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Title: The Trade in Antiquities Between Italy and the Eastern Mediterranean (ca. 1400-1600)
Authors: Damen, Giada
Advisors: Fortini Brown, Patricia
Contributors: Art and Archaeology Department
Keywords: Antiquities
Subjects: Art history
Issue Date: 2012
Publisher: Princeton, NJ : Princeton University
Abstract: This dissertation focuses on the trade of antique objects imported from the eastern Mediterranean into Italy during the fifteenth and the sixteenth centuries. Through a close examination of archival and visual sources, including drawings, letters, travel accounts, and inventories, this study explores how ancient artifacts, such as coins, marbles, sculptures, gems, vases, and inscriptions, were recovered and transferred from the territories bordering the eastern Mediterranean to the Italian peninsula where they entered the art market and rapidly circulated among collectors. Chapter one considers the revival of Greek learning in fifteenth-century Italy and argues how the search for Greek manuscripts also marked the beginning of the Renaissance importation of classical artifacts from the eastern Mediterranean. The chapter discusses both early travelers such as Cristoforo Buondelmonti (1386-1430c.) and early collectors: Niccolò Niccoli; Poggio Bracciolini; and the Genoese Andreolo Gisutiniani. Chapter two focuses on Ciriaco d'Ancona (c.1391- 1452) and considers his role as purveyor of antiquities to the west. It aims to reconstruct his personal collection of antique objects and to illustrate how an interest in classical artifacts had also developed among his circle of friends in the eastern Mediterranean. Chapter three takes into account discoveries and importations of antiquities after the fall of Byzantium, and considers the Ottomans' participation in this trade with the west. Chapter four looks at the archeological activities of Venetian officials in the territories of the Stato da Mar and considers the wealth of antique material shipped back to Venice for public and private use. Chapter 5 investigates the structure and the functioning of the antiquity market in Venice and illustrates the commercial activities of merchants, jewelers and antiquari dealing in antique artifacts. The final chapter considers the developing awareness of stylistic distinctions between Greek and Roman antiquities in the later sixteenth century and the emergence of a new critical sensibility. While providing new important insights into the history of antiquities collecting, this study shows how the revival of interest in classical remains during the early modern period was not exclusively focused on the objects unearthed in Rome nor was it a phenomenon confined to the west.
Alternate format: The Mudd Manuscript Library retains one bound copy of each dissertation. Search for these copies in the library's main catalog
Type of Material: Academic dissertations (Ph.D.)
Language: en
Appears in Collections:Art and Archaeology

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