Research ideas…

First…welcome again to ARTH 470Z and the latest Venice exhibit.  I enjoyed hearing about your interests in Venice and ideas on possible research topics.  I hope you’ll take a few minutes to comment to this post about those research ideas.  So respond in the box below and jot down a few lines.

My own research on Venice focuses on Giorgio Vasari’s account of the city in his Lives of the Artists, both 1550 and 1568 editions.  We tend to see Vasari as highly critical of Venice — it’s a place of luxury, the painters focus too much on color as opposed to drawing, they don’t have excellent models to follow, etc., etc.  And yet the city is, in its own way, central to the Third Part (the art of his time) of his Lives…and that’s what I find intriguing.

22 thoughts on “Research ideas…

  1. A possible research topic I have is on Venetian textiles and garb with a possible focus on the Carnevale (I think the masks are very interesting) . Just an idea!

  2. Another research topic that recently occurred to me is to research the influence that the Vatican had on Venice at the time.

  3. I know I mentioned that an interesting topic for my research was how trade affected Venice, such as its influences on art and life. I was looking at the bibliography for the course and saw the source by Marco Polo and I thought it would be interesting to research his experiences and tie that to the broader perspective and effects of trade.

  4. In class I talked about wanting to research conservation of the city as my topic. I want to stay on that topic but narrow it down possibly to focus on the MOSE Project or other preventative methods being used in Venice.

  5. I did a little bit of research over the weekend, and was hoping to have made a decision between the two topics I was debating!

    Needless to say, I am still extremely interested in Canaletto’s work. I would be eager to research his paintings and find a good thesis for his body of work. I am not sure yet how I would narrow this down, though… I would like to find who he was influenced by, and it would also be interesting to know which artists were inspired by him, as well.

    The other topic I am interested in exploring is the influence of Venetian artists on the Italian Impressionism movement. I have not done as much research on this yet, though I certainly want to delve deeper into this range of works.

    Perhaps there is some sort of connection between these two topics that isn’t too obscure or far-reaching? I would ideally like to present new research about either one, and it appears that the Italian Impressionism movement has not been studied as extensively as it could be. Either could be very interesting!

  6. I mentioned briefly – and with a rather wide range – my interest in Venetian culture in class. I can’t decide whether I want to pursue the function of disguise and masquerade in society or something else, but it’s a start! Pietro Longhi has some paintings related to the topic which I’ve been looking over. Another possibility – if I could find sources for it – would be to explore the influence of sickness and plague on Venetian art and society.

    MAO: Did you decide to focus on Longhi?

  7. I would like to research Venetian portrait style. Since Venice started the oil on canvas tradition I want to see how that influenced artists’ styles. I specifically want to look into Bellini and Titian, but also keep Vasari in mind as well as the topic of women as unnamed subjects possibly.

    Other options I’ve considered are the influence of the Lagoon on everyday Venetian life (inspired by the Crouzet-Pavan article) and the Venetian Glass Industry focusing on the Island of Murano (and another whose name I can’t recall) and Carlo Scarpa as a glass artist.

  8. The more I read about the difficulty of movement in early Venetian history, the more interested I become in the evolution of it. As the world and technology has progressed, I’d like to see how the city and people of Venice have adapted and moved forward with it. Yahtzee.

  9. I think I have changed my topic idea from the conservation of the city of Venice with the MOSE project. I would really like to research the mosaics of San Marco Basilica. I could narrow it down by focusing on a particular mosaic in the interior. However another idea I had was to research the issues there have been with the conservation of the mosaics and pick a particular era like the work that was done in either the 18th or 19th centuries.

  10. My interest for research would go along the lines of Venetian colorito in Titian and other Venetian works. I would really like to look at the comparison and in a way rivalry with the Florentine disegno. I am very interested in Michelangelo drawings, so this would be a good branch of research that would show some of the other styles of drawing, or non-drawing, that were happening around the same time.

    MAO: I think looking at mid- and late-16th c. art would be good here, especially the work of Titian, Veronese, and Tintoretto. Look at what Vasari says about these painters and about Venetian drawing/painting. You’ll have great works to consider. Have you come across Aretino? He will be an important source.

  11. I am equally interested in both the Biennale and glass made in Murano. Although they are two very different topics, I would like to approach them both in the contemporary and learn what is happening in the present. I know that I will need to narrow this topic down but I am not sure in which direction would be best to begin my research.

  12. I thought about what I had previously written on researching the influence of the Vatican on Venice but I realized that I find the whole aspect of the courtesans and the role gender played in Venice a lot more fascinating. I would want to research how women were portrayed in art work, I wouldn’t necessarily want to focus on portraits of the upper class women, but more of the common, everyday women. Maybe I could research more specifically about the different portrayals of Venus’ such as Titians and what the feminine ideal was at the time

  13. I think that I have narrowed my research topic strictly to the study of textiles in Venice in and around the 15th-16th centuries. I have begun to find examples of velvet and silk fragments from this period and I think that they would be make for an interesting examination of trade and status in Venice.

  14. After our discussion in class on monday, I also think that exploring gender roles in the society of venice would be an interesting topic. Particularly the role of women.

    MAO: Still thinking about this? How is it going?

  15. After our class discussion today, I think I might want to focus on photography in Venice and how it helped with preservation and conservation of the city.

    MAO: Have you had a chance to see the 19th-c. photographs in ARTstor? Comparisons between those works and 19th-c. paintings of the same scenes might be interesting. Were these photos taken to document the city or were they “art photography?” This is an interesting topic, and I’m glad you’re looking into it.

  16. After having listened to what Professor Och said in class about our research topics yesterday, I’ve decided to stick to Canaletto’s art views of the water. I think Italian Impressionism is too broad a topic at this time, and I have had my heart set in researching this particular artist all summer! The National Gallery must also have an extensive bibliography from which I can find a few sources. I am still keeping my mind open, however, and am going to take this weekend to find a final focus.

    MAO: Wonderful and timely! The NGA catalogue will be an important source. That exhibit included several views of the same subject by Canaletto or Canaletto and another artist. It might be interesting to bring in another artist just for comparison to see how the subject/location is depicted by them.

  17. Sooooo I have decided to change topics- I am going to do my research on the Biennale. I feel like this is such a great topic and as long as no one else has started to work on this topic I would love to research it. In my last seminar class on Paris, I did my research project on French cinema so studying the Biennale di Venezia would be fantastic!

  18. oh an just to clarify- I would focus on the Venice Film Festival as part of the Biennale

    MAO: I was so looking forward to textiles! But I’ll be interested in seeing what you do with this. Is there sufficient material to analyze and critique the film festival? More after I see your proposal.

  19. like most people i have changed my topic as well – i am focusing on the ghetto, specifically the boom of architecture during the 16th century: where buildings were placed and why and then how those buildings were enlarged still further. from what i’ve read thus far, my focus will be on the new ghetto (Ghetto Novo) because it’s the oldest and was the initial location.

    MAO: You’re focusing…that’s good. Is Barbari’s map useful here? Keep in mind that he provides a point of departure for understanding this neighborhood. What did this area look like in 1500? Does the ghetto appear in other images/maps/views of the city?

  20. After really reading into my topic on gender and the role of women in Venice, I’ve decided to narrow it down and work specifically with the subject of the Courtesans in Venice including their lifestyle, how they were viewed, and how they are depicted in artwork.

    MAO: You’ll find a rich bibliography on this, and you’ll want to read about Veronica Franco (see course bibliography). Some artists to consider: the Bellini, Carpaccio, Giorgione, Titian, and Veronese, keeping in mind that we may not know from their images what a courtesan looks like. Or perhaps you might be more interested in looking at later works? 18th-c. images? It’s a very interesting puzzle. It might also be interesting to consider where courtesans were allowed to go — physically — in the city. Were their movements restricted? Can any of this be mapped out?

  21. I am having a really hard time finding images and information on 19th century photography in Venice. I am going back to one of my original ideas that focuses on the lives of the 14th century glassmakers in Murano.

    MAO: No luck with the ARTstor images? I’m not sure you’ll find much on the lives of the glassmakers…but you should be able to find quite a bit on the early modern glass industry in Venice. There were a number of important developments in glassmaking at this time, and influences between Venice, the Islamic East, and German cities. And the material you’ll be looking at is wonderful!

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