Feminae: Medieval Women and Gender Index


  • Record Number: 8573
  • Author(s)/Creator(s): Schibanoff , Susan.
  • Contributor(s):
  • Title: Botticelli's "Madonna del Magnificat": Constructing the Woman Writer in Early Humanist Italy
  • Source URL: PMLA: Publications of the Modern Language Association of America (Full Text via JSTOR) 109, 2 (March 1994): 190-206. Link Info target = '_blank'>PMLA: Publications of the Modern Language Association of America (Full Text via JSTOR) 109, 2 (March 1994): 190-206. Link Info
  • Description:
  • Article Type: Journal Article
  • Subject (See Also): Art History- Painting Botticelli, Sandro, Painter- Madonna del Magnificat Cereta, Laura, Humanist Humanism Literacy Mary, Virgin, Saint in Art Women Authors Writing
  • Geographic Area: Italy
  • Century: 15
  • Related Resources:
  • Primary Evidence: Painting; Florence, Galleria degli Uffizi, Sandro Botticelli, "Madonna del Magnificat," circa 1483, tempera on panel.
  • Illustrations: Two figures. Figure One Sandro Botticelli, "Madonna del Magnificat," (Florence, Galleria degli Uffizi). Figure Two Detail from the "Madonna del Magnificat," showing the Virgin's hand being guided by the Christ child.
  • Table:
  • Abstract: While Botticelli's unusual figuration of the Virgin as writer in his "Madonna del Magnificat" (c. 1483) testifies to an important event in literary history- the appearance of the woman author in quattrocento norhern Italy- it also testifies against her, employing a pictorial equivalent of the humanists' "rhetoric of impossibility," which construes the female writer as a miraculous, hence ephemeral, phenomenon. At the same time, however, Botticelli's painting reveals the emergence of a competing imperativein the late quattrocento Latin and vernacular defenses of women by Laura Cereta, Bartolomeo Goggio, and others: the construction of the woman writer as ordinary, thus "possible." [Reproduced by permission of The Modern Language Association of America]
  • Author's Affiliation: University of New Hampshire
  • Conference Info: - , -
  • Year of Publication: 1994.
  • Language: English
  • ISSN/ISBN: 00308129
  • Material/Technique :
  • Rights: