Skip navigation
Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item:
Title: The Image of the World in Thirteenth-Century Rome
Authors: Hauknes, Marius
Advisors: Barber, Charles
Zchomelidse, Nino
Contributors: Art and Archaeology Department
Keywords: encyclopedism
papal court
Subjects: Art history
Issue Date: 2014
Publisher: Princeton, NJ : Princeton University
Abstract: This dissertation reconsiders the relationship between art and knowledge in thirteenth-century Italy. It examines two encyclopedic fresco cycles: the crypt of the cathedral of Anagni (ca. 1235-50) and the newly recovered wall paintings in Santi Quattro Coronati in Rome (ca. 1245-50). Both murals were painted by the same anonymous painters and both painted spaces served as gathering halls for members of the papal court. Yet, the most striking common feature of the two fresco cycles was their encyclopedic ambition, that is, their effort to pictorially represent all fields of available knowledge in a comprehensive and systematic way. The two pictorial programs--so this dissertation argues--introduced a new category of painting in late medieval Italy, the aims of which are captured in the period's term for encyclopedia, imago mundi, or image of the world. The chapters of this study develop this argument through close visual analyses of the imagery in the Anagni crypt and the cardinal's residence of Santi Quattro Coronati. These analyses explore the ways in which the two monuments engaged with the period's innovations in science and technology and the ongoing translation and dissemination of Greek and Arabic knowledge. The unknown mural painters working in Anagni and Rome could integrate newly acquired knowledge into a revised image of the world, and through various pictorial means, such as the use of color and framing, could create the effect of a unified whole. In this process, and for the first time in the history of medieval art, complex diagrams and other scientific imagery were transposed from the realm of manuscript illumination to that of monumental wall painting. Significantly, this artistic development emerged in the cultural context of the thirteenth- century papacy. Previous scholarship has assumed that artistic innovation in medieval Rome was stifled by the conservative attitudes of popes and cardinals, who remained content to repaint their basilicas with images of saints and biblical stories. This study overturns such previously held assumptions by foregrounding the pivotal role Roman artists and their curial sponsors played in creating a new painting of knowledge.
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

Files in This Item:
File Description SizeFormat 
Hauknes_princeton_0181D_11007.pdf112.32 MBAdobe PDFView/Download

Items in Dataspace are protected by copyright, with all rights reserved, unless otherwise indicated.