Feminae: Medieval Women and Gender Index


  • Record Number: 32431
  • Author(s)/Creator(s): Long , Jane C.
  • Contributor(s):
  • Title: Dangerous Women: Observations on the Feast of Herod in Florentine Art of the Early Renaissance
  • Source: Renaissance Quarterly 66, 4 ( 2013): Pages 1153 - 1205.
  • Description: Depictions of the Feast of Herod and martyrdom of John the Baptist served as warnings against immodest conduct by women. The blame for the execution of John shifted from an emphasis upon Herodias to blaming Salome, her daughter. Salome’s dancing is emphasized, often represented in an erotic fashion. In all cases, these two women appear as threats to social norms.
  • Article Type: Journal Article
  • Subject (See Also): Dance Daughters in Art Donatello, Artist – Feast of Herod Reliefs Florence Giotto di Bondone, Artist Herodias (Biblical Figure) John the Baptist, Saint – Martyrdom Lippi, Filippo, Artist Modesty Mothers in Art Pisano, Andrea, Artist Salome (Biblical Figure) Women in Art
  • Geographic Area: Italy
  • Century: 14- 15
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  • Abstract: This article investigates four widely studied versions of the biblical story of the Feast of Herod produced by Florentine artists in the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries: Giotto’s fresco from the Peruzzi Chapel at Santa Croce (ca. 1320), Andrea Pisano’s panels on the south doors of Florence’s baptistery (ca. 1335), Donatello’s relief for the baptismal font at Siena (ca. 1425), and Filippo Lippi’s fresco in the main chapel at the cathedral of Prato (ca. 1465). The study explores how the narrative is interpreted by each artist and suggests social messages that contemporary audiences might have drawn from each interpretation by examining the actions of the figures in light of the teachings of late medieval and early Renaissance didactic literature. Conduct literature allows one to interpret what the works reveal about the story, but also suggests that they could function didactically, in and of themselves. In such a reading, Herodias and Salome are treacherous women: dangerous not only to John the Baptist, but also to Florentine society of the period. [Reproduced from the journal page on the University of Chicago Press website http://www.press.uchicago.edu/ucp/journals/journal/rq.html]
  • Author's Affiliation: Roanoke College
  • Conference Info: - , -
  • Year of Publication: 2013.
  • Language: English
  • ISSN/ISBN: 00344338
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