional Body of Veronica Franco: Gender, Art, and Power in 16th-Century Venice

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dc.contributor.advisor Friedman, Andrew, 1974-
dc.contributor.advisor Graham, Lisa Jane, 1963- Ryan, Meaghan 2011-05-11T16:15:06Z 2011-05-11T16:15:06Z 2011
dc.description.abstract The sixteenth-century witnessed the replacement of medieval systems of social organization such as feudalism, with the princely court. This political and social restructuring destabilized traditional expectations for men and women. To address this instability, masculinity and femininity became zones for policing boundaries and grounding political order. Venice, the lone example of a republic in a century dominated by court systems and absolute monarchs, grounded its own gendered hierarchy through the material reality of its city. This thesis examines the construction of gendered identities through painting, sculpture and civic iconography in 16th-century Venice. I examine and interpret the interaction and hierarchy of the "masculine" and "feminine" bodies within the "civic" body. The ruling male elite used the female body in its civic iconography to reaffirm their patriarchal authority in Venice as well as establish their identity as elite males. I argue that the use of the female body created an opportunity for exceptional Venetian women to appropriate these images. Using the life and writings of one exceptional woman, courtesan Veronica Franco, this thesis evaluates the ability of an educated and independent woman to manipulate these symbols in order to escape the constraints and expectations of her sex.
dc.description.sponsorship Haverford College. Department of History
dc.description.sponsorship CPGC: Student Research
dc.language.iso eng
dc.subject.lcsh Franco, Veronica, 1546-1591
dc.subject.lcsh Sex role -- Italy -- Venice -- History -- 16th century
dc.subject.lcsh Venice (Italy) -- Intellectual life -- 16th century
dc.subject.lcsh Venice (Italy) -- Social conditions -- 16th century
dc.title The Exceptional Body of Veronica Franco: Gender, Art, and Power in 16th-Century Venice
dc.type Thesis
dc.rights.access Haverford users only
dc.description.award The History Department Senior Thesis Prize

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