Uccello, Paolo, 1397-1475. Sir John Hawkwood [visual works]
Mural painting and decoration, Renaissance -- Italy -- Florence.
Hawkwood, John, Sir, d. 1394 -- Art.
Art patronage -- Political aspects -- Italy -- Florence -- History -- To 1500.
Florence (Italy) -- Politics and government.
While Uccello's Equestrian Monument in Florence's Cathedral has long been admired as a spectacular example of Florentine early Renaissance mural painting, distinguished by its serene, ordered geometry, only in recent decades has the turbulent political climate in which it was created been linked to its iconography. The lists of the Cathedral's treasurers and members of its board of works who oversaw the commission, housed in the Archivio di Stato di Firenze, represent a neglected source of information illuminating the political allegiances of those who helped determine the work's iconography amidst the dramatic fallout from Florence's recent unsuccessful war with Lucca.
Chaucer transformed Boccaccio's Criseida to create a female character imbued with agency: his Criseyde mobilises Boethian philosophy in order to negotiate the pressures upon her. Not only is she characterised as vital to the poem's Boethian frame, but her agency and philosophical acuity provide an explanation for her 'betrayal' of Troilus. Yet ultimately, the incompatibility of Boethian philosophy with the romance genre results in Criseyde's exclusion from the poem's ending, as Troilus rejects the romantic love it has hitherto represented and privileges a Boethian perspective on the futility of earthly cares. Criseyde's absence from this problematic conclusion has tended to obscure her Boethian pragmatism and the significance of her agency.
Ben Jonson's works display an unusual knowledge of minerals and the technology of metalworking. Detailed references to poetic creation as blacksmithing underline his respect for careful revision, but also complicate the usual Senecan understanding of poetry as a liberal art. Contemporary practices of tempering, chemically transforming and mining metals receive significant moral applications in works such as Sejanus and The Alchemist. In The Golden Age Restor'd, with reference to Ovid's myth of the decline of the world, Jonson suggests that only a process of moral refinement, as modelled by the virtuous labourer in metals or poetry, can keep James I's new Golden Age from reversion to the Age of Iron
In considering the multiple authorship and divergent plotlines of The Witch of Edmonton two main issues emerge. One is the relationship between Elizabeth Sawyer and the other women of the play, particularly Winnifride, while another issue which provides thematic coherence despite its apparent diversity is the use of ambiguity and equivocation to challenge established meaning and social structures within the play.
Marvell's 'The Gallery' has been a comparatively neglected poem and has usually been read as a tribute to Clora within the framework of lyric based on Marino's 'La Galeria'. Using well-worn conceits and adopting the pose of an ultra fashionable art connoisseur, Marvell creates a gallery of mirrors that challenges Cavalier notions of compliment while criticizing the Stuart court's obsession with imagery and revealing the darker side of pastoral. Clora has many faces – not one – and the poem fails to reveal her immutable Platonic essence. Among Clora's innumerable portraits five are described: these have no relation to art works of the time but allow Marvell to explore the nature of poetic creativity in his typically oblique way.