Printmaking in Rome in the Age of Philip II (1556–1598)

Emily Monty, M.A.

This dissertation analyzes prints and illustrated books published in Rome showing the importance of the Spanish presence in Italy in the second-half of the 16th century, whether through iconography, text, dedications, or contributions of Spanish makers. Increasing interest in Spanish Italy has begun to demonstrate the vitality of Spanish networks in Italian artistic production, complimenting the well-studied transmission of Italian style in Spain. I contribute to this research by arguing that the force of Spanish political and military power on the Italian Peninsula during the reign of Philip II (1556–1598) is registered in Roman publishing. I show how Roman printmaking became the site of sustained dialogue bringing artists and publishers into conversation with Spanish clerics, ambassadors, merchants, pilgrims, and interlocutors from around the world. Using this trans-regional framework, I provide new readings of canonical images while arguing for the significance of more obscure prints made visible through these networks. Extended focus on three exemplary cases demonstrates how printmaking was at the center of desired networks of artistic production and consumption linking Rome to the Spanish court in Madrid as well as to the Iberian Peninsula, the Netherlands, and the Americas.

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