The New World in Renaissance Italy: a Vicarious Conquest of Art and Nature at the Medici Court


Mellon/ACLS Dissertation Completion Fellowships


Art History


This study examines the way in which the Medici engagement with the New World influenced collecting, art production, and exchange at their court and within their circle in the sixteenth and early seventeenth centuries. It uncovers the provenance, history, and meaning of American works in Italian collections. Through an examination of travel literature and letters to and from the Medici Grand Dukes and their ambassadors as well as a comparative study of inventories of various European collectors, the dissertation considers the reception of objects from the New World within their cultural context in Italy. It further illustrates how cross-cultural interactions between Italy, Spain, and the New World affected art production and the role of the artist.