Artistic Production, Material Culture, and the University in Renaissance Bologna

Ariella Minden

Bolognese sculptor, Tomb of Giovanni d'Andrea, sandstone, 1348. Museo Civico Medievale di Bologna, Musei Civici d'Arte Antica

The research project provides a reassessment of the visual arts in Bologna between 1490 and 1530, contemplating aspects of image making and the transfer of artistic models in the broader context of the creation and dissemination of knowledge as shaped by the University of Bologna. The Studio's sustained impact since its foundation in the late-eleventh century on the development of the city's urban landscape offers new insights into the rise of a visual output that stood at the intersection of longstanding local traditions and transient scholarly communities, a culture that promoted the generation and movement of bodies of knowledge and materials. Concomitantly, the project reflects on confluence and exchange between local artists, including Amico Aspertini and Marcantonio Raimondi, and masters who were short-lived yet remarkable presences in Bologna, such as Michelangelo, Parmigianino, and Albrecht Dürer, and their interactions with the learned environs of the University. The dissertation ultimately seeks to provide a dynamic, critical model to nuance the understanding of the vibrant production in Renaissance Bologna, engaging with questions of artistic geography, the processing of visual information, and mobility.


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