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Picturing institutional wet-nursing in Medicean Siena

Presciutti, Diana Bullen (2013) 'Picturing institutional wet-nursing in Medicean Siena.' In: Sperling, Jutta Gisela, (ed.) Medieval and Renaissance Lactations: Images, Rhetorics, Practices. Routledge, 129 - 146. ISBN 9781409448600

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This chapter examines how the two added frescoes, particularly the Assignment and Payment of Wet Nurses, articulated an ideology of abundance in late sixteenth-century Siena, both by engaging with the imagery of the earlier cycle and by associating the care of abandoned children with the provision of sustenance to the local community. In the 1440s, when the first decorative program in the Pellegrinaio was being executed, Siena was still an independent republic. The frescoes added in the 1570s thus communicate the plentiful resources of the Scala hospital under the control of Grand Duke Francesco and his proxy Rector Saracini. Brick was the traditional building material of Siena, while pietra serena was associated with Florentine architecture. In the context of Medicean Siena, however, the visual valence of lactation carried with it less desirable ties to the imagery of the Sienese commune. The structure of the composition also participates in this pictorial juggling act.

Item Type: Book Section
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HQ The family. Marriage. Women
N Fine Arts > ND Painting
Divisions: Faculty of Humanities > Philosophy and Art History, School of
Depositing User: Jim Jamieson
Date Deposited: 03 Mar 2016 08:35
Last Modified: 13 Jun 2021 20:15

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