Trecento Art between the Foreign and the Local

Prof. Anne Dunlop, Ph.D.

The thirteenth-century rise of the Mongol Empire opened new and important Eurasian trade routes. Objects, artists, and technologies traveled and interacted throughout Mongol territories and beyond them; and Italian cities served as the European gateways to this expanded world. This research seeks to evaluate the impact of these shifts on duecento and trecento Italian art. It is organized around three major themes. The first explores how the newly open Eurasian world was pictured and imagined. The second section focuses on the transformative role of materials and techniques newly available in Italy because of increased trade and travel. The final section examines how Italian artists adopted formats or schemata from imported arts, beginning with textiles but also in other media including manuscript and fresco painting. At the centre of the research is the question of visual translation: the ability of one artistic language to interpret and adapt the visual syntax of another, and the degree to which meaning might be carried over into a new visual context.

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