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The Exceptional Body of Veronica Franco: Gender, Art, and Power in 16th-Century Venice

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Title: The Exceptional Body of Veronica Franco: Gender, Art, and Power in 16th-Century Venice
Author: Ryan, Meaghan
Advisor: Friedman, Andrew; Graham, Lisa Jane
Department: Haverford College. Dept. of History
Department: CPGC: Student Research
Type: Thesis (B.A.)
Issue Date: 2011
Abstract: The sixteenth-century witnessed the replacement of medieval systems of social organization such as feudalism, with the princely court. This political and social restructuring destabilized traditional expectations for men and women. To address this instability, masculinity and femininity became zones for policing boundaries and grounding political order. Venice, the lone example of a republic in a century dominated by court systems and absolute monarchs, grounded its own gendered hierarchy through the material reality of its city. This thesis examines the construction of gendered identities through painting, sculpture and civic iconography in 16th-century Venice. I examine and interpret the interaction and hierarchy of the "masculine" and "feminine" bodies within the "civic" body. The ruling male elite used the female body in its civic iconography to reaffirm their patriarchal authority in Venice as well as establish their identity as elite males. I argue that the use of the female body created an opportunity for exceptional Venetian women to appropriate these images. Using the life and writings of one exceptional woman, courtesan Veronica Franco, this thesis evaluates the ability of an educated and independent woman to manipulate these symbols in order to escape the constraints and expectations of her sex.
Subject: Franco, Veronica, 1546-1591
Subject: Sex role -- Italy -- Venice -- History -- 16th century
Subject: Venice (Italy) -- Intellectual life -- 16th century
Subject: Venice (Italy) -- Social conditions -- 16th century
Terms of Use: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/3.0/us/
Permanent URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10066/6695

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Citation

Ryan, Meaghan. "The Exceptional Body of Veronica Franco: Gender, Art, and Power in 16th-Century Venice". 2011. Available electronically from http://hdl.handle.net/10066/6695.

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http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/3.0/us/ Except where otherwise noted, this item's license is described as http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/3.0/us/

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