Constructing Beauty During The Italian Renaissance

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Constructing Beauty During The Italian Renaissance

  1. 1. Constructing Beauty During the Italian Renaissance Ann K. Fields A&D 451 Spring 2009
  2. 2. Rationale <ul><li>Response to a debate </li></ul><ul><li>Cosmetic practices and fashion are often excluded </li></ul><ul><li>Applies a context of society contemporary to portraiture </li></ul>“ Portrait of a Woman” Sandro Botticelli c. 1480-1485 “ Bianca Ponzoni Anguissola” Sofonisba Anguissola c. 1557
  3. 3. Thesis <ul><li>Italian Renaissance portraiture reflects the appearance which was physically created by women in order to fit into their society’s canons of beauty. </li></ul>“ Venus of Urbino” Titian c.1538
  4. 4. The classical past <ul><li>Canons of beauty for the Italian Renaissance period were derived from those of the Greeks and Romans </li></ul><ul><li>Mathematical order and ratios of features </li></ul><ul><li>Rediscovery of anatomical studies </li></ul>“ Cnidian Aphrodite” Roman copy after Praxiteles c. 4th Century BCE
  5. 5. Canons of beauty <ul><li>high forehead </li></ul><ul><li>sharply defined chin, </li></ul><ul><li>pale skin, </li></ul><ul><li>strawberry blond hair </li></ul><ul><li>high delicate eyebrows </li></ul><ul><li>strong nose </li></ul><ul><li>narrow mouth </li></ul><ul><li>full lips </li></ul><ul><li>elongated neck </li></ul><ul><li>pregnancy- reflected in fashion </li></ul>“ Lady with an Ermine” Leonardo da Vinci c. 1489-1490
  6. 6. Diffusion of Visual Culture <ul><li>Prints of portraits </li></ul><ul><li>Poetry </li></ul><ul><li>Church-commissioned pieces </li></ul>“ Madonna dell Granduca” Raphael c. 1505
  7. 7. Fashion of the Period <ul><li>Clothing as status- described in portraits </li></ul><ul><li>Clothing altering the body to fit ideals </li></ul>“ Catherine de’Medici” Sofonisba Anguissola c. 1556
  8. 8. Cosmetic Practices <ul><li>Bleaching Methods </li></ul><ul><li>White powder and creams </li></ul><ul><li>Rouge </li></ul><ul><li>Eye makeup </li></ul><ul><li>Lipsticks </li></ul><ul><li>Dying the hair </li></ul><ul><li>Plucking or shaving of eyebrows and hairline </li></ul>“ Portrait of Maria de’Medici” Agnolo Bronzino c. 1551
  9. 9. Summary of exhibition <ul><li>Visual culture allowed women to see the ideal beauty </li></ul><ul><li>Could construct ideal appearance through cosmetic practices and fashion </li></ul><ul><li>Questioning the aesthetic values and degree of naturalism in representation </li></ul>
  10. 10. <ul><li>Articles on Exhibition: </li></ul><ul><li>“ Portrait of a Woman” Sandro Botticelli (c. 1480-1485) “Bianca Ponzoni Anguissola” Sofonisba Anguissola (c. 1557) “Venus of Urbino” Titian (c.1538) “Cnidian Aphrodite” Praxiteles (c.4th Century BCE) “Lady with an Ermine” Leonardo da Vinci (c.1489-1490) “Madonna dell Granduca” Raphael (c. 1505) “Catherine de’Medici” Sofonisba Anguissola (c. 1556) “Portrait of Maria de’Medici” Agnolo Bronzino (c.1551) </li></ul><ul><li>Whitening cream container </li></ul><ul><li>Rouge box Reproduction of Maria de’Medici’s dress </li></ul>

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