Date of Award

Spring 5-15-2018

Author's School

Graduate School of Arts and Sciences

Author's Department

Art History & Archaeology

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Degree Type



Despite intense socio-political upheaval, portraiture flourished in Florence of the 1530s-1540s. These works remain understudied, and are primarily examined in isolation from their broader context. This study evaluates a series of case studies to determine novel approaches to formulating identity through portraiture during the chaotic second quarter of the sixteenth century in Florence. Positioning the sitter as part of a collective, the artists and their patrons use assertions of civic identity to transcend a sense of otherness as they forge new identities and define new positions. Situated in the transition from republic to duchy, this project offers new insights into portraits by the foremost contemporaneous artists while outlining ways the genre reflected evolving concepts of civic identity. This focused study deepens our understanding of sixteenth-century portraiture and the nature of self-presentation and civic identity. It further offers a framework for considering portraiture and expressions of identity in times of turmoil.


English (en)

Chair and Committee

William E. Wallace

Committee Members

Daniel Bornstein, Roger Crum, John Klein, Nathaniel Jones,


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