Constructing social identity in Renaissance Florence: Botticelli's "Portrait of a Lady (Smeralda Brandini)"
AuthorFrady, Lisa Y.
AdvisorCuneo, Pia F.
MetadataShow full item record
PublisherThe University of Arizona.
RightsCopyright © is held by the author. Digital access to this material is made possible by the University Libraries, University of Arizona. Further transmission, reproduction or presentation (such as public display or performance) of protected items is prohibited except with permission of the author.
AbstractBotticelli's Portrait of a Lady (Smeralda Brandini ) (c. 1471) is representative of a largely uninvestigated tendency in Italian Renaissance portraiture to depict female sitters without sumptuous clothing, jewelry, and heraldic devices. Traditionally, these visual cues had been used to construct the elevated social identity of portrait sitters. This study scrutinizes a work within a neglected portion of Botticelli's oeuvre, examining the ways in which its modest, and somewhat ambiguous, visual cues also construct its sitter's elevated social identity, while simultaneously protecting it. This analysis seriously considers a portrait of a woman who is not famous, nor an idealized beauty, nor an allegorical figure. It explores her image, its functions, and its multiple layers of meaning within the confines of late-fifteenth century social relationships, gender roles, and the original domestic viewing context of Renaissance portraits (considering their public display, as well as their relationship to Marian imagery, within the home).
Degree ProgramGraduate College