The Architecture and Urbanism of Banks in Early Modern Italy, ca. 1400–1600


Mellon/ACLS Dissertation Completion Fellowships


Art History


What does the early modern built landscape tell us about the history of capitalism? This is one of the central questions of this dissertation, which is the first interpretive study of the architecture and urbanism of buildings used for banking in Italy, ca. 1400–1600. Organized through case studies that focus on different types of edifices used as banks, this project views these buildings in light of their physical, social, and political contexts. Through scrutinizing a range of evidence, it examines a shift from banks nestled within buildings to the emergence of structures used primarily for banking functions. As this research shows, this change was influenced by contemporary attitudes towards money, particularly (and paradoxically) the Christian sin of usury.