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Dr Claudia Daniotti

I joined the Centre for the Study of the Renaissance at Warwick in April 2020 as a Leverhulme Early Career Fellow. My research project, entitled ‘Morally Ambiguous Ancient Women in European Art, c. 1350-1620’, investigates the literary and iconographic tradition during the medieval and Renaissance period of women from antiquity who defied contemporary social expectations by exercising ‘masculine’ virtues or vices, such as strength, courage and ambition. By focusing on the most popular heroines of this type, taken from ancient myth and history and the Old Testament (e.g. Medea, Penthesilea, Cleopatra and Judith), my research explores the vast tradition of famous women as most notably developed in French and Italian texts and images from c. 1350 to 1620. Arguing that ambiguous models from antiquity had a more significant and multifaceted impact on the formation of female identity than has previously been acknowledged, my research will also demonstrate the layered identity of women from the emergence of a female canon in Giovanni Boccaccio and Christine de Pizan to the heroines-filled art of Artemisia Gentileschi.

My area of expertise lies in Renaissance Italian art, with an emphasis on iconography, the relationship between texts and images, and the transmission of ancient visual motifs in European art and culture. I hold a PhD from the Warburg Institute, and a BA (Hons) and MA in History of Art from the Ca’ Foscari University, Venice. I have been lecturing for years both in academia and museums, teaching across a range of areas and periods in Italian art history spanning from the fourteenth to the mid-twentieth century. I was a Visiting and Associate Lecturer in Renaissance and Baroque to Neoclassical Art at Buckingham and Bath Spa Universities (2016-2019), a Teaching Assistant at the Warburg Institute (2014), and worked for three years at the Estorick Collection of Modern Italian Art as an Education and Exhibition Assistant (2008-2011). Before joining Warwick, I was a Research Fellow at the Center for Italian Modern Art, New York (Fall 2019), where I researched the sculpture of twentieth-century Italian artist Marino Marini in light of its appropriation and reinterpretation of models from antiquity, particularly from ancient Etruria and Egypt.

I have published extensively in the fields of the classical tradition and fourteenth- to eighteenth-century art history, contributing essays, articles and catalogue entries to a number of edited volumes, journals, exhibition catalogues and conference proceedings. My first monograph on the reception of the myth of Alexander the Great in Renaissance Italian art, based on my doctoral dissertation, is forthcoming.

Research interests

  • Late medieval and Renaissance art, especially Italian
  • Classical tradition
  • Iconography and iconology
  • Posthumous life of Alexander the Great
  • Transmission of ancient texts and their interplay with the visual arts
  • The macabre and representation of Death in medieval and Early Modern Europe
  • Reception of antiquity at the court of Sigismondo Pandolfo Malatesta in Rimini
  • Aby Warburg and his legacy

 

Qualifications

  • PhD: Combined Historical Studies, The Warburg Institute, University of London
  • MA: History of Art, Ca’ Foscari University, Venice
  • BA (Hons): History of Art, Ca’ Foscari University, Venice