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Title:Italian frescoes in German baroque palaces: visual culture and princely power in the Holy Roman Empire
Author(s):Fulco, Daniel
Director of Research:O'Brien, David
Doctoral Committee Chair(s):O'Brien, David
Doctoral Committee Member(s):Rosenthal, Lisa; Hyde Minor, Heather; Minor, Vernon Hyde; Wade, Mara R.
Department / Program:Art & Design
Discipline:Art History
Degree Granting Institution:University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Art History
Visual Culture
Fresco Painting
Mural Painting
Palace Architecture
Holy Roman Empire
German States
Eighteenth Century
Eighteenth-Century Europe
Central Europe.
Abstract:Beginning in Central Europe in the 1690s and spreading to the German principalities of the Holy Roman Empire by 1700, large-scale Italian ceiling paintings soared in popularity as nobles of all ranks competed with one another to produce ever more lavish decorative schemes that expressed their claim to princely power and political authority. This dissertation explores this phenomenon by focusing on several fresco cycles (1710-1753) created for the baroque palaces of Bensberg, Schleissheim, Ludwigsburg, and Würzburg. The residences under consideration contain paintings by Antonio Bellucci (1654-1726), Giovanni Antonio Pellegrini (1675-1741), Domenico Zanetti (active 1694-1712), Jacopo Amigoni (1682-1752), Carlo Innocenzo Carlone (1686-1775), and Giovanni Battista Tiepolo (1696-1770). My dissertation examines these images not as isolated commissions but as an interrelated group of works whose themes define a new type of visual and princely culture in the Empire. Whereas previous art historians have focused primarily on iconographic issues and the paintings’ political meanings, I locate the works of art within their broader cultural and historical context. This thesis focuses on three of the most crucial themes in the frescoes: martial prowess; cultural patronage; and Europe in a global setting. I relate these themes to the changing conditions and attitudes of the Imperial aristocracy, explaining why rulers shifted from emphasizing military heroism to stressing their cultivation of the arts and sciences, and why expressing membership in a specifically European civilization emerged as an integral visual theme and a key ambition of the Imperial nobility.
Issue Date:2014-09-16
Rights Information:Copyright 2014 Daniel Fulco
Date Available in IDEALS:2014-09-16
Date Deposited:2014-08

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