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'Un gregge di vari capricci': bizarre bodies in 17th century Florentine print albums

Scalabrella Spada, Laura; (2020) 'Un gregge di vari capricci': bizarre bodies in 17th century Florentine print albums. Doctoral thesis (Ph.D), UCL (University College London).

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Abstract

In this dissertation, I consider a group of albums of prints published in Florence in the 17th century, arguing that they suggest the emergence of a new kind of representation of the human body that privileges animation, inventiveness and expression of time over the transmission of normative knowledge. One of these albums is a little-known set of etchings from 1624 entitled Bizzarie di Varie Figure, produced by Giovanni Battista Braccelli. Presenting paired bodies, reimagined in a variety of ways, these prints challenge ideas of bodily coherence and animation. The Bizzarie’s transformative images are in keeping with early modern change and experimentation, but they do not follow what is usually ascribed to print culture. I argue that Braccelli’s album should be considered alongside the unusual albums of Jacques Callot and Stefano della Bella as a new type of publication format. I investigate the ways in which the body encounters the medium of print, and how their expressive potential functions within a process of transformation. My argument considers early modern debates about natural philosophy and the role of prints in the transmission of knowledge. I also deal with the implications of using a format based on pairings and the role of performance, with a particular emphasis on bodily processes, boundaries and relations. In order to expand the interpretative possibilities about these albums, the dissertation turns to critical theory on the body, and to interdisciplinary modes of engagement with images and objects. I address the albums’ transformative and experimental ambitions and seek to consider how they engage with, and challenge, the early modern representation of the human body.

Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Qualification: Ph.D
Title: 'Un gregge di vari capricci': bizarre bodies in 17th century Florentine print albums
Event: UCL (University College London)
Language: English
Additional information: Copyright © The Author 2020. Original content in this thesis is licensed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International (CC BY 4.0) Licence (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/). Any third-party copyright material present remains the property of its respective owner(s) and is licensed under its existing terms. Access may initially be restricted at the author’s request.
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH > Faculty of S&HS
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH > Faculty of S&HS > Dept of History of Art
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10092085
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