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The representations of maidservants in Italian religious painting in the XVIIth century

Abstract : If women's representation has been a subject for gender studies, particularly the “strong women” in the Bible and the antiquity, a large majority has been forgotten. Indeed, XVIIth Italian painting is full of feminine secondary characters, especially working women, whose presence hasn’t been studied yet. My thesis is about the representation of these maidservants as an omnipresent character in all types of paintings of that period. I focus on religious topics after the Trent’s Council. Therefore, my research is based on three axes. First, the definition of limits between paintings and reality in XVIIth century. Second, highlight the pictorial order and the role played by the artist or the promoter in these pictorial choices. At last, an iconological approach will analyze the mental and profound role of the servant in religious painting. This multidisciplinary subject of art history refers to other human sciences as history, sociology, gender studies, economics and literature.
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Contributor : Catherine Gorlini <>
Submitted on : Monday, September 16, 2019 - 2:28:44 PM
Last modification on : Thursday, January 14, 2021 - 11:41:06 AM


  • HAL Id : hal-02289231, version 1


Mathilde Legeay. The representations of maidservants in Italian religious painting in the XVIIth century. RSA. 64th Annual Meeting of the Renaissance Society of America, Renaissance Society of America, Mar 2018, New Orleans, United States. ⟨hal-02289231⟩



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