Facing the Divine: Busts of Christ in Sixteenth-Century Italy.
Abstract: This thesis examines the early modern viewer reception of
sixteenth-century Italian busts of Christ that lack attributes. I determine that the busts
were recognizable to the viewer without any elements of identification because Christ's
actual physiognomy was believed to be preserved in the True Likenesses. Moreover, this
inquiry explores the physical bust form of the sculptures to d... read moreetermine if early modern
viewers understood the busts of Christ to be a portrait bust or a reliquary bust. I
determine that the busts of Christ have correlations to both types of busts. Thus, the
function of the bust is analyzed by comparing the functions and locations of portrait and
reliquary busts with the known locations of the busts of Christ. Finally, I posit possible
functions for the busts of Christ to understand how early modern Italian viewers may have
interacted with the busts.
Thesis (M.A.)--Tufts University, 2011.
Submitted to the Dept. of Art and Art History.
Advisor: Cristelle Baskins.
Committee: Peter Probst, and Marietta Cambareri.
Keywords: Art History, European History, and Religion.read less