Armour and Masculinity in the Italian Renaissance
During the Italian Wars of 1494 to 1559, with innovations in military technology and tactics, armour began to disappear from the battlefield. Yet as field armour was retired, parade and ceremonial armour grew increasingly flamboyant. Displaced from its utilitarian function of defense but retained for symbolic uses, armour evolved in a new direction as a medium of artistic expression.
Luxury armour became a chief accessory in the performance of elite male identity, coded with messages regarding the owner's social status, genealogy, and political alliances. Carolyn Springer decodes Renaissance armour as three-dimensional portraits through the case studies of three patrons of luxury armourers, Guidobaldo II della Rovere (1514-75), Charles V Habsburg (1500-58 and Holy Roman Emperor from 1519-56), and Cosimo I de'Medici (1519-74). A fascinating exposition of male self-representation, Armour and Masculinity in the Italian Renaissance explores the significance of armour in early modern Italy as both cultural artefact and symbolic form.
- World Rights
- Page Count: 256 pages
- Dimensions: 6.0in x 0.7in x 9.0in
Reviews‘This thematic study deftly explores the multivalent, often contradictory meanings generated by armour and its representation and excavates the social, political, and economic networks created and fostered by its fabrication, gifting, and viewing.’
Renaissance Quarterly: vol 64:01:2011
'Armour and Masculinity in the Italian Renaissance is a fascinating introduction to the cultural symbolism of armour and its physical, visual, and verbal interpretations in sixteenth-century Italy. Carolyn Springer's writing is clear, intelligent, and witty as she adroitly links her subject to recent discourses concerning power and gender as mediated through representations of the body.'
Albert R. Ascoli, Gladys Arata Terrill Distinguished Professor of Italian Studies, University of California, Berkeley
Carolyn Springer is a professor in the Department of French and Italian at Stanford University.
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