Dr. Rebecca Bowen
Rebecca Bowen recently completed her PhD at the University of Oxford. Her thesis, ‘Figures of Love: Amor from Antiquity to the Italian Middle Ages’, explores the history and development of personifications of love in art and text from classical Rome to pre-Renaissance Italy, tracing the tendrils of tradition that led Amor (in his many guises) through Late Antiquity into the European Middle Ages. Her second project, ‘Picturing Love in Renaissance Italy: Boccaccio, Petrarch and the Return of Cupid’, explores how writers and artists imagined love as Cupid in Italian contexts between c.1350 and 1500, focusing on the interplay between classicising humanist aesthetics and medieval vernacular traditions. Her wider research interests lie in the interrelations between textual and visual culture in the Italian trecento and quattrocento, with a particular focus on the visual reception of the works of Dante and Boccaccio. She has published on Dante’s early works and is currently turning her thesis into a book.