The relationship between early modern Italy and its medieval past has become the object of new interest and debate in art history. To a certain extent, other fields of scholarship, such as history, history of literature, and history of philosophy, have remained alien to the discussion. Yet, the emergence of the humanities as autonomous disciplines in the nineteenth century was predicated on the arduous and sophisticated scrutiny and re-thinking of the ‘divides’ in the history of western Europe and their hermeneutical validity. Articulating the division between ancient / medieval and medieval / Renaissance has been particularly important in this discourse. At present, although the interpretation of the medieval / Renaissance divide no longer rests on the oversimplifying binomial of continuity / discontinuity, the identification and assessment of what historically constitutes a break, a transition, a regression, or a novelty are still topics of contention and ambivalence.
Remembering the Middle Ages in Early Modern Italy approaches these important interpretive issues through the fresh lens of case studies carried out by scholars from the diverse fields of history of art and architecture, history of literature, and philosophy. In these essays, the notion of ‘remembrance’ is examined and inflected in multiple ways: as memory and survival, as a process of distance and clarification, and as nostalgia, repudiation, and revival. Remembering the Middle Ages also offers an updated survey on the ways in which the medieval / Renaissance divide was originally constructed in the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries and subsequently interpreted from Jacob Burckhardt’s The Civilization of the Renaissance in Italy (1860) to the present day.
Lorenzo Pericolo is Associate Professor of History of Art at the University of Warwick. He is the author of Caravaggio and Pictorial Narrative: Dislocating the Istoria in Early Modern Painting (2011). With the Center for Advanced Studies in the Visual Arts (Washington DC), he is preparing the critical edition of the life of Guido Reni by Carlo Cesare Malvasia.
Jessica N. Richardson is Wissenschaftliche Assistentin at the Kunsthistorisches Institut in Florenz –Max-Planck-Institut (Florence) in the Department of Gerhard Wolf. She was Research Associate at the Center for the Advanced Study in the Visual Arts (Washington DC) then Amherson Fellow at Villa I Tatti (Florence). She is currently working on a book on the creation and treatment of medieval miraculous images in Bologna between the fourteenth and the seventeenth centuries.
Introduction — Jessica N. Richardson
Antiquitas and the Medium Aevum: The Ancient / Medieval Divide and Italian Humanism — Frederic Clark
Vasari in Practice, or How to Build a Tomb and Make it Work — C. Jean Campbell
Shifting Identities: Jacopo Campora’s De Immortalitate Anime from Manuscript to Print — Eugenio Refini
Leon Battista Alberti: ‘Philology’ of Forms and Time in Sant’Andrea, Mantua — Arturo Calzona
Did Siena Have a Renaissance? — Jane Tylus
Persistence and Polychronicity in Roman Churches — Dale Kinney
Pulci’s Morgante and the End of a Medieval World — David Quint
Incorporating the Middle Ages: Lazzaro Bastiani, the Bellini, and the “Greek” and “German” Architecture of Medieval Venice — Lorenzo Pericolo
Dante and Petrarch in Giovan Battista Gelli’s Lectures at the Florentine Academy — Federica Pich
Medieval Column Crosses in Early Modern Bologna —Jessica N. Richardson
Serving Christ: The Assumption Procession in Sixteenth-Century Rome — Kirstin Noreen
Changing Historical Perspectives? Giovan Pietro Bellori and the Middle Ages in Rome — Elisabeth Oy-Marra
Visual Evidence and Periodization in Giulio Mancini’s Observations on Early Christian and Medieval Art in Rome — Frances Gage
Epilogue: The Shifting Boundaries of the Middle Ages: From Die Kultur der Renaissance in Italien (1860) to Anachronic Renaissance (2010) — Lorenzo Pericolo